As the Best Show on Television is about to return next week, we here at Counterforce thought it a good time to throw a little love Lost‘s way. First, I went and watched the opening to The Economist and got a boner, then I started writing. Marco and I argued and clawed our way to compiling what we consider to be the Top 5 episodes of the show, but before we get to those later in the week, I thought I’d talk to the intertubes about the episodes that just missed the cut, and why they’re awesome.
Before the episodes, though, a quick, bold, declarative statement: Lost has the best title sequence on TV ever.
Anyone want to dispute that? Name one better. Never has a simple type effect and an ominous chord so effectively captured the essence of a show. Okay, the best of the rest (in no particular order):
Exodus - Season 1 finale
Great because: Dr. Arzt gets esploded, they open the hatch, Locke meets the Monster a second time, with unexpected results, WAAAAALLLLLLLTTT!, the flashbacks could still reveal character moments without feeling stale, Sayid staunches Charlie’s wound with gunpowder, etc.
Famous reveals: The Smoke Monster, The Black Rock, The Others.
Lockdown – Season 2
Great because: “But still I did not believe it to be true, so I dug up that grave.” Sayid fucking owns.
Famous reveals: The Map, The Lockdown, Henry Gale is an Other.
Pilot – Season 1 premier
Great because: This is the best pilot episode in the history of television. Ever. Think about some of your favorite shows and then think of the pilot episode: sure, some of them are decent, but usually shows take a while to find their footing. Lost hit the ground a fully-formed masterpiece.
Famous reveals: The Monster, The Polar Bear, The fucking Plane Crash, The French Woman, etc. etc. etc.
Confirmed Dead – Season 4
Great because: We finally see the outside world’s reaction to the crash of Oceanic 815, Faraday and Miles especially are excellent new characters, the Boat People become even more ominous.
Famous reveals: Miles the Ghostbuster, The Polar Bear in Tunisia, Oceanic 815 at the bottom of the ocean.
The Shape of Things to Come – Season 4
Great because: “Oh, so you do speak English?” Keamy actually executes Alex, the hilarious red shirt slaughter/Sawyer ducking for cover behind a barbeque, possible death of Claire, Ben confronts Widmore, etc.
Famous reveals: Did I mention Ben summons the fucking monster? And Time Travels? And has a shotgun in the piano seat?
Exposé – Season 3
Great because: A controversial pick, but this remains the only thing close to a stand-alone episode of Lost and the writing and winking ret-con acrobatics are genius. “Who’s Paulo?” This is one of those episodes, like Buffy’s season six ep “Tabula Rasa,” where the writers are clearly having tons of fun and just tossing off gold at the audience.
Famous reveals: Mr. Lashade is the Cobra!
The Economist – Season 4
Great because: Sayid is a hitman in the future, James Bond-style. Faraday’s rocket hints at time anomalies on the island.
Famous reveals: Naomi and Elsa’s bracelets. Sayid is one of the Oceanic 6, and working for Ben. The Rocket Clock.
The Man Behind the Curtain – Season 3
Great because: We finally get the back-story of the mysterious and tastefully-named Benjamin Linus, and learn what happened to the Dharma Initiative. Oh, and we kinda meet Jacob.
Famous reveals: The Mass Grave, Dharma in general, The Ageless Richard Alpert, Jacob’s Cabin.
Orientation – Season 2
Great because: This could really be a shout-out to the first three episodes of Season 2, since they all take place more or less concurrently. But Orientation holds a special place because of Desmond, the Orientation film, and:
Locke: Why do you find it so hard to believe?
Jack: Why do you find it so easy?
Locke: It’s never been easy!
As well as Jack’s underrated “I married her!” Jackface off the charts. I still get shivers.
Famous reveals: The Tailies, The Button, details of the Hatch, Dr. Marvin Candle, and the purpose of the…
Numbers – Season 1
Great because: This is when the show really started introducing elements that encouraged the audience to look closer and search for hidden meanings in the text. To get millions of fans obsessing over numerology is no small feat, and the story of Hurley and the numbers had the timeless fatalistic quality of a good Greek myth.
Famous reveals: The Numbers, Hurley’s a millionaire!
That’s all for now. Starting tomorrow we’ll start counting down the Top 5, and then after we get to #2, we’ll do a recap of what we’ve said so far, just like on all those annoying list shows on TV. Booyah.