In just a few more weeks, one of the most creative and interesting mainstream shows of the 21st century will come to an end. And while I’ll miss Lost, I think I’m just about ready for that to happen.
At first, it was fun to try and work out where all the mysteries, the loose ends, were leading. I don’t think it was until Season Four that I stopped trying. By that stage, it was refusing to tie up any of these dangling threads, and even allowing new ones to hang loose. The announcement that the show was definitely set to finish after its sixth season seemed to give the show a greater sense of purpose after a time when it had seemed to be treading water, but I was no longer trying to fit the pieces of the puzzle together, let alone attempt the kind of forensic post-mortem that serious viewers would conduct after every episode.
Crucially, though, I’ve not stopped caring about the outcome. Its plotting might be furiously complex (or wilfully obtuse, depending on how generous you are about the show’s idiosyncrasies) but the show has never really lost its heart, nor its ability to make the viewer empathise with its cast. The likes of Ben, Locke and Richard are hugely ambiguous and fascinating characters, while nominal ‘hero’ Jack is anything but your clued-up protagonist, seemingly blundering his way through proceedings, trying to do the right thing but often failing. It’s also incredibly daring at times, last week’s episode playing out like a subtitled foreign film for much of its duration, anchored by a phenomenal turn from Nestor Carbonell as Richard.
For all that the series has been haemorrhaging viewers since its record-breaking first season, at its best it provides some blistering drama. So while the subtle nods towards past (or is it future?) events might well go over my head, I’m still as keen as anyone to find out what twists and turns are in store in the coming weeks, and whether or not the solutions to its many riddles ultimately satisfy, it’s certainly been one hell of a ride.