Lost finished airing 10 years ago on May 23, 2010. Join Jillian Pugliese and Tommy Czerpak as they take a look back at the groundbreaking series that helped usher in the golden age of television, and discuss why we love it (and what we think it did wrong).
Tommy: Hi Jillian, fellow Lost lover. Thanks for joining me for this discussion. Can you believe the finale aired 10 years ago already? Did you watch it live?
Jillian: Nope, I’m a latecomer. I was only eleven when the show finished airing, and I don’t think anyone that age would’ve been able to keep up with it. I watched the series for the first time about three or four years ago and fell in love. It’s an insane show, but it’s incredibly addicting. I binged the series in a couple of weeks, and have rewatched it several times since. What about you? Were you always a fan?
Tommy: I was! I watched during its initial run. It was an incredible time to be a fan because internet discussion had just started to take off but streaming and DVR hadn’t, so while we had places to go online and discuss (may the imdb Lost message board rest in peace), everyone still tuned in at the same time every week. Each airing was an event we all watched together, which really promoted discussion. Television hype is so wildly different now. Not everyone watches everything at the same time with streaming and DVR, and I wonder how Lost is received by someone who was able to take advantage of the more recent methods of media consumption.
So I’m curious, since you watched Lost right in the middle of the golden age of television that it helped launch – How did you decide to watch Lost amongst all the other great shows nowadays?
Jillian: I started watching Lost mainly because everyone always said it was too hard to keep up with. The legacy of the series isn’t its innovative forms of storytelling or usage of symbolism. It’s remembered for being the show that no one could follow. I took that as a challenge. So, I started to watch it on Netflix (sadly it’s been taken off since) and got lost in the world of Oceanic Airlines and The Dharma Initiative.
Lost can be quite convoluted at times, and there’s definitely plot holes within it, but because of how I watched the series I was never lost following it. I’d imagine if I had to wait months in between seasons I would’ve been much more confused. But getting to watch season four right after the big twist of the season three finale kept me invested. If Lost came out on a streaming service I think people would’ve stuck with it for longer.
Waiting for episodes to come out would’ve been particularly frustrating when it comes to filler episodes that did nothing to move the plot along (think Nikki and Paulo). But instead, I was able to power through until I reached a compelling storyline that I cared about.
For 2004, the pilot of Lost still holds up really well. You can sense that it’s from the early 2000s based on how the characters speak to each other, but it’s not so dated it’s unwatchable for future generations. I don’t think some of the plotlines would fly nowadays, especially in regards to the way the show treats women at times, but it still manages to be an example of what a great television show can look like.
How do you think Lost holds up ten years later? Was it ahead of its time?
Tommy: I rewatched much of the series last year; parts of it hold up incredibly well, parts of it don’t. When Lost is at its best, it’s still unlike anything on television, even today. I think the pilot in particular is a masterpiece that has yet to be matched. It balances its large cast incredibly well, giving each main member a moment or two to develop while keeping the focus on Jack. It makes clear that the island and its mysteries are merely a gateway to explore the characters through, as each scene throughout the pilot provides some character revelation, whether it’s the kindness of Hurley passing out meals or Kate finding courage during their first encounter with the monster.
It’s a perfect mix of mystery for both the island and the characters, and has shockingly little exposition for a pilot. Most pilot episodes require the viewer to play a bit of catch-up, as they have to be introduced to the world the characters are inhabiting, but Lost has its characters getting introduced to the island along with the audience. Overall, I think it’s a phenomenal piece of work.
Ahead of its time, though? I don’t believe it was. I think Lost was an exact product of its time and naturally pushed network television forward. The medium had to evolve eventually, and Lost expanded the scope of character work and mythology that a network series could provide. With the rise of the internet and DVR, fans wanted to pause their favorite shows to look for clues and share them online. I think audiences were ready for something new and more serialized – something grander, and Lost filled that need.
As for its story, it’s a series about redemption, loss, and human connection; age old themes that have existed for as long as storytelling. It’s a (mostly) well told story that has influenced dozens of series with its methods and brand of storytelling since, but I wouldn’t necessarily classify it as ahead of its time.
For what doesn’t hold up? You nailed it – Lost has a problem with its women. I think Kate is at her best in the pilot and the finale, but in between she’s stuck in love-triangle hell with very little narrative agency. Even Juliet, my favorite female character on the show, gets shafted by the love-triangle juice.
Jillian: My biggest issue with Lost is how they handle Kate’s character. She had so much potential in the early seasons, and the episodes that focused on her backstory were some of the best of the show. But then she started to be written as just a pawn between Jack and Sawyer when they’re struggling for power. There’s some genuinely sweet moments between her and each of the men, but I would gladly scrap any sense of romance from the show to get back the character Kate was supposed to be.
As for Juliet, they did her character a great disservice by involving her in the love-square mess in the later seasons. I did really like her with Sawyer, but her final moments on the show surrounded him and specifically her jealousy of his relationship with Kate. She deserved better than that.
I’ve always found it interesting that originally Jack was going to die in the pilot. Kate was the one who was supposed to lead the group. Imagine how different the show would’ve been.
But for better or worse, we’re stuck with Jack as our lead. I’ve never been his biggest fan. He became more self-righteous as the show progressed, which made him difficult to watch. What’s your opinion on Jack?
Tommy: I’ve heard a lot of Jack criticism over the last sixteen years, particularly in regards to self-righteousness, and I have to admit that I’ve never agreed with it. I definitely think Jack has some flaws in how he was written, particularly in some of his later flashbacks (such as when he stalks his ex-wife and the obvious, tattoo propelled tragedy of “Stranger in a Strange Land”). His actions in those flashbacks are not pleasant and do him no favors with audience perception.
On island, though, I think Jack is a great character in most instances where the series itself isn’t floundering (such as the love-triangle shenanigans we discussed above). Lost is a textbook example of how to force characters into situations that challenge the specificity of each character: Kate has no where she can run on an island, Sawyer struggles to integrate with the rest of the survivors and overcome his self-imposed loner attitude, Jin and Sun are forced to address their failing marriage, etc.
