Lost: What We Loved And What We Didn’t

As Lost prepares to finish its historic run tonight on ABC at 9:00 PM eastern and pacific time, we here at Spinoff Online are understandably mournful over the passing of one of our favorite shows. But even when Lost leaves the airwaves for good, there will be plenty of material to look back upon with fondness — and, yes, some frustration as well.

Check out some of the elements of Lost that Spinoff Online writers Graeme McMillan, Kevin Melrose and Josh Wigler will miss the most, and some of the elements they’ll miss the least.

Favorite Characters: Hugo “Hurley” Reyes, the Conscience

Kevin Melrose: There’s so much to like about Hurley — everybody loves Hugo — the mental patient turned cursed millionaire turned medium. Self-conscious, child-like, kind and plagued by doubt, he’s played many roles over the cource of six seasons: Often the source of comic relief, he’s the target of some of Sawyer’s best nicknames (International House of Pancakes, Avalanche, Jumbotron, etc.). Thanks to his ability to talk to the dead, Hurley’s a plot shortcut, convincing himself and others to take action based on the say-so of ghosts (notably Jacob). And, perhaps most helpfully, he’s served as the voice of the audience, frequently expressing its questions and frustrations. But if the Sun-Jin relationship was the emotional heart of Lost — and it was — Hugo Reyes is its moral core. He is Sawyer’s super-sized Jiminy Cricket, teary-eyed, self-absorbed Jack’s better angel and, time and again, an unlikely hero willing to risk his own life and happiness to prevent his friends from taking the wrong path.

Least Favorite Characters: Miles Straume, the Ghost Whisperer

Josh Wigler: It’s not that I particularly hate Miles, the sarcastic ghost-whisperer always looking out for number one; it’s just that I feel he’s wasteful. Everything Miles can do, someone else can do better. Cases in point: Miles can hear the thoughts of dead people. Well, Hurley can do that, too, and he can hold actual conversations with them. Point, Hurley. Miles can dish out plenty of cutting insults, right? He certainly doesn’t roll out the one-liners better than Sawyer. As far as looking out for numero uno, Miles — heck, nobody — beats Benjamin Linus. It’s frustrating to me that Miles gets to make it to the end over every other freighter character, especially Faraday. Unless he has an interesting role to play in the finale, I’ll always think that Miles was the show’s biggest waste of a character.

Favorite Characters: Benjamin Linus, the Deceiver

Kevin Melrose: Hurley’s polar opposite, Ben is Lost’s most fascinating and, frustrating, character. An expert liar fueled by self-preservation and revenge, he’s calculating and dangerous, even when seemingly broken or cowed (perhaps especially when). A cold-blooded killer and admitted mass murderer who, as leader of the Others, was responsible for the harassment, kidnappings and deaths of Flight 815 survivors, Ben is still able to manipulate his one-time victims to help him achieve his goals: Sayid became his personal assassin, and Jack his Pied Piper, leading the rest of the Oceanic Six back to the Island. For all his deceit and apparent lack of emotion, however, Ben is capable of love — for Juliet, for his adopted daughter Alex and, above all else, for the Island. It’s to protect the Island that he sacrificed Alex and expelled himself by turning the wheel below the Orchid station, triggering the time shift. Yet it’s his feelings of betrayal from being rejected by the Island that leaves Ben vulnerable, and easily manipulated by the Man in Black (as the resurrected John Locke) into killing Jacob and once more turning on the Flight 815 survivors to get what he most wants. “Ben, you never cease to amaze me,” Locke said in the penultimate episode. Indeed.

Favorite Episodes: “The Constant”

Graeme McMillan: I’m a sucker for a good love story, and “The Constant” was definitely that, telling the story of Desmond and Penny. But it was also a great time-travel episode, and one that seemed to fill in a lot of the show’s mythology, as well – Not to mention an episode that featured large roles for the two characters I probably enjoyed most in the entire series that weren’t called Ben Linus, Desmond and Daniel (Oh, Daniel. Why’d you have to die?). Somewhat overwhelming with new information and yet giving the impression that it’d also somehow revealed a piece of the final puzzle if only you could work it out, I’m not sure that Lost ever got better than “The Constant.”

