Sunday, January 31, 2010

Top Ten LOST Deaths

I narrowed down the long long list of people who have died on LOST by using 3 criteria:

- Going out in style is a big plus since most people (Ethan, Danny the Other, Bea Klugh, Yemi, Shannon, Tom Friendly, etc.) were killed by gunfire (yawn...). I prefer something a little more inspired, like Frogurt taking a flaming arrow to the chest and Mikhail blowing himself up with a big grin on his face.

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE MOMENT - What were the circumstances surrounding their death? Were they abruptly cut down like Danielle Rousseau and Karl, or did they have a death with actual ramifications like Michael?

EMOTIONAL WALLOP - Ok, maybe your death was memorable, like when Eko's ribs were smashed in by Smokey, but did it pack an emotional punch? And I'm not asking if it resonated with the cast, like when Joanna drowned. It has to matter to the viewers.

First, I'll honorably mention some great deaths: Anthony Cooper, Essam, Nadia, Pilot Seth Norris and Dr. Arzt.

Cause of Death: Buried Alive
I've been debating with myself on whether or not I should include them on this list. On one hand, they were a useless, annoying, failed experiment. But on the other hand, their death showed that the writers cared about the fans input, and most importantly, their episode was a nice little self-contained story that felt like a Halloween episode of LOST.

Cause of Death: Exterminated by Ben Linus and the Tempest station
Not only does Ben Linus have remarkable talent when it comes to manipulating those around him, but he does an awesome job of manipulating viewers. He coolly calculated the mass execution of everyone he grew up with (on his birthday, no less), and on top that, murdered his dick of a father with a bug bomb. And yet, in spite of that, I still see him as a likable and sympathetic character, EVEN AFTER...

Cause of Death: Bullet to the head, courtesy of Sgt. Keamy
...HE LETS HIS DAUGHTER DIE!!! Her death was sweet because it had everything. Badass Martin Keamy and his strike team assaulted the Barracks, blew up some background extras (like Claire), and then negotiated the surrender of Ben using his daughter as the bait. Ben, believing that Charles wouldn't change the rules, bluffed Keamy, who promptly blew her brains out. It may have been the first time Ben wasn't in control of a situation, but he quickly responded by unleashing the Smokey Freight Train on the marines.

Cause of Death: Crushed in a plane crash
It took some guts for the writers to kill off a main character in the first season of the show, and sadly, it had to be Boone. His problem was that he was a character dependent on other characters to be in the story (first Shannon, then Locke). He never really had a chance to blaze his own trail, and that's why it made sense to get rid of him. He went out in a moment of glory, communicating on the radio to Bernard that other survivors were still out there before the plane fell from the canopy (a sacrifice the Island demanded). While his accident was a shock, he spent the rest of the next episode hanging in there thanks to the Doc ("I WILL FIX YOU, BOONE!!"). You have to admit, the sheer irony of surviving a plane crash only to die in a smaller plane crash a month later is brilliant.

Cause of Death: Shot by his mother (while she was pregnant with him)
If you subscribe to the "Whatever Happened, Happened Theory" that Faraday first preached, then you'll agree that his death was predetermined and he was supposed to go back in time to die. However, if you believe in the "Human Variable Theory" that Faraday later preached to Jack, then you'll agree that Faraday was traveling back in time to prevent himself from inevitably being shot by his mother... he just failed. Either way, I get a headache thinking about this tragic turn of events.

Cause of Death: Stabbed by Ben Linus
The buildup of this moment is superb. The Others believe Jacob to be the god of the Island, ruling it and influencing everything around it. It's cool to think that he was made mortal by whatever loophole the Man In Black was referring to, and it's even cooler that he was expecting it. He sat in his chair, awaiting Ben and the Man in Black. He didn't fight back, he didn't struggle, and he practically dared Ben to kill him ("What about you?). Jacob's death gets lots of points because of the mystique associated with him, and that's why he cracked the Top 5.

Cause of Death: Two For the Road, served by Michael Dawson
Everybody expected the death of Ana Lucia. In the show, she was a hated character. Outside the show, she had a DUI and it was rumored that she would be leaving. I put this moment at number 4 because of the payoff of the moment. When she stupidly handed the gun over to Michael and he shot her, center mass, all of us watching cheered like the Steelers were scoring a touchdown. But before you could blink, Libby walks in with blankets for her date with Hurley, and Michael shoots her, too. We all were shocked and speechless, as if Bettis was fumbling the ball in a crucial playoff game. To cap the scene by freeing the villain and shooting himself, it was one of the most up and down moments in all 5 seasons.

Cause of death: Drowning
This death has more emotional wallop than any other. Charlie was a consistent fan favorite, and was having a pretty strong third season. But because of Desmond's flashes, we were all expecting him to die at some point. When he finally welcomed death on his own terms by shutting the door to protect Desmond, all the female fans of LOST (if there are any) were in tears. After saving the day by getting the radio to work, his last cool act was writing NOT PENNY'S BOAT on his hand to warn Desmond. He loses some points by incorrectly doing the sign of the cross, but not enough to bounce him from the Top 3.

Cause of death: Strangled by Ben Linus (his 4th appearance on this list as murderer)
Like Faraday, Locke's death was predestined. He know from his chat with Richard Alpert that he would have to die in order to bring everyone back to the Island. Yet he still went through the motions, futile as it was, to convince the others to come back with him; surprise surprise, they all said no. Relying solely on his belief that his death will serve the Island's will (that's some belief), he tries to hang himself. All of that fear and sadness is cut short when Big Ben shows up. He convincingly talks him down from the ledge only to do the honors himself. He's tried shooting Locke and strangling Locke, but neither has worked. The great Doc Jensen believes they will battle each forever as the new Jacob and Esau.

Cause of death: Detonating a hydrogen bomb
Finale deaths are always the most heart-wrenching. We know the writers are going to up the stakes and kill off a main character, but just like with Michael and Charlie, we knew it was Juliet's turn to go since she signed on to star in a new series. Once she was caught in those chains and dragged towards the chasm, it was the beginning of the end for her. With her awesome theme song blazing in the background, Sawyer tried like mad to hold on, but fails. Kate tries to help, but as usual, does nothing (it should have been her falling down that hole). We all thought she died then and there, but somehow she survived the fall! Broken physically and emotionally (thanks to LaFleur choosing whore Kate over her), she summons her last ounces of strength and hotness to beat the hell out of Jughead until it explodes... what a way to go...


Jason said...

At what point does awesome LaFleurrrrry choose Kate over. Stupid Juliette???

Herb said...

Ohhhh Jay... watching all 5 seasons of LOST in a month clouded your mind.

When Sawyer, Kate, and Juliet leave the sub, they happen upon Rose and Bernard. Bernard says "so we die... we just care about being together." Rose looks at Bernard. Juliet looks at Sawyer... but oops, Sawyer is looking at Kate. Juliet's heart breaks right then and there, and that's why she sides with Jack later in the episode and wants to change history.

Herb said...

Here's the proof...