Simplest Lost guide/spoiler?

From what I understand, “simple” and “Lost” don’t go together quite well. But be that as it may, is there a basic rundown of the essential plot elements/character groups/mysteries/whatever for Lost? For various reasons I’ll never watch the show, but given the amount of chatter it garnered I’d be interested in a spoiled overview. Something relatively simple, like “in season 1, the castaways found themselves on an island somewhere in the Pacific. They were able to cobble together makeshift radios in order to keep in touch with civilization (mainly Hawaii), but the ineptitude of certain crewmembers repeatedly thwarted their efforts to return to society…”

Any chance there’s a four to six-minute read out there that touches on the major activities without getting bogged down in minutiae?

I’d be interested in the same thing. I’ve seen about 20 Lost episodes total – none from the last season, though – and I’d like to tie up some loose ends without watching hours of television.

Does it have to be 4 to 6 minutes? Because this YouTube video can get you up to the end of season 5 in 8:15.

I highly recommend this.

For season 6, it really isn’t all that complicated.

You should be able to read what happened online very easily.

That was hilarious, but I didn’t realize that the final season was season 6 until it was wrapping up :frowning:

You can basically watch the first and last episode and pretty much know all you really need to know, as 90% (and that’s a generous figure) of what happened in-between was completely inconsequential.

Just because the writers didn’t craft the ending you wanted doesn’t mean the entire series is worthless.

To the OP, that video is perfect, it really hits the major notes of the series. I’d just watch them all on, personally, because the series is very much worth watching.

Yep. A simple Lost guide: a bunch of meandering, meaningless bullshit happened and we never understood why.

We understand why, we don’t understand how.

[WHY]The island is a font for something important to humanity. MiB leaving the island would cause disaster.[/WHY]

I don’t think so. A lot of the characters in the finale were developed over the course of the show. Many(Myles, Ben, Richard) don’t appear until later in the show.

And most of them barely matter at all to the story that actually was resolved (and I use that term loosely).

Desmond doesn’t matter? Ben doesn’t matter? The MiB doesn’t matter? Jacob doesn’t matter?

Again, you didn’t care for the ending, I get it, but that isn’t a reason to make utterly incoherent statements about the plot.

I should clarify. I meant most of the characters’ actions outside of those two episodes don’t matter–most everything else (I firmly believe) can be inferred. Desmond is important, but it’s never adequately explained why, and lack of that knowledge doesn’t really impact what happens in the final.

So yes, I stand by what I said. Not everything will make sense, but 90% of the content between those episodes was utterly irrelevant.

It’s ironic you feel that way considering that was the entirety of Lost.

It’s about the journey, not the destination.

That wasn’t the OP’s question.

There were a bunch of people in a flight who crashed on an island. The island magically healed one of them and made another one’s dead father vanish out of a closed coffin. We never learn how/why either of those things happened. Oh and something big ate the pilot of the plane. (We later learn it was the Smoke Monster). Oh and there’s the remains of a giant statue. All that’s left is the foot. Which has four toes.

There’s a tower on the island repeating a warning/lullaby in french. It’s been on a continuous loop for 16(?) years, give or take.

Turns out that there are several groups of people who are/were on the island: The Dharma Initiative. They’re the most interesting ones, but have zero connection to the actual ending. They were a super-secret science group exploring the island’s “unique electromagnetic properties.” Oh, and trying to make polar bears super-smart. And they had an underwater power generation station that was used to power the antenna with the creepy french warning. As of season 5, suddenly this organization with branches all over the word and super-duper high-tech becomes a bunch of stoned hippies just screwing around. This change is never explained.

Another “group” (although it’s only one person) is The Crazy French Lady. She explains to The Losties that she’s been there for 16 years and “The Others” kidnapped her daughter.

“The Others” at first, seem like a bunch of scary, inbred hillbillies and do the “Line in the Sand” thing–“This is your half of the island, this is ours. Step over, and it’s all out war”

One of the losties (Locke, a paralyzed guy that the Island healed) learns about an airplane full of heroin that crashed there. Then he finds…Jinkies! A pirate ship (“The Black Rock”) in the middle of the island that’s filled with dynamite. THEN he finds a mysterious hatch on the ground.

