As long-time Lost fans, we’re finding it hard to believe that all those years of speculation really were for nothing.
Take this with a grain of sand – a whole beach, even – because we’re not quite sure how reliable this report is. Or maybe we’re just in denial.
Ben Blacker’s Nerdist Writers’ Panel is a podcast which allows writers to just be writers, and discuss their work as a craft rather than in the usual mysterious way which suggests that series are made with magic, blood of virgins and the essence of unicorn horns.
Every once in a while, however, a writer’s comment is picked up by internet outlets because it is particularly revealing. Such is the case with a recent bombshell dropped by Prison Break writer Nick Santora, who recalled claims made by his writer friend on Lost (whom he did not name) who told him that – you guessed it – the writers really were just pulling their show’s infamous watercooler moments out of thin air.
“We had an expression in the room which was ‘No Polar Bears’ – a reference to Lost,” Santora explained, referencing one of the show’s first mysteries, the polar bear in the jungle. He then went on to recount an experience which changed his view of the show:
“I had friends that were writing on Lost, I can’t say who they were. And I was watching football with one of them and I was telling them how much I loved the show… and I’m like, ‘How are you going to pay all this stuff off?’ And he looked at me and goes, ‘We’re not.’ And I go, ‘What do you mean you’re not?’ He said, ‘We literally just think of the weirdest most f*cked up thing and write it and we’re never going to pay it off.’ And I look at him and I’m like, ‘That’s such bullshi*t! You are completely f*cking with the audience.'”
This contradicts several accounts made by the cast and crew both during and after the show’s original 2004-2010 run. However, it’s not exactly the first time a fringe writer has expressed a similar sentiment.
Loyal fans have stubbornly refused to believe it (and probably still will), because looking back at the show, it does seem like most mysteries are tied up in some way or another. The Lost Podcast With Jay and Jack are doing a rewatch right now, and have found very few unanswered questions in the first season of the show.
However, a general feeling among Lost fans seems to be that however the questions were answered, those answers didn’t seem like satisfactory payoffs after all those years of theorizing and speculation.
After all, for fans of the show, it wasn’t just about the polar bears and the Others. It was about the numbers, the sickness, the hidden flash-forwards, the Virgin Mary statues, the Black Rock, Juliet’s sister, the golden Pontiac, Walt’s powers and Ben’s book club.
The reason the show had such an intense, avid fanbase wasn’t because of the shock value, it was because of the brilliance we believed went into crafting such a detailed, interconnecting world in which everything we saw on screen was in some way significant.
We’ve previously heard that certain mysteries were set up before the writers had an answer, most notably the hatch in season 1, which the writers spent the hiatus puzzling out. There’s also been several whispers (no pun intended) that the writers had no idea what the Smoke Monster was supposed to be before they cooked up the Man in Black’s convoluted backstory in season 6.
The Lost showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse caused quite a stir as we were heading into the sixth and final season, by claiming that the show wasn’t really about the mysteries at all, but about the characters.
This certainly explained the divisive (and generally disliked) finale, which brushed off the island storyline in favour of an afterlife with very religious overtones – very reminiscent of the similarly criticized “God did it” ending of Battlestar Galactica.
“I want to bring a class-action lawsuit on behalf of everyone who watched Lost all those years,” Santora said in the panel. “Nina Hartley [a porn star] jerked people off less than Lost did.”
But really, there’s only one important question to ask: if most of the show’s WTF moments really were just intended to shock and confuse the audience (rather than for setting up a specific reveal or storyline), does that diminish our enjoyment of Lost as a whole?
Or can we still enjoy the evolution of the characters, as the writers allegedly intended?
The quotes were originally posted on UpRoxx.com.