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LOST TOP 10: Go-to Moves

January 11th, 2010 § 33

For a show that is so completely unpredictable, Lost’s writers have quite a few standbys that they always seem to fall back on. More endearing than tiresome, here are my favorite go-to moves Lost uses more often than not.

10. Using aliases

“My name’s not Annie.”

Henry Gale, Sawyer, Zeke, or Jeremy Bentham, Kevin Johnson, Jim LaFleur, Anthony Cooper, Monica/Abbey/Annie/whatever, it seems like everyone on Lost has used an alias at one time or another. But Rose, by any other name, would still smell as sweet. At least that’s what Bernard says.

9. Dreams

Need guidance? Forget praying – just take a nap! Lost is full of weird and wacky dream sequences that usually tell the dreamer what to do next. Eko found the “?” thanks to Yemi dreams. Claire popped up in Kate’s dream to leave some Aaron babysitting tips, Charlie dreamed about Jesus!Hurley, and Hurley dreamed about Mr. Cluck’s chicken. Locke popped up in Claire’s dream with black and white eyeballs, which still scares the crap out of me even now. It’s almost as bad as the “Theresa falls up the stairs” dream!

8. Everyone’s a murderer

It seems as though that pesky “Thou shalt not murder” commandment was conveniently left out of the Lost bible. Other than Walt, Vincent, and (probably) Aaron, it seems like everyone who’s anyone has killed someone at one point or another! It’s really just a question of whether you’ve killed a bad guy (say, Pickett or Keamy) or a good guy (*sniff* RIP, Charlie).

7. Everyone is evil in their episode

Have you ever found it kind of weird that every time it’s someone’s flashback/flash forward episode, they are infinitely more screwed up than normal? My favorite example of this is Sawyer, who for the most part lives out his existence as a sarcastic jerk, but a sarcastic jerk that is usually willing to help out when push comes to shove. That is, until it’s his very special episode, and then all of the sudden he’s murdering people, stealing guns, having hobbits attack pregnant Korean women, etc. And then the next episode he goes back to reading Judy Blume books on the beach. Very curious.

6. The music montage

What better way to end an hour of bloody violence, backstabbing, heart wrenching loss, or jungle hiking than a lovely musical montage in which people are palling around, smiling, sharing food, hugging, and doing whatever else they didn’t get a chance to do in the last 42 minutes or so?

5. Dying moments after resolving your lifelong inner turmoil

If you’re a character on Lost and you suddenly have an epiphany that makes you realize how you’ve been thinking your whole life has been wrong, and now all of the sudden all your inner angst evaporates, smoke ’em if you got ’em because you’ll be pushing up daisies by the end of the episode. This blight has plagued Boone, Shannon, Ana-Lucia, Charlie, Christian, etc. Jin had a revelation only to be (almost) blown to smithereens on the freighter. One of the exceptions to this rule was Mr. Eko who absolutely refused to change his mind. His reward? Being beaten to death by a giant Smoke Fist of Fury!

4. Hurley is saying what we’re all thinking

Hurley: Was it a dinosaur?
Jack: It wasn’t a dinosaur.
Hurley: You say you didn’t see it.
Jack: I didn’t.
Hurley: So how do you know it wasn’t a dinosaur?
Jack: Because dinosaurs are extinct.

Whether he thinks the Smoke Monster is a dinosaur, he’s going to start disappearing ala Back to the Future through time travel, he’s wondering why the washer and dryer in the hatch are so new, or he’s just as shocked as we are that Bernard is a white guy, Hurley has always been the Lost writers’ way of telling the audience that we’re not asking stupid questions. And yeah, that bird did just say your name, dude.

3. The one-punch knock out

Forget carrying pepper spray – if you want to knock an assailant out cold, apparently all you need to do it hit them once and they’re down for the count! It doesn’t matter what you use – your fist, the butt of a gun, a rock, perhaps even a Jesus stick. One quick tap on the noggin and you’re free to go.

See also: getting killed with one bullet.

2. Jears!

Whether it’s written into the script or Matthew Fox just feels the urge to (always) blubber, Jack’s emo tears are my Constant.

1. Daddy Issues

“That douche is my dad.”

Simply put, if you don’t have daddy issues on Lost, you’re a goner. While the fathers on this show are like a nonstop parade of douches, the mothers are almost always totally on the sidelines and/or nonexistent! So if you do have Mommy Issues (i.e. Shannon, Claire, Ana-Lucia) you can pretty much pack your bags because you are not long for this world.

However, if you’ve say, murdered your father ala Kate or Ben, murdered the dude responsible for murdering your father ala Sawyer, had a lifelong obsession with impressing your father ala Jack, have major issues with your father-in-law ala Desmond or Jin, have a super rich, controlling, criminal mastermind asshole for a dad ala Sun, Locke, Penny, or Daniel, or your dad is Cheech Marin ala Hurley, you are good to go. The only major character on Lost without daddy issues is Sayid, and that’s because he leaped from Zeus’s head, fully grown (and bearded), wearing a tank top and armed with a semi-automatic pistol.

Runners up: The season finale sunrise/sunset beach exodus, Sayid can fix anything ever, everyone is fluent in more than one language

So those are my own favorite go-to Lost moves, what are yours?


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§ 33 Responses to “LOST TOP 10: Go-to Moves”

  • Rebecca says:

    Did you hear that Darlton said Michael & Libby WILL be back for season 6! Just announced today! lakdjslfkajdf :D :D :D LOVE your lists and lostiness. (We should try getting some LOST terms added to Webster’s Dictionary this year LOL).

  • Ack says:

    I DID see that and I am very happy about it! I have a friend who is still pissed we never knew more about Libby’s deal, he’ll be very excited haha.

    JEARS IN 2010!!!!!