Jack’s challenge is the strongest, however, because while the other characters’ flaws are challenged, Jack’s flaws are challenged along with his entire worldview. As a surgeon, his approach to almost every problem is through reason and science, and the island throws both of those approaches out the window, essentially giving Jack a crisis of faith (even though that faith is science).
Jack is stuck in his beliefs because to accept that he is wrong is to accept that the island is more than “just an island.” I don’t see that as self-righteousness so much as I see it as fear. He doesn’t think he’s right, he’s living in denial, and I think that’s an important distinction. There are few stronger character moments in the series than Jack immediately denying that the island disappeared moments after he watches the island disappear.
I think this denial most clearly manifests in his desperate need to be involved in saving everyone; he personally has to be the one to hunt down Charlie and Claire, to find Michael – to be the man who gets everyone off the island. I never viewed this as a self-centric “I am the messiah” attitude, I viewed this as the desperate attempts of a man to regain some control over a situation that he doesn’t understand.
If anyone on this show is self-righteous, I think it’s John Locke. That dude sabotaged equipment, blew up the hatch and the submarine, and threw a knife in a woman’s back all because he was right and everyone else was wrong. Asides from trying to control Kate’s actions half the time (which contributes to the major problem in how the show treats its women) I don’t recall Jack ever forcing his worldview on the rest of the survivors – he doesn’t force anyone to leave the beach, he doesn’t actively stop them from pushing the button – so long as their actions don’t threaten the safety of the group.
I think that most people accept Locke’s actions and attitude because he is obviously right about the island, which also hurts the perception of Jack. The audience understands that there is something special about the island, so it’s annoying to see Jack deny it and exciting to see Locke thrive on it. (To be clear, John Locke is an amazing character and truly one of television’s greats).
Of course, Jack has a massive shift in attitude in the last two seasons when he becomes a man of faith and accepts the island for what it is, finally shifting his worldview and providing the show with a strong series arc and statement, which I believe proves his value as the protagonist.
Jillian: I started another rewatch of the show recently, and my goal was to go into it and give Jack a second chance. Sometimes you dislike the main character just because they’re the main character. I wondered if that was the case with him.
But as I got further into the show I was reminded of why Jack rubbed me the wrong way. He was presented to us as our hero, the selfless doctor who’s going to save everyone. That character would’ve been dull, but at least it’s someone you can root for. Instead, as the show went on, Jack went from the archetypal good guy to a man who desperately needed to be in control of everything and everyone.
He had a terrible savior complex that made him unlikeable. He’s not the worst character by any means, but he’s easy to hate. Especially when he’s with Kate.
I’ll never understand the hype around that couple, when Jack consistently acted like Kate was a project he needed to fix. I know Kate’s widely hated, and as we spoke of before she didn’t really get the chance to reach her potential before being reverted to a plot device, but my main gripe with Jack was how he treated her. He was dismissive of other characters at times (Hurley and Locke especially) but his desire to “save” Kate from herself was nothing if not presumptuous.
All the characters on Lost are deeply flawed individuals, which is what made the show so interesting. But, characters like Sayid and Sawyer who acknowledged their faults were far more compelling than Jack, who was in denial about not only the island, but himself.
My favorite character has always been Sawyer. He’s a fan-favorite for a reason. He has great character development throughout the series and provides much needed comic relief.
But I would argue the best character on the show is none other than Ben Linus. He’s the original antihero. He’s introduced as an antagonist and pretty much remains one throughout the show (I’ll never forgive him for killing Locke), but he’s so entertaining to watch. Michael Emerson’s charismatic performance is captivating, and makes him well-deserved of the role of TV’s best villain of all time.
Tommy: Ben is an incredible villain, and he invigorated Lost in ways no other character could due to the focus he provides for the series. He’s attached to so many of the sprawling plotlines, even if just tangentially, that his existence ends up connecting a lot of loose threads. The Others, the island pregnancy issues, Jacob, the smoke monster/Man in Black, DHARMA – Ben has a direct connection or hand in all of these plotlines, which helps keep the series together, or at least to seem together.
Because Lost can be a mess. Plotlines are picked up and dropped haphazardly at times, some due to behind the scenes logistics and some due to just plain poor writing. At times I think the only two things that hold Lost together are the thematic resonance that’s fairly consistent throughout the series and Ben barely holding the plot threads in line.
The show was frustrating to watch live at points. Mr. Eko is a badass and my friends and I all had so many theories on how his character would shake out, then NOPE.
So much of the second season feels irrelevant in retrospect due to so many of the tail section survivors biting the dust. I enjoyed the second season my first time through but the lack of legitimate development that comes out of most the new characters that season really hurts it on rewatch, despite episodes like “The Other 48 Days” holding up as single serving episodes.
How do you feel Lost did with its plotting?
Jillian: It depends on the season. Season one was perfectly paced, and set up the storylines for the rest of the show. But, you’re right, season two was pointless. Ana Lucia was built up to be such an important character who ended up having very little impact on the plot as a whole.
And then the longer the show went on the more filler episodes they included. We didn’t need to know about Jack’s tattoos, or why Nikki and Paulo were on the flight. But mostly, I feel like the show did pretty well with embedding the different aspects of their story together.
It can be messy at times. Especially in season five. The time travel storyline on the island was somewhat hard to follow, but it ended up furthering the arcs of the individual characters successfully.
How do you think Lost did with establishing themes throughout its run?
Tommy: Some shows thrive in connecting their storylines to themes subtlety, some are more overt. Lost is more overt, and for a series as grand as Lost is, I think that mostly works. The show establishes its main themes very early on, with the pilot introducing the idea of two sides, “one is light, one is dark,” and just a few episodes later Jack spouts out his “Live together die alone” speech, which may be the most prominent theme in the series. And of course by the end of Season 1 Jack and Locke have the open discussion of what it means to be a man of science vs a man of faith.
No matter how ridiculous or tangential Lost’s main plots become, the show holds together thematically throughout its run. I’m still blown away by how the writers were able to come up with such an effective physical manifestation of the man of science/man of faith philosophies with the button. It’s so on the nose, but it works because it forces Jack and Locke to explore their beliefs. It’s not just a thematic tie, but a challenge for the characters and a plot point to further the narrative.