Another Lostie (Hurley) got bad luck (to everyone around him) from playing (and winning) the Lottery using numbers that used to be broadcast from the Antenna. Those Numbers (4,8,15,16,23,42) show up everywhere…and they’re the serial number of the Hatch. Why do the numbers have these powers and show up everywhere? Never explained. The Hatch also has “Quarrantine” written on the outside of The Hatch. Why? Never explained.

A raft is built and 5 people sail off the island (including Michael-a really bad actor–and his son, Walt who has magical powers…we see him use them a number of times. These are never explained). The Others intercept the raft, kidnap Walt and blow up the raft. Everyone makes it back to shore. The father spends the next 15 or so episodes screaming “Waaaaaaaaaaaalt!” at the top of his lungs.

Eventually The Hatch is opened (with the dynamite from the pirate ship*) and in The Hatch is Desmond who had met one of the Losties a few years back (Jack–a doctor–who’s father’s body disappeared from that empty casket. Did I mention that his dad keeps showing up as a ghost? Why? Never explained well)

Desmond has to enter a sequence of numbers (guess which numbers? Yup. Those magic numbers…why them? Never explained) into an old TRS-80 looking computer. Desmond explains that if he doesn’t the world will come to an end.

A big debate about science/faith ensues. Jack says “Screw it. I’m not going to be a slave to that damned button.” Locke says “I BELIEVE. I’ll enter the numbers.”

Some other people show up-turns out there were some survivors from the tail section of the plane. A few were kidnapped by The Others, most were just murdered. Four of 'em got away.

Meanwhile, a guy calling himself Henry Gale stumbles into camp and is captured (and placed in The Hatch for safe keeping). Eventually it turns out he’s Ben, leader of The Others and he’s here to…I don’t remember why…to scout out the Losties.

Ben convinces Michael that if Michael murders two of the tail-section people and helps Ben get away AND helps kidnap four Losties, he’ll give Michael his son Waaaaaaalt back. Michael promptly murders the two women, lets Ben go and shoots himself in the arm (to pretend that Ben escaped on his own).

Locke, while wandering around (someone else is on button pushing duty) finds another Dharma station which is filled with TV screens. The screens are showing the inside of The Hatch (through hidden cameras). It turns out the whole “Pushing the button” thing was a psychological experiment (“Can we get these doofuses to push that button every 108 minutes? How long 'till they crack?”) Locke loses his faith and goes back to smash the computer so no-one can push The Button. Reports are put in those suction tubes that drive-through banks have and are dump on a deserted stretch of beach (there’s no ruins or anything. Apparently this was planned. Why? We don’t know.)

Desmond, reading the automated records figures out–“Wait! You guys crashed at such-and-such time on so-and-so date?! That (according to these records) is the one time I was a few minutes late pushing The Button and there was this big energy discharge. I CAUSED YOUR PLANE TO CRASH!”

They go running after Locke to tell him not to break the computer. Too late. Locke does, and the timer goes off. Desmond says “There’s always been a secret way to discharge all the energy all at once so that no-one would ever have to push the button but…I don’t know why I never did the fail-safe before, come to think of it. It would have certainly helped my sleep schedule if I had.” (never explained why he never just used the fail-safe).

Everyone evacuates the Hatch except Desmond. There’s an earth-shattering KA-BOOM and the Hatch implodes, taking Desmond with it (we assume). The sky goes purple for a moment and some guys in the arctic suddenly notice on their radar-like equipment that “Hey! The island is RIGHT THERE! Yay!”

…continued next post.
*Yes, I know it turned out it wasn’t. I thought it was and it would have been cooler.

Desmond has temporarily gotten “unstuck” in time and his consciousness keeps slipping into different parts of his history. Once he talks to his girlfriend, that makes things all better and he reappears on the island naked, but with KNOWLEDGE OF THE FUTURE!

Meanwhile, Michael delivers the four Losties to Ben, he and his son get in a boat and go away. Walt never really returns–except as a ghost, or a backwards-talking ghost sometimes. Why? Never explained.

