As I mentioned yesterday, I tried to do a quick Top 8 for Lost altogether, but after reviewing the seasons I realized there was no way that was going to be enough. I made a judgment call: I could either try to cut it down, which would be about as hard for me as cutting off my own hand, or I could just do it for each season. Obviously my hands were tied.
Season 1 of Lost is largely regarded as the best, which is understandable. All of the characters were fresh. Everyone was dying to know what was inside the hatch. Watching the Pilot, it was easy to see how large the scope of the show would be, and how it would continue to deliver excellent entertainment on a cinematic level week after week. Personally, I love them all, but Season 1 stands out as a landmark in television history.
#8-#5 can be found here.
#4 – The Raft Sets Sail (Exodus, Part 1)
What Happened: After spending half of the season building and rebuilding the raft that would hopefully get them rescued, Michael, Walt, Sawyer, and Jin finally set sail in the first part of the season finale. There is an emotional goodbye from everyone and even Vincent, the yellow lab, chases after the raft as it floats towards salvation. If only they knew.
Why It’s Great: Lost is an awfully dark show, and even though we kind of had a feeling that the raft wasn’t going to get them rescued, it was a highlight of the season to have such a happy moment between all the characters that had been fighting all season long. As with #5, Giacchino’s score elevated this scene greatly. Vincent doggy paddling towards the raft with Walt telling him to go back was sappy, but it totally worked. The aerial shots of the island coast and the raft were also quite beautiful.
#3 – The Hatch Is Opened (Exodus, Part 2)
What Happened: After Locke, Jack, Kate, and Hurley return with the dynamite they gathered from the Black Rock they return to the hatch to try to finally blast it open. After setting the dynamite, Hurley trips and sees that The Numbers are engraved in the hatch and begs them not to light the fuse. Locke ignores his pleas and lights it. Hurley runs towards the dynamite trying to stomp out the fuse, but Jack tackles him. After the explosion Locke and Jack approach, move the demolish hatch door out of the way, and peer down into the seemingly endless abyss. The numbers are bad.
Why It’s Great: This was the moment audiences were waiting the entire season for. Everyone was asking “What’s in the hatch?” In fact, I remember hearing about this before I had any interest in the show, if that’s any indication. The fact that John lit the fuse despite Hurley’s vehement requests not to foreshadows how far Locke would go to do what the Island asks of him. This is also the birth of the rivalry between Locke and Jack that would follow through the rest of the show. This scene qualifies as one of the best cliffhangers ever, in my opinion. Sure we didn’t truly find out was was in the hatch until the next season, but anyone watching knew that this was the next chapter in the Lost saga, and they couldn’t wait for Season 2.
#2 – “Don’t Tell Me What I Can’t Do” (Walkabout)
What Happened: While attempting to go on a walkabout tour in Australia (at the suggestion of Abbadon!), Locke is rejected by the tour guide because of his “condition”. Locke gets angry and screams, “Don’t ever tell me what I can’t do, ever,” which would become a mantra for the character and the show. As the camera pulls around we see that John Locke is wheelchair bound, and that he took his first steps in 4 years after the crash of Flight 815. “A miracle happened to him.”
Why It’s Great: Oh, wow. What isn’t great about this? I still get chills every time I see it. Locke’s theme, called “Locke’d Out Again,” carries the emotional weight of this reveal, which was also used in #5. It gives such a fantastic depth to the character. So much of the episode is built on making you feel sympathetic for John, but in the closing shot as John smiles looking at his vacant wheelchair, you can’t help but feel proud. We realize that the island isn’t a place where weird things occur. It’s the vertex of destiny.
#1 – Crash Chaos (Pilot, Part 1)
What Happened: A man in a suit wakes up in a jungle. He runs towards the beach and the sounds of screaming and whirring engines. He arrives and he understands: he’s the survivor of a plane crash. He follows his instincts and helps as many people as possible, though it is no easy task. His name is Jack, and he will become the leader of the castaways.
Why It’s Great: The very first scene of Lost is also one of the most exciting scenes in the show’s history, and it’s a great example of Murphy’s Law. We are introduced to most of our main characters, most notably Jack, who puts his doctor muscles into full action. This scene is great because it really showed that there were no limits as to how far this show would go. It would have been so easy (and cheaper) for the show to avoid using a crash site, or use computer animation, but it didn’t, and that was a major benefit. The subtlety as Jack walks past the engine, before we see the crash site, is a testament to the show’s brilliant writing and direction. There are movies that don’t look this good.
Hope you all enjoyed Season 1. Season 2 will be up sometime in the next few days.