Yesterday, we presented you with the five worst decisions in Lost history. There are few words I think any fan of the show likes less than “Nikki” or “Paulo.” So, let’s let them rest in their sandy island grave and move onto happier topics. Let’s recap some of the best decisions the producers of the show made, and how they turned Lost into a show that has become the pop culture sensation that is it.
THE BEST DECISIONS
5. Revealing John Locke was once in a wheelchair – Early in its first season, Lost demonstrated that while the island may be the show’s setting, the series’ heart laid in the character’s different stories. Until the episode “Walkabout,” the flashback had only been used to show some back story on the flight and explained how the survivors ended up on their island. This all changed in one of the show’s most monumental moments – revealing that off the island, John Locke was restricted to using a wheelchair. While this revealed new mysteries about the island, it also proved we had a lot to learn about the characters we had just met.
4. Desmond – While Lost‘s first season may be considered by many to be its best, it’s surprising that it could be as wonderful as it was without ever featuring one of the show’s most beloved and important characters, Desmond Hume. Since he was quickly introduced (only to vanish for the rest of the season), Desmond has become central to both the secrets of the island as well as the show’s story as a whole. Clearly, he has some special traits (resistant to electromagnetism? super powers? Who knows) that will somehow tie the sixth season’s two timelines together…and with that, bring the close to a conclusion.
3. Bai Ling – While she may have been the worst cast addition Lost ever made, she probably ultimately saved the entire series. With fan criticism of the show’s creativity (and lack of direction) simmering, Bai Ling providing the rallying point fans needed to bring it to a boil. After such a glaringly pointless episode, the show’s producers finally got the example they needed to convince ABC that Lost would only work with a set end-date (and three seasons to tell their story). Locking in a series finale date singlehandedly restored faith to viewers that the show was heading to a definite conclusion, free from the fear of an early cancellation (Twin Peaks) or a never-ending storyline (The X-Files, Alias). (Bai Ling also makes our list of worst Lost decision ever made as well)
2. Introducing Ben & Juliet – We first learned of the existence of the Others from Danielle’s cryptic warnings and Ethan’s hostile kidnapping plot in season one. For almost two years, the Others were merely a shadowy tribe of islanders we knew little about, but were sure to be fearful of. That changed with the introduction of Ben at the end of season 2, and the introduction of Juliet at the beginning of season 3. Ben and Juliet became the faces through which we met and learned the important history of the “hostiles”/”others”/”natives” or whatever else they became known as. And after a while (and some compelling storylines), Juliet became a character that many held dearer to them than some of the first survivors…making her death at the beginning of season 6 one of the hardest for fans to come to grips with.
1. Flashforwards – If Lost has transformed one thing about television the most, it’s the way the show has told its story. And although the plot has had more twists and surprises than almost any show on television, it had seemed to settle into a routine formula by its third season. Each episode would focus on an individual, show a bit of their back story through flashback, and then the end the story with yet another cliffhanger. In season 3’s finale, “Through The Looking Glass,” that formula was destroyed and fans found themselves asking more questions than ever. Since that monumental first flashforward, lost has presented us with flashbacks, flashforwards, flashsideways, and flash-who-knows-what. That first flashforward proved an important point: just when you think you know what’s happening on Lost, expect everything to turn on its head.
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