Not long ago, I posed the question to people on this website: what do you consider the greatest episodes of Lost? Depending on how the show wraps up tomorrow, I may have some radically different answers. For now, her are my choice for the favorite episode of every season. These aren't necessarily the best episodes ever --- they're just the ones that made me realize how great a series this was.
Season 1: Walkabout
Yes, the Pilot was awe-inspiring, brilliant and budget-breaking, but despite all the things that happened, when it was over, I was still somewhat uncommitted to the series. When I saw 'Walkabout'--- especially the last two minutes--- I said to myself "I'm in. As long as the writers produce like this, I'm in." The first of a long series of brilliant performances by Terry O'Quinn, he introduced us to the quite fascinating John Locke, and made him a character we cared about. The final minutes of this episodes are one of the greatest twist endings of all time. Both O'Quinn and the episode should've won Emmys.
Season 2 --- The 23rd Psalm
Eko was one of favorite characters on this show, and I was devastated when he was killed. Not only did this episode almost tell a complete story from beginning to end, and link it to something that we had seen before, it also gave us our first real look at the monster. When Eko stared it in the face, it retreated, which leads me to believe that he might really have been a candidate had he survived. The acting and writing is stunning, and it reached a level that Lost hit far less often in season 2
Season 3 --- The Man Behind the Curtain
Nothing against 'Flashes Before Your Eyes' and 'Through the Looking Glass', but Ben Linus has always been one of the most brilliant villains in television history. This episode was the first really to suggest that he wasn't always that way. We also get our first real look at the Dharma Initiative, as well as the Purge. And then there's Ben, Locke and the cabin (even though it wasn't what we thought it was) I only wish we'd resolved who Annie was, but that's one mystery I wouldn't mind being left unsolved
Season 4 --- The Constant
All right, it 's a cliche, but this was probably the most mind-bending episodes this series ever did. The first to suggest that time travel was going to play a role in the series, it established a link between those eccentrics Desmond and Daniel. But we all know that the real reason we love this episode is the last couple of minutes when Desmond and his beloved Penny finally talk to each other for the first time in four years. Their love story is one in a million, and I really hope that the writers allow it a happy ending.
Season 5 --- The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham
The backstory between Locke and his trip back to try and convince the Oceanic 6 the return to the island. It demonstrates once again how often he fails when his faith deserts him. It shows him getting stuck between Widmore and Ben, until the last minutes when he ends up become the latest casualty in their decades long war. What's sad is that this may have been the last time we ever really saw John Locke. I really hope that this isn't the case for the finale.
Season 6 --- Ab Aeterno
They've almost all been winners in the final season, but this last real flashback episode answered so many of the questions we've had for years--- what happened to the statue, how the Black Rock ended up in the jungle, and how the ageless wonder Richard Alpert ended up the way he is. Nestor Carbonell was magnificent in this episode, which also featured another look at Jacob and his nemesis. I really think that Richard is still alive, and that he has a much bigger part to play in the finale.