We thought we’d start with a countdown of some of the great flashback moments of Lost. Surely this list alone could be dozens of moments long, but in the end, you just have to make some cuts and go with it. We decided to slant these towards character more than plot.
So without further adieu…
The 10 Greatest Character Flashback Moments of Lost
10. Jin visits his father in Korea
Season 1, …In Translation
We forget sometimes that Jin started off the show as kind of a chauvinist jerk. And Sun’s first flashback episode didn’t do anything to dissuade us of that notion. But Jin going back to the father he was ashamed of, and getting some much needed support, was the kind of moment that Lost is famous for: taking a character who was two-dimensional and giving them depth and nuance.
9. Kate and her childhood friend dig up the time capsule
Season 1, Born to Run
I’m cheating and also using this to rope in the part where Kate goes to see her mother and the mom totally freaks out. But the scene with Kate and her childhood friend Tom who became a doctor has the right kind of burned nostalgic poignancy. Hearing their own hopeful, naive younger selves on tape is a punch to the gut. ‘It’s not fair you know, you coming back,” the doctor says.
8. Boone and Shannon have hate sex in Sydney
Season 1, Hearts and Minds
“We’ll just go back.” “To what?” “To what it was.” It’s kinda surprising in retrospect that a show that aired at 8pm was able to work in hate sex between two step-siblings. Not just the gratuity, but the idea behind it. Boone gets what he wants, only it’s horrible, drunken and fleeting.
7. Desmond meets Faraday at Oxford
Season 4, The Constant
Always thrilling to see two characters meet in a flashback, and putting time-crossed Desmond together with physicist Daniel Faraday was A) awesome, and B) perfectly allowed the writers to establish a little science behind the time travel they were about to dive into. Suddenly the purple sky, the electromagnetic phenomena and the Island started to make sense. A little. Plus, Faraday is rocking some righteous hair.
6. Juliet’s Ex-husband gets hit by a bus
Season 3, Not in Portland
You knew it was coming, and Hollywood has really perfected the special effect of someone getting hit by a car, but it was still pretty sweet to see happen anyway. As an audience, we begin to learn what the Others are capable of, even off the Island.
5. Ana Lucia shoots her attacker
Season 2, Collision
Other shows might have had Ana Lucia confront Jason before backing down and just arresting him. On Lost, she kills him. And when she says, “I was pregnant,” it’s easy to see her side of things.
4. Christian and Sawyer meet at a bar in Sydney
Season 1, Outlaws
Up to this point, Christian had seemed like a pretty terrible father, but drinking with Sawyer, we get to see another, more humble side of him. “To Sawyer, may he find what he’s looking for in the bottom of a glass,” Christian says. It would have been impossible for Christian to ever share a moment like this with Jack, but due to cruel twists of fate, at least Sawyer was able to relay the message.
3. Desmond and Penny first meet
Season 3, Catch-22
It kind of came out of nowhere, this whole episode where you’re like ‘Holy shit, Desmond was a monk?’ And then he gets fired and boom, there’s Penny, love at first sight and all that.
2. Young Ben encounters Richard in the jungle
Season 3, The Man Behind the Curtain
A fateful meeting and the kind of flashback scene you watched over and over after it happened. 1) Richard Alpert appears to be ageless. 2) Richard doesn’t appear shocked in the slightest at the idea of Ben seeing his dead mother. 3) “Maybe this can happen, maybe… but you’re going to need to be very, very patient.”
1. Locke gets thrown out of a window by his dad
Season 3, The Man From Tallahassee
The writers had been teasing this moment for years. You knew something terrible happened to cripple John Locke, but you never knew how it happened. When the writers finally revealed it, they didn’t disappoint. Locke flying out the window was one of the more shocking events of the series, and there really isn’t a single other flashback moment that compares.