Best Moments of Lost: 25, 24, 23, 22

25. Ethan Shoots Locke

Episode: Because You Left (5×01)

I’m a sucker for time travel plots, and the first episode of season 5 couldn’t help itself, sending the group through time on multiple occasions. Here, Locke finds himself back at the time when the Nigerian drug plane had recently crashed. I loved Ethan’s character and was delighted to see him back, as evil as ever.  Locke’s desperate attempt to explain himself doesn’t work, and only another convenient travel through time saves him.

24. Locke Tells Richard to Save Locke

Episode: Follow the Leader (5×15)

Let me just get this out of the way now. The “big reveal” where we find out Jeremy Bentham is really John Locke, and that John Locke is dead, is not making the list. While most people don’t know that John Locke and Jeremy Bentham are the names of two real-life philosophers who were huge proponents of social contract theory, the surprise is ruined for the people who do. I knew exactly who was going to be in that coffin because of the name they gave him, and it pissed me off.

Here we get the payoff from the above scene. After getting shot by Ethan and traveling again, Locke is saved by Richard, who gives him a compass to give back to him. When Locke does find Richard again, he gives him the compass. And then he finds himself, and instructs Richard to save him. Beautiful mess-with-your-head paradoxical time travel stuff.

23. Ethan Abducts Claire and Charlie

Episode: Raised by Another (1×10)

This is the episode where Hurley decides he wants to be useful and starts interviewing everyone. To this point, Ethan had been a mildly interesting, mildly helpful side character who I thought might end up playing a more prominent role among the survivors. Hurley shatters all that when he cross-references the flight manifest with his list and realizes that Ethan wasn’t on the plane. One of the reasons I love season one so much is that we almost never know more than the castaways. This moment is a great example, as the “Oh, shit!” realization happens to both Hurley and the viewer at the same moment, as we put all the pieces together.

Of course, before Hurley can round up the troops, we cut to scene where Ethan looms over Claire and Charlie.

::shiver::

22. Charlie Kills Ethan

Episode: Homecoming (1×15)

Ethan had already put Charlie through the ringer, literally, by hanging him and leaving him for dead. Once Claire escapes, Ethan confronts Charlie and tells him that he’s going to kill one person every night until Claire is returned. He makes good on it by killing Steve…err, Scott. The tension is palpable. While Scott wasn’t a well-known character, the writers were pretty much telling the audience that nobody was safe. Also, the fact that Ethan could just kill someone, even though the castaways were preparing for it, revealed how dangerous The Others were and raised a million questions.

When Ethan was captured, I was excited. Perhaps Sayid would torture him and we’d get some answers about The Others we’ve been craving.  Nope.  The writers knew that’s what I’d want, so Charlie, in his desperate attempt to do anything to get Claire to fall in love with him, shot him before any answers could be given.

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7 thoughts on “Best Moments of Lost: 25, 24, 23, 22

  1. I’m surprised 23 isn’t higher. As you started in about Hurley and the manifest I just got totally excited, knowing what was coming. Reliving it in your description alone… yeah, that was Season 1 at its best.

  2. I knew exactly who was going to be in that coffin because of the name they gave him

    I knew because from a story standpoint, there were only a handful of people in there that would be interesting to be in there. I called Locke from several seasons before, even if I’d never heard of the real-life Jeremy Bentham.

    As for Ethan not being on the manifest, did it actually surprise anyone that it was he? He hadn’t even been on an episode before that, had he? At any rate, I remember thinking “Seriously, get to the part where we find out it’s Ethan.”

      • Humorously, part of the reason I thought about him was that I looked for an anagram in his name, because “Rom” is an awkward name I’d never heard before. I came up with “More Than,” and figured I had something. Later on a commentary I heard that his name is indeed an anagram, but it’s for “Other Man,” which makes a hell of a lot more sense.

        I also caught the “Hoffs-Drawlar” anagram thing near the end. Weird, weird names.

  3. I just finished the series last week. I totally forgot that you had done this list. Good times!

    I’m a bit more charitable to the series overall than you are, I think. The finale had its issues (Sayid and Shannon?? whaa? Even the “this is purgatory” ending didn’t annoy me as much as that left-field nonsense), but on whole, the show took a lot of interesting chances with its storytelling, and I was a sucker for almost all of it.

    The Ethan reveal was fantastic. Probably a top 10 for me, though I’m sure I’ll say that about twenty or so moment on the list.

    So far as Betham goes, I didn’t know about Bentham, but Locke was the only one who really made sense, so the big reveal wasn’t so much of one…the later coffin reveal on the beach? That’s another story.

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