It’s Throw-Back Sunday TV Fans! I hope you are enjoying your weekend. Fans everywhere were beyond disappointed that Lost was being taken off of Netflix streaming. Lucky for us, Hulu swooped in to save the day and you can now watch your favorite moments again and again. For today, I am going to be counting down the top 5 episodes from Lost. Out of the 121 episodes of the series, it was extremely difficult to narrow this list down to just 5 episodes and I did include some honorable mentions as well.
Over my 16 re-watches of the show, these episodes have proven to be timeless and epic, truly making an impact on me as a person and resonating with me even years after the show has been off the air. The entire series is filled with great episodes, all intertwining to create a masterpiece of story-telling, while keeping our favorite characters real and significant in the process. These stand-out episodes take it a step further; however, surpassing our expectations as fans and surprising us with unforgettable moments. Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not yet watched the series. My top 5 episodes from Lost are:
“Ab Aeterno.” (Season 6, episode 9)
“I’ve changed my mind. Are you listening to me? Does the offer still stand?” (Richard from episode Ab Aeterno)
“Ab Aeterno” translated means “from eternity” in Latin, but in this context means “since the beginning.” Appropriately named, this episode reveals the long awaited back-story of Richard Alpert. Over the seasons, it is revealed that Richard does not age and is a sort of proxy for Jacob. When time travel is introduced, Richard still remains exactly as he looks today, leaving fans wondering how his immortality is possible. “Ab Aeterno” reveals Richard’s life before the island on the Canary Islands. He desperately tries to save his wife, Isabella, but kills the doctor refusing her medicine by accident, resulting in his capture as a prisoner. The secrets of “The Black Rock” ship in the middle of the jungle are also revealed in this episode. Richard and the other prisoners are chained up as slaves and Richard witnesses the “smoke monster” destroy all other survivors on board.
Richard is quickly introduced to both the Man in Black and Jacob. After the Man in Black’s failed attempt to trick Richard into killing Jacob, he is offered a job as a sort of “advisor” to the island. While Jacob cannot absolve Richard of his sins, he does grant his wish to live forever. The history of Richard and “The Black Rock” answers a lot of important questions for fans however; this episode is elevated beyond this, allowing us to empathize with Richard’s humanity and vulnerability. Even after so many years of being on the island, he still misses his wife dearly and feels responsible for her death. Richard is often seen in the background on Lost, but this episode allows him to step into the spotlight, revealing every depth of his character and proving his significance to the show.
Just like everyone else on the island, Richard has made mistakes in his past and is trying to start a new life. While it may take him longer to realize his purpose, his journey to the truth is emotional and heart-breaking.
“The Constant.” (Season 4, episode 5)
“I love you, Penny. I’ve always loved you. I’m so sorry. I love you.” (Desmond from The Constant)
My top 5 list would not be complete without including “The Constant.” In the beginning of the episode, Desmond and Sayid are flying on a helicopter back to the freighter, when Desmond begins shouting in confusion, not remembering where he is or how he got there. When they get to the boat, Desmond is connected with Daniel Faraday. Desmond believes they are in the year, 1996 and Faraday explains that if his mind continues to jump back and forth, his injuries will be fatal. He instructs Desmond to find a “constant” to prevent this from happening. Desmond asks if a constant can be a person and Faraday confirms this.
Ultimately, Desmond must connect something, or someone in this case, from both timelines so that his mind ceases from jumping through time. Sounds complicated, right? While a lot of confusing theories about time-travel are introduced in this episode, Desmond’s everlasting bond with Penny is what makes this episode so classic to Lost. Back in 1996, Desmond and Penny have broken up and he joined the military to prove his worth again to her. He shows up on her door-step and begs her not to change her number and explains he will not be calling her for eight years. Penny never gives up on Desmond and does answer the call on Christmas Eve, 2004, letting him know that she will keep looking for him.
Their love for one another is so transcendent and powerful, proving that it can stand the test of time, very much like this episode of Lost for me.
“Greatest Hits.” (Season 3, episode 21)
“It’s the five best moments of my…sorry excuse for a life. My greatest hits. You know, memories. They’re all I’ve got.” (Charlie from Greatest Hits)
During season 3, it is revealed that Desmond can see the future and that Charlie is destined to die to the shock and disappointment of fans. In “Greatest Hits,” Desmond has a different sort of flash, which involves Claire and her baby getting on a helicopter and finding rescue. Charlie has accepted his fate and will do anything to help Claire and Aaron, proving that he has grown from being a selfish junky into a real hero. As he gets ready to head out to the flooded “Looking Glass” Dharma station with Desmond, he takes the time to write down the five best moments of his life:
- The first time that he heard his band’s breakout song on the radio.
