Can you believe our journey through Lost is nearing its conclusion? I certainly can’t. It feels like yesterday that we crash landed in the Jungle of Mystery, but at the same time, the days of boar hunting and button pushing feel like a lifetime ago. Before we embark on the final season, as always, we have to take a moment to reflect on the incredible fifth season. Our friend and erstwhile stage manager (WEAR A MASK! SUPPORT ARTS PROFESSIONALS WHO ARE SHUT OUT OF THEIR JOBS!!) KatyBeth joins us for the Season Five recap. Read on for our thoughts on the highs and lows, and don’t forget to follow the #GuysWhereAreWe tag on Twitter for our live tweets! — Kim
- Favorite Episode?
Shannon: I stopped and started this entry a million times, because what can I even say about “The Variable”? It’s a kaleidoscope, a puzzle box, a character piece, an action movie. It’s impeccably written and performed. It gives us real and substantive answers, unequivocally stating the reason for pushing the button every 108 minutes. And it’s all about my boy, Daniel Faraday, light of my goddamn life.
“The Variable” revolves around Eloise forcing her son to focus his studies on relative physics instead of the piano. That’s really the crux of the hour. It sounds simple because it is. And yet, that decision ALONE tells us that Eloise is so dedicated to the constancy of the past that she will ensure the murder of her own son at her hands. It tells us that Dan’s twitchy, chaotic science energy is just one part of a larger spirit, one he forced aside to make his mother proud. It leads directly to Dan’s mental and emotional trauma when he turns his time travel experiments on himself rather than his associates. And by carrying all that life and death and pain through to the final scene, it asks the audience where we stand: are our lives preordained, or are we in control? Are we a constant – or are we a variable?
Sage: Perhaps picking “LaFleur” as my favorite episode of the season makes me even more predictable than you already knew that I was, but I cannot help it. It is who I am.
The time jump — the one that sticks — is seeded so beautifully. It’s the flow of this episode that makes it an all-timer for me, even more so than the specific moments and character bits that I love. Juliet knows Dharma life, Sawyer knows how to lie (as does Miles), and Jin can make do just about anywhere. It requires no mental stretching to believe, in the snap of Lindelof’s fingers, that they’d have made a home for themselves over those three years we don’t see.
Though this is one of the emotionally lighter episodes of the season, there’s an underlying sadness, especially as it pertains to Sawyer. He’s been trying to recapture home and family since his parents died, and here, he finally has it. But we know, even (in my case) not being aware of what exactly comes next, that this domestic interlude is fleeting. In fact, the bubble is already punctured by the end of the episode.
KatyBeth: Remember way back in Season Three when Tricia Tanaka is Dead happened and our island boys got a break from their normal lives and just drove around, enjoying each others’ company and teaching Jin to speak English, and we all said how nice that interlude was? That’s “LaFleur” for me. Instead of a day of rest, our surviving group gets a whole three years to hang out in Dharmaville and make new lives for themselves.
Sawyer’s transformation into LaFleur, Head of Security for the Dharma Initiative, reminds me of the time Hurley essentially turned him into the mayor of the 815 survivors in “Left Behind.” Sawyer saves Amy, maintains the truce, and gets the five remaining characters a place in the Dharma Initiative. Oh, and he convinces Juliet to stay simply by asking “what about me?” and getting her to agree to “give [him] two weeks”. (If only that were us, honestly.) And that’s just the 1974 part! By the time they hit July of 1977, Sawyer and Juliet are cohabitating and he’s stealing from the garden to bring her a flower. And you guys. He’s the little spoon. It’s happy, hopeful (we see you successfully delivering an island baby, Juliet), and just the break we need between “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham” and the return of the Oceanic Six. Sawyer just wants to read books and kiss a pretty blonde woman and honestly, the show should just continue to let him.
Kim: There have been two recurring themes for me throughout these season recaps. One: as far as James “Sawyer” Ford is concerned, he is my ride or die favorite character. Two: when it comes to Lost mythology, the Dharma Initiative stuff is very much my shit. Considering that “LaFleur” is a perfect Venn diagram of the two, it should surprise no one that it’s my favorite episode of Season Five.
I love “LaFleur” for its simplicity. It’s practically a chamber piece for our core five left on the island, masterfully bouncing between the immediate aftermath of John turning the donkey wheel with Sawyer using his con man powers for good and the domestic life that Jim (THEY CALL HIM JIM!) and his people find in the Dharma Initiative, where the biggest problem is Horace getting drunk and playing with dynamite while his wife goes into labor, forcing Juliet out of medical retirement. I love that this episode is a LOVE STORY. While in retrospect they had been seeding James and Juliet all season, “LaFleur” creates a new OTP within the span of forty-three minutes that challenges Desmond and Penny for best couple of the series. You immediately get on board with Suliet in this episode, because, quite frankly, there is no other choice. Not after that scene on the docks, and not after that scene where Sawyer brings Juliet a sunflower and they most definitely fuck in the kitchen. (Side note: it’s an INCREDIBLY lost opportunity that they like, never did webisodes or anything that covered the three years in between. I want to SEE how James and Juliet fell in love. Who made the first move? Was it in those two weeks? Tell me I need to know!)
But what makes “LaFleur” important within the Lost canon is that even though it’s a self contained piece, it also sets the stakes for the rest of the season. It shows us the human side of the Dharma Initiative. We know what our Dharma gang stands to lose by the sudden appearance of Jack, Kate, Hurley, and later, Sayid. It’s a small life, but it’s one worth fighting for. And God, does Sawyer fight for it.
- Least Favorite Episode?
KatyBeth: “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham” broke me, you guys. Watching John Locke get horribly injured (again) and have to go back to using a wheelchair really drove home that he should not have left the island. And then to send him on an ill-fated reunion tour of the Oceanic Six (plus Tall Walt, minus Sun) and have everyone say they were okay off the island, and watch what that did to his mental health? Add in the death of Helen and then the murder of his one new friend, Matthew Abaddon? And then Drugged Up Jack is so mean to him in the hospital after the car crash. I just get tired of watching the show hurt Terry O’Quinn, regardless of how magnificent he is in acting that pain. So I was already done before the attempted suicide/murder scene. John Locke needs a hug and a real friend and it was too sad and brutal for me. Should have stayed with Sayid and built some structures, buddy.
Sage: I’m bored by all things Aaron, post-island escape. (Sorry to this toddler.) And I find it egregiously out-of-character and forced that Kate now lives to be a mom. The whole custody thing is a head-scratcher since, uh, Jack and Kate stole this baby, and they should feel guilty that they’ve lied about his whole life. So while there are other things happening in “The Little Prince” (including Sayid beating the shit out of an assassin from his own hospital bed), it falls to the bottom in this overall stellar season.
