So you love Lost, huh? Hey, funny, me too! What a crazy small world we live in. Fancy meeting you here. But let’s be honest: we all know the show isn’t perfect. Nothing is, except maybe the taste of leftover pizza the morning after a bourbon-infused night during which you may or may not have told strangers at the bar, "We have to go back…to my place for some topless Twister!" But except for that leftover slice of pizza, little in this world is perfect.
With that in mind, I’ve compiled the Ten Worst Episodes in Lost history. Before getting into this list, keep in mind such things are relative: I’d still watch these episodes over approximately 93.6% of anything else on television today. But were I to come across these episodes on television in the presence of someone that’s never seen the show, I’d probably move on lest they get the wrong impression of the show’s overall levels of awesome. So take everything below with a silo of salt.
And yes, these lists are arbitrary and personal and meant to cause fist fights. But fist fights of fun, y’all! Fist fights of fun. Remember that if you come across one of your favorite episodes below, lest you try to come settle the score personally. Luckily, most of you don’t live in New England, so I only have to fear a few of you local Bai Ling fans finding out where I live and coming to seek vengeance for the affront below.
On with the list!
Almost clever, but mostly an overly meta episode that took the momentum of Season 3’s latter half and stopped it dead in its tracks. Whereas some saw an interesting way to see epochal moments from a new perspective, I saw two self-absorbed individuals too busy navel gazing to help disaster after disaster from befalling their fellow survivors.
9) Born to Run
This is where we learn the origin of the toy plane. Remember that? Didn’t think so. The show wisely forgot all about this plot after spending what felt like eleven flashbacks setting it up.
8) …and Found
Sun spends an hour looking for her wedding ring. I love me some Sun/Jin, but this is the weakest of all episodes focusing on this pair. Also? This episode features Michael at his WAAAAAAAAAAAAALT-iest. Not good times.
Possibly the single worst flashback ever (Driveshaft works at The Office!) with the first of many maddening "shoot first, unable to ask questions later" plotlines with Ethan’s death. In addition, Claire’s amnesia reeked of a clichéd plotline, one the show had largely avoided up until that point.
Three words: Ana Lucia flashback. Shudder. On the Island wasn’t much better, as she moped about for the better part of an hour. While this episode does feature a touching Rose/Bernard reunion at the end, it’s a long, tough slough through to get there.
Did you know Sawyer was a con man? Did you know that Ben likes to psychologically manipulate people? Apparently the show thought you didn’t. This episode is a classic example of show trying to make you overlook the shortcomings of a particular episode by dropping a huge twist at the end. First time around? I liked this ep. Second time through? Could hardly keep my eyes open.
The name sorta says it all, right? One of the many Season 2 flashbacks in which we learned nothing new coupled with a literally inert plot equaled a great cure for insomnia. And if anyone in the world can explain to me why Susan was convinced Michael would win that custody battle, enlighten me. That’s about as baffling a legal plot as the one in…
…which is Season 4’s six-sided die of suck. Why Kate wanted to leave the Island still continues to confuse, but not as much as the craziest courtroom logic that doesn’t prominently involve Markie Post ever seen on television. Throw in some schitzo snuggles with Sawyer, and you have an episode I’ll never watch again.
The most tonally bizarre Lost episode ever. I literally felt as if I were watching another show through the majority of it. Charlie’s hallucinations/visions do not match ANYTHING before or since, and feel the product of an idea that sounded OK in the writer’s room (Charlie’s visions being explicitly derived from his religious upbringing) only to fall flat in execution. And let’s not mention the Butties, OK?
The worst episode ever. The only episode to ever make me question my Lost fandom. The episode that made "Bai Ling" an acceptable substitute for more adult language. (As in, "What the Bai Ling was THAT?") It’s maybe easy for those of you still around to forget, but right around this time was the height of people questioning if the show had a plan, a focus, an end in sight. And this episode came and showed many people the door, I believe. It’s almost impossible to watch an entire episode based around a mystery no one cared about (the origin of one of Jack’s tattoos) while engaging in some of the most egregious examples of "answering provocative questions with half-muddled, coy, smug half-answers" ever. I kind of hope Darlton aired this episode so they could force ABC’s hand in setting an end date for the show. That’s the only justification for this waste of an hour.
Whew, OK, before I burst a blood vessel thinking about that Bai Ling episode, I’m going to put the ball in your court. What are your least favorite episodes ever, and why? Coming tomorrow, I’ll be posting my Ten Best episodes ever, to wash down the bitter taste this list has left behind.
And this Wednesday? Well, we’re trying a little experiment: the first live chat ever on this site! You don’t need any fancy software, passwords, or tech savvy. Just make sure you’re on this blog on January 21st, starting around 8 pm, Eastern Standard Time, for Zap2It’s first live discussion! I’ll be moderating the event throughout the three-hour premiere night, from the start of the retrospective through…well, I can’t quite say yet what it’s through. I’m all banned and such. But trust me, it’s a great cliffhanger. I’ll be leading discussion, posting polls, and theorizing along with the rest of you. So make sure you tune in here as well as ABC come this Wednesday! Should be a good time for all.
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!