Turns out the island has magical healing powers but Ben has a spinal tumor that–GOSH!–only Jack can fix (being a spinal surgeon and all). Why did Ben get a tumor when the Island can raise the dead? Dunno. Never explained.

Jack, in the middle of the operation threatens to kill Ben if his friends aren’t released. They are. He saves Ben.

It also turns out that The Others can’t carry babies to term (the one pregnant Lostie was kidnapped by The Others and given mystery injections (that Desmond was taking too)–none of this is ever explained). They want Jack to join them.

At some point around here, there’s some talk of the REAL leader of the Others: Jacob “a very great man.”

Turns out that Desmond’s girlfriend (apparently) sent out a ship. Much fighting between The Others, The Losties and Locke (who’s decided that the Losties are here for “a reason”) over contacting the ship.

At about this time, one of the Losties gets into the underwater Dharma station (which is jamming any outbound communications) and sabotages it. As soon as the jamming signal is turned off, Desmond’s girlfriend calls and says she’s not on the freighter. The guy gets killed as the station explodes but he gets a message to another Lostie that Desmond’s girlfriend didn’t send the freighter.

Naturally, they get through to the freighter and guide it into the island before they’re told that the freighter was sent by…someone else.

Some science guys get off the freighter and everyone’s happy.

Later, some mercenaries get off the freighter–turns out Penny (Desmond’s girlfriend) has a father who A) is eeeee-vil, B) Hates Ben…lots and lots and C) WANTS the Island for reasons never explained**.

The mercenaries kill bunches of people including Ben’s adopted daughter (who’s the Crazy French Lady’s real daughter.) This pisses off Ben who (somehow) sics the smoke monster onto the mercenaries. How? Never explained. The smoke monster kills many of them.

Meanwhile, Jack’s Dad’s Ghost takes the now no-longer pregnant chick into the woods. She vanishes for like 3 seasons and no-one much notices after an episode or two. She leaves her kid behind though. There was a creepy prophecy early on about how she must not let her kid be raised by another…and NOW? It’s going to happen. Of course, nothing actually happens as a result of this. The kid ends up in the possetion of one of the losties.

Some of the Losties (including the one with the kid) get on the freigher with the help of a friendly pilot who’s helicopter is damaged. He lands on the freighter, and it turns out Michael (remember Michael?) is a flunky on the ship and tries to blow it up. It doesn’t work.

Meanwhile, Ben, to escape from the last mercenary takes Locke (he’s shot and killed Locke and dumped him in a mass-grave earlier in the season, but Locke gets better when Waaaaalt’s spirit form appears and tells him he’s still needed. Why? We dunno. But Ben now thinks Locke is important since he…came back from the dead and all) to a secret cavern below the island. He kills the mercenary which causes the ship to blow up (heart-monitor connected to a bomb on the ship). A few of the losties escape just in time in the helicopter.

In this frozen cavern beneath the tropical island is what looks like a huge ship’s wheel (the Frozen Donkey Wheel–FDW going forward) set half in/half out of a slot in the rock wall. Ben turns it. And…disappears.

Then, from the POV of the losties on the helicopter, the island vanishes too! Poof. Why? Because the FDW “mixes light with water” and that makes the island teleport to a whole new location.

The losties in the helicopter crash into the water and (YAY) are saved by Desmond’s girlfriend who just happens to be in a nearby boat. The losties all agree that to keep their friends safe, they have to lie about the island. Why? We don’t know. But they all agree. (It also turns out that Whidmore bought a plane, filled it with bodies and sunk it, so that everyone would think that’s the wreckage of the real plane that crashed. Why? We don’t know.)

Throughout this season, we’ve been having flash-forwards. Everyone who escaped from the island lives for three years back in civilization and they’re all miserable. Totally miserable and about half the season has been devoted to that. The final scene this season is a few of the rescued folks showing up at a funeral home and they open a casket–it’s LOCKE! Gosh! How?

