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Favorite 'Lost' Episodes: Cuse, Lindelof and Staff Picks

by Kelly Woo, posted May 21st 2010 1:45PM

All good things must come to an end, as the proverb says. And as the end of 'Lost' draws painfully near, we here at TV Squad took a look back -- all the way to the very beginning -- to choose our favorite episodes from the show we collectively obsessed over..

We also asked the show's executive producers, Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof, to name their favorite episodes before their TimesTalk panel discussion in New York City last night. To see which ones they chose, plus our staff picks, read on ...

Carlton and Damon's favorite episodes

'Pilot' (Episode 1.1)
The first episode of 'Lost' still ranks as one of my favorite episodes of all shows of all time. I remember being in utter awe of the movie-like production, the quality cast, the memorable characters and the urgent storytelling. The pilot masterfully introduced all the major players, deployed dropped-jaw special effects (like, that guy getting sucked into the engine) and teased our imaginations with bits of mystery. By the time the episode ended with Charlie's eerie question, "Where are we?" I was hooked for the rest of the series. -- Kelly Woo, senior editor

'One of Them' (Episode 2.14)
This episode centers on two of my favorite characters, Sayid and Ben. It's when we first meet Benjamin Linus, or as he claims, "Henry Gale," a hot air balloon traveler from Minnesota. (The Wizard of Oz allusion really did it for me.) Rousseau warns Sayid that Ben is an 'Other,' and shoots him in the back with a crossbow. They take him back to the Swan Station, where Sayid interrogates and beats Ben, as Ben tries to defend himself with a line that would prove classic. "Whatever you think I am, I'm not!" Outside the locked armory, as Jack and Locke fight each other about the morality of what's happening behind the locked door, the timer on the computer gets down to 10 seconds, bringing the dramatic tension to a fever pitch. Locke can't enter the numbers in time, triggering a buzzer sounding and some Egyptian hieroglyphs flashing before the counter resets back to 108. The episode gets bonus points for showcasing a friendship breakthrough between Hurley and Sawyer, as they search the jungle for an annoying chirping frog, and Sawyer agrees to stop making fun of Hurley for being the island's fat guy. -- Alex Moaba, associate editor

'S.O.S.' (Episode 2.19)
Rose and Bernard have and always will be the heart of 'Lost.' There, I said it. Sure, Desmond comes in as a close second, but Rose and Bernard have brought so much needed humor/heartbreak/heartwarming moments to their very brief appearances over the years that they deserve that title. In 'S.O.S.' audiences are treated to the first meeting of the dynamic duo, their quest to heal Rose and their island relationship. L. Scott Caldwell and Sam Anderson squeeze so much emotion and passion into this episode that it's almost criminal. It's telling that one of the most popular questions year after year of 'Lost' was, "Where are Rose and Bernard?" It's a question I asked every episode, which is why 'S.O.S.' is a favorite. -- Chris Harnick, editorial assistant

'Flashes Before Your Eyes' (Episode 3.8)
This absolutely essential episode first introduced us to time travel and course-correction elements that have been integral to the overall mythology of the show. From the Matrix-like meeting between Hawking (The Oracle) and Desmond (Neo) on the bench after he flashed back in time to his foreshadowing encounter with Charlie playing guitar outside of Widmore's office (singing Wonderwall, "maybe, you're going to the one to save me"), 'Flashes Before Your Eyes' truly set the tone for the shape of things to come. -- Jo Garfein, blogger

'The Constant' (Episode 4.5)
A mini-masterpiece of storytelling and characterization, 'The Constant' confirmed that Desmond Hume -- as we suspected all along -- was special. It's not just that his consciousness could travel through time, or that we relished his unique friendship with both the past and present Daniel Faraday, or that his great love of Penny culminated in a tearful, mind-blowing Christmas Eve phone call that the romantics among us MAY have watched six times in a row. In a series full of questions, this episode gave us, like Penny and Faraday, a powerful sense of connection and one indelible answer: Desmond is our constant. -- Patricia Chui, managing editor

'Through the Looking Glass' (Episode 3.22 and 23)
The third season finale was the ultimate bridge from early 'Lost' into the flash-forwarding and flash-sidewaysing show to come. So much happened on the island -- a new Dharma station! Jack told Kate he loved her! Charlie died, and Patchy with him! Walt! -- and the mysterious story of a suicidal mainland Jack culminated in the biggest moment of the series to that point: They'd been off the island for three years. A beautiful, powerful episode that played out like a feature film. -- Zach Dionne, editorial assistant

Tell us: What was your favorite episode of 'Lost'?

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Exodus for sure. That triumphant moment of the raft taking to the water after the goodbyes on shore hits me every time. The nail in the coffin is Vincent swiming out to Walt and being told to go back. I've owned dogs all my life and that one moment always breaks my heart. Giacchino's music was perfect for that scene. It really changed my opinion on what can be done on network TV; moments like that are usually found in expensive movies, but here's a scene that is more moving because of the 23 hours behind it.

May 22 2010 at 8:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Nothing beats The Constant. Nothing.

May 22 2010 at 12:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

'Through the Looking Glass' has to be the best. Besides the points made above by Damon and Zach, it had so many more great moments: Jack beating the crap out of Ben, Alex meeting her mother, Juliet revealing that they were building a runway for the "aliens", Hurley driving the Dharma van onto the beach, Sayid's killer breakdance move, Sawyer killing Mr. Friendly. It perfectly contrasted Jack's highest and lowest moments, changing the focus of "Lost" from more than just getting off an island.

May 21 2010 at 7:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I can't choose between my two favorites so I'll just do both:

Walkabout - Although the pilot go me curious about the show, Walkabout got me hooked. Nothing can beat that final 5 minutes of the episode with the back and forth between learning Locke was paralyzed off the island and the funeral for the deceased on the plane.

Exodus - The raft leaving the island, Michael Giacchino's beautiful score, The Black Rock, Arzt's blowing up, the smoke pillar in the distance, "We're gonna have to take the boy", the numbers on the side of the hatch. Everything about this finale worked. It's the very definition of a cliffhanger ending.

May 21 2010 at 2:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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