The flashbacks are also an excellent structural choice because it helps highlight the themes of redemption and letting go, as we see who these characters used to be vs who they are on the island. By using the flashbacks to show us how characters acted in similar situations previously in their lives, we are given hard evidence as to whether or not these characters are growing.
Characters like Sayid continue to torture people, consistently making the some mistakes, while characters like Sawyer seem to sway between improvement and regression, as we see in his decision not to kill the boar in Season 1, but swift disposal of the annoying tree frog in Season 3.
The flash-forwards provided similar benefits in relation to themes, giving us a reflection of how the island changed the characters, but I’d argue that the flash-forwards were a little more dependent on twists and wild setups, such as Sayid working for Ben, than character development, as the skip in time hides what the character development actually is. I love the flash-forwards, and think they were a necessary change for the series that reinvigorated the show (Season 4 is my favorite season, after all, even if it contains my least favorite episode “The Other Woman”). They just don’t tie in to the themes of the show quite as nicely.
The flash-sideways, on the other hand, are almost too closely tied to the themes. I really believe that the final season and the finale of Lost would have been better received if the reveal that the sideways universe was a purgatory of the Losties happened much earlier in the season. Saving that reveal for the end twist may have kept audiences guessing, but it kept us from understanding the context in which these adventures were taking place.
I enjoyed my re-watch of Season 6 so much more on the second go because I knew that these were really flash-forwards to the afterlife, and I had context as to why Jack was a believer and Locke a skeptic regarding Locke’s ability to walk again. Instead of wondering what happened in Jack’s other sideways life to make him so positive, I could reflect on Jack’s journey throughout the show. Desmond’s journey to reunite the survivors takes on a whole new flavor when you understand that he’s acting on the “live together die alone” philosophy the show spouted enough times to make Rose want to punch Jack in the face.
So while I think the adherence to the show’s themes hurt the flash-sideways in the series’ initial run because the audience lacked the context to understand it, I do believe they are a valid storytelling method and they hammer home the concepts of faith, togetherness, and redemption (Ben’s storyline in the afterlife is one of the best examples of redemption on the show). Personally, I’m not a huge fan of the concept, but I think it works.
Jillian: Lost definitely established itself as the benchmark series when it comes to utilizing flashbacks/flash-forwards to provide insight into their characters. I’ve always been a big fan of the flashbacks especially, because it helps you understand who these people are and how they got to the island. Sawyer wouldn’t be nearly as compelling of a character if we just heard about how he became the man he hated for ruining his life. Seeing him go through that made him much more sympathetic.
Likewise, seeing the heartbreak Locke experienced every time his father disappointed him was intrinsically important to the reception of his character. We can feel the desperation he felt in those moments, and his desire to matter to someone, or something, radiating from the flashbacks. We could never understand the depth of Locke’s devotion to his faith in the island without seeing where he developed that strong sense of faith from.
When I watched the show I knew what the flash sideways was going into it, and that’s why I loved the final season so much. If I didn’t know, I’m sure I would’ve been more focused on figuring out what the hell is going on instead of appreciating the character details embedded within it. I loved how the series tied up, and I thought the finale was a great conclusion.
However, it left audiences divided. What’s your take on the finale? Did you like it?
Tommy: It’s so interesting to discover that you knew about the flash-sideways prior to watching Season 6. What else did you know of before watching the show? I know we are a small sample size but considering your love for the final season and my renewed interest in it upon re-watch, I wonder how many other people could have benefitted from knowing the deal beforehand.
I have a weird take on the finale, as I constantly find myself defending it despite not completely loving it. Part of this comes from what I said above – I think the flash-sideways emphasizes the themes and characters of the show nicely, but it’s not how I personally would have preferred they tell the story. My favorite part of Season 6 is the lack of information about the Man in Black and his effect on the world should he leave the island, as it truly defines Jack as a man of faith. To me, the fact that there is a definitive afterlife in the Lost universe sort of pulls that away, proving that faith is rewarded, which for me, hurts the theme.
In other ways, however, it strengthens the themes, which is why I find myself defending the finale despite my distaste for some of it. The Losties literally don’t die alone. That’s fairly beautiful, and we get to see characters like Ben make the right decisions in the afterlife because they grew as people in their actual lives. I can appreciate that, even if I don’t like it.
Some aspects, though, I just don’t think work. Sayid reawakening because of Shannon? Really? The series depicts Nadia as Sayid’s strongest romantic connection by far, with his love for her spanning the time frames both before and after the island. I don’t want to deny Shannon’s importance for Sayid, but I think I’m just going to. Shannon’s loss was barely felt after her death, especially compared to characters like Alex or Charlie, whose deaths continued to motivate characters like Ben and Hurley long after their demise. Shannon’s death pissed Sayid off for a while, and then Sayid, from a story perspective, just moved on. None of Sayid’s choices or actions past Season 2 seemed to stem from Shannon in any way, so why is she the one he ends up with?
The reawakenings also reek of clip show to me, which I’m never a fan of. I can understand some fans liking them because they provide a bit of nostalgia but I find them uninteresting for the most part. And the final scene of the church. . .it’s nice to see everyone so happy and together but it also feels a bit preachy to me just by the nature of taking place in a church, even if that church is purposely nondescript. It lasts too long as well, giving me plenty of time to ask where Mr. Eko is and wonder if Walt would be a kid or an adult if he showed up.
My absolute biggest gripe with the finale is its lack of closure for the island itself. I don’t mean answers, I actually think they tried to answer too many mysteries in the final season (the whispers and donkey wheel explanations were lame and I think should have been left unanswered. It’s a magic island for God’s sake. Magic things happen there. End of mystery). I mean the island doesn’t get a goodbye. It’s such an iconic piece of television history that to this day it only needs to be referred to as “the island” to be recognized, and there isn’t even a wide shot of the place in the final 104 minutes.
It irritates me every time I watch it. It makes me want to scream. I can’t understand what happened where the island doesn’t get this final shot. Several characters are flying away from it on a plane and it doesn’t lead to any full view shots of the place????? AUGH. Would this have been so hard???
