Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Lost's 100th Episode

Tomorrow marks a milestone in my favorite show: Lost's 100th episode. I stumbled upon this site that has someone counting down his favorite things about lost. It is a good read even if it's not complete (He is writing 20 things per season and is only through season 3 so far).

Check it out here, or I will just copy and paste what he has written so far:

1. The slow pan around Jack that reveals the carnage in the wake of Oceanic 815’s crash. This shot cost more than then first five seasons of “Cheers” combined.

2. Polar bear, FTW! Announced that this show ain’t “Survivor.” It ain’t no disco, nor country club, either. But that's neither here nor there.

3. The backgammon scene between Locke and Walt: still possibly the key to understanding the entire show. Watching this scene takes on new layers after each subsequent season.

4. All of “Walkabout,” the episode that cemented my love for the show and demonstrated the narrative possibilities for it over the long haul.

5. The first of many Locke/Shephard dialogues concerning fate and destiny in “White Rabbit.” Many, many Locke/Shephard dialogues.

6. Meeting Adam and Eve: familiar characters having suffered an as-yet-unknown fate in the Island’s past.

7. Sayid and the audience hear the Whispers for the first time. We still don’t know their true nature; but after “Dead is Dead” we know why Danielle’s been so afraid of them.

8. Malkin’s prophecy to Claire: the first instance in which we learned the oddness in the “Lost” universe wasn’t constricted to the Island. Their scenes started to paint the global picture the show would slowly fill in through “The Shape of Things to Come.”

9. Hurley’s surprising census results. For a while, the sheer number of times the show introduced new people on the Island bordered on the ridiculous, but it’s easy to forget the shock that Ethan’s true nature had on people when this first happened.

10. Jack desperately trying to revive Charlie in the wake of Ethan’s abduction of Claire. Each successive time I watch, I’m convinced it’ll end differently. A good example of how brutal and unforgiving pre-Hatch life was for the survivors.

11. The dead bird outside Walt’s window in "Special." Cree. Pee.

12. The way in which Jin’s flashbacks in “…In Translation” recontextualize Sun’s flashbacks in “House of the Rising Sun.” Storytelling of the highest order.

13. Christian and Sawyer share a drink Down Under. I love reading between Christian’s lines in this scene, especially give his character’s increasing importance on the Island.

14. Leonard’s hysterical cry, “You've opened the box!” As if I wasn’t already freaked out by the large metal box wielded by the Shadow of the Statue acolytes this year, I had to remember Leonard’s frantic cries in Season 1 while researching this list. Faaaantastic.

15. The first chance to actively hate that money-swindling, kidney-stealing, marriage-wrecking Anthony Cooper. This man is so oily, he could have single-handedly solved this nation’s energy crisis before his unfortunate “accident” in Tallahassee.

16. Jin and Sun’s tearful goodbye before he sails away. Also, Vincent running into the water after Walt. A two-for-one bawlfest. Yea, I’m cheating by putting both here. Sue me. Oh wait, you can’t. Free site! Epic win!

17. The music that plays while the Lostaways watch the raft successfully launch near the end of Season 1. Excuse me while I go call my mom to tell her I love her, right after I tip overthis nearby bus.

18. OK, who wants to tell me how that giant slave ship ended up a few miles inland? Anyone? Bueller?

19. Exploding Arzt! I’m already going to hell. Just greasing the already slippery slope.

20. “We’re going to have to take the boy.” I clearly remember watching this scene with my now wife, brother, and his now wife. And all four of us saw this coming about two minutes seconds before the Lostaways did. That was a gut-wrenching 120 seconds, with Tom Friendly’s words hitting us in the chest like a punch.

21. A man in a hatch is way cooler than a d#ck in a box. The answer to Season 1's central mystery proved vastly satisfying, and gives us hope to this day that remaining mysteries will be solved in such a compelling manner.

22. The first mention of the unexplained “incident” that has haunted the show ever since. See Item #1 re: remaining mysteries.

23. Mr. Eko’s Jesus Stick. ‘Nuff said.

24. The Bernard/Rose reunion. Up there with the Des/Penny reunion for me and the future Sun/Jin reunion, which will happen or Darlton will be hearing from me and my Louisville Slugger. A little too much tongue for my general taste, but I was too busy crying to care.

25. The two titans of faith, Locke and Eko, get together for movie night as they watch the director’s cut of the Swan Orientation film. And why is outside contact forbidden, exactly? I have no WAAAAAAALTing idea.

26. Smokey “reading” Eko for the first time, a preview of a technique used to fuller effect in Season 5. The type of moment only possible in the DVR age.

27. Sayid’s brutal initial interrogation of Henry Gale. Can’t help but wonder if Ben was thinking, “This guy’s gonna come in handy later,” in between punches.

28. Hey, hieroglyphics appear when the counter in the Swan goes to zero. That’s peculiar. Wonder if that has any relation to prior civilizations on the Island, the remnants of which still exist in some form or another? Hmmm?

29. Kate, Claire, and Danielle go hunting for answers in "The Hunting Party"“Maternity Leave.” Sistahs doin' it for themselves! All the more poignant now after the revelations in “Whatever Happened, Happened.”

30. The standoff with Mr. Friendly. Our first extended scene with the Others, it imbued an already mysterious group with even more ominous power. Theatrical glue is good like that. Bonus points for Friendly confirming Alex’s existence among the Others.

31. Henry Gale’s speech over cereal at the end of “The Whole Truth.” More delicious that Dharma-O’s, that.

32. Three words: Blast Door Map. No Waldo to be found here; just tantalizing clues left by the man who helped construct the central setting for Season 2.

33. Three more words: off-Island Libby. And yes, those words hurt many a “Lost” fan that fears they’ll never learn her true purpose on the show.

34. Rose’s encounter with Isaac of Uluru. Snuck into a seemingly throwaway episode, this scene contains vital clues concerning the nature of the Island and its relation to the world at large.

35. The double homicide heard round the hatch. And the designated driver policy sent round the cast soon after.

36. “Did Walt ever appear in a place he wasn't supposed to be?” Yes, in a private school instead of Ajira 316.

37. The long pneumatic tube to nowhere. A haunting image that called everything we thought we knew about the Dharma Initiative into further question.

38. “I don’t know what’s more disquieting: the fact that the rest of the statue is missing, that it has 4 toes, or it’ll take three more seasons to finally explain this?”

39. Purple haze, all in my brain, and all around the Island. All for love, or all part of someone’s master plan? Only the Shadow knows. Oh, and Eloise Hawking.

40. Penny learns that her search party has found the Island, and life off it since the crash is confirmed. Welcome news for everyone that feared the entire show was taking place in Chad Allen’s head.

41. The Others have a book club. And somehow this makes them even creepier.

42. Kate and Sawyer help build a runway, which in and of itself is pretty lame. However, in retrospect, the show was building an important piece of the narrative puzzle to deploy years later. Then? Bored to tears. Today? I stand in awe. Long live long-form narrative.

43. Locke’s creepy crazy sweat lodge sequence, in which Boone guides him through an Australian airport full of familiar faces. God’s Friggin’ Gift to Humanity was never better employed than here.

44. “You speak to me as if I am your brother.” Not only creeptastic, but helped provided possible context for the various people, items, and Kate’s horses seen on the Island to date.

45. Ben uttering the potentially most important line in show’s history. In response to Jack’s question, “You want me to save your life?”, Ben replies, “No, I want you to want to save my life.” “Lost” isn’t about mind over matter, but mind INTO matter. And that matters.

46. A bus greeting Edmund Burke at roughly 50 MPH. Fate, Others’ intervention, or Sandra Bullock? You decide!

47. All of “Flashes Before Your Eyes,” an episode that started us down the long rabbit hole towards time manipulation, paradox, and the sense that we would have to recontextualize every event of the show at some point.

48. Hurley, Charlie, Sawyer, and Jin as giddy as schoolgirls riding around in a restarted Dharma van. This came at a point where they audience needed a victory as much as the characters did, and this simple character moment reinvested many of us into the show.

49. Locke’s “Blow Up Everything Useful Towards Leaving the Island ‘04” tour. Personally, I want a t-shirt as a memento.

50. Locke and Ben’s interactions throughout Season 3. Hell, every interaction between these two actors is gold. Try looking away when these two engage each other in verbal and mental combat. Yea, didn’t think so.

51. Smokey CLANGing into the sonic fence. Not only did this moment suggest a history between the DI and the monster, but was possibly the first thing I ever correctly predicted about the show. Also, possibly the last. So I hold this moment near and dear.

52. Hurley’s first scene with Juliet upon her arrival at Lostaway Beach. A touch of humor to start, with Hurley coldly pointing out Ethan’s gravesite to end it. Deftly written, deftly played.

53. Juliet’s mixture of relief and terror upon determining Sun’s D.O.C. Not like I needed this moment to cement Elizabeth Mitchell’s fairly miraculous work on the show as a whole, but damn, it sure didn’t hurt.

54. The almost unbearably claustrophobic confrontation between Sawyer and Anthony Cooper inside the bowels of the Black Rock. I need some air just thinking about it.

55. Speaking of not breathing, how many of you unconsciously held your breath as Benjamin Linus returned to the Barracks to see the aftermath of The Purge? Because I certainly did.

56. Annie’s interactions with a young Benjamin Linus. Oh, Annie, are you OK? Are you OK, Annie?

57. Charlie’s final scene with his best friend on the Island, Hurley. Textbook definition of “heartbreaking,” right there.

58. Jack’s beatdown of Ben after he thinks Sayid, Jin, and Bernard have been murdered. As cathartic as they come, with Jack doing the very thing most of the audience had wanted to do since the end of Season 2.

59. “Not Penny’s Boat.” Moment of silence, people.

60. “We have to go back!” The single most important moment in “Lost” history, the make-or-break scene from which it emerged not only unscathed but emboldened and invigorated.

61. The succinct and fascinating flashbacks for the Freighter Four in “Confirmed Dead.” The height of economical storytelling that invested us in all four characters by episode’s end. Daniel’s flashback, which might not truly be a flashback when all is said and done, especially intrigues.

62. “The light, is strange out here isn't it? It's kinda like, it doesn't scatter quite right.” And THAT would be the moment I fell in love with Daniel Faraday’s character, the strongest addition to the initial cast of characters after Benjamin Linus.

63. “I have a man on their boat.” Of course you did, Ben. Of course you did.

64. The delayed arrival of Faraday’s rocket, confirming time wonkiness in the “Lost” universe. This moment might have sent a million fans to “Law and Order” reruns, but kept those remaining more glued to their TV’s than ever.

65. Ben’s super secret walk-in closet, seen for the first time in “The Economist” then further revealed in “The Shape of Things to Come.” It’s got room for all his clothes, passports, plus a hieroglyphic door leading to a drain that summons Smokey. Also? Universal design friendly.

66. Seeing a broken Sayid have his wounds treated by Benjamin Freakin’ Linus in a German veterinary hospital. If there was one person we thought would never leave the Island, it was Ben.

67. Every single thing about “The Constant,” my personal favorite episode of the show and maybe my favorite hour of television ever. Darlton not only took a complex subject and made it accessible, but above all focused on the human element to pull at our hearts as much as they toyed with our minds.

68. The third iteration of the post-book club scene in which Ben orders Goodwin and BenEthan to seek survivors. In many ways, Season 5 is all about this technique: playing with what the audience thinks they know about a certain event then peeling back another layer.

69. Discovering that there was a hatch containing chemicals that could kill every living thing on the Island. Was The Tempest always a biochemical plant, or did someone change the Colonel’s secret recipe of eleven herbs and spices into something lethal? Looking forward to learning this fact when we finally, finally, finally learn just how The Purge went down.

70. The equally disgusting and equally compelling explanations for how either Charles Widmore or Benjamin Linus could have staged the fake crash in the Sunda Trench. This was a mystery so deep and compelling that only a recap show during Season 5 that most people skipped could provide the definitive answer. And yes, that’s sarcasm. Sigh.

71. Ben waking up with a gasp in a Tunisian desert, with cold air coming off Pierre Chang’s Orchid jacket. Talk about a compelling series of quick camera jumps from Ben’s face to a wide shot showing the cracked earth beneath his prone body.

72. The aching slow shot after Alex’s death showing a seemingly comatose Ben, followed by his simple words, “He changed the rules.”

73. Watching Ben confront Widmore in the latter’s penthouse suite and realizing that everything over the past four scenes is a direct result of the feud between these two men. Season 5 complicates this view, but “Lost” fully exposed the scope of the show in this scene, taking us from a close-up of a man’s eye in the pilot’s opening shot to an expansive, global, decades-spanning war between two titans over the most important piece of real estate in the world.

74. Jack’s appendectomy, which provided the beginning of the end of the show’s love quadrangle and also served to show a Season 1-esque on-Island surgery. Island life’s freakin’ HARD, and even with hatches and pallet drops and bungalows, at day’s end these people are surviving in much the same way as the Island’s first inhabitants. Granted, the extra toe gives the current iteration a slight advantage, but still.

75. The introduction of “Cabin Christian,” the name I assign to the man who walks and talks like Jack’s daddy but wears a brown shirt, not a blue blazer. Whether he’s Jacob’s spokesman (the general assumption) or Jacob’s captor (my assumption), his insertion into the show has never ceased to be provocative.

76. All of Locke’s flashbacks in “Cabin Fever,” the result of a conversation between himself and Richard Alpert fifty years in Alpert’s past and a few days away in Locke’s future. Like I said: LOVE this show! Love love love. I so wanna buy it a smoothie and take it to prom.

