Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Top 108 Moments: #50-41

"Widmore? Charles Widmore?"

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

Welcome to the seventh part of the Top 108 Moments in Lost!

Previous installments:

Honorable Mentions are here, which you might want to read first to get some of my thought processes on what made and was excluded from the list.

Moments #108-101
Moments #100-91
Moments #90-81
Moments #80-71
Moments #70-61
Moments #60-51

Today we have Moments #50-41. The Top 50 Moments in Lost begins here! Namaste.

50) Locke meets a young Charles Widmore in 1954

Episode: 5.03 - Jughead
Synopsis: Seems there were some familiar faces on the Island way back when
Why it’s great: Terrific surprise, but it also sheds light on why Charles wanted the Island

Pretty much all the Desmond-centric episodes are classics and Jughead is no exception. Season 5 began with a whole slew of revelations as the time travel storyline began and quite possibly the biggest revelation of all was Locke discovering that the hot-headed young Other they encountered was none "other" than Charles Widmore himself! This revelation led to the further (correct) speculation that the curly, blonde gun-toting Other, "Ellie," was another familiar face - Eloise Hawking.

These revelations completely changed all speculation surrounding Charles. Up until that point, Charles Widmore seemed simply like a wealthy industrialist who wanted nothing more than to exploit the Island for personal gain. The fact he was an Other caused us to immediately question why he was no longer an Other and made us wonder just how deep his conflict with Ben went. It was a great plot twist and Locke's surprise on screen mirrored our own.

49) The Black Rock is a pirate ship?

Episode: 1.23 - Exodus
Synopsis: The Losties see the Black Rock for the first time
Why it’s great: One of the classic, all-time images from the show

The first time we heard the words "Black Rock," most people thought Danielle was simply describing an ominous Island structure. And when she volunteered to lead a group deep to the Black Rock deep into the "Dark Territory" in Exodus, I think pretty much everyone was expecting something along the lines of a lava field. So when the camera panned up onto the majestic, land-locked pirate ship in the middle of the Island, my mind was completely blown.

Not only was the shot gorgeously filmed, it remains to this day one of the neatest things I've ever seen on the small screen. Wonderfully imaginative, beautifully filmed, perfect in its execution.

48) Sawyer shoots a polar bear
Episode: 1.01 - The Pilot
Synopsis: The Island has an indigenous population of polar bears?
Why it’s great: Introduces one of the strangest mysteries of the show

Falling into the same "wonderfully imaginative" category is the introduction of the Island's indigenous population of polar bears. We already knew the Island had some sort of Monster at this point, but Monster Islands fall squarely into the category of fantasy. A tropical Island with polar bears, however, suggests there's also a more mundane mystery happening. Again, it's a brilliantly imaginative scene and also probably the best explained Island mystery of the entire show.

It's also worth mentioning that this scene sets up so much in terms of the characters. We learn Sawyer has a gun and handcuffs he got from a Marshall who was on the plane. We discover Sayid has some sort of military training since he knows how to disassemble a gun. And all this leads to a great Kate flashback where we discover not only that she's the fugitive, but that she's also a terrific liar (since she lied about not knowing how to handle a gun). As an added bonus, I also love Sawyer's t-shirt from the Pilot - one of the few pieces of Lost apparel I'd like to own (along with Miles' shark-bear t-shirt).

47) Locke forgives Ben
Episode: 6.17 - The End
Synopsis: Locke forgives Ben for killing him
Why it’s great: Ben gets a bit of redemption. Plus: We find out he's a great #2

This is my very favorite scene from "The End." Locke and Ben are simply terrific here, pure and simple. Ben's humility and sorrow are in such stark contrast to Locke's happiness. It's worth noting that probably for the first time, Locke is about to join a group of people he can truly call his friends. He was always very alone on the show, always thinking of himself as a leader. The only person he really bonded with was Walt, and that was more like a father-son relationship (or master-student, perhaps) than a true friendship, but now they're all inside waiting for him to rejoin them.

Ben, on the other hand, still isn't comfortable with the group, despite the fact they would probably accept him (Hurley definitely would). And while he does get a modicum of redemption here, simply apologizing to Locke isn't going to make up for all the things he did to that group of people in the church. The difference here is that he realizes this now, thus his hesitance to go in. Ben, like Locke, was also alone for much of his life, so he decides to stay with his Purgatory family - Danielle, Alex and his dad - instead. Both Terry and Michael deserved an Emmy for this scene alone.

46) Ben shoots Desmond in the carton, gets pummeled

Episode: 5.12 - Dead is Dead
Synopsis: Ben tries to murder Desmond and Penny, but gets pummeled instead
Why it’s great: Scene we were waiting for that didn't disappoint.

When Ben declared to Charles he was going to kill Penny back in The Shape of Things to Come, it set up some dreadful anticipation on the show. I don't think there was anyone actually rooting for Ben to succeed (and if you were, shame on you), but we all knew it was coming. And when Ben arrived on the plane battered and bruised after taking care of some "unfinished business," I certainly feared the worst for Penny, despite the fact it looked like she and/or Desmond put up a good fight. Little did we know we wouldn't actually get to see the scene for several more episodes.

But it was totally worth the wait - my heart leapt out of my stomach when Ben shot Desmond. But then he hesitates, gets tackled and pummeled by an adrenaline-pumped Desmond and thrown in the harbor. The scene runs the gamut of emotions - fear to horror to hope to relief. And when it's later revealed that Desmond's life was saved by the strongest jug of milk in existence, hilarity is added as well.

Goes without saying - drink your milk, kids. Just might save your life someday. :)

45) Hurley drives the DHARMA van to the rescue

Episode: 3.22 - Through The Looking Glass
Synopsis: Hurley saves the day in his own unique way
Why it’s great: Makes you stand up and cheer

The DHARMA van sold for the highest price by far from the Lost Auction - a cool $47.5K. I don't know if it was worth it, but it is quite possibly the most recognizable prop from the show. And who would have thought back in "Tricia Tanaka is Dead" that the van would have played such an important role in the story? That episode seemed like joke filler at first glace, but it was really there to set up two important scenes: Ben gassing his dad as a birthday present to himself and Hurley saving the life of his friends from the Others.

This is a scene that makes you stand up and cheer. When Hurley comes barreling out of the jungle and flattens one of the Others, it was awesome, plain and simple. I think the smile on Jorge Garcia's face right afterward was genuine, a reflection of our own.

44) The Listening Station finds the Island

Episode: 2.23 - Live Together, Die Alone
Synopsis: Penny's Russian friends pinpoint the Island
Why it’s great: Looks like the outside world exists after all

One of the primary questions of the first two seasons was where the heck is the Island anyway? Was it on Earth, in our time? Was it in a parallel dimension? Is it really heaven or hell (or purgatory)? And the corollary to all of this was does the outside world even exist? We didn't get the answer to that question until the very last scene of the second season where we learned that 1) yes, indeed it does exist and 2) Penny was actively looking for it to find her long lost love. It was an enormous revelation and one that instantly obliterated a whole category of theories that had been batted around for two seasons.