- His father taught him how to swim at Butlins.
- The time when his brother Liam gave him their grandfather Dextor Stratton’s “DS” ring, for which Drive Shaft is named, as a Christmas present.
- When Charlie saved a woman from being mugged and was called a hero.
- The night following the crash, when he met Claire.
(Greatest Hits list credit to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greatest_Hits_(Lost)
What makes this episode so powerful is that we have previously watched Charlie show a glimmer of hope and change in episode, “The Moth,” but in “Greatest Hits” he has now become a man to be proud of, leaving the past behind him and holding on to his memories that changed his life for the good. While Charlie does not die at the end of this episode like fans anticipated, it makes his death in the season 3 finale that much more heart-breaking.
“The Incident parts I & II.” (Season 5, episodes 16/17)
“Come on! Come on! Come on, you son of a bitch!” (Juliet from The Incident)
While many of the season finales of Lost have been jam-packed with action and twists and turns, “The Incident” is on an entirely different level. Jack accepts his destiny and believes that he was meant to detonate the hydrogen bomb to reset them back in time before Flight 815 ever crashed. Some of the other Losties do not agree, reminding Jack that it wasn’t all misery and that they wouldn’t remember each other if he goes through with this. Ultimately, they all side with Jack and support his efforts, defending each other at the Dharma Swan Site where a pocket of electromagnetic energy has just been hit. While this chaos is occurring, each candidate is revealed to have met Jacob at some point in their former lives in a moment of great happiness or weakness.
For example, Jacob appears at Sun and Jin’s wedding, touches Locke’s shoulder after he is thrown out a window, and intervenes with a young Kate when she tries to steal a New Kids on the Block lunchbox. Jacob proves to be a guiding force in their lives, even though they didn’t know it at the time. Everything is about to change and the timelines will ultimately collide when Jacob whispers his last words after Ben murders him, “they’re coming.” As if this could not get any more dramatic, Juliet gets caught in some chains and is dragged to the bottom of the Swan Site. Sawyer and Kate desperately try to get her out of there, but she falls, leaving Sawyer in defeated tears, crushing fans everywhere.
At the end of the episode, Juliet’s eyes open and she is pinned under debris, but spots the hydrogen bomb. She detonates it with a rock, refusing to let their efforts be thwarted. The screen goes white for the first time in Lost history, leaving fans with a major cliff-hanger.
Some honorable mentions before revealing my number one episode of Lost are:
- “The Brig”
- “Meet Kevin Johnson”
- “Some Like it Hoth”
- “The Long Con”
- “The Candidate”
- “Tricia Tanaka Is Dead”
- “Through The Looking Glass”
- “Across the Sea”
“Flashes Before Your Eyes.” (Season 3, episode 8)
“Please let me go back. Let me go back one more time. I’ll do it right. I’ll do it right this time. I’m sorry, Pen. I’ll change it. I’ll change it.” (Desmond from Flashes Before Your Eyes)
“Flashes Before Your Eyes” remains unchanging as my all-time favorite episode of Lost. When I first watched the series, this is the episode that changed everything for me. Don’t get me wrong, up until now I was completely hooked on Lost. I watched every episode and paid attention to all of the details and character flash-backs, looking forward to what would happen each week. When I first saw “Flashes Before Your Eyes,” the series became something more to me than just entertainment. It had now become brilliant and life-altering for me. Sure time travel and seeing the future has been done before on other shows, but Lost does it so well and seamlessly, making you almost believe that all of this is absolutely possible.
When Eloise Hawking first appeared and told Desmond “you don’t buy the ring…you have second thoughts,” I remember being shocked and intrigued. The mystery of Lost was unraveling with Desmond at the very core of it all. Desmond desperately tries to replay his former days, realizing that this is much more than a case of Déjà vu. After he buys the ring for Penny and attempts to re-do his mistake, the past remains unchanged, as they get into a fight after he can’t afford to buy the photo of them. Desmond is still holding on to a feeling of being unworthy of Penny, determined to do things right and be someone you can be truly proud of. When Desmond is struck over the head in the bar, he snaps back into the present day timeline and is back on the island. He is desperate and crying at this point, exclaiming that he’ll do it right this time and that he’ll change it, but he can’t go back and what’s done is done, leaving Desmond with a heavy burden to carry.
This moment was so powerful and unforgettable for me, leaving me in tears every time I watch, sympathizing with Desmond. This is the moment that made me realize that Lost was truly the greatest show I would ever watch, impacting me on an emotional level and reminding me about what’s important in life.
I hope you enjoyed the list and please feel free to post some of your own favorite episodes from Lost below. Happy viewing!
Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl