Yesterday, I dropped my least favorite ten episodes in the overall insanely excellent show that is Lost. And as promised, I’m balancing that with my ten favorite today. Much like yesterday’s list, it was quite easy to come up with the top three in this list, and much more difficult to come up with the rest. But I’m feeling pretty good about the whole thing. At this time. Don’t you hold me to this list. Don’t you dare. Much like Baby, nobody puts Ryan in the corner.
A quick reminder before jumping into the Top Ten: make sure you point your browsers here as you point your cable box towards ABC Wednesday night. I’m hosting the first ever live chat here at Zap2It, which will either be a marvelous experiment or as disastrous as Charlie’s attempts to baptize Aaron. We’ll have to see. But come by around 8 pm EST, and I’ll bring the chips. Well, not literally, but you get the point. OK, self-promotion over, on with the list!
Honorable mentions: D.O.C., Special, Solitary, Lockdown
10) One of Us
With Juliet’s arrival in the survivors’ camp, we learn why Ben brought her to the Island in the first place. And how Juliet can be scarier than the nominal leader of the Others. Let’s hope Season 5 provides an equally-compelling Juliet-centric ep.
The show that, like Charles Widmore, changed the rules. The best of the season finales, and yet when stripped of its central, mind-blowing conceit, doesn’t quite crack the upper half of this list.
Introducing new characters can be tricky (hello, Nikki and Paulo). This episode effortlessly introduced four characters that would play a central role in the show’s ongoing mythology. Not only are they compelling characters in and of themselves, but will serve the narrative purpose of illuminating the many secrets of the Island.
Probably the most efficient flashback ever constructed, giving us everything we needed to know about one of the show’s most beloved characters. Can you imagine what Lost would be like had they given Eko Desmond’s Billy Pilgrim-like powers? Because that was the original plan. Oh well, least we have this excellent episode.
Given Season 4’s revelations about Claire and Aaron, this episode shows just how much the show knew where it was going, even back in Season 1. The first episode to hint at strange things OFF the island as well as on it, it might very well eventually be seen as one of the keys to understanding the entire show.
If any of you had "electromagnetic station funded by a munitions dealer to help some really smart hippies that just read Siddhartha" in your office “What’s in the hatch?” pool, I’d like you to advise me on my stock portfolio. This episode expanded the Lost universe in a manner similar to Through the Looking Glass, while offering questions we’re finally going to get answers to in the upcoming weeks.
Dharka! Tunisia! Hieroglyphic wall! As I wrote during my We Have to Go Back recap, in some ways this is the pilot episode of the show. It introduced the central conceit for the show’s endgame: the war between Ben Linus and Charles Widmore. And if there’s a more brutal scene in the show’s history than Alex’s death, I haven’t seen it.
I for one never thought I’d see Ben’s backstory, kinda sorta hoping he’d remain as mysterious as Heath Ledger’s Joker. And yet, this episode proved both satisfying and mythologically expansive. Without giving anything away, let’s just say Season 5’s opening night might cast a new light on events in this episode.
The episode that defined what the show could do. Using flashbacks in a clever way to illuminate on-Island action, Walkabout set the benchmark by which all other episodes were measured. And just about all of them have failed. Except…
1) The Constant
Yea, I know, big surprise. After all, I’ve done everything but leave my wife for this episode here on the blog. This is the height of the show’s creative and, more importantly, emotional power. Not only did it provide a mind-bending plot sending Desmond back and forth in time, but it also reduced the majority of Lost fans to bubbling, sobbing fools as they watched a conversation they thought might never happen.
OK, there’s my list. I want your list, or at least your top two or three episodes. So leave them in the comments below!
Ryan also posts every 108 minutes over at Boob Tube Dude, then peruses Zap2It’s Guide to Lost Facebook group. He also encourages you to subscribe to the Zap2It’s Guide to Lost Twitter feed. He asks you to check out the We Have to Go Back Gallery
and make sure you’re fully caught up before Season 5 starts! And
remember: live chat with him here on January 21st, starting at 8 pm EST!