Top 25 LOST Episodes

It goes with out saying, but I’ll say it anyways because of how important it is to me that as many people that have the ability to enjoy LOST get the chance with out knowing any secrets so I will say this: please do not read this list if you have not taken in this beautiful story in its entirety. And know that it is never to late to just watch it. I did follow LOST from the beginning, but there are a handful of other shows I love and I’ve never watched a live episode.

That said, let’s just get into this. This is my list of my twenty-five favorite stories that help make up what just may be the greatest story ever told. Let me just establish to you how difficult this was. Every single episode of LOST has value and entertainment for me and that includes the widely hated “Stranger in a Strange Land” and my personal least favorite episode “Fire + Water”. There are episodes that stand above the rest and these are my favorites.

25. Dr. Linus (Season 6)

Benjamin Linus is one of my favorite characters in the series and there aren’t many episodes that are solely based on just his character. Every one of them is very memorable and I can’t think of a better way to start my list. Though there are many moments where Ben shows off his villainous side there are also many moments where you feel for him, never like in this episode however.

24. Deus Ex Machina (Season 1)

John Locke is and from the beginning was my favorite character of LOST. Like all John Locke episodes, Deus Ex Machina is fantastic. It easily makes it’s way onto this list if only for having one of the greatest moments and endings in the series. It’s pictured above and seeing that moment for the first time was a breath-taking punctuation mark of an already great episode.

23. The Long Con (Season 2)

This one holds a special place in my heart and for no particular reason other than it being incredibly entertaining. I just remember being whewed by this character-driven episode the first time it aired and having watched it since I can’t get over how much I enjoy this episode. It’s hard not to understand and like Sawyer by the end. In The Long Con you delve deeper into this mysterious character.

22.  Happily Ever After (Season 6)

For the first time in the best season of all, an ending started to take shape. While questions were being answered and an ending was in sight, one of the biggest mysteries throughout the sixth and last season was the flash-sideways. By way of a Desmond Hume episode the flash-sideways aspect starts to make some sense  and in a very cinematic way.

21. The Man From Tallahassee (Season 3)

This episodes is just full of great moments. There’s the point where John Locke blows up the submarine, the reveal of how John Locke broke his legs, and the fantastic cliffhanger of having John’s dad on the island. The Man From Tallahassee is also full of interactions between Ben Linus and John Locke and you can never go wrong with a scene between two of the best characters in the show.

20. There’s No Place Like Home (Season 4)

It took an entire season to get right back to that amazing cliffhanger that Season 3 left on. That’s not a complaint at all though. Even though Season 4 may be my least favorite season it is still amazing and one of the many reasons it’s amazing is this season finale. Ben kills Martin Keamy, Michael dies, we think Jin dies and then there’s that brilliant reveal as to who Jeremy Bentham is.

19. Walkabout (Season 1)

This is the episode, even more so than the Pilot, that truly got people interested in the wonders of LOST. That’s how it went for me anyways. I loved Pilot of course, how could you not? It wasn’t until I saw Walkabout when I fully escaped and realized I could never miss an episode. We got to know the man who would come to be my favorite character and I could see many people actually being surprised that it’s not in the top ten of this list.

18. LA X (Season 6)

The best way you could describe this episode would be mesmerizing. This was the episode that had the impossible job of not only making you excited for the rest of Season 6, but it had to follow after the masterpiece that was Season 5. It did so with flying colors. I mean this episode is relentless. It had so much to cover and it does so in such an entertaining fashion.

17. Exodus (Season 1)

There’s not much to say about this episode other than wow. It was never truly understood just how unique and glorious LOST was until this episode aired. The raft is finished, we begin to see “the Others” as more of a threat when we hear that single line, “we’re gonna need to take the boy”, and then there’s the palpable anticipation as to what’s in the hatch only to be told we had to wait a year.

16. The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham (Season 5)

On all accounts this is just one of the many perfect episodes. The acting is phenomenal, the writing is as incredible as ever and the way the story at hand is told is just flawless. The episode is so prominent as well; it had to answer the question as to why John Locke was found in a casket at the end of Season 4. I couldn’t wait for this episode and it definitely did not disappoint.

