(Editor's Notes: These episodes are judged on a curve. Lost is my all-time favorite show and even at its worst, it's still better than pretty much anything I've ever experienced on television. Additionally, Lost is a show that is built off of its mystique and mystery-if you haven't seen these episodes, SEE THEM NOW as they are the part of the best series ever put on television, and then come back and discuss as the spoilers are going to spring fourth like a plane onto a magical deserted island).
LAX, Parts 1 & 2 (#6.1)
Review: The season premieres on this show are typically slight disappointments. We get the ultimate high of all the reveals and set-ups of the season finale, and then we wander slowly but steadily into the season premiere, where inevitably a new mystery pops up that distracts from the fact that we aren’t resolving anything. This episode largely does that, and yet the result isn’t the same. This is a great episode, epic in its scope (it’s two hours long, which helps), and though it introduces two mysteries, one interesting (sideways world) and one inevitably pointless (Dogen/Lennon/Temple), it also gives us just enough nuggets from the previous season to make up for the lack of closure. We finally figure out just who John Locke is (and I’ll refer to him as Locke, rather than MIB for the future, as it’s just easier and also because in my mind, it’s just the terrific Terry O’Quinn), and it’s a smoky revelation. We get the return of Boone (yippee!), Desmond (huzzah!), and Charlie (…err, sounds good!), and we realize that Hurley can communicate with Jacob. Though it leaves a lot of windows open, it shuts enough doors to make it a superb start to our final boarding call.
Hurley Dude Count: 12
Desmond Brother Count: 1
Main Character Body Count: We lose our wonderful Juliet to the explosion
(Still) Unanswered Questions: I am so mad they randomly threw in the whole Dogen thing-what was the point of introducing a character so mysterious without ever giving the background of why.
Best Line: “Sorry you had to see me like that,” –Locke, to Ben after he gets “angry”
Best Moment: A tough call, as the Locke/Jack introductions at the end were great, and I loved the going dutch with Juliet, but I have to give it to them exiting Oceanic 815 and landing in LAX, as if nothing had ever happened (and did it?!?)
Episode MVP: This is so spread out, it’s a tough call, but I’m giving it to my main man Locke, who manages to have emotional pull both on and off the Island.
What Kate Does (#6.2)
Review: So, what do you do when you have a nearly pitch-perfect season starter and give us a prelude to the highly-intriguing question of ‘where the hell is Claire?’ You give us one of the most routine and base episodes of the series, and certainly of the Sixth Season. There technically isn’t anything wrong with it, other than the fact that if Dogen just explained everything to Jack, we likely wouldn’t have any of the ensuing mess, but it’s a slow and rather mundane hour by Lost standards. All of the off-Island storyline, where Kate helps Claire and it’s revealed that she won’t be able to give up Aaron for adoption, is, well, kind of obvious. About the only decent call-outs from this episode are Claire doing her best Annie Oakley and the heartbreaking confessions of Sawyer and his impending engagement.
Hurley Dude Count: 2
Umm…: Did Sayid become more…British with the infection?
Really?!? with John: Claire when someone holds you at gunpoint, you don’t get back in the car with them just because they give you a stuffed killer whale.
Best Line: “Private talks kind of freak me out, cuz they usually end with me doing something I don’t quite understand,” –Hurley (and how)
Best Moment: Claire coming out of the jungle is probably the tops, followed by Hurley and his zombie conversations.
Episode MVP: I have to give this one to Sawyer, who has to eat the words that he killed Juliet (or at least thinks he did), and now wants to walk the world alone.
The Substitute (#6.3)
The Century Club: Matthew Fox (Jack) has appeared in 100 episodes as of “The Substitute.” He is the first to do this.
Hurley Dude Count: 2, both to Locke
(Still) Unanswered Questions: How exactly does one get crossed off the wall if someone like Miles or Kate or Claire are up there and are still alive?
Funny, Funny: I’d love to see what the show would have been like if the final candidates had ended up being Nikki, Shannon, Miles, and Tom Friendly.
Best Line: “And I’m very sorry that I killed him,” –Ben, as he delivers Locke’s eulogy, to which Lapidus correctly replied that it was the strangest funeral I’ve ever been to.