Shannon: I don’t have one! Sorry! They’re all great! Even the Jack and Kate episode includes groundbreaking, exceptional time travelling content. I love the whole thing. There is not a genuinely weak episode in the bunch and if I try to pick one I’ll regret it forever.
Kim: I came very close to not picking a least favorite episode of the season, because let’s be real, Season Five fucking SLAPS. However, I ended up rewatching the entire season in the week between finishing “The Incident” and our posting date for this recap and “The Little Prince” stuck out like a sore thumb for me. I hate saying it’s my least favorite because there’s a LOT of good stuff here. Josh Holloway, in particular, is spectacular in this episode when he watches Kate delivering Aaron and portrays all his pain and all his grief without saying a single word. It has the infamous outrigger chase, where it’s CLEARLY Ajira people shooting at them, I don’t know why it’s argued so much in the fandom about who is on the other boat. We get a wonderful scene with Sawyer confiding in Juliet and Juliet listening to him without judgement, laying the believable foundation for their future relationship. We even get some hot assassin Sayid action.
So then why is it my least favorite? Because the whole Kate/Jack/Aaron Light Between the Oceans nonsense is, quite frankly, exhausting. First of all, we are on a timetable and there is NO TIME for these two to keep mooning over each other. (Sage while we were watching this: OH MY GOD, GET TO THE POINT.) Secondly: THAT’S NOT THEIR KID. Aaron’s grandmother is LITERALLY right there and Jack and Kate are keeping him from her, not even giving her the chance to know him! Jack goes into Mama Littleton’s hotel room all ready to try and convince her why they were right to keep her grandson from her, but he RUNS AWAY when he realizes she DOESN’T KNOW about him and is just in Los Angeles to collect her Oceanic Settlement. Kate drives a three year old around LA without a proper car seat. THESE ARE BAD PEOPLE OKAY! Tag yourself, I’m Benjamin Linus just dead-up admitting he’s the one that sent the lawyers after Kate because he’s just as tired of all this nonsense as well.
- Favorite Character?
Kim: When we came up with the idea that we would do these end-of-season recaps, I told myself that I wasn’t going to pre-pick my answers. I told myself that I would do my best to approach each season with fresh eyes, that I would really try to put my biases aside as I tried to decide which character owned each season.
But in the end, we chose the word “favorite” instead of “best” for a reason. In my heart, no matter how much I told myself I wouldn’t pre-pick answers, I still knew that I was gonna say Sawyer as my favorite character for Season Five from the moment we decided to do these posts. The heart wants what the heart wants. Sawyer tells Kate that he did a lot of growing up in those three years they’ve spent in the Dharma Initiative, and yes, of course that’s obviously true. He’s practically a content and domesticated old man at that point, going home to home cooked dinners (Juliet cooks, he obviously does the dishes) and reading his books every night before cuddling up and being Juliet’s little spoon.
But still, I don’t think Sawyer gives himself enough credit. Out from under the shadow of Jack, Sayid, and even Locke, Sawyer steps up as a leader immediately, de facto appointing Juliet as his number two and calling everyone else “his people.” (REMEMBER WHEN HE HATED EVERYONE, I NEED TO LIE DOWN.) As a leader, Sawyer knows when he needs to act quickly and he knows when to sit back and reason out all of his options. He has a LIFE in the seventies, goddammit, the kind of life and stability that he’s been looking for since he was a child. AND YET, when he is the one who has the most to lose, he still puts everything on the line to help an injured Baby Ben Linus. He still lives by the creed of “Live together, die alone,” even when it comes at great personal cost. THAT is a leader, friends. Jack Shephard could never.
KatyBeth: Heaven help me, I cannot believe I am about to say this, but: I love Eloise Hawking? She went from being the mysterious lady who won’t sell Desmond a ring for Penny to the mysterious lady doing science in a church basement and then it turned out she was on the island at age 17 pointing a gun at our friends and THEN we went to 1977 and found out she was the Leader of the Others?! (That probably caused some problems in her relationship with Charles Widmore.) And all along she was really Daniel Faraday’s mother?! She’s fascinating! I want to know how she got to the island and how she became the Leader and when and how she left. What brought her from the Others to being the person at The Lamp Post station? She raises Daniel Faraday alone KNOWING that when he’s an adult, he’s going to show up on Daddy Issues Island and she’s going to unknowingly murder him. So she spends his whole life preparing him for that moment. I would like an entire series focused on her, please.
Sage: SURPRISE, IT’S BENJAMIN LINUS AGAIN.
I think this choice was locked in during “The Incident: Part 1,” when Ben told John he was a Pisces and #GuysWhereAreWe compatriot Evan tweeted, “I just googled it, he’s a Sagittarius.”
My LYING-ASS, strangely soulful, John Locke-loving weirdo! He can only speak the truth when he’s doing things like telling Jack he won’t lose a wink of sleep if everyone else on their Ajira flight dies upon reentry or being literally 12 and opening up to Sayid about how alone he feels in his life. One minute, he’s all cold calculation (AND MURDER) and the next he’s made himself as vulnerable as he can in the hopes of connecting to the heart of the island. I’ll be having a great time watching any number of episodes where he’s not around, but, no matter how good the other storylines are, there’s always a moment when I get sad that Ben isn’t there.
Shannon: We have known and loved (and lusted after) Benjamin Linus for the better part of four seasons. But THIS is the season the curtain falls and we really see the full breadth of his character, in all his complicated glory. And it’s wonderful. HE is wonderful.
Ben Linus starts the season full of certainty. He’s lost everything, he’s in mourning, but he KNOWS what needs to be done – up to and including the moment he kills John Locke. And that whole time he’s magnificent! Just like he always is! But then we get to “Dead is Dead.” Then we see Ben’s childlike glee at John’s resurrection, paired perfectly with his *actual* childish rebellion within the Dharma Initiative. We find out that, while he was always different, he wasn’t always an Other. (Is it a lie to say he was born on the island? I don’t think it is.) We learn that he raised Alex because he wouldn’t – couldn’t? – kill a child. That he let Danielle live, too. That his moral compass is REAL and it is cemented in his faith and belief in the island. And when the island starts putting its faith elsewhere, we see him falter. We see a Ben Linus who doesn’t know all the answers, who forces himself to get comfortable with being wrong and following orders. Because he thinks it’s for the island. Because he believes that the island has forgiven him his trespasses.
