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10 Years of LOST - A review of the entire series

Hi all Losties!

As you might have heard, today it's ten years ago that LOST premiered on ABC. It's one of the greatest television series that has ever been made and it has a fanbase that's still pretty active. So naturally, we can't let this anniversary go by unnoticed. And what better way to celebrate ten years of LOST than to give a review of the entire series?

But first, in the words of Mr. Eko, "I have come to give my confession." Here's the thing: I am not an original Lostie. I binge-watched the show over the summer (yes, this past summer) and finished within three months. I started watching the show because I wanted to know what all that ado was about and because SpoilerTV wouldn't have existed with LOST. Andy Page (DarkUFO) recommended me to try the first three episodes of season 1 (Pilot, Parts 1 & 2 and Tabula Rasa), and I was already hooked within the first few minutes of the show.

Anyway, enough of my own history with LOST. I am going to divide this review into a few sections. First, I do a season-by-season review including my favourite and least favourite episode(s) of that season, best twist/reveal and favourite quote. "The End" will be discussed in a seperate paragraph. Then, I share my top 5 favourite and my top 5 least favourite characters. After that, I list the top 5 worst mistakes made by the writers because even though I love LOST, it wasn't always perfect. Finally, I will give a list with the best of LOST, with stuff like best episode, best couple, best friendship, best flashback etc.

Please note that all of the below is my personal opinion. You might have a completely different opinion and there's nothing wrong with that. I am always open for discussions in the comments (in fact, I'd love to!) so fire away with your own opinions there.

Season 1
Season 1 introduced us to the concept of LOST. A concept that sounds very basic and simple: a plane crash on an island. However, as we soon found out it was far from simple. Season 1 lay the groundwork of a show that was filled with mysteries, questions, and twists that you never saw coming.

Season 1 is probably my favourite season, although it has been some time since I have seen it so I can't remember every episode in great detail (I already need a rewatch!). But it was a great season that set up all these mysteries that would be explored much later. It made me care about a large portion of the characters, some of them who would stick around till the very end and some who wouldn't. All in all, season 1 definitely sucked me completely into this unique series.

Favourite episodes: "Walkabout", "Pilot" (Parts 1 & 2), "Exodus" (Parts 1 & 2)
Least favourite episodes: "The Moth", "Homecoming", "Hearts and Minds"
Best twist: Locke was paralyzed before the island ("Walkabout")
Favourite quote: "Don't ever tell me what I can't do, ever!" (John Locke, "Walkabout")

Season 2
This season added a few characters to the mix by introducing us to the tailies. Some of these I really liked (e.g. Mr. Eko and Libby), and there was the one character I didn't really like (Ana Lucia). This season introduced us to Desmond and his place of residence, the hatch. Sadly, seeing the characters push a button every 108 minutes wasn't all that interesting. Especially Locke suffered, who basically didn't have much of a storyline outside the hatch. The button also served as the beginning of the Jack-Locke conflict between science and faith. In addition, season 2 saw Charlie getting temporarily back to his annoying old self that he was in the beginning of season 1, and the episode "The Long Con" made my hate for Sawyer grow even bigger.

However, a big highlight of the season came with the episode "One of Them" when we were introduced to the amazing Benjamin Linus, portrayed brilliantly by Michael Emerson. Wondering whether or not 'Henry Gale' really was an Other made for the intense breakfast scene with Jack and Locke and the revelation that he was actually the leader of the Others caused a great shift in his character.

Favourite episodes: "The 23rd Psalm", "Live Together, Die Alone", "The Other 48 Days", "Dave"
Least favourite episodes: "Fire + Water", "The Long Con"
Best twist: Eko was a warlord and a killer off-island ("The 23rd Psalm")
Favourite quote: "Don't mistake coincidence for fate." (Eko, "What Kate Did")