This scene is also a good example of finishing off an inconsistent episode with a bang. "Live Together, Die Alone" is not my favorite finale by any means, largely because 1) I thought the whole kidnapping storyline was weak and 2) those scenes were juxtaposed with Desmond's terrific flashbacks, which kind of made them worse. But by finishing off the episode with such a terrific scene, it sent me into the summer with a heady Lost buzz. Great capstone to a great season.

43) The teddy bear walks by

Episode: 2.05 - ...And Found
Synopsis: Jin and Eko watch the Others walk by their hiding spot
Why it’s great: Creepiest. Teddy Bear. Ever.

Early in Season 2, the Others were still a nebulous bunch. Ethan, the Other we had seen the most, seemed to have superhuman strength and endurance, though he was a very real human being who could be (and was) killed. Then there was the group that had kidnapped Walt who seemed to be a rag-tag bunch of violent hillbillies straight out of "Deliverance." But we really had no idea who or what they were, why they wanted Claire, Walt and the other Tailies and what happened to those they had kidnapped. Did they experiment on them? Eat them? Turn them into zombies for the zombie season? That latter one may sound strange, but after watching the Others walk by in this episode, it didn't seem quite so far fetched.

We hadn't seen Zack or Emma yet at this point - they first appeared two episodes later in "The Other 48 Days" - so we had no idea who the teddy bear signified when they walked by. But Jebus, this was a freaky scene at the time. Barefoot, silent and one dragging alone a teddy bear on a string - how could you not get the chills seeing that? And then, when we finally do see Zack and Emma with the bear, it made it even creepier because you had to think what the heck did the Others do to them?

Turns out, the answer was "nothing, really," but the teddy bear is simply terrific for giving us the creepiest toy this side of Stephen King's monkey.

42) "We're not going to Guam, are we?"
Episode: 5.06 - 316
Synopsis: Frank notices some familiar faces on his flight
Why it’s great: In a goosebump inducing moment, Frank returns with a terrific line

In general, I loved the getting-the-band-back-together, returning to the Island storyline. Some of the pieces didn't quite make sense after all was said and done, but watching everyone board and take their seats on Flight 316 was awesomely cool, especially when Ben came in and Hurley freaked out. But the very best part of the scene - the part that really gave me goosebumps - was when we heard Frank Lapidus' voice come over the intercom. Frank comes out to speak with Jack , surveys the cabin and sees Hurley... and Sayid... Kate... Sun... Ben... and realization slowly creeps across his face, prompting the best line of the episode:
"We're not going to Guam, are we?"
It's a terrific line, a terrific scene and one of the many reasons Frank was one of my favorite characters on the show.

51) "You guys got any milk?"

Episode: 2.16 - The Whole Truth
Synopsis: Henry Gale plays some mind games with Jack and Locke
Why it’s great: Moment when Ben became the best character on the show

I think many people might have placed this scene a tad bit higher on the list and I shuffled it around a great deal before settling on it here. After all, "Got Milk" is now classic Lost - and probably one of the most memorable moments of the second season. The Henry Gale story arc was by far the best Season 2 had to offer and "You guys got any milk?" was by far its most memorable line.

Thing is, as great as this scene was with Ben - and it's probably the scene that finally cemented him as the leader of the Others in the eyes of the writers - it's not the end of this story arc and I actually liked a few of the subsequent scenes even better than this one (and you'll be seeing some of those scenes very soon). So feel free to shuffle them around in the list if you disagree.

I think this scene might have been higher on my list had Ben actually set a trap for Ana-Lucia, Sayid and Charlie at the balloon. But that's nitpicking, I suppose. Instead we got Ben playing some delicious mind games with Locke and Jack... and eating cereal. And who eats cereal without milk? :)

Moment Tally (updated through #41):

I'll be keeping a running tally of the number of times main or recurring (not minor) characters appear in these moments, along with which seasons they came from. I might even do a Power List later on - giving each points based on where they are in the list (1 point for #108, 108 points for #1) and so on. Depends on how ambitious I am. :)

This week Ben maintains his lead in the character rankings and Season 5 pulls away a bit in the Seasons. I'm expecting a great deal of shuffling in both lists though in the weeks to come. The top of the list is quite different character and episode-wise from the bottom. Well, except for Ben - Ben's just all over the list. :)

Main/Recurring Characters:

Ben - 15
Locke - 12
Jack - 11
Smokey - 8
Sawyer - 8
Hurley - 7
Daniel - 4
Eko - 4
Jacob - 4
Jin - 4
Richard - 4
Sayid - 4
Tom Friendly - 4
Charles Widmore - 3
Charlie - 3
Claire - 3
Danielle - 3
Desmond - 3
Michael - 3
Kate - 3
Frank - 2
Juliet - 2
Keamy - 2
Miles - 2
Penny - 2
Pierre Chang - 2
Aaron - 1
Alex - 1
Arzt - 1
Bernard and Rose - 1
Boone - 1
Charlotte - 1
Eloise - 1
Ilana - 1
Mikhail - 1
Nikki and Paulo - 1
Sun - 1
Walt - 1


Season Five - 15
Season Three - 13
Season Six - 12
Season One - 12
Season Two - 9
Season Four - 7

Next installment: #40-31

Note: I'll be away this coming weekend for four days, so the next installment may be delayed a bit, depending on how much typing I can get done while I'm away. Happy Labor Day, everyone! :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Top 108 Moments: #60-51

"But when he asked to see you, he gets marched straight up here as if he was Moses. So... why him? Hmm? What was it that was so wrong with me? What about me?!"

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

Welcome to the sixth part of the Top 108 Moments in Lost!

Previous installments:

Honorable Mentions are here, which you might want to read first to get some of my thought processes on what made and was excluded from the list.

Moments #108-101
Moments #100-91
Moments #90-81
Moments #80-71
Moments #70-61

Today we have Moments #60-51. This is the last of the first half - we cross the halfway mark in this post. Pretty much all the humorous scenes are gone, now we're starting to get to the nitty gritty of Lost goodness! Starting next week: The Top 50 Moments in Lost. Namaste.

60) Ben kills Jacob

Episode: 5.16 - The Incident
Synopsis: Ben unleashes years of pent up frustration into Jacob's chest
Why it’s great: The loophole comes full circle

Putting aside the fact it never was fully explained why Smokey was trapped in Locke's body when he took his form or if Smokey's master plan was really to manipulate Ben into killing Jacob, you can't really argue with the results. This is the moment we realize Zombie Locke is really the MiB - certainly a WTF? moment on its own. But this scene is really great because of Ben - selfish, childish manipulative Ben, who finally finds himself on the wrong end of a scheme, and his speech to Jacob right before he kills him is one of the best of the show.

