DECEMBER 7, 2010
AIRED: MAY 16, 2007
Pretty much every problem I had with Season 3 was eradicated by "Greatest Hits" and the following episode, since they brought in full force everything I loved about Lost, and delivered what may be the most satisfying cap of any season of the show (yes, even Season 1). I don't want to get too far ahead of myself, but by killing off a major character that we've been with since the very first episode, it truly showed us how no one was safe, and that final scene pretty much broke every conventional rule of serialized dramas. Well played!
But that's "Looking Glass", let's talk "Greatest Hits". Frankly, if you don't tear up at least once during this episode, you pretty much have no soul. I'd argue that Charlie's reflections leading up to his death are sadder than his actual death, since we had been told so many times he would die over the course of the season, it was sort of anticlimactic. But reflecting on the best moments of his life prior to that? Oh man, I lost my shit the first time I saw it and still get teared up at parts, particularly Liam telling Charlie that he's the one that will grow up, get married and have a baby (oops), and of course declaring the moment he met Claire as the best in his life.
The real nose-blower, however, is his goodbye to Hurley. It's sad in so many ways - that he has to insult him to save his life, that Hurley doesn't realize he's never going to see what is essentially his best friend again, and their very bro-mantic "I love yous"... again, if you're not at least misty eyed here, you're some sort of goddamn robot.
Hell, the episode is so good I can even ignore two rather clunky bits of writing: 1. Charlie actually starts writing the list before Desmond tells him that this is it for him, and 2. Why does he write one at a time? Since he's going backwards, he obviously knows what #1 is, why does he delay? I think it would have made more sense if he had written it out at some previous time (especially when he actually stops rowing the boat in order to write down #1 - Desmond should have been like "You gonna help, brother?") and then they used the camera to REVEAL one at a time throughout the episode.
I also love how their usual multi-group plan for the end of a season worked together for a change. Instead of having folks off doing one thing and others doing something mostly unrelated, it was sort of like a three part attack, with Charlie and Desmond going off to shut off the signal so that Jack and the others could send a message from the radio tower area, where they would all be because Sayid, Jin, and Bernard (oh yeah, Bernard and Rose show up for the first time all season, and Vincent pops up too!) were waiting to ambush the Others. For the first time all season, everyone appears and has something to do. Well, Locke's in a ditch somewhere, but everyone ELSE has a goal and if they fail none of the other parts will work or will be in vain.
I also love when Carl tries to "out" Juliet by revealing she's a spy to the other survivors. "They know, but, thanks!" I love her. She'd get to be a lot funnier next season ("It's stressful being an Other, Jack."), and I truly think part of why S6 felt so underwhelming is due to her absence - she may have come on board late but she quickly became one of my favorite characters, and her stuff with Sawyer stood up with the best of the show's "couples".
Onward to the season finale!
Where are we?