I have seen a lot of episode ranking posts, so I apologize if this seems redundant. That said, I have recently completed my re-watch of the entire series, and wanted to jot down my top 15 favorites (10 just wasn't enough) and some brief thoughts on the top 10 selections while this was still fresh in my mind. So, feel free to post your own, rip me for my picks :) or discuss however you see fit. Here goes nothing:

  • 1. "The Man Behind the Curtain" (S320)
There's a reason this is my profile name -- it's my favorite episode! This episodes shows us: DHARMA living on the Island for the first time, as well as their demise, the first Ben flashback, the first sign that Richard is ageless, and gives us what is arguably still the most puzzling sequence in the series when Locke and Ben enter the cabin. Knowing now of Nemesis and the Loophole, this one is more satisfying, curious and incredible.
  • 2. "Man of Science, Main of Faith" (S201)
The opening "what's inside the hatch" sequence was amazing, and after all the speculation during the off-season, LOST established itself as a unique and totally unpredictable show. This episode truly establishes the Jack-Locke conflict for the rest of the series and makes the Swan hatch the centerpiece of Island mythology that continues on until the end...
  • 3. "Walkabout" (S104)
The episode that got most of us hooked, branding LOST as a show that blends drama, mystery, with perhaps even SciFi and spirituality. The Locke paralysis reveal is arguably the best character twist in a character-driven show.
  • 4. "Through the Looking Glass" (S322-23)
The best ending to any episode of any show I have ever seen, the flash forward trick coming after 3 years of flashbacks was incredible. Aside from that, seeing Jack the Hero on the Island contrasted with Jack the Loser off the Island as a result of the decisions the Hero is making is narrative gold.
  • 5. "Flashes Before Your Eyes" (S308)
The moment where the story zooms back, and from a 500ft view reveals itself to be a complex labyrinth of time and space, of free will vs. predeterminism. And for all the Jack-Kate-Sawyer nonsense, gives us the full meat and potatoes of the Desmond-Penny storyline -- the best romance in the series.
  • 6. "Deus Ex Machina" (S119)
This could prove to be one of the most important episodes of LOST, perhaps foreshadowing the Nemesis' guidance and eventual takeover of Locke to setup his Loophole (see the "Mousetrap" scene). Aside from that, this is an expertly written story with Locke risking the well being of himself and those around him in order to follow what he believes is his destiny.
  • 7. "The Shape of Things to Come" (S409)
The final scene between Widmore and Ben is one of the best in all of LOST, and this thrilling episodes sets up so much: leaving the Island and turning the wheel, Ben's summoning of Smokey, and Tunisia as the exit point.
  • 8. "Jughead" (S503)
A masterful look into Island leadership past and present, a setup of the bizarre mother-son conflict for Eloise and Daniel, Locke perhaps creating his own credentials for being Leader as well as "special," and... "I said put the gun down, Widmore!"
  • 9. "LaFleur" (S508)
A difficult task after showing us 108 days in 4 season, "LaFleur" compresses 3 years into 40 minutes of show, builds a believable romance between Juliet and Sawyer, reveals so much about Horace and the DI, not to mention the great scene between Sawyer and Richard Alpert, who seems utterly confused for the first time.
  • 10. "The Man from Tallahassee" (S313)
This is one of the best, not because it showed us Locke's paralysis, and not because any significant mythology was revealed, but because it is a delicious drama -- between Ben at a time when his communion with the island is loosening after inexplicably battling a tumor -- and Locke, whose communion with the Island, as well as his confidence and purpose is tightening by the minute.

Honorable Mention

  • 11. "White Rabbit" (S105)
  • 12. "The Constant" (S405)
  • 13. "Lockdown" (S217)
  • 14. "The Variable" (S514)
  • 15. "Because You Left" (S501)

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