Our favorite "Holy crap!" moments from "Lost"
While not quite as dramatic as feeling your spine shatter after getting shoved out an eight-story window, both have watched with mouths wide open on more than one occasion. With Season Four's re-launch set for 9 p.m. tonight, it felt appropriate to mark the show's return with a countdown of favorite chair-grabbing moments -- some you'd probably expect, others that may surprise you.
So grab some warm Dharma beer, spin some Mama Cass in the background and by all means, feel free to rank your own in the Comments section. C'mon, you know you want to give Jack's tattoo episode some love.
10. The Economist: Sayid is working for Ben off the island
The table was set with Sayid unexpectedly blasting some poor schmuck on a golf course. The rest of the episode methodically played out as one giant double-cross, but it was the revelation that Ben is playing puppet master off the island that created a whole new web of intrigue for the Oceanic Six. Is Ben (gasp) really one of the good guys? Say it ain't so, Sayid ...
9. Flashes Before Your Eyes: Desmond travels back in time, tells Charlie he's going to die
A Desmond-centric episode that had SO much confusing new information -- who the hell is the lady with the wedding ring? -- your head was spinning by the time Future Man finally revealed how and why he saved a drowning Claire. Yep, Charlie's days were numbered, and Desmond's time-traveling shenanigans were only just beginning.
8. Not in Portland: Edmund is killed by a bus after Juliet tells Richard Alpert what she'd like to see happen to him
It's a moment that came out of nowhere, one that if you walked to the fridge to get a drink or looked down to pick a piece of lint off your shirt would have simply happened and then ... poof ... that moment could've never returned with the same dramatic impact. And it might seem minor. After all, who is Edmund Burke? But that it was set up by Juliet's wishful thinking in front of the enigmatic Richard Alpert trying to recruit her to the island, well, it's the rare non-cliffhanger that made the hair stand up on the back of your neck. Man, those creepy "Others" are gooooood.
7. Live Together, Die Alone: Desmond discovers what happened when he didn't push the button
"I think I crashed your plane." Classic. And then the sky turned purple ...
6. The Man Behind the Curtain: Richard Alpert appears to Ben in the jungle having never aged
Ben's arrival on the island is pretty non-descript -- at least until he starts to see his dead mother roaming in the woods. In his child-like haste, he tries to track her down -- only to bump into another familiar face -- a familiar face that's too familiar when you consider Ben's age at the time. Richard Alpert as Ponce de Leon? Believe it.
5. The Man Behind the Curtain: Jacob to Locke, "Hellllpppp meeeeeee."
Locke turns into a doubting Thomas as Ben puts on a "show" in front of an empty chair. And then the fireworks really begin.
4. The Man From Tallahassee: Locke's father is shown tied up in a closet via Ben's "magic box"
Locke getting shoved out an eight-story window by his old man may have helped solve one of the show's longstanding mysteries. But that was only the opening act. How did Ben conjure up the real Sawyer/Locke's father via the "magic box?" It's a question that should be near the top of every "Lost" fan's list. No one saw it coming.
3. Through the Looking Glass: Charlie drowns, but not before warning Desmond of the freighter
Perhaps the most poignant death in the show's history. A heart-crushing slo-mo scene for Driveshaft fans everywhere -- Charlie accepting his fate and making one last sign of the cross.
2. The Constant: "I know about Eloise" -- Desmond meets Faraday in the past to discuss his future, er past, er what?
Desmond episodes have always been fascinating, but "The Constant" bent the concept of time beyond recognition. Daniel Faraday's Eloise experiment added dramatic depth to the island's warped properties. But while Jack, Kate, Locke and Ben have consistently taken on starring roles, Desmond's the one who really gives the show its spark of intrigue. Allowing viewers to flash in and out, well, it was (nose) bloody brilliant.
1. Through the Looking Glass: "We have to go back, Kate!"
I'm most angry at how Nirvana's "Scentless Apprentice" pulled me out of the entire episode -- how the subtle touch of adding a semi-obscure grunge-era tune off "In Utero" allowed me to automatically assume it was Jack's past we were looking at. "Through the Looking Glass" has it all: the shout-out to a drunken Christian Shephard, the tension between Jack and his ex-wife, the damned mystery coffin. But that ending. That completely twisted, out-of-left-field, HOLY CRAP ending. Past, present, future -- it changed how everyone would forever watch "Lost." And most important of all, the slow, maddening decline of Boy Scout Jack was officially put into motion.
