The Best of LOST series features my thoughts on the top episodes from each season. They are presented in airing order and are only spoilery up to that individual episode’s place in the show.
The final season. Controversial and odd, but every bit LOST. Eighteen episodes in all, here are my six favorites. The finale, The End, has its own post.
LAX, part 1 (6.1, episode #104)
The white screen seems to morph into clouds…We find ourselves back on the plane with Jack! Did it work? We soon realize that things are a little different – only one bottle of booze, Rose tells Jack, “you can let go now” and then as he returns to his seat, Rose tells Bernard that she missed him. WHAT???
When Jack returns to his seat from bleeding in the bathroom we find DESMOND sitting in his row! Does he know him? What is happening? Your right mind knows that this is not a reset or even a flashback, Desmond was not on the plane. Just when we think we are going nuts we zoom in, go underwater and there is “New Otherton” and the statue foot! Damn you LOST.
Bomb time again.
Kate is up in a tree, deafened and dirty, she finds Miles in his Dharma jumpsuit (his ears are ringing too). The Swan hatch is blown up (original style) and she finds Sawyer and Jack laying in the grass. Sawyer is pissed that time did not reset, that Juliet is dead, and that it is all Jack’s fault.
So goes the episode. We switch between the weird alternate-plane world (what comes to be known as flash-sideways) and our good old pre time-travel island. While this story device seems familiar in format to the rest of the seasons, you can feel something bigger going on here. The plane time is weird and the island time is hastily connecting many old dots. We just don’t know why.
We end each stint on the plane feeling like we missed some joke. It is great revisiting old friends (Charlie!) but things are not as they were, they are all a little off. Off enough to be maddening. Like we are re-watching old episodes but everyone is in italics. Then they land safely in LA…if something in these five years was supposed to be a dream, the powers that be are going to get punched.
Island time, on the other hand, is just as one might expect. There is time spent with our beloved little island family (that loves to hate each other) mucking through being trapped on the mysterious island again. There is also time spent with our new season 5 conglomerate (the Ajirans, Richard and Flocke) as they deal with the alive-ness of Flocke and the dead-ness of Jacob.
LAX, part 2 (6.2, episode #105)
Can’t have one without the other, this is part two of the season premiere. We are in essentially the same pickle as we were in the first half of this episode, but with the rise of the sun on the island things seem more familiar. Every one is dirty, bloody and in some sort of danger.
Jack, Kate, Hurley and Jin take the mortally wounded Sayid to the temple (where that French guy lost his arm – oh, hai!) because the ghost of Jacob told them to. We finally get to see the temple and the Others that are hiding there. Back to the good old days of mysterious lists, dirty hippies and the power of the island. The very near dead Sayid goes for a dip/drowning in the temple’s healing hot-tub which seems to be on the fritz.
Outside of the temple, we painfully watch Sawyer struggle with Juliet’s death. All the progress he has made in his personal development is slipping away into rage again. Miles’ reading of Juliet’s last thoughts doesn’t help either as the big thing Juliet wanted to tell Sawyer turns out to be a cryptic “It worked”. Obviously it didn’t so what the heck did she mean? Can’t dwell on it as Miles and Sawyer get Other-napped (just like old times) and are brought to the temple too.
We still have the unexplained slightly off-kilter version of LA where flight 815 has landed safely. Things don’t clear-up, they actually get weirder and further away from the familiar. Kate runs (ok that is not that unfamiliar) but Sawyer helps her out. Jack’s dad’s body is missing? The parade of familiar faces continues and by the end of the episode we get to see the Marshall, Frogurt, Claire and Jin’s jerky old haircut. Thanks for the memories.
Back on the island, the announcement of Jacob’s death sends the temple residents into a frenzy and they batten down the hatches (to keep “him” out). As we now know, the “him” is Flocke – who is also the angry smoke monster. We also learn that he is a jerk, as he passes on Locke’s last sad thought (“I don’t understand”) to his murderer, Ben.
Good news is that the powers that be on LOST still know how to end an episode as Flocke recognizes Richard, telling him it is nice to see him “out of those chains” (??) before knocking him out and a presumed dead Sayid creepily sits up and asks “What happened?”.
That’s what we’re all wondering, Sayid. That’s what we’re all wondering.
Ab Aeterno (6.9, episode #112)
I skipped a lot of stuff before we get to my next favorite episode. What did you miss? Island Claire is a mess, Sideways John works with Ben (as school teachers), there was a magic lighthouse on the island the whole time, Keamy is a jerk in all timelines, island Sayid is acting all weird and Widmore is back!
