Which Season of Lost was the Best?

UPDATED May 21, 2010: Now that there are only a few hours left in Season 6, where do you think it will fall?

In anticipation of the final season of Lost premiering next week, there will be a lot of discussion around the Interwebs about which episode is the best, or top [insert number here] episodes of Lost, or... you get the idea. But around here, we're thinking about which season was the best.

You see, Lost lends itself better than most shows to be divided by season because each is a chapter in an unfolding story. It's like a not-so-mini-series as opposed to an open-ended drama. The clearly defined series ending allows the writers to truly tell the stories their way (in these very distinct chapters) and deliver a satisfactory ending to each. Most programs don't work in the same way; exceptions being shows like The Shield, Damages, and The Wire (the best seasons of which are ranked this way: 4, 2, 3, 1, 5, and this isn't up for debate).

I've asked all my Lostie friends how they rank Lost's seasons, and everyone has a different answer. There are trends (Season Three is universally ranked towards the bottom) but for the most part, you'll get a different answer from everyone as long as mathematics allows it. What I'm trying to say here is this is solely my opinion, and yours will almost certainly differ. And not be as correct. Wink.

5. Season Four

The Oceanic Six World Tour
First, let me say this. Even the worst season of Lost is still great, so please don't kill me in the comments section. I liked Season Four, but in terms of looking back on each chapter, Season Four got lost in the Black Smoke. There aren't any shining moments that come to mind immediately. It was just... some Lost. At only 13 episodes, it's also the shortest season of Lost.

The highlights of the season were unfortunately dragged down by the story of the Oceanic Six, which, though necessary, wasn't terribly exciting. We have to spend a season watching them get back to civilization? Seeing them in the real world through their flashbacks in the earlier seasons was great for character development, but in Season Four it was all plot. Plus, we knew they would end up back on the island, defeating a lot of the suspense the show is famous for.

On the plus side, Season Four gave us the brilliant segment "The Constant," considered by many to be Lost's finest moment. We also met the freighter folk, who were a welcome addition to the crew (Daniel Faraday in particular). And for those who like action, Season Four has plenty of it.

4. Season Three

Uhhhh... treading water
Yeah, most of you will say this belongs in the basement, but I'll defend Season Three in a few words: "Through the Looking Glass." That season finale is possibly the best two hours of television I've ever seen, and undeniably Lost's best season finale.

But what most of you will remember is the midsection of the season, which spun its wheels for several episodes and included the bombs "Stranger in a Strange Land" which saw Jack in Southeast Asia and tried to make a big deal out of his tattoos, and "Expose," a Twilight Zone episode, the sole purpose of which was to thankfully kill off Paolo and Nikki. I wasn't as bothered by the Sawyer, Kate, and Jack in the zoo as most people were, but I certainly wasn't delighted by it either. However, when producers and ABC agreed on an end date, the season finished like a Hydrogen bomb detonation.

This was the season where we lost Charlie to an act of heroism, and when producers pulled the biggest trick of the series by messing with our internal clocks with a flash-forward. "We have to go back!" was one of those "where were you when..." moments. One of the greatest bang-bang moments on the small screen.

3. Season Five

Nosebleeds and Headaches
I don't care what anyone says, I loved the time travel in Season Five. The first few episodes hit, and they hit hard. With sets needing to be redone for different time periods, the same characters appearing in the 1950s, '70s, and the 2000s, and the introduction of being able to change the past, keeping Season Five manageable for viewers was a feat unto itself, and the producers did admirably.

The off-island shenanigans were largely a continuation of what dragged down Season Four. In "Whatever Happened, Happened," the action on the island was moving at a ridiculously fast pace, but it took the whole other half of the episode to explain that Kate wanted to go back to the island to see Claire. That kind of story telling worked a lot better in the earlier seasons, where characters' actions earlier in life dictated their actions on the island. Here, it just seemed tedious compared to what was going on elsewhere.

Still, Season Five offered several huge reveals: the four-toed statue, Jacob, and an insiders look at the Dharma Initiative. Add to that some weird hums and crazy bright lights in the sky, and it's a very satisfying season.

2. Season 2

Now Things are Heating Up
Season Numero Dos is celebrated by some, shunned by others. It's a pivotal moment for a Lost fan because it signifies a point of no return. If you liked Season Two, you were going to hang around for the duration of the series because your passion could carry you over the humps that plagued the next chapter. If you began to lose interest, then you probably never looked back once you Sawyer snack on some fish crackers he won in the polar bear cage in Season Three.

Things got really WTF-worthy in this chapter. The entire opening scene with Desmond (face obscured) eating protein shakes and working out in the hatch is forever etched into my brain as the moment Lost became a game to me (so this is how they're going to play it, eh?). And the introduction of the Tailies (Ana Lucia and company) may in hindsight be fairly pointless, but at the moment it was a total Godzilla foot crushing everything we thought we knew. Remember "The Other 48 Days"? Riveting.

The same great formula from Season One applied (for the most part) to Season Two: pick a character, follow them, flashback to their past. But added to these flashbacks, which began to wear a little thin in this season, was an extra layer of mystery and an inkling of exactly what Lost is about. Not many shows take a few seasons to really show their true colors, but Lost definitely was one.

1. Season One

Hello, My Name is...
And here we are at number one. Here's a little story of how I got into Lost. I wasn't writing about television back in 2005, but I just so happened to be home on a Thursday night or whenever it was and caught an episode of some plane crash show on TV. That episode was "Special," the first flashback to Walt and Michael. Knowing nothing that happened in the previous 13 episodes, I didn't expect to leave very affected. By the end of the show, I was sobbing like a baby and chain smoking like a grandma. You always remember your first time. Lost took me to prom that night and had its way with me, and I loved it. I was already emotionally attached and began the agonizing wait for ABC to rerun the first episodes so I wouldn't miss a minute. And I immediately began telling all of my friends about this show, many of whom took my advice (for once!) and are now Lost addicts.

Characters, characters, characters. This is what Lost is about. The writers and producers knew that smoke monsters, turn-on-a-dime twists, and brain-puddifying time travel would be nothing without great characters, and they delivered. And not just how each character is on his/her own, but how they work in the group dynamic. That's what separates Lost from sci-fi shows that have tried to do similar things (and failed), such as FlashForward or V. Season One was all about the characters, and I've never met a cast as fast as I did with Lost's.

But the real moment Lost became a part of my life was the landmark episode "Walkabout." The pilot episode was incredible, "Tabula Rasa" was fantastic, but it was the series' fourth hour that gave me a clue that I wasn't watching any normal show. The pull out to reveal John Locke confined to a frickin' wheelchair is one of the series' greatest moments, but it's his chilling stare while the bonfire's flames dance off his face at the end of the episode that sticks with me. Who the heck is this John Locke person? These were characters I cared about. These were people I wanted to get to know better.

First impressions often resonate the most.

For the record, I predict Season Six will fall somewhere in my top three. What does your season ranking look like? There are no wrong answers, only less-right ones.


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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Best to worst after the end of LOST:



