That's right. I've watched ALL one hundred and twenty one episodes of LOST. Multiple times. And YES, I have read all of Javier Grillo-Marxuach's (The Middleman, LOST, Helix) nearly 17,000 word blog post 'The LOST Will And Testament' that he dropped on his website this past week (http://okbjgm.tumblr.com/).
My biggest takeaway from it, I STILL don't understand the 'hate' for Damon Lindelof. And I quote...
'On the first day alone, Damon downloaded on us the notion that the island was a nexus of conflict between good and evil: an uncharted and unchartable place with a mysterious force at its core that called humanity to it to play out a primal contest between light and dark.'
Damon Lindelof is a genius, and I don't use that word lightly. He wrote some of the best episodes of LOST, and of television in general. His work on 'The Leftovers' is even better, and shows that he, beyond any other genre-famous writer, has the potential to reach the upper echelon of the golden age showrunners/writers.
Well, he was the real auteur behind LOST - more than Cuse and far more than JJ - the entire show was his, so to try and reduce his involvement to just the episodes he wrote is faulty. He had a heavy hand in everything LOST, good and bad.
But as for episodes he wrote directly:
- There was the PILOT itself, which is pretty much undeniable.
- In fact every season premiere and finale - the end scene of “Man Of Faith, Man of Science' where Jack finds out he was able to fix Sarah's back so she could dance at her wedding gets me every time.
- "Deus Ex Machina," which was an episode that brought Locke's dangerous fundamentalism into brilliant focus. I've rarely seen any show tackle the topic of religion so viscerally, and without taking the focus off of the characters and resorting to abstract monologues. (Again, 'The Leftovers' does this even better.)
- "One of Them" & "Lockdown" - Jeebus, when Sayid destroys Henry Gale, and the way Locke and Jack react...brilliant television. Then, when Sayid finally reveals that he DUG UP Henry Gale's grave to out the leader of the Others. Again, some of the best television I've ever seen in terms of tension, intrigue, character - and it's all done in the space of a couple of rooms.
- "The Brig" - in one single episode, Sawyer is locked in a room with Cooper, ascertains that it was Cooper who was responsible for his parents' deaths all those years ago, and kills him. So much information, and not one shred of it forced or glossed over. One of the most satisfying payoffs and one of my favorite episodes of the series.
- "The Constant" - do I really need to explain this one. It won the show a Peabody award.
Also, while reading JGM's essay, there's this great bit:
'Let me be absolutely clear on this, because Lindelof and Lost bashing remain to this day something akin to an Olympic sport. The man is every bit the genius he has been hyped to be. If you feel that not all of his work reflects this truth, I would ask, "Whose does who works at the pace of production — and with the levels of interference foisted on — film and television writers?”
Take this to the bank: in my years in television, I have rarely, if perhaps ever, met as uncannily gifted a spinner of yarns and creator of intrigue as Damon Lindelof."
Mr. Grillo-Marxuach is a GREAT writer as well. The post itself is enormously instructive not just in terms of 'Lost,' but in the way TV shows are created and produced (often, it’s a lot less organized than you think).
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