A key part of Ben’s character is that he makes bad decisions when he’s emotionally compromised — so he rarely lets himself get emotionally compromised. It’s why he’s five steps ahead at every possible moment. Watching Ben face off against Jacob, all I could think about was the kid standing in Sayid’s cell, frightened of his father and desperate for another life. For someone to believe in him, to trust him, to value him. But that’s not how Gods roll. So Ben makes a bad decision and kills that God. Babe. Where do we go from here?
- Least Favorite Character?
Shannon: Fuuuuuuuuuuucking Phil. He’s the worst! He’s smarmy and annoying and doesn’t add character value outside of plot machinations and he punched Juliet that one time and I’m not sad he’s dead!
Kim: Radzinsky is like THAT fanboy that gets fixated on that ONE MINUTE DETAIL of the show he loves and doesn’t care about anything other than that ONE MINUTE DETAIL, fuck everything else. He’s the fanboy that’s SO SINGLE MINDED about
the missing episodes the Swan Station that he can’t see the forest for the trees. He’s willing to burn everything else down because god forbid Sayid saw his BLUEPRINTS. It’s funny, because thanks to Season Two, we know the whole time that he’s heading for a life in the Hatch, pressing the button every 108 minutes, until he eventually ends his life by shooting himself in the head. In Season Two, I felt pity for the poor bastard. In Season Five, I’m like…good riddance.
Sage: Radzinsky has a lot of anger, and I’d say he should talk to someone about it, but we’ve seen how well therapy goes in this little commune.
KatyBeth: Beating out all of the Dharma Bros (Radzinsky and Horace and Phil and Roger, whose presence causes me to write “blah blah blah” in my notes), it’s everyone’s favorite to hate, Jack Shephard! He’s shitty to Kate off the island. He’s mean to Locke in the hospital. He really annoys Sawyer when he shows back up. He refuses to help Juliet with surgery on gunshot Baby Ben Linus! Listen, Jack. Sayid shot Baby Ben Linus and Eloise Hawking shot Daniel Faraday and you are STILL the least favorite. Even behaving like he’s possessed by the spirit of John Locke can’t save him from my disdain.
- Most Underrated Episode?
Sage: Despite Hugo’s incorrect stance on Ewoks, it’s “Some Like It Hoth,” which is a great showcase for Miles and Ken Leung. It’s beyond obvious to us watching that it was something to do with the island that broke up Miles’s family, not his father simply walking out. But seeing Miles as a rebellious teenager who has to watch his mother die young sells the idea that he’d still believe that old story about his dad, despite the fact that the circumstances aren’t at all what he had previously assumed. The Miles and Hugo teamup is inspired, as the latter wears his heart on his sleeve and the former is well-practiced at packing everything down inside. And who can resist that delicious time travel nugget of getting to meet your own parents when they were about your age?
Kim: “Some Like It Hoth” may not do much to move the main story forward, but it’s a lovely character piece for Miles that’s very reminiscent of the first season, but with sharper, stronger, and more focused writing. (In fact, if this had aired in Season One, it would have been in play for best episode of the season.) One of my favorite things about Lost’s sprawling ensemble cast is that five seasons deep there are still opportunities to play with new cast combinations. We got a taste of how delightful Hurley and Miles are together in “Whatever Happened, Happened,” where they debated the rules of time travel. “Some Like It Hoth” goes all in on this pairing, to hilarious and unexpectedly touching results, from Miles and Hugo comparing their gifts when it comes to communing with the dead to Hurley trying to matchmake Miles and Chang to the final scene where Hurley shares his own experiences and uses Luke Skywalker as a shining example of Daddy Issues. (“In Empire, Luke found out Vader was his father, but instead of putting away his lightsaber and talking about it, he overreacted and got his hand cut off. I mean, they worked it out eventually, but at what cost?”) And on Miles’ side of the argument, he makes a spectacular case for why we don’t always have to forgive the sins of our parents and it’s perfectly within an adult child’s right to NOT pursue a relationship with their absent parent. That doesn’t get talked about enough, and Ken Leung navigates the moment perfectly.
“Some Like It Hoth” is Lost at its best really, delivering the feels mixed with humor, punctuated by a final scene where Miles watches Chang being a good and loving parent to his infant self and Michael Giacchino pays JUST enough homage to Williams’ Luke theme that it just…brings a tear to your eye. Fathers and sons, y’all!
KatyBeth: Okay, listen. It’s hard to pick an underrated episode in a season where every single episode is fantastic. So much happens in “The Lie” that I can’t quite believe it’s all in one hour. Hurley and Sayid reenact Weekend at Bernie’s. Neil Frogurt whines about how they need a fire and then he gets shot with a flaming arrow. Benjamin Linus pulls the Lilly Kane vent trick for storing his valuables. Hurley throws a hot pocket at Ben Linus! The island skips to 1954! Locke saves Sawyer and Juliet from some soldiers!
The two biggest moments for me involve the Oceanic Six sorting out their business before they inevitably return to the island. Hurley confessing the truth about the plane crash and the island to his mom, and being believed, is such a lovely moment for their relationship and his own stability. At the same time, Kate apologizes to Sun for not saving Jin and Sun offers forgiveness and empowerment, telling Kate she is “the kind of person who makes hard decisions when she has to”. (Jack gets none of that when he apologizes to Sun later.) The whole episode is groundwork for everything that happens the rest of the season, and yet it feels like everything is forgotten in a flash once “Jughead” happens.
Shannon: “This Place is Death” is so good it nearly gave “The Variable” a run for its money as my favorite of the season. The audience has just barely acclimated to the destabilization of the time shifts when all of a sudden we’re face to face with Danielle Rousseau, youthful, cheerful and very pregnant. Switching the wisened “I know what this island is about and you gotta listen to me” POV from Danielle to Jin is inspired. It was one thing to watch Danielle Rousseau’s booby traps and isolationism in the first season and abstractly mourn for the tragedies that changed her; it’s entirely different to watch her shoot her lover between the eyes after the chilling realization that he was absolutely going to kill her. We see it all through Jin, and we see him making the same decisions now that Danielle had to make for the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815. He knows chasing Smokey is a Bad Idea, and he knows he can’t just talk Danielle’s crew out of going after their compatriots – because he did the exact same thing for Michael. THIS is how you use time travel and grow the connection to characters all at the same time.
All this, plus John going down the well after a pained farewell to Sawyer, then pushing the wheel at Christian’s insistence. AND Ben trying to triangulate the Oceanic Six together at the dock before pulling his van over to yell at Jack and Sun. Honestly, a masterpiece.
- Favorite Cameo/Guest Star?