1-3-2-4-5-6



I liked Season 6, but in all honesty, it was a disappointment.
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5. Season 5. The time travel was ridiculous- even by this show's standards.
4. Season 2. This was a great season. But besides Eko, the tailies did rub me the wrong way, and the entire season was so focused on one damn button, I began to wonder what the point of it all was.
3. Season 3. This one gets a lot of heat, but it was still better than S5. The Brig, The Man from Tallahassee, The Man Behind the Curtain, two great Juliet episodes and Flashes Before Your Eyes. S3 may have started off rough, but the second half of the season was full-gear badass. The one-two punch of Greatest Hits and Looking Glass puts this one in my high favor.
2. Season 4. Yes it's short. But it's also the most focused and most suspenseful of all the seasons, without a minute to waste. Don't know why there's hate about the O6- all of this was completely fresh storytelling for LOST. Easily the best seasons since S1.
1. Season 1. Without question. I don't even need to explain myself.
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Season 2 was my favorite. Love the hatch and the discoveries of the Dharma initiative.
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1>2>6>3>4>5
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1>2>3
I want the rest to get burned on hell
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season 1 and 4
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season 3 and 1
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This is actually a little difficult for me. I truthfully love the series as a whole, and it is difficult for me to place each Season. Some episodes definitely stood out such as 'The Constant', the 'Pilot' episode, "Through the Looking Glass', 'The Variable', and 'Happily Ever After'. Season 1 was great, introduced new characters and their backgrounds, and introduced a hatch full of mysteries. Season 2 started with a bang and ended with a bang, introduced the 'Tailies', Desmond (One of my favorite characters), and the introduction of the mysterious Hatch. Season 3 (I think I'm one of the only ones that actually enjoyed this season), it did have worthwhile and decent episodes, the death of 2 our favorite characters; Nikki and Paulo, and truly one of the all time best season finales I have ever seen, and left us with a big punch right in the face. Season 4 the introduction of great action sequences, Daniel Faraday (another favorite), the freighter people, the finale, and the best episode of LOST I have seen to date; 'The Constant', as well as the episode 'The Shape of Things To Come'. Season 5 was good, though definitely started to lose its steam a quarter of the way through the season, and then picked up again soon after, the finale was good and left plenty of room for the events to take place in Season 6. Speaking of Season 6, it has definitely kept my attention thus far into the season, except for 'Across the Sea' of course a big disappointment, and with the Series Finale coming around tonight, we are definitely in store for, hopefully, a great ending to the series. You may not agree with my opinion on which seasons are the best, but here goes:

4, 1, 3, 6, 2, 5.
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1 - 4 - 6 - 5 - 2 - 3
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1 > 3 > 2 > 4 > 6 > 5
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6,1,3,4,5,2
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2, 3, 1, 5, 4



Season 6 looks like its going to be the best
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The best is season one. I can watch that entire season and love every episode. So I'd rank it 1,2,4,5,3
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season 1, it's why i fell in love with it!
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from best to worst: 1,4,5,3,2
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it's difficult to say because I watched the show only once , so I don't remember season 1 and 2 very much , but all finales where great and episodes like The Constant , Through the Looking Glass , Live Together Die Alone , the return of Michael were the finest momentos of Lost.
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None
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4>3>5>1>2
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1
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Your assessment that season three's finale was the finest piece of episodic television ever created was interesting, but I'd say- and I'm not saying this just because you made me realize this, no, this decision of mine was clear from its inception- the season finale of season two, Live Together, Die Alone was the greatest television episode ever. To this day, having gone through The Wire, Battlestar Galactica, Dexter et al (although, Dexter's first season was the greatest season of any television show ever), I stand by that decision made right after watching the hour and a half presentation on my laptop around 5 in the morning. It was incredible. The Constant was too, but the finale came first.
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I remember the feeling that being lost must be hard. You're alone because everyone is scrabling for survival. The fact is that these others didn't know that their lives were at stake and living for the day was what was happening in the beginning and towards the end it got weird. But the way it ended with the plane flying over the island and the last person dying there. Dog or not. This television series left know foor surviors. Maybe it is good that there's already a name by that title.
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Look at the end of the day season 3 wasnt a bad season I mean compare heroes season 1 to season 2 THAT is a BAD season 1 was great 2 was a joke even S3 went downhill. But with Lost EVERY seasons been incredible the only reason Season 3 was weaker and Darlton admiitted this was because they ran out of money from ABC and they had to stick Jack and Sawyer in cages for 5 episodes, it was just a slow season because not alot was happening early on. Compare that to Season 5 every single episode the ending was like WHOA.
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Season 3 reminded me one regular season of heroes, which means: without any storyline, the events seemed "hammered" in the story line. That's why it should be in the number 5
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Did u see Lost? :| Jeez...



