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Top 10 Episodes of LOST

May 18, 2010

Lost Week rolls on with my top ten episodes. At least, I think these are my top ten. I may not be remembering all of them clearly because there’s like a hundred-odd hours of this show in existence, but I refreshed my memory at Wikipedia and these are the ones that jumped out at me. I know most everyone loves “The Constant” best, but this is my list. Go make your own.

Pilot – This is how you kick off a TV series. Man wakes up in the jungle, emerges onto the beach to find the flaming wreckage of a plane crash, and we’re off and running. By the end of the first two hours, we know this is no ordinary island: There be polar bears here, and some kind of monster.

Walkabout – The first John Locke-centric episode remains the best, as the mild-mannered office drone becomes the island’s great white hunter. Features the show’s first mind-melting revelation (which I’ll get to in my next list).

Orientation – Our first big Dharma download came early in season two, once Jack and Locke finally made their way into the Hatch and Desmond ran off into the jungle. It was at this point that I thought my original theory about the island (a CIA testing ground for various psychological/hallucinatory experiments) might actually have some validity. Not so much.

Exposé – I’m definitely breaking from the pack with this one (most probably consider it one of the 20 most pointless episodes). Yes, it’s the infamous Nikki and Paolo episode from season three, which alienated much of the fan base by combining the show’s least-loved characters with plenty of meta storytelling. Me, I think it’s one of the series’ funniest, smartest interludes – a clever and thoroughly entertaining bit of deconstruction and self-criticism.

The Man Behind the Curtain – Ben’s back story gave us our first extended look at the Dharma Initiative heyday, and we made our first crazy visit to Jacob’s cabin, where Locke sees…a ghost? A Smokey manifestation? Definitely not Jacob.

Through the Looking Glass – Really, all the season finales could have made this list, as Lost has pretty much knocked them out of the park every time. This one featured Charlie’s watery demise, a huge battle between the lostaways and the Others, and the revelation that Jack’s off-island storyline was not a flashback after all.

The Shape of Things to Come – Sawyer, Locke and Hurley play Risk. I think some other things happen, too. Oh yes, the mercenary team attacks the Dharma barracks, Ben wakes up in Tunisia wearing a parka, his daughter gets shot in the head in front of his eyes, and he (apparently) unleashes the Smoke Monster. (I’d still like some kind of explanation about this.) An intense hour all around.

There’s No Place Like Home – Another overstuffed, action-and-emotion-packed finale, featuring the freighter explosion, the rescue of the Oceanic 6, Sawyer’s sacrifice and Ben moving the island with a frozen donkey wheel. Very similar to the same year’s CSI: Miami finale.

LaFleur – I’m using this episode to basically stand in for the entire ‘70s Dharma arc of the fifth season, but this is probably the standout: Sawyer is reborn as a leader, an unlikely (yet delightful) romance blossoms, and Jin gets three years worth of offscreen English lessons.

LA X – The sixth season premiere didn’t miss a beat, picking up the aftermath of the nuclear detonation in two contrasting timelines, introducing another big hunk of island mythology in the Temple (where, granted, we then spent a little too much time), and revealing the Smoke Monster’s secret identity.

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  1. Off the top of my head, I certainly can’t think of any better than the ones you chose here … well, maybe The Candidate would be on the list … it’s all a jumble in my brain …

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