Now that 'LOST' has been off the air almost a year, it seems the appropriate time to re-visit the series.
In the coming weeks, I will re-visit many series - some old, some new, some current - and reveal my picks for the ten best episodes of each.
With the 'LOST' anniversary looming, here then is my list of the ten best episodes of the series, in descending order. It was very difficult to narrow down. Do you agree? Please sound off in the comments.
10. 'There's No Place Like Home' - Season 4, Episode 13
The fourth season finale features bloody battles (Ben stabbing Keamy), emotional reunions (Desmond and Penny, finally in person), devastating sacrafices (Sawyer jumping off the helicopter) and haunting screams (Sun's unforgettable wail when it appears Jin blows up with the freighter). The action and emotional punch makes it hard to wait for Season Five.
9. 'LaFleur' – Season 5, Episode 8
This is a good example of a “stand alone” episode that is also excellent in the show’s serial storyline. We view what happens to Sawyer and Juliet, among others, when they get stuck in the 70s. If only, for the fate of those two, they could have continued to live a life of peace on the island. Juliet can successfully deliver babies; Sawyer is one of the head honchos of Dharma security; and the couple has one of the sweetest romances in the show’s history. However, we know what’s in store when Sawyer spies the Dharma van with Jack, Hurley and that pesky romance-buster Kate.
8. ‘Two for the Road’ - Season 2, Episode 20
You can't argue with this: the final scene in which Ana Lucia and Libby are shot by Michael may be the series’ most surprising moment ever. Hand over mouth. When Michael tells Ana Lucia, “I’m sorry” while holding the gun, I got a bad feeling, but I never thought what happened, would happen. Kudos to the writers for taking a huge risk with a big payoff. Libby’s death the following week is heart-wrenching.
7. ‘Ab Aeterno’ – Season 6, Episode 8
Speaking of stand-alone episodes, who knew Richard’s back-story would be so compelling? Obviously, everyone wondered what the heck his deal was, but the romance and poignancy of this segment is surprising. After viewing it, I’m still shocked Nestor Carbonell was not nominated for an Emmy. The episode details his voyage to the island after his wife’s death, and his encounter with the Man in Black that would change everything. His meeting with Hurley is just the icing on the cake.
6. ‘Man of Science, Man of Faith’ - Season 2, Episode 1
Some viewed the first season finale as disappointing, since we never did get to see what was in the hatch. The follow-up shows it and then some, and introduces one of the show's most interesting characters: Desmond. It’s action-packed and full of answers. Strangely, when it was submitted for Emmy consideration, voters who didn’t watch the show were confused, and snubbed it. Foolish choice.
5. ‘Walkabout’ - Season 1, Episode 4
The memorable Locke introduction, when we learn - rather poignantly - that he used to live life in a wheelchair. Considering all Locke would go through during the series – including losing his faith, being murdered by Ben and being brought back to “life” in the form of Smokey – it can now be seen as a sad omen. That, and it’s a very well-written episode.
4. ‘The Constant’ - Season 4, Episode 5
I love Desmond episodes, and this trippy installment doesn't disappoint - especially 'cause of that emotional reunion with Penny that many never thought would come before the series finale. In some ways, this emotional segment is a signal of what’s to come at the end of the series – emotional satisfaction, trauma and surprising payoff.
3. ‘The End’ – Season 6, Episode 16
This episode has its critics. I am not one of them. Do we, as viewers, get all the answers we are hoping for? Probably not, but many of them were answered before the finale. If you were hoping for an answer-a-minute finale that put to rest every Island mystery, you were surely disappointed. But one might argue it’s better this way, and I would go as far to say ‘The End’ is perhaps the best directed, acted and edited episode of the series. It is definitely director Jack Bender’s finest achievement, and Matthew Fox was deservedly nominated for an Emmy. No one can deny it packs an emotional punch, and if you doubt me, I have one phrase for you: Vincent lying next to Jack on the beach.
2. ‘Pilot’ - Season 1, Episode 1
The plane crash is terrifying, and the drama is engrossing from the get-go. But what’s most amazing is how good the acting and writing is from the first moment, not to mention the special effects. Most memorable moment: seeing the pilot, who survived the crash, get snatched by Smokey (otherwise known as Bad Locke or the Man in Black). Could anyone have predicted – despite the quality of this first installment – how great the series would become?
1. ‘Through the Looking Glass’ - Season 3, Episode 22
From Charlie's death – artfully directed by Jack Bender - to that final moment when the "big reveal" about the future is made, this episode keeps you guessing all the way to the end - and has the most poetic death of any character in the show's history. Jack and Kate’s final scene is one of the most surprising – and sad – of the show’s canon. Did I mention this episode has adventure, suspense and romance? Damn. And kudos to Michael Giacchino for the series’ best single episodic score.