Understanding the Meaning Behind “We Have To Go Back!”
By: Salvatore Cento
Admittedly, the gift to review a show that debuted sixteen years ago now doesn’t come around very often. Especially for The Banner and especially in a world where TV shows and movies come and go like new flavors of ice cream.
But after skimming my eyes over a show on NBC called “Manifest,” my mind went back to a not so distant time. A moment in the first season of an epic six season series was where Hurley, one of the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 surprisingly discovered that Ethan Rom’s name is not anywhere on the manifest. The realization abruptly enters his mind, but a question supersedes the thought. Who is he then and where did he come from?
Why he’s following our group, where he truly comes from and what he is doing opens up viewers to a rabbit hole that even shows such as “Manifest,” which premiered twelve years after “Lost” are still trying to poorly chase.
No, I don’t have that memory etched into my mind from when “Lost” was originally on the air. During the last winter break, after hearing so much about it over the years from here and there, as well as seeing the video game occasionally pop up on the suggested feed over on Amazon, I decided to binge the whole thing.
Except for a couple of plot holes that people still talk about to this day, I was not disappointed at all with my experience.
The cast included Jack Shephard, Kate Austen, James Ford and Hugo Reyes for starters. Ooh, don’t forget John Locke. Themes such as survival, desperation, love, mystery, religion, fantasy, science fiction, time travel, purgatory, and reincarnation were prominent throughout the series.
From an outsider’s point of view, those last three subjects don’t seem at all as though they would fit in a show that stands from the outset to be a modern retelling of Gilligan’s Island. But that’s what made “Lost” stand out.
They weren’t afraid to dive head first into the crazy and bizarre. J.J Abrams and the other writers of the show threw everything they had into the mixing pot, not afraid to stir things up.
The writers mixed everything with anything and all of the elements worked in harmony.
In a series that started off with just the main focus all being about survival, the story hit every avenue that you would never think possible in such a derelict type of scenario, all the while developing character arcs that traverse the present, the past and finally, future.
I will not stand here and celebrate “Lost” standing the test of time without a word about what I mentioned before: plot holes.
Every once in a while, an article sprouts or fans hiss about the storylines that never made it past their own first arc. It is a tragedy that these few roads were never explored.
Without naming them explicitly, they would have definitely given a hand to the lore and created more roads to explore in storytelling. However as officially stated, there just wasn’t enough time to flesh those particular ideas out, which is fine by me.
Ranting about a show that didn’t have definitive closure on all fronts is another way of pleading for it’s return. We don’t need that here.
We were shocked to learn where Ben Linus came from. We felt warmed by Jack and Claire’s revealed relationship.
We cheered when Jin and Sun finally reunited. We were puzzled beyond belief to find out the origins of the smoke monster.
But some mysteries are better left unsolved. Sometimes it’s better to stay “Lost.”