  • AJ says:

    oh my gosh, the screencap used for Jears will never fail to be both hilarious and ABSOLUTELY TERRIFYING.

    And YES @ Hurley as the audience stand-in. WE ARE ALL HUGO.

  • Kristina says:

    My favorite go-to move…can’t think of a name for your baby? Just name it after a famous philosopher/scientist/author/historical figure!

  • Rebecca says:

    I relate to your friend’s lamenting. I want to know WHY she went to crazy town.

  • Barb says:

    Don’t forget the one with the mother of all mommy issues: Daniel Faraday! He fits the pattern, too. -Great list. I love the musical montages, and Hurley as everyman.

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kristian Blake, Rachel Ack. Rachel Ack said: New LOST Top 10 List! Top 10 Go-to Moves […]

  • Seabiscuit says:

    Mine would be “Take what Jack just told you to do and do the exact opposite. Because even if it gets you in trouble and wrecks a mission, hey, at least it’ll piss Jack off and drive his blood pressure up a few more points. And earn sympathy points from Sawyer.”

  • Sasha says:

    “The only major character on Lost without daddy issues is Sayid, and that’s because he leaped from Zeus’s head, fully grown (and bearded), wearing a tank top and armed with a semi-automatic pistol.”

    Oh my god. I couldn’t stop laughing at that.

    But isn’t that incorrect (you know, besides the whole immaculate conception)? Doesn’t Sayid’s father harass him and his brother about killing the chicken in season five? Not as big of a daddy issue as, let’s say, Ben, Locke, Kate, Jack, Sawyer, etc. but still it’s somewhat there. Maybe this means Sayid’s gonna bite the bullet.

  • Devera says:

    #7 — You’re so right!

    I love the parental issues, probably the most interesting part of the show.

  • Lisa says:

    Sayid’s dad was, as he put it, “a hard man.” (I could make a really bad joke about my wanting Sayid to be a hard man also, but I’ll refrain.)

    Great list! The only thing I’d add is their tendency to end a scene with one character asking a *really* important, potentially secret-revealing question of another, and when you come back from commercial break, it’s as if the question was never asked, ’cause nobody answers it. Example: When Faraday and the gang are captured by his mother and the other others, she says to him, “You just couldn’t stay away, could you?” Dun-dun-DUUUUNNNNN! Scene ends. And then, nada! WTH did she mean by that?! What was his response? (Why don’t we get to know?)

  • Poozle says:

    One of one would have to be ‘It’s Randomly Raining Right Now Which Clearly Means Something Very Bad or Very Important Is About To Happen’. I think my favorite instance of this is when Ethan takes Charlie and strings him up in the forest, which made everyone collectively GASP! at how soon we were (supposedly) losing Charlie.

  • Poozle says:

    Typo! I meant one of MINE. XD

  • Linusanalucia says:

    Great list. I would add “Disproportionately Effective CPR”. I think in real life it works about 5% of the time in the absence of a defibrillator. On “Lost”, I believe the reverse is true (as with many things). In fact, now that I think about it, the only time I can remember it NOT working was when the dying person was on an OR table surrounded by doctors and nurses.

  • potterhead says:

    well done!

  • w says:

    All are too, too true~ But we love ’em!

  • LostAli75 says:

    Sayid leapt from Zeus’s head, LOL HAHAHAHAHAHA

  • bsquared41 says:

    I agree with the musical montages SO MUCH. Honestly, that might be what I will miss most when Lost ends, because I can’t think of any other show that does them as well or uses them as effectively.

    But of course I will also miss Jears, for sure. :’)

  • Erica says:

    “The only major character on Lost without daddy issues is Sayid”
    Waiit, didn’t we see in a Sayid flashback during Season 5 that his Dad told his brother to rip off the head of a chicken, but couldn’t do it, so then Sayid did it and then got praise from his father? I might call that a Daddy issue…

  • Ack says:

    Sayid had a dad that sucked, but since the only thing we ever saw or heard about him was that 30 second flashback I’d say he’s got the least to worry about haha.

  • Lauren M says:

    I love the musical montage and hurley’s thoughts. And Rebecca, I seriously almost squeeled when I heard Libby would be back, I read somewhere that the writers felt they were done with Libby’s story and I was so dissapointed.

  • P@ says:

    I miss music montages. It seems that sometime around season 3 (or 4, maybe?) they stopped using them and had every. single. episode. end with a WTF/cliffhanger moment. It was nice to have happy music playing to end an episode every now and again, ya know? I hope they bring them back in Season 6.

  • Carla says:

    As always.. you hit the nail on the head!! Fantastic list.. I adore Hurley’s character to always verbalize what I am thinking.. Thanks for putting it all together for me!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Great list. I totally agree about the Random Rain foreshadowing and the ridiculously effective CPR. But, if it is a man, it must always end with the pounding on the chest.

  • […] The Ack! Attack lists Lost’s Top 10 Go-To Moves […]

  • weatheredlaw says:

    Guns are not always the best weapon.

    Example: Locke’s knives, Sayid’s torture weapons, Ben’s tactical baton/ability to (somehow) beat the living shit out of whoever he please (who knew Emerson had it in him?), Jack’s fists of fury, Kate with a vehicle.

  • ikik says:

    …jears are my constant…

    I can’t stop giggling at that one!

  • Api says:

    the terrible flashback wigs would be my number 1 i guess…

  • heatherbird says:


  • […] at the end of this season is pretty much all of the fun. Over at the Ack Attack, you can find a long list of some Lost tropes from the past 5 seasons. How might each of these fit in to the final […]

  • izikavazo says:

    What about the old preemptive “sorry” right before hitting a guy. “sorry for what?” wham!

  • DC says:

    Go-To Move #1 for me is the GOTCHA ending line. “We have to