When a TV series like LOST fails its loyal legions of fans in the final season, silent acceptance is not an option. Somebody had to stand up and call them on it, and like our hero Jack Shephard, John Rasor willingly accepted the job as his destiny.
How Lost Got Lost is an op-ed of what went wrong and why – along with the many things that went right with this great series. Every aspect of this sci-fi/fantasy series is examined in detail - from the Island’s mystical beginnings all the way to its final state of spookiness. The book looks at many of the mysteries propounded during the show’s six seasons, and examines why some solutions were never presented by the show’s creators and writers. Finally, the book looks at the reasons why - for a great number of its loyal fans - the finale fell flat on its face.
Writing this book has been very cathartic for me. Like many of you, I was disappointed in the series finale of Lost, so much so that it actually hurt emotionally, for Lost was not just a TV show, but also a long-term relationship. As with the end of any long-term relationship, there would have been a grieving process even if they hadn’t totally botched it. But they did, and it seemed so much worse for that.
They were all there for me, the five stages of loss - Anger, Denial, Bargaining, Depression, and finally Acceptance. The first one, Anger, came in low and hit me hard. I wanted to grab the writers by the scruff of their Hawaiian shirts and just shake them. “What were you thinking, you incredible idiots?! Purga-freakin’-tory?! They’re all freakin’ dead?! That’s what you came up with?! Just kill me now!”
I didn’t waste much time on my own Denial, but when I read that there were people who actually liked and accepted this ending, I was completely bewildered and still quite angry. Somebody had to step up and make this right, dammit! I would write a book.
I became obsessed with it. Obsessed - really - it was just a TV show, c’mon. It wasn’t like your dog died! But in a way, it was. I don’t know, perhaps I’m just nuts. There was Depression, but it was fairly mild and I worked through it. The book became my Bargaining process, and through this process, I finally found Acceptance.
I wanted to go back and pick things apart to see how this could have happened. I examined every aspect of the show: the writing, the characters, the production, and the stories. This was very therapeutic and helped restore my sanity. I thought: who wants to read the ranting of a nut? It settled me down. My obsession remained, however, so I just let it come. And when something struck me funny, or ridiculous, I put that in too, to keep it light - for Lost was a great and fanciful fantasy, after all.
Through the writing of this book, I discovered the proper ending from what they’d created - not all that well-hidden - and brought it out for all to see.
I’ve left the book intact, just as it came to me, so you can see the process, and how it progressed from the early ranting of a disgruntled fan to a labor of love.
‘Tis better to have loved Lost, than never to have Lost at all.
Any of you who may have forgotten exactly what happened in which season - or who may not have watched all six seasons - might first want to read the season-by-season summary at the end of the book. Summaries by their definition cannot cover everything, especially in such a complicated show as Lost. However, these season summaries do contain details not mentioned elsewhere in the book, with additional insights into some of the events and theories.
I hope you enjoy this look back at one of the all-time landmark TV series that captured the hearts of millions the world over as much as I have enjoyed writing it. And for those of you who don’t agree with what I’ve written, I hope you will take the time to drop me a line at www.howlostgotlost.com and tell me why. I assure you, I dished it out - and I can take it…
Also by John Rasor