It’s hard to believe that it’s been over 10 years since the premiere of Lost on ABC. Even though most people now only talk about how disappointing they found the series finale (for the record, I really loved how Lost ended), there’s still so much to enjoy about this show that captivated the entire nation and changed network TV as we know it today, although perhaps the most impressive thing that Lost did was give us such rich, memorable characters that continue to amaze us. It’d be easy to call any of Lost characters the best, but when we break the series down, season by season, which of the show’s many faces were really the MVPs? These are the best Lost characters from each season.
Season 1 – Locke
What makes Locke the MVP of Lost‘s first season and one of the best Lost characters period was not so much who he was himself but how he interacted with others. Locke challenged all of the characters on Lost, specifically Jack, and opened the survivors’ (and viewers’) minds to the possibility that the Island was a special location, a place of destiny. Locke’s faith in the Island and his almost religious dedication to it could certainly make him annoying or frustrating at times for sure (like when he Boone died), but it never made him less compelling. In fact, his unwavering obligation made him only more interesting.
Season 2 – Ben
I almost chose Anna Lucia for this season (just kidding, of course), but I’m not kidding when I say that Season 2 of Lost is my least favorite of the series so deciding on a best character from it is very difficult. However, when reflecting on Season 2 and what it ultimately achieved, I would say that the best Lost character from this season has to be Ben Linus, or as he’s better known throughout Season 2, Henry Gale. Ben’s introduction in Season 2 pays off in a big way at the end of the season, as Jack, Kate, and Sawyer are all taken captive by the Others, and is a huge monumental moment in the series. Plus, how can you argue against this amazing monologue?
Course if I was one of them – these people that you seem to think are your enemies – what would I do? Well, there’d be no balloon. So I’d draw a map to a real secluded place, like a cave or some underbrush, good place for a trap. An ambush. And when your friends got there, a bunch of my people would be waiting for ‘em. Then they’d use them to trade for me…I guess it’s a good thing I’m not one of them huh? You g1uys got any milk?
Season 3 – Charlie
Charlie is easily the best Lost character from Season 3, and that’s not just because it’s his final season of the show. Although there are parts throughout much of the second season and even the beginning of the third season of Lost where you feel like the writers weren’t really sure what to do with Charlie, they finally figure it out and give him an incredibly satisfying storyline in Season 3, which culminates with him sacrificing himself (“Not Penny’s Boat”) in an attempt to save all of the castaways. Charlie’s predestined death helps allow the remaining survivors finally leave the island and is the epitome of selflessness for a character that was very selfish throughout much of the show, as Charlie finds redemption for his past sins and is finally able to be the man he always wanted to be.
Season 4 – Desmond
Two words, one episode: “The Constant.” That’s really all I should need to put here to explain why Desmond is the best Lost character from Season 4 of the show. However, even though “The Constant” is highly regarded by many Lost fans as the best episode of the series, it’s not the quality of the episode that makes Desmond Season 4’s MVP, but what he does during it. Desmond’s heartbreaking phone call to Penny from the freighter is what allows for her to find not only him but Jack and the rest of the “Oceanic Six” that are saved in the fourth season finale. Similar to Charlie, Desmond is instrumental in the rescue of his friends, even though their time off the Island would be short-lived.
Season 5- Sawyer
The fifth season of Lost is when Josh Holloway’s Sawyer stopped being a supporting character and comic relief and actually became the leading man of the series. While using the alias of “LaFleur” while stuck on the Island in the 1970s with Juliet, Jin, and others, Sawyer becomes the group’s leader, as his smooth-talking ways helps them all be able to join the Dharma Initiative and he does his best to keep their covers intact when Jack, Kate, Hurley, and the rest of the gang show up. Season 5 showed that Sawyer could be every bit of the leader Jack could be and, for at least a season, made him the best Lost character.
Season 6 – Jack
Some fans will argue that it took Jack too long to finally accept his destiny, but watching him do so, especially in the series finale, was enough for me to declare Jack the best Lost character in Season 6 of the show. Finally, after years of listening to Jack bicker with Locke and struggle with the idea of being of “special” and “important,” he finally embraces his role as Protector of the Island and saves his friends, and it was all the time we spent before with Jack, with him being stubborn and refusing this role, that makes it so moving and so satisfying when he accepts it. There’s really no argument for how any of the other Lost characters could have been better than he was during the show’s final season.
Photos via ABC