Dare I say it...eh?...I'm lost! (oh god...it's been done too, too many times))
May 20, 2010 6:10 PM   Subscribe

Help me catch up on Lost before Sunday (Spoilers inside, I assume)

So, somewhere halfway through last season I stopped watching. My shifts changed, I got busy, yadayadayada. I know that once the finale airs, I won't be able to avoid spoilers. I kept meaning to get caught up, but it became an insurmountable number of episodes. So, I have a little bit of time before the finale, and I'd like to devote that time to enjoying some sort of unholy union of the best episodes and some sort of overarching recap. I know there are very detailed episode guides out there, but I'd like direction to something more streamlined. I also know there are other lost threads, but I didn't see one that would be recent enough to include all of this season's episodes. What do you consider the most pivotal episodes of the last season and a half? Anyone want to take a stab at a brief synopsis on which to hang juicy fruit of knowledge? (I know that doesn't make much sense, I'm sorry)
posted by lizjohn to Media & Arts (16 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
That's a REALLY tough call because so much has happened, so I'd say watch them on hulu and catch up.

The guys over at eye m sick do an INSANELY good job at recapping/bringing everything together!

You really can't miss any episodes this season, too much happens.
posted by TheBones at 6:25 PM on May 20, 2010

It's a sad reminder of how much stupid filler clogged up the season, but Wikipedia's Season Summary is decent. Here:

Episode 1/2 "LA X"
Two outcomes of the detonation of the nuclear bomb are presented. In the first, Flight 815 lands safely at LAX, where Kate escapes from the marshal and Jack learns that his father's body was lost in transit. In the second, the survivors return to the present day after Jacob's death; Juliet dies and Sayid is resurrected after being brought to the Others' temple. Also, the Man in Black, who is impersonating Locke, is revealed to be the Smoke Monster and kills several of Ilana's team from Flight 316.

Episode 3 "What Kate Does"
When Sawyer escapes from the temple, Kate and Jin are sent to bring him back. Meanwhile, the Others determine Sayid is infected and attempt to poison him. In the flash sideways, Kate, still on the run, takes Claire to a hospital when she goes into labor.

Episode 4 "The Substitute"
On the island, the Man in Black attempts to recruit Sawyer in his attempt to leave the island, while an impromptu funeral is held for the real Locke. In the flash sideways, Locke is fired from his job and becomes a substitute teacher.

Episode 5 "Lighthouse"
On Jacob's orders, Hurley leads Jack to a lighthouse. Meanwhile, Claire questions an Other she has captured while tending to an injured Jin. In the flash sideways, Jack is a single father trying to bond with his son.

Episode 6 "Sundown"
After recruiting Sayid to his cause, the Man in Black issues an ultimatum to the Others: either join him or die. Meanwhile, Kate is reunited with Claire. In the flash sideways, Sayid helps his brother, who is in debt to a loan shark.

Episode 7 "Dr. Linus"
Ilana discovers Ben killed Jacob, so she plans to kill him. Meanwhile, Jack, Hurley and a suicidal Richard visit the Black Rock. In the flash sideways, Ben, a high school teacher, tries to blackmail the school's principal.

Episode 8 "Recon"
The Man in Black sends Sawyer on a reconnaissance mission to Hydra Island, where he discovers that Charles Widmore has returned to the island with a team of scientists. In the flash sideways, Sawyer is a lonely cop who is still searching for the original Sawyer.

Episode 9 "Ab Aeterno"
Richard Alpert's back story is shown: In 1867, he is brought to the island on the Black Rock as a slave. He makes a deal with Jacob to be his representative in exchange for immortality. In the present day, Hurley convinces him to help the candidates replace Jacob and stop the Man in Black from leaving the Island.

Episode 10 "The Package"
After Jin is kidnapped and taken to Hydra Island by Widmore's team, the Man in Black confronts Widmore. On the main island, Sun loses her ability to speak English. In the flash sideways, Sun and Jin are abducted after failing to complete a transaction for Sun's father.

Episode 11 "Happily Ever After"
On the island, Widmore subjects Desmond to a large amount of electromagnetic energy as an experiment. In the flash sideways, Desmond, with the aid of Charlie, starts to have visions of his life in the original timeline.

Episode 12 "Everybody Loves Hugo"
In order to prevent more loss of life, Hurley leads the other survivors to speak with the Man in Black. In the flash sideways, Hurley meets Libby, while Desmond continues his mission to let the Oceanic 815 passengers know of their lives on the island.