Best Moment: Much like Season 1 before it, really Season 6 is filled with a lot of iconic closing moments. However, the best moment from this episode would have to be Locke, shining a light onto the world of the Candidates. This is followed closely by Helen’s constant assurance that all she ever wanted, she already has.
Episode MVP: When he’s at the top of his game, it’s hard to match John Locke for emotional struggle and, in MIB form, pure enigma. Kudos to Sawyer, Hurley, Rose, and close second place Helen, as an episode this good doesn’t just make itself.
Review: Continuing a high, high level of excellence from the early episodes of the Sixth Season, Lost treats us to one of the most interesting hours of Jack television in a long time. We get to see the doctor in the other world as the dreamy, distant father who is making the same mistakes as his father by trying desperately not to. I loved this twist in the other world, and it sort of hints at the fact that Jack could in fact have a teenage son (he is 43 in real life, despite looking around 31). Hurley is in top form in this episode, as is Jacob (you have to love the wittiness of this Island deity). While we seem to have gotten more questions than answers, it hints at revelations to come, which is a nice step in the right direction.
Hurley Dude Count: Duding out with Jacob, he reaches 14
Really?!? with John: Jack, when you see a magical lighthouse that shows houses of people and have people’s names written on it, you don’t smash it to pieces. The castaways always want answers, but then they do things like this to destroy them.
(Still) Unanswered Questions: So, what's the deal with David if Jack, you know, "never had kids?" Are there any other characters in the sideways world that never existed? Also, why hasn't anyone ever seen the Lighthouse before?
Best Line: “I’m looking cuz I’m a big fan of temples and like history and Indiana Jones stuff,” –Hurley, to Dogen
Best Moment: Hurley, talking to Dogen about how he is a Candidate, followed by Jack and his son by the bike (with pizza!)
Episode MVP: I love you Jack, but after you so impetuously smashed that Lighthouse apart, I’m giving this to your equal in this episode, Mr. Reyes.
Review: Continuing the midseason high, we get thrown for a loop by those wicked Lost writers. For those who had been following along at home, this should have followed the course of the first season, thus being a Sun-centric episode rather than a Sayid one, and the name seemed to imply that. However, we were only treated to our lovely Korean oarswoman once in the episode, toward the end, and this was instead on the torturer in all-walks-of-life, Sayid. I have to admit I adored this episode, more than any other thus far in the season, primarily because it showed Sayid in a way that we had never seen him before-desperate, but in control, willing to sacrifice anything for the only thing that ever made him happy. The ending is a fascinating look at the destruction the Smoke Monster could truly unleash (compared to earlier seasons, it seems that the MIB was holding back). The looks on the faces of Sayid, Claire, and Kate as they strolled out into the jungle-terrifying, and yet captivating. Sayid may have discovered that he was simply a man of evil, but in doing so, he showed that the shadows of the Island may be able to win their own battles.
(Still) Unanswered Questions: Why was Dogen able to stop Sayid, if he isn’t a candidate? Was he the leader of the Others after Locke, or an interim leader of sorts?
Best Line: “She strolled in here a couple of hours ago, looking all weird…still hot though, “ –Miles, on Claire coming out of the jungle
Best Moment: The stroll out of the temple has to just top the Smoke Monster sneaking in and pulverizing anyone without a name above the credits.
Episode MVP: Sayid, and particularly Naveen Andrews, for an acting performance that we knew he was capable of, but hadn’t showcased in several seasons.
Dr. Linus (#6.6)
Review: In what would be our final date with the vicious Benjamin Linus, we end up seeing a man who is completely broken by society, a man who, both on and off Island, must now resort to the smaller pleasures of life, as the larger ones are too far from his grasp. I thought the catharsis in this episode was a bit too easy (choosing Alex over power in one world but not the other), but otherwise there’s nothing to complain about here. Michael Emerson is extraordinary when he’s searching within his character’s darker soul, and finding that the well of reason for his existence has gone bone dry. I love that the most obvious choice to go to Locke needs the least amount of convincing that he shouldn’t, perhaps because he has finally come to the point where he needs to change. Also, the Widmore ending was a sigh of relief to those of us (okay, those of me), that thought that we may never get resolution on this front.
Get Out the Kleenex: Hurley and Jack join their crowd at the beach-I love reunions.
Hurley Dude Count: 7
Best Line: “Why would I need your money when there are a couple of jabonies under there named Nikki and Paulo who got buried alive with $8 million in diamonds on top of them,” –Miles, to Ben, giving Nikki and Paulo their final call-out
Best Moment: Multiple ones to choose from, but I have to go with Ben and Ilana in the woods in a slight nod over Linus and Alex in the Principal’s Office.
Episode MVP: I really want to give this to Ilana, as this is her best episode on the Island, but I’m going with Ben, who manages to find what he is looking for once more.
Review: Sawyer-centric episodes are always about the con, and so it’s mildly ironic that indeed, while Sawyer is attempting to con Widmore and Locke, it’s really he who is being conned (how much, we shall see). I loved the Sawyer off-Island storyline considerably more than that of him on the Island. We’ve seen Island Sawyer like this many, many times now, attempting to show everyone that he is simply a con man who looks out for Number One, but he does genuinely care for the Kates and Suns and Hurleys of the island. A far more interesting case to be made is for the Sawyer in the Sideways world. Here is a man who is largely broken, one who can’t lie and who lives a fairly lonely existence, with only Michael Landon and generic six-packs to keep him company. Kudos have to go to the writers for not giving us the obvious in Juliet being the blind date, and Charlotte was a riot and quite lovely in her walk-on role. The ending left a bit to be desired, but the Sawyer off-Island, there’s a man whose miscalculations could have made the on-Island experience a son of a...
The Century Club: Evangeline Lilly becomes the second cast member to hit 100 episodes, and the only woman to do so.
(Still) Unanswered Questions: Who is Miles’s girlfriend? What really happened to members of Ajira 316?
Umm…: When in real life do you get someone as gorgeous as Rebecca Mader or Josh Holloway as your blind date on a setup from your sarcastic best buddy? Why do I not get set up on these dates?
Best Line: “You got a whip?” –naughty, naughty Sawyer
Best Moment: The flirtations between Charlotte and Sawyer over dinner.
Episode MVP: I’m giving it to Sideways Sawyer, the broken lonelyheart.
Ab Aeterno (#6.8)
Review: The episode that so many of us had waited for, we finally discover the true nature of the one and only Mr. Alpert. Perhaps the only disappointing thing about this episode is that Richard would go 150 years or so without so much as asking about Candidates and the true identity of the MIB or what Jacob’s goal on the Island truly is. How he could be perhaps the least curious person ever, I’ll never know. The episode itself, though, if taken as merely answering the mystery of Richard Alpert, is a doozy. We get to see him deal with the death of his wife, his false trial (and that super creepy priest), and then his trip to the Island, with some mad fun CGI and a blow-to-the-head of the Statue. Richard ends up being a pawn in the game between Jacob and the MIB, but he’s an interesting pawn, and unlike many of the mysteries of the Island, we get a full and complete answer to the man with the eyeliner.
Hurley Dude Count: 1
(Still) Unanswered Questions: Was Richard a candidate? Is this why the MIB spared his life?
Best Line: “If it’s any consolation, it’s not exactly Locke,” –Ben, to Jack
Best Moment: There’s many to choose from, whether we’re considering the statue getting blown to smithereens or Jacob attacking Richard, but I think I have to settle with Jacob and Richard, in the middle of the jungle, talking about how the rest of the game will play out.
Episode MVP: With all due respect to the MIB and Jacob, I’m going to finally hand a kudo over to Richard Alpert, who gets to come to terms with his ideals of faith and heartache, and gets a true purpose from the Island, and his beloved.
The Package (#6.9)
Review: One has to wonder what would have happened to Sun and Jin if they hadn’t been separated-would they have returned for their friends? One of those thousands of “hmm” questions from Lost. Perhaps one of the other ones was why they ever thought the Sun language barrier storyline wasn’t just lazy plotting, stretching out a thin Sideways story with another way to prolong the reunion of Jin and Sun. This wasn’t my favorite of the season by a long shot, which is disappointing, as I love Sun and Jin and wanted their penultimate swan song to be a beautiful trip. Considering it’s Sun and Jin, there are some excellent moments-Sun seducing Jin, Sun running from Locke, Jin seeing Ji Yeon, but otherwise this was a detour that would have been more fun had they given us, perhaps, who the candidate amongst the Kwons was.
Get Out the Kleenex: Who didn’t tear up a little when Jin finally got to see photos of his daughter?
(Still) Unanswered Questions: Why is it that Desmond is so special?
Best Line: “Because you’re speaking,” –Ilana, on why she doesn’t believe Ben
Best Moment: I partially want to go with the run, but it really has to be the seduction of Jin-the show’s most loving couple is fun to see being less somber.
Episode MVP: I’m going to give it to Sun, for her seduction and the look on her face when she finally apologizes to Jack and yells at Richard.
Happily Ever After (#6.10)
Review: In the great pantheon of Lost, perhaps no character is so universally loved as Desmond Hume. Sure, people adore Hurley, Locke is well-regarded, and Sawyer is an excellent adventure. However, I dare you to find a Lost fanatic who doesn’t point blank adore our Scottish brother. So it seems fitting that, of all the pre-Candidate flashbacks, Desmond gets the best episode. Taking place almost exclusively in his sideways world, Desmond is a successful playboy, escorting Charlie Pace around Los Angeles for his mortal enemy Charles Widmore. I love the synchronicity of this episode-the marina, the protection of Charlie, the confusion upon meeting Eloise, and then the greeting of Penny. It’s interesting to note how easily the castaways can fall back into their old life if they know what they’re “supposed to do.” Those final moments, where Desmond sees his soulmate from every world, Penny, are kinetic. This episode sort of was the vessel home for the final seven chapters of the series, and my it was yar.
The Century Club: Our beloved Hurley, Jorge Garcia, becomes the third actor to appear in a hundred episodes.
Hurley Dude Count: 1
Desmond Brother Count: 3, two to Charlie and one to Jack
Really?!? with John: With all due respect to Dom Monaghan, Henry Ian Cusick could have very easily gone on the brakes or overpowered him (come on, which one of them is the ripped one here?)
Best Line: “Thousands of times,” –the suddenly slutty Desmond to Charlie after Mr. Pace asks if our Scotsman has ever been in love.
Best Moment: Desmond, asking Penny for a coffee (I told you, I’m sucker for these two).
Episode MVP: I have to go with our wily Mr. Hume, who manages to combine his brilliant storylines with Charlie, Penny, Charles, Eloise, and Daniel with a sense of both confusion and underlying understanding.
Everybody Loves Hugo (#6.11)
Review: For some people, Hurley episodes oftentimes mean time to check out of whatever mystery is occurring on the island and sit back for 43 minutes of personal angst and sarcasm. Which may be why this episode could have shocked a few people-we get to see Hurley become the first non-Desmond character to have their own personal epiphany off the Island. Hugo, when encountered with his soulmate Libby (how else to describe someone whom he really only knew for a handful of days?), discovers that there is more to his life than chicken and philanthropy. I love the way that the rico suave Desmond comes in and tries to cheer up Hurley as he waits for Order Number 42 of chicken, and the way that Hurley wrestles with his trust of Michael (never truly hating him, even though he has every reason). Yes, we end up with a Jack-and-Locke centric ending, but before that, we get to have a nice farewell for the luckiest lottery winner alive.
Hurley Dude Count: 5
Desmond Brother Count: 4
Main Character Body Count: Ilana, we hardly knew ya.
(Still) Unanswered Questions: What causes the epiphanies? How come Ben never had one?
Best Line: “You need a woman in your life Hugo, especially one who has not nursed you,” –Carmen Reyes, in the grossest and funniest line of the series
Best Moment: Hurley and Desmond, bonding over the chicken stands out the most, though I loved that Hurley finally got his picnic.
Episode MVP: Hurley, who finally found that beneath his heart of gold stood a little courage to be had.
The Last Recruit (#6.12)
Review: The final transitory episode, this was a hodgepodge of flashbacks involving the Candidates and those closest to them. Really, we started to get resolution to the Sun and Jin storyline, we got the sibling angle of Jack and Claire established, and Sayid was arrested. The on-Island shenanigans were just so-so-it was obvious that Jack would end up staying behind from the boat, realizing that he needed to answer to the Island before he left, and that Claire would end up on the boat (though Sayid would remain behind, for now). And who didn’t see the Widmore double cross coming? However, there were a lot of small moments to love here, particularly in Sideways land-I loved the way that Locke is introduced to an intensely caring (and potentially life-saving) Ben, the way that the Shepherd men swagger around the law firm and hospital with an identical swing (the casting director deserves major kudos for pulling off that same sort of bravado in Jack’s offspring), and of course, we finally got the reunion of the Kwons. It wasn’t up to the par of the other individual episodes of the final season, but had much to lend to it.
