Over the course of LOST Week, we’ve taken a retrospective look at the groundbreaking series from a number of different perspectives. No matter how we found to the series, we’ve all found something about it that resonates. From the pilot to the Incident to the introduction of fan-favorite characters like Ben Linus, the series is filled with memorable moments that we’re still geeking out over fifteen years later.
Now, we’re coming together to share our favorite episodes as LOST Week comes to an end. Be sure and share your favorite episodes with us in the comments or on social media, and let us know what topics you want us to cover for the next LOST Week! After all, the island isn’t done with us yet…
Deanna Destito: Season 2, Episode 4 — “Everybody Hates Hugo”
The Hatch brings new responsibilities for the survivors, like pressing a button every 108 minutes to keep the electromagnetism at bay. For Hurley, his job is to inventory the food and supplies so the castaways have decent rations for as long as possible. The lovable hero knows, however, that being in charge of the haul (especially when they’ve been living on mangoes and boar for weeks) will make him immediately go from Favorite Lostie to Hated Guardian of the Apollo Bars. Things will change just like they did when he won the lottery using that famously cursed set of numbers.
When Charlie calls him “management” for denying him a jar of peanut butter for Claire, Hurley knows his fears are right. His solution? Have a beach party and feast on Dharma goods. The episode solidifies why Hurley is always at the top of everyone’s favorite list and why later in the show he becomes island protector. He looks out for what’s best, and his moral compass remains steady throughout. In the end, the gathering is one of the happier moments for all of the survivors, where they are able to forget about being stranded on a strange island filled with smoke monsters, whispering Others in the woods, and very little hope of getting home.
Edward Douglas: Season 2, Episode 10 — “The 23rd Psalm”
I’m such a big fan of actor Adewale Akinnoye-Agbaje from his time as Adebisi on Oz that was I beyond thrilled when he showed up on the 2nd season of Lost. His Mr. Eko was such a terrific enigma of a character but also one that had connections to the actor’s own Nigerian roots. (He was born in London but was raised by white foster parents.) This episode was the one where we learned more about Mr. Eko’s past and his relationship with his brother, and it really helped humanize someone who was immediately painted as a violent killer and drug-smuggler but clearly had a lot more going on with him. According to a season 2 DVD feature, this is the episode that helped Akinnoye-Agbaje bond with the writers, as it helped him realize he understood where the character was coming from.
This was the episode that really made me love Mr. Eko so that when he was killed by the island monster very quickly into the third season, the show lost a bit for me. I also have an interesting relationship with religion that made this episode connect with me. Rumors are that “Triple-A” didn’t like living in Hawaii and asked to be written off, but fortunately, he has been in quite a few movies since then*, and I’ve actually had a chance to meet and interview him for a few of them. (*Look for my piece on this very subject for LOST Week!)
John Seven: Season 3, Episode 9 — “Stranger in a Strange Land”
It’s impossible for me to pick a favorite episode of Lost, but I know which one I think is unjustly maligned — “Stranger in a Strange Land,” the third season episode revealing how Jack got his tattoo. In Lost it’s never what happens, but why it happens and what it signifies. I suggest that the episode was not about how Jack got his tattoo, but about how Jack solidified his hubris.
Season 3 is packed with stories of the future castaways trying to gain ground and step away from their problems. They find themselves in new situations but discover that their dysfunction follows them. You can’t run away from your problems, and Jack’s problems end up marked on his skin like a scarlet letter “A,” only this time it stands for “asshole.” The episode isn’t about getting a tattoo, it’s about getting marked. It’s about a personality flaw becoming a visible scar. It’s about refusing to look at what’s right in front of you every day. It’s about the inability to look at yourself honestly.
Avery Kaplan: Season 4, Episode 5 — “The Constant”
No Lost Week could be complete without watching “The Constant.” The season four episode perfectly encapsulates LOST’s blend of genre adventure and character-driven drama, using time travel tropes to explore the history of the relationship between Desmond (Henry Ian Cusick) and Penelope (Sonya Walger). When a trip to the offshore freighter causes Desmond to become unstuck in time and his consciousness bounces to different points of his personal history, he must find his “constant” to realign his personal timeline and avoid melting his brain.
In addition to a guest-starring performance by Fisher Stevens as the freighter’s doomed communications officer, the episode manages an impressive amount of exposition while still foregrounding the romance between Desmond and his beloved Penny. The couple’s tearful reunion may be a bit sentimental, but what would you expect from a couple whose love story incorporates a Charles Dickens novel?
Ricardo Serrano Denis: Season 6, Episode 17 & 18 — “The End, parts 1 & 2”
The ending of Lost was controversial. We get it. But there was a lot going on in those last moments we spent with the likes of Jack, Locke, Kate, and Sawyer, and maybe there’s something we can say about if we go past the reviews and into the meat of the actual story. I believe the team of writers behind Lost arrived at the end with giving audiences two endings. One was supposed to be a farewell to the fans, which is the reunion we get in what appears to be an alternate timeline. The other was to be the true ending, where Jack is presented with the possibility that time is in a constant loop on the island and that it’s possible that everything has already happened before many times over.
The last scene, with Jack on the ground looking up at the sky, where Oceanic flight 815 flies overhead and basically signals a time reset closes the present timeline and gives Lost a definitive end. The character reunion is meant to be one of hope as the idea a happy timeline exists means we, as fans, get to enjoy and celebrate characters we grew to love in spite of the bleaker ending that Jack gets just as the episode ends.
I never truly believed everyone was dead and that the alternate reality was everyone meeting in the afterlife. Nor did I think it all had to do with the Island being a kind of Limbo where each character remembers their past choices before facing the final judgment. The end gave us another piece (or two) of the puzzle. An important piece, but a piece nonetheless. It fit in well with the box of mysteries that was Lost and I think we were meant to continue trying to put everything together well after all was said and done.