The losties left on the island are bouncing around in time. They go to prehistoric times, to the future (we think), to the 50s where the army is going to test a nuke (they prevent it), and when they get to the '70s they hook up with the Dharma initiative. While our key losties are bouncing through time, all the other survivors are killed. I don’t remember if it was by The Others or the mercenaries–but any non-crucial character is snuffed around now (it might have been a bit earlier or later)

Locke (who’s not dead in the 1970s) goes back to the FDW at the behest of Jack’s Dad’s Ghost (who may or may not be The Smoke Monster. Why? We don’t know) and pushes it again. This stablizes the island in time (why? Because it’s “light mixed with water”) and teleports Lock to Tunisia. Where Ben appeared earlier. Also there’s a skeleton of a polar bear wearing a Dharma harness, so Dharma apparently used a polar bear to turn the FDW at least once. For some reason (never explained) when Ben turned the wheel, he came out in 2004 (his present). When Locke turned The Wheel (in 1970s) he appeared in 2007. Why? Who knows.

He contacts each of the escapes losties that they all have to go back to the island and the reason they’re all suicidally miserable is that the Island didn’t want them to go. They all refuse.

Locke is about to commit suicide, but just as he’s about to, Ben walks in, extracts a crucial bit of info from Locke and then murders him. Why? We don’t know. But later, he says he’s sorry he did it. So that’s ok.

The losties all change their minds and go to the funeral home we saw at the end of last season and see Locke’s dead body. They decide to go back. They talk to a creepy time-travel lady (who’s the mother of one of the scientists who came in the frieghter and is now trapped on the Island in the 1970s). She runs a Dharma station that has a big pendulum that can tell where the island is. She says that A) They all have to go back. No one can stay behind. (They leave the kid behind. Why doesn’t he count? Who knows. Never explained despite everyone–Jack’s dad’s ghost, the creepy time-travel lady, Whidmore–they ALL agree it’s all or nothing. So why the kid doesn’t count is kind of a mystery.) Also, creepy time-travel lady says that they need to put Locke’s body on the plane to substitute for Jack’s dad’s body and a big point is made about the fact that Locke’s body needs to be wearing a pair of shoes that belonged to Jack’s dad. Why? We don’t know. It’s never explained. But it’s important, dammit!

So all of the losties, plus Ben (wait–they were trying to recreate the original conditions–so why’s ben there?) and Locke’s body wearing Jack’s Dad’s Shoes are on a plane which…wow! is being piloted by that same pilot who was in the helicopter a season or two back.
The plane gets sucked into a vortex (more or less) and the pilot brings it down on the Island. Except that 5 of the 6 losties vanish into 1970. Why? We dunno.

…continued next post.
**It turns out later that he came to the island in the '50s as a soldier, then later became leader of The Others. Why/How? We don’t know. Also, we never find out WHY he wants the island. He just does.

Fenris, I fucking love your explanation. I laughed every time I read “never explained.”

Seconded on all counts. I’m already glad I didn’t waste time on this big pile o’ ambiguity, half-baked mysticism and unanswered questions.

Ok–here’s the wrap-up.

So, we’ve got the Past Losties living happily in Dharmaville in 1977. They’re joined by 5(?) of the future losties from the plane who are integrated into Dharma with help from one of the Past Losties who’s now head of security.

Oh, and Dharma, despite having worldwide operations, insane amounts of money, the resources to build underwater power stations, time-travel devices, etc is now shown as a bunch of semi-competent granola-eating hippies out to have a good time. Because the authors said so, that’s why.

One of the Past Losties meets up with 12 year old Ben (who’s dad is in Dharma) and shoots him. A different Past Lostie gets bent out of shape about this (because she’s a walking idiot-plot device. Her motivation is always to do the stupidest thing possible that will advance the plot) and takes dying L’il Ben to The Others who say they can heal him but he won’t have a soul and will be an Other. They say “Cool!”

Meanwhile, in the future Grown Up Ben (who doesn’t remember any of this) along with a few losties who didn’t go into the past and some of the remaning passengers are met by Locke, back from the dead. Wow.

He gathers them together and goes to get The Others. He then marches all of them to where Jacob (mysterious leader of The Others) lives in a secret room under the 4-toed statue.