Episode 13 "The Last Recruit"
The survivors split into two groups; one led by Sawyer, the other by the Man in Black. Sawyer's group travels to Hydra Island, where they are captured by Widmore's crew after Sun and Jin are reunited. In the flash sideways, the passengers of Oceanic 815 continue to cross paths with each other.

Episode 14 "The Candidate"
After the remaining survivors are reunited, Sawyer and Jack hatch a plan to divert the Man in Black's attention and leave the island without him on Widmore's submarine, but disastrous consequences await them. In the flash sideways, Jack investigates the cause of Locke's paralysis and offers treatment.

Episode 15 "Across the Sea"
Jacob and the Man in Black are revealed to be twin brothers. They are raised by a mysterious woman who is charged with protecting the island. Jacob throws his brother into the source of electromagnetism after being made the island's guardian. The smoke monster is shown rushing out of the energy source.
posted by rokusan at 6:26 PM on May 20, 2010 [3 favorites]

Season six went crazy. After the bomb went off the show started showing two timelines, one of the people on the island and one of what would have happened if 815 never crashed. This and the way Lost is shown makes it really hard to pick out the best episodes.

The World Famous offers the best advice short of watching/reading each episode online (you're talking about 15-20 episodes). ABC is going to do a pretty good recap of what you need to know to watch and understand the finale.

If you need help with specific questions, Sledgeweb's forums are broken down by episode and you can find any answers (if there are any) there. There's always Lostpedia too.
posted by NoraCharles at 6:33 PM on May 20, 2010

God. Umm. It's been... eventful.

Depending on where you stopped watching, here's a (really, really) brief synopsis from what I remember, which may be flawed in some ways:

Throughout season 5, the island is flashing around through time, dragging the castaways with it (both the core cast, and the freighter folk that survived). The flashing is a bad thing; it does something to the brain, and people eventually get wicked nosebleeds and start dying. Daniel is convinced that detonating a nuclear bomb on the island will fix everything, making it as if the crash never happened. This, understandably, is a contentious plan, but that's eventually what happens - the season ends just as Juliet in the 70s (having fallen down a drilling shaft and badly hurt) detonates the bomb by hitting it against a rock.

At the beginning of season 6: the detonation did something weird, "splitting" the characters' realities. On the island, the bomb did indeed stop the time shifts, and the characters are all alive in 2007 (although Juliet shortly dies). Simultaneously, they're all alive in 2004 as if Flight 815 never had crashed and everyone had landed in LA. In this season we have "flash sideways", as we see the characters' non-island, post-flight lives, which are subtly different (i.e., Sawyer is a cop, not a con). Tons of old faces have shown up this way: Charlotte, Ana Lucia, etc.

There's also been a TON of mythology going on. Here's the deal: the island is kind of a cap on evil - the only thing that keeps the evil of hell from spilling into the world and causing all kinds of chaos. Jacob is/was the island's protector. He had some extreme sibling rivalry with his brother (detailed in "Across the Sea" from 2 weeks ago), and essentially turned his brother into a completely evil being - his brother, the MiB, is (big reveal!) the smoke monster. The MiB wasn't allowed to hurt Jacob, but found a loophole with Locke, who Ben killed in season 5: when dead Locke was brought back to the island, MiB inhabited Locke's body. This allowed him to kill Jacob, which he promptly did. So Jacob's dead (although in classic Lost fashion, that doesn't stop him), and on the search for someone new (a candidate) to replace him as the island's protector. The candidates are all basically season 1 folk: Hurley, Jack, Sawyer, etc. Last week, Jack accepted the job as Jacob's replacement, pitting him directly against the MiB who wants nothing more than to leave the island, destroying it in the process if he can.

Lots of character stuff has happened in Season 6 that I almost feel bad spoiling, but hey, you asked: Sayid turned evil and then redeemed himself, but died in a submarine explosion. Jin and Sun died in the same explosion. Charles Widmore bit it last week. Other, more minor characters (Ilana, Frank) didn't make it either. It's been a rough season for deaths.

Now that I've typed all this out, I agree with above posters that you may be best served just watching the darn things, or watching the pregame show... Season 6 was crazy, and I've skipped over a TON of stuff. And a lot of what happens in the finale will be (I'm guessing) character stuff, which is going to be more meaningful if you saw the characters' arcs rather than reading summaries online. But hopefully this is at least a framework to hang it on.