I said at the time it reminded me a bit of "Field of Dreams" in that regard, where Ray Kinsella asks the ghost of Shoeless Joe "What's in it for me?" Joe's response was "Is that what this is about, Ray? You?" In many respects that scene is a perfect parallel - albeit in an alternate twisted universe - to this one. Ben spent the entire show professing that everything he did was for the good of the Island, but really Ben was simply doing whatever he needed to do to remain in power. In addition, he also had a childlike need to feel wanted, needed, respected and important, in much the same way that Locke did, ironically. So Ben lashed out at Jacob like a child, just like Smokey hoped he would. Michael Emerson did an amazing job with this scene - one of his best of the show.

59) Smokey kills Eko

Episode: 3.05 - The Cost of Living
Synopsis: Smokey kills Eko for allowing the Hatch to implode
Why it’s great: Eko goes out with a great line. Plus: Did Smokey mock him at the end?

This is a scene that I hated at first, but has grown on me a lot in retrospect. Eko was my favorite character in Season 2 and I was greatly disappointed that the writers were forced to write him out of the show due to Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje's demands. But there are two terrific things about this scene. First off, there's Eko's unrepentance of his life. I love, love, love this line:
"I did not ask for the life that I was given. But it was given, nonetheless. And with it... I did my best."
When Eko was first introduced, it seemed he was truly trying to repent for his past sins. But upon reaching the end, he suddenly realized he wasn't repentant at all and took responsibility for all that he'd done. It turns Lost's major theme of repentance and starting over on its head - really Eko was probably the only character on the show who completely embraced his pre-Island self at the end, flawed as it was.

The second thing I love about this scene is something that may not have actually been intentional, but if it was, it was terrific. I first thought that Smokey's method of killing Eko by bashing him against trees was kinda lame, especially in contrast to the way he shredded the pilot. But after the episode aired, some people commented that Smokey actually made the Sign of the Cross as he was flinging Eko around. Did he really? Hard to say - judge for yourself. But if the writers intended to have Smokey mock Eko by killing him in that way, kudos all around. Simply brilliant.

58) Jack spikes the football
Episode: 3.12 - Par Avion
Synopsis: Kate, Locke and Sayid find Jack enjoying a nice game of football with Tom
Why it’s great: Kate's expression is priceless

The second half of Season 3 starts to pick up steam this episode as Sayid, Locke and Kate finally make their way to the barracks to find Jack. But when they arrive, they find the unthinkable - Jack happily playing a game of football with Mr. Friendly. As far as episode enders go, this one was hardly a shock - after all, we knew Jack had made an agreement with Ben to go home. But what really made this ending a classic was Kate's expression at the end. Her shock at seeing Jack happily cavorting with one of the main antagonists of the series to that point was simply hilarious, the perfect mix of incredulity and horror. Makes me laugh every time I see it.

57) Sawyer confronts Richard in 1974
Episode: 5.08 - LaFleur
Synopsis: Sawyer convinces Richard to keep the truce by dropping Locke's name
Why it’s great: Sawyer unwittingly reinforces Richard's opinion of Locke

LaFleur may very well make it onto my overall Top 10 list in the end and this scene was one of the very best of the episode. The best thing about the whole time travel storyline was how Richard's opinion of Locke was reinforced over the years by all the time travelers. The only reason Richard even considered Locke important at all was because he disappeared in front of his eyes in 1954. Twenty years later, Sawyer appears on the Island and drops Locke's name as he tries to keep Richard to preserve the truce:

SAWYER: Yeah, I know about it. I also know that 20 years ago, some bald fella limped into your camp and fed you some mumbo jumbo about being your leader. And then poof... he went and disappeared right in front of ya. Any of this ringin' a bell? That man's name is John Locke, and I'm waitin' for him to come back. So... you still think I'm a member of the damn DHARMA Initiative?

In doing so, Sawyer unwittingly helped reinforce Richard's opinion of Locke in 1974, and in doing so played a major role in Jacob's eventual demise in 2007. Goosebump inducing scene for me and very well played by Josh Holloway.

56) Ben is "judged" by Smokey

Episode: 5.12 - Dead is Dead
Synopsis: Smokey tricks Ben into helping him
Why it’s great: Great at the time, even better in retrospect. Plus: Smokey Alex is awesome

This is a scene that I think loses something by not having all the Egyptology stuff explained, especially the hieroglyphs of Smokey appearing in front of Anubis. Still, the scene was awesomely great at the time, made even better once we learned that Smokey and Zombie Locke were one and the same since this was probably the critical point which allowed Ben to be pushed over the edge into killing Jacob. After all, how was he supposed to say no to the visage of his beloved, dead daughter?

Speaking of which, Smokey Alex was simply terrific here. The part where she pins him to the stone column and tells him to do whatever John Locke says (and even accuses Ben of trying to kill him again) was darkly brilliant and effective. Made for a nice return cameo for Tania Raymonde too.

55) Jacob gives Katie a gift

Episode: 5.16 - The Incident
Synopsis: We see the first of the candidates being born
Why it’s great: All Jacob's moments are great, but Kate's is the best

I really wanted to put all of Jacob's flashbacks into one moment, but in the end I decided to pick just one to represent them all. Jacob's flashbacks are great because they answered one of the series' most important outstanding questions: Were all the Flight 815 survivors on the Island for reason? The answer was a most emphatic "yes" after seeing Jacob touch all the candidates at critical moments in their past. It was tremendously well done and another reason why The Incident is a standout episode.

The reason I picked Jacob's flashback with Kate is because of all the candidates, hers had the best Easter Eggs for the fans. Yes, it was cool seeing Sawyer write his letter and John hitting the pavement in the background, but seeing Kate getting caught shoplifting the lunchbox she used for the Time Capsule she buried with Tom was something that probably wouldn't have been picked up by everyone. And before you say "Hey, you always thought the toy airplane was lame," which it was, it's still Lost history and a very neat reference for observant watchers. If you prefer one of the other flashbacks to Kate's though, feel free to insert it here.

54) Hurley finds someone is not on the manifest

Episode: 1.10 - Raised by Another
Synopsis: Hurley discovers Ethan wasn't on the plane
Why it’s great: One of the most ominous moments of the show

And now we start the top half of the list! Woo!

First up is probably the most ominous moment of the first season, if not the entire show. For nine episodes we had gone along seeing weird things and getting the feeling the Island wasn't all it seemed to be. Polar bears and Monsters were menacing enough, but the former could be killed while the latter was rarely seen. However, when Hurley discovered that there was someone in their group who wasn't on the flight manifest it suddenly presented a very real, very tangible threat to the group.