Kim: I am 100% a sucker for whenever we get to see an old cast member again, and part of me believes that they did the three year time jump JUST so they could bring back Malcolm David Kelley (practically a grown ass man at this point) and close the loop on Walt Lloyd. (Because the loop IS closed now, y’all, are you REALLY expecting answers on why Walt was special? In this economy?) We’ve yelled a lot about how no one thought to check in on Michael’s kid, but I find beauty in the fact that the one person who DID care enough to do so was John Locke. After all, they shared an incredibly strong connection during their time on the Island, and this scene shows the bond hasn’t changed. Walt is still oddly connected to the Island and he’s dreaming about John, in a suit, surrounded by people who want to hurt him. But what I love the most about this scene is how John lets Walt go. He’s been through enough, indeed.
Shout out to Ana Lucia popping up to talk some sense into a panicking Hurley and to remind him that All Cops Are Bastards.
Sage: I’m always happy to see Breaking Bad’s Dean Norris, who makes the most of this small part. And though he doesn’t have a ton of screentime, he does fill the symbolic role of being a bad dad who gets told to his face that he was insufficient and withholding — an important step forward as we continue to watch it all go down on Daddy Issues Island.
Shannon: By the time Dean Norris rolled up in “Some Like it Hoth,” it had been a minute since there’d been a one episode cameo that got me really excited. But this guy I know! And this guy I love! And goddamn, does this guy do a lot with a little. Breaking Bad started the year before Season Five aired, which means the country had JUST met Hank Schrader and Dean could still pop into an episode like this without completely sucking the air out of the place. But in just two scenes, his character’s pain, trauma, and grief is so visceral. I couldn’t take my eyes off him. And his pain paints such an important picture of Miles’ daily life. Imagine dealing with this kind of horror on the regular.
KatyBeth: I have loved Lance Reddick since the first time I saw him on Fringe, and it’s been so exciting to have him mysteriously show up as Matthew Abaddon in previous episodes that I couldn’t believe my luck when he got to spend an entire episode with John Locke.
- Best New Addition?
Shannon: I. Love. That. Temple. I love everything about it. I love that it’s filled to the brim with statues and antiquity. I love that it’s been on the island, built over and built under, for as long as the donkey wheel. I love that Smokey seems to live in it, or at least move through it, and that it may just have something to do with the healing properties of the island. I love that it looks windy and cold and damp, the way a good temple should, and that it’s the kind of place where torches go dark and then take to fire again with zero explanation. I love that there are multiple secret entrances and outposts connected to the temple, all covered in the same pseudo-Egyptian Old Kingdom style hieroglyphics. But most of all, I love that there are frequent, notable carvings of Anubis in and around the temple. Anubis, who, just for posterity, happens to be the Egyptian God of the afterlife, responsible for every soul’s final judgement. You know, the one who weighed hearts against a feather to decide their fate.
Anyway. I love that temple.
KatyBeth: The moment the season began and it was revealed that Mr. Dharma Man, aka Dr. Pierre Chang, would be jumping from his role as the star of John Locke’s favorite film series to join our island friends, I might have lost my mind with delight. (I also immediately assumed he was Miles’ dad because that seemed like the kind of thing this show would do.) We got to watch him record a Dharma Station film! He turned out to be Miles’ dad! He can’t control his people! He loves his family and just wants them to be safe! Honestly, the only bad part of this season was that John Locke didn’t get to meet his hero.
Sage: Melissa Farman is freakishly impeccable casting as young Danielle Rousseau. Granted, we don’t learn much more about her situation than what we already knew from the “present-day” Danielle, but it adds to the tragedy to see her young, pregnant, capable, and still terrified.
Kim: Eloise Hawking really took one look at all the bad dads on this show and said “Hold my glass of vintage Pinot Noir because I am a CLASSY LADY who would never deign to drink beer and I am a worse parent than every single one of you Philistines.” Also, if she isn’t a member of Stevie Nicks’ witch coven in Los Angeles, I don’t even know what we’re doing here.
- Best Off Island Story?
KatyBeth: KATE! AUSTEN! GROWING! AS! A! PERSON!
I have no chill about how much I love Kate’s off-island story in “Whatever Happened, Happened.” Season Four went too hard on the mysteries of Kate’s life off-island for like, no reason than to justify Jack’s drama, and oh boy was it boring. Kate immediately becomes a well-rounded character when she’s separated from the boys. Remember when she went on an adventure with Danielle and Claire? When she birthed Claire’s baby? Anytime she’s hanging out with Sun or Juliet?
Kate’s a person who grew up with a lie about her parentage and blew up her own house with her birth father inside because he abused her mother and yet her mother continued to choose that (dead) man over her. She knows family trauma personally. When the Oceanic Six make it back, she stands alone, clutching Aaron like a lifeline. She has nobody. She needs this kid as much as he needs a mother, and she becomes a mother for him. But she’s careful to not repeat the mistakes of her own mother, or even her own self on the island. She supports Jack, but not at the expense of Aaron. She learns that a found family is more important than romance.
By going to find Sawyer’s daughter Clementine, she’s reunited with her one-time friend Cassidy, and the icy reunion we see in early 2005 (all Sawyer’s fault, and while I don’t agree with Cassidy’s view of him, I think he was shitty to her and she’s entitled to be mad) gives way to a real friendship. Kate tells Cassidy the truth of what happened on the island! And about Aaron’s background! When Kate shows up in 2007, Clementine greets her as “Auntie Kate” and Cassidy offers up words of comfort and her own bed for a nap. These are not acquaintances, people. These women are best friends. Kate Austen, big bad mysterious criminal, has become the member of the Oceanic Six with the most to lose and the least reason to return to the island. Except…
She knows the trauma of not knowing the truth about your parents. As much as she loves Aaron, and as good of a mother as she is to him, she can’t live with herself knowing that he doesn’t know his mother. Claire disappeared, and Kate wound up with Aaron, and Kate doesn’t know about Claire’s family situation, and Jack’s the world’s worst excuse for an uncle/stepdad (ugh, yuck), and Kate cannot live with herself if she doesn’t pursue the opportunity to reunite Aaron with his mother. Even if it means losing her child. So she goes to Claire’s mom and tells the truth and hands over her kid (which is not great, and I hope she looped Cassidy in so Aaron would have someone consistent when THE ONLY MOTHER HE HAS EVER KNOWN goes away in the night and leaves him with Stranger Grandma) and promises to go back to find Claire. Kate has a purpose. She is going to find Claire, bring her home, and then figure out what family means with all the pieces in place.
Shannon: So you’re telling me there’s a Dharma station underneath a church. And that it’s surrounded by ancient columns, an old school train arrival ticker and some file cabinets and chalkboards. And that there’s a giant gold pendulum swinging over the engraved floor, which is a curved, blue and gold map of the earth. And you’re telling me the aforementioned, ominous gold pendulum is meant to triangulate the precise location of a time travelling island BEFORE it arrives at its next destination? Goddamn I love this show.
