Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Favorite LOST episodes, Part 1 (TV 2004-2010)

by DionysusPsyche

For those of you who are tilting or shaking your heads, I know Lost is over. I used to hate Lost. I'd never seen it, but I loathed it. I couldn't fathom how a show about a group of people who end up on a deserted island could ever be popular or interesting or invoke such a strong fanbase. I can't explain why I held such a strongly opposed belief about the show, but people hold strong, angry beliefs all the time. Sometimes, even when you find out why, it still makes no sense. I had no interest in ever watching it. Ever.

Eventually, I was mildly forced into giving it a chance by a friend. By the fourth episode, I was hooked. Below are my top 5 favorite series of LOST episodes. They have been grouped together. Why? Because I don't like making choices on things I love, and there are things that tie said episodes together. Also, these for me are the most re-watchable episodes.

Disclaimer: The below information contains spoilers. If you've never seen the show Lost before, and feel even the slightest way that I did before I watched it, I would highly advise not viewing the below content. If you're going to watch the series, don't read the below episodes and only watch those. Some shows can do this—this is not one of those shows. If you're currently watching but not done with the series, don't read what's below this.

It is also pretty obvious which seasons/characters are my favorite by my list. If I list several episodes as one, I'm just stringing these together as they tie in to a character or ongoing developmental theme.
  1. “Man of Science, Man of Faith” Season 2, Episode 1 &
    “A Tale of Two Cities” Season 3, Episode 1

    “I don't believe in destiny.”
    “Yes, you do. You just don't know it yet.”

    These are both season premieres, both Jack flashbacks, and both two of the best openers.

    Jack and Locke get into disagreements consistently throughout the series on what is best for the group and who should decide what, etc. The episode MoS MoF is the two men at their most stubborn. Regardless of what people label themselves, and ultimately no one is purely one or the other, people are scared. They're scared of being wrong, of getting hurt, of everything. The episode also discusses that what Jack lacks in bedside manner, he makes up for in surgical precision.

    Jack's forte is not miracles, faith, anything he can't see. When Sarah is injured, he tries to tell her the truth, but some mixture of his father's advice and Sarah's words compel Jack to tell her that he's going to fix her, and he does.
    Rocking out to Petula Clark.
    “It doesn't matter who he is, it just matters who you're not.”
    In AToTC, we learn that in addition to his addiction to fixing things, Jack has a hard time letting go of things he can't fix and situations he has no control over (as in capture and being forced to eat sandwiches or trying to deal with divorce). He's obsessive, and we already know it's what makes him a good doctor, a bad husband (given the circumstances by which he became one), and a frequently questioned leader. We'll see an extreme version of this later on.

    From the very beginning, Juliet has a way of dealing with Jack. We see on the island that she is having a bad time, and somehow meeting him helps both of them.

    The two episodes introduce very important characters: one hero to help the Jack and Locke resolve their differences, one villain to manipulate situations, and one heroine who provides heart and strength when needed.

  2. “Confidence Man” Season 1, Episode 8 and “The Long Con” Season 2, Episode 13
    I consider this basically one episode, since they're both about Sawyer and his life before the island. They both have twist endings (but then most 
    Lost episodes have some kind of twist, don't they?).

    "Baby, I am tied to a tree in a jungle of mystery."
    “You sure know how to make a girl feel special, Sawyer.”
    “Confidence Man” shows how Sawyer became who he did. Capable of withholding information and using his charm and wits quickly to get what he wants, he's also able to withstand torture to get what he wants but doesn't think he deserves happiness. Which is why he's can get Kate to kiss him, but he doesn't feel the need to make the survivors like him.

    “It's a good thing you don't hate me, Freckles.”
    “The Long Con” proves that deep down inside, Sawyer wants to be a better person, but can't find a way out of the cycle. Even pulling the wool over everyone's eyes in “The Long Con,” he reveals that like Locke, he doesn't think everyone having guns is a good idea. Unlike Locke and Jack who are in a tug-of-war leadership, he's willing to make himself the bad guy to maintain order.

    Even though Kate is angry with him over tricking her, Sawyer is right, Kate will forgive him. And how!!

  3. “House of the Rising Sun” Season 1, Episode 6 and “The Moth” Episode 7
    “I'll talk to your father. I'll make him understand.”
    “You say that now, because you don't know my father.”

    The first episode is a Sun/Jin flashback about how they were once a sweet couple in love now estranged, stuck on an island together. No matter where Sun and Kin go, they can't get away from one another. This is because they are connected and supposed to be together. The series shows it again and again. They are stuck on an island together, and deep down, they both hate how bad their relationship has become. Sun even shouts the truth at him, even though he can't understand what she's saying.
    Puppies make everything better. Even killing a guy.
    Speaking of bad relationships, Jack and Kate flirt but when Jack suggests they move to the caves, Kate refuses to go. We later learn why it is—she ruins the relationships she has by running from her past. Which came first?