15. Across the Sea (Season 6)

Talk about looking forward to an episode. From the second the two characters were revealed in The Incident, I fell in love with the mysterious conflict between Jacob and the Man in Black. I knew at some point there would be an episode about their past. I won’t lie, but at first I was slightly disappointed. Time made me realize however that this episode is a masterpiece. We already know who Jacob and the Man in Black are, it was this episode’s job to show who they were and it did that perfectly.

14. The Man Behind the Curtain (Season 3)

Benjamin Linus was essentially the first personified villain in LOST. Season 6 had the Man in Black, Season 4 had Martin Keamy, but in Season 3 the antagonist was Benjamin Linus and The Man Behind the Curtain was his episode and it was the first of its kind. Just being different didn’t make this an amazing episode, the fact that it was an amazing episode made it an amazing episode. Not only do we come to understand Ben more, we also find out some fun facts about the Dharma Initiative and Jacob.

13. The Substitute (Season 6)

The Substitute was the episode that established just how different Season 6 was from all the others. LA X was incredible and What Kate Does was great, but both of  them had a lot of mystery to them, which is fine because it’s LOST. However, every Season does find a way to stand a part from one another and with Season 6 that all starts with this marvelous episode, The Substitute. Season 6 is my favorite season and The Substitute is one of the many reasons it as extraordinary as it is.

12. The Shape of Things to Come (Season 4)

Lets face the facts, Benjamin Linus episodes are simply incredible. The majority of them are on this list and Dead is Dead just barely missed the list. This is unquestionably the greatest Benjamin Linus episode. It has the pacing of a perfect action film with the emotional toll of a perfect drama film. This is a truly fascinating episode and it downright amazes me that I was unable to put it into my top ten. The Shape of Things to Come is one of my favorite titles of any LOST episode.

11. Man of Science, Man of Faith (Season 2)

This is it, this is the episode that changed everything. This is the episode that defined exactly just how much I loved LOST. I watched Season 1 with my eyes glued to the screen every second. I loved every moment getting to know these characters. I in no way could comprehend how fantastic the first Season was. Then this episode came along and managed the impossibility of being better than anything prior. We found out what was in the hatch, we met a knew character and everything changed forever.

10. Orientation (Season 2)

It was between Man of Science, Man of Faith and Orientation for a spot in my top ten. I decided I couldn’t make a top ten list of my favorite LOST episodes with out putting Orientation on it. It has the show-changing qualities of Man of Science, Man of Faith, but with the added bonus of the best John Locke and Jack Shephard scenes of the whole series. That’s not even mentioning the fact that we are introduced to the Dharma Initiative. Definitely some of the finest LOST there has ever been.

9. The Candidate (Season 6)

As far as I’m concerned the first Act of LOST was Season 1, Act two was Seasons 2-5 and Season 6 was the third Act. The Candidate was the moment when the third Act was coming to a monumental close. Compared to any other Season there was so much by way of story when it came to Season 6, but that was nothing compared to the events of The Candidate. The board was set and the pieces were moving towards the inevitable end. The Candidate is simply breath-taking and that’s all there is to it.

8. The Constant (Season 4)

The Constant is widely considered to be the greatest of all LOST episodes. It’s easy to see why that is. It has the same science-fiction/fantasy properties that you’d expect from a classic episode while being just as beautifully character-driven as any other flawlessly made LOST episode. The Phone Call at the end is one of the best moments in LOST history. Desmond Hume, even over Hurley, could easily be considered the most likable LOST character and this is definitely a shining moment. The Constant deserves all the praise it gets.

7. Ab Aeterno (Season 6)

Upon the first view of this enthralling episode, I was simply blown away. I instantly knew that it was one of the greatest hours of LOST I had ever seen and I stand by that thought. Ab Aeterno had it all. It took the fascinating island mystery that was Richard Alpert and gave him the classic character development the way only a LOST episode could tell it. Then it expanded on the broad mythology of Jacob, the Man in Black and the Island itself. All LOST episodes are great, but rarely did they ever reach the heights they were able to reach in Ab Aeterno.

6. The Brig (Season 3)

LOST is flawless in the way it seamlessly combines elements of character and the magic of story together. The Brig has the magic you’d find in any other LOST episode, but it also manages to tell the greatest singularly character-driven story in the series. It is my favorite episode that centers around my favorite character, John Locke. Locke gets the help needed to face his demons from another awesome character who needed to face his own demons. The first time you see the episode it’s easy to see how fantastic it iss, but watch it again and it will be hard not to realize it’s one of the best episodes of the series.