Kim: As I said earlier, I love when Lost is able to explore the rarer cast pairings. Even though they are OG cast members and two of the Oceanic Six, I don’t feel like we’ve gotten a lot of time with Sayid and Hurley together, which makes their storyline in “Because You Left” and “The Lie” so damn enjoyable. I love the way they play off each other, with Sayid’s cool demeanor, impassive face, and deadly assassin moves contrasted with Hugo’s warmth and big-hearted emotional intelligence (not to mention his spot-on view about comfort food, channelling Elle Woods’ “Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands” attitude). It’s inspired the way “The Lie” shows three years ago Hurley basically tells Sayid to go fuck himself versus the way Hurley leaps to Sayid’s aid because that’s just how he is, like did you ACTUALLY think Hugo would leave one of his friends in the lurch? Honestly, the Weekend at Bernie’s concept has never been more delightful.
Sage: I loved “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham” in the moment and I appreciate it even more now, knowing that this really is the last we’d seen of the actual John Locke.
John has been a soul on the hunt for a purpose, and once he’s finally confident in one, he can’t fulfill it. He was an outsider amongst the survivors and is only more removed from them back in the real world. The only person he visits who is likely to follow him without much question is Walt (everyone else still on notice for pretending that this child does not exist!), yet John doesn’t have the heart to retraumatize the kid. This episode brings us right back to the “man of science, man of faith” divide, showing us what happens when that faith runs out.
And I don’t even have the right words to describe that final scene with Ben and John, except to say that it’s the two finest actors in the entire cast (you know it to be true) being right there in the moment together, upping each other’s game with every line. I don’t know if I breathed once during that entire confrontation, except Kim swears that I groaned when Ben DROPPED TO HIS KNEES IN SUPPLICATION to beg John to reconsider. If that’s true, I stand by it.
- Favorite Ship?
Shannon: This isn’t even a contest. Sawyer and Juliet! All day! Every day! They make so much sense as a couple in a way you don’t quite get until you SEE them together, and then once you do you can never unsee it. Both separately and together, Sawyer and Juliet can instantly size up any situation. They take no shit. They will kick ass and ask questions in exactly the right order. They’re both very emotionally guarded with the rest of the characters on the island, and yet, we know that all either of them really want is an excuse to let down their respective walls. They have each been protecting a deep well of unending loyalty and love, until they find safe harbor. And find it they do. Together, as Dharma Initiative members, thirty years ago.
Sage: I’d heard so often that Juliet and Sawyer were going to rock my world, but I think we can all agree that those first few episodes where they’re around each other barely supply a preview of what they would become. Yet, from the moment Sawyer emerges from the ocean after, essentially, giving up Kate, he and Juliet are a team. I was frustrated in the first couple of seasons with people declaring their undying love for each other after like, two nights of sleeping together in a tent. The beauty of Sawyer and Juliet is that it happens right under our noses.
While nothing about Kate and Sawyer was ever equal, this relationship is founded on partnership. Not lust, not desperation: partnership. It blossoms out of “who’s gonna get my back?” That’s it. All that matters to them is being there for each other. And!!! Perhaps even more importantly: Juliet indulges James’ need to be the little spoon.
Listen, I really expected to give this to Benjamin Linus and his murder husband John Locke, who he murders and whose ghost he follows around (appropriately spooky love for October!). But Sawyer and Juliet are so pure, so deserving of love, so perfectly matched, and I love them together so much. They back one another up even if the plan is bad. They pull their guns in unison in “LaFleur”! One episode of them in love is better than the boring love triangle we had to suffer for so many seasons.
Kim: I think what I love the most about Suliet is that it feels like it’s an organic love story between two adults. Desmond and Penny have the soulmate across all time and space thing going on, while Jin and Sun are our star-crossed lovers. Charlie and Claire were the twee pairing, barely sharing more than a few chaste kisses, while Jack and Kate are the toxic relationship between two pretty white people that’s being constantly shoved down our throats, the writers begging us to care that these two end up together in the end.
In other words, they’re the Ross and Rachel of Lost.
If Jack and Kate are Ross and Rachel, then Sawyer and Juliet are Monica and Chandler. Sure, they’re still two pretty white people, but they bring out the BEST in each other. They are partners who believe in each other, who push each other to be the finest versions of themselves. They are the ship we never saw coming, and also the kind of ship we’ve always WANTED on this show. And they sold them to us in a single episode.
As I was combing through Tumblr, searching for gif sets for this post, I found this amazing quote from an old article posted on The Verge (newbies, there are spoilers, don’t click!), that while I mostly disagree with the author’s opinions on the longevity of Lost, I DO agree with this one passage that sums Suliet’s appeal up far better than I ever could.
“The finest example of a good character moment is Sawyer and Juliet’s relationship in Season Five. The two of them, after being caught on the Island spinning recklessly through time like a skipping record, are finally forced to settle in the 1970s in the Dharma Initiative’s midst. Neither has any real reason to get together. By then, we’d already been forced to invest in either a Kate-Jack or Kate-Sawyer pairing. But the show flashes us three years into their relationship, and, in a single moment, sells their coupledom almost effortlessly because the characters have been through enough apart that we understand what they need and can provide for one another. Sawyer needs someone who doesn’t cotton to his bullshit. Juliet needs someone who believes in her and isn’t trying to own her. Both need to feel trusted. And in an instant, you were with them until the end. When Lost gets something right, it really gets it right.”
- Best Shipper Moment?
Sage: Since it ends in John’s murder at his hands, I will not (I WILL NOT) choose Ben’s appeal to him in “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham.” James and Juliet on the dock in “LaFleur” is the stuff so much fanfiction is made of. But I’m going to go with the existence of little Charlie Hume, the cherubic offspring of our tenaciously loyal lovers, Penny and Desmond. There’s a lot of gross stuff that happens on this show around pregnancy and children, but Charlie is the exception: created in love, adored by his parents, and no one’s prop or or point to make.
KatyBeth: James “Sawyer” Ford believing in Juliet’s ability to safely deliver Amy’s baby in LaFleur was the purest, most beautiful example of love this show has given us since “The Constant,” and I will fight anyone who says it’s not.
Shannon: “This gentleman and I are taking a boat.”
