Naveen Andrews, Josh Holloway, Dominic Monaghan, Ian Somerhalder, Maggie Grace, and Evangeline Lilly as seen in Lost, Season 1, Episode 2
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The best 'Lost' episodes of all time

Written by:
May 13, 2022
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The best 'Lost' episodes of all time

In 2004, ABC premiered a new and inventive drama series called “Lost.” The show’s premise was simple: a commercial jet crash lands on an island while flying from Australia to Los Angeles and the survivors must band together if they want to find their way home. However, the series’ supernatural and science fiction elements turned that straightforward premise into a convoluted mystery that even some of the most die-hard fans are still struggling to unravel nearly two decades later.

Often identified as one of the greatest TV series of all time, “Lost” forever changed TV. It popularized nontraditional methods of storytelling, utilizing flash-forwards and flashbacks as well as dual timelines to delve into different aspects of the storyline and give viewers additional information about the characters. It expanded the show’s universe and storylines through secondary media (like video games) and inspired engaging conversations among viewers (via podcasts, online chat forums, and theory videos).

As of 2022, the revolutionary series remains one of the most-watched TV shows of all time. To celebrate its legacy and lasting impact, Stacker collected data on all “Lost” episodes and ranked them according to IMDb user scores, with ties broken by votes. Read on to find out whether or not your favorite episode made the cut.

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Alex (Tania Raymonde) in Lost, Season 4, Episode 9
1 / 25
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#25. The Shape of Things to Come (2008)

- IMDb user rating: 9.0
- Season 4, episode 9
- Director: Jack Bender

Tensions escalate between folks from the freighter and the survivors when a group from the Kahana attacks Locke’s (Terry O’Quinn) camp looking for Ben (Michael Emerson), killing Alex (Tania Raymonde) in the process. Meanwhile, flash-forwards show Ben gallivanting around the Middle East beginning the process of recruiting Sayid (Naveen Andrews) as a key member of his anti-Widmore force.

John Locke (Terry O'Quinn) in Lost, Season 1, Episdoe 19
2 / 25
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#24. Deus Ex Machina (2005)

- IMDb user rating: 9.0
- Season 1, episode 19
- Director: Robert Mandel

Locke and Boone (Ian Somerhalder) make strides in their attempt to open the hatch, while Jack (Matthew Fox) engineers a pair of glasses meant to help Sawyer (Josh Holloway) with his reading-induced headaches. Flashbacks delve into the relationship between Locke and his biological parents, neither of whom have good intentions toward their son.

John Locke (Terry O'Quinn) in Lost, Season 1, Episdoe 4
3 / 25
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#23. Walkabout (2004)

- IMDb user rating: 9.0
- Season 1, episode 4
- Director: Jack Bender

Described by SyFy as the “most important episode” of “Lost,” “Walkabout” is the first time viewers are clued in as to how different life for the survivors was pre-crash (off the island) and post-crash (on the island). Through flashbacks, Locke is revealed to be a paraplegic in the real world, although we see him walking around just fine on the island, implying that there’s something magical afoot about this remote location.

The final scene of Lost, Season 6, Episode 18
4 / 25
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#22. The End Part 2 (2010)

- IMDb user rating: 9.1
- Season 6, episode 18
- Director: Jack Bender

In the series finale of “Lost,” Locke, and the rest of the survivors, face down the Man in Black and attempt to execute a plan that will allow them to leave the island once and for all. While it’s a beloved episode of the series now, many of the show’s die-hard fans weren’t pleased with how ambiguous and vague the ending was (did the events really happen? Have the survivors actually been dead all along?) when it first aired.

Katey Sagal and Terry O'Quinn in Lost, Season 2, Episode 17
5 / 25
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#21. Lockdown (2006)

- IMDb user rating: 9.1
- Season 2, episode 17
- Director: Stephen Williams

Locke, and his captive Henry Gale (later revealed as Ben Linus), find themselves trapped in the Swan station during an inexplicable lockdown and must rely on each other if they hope to make it out alive. At the same time, Jack and Sawyer play card games, the outcomes determining who will win a large supply of food that has mysteriously appeared on the island.

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Marsha Thomason in Lost, Season 3, Episode 19
6 / 25
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#20. The Brig (2007)

- IMDb user rating: 9.1
- Season 3, episode 19
- Director: Eric Laneuville

Locke is tasked with killing his father if he wishes to join the Others. Unable to do so, he attempts to get Sawyer to help him, only to find that Sawyer and his father have a connection of their own. Back at camp, the survivors wrestle with whether or not to tell Jack they’ve saved Naomi (Marsha Thomason).

