Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Top 108 Moments: Honorable Mentions

"Have a cluckity-cluck-cluck day, Hugo."

(Thanks to Dark UFO and Lost Media for all the screencaps).

And so it begins! Sorry for the delay - work simply buried me last month, ending with a week-long conference in sweltering Orlando. And so I return... to sweltering New York? Sheesh.

I can't tell you what an undertaking this was for me, but it's really a labor of love and I'm fairly satisfied with the final list. Yeah, some of these can be shifted around a bit, but my hope is that this is a very good overall list that, with a couple exceptions (see below), most fans would probably agree with.

My final list had over 150 entries and cutting it down was hard. Very hard. I realized after poring over it for a couple days taking various entries on and off, it that there were several types of scenes where I really just had to pick the cream of the crop and leave the rest out, even if those moments by themselves were very enjoyable. So think of this list as a "wild card" - if there's a scene on here that's one of your favorites, feel free to substitute it in where you feel appropriate.

Here I'll present what ended up on the cutting room floor, along with my train of thought in the snippings. I really tried to capture a bit of everything that made the show great and I hope I caught all your favorites. The first bunch are all categories of cuts, along with the specific examples:

10) Surprise Death Scenes

Frogurt gets "arrowed" (5.02 - The Lie)
Ilana blasts off (6.12 - Everybody Loves Hugo)

Ah, the Arzt treatment. Not surprisingly, there were a lot of death scenes on the list - for the most part they're 1) shocking 2) memorable and 3) very well done on the show. But after Arzt blew up in "Exodus," the writers almost made it a running gag to off someone in a darkly amusing fashion once in a while. I have two of these I kept - one of which could have easily been left off except that every time I tried to remove it, I chuckled.

In fact, it's making me chuckle right now. Heh.

9) Visions and Dreams

"Theresa falls up the stairs..." (1.19 - Deus Ex Machina)
Claire's dream of Locke with the backgammon eyes (1.10 - Raised By Another)
"Have a cluckity, cluck, cluck day, Hugo." (2.04 - Everybody Hates Hugo)
Charlie dreams Hurley is Jesus (2.12 - Fire + Water)

Lost tended to do the creepy dream/vision thing fairly well and fairly often, the latter largely because Smokey was so adept at inducing them. Of course, this was more prominent in the early seasons than later on since Smokey kinda left the vision inducing business once he took Locke's form.

Many of these were hard to cut, especially the first three. Locke with the backgammon eyes was probably one of the most disturbing scenes of the first season, if not the entire show. Boone's "Theresa falls up the stairs..." vision to Locke was just a step behind that one and Hurley as Jesus was the only redeeming scene in Fire + Water, one of my least favorite episodes of all.

The one vision that did end up making the list was my personal overall favorite from the show, though any of these could be easily substituted for it.

8) Reunions and Meetings

Hurley's family gives Sayid a hug (4.12 - There's No Place Like Home, Part I)
Sun and Jin meet for the first time (2.05 - ...And Found)
Sawyer and Michael finally meet Bernard (2.04 - Everybody Hates Hugo)
Alt Hurley finally sees Charlie again (6.17 - The End)
Alt Sun and Jin, Sawyer and Juliet wake up (6.17 - The End)
Alt Locke meets Dr. Linus (6.03 - The Substitute)
Claire meets her father for the first time (3.12 - Par Avion)
Jin talks to his dad (1.17 - ...In Translation)
Sun meets Jin's father (3.18 - D.O.C.)

Lost also did the emotional reunion/surprise meeting fairly well, though I think some of them lost their potency in the later seasons. All of these cut scenes had things I loved. The scene where the Oceanic Six is rescued is great, not just for Hurley introducing Sayid to his parents, but for Kate standing there alone holding Aaron (though I'm actually a bit surprised Jack didn't introduce her to his mom - too soon?) I love the scene on the waterfront where Sun and Jin bump into each other - Jin's looking for someone wearing orange and turns as a girl in an orange dress walks by only to bump into Sun. That whole flashback was much better than I remembered it being.

Bernard's introduction was one of the best parts of the early second season once we met Ana-Lucia, showing us there were survivors from the tail section of the plane. And when he finally introduced himself to Sawyer and Michael asking if Rose was okay, it was a terrific payoff after a season of buildup.

There are lots and lots of neat meetings from "The End" and, while I didn't agree with the ending of the show, I did enjoy all the reconnections. Hurley seeing Charlie in the hotel room and tranquilizing him was probably my favorite - Hugo's smile as Charlie opened the door was awesome. And Sun/Jin, Sawyer/Juliet were probably the two best emotional payoffs in the finale. Instead of all these, I chose one other meeting scene from the finale to represent them all. Alt Ben revealing himself as a European History teacher early in Season 6 was great as well.

Claire meeting Christian was one of those big moments that was totally expected by the time it came around, especially since it was strongly hinted at in the "Lost Connections" extra on the Season 2 DVD set. Plus, Goth Claire was cool. Jin's dad was one of my favorite flashback characters on the show. Loved the scene where he finally met Sun - that was a really hard one to leave out.

All of these were cut because there's an excess of these types of scenes in the list already, but all are certainly worthy scenes.

7) Ben Comedy

Hurley throws a burrito at Ben (5.02 - The Lie)
Ben asks Locke whether the rabbit had a number (4.06 - The Other Woman)
Ben cheerfully says 'See you guys at dinner!" (4.06 - The Other Woman)

During the Jimmy Kimmel, Live! Lost special after the finale, Michael Emerson was asked what his favorite scene was to film. He responded with the one above about the rabbit and the number saying "That's when I realized I was in a comedy." I thought it was an amusing comment at the time, but after making this list I finally see that he was serious.