I remember my heart sinking into my stomach when Hurley told Jack there was someone who wasn't on the plane. Then a quick cut to creepy looking Ethan staring at Claire and Charlie, alone in the jungle. It was one of those "oh ****" moments and one of the best trombone endings of the show.

53) Juliet and Ben have a little chat

Episode: 3.16 - One of Us
Synopsis: Ben outlines his plan to Juliet
Why it’s great: Terrific shock ending

Speaking of trombone endings, here's another one. We finally start to like and sympathize with Juliet. Jack trusts her, and tries to convince the group to do the same. And just when it seems she really is one of the group we get a terrific flashback of her and Ben, going over his plan to scout out the camp for pregnant females, stealing them away and killing the rest. And all of this was delightfully juxtaposed with Juliet setting up a tent at the beach as she's looking around and scouting out her new found friends.

Not only is this a terrific scene for Juliet, but it's also a terrific scene for Ben, solidifying his status once again as the master manipulator of the show. This is the way Lost episodes are supposed to end, on the edge of your seat and wanting more. One of the best endings of the third season.

52) Desmond Hume will be my constant
Episode: 4.05 - The Constant
Synopsis: Daniel reads his journal
Why it’s great: Terrific epilogue to the best episode of Lost

Yes, yes. The true ending and emotional high point of "The Constant," if not the entire show, was Desmond's Christmas Eve phone call to Penny. But nearly as good is the actual scene that The Constant actually ended with: Daniel, sitting on the beach and reading through his journal, coming across the words "If anything goes wrong, Desmond Hume will be my constant."

Those words eventually became a catchphrase for the entire show, spawning a legion of fan related merchandise. It was the perfect ending to the best episode of Lost.

51) The Tailies reunite with the rest of the beach folk

Episode: 2.08 - Collision
Synopsis: The Tailies complete their trip across the Island
Why it’s great: Best reunion scene of the show

Of all the reunion scenes on the show, nothing tops the reunion on the beach as the Tailies arrive at camp with Sawyer, Jin and Michael in tow. Bernard and Rose were the centerpiece here, of course. But we also got to see Jin and Sun together again, Sawyer and Kate, Michael and Vincent and, to a lesser extent, Jack and Ana-Lucia. We had waited for this moment since the raft survivors discovered the Tailies on the other side of the Island, but in my book it exceeded all expectations. Not a dry eye in this household when Bernard and Rose embraced.

Lost tried many times to replicate the emotion of this scene, but I don't think any of them topped the original.

Moment Tally (updated through #51):

I'll be keeping a running tally of the number of times main or recurring (not minor) characters appear in these moments, along with which seasons they came from. I might even do a Power List later on - giving each points based on where they are in the list (1 point for #108, 108 points for #1) and so on. Depends on how ambitious I am. :)

This week Ben pulls away a bit in the character rankings, but the real change was in the seasons, with Seasons 3 and 5 leapfrogging Season 6 into the lead. After next week, I might split the rankings into Top Half and Bottom Half - remember the halfway point for this really at #54-55, with #54 being the first moment in the top half of the list.

Main/Recurring Characters:

Ben - 12
Jack - 9
Locke - 9
Smokey - 8
Sawyer - 7
Hurley - 5
Jacob - 4
Daniel - 4
Sayid - 4
Tom Friendly - 4
Charlie - 3
Claire - 3
Michael - 3
Eko - 3
Jin - 3
Kate - 3
Richard - 3
Charles Widmore - 2
Danielle - 2
Desmond - 2
Juliet - 2
Keamy - 2
Miles - 2
Pierre Chang - 2
Aaron - 1
Alex - 1
Arzt - 1
Bernard and Rose - 1
Boone - 1
Charlotte - 1
Eloise - 1
Frank - 1
Ilana - 1
Mikhail - 1
Nikki and Paulo - 1
Sun - 1
Walt - 1


Season Three - 12
Season Five - 12
Season Six - 11
Season One - 10
Season Four - 7
Season Two - 6

Next installment: The Top 50 begins! #50-41

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Top 108 Moments: #70-61


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

Welcome to the fifth part of the Top 108 Moments in Lost!

Previous installments:

Honorable Mentions are here, which you might want to read first to get some of my thought processes on what made and was excluded from the list.

Moments #108-101
Moments #100-91
Moments #90-81
Moments #80-71

Today we have Moments #70-61, starting to get into some more of the substantially great scenes from LOST, really only one humorous scene this week, and we're creeping ever closer to the really powerful moments which make up the Top 50. Namaste.

70) Michael talks to "Walt"

Episode: 2.09 - What Kate Did
Synopsis: Michael talks to someone using the Swan computer
Why it’s great: Great early shock ending...

In making these lists it has continually surprised me how many great stand alone moments are in overall poor episodes of the series. I think I speak for the majority here when I say that "What Kate Did" was a bit of a let down. We had been waiting for a season and a half to discover why Kate was on the run and who she murdered (remember she admitted to killing someone to Sawyer), but they fact she killed her abusive step-father just didn't quite fit with the intensity with which the Marshall pursued her. And the other minor plots in the episode - Kate tending to Sawyer (who appeared to be possessed by Smokey pretending to be Wayne) and Kate meeting a black horse that reminded her of one from her past - were similarly weak.

But it's easy to forget that this episode had the mind-blowing ending that helped Season 2 get its groove back. Michael communicating with "Walt" opened up so many new questions and possibilities. Was it really Walt Michael was talking to? (nope) If not, how did the Others know Michael was there? (the Pearl) Are there more working DHARMA stations out there? (yep) Is this all an elaborate trap? (yep)

The second half of Season 2 is one of the best overall runs the show had starting with 1) Eko's backstory and our first really good look at Smokey, 2) the introduction of "Henry Gale" 3) the Blast Door Map and the pallet drop, 4) Michael's shocking murder of Ana-Lucia and Libby, 5) our first look at The Pearl and 6) Desmond's return and the destruction of the Swan. But all that started at the end of "What Kate Did" and it was the moment Season 2 got back on track.

69) Locke makes a cradle
Episode: 1.18 - Numbers
Synopsis: Locke makes a cradle for Aaron
Why it’s great: Shaman Locke at his best

Most people consider "Season 1 Locke" to be the classic Locke - he's the hunter, the shaman, the all-knowing wise man who's on the Island for a purpose. When Locke realized he could walk again, he also gained the self-confidence he never had before in his life and he used that self-confidence to great effect in the first season. Granted, a lot of that was all wishful thinking on Locke's part, but his confidence didn't wain until the end of the second season (and the arrival of Henry Gale).

