Biggest "Gasp!": Locke's Paralysis
If the terrific pilot episode didn't grab you, the first John Locke flashback, Walkabout (Season 1, Episode 4), would have done the trick. For the first three-quarters of the episode, Locke's portrayed as a loser who engages in role-playing games, is ridiculed by his boss, gets emotionally involved with a phone-sex operator and is somehow too ill to go on a walkabout trip abroad. But in the final flashback scene, when the camera panned back to reveal Locke is actually in a wheelchair (cleverly hidden throughout the episode), that sound you heard was the jaw of every Lost fan hitting the floor. It was an astounding moment that took Lost from great to sublime.
The funniest: Hurley's Interrogation
There are so many hilarious Hurley moments, whether he's having a conversation with his "Ma" or throwing a Hot Pocket at Ben. But my favourite moment happens as he, Miles and Jin are attempting to escape Dharmaville in 1977. Pierre Chang (the guy in the orientation videos) asks Hurley if they're time travellers, and Hurley says no, trapping himself in a lie he can only make worse. He then says he was born in 1931 (making him 46), and when Chang says, "So, you fought in the Korean War?" Hurley mumbles, "There's no such thing." The look that passes between Miles and Jin is priceless. Poor Hurley - it seems he thought M*A*S*H was fiction. He falls apart when Chang asks him who the President of the United States is; coincidentally, the very thing he asked Sawyer a few episodes earlier, worried Sawyer might be interrogated. It's comedy gold.
Most Intriguing: Ben against Widmore
In a scene I consider to be the centrepiece of the series so far, Ben Linus sneaks into Charles Widmore's bedroom in the dead of night in the Season 4 episode The Shape of Things to Come. When Widmore asks Ben if he's come to kill him, Ben responds, "We both know I can't do that." Ben stands in the shadows as Widmore sits up in bed, and Ben vows to kill Widmore's daughter, Penny, because Charles was responsible for the death of Ben's daughter, Alex. Widmore counters that Ben was the responsible one, and he calls him a "boy" and says, "I know what you are." Ben's insistence that Widmore "changed the rules" was intriguing, and has fans looking forward to further scenes between the two in Season 6.
Most Emmy-worthy: Locke's Thwarted Suicide
John Locke has never caught a break. He was raised by foster families who wouldn't adopt him. His parents finally came back into his life, only to dupe him out of a kidney. His own father turned him into a quadriplegic. On the island, his faith is questioned at every turn, and when he finally discovers his destiny - to bring the Oceanic 6 back to the island - he fails. A broken man, he climbs up onto a table and puts a cord around his neck, about to jump, when Ben Linus comes into the room and tries to talk him out of it. Locke stands there, tears streaming down his face, and says, "I'm a failure." It's a devastating moment, and Terry O'Quinn (Locke) is brilliant. Ben ultimately talks him down and then kills him, making even Locke's suicide attempt a failure.
The saddest: Charlie's Death
We've lost many characters over the past five seasons, but no death had more impact than Charlie's. Charlie, the lovable one-hit-wonder from the band Drive Shaft, had his ups and downs in the first two seasons. In Season 3, when Desmond began seeing flashes of the future and told Charlie that he would have to die if Claire and the baby were to be rescued, Charlie faced his fate head-on. The death scene is heart-wrenching: As the room in the underwater Dharma station fills with water, we hear only a mournful violin and quiet piano music. The scene switches to slow motion as Charlie, in his final act, madly writes a note to Desmond on his hand that will save lives. He then crosses himself, closes his eyes and drowns a hero.
Special to The Globe and Mail
Nikki Stafford is the author of the Finding Lost series of books. She blogs about TV at www.nikkistafford.blogspot.com.Report Typo/Error