All the on island stuff, though, I think is pretty solid. I love the ridiculous cork in the center of the island. It makes no sense at all and I love that, because magic island and story about faith. It all works to drive the themes and story home.
Love Hurley taking over the island. Love the numerous callbacks that come about the narrative naturally. Love Christian’s speech to Jack, and love the final shot of Jack’s closing eye. It’s a beautiful wrap up to a story about life, death, and what it means to find faith in others, to let go of your past, and try to be better moving forward. I think the finale holds true to everything Lost as a television show is. Character driven, thematically over-rich, nonsensical, and grand.
I just personally wish it could have found a way to be all of those things without the flash-sideways, but I can’t fault it for not being what I would have preferred. Overall, I don’t think “The End” reaches the heights of Lost at its best, but I also don’t think it’s Lost at its worst. It’s just the end of Lost, and I’m happy with that.
What about you? Did you find any missteps in “The End” or did you love it front to back?
Jillian: Since I knew going into the show there was some type of afterlife aspect in the final season, I didn’t feel “The End” was too rushed in explanations because I understood where we were headed all along.
There’s definitely a level of cheesiness when it comes to the reawakening moments with the couples, but I still loved it. It was sweet to see the characters find each other again, and for all of them to finally find some version of peace. It’s nice when you’re rewatching the show to know that no matter who dies or what happens, they all end up in the same place at the end.
While that could take away from the narrative impact of character deaths, it’s comforting as a fan. I like being able to watch the great “Not Penny’s Boat” moment and know that Charlie eventually finds his way back to Claire. The choice to have them all literally “die together” was a great way to drive home the central theme of the show, a sense of community. Of course there’s struggles with morality and faith that are more often discussed in analyses of the show, but what makes Lost so great is the relationships between the characters.
It’s a character driven show, and over six seasons you can become easily attached to your favorite ones. So seeing almost all of them reaching the end of their journey together was very cathartic.
I also really loved the full circle moment between the final shot of Jack dying and closing his eyes compared to him opening his eyes in the same place in the pilot. It felt like the writers had been planning that closing shot since the beginning.
I agree about Shannon and Sayid. It didn’t make much sense for them to end up together. All the other couples that had their reawakening moments were much more central to the show. Shannon was barely even in the show, and had very little impact on Sayid’s character arc.
But otherwise, I think the finale was done really well. It wasn’t perfect, and I still don’t love how Claire was dealt with in the final season, but there’s nothing about it that I have resentment towards. Everyone ended up where they should’ve, and found closure together.
Except for Ben. But I think it was a really smart choice for him to work to redeem himself further. It wouldn’t have felt right to have him in the church with the rest of the group.
All in all, “The End” was the perfect end for me.
What did the rest of you think about “The End?”Join us in our discussion and comment with your insights, critiques, commentary, and whether or not Jack is the worst!
13 Biggest Moments from Season 1 of ‘The Irregulars’
A darkness has come to London on Netflix’s new British crime drama and Sherlock Holmes spinoff The Irregulars.
With a ting of supernatural sprinkled into every case, the series embraces a darker, gorier, and bloodier tone than any previous iteration of the Holmes catalog. Heed my warning when I say the show isn’t for those for the faint of heart… or stomach.
But once you get past that, the series, set in Victorian London, draws you in with a mystery that even Sherlock himself struggles to crack.
There are plenty of scary action scenes that will scare the bejesus out of you, but they aren’t there for the sake of cheap thrills. Every moment is meticulously included in the story to propel the plot forward, develop the characters, and lead to some pretty unexpected twists.
The Baker Street Irregulars step into danger to save London from eternal doom, all while trying to figure out whether or not Dr. Watson – who uses their poverty to force them to work for him – is a good or bad guy.
Let’s break down some of the biggest reveals and most jaw-dropping moments of the first season:
Jessie’s an Ipsissimus
In The Irregulars Season 1 Episode 3, as the Baker Street Irregulars spend the night at a “murder house” at the behest of Mycroft Holmes to figure out who killed the Inner Circle’s magus (leader), they learn that Jessie, who has been having nightmares that initially made her think she was going crazy like her mother, Alice, is an Ipsissimus. An Ipsissimus is what’s described as a powerful and true psychic, one who can change the destiny of the world. In the episode, Patricia attempts to steal Jessie’s powers with a spell of infatuation but is unsuccessful thanks to Jessie’s committed friends.
Jessie has the ability to penetrate the minds of the villains and monsters they are investigating. During her dreams, where she’s terrorized by a Bird Man later revealed to be Plague doctors, she gets pulled into a safe space in Louisiana by a God-like man who not only gives her advice about her powers but informs her that a Rip has opened up in London that’s allowing supernatural evils to manifest and take hold.
Bea Kills the evil Tooth Fairy
This didn’t seem to have as big of an impact on Bea as you’d think killing (even someone possessed by demons) should have. However, it was a justified kill because if she hadn’t done it, the Tooth Fairy would’ve killed Billy. In order to save him, Bea had no other option. While it didn’t affect her moving forward, it was a clear indication of their grim new reality.
The Louisana man describes the Rip as the catalyst for the manifestations and deep disturbances. The Rip essentially has opened the door to the other side, and if the spirit world takes hold, London (and the rest of the world) would cease to exist.
The Baker Street Irregulars make it their mission to find the Rip and close it before it fully engulfs London in chaos and destruction, which gets worse and worse as the Rip grows and expands. By The Irregulars Season 1 Episode 8, monsters have taken over the streets of London and no one is safe, not even the nuns at the church. Why does it always have to be the nuns?!
Sherlock Holmes Is an Addict
While the Sherlock Holmes you know may occasionally use addictive drugs to stimulate case-solving, The Irregulars’ Holmes has an addiction that has spiraled out of control and taken hold of his life.
The horrors of his past, the mistakes he’s made, the darkness he’s seen, and the loss he’s endured have all contributed to his self-destruction. He’s defeated and lost, so he finds purpose in his addiction.