Yeah, there are a lot of "Evil Ben" scenes on the list, but there are also a lot of "Funny Ben" - dark humor for the most part, but humor nonetheless. All the scenes above are great, the latter one especially for Sawyer's WTF look, but all were cut in favor of other Ben moments. I'm going to keep a running tally of character representation on the list and I suspect Ben will be at or very close to the top.

6) Locke Abuse

Locke discovers his father conned him out of a kidney (1.19- Deus Ex Machina)
"Henry Gale" plays mind games with Locke in the Swan (2.19 - S.O.S.)
Alt Rose tells Locke to accept who he is (6.03 - The Substitute)
Ben shoots Locke in the non-kidney (3.20 - The Man Behind The Curtain)

Locke (and Smokey as Locke) will also likely be near the top of the list in terms of appearances, but in Locke's case a lot of the scenes are heartbreaking ones. Locke had a screwed up life, largely because of Cooper, and Terry O'Quinn simply did an incredible job making us feel awful for John over and over again throughout the series. The hardest ones of these to cut were the scenes in Deus Ex Machina where Locke learns from his mom that Cooper conned him out of his kidney and where the security guard refuses to let Locke into his father's estate. Thing is, that wasn't the worst thing Cooper would do to Locke (and, in fact, it actually saved his life later on) and these scenes were cut in favor of others.

Now we move on to three individual scenes - the last three I cut from the list.

5) Assassin Sayid kills Ben's final enemy in Russia (5.10 - He's Our You)
4) Sun wears a bikini on the beach (1.17 - ...In Translation)
3) Kate interrupts Sawyer and Juliet in the sub (5.15 - Follow The Leader)

These three scenes are all great - Sayid looks awesome in the first scene and his realization his life has no real purpose beyond killing for Ben at the end of it was some fine acting on Naveen Andrews part. Sun wearing a bikini on the beach is an iconic moment from the first season (one that was made into a toy) and a reminder of just how far the characters came over the course of the show.

The final scene listed above wasn't really wasn't a great moment. In fact, it was an awful, sick-in-the-pit-of-your-stomach moment that made you feel so very sorry for Juliet. But it also, almost inconceivably, made me care about the outcome of the stupid love triangle and for that monumental achievement it deserved some consideration.

Now we get to the last two moments...

2) The Island is underwater in the Alt (6.01 - L.A. X)

When I first saw this scene, I jumped up and clapped. Now it just saddens me because it's kind of meaningless - it really was shown for no other reason than to make us think the Alt was an alternate timeline where the Island was destroyed and Smokey escaped, greatly diminishing its potency. Probably would have been a Top 10 otherwise, which brings me to...

1) The end of The End (6.17 - The End)

I know many of you would have this in their Top 10, if not first overall. And I did try and place it somewhere in my list, but in "the end" I just couldn't figure out where to place it, especially since there's so much disagreement over it, so I'm copping out and leaving it up to you. It certainly deserves a place on the list, but I don't think I'm qualified to choose the position.

So think of this as a wild card - place it in your own list wherever you deem appropriate and bump #108 off, which is a guilty pleasure scene of mine put there as a kind of placeholder (as you'll see).

The Rest of the Rest:

Other scenes that were cut from the final list, offered without comment. They were all just father down the list for me and, well, we only have 108 spots here...

1) Miles tells Ben Jacob hoped he was wrong about him (6.07 Dr. Linus)
2) Locke asks Ben what the Monster is (4.02 Confirmed Dead)
3) Jack sees the lighthouse dial (6.05 Lighthouse)
4) Jae Lee takes a dive (3.02 The Glass Ballerina)
5) Hurley beats Sawyer at ping pong (3.11 Enter 77)
6) Hurley cons Sawyer into being nice (3.15 Left Behind)
7) Hurley gets a lecture from Ana-Lucia (5.02 The Lie)
8) Young Ben brings Sayid a sandwich (5.09 Namaste)
9) Infected Sayid kills Dogen and Lennon (6.06 Sundown)
10) Smokey rampages through the temple (6.06 Sundown)
11) The Hatch lights up (1.19 Deus Ex Machina)

Upcoming Schedule:

So my plan for this list is to post them in groups of ten (except for #108-101). I'm also going to keep a running tally of character appearances and seasons all these moments were taken from so we'll be able to look back once this is complete.

The schedule is going to be fairly erratic, but be assured this list will be completed at some point this summer - really the hardest part was deciding what was on it - now that I've got my outline the rest is semi-difficult-to-bake pie. But my goal is to try and post once a week until I'm done. See you soon! :)


Missie said...

The poll won't let me vote.

The hatch lighting up would've been a tough cut for me, as is the case with Locke with the black and white eyes.

I don't think I'm as disappointed by the ending as you, but I still wouldn't have placed the final shot in my "Top 108". There were scenes that were stronger, atleast for me, from the finale.

Are you still planning on updating your top 10 episode list as well?

Jay said...

The poll's been acting wonky for me too - I just remade it. Is it working for you now?

Oh absolutely. I only included one scene from the finale in my list - one which was kind of set apart from the rest for me - largely because I couldn't choose between one awakening scene over another and I didn't really like most of the on-Island stuff.

Top 10 list will be updated after the 108 are done. Probably the last Lost thing I'll do on the blog. :)

Jay said...

Oh looks like I deleted a paragraph. What I also wanted to say was.

However, in the grand scheme of things, I do feel that the final scene deserves some sort of place on the list simply because it's the end of the show. And even though I'm unsatisfied with it, it's certainly going to be one of the main things people talk about when they think of Lost. Moreover, I do know a lot of people who really liked the finale and since I am trying to make an overall Top Moments list, I kinda felt I couldn't leave it off.

Jay said...

Poll is fixed! :)