One of the best examples of classic Locke was actually just a sub-plot in one of my favorite overall episodes - "Numbers." The main plot of the episode was Hurley's backstory and his trek across the Island to find Danielle. It was the first time we had gotten any of Hurley's past and it was simply fabulous from start to finish. But intertwined with that story a curious series of scenes with Claire and Locke, where Locke asked a very pregnant Claire for some help on a project. At the end, Locke cleverly reveals they were working on making a cradle for Aaron, which became a prop staple for the remainder of the show.

And the really neat thing about it was that the way it was filmed, it was really hard to tell they were making a cradle until Locke flipped it over (I thought it was some sort of booby trap myself) so we were just as surprised as Claire was.

68) Eko tells Michael a story
Episode: 2.22 - Three Minutes
Synopsis: Eko tells Michael a parable as they mop up Libby's blood
Why it’s great: Eko at his best

This is probably my personal favorite overall scene of Lost, partly because it so perfectly encapsulates why I loved Eko during his far too short Lost run. When Michael shot Libby and Ana-Lucia I didn't but his motivation at first - thought someone so completely innocent as Michael would never stoop to murdering an innocent person to save someone they loved. It still bothers me a bit, but perhaps not as much as it used to now that I have a kid myself. Granted I'd like to think were I in Michael's situation, I would have tried to work out a plan with, y'know, the people I've come to know and trust instead of going off (including a certain Iraqi Guardsman) instead of murdering them.

That being said, after Libby died and her body was removed, we saw Michael staring guiltily at Libby's blood on the floor of the Swan. He was wiping it up with a rag when Eko came across him and they had this exchange:

EKO: Hello.

MICHAEL: I didn't hear you come in, man.

EKO: I left my shoes outside. They were muddy.

MICHAEL: Did you find him? Henry?

EKO: No.

MICHAEL: I hear you're a priest.

EKO: Yes.

MICHAEL: I guess you believe in hell, then.

EKO: [helping Michael clean the blood] For a brief time I served in a small parish in England. Every Sunday after Mass, I would see a young boy waiting in the back of the church. And then one day, the boy confessed to me that he had beaten his dog to death with a shovel. He said that the dog had bitten his baby sister on the cheek; and he needed to protect her. And he wanted to know whether he would go to hell for this. I told him that God would understand -- that he would be forgiven, as long as he was sorry. But the boy did not care about forgiveness. He was only afraid that if he did go to hell -- that dog would be there waiting for him.

It's an amazing scene, especially as Eko starts helping Michael wipe the blood he spilled off the floor. And he's right too in that Michael, at that moment, didn't really care about forgiveness; he did what he thought he had to do (even though it went against his very nature) to save Walt. He was sorry for what he'd done, but he was more afraid of what his punishment was going to be than being forgiven for it. Incredibly powerful scene, and one of my very favorites of the show.

67) Locke tells Walt a secret over backgammon
Episode: 1.01 - The Pilot
Synopsis: Locke tells Walt a secret
Why it’s great: Boy, does that Locke guy seem creepy. Plus: Foreshadowing

The first two episodes of the show, Locke looked like he was going to be the villain. Between the orange smiley face, his weird eye scar and his friendliness towards Walt, he gave the impression of a pedophile rather than a shamanistic hunter/tracker with delusions of grandeur. And nothing more encapsulates this than his conversation with Walt over backgammon where he asks him whether he "wants to know a secret." When I first saw this I thought "Yeeek, run, Walt, run!" But it's simply a great set up for "Walkabout" which came two episodes later.

Now that the series is over, however, it's really an even better scene in that it perfectly foreshadows the general plot of the show in the very first episode. In fact, now it almost seems like it should be Smokey Locke saying those words rather than the real thing. Who knows, maybe it was...

66) Ilana and Ben have words

Episode: 6.07 - Dr. Linus
Synopsis: Ilana confronts Ben over Jacob's death
Why it’s great: Ben finally shows some regret

Ilana really didn't do very much during her short run on the show. In fact, since I left her death scene off this list, I think this may be her only moment to make the list, and only because Ben is so incredible here. Ben never really redeemed himself in what we saw on the show. Yes, he apologized to Locke in Purgatory and it was certainly hinted he had a nice run at #2, but even after he realized he was used as a pawn by Smokey and may have played a key role in bringing about the end of the world, he still lied and connived and generally showed no remorse for what he'd done.

It wasn't until Ilana chained him up and made him dig his own grave that he actually started to think about the consequences of his actions. And so came this honest explosion of emotion from Ben where he actually admits how alone he is in the world and about how, on this Island where all these people formed wonderful relationships, he has no one to turn to, nowhere to go but to Locke, because Locke is the only person who would have him. Ilana, to her credit, then forgives him and allows him to rejoin the group.

The writers have repeatedly said the show was all about the characters, something I generally disagree with. But in Ben's case, I concede; Ben's character moments in the final season were by far the best of any we saw and this moment was near the top of his list.

65) Daniel witnesses the Orchid being built

Episode: 5.01 - Because You Left
Synopsis: We see the Orchid being built... and Daniel is there?
Why it’s great: Guess there's going to be time travel on the show, eh?

Back in my Best Season Opener poll, "Because You Left" didn't receive a single vote. Not surprising given that it really is the weakest of all the season openers, but it's so easy to forget that it opened with this terrific foreshadowing scene. Remember that, at this point in the series, there was no physical time travel yet, only Desmond's flashes and mental trip in "Flashes Before Your Eyes." And in the season finale, the Island had simply disappeared - we hadn't yet learned to where or when.

But this episode opened things up with a bang. What did this single scene have?

1) A look a Pierre Chang's life with DHARMA on the Island
2) The revelation that the Donkey Wheel was found by DHARMA on the Island
3) A look at the Orchid while it was being built
4) The revelation that Daniel was present while it was being built

And that last one was a huge "whoa" at the time. And to their credit, Darlton didn't leave us hanging as to how Daniel got there since we immediately saw the Losties on the Island were flashing through time. The time travel/DHARMA past portion of Lost was one of my favorite stretches of the show and this scene gave us a delightful taste of what was to come.

64) Miles and Hurley talk time travel

Episode: 5.11 - Whatever Happened, Happened
Synopsis: Miles and Hurley freak and geek out
Why it’s great: Because every fan had this exact same conversation

This is really two separate scenes, but I'm mashing them together as one. The screencap above is from the first brief portion where Hurley checks his hand to see if it disappears, ala "Back to the Future." But then the scene shifts and when it returns to our dynamic duo they have this conversation:

[Hurley is seated in the house, questioning Miles.]

HURLEY: Let me get this straight.

[Miles is pacing.]

HURLEY: All this already happened.


HURLEY: So this conversation we're having right now...we already had it.

MILES: [Claps his hands] Yes!

HURLEY: Then what am I gonna say next?

