95. The Economist (4.3)
Best Known For: Sayid’s luxuriant post-Island hair…and, I guess, the reveal that he’s killing people for Ben. I didn’t love that. But there’s still some fun gamesmanship between Sayid and Locke as they feel out the Freighter group, and the scene where Faraday’s rocket doesn’t arrive on time is the good kind of mystery building.
94. Homecoming (1.15)
Best Known For: Charlie shoots Ethan, like a dummy. The buildup to that moment — Ethan’s ultimatum, the plan, RIP Scott, the rainstorm — is vintage LOST (even if it practically gives Ethan superpowers), but Oh, Charlie. The worst of it is his flashback that week, which was something about tricking a girl by learning to sell copiers? Yikes.
93. Recon (6.8)
Best Known For: The Sawyer/Miles Buddy Cop Show! They and Hurley had the best Sideways stories, and here Sawyer intersects amusingly with Kate, Liam, and Charlotte. I’d have watched a series of that. The island story is mostly people traveling back and forth, but we get NotLocke saying “I am the smoke thing,” which is fun.
92. Jughead (5.3)
Best Known For: Honestly, being the only Desmond-centric episode that’s just okay. Obviously the big takeaway this hour is with the hydrogen bomb and the 1950s Others (including Locke and Richard’s “first” meeting), but I just want to talk about how sweet it is that Des and Penny named their kid Charlie. The Eloise stuff? Bleh.
91. The Cost of Living (3.5)
Best Known For: Eko’s untimely death. It’s understood now that that was an actor decision, not a writing decision, which explains why it doesn’t totally make sense and feels like a tremendous character is being wasted. Better is the scene with Jack and Juliet, where she plays him the tape with her secret cue card message.
90. Everybody Hates Hugo (2.4)
Best Known For: Finding out that the Tailies are the Tailies. The episode’s main plot is about Hurley, and it’s fine (cute, even, and Rose makes everything better), but the best moment comes when Sawyer, Michael, and Jin get to the Arrow station and meet Bernard. That still totally holds up on an emotional level.
89. He’s Our You (5.10)
Best Known For: Sayid shooting Young Ben, which I think is the series’s darkest moment, and pushes Sayid past the point of no return that makes him a non-character in Season 6. The drug-aided interrogation scene at the beginning of the hour is still pretty funny, though, and Saywer’s efforts to fix his friends’ mess is compelling.
88. Raised By Another (1.10)
Best Known For: Ethan wasn’t on the plane! The episode kicker (“Hello there”) still kicks, making up for the episode’s tiring “Jack doesn’t believe Claire” A-plot. We also get the all-time Shannon moment with the one-two punch of “Craphole Island”/”rape caves.” The psychic-driven Claire flashback is…fine.
87. Some Like it Hoth (5.13)
Best Known For: Miles’s time-crossed daddy issues, and I mean that in a good way, because I love him and Ken Leung’s performance. We also get Hurley trying to write Empire Strikes Back, arguing with Miles about how to talk to dead people, and the legitimately poignant moment where Miles sees his baby-self. Underrated episode!
86. 316 (5.6)
Best Known For: “We’re not going to Guam, are we?” However nonsensical the various machinations were to get everyone on the Ajira flight, it’s still an effective payoff, and the episode also gives us the great cliffhanger of Jack, Kate, and Hurley meeting a Dharma jumpsuit-clad Jin. The Lamp Post station is still kinda dumb, though,
85. Something Nice Back Home (4.10)
Best Known For: Jack’s gradual meltdown on the mainland, which i think is an effective portrait of a guy going through a trauma and being unable/unwilling to process it. The on-island story is also good screw-turning for the season’s endgame, and gives nice character moments to Juliet and — of all people — Bernard.
84. I Do (3.6)
Best Known For: “Kate, dammit, RUN!” The episode certainly ends with a bang: Sawyer’s execution interrupted, Jack yelling into a walkie, Ben bleeding out on the operating table. Add in Sawyer and Kate having icky cage sex and Nathan Fillion in flashback, and you’ve got…well, it’s a mixed bag, but still a great cliffhanger.
83. Further Instructions (3.3)
Best Known For: Locke’s sweat lodge. The guy who was once the show’s coolest character had some penance to do (with the help of a hallucinated Boone) in a nice sequence of island weirdness. We also get Hurley’s realization that Desmond, who he finds naked in the jungle, might be…different. The LockeBack is kinda lame, though.
82. Dave (2.18)
Best Known For: Giving Hurley a sweet romance with Libby…before snatching it away a few episodes later. Your mileage may vary on the titular Dave (I liked Evan Handler’s performance less this time around), but the “is the Island all in Hurley’s head?” tease is solid, and the Hatch intrigue with Ben, Locke, Sayid, and Ana is excellent.
81. Lighthouse (6.5)
Best Known For: The lighthouse, one presumes. The Jacob mumbo-jumbo had definitely left some viewers behind at this point, but my favorite thing about the hour is Hurley beginning to take on a leadership role — and a chastened Jack actually going along with it. Also: Claire kills a dude with an ax, and Jack has a Sideways kid?
80. The Moth (1.7)
Best Known For: Kinda Charlie’s first flashback, in general? Driveshaft may be a terrible band, but the Pace Brothers stuff really works, and it dovetails neatly with Charlie’s on-island story with Locke and his need to prove himself. Meanwhile, Sayid gets knocked out while trying to triangulate Rousseau’s distress signal.
79. The Lie (5.2)
Best Known For: Hurley spilling everything to his mom, which is funny and sweet and cathartic. That scene is neck-and-neck with the flaming arrow attack, featuring the introduction and almost immediate death of Frogurt. Elsewhere, Ben tries to persuade people to go back to the island, and Sun throws shade at Kate.
78. Outlaws (1.16)
Best Known For: “I Never” with Sawyer and Kate. The “people from their past reincarnated as animals” thing doesn’t really work, but James Holloway really sells Sawyer’s quixotic boar quest, and his flashback story of killing the wrong man is gut-wrenching. Bonus for the scene where he realizes he met Jack’s dad, but says nothing.
77. The Little Prince (5.4)
Best Known For: The Outrigger chase, an unsolved mystery that I don’t mind has stayed that way. The near-constant flashes through time are thrilling to watch (Sawyer’s “I take that back!”; seeing Claire give birth; Jin — who’s alive! — meeting Rousseau; more nose bleeding). The mainland story is table-setting, but okay.
76. Par Avion (3.12)
Best Known For: The single indelible, ridiculous image of Jack playing football with Mr. Friendly. But that aside, this is a rock-solid episode that continues to raise the stakes on the Desmond-Charlie arc, features Mikhail’s first fake death at the sonic fence, and introduces Goth Claire in a pretty effective flashback.