Love Triangle Between Billy, Leo, and Bea
No show is complete without a love triangle. Very early on in the series, it’s clear that Billy is into Bea. They’ve been friends since they were young and in the workhouse together, but he’s never made his feelings known. He becomes jealous when Bea develops an interest in newcomer Leo, which leads to plenty of tension between the two men both vying for Bea’s heart. Eventually, Leo wins the battle, and while it pains Billy to see Bea with another man, he doesn’t seem to bring up his suppressed feelings again… for now.
Leo’s Secret Identity and Disease
Leo is Prince of England (think old-school Prince William), but he doesn’t reveal that to the Baker Street Crew upon meeting them. Leo feigns poverty because, for most of his life, he has been trapped in the palace due to his life-threatening disease. Leo suffers from hemophilia, a medical condition that allows for easy blood clotting causing the sufferer to bleed severely from the slightest injury. He may have the life, but he has no life.
When he meets Bea and her friends, he finally feels as though he fits in somewhere. He enjoys the adventures and quickly puts his book smarts to use by becoming the “brains” of the operation. But he continues to keep his identity a secret because he fears that if they knew the truth, they’d resent him and think differently of him.
Bea Finds Out Who Leo Really Is
Of course, Bea eventually finds out about Leo’s identity. It was inevitable. Leo is betrayed by his closest confidant, his palace aide, Daimier, who becomes desperate when his attempts to lure Leo back to the palace before his mother realizes that he’s missing are unsuccessful.
When Leo stands his ground and refuses to return, Daimier confronts Bea and tells her the truth knowing that she’ll turn her back on the prince. Bea already has a hard time trusting people because of her past experiences, so she doesn’t take well to Leo’s lying.
However, after Billy gets arrested for murder, Spike reaches out to Leo for help. In the final episode, Leo informs Bea that he must leave on a trip to Europe with a potential bride Helena as it’s his duty as Prince of England to marry. When Bea tells him he doesn’t have to do anything he doesn’t want to do, he admits that he promised his mother in exchange for the palace’s help in freeing Billy. He sacrificed his ultimate love to help their mutual friend, and that not only redeems Leo in Bea’s eyes, but it also tells you everything you need to know about the kind of person Leo is.
With Leo out of the picture, will Billy and Bea pursue their feelings for each other if season 2 becomes a reality?
Billy Finds Out the Truth About His Parents
Billy, like most everyone on Baker Street, is haunted by his past, particularly his time spent in the workhouses. He confronts his past when he spots Vic, the master at the workhouse. Vic was responsible for beating up a young Bea, and Billy wants revenge as he feels guilty that he wasn’t able to do anything to help her when they were younger.
He breaks into Vic’s house, who remembers Billy and is more than happy to continue kicking him while he’s down by informing him that everything he’s ever believed about his parents was a lie. His father didn’t die in the war — they never knew who his father was because his mother was a prostitute.
When Billy runs into Vic a second time on the street, the altercation turns violent when Billy is provoked into throwing a punch that accidentally kills him. Poor Billy doesn’t know his own strength. In those days, the law doesn’t err on Billy’s side, so instead of the punch being considered self-defense, Billy is thrown into jail for murder.
As previously mentioned, Leo helps so that Billy is able to freely walk to gloomy streets of London again.
Holmes’ Connection to Alice
Initially, the Baker Street crew doesn’t trust Dr. Watson one bit. And for good reason – he leverages their poverty against them to make them work his cases. He’s not upfront about anything, including the fact that he knew Bea and Jessie’s mother, Alice.
Bea pursues the truth about her mother, who she knows was gifted like Jessie, and eventually pieces it all together: Alice and Sherlock were in love. She successfully finds him passed out on her mother’s grave and forces him to sober up as she presses for answers. Eventually, it’s revealed that he’s Jessie’s biological father, but once Alice died, he couldn’t find it in himself to take care of the girls, which is why they ended up in workhouses.
Watson opened the first RIP
In a twisted case, the Baker Street gang pursues a woman named Edith who is stealing body parts from the infirmary to revive her late husband, Sammy. In her desperate attempt to bring him back to life, she’s basically creating a monster. While paying her a visit, they find Dr. Watson tied up in a room and learn that she came to him for help 15 years ago and showed him a relic that she thought could save her husband.
Watson took the relic to “exam it” and promised to return it, but he never did. Instead, he tried to use it to connect to the other side to impress Holmes, which is when he accidentally opened the first Rip. He never told Holmes the truth, but when they finally went to close the Rip, Alice was sucked in. Instead of saving her, Watson saved Holmes because he’s always loved him.
The Linen Man Is Bad News
Whenever Jessie has the nightmares that take her to catacombs where she sees dead people and Plague doctors, she gets pulled out to a nice and serene place in Louisana by a man who is referred to as The Linen Man. Throughout her journey, he provides her with advice on how to control being an Ipssissimus and explains how the Rip works. At one point, he reveals that he’s on a ship making his way to London to help her.
Of course, if you’re an avid TV watcher, you’re likely skeptical of any stranger who offers to help without getting anything in return.
Upon his arrival in London, the Linen Man reveals that Jessie isn’t strong enough to do what needs to be done and admits that he’s not trying to close the rip, he wants to harness his powers and become godlike.
Moral of the story: never trust anyone who can get into your mind and use your fears against you.
Who Is Behind the Second Rip?
After confronting the Linen Man and killing him, Jessie realizes that deep down she’s always known who opened the second Rip: her mother, Alice. This explains why Sherlock left with the Linen Man and helped him find the location of the Rip.
It’s a heartfelt reunion once Alice emerges from the Rip, but it’s short-lived as Jessie realizes that Alice can’t stay in their world. When Bea and Sherlock object, Jessie helps Bea remember that they had some pretty good times together. If they let their mother stay, London will be overrun by monsters and cease to exist as it’ll simply turn into a kind of purgatory.
Bea eventually sees the light and agrees with Jessie that Alice has to go back.
Sherlock’s Ultimate Sacrifice
As Jessie began to close the rip, Alice was sucked back into the other side. Sherlock, who was less of a man without Alice, decided to jump in after her. Watson grabbed him to keep him from getting sucked in, but as the Rip began pulling in Jessie, Bea begged Watson to do the right thing. Despite his love for Sherlock, he let him go and helped save Jessie.