The Century Club: Josh Holloway’s Sawyer makes his 100th appearance.
Get Out the Kleenex: Jin and Sun finally reunite-good tear.
Hurley Dude Count: 1
Desmond Brother Count: 1
Cringe: Frank, Frank, I know you didn’t choose to do it, but “looks like someone got their voice back” is by far the cheesiest moment in Lost history.
Best Line: “We’re gonna ditch Locke-you, me, Jack, Hurley, Sun, and that pilot that looked like he stepped off the set of a Burt Reynolds movie,” –Sawyer, giving us his best nickname of the sixth season
Best Moment: Sun and Jin at long last, just above the Shepherd men saunter.
Episode MVP: I’m giving this one to Claire, actually, who manages to be compelling and broken as she’s discarded in both worlds.
The Candidate (#6.13)
Review: I can genuinely say, with only three episodes left in the series at “The Candidate,” that the show had never quite gotten me, emotionally, like this episode (until the finale, but at that point I saw it coming at least). I’d sat through character deaths, I’d sat through disappointment and betrayal, but this was too much. Watching as Sun, Jin, and Sayid disappeared into the ocean deep, the stuff of one of the most diabolical schemes in tv history, I felt like that innocence still left in the show had slowly vanished, and the harsh reality was we were all taken, at least a little bit, by this long con. In the long pantheon of Lost, this is the moment where we realized that evil could indeed win, and that we may have to sacrifice our beloved characters in order to defeat it. The screams of Claire as she’s abandoned, the look of malice on Locke’s face as the sub begins to sink, and those final moments where Sayid sacrifices himself, the Kwons are drowned and pulled apart, and our four survivors bury themselves in grief-never again would we so trust the producers, or doubt that Lost can make masterworks.
Main Character Body Count: Goodbye Sayid, Sun, and Jin.
Best Line: “There is no Sayid,” (Jack) and “I will never leave you again,” (Jin) both are spellbinding, but I’m giving this to Sayid’s, “Because it’s going to be you Jack,” as it has a huge mystery to go with the gravitas.
Best Moment: Again, it’s close, but I have to give it to the Kwons saying their goodbyes, with a close second going to Claire’s crying as they leave her behind, Locke’s evil look as he tells Claire it was for the best, and Sayid running away.
Episode MVP: Screw trying to avoid ties-Sayid, Sun, and Jin have been with me since the beginning, and they deserve the kudos for making this not just be riveting, but for making their characters so cherished that it was actually physically painful to watch them slip into the abyss.
Across the Sea (#6.14)
Review: Personally, I think we could have seen this episode over an entire season (and not just because I heart Alison Janney to pieces). It was amazing to see such a complete storyline, with characters we had known since the beginning (Adam and Eve), and yet we haven’t known at all. It was a brave choice by the writers to still not give us all of the answers-I knew that they wouldn’t quite explain the soul of the Island, and how Jacob must protect it, but I figured we’d get a name for the MIB (there goes my he’s Aaron through time theory). At times this enigma worked-I think we all need to settle that there will be loads of unanswered questions at the end of this, and times (such as with the Rules), it didn’t. It was going to be almost impossible for the writers to truly get across the thing that they are protecting-the Island may represent hope or goodness or humanity itself, but the attempt was noteworthy as perhaps the best part of the episode outside of the “Adam and Eve” resolution. All things considered, this answered more than it posed, and gave us a definitive portrait of those two souls that brought our castaways to the caves, and us to this adventure.
(Still) Unanswered Questions: What is the MIB’s name (don’t give me that he never had one)? How did the Island guardianship begin?
Best Line: “One day you can make up your own game and everyone will have to follow your rules,” –MIB to Jacob
Best Moment: Jacob burying his brother and mother in the cave.
