Many of us at REO may be alone in having loved all of Lost. We are completely unapologetic about that love. This is our final article for our Lost week leading up to the 15th anniversary of its pilot tomorrow. To that end, we are presenting a special and very rare Saturday Five in which several of us briefly recount our favorite Lost moment.
The Ride of Their Lives
Gowdy: Trying to pick from my favorite Lost moments is like trying to decide which trip to Chick-fil-A is my favorite. There is a million-way tie for first. But I’ll speak to one in particular that is different. Most of Lost is intense, confrontational or cliffhanging. There is plenty of humor but it comes in one-liners and running gags. I don’t know if there is any scene that just made me feel my endorphins exploding with happiness, however, like the one where Hurley, Jin, and Sawyer get the Dharma van up and running.
The whole episode, perfectly and hilariously entitled “Tricia Tanaka Is Dead,” is superbly done. When Sawyer reunites with Hurley and Jin and they enthusiastically hug him, my heart is so warmed I could weep. When Sawyer wisecracks about Jin learning English and then “teaches” him some new phrases, I laugh my head off. Even Sawyer beholding the van Hurley had discovered and declaring “I’ll be….you found yourselves a hippy car” is gold.
But it’s the end that seals it. They recruit Charley to help push to get it going. And as the van rolls down the hill and Hurley pops the clutch, and the vans springs to life, euphoria ensues. Sawyer curses in amazement and Jin goes for the much simpler yet entirely appropriate “Hurley!” celebration. You have to have watched the whole show to that point to fully comprehend why this scene was so enthralling. Getting a car working does not normally flood my heart with so much joy. But after dealing with shipwreck, hunger terror at the hands of the Others, multiple deaths, and all manner of other horrors, the Lost characters (and the fans) deserved this joy ride. Just watching Hurley and Charley drive around on the grass was deeply therapeutic.
Hurley was the champion of making sure the Losties kept their morale up, as when he made the golf course. Yet this was his best moment at that.
That Time Lost Dropped Your Jaw
Ben: Like Gowdy, it has been almost impossible for me to decide on my favorite moment in Lost. For the past few days, I have waged many a great battle in my mind knowing there can be only one. Much bloodshed has been spilled. Many have died.
What I have determined is that my favorite Lost moment is most likely in the first season. This is easily my favorite season of Lost. I consider it a masterpiece. I may select a different Lost moment next month. The next hour. Ten minutes from now.
For today I am stopping the endless battles by picking the moment in the first episode when they see something huge roaming in the trees and hear that almost mechanical snarl and roar. That was the first “Holy cow!” moment for me. That was the first moment that the show made my throat get tight and made my face get deep red. It was at that moment that I realized that this was much more than just a relatively normal survive against nature show (albeit obviously a very well made one.) Since it was such an unexpected moment, this was a scene that stuck in my head almost more than any other in Lost’s run.
“The Waiting is the Hardest Part”
Phill: Guys, I love both of those moments. And they are two very different types of things the show did so well – the humanity of these characters and the mystery elements. I could list dozens of examples for each of those for my favorite Lost moment. But, I’m going to go in a different direction.
My favorite thing about watching Lost the first time was the delicious agony of having to wait for the next episode. The discussions we would have after each show. All the theories and ideas we would come up with to explain what was happening on our screens every week. To be clear, I’m not sure I would ever want to go back to not being able to binge watch something that is blowing me away. I don’t think I could ever go back.
Yet, there was a perfection to only getting the story a little at a time. The audience had time to process things. We had time to really let the story simmer, to form stronger and more lasting impressions in our brains and hearts. I miss that and to be honest, I’m not sure there has ever been a show that used that format more perfectly than Lost.
Flash back, forwards, over, and under…
Mike: Before I get to my favorite Lost moment, I’d like to talk about why I started watching in the first place. I was excited about Lost before the first episode aired. There were two main reasons for this. First I had been a fan of the early seasons of J.J Abrams other show Alias so when ABC started promoting a new show that he was prominently involved in I was inclined to give it a shot. The second reason was the inclusion of Dominic Monaghan, since he was a major character in The Lord of the Rings movies. All the Lost trailers ended with him saying “Guys, where are we?”
So I watched the pilot the night it aired and watched it again the Saturday night when ABC replayed it for those who missed it the first time. (Just writing that sentence makes it seem like this happened 100 years ago, but it was only 15!). I was hooked right away.
My favorite Lost moment did not happen until season 3 however. The two part finale of that season introduced the concept of the flash forward as we spent two episodes with Jack as his life was unraveling 3 years in the future. The entire time we thought we were seeing a flash back to his past though. There were clues throughout the episode, but very few viewers were prepared for the moment when Kate got out of the car and Jack pleaded with her to go back to the island.
How did they get off the island? When did they get off the island? Why would Jack want to go back? Why did he grow that terrible beard? All these questions and more were going through our minds as the screen went black and season 3 ended. Then we had to wait 8 months to find out what happened next. The waiting may have been the hardest part, but as Phill mentioned it was one of the things that made the show so great.
Nailing the Landing
Ben – I’m glad you brought up a season finale before we finished this bad boy, Mike. The season and series finales were always one of the strongest points of an already strong series. (That’s right, I am one of the few who are fans of the series finale.) I am not saying they were all as great as each other, some were much better than others, but I consider all of them classic episodes.
Based on what I said in my first blurb, no one will be surprised to learn I consider the first finale to be the best. The stakes felt greater to me and more real than any of the other finales. I freely admit that maybe, just maybe, it was just because its greatness was so unexpected. By that time I did not expect that level of awesomeness, superb drama, and character interaction from a finale. I don’t think so, though. It was in this finale that we really and truly began to be introduced to the deeper mythology that would play such a huge part in shaping the rest of the show.
But again, I am still stunned by the greatness of all of the finales. I really don’t think there has ever been or ever will be anything on T.V. better than any of them. Okay, maybe a couple of them. Maybe; the force is strong even with them.
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