As evidenced by the actual ratings of bad episodes of Lost, it’s clear that a bad episode of the show is still a whole lot better than a lot of other TV shows out there. Nearly ten years after it was all over, fans are still debating and bemoaning what the entire show was actually about and what it all meant - “was everyone actually dead (um...kinda/sorta)?” “What was the Dharma Initiative?” “The numbers?” “The Time Travel?” “Why was everything so connected?!”
But for the most part, the series had far more memorable moments than groan-inducing ones. It was a masters class in Smash TV, Science Fiction, and Fantasy; borrowing heavily from The Twilight Zone and bringing a serialized high-concept drama to prime time. A lot of people supposedly got turned off by how the show ended, not even accounting for the incredibly emotional journey the show took us on in the all of the preceding episodes. With the lowest scoring episode at 8.1, any show ever would kill to have a series that good!
10 The Candidate - 8.9
As one of the final episodes of the series, “The Candidate” has a lot of ground to cover. On the Island, Widmore and his men have taken everyone but Sayid, Locke (The Man In Black), and Jack hostage. The MIB wants to help save everyone make a run for the jet and leave the Island. Jack’s ok with MIB helping but has no intention of letting him leave the Island. For Jack’s double-cross, the group are forced to flee on a submarine, one that is rigged with C4. Sayid makes the ultimate sacrifice, and after realizing that they can’t save Sun, Jin decides he will not leave his wife and they die together holding hands.
9 The Other 48 Days - 8.9
“The Other 48 Days” is the first episode to not only be all a big flashback but also took place completely on The Island. After learning the entire tail section of Oceanic 815 was flung far off from the main section, our favorite Castaways already wrote that section off.
Not only was that father from the truth, but the Survivors from the Tail Section had to survive like savages until they met up with Jack’s group.
8 One Of Them - 8.7
When the survivors meet Henry Gale, a person claiming he got stranded on the Island, almost all of the Castaways are understandably concerned and paranoid. But luckily for our heroes, Sayid was taught exactly how to hurt, maim, and wound someone to torture them into talk. He was taught the art of torture from the US soldiers that captured him during the Iraqi invasion. Locke changes the combination of the room in the Swan that Sayid and “Henry Gale” is to keep Jack out. But when Jack refuses to push the numbers, he’s forced to open the door to do it himself, leaving Jack to stop Sayid from finding out the complete truth.
7 Outlaws - 8.7
One of the earliest major random character connections happens in 16th episode in the show’s epic first season (one of the best seasons of TV in the history of the medium). In a flashback, Sawyer is convinced by an old conman friend that a Frank Duckett is the man he’s been searching for his entire life. He heads to Australia, buys a gun, stalks Duckett, and goes to have a drink. At the bar, he meets a fellow American, Christian Shephard (Jack’s dad), and tells him “that’s why the Red Sox will never win the damn Series.” He also tells Sawyer that he’s proud of his son, a message that Sawyer will relay to Jack in another episode.
6 Raised By Another - 8.7
A bit of Claire’s backstory is revealed, as in some of the show’s overarching mythologies. Claire is pregnant and her boyfriend, Thomas reassures her everything will be fine. He winds up leaving her. Meanwhile, a psychic keeps demanding to Claire that she raise the boy, otherwise he’ll be in danger. He eventually tells Claire that there is a couple in Los Angeles that would adopt the baby, he gives her 6K and a ticket on Oceanic 815. On the Island, the Castaways realize that Ethan is one of the Others, as he closes in on Charlie and Claire.
5 Solitary - 8.6
Sayid had left the group to gain some solace and map out the Island. Instead he is caught in one of Danielle Rousseau’s traps. Rousseau, deranged from years on the Island and being plagued by the Others isn’t quite sure what to with Sayid, who eventually escapes with a gun and Rousseau’s notes.
In flashbacks, we meet Sayid’s beloved Nadia, who he has been ordered to torture for intel. Instead he shoots himself in the leg and tells Nadia how to escape.
4 Tabula Rasa - 8.5
In the show’s third episode, we learn a little bit more about Kate Austen. It turns out that she is the fugitive that the Marshall Jack is trying to fix escorted Kate onto 815. They found her mugshot, while the crew that was returning from the mountains had just agreed to give her the gun Sawyer found. The dying Marshall supposedly asked to be killed, leaving Sawyer to do it – but he somehow missed, forcing Jack to euthanize the guy, something he didn’t want to do in the first place. Kate was willing to let Jack know what her crime was, but he let her know right now their pasts aren’t important and everyone’s allowed a new start.
3 The Cost Of Living - 8.2
The third and final Eko episode is also his last was pretty upsetting for some fans that felt the show just lost one of its best characters. On the Island, Eko is seeing visions of his brother, Yemi, which is the Monster in reality. Before it annihilates him, we learn how he became a priest in his brother’s place. At the Hydra Station, Juliet tried to convince Jack that Ben is a liar and should Jack botch the surgery that he needs, she will protect him.
2 The Last Recruit - 8.2
The Man In Black admits to playing Christian Shepard since Jack first arrived on The Island, Claire shows up and she and Jack talk. MIB and Sawyer’s partnership is beginning to fracture, since Sawyer plans on double-crossing the Monster in hopes of getting off The Island.
In the Flash–Sideways story, Locke is getting rushed to the hospital by Desmond, while Sun is also being taken to the same facility. Jack and Claire also learn here that they’re related and more of our heroes are being connected as the show heads towards “The End.”
1 Expose - 8.1
Despite having a decent grade, the show’s biggest misstep, “Expose” sought to give two characters a bright spotlight before their series exit. The only issue with that, was that not a lot fans liked Nikki and Paulo to begin with. But we do learn about the couple’s shenanigans both on and off The Island, and some of the effects to put them into old scenes made the actual episode more enjoyable than it had any right to be.