Losties and gentlemen, this is our last chance to converse before the series finale of Lost. I'm here today to prepare you for the 18 hours or so of Lost that ABC will be airing on Sunday, as well as for life after Lost.
The most important thing to remember before you plate the Dharma cupcakes for your Lost finale party is this: regardless of what happens on Sunday, Lost is undeniably one of the most important television shows ever created. There's just no disputing that fact. The show took serialized television to another level, the quality of which was often imitated but never replicated. Just ask The Nines, FlashForward, or Invasion, three shows that were all dubbed the "next Lost" but never made it past their first seasons.
Lost also proved that high-quality, bigtime production values do make a difference on television, and that networks should feel okay about unloading huge truckloads of cash... provided the content is worth it. Aside from a rickety looking temple (and maybe Jack's awesomely horrific beard), no one can accuse of Lost of mailing it in, production-wise.
Lost also took the ensemble cast to new heights, not only managing to give everyone rich screentime through character-centric episodes, but also making diversity a priority.
And to those of you who had problems with the later seasons, particularly Season 6, take a deep breath and remember the good old days of Seasons 1 and 2. Think about that bird smashing into Walt's window. Remember Jack as he prepared to amputate Boone's leg. Picture Evangeline Lilly in her bra on the beach. Ahhh, that helps.
Because Lost as a whole should not be judged on its finale alone, and I know that's exactly what a lot of people are going to do.
I say this because I'm preparing for the worst--a disappointing Lost finale. The cards are stacked against it: Crazy fan base. Wonderfully complex show. Thousands of questions to be answered. And more hype than anything in recent TV history. This all adds up to a bleak scenario.
Don't watch the finale alone. Find a support group. In case of emergency, don't break glass--pour a glass, preferably of something really strong (an 18-year Scotch will do). Because if the Lost finale stinks, you'll need it.
Do what I'll do: Take a deep breath, remember John Locke wiggling his toes in "Walkabout," and remember Lost for what it is. A fantastic show that we'll all miss dearly, horrible finale or not.
Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom