Welcome to the fifth and final day of the Best Episodes of 2010 celebration. Only five spots remain for a plethora of episodes and shows. And, really, only two shows will comprise the final five episodes of this humble celebration. I avoided using the word 'list' throughout the week because I only wanted to write about my favorite shows and their best episodes. I had no interest in listing them in a numerical way to determine their value. Of course, I used a sort of list format with the days of the week. As the week progressed, the more beloved an episode or series is. Naturally, on this Christmas Eve Friday in December, the final day of the Best Episodes of 2010 will belong to my favorite show of all-time--LOST (plus another show will join LOST before the post is done).
The final season caused many debates and arguments. The sixth season of the series will remain a season of contention for many years as new fans discover it and the old, die-hards either praise its virtues or criticize its vices in an effort to sway the new fans opinion of the sixth season. LOST fandom is crazy, and it's smart to get some distance now that the series has ended. Who cares what anybody else thinks about the show besides yourself? If someone thinks the Man in Black/Jacob arc fell flat, then it's fine and if someone loved that arc then that, too, is fine. If most people hated the time spent in the Temple while a minority enjoyed the further exploration of the culture of the Others then that is just fine.
For me, I had some issues with the final season. For the most part, I enjoyed the final season and I love a large portion of it. Allow me to write about the four episodes of LOST this year that were among the best episodes produced in all of television.
LOST--"THE END"--Written By Damon Lindelof & Carlton Cuse--Directed By Jack Bender
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"The End" is an episode I love so much that I spent over 14 hours, from when the episode ended until the Flyers playoff game began, writing 10,000 words about the episode and the series. I view 'The End" as not only the end of this wonderful story but also a love-letter to the fans. Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse understood the LOST fandom so well, and their relationships to the various characters who populated the world of LOST, and the two writers delivered powerful moment after powerful moment in "The End." If the finale was a love-letter to the fans then my 10,000 word recap/review of the finale is my love letter to the show.
"The End" is probably the best series finale of all-time because the episode wraps up the season six arcs as well as the series--an insane task for a series, evidenced by the majority of finale episodes that fail to satisfy the fans--in a way that is satisfying and full of closure for the fans. And the repeat value is off-the-charts good because each time I watch the episode or select scenes I'm still moved by how powerful each and every scene it is. It's masterful storytelling and direction. I hope one day I can write something as powerful as the series finale of LOST.
For my complete thoughts on the finale, please read my 10,000 word recap/review right here: http://blogs.wcuquad.com/2010/05/24/jacobs-foot-the-end-of-lost-and-jacobs-foot/
LOST--"DR. LINUS"--Written By Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz--Directed By Mario Van Peebles
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Eddie Kitsis and Adam Horowitz are getting a ton of critical praise for writing the new Tron movie while their gem from the sixth season of LOST gets ignored by seemingly everyone who actually gets paid to write about television. One will see plenty written about "The End" or "Across The Sea" (because of how polarizing "Across The Sea" is) while the second best episode of season six gets nothing at all. "Dr. Linus" is also Kitsis' and Horowitz' best LOST episode ever. The episode marks the official transformation of Ben Linus from antagonist to redemptive soul. Until this episode, the writers had difficulty finding a balance between the sideways and the Island stories because the writers wanted to keep the curtain closed on the meaning of the sideways until the finale.
The perfect balance between the sideways and the Island A stories is found in the episode. It's really a simple story about a man who hasn't gotten over the death of his daughter, and a man profoundly changed by the death of his child--so much so that the audience doesn't realize how profoundly Ben's been changed until he tells Ilana why he did what he did to Jacob. With full knowledge of the sideways world, the episode becomes even more rich especially in the scene when Ben makes a different decision from the one he made when Keamy had a gun to Alex's head. Michael Emerson plays the sideways Ben with such sensitivity and quietness that one wondered, when it originally aired, why Ben was so different--was it because he never went to the Island, had a better father without the Island? No, not at all it turned out. Ben became a good man and performed many good deeds as the number two to Hurley, and that part of his life explains the Ben we see in the sideways.
Also, the B story with Richard and Jack is awesome. This is the episode when Jack realizes his purpose in returning to the Island. When he sits down and lights that fuse, who didn't cheer?
My original recap/review of "Dr. Linus" http://blogs.wcuquad.com/2010/03/10/jacobs-foot-dr-linus-recap/
LOST--"AB AETERNO"--Written By Melinda Hsu-Taylor & Greggory Nations--Directed By Tucker Gates
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The origin story for Richard Alpert felt like a sweeping epic. For three seasons, we wondered why Richard never aged and who he was before the Island. "Ab Aeterno" reveals all of the essential elements of Richard Alpert. He was a broken man when the Black Rock crashed on the Island, like all of our other characters, who was terrified of the devil. The episode is like an old testament biblical story, too. Alpert's a man terrified of a vengeful God and in search of forgiveness for his sins though he's terrified of hell. It takes him over 100 years to forgive himself for not saving his wife's life, and once he allows himself to remove that heavy guilt, he becomes a man and he puts the cross around his neck for the first time in over 100 years. It's a wonderful moment in a wonderful episode.
Here are my original thoughts on the episode: http://blogs.wcuquad.com/2010/03/24/jacobs-foot-ab-aeterno-recap/
LOST--"HAPPILY EVER AFTER"--Written By Carlton Cuse & Damon Lindelof--Directed By Jack Bender
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"Happily Ever After" gave us the first character to became aware of the surreality of the Sideways--Desmond David Hume. It's an episode that many fans needed at the time because patience wore thin as the season progressed without new revelations about the sideways world. Well, Damon and Carlton delivered an extraordinary episode that set-up the endgame for the the sixth season and the series. Desmond brought the characters to the Island when he was late putting the numbers into the computer, which caused the plane crash so, naturally, he'd be the one who had to bring the characters together.
The episode is so exciting on first viewing because of all the possibilities that swirl around in one's head. Charlie explains his dreams or visions of Claire and he's frantic to escape this place he's seen, convinced it's not real because he needs to find her. As with every other episode of the series (besides the two origin episodes), the episode takes on greater meaning with the knowledge of the entire season. This place is, really, just about finding one another so they can move on together. To where, you ask? Well, that's what they need to find out. Also, the music in the episode is out-bleeping-standing.
Original Thoughts on "Happily Ever After" http://blogs.wcuquad.com/2010/04/07/jacobs-foot-happily-ever-after-recap/
TERRIERS--"HAIL MARY"--Written By Ted Griffin & Nick Griffin--Directed By Ted Griffin
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The episode aired only three weeks ago but Terriers destroyed every hour long show this Fall in quality. "Hail Mary" wraps up the first season, and series, rather nicely. Hank resolves the Zeitlan without getting himself or anyone else. Hank finds himself ready to move on past his failed marriage with Gretchen and decides to sell the old house. For the first time since we met Hank Dolworth, the man was both happy and healthy having overcome the demons that plagued him for much of the season. Britt and Katie reunite. Sure he'll have to spend time in jail but Britt wants to be responsible, wants to become a good husband and father. And the series ends with two best friends, Hank and Britt, briefly thinking about a lifetime in Mexico on an eternal vacation but the two never will drive to Mexico. There's too much left for them to do in Ocean Beach--people to save, families to start. What a show. I'll miss it.
Original Review: http://blogs.wcuquad.com/2010/12/02/the-foot-terriers-hail-mary-review/
THE YOUTUBE CLIP OF THE WEEK