Wednesday, May 23, 2012

In the Shadow of the Statue: Favorite Lost Moments Two Years Later

It’s officially been two years since “Lost” left our television screens (for new episodes, at least) for good, and since the television blogosphere is all reminiscing, I thought I would too. “Lost” is a favorite show of mine, and I have many happy memories of watching episodes live from seasons 4-6 (I was a late convert who was looking for something to watch during the infamous 2007-2008 Writers Guild of America strike). I also have fond memories of spending hours devouring “Lost” fan sites, especially Lostpedia and Ryan McGee’s excellent analysis at Zap2It’s Guide to Lost. The fact that one television show could be both so chock full of mythology goodness and character-based emotion amazes me. Nothing since has really come close, except maybe “Once Upon a Time,” but that show was created and run by two writers who really came up in the business on “Lost.” I think the lesson about combining mythology and strong characters (emphasis on the characters) is a lesson that creators of and networks airing shows that try to be the next “Lost” would do well to remember. To commemorate the end of a truly unique show, here’s a rundown of eight of my favorite moments. I had to use one of the Numbers, of course!

8.) Sawyer and Kate play “I Never”

In the first season episode “Outlaws,” Sawyer and Kate find themselves spending a night together in the woods as they track a boar who has been terrorizing Sawyer and rooting through his beloved stash. To pass the time, they play a game of “I Never” by the campfire. We learn a great deal about the characters from this game (for instance, Kate was married once), and more importantly, the characters learn a great deal about each other, bond, and begin to develop some mutual respect.

7.) Kate gives Aaron to his grandmother

Kate leaving Aaron with Claire’s mother in season five’s “Whatever Happened, Happened” was a memorable moment because it is one of the few moments in the series I can recall where Kate was completely selfless. She even admits in this scene that she had been caring for Aaron all those years more for her own benefit than his. It made me dislike Kate just a touch less.

6.) Hurley drives his VW Bus

When Hurley and his friends successfully get the VW Bus running in season three’s “Tricia Tanaka is Dead,” it’s a moment of pure joy. It’s one of the last joyous moments these characters really have the opportunity to experience before the show really kicks into high gear and it’s all drama right up through the series finale. This scene came at a time when the characters, and the viewers, for that matter, really needed to take a breath, and it delivered.

5.) Illeana forgives Ben

The moment in season six’s “Dr. Linus” where Ben expresses his remorse for killing Jacob and Illeana accepts him will always be one of my very favorite Ben moments in the series. It features some typically superb monologuing by Michael Emerson, and it’s nice to see Ben, who is such a complex character, finally earn a little redemption and acceptance.

4.) Ben asks for milk

Yet another example of Michael Emerson’s superb monologuing skills, this scene from season two’s “The Whole Truth” hints and what the Losties will have to put up with from Ben for the next several seasons. This scene, where Ben hints to Jack and Locke that he might be a threat before innocently asking for milk to go with his cereal really highlights Emerson’s talent to make even the simplest phrase sound extremely creepy when he wants it to. “You guys got any milk?”

3.) Hurley’s a hero and Sayid kills a guy with his feet

There were two awesome Rousseau-related scenes from season three (Rousseau searching for dynamite in “The Brig” and Rousseau’s reunion with Alex that involves tying up Ben from “Through the Looking Glass”), but nobody seemed to agree with me enough to put either scenes up on Youtube, so you get this one instead, also from “Through the Looking Glass”. Hurley saves Sayid, Bernard, and Jin from some especially murderous Others by running over some of them with his VW Bus, then Sayid proves he is always badass by killing one of the remaining Others with nothing but his feet. Crazy, right?

2.) Losties leave on the raft

The number two moment comes from the season one finale, “Exodus.” Some of the Losties leave the Island on a big raft, and it’s quite the emotional moment. The perfect Michael Giacchino soundtrack really makes this scene. It’s beautiful and emotionally affecting. I think that watching this scene for the first time was the first time I ever got teary watching “Lost.” There’s a dog running after his boy, people! How can you not get teary watching that.

1.) Desmond calls and Penny answers

How could the climactic moment from season four’s “The Constant” not take the number one slot on this list? It’s a master class in both acting and editing. Henry Ian Cusick and Sonya Walger both give beautiful performances as Desmond and Penny are able to have their first conversation in several years, and the editing, especially towards the end of the conversation, just heightens the urgency. After speaking with Penny, Desmond assures Sayid that he’s “perfect,” and that’s exactly how I would describe this scene.

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