Kevin Tighe and Terry O'Quinn in Lost, Season 3, Episode 13
7 / 25
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#19. The Man from Tallahassee (2007)

- IMDb user rating: 9.1
- Season 3, episode 13
- Director: Jack Bender

Having been captured by the Others alongside Kate (Evangeline Lilly), Jack (who is oddly familiar with the group) tells her he’s made a deal with them in order to gain his freedom. Locke, meanwhile, works with Ben to prevent Jack’s escape from the island. In the final minutes, the mysterious “Man from Tallahassee” is revealed to be none other than Locke’s father.

Mira Furlan in Lost, Season 1, Episode 23
8 / 25
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#18. Exodus: Part 1 (2005)

- IMDb user rating: 9.1
- Season 1, episode 23
- Director: Jack Bender

In the first half of the season one finale, Danielle Rousseau (Mira Furlan) appears, warning the survivors that the Others are coming, and everyone is in danger. She then leads the group to Black Rock in hopes that they can acquire some dynamite, and blow the Hatch open. Interspersed throughout the action are several flashbacks to the survivors boarding Flight 815.

Jorge Garcia in Lost, Season 1, Episode 8
9 / 25
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#17. Numbers (2005)

- IMDb user rating: 9.1
- Season 1, episode 18
- Director: Daniel Attias

Anyone who’s ever seen a single episode of “Lost” knows that numbers play an important role in the story, and in unraveling the mystery and history of the island. In this season one episode, we’re introduced to the recurring numbers for the first time—when Hurley (Jorge Garcia) recognizes the series of numbers (which he once played to win the lottery) on Rousseau’s things, he follows her into the jungle for answers.

Charlie (Dominic Monaghan) writes down the best moments of his life in Lost, Season 3, Episode 21
10 / 25
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#16. Greatest Hits (2007)

- IMDb user rating: 9.1
- Season 3, episode 21
- Director: Stephen Williams

The survivors realize a raid on their camp by the Others is imminent, and prepare. Simultaneously, Charlie (Dominic Monaghan) makes peace with his impending death, recalling the top five moments of his life thus far, including meeting Claire (Emilie de Ravin) the night after Flight 815 crashed.

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Henry Ian Cusick in Lost, Season 3, Episode 8
11 / 25
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#15. Flashes Before Your Eyes (2007)

- IMDb user rating: 9.1
- Season 3, episode 8
- Director: Jack Bender

Believing that Desmond (Henry Ian Cusick) can see the future, Hurley and Charlie get him drunk in an attempt to get answers to some of their questions. In an odd sort of timeslip, it’s revealed that Desmond traveled back to London after the Hatch imploded, reliving his past before returning to the island.

Matthew Fox and Terry O'Quinn in Lost, Season 2, Episode 1
12 / 25
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#14. Man of Science, Man of Faith (2005)

- IMDb user rating: 9.1
- Season 2, episode 1
- Director: Jack Bender

The most-watched episode of “Lost,” “Man of Science, Man of Faith” follows Locke and Kate as they decide to descend into the now-open Hatch, ignoring Jack’s warnings. In the flashback, Jack attempts to save his wife, Sarah, after a car crash threatens to paralyze her.

Evangeline Lilly as seen in Lost, Season 1, Episode 2
13 / 25
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#13. Pilot: Part 2 (2004)

- IMDb user rating: 9.1
- Season 1, episode 2
- Director: J.J. Abrams

Originally airing immediately after the first half of the pilot, the second episode of “Lost” sees the survivors attempting to transmit a signal via the plane’s transceiver only to receive a strange transmission themselves. The episode also includes several flashbacks to the moments leading up to the crash, as experienced by Kate and Charlie.

The Island as seen in Lost, Season 4, Episode 14
14 / 25
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#12. There’s No Place Like Home: Part 3 (2008)

- IMDb user rating: 9.2
- Season 4, episode 14
- Director: Jack Bender

The final installment in the season four finale, “There’s No Place Like Home: Part 3” sees the Ocean six find themselves increasingly close to rescue and a total escape from the island. In the final moments, it’s revealed that Locke, as well as the Ocean six, must return to the island in order to right some wrongs.

Elizabeth Mitchell in Lost, Season 5, Episode 17
15 / 25
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#11. The Incident: Part 2 (2009)

- IMDb user rating: 9.2
- Season 5, episode 17
- Director: Jack Bender

In this season five finale, Locke’s impersonator, Ben, and Jacob (Mark Pellegrino) have a confrontation at the site of the Taweret statue. Jacob is murdered by Ben and uses his final breath to warn the Locke impersonator that “they’re coming,” ending the season on a gigantic cliffhanger.

