Lost gave us so many great scenes to enjoy, but this one, in particular, was indicative of what the show would bring.
We have to go back to the island!
I don't think there's a post I've written on this website where I haven't tried to shoehorn in a Lost reference whenever applicable. For me, Lost was the TV show of my formative years. It carried me from the end of high school all the way through college.
I tried to date every "Kate" I came across and desperately wanted to be a Sawyer even though I was somewhere between a Hurley and Charlie.
Either way, Lost shaped a generation. It showed that network TV should and could be held to the standard we expected from cable. It launched a resurgence of mainstream science fiction and got an entire world used to flashbacks and flashforwards.
For us fans, it's hard to pick a favorite episode, let alone a favorite scene of the entire show, but one Lost fanatic did and made a video backing up his sentiment.
Check out this video from the Language of Story and let's talk after the jump.
What Was the Best Scene Within the Entirety of Lost?
So in the above video, it's argued that the end of episode three, "Tabula Rasa", contains the best scene in all of Lost. For those of you who need a refresher, the episode is about Jack and Hurley learning an alarming secret about Kate. She's supposedly a dangerous fugitive who was on the plane with the U.S. Marshal in handcuffs. As the marshal's life hangs in the balance. These big reveals all carry huge stakes for everyone involved.
This is an episode loaded with moral choices.
So, let's look at the climax here.
Jack, our hero, wants desperately to save every life he touches. Hurley, our moral compass, believes in second chances but understands you can't be too trustworthy. We don't know what side Kate is on...and we already know how brutal Sawyer can be based on him hoarding meds in the other episodes.
Toward the end, the marshal begs Kate to put him out of his misery.
When we check back with Jack, he is informed Kate has a gun. When he walks toward the tent he thinks the marshal is safe until we hear the gun go off.
Our immediate reaction is that the marshal killed himself, but then we see Sawyer exit.
Kate couldn't execute the man, but Sawyer can. His execution of the marshal causes the rift between him and Jack to tear open in even deeper ways.
It sets the tone of the entire series moving forward. There's a darkness in Sawyer, a light in Kate, and Jack's dealing with his own complex moral questions.
And THEN we find out the marshal is still alive.
Jack fights to save him and fails.
The marshal eventually dies.
So, why is this so poignant?
As an audience, we love reversals.
The back and forth here shows us how, as a writer, you can pull the rug out from anyone at any time. This kind of writing plays on what we already know about the characters and still manages to surprise the audience based on what they expect to happen.
The episode ends with this montage, every character feeling the weight of what happened before.
So the question is, is this the best scene in all of Lost?
For me, I always go back to "Not Penny's Boat."
It's impossible not to tear up writing this, but Charlie's death on Lost was monumental. We had been through the wringer with him and he finally resembled something like a good person on the other side. His commitment to continuing to be a good person came from his sacrifice for his friends at the end of season three.
For me, this was a scene at the heart of the show. The people on the island were all flawed, Lost was about how each of them could either choose to overcome those flaws for the greater good or let those things consume them like the smoke monster.
You can stream Lost right now on Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon. If you've never done it, I encourage you to go back and figure out what made the island so special. If you've seen it once, start over and fall in love all over again.
Tell me everything you love about Lost and your favorite scenes in the comments.
What's next? Go back and check out the Lost pilot!
When you sit down to watch a film or TV show, do you ever wonder what the original pitch was, and how much it differs from what you're watching on-screen? One of the biggest shows of the last decade, Lost, could have been quite different from what it eventually became according to a leaked series guide for the show, detailing the writers' early plans.