Thursday, May 13, 2010

My LOST Top 10 -- Quotes

With only ten days to go now before the season finale, I thought it would be fun to compile a personal top 10 list related to LOST for each of the remaining days. For me, these last days are a celebration of a show that changed my life. So, here's the first list:

Top 10 Quotes

10. “Nothing is irreversible.” (Jack, LA X)

At the LAX baggage claim in the Sideways Reality, Jack Shephard meets John Locke for the first time and they discuss John’s paraplegia. Jack is still a fixer, but the way he delivers this line is weightier than that. It’s as if Jack is making a promise as opposed to merely stating a philosophy. This applies both on the Island and in the Sideways World, where it seems many of the past problems the characters have had are being reversed. How does this apply to Jack? Locke? These are questions that still remain unanswered.

9. “I’ve looked into the eye of the Island, and what I saw was beautiful.” (Locke, White Rabbit)

What a great line to have near the beginning of the series. We can pretty much look at this TV show and say exactly the same thing. As it relates to John Locke, though, this line was full of hope and joy and promise. Now, it’s bitter irony; Locke found beauty in the eye of the very thing that now pretends to be him. This beauty, we now know, is what will be fought over in the last few hours of the series -- it's what the entire story has been about since the beginning.

8. “Son of a bitch.” (Sawyer, Pilot)

I’m sure there have been Sawyer episodes where he hasn’t uttered this catch-phrase, but I can’t think of any. This line is associated with Sawyer like molestation is associated with the Priesthood (roll your eyes now…). I know I can’t say it without thinking of him, or without saying it using the same disgusted inflection.

7. “Every question I answer will simply lead to another question.” (Mother, Across the Sea)

Sometimes the writers of LOST have had characters speak on their behalf in an attempt to pacify their, at times, impatient audience. They do the same here as the Mother of the Man-in-Black soothes a wounded young woman, telling her to relax. At this point in the series, the questions have become more important than the answers, and with every answer the writers give, the more questions they seem to unlock. But that’s the beauty of LOST. It’s a metaphor for life itself, full of mystery, wonder, and the sublime.

6. “Jesus Christ is NOT a weapon!” (Hurley’s Mom, There’s No Place Like Home)

Hurley’s mom is the most positive parent on a show full of dysfunction parent/child relationships. I love her attitude and the way she deals with Hurley. You can sense her love for him in every scene they share together. This line is her best.

5. “Dude, you’ve got some Arzt on you.” (Hurley, Exodus)

I think this is the funniest line in the entire series. Hurley has had some great ones, but this one stands out, not only for its timing, but for its darkness.

4. “If we can’t live together, we’re going to die alone.” (Jack, White Rabbit)

This piece of dialogue is the cornerstone of one of the most iconic scenes in LOST’s history. Jack had come back from finding the water at the caves. Through his journey he discovered that he was needed as a leader. He nearly died chasing his father through the jungle, but John Locke saved him. Jack comes to the realization that he can’t be alone here on this Island. This line brought all of the characters together, forged lasting friendships, and still resonates in season six.

3. Locke: “Why do you find it so hard to believe?” Jack: “Why do you find it so easy?” Locke: “It’s never been easy.” (Locke and Jack, Orientation)

Faith and reason have long been subjects for debate on LOST, and the biggest debate we had came during this episode in season two, Orientation. Jack and Locke fight over pressing the button, and Locke continues to feed Jack his “faith” mumbo-jumbo. The conversation could have been run-of-the-mill until Locke answered Jack’s snide retort. “It’s never been easy.” For me, this comment made all of the shit that’s happened on the Island feel alive. Locke’s point is valid, and is still paying dividends in season six as Jack is beginning to realize exactly how hard it is to have faith. What Locke said here was truth: nothing worth having is ever easy to have.

2. “It only ends once; anything that happens before that is just progress.” (Jacob, The Incident)

When Jacob said this to the Man in Black on the beach at the beginning of The Incident, a show that had already opened up my imagination suddenly made the opening even wider. Suddenly, I found myself thinking about the end of the show, and then I was thinking about life. The best fiction can make us reflect on our own lives, and this line had me considering all of the struggles I’ve been through in recent years. I was reminded of a quote I have on a magnet on my refrigerator: “In the end everything will be OK. If it’s not OK, it’s not the end.” Only, Darlton said it better, with more poetry in the words. I’ve used this quote a number of times now in my class with my students, and it seems to resonate well.

1. “Destiny, John, is a fickle bitch.” (Ben, Cabin Fever)

This line, in my opinion the best line written for the series, not only describes the relationship between Benjamin Linus and the Island, but also between the writers of LOST and the audience. Every time we felt the series was headed down one rabbit hole, the writers pulled out the rug and showed us that we had actually gone down a different one without realizing it. Because of this, audience love and interest had a tendency to go back and forth a lot. With one episode, the masses would profess and undying love for the show, but with another, the vitriol would spew forth like snake venom.

This line was also important for a different reason. It signified that things could change for John Locke at any moment. For years we made the assumption that he would be a savior, and yet, at the tail end of season four, Locke was in a coffin and ready to be substituted for by an angry Smoke Monster. Destiny is, indeed, fickle, especially when you can’t see the bigger picture.

(Last thought: The Smoke Monster is substituting himself as John Locke on the Island. One element of being a substitute is that in teaching – which Locke is in the Sideways World – the original teacher generally returns after his/her absence. This gives me hope that the real John Locke will be resurrected in the Island reality for a showdown with his “puffy” doppelganger.)

These are my favorite lines of dialogue, and expect the list to change as we near the end of season six. I’m almost certain the finale will hold some new phrases I’ll be quoting for years to come.

What are your favorites? List ‘em and discuss.


  1. I love these! My favorites are 6 and 3. I also love when Hurley's dad says "Your mother is a very passionate woman..." and Hurley freaks out Hehehe - gross! When Carmen covers Jesus' ears at the table - I love that woman.
    By the way, people are saying Locke's scar goes away when he becomes MiB...I hadn't noticed it but I wonder why that is. What do you think?

  2. #3 is one of my favorite moments from the show.

    I'm also partial to the end of season four, where Locke pleads with Jack, telling he's not supposed to leave.

    Of course, you could have also including Jack bleating "We have to go back" to Kate in Through the Looking Glass.