None of that matters in this episode though because LOST finally gives the fans what they have been begging for…answers about Richard/Guyliner. After some small info about how Richard does not know what to do now (and a bit about Jacob and Ilana) we flashback to Richard’s origins.
It is the 1860s – Richard has a wife who is dying. He goes to the doctor for help but the doctor is a jerkface. He won’t ride to Richard’s house and says that although he has the medicine to save her, Richard does not have enough money to pay for it. They struggle and the doctor falls hitting his head and accidentally dying. Richard rushes back with stolen meds but his wife is already dead (dang it). He is arrested for the doctor’s murder but instead of being hanged for the crime is is sold to a man traveling to the new world (aboard the Black Rock!).
Of course, the ship crashes onto our island and in desperation the captain kills all the slaves. Before he can kill Richard, the smoke monster kills the captain. The smoke monster spares Richard (Yay!) but we realize he is still in shackles in the belly of the crashed ship (Ugh!). After nearly dying of starvation/dehydration/boar mauling/dead wife hallucinations the MiB appears and saves him. This MiB convinces Richard that Jacob has his wife and that Richard should kill him. Weakened Richard stands no chance and Jacob beats the heck out of him. Eventually they come to a deal where Richard will work for Jacob and will never die (Jacob also famously explains the wine bottle/island metaphor). Richard breaks the news to the MiB (I got a new job ,now) and MiB gives Richard his wife’s necklace, which Richard proceeds to bury on the island.
Back to our time on the island, the downtrodden Richard gives up hope in Jacob and wants to switch back to working for MiB. Just in time to save the day, Hurley arrives with the ghost of Richard’s wife and uses his “talk to the dead” power to help the couple communicate. After they make peace, his wife tells Richard to stop the MiB and save everyone from going to hell. Guess Richard is staying with Jacob.
It was nice to finally see why Richard seemingly never ages (guess he doesn’t) and as usual the LOST powers that be made his history torturously sad. Thanks.
Happily Ever After (6.11, episode #114)
Last we met on the island, Sayid was stalking the Widmore peeps, and saw that the “package” was indeed our man, Desmond. Here we see they are bringing Desmond to what looks like a recreation of the Jurassic Park set to do some sort of test. First, another dude fries to death in it…awesome. Turns out Desmond can take it and he is fine. Good news.
It is in the flash-sideways, however, that my favorite moments emerge. Desmond works for Widmore (WHA?)! In this sideways world, Widmore’s son is a musician – his wife is putting together a concert with Drive Shaft. Widmore asks Des to babysit the lead singer so he actually shows up at the gig…welcome back Charlie.
Des and Charlie have a drink and Charlie explains the weird I-should-not-be-alive bit from his almost OD on the sideways 815 flight. While he was knocked-out he saw a woman and felt their love in his head (that would be Claire). Later – In an attempt to demonstrate this concept to Des – Charlie forces their car into the water. Des tries to rescue Charlie from his underwater passenger seat but before he can he has a flash of island Charlie’s hand with the “not penny’s boat” stuff on it. HUH?
After the crash they are off to the hospital and during an MRI Desmond has our reality flashes of Penny (who he does not know). Double HUH?
Des loses Charlie and goes to tell Mr. Widmore, where he bumps into Mrs. Widmore (Eloise) and later meets Daniel (now knowingly Widmore’s son). Eloise seems to discourage Des from investigating his flashes, while Daniel shares his own close encounter with a red head he seemingly loved before he knew her. Daniel also talks about altered realities and nuclear explosions, even though he is a musician and knows nothing of this science-y crap. Inspired (and informed) by Daniel, Des seeks out Penny – who happens to be running steps at the stadium (D’oh). He shakes her hand and faints, seemingly waking on the island in the test room. After a brief foray there, He re-awakens in the sideways flash and asks Penny out for coffee. He also starts digging into the flight 815 manifest, in order to “show them something”.
On the island, Desmond now seems to know why he needs to help Widmore but then creepy Sayid escorts him somewhere. Aside from seeing Charlie again, the wildest thing is that Des/Penny handshake. After that, sideways Desmond seems to be woken up from some sort of dream. Is this a connection between our two worlds?
Everybody Loves Hugo (6.12, episode #115)
The next episode after the explosive Desmond one is all about Hugo. In a play on his second season episode (“Everybody Hates Hugo”), the sideways world gives us the award-winning philanthropist Hugo that everybody loves. Well, everybody except women. Hugo’s mom sets him up on a blind date that never shows. While he waits for the girl that never arrives, he instead meets Libby. She tells him she thinks she knows him (although he doesn’t know her). All the sharing stops when her doctor comes to round her up for the loony bin bus.