Least Favorite Episodes: “Across The Sea”

Graeme McMillan: In contrast, “Across The Sea” was an episode that claimed to reveal the answers to long-asked questions, but instead just replaced them with other questions: Who was the woman who adopted Jacob and his unnamed brother? How did she come to be on the Island? Why couldn’t someone dub in her latin dialogue so that it didn’t sound so unconvincing? What was the light in the cave? How did the shipwrecked crew come up with the plan to use the wheel to somehow manipulate the light so that they could leave? Why is Jacob so naive and trusting that he comes across as kind of stupid? And so on, and so on. The actors were great — well, aside from Allison Janey’s Latin — but the writing was vague and mysterious at a time when clarity and confirmation was what I really wanted.

Greatest Victory: Launching The Raft (“Exodus”)

Josh Wigler Although the voyage of Michael, Walt, Jin and Sawyer ultimately amounted to very little in the way of progress, the launching of the raft at the end of “Exodus” stands out to me as the greatest win for the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815. The very act of getting the raft in the water signified the first legitimate possibility of escaping from the Island since crashing there in the first place. Would they find rescue? Would they die out there on the ocean? Either option was a possibility, but just watching these heroes sail off towards possible rescue was not only an amazingly cathartic moment for the castaways, but also for viewers, thanks to terrific performances and the beautiful score from composer Michael Giacchino.

Head to the comments section and share your favorite memories from Lost before tonight’s series finale.

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Comments

  • Taylor

    I can't really explain why, but I LOVE Miles. He's Lost's Lando. Full of awesomeness.

  • http://www.jesselindsey.com LightningBug

    Man I couldn't disagree more about Miles! Not a waste of a character, an UNDERUSED character. Case in point: the flash-sideways shtick was annoying until we discovered that in sideways land Miles and Sawyer star in what could possibly have been the best buddy cop show ever. Every time we flashed there I wanted more of it, but we only caught a precious few glimpses of it all season long. If I could have one spinoff of lost to watch week after week it would without a doubt be Sawyer and Miles' buddy cop show!

  • James

    How about least favorite moment?

    The Black Rock lifted so high on a wave that it smashed through a giant statue and ended up several hundred(thousand?) feet in the jungle.

  • Jacoby

    Agreed miles is very underused since he first showed up, a very strong character. Also i think Across the Sea was a very good episode and ballsy to say the least but putting it where they did in the season was kinda stupid. IMO the greatest victory would be actually getting off the island because that is what they wanted from day one.

  • elder23

    Count me in as another Miles supporter. He made it more “real”.

    Love the idea of a Sawyer and Miles buddy show.

  • http://www.fluxblog.org Matthew Perpetua

    It's so odd to single out Miles — he's always entertaining, and he had a wonderful chemistry with Sawyer and Hurley. There are much worse characters, both in terms of obnoxiousness and limited utility — Claire, Charlie, Shannon, Michael, etc.

  • preasant

    the big secret; everybody is dead? the writers became brain-dead after season 2, no explanation on how or what the island is or was(maybe its that place between heaven and hell BULLSHIT) no explanation on what the black smoke is or was (maybe its that fart Ren & Stimpy saved I can belive that) this should sum it up for everybody THE WRITERS OF LOST ROLL THEIR SHIT IN LITTLE BALLS, FOR THOSE WHO THINK THEY WROTE LINES OF WIT, THEY EAT THOSE LITTLE BALLS OF SHIT

  • Travis

    “Across the Sea” on it's own is not a very good episode. But, in the long story, I think the episode was meant to show that the island was “broken” when Jacob threw MIB into the light, causing all the bizarre catastrophes. Jacob, understanding that HE couldn't fix it, set out to find someone who could. Jack was a Candidate only in the sense that he was the one chosen to fix the island. Once the island was fixed, Jack left it in the hands of Hurley, who takes care of people. As for the reunion, that was their reward for their faith.
    The worst episode would have to be the episode where Jack gets his tattoo or Ana Lucia's flashback.
    And my BIGGEST question unanswered: where did Libby get a sailboat and why did she give it to Desmond?

  • AverageJoeEveryman

    Seriously? Miles instead of Kate? Miles is awesome with interesting parts to play instead of annoying like Kate. Also “Across the Sea” is ten times better than the Jack tattoo episode or one of the endless Kate and Sawyer in cages (writers strike) episodes.

  • maelstrom815

    totally disagree about miles – awesome character.

    and i loved across the sea:)

  • Matty

    Yeah, I think you forgot that tattoo episode. That was pretty useless. And Nikki and Paolo are better characters than Miles? They already killed them off when they were called Shannon and Boone but they had to be put in the ground again just to make sure they stayed dead.