A Breakdown of The Mysteries
“An Unkindness” – Ravens are kidnapping babies because a man used a spirit board to try to bring back his late child, who passed away with his wife after giving birth.
“The Ghosts of 221B”– In this retelling of the tooth fairy, you don’t want to lose your baby teeth. Children’s teeth are getting pulled out by an evil Tooth Fairy who wants revenge on the Duke of Winchester as she blames him for her father’s suicide.
“Ipsissimus” – We meet Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock’s brother, a member of the Golden Dawn. When the magus of the cult-like underground society is murdered, he asks the Beaker Street kids to investigate. When they arrive at the “murder house,” they learn that Patricia is using dark magic to keep them all trapped in order to get her hands on Jessie and steal her psychic abilities and eventually, channel the power of the Rip. This is the last we see of Mycroft, which is a bummer because he could’ve contributed a lot more to the storyline.
“Both the Needle and the Knife” – This episode may be one of the more disturbing ones as the opening scene finds a man removing a face. Jessie is asked to assist Scotland Yard Inspector Lestrade in the case, and though he benefits from her abilities, he’s not a fan of the supernatural and deems her an abomination. Jessie’s powers lead them to a woman named Clara, who was taken advantage of by the men that she’s now killing. After one of the men gives her syphilis, thus taking away her ability to have kids, she gets revenge by eventually stealing the pub owner’s face and making his family her own. Jessie confronts her and when Clara promises to never kill again, she lets her go.
“Students of the Unhallowed Arts” – We finally meet Sherlock, or, well, a shell of what used to be Sherlock. The episode serves as an informational one that allows the rest of the season to unfold. Sherlock tells Bea how the original Irregulars — Alice, Sherlock, and Watson — came to be, how their story unfolded, and how it ended tragically. Sherlock also admits that he couldn’t crack the Case of the Collector, a person who was stealing body parts.
“Hieracium Snowdoniense” – Nope, not a spell but a plant that the plant lady was using to steal limbs to resuscitate her barely-alive husband. The monstrosity she created 15-years later blames her for preventing him from finding peace, so he immediately kills her and then himself. The Baker Street kids also learn all about Watson’s involvement in the first Rip as Jessie learns the truth about the Linen Man.
“The Ecstacy of Death” – Chaos has taken over London as the Rip continues to widen. The Linen Man reveals more of his plans to Jessie including marrying her off to his son to create more Ipssissimus’. The Baker Street crew, along with Sherlock and Watson plan to trap the Linen Man to get the location of the Rip, but he manages to convince Sherlock to free him and join him.
“The Ecstacy of Life” – The conclusion of season 1 brings back and kills Alice in one fell swoop. It also marks the end of Sherlock, which is kind of a bummer. Both Watson and Bea suffer the loss of a loved one, which finally gives them common ground. While the darkness that took hold of London is gone, moving on is going to be the hardest part.
While it’s unclear if The Irregulars will see a second season, or what that second season would entail, there’s definitely a marketplace for mystery gore set in the 19th century.
What did you think of the series?
This Is Us Review – One Small Step… (5×11)
Nicky Pearson, Jack’s brother, was the star of the hour on This Is Us Season 5 Episode 11.
It was a much more mellow installment and yet, it still managed to pull at your heartstrings in the only way This Is Us can.
As audiences were taken on Nicky’s journey from the past — both pre-Vietnam and post-Vietnam — and into the present, it became very clear that for him, getting on a plane was the equivalent of landing on the moon.
Nicky spent a life never taking chances; he played it safe and stuck to a routine.
And there wasn’t much that was able to pull him out of that rut until Kevin came along and eventually, the twins, including his namesake.
Breaking the vicious cycle of being stuck in your thoughts and thinking you don’t deserve more is difficult.
Nicky was a much more optimistic person before he went to Vietnam, but even then, he didn’t break out of his shell or make any big leaps; he stuck to what he knew and what was in his comfort zone.
And they always say that when you’re comfortable, you’re not growing.
In the pre-Vietnam flashbacks of 1969, we meet Sally, a free-spirited hippie who lives in a Volkswagon van.
She’s the love of Nicky’s life and the one who made him feel alive.
They bond over their connection to the moon and their love for dogs at the vet clinic, and it’s adorable to see Nicky in this giddy state.
Eventually, Sally proposes that they attend Woodstock together before traveling to California to work on her cousin’s farm.
Jack is so supportive of the idea of Nicky moving out of his parent’s house and getting his own life that he even buys him a suitcase — the same luggage we see Nicky using in the present-day as he travels to, you guessed it, California, to visit the twins. Things always come full-circle on this show in such a beautifully poetic way.
While we don’t actually get a concrete answer, it seems as though Nicky leaves Sally hanging when he realizes that he may be the only thing protecting his mother from their abusive father. It’s heartbreaking to see Nicky give up his own happiness, but I’m also not sure this is the last we’ve seen of Sally.
What happened to her? Did he stand her up? Did they ever see each other again?
I’m always looking for any connection to the present-day, so I’m wondering if maybe Sally is the mother of Madison or even Cassidy. I still feel like Cassidy is a highly underused character, though, she’s a great person for Nicky to have in his corner when his insecurities and doubts creep in.
In the post-Vietnam flashbacks, we see Nicky let another chance of reconnecting with Jack pass by. He’s so burdened by the trauma of the war and his behavior that he can’t even bring himself to face his brother.
He tries his best, but when he sees Jack in the parking lot with an engagement ring, he decides against it.
And we know that he goes on to live alone for 50 years.
So when he tells Kevin that it was “nothing” after showing up unannounced, it’s the understatement of the century.
The moon landing may have been one small step for mankind, but traveling to Kevin and Madison’s was one giant leap for Nicky.
Making the trek all the way to California and leaving behind all that he was familiar with was a big deal, especially during COVID.
This was the first time Nicky braved a flight since being medivaced out of Vietnam, and he not only had to deal with increased TSA rules, he also had to undergo COVID tests and vaccinations, and wear a face mask throughout the whole trip.
And my heart broke when the snowglobes he made with the hand-painted trinkets of the dogs and the astronaut broke after TSA confiscated it. I wish he would’ve kept the figurines, but his frustration was understandable for someone who was already working with plenty of nerves to make the trip in the first place.