Season 3
Season 3 is my least favourite LOST season. While it definitely had its highlights, most notably the introduction of Juliet and the further exploration of Ben, the Others and Desmond, the season had a slow pace and had several pointless episodes. In the first few episodes we only saw Jack, Kate and Sawyer with the Others, while the people back at the beach hardly had anything to do. Jack spent like 15 episodes (!) with the Others and Kate and Sawyer apparently walked at a very slow pace as they needed three episodes to get back to the beach. Throughout the rest of the season, the characters were almost always split from one another and I don't think we have seen them all at one place at one time. Of course I also couldn't wait to find out where Jack got his tattoos and I loved seeing Hurley and Co repair an old Dharma van (*cough* sarcasm *cough*). Add to this the introduction of Nikki and Paulo, the most useless LOST characters ever, and the sad death of my favourite tailie Eko and you've got my reasons why this is my least favourite season. And I didn't even mention the love triangle-turned-quadrangle!

Fortunately, the latter episodes improved a lot on the first few (thanks in part to ABC and the producers setting an end date for the show), with episodes 19 up and including the finale all standing out. And even though it is my least favourite, that doesn't necessarily make it an awful season: there are still some pretty good episodes in between the slow and pointless episodes.

Favourite episodes: "Through the Looking Glass", "The Cost of Living", "The Man from Tallahassee", "One of Us", "The Man Behind the Curtain"
Least favourite episodes: "Stranger in a Strange Land", "Tricia Tanaka is Dead", "Exposé"
Best twist: The flashback is actually a flashforward ("Through the Looking Glass")
Favourite quote: "We have to go back!" (Jack, "Through the Looking Glass")

Season 4
Season 4 continued to split time between the characters, most notably between Jack's camp and Locke's camp. As a consequence, certain characters had a lot of interaction with one another while others didn't. Before season 5 I thought we would never get a scene between Sun and Ben (although I don't know why I wanted to see the two of them in one scene together). However, I really liked the use of flashforwards to tell the stories of the Oceanic 6, which made for some suspenseful surprises. Also, the introduction of the Freighter Folk made for some fresh energy and nice characters. The war they brought to the island, led by Martin Keamy, made for thrilling action and powerful emotional scenes, with Ben watching his daughter die standing out the most.

Sadly, some other characters were shuffled to the background. Juliet didn't have much to do the entire season besides removing Jack's appendix. Also much underused was Michael, who returned to the island on the Kahana. His return seemed rather pointless as he only appeared in a handful of scenes before being killed off. Sure, it was good to see him deal with his guilt off-island, but did he really get the redemption he was looking for? Oh, and it's not like we hadn't already seen characters being manipulated by Ben into doing what he wants. In the end, blowing himself up didn't make me hate him any less.

Favourite episodes: "There's No Place Like Home" (Parts 2 & 3), "The Shape of Things to Come", "The Constant"
Least favourite episodes: "Something Nice Back Home", "Eggtown"
Best twist: Sayid works for Ben ("The Economist")
Favourite quote: "Destiny, John, is a fickle bitch." (Ben, "Cabin Fever")

Season 5
The penultimate season introduced us to yet another narritive technique: time travel. Sadly, I can't say I enjoyed the time travel very much. It was heavily confusing and I was constantly trying to figure out in what time line we found our characters in. Stuff like "we made Ben into what he is today" and "we caused The Incident" don't make much sense to me. The characters also continued to be separated, this time not on different sides of the island but in different points of time. However, one advantage of the time travel was getting to see the past of characters that didn't get their own flashback episode (e.g. Danielle and Charlotte). Another plus was the character interactions. We saw some fun character combinations that we wouldn't have seen without the time travel, most notably Sawyer and Juliet in 1977 and Sun, Ben and Lapidus in 2007. It was fun seeing how Sawyer, Juliet, Miles, Daniel and Jin had built their lives in the old Dharma Initiative, and seeing Sawyer and Juliet as a couple was very believable and lovely.

Favourite episodes: "The Incident", "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham"
Least favourite episodes: "Follow the Leader", "Some Like it Hoth"
Best twist: Ben saves Locke's life only to kill him a few moments after that ("The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham")
Favourite quote: " It only ends once. Anything that happens before that is just progress." (Jacob, "The Incident")

Season 6
The sixth and final season ended with a great run of episodes. Each episode contributed to building up to this powerful conclusion of the show that we had all grown to love. As the season progressed, we learned more about the infamous Man in Black, and Terry O'Quinn did a good job of playing double duty as both Locke in the flash-sideways and the evil man desperate to get off the island. Speaking of the flash-sideways, I really enjoyed them. It was fun to see our characters in a completely different setting in another reality. They were also a great opportunity to bring back some deceased characters and make some nice references to earlier seasons and storylines.