5. What  They Died For (Season 6)

I could understand many people reading this and thinking that this is an unusual pick for my top 5. I could understand that thought. It certainly doesn’t get the praise of many other episodes, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t. Season 6 is the best Season. LOST, in all of its beauty and glory, had been working up to this one Season and even though I loved every moment of LOST before it, by the end I could easily say that as a whole Season 6 was my favorite. What They Died For is definitive Season 6 and it sets up for a series finale perfectly. Frankly, this is as good as season finale should be and it was merely setting up for one.

4. Live Together, Die Alone (Season 2)

This was such a beautifully shining moment for LOST. This was the end of what I believed would be my favorite Season. After this episode, I never thought I’d watch better LOST. I was mistaken, but this episode still never ceases to amaze. Not only does the episode wrap up the two most interesting aspects of my second favorite Season, the Swan Station and Henry Gale, it does so by way of a Desmond Hume episode.

Every episode based on Desmond is one for the history books. Flashes Before Your Eyes is fantastic, Catch-22, Jughead and of course the fan favorite The Constant. They’re all great. They don’t compare to this though if only for the way that like all the season finales, it focuses on a lot of the on-island characters as well, specifically a loss of faith from none other than John Locke. There is just no denying this episodes value.

3. Through the Looking Glass (Season 3)

When you read practically any list involving the episodes of LOST, the number 1 spot is almost always one of three episodes; Walkabout, The  Constant or Through the Looking Glass. Of course all three are on the list, how could they not be? Of those three though, it wasn’t a hard choice at all. And, no, this episode isn’t  just amazing because it has may have the greatest cliffhanger in a show full of great cliffhangers.

Through the Looking Glass is an incredible showcasing of the characters we’ve followed for a while now and the realization that their plight to escape the Island may actually come true. It’s vastly entertaining throughout and the reveal at the end that we haven’t just been watching another Jack Shephard flash-back episode is just the frosting on an already delicious cake. I haven’t even mentioned the fact that it holds one of the most memorable and touching deaths of the series.

2. The Incident (Season 5)

Up to this point, nothing even came close to how important this episode was. The Incident actually managed to, five Seasons in, be better than anything prior. In just the average time-span of a Season finale for LOST, The Incident made you realize just how colossal the story of LOST really is. It’s beautiful to see where these characters we know and love have gotten, but in terms of story, nothing we’d seen prior could even touch upon what The Incident did for the show.

It all starts right from the get-go. The opening conversation between two characters we had never met before was miraculous, if not slightly confusing. The 1970s and Jack’s attempts at detonating a hydrogen bomb offered that rich entertainment you’d expect from a Season finale of LOST. Then it all leads to the most insane reveal in the series that John Locke actually did die and we then have the greatest scene in all of LOST, the moment when it’s who they chess players are and who the pawns are. “Indeed I did. And you have no idea what I’ve gone through to be here.”

1. The End (Season 6)

There was never a shred of doubt as to whether or not this episode would be right here at number 1. The final episode of LOST, The End, was the greatest episode of the entire series. After being completely captivated by Season 5 and The Incident, you could say that I had some high expectations for the sixth and final Season. I had been glued to the television set for five years feeling as though I were on this journey with these characters.

I was hard, even when you were being completely entertained, not to sit and wonder exactly where it would all lead. Would this masterpiece of a show get the ending it deserves? Season 6 did not disappoint what so ever. It was the greatest Season of them all and it all led to a single episode simple titled, The End. And that’s exactly what it was. It  was hard to believe, but this was it, this was the end.

In just one final episode, LOST, in a very epic fashion, closed the book on the catastrophic poetry that Season had been working with from the beginning involving Jacob and the Man in Black, all while allowing us to sit back and realize what a wonder LOST truly was. To the people who truly cared about the characters and events in LOST, this episode could not have been better. Not every question needs to be answered. The mystery of LOST is just one of the many things that make it the greatest television show ever to be aired. In terms of episodes, nothing was as extraordinary as The End because it was the perfect ending to the perfect story.