Kim: Listen, most of “Dead is Dead” is just Benjamin and John being married as fuck. (Except it isn’t really John, and that’s REALLY upsetting, but more on that later.) Since Season Three, we’ve stated that Ben and John’s love language is murder, and they REALLY up the stakes on that one in Season Five. After Locke bitchily points out that Ben hasn’t even apologized for killing him, Benjamin apologizes in the only way he knows how: MURDER. “This gentleman and I are taking a boat!” Benjamin declares, right before shooting Cesar in the gut with his own gun. The LOOK on John’s face though! He’s so pleased, he’s so turned on, he’s so in love, and he’s so fucking delighted when Ben turns to him, an equally bitchy expression on his face as he says, “Consider that your apology.” WHEW! Where are my smelling salts?
- Best Warm Fuzzy?
Kim: Reader, my heart grew ten sizes when it was revealed that Desmond Hume and Penelope Widmore named their son after the man who made it possible for them to find each other again, giving his life in the process of doing so. Charlie Hume, you are the warmest of warm fuzzies.
Shannon: Hugo’s parents spent most of his adult life refusing to believe his outlandish claims. They never believed him about the numbers, they never took him seriously when he said time and time again that he felt cursed. So when, in “The Lie,” Hugo’s mom hears him tell the whole truth about what really happened to the Oceanic Six, you’d be forgiven for thinking it wouldn’t go over well. Which really ups the warm and fuzzy quotient on her careful response: “I believe you. I don’t understand, but I believe you.”
KatyBeth: Hugo Reyes telling his mother the truth about what happened on the island and she believes him! No questions, just treating her child with love and support she knows he needs.
Sage: Admittedly, it’s taken me a while to warm to Hugo (once my least favorite character!), but I maintain that the writing has improved for him every season. Though Hugo can be strong-willed on his own terms (in that he’s not easily persuaded by others), he hasn’t, to this point, been very successful in convincing others to go along with his way of thinking. Case in point, he was the member of the Oceanic 6 who was morally against lying about what happened on that island (imo, because it’s an insult to the dead, who he knows better than anyone), yet he was outvoted and pushed into line by stronger personalities: Kate, Jack, Sayid.
That doesn’t mean, however, that Hugo now believes that they did the right thing. On the contrary, he carries the guilt of it and, as none of the others are good enough friends to help him bear it, he carries it alone.
So the moment when his mother, who can’t possibly fathom what he’s been through, offers to listen to him anyway, there’s a real sense of a weight being lifted off of Hugo. He hasn’t had the most stable family life, but he’s always given his parents the opportunity to surprise him, and in this case, one of them does.
- Thirstiest Moment?
Kim: First of all, as an honorable mention, I HAVE to shout out “Because You Left” for keeping Sawyer shirtless the ENTIRE TIME. They really never missed a chance to objectify Josh Holloway and for that I am grateful.
But on to the real thirst.
I genuinely don’t know what’s happening to me on this rewatch, because I’ve never reacted this way to him before, but truly, any time Benjamin Linus shows up off island in any one of his fabulous array of coats, but SPECIFICALLY that black one where he pops the collar, my insides start quivering like a delicate Victorian lady. It is my belief that Hurley threw that Hot Pocket at Ben not because he was scared by Ben’s sudden appearance, but because he was so fucking shook at how FUCKING HOT Ben is that his body didn’t know what to do with itself, so he just threw something at him. Because honestly, it’s what I would have done in that same situation.
Shannon: I don’t know how I’m expected to cope when off-island Ben Linus, the hottest of them all, spends an entire monologue explaining an oil painting to Jack in an abandoned church. I really honestly don’t.
As your resident art history nerd, I can assure you that Ben’s take on that (granted, obvious) painting is exactly right. He knows he’s delivering it to the Island’s very own Doubting Thomas and that no amount of context, religious, artistic or otherwise, can get Jack to click into what he’s trying to say. But because he’s off-island Ben Linus, hottest of them all, he’s gonna do it anyway. Because he just wants to talk about a painting, and know that HE knows it’s important, whether his chosen audience cares or not. It’s just. It’s so hot.
Honorable mention goes to that time Sayid killed a man by throwing him into a dishwasher full of knives.
KatyBeth: I know we always give this to Sayid “Deep V Tank Top” Jarrah or Desmond “One Button” Hume, but the thirstiest moment of this entire season for me was the reveal of Motor Pool Juliet in “LaFleur.” Ma’am. We’re all looking respectfully.
Sage: Look, I know she’s a doctor and that healing people is her calling, but a sweaty, oil-kissed Juliet sliding out from underneath a Dharma van with her tools was a SIGHT to SEE.
Honorable mention to Sayid disarming a hydrogen bomb with his arms glistening in the light of so many flaming torches… kind of the same vibe.
- Right in the Feels Moment?
KatyBeth: In Follow the Leader, when Miles, Hurley, and Jin spy on the evacuation of Dharmaville, Miles realizes that his warning to Dr. Chang to save the island people is the reason his dad sent him and his mom away. Dr. Chang always cared for and loved them, but he had to force his wife to go and she didn’t forgive him. Miles, in saving his family, caused the pain he and his mother dealt with for the rest of their lives.
Shannon: My soft spot for Hurley grew three sizes this season and there are several moments I could have pointed to here, but he and Miles’ heart to heart (such as it is) in “Some Like it Hoth” is top of the list. Listen, in my own emotional reactions I’m way more of a Miles than I am a Hugo. It’s so easy for us sensitive punk types to throw a wall around something upsetting and then refuse to acknowledge its existence. Miles has been living on this island with his father for THREE YEARS and he’s never once looked at the emotional impact on his heart, or considered trying to find closure for his own sake. But Hugo, with his thoughtful innocence and pure spirit, can’t help asking questions. Which could easily come off as off-putting and childish! But the straightforward, understanding emotional intelligence around his response to Miles yelling (“Cuz you’re in pain, you need to let it out”) reminds us that Hurley knows what he’s talking about.
And really, it’s the context of the episode that kills me. Imagine if someone had told Miles, when he was just a scared kid who started hearing the voices of the dead, that it was okay for him to be in pain. That it was a natural reaction to an unnatural event. Miles needs someone to tell him it’s okay to feel his feelings, and Hugo’s the only one who gives him that space.
Kim: It’s a testament to the brilliance of Jeremy Davies that the scene with toddler Charlotte comes off as neither icky nor creepy because it very easily could have. Instead it’s just deeply, deeply, deeply sad as Daniel, with tears brimming his eyes, completes the time loop by telling Charlotte she and her mommy need to get on the sub. He fought against doing it, he really did. But since Charlotte REMEMBERED this moment right before he died? Well. As they say, whatever happened, happened.
Sage: Sweet, sweet Daniel Faraday. No one could have tried harder than you.
- Best WHAT THE FUCK Moment?
Sage: In the words of Beyonce, god is real. And he’s Mark Pellegrino from Supernatural!
I have many, many questions about Jacob visiting the Oceanic 815 passengers off-island. Why some before the crash? Why some after? Did he call them there in the first place? (It certainly seems so.) And WHY?
What all of that boils down to is what kind of god IS Jacob anyway? Like the rest of them, he’s cruel and distant. But he has to have some kind of endgame here, and I’m eager to find out why he’s placed these pieces the way that he has.
Shannon: Listen, I know there are piles of fantastic WHAT THE FUCK moments this season. Many of them are burned into my brain in ways both inspiring and disturbing. But for reasons I can’t quite explain, none of them send a shiver down my spine like “we’re gonna name him Ethan.”
KatyBeth: JOHN LOCKE HAS BEEN DEAD THIS WHOLE TIME. THEY SIXTH SENSE’D US. A GHOST REALLY DID FOLLOW HIM HOME. WHAT DOES IT MEAN AND WHAT WILL HAPPEN NOW?
Kim: Listen. When you watch the back half of Season Five for a second time, it’s incredibly obvious that from “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham” on, Terry O’Quinn is playing a completely different character, even if HE didn’t realize it at the time. (He famously wasn’t told the truth until much later in the season, but he based his acting choices on the change in the writing and his own intuition and THAT’S why he’s an Emmy winner.) Everything about John Locke is different from the moment he gets back on the Island, from his posture to his voice to the way he fucking smiles. It’s so subtle, but at the same time it’s like he’s shouting it from the rooftops. (What does it say about Richard that he knows Locke’s different right away?) So we shouldn’t be shook that at the reveal that John’s body is still in the box it came in, but yet we ARE. And placing the reveal right before the temple scene? That’s goddamn good television.
- Favorite Weird Island Happening?
Shannon: Quick question, why is Jacob calmly eating his breakfast under a supersized statue of Sobek? Sobek, Ancient Egyptian crocodile God of the Nile who was best known in equal parts for warding off evil and for pharaonic viciousness in battle? Sobek, who was simultaneously a ferocious killer and a safe harbor for the innocent and whose post-antiquity symbol of protection, aka the evil eye, looks suspiciously identical to the Oceanic logo? Yeah this is fine. I’m sure this is fine.
Kim: “What lies in the shadow of the statue?” Also known as Lost’s answer to a “Hail Hydra” moment. I love that this question was a thread throughout the season. I love that no one fucking knew the answer, subsequently failing whatever secret society bullshit test they’d just been given and then getting the shit kicked out of them. (FRANK LAPIDUS DID NOTHING TO YOU, YOU JERKS.) I love that Richard Alpert strolled out of the jungle like the ageless thirst trap that he is and he didn’t even flinch when Ilana posed the question to HIM. Because of COURSE he knew the answer.
“Ille qui nos omnes servabit.”
Translation? “He who will save us all.”
KatyBeth: Finding out that The Ghost Who Wears Christian Shepherd’s Face is really That Guy From The Past Who Wants to Kill Jacob AND LATER ASSUMES THE FORM OF JOHN LOCKE. Honestly, the entire backstory of Jacob and Jacob’s Murder-y Neighbor is a whole new thrill and I can’t wait to see where it’s going.
Sage: I was going to choose Ben being turned into an Other by whatever ritual brought him back from the brink of death, but one throwaway line stuck in my mind to the point that I had to change it.
“Well, that’s the exit.”
When John Locke wonders how Charles Widmore knew to come and find him in Tunisia, that’s what the motherfucker says. THAT’S THE EXIT. The island just poops you out into the same spot in the middle of the same desert every time, and to me, that is beautiful, as is something that weird being imparted so matter-of-factly. (A hallmark of this television program.)
- Best Use of an Episode Title Within the Script?
KatyBeth: “Dead is Dead” because HOLY SHIT ON LOST IT IS. So creepy, so ominous, so willing to tell us exactly what is happening right in front of our eyes. Also, if Benjamin Linus is scared, then I am also scared.
“Dead is dead. You don’t get to come back from that, not even here. So the fact that John Locke is walking around on this island scares the living hell out of me.”
Sage: One of the great joys of my life now is being able to decipher when Benjamin Linus is lying and when he is telling the truth. When he first sees John Locke alive and walking around after he garotted him to death, he tells John that this was his hope all along — that the island would revive him, though he couldn’t be completely sure that it would.
But when he speaks to Sun, we get his real reaction:
“Sun, I had no idea it would happen. I’ve seen this Island do miraculous things. I’ve seen it heal the sick, but never once has it done anything like this. Dead is dead. You don’t get to come back from that, not even here. So the fact that John Locke is walking around this Island… scares the living hell out of me.”
Dead. Is. Dead. It’s not just a check for how the magic of this island works, it’s also a meta maxim for the show. No one comes back. The actors may, but the characters do not — not exactly how we knew them, at least. It’s a brutal promise but a necessary one, and the actual real fear that Michael Emerson imbues Ben with in this moment is ex-fucking-quisite.
Shannon: There are some really great ones this season, but for its graceful simplicity, this one goes out to “LaFleur”. The man, the myth, the legend. Everyone’s favorite Head of Security and a legendary episode to boot.
Kim: I’m gonna let the script do the talking for a second.
FARADAY: In about four hours, the DHARMA folks at the swan work site–they’re gonna–gonna drill into the ground and accidentally tap into a massive pocket of energy. The result of the release of this energy would be catastrophic. So in order to contain it, they’re gonna have to cement the entire area in, like Chernobyl. And this containment–the place they built over it–I believe you called it “the Hatch.” The Swan hatch? Because of this one accident, these people are gonna spend the next 20 years keeping that energy at bay… by pressing a button… a button that your friend Desmond will one day fail to push, and that will cause your plane–Oceanic 815–to crash on this Island. And because your plane crashed, a freighter will be sent to this Island–a freighter I was on and Charlotte was on and so forth. This entire chain of events–it’s gonna start happening this afternoon. But… we can change that. I studied relativistic physics my entire life. One thing emerged over and over–can’t change the past. Can’t do it. Whatever happened, happened. All right? But then I finally realized… I had been spending so much time focused on the constants, I forgot about the variables. Do you know what the variables in these equations are, Jack?
FARADAY: Us. We’re the variables. People. We think. We reason. We make choices. We have free will. We can change our destiny. I think I can negate that energy under the Swan. I think I can destroy it. If I can, then that hatch will never be built, and your plane… your plane will land, just like it’s supposed to, in Los Angeles.