While the Man in Black made for an intriguing storyline, I found the constant flipping of sides a bit irritating. One day Sawyer would follow Flocke and do what he says, and the next day he follows his own path. Besides that, the writers apparently didn't know what to do with Sayid: he was dead, then came back to life and walked around like a robot, then died again. Uhm, right. The stuff at the temple and with Dogen also slowed things down a bit, and I'm still not sure if I completely understand it all. I did like that Claire was more involved in the action because she was always quite busy with Aaron when he was still on the island. I would have liked to see a flashback showing what happened to Claire in the one and a half years (or three years, depending on what timeline you look at) that she disappeared.

Favourite episode: "The End", "Happily Ever After", "Dr. Linus"
Least favourite episode: "What Kate Does", "The Package"
Best twist: The flash-sideways is actually a post-death place where our characters could meet again ("The End")
Favourite quote: "I'll see you in another life, brother." (Jack, "The End")

The End
As written above, "The End" is one of my favourite episodes of season 6. The battle between the survivors and the Man in Black came to a climatic conclusion, eventually leading to the demise of the latter. Jack and Locke's series-long enmity came to a head and even though it was not really Locke, I still felt that this final fight really concluded their arc. In fact, I think all storylines got wrapped up nicely. I really had a sense of resolution after I watched the finale. Even more so, the last scene was beautiful. Having all these characters together one last time, even if it's not in this life, was just lovely to see. The scene between Jack and his father that preceded it, was probably the most honest and beautiful father-son conversation of the entire series. A near-perfect ending to an outstanding series.

That being said, I can understand some criticism on the episode. If you were looking for revelations instead of resolution, it's likely you found the finale dissatisfying. But for me, the characters were always more important so I'd prefer resolution. Also, if you consider that LOST has always asked these difficult life and death questions, science and faith, destiny and coincidence, then it's only logical that we would never get all the answers we seek. Life is, after all, full of questions we will never get an answer to no matter how hard we look. Frustrating? Oh, yes! But some things we just have to accept.

Top 5 favourite characters
Probably the most important thing about LOST were the characters. We have seen many of them, some for a short period of time and some for more than 100 episodes. Of course, not every character was as compelling as other characters. I will give you an impression of the five characters that I liked most, and the five I liked least, starting with my favourite characters. All of the other characters fall somewhere in between. Feel free to ask my opinion on any of them in the comments.

5. Mr Eko
Eko's story was the ultimate story about survival. At a young age, he was forced to kill somebody to protect his brother Yemi. Being forced to become a criminal and then later turning completely around to a priest, made Eko a brilliant character. Seeing how he brought his spirituality to the island was a delight to watch, and his interactions with Locke made for great scenes. It's really a shame that Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje decided to leave the show after only one year as there was still a lot of potential with the character (a candidate perhaps?). Even worse was that he never made a return visit, not even in the series finale.

4. Juliet
Juliet was one of the strongest women of the show. She was one of the few that didn't let herself get manipulated by Ben. She worked with Jack to have Ben killed during his surgery and while that plan backfired, Juliet at least tried to go against Ben. Even when she infiltrated the survivors' camp on Ben's orders, she just said flat out that she hated him. And even when she was one of the Others, she was also a survivor because she wanted to get off the island just like the rest did. Sadly, Juliet didn't have much to do in season 4 but returned to a more prominent role in season 5. She even made Sawyer a much more likable guy when the two of them were a couple. Her sad death marked that end of that relationship.