-- Thomas Rozwadowski, email@example.com
10. Expose: Nikki opens her eyes
This highly divisive episode -- most fans hated the new characters of Nikki and Paulo, while the rest hated them even more -- was brilliant for a few reasons. It painted these castaway interlopers as truly despicable people, but also served as a summary of the series so far, seen through new eyes. But the ending ... that Twilight Zone ending, where a paralyzed Nikki snaps open her eyes just in time to see a shovelful of dirt hit her face as she and her lover are buried alive ... holy crap.
9. The Whole Truth: "I guess it's a good thing I'm not one of them, huh?"
For a few episodes in Season 2, we weren't sure whether or not to believe the tale told by "Henry Gale." Was he really a stranded balloonist who buried his wife on the island, or was he an Other? But this line, delivered as a chilling aside by the man we now know as Ben, put our suspicions to rest.
8. Deus Ex Machina: A light comes on in the hatch
When Locke and Boone discovered a mysterious door in the ground, that was crazy enough. But it was this episode where, after Boone's accident, Locke pounds on the hatch in a fit of despair and doubt, only to be answered by a glowing, humming light, coming from inside.
7. Exodus Part 2: Arzt gets careless with the dynamite
This moment has no bearing on island mysteries, offered no development of major characters, nor added to show canon in any way. But the sudden, explosive death of Dr. Arzt served as a reminder that anything can happen on "Lost" at any time ... which is why it rocks.
6. Raised By Another: Ethan wasn't on the manifest
This episode marked the first appearance of an Other -- even though we had already been introduced to him as a castaway. But Hurley's discovery that Ethan wasn't on the plane, followed by the immediate kidnapping of Claire and Charlie, began our ongoing adventure with these mysterious island-dwellers.
5. Two For the Road: Michael shoots Ana Lucia
We knew Michael, distraught over the loss of his son, would do anything to get Walt back from the Others. But his shooting of Ana Lucia -- in order to frame Ben -- was still shocking and brutal. If that wasn't enough, he also shoots Libby, who was just looking for some blankets.
4. Catch-22: "They found the plane ... there were no survivors."
There were always rumors swirling around the intertubes that the castaways never survived the plane crash, and that the island was actually purgatory, and blah blah blah. But when parachuter Naomi reveals to Hurley that Flight 815 was found and that everyone on board was dead ... well, holy crap.
3. Walkabout: Locke was in the wheelchair
The show's first true "Holy crap" moment, and still one of its best. Established knife-enthusiast and man of action John Locke is revealed to have been kind of a loser pre-island. But it was all a distraction from the real surprise, that Locke couldn't even walk before Flight 815 crashed. Just a brilliant revelation that established the series as one deserving total fan obsession. (As you can tell by this rather lengthy list of ours.)
2. The Man Behind the Curtain: Jacob's cabin freak-out
This moment, where Ben introduces Locke to Jacob, takes my No. 2 spot not merely for how freaking scary it is, but because it actually increased our interest in Jacob, the enigmatic island honcho whose "lists" determine the actions of the Others. Our brief glimpse of his profile, his wide, wild eye, and his plaintive cry of "Help me," are only the start of what promises to be a long, fascinating relationship with this ghostly presence.
1. Through the Looking Glass: "We have to go back!"
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the game changer. Until this, the third season finale, we only saw glimpses of the castaways' pasts, and the struggles that led them to the island. But when Kate stepped out of the shadows and into what we had presumed was another Jack flashback, not only was it clear that they made it off the island, but in Jack's case -- "We have to go back, Kate! We have to go back!" -- that wasn't necessarily a good thing. This moment sets up the rest of the series, as we presumably discover not only how they get off, but why Jack needs to return so badly. Only one thing is for certain: There are a lot more "Holy crap!" moments to come.
-- Adam Reinhard, firstname.lastname@example.org