Sunday, 31 January 2010

Top 10 Lost Characters

Well the Lost premiere is in two days and I've decided to celebrate w hat is one of the greatest television shows ever by giving my personal list of the best episodes and the best characters. Because of the sheer amount of great characters on Lost, I decided to limit myself to only Series Regulars, so no Penny, Mikhail, Keamy, Rousseau, Charles Widmore, Eloise Hawking, Rose, Bernard or Arzt. So what I feel we're left with is a fairly definitive list of the best characters, which is oddly very male skewed. But that's mostly because the male characters are normally a lot better written, or in the case of Kate, get bogged down in a very boring love triangle and soap opera back story.

So let's delve into Lost's best Characters


Honourable Mentions

Charlie Pace
Charlie was probably seen by many people as one of the main characters in Season 1, especially considering that Dominic Monaghan was coming to the show fresh off the success of Lord of the Rings. If we could include the Season 1 and Season 3 Charlie only, then he would have probably made it into the top 10, but sadly the characterisation of Charlie in Season 2 drags the character down with a very boring addict storyline. Luckily Season 3 redeemed Charlie so much that when he died in the third season finale it resulted in what still remains the most touching and emotional death the show has produced (and of my favourite scenes from the show as a whole)

Richard Alpert
Richard Alpert is still a mystery but it's such a compelling mystery. For 3 Seasons we slowly found out more about Richard, he's been off island and hired Juliet, he seemingly doesn't age, he's worked for both Charles Widmore and Benjamin Linus, he was behind the murder of the Dharma Initiative and is one of the only people on the island who has interacted with Jacob. Season 6 is going to be a big season for Richard and I'm sure by the shows end he may have cracked my personal Top 10

Frank Lapidus
Probably the character who has appeared in the least episodes and is arguably one of the least pivotal, but damn is he awesome. In Season 4 he was the only one of the freighter characters who wasn't classed as a regular and yet he made such a great lasting impression. Effortlessly cool and a helicopter pilot, he got a great deal of laughs near the end of Season 4 and was the reason why the Oceanic 6 got off the island. But then it seemed his job was over. He appeared briefly at the start of Season 5 in flashbacks to the aftermath of Season 4 but then it seemed like he was gone forever. But then they got on Ajira 316 and possibly the coolest part of the episode was the reveal that Lapidus was the pilot and as he looked out at the passengers on his flight he uttered the immortal words "We're not going to Guam, are we?". Since then we saw bits and pieces of him landing a plane on a tiny island as well as playing a big part in the final reveal of the season. Being bumped up to a Series Regular means that we'll only get more of Lapidus' awesomeness in Season 6 and I couldn't be more happy for that.

10. Jack Shephard

Jack is the closest that Lost has to a main character. He was also supposed to be killed off at the end of the first episode, but because they didn't get a big name star (they originally wanted Michael Keaton) and it distressed the audience too much they decided to keep him around. Whilst Jack has had some of the best episodes centered around him, he's also had some of the worst which keeps him from climbing up the list any higher. If it hadn't been for the tattoo episode or the love triangle he would be a lot higher, based purely on episodes like 'Through the Looking Glass' and 'Man of Science, Man of Faith'. But I guess the fact that we've almost overdosed on Jack Shephard (he's had the most centric episodes and has appeared in the most episodes) means that he just doesn't feel like the strongest character that the show has to offer.

9. Mr. Eko

If Mr. Eko had been around for more than a Season then I'm sure that he would have been a lot higher. However because the actor who played him wanted to leave the show due to his parents dying whilst filming, so sadly Mr. Eko's was cut short and he was unceremoniously killed by the Smoke Monster in Season 3 and most of his story moved over to Desmond (presumably). But for Season 2 he was a triumph, he was quiet and stoic but also scary. He was the character who first met the Smoke Monster on screen and had one of the cooler flashback stories. He quickly became a fan favourite and was easily my favourite character through most of Season 2. If only he'd stuck around longer he would have only been even more fleshed out and could have quite easily have topped this list.

8. Sayid Jarrah

Sayid is an Iraqi soldier and also the shows resident badass. Of all the characters on the show he probably has the most "Crowning Moments of Awesome". From killing someone using a dishwasher to breaking someones legs using his thighs whilst in handcuffs. He's just awesome. Whilst he doesn't have the most interesting backstory, it still builds on a more emotional side to the character and adds even more to him when eventually he becomes morally compromised after the death of his love, Nadia. It's this that feeds him to work for Benjamin Linus in Season 4 as well as his attempted assassination of Benjamin Linus during the 1970s to prevent the events in the future from happening. It's this dark sided character, mixed with the more romantic side that make Sayid such an interesting character. Every time he thinks he's escaped his dark past as a torturer for the Republican Guard than he is dragged back into this life be it as a torturer or professional hitman. Last we saw of Sayid he was bleeding from a gunshot would to the chest, so let's just hope he survives into most of Season 6.

