For Your Consideration: Drama Series – “Lost”

Outstanding Drama Series

“Lost” (ABC)

Here at Cultural Learnings, we did a lot of coverage on the post-hiatus portion of Lost’s third season, which is of course considered to be its strongest. As a result, for the purposes of this post, I’m not going to go into that too greatly, and will instead provide links to my reviews at the bottom of the page. I want to instead focus on the season’s first six episodes, the ones that caused millions to abandon the series and the ones that people call “uneven” or “awful”. Because, even if they don’t reach the pinnacles of the show’s final throes in May, I strongly believe in the quality of the prologue to this season.

While there were certainly pacing issues, the intention behind those first six episodes was a smart one, and the work done by Damon Lindelof, Carlton Cuse and the entire cast of Lost during that period is still worthy of Emmy consideration.

I don’t quite understand the hate for the first quarter of Lost’s third season. The episodes are certainly lacking part of the show’s most personable elements (The disconnect between Jack/Kate/Sawyer and the rest of the characters is responsible), but as six hours of dramatic television there’s some strong stuff here. But after the show was snubbed last year for what I think was also an Emmy worthy season, I think it deserves a nomination even more this year. And, perhaps against popular opinion, I think you can find evidence for that in its opening six episodes.

A Tale of Two Cities, the season premiere, featured the fantastic cold open to Juliet’s book club and the Others’ perspective of the crash of Oceanic Flight 815. The entire episode is basically Jack, Sawyer and Kate, along with us viewers, finding ourselves in a world we’d never seen, and the effect is strong.

YouTube – “A Tale of Two Cities”

The Glass Ballerina combines a solid Jin/Sun Flashback along with further information regarding the Others. You get some closure for Sayid and his boat, and the episode ends with the rather fantastic scene where Ben shows Jack that the Red Sox won the World Series.

YouTube – “The Glass Ballerina”

Further Instructions features not only our introduction to Desmond as a series regular, but also Locke’s spiritual journey and Eko’s subsequent bear attack. The bear attack stuff wasn’t great, but Locke’s vision in the airport was a stunning sequence.

YouTube – “Further Instructions”

Every Man for Himself is a very isolated story, and I think that Michael Emerson and Josh Halloway both give great performances. Sometimes these episodes are maligned for not connecting to any main plot threads, but it was a good story to foreshadow the Sawyer/Kate relationship. Also, the Others dealing with Colleen’s death gives them a more human side, which was important for the season’s development.

YouTube – “Every Man for Himself”

The Cost of Living is Eko’s final stand, and I think that the episode progresses well with its main plots. Eko’s death is a bit too sudden, but seeing the smoke monster finally return was eventful. Combine this with Juliet’s Bob Dylan homage at episode’s end, and the revelation about Ben’s spinal tumour, plus the events at the Pearl station with Locke and Co., and the drama (Although not monumental) is ramping up considerably.

YouTube – “The Cost of Living”

I Do is an interesting episode because all of the momentum is not in terms of large scale storylines but small scale interpersonal tensions. It’s about seeing how far Jack will go, how far the Others will let him go, and the way it strains the relationship between Jack, Sawyer and Kate. These first six episodes was the story of those interactions, and with Ben on the operating table at episode’s end everything comes to a head.

YouTube – “I Do”

I just don’t see how these episodes are in any way bad. Within the context of being the only new Lost in the span of 9 months was certainly an issue, but looking back there are some quality episodes here. This period, for me, was necessary: without it, I do not think that Ben and Juliet would be well-developed characters, and I don’t believe that the rest of the season could have been as good as it was.

And there are some Emmy worthy moments in these episodes: in fact, Michael Emerson (Ben), Matthew Fox (Jack), Josh Hollaway (Sawyer), Yunjin Kim (Sun), and Evangeline Lilly (Kate) all submitted episodes from this part of the season for Emmy consideration. The six episodes flow together in a nicely condensed arc with some good sidebars into life back at the beach. Sure, there were some problems: Nikki and Paulo were introduced, and Eko’s death fell flat. But on the whole, Lost was still one of the best drama series on television at the beginning of the season, just as it was in its conclusion.

When a series gets nominated for an Emmy, it has to choose six episodes to send out to voters, with two episodes being sent to each one. A lot of people are excluding this entire portion of the season from those tapes, hypothetically, and I think that is a mistake. While the series hit peaks for individual episodes in its second half, this first part of the season was still emotionally compelling drama that could easily stand on its own two feet.

Cultural Learnings’ Lost Recap Database

“Not in Portland”

“Flashes Before Your Eyes”

“Stranger in a Strange Land”

“Tricia Tanaka is Dead”

“Enter 77”

“Par Avion”

“The Man from Tallahassee”


“Left Behind”

“One of Us”



“The Brig”

“The Man Behind the Curtain”

“Greatest Hits”

“Through the Looking Glass”

1 Comment

Filed under ABC, Award Shows, Emmy Awards, Lost, Television

One response to “For Your Consideration: Drama Series – “Lost”

  1. Pingback: Lost (Classic): “Every Man For Himself”/“The Cost Of Living” | Official Web News

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