Happy Sunday TV Fans! For today’s throw-back Sunday, I am going to be ranking the seasons of Lost from best to worst. I have to admit that this took longer than I anticipated because each season has so much to offer. We watch the characters we have come to know and love grow and change, while the island continues to reveal new mysteries and challenges along the way.
Each season has its own set of heart-warming and shocking moments, refusing to allow the viewer to take a break for even an episode or you might just become lost yourself…pun intended. Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch yet.
“We have to go back, Kate! We have to go back!” Jack (Through the Looking Glass part 2)
From the first time watching the series up until my 16th re-watch, season 3 remains my absolute favorite but I do admit that some seasons come very close to knocking it out of the number one spot. Season 3 introduces us to the others. Yes, the others are coming or they came and we want to know what they are all about, right? At the end of season 2, Sawyer, Jack, and Kate have been captured by the others. They take them to Hydra Island and keep Jack locked up in the Hydra station while keeping Sawyer and Kate locked up in cages. Not only do we get to learn more about the others and see things from their perspective, but we are introduced to Dr. Juliet Burke who brings a new dynamic to the show. While it seems like Ben is calling the shots, Juliet proves to be an other who is just as home-sick as the rest of the losties and even risks her place as an “other” to help save Kate and Sawyer becoming more of a friend than a foe.
Ben has stepped out of his role of “Henry Gale” and proves to be a worthy opponent, and Desmond can now see the future and tells Charlie that he is going to die. For me, what sets season 3 above the rest is the fast pace of it. After watching the show so many times, I still have to sit on the edge of my seat watching this one in particular and tend to binge-watch this one more than the others. There aren’t as many filler episodes and one episode leads into the next seamlessly. Some of the greatest episodes in the entire series for me are in this season as well such as “Flashes before your eyes” and “Greatest Hits.” While this may or may not be your favorite season, most fans will agree that it is one of the best, as we learn that all bets are off. Flash forwards now exist and the Losties or at least some of them do get off the island. Talk about a cliff-hanger for a season finale!
“Has it occurred to any of you that your buddy’s actually gonna cause the thing he says he’s trying to prevent? Perhaps that little nuke is the incident? So maybe the best thing to do…is nothing?” Miles (The Incident)
Season 5, like season 3, is full of lots of action and introduces the concept of time travel. At the end of season 4, Ben moves the wheel to save the island, only the wheel is off its axis, causing the island to skip through time like a broken record. Locke has to then leave the island himself to get it back on course, which causes Sawyer, Juliet, Miles, and Jin to remain trapped in Dharmaville time. You may think that the time travel aspect is confusing or that it’s been done too many times, but what makes this season truly great is that it separates the characters for a period of three years and then they are all reunited again on the island bringing chaos and challenges along the way.
The season 5 finale, “The Incident” is one of my favorite episodes of the series giving the losties another chance to reset time to before Flight 815 crashed. But this would mean that some of them may have never met which could sever relationships and friendships for good. So is it the right thing to do? The end of the season reveals that Juliet has survived momentarily and takes it upon herself to detonate the hydrogen bomb to save Sawyer and give him a chance. Rather than the typical fade out into a black screen, the screen flashes white and I remember screaming at my television the first time watching, impatiently waiting to see what happened next.
“Last week most of us were strangers, but we’re all here now. And god knows how long we’re going to be here. But if we can’t live together, we’re going to die alone.” Jack (White Rabbit)
The pilot of season 1 is full of never-ending action, introducing the viewer to an overabundance of characters among a whirlwind of horrible events. As season 1 continues, Lost reveals that it is a show about much more than what the smoke monster is or who the other people are on the island. Don’t get me wrong, the scene where Kate is counting to 5 hiding from the smoke monster in the rain-soaked bamboo is terrifying and hooked me immediately.
However, the show transforms into something more with each episode. It’s about the people who crashed there and what their lives were like before. While some were criminals, others were alone or searching for something more, creating an undeniable connection between the characters and the viewer. We can find so much of ourselves in the decisions or mistakes they made, and they are given a chance at a clean slate to get a new life and survive together.
“Please don’t give up, Des. Because all we really need to survive is one person who truly loves us. And you have her. I will wait for you. Always.” Penny (Live together, die alone)
Season 2 opens up with us finding out what is in the hatch that Locke was so desperate to get into. Was it his destiny? Maybe, but what’s truly interesting about the hatch is what, or I should say who, is inside. Desmond Hume has been living in the hatch for 3 years pressing a sequence of familiar numbers every 108 minutes to save the world. To Hurley’s dismay, the code is 4 8 15 16 23 42, the very numbers that he won the lottery with that he is convinced are cursed.
Desmond initially appears to be quite mad in the opening episodes, but later returns and becomes one of the most influential characters on the show. It is also revealed that there were survivors from Flight 815 in the tail section, which include the introduction of new characters such as Ana Lucia and Libby along with a beautiful reunion between Rose and her husband, Bernard. Michael switches sides and betrays the losties, killing Ana Lucia and Libby in the process and helping the others capture Jack, Hurley, Kate, and Sawyer. Although we are sympathetic with Michael trying to help his son, his actions are unforgivable and horrifying. Meanwhile, Locke believes the prisoner, Henry Gale that the numbers and the hatch aren’t real and just some experiment. Desmond returns to make the connection that he is what crashed Flight 815 and that it’s all very real, leading to the infamous “system failure” scene, where the hatch begins to self-destruct and Desmond turns the fail-safe key to sacrifice himself to save them all. While the action is there, season 2 lacks the fast and natural pace that seasons 3 and 5 have, as some filler episodes are trying a little too hard to reveal back stories and force connections.
“You were all flawed. I chose you because you were like me. You were all alone. You were all looking for something that you couldn’t find out there. I chose you because you need this place as much as it needed you.” Jacob (What They Died For)
Season 6 is the final season of the Lost series and many fans have revealed that this is the most controversial season, especially the ending. After watching the series so many times, I do still appreciate everything the writers did in this last season. I think that the forces of good and evil face off in a powerful match between Jack and the man in black, wearing John Locke’s face. The writers kill of characters we have come to love and bring us into another world or dimension, something that cannot be explained by time or reality.
Christian later explains to Jack that “there is no here, now.” The flash sideways we see are a way for the losties to find one another and to ultimately move on. Once again, this season proves to be very much about the characters and the connections they made along the way. While it may be lacking something final or epic, it brings closure and allows the island to be embraced by Hurley as the new Jacob to take care of others the way he always has and to lead the island in a new way. The series ends with Jack’s eye closing, bringing everything full circle, reminding us that life may be finite, but what we do and the memories and connections we hold dear to our hearts, last eternally.
“If there’s any part of you that still believes in us, just give me your number.” Desmond (The Constant)
Season 4 is my least favorite of all the seasons but not for lack of great material and drama. This was during the writer’s strike so this is the shortest of all of the seasons so perhaps that is why it falls short for me. However, it has some great episodes, including one of my favorites, “The Constant.” Flash-forwards continue as it is revealed to us who the “Oceanic Six” are and new characters from the freighter are introduced such as Daniel Faraday, Miles, Charlotte, and Frank.
While they initially arrive claiming they are there to help rescue the losties, it is clear they have another agenda which includes capturing the scheming, Ben Linus and returning him to Charles Widmore. More secrets are revealed, including how to move the island and what a 14-J is, but there just aren’t enough of them to rank this season toward the top. Either way, the show would not be complete without all of these seasons, proving time and time again why it is such an epic and memorable series.
I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your comments and thoughts on some of your favorite seasons of Lost. Happy viewing!
Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl