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More Lost finale fun: My list of the show's Five Biggest Turning Points

Kwon-bttn In a show built on the slow reveal of TV’s most complex storyline, turning points matter. There’s many more than five, but for brevity’s sake, here’s my list of Lost’s five most important moments, and what I think they mean now that we see Jack Shephard and John Locke squaring off in a battle for the fate of the world.
5) Sayid, Jin and Sun get dead: We’ve seen major characters pass on before, some welcome (Nikki and Paulo, anyone?) and some not. But this loss not only marked the most significant characters killed in one episode, it established with brutal finality the lengths the Smoke Monster Known as John Locke would go to kill his enemies. The characters also died making choices which redeemed their lives, with Jin choosing to drown rather than desert his wife and Sayid sacrificing Sayid-bttn himself to smother a bomb which would have killed all the castaways. On Lost, choices always matter.

4) Jughead detonates, creates the Sideways Reality: Technically, this happened over two episodes, but why quibble now? Led by Shephard, our castaways detonated a hydrogen bomb back in 1977 which blew them back to 2007 and created an alternate “sideways” reality in which their plane never crashed on the island. Freed from the pull of island caretaker Jacob to the island, the sideways versions of our castaways are nevertheless still drawn to each other and eventually begin to sense their other lives.

Locke-bttn 3) The Smoke Monster Shaped Like Locke manipulates Ben into Killing Jacob: This was the climax of an episode which revealed two very important things: first, everything we’ve seen on the island has been the result of an epic conflict between two supernatural beings who move humans around like chess pieces – the Smoke Monster and Jacob. Secondly, John Locke, the man of faith whose paralysis was cured by the island, was really dead – his identity stolen by the monster. Ironically, Smokey-posing-as-Locke manipulated the man who killed the real Locke, Benjamin Linus, into killing Jacob.

2) John Locke walks: I know I’m skipping to the first season, but I only get five slots. This happened in Lost’s fourth episode, "Walkabout," where we realize through flashbacks that the guy we know as the hunting knife slinging, boar chasing outdoorsy plane crash survivor John Locke was a paraplegic who only dreamed of living in the wild before the crash. Something on the island cured his paralysis, giving him faith in the island’s purpose and signaling to us viewers that this Jack-bttn was no ordinary island or ordinary crash.

1) Jack’s eye: This shot opens the best network TV pilot episode ever created, the sprawling, two-hour saga assembled by co-creator J.J. Abrams and featuring the most realistic plane crash aftermath ever seen on series television. With a reported budget of $12-million, this pilot felt like a feature film. But the money shot was when the camera pulled back from Jack Shephard’s blinking eye to show him stumbling through jungle and plunging onto a beach filled with smoking plane wreckage and screaming survivors.

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 3:08pm]


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