Ryan Chartrand

I’m a clairvoyant. I can see the future, or more specifically, next Wednesday. I can see millions of “Lost” fans united under the banner of blissful perplexity. Fans who robotically gather on these most auspicious Wednesday nights to watch 45 minutes of unadulterated lunacy; fans who are hopelessly addicted to a storyline that is so clearly over all our heads. But yet, we watch. We remain loyal.

While viewing the gloriousness that is “Lost” firsthand, I often find myself desperately trying to exercise a sequence of simple cerebral functions, any sort of a rational process that would result in the ability to understand the basic tenets of what is quite possibly the most confusing show on earth. But no, that never happens. Connecting the abstract dots of J.J. Abrams genius is futile, and mental exhaustion quickly becomes me. I am only mortal.

So what keeps me going? Why do I continue this psychological torture to understand the impossible? I’ll tell you why, because I can’t be the only one completely and hopelessly lost watching “Lost.” I mean, there are support groups for this kind of thing. The irony of my situation hits me like a ton of bricks.

OK, so maybe if I admit my intellectual shortcomings and embrace the silent sting of idiocy, the television gods will finally throw me a freaking bone and answer some of my questions.

So assuming that the masses are as lost as I am, there certainly are questions that need answering. Basics like what are polar bears doing in torrid climate? What is that ominous black smoke? Why do dead people appear on the island and then walk away at the most inappropriate moments before questioning? And most importantly, why is the all-powerful leader of the “others” a feeble man named Ben, who to me, somewhat resembles a woodland creature?

Confounded and ashamed for asking such simple questions, I am afraid that this television show will be the death of me. That is why I feel it is my duty to explicate the inexplicable. I don’t want people to kill themselves over a TV show after all.

So, to avoid widespread mental disaster, let us talk about what makes “Lost,” “Lost.” Firstly, to those who haven’t noticed, every episode follows a very distinct pattern. Explain, you say? Done.

The first component in this very delicate equation is the recap montage of last week’s most confusing bits. Then, perhaps at the most dramatic moment of that montage, the screen will abruptly dip to black and the “Lost” graphic eerily floats toward focus.

After this somewhat annoying tease comes the story arc. Usually, each episode combines events concurrently with pre-island flashbacks that illuminate an aspect of any given character. i.e. motives, past history, inner demons.

The episode will then carry on for the next 43 minutes without much explanation or insight about what’s going on . until the last two minutes. Without fail, something extremely dramatic has to occur in the final moments of the episode to throw the audience for a loop. Just when you finally thought you knew Juliet, bam! Fade to black. Before you know it, the episode is over. Bata bing, bata bang, done. We are all lost. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why this is the greatest show on earth. Think about it.

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