By way of reminder, Kristi and I began watching the show only this January, starting with the first four seasons on DVD through checking them out at our local library. We finished up with season five on Hulu around the time of season six's seventh episode. We tried to pace ourselves, but by the time we were caught up in "real time" (a concept that doesn't exist in the world of LOST), we had to wait like everyone else for the last several episodes.
First of all, it is sooooo much more satisfying to have watched LOST "all at once." The show plays like a greek tragedy, or a series of them - long and involved with many different characters focused around a common theme. No one actually wants to watch greek tragedies anymore, so the only place they play are at universities under the guise of "education." I participated in a few in college - I remember the Orestia trilogy being staged at University of Arizona, and how in total it was around nine hours of theater devoted to telling one story - and if you weren't really into theatre, it could be painful. Fortunately for me, at that time, I was so totally into theatre...
In theatre, there are other examples less old. Horton Foote completed a nine play cycle called "The Orphans Home Cycle" that recently was staged in New York as an epic "come and see all of them over a weekend" experience. So this kind of storytelling is not new. The fact that it was successful, on television, that part... is new.
LOST asks you to simply be comfortable with some science fiction-style truths about the world of the play (or in this case, the Island.) It will be true, that there will be a monster that no one really knows about. There are whispers in the jungle. There are people who speak to the dead. And the creators decided to use that world to be a metaphor for the way in which each of these characters were relationally and spiritually lost. Each of them had different things to learn, which they did, in one way or another, on the island.
Those who saw the finale and felt jipped about not getting some more specific answers about some of those science fiction truths, well, I think they're missing the point. The paths that these characters were on were not designed to explain particulars of plot: they were there to explore the texture of their characters and the conflicts in which they found themselves. That's great drama. This wasn't a jungle version of the game Clue, where we all find out in the end what the mystery is, and whodunnit. The mystery (the island) was the setting: the characters accepted the mystery and made decisions that revealed character.
And I loved it. I would encourage anyone who has not taken in a single episode to check out your local library or netflix or hulu, and give it a chance. At 44 minutes an episode (sans commercials), it goes by pretty fast. And even the seasons where Losties "gave up" - they go by fast, and episodes that weren't great don't get dwelled on, because you simple go to the menu and click onto the next one.
One final thought: I am a firm believer that all good stories have their origins in THE STORY, and this show is no exception. Many connections were obvious, but others were subtle. Nonetheless, God is working in our lives, even in our pop culture lives, and THE STORY was told through these creatives as they told the story of these characters and this island. It was cool to watch.