We're coming up on the 100th episode of "Lost," and as such, I wanted to do something special. Unfortunately, I couldn't get Baz Luhrmann to help me stage a $150 million version of "South by South Pacific." Nor could I get Morgan Freeman to narrate the audiobook version of the "We Have to Go Back" gallery. So I had to come up with a less expensive way to honor the first 99 episodes of the show. And come up with one I did.
Here's the gist: over the next five days, I'll be listing "100 Things I Love About Lost." Each day, I'll drop 20 things from each season that reinforced the fact that this is my favorite show of all time. The "thing" in question can be a moment, a line of dialogue, a camera angle, and entire episode…it's a mix-and-match approach that I've organized chronologically within each season.
To be clear: this isn't a "100 Greatest Moments in Lost History" list. That might happen at some point in the future, but for now, I just wanted to look back on a season-by-season basis at the instances in which "Lost" blew my mind in some fashion, from the season's first episode through its finale.
I encourage all of you to provide your own great moments from each season over the next five days. Mine is far from a definitive list; it's the epitome of a singular, subjective view at this particular point in time. But hopefully it will remind you of some of the show's seminal moments: those permanently embedded in your brain, or perhaps those you might have forgotten. In any case, above all this series is meant as a celebration of the show's 100th episode, and all the amazing moments it's given us along the way. In that spirit, I give you twenty moments I loved from Season 1.
1. The slow pan around Jack that reveals the carnage in the wake of Oceanic 815’s crash. This shot cost more than then first five seasons of “Cheers” combined.
2. Polar bear, FTW! Announced that this show ain’t “Survivor.” It ain’t no disco, nor country club, either. But that's neither here nor there.
3. The backgammon scene between Locke and Walt: still possibly the key to understanding the entire show. Watching this scene takes on new layers after each subsequent season.
4. All of “Walkabout,” the episode that cemented my love for the show and demonstrated the narrative possibilities for it over the long haul.
5. The first of many Locke/Shephard dialogues concerning fate and destiny in “White Rabbit.” Many, many Locke/Shephard dialogues.
6. Meeting Adam and Eve: familiar characters having suffered an as-yet-unknown fate in the Island’s past.
7. Sayid and the audience hear the Whispers for the first time. We still don’t know their true nature; but after “Dead is Dead” we know why Danielle’s been so afraid of them.
8. Malkin’s prophecy to Claire: the first instance in which we learned the oddness in the “Lost” universe wasn’t constricted to the Island. Their scenes started to paint the global picture the show would slowly fill in through “The Shape of Things to Come.”
9. Hurley’s surprising census results. For a while, the sheer number of times the show introduced new people on the Island bordered on the ridiculous, but it’s easy to forget the shock that Ethan’s true nature had on people when this first happened.
10. Jack desperately trying to revive Charlie in the wake of Ethan’s abduction of Claire. Each successive time I watch, I’m convinced it’ll end differently. A good example of how brutal and unforgiving pre-Hatch life was for the survivors.
11. The dead bird outside Walt’s window in "Special." Cree. Pee.
12. The way in which Jin’s flashbacks in “…In Translation” recontextualize Sun’s flashbacks in “House of the Rising Sun.” Storytelling of the highest order.
13. Christian and Sawyer share a drink Down Under. I love reading between Christian’s lines in this scene, especially give his character’s increasing importance on the Island.
14. Leonard’s hysterical cry, “You've opened the box!” As if I wasn’t already freaked out by the large metal box wielded by the Shadow of the Statue acolytes this year, I had to remember Leonard’s frantic cries in Season 1 while researching this list. Faaaantastic.
15. The first chance to actively hate that money-swindling, kidney-stealing, marriage-wrecking Anthony Cooper. This man is so oily, he could have single-handedly solved this nation’s energy crisis before his unfortunate “accident” in Tallahassee.
16. Jin and Sun’s tearful goodbye before he sails away. Also, Vincent running into the water after Walt. A two-for-one bawlfest. Yea, I’m cheating by putting both here. Sue me. Oh wait, you can’t. Free site! Epic win!
17. The music that plays while the Lostaways watch the raft successfully launch near the end of Season 1. Excuse me while I go call my mom to tell her I love her, right after I tip overthis nearby bus.
18. OK, who wants to tell me how that giant slave ship ended up a few miles inland? Anyone? Bueller?
19. Exploding Arzt! I’m already going to hell. Just greasing the already slippery slope.
20. “We’re going to have to take the boy.” I clearly remember watching this scene with my now wife, brother, and his now wife. And all four of us saw this coming about two minutes seconds before the Lostaways did. That was a gut-wrenching 120 seconds, with Tom Friendly’s words hitting us in the chest like a punch.
OK, that's 20 things I loved in Season 1. Tomorrow: Season 2! Be sure to leave your favorite Season 1 moments in the comments below.
Ryan also posts every 108 minutes over at Boob Tube Dude. He invites you to join the hundreds already in Zap2It's Guide to Lost Facebook group. He also encourages you to subscribe to the Zap2It's Guide to Lost Twitter feed.