Top Ten LOST Characters

One of the greatest aspects of the show LOST, right up there with the mysteries, the secrets, the moments, the cliffhangers, the emotions, are the characters that we were able to go on this journey with. These characters are the super glue that hold the entire distorted plot together. They are the reason we always crave for more. This is a list of my top ten favorite characters from a show filled with fantastically layered and fascinating characters. Before I get into a top ten, I’d like to throw in some honorable mentions in no particular order that just barely missed the list…

Honorable Mentions

  • Frank Lapidus: Frank was my favorite of the freighter crew members and though his character never got his own episode and there was never much more than what met the eye, he was always a lot of fun when he was on screen.
  • Rose Nadler: Quite honestly, even over Hugo Reyes, the most kind-hearted and caring person on the island. She is my second favorite female character and here relationship with her husband Bernard is simply tear-jerking.
  • Jin Kwon: The character of Jin offered such a beautiful character arc from someone who, from the first episode, I thought for sure I’d hate until he died of, but I ended up loving until one of the most powerful deaths in the series.
  • Daniel Faraday: From the many pivotal plot points he added to, to the beautiful way he uttered every piece of dialogue, it would be unjust not to put Faraday on at least a list of Honorable mentions.
  • Kate Austen: I think Kate unjustly gets a bad reputation most of the time on the show, and I would agree that too much was focused on her when it could’ve been focused on more interesting characters, but I still loved Kate Austen.
  • Mr. Eko: Mr. Eko was an absolutely fascinating character. I loved every second he was on screen. He also had one of the most surprising deaths in the entire show. Had he been on longer, he might just have made my list.
  • Jacob: If I had to say who my number 11 would be, it would be Jacob. It wasn’t even when Michael Pellegrino was playing him (don’t get me wrong, I found him phenomenal) it was the aura of mystery surrounding him throughout the series up until the beautiful moment that opened the season finale of season 5. “It only ends once, anything that happens before that is just progress.”

Okay, there’s the list of awesome characters that unfortunately were not able to make my top ten. Here is the list of my top ten favorite characters in the vast history of LOST:

10. Hurley

I think anyone who loves LOST would be in agreement that Hurley deserves a spot on this list. Most would actually prefer to see him higher, but this is where he’d have to fall for me. Hugo Reyes is the character that, no matter how dark or convoluted times may be, will always put a smile on your face. When Jack is being obsessive about getting off the island or Locke is being obsessive about keeping everyone on, Hurley is making a golf course or fixing a car just for a bit of fun.

9. Juliet Burke

Juliet Burke is with out a doubt in my mind the greatest female character in the entire series. In a character who didn’t first appear until the first episode of the third season, there wasn’t much to expect. What we got was a brand new character to care for in the way that she cared for the people who deserved to be cared for while offering a new dynamic in the idea that “Others” are people too. Who would’ve thought that such a spectacular character wouldn’t come until the beginning of season 3.

8. Richard Alpert

While there were many questions and mysteries surrounding the island and the entire scope of the show, but no single character was as mysterious as Richard Alpert. Sure there was Jacob and The Man in Black eventually, but we didn’t really start asking questions about them until late in the fifth season. There was always this mysterious presence of Richard from third season on. It was “Ab Aeterno”, that showed us his true character, answered our questions on him, and solidified his slot on this list.

7. Sayid Jarrah

In a beautiful tale filled with checkered and interesting pasts, Sayid Jarrah’s is one of the most checkered and interesting. With a past that could’ve made for one of the most notorious villains of the show, you in-turn get one of the most heroic. And it’s the fundamental ideas like those that make LOST so brilliant. Sayid knows that in his past life he was an awful person and now wants nothing more than to do what he feels in his heart he will never be able to do, make up for the awful things he’s done.

6. Sawyer

In a character, you start by hating with his smart-ass remarks and nicknames, James Ford eventually becomes one of the most loved characters based on the fact that you come to not only expect his attitude, but enjoy it because you can respect it.  We know of his gritty back story about a con leading to his parents’ death and his unrelenting journey of vengeance. The thing that solidifies his position here though, is how he tries so hard to show his “stripes”, but by the end can’t fight what he truly is, a good man.

