For those of us who have deeply and sorely missed our weekly Lost fix ever since the often perplexing, but undeniably groundbreaking ABC series faded to black for good this past spring, Nikki Stafford's Finding Lost - Season Six: The Unofficial Guide makes for the same kind of bittersweet experience as attending your thirty year high school reunion.
Reading through Stafford's intricately detailed recaps of every episode of Lost's sixth and final season, you become intimately reacquainted with the already foggy memories associated with its most unforgettable characters (Jack, Locke, Hurley, Linus, Sawyer) and even its biblical deities (Jacob and Smokey).
With the added benefit of rear view hindsight, you might also even be able to finally make sense of the island's deepest mysteries (or, much like that high school reunion, maybe not).
Mostly though, Stafford's book will leave those Losties who became the most emotionally invested in it, with the same feelings of longing, regret and finally resignation as the series finale itself did.
For those who "got" Lost — which was admittedly, not always the easiest task — it was an epic story of good vs. evil. The great, if not always easily deciphered writing, wove together elements pitting the basic arguments of religion and faith against those of science and free will. But it was also a story where the lines were always ambiguously drawn enough to never clearly favor one school of thought over the other.
For those who didn't ("get it," that is) — or perhaps just want to take a fresh new stab at getting Lost all over again on the DVDs — Stafford's definitive guide also goes a long way towards peeling away many of these same layers of mystery.
It is for this latter group, that Finding Lost - Season Six: The Unoffical Guide may hold the greatest overall value. As something of a Lost scholar, Nikki Stafford's deep knowledge of this series isn't at all unlike Blogcritics' own Barbara Barnett's expertise on all things House. The author gives a detailed, chronological run-down of each of the season six episodes that also provides just enough backstory to get the newbies mostly caught up to speed.
The fact that she also does this without revealing any future spoilers along the way, makes this book a great resource for any unanswered questions that may linger following the viewing of each episode (for those who choose to do so).