3. Locke
The mysterious John Locke first caught my eye when he came up with a bunch of knives in his suitcase. Who was that man? Why was he so sure he was on the island for a reason? Through flashbacks we learned he was paralyzed before he came to the island. He was crippled, both literally and figuratively, by the hunt for his father. Throughout the series, Locke's faith in the island was put to the test by Jack, the button, Ben, Jacob and the Man in Black. Locke did go very far for the island's sake and as such, lost a bit of my sympathy when he blew up the submarine and threw a knife in Naomi's back. He was a bit crazy and sometimes pathetic, but above all that, he was special.

2. Hurley
As the obvious comic relief of the show, Hurley provided laughs in dark and heavy episodes. Fortunately, he was more than just a comic relief. He has a big heart as we see when Charlie died. His relationship with Libby was cute albeit too short. Hurley really cared about other people and was one of the most calm and relaxed dudes of the survivors. I couldn't be happier to have Hurley as protector of the island, I think he would do a very good job. His pre-island story was a bit sad as he caused bad luck everywhere he went. He might have been a bit crazy, but for me, he was mostly the heart and soul of the show.

1. Ben
Ben is one of the greatest villains of all time. He was a master manipulator and a mass murderer, but he was also a father. Ben had a lot of dimensions, he would be happily killing someone one day and the next he would make Juliet a nice dinner. He always had a plan even if you think he didn't. His long-time fight with Charles Widmore made for an intriguing storyline. Ben watching as Keamy killed his daughter caused a change in the character. He realized that he had sacrificed everything for the island, for Jacob, but also knew that he had done things that could never be forgotten. It was great to see Ben at times get manipulated himself, most notably by the Man in Black convincing him to kill Jacob. Ben wasn't ready to move on just yet, something that I found very believable given the things he had done. One of the best-written characters of the show, and an always amazing portrayal by Michael Emerson, makes Ben my most favourite character of LOST.

Top 5 least favourite characters
5. Charlotte
The female version of Indiana Jones didn't impress me much. She wasn't of much use in seasons 4 and 5. I liked her in the beginning, but she was pushed to the background a bit and as such, wasn't very useful. It didn't help that I wasn't given any reason to care much about her, as she didn't have much of a backstory. I'm not sure giving her her own flashbacks would have changed things, but it would certainly have explored her character further.

4. Michael
Michael was a likable guy in season 1. He looked after his son, built a raft to try to get off the island and became friends with Jin and Sawyer. However, everything changed after Walt was kidnapped. I understand that he was desperate to get his son back, but he just went way too far for him. He killed two innocent women and he gave his friends up to the Others. He subsequently left the island with the idea to not look back and forget everything and everyone. Sure, he somewhat redeemed himself when he came back for his "friends" but that's not enough for me. Harold Perrineau did a good job though.

3. Ana Lucia
I instantly hated Ana Lucia when she shot Shannon. Sure, I disliked Shannon more than Ana Lucia but she was just becoming a bit more likable. Plus, the shooting came out of nowhere so I wasn't sure if it was an accident or not. While we see what terrible things happened to her and the other tailies later, it's not enough to make me care for her. Her constant "we have to keep moving" was annoying and made her look selfish while they had to carry a wounded Sawyer. Later, Ana Lucia wanted to start a war with the Others but that never led anywhere. Her backstory wasn't very interesting either.

2. Shannon
I'm still not sure what point there was in having Shannon on the show. She didn't have much to do during the first season and she behaved like a spoiled bitch. Sleeping with Boone was the highlight of her backstory, but they were quickly over that. She then started a romance with Sayid, which is still my least favourite couple of the series. Just when she becomes a bit more likable and we see what made her into the person she is today, she is killed off. I was a bit sorry for Sayid for seeing his lover die, but it was a good riddance.

1. Nikki and Paulo
Talk about uselessness! Nikki and Paulo were given an abrupt introduction in the middle of Locke's speech and suddenly these characters were forced upon our screens. They contributed nothing to the story in the eight episodes or so that they were in. And then an entire episode was wasted to see them get on the island and explain that they were buried alive. Oh, and apparently we are supposed to believe that they found Yemi's plane and the hatch before anyone else did? Yeah, right.

Top 5 worst mistakes
LOST has had its fair share of mind-blowing episodes, but it also had storylines that weren't that good. Some characters or storylines were overused while some were underused. Here, I sum up what I think are the 5 worst mistakes the writers and producers have ever made.

