Over the past several months, Chud.com has been publishing my column, “Lost: The Rewatch” – an arguably-obsessive quest to re-watch and comment, in unhealthy detail, on each episode of the show aired prior to Season 6. Below, you’ll find a complete listing of all the rewatch columns for your easy reading pleasure.

Tonight, the final season begins, and many of our questions about the show will (hopefully) be answered. So, why should you be interested in reading these columns now, if you haven’t been following along already? Heck, this is the internet – for all I know, someone’s going to stumble onto this post again in fifty years using the internet access in their brain. Why should you, Man From The Future with an iBrain, read these columns?

Here’s why: While Lost is justifiably famous/infamous for its maddening levels of mystery and its fondness for twists what fascinates me about “Lost” as a viewer is the depth and the complexity of the show’s narrative. In addition to it’s deft character work and it’s plotting, the show incorporates significant and meaningful references to everything from philosophy to theoretical physics to ethics to religion to myth and even politics into both its text (what we see and hear on screen – the ‘explicit’ meaning) and it’s subtext (the ideas, references and allusions that underlie what we see – the ‘implicit’ meaning). These references are layered into the show at levels that are, frankly, kind of astonishing.

Lost’s evident fascination with the very topics that I’ve spent most of my own life being fascinated with has leant this project a kind of serendipity, and it certainly explains much of my love for the show. I’ve always been a fan of smart, intricate entertainment – the sort of fictional world-building that invites a person to not simply to watch, but to engage. You can watch this show solely for the story that’s on screen – it’s emotional, exciting, occasionally frustrating, more than a little weird, and very funny – or, if you’re like me, you can dig a lot deeper. That sort of thing doesn’t come along too often. Barring a sudden, unforeseen war against the machines/zombie hordes/surprisingly-banal lizard people (constant vigilance!), people will still be talking about Lost in the decades ahead and I suspect they’ll be writing long, boring graduate theses involving postmodernism and containing pitifully few references to things like zombie hordes and iBrains.

The Rewatch Columns have been largely dedicated to exploring and commenting on the show’s references, allusions allegories, structure, overall themes and “meanings” in brief, bullet-point form, purposefully light in tone. The Columns also include my general impressions on re-watching the episode, a fair number of bad jokes, and any theories that cropped up in my head regarding the unanswered questions prior to Season 6’s debut. Sort of a written DVD commentary, if you will.  They were written and intended to be read as folks revisited the series in the time between Season 5 and Season 6, when none of us had any clue what the hell was going to happen. By reading them you’ll be able to get a sense of just how much thought and creativity went into the construction of this show, and you’ll learn an impressive amount it about a variety of subjects, all of them pretty fascinating.

I’ll talk more about many of the subjects I’ve touched on here in a forthcoming book which you’ll be able to own, thanks to the wonders of 21st century self-publishing, not terribly long after Season 6 comes to a close. If what you read in these columns intrigues you I’d like to encourage you to think about picking it up. I can promise twice the information and twice the number of obscure asides.

Of course, by the time you read this, many of my half-cocked theories will have been disproven. I hope that you’ll read them in the spirit that they were intended, and in the spirit which I believe the show also intends. Lost is, among other things, a story about how and why people create myths and legends, and about how those stories can help and hurt us. Its characters spend their lives in a state of un-awareness, and those characters construct meaning in the same way that you and I do: one moment, one fact of information, at a time. We’ve always told stories to explain what we did not understand, to honor the fallen, to create a legend, to entertain, to mislead, to enlighten. As we’ve watched this show we’ve told those stories to one another, trading theories and opinion and inventing explanations where there were no concrete answers. Think of my ramblings as a story told around a fire – an attempt to explain mysteries without access to the full picture. Think of it as myth.

Thanks for reading, folks. Join me here on Chud.com after the Season 6 premiere as I go Back To The Island for a recap and discussion of the episode. Chud’s Season 6 discussion thread.


The Rewatch:

Season 5

The Incident (S5, ep. 16)
Follow The Leader (S5, ep. 15)
Some Like It Hoth & The Variable (S5, eps. 13 & 14)
Whatever Happened Happened & Dead Is Dead (S5, eps. 11 & 12)
Namaste & He’s Our You (S5, eps. 9 & 10)
The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham & LaFleur (S5, eps. 7 & 8)
This Place Is Death & 316 (S5, eps. 5 & 6)
Jughead & The Little Prince (S5, eps. 3 & 4)
The Lie (S5, ep. 2)
Because You Left (S5, ep. 1)

Season 4

• There’s No Place Like Home, Parts I & 2 (S4, ep. 12 & 13)
• Something Nice Back Home & Cabin Fever (S4, eps. 10 & 11)
• The Shape of things to come (S4 ep. 9)
• Meet Kevin Johnson (S4 ep. 8)
• The Other Woman/Je Yeong (S4 ep. 6 &7)
• The Constant (S4 ep. 5)
• Eggtown (S4 ep. 4)
• The Economist (S4 ep. 3)
• Confirmed Dead (S4 ep. 2)
• The Beginning of The End (S4 ep. 1)

Season 3

• Through The Looking Glass (S3 ep. 22 & 23)
• Greatest Hits (S3 ep. 21)
• The Man behind The Curtain (S3 ep. 20)
• The Brig (S3 ep. 19)
• D.O.C. (S3 ep. 18)
• Catch 22 (S3 ep. 17)
• One of Us (S3 ep. 16)
• Left Behind (S3 ep. 15)
• Exposé (S3 ep. 14)
• The Man from Tallahasse (S3 ep. 13)
• Par Avion (S3 ep. 12)
• Enter 77 (S3 ep. 11)
• Tricia Tanaka is Dead (S3 ep. 10)
• Stranger in a Strange Land (S3 ep. 09)
• Flashes before your Eyes (S3 ep. 08)
• Not In Portland (S3 ep. 07)
• I Do (S3 ep. 06)
• The Cost of Living (S3 ep. 05)
• Every Man for himself (S3 ep. 04)
• Further Instructions (S3 ep. 03)
• The Glass Ballerina (S3 ep. 02)
• Season 3 Premiere

Season 2

Season 2 finale
• Three Minutes (S2 ep. 22)
• ? (S2 ep. 21)
• Two for The Road (S2 ep. 20)
• S.O.S. (S2 ep. 19)
• Dave (S2 ep. 18)
• Lockdown (S2 ep. 17)
• The Whole Truth (S2 ep. 16)
• Maternity Leave (S2 ep. 15)
One of Them (S2 ep. 14)
The Long Con (S2 ep. 13)
Fire + Water (S2 ep. 12)
The Hunting Party (S2 ep 11)
The 23rd Psalm (S2, ep. 10)
What Kate Did (S2, ep. 9)
Collision (S2, ep. 8)
The Other 48 Days (S2, ep. 7)

Pre-Chud columns for Season 1 and the start of Season 2 are available on Back To The Island.