MILES: I don't know. [Shakes his head.]

HURLEY: Ha'! Then your theory is wrong!

MILES: For the thousandth time, you dingbat, the conversation already happened, but not for you and me. For you and me, it's happening right now.

HURLEY: Okay, answer me this. If all this already happened to me, then...why don't I remember any of it?

MILES: Because once Ben turned that wheel, time isn't a straight line for us anymore. Our experiences in the past and the future occurred before these experiences right now.

[Hurley's face tightens in confusion as he thinks, Miles stares at him.]

HURLEY: Say that again.

MILES: [Pauses in exasperation and pulls out his gun and holds it out for Hurley to take.] Shoot me. Please. Please!

HURLEY: Aha! I can't shoot you. Because if you die in 1977, then you'll never come back to the island on the freighter 30 years from now.

MILES: I can die because I've already come to the island on the freighter. Any of us can die because this is our present.

HURLEY: But you said Ben couldn't die because he still has to grow up and become the leader of the Others.

MILES: Because this is his past.

HURLEY: But when we first captured Ben, and Sayid, like, tortured him, then why wouldn't he remember getting shot by that same guy when he was a kid?

[Miles blinks and looks around. Hurley raises his eyebrow.]

MILES: Huh. I hadn't thought of that.

HURLEY: Huh. [Crossing his arms.]

We now know that Ben didn't remember Sayid because of the effects of the Temple Spring. But I swear I had this exact same conversation about time travel with my brother. In fact, I even wrote a blog post about it. It's a terrific scene for the geek in all of us. :)

63) Jack teaches Kate to count to five

Episode: 1.01 - The Pilot
Synopsis: Jack meets Kate and has her stitch him up
Why it’s great: Became a signature moment of the series

This is the second moment from the Pilot to make the list (along with the moment above) and I can tell you there will be more. The Pilot was so iconic, there are several moments from that episode that simply have to be included. And haters can hate, but Kate meeting Jack for the first time over suturing is certainly one of them in my book. Not only does this scene get referenced many times during the series (when Kate flees from the Monster later in the episode, as Kate is lowered into the Hatch by Locke, Jack's password for Kate when he knew she escaped from Hydra Island, etc.), and we actually get to see the story Jack tells about his botched surgery later on in The Incident.

It's a terrific scene, both Matthew Fox and Evangeline Lilly are super here and the latter looks fabulous (if you met her on the street you'd never know she was a fugitive who just survived a plane crash).

62) Jack sees Christian on the beach
Episode: 1.04 - White Rabbit
Synopsis: Jack sees his dad standing in the water
Why it’s great: Iconic image of the first season

When I first made the list, this image was one that immediately popped into my mind. When I went back and looked, I was surprised that this wasn't the first time Jack saw Christian on the Island; in "Walkabout" Jack sees his dad standing under a tree on the edge of the beach. That scene was the first time we got a clue there might be something going on with dead people on the Island. But this is the scene that sticks out in my mind for me - right after Jack rescues Boone from drowning, he looks and sees his father, wearing his funeral suit, standing in the breakers on the beach. It's such a striking image, it's one that's stayed with me throughout the series.

61) Alt Desmond runs over Locke

Episode: 6.12 - Everybody Loves Hugo
Synopsis: Desmond runs over Locke
Why it’s great: Shockingly great at the time

There are several "Theory Making" moments during Lost - moments that turned everything we thought we knew about the Island on its head. The finding of the Hatch was one, Jack's first flashforward was another, Locke being revealed as Smokey was huge. All of these fundamentally made us question the nature of the show itself and where the plot was heading and they made for great, momentous television.

And even though it turned out to be a bit disappointing in the end, Desmond running down Alt Locke was a mind-blower. At the time, we still had no idea that the Alt was Purgatory. In fact, the predominant theory was that it was an alternate timeline. So when Desmond ran Locke down in a way which really made it look like he was trying to kill him, my first thought was "What if Alt Locke was really Alt Smokey?" After all, he didn't have to seemingly kill any of the other Losties to wake them up - this was something totally different from how he approached the others, it made us think Alt Locke was different and needed to die. Alas, it was not the case, but it made for the best week of Lost discussion of the final season and was a terrific, heart-stopping ending to a great episode to boot.

Moment Tally (updated through #61):

I'll be keeping a running tally of the number of times main or recurring (not minor) characters appear in these moments, along with which seasons they came from. I might even do a Power List later on - giving each points based on where they are in the list (1 point for #108, 108 points for #1) and so on. Depends on how ambitious I am. :)

This week not much change at the top of the character rankings and Season 6 also keeps its lead, but Season One leaps up with four entries on the list.

Main/Recurring Characters:

Ben - 9
Jack - 8
Locke - 8
Sawyer - 6
Smokey - 5
Hurley - 4
Charlie - 3
Claire - 3
Daniel - 3
Michael - 3
Sayid - 3
Tom Friendly - 3
Charles Widmore - 2
Danielle - 2
Desmond - 2
Eko - 2
Jacob - 2
Jin - 2
Kate - 2
Keamy - 2
Miles - 2
Pierre Chang - 2
Richard - 2
Aaron - 1
Alex - 1
Arzt - 1
Boone - 1
Charlotte - 1
Eloise - 1
Frank - 1
Ilana - 1
Juliet - 1
Mikhail - 1
Nikki and Paulo - 1
Walt - 1


Season Six - 11
Season One - 9
Season Three - 9
Season Five - 8
Season Four - 6
Season Two - 5

Next installment: #60-51

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Top 108 Moments: #80-71

"Well, look at that. Somebody's hooked on phonics."

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

Welcome to the fourth part of the Top 108 Moments in Lost!

Previous installments:

Honorable Mentions are here, which you might want to read first to get some of my thought processes on what made and was excluded from the list.

Moments #108-101
Moments #100-91
Moments #90-81

Today we have Moments #80-71 - keep in mind that most of the really powerful moments are reserved for the Top 50. A lot of the bottom of the list goes to humor and cool character pieces. Namaste.

80) Sawyer tries to teach Jin some English

Episode: 3.10 - Tricia Tanaka is Dead
Synopsis: Sawyer teaches Jin all the English he ever needs to know
Why it’s great: Funny scene, largely because Jin and Sawyer have a great friendship

Nothing builds friendships like being forced into awkward situations together. Sawyer and Jin first bonded on the raft, a bond that was reinforced during their trek across the Island with the Tailies. It's one of the unlikeliest of friendships, but one that really worked well on the show. It's not often you talk about chemistry between friends, but Sawyer and Jin had far more chemistry than Sawyer and Kate.

