This show is about people who are metaphorically lost in their lives, who get on an airplane, and crash on an island, and become physically lost on the planet Earth. And once they are able to metaphorically find themselves in their lives again, they will be able to physically find themselves in the world again. When you look at the entire show, that's what it will look like. That's what it's always been about.
—Damon Lindelof, co-creator, executive producer and co-showrunner, in a very early interview about the series.
It’s at the online forum called The Fuselage that I become acquainted with one Robert Goodman, who claims to be a friend of showrunner Damon Lindelof’s (dead) father, and indeed of Damon himself. Goodman proposes a game where every narrative convention in the show has to have a diegetic purpose. This allows him to spin a grand conspiracy narrative explaining the show – Walt wasn’t lucky, he was a con-artist who used loaded dice at backgammon; the characters picked fake names to indicate to other characters which sides they were on; there was a security system on the Island that prevented anyone from speaking of the true nature of their deceptions; and so on.
I think I’m finally starting to “get” LOST.
"Another show is gone, 'cause Lost is over too
Locke was the smoke monster and Jacob was some dude
Goodbye to Kate and Sawyer, Hurley, Ben and Jack
He grew a crazy beard and said... "we have to go back"
"WE HAVE TO GO BAAACK"
The Island, it was mythical, but in the end they died
I didn't understand it, but I tried"
"Guys... where are we?"
"WHAT THE BLOODY HELL IS GOING ON?"
Every question I answer will simply lead to another question.
Answers don't give you ever lasting satisfaction. Sometimes, you need to brace yourself for disappointment. Now think about it. Imagine your favorite show. You've been through it all. The ups, the downs, the crazy coincidences. And then, BANG! They tell you what it's all about. Would you be happy? Does it make sense? How come it all ended in a church?
Peter: Boy, that was a great episode of Lost, wasn't it, fellas?
Waldorf: Well, at least the show's got the right name.
Statler: Yeah, I couldn't follow any of it.
Okay. See, we did crash, but it was on this crazy island. And we waited for rescue, and there wasn't any rescue. And there was a smoke monster, and then there were other people on the island. We called them the Others, and they started attacking us. And we found some hatches, and there was a button you had to push every 108 minutes or... well, it was never really clear on that. But... the Others didn't have anything to do with the hatches. That was the DHARMA Initiative. The Others killed them, and now they're trying to kill us. And then we teamed up with the Others because some worse people were coming on a freighter. Desmond's girlfriend's father sent them to kill us. So we stole their helicopter and we flew it to their freighter, but it blew up. And we couldn't go back to the island because it disappeared, so then we crashed into the ocean, and we floated there for a while until a boat came and picked us up. And by then, there were six of us. That part was true. But the rest of the people... who were on the plane... they're still on that island.
- Hurley provides the set-up for Season 5