Did u see "The Constant"? OMG! :O



Season 4 is the best because suprised us all (wow) when everyone thought it wouldn't.
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Ultimately it’s still season 1 that springs to mind when I think of LOST fondly, as it was season 1 that brought me into the show. What I really liked was how well it was put together in comparison to a lot of new shows, it almost watched like a film. I really enjoyed the survival aspect of the first season and the psychological breakdown of the characters on and off the island and it was a great look at how people behave in survival situations. Plus things were a little weird, but not stupid weird and I think they had to break us in first and that’s why I’d still rank season 1 as my favorite. I was also really impressed with season 5. It was such a 180 on what made Season One great, while still being one of the best put together seasons so far and gave me what I wanted to see: Dharma Initiative history. There was no filler and everything fit together really well. Season 4 was almost as good, but I think it suffered from the writers strike making a shortened season extra short. It did however live up to what season 3 eluded to and managed to bring in strong new characters played by great actors and constantly kept be guessing, which is something I’ve always loved about LOST. Next is tough, on the one hand I really enjoyed season 2 and it expanded the island even more and gave us the first hints at The Dharma Initiative, slowly showed us the Others, as well gave us an uglier look at survival situations. On the other hand, it also gave a lot of wasteful moments where not a lot was happening to advance the plot, and deaths went from serving the plot to being shock value. And the third season, while starting interesting, ending VERY strong (about a third of the way in they turned it up with more history and character resolutions) I think the pacing was also very iffy. At least in the first half they couldn’t find a proper balance on how to tell a story about the separation of the survivors. Though they tried to give us some really solid stuff, like showing the Others aren’t just faceless villains, the awesomeness of Desmond and other extra bits, and I still think the unbalanced first portion hurt it. Like I said, while strong and eventually being an amazing season, it does make it hard for me to rank it as a highpoint… it’s almost filler. I’m not sure if I liked season 2 or 3 less, but 3 was the only season I didn’t rush out and go buy on DVD when it came out, so I guess that says something. Ultimately I think 2 and 3 had a lot of “filler” moments and it felt like the producers were just stretching things out without a clear idea of where to go. Once season 3 kicked in towards the end and we knew the End was coming, I think the storytelling, writing, and pacing shot way up. So yeah I guess for nostalgia reasons season 1 is my favorite, but 5 is pretty damn close as well.
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5>2>1>4>3
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definetly 1, 2, 4, 3, 5
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Season 3 (even though it was still freakin awesome) was easily the worst only because hardly any real story developed throughout the season and there was a LONG LONG break halfway through the season for 3 months! could you imagine if they did that for season 6!!?? people would die from anticipation. I like the 1-2-5-4-3 order thats probably the right order in terms of overall quality, yeah everybodys got their favourite seasons but ask the producers themselves that is what all of them will probably give you
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1st was the best. The pilot episode had me hooked instantly. Then I'd say.. season 2 > 5 > 4 > 3
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Season 1. Easily the first. By far. All that mystery that followed ... I could have done without. The island, the acting, the premise of the first few episodes was so promising. And then, suddenly, it went all X-Files on me.
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Season 3 by far is the best!!
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season 4 & 5 have been my favorite so far. waiting for the final one *can'twaitalready"
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season 3 was the best
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best to worse Season 1,2,5,4,3
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Maybe first? I don,t watch Lost
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I don,t watch (Lost)
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I think that season 1 has to be the best. After all, it was the one that got us hooked. There were greatepisodes in each season, as well.

If TPTB do it right, season six will turn out to be the best. If not, ABC should get LOST!!!!!!!

They got a "lot of 'splainin' to do.
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Season 1 PWNS all 5 of them !!!
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My rankings have changed a lot since I first went through the series, thanks to how different reveals throughout the series affect things in the past. That being said, this is how I'd place them in right now:



5. Season 3 - I feel it is important to not that I like this season a lot more than most people do. Besides "Stranger in a Strange Land," I love the opening arc in this season. And I also enjoyed every single stand-alone episode (unless if you count SIASL as a stand-alone episode, since it contributes so little to the main story). And until my most recent rewatch of the show, it was a lot higher on my list. It isn't that the rewatch weakened my opinion of the season, it's just that it strengthened my opinion of the others much more.



