So a common refrain today is the pointlessness of certain seasons, namely 5. I want us to have a discussion about each season's meaningfulness. Please post any and all thoughts you have. Air your grievances, or sing the praises.
People really insist that Season 5 is pointless. I disagree. It's the first season Jack really started to "get it" and let go. From a mystery and mythology standpoint, it served to unmask (if not totally) certain mysteries, such as the DI and Rousseau. From a character development standpoint, it brought everyone closer to the end by settling relationships; Sawyer is officially over Kate, Jack and Kate realize they love each other but Jack's problems split them up, and Sawyer grows to love Juliet. Plus, I found the time travel awesome. I also think it was brilliant how they managed to skip ahead three years and it not feel too weird.
If you're a mystery and mythology Lost fan, I think Season 1 would be the most pointless. It set up the series, but it was all just a bunch of infighting and going "Whoa, what is this place?" It only vaguely sets up a few of the major mysteries and answers none, but mostly it was for character development. If you're a character and journey type Lost fan, then it's possibly the most important. We first learn about each character, including their past and their problems and sins. We learn that letting go is a very, very long process.
Season 2 was brilliant all around. It has always been what Lost is to me. It's right in the middle of all of the good mysteries. We still don't have much insight into the Others, the DI is new and a total awe-inspiring mystery, Desmond first shows up and the Button is the point to the whole show and possibly the entire world. Plus, it's rife with character development. We have Jack versus Locke, Jack versus Sawyer, and even Sawyer versus Locke. I think if there was a single moment where the losties unconsciously decided they need to create an FST where they can spend eternity together, it would have happened in this season.
I'm torn with Season 3. For some reason it's always seemed like the "biggest" season to me, but was it ultimately pointless? From a mythological/mystery standpoint, it demystifies the Others and gives our first real glimpses of the DI. However, I think this season raises the most unanswerable questions and is the source of many a Lost fan's woes. Character development-wise, it's a pretty great season. Jack's Man of Science ways reaches full force with his decision to get everyone off the Island. Locke is at his most sheepish and pathetic, which is really what we remember him for. Sawyer has a major redemption and turns into a leader and hero. The whole season is sort of the culmination of the first two seasons' coming together. By this time everyone is for sure destined to be together in eternity. Journey-wise, it's only so-so. Not much really happened, when you think about it. A lot of back and forth trekking from beach to Barracks and generally just hanging around. The finale is really the payoff, and it's the first finale that just completely changes the game. It probably has the most WTF revelation, simply because we assumed that getting off the Island would be the end.
If there's a pointless season, Season 4 is what I would choose for all categories of Lost fandom. It was my favorite season until just this moment. Ultimately everything that happened was pointless, in that we don't know why Widmore and the freighties did anything they did. We know that after the season Jacob appeared to Widmore and convinced him to change his ways. We don't know if Ben was right and Widmore was just power-hungry or if Widmore really thought he was doing good and Ben was evil. We don't know what Widmore's ultimate goal was. The season completely served to set up the fifth season, to show how the O6 leave the Island and present the most important things they do in the three years after.
Season 6 can't really be pointless, because the results of it are what we seem to be judging the pointlessness of other seasons. Ultimately, it has the most mysteries solved, no matter how great the answers are. It has possibly the most important action in the Lost journey, including saving the world and defeating pure evil. Granted, most of the season seemed to be a lot of pointless moving around of characters, but that's most seasons when you think about it. As for character development, it's full of sacrifices, redemptions, letting go and fulfilling purposes. That it doesn't solve all of the mysteries we wanted solved I believe can't be counted against it, but rather they are marks against the seasons in which they were presented, or the show as a whole. As a self-contained season, it is entirely clear that the point is the journey and relationships they've shared.