Throw-Back Sunday: Ranking the top 5 episodes of “Lost.”

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:

5

“Ab Aeterno.” (Season 6, episode 9)

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“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.

4

“The Constant.” (Season 4, episode 5)

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“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.

3

“Greatest Hits.”  (Season 3, episode 21)

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“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.

2

“The Incident parts I & II.”  (Season 5, episodes 16/17)

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“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:

  • “LaFleur”
  • “The Brig”
  • “Meet Kevin Johnson”
  • “Some Like it Hoth”
  • “Expose”
  • “The Long Con”
  • “The Candidate”
  • “Tricia Tanaka Is Dead”
  • “Through The Looking Glass”
  • “Across the Sea”

1

“Flashes Before Your Eyes.” (Season 3, episode 8)

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“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!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

Throw-back Sunday: Ranking the seasons of “Lost” from best to worst: “We have to go back!”

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.

3

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!

5

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.

1

“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.

2

“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.

6

“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.

4

“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!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl