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8 Ways 'Lost' Lives On, Five Years After 'The End'

The Island still calls, all these years later.

Five years ago, "Lost" fans lived through "The End." The lives of Jack Shephard, John Locke, James Ford and the other survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 came to a close, and so did "Lost," leaving fans wondering where to go next.

Even if "Lost" fans have moved on, they haven't let go, and they haven't had to. The mystical island drama remains a huge part of pop culture, its fingerprints and DNA easily recognized in a number of other shows, movies, and more. Looking back on the show's legacy five years after it ended, these are just some of the ways that "Lost" endures — eight ways, to be precise, to riff on one of the show's classic numbers.

  1. Its stars are everywhere.

    Hate on Kate all you want, but the Evangeline Lilly era is very much here, and very much awesome. She's making her Marvel movie debut with this summer's "Ant-Man," and had a crucial role as movie-original character Tauriel in "The Hobbit" trilogy. Jeff Fahey, aka Frank Lapidus, aka Chesty, just wrapped a great run on "Justified," one of the best dramas in recent television history. Michael Emerson, the man behind the curtain as Ben Linus, has what's expected to be one more season left on "Person of Interest." Terry O'Quinn has a new television show every other year, it seems, shape-shifting with the frequency of the Man in Black. Jorge Garcia and Daniel Dae Kim have a weekly Hurley/Jin reunion on the Island itself, on "Hawaii Five-O." The list goes on. If you're looking for your favorite "Lost" faces, basically turn on your television to any given network at any given time, and there they are.

  2. Its writers are everywhere.

    Beyond the stars, the people who brought "Lost" to life in the writers room are pushing keyboard buttons more regularly than Desmond Hume. Damon Lindelof brought us "Tomorrowland" earlier this month, and will spearhead a second season of HBO's "The Leftovers" later this year. No one has their fingers in more pots than Carlton Cuse, what with his executive producer roles on "The Strain," "Bates Motel," "The Returned" and more. Adam Horowitz and Eddie Kitsis are the storybook weavers behind "Once Upon a Time." Brian K. Vaughan left television to return to comics, not to write further nerd arguments like Hurley and Charlie's Superman/Flash debate, but to create his own original material, like "Saga." Then, of course, there's the big kahuna: J.J. Abrams, responsible for sending you to a galaxy far, far away later this year.

  3. Its music still fills the air.

    The unsung hero of "Lost," composer Michael Giacchino, has finally gotten his due in recent years. The music of the series was and remains one of its strongest components, a character all by itself, and its spirit flourishes in the form of Giacchino's continued compositions. The man is a bonafide Oscar winner now, thanks to his score for Pixar's "Up." He brought apes together strong in "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes," he reteamed with Lindelof on "Tomorrowland," and he'll introduce you to some dinosaurs next month in "Jurassic World." Basically, Giacchino stands strong as one of the fiercest music men in town, with a capital T that rhymes with P and that stands for Polar Bear.

  4. The island is real.

    Almost all of "Lost" was filmed on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, and iconic locations from the series are easily accessible all over the tropical paradise. Any and all "Lost" nerds with the ability to make the pilgrimage owe it to themselves to visit the land where the magic happened. It's a beautiful, breathtaking experience, one that completely transforms the way you view "Lost" from that moment moving forward. Speaking from personal experience here.

  5. The numbers are bad.

    But they're so, so good. If you watched "Lost," you'll remember the famous sequence for the rest of your life. Don't expect it to leave the zeitgeist anytime soon; just be cautious before using them to play the lotto.

  6. Seeing this tweet…

    …puts constant tears of joy on your face.

  7. It's replaced "The Sopranos"…

    …as the finale that sucks. And I say that without personal judgment; having just rewatched the episode, "The End" satisfies me tremendously, even if I don't love the whole final season. But there is a loud contingent of TV viewers who loathed "The End" then, and loathe it now, and point to it as an example of a show dropping the ball in the final hour. Fair or unfair, "Lost" lives on for some as the model for how NOT to finish your show — so much so that even "Game of Thrones" mastermind George R.R. Martin has cited "Lost" as the antithesis of how he wants to end his novel series.

  8. And yet, everyone still wants to be "Lost."

    The craze has died down some in recent years, but remember "Flash Forward"? Remember "The Event"? Heck, how about "Fringe," even if that show enjoyed five years of success? After "Lost" premiered, and especially after it ended, networks found themselves trying to bottle up that magical "Lost" lightning — or monstrous smoke, as it were. The blend of strong characters, surreal stories and magical mysteries seemed like a winning formula for so many other shows… and yet, many of these shows failed, because "Lost" boasts something completely unique and impossible to clone: It was the right show at the right time.