75. The Long Con (2.13)
Best Known For: Sawyer getting the guns just to try to prove to everyone that he’s still a bastard. Granted, having a resentful Charlie stage an Others attack on Sun and then manipulating everyone else in the aftermath is pretty bad, but it carries the faint whiff of writer backpedaling to me. Critical flashback with Cassidy, though.
74. Ji Yeon (4.7)
Best Known For: The twist ending, where we learn that the parallel mainland stories with the Kwons were actually years apart, and Sun believes Jin is dead. Neat trick, or incredibly cruel? Meanwhile, Juliet tells on Sun and gets slapped (they reconcile, thank God, partially thanks to Bernard, and it’s lovely)… and Michael’s on the freighter!
73. S.O.S. (2.19)
Best Known For: I actually really like the Rose and Bernard story here. It was nice to see someone determined to get the survivors rescued after the raft failure, and I thought their conflict was realistic and resolved beautifully. Oh, and Jack and Kate got caught in a net, if that’s something you’re into.
72. Eggtown (4.4)
Best Known For: Look, it’s a decent Kate episode! Leaving aside the many contrivances of her trial, the reveal that she’s got Aaron is surprisingly chilling; even better is the on-island story, where she secretly arranges for Miles to get in the same room as Ben so he can ask for “3.2 million dollars.” I was really over Kate/Sawyer, though.
71. The Substitute (6.4)
Best Known For: The names in Jacob’s cave. That’s the iconic moment, anyway, but it’s not my favorite — that’s Ben’s distraught eulogy at Locke’s burial (“I’m very sorry I murdered him”). The Sawyer/Smokey stuff is good, though, as is Locke’s sideways story, where he ends up as a high school sub alongside Ben.
70. Enter 77 (3.11)
Best Known For: Locke blowing up the Flame after playing computer chess for some reason. This episode has a lot — the introduction of Mikhail, Hurley smoking Sawyer at ping pong and taking away his right to use nicknames, and Sayid’s flashback where a woman he tortured takes revenge and then forgives him.
69. Cabin Fever (4.10)
Best Known For: The cabin, right? Even though Ben and Locke’s experience isn’t ever fully (or adequately) explained, it’s still a deliciously creepy scene. Also: Keamy kills the captain, Locke dreams of a looping Horace, Hurley and Ben share a candy bar, and Kid Locke disappoints Alpert by choosing the “wrong” items.
68. The Last Recruit (6.13)
Best Known For: This is entirely a piece-moving episode, with lots of people shifting alliances and paddling back and forth from the main Island to Hydra before Widmore blitzes NotLocke’s camp, and lots of intriguing storyline convergence in the Sideways world. That said, SUN AND JIN FINALLY REUNITE, and that’s pretty good.
67. Born to Run (1.22)
Best Known For: Sun poisons Michael by mistake, who blames Sawyer, who reveals Kate’s criminal past to everyone. Good times! And yeah, the Kate flashback is especially cringe-inducing this time around (again with the toy plane), but did you remember that this episode was also the glorious first appearance of Artz?
66. Collision (2.8)
Best Known For: The Tailies finally joining the main group. That means a lot of things: Everyone finds out that Ana shot Shannon (while we finally learn Ana’s tragic backstory, providing desperately needed humanization); a grieving Sayid decides not to take revenge; Bernard returns to Rose; Sawyer is brought to Jack just in time.
65. Hearts and Minds (1.14)
Best Known For: The awkward revelation that step-siblings Shannon and Boone got drunkenly busy before they got on the plane. On the island, Boone is jealous of the attention Shannon is getting from Sayid, so Locke drugs him into hallucinating her being killed by the monster. Also, Jin teaches Hurley how to fish!
64. Not in Portland (3.7)
Best Known For: Sure, this episode mostly focuses on Jack’s mid-operation negotiations so Kate and Sawyer can get off Hydra island, leading to Juliet shooting Pickett (YAY!) and our first look at creepy Room 23, but who could ever forget Juliet’s boss (Zeljko Ivanek!) getting flattened by a bus because she spoke it into existence?
63. Everybody Loves Hugo (6.12)
Best Known For: Hugo Reyes, Man of Action. In the Sideways world, he reconnects with Libby. On the island, he takes charge of Ilana’s group after she blows up(!), he destroys the Black Rock(!!!), and casually reveals, after all this time, that the “Whispers” are basically just ghosts. Oh, and NotLocke throws Desmond down a well.
62. Whatever Happened, Happened (5.11)
Best Known For: Kate and Sawyer taking Lil’ Ben to the Others to be healed, as Hurley and Miles debate the basics of time travel. Kate’s mainland story is pretty good, too; Lilly plays her agonizing decision to leave Aaron with his grandmother just right. Bonus: Ben’s expression when he wakes up on Hydra to a smiling “Locke.”
61. Happily Ever After (6.11)
Best Known For: Desmond getting locked in a big electromagnetic box and (we think?) getting a preview of the Sideways world, where he soon sets about “waking up” the others. Or maybe those two stories have nothing to do with each other; in hindsight, it’s never really made clear. In the moment, though, it’s super intriguing.
60. Left Behind (3.15)
Best Known For: A mud-streaked Juliet staring down the smoke monster. Even the Kate flashback where she joins forces with Cassidy works. And I still love Hurley’s long con on Sawyer to trick him into being nice, foreshadowing both characters’ future leadership. From here on out, every episode is indisputably great.
59. Meet Kevin Johnson (4.8)
Best Known For: Rehabilitating Michael by turning him into a tragic figure that “the island” wasn’t finished with yet. His relationship with Waaaallllt in shambles, Michael repeatedly fails to kill himself, until an appearance by Mr. Friendly (who likes to “indulge” himself) sets him on a new path. Also, holy crap, Rousseau and Karl get shot!
58. Dr. Linus (6.7)
Best Known For: Probably Jack and Richard’s dy-no-mite showdown at the Black Rock (“Wanna try another stick?”). But more important is Ben’s ultimate breakdown, the climax of a lifetime of lies and misdeeds, and the grace with with Ilana resolves it. His Sideways story shows the kind of man he could have been and still can be.
57. One of Them (2.14)
Best Known For: The first game-changing appearance by the legendary Michael Emerson, for now as “Henry Gale.” It’s a classic Lostie debate over what to do with the stranger, and Sayid gets so caught up in torturing him that the Hatch timer flips over into creepy hieroglyphs. Also, Sawyer squishes a tree frog in his hand?
56. D.O.C. (3.18)
Best Known For: Sun’s ultrasound, which is fraught and poignant and develops both hers and Juliet’s characters well. The dilemma is simple, but diabolical: If Sun’s baby is Jin’s, she’ll die if she can’t leave the island. But if it’s Jae’s…well, fortunately it’s not. We also get a killer cliffhanger: Naomi telling Hurley that 815 had no survivors.