Saturday, May 22, 2010

My Favorite Episodes of Lost - Season 1

After six seasons, the TV show Lost ends tomorrow night.  A lot of satisfaction in the series is riding on the climactic finale.  Even though unanswered questions & dangling plot threads are at this point a foregone conclusion, it’s still my hope that the final 2.5 hours will wrap up the mind-bending, time-twisting series in a way that surpasses expectations.  I simply don’t know how they can do it, but maybe Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse will pull off the seemingly impossible and deliver a finale packed full of drama, emotion, humor, clarification, cohesion, and closure.  (And, there better be a prominent guest appearance from Elizabeth Mitchell as the massively-missed Juliet.)
In preparation for Sunday’s finale event, as well as the replay of the pilot episode tonight, I thought I’d list out my favorite episodes from the series.  It’s too hard to rank them or to limit them to a top 10 list, so I’ll just go season by season...
Season 1
[1.01]  Pilot (Part 1)
[1.02]  Pilot (Part 2)
[1.04]  Walkabout
[1.05]  House of the Rising Sun
[1.06]  The Moth
[1.17]  ...In Translation
[1.18]  Numbers
[1.23]  Exodus (Part 1)
The two-part “Pilot” episode is more than just the pilot of a series; it’s virtually a movie.  I remember being pleasantly surprised at how action-packed it was.  I’m not sure I knew ahead of time that there’d be a sci-fi or fantasy element, so I was immediately intrigued by the unseen yet formidable-sounding monster in the jungle.  I didn’t know that character flashbacks would be a staple of the series’ early run, so Lost did a good job of concentrating on character development from the very beginning.
The other episodes are my favorites almost entirely because of one scene per episode...
  • "Walkabout":  The shocking revelation that Locke was confined to a wheelchair before coming to the island, which apparently healed him and allowed him to walk again.
  • “House of the Rising Sun”:  The Korean woman, Sun Kwon, revealing to Michael (and, consequently, the audience) that she knows how to speak English but hasn’t told her husband Jin.
  • “The Moth”:  The redemption of drug-addicted Charlie where he chooses to throw the heroin in the fire and Locke says he’s proud of him.
  • “...In Translation":  Sun unexpectedly revealing to the rest of the castaways, including her husband, that she could speak English.
  • "Numbers":  Hurley being so desperate to have someone believe him that he confronts an armed & slightly insane Danielle Rousseau about the cursed numbers and then hugs her when she agrees that the numbers are cursed.

But, the single greatest scene of the season and still one of the greatest of the entire series, is not in the two-hour season finale, but in the season’s penultimate episode “Exodus (Part 1).”  In that episode, Michael’s well designed raft is ready to set sail so that he, Walt, Jin, and Sawyer can bring back help to the other survivors of Oceanic 815.
First, Sun gives Jin a list of English words spelled out phonetically to help him communicate on the raft.  Jin apologizes for all he’s done wrong, and they have a tearful goodbye.  As the awesome musical score starts up, the rest of the scene happens without words.  Charlie collects the last of the survivors’ notes for the messages in a bottle.  Claire kisses her baby.  Walt says goodbye to his dog Vincent.  Jin kisses the forehead of baby Aaron.  Michael & Sun, who have had a certain chemistry, have an awkward moment where they don’t know whether to shake hands or hug.  Jin & Charlie hug.  Walt gives Vincent to Shannon.  Charlie gives the bottle of messages to Sawyer.  Sawyer realizes that with Kate being in the group going to get dynamite from the Black Rock (revealed for the first time in this episode) there’s no one who likes him enough to hug him goodbye.  The survivors (still several dozen at this time) push the raft into the water and hoop & holler at it’s successful launching.  Vincent runs out into the water, and Walt has to tell him stay behind.  Sayid & Charlie have their arms around each other and holler when Sawyer raises the raft’s sail.  The camera focuses on Jin as he stares with love at his wife still on the beach, and she looks back at him.  And, the music becomes exceedingly bold & triumphant as we see the raft successfully sailing off into deeper water.
If there were a Top 10 list, maybe even Top 5 list, of best scenes of the series, that would *have* to be in there.
So, that’s the best of Season 1.  This ended up being long enough, that I’ll do separate blog entries for each season...

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