Back on the island, Hurley leaves a flower at Libby’s grave. He has a talk-to-dead-people moment where Michael tells him he has to save everyone and stop people from blowing up the plane (there was a trip to the Black Rock where Ilana procured some dynamite). There is no need to stop them, however, as Ilana accidentally blows herself up. Of course that doesn’t stop Richard from trying to go back and get more dynamite – but Hurley blows up the Black Rock before they can get to it (no more stuff for you)!
Back to the sideways flashes where Desmond visits Hurley and tells him not to assume Libby is crazy but to find out where she thinks she knew him from. He visits her in the hospital to find out. She says she has memories of a plane crash and Hurley on an island (our island!). She also has memories of being at the hospital and Hurley being there. Despite all the craziness, he asks her out on a date. They finally get their picnic date where they eventually kiss. The kiss causes Hurley to realize Libby is not crazy because he remembers! We see Des observe and smirkily drive away (is he the Trinity to our island’s Matrix?)
Our island group is divided as Richard, Miles and Ben go off to blow up the Ajira plane while the rest (Hurley, Jack, Sun and Lapidus) go to Flocke. Hurley doesn’t know the way to Flocke, but when they hear the whispers he sees Michael again. Michael explains that the whispers are the deceased that cannot “move on” and leave the island. He directs Hurley to Flocke’s camp and apologizes for killing Libby (tearfest).
In our last bit of island time we see Desmond and Flocke have a chat around a well. The entire time they were talking I was freaking out, worried that Flocke was going to push Des into the well. Flocke confesses to being baffled by Desmond’s behavior asking, “Why aren’t you afraid?”. Then he pushes him into the well (I knew it!).
Flashing sideways one more time, Des chats with teacher Ben and has an impactful visit with Locke (by hitting him with his car).
The Candidate (6.14, episode #117)
In the intervening episode our sideways losties are piling up. Sun (shot in the gut) is brought to the same hospital as Locke (run over by Desmond). Sayid is arrested by Sawyer and Miles. Jack and Claire meet and find out they are siblings. Our island family had some plans to escape via Sawyer, Kate and the sailboat, adding Claire and Jin but losing Jack (who is hanging out with Flocke as Flocke gets missiled by Widmore). The sailboaties end up on a beach and prisoners of Widmore.
But…then. Oh. This. Episode.
On the island, Jack wakes up in a boat, rescued by Flocke after their beach was bombed. Widmore puts the beachy peeps in the polar bear cages. Just as power goes out at cage town, the black smoke comes in and kills all the guards. Then, Jack shows up to free his buddies. They all head toward the ajira plane and meet up with zombie-Sayid.
In flash-sideways land John wakes from surgery (post getting run over by Des) to Doctor Jack asking about his initial injury, but he wants no part in that. Jack goes to John’s dentist (Bernard!) to see if he could find out how he became paralyzed. He finds out that John was paralyzed in a plane wreck that involved one other person – John’s dad, Anthony Cooper. Cooper is drooling in a catatonic state that John cannot forgive himself for causing. Jack (of all people) tries to convince him that what happened, happened and to let it go.
Back on the island, the losties arrive at the plane where Flocke has killed all of Widmore’s plane guards. Too bad the plane has C4 on it so they decide it is a trap and go for the sub. As they approach their rescue ship, Jack pushes Flocke into the water, there is a shoot out with Widmore peeps, and Kate gets shot. Everyone runs on to the sub but Flocke and Claire get left behind. Flocke tells Claire that she didn’t want to be on that sub anyway. Reason? Flocke switched backpacks with Jack and now there is C4 on the sub. Smokey-Flocke tricked them into getting on the sub together, so he can kill all the candidates at once. Dang.
Our little family tries to stop the C4 from going off, but in the end zombie Sayid returns to his senses and runs off to the end of the sub with the bomb. It still makes a big hole, and everyone starts drowning. Sayid has blown up and Jin/Sun drown in a super sad “I will never leave you” bit. The non-verbals that were exchanged when Jack was trying to stay behind and help Jin save Sun were crushing…they all knew what was going to happen.
Back on the beach the survivors take a head count – Kate, Hurley, Jack and Sawyer. No Sayid. No Kwons. No Frank. Let the jears flow in an ugly cry.
The season took us on a wild ride sideways and tried to confuse our broken hearts. Answers were given, flash backs went to many distant pasts, and we are left to wonder how it will all end…stay tuned.