But boy, was it all worth it the moment he looked into the sweet faces of Nick and Franny.
When he said that they were “his moon,” my heart melted. Nicky finally found something worth living for, and in a way, it’s something Jack gave him.
There’s was a bit of guilt that he was getting so much love from Jack’s kid and Jack’s grandkids, but as Cassidy pointed out, his brother would have been proud of him.
Despite everything, Jack always wanted the best for Nicky and pushed him towards a better lifestyle. This is exactly what Jack would’ve wanted.
While it was a very mellow episode, it was delivered the right amount of feels and gut-punches.
I hope Nicky stays for a while because he could use a little love in his life, and in the same vein, Kevin could use the company from the man that’s the closest thing he has to Jack.
And thankfully, Madison was understanding about Nicky’s unannounced visit. With two newborns amid COVID, she could’ve been a little hesitant, but she welcomed him with open arms.
What did you think about the episode? Did you like taking a little break from the rest of the Pearson clan?
Most Explosive Moments from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Interview with Oprah Including the Sex of the Baby
Oprah sat down with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry for the highly-anticipated tell-all that tackled the demise of the royal fairytale.
How did Meghan go from being the promising princess to the villain in the story?
Prior to the interview, Oprah emphasized that no subject was off limits, Meghan didn’t know what she was going to ask, and she was not getting paid for the interview.
Meghan Said She Went Into the Marriage Naively
Meghan explained that while she was aware of the royals, she went into it blindly and “naively.” She explained that she didn’t know much about the royal family and didn’t follow the family through the years. She also didn’t Google her husband prior to the relationship/marriage because everything she needed to know “he was sharing with her.”
“I didn’t fully understand what the job was,” she said in terms of what it means to be a working royal, she explained. Quickly, she learned that the perception and reality were two different things. “And that’s what was really tricky over those past few years is, is when the perception and reality are two very different things, and you’re being judged based on the perception, but you’re living the reality. There’s a complete misalignment and there’s no way to explain that to people,” she told Oprah.
She explained that the idea, especially for Americans, is that it’s this fairy tale world. However, she didn’t think that the outside world is what happened in person, and quickly learned that this institution takes itself seriously. When she met Harry’s grandmother, she wasn’t just meeting the grandmother, she was meeting the Queen. And she needed to learn how to curtsy immediately!
However, she’s grateful for all that limited knowledge. “Thank god I didn’t know a lot about the family, thank god I haven’t researched,” she said, adding she’d be so much more nervous than she was. Instead, she was as nervous as any other woman meeting her significant others family.
Meghan and Harry Got Married Three Days Before the Televised Wedding
Meghan revealed that she and Harry tied the knot a few days prior to the wedding at Windsor Castle. She explained she wanted the union to be special for them and not just about the worldly spectacle that was televised in 2018.
Kate Made Meghan Cry
About flower girl dresses! The story about Meghan making Kate cry was actually the opposite – Kate made her cry! Meghan said she didn’t want to get into the details cause it wouldn’t be fair to Kate as she apologized, however, she was upset at the way the media painted her as the villain especially when everyone in the “Institution” knew it wasn’t the truth.
“So why didn’t somebody just say that?” Oprah asked about clearing up the rumors. “That’s a good question,” Meghan responded.
Meghan said Kate is a good person and she believes she would’ve wanted to clear it up if the Palace allowed it.
It’s a Girl!
Meghan and Harry told Oprah exclusively that they are welcoming a baby girl in the summer!
Meghan Was Silenced
When Oprah asked her if she was “silent or silenced,” Meghan said that it was “the latter.”
In terms of how the family silenced her, Meghan said that they initially told her and her loved ones to always say “no comment” to the media. “And we did,” she explained, adding that she assumed the Palace would protect her. “I believed that,” she said of their promise, which she later regretted believing.
But all of that changed once they were married and it was made abundantly clear that they weren’t protecting her. “They were willing to lie to protect other members of the family, but they weren’t willing to tell the truth to protect me and my husband,” she said.
Meghan Loves the Queen
Meghan emphasized that there’s two separate pieces to the family business — the family and the people running the Institution. She explained that she always loved being with the Queen and “being in her company.” During their first royal engagement, the duo had breakfast and even shared a blanket to stay warm when it was chilly.
She described Queen Elizabeth as warm, inviting, and welcoming.
Meghan Said It Became Lonely
If you’ve seen The Crown or any documentary about Princess Diana, the idea that the Palace is a lonely place isn’t a novel concept. Meghan explained that since she came from “freedom” and a lived a very full and busy life prior to becoming the Duchess of Sussex, she didn’t take well to being told that she couldn’t go out or do anything. “There was very little that I was allowed to do, so of course that breeds loneliness,” she explained. She related it to what we have all been feeling and experiencing during the coronavirus lockdown.
Archie Wasn’t Going to be Given Security, a Title, and They Were Concerned About His Skin Color
Meghan revealed that while she was pregnant, the Palace explained that since her unborn child wasn’t going to hold the title of “prince or princess” upon birth, the child wouldn’t need protection, which didn’t sit well with the mom-t0-be mainly because she blamed the Institution for allowing this monster tabloid machine to put them in danger in the first place, but then failed to provide the necessary protection.
When Oprah pressed for an explanation, Meghan said “there’s no explanation.”
“The idea of our son not being safe, and the idea of the first member of color in this family not being titled in the same way that other grandchildren would be,” didn’t sit well with her, especially due to a convention that explains that if Prince Charles were to become king, it automatically gives Prince Harry’s children the royal title.
She shut down rumors that it was her and Prince Harry’s decision not to give her child the title: “It’s not our decision to make,” adding that it’s her child’s “birth right.”
Additionally, she explained that the reason they didn’t step out for the iconic after-birth photo was because of the lack of security provided.
Meghan explained that Harry relayed that the family was also having conversations about how dark Archie’s skin would be upon birth in tandem with conversations about his title/security.
When Oprah asked who was having the conversations, Meghan declined to answer, noting: “I think that would be very damaging to them.”