MEANWHILE, there’s a new group. Seems that Jacob likes minions: in addition to The Others, Jacob has a second group who show up with Locke’s casket just as Locke and Ben go into the secret room under the Statue. Locke taunts Ben (“You worked all this time for Jacob and you never got to see him, he treated you like a flunky, etc”) and hands Ben a knife. Ben stabs Jacob a whole bunch of times. Locke kicks Jacob into a fire where he burns up like he was old newspaper doused in kerosene.

Meanwhile, on the beach, it turns out that Locke’s body was in the casket! He IS dead! So who’s in the room under the foot?

Locke turns into the Smoke Monster. He’s been pretending to be Locke all along, ever since the plane crashed again. He says he wants to get off the island once and for all and Jacob was stopping him.

Meanwhile, back in 1977, the losties decide to try to reboot time. They’re going to drop the atom bomb that the army was going to blow up in the '50s into the hole where the Hatch (remember the hatch?) was built–They figure “If we stop the hatch from being built, there won’t be a button for Desmond to forget to push and our plane won’t get fried.”

So they set off the nuke in the hole under where the Hatch will be.

One of them dies.

Final season:

The next season opens with our heroes landing in LA…in 2004…they’re exiting the plane. Apparently the atom bomb worked–they never crashed.

Except that there’s a cut and you see the same losties wake up on the island in the crater where The Hatch used to be. It seems that the Atom bomb didn’t work–it just blew them back to their future.

At this point, everyone watching figures that “Hey! The bomb created an alternate timeline. Cool!” I’ll refer to characters in the timeline where the plane landed safely with the prefix “Alt”

So–back on the island, all the losties on the beach near where Jacob were killed make a run for a nearby temple that Jacob’s minions say will protect them from the now apparently unfettered smoke-monster.

In the process, a few of them get split off. Meanwhile, the Losties from the past get split up. Some of the losties from the past meet up with the present-day losties heading for the temple and most of them go there.

In the temple are a bunch of people who waste about 5 episodes and are all killed by the smoke monster. The only really important thing that happens is that one of the past-losties is dying from a gunshot gotten when the Dharma folks objected to them blowing up an atom bomb on their island. The boring temple people put dying guy in a magic pool. He stays dead for a while. Then he gets better. This freaks out the boring temple people who try to have Jack kill him (Jack objects) and then send him out with a knife to kill the Locke-shaped smoke monster. It fails and he joins the Smoke Monster.

The smoke monster says “I’ll kill anyone who stays in the temple, and I’ll spare anyone who comes out.” This happens.

Meanwhile, in the ALT timeline, we learn that the Island sank at some point in the past and some of the characters have changed histories (from before the plane flight). Alt-Locke has a decent relationship with his girlfriend. A conman on the island has instead become a cop. Jack has a son. Etc. Eventually Alt-Desmond meets Alt-Penny (his girlfriend…remember Penny?) and suddenly becomes aware of the real timeline (on the Island). He starts either hooking people up with their true loves or running them over with cars. Either one will make you remember.

Back on the island, Whidmore shows up with some minions. He kills a ton of the remaining people. He wants to…do…something…with the island.

The smoke monster wants to leave the island and says Jacob wasn’t letting him. Now that Jacob’s dead, all he has to do is get all of Jacob’s pre-selected potential replacements (“candidates”) together and they can all leave at once. But it’s all or nothing.

No-one trusts Smokey, so when they get to the submarine that Whidmore and his goons came in, they push Smokey into the water, get in the sub and drive off.

But wait! Smokey has put a bomb in someone’s backpack. Jack (now a faith-guy) says “He can’t kill us. It’s against the rules. Just let the timer go out.” (there’s some evidence that Jack may be right. And there ARE some ill-defined mysterious rules–so it’s not a screwball a statement as it sounds here). No one believes him and they pull the wires which makes the timer speed up. The guy who was brought back to life in the pool of water has been a semi-evil zombie up until now. Suddenly he gets better, takes the bomb and runs to one end of the sub. It blows up killing him but give the others a chance to escape. Except for one couple that has been separated since the freighter explosion and who finally got together in the last two minutes of the previous episode. She’s trapped under a convienient beam and he chooses to stay with her. So after three seasons of waiting for them to get back together, they’re together for maybe 45 minutes, tops and then killed. It turns out that Smokey can’t leave the island until all of the replacements are dead.