4. Season 1 - Yes, that's right, you heard me. I used to have this one as my favorite season, up until I saw season 5, when it slipped down to #2, and since I rewatchewd the entire series after that, it's slipped down to #4. That isn't to say it isn't great. I love every single season of this show. But based on rewatches, I just can't say it holds up as well. It did a great job of introducing us to the characters, early pieces of the mythology, etc., but I do think that the ones I listed above were much more interesting overall.



3. Season 4 - My opinion of this season changed pretty quickly, from one of my favorites, to one of my least favorites, back to the middle (and loving it more than either of the first 2 times I watched it). Right now, I'd say the only reason I don't have this one as my #2 is the fact that the writers' strike did affect the strength of the end of the season (I think it was supposed to have 3 more episodes, which I think would have smoothed things out a bit).



2. Season 2 - To be honest, ever since I first saw this season, it was always ranked as my least favorite season. I did like it to an extent, but I didn't care for how most of the time of the opening episodes was spent either in the cramped hatch or the Tailies' cage (so it's ironic that I like the opening episodes of season 3 when a lot of it was also confined to the cages), and it also had some of the characters at their least likable. However, now that I've watched through it one more time after season 5, I can't help loving it. It just did so much for the series, delving deeper into the mythology, and expanding on the characters, including a few great new ones (love the Tailies even though they didn't last long, and of course I love Ben). And of course there's the pretty epic closing episodes.



1. Season 5 - The very first time I watched it, I loved it for the "wow" factor of it. The time travel, the answers we got left and right, as well as some great twists and turns throughout. It did have things I didn't care for, specifically Jack and Kate off the island (though even then I didn't agree about the Kate stuff in "Whatever Happened, Happened," which was a pretty beautifully written episode that at least gave me [i]some[/i] respect for a character that I didn't really like otherwise), as well as an increasingly annoying love triangle (which killed off the much better relationship between Sawyer and Juliet). The second time I watched it, I was able to follow it much more closely, and the innitial "wow" factor wore off. And that allowed me to realize just how brilliantly all the pieces of the season were layed out. It was the best constructed season IMO, with a great blend of mythology, character dramas, just overall storytelling. Even a lot of the elements I didn't like the first time I watched it have seemed much better this time. I haven't seen the last couple episodes a second time, since I want to keep them for this weekend, so I can't say how much I'll like some of the few things I didn't like in those episodes, but it doesn't change how I strongly I feel about this season. If this is a hint of things to come, then season 6 is sure to be one hell of an amazing season.
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Season 1 is the best one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Mine from best to worst is: 5, 3, 4, 1, 2.
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best to worst 3 5 1 4 2
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From Best to Worst 5 4 1 2 3.
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add a commentWell, it's a tough one. I loved all the sci-fi elements from seasons 4 and 5. I love season 1, but when I rewatch it, it's not so exciting as previously mentioned seasons. Season 3 had its great second part, and season 2 had a great beginning and a chilling end. So, my order would go something like this (from the best to not the best): 4=5, 1, 3, 2.
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From worst to best, 3, 5, 1, 2, 4. Agree with most that season three dipped, which made season four so much more impressive, with a strong recovery/comeback. Loved the time-traveling and scientific aspects with the introduction of Desmond Hume and Daniel Faraday. Did not enjoy the characters of Boone and Shannon.
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1, 4, 3, 2, 5
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Favorite to least favorite: 1, 3, 2, 5, 4.
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3,4,5,1,2
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first season down hill after that they can stay lost
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best to worst

4
3
1
5
2

im not a big fan of season 2, its important to the storyline but kinda blah. season 4 was amazing, with all the flash forwards and seeing them getting rescued
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