    “Struggle is nature's way of strengthening it.”
    In “The Moth,” we see Charlie's previous life. He's now washed up and feels useless, both on and off the island. Flashbacks reveal who Charlie started out as—a wholesome person ruined by the nefarious side of stardom. Locke sees this, and he makes a point of believing in Charlie—giving him a choice. Locke represents the island in so many ways. He isn't kidding when he says he does speak for the island. Charlie proves that he's more heroic than he knows and saves the day.

    Professor Locke giving Charlie a nature lesson
    Both episodes depict that Kate and Jack have an ongoing attraction, although they both are reticient in their own ways of showing it. In the latter, Sawyer asks Kate what she sees in Jack, and informs her that he too could be a great leader, if given the chance. Kate doesn't believe him. Turns out, he's right. Kate makes up for her rebellion against the caves by making Jack a present. Awww.

  4. “Whatever the Case May Be” Season 1 Episode 12 &
    “Outlaws” Season 1 Episode 16

    “I know you think you're doing her a favor, but however she talked you into doing this...she lied, brother.
    In WtCMb, we learn that Kate does care deeply about something—other than running off into the jungle as one of the guys. She cared about a man she used to love—and an object so precious that Kate went to devious lengths to obtain it. Sawyer tells Jack that Kate's using him.

    Although Sawyer amuses himself by reading eventually, he pitpockets the deceased crash victims before he moves on to literature. Yet, when the subject of the case arises, Sawyer wants it just so Kate has to go to great lengths to try to take it from him.

    There's also a certain intimacy between Shannon and Sayid when he asks her to help translate. For a ballet dancer and a character known for being critical of herself and others, she's very relaxed around Sayid even though they've barely been introduced. Probably because she's had a lot of experience being the center of attention. He helps her over the episode and the rest of the season by increasing her confidence. Until she feels she's going crazy, and he doesn't believe her even though the same thing has happened to him.

    What is UP with every single person knowing that the metal briefcase is a Halliburton? This is not common knowledge. This is my biggest pet peeve of the whole episode, and I think about it every time I watch it. How would Hurley and Michael even remotely know the case brand? The most logical thought is that Sawyer would know what a Halliburton is because he's a con man. If anyone knew what it was or that it was unopenable, it would be him.

    Sayid [laughing]: A Halliburton? I've seen those all the time and know exactly what it is. Those are impossible.
    Charlie: You know what we used to carry odds and ends for the band in? A Halliburton. Lockdown City.
    Locke: Speaking of me, I once made my own Halliburton with products I stole from the box company I worked at. Or maybe I made one out of twine, a rock, and my 52 knife case I bought on the Home Shopping Network.
    Boone: You did not. The only people that own Halliburtons are Shannon and I. Because we're rich and frequently travel.

    You get the idea.

    Do you know why they call it Down Under? Because it's as close to Hell as you can get without being burned.”
    In “Outlaws,” Kate and Sawyer learn they have little in common, except one thing—a questionable past. Sawyer also crosses paths with someone who ties him to Jack. Locke implies that Sawyer blames himself for things out of his control, and Sawyer forgives himself a little for some of the bad things he's done. He's got a long way to go, not that he knows that. Bonus: watching Kate and Sawyer drink together and telling it like it is.

    It's fun watching Kate and Sawyer (I always mention this, but whatever, it's called character development!) participate in an activity solo from the rest of the group. They have their own pow wow bonding experience. While Kate is right, Sawyer needs her to track, there is a part of Kate that wants to come along. Of course, Sawyer has alcohol, so that helps.

  5. “The Glass Ballerina” Season 3 Episode 2 and “I Do” Season 3, Episode 6
    “If they get past you, that means my husband is dead. And I won't care anymore.”
    In “TGB” Sun shows that she is capable of things previously unknown to her character, like shooting someone. Jack learns that the Island has access to the outside world, and Sawyer kisses Kate in an attempt to distract the Others so he can see how well trained they are at fighting in order to escape.

    This episode was just full of jaw droppers. I loved it when Kate gets irked at Sawyer for kissing her to which he just laughs at her and tells her she's cute. Typical Sawyer. Then he tells her his plan that doesn't end up working, because the Others, much like Kate in the flashback of “Whatever the Case,” are underestimated.

    “Because I wanted you to believe that we had a damn chance.”
    “I Do” reveals Kate's earlier mention of a marriage. Kate calls her Court Marshall and confesses that she's in love and she doesn't want to run. The marshall agrees to stop chasing her if she'll stay put. Kate, unable to keep her identity secret for the rest of her life, leaves Kevin so he won't lose his job when he finds out who she really is.

    On the island, Kate comes to the conclusion they have no chance of leaving the island. She gives in to temptation (after 2 seasons!), although it's Kate so it's impossible to know what she was thinking is right when Sawyer calls her on it an episode later (“Stranger in a Strangeland” is also a really good one, especially when Sawyer has a talk with Carl). It's more likely that she feels guilty in light of what happened, especially since Jack sacrifices himself for them. Jack vows to leave, whatever it takes, and to save his friends in the process. He then insures that they do leave by making a risky move.

    "I don't DO taco night!"

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