There’s a flashback episode where we see a shipwreck on the island in the past. A crazy lady in a cave helps a pregnant shipwrecked lady give birth to twins–as soon as the kids are born, crazy-lady beats mommy to death with a rock. One of the kids is named Jacob and the other doesn’t get a name, but we know he’ll be the smoke monster. The kids grow up and Jacob is content to stay with crazy-mommy, while pre-Smokey likes to explore. Turns out that there were more survivors of the shipwreck. Pre-Smokey tells mom “Bye toots” and goes to join them. Mommy takes Jacob to a cave filled with a bad special effect of a glowy yellow light. It’s the heart of the island, she says. (Oops–we learned earlier that the island is a cork holding back some great eee-vil. What it is? Never explained and it contradicts what mommy is about to say). Mommy says the heart of the island is all about goodness and stuff and needs to be protected but if you go into the light, you’ll suffer a fate worse than death. She scoops up a goblet full of water from the glowy stream that flows into the cave and has Jacob drink it so now he’s the protector. Mommy then kills all of pre-Smokey’s friends (how? We don’t know) and beats up pre-Smokey who’s trying to build the frozen donkey wheel.

These acts piss off pre-Smokey who kills mom. Jacob beats up pre-Smokey and pushes his body into the glowy cave, even though mommy explicity said not to. A few seconds later, out pops the smoke monster. Jacob finds his brother’s body on a rock and puts it in a cave with mommy’s body. End of flashback.

Alt-Desmond clearly has a plan in the Alt-Universe and is getting people together–waking them up one by one. The buildup of this is really well done.

On the island, the Ghost of Jacob asks the remaining losties if one of them will take over for him. Jack volunteers and drinks some water as Jacob goes away.

Meanwhile, Ben kills Whidmore and joins up with Smokey.

Desmond is captured by smokey and everyone meets at the cave entrance. Desmond (who earlier got a glimpse of the alt-timeline) goes down into the cave and there’s a big crater filled with glowy water with a stone plug in it. He pulls the plug. The water drains out. Fire and brimstone erupt.

In the alt-timeline, everyone’s remembered the Island except Alt-Jack (who’s gotten a few flashes of it but doesn’t quite remember yet).

The island starts shaking and it’s gonna explode or sink or something. Smokey makes a run for the beach–he wants to get in his boat and escape. We keep gettting told this would be catestrophic but we’re never really sure why.

Jack and Smokey have one big last fight on a cliff. Jack gets stabbed but kills Smokey (who, remember, was trapped in Locke’s body). Apparently pulling the plug on the magic water pool made the smoke-monster mortal. But the island’s still gonna explode.

Ben and one other lostie go back to the cave with Jack. The rest of the losties go back to the second plane and begin to pilot it off the dying island.

Jack gives the remaining lostie a sip of the magic water and turns the protetctorship over to him. The remaining lostie asks Ben to help him. Since Ben’s been bitter about not being allowed to help, this warms his evil, mass-murdering heart and he agrees.

Jack goes back into the cave (despite the fact that other than Desmond who’s special, no-one’s supposed to enter the cave or they get turned into a smoke monster) and first rescues desmond and then puts the cork back into the drain. The island doesn’t blow up.

Jack appears outside the cave in exactly the same place he woke up on the island in the first place and dies, right where he started.

Meanwhile, back in the Alt-Timeline, everyone gathers at a church…they just know to. Alt-Jack goes in the back entrance and sees his dad’s coffin. He opens the coffin and there’s no-one inside. Alt-Jack’s dad shows up in front of a stupid-looking, cheesy-assed stained glass window embellished with every religous symbol you can think of on it. It looks just like those stupid “COEXIST” bumper-stickers.

Turns out, sez Jack’s Dad, that this isn’t an alternate timeline after all, it’s the waiting room to heaven. Jack and dad go into the church where everyone from the first season (except those who don’t count, apparently) are waiting for him. There’s much hugging and crying, and Jack’s dad opens the front door and they all walk into the glowy, overexposed heaven together.

The end.