"Tricia Tanaka" for me was an okay episode the first time through, but it's one that looks even better in retrospect because 1) it introduces us to Roger "Work Man" several episodes before we discover who he really is and 2) it sets up Hurley's awesome drive-by save in the season finale. But the best scene of the episode was shortly after Jin reunites with Sawyer, who had just returned to the camp after his stay on Hydra Island. Sitting in the van, drinking what must have been some seriously skunked DHARMA beer, they have this exchange. I think I'll let it speak for itself:

SAWYER: I'm sorry.

JIN: I'm sorry.

SAWYER: Okay, nice. Keep it coming.

JIN: You were right.

SAWYER: Okay. That's two. Hit me.

JIN: Those pants don't make you look fat.

SAWYER: Now you got it -- only three things a woman needs to hear.

Ba DUM, ching!

79) Jacob tells Richard a metaphor
Episode: 6.09 - Ab Aeterno
Synopsis: Jacob tells Richard the purpose of the Island... and offers him a job
Why it’s great: Info, straight from the Island god's mouth

"Ab Aeterno" was definitely the high point of the sixth season for me. Not only did it give us Richard's backstory, but it filled us in a bit on the nature of Jacob and Smokey's conflict. It also showed us the darker side of Jacob, hinting at what we were going to see later on in "Across The Sea" - this wasn't a pure and innocent Island God we had here. And after Jacob waterboarded Richard and determined he was an innocent pawn, he sat down on the beach with him and explained the nature of the Island. It was a great scene, one that if you were making a clip show of the entire series you could probably open with because it explains the central conflict of the show eloquently and succinctly.

I do, however, think this scene neatly shows also why I was a bit disappointed with the ending of the show itself. Here Jacob presents Smokey as "evil, malevolence" - horrible stuff that would destroy the world if it escaped. And the sole purpose of the Island was to keep that evil contained. The first problem I have with this is that the Island existed long before Jacob threw his brother into the Source, thus the Island's original purpose was not to contain Smokey, it was to contain whatever that red light was underneath the cork. Now maybe that red light was the actual evil Jacob was referring to, but if that's the case why doesn't he let his brother go free? Seems it would be easier than having to continuously dodge all the attempts on his life. Secondly, regardless of whether Jacob was referring to Smokey or the Source, this scene makes it seem that Smokey escaping would mean the end of the world. But would it really? After "Across the Sea," where Smokey was actually shown to be a somewhat sympathetic character and a product of poor choices by Jacob and Mother, I really don't think so. But regardless of later happenings on the show, this was a terrific scene and probably the mythological high point of Season 6.

And, of course, it's also worth mentioning that right after Jacob's little story he offers Richard a job and makes him immortal. Minor details there. :)

78) Jack putts for sunscreen

Episode: 1.09 - Solitary
Synopsis: The Losties bond over golf
Why it’s great: Maybe they can all get along after all. Plus: Sawyer joins the group

The Island golf course that Hurley made was sadly never really returned to after this episode, which is a shame since I think it would have been nice to visit it every once in a while, like using "play a round of golf" as a euphemism for "have a serious talk" or "we need to make a plan somewhere no one will overhear us."

And the final golf course scene in "Solitary" is terrific. It features most of the original cast together, watching Charlie and Jack play a round of golf. Jack's up to putt and needs to make it to win. Bets begin to change hands as he sets up for his shot, when suddenly Sawyer, who to this point has been persona non grata on the show, bets "two tubes of sunscreen and a flashlight he chokes." It was really the first time Sawyer made the effort to integrate himself with the rest of the Losties and really the first time "classic" Sawyer appeared.

The scene ends right after Jack hits the golf ball - we don't see whether he actually made it or not. I love that.

77) Arzt explodes

Episode: 1.24 - Exodus, Part 2
Synopsis: Arzt demonstrates how not to handle old dynamite
Why it’s great: First surprise death of Lost, and by far the best

I've put up a new poll asking which was the best Season Finale and I'm very curious to see the results. For me, I'd have to choose between "Exodus," "Through The Looking Glass," and "The Incident." All have their high and low points, but I think Exodus had a total of more memorable scenes than either of the other two. One of the best small scenes in any finale was Dr. Leslie Arzt, whose memorable demise made him a fan favorite. And one of the best things about it was the way the writers subtly introduced him. If you remember, Arzt first appeared the episode before in "Born to Run" to deliver a lecture on ocean currents to Michael and his fellow raftees. It was a fairly seamless introduction of what we thought at the time might be a new, recurring cast member. And when he appeared again in the finale, I actually thought the writers might be setting him up to be a regular in Season 2 (or that he was another Other mole, like Ethan).

His dynamite departure though was a complete shock at the time. In retrospect, it was necessary to effectively illustrate the volatile nature of the stuff they were moving - really this scene made every other scene on the show using the dynamite a lot more suspenseful than it would have been otherwise (even if there wasn't another accident until Ilana went boom). And Hurley's later quip "Dude, you got some Arzt on you" became one of the classic Lost lines of all time. R.I.P., Arzt.

76) Sawyer gets glasses

Episode: 1.19 - Deus Ex Machina
Synopsis: Jack gleefully fixes Sawyer's headaches
Why it’s great: Jack enjoys seeing Sawyer squirm

Much like Jack's comeback to Ben, this scene is a rare case of Jack getting the better of somebody. Sawyer had been having frequent headaches, so Kate convinces him to go to Jack for help. Jack deduces the problem immediately, but in a rare display of quick thinking on his part, he manages to use the opportunity to put one over on Sawyer, asking him an embarrassing series of questions about his sex life in front of Kate.

And the funniest thing is Sawyer was probably more embarrassed when he later got the actual glasses than he was from Jack's interrogation.

75) Tom Friendly recruits Michael

Episode: 4.08 - Meet Kevin Johnson
Synopsis: Tom Friendly convinces Michael to take a job
Why it’s great: A great last goodbye to a fan favorite

Back in "A Tale of Two Cities," Tom Friendly hinted that he was gay when he told Kate that she "wasn't exactly his type." And when he was killed off in "Through The Looking Glass," fans were a bit disappointed we didn't get to explore Friendly's life (and backstory) in a bit more detail. The following season, however, not only does Friendly return in Michael's flashback, we actually get to see his swank Manhattan apartment he shares with Arturo.

Not only was this a great encore for Tom, but it also allowed us to get a glimpse into the other lives of the Others - seems Ben does allow them off the Island for some R&R once in a while. A fitting finale to a great character.

74) Danielle and Locke share a moment in the Black Rock

Episode: 3.19 - The Brig
Synopsis: Danielle and Locke run into each other unexpectedly
Why it’s great: Terrific moment of understanding between two great characters

This is one of those little scenes I love, love, love. Locke has Sawyer in the Black Rock's brig with Cooper, when Danielle enters to gather some dynamite for Jack. They notice each other and barely any words are spoken. Locke doesn't ask her why she's gathering dynamite and Danielle doesn't ask who he's got in the brig. It's a terrific scene because it only works when you have two great characters (and character actors) that the audience knows and understands. And the looks Danielle and Locke give each other as Danielle departs are pitch perfect.