7. Juliet Burke

Juliet is the only female character on this list for good reason. Whilst when she was introduced in Season 3 she wasn't the most interesting, partly because of coming in during a storyline which just seemed to drag along for 6 weeks, she made up for it with 2 great flashback stories. Whilst her episode in Season 4 took away from the far more interesting Oceanic 6 storyline, she still made an impact in Season 4, but it was her relationship with Sawyer in Season 5 which pushed her over the top. Before hand she was just there to kind of act as a buffer between Jack and Kate, but once they were off island, she was left alone with Sawyer and the two started to show some great chemistry. It quickly became one of the shows better romances (similar to Charlie and Claire and Desmond and Penny) and is one of the better parts of Season 5. But of course Kate comes along to screw this up and by the end of the Season Juliet wants to forget everything and ends up bashing a nuclear device with a rock to reset the time-line. A strong but understandable reaction to Jack-Kate-Sawayer Love Triangle

6. Daniel Faraday
Daniel Faraday was the best character introduced in Season 4, mostly because he was mysterious, he was a tiny bit insane and seemed like he'd be able to give so answers. He did experiments with time which led us to find out that island time is different to off island time. He was able to explain the shows concept of time travel and for most of the early part of Season 5 when it came to the jumping in time. He was using Desmond as his constant and got some really cool scenes of him interacting with past versions of characters. He had an awesome part in Jughead and then his reappearance in the Variable seemingly cemented the fact that "What happened, happened" when he is ultimately murdered by his own mother. He may have been around for only two seasons, but he's had a massive impact on the show and with news that he'll be appearing in Season 6, I can't wait to see what answers and more story that he has to bring to the show.

5. James 'Sawyer' Ford

Whilst Sawyer is probably well liked within the non-hardcore members of the fanbase, he's also very popular within the hardcore fanbase. When the show started he was a bit of a jerk and was probably the least liked character on the show and it wasn't until the flashback episode where we found out that his mother had been conned by a man named 'Sawyer' which led to his father murdering his mother and committing suicide in front of him. What makes this story even more interesting is that the real 'Sawyer' (a man he has vowed to kill) turns out to be Locke's dad as well. It's a great backstory for the character and if that weren't enough, his on island persona is just as good. His long con in Season 2 was a great part of the story, his fights with Jack over leadership, nicknames, occasional comic relief episodes and relationship with Juliet are some of the lasting memories of the show. Plus Josh Holloway portrays him to tee, just watch Season 3 episode 'The Brig' to see some of the best acting that that the show has produced

4. Hugo 'Hurley' Reyes
Hurley for the most part is comic relief. Most of his episodes are often lighthearted and don't really stand up against the shows best. But Hurley is a stealth player. There's always something funny for him to say or react to. His reaction to Arzt blowing up in Season 1 is one of the funniest single moments in the entire show, plus he's inextricably linked to the Numbers which is only a plus. Whilst Hurley's centric episodes aren't great, he is used amazingly in other peoples peoples episodes which makes him such a strong part of the show. He may just be the shows most recognisable character, because everyone knows about the fat guy but really Hurley is so much more than that. Plus he saved the day once by running over the Others in the Dharma Van, in what was probably one of the shows best single scenes (but we'll talk about that more in my favourite episodes list)

3. Desmond Hume

Desmond is probably my overall favourite character on the show. He's got the story I love the most, the best romance, the best single episode that the show has produced and I love every second that he's on screen. Especially since he was introduced in my absolute favourite Lost scene ever. He gave us time travel, emotional grounding, Charles Widmore, the death of Charlie and so many great things about Lost. However he isn't the shows best character, there undoubtedly two characters better than him but Desmond is such a fan favourite that he's always top 5, no question. It's so hard to imagine the show without everyone's favourite Scottish "brother" and it's sad to see him not being a series regular for his last year, but he'll still be back occasionally, so I just hope he makes a big impact this year and gets the happy ending that his character has deserved from the beginning. But knowing the way good television works, that almost wouldn't seem fair...

2. Benjamin Linus
Introduced to the viewers as Henry Gale, we didn't know whether he was good or bad. All we knew was that he was a riveting character. Michael Emerson was originally only brought on for 3 episodes but he was received so well that his stay got extended, then he became a series regular in Season 3 and now he's one of the most important players on the show. Michael Emerson is perfect as Benjamin Linus, every scene is stunning and whenever he's on screen it's hard to take your eyes off of him. He's weaselly and cunning and has done so many bad deeds on the show but he's had such a tragic past. Blamed by his father for his mothers death then practically ignored by the leader of the island. All he wants is recognition and whilst his methods are dubious you can't help but feel sorry for him. Ultimately though, it seems inevitably that something bad is going to happen to him in Season 6 which is probably the only way that his character can leave the show, because he is the closest thing that we've had to a villain for three years.

1. John Locke
Undoubtedly the shows best creation is the character of John Locke. He's the shows most tragic and interesting character. He's been abused by his parents, by the island, by co-workers, lovers, friends, enemies and people he's never met. He was put in a wheelchair for four years after his dad (the same one who Sawyer wanted to murder) pushed him out of a window and ultimately regained the power of his legs on island, which seemed to enjoy taking them taking them away every so often, just because it could. He lost faith pushing the button for months, was shot in the stomach and left for dead, briefly became leader of the island until eventually he moved the island to save it, but not before losing the use of his legs again. On his quest to send everyone back, he was ignored and turned to suicide. Whilst he may have been talked out of it, he was then choked to death by Benjamin Linus and set up to look like a suicide. Then we're led to believe that when his body was brought back to the island he came back to life, but that's not the case. John Locke in fact died halfway through Season 5 and now the mysterious Man in Black has possessed his body. For such an interesting and tragic character it was the perfect way for him to go. Whilst Terry O'Quinn is still on the show, John Locke shall be missed even if he was essentially never anything more than a puppet from the very beginning of the show, he was a puppet who was never anything less than engrossing even during his lowest moments and when Lost is looked back upon in the years to come, will probably be seen as the single greatest achievement of the show. More so than the complex story, amazing writing and direction, Locke is the embodiment of Lost and no other character comes close to matching the impact that he has had.

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