For my money, though, season 6 standout episodes: Ab Aeterno, Happily Ever After, The Candidate, Across the Sea, and whatever last week's was called. If you want to know what's going on, you really can't miss much of season 6 (although the beginning is a little slow for my money).

Have fun!
posted by captainawesome at 6:39 PM on May 20, 2010

This is difficult to do because, unlike earlier seasons, there really weren't any obvious "filler" episodes; each episode had some eventful stuff in it. (Whether they were good episodes is another story... I've only enjoyed a few from season 6.)

I agree that the pre-show they put together generally does a good job of catching people up.
posted by Nattie at 6:56 PM on May 20, 2010

Halfway through 16 episodes means 8 episodes left. At 45min each that's 6 hours of viewing, or 3 hours on Saturday and 3 hours on Sunday. Unless you work weekends, you can probably manage it, possibly recording the finale and staying up late Sunday. The better question might be which 2-3 episodes of the last 8 to skip to keep it under 2 hours per day.

I can't answer that question either. Lose some sleep and watch them all.
posted by K.P. at 7:33 PM on May 20, 2010

The recap beforehand is two hours - that should cover it.
posted by Pronoiac at 7:37 PM on May 20, 2010

Lostpedia has a very detailed synopsis for each episode. Probably shouldn't take you too long to catch up completely. It even clarifies some things by showing links to character histories, etc.
posted by Yorrick at 7:37 PM on May 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

If you're in the U.S. you should be able to access Hulu, which has "starter kits" for seasons 1 through 5 (about five minutes each for a total of ~25 minutes) and recaps for individual episodes from season 6 (between 90 seconds and 2 minutes each).
posted by Elsa at 7:52 PM on May 20, 2010

Here's the deal: the island is kind of a cap on evil - the only thing that keeps the evil of hell from spilling into the world and causing all kinds of chaos

A ha! The island's the Hellmouth!
posted by cozenedindigo at 8:01 PM on May 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Do watch episode 15, deep history that is not referenced previously.
posted by sammyo at 8:18 PM on May 20, 2010

Last week's episode, "What They Died For" was pretty great. Watch that on Hulu or ABC.com if you can. And do watch the re-cap episode. I watched the one previous to the S5 premier, having never seen LOST before, and it helped enormously.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:20 PM on May 20, 2010

You stopped watching??!
I agree with KP above: sit down with your favorite stimulant and do a marathon. It would be such a shame to only read one of the best seasons of the show.
posted by Paris Elk at 10:05 PM on May 20, 2010

Watch Dr Linus (for depth of character stuff, and a clear view of just how weird the flash-sideways is), and the 2 hour pregame, and you should be OK.

but I just went through a list if this seasons episodes, and there are many more excellent, important ones than I remembered. I think my expectations have been so high that episodes that are merely excellent have seemed disappointing. Start now, watch them all before Sunday night.)
posted by dirtdirt at 6:04 AM on May 21, 2010

Just to clarify -- and I'm pretty much ashamed to be posting this here; my no-TV street-cred pretty much evaporated when torrents started showing up -- the sideways world is not merely the world in which the flight never crashed; it is the world in which the island was sunk/destroyed over 30 years ago. So all the changes in backstory we see -- Ben Linus a mild-mannered school teacher, Sawyer a cop, etc. -- are presumably what would have been the case had the island/jacob/etc. not exerted any influence over any of these character's lives or lineages. (Oh wait, to make this work out the island had to have been destroyed more than 30 years ago; so the nuclear explosion rippled through time and retconned a few more things along with it. Okay.)
posted by nobody at 7:03 AM on May 21, 2010

You know what I think? I think you should read neverseenlost (link to first episode of this season. It's an episode recap blog done by someone who ostensibly has never seen lost. It's a pretty quick read but also detailed, with some fun insights by the author.

I agree with the other posters that if you can swing it, you should try to watch all the season 6 episodes before the finale, but that's unlikely. I think definitely you should watch Ab Aeterno and Across the Sea to get a good idea about the island mythology. Dr. Linus is a good episode, as is The Candidate, but you should definitely read some sort of synopsis of the episodes prior to those before watching them or you will be utterly confused.

Until the finale, namaste, and good luck.
posted by Night_owl at 8:46 AM on May 21, 2010

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