Prince Harry added that he would never share anything pertaining to the conversation about Archie’s skin tone.
Mental Health Is Not Acknowledged by the Palace
“I just didn’t see a solution,” Meghan said explained of the “unsurvivable” situation she was in.
She explained that with all the negative media attention on her, she “didn’t want to be alive anymore.” She explains she was so scared of her thoughts, she shared them with Harry.
She also revealed she asked the Institution for help and was told it “wouldn’t be good” a good look for them. Meghan clarified that she was trapped and couldn’t get help despite the suicidal thoughts.
When she went to HR, she explained that they told her: “my heart goes out to you because we see how bad it is, but there’s nothing we can do because you’re not a paid employee of the Institution.”
However, she did find comfort in one of Diana’s best friends who understood what Meghan was going through.
“You have no idea what’s going on behind closed doors,” she noted when Oprah brought up Meghan looking happy and joyful in photos.
Is Meghan Afraid of Palace Backlash?
“I don’t know how they could expect that after all this time, we would still just be silent if there is an active role that The Firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us,” Meghan said.
She explained her truth is worth it even if it comes with the “risk of losing things” because she “lost a lot already.”
She hopes the takeaway for people watching is that “there’s another side” and “life is worth living.”
What Triggered Megxit?
When pressed about why they stepped down as senior members of the family, Prince Harry admitted that he asked for help numerous times and exhausted all of his options, but was given no support. He added that he grew concerned as he saw “history repeating itself.”
The situation with the press and the family was happening in the same kind of way as it did with his late mother, Diana, but he explained it was “far more dangerous” with the addition of social media.
He explained that the very reason they left was a “lack of support and lack of understanding.”
However, they clarified that the intention was never to leave the family. They simply wanted to step down as senior members and live in the Commonwealth as many other royal family members continue to do, which they quickly learned wasn’t an option for them.
Upon leaving, Meghan said she felt like she “got her voice back.”
Prince Harry Did Not Blindside the Queen with Megxit
“I’ve never blindsided my grandmother. I have too much respect for her,” Harry said shooting down rumors that the couple’s decision to step down blindsided members of the family.
Harry guessed that the rumors painting them in a negative light may have come from within the Institution.
Harry even explained that they were very transparent about their intentions and had three calls with the Queen and two with his father, Prince Charles, “before he stopped taking my calls” about their decision to step down. They even put it in writing including when they would put out the announcement to the public.
As for his reason — he did it for his family and for their mental health.
Harry Did Not Ask the Family for Help When Meghan Was Suicidal
When Oprah asked why Harry didn’t ask the family for help when Meghan admitted she was having suicidal thoughts, he explained that he was “ashamed of admitting it to them.”
“It’s a very trapping environment,” he said of being a royal adding that he didn’t have anyone to turn to for help and that the family has adopted a mentality that “this is just how it is.”
Harry Was Heartbroken When His Family Didn’t Defend Meghan
Harry noted that over 72 members of Parliament stood up against colonial undertones in media headlines about Meghan, but the royal family never supported her.
“That hurts,” he said of his family’s silence over the two years. However, he also noted that he’s “acutely aware of where my family stand and how scared they are of the tabloids turning on them.”
Harry Says the Palace Needs the Tabloids and Vice-Versa
Harry went on to say that there needs to be a level of compassion for his family because they basically have to wine and dine the media if they want better coverage. He calls it the “invisible contract” and notes that Palace’s relationship with the tabloids is very much front of mind.
Harry Explains The Moment His Family “Turned” on Meghan
While he acknowledges that his family was very welcoming of Meghan at first, he said it all changed after their “south Pacific tour.”
“It was the first time the family got to see how incredible she is at the job, and that brought back memories,” he said referring to how much positive press and love the late Diana once received following the Australian tour.
When Oprah asked if there were hints of jealousy, Harry said “I wish we would all learn for the past” explaining that the “effortless” way she connected with the public triggered some members.
Harry Would Never Have Stepped Back If It Wasn’t for Meghan
“No, I wouldn’t have been able to,” Harry explained. “I, myself, was trapped,” he said, adding that he didn’t have a way out. When Oprah pushed back saying this has been his whole life, he acknowledged that he was “trapped but didn’t know he was trapped.”
Oprah continued pressing asking how a privileged prince born into this world could feel trapped, but he explained that he was “trapped within a system.” He added that Prince Charles and Prince William are both trapped in a sense because of their birthright duties to the crown.
He added that looks can be deceiving as ultimately, the job is to put on a smile and pretend to be happy no matter what’s going on in your personal life.
What Would Princess Diana Think About Megxit?
“I think she would feel very angry with how this has banned out and very sad, but ultimately, all she’d ever want is for us to be happy,” Harry said.
He said he’s grateful to have Meghan by his side and acknowledged how lonely it must have been for his mother to go through by herself.
What Is Prince Harry’s Relationship With His Family?
Harry said his relationship with Queen Elizabeth is really solid and they’ve talked more this year than they ever have. However, things with his father are not as peachy. He explained that he feels “really let down” and there’s a lot to work through.
“I will always love him, but there’s a lot of hurt that’s happened,” he said, adding that he would prioritize trying to heal that relationship. “They only know what they know or what they’re told,” he said offering sympathy to those within the Palace walls.
As for his brother, he loves him to bits but he explained they “are on different paths.” At the moment, there’s a space between them, but he believes “time heals all.”
What About All Those Lucrative Deals?
Oprah mentioned the Netflix and Spotify deals have made some people think they are money grabbing royals, but Prince Harry explained that was never in the plan and “never the intention.” Prince Harry explained his motivation to make money is to get security and keep his family safe. After leaving the royal family, he noted the only money he had was whatever his mother left him.
The bottom line, both Prince Harry and Meghan say that if they had the support, they would still be part of the family, but they also add that they’re proud of how they handled the situation. Harry said they did everything they could to maintain the relationship and protect the royal family in the process.
“We did what we had to do,” Prince Harry added.
As Oprah put it – Meghan’s story with the Prince does have a happy ending and it involves freedom and an identity for her family.
It’s a happy ending “greater than I could have imagined,” Meghan added.
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