So, having finished up my finale review, which included some thoughts of mine on the series as a whole, I realised I wanted to go back to the well (or button, or frozen donkey wheel, or whatever your prefer) and write some more. So here are my awards for the best and worst bits of Lost across the whole run of the series. And if you still fancy some more opinion, then check out two very talented writers’ takes on the finale and the series: The A.V. Club’s Noel Murray wraps up his excellent coverage with a review and summing-up on serialised television, and Todd VanDerWerff at the L.A Times, who gives us an impassioned defence of the finale against fans’ and detractors’ objections, and a personal view of what the series meant to him.
And now, my awards.
[Once again, MAJOR SPOILERS for the entire series below the jump.]
The best episodes of Lost:
Season 1: “Walkabout”, “Deus Ex Machina”
Season 2: “The Other 48 Days”, “Live Together, Die Alone”
Season 3: “The Man From Talahassee”, “The Brig”, “The Man Behind The Curtain”
Season 4: “The Constant”, “The Shape Of Things To Come”
Season 5: “The Life And Death Of Jeremy Bentham”, “LaFleur”, “Dead Is Dead”
Season 6: “Lighthouse”, “Ab Aeterno”, “The Candidate”
Dr. Jack Shepherd
Now, for large parts of the series, Jack was annoying as hell. The yelling, the stubbornness, the weepiness, and of course, the Jackface. But from Season 4 onwards, his downward spiral, eventual bottoming out and resignation to his fate made me warm to him. No longer charging around trying to fix everything himself, he took a back seat for a while, only to take charge again with disastrous results. His whole storyline has been about a man wanting to be a hero, but always choosing the wrong moment. So when he finally stepped up and performed a truly heroic act, it was the perfect culmination to his story, and the peace and redemption he deserved.
Greatest moment: Sacrificing himself to save the Island.
Greatest moments: Jumping from the helicopter during the evacuation of the Island. Leading the time-skipping castaways to safety in the 1970s. Banging just about every hot woman on the Island.
Greatest moments: Turning the fail-safe key inside the Swan.
Now, Ben has had some amazing moral turnarounds throughout the series, but this is how most of us will fondly remember him; as a weaselly bastard who will say or do anything to save his own skin.
Runners-up: Anthony Cooper, Martin Keamey, The Man In Black, Charles Widmore
Do you even need to ask?
Runners-up: Juliet, Michael
The classic “A-Team” line-up (Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Locke, Sayid)
Runner-up: the 1970s Dharma crew (Sawyer, Hurley, Jin, Juliet, Miles, Daniel)
Joint First: Juliet and Sawyer, Desmond and Penny
Runners-up: Sun and Jin, Charlie and Claire (when he wasn’t on the skag or kidnapping her baby for no reason in a really pointless filler episode)
(N.B. Rose and Bernard would have been runners-up too, but they lost my sympathy when they started berating other characters for getting in life-or-death struggles over the future of the island. Because watching three seasons of Bernard in his homeless man beard foraging for Dharma-brand ranch dressing would have been so much more exciting, amirite?)
Locke and Linus
While I’m including the latter part of Season 5, when the seemingly-resurrected “Locke” manipulated Ben into doing his bidding, Ben was under the impression that it was Locke, so it counts in my book.
Runner-up: Miles and Hurley
“Fire And Water”, “Stranger In A Strange Land”, “Eggtown”, “The Little Prince”
Greatest Character Disservice
Juliet going along with Jack’s H-bomb plan because WOMEN BE CRAZY (“The Incident”)
Runner-up: Sun’s awesome “cutthroat corporate warrior, planning a deal with Widmore” plotline being dropped entirely, and giving her nothing to do but pine for her husband (Seasons 4/5/6)
Most Expendable Bunch of Redshirts
Every unnamed Oceanic survivor post-moving the Island (Seasons 4/5)
Seriously, does anyone know what happened to them afterwards?
Runners-up: The Temple Others (Season 6), Keamey’s mercenaries (Season 4)
Best Repeated Line of Dialogue
“Don’t tell me what I can’t do!”
“Live together, die alone.”
“I’ll see you in another life, brother.”
And … that’s it.