5. Not having Rose and Bernard promoted to series regulars
Rose and Bernard were a great couple and interesting characters, but their appearances were very random. One day they would all be involved in the action and the next day they were gone for months. I know that was mostly due to Caldwell and Anderson's unavailability and the writers didn't want them as regulars because it would mean some other characters were shuffled to the background. While that certainly would have been true, I would have liked to take the chance and see how it played out. Also, while we did get an episode centered on the two, it would have been nice to see them before they met one another. Would it have added much to their characters? Probably not, but it might have made for some more shocking twists and pre-island character crossovers. Rose and Bernard's separate backstories would certainly have been much more interesting than seeing how Jack got his tattoos!

4. The Sayid and Shannon romance
Putting together and an Iraqi communications officer (read: torturer) and a spoiled girl never really works out. Sayid and Shannon could not be further apart from one another as their lives were very different. On the island, he was very useful but Shannon not so much. Sayid might have really loved her, but I'm still not sure about Shannon. Maybe she was just having some fun with Sayid before ultimately jumping to another guy. I also still have the idea that Sayid is twice Shannon's age, but that age difference is probably not as big as I think it is. Seeing the two together in the afterlife was also wrong in my opinion, as Sayid should have been with Nadia.

3. Killing off Libby
There are more LOST deaths that I don't agree with (e.g. Juliet and Eko). But unlike others, Libby's death was a deliberate decision made by the writers and not the actor or actress. Everything about this death is so wrong. Killing off Ana Lucia was great, but apparently the writers noticed how bad that character was received. So they decide to add Libby for, you know, some extra shock value. Why Libby? "Oh well, the audience likes her but they haven't gotten to know her much so that saves us writing an extra backstory." Wrong, wrong, wrong! I liked her very much and would have loved to get her complete backstory in a flashback episode. The fact that we got bits and pieces later, doesn't make up for that.

2. Introducing Nikki and Paulo
Theoretically, I'm sure it sounded like a good idea. The story focussed on only 15 or so of the survivors of Oceanic 815, so why not introduce some new characters that were also on the plane? It sounds good, but somewhere along the lines something went wrong. Was it bad writing? Bad casting? Maybe a bit of both, but the primary objective was the lack of a storyline. We weren't given any reason to care about Nikki and Paulo. They had a couple of scenes here and there but didn't add much to the story. Then they got an entire episode built around them, and the writers force us to believe they have already explored the island on their own. Their deaths were gruesome, but it's not like I cried for "Nina and Pablo" because, like Sawyer, I didn't really know them.

1. The love triangle/quadrangle
Has a love triangle ever done good to a show (see also: CW shows)? I don't think so and certainly not to LOST. I'm very glad they already decided to scrap the proposed Jin/Sun/Michael love triangle in season 1, but they shouldn't have done the Sawyer/Kate/Jack/Juliet either. It dragged down their characters, only Juliet was mostly spared. Especially Kate suffered, as she was put down as a woman who apparently couldn't choose between the two men. It was one of my issues with season 3, and sadly it continued through seasons 4 and 5. Love triangles are bad enough already in real life, so there's no need for them in TV series.

The best of LOST
All-time best episode: "Through the Looking Glass"
All-time least favourite episode: "Stranger in a Strange Land"
Best romantic couple: Desmond and Penny
Best male friendship: Hurley and Charlie
Best male-female friendship: Sun and Jack
Best female friendship: Claire and Kate
Best threeway friendship: Michael, Sawyer and Jin
Best flashback: "The 23rd Psalm"
Best flashforward: "Through the Looking Glass"
Best flash-sideways: "Happily Ever After"

About the Author - Daniel
Daniel is a Dutch university student studying Psychology. On SpoilerTV he is a reviewer of NCIS, The 100 and the upcoming shows Madam Secretary, Battle Creek and Odyssey. He also enjoys Arrow, NCIS: LA, Nikita and The Blacklist. Recently gotten into LOST which he really loves. He is excited for the new shows Stalker, Scorpion, NCIS: New Orleans and a bunch of others.
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