73) Charlie finishes his list

Episode: 3.21 - Greatest Hits
Synopsis: Charlie finishes his Top 5 list
Why it’s great: Charlie's redemption

I really hated Charlie starting at the end of the first season. I thought his "relationship" with Claire seemed forced, his drug addict storyline was tired and his flashbacks were boring. When Desmond told him he was going to die in "Flashes Before Your Eyes" I lept up out of my chair and applauded. But Charlie being told of his imminent demise totally rejuvenated his character during the third season.

I knew I wanted to have a moment from "Greatest Hits" on the list, but it was really hard to pick a single one. I think GH is an episode that works better as a whole; it's one of the best overall episodes of the show, despite not really having any stand out moments. I thought about using the shot of Charlie's DS ring in Aaron's crib, but that's really not a scene, per se, despite it being the most iconic image of the episode. But really the best overall moment of the episode is at the end, after he finishes his list. Before diving down to the "Looking Glass" Charlie tries to give his list to Desmond to give to Claire, Desmond refuses and tells him that he'll go in Charlie's stead. As he's getting ready to dive, Charlie hits Desmond with the paddle and dives down alone, fully embracing his destiny in the hopes Claire and Aaron will be rescued with his sacrifice. That's Charlie's moment of redemption and that's the scene that makes the list.

72) Ben kills Charles

Episode: 6.16 - What They Died For
Synopsis: Ben gets his revenge on Charles
Why it’s great: Only Ben would choose revenge over saving the world

If there's one thing you can say about Benjamin Linus it's that he's consistent. Everything Ben does is for the good of one person: himself. He had Jack kidnapped because he needed him to perform an operation to save his life. He shot Locke when he thought Locke was going to steal his power. He strangled Locke when he still thought Locke was a threat to his power. He had Charles Widmore banished because he wanted his position. He used Sayid to kill off all his enemies. He killed Jacob for not ever rewarding him. Most, if not all, these decisions were were to the detriment of the Island he always professed to be trying to save. And you would think that after killing Jacob and purportedly putting the entire world in peril Ben might rearrange his priorities a bit.

But when Ben was presented an opportunity to do so - he certainly didn't have to tell Smokey where Widmore and Tina Fey were hiding - he instead chose to betray them and take his revenge on Widmore, even if it might mean the end of the world. And yes, Ben did end up helping Team Jack in the end, but only because he wanted to survive by that point.

Ben's revenge on Widmore is a great moment for me because, given an opportunity for redemption, Ben stayed true to himself instead.

71) Keamy kills Alex, then gets pummeled by Smokey

Episode: 4.09 - The Shape of Things to Come
Synopsis: Ben pays a steep price, then reveals a secret under his house
Why it’s great: Brutal death of a favorite character. Plus: Smokey can be summoned?!

This is the second moment from "The Shape of Things to Come" in the list (the previous moment was #101) though it's by far the more significant. First off, Alex's death at Keamy's hand was both brutal, shocking and, while it wasn't exactly out of nowhere since Danielle and Karl were both killed the episode before, it was one of those deaths you really didn't think the writers would follow through on. But Alex's death was the catalyst behind most of Ben's actions the rest of the show (like #72) and sadly made Ben realize just how much he cared about her. Seemed to profoundly influence his afterlife too, eh?

But the second half of this scene was equally as shocking at the time, since Ben's reaction to Alex's death was to run to a secret room underneath his house and summon Smokey? As cool as this scene was at the time, in retrospect it doesn't hold up quite as well because 1) it never really was explained why the heck the Others had a method to summon Smokey and 2) now that we know who Smokey is, it really doesn't seem plausible he'd be able to be summoned for anything that didn't result in Jacob's death.

But at the time, this scene was one of the very best moments of the show in one of the best episodes of Season 4.

Moment Tally (updated through #71):

I'll be keeping a running tally of the number of times main or recurring (not minor) characters appear in these moments, along with which seasons they came from. I might even do a Power List later on - giving each points based on where they are in the list (1 point for #108, 108 points for #1) and so on. Depends on how ambitious I am. :)

This week Ben takes over the lead from Jack and Season 6 keeps its lead over Seasons Five and Three. Also, just to make note of it here, Smokey in Locke's body counts as Smokey in the tally. Thus pretty much any time we see Locke after "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham" it's actually a Smokey appearance even though we didn't actually find out it was really Smokey until "The Incident." Just FYI.

Main/Recurring Characters:

Ben - 8
Sawyer - 6
Jack - 6
Locke - 5
Smokey - 4
Charlie - 3
Hurley - 3
Sayid - 3
Tom Friendly - 3
Charles Widmore - 2
Claire - 2
Daniel - 2
Danielle - 2
Jacob - 2
Jin - 2
Keamy - 2
Richard - 2
Aaron - 1
Alex - 1
Arzt - 1
Boone - 1
Charlotte - 1
Desmond - 1
Eko - 1
Eloise - 1
Frank - 1
Juliet - 1
Kate - 1
Michael - 1
Mikhail - 1
Miles - 1
Nikki and Paulo - 1
Pierre Chang - 1


Season Three - 9
Season Six - 9
Season Five - 6
Season Four - 6
Season One - 5
Season Two - 3

Next installment: #70-61.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

To DVD Or Not To DVD, That Is The Question...

We interrupt our regularly scheduled Lost Moments list to bring you this important announcement:

The Season 6 DVD comes out on August 24th, however there is a Lost: The Complete Collection set being released on the same day. This brings up a question. I wouldn't necessarily be against getting the Complete Collection and selling my remaining DVDs on eBay if the CC contained a lot of additional footage worthy of the additional expense of both time and money. I certainly don't need the following:

• Special edition collectible Senet game as seen in Season 6
• Custom LOST island replica
• Exclusive episode guide
• Collectible ankh
• Black light

However the two things that interest me are the "One full disc of never-before-seen content" and "30+ hours of bonus from Seasons 1-6." I think I'm going to wait for reviews to see if the additional footage is worth it. The one thing that does interest me (that's available on the Season 6 set) is this:
The season 6 DVD, out Aug. 24, offers an original, 12-minute vignette called ”The New Man in Charge,” a tantalizing look at what Hurley (Jorge Garcia) and Ben (Michael Emerson, left) do as the new Island overseers. ”Ben is going around to Dharma installations and closing some down,” Emerson says. ”There are some good surprises.” And yes, ”it does answer questions.”
Now that I want to see. Check out this image:

Very cool. Really looking forward to seeing it. Bit more info here too. Now back to our regularly scheduled Lost Moments list (which should be up in a few more days).