5. Jack Shephard

Most would argue that Jack Shephard is the main character of the show and yes the series opens with his eye opening and ends with his eye closing, but that’s just beautiful full circle imagery. The beauty of LOST is that there is no single “main character”. Jack Shephard is, however, one of the greatest characters in the show due in part to having the greatest character arc in the series. In a series driven at points by the opposing views of a “man of science” (Jack Shephard) and a “man of faith” (John Locke), Jack by the end keeps the late John Locke’s spirit a live in him by, becoming what he never saw in himself, some one with a higher purpose, some one with an impacting destiny.

4. Desmond Hume

Desmond’s introduction starts out as simply an answer to one of the most mind-boggling questions of Season 1 of what’s in the hatch. Then a picture starts to become more clear and he slowly but surly becomes one of the greatest and most benevolent forces of the entire series. Surrounding him are some of the greatest episodes of the series with “Happily Ever After”, “Live Together, Die Alone” and of course, the classic “The Constant”. And he is also holder of the greatest romance in a show full of terrific romances. He’s not one of the original members of the plane crash and in that way, not as flawed, but its an epic story of forbidden love, loss, phone call and love again that just lifts up your heart when times seem dim in wonderland.

3. Benjamin Linus

The beauty of Benjamin Linus would eventually come from the idea that you always had to expect the unexpected. First he begins a simpleton whose hot air balloon crashed on the island, then you learn he’s actually an expendable member of the “Others”, then you learn that he’s actually their leader and the main antagonist of the series, then he’s tricked by the true antagonist of the series into killing one of the most important of the protagonists of the series and everyone slowly realizes that he might have more of a heart than the original sociopath you saw him as at first.

If that doesn’t make for one of the most fascinating characters ever, I don’t know what will. Ben Linus is a huge factor in what makes LOST fantastic and Ben Linus is made great due to brilliant writing and brilliant delivery by actor, Michael Emerson. At times he’s almost Hannibal Lecter like in the way he manages to be charming, while at the same time alarmingly sinister. There are so many memorable moments involving him in a show full of memorable moments. He’s manipulative, conniving, cunning, sadistic, and eventually remorseful. He’s one of greatest characters in a story full of great characters.

2. The Man in Black

Whether he’s a “pillar of black smoke”, he’s being played to perfection by Terry O’Quinn, or being played just as brilliantly in his original form by Titus Welliver, The Man in Black always has such a beautifully magnificent and commanding presence. He is quite possibly the most pivotal character in the entire story, he is what makes the wheels turn because he is the antagonist. Sure there are many villains in the show, whether they be Benjamin Linus, Martin Keamy or even Mikhail. But if you truly look at this epic tale of mystery and wonder as a whole, the true antagonizing force from beautiful beginning to enigmatic end is The Man in Black.

From the very beginning, my favorite question, mystery, secret, whatever, of the show was the “black smoke monster” and the reveal exceeded my expectations in every sense. Never once did I think that the black smoke would actually turn out to be one of the most fascinating characters of the entire series, but that’s exactly what he was. His story is absolutely phenomenal in the way that the entire first five seasons is essentially him moving chess pieces for his final move in the end of season 5. This is illustrated with gusto with what might be my favorite quote in the entire series, “Indeed I did, and you have no idea what I’ve gone through to be here.”

1. John Locke

John Locke of LOST is not only the greatest character in the entire series of LOST. He’s also undoubtedly one of the greatest characters in existence. He is the only character that makes it into my top four that was actually in the initial plane crash. I loved him from the beginning and followed him to his bitter end and then kept right on following him as he lived on in spirit through Jack Shephard. Where as every other survivor of Oceanic 815 saw the island as a hell they had to escape, John Locke saw it for what it truly was, “a place where miracles happen”.

That is of course because on day one, a miracle did happen to Mr. Locke. As Jacob told Richard in “Ab Aeterno”, “their pasts don’t matter…” and that was true with wheel chair bound Locke, he could walk again and he was given his second chance away from the world in a place where he could show what he could do. It was the same story with every other character, he was just the only one who was willing to except his destiny from the beginning.

There was always something about him, almost unexplainable, that kept him a step above the rest. He was just as much of a leader and hero as Jack was, but just performed his duties in what sometimes looked to be a questionable matter, but these duties always were performed for a greater purpose and were much more profound and important than just simply surviving. John Locke is the face of LOST for me and always will be. LOST is a show made up of some of the greatest characters ever created, but it’s John Locke that is the best of best. He is the greatest character of LOST.