One year ago, Lost aired its final episode. And though I had never seen a single episode before (that’s a lie, I saw the last five minutes of the season 1 finale when it was on TV for some reason), I live-blogged the whole thing. Since then I’ve gone back and watched all six seasons of the series because, as a friend of my mine said to me, it just seems like the kind of show I would watch.
And it was! It was pretty epic. Though I shed a tear or two for having missed out on the experience of watching it as it aired so I could commiserate and squeal and ponder with other fans, one upside was that I didn’t have to wait in agony between cliffhangers and I got to miss out on that whole gap in the third season that seems to have scarred some people. (By the way, I tweeted while I was watching the episodes, which you can find here if you go back, I suppose.)
It wasn’t all perfect, of course. I kind of shot myself in the foot by watching the series finale first. There were some *ahem* missing gaps. Some disappointments. And I really missed Locke’s character in the sixth season (the Man in Black does not count). But there were also fantastic, compelling, epic parts. And, because they’re worth mentioning, here they are (streamlined down to the top 11*):
#11 When that couple got buried alive.
Dark humour at its (near) best, I have to say, I loved this departure from the season’s regular plot lines, especially the way they poked fun at the extra-ness of the random non-characters on the Island. And who doesn’t love a good twist? It reminded me of those old Tales from the Crypt episodes (the bloody live-action series, not the cartoon).
#10 When the timer in the bunker flashed to those crazy red-and-black hieroglyphics for the first time.
A lot of the things that made the show so cool were the random clues and teases that made you wonder. Wasn’t it exciting trying to figure out what they meant? In equal measure, that circular map thing that showed up on the wall when they didn’t punch in the Numbers made me hit pause and stare for a while. Whether or not they were satisfactorily explained later on is a mute point for me.
#9 When we discovered the little piece of suburbia where the Others lived:
One of the best WTF moments of the series. When I used to hear other people talk about this show, I used to think “how much could possibly happen on a deserted island?” I was so wrong.
#8 When everyone is ignoring Hurley and then he just drives the bus onto the beach and saves Bernard, Jin and Sayid:
Character arcs are important. And who doesn’t love seeing the underdog kick some ass? Hurley was one of my favourite characters (right after Locke, I would say) and I like that they can undercut heavy-handed drama with his character. Seeing him come barging in to save the day after being ignored (this was when they tried to lure the Others to the beach and blow them up while everyone went to the radio tower to get rescued). Honorable mention: when Hurley’s walkman batteries die while he’s sitting on the beach early in season one. Fantastic.
#7 When those two nerds at the end of season 2 call Penelope to say they’ve found something.
I really like how the show resuses phrases and embues them with meaning in a way that’s very neat. This is a great example. In a flashback, we see Penelope tell Desmond “with enough money and determination, you can find anyone” and the sentiment takes on a whole new meaning with this awesome season finale surprise.
#6 When Jin whispers “Others” and we see Mr. Eko, Ana and Libby walk towards them.
At least, I think it was those three. In any case, there was so much mystery surrounding the Others at that point, and the shot was really well filmed. Very creepy and exciting. Excellent final shot.
#5 When Miles and Hurley argued about time travel:
It’s never not funny when people argue about the rules of time travel, especially when one gets all his information from pop culture. This is especially true because Hurley was just so stubborn about it, and ended up confusing Miles. Honorable mention: when Miles finally voiced my belief that they were actually CAUSING the Incident and not preventing it.
#4 When Sawyer tells Jack about meeting his father.
Though I still have mixed feelings about the finale – it just could’ve been MORE, you know? – I still agree that the real driving force behind the series were the characters and their relationships. So when Sawyer, thinking he’s never going to see Jack again, chooses to tell him about meeting his father in Australia and giving him that bit of consolation, it was a great moment both for Jack and for Sawyer’s character development. I’m not ashamed to say I cried.
#3 Locke yelling ‘Don’t tell me what I can’t do!’ in Australia.
John Locke was my favourite character, by quite a bit, which was why I was disappointed he didn’t play a larger part in the series’ final few episodes. Yes, his death was beautifully tragic, but I would have liked to have seen him have more of a role in the epic finale. In any case, he continues to be one of my favourite characters from any TV show, movie or book and it’s mostly because of the insane amount of pathos they created for him, and how it interacted with some of his less flattering qualities and poor choices. And, as another example of a phrase that became his mantra, “don’t tell me what I can’t do” came to epitomize his major struggles, character flaws and why I loved him so much.
#2 Charlie’s death scene.
Tragic. Beautifully heroic. And the perfect ending for his character arc. I almost couldn’t believe he was really gone, and – again – I’m not ashamed to say I cried. A lot.
#1 Jack yelling ‘Why do you find it so easy?’
One of the major underlying currents of the show, for me at least, was this dichotomy between Jack and Locke with the whole faith vs. lack of faith. So when they’re arguing about entering the Numbers and Locke says, “why do you find it so hard to believe?” and Jacks yells, “why do you find it so easy?” I have to tip my hat to two simple lines that perfectly encapsulated that struggle. I wish they had extended that dichotomy through to the end of the series – more than they did, at least. When I saw this scene, I understood that there was more going on here than I thought, and I found myself much more invested in the characters. It was the theme that defined for the show for me. Truly epic.
And now here is a tribute video that uses a scene from The Lord of the Rings (the Two Towers, I believe) to frame Lost as one of the Great Stories that it is. Kudos. And thanks.
*And if you’d like to know why there are 11 top moments here and not an even 10, well, I guess you’ll just have to mull that mystery over for a while and then wait for an explanation that I will NEVER GIVE YOU.