Lost can be a frustrating show. For every answer it provides, more questions are asked. Likewise with episode quality - for every awesome moment in a particular episode, there is filler, and often annoying characters, such as Kate. To make a top ten list of best episodes is to judge the overall worth of the given episode. A different list would be made if it was top ten best moments, which might be coming to this blog in the future. Until that day, I give you my personal top ten episodes of Lost.
10 The Incident (season 5)
This is where the Lost writers are strongest, when juggling all the great balls in the air, and still keeping the emotions true. This episode has everything: answers, questions, Jack crying, Sawyer being badass, and a hydrogen bomb. What more could you ask for?
9 Exodus (season 1)
Epic is the word for this episode. When everything goes bad, at the end, on the boat, you know the next season will be crazy.
8 The Shape of Things to Come (season 4)
One of Ben's strongest episodes, one that pays off a scene from earlier in the season, and sets up some great mysteries for the next season, and a better arc for Ben about his daughter. This is an action-packed, explosive end to the best season of all.
7 Live Together, Die Alone (season 2)
Where everybody learns about the Others, and about Michael. Every season finale has moments where Jack says screw it, let's kill 'em all, but this is the ultimate one.
6 Jughead (season 5)
A great time travel story that answers some questions, and poses a bunch more. I like Locke's cavalier attitude to the time travel, just sauntering where he likes and saying what he likes. That's Locke for you.
5 Deus Ex Machina (season 1)
Other than the annoying title of the episode (my ribs are bruised from where the writers have been elbowing me), this episode has an amazing moment at the end, when Locke demands a sign from the island, and is given one. This moment doesn't pay off until later, but it's still great. On top of this, Jack has a fantastic episode.
4 Lockdown (season 2)
Henry Gale turns out not to be what he says he is. Absolutely stunning character moments for Locke and for Ben. This starts their bizarre relationship, and sets in motions a much greater arc.
3 Through the Looking Glass (season 3)
Balls to the wall action, and the most intense finale in the series' history. Has some fantastic Jack moments, too.
2 The Brig (season 3)
What clever writers they are. A culmination of both Locke's and Sawyer's arc, this is the episode in which the man from Tallahassee, aka Locke's father, gets his just dessert, but not from who you expect.
1 The Constant (season 4)
Easily the most emotional and stirring episode. This is the one where Desmond goes across time and space to tell Penelope that he loves her. This is how time travel should be handled. The best that Lost has to offer, as aforementioned: clever sci-fi, great emotional moments, and more mysteries than the writers can handle.
There are many awful episodes, though, many episodes filled to the brim with terrible dialogue, predictable plot movements, and nary a straight answer to be had. On the whole, I still love the show. It's certainly not as good as the hype around it, but overall, a better quality show than most of what airs nowadays.
You know what's a better time travel, mystery show? Life on Mars, the UK version. I'm just about to start watching the follow up series, Ashes to Ashes. I'll let you know how it is.