Episode MVP: The Man in Black, who shows his humanity before the cave strips him of it.
What They Died For (#6.15)
Review: The penultimate episode, I’m going to say right out front, that I was going to love because it was my second-to-last dance with my castaways. Hurley, Kate, Jack, Sawyer, Ben-seeing them just traipsing across the jungle is a joy at this point, knowing that I’ll only see it one more time. I’m impartial enough to realize that there were some flaws-I think that Sawyer or Kate would have objected and also tried to have been Jacob, and also, where the hell did Miles disappear to? But that doesn’t matter in the long run, as we finally got answers-we figured out how they became candidates, how they were crossed off (or at least as good of an explanation as we'd ever get), and what they need to do to be successful. As we entered toward the end of the on-Island world, we were left with just eight of the castaways (goodbye Charles and Zoey) to fight against a force of pure evil. Off-island, we got the setups we were dying for, though almost no resolution-freed Kate, freed Sayid, the promise of David’s mom (come on, Juliet!!!), and the appearance of two of my lost castaways-Ana Lucia and Danielle! And also the promise of our final tour of the Island.
Delicious: I will always remember the voice of ET’s mother as they welcome the final episode onto our televisions in the trailer.
Best Line: “And I thought he had a God complex before,” –Sawyer saying what we were all thinking a little bit (come on) about our handsome doc.
Best Moment: Ben, shooting Charles Widmore (so much for the rules) just trumping Ben and Danielle at dinner and the return of Anna Lu-Lu (thanks Sawyer) who isn’t ready but I can’t wait for the day she is.
Episode MVP: Ben, who managed to survive another encounter with the Smoke Monster, and get his revenge
The End (#6.16)
Review: And so, it slips quietly into the night, after the most emotionally draining episode of the series. Seriously, I think what the writers decided was that they wanted more than the mystery was to say goodbye to our characters, are beautiful characters falling in love and realizing the beautiful journey they took on the Island-the Sideways world ended up being a deeply rewarding and rich experience, as the characters suddenly realize love and happiness-I honestly sobbed from the opening scene to the final, every realization getting me choked up. I think the fact that they sacrificed a large number of mysteries to give the actors a chance to stretch their muscles and really show how much the characters meant to the audience was a bold but rewarding choice-honestly, I’d have rather seen one last moment between Claire and Charlie or Juliet and Sawyer than to have seen who exactly created that statue. There are so many things to discuss in the episode-the small things (Bernard and Rose getting Desmond out of the well-huzzah!, the fact that Hurley ended up as the Island guardian, with Ben as his Number Two, the beautiful goodbye between Ben and John, forever), it’s difficult to sum it up in a tiny little review. All I can truly say is-magical, inspiring, and fade away.
Main Character Body Count: Jack, going into the abyss.
The Century Club: Terry O’Quinn becomes the 5th and final person to hit 100.
Get Out the Kleenex: The entire bloody episode-I can think of at least ten times I cried during the episode, and some where I was balling throughout the entire commercial break (I think the most were the revelations of Jin/Sun, Charlie/Claire/Kate, Sawyer/Juliet, John Locke and Jack closing his eye).
Best Line: “We’ve been waiting for you,” –John Locke, and so right he is.
Best Moment: Impossible-though I loved the eye close the most.Episode MVP: Jack, who finally had his truly cathartic experience and saw that his life had a purpose, and that he could truly be happy. Followed by well, everyone.
1. The Candidate
2. The End
4. Happily Ever After
5. Ab Aeterno
1. What Kate Does
2. The Package
3. The Last Recruit
1. Ben (2)
2. Hurley (2)
3. Locke (2)
4. Sun (2)
5. Sayid (2)
6. Sawyer (2)
1. Jack Closes His Eyes (The End)
2. John Locke Realizes (The End)
3. Sun and Jin Say Goodbye (The Candidate)
4. Juliet & Sawyer Realize (The End)
5. Ben and John Say Goodbye (The End)
6. Jin & Sun Realize (The End)
7. Kate Says Goodbye to Jack Forever (The End)
8. Strolling Out of the Temple (Sundown)
9. Jack and Christian (The End)
10. Charlie, Kate, & Claire Realize (The End)
Received MVP in Every Season: Hurley, Sawyer, Locke, Sun