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Michael Emerson in Lost, Season 3, Episode 20
16 / 25
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#10. The Man Behind the Curtain (2007)

- IMDb user rating: 9.2
- Season 3, episode 20
- Director: Bobby Roth

After the death of his father, Locke demands to meet Jacob, the leader of the Others. The survivors on the beach are introduced to Naomi, and learn that Ben has a plan to capture all of the fertile women on the island.

Evangeline Lilly and William Blanchette in Lost, Season 4, Episode 13
17 / 25
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#9. There’s No Place Like Home: Part 2 (2008)

- IMDb user rating: 9.2
- Season 4, episode 13
- Director: Jack Bender

Ben and Locke work together to move the island, even if it means killing everyone on the Kahana freighter. With the island on the verge of being relocated, the Ocean six continue to make their way toward salvation, even while flash-forwards reveal they must eventually return.

Sam Anderson and L. Scott Caldwell in Lost, Season 5, Episode 16
18 / 25
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#8. The Incident: Part 1 (2009)

- IMDb user rating: 9.2
- Season 5, episode 16
- Director: Jack Bender

The first half of the season five finale, this episode is riddled with various flashbacks focusing on Jacob, Kate, Sawyer, Sayid, Ilana, Locke, Jin (Daniel Dae Kim) and Sun (Yunjin Kim), Jack, Juliet (Elizabeth Mitchell), and Hurley. Additionally, Jack and Sayid’s plan to reset everything is met with resistance, and the Ben/Locke trek to Jacob heats up.

Matthew Fox and Daniel Roebuck in Lost, Season 1, Episode 24
19 / 25
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#7. Exodus: Part 2 (Part I) (2005)

- IMDb user rating: 9.2
- Season 1, episode 24
- Director: Jack Bender

Jack, Kate, and Locke continue their efforts to transport the dynamite necessary for blowing open the Hatch, while Rousseau attempts to kidnap Claire’s baby. Meanwhile, the group on the raft is caught off guard by the approach of a strange boat.

Emilie de Ravin, Matthew Fox, and Jorge Garcia in Lost, Season 1, Episode 1
20 / 25
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#6. Pilot: Part 1 (2004)

- IMDb user rating: 9.2
- Season 1, episode 1
- Director: J.J. Abrams

In the episode that started it all, 48 survivors find themselves stranded on an island after their plane crashes. Flashbacks work to establish the main characters’ lives and identities, while current events see these same people salvaging what they can from the wreckage and trying to find the aircraft’s transponder.

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Terry O'Quinn in Lost, Season 1, Episode 25
21 / 25
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#5. Exodus: Part 2 (Part II) (2005)

- IMDb user rating: 9.3
- Season 1, episode 25
- Director: Jack Bender

“Exodus: Part 2 (Part II)” aired in tandem with “Exodus: Part 1 (Part I),” making it almost impossible to distinguish which parts of the action belong to which episode. The combined episode was the second most-watched of the entire season (behind “Hearts and Minds”).

Nestor Carbonell and Mirelly Taylor in Lost, Season 6, Episode 9
22 / 25
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#4. Ab Aeterno (2010)

- IMDb user rating: 9.3
- Season 6, episode 9
- Director: Tucker Gates

This season six episode focuses almost entirely on the mysteries of Richard (Néstor Carbonell): why he came to the island, whether or not he’s immortal, and how he’s connected to Jacob. Other plotlines concern themselves with the purpose of the island as well as Jacob’s relationship with the monster.

Evangeline Lilly in Lost, Season 2, Episode 23
23 / 25
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#3. Live Together, Die Alone (2006)

- IMDb user rating: 9.4
- Season 2, episode 23
- Director: Jack Bender

After accidentally returning to the beach, Desmond joins Locke in deciding to see what happens if the Swan countdown goes below zero. The group on the raft concocts a plan to save Walt (Malcolm David Kelley) from the Others. This is the first episode in which we get flashbacks of Desmond’s life before the crash.

Dominic Monaghan in Lost, Season 3, Episode 22
24 / 25
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#2. Through the Looking Glass (2007)

- IMDb user rating: 9.7
- Season 3, episode 22
- Director: Jack Bender

In the season three finale, Charlie is captured while attempting to turn off the Others’ signal jamming device at the same exact time that the Others invade the survivors’ camp. This was the first episode of “Lost” to utilize a flash-forward device.

Naveen Andrews and Henry Ian Cusick in Lost, Season 4, Episode 5
25 / 25
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#1. The Constant (2008)

- IMDb user rating: 9.7
- Season 4, episode 5
- Director: Jack Bender

In the highest-rated episode of “Lost,” it is revealed that Desmond is “unstuck in time.” As he moves back and forth in time between 1996 and 2004, Desmond searches for his “constant,” which will allow him to ground himself more firmly in one place and time.

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