77. Hurley and Ben sharing a candy bar. I mean, come ON.

78. The Keamy/Sayid throwdown, which if put atop the card of a major PPV event would leave the viewers feeling they got their money’s worth. Best fight since Xander and Harmony on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” in my books.

79. Ben hysterically loading up the Orchid chamber with everything Pierre Chang insists should not go into it. Kudos to Locke for the great “um, hey, wait a sec” look while Ben systematically goes about his bizzness.

80. Last, but in no means least: frozen donkey wheel. Like this could NOT be on the list. Cool than the other side of the pillow. Literally.

81. Everything in the opening sequence of “Because You Left,” from Pierre Chang’s choice of record through the familiar face he bumps into while leaving the Orchid. “Lost” announced in these few minutes that it was ready to let its freak flag fly. Hell to the yes, replieth I and many others.

82. Richard’s marching orders to a very confused John Locke after the flashes start. Why Richard needed to give these instructions so urgently is one of Season 5’s most fascinating mysteries. Might we see his side of this conversation before season's end? More than likely.

83. Daniel Faraday and Desmond Hume create history, literally, with their encounter outside the Swan’s doors. Why is Desmond uniquely special, and what does that portend as the season/series wind down?

84. Flaming Frogurt! Flaming Frogurt! Flaming Frogurt! Just rolls off the tongue, really.

85. “Libby says hi.” Ana Lucia’s finest moment on the show, and still one of the great quotes this season.

86. The chilling reveal of The Lamp Post, and the druid math performed by Eloise Hawking. I think we have a pretty good idea who the “clever fellow” that conceived of this place is now, don’t we? Mom must be so proud.

87. “Jughead” as a whole, to me the high watermark of the season to date. Widmore on the Island! Faraday states his love for Charlotte! Little Charlie! “Jughead” itself! I mean, it’s not even fair to have that much good stuff in one episode.

88. Sawyer watching Kate helping Claire give birth to Aaron. Seeing the shaft of light pour from the Swan was cool, but this was straight-up heartbreaking.

89. Jin+Danielle=win. As soon as Locke and company saw the French writing on the wreckage, I started to squeal. Throw in my inappropriate man-crush on Daniel DayDae Kim and you had an almost perfect moment.

90. Charlotte telling Daniel she remembers him from her childhood. Just watch the light go out from Daniel’s eyes during this scene. If anyone could understand the implications of such a seemingly impossible statement, it would be him.

91. Frank Lapidus, Pilot, Ajira Airways 316. “We’re not going to Guam, are we?” Hee.

92. Sawyer convincing Juliet to “have his back” and stay with her on the Island at the end of “LaFleur.” My personal favorite scene of Season 5 to date. Just perfection.

93. Radzinsky building the Swan model inside the Flame Station. As if the Swan wasn’t already the spiritual center of the mysteries surrounding the true purpose of the Dharma Initiative, this ornery genius’ involvement in its design took things up a notch or six.

94. Sayid’s drug-induced confession to Oldham. One of the few times “Lost” let itself have some fun with its outlandish premise.

95. The show heard round the "Lost" world: Sayid shoots Ben. Because admit it: you never thought this would happen. Ever. And while this apparently always and ever happened, this moment proved “Lost” had not remotely lost its ability to shock and stun the audience.

96. Miles and Hurley discussing time travel paradox. Gold not only for the dialogue, but the personalities given those words. Not only was this fall-down funny, but proved that the writers had a really, really good shot of avoiding every typical time-travel pothole that plagues stories of this kind.

97. Kate’s reason for returning to the Island: to reunite Claire with Aaron. I’m not the biggest Kate fan, but this one revelation justified her actions in Season 5 and gave her a character-based, emotionally resonant reason for returning to the Island. Now, if we can just give one of those to any of the male members of the O6, we’d be talkin’.

98. Ben steals Alex from Danielle. Some people complained that this scene didn’t show anything new. Really? We all knew that Charles ordered the Island Dauphin to kill them both, only to kidnap Alex and spare Danielle’s life due to his own traumatic past? Really? We knew this? Maybe you did. I sure as hell didn’t.

99. The Altar of Anubis, deep in the bowels of the Temple, showing the statue in some form of engagement with what we know as the Monster. The fact that Ben seemed to have never seen it before only deepens its importance.

100. Hurley rewrites “The Empire Strikes Back.” Then again, I'm biased. We’re going to miss these light moments as the season goes the way of the dark side over the next three weeks.

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