Have I mentioned how much I love Lost’s rules of time travel? (THEY ARE FIXED AND FINITE.) And don’t even get me started on its take on predestination vs. free will. That is exactly my kind of philosophical bullshit. Jeremy Davies delivers this monologue with nothing short of (whispered) operatic grandeur and its theorem not only sets the plot in motion for the end of Season Five, it tees up the rest of the goddamn series. Masterful is putting it lightly, to be honest.
- Favorite Hero Moment?
Sage: Am I talking about Ben too much?? Wait, don’t tell me, I don’t care.
As always, he has his own motives. But it IS kind of dashing, the way he takes out Cesar and his minions when they try to stop John from heading to the other island in “Dead is Dead.”
“This gentleman and I are taking a boat. Does anyone else have a problem with that?” NOT ME, MR. LINUS. Not me.
Shannon: No one but Sayid Jarrah could be trusted to remove the core of a hydrogen bomb smoothly and efficiently and then CARRY it on his BACK like it’s NOTHING. What kind of Tony Stark bullshit…
KatyBeth: Juliet wakes up at the bottom of the well at the Swan site. It’s the final moment of the season and she’s been pulled down by an electromagnet and some chains. She cries, because being pulled down a well seems pretty scary and she’s injured and she and Sawyer have been having a stressful day where she keeps believing their relationship is over. She looks over, and she sees the bomb. Knowing what she has to do, she picks up a rock and begins to pound on the bomb until the screen goes white and we hear an explosion.
Kim: There are a LOT of heroic moments in Season Five, both genuine (Jack’s first person shooter skills in getting both Daniel and Sayid out of Dharmaville, Kate being the first one to lunge for Juliet when the chains wrap around her legs) and comic (Benjamin going soccer mom on Jack and Sun, threatening to turn this van around and go home if they don’t shut the fuck up, Sun acting buddy-buddy with Benjamin and then whacking him in the head with an oar). I changed my answer to this question no less than five times.
In the end, I settled on what I consider to be one of the most iconic images of Lost. My hero moment is a broken and bloodied Juliet suddenly coming to in the bottom of a pit, crying as she accepts her fate. It’s Juliet knowing she’s going to die. It’s Juliet rolling her head, her eyes landing on the unexploded core of the hydrogen bomb. It’s Juliet SOMEHOW summoning up the strength to crawl a couple of feet (which must have felt like miles to her poor, broken body) grasping a rock in her hand. It’s Juliet using that last burst of adrenaline to pound on that bomb, screaming the catchphrase of the man she loves as she does so, as if she’s channelling his spirit somehow. It’s the screen suddenly going white as she succeeds. If that’s not the definition of heroic, I don’t know what is.
- Sum Up Your Feelings on the Season?
Shannon: I said in the last roundup that Season Four is when the audience’s relationship with Lost becomes make or break. And the thing is, Season Five is the payoff. There are only so many ways to say that this season is perfect. For those of us who watched “The Constant” and sat up a little straighter because time travel, for those of us who started murder boards to track the Dharma stations and tried to map out exactly who and what Charles Widmore keeps throwing money at – this season takes every single set up and brings it to the next level. It goes hard and it does so flawlessly.
KatyBeth: In any story, my favorite part is the juicy middle section, where the world and its inhabitants have been established, and I get to go on an adventure with my fictional friends. That’s absolutely true of Season Five. The growth and friendships and losses and gains hit so much harder because we know these people and we understand what they have been through. The new friendship of Hurley and Miles, the birth of Desmond and Penny’s child, Daniel Faraday devoting his life to a science that will lead him to his death, the redemption of Kate Austen, Sun’s quest to find her husband, Bernard and Rose and Vincent’s tropical hideaway, Sayid’s devotion to keeping his friends safe, Sawyer and Juliet’s new life, the moment when Benjamin Linus and John Locke reach the end of their battle… all of these stories, and so many more, made richer because these are our friends.
And then, well… there’s the time travel. I love time travel with my whole heart. I loved time travel when I was a child and I love it as an adult and I would have watched Lost so much sooner if anybody had told me that it became a show about time travel. The boldness of creating the concept of the skips! The effort of creating multiple distinct time periods! The casting of multiple people to play the same characters at different points in their lives! I took so many notes watching this season and trying to keep up and then screaming with excitement when the stories became more exciting on the second and third viewings. Honestly, the only thing better than a story about time travel is well-crafted story about time travel and this season is definitely one of my new favorite things in that category.
Kim: Season Five of Lost is my favorite season of Lost, full stop.
The funny thing is, I don’t think I felt that way as it aired in real time, but I definitely settled on it being my favorite once I came back to revisit the series, and that feeling’s only cemented further through this rewatch. It’s almost like its genius can’t be fully appreciated until you can sit down and watch it all consecutively where you can see all the little details as WELL as the entire picture. Lindelof and Cuse do SO MUCH with seventeen episodes. It’s insane, juggling all these storylines and yet somehow making it all feel seamless. (The only thread they leave dangling with this season is Desmond, but once the Oceanic Six and Co are back on the Island, no matter what time they are in, you can’t really check in on him in a way that makes sense, so I forgive it.) Season Five is big, audaciously weird storytelling that asks a lot of its audience, and to this day, I can’t believe it aired on ABC. But it’s also intimate, richly layered, character-driven storytelling that repays your investment tenfold. It’s the season that primed me to be a Whovian, even though I didn’t know that at the time. I don’t know what else to say other than I fucking love it and I do not understand the people who don’t.
Sage: TIME! TRAVEL!
It’s difficult to be critical of this season because time travel is one of my very favorite storytelling devices and it’s executed flawlessly in this show. All I felt during the season premiere was sheer glee at the skipping through time and the potential of it all. It shakes things up in a way that still feels controlled and purposeful, which is precisely my shit.
Having said that, I want to dedicate the rest of this section to the story moments that I couldn’t fit in any other category. For example, that we’ve added another shadowy group to the proceedings, this one with its own secret code. (What DOES lie in the shadow of the statue, hm?) That we get a spin on the resurrection where Jesus is pissed at god for letting him be sacrificed and announces his intent to kill him. That Sawyer noticed that Richard Alpert has amazing eyelashes. That Daniel Faraday’s mother is a straight-up witch, cauldron not included. That Sun still hates Jack, but also Ben and maybe Kate now too. That baby Charlotte remembered adult Daniel was “scary” when he was really just sad and so very desperate. That as badass as Juliet’s last moment is, it still feels like fridging because the exhumation of Sawyer and Kate’s thing and Juliet’s response to it are so off-track based on where these characters have been taken.
All in all, it’s a pleasure to feel so MUCH about a single season of television, let alone one that’s 11 years old.
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