Welcome to the LOST retrospective, brought to you by the dynamic duo of Matt and Crit, who you know from the weekly articles reviewing and recapping each episode. LOST is arguably the greatest show of all time, and is definitely the one that will have the greatest impact from our generation of TV. With that in mind, we have decided to take a look back at each season of LOST, picking our favorite episodes and moments to share with you the reader. Each day of this week we will take a look at one season, each of us picking our five favorite episodes from the season. Will we pick the same episodes? Yes, most likely. But when it comes to LOST (and when it comes to Crit and Matt, really) there are bound to be purposeful coincidences.
So with the series now officially over, let’s take a look back at the show that has been so important since September of 2004. Follow us behind the cut for more, and let us know your thoughts about your favorite episodes/moments in the comments!
Episode 1: Because You Left
Matt: What is going on? The Island is flashing through time? What is all the things that we are seeing? Time Travel is a difficult concept to work with, but the creators of LOST blend in their own form of science with their mythology to create one of the more interesting takes on time travel in a science fiction program on television. On top of that, it allows for one of the most ingenious elements of LOST. Obviously the characters and creators of LOST won’t just tell us what’s coming on, btu with so many larger mysteries about the history of the island, why not show it to us? This, on top of everything else, shows the intense creativity present in the show’s excellent writing team.
Matt: This is the episode where our heroes return and show us that Jin is alive, which was great. We also get a nice explanation why no one can find the island, and what’s going on with getting there. There are still a lot of mysteries on LOST, but now we are getting some quiet explanations, both subtle and intriguing. As the show begins barreling towards it’s end head on, things with the island begin to get a little clearer, and we as the viewer are beginning to feel rewarded with the call backs to earlier seasons.
Episode 7: The Life And Death Of Jeremy Bentham
Matt: Oh Locke. Is there an episode starring you that isn’t great? On top of showing us what happened to Locke when he returned and why he was in the coffin, this is the first appearance of the Man In Black In Locke’s Skin. We don’t know it yet, but upon rewatching the show and seeing how different Terry O’Quinn is as an actor when playing the two parts, we get our huge “Holy crap!” moment at the end of the show. From here to the end of the season, these episodes are all fantastic to rewatch.
Episode 8: LaFleur
Crit: We saw the statue from behind! We see 1974, where Sawyer convinced the Dharma folk that he was Jim LaFleur and his salvage boat had wrecked while searching for the Black Rock. We see 1977, where LaFleur is the head of security. Hurley, Jack and Kate meet back up with Sawyer.
Matt: With the time flashes over, it’s now time to sit and actually get some answers. As I said before, LOST isn’t just going to give us any explanations, so the way it went back in time to flesh out the DHARMA Initiative and what happened between the Others and them was a great way to build the mystery of the show while giving us explanations that we so desired. Plus, this is the point in the show where we can finally see that Sawyer, as bad of a human being as he may be, can find redemption, and we begin to ask ourselves what we really want for our characters to be happy. I think it’s a big turning point as far as the plot goes.
Episode 10: He’s Our You
Matt: Hand in hand with one of my favorite episodes of season two, we get this Sayid centric episode in which he is the one being put on the torture block. It’s a great parallel to the earlier episodes of the show, and it’s one of many that we see as our heroes begin to get put in odd and desperate situations. Plus, he shoots little Ben, thus inadvertently helping to create one of the biggest monsters of the show. The irony is delicious.
Episode 12: Dead is Dead
Crit: Ben and Widmore’s struggle is shown in greater detail; we see that Widmore has been exiled because he broke the rules by fathering a child with an outsider. Locke takes Ben to be judged by them monster…which is seen in an entirely different light after the finale, where we find out that Locke was the monster.
Matt: We had a lot of questions about the Monster at this point, and again – when rewatching, this episode is pure genius in how the Man in Black takes control of Ben. Ben had been the one manipulating, but now he’s so easily toyed with. It’s positively brilliant watching Ben’s turn as a character, and again we get to see a lot of illumination to Ben and Widmore and their past on the island. Plus, it gives us some quick insight into what the smoke monster actually is, which we’d so been missing in the show for a while.
Episode 14: The Variable
Crit: This episode could have also been called “The Life and Death of Daniel Faraday.” One of my favorite characters, it was great to see flashbacks of his life and how his mother (Eloise Hawking) made him stop playing piano (an innate gift he was given) to become a math whiz, seemingly aware of his future.
Matt: If you watch LOST, you love Daniel Faraday. There’s no way around it. He’s a character that was so charming and likable that with this, his death, we all felt punched in the gut. And by his mother, no less! A lot of the time travel elements become a lot more clear, and the science of LOST begins to merge better with the mythology. This, again, was an episode when we realized that no matter how much we loved any given character, no one on LOST is safe – and that’s what makes the deaths so powerful. You almost never see them coming.
Episodes 16 and 17: The Incident
Crit: First scene: we meet Jacob and the Man in Black, and get the clearest view of the statue we’ve ever seen. We get to see Jacob’s visits, and find that in some cases he visited these people many years ago. In the end, we learn that the crate from Flight 316 contained John Locke’s dead body, and the being that looked just like him all season was not actually John Locke. At the Swan site, Juliet hits the bomb with a rock, leaving us all wondering for seven months just what the ramifications of that action were going to be.
Matt: I think this was the only finale of LOST that left me absolutely speechless. Normally Crit and I, or anyone else, have discussions about what we saw, what happened, and why it does or doesn’t make sense. When everything went white, we had no idea what to expect. We knew that the next season would be the last, but was everyone did? And was there some kind of time reboot? What on Earth was going on? And after all this time, we finally see Jacob and find out that the new Locke wasn’t actually Locke at all? There were so many shocking moments and elements of this issue that there was nothing to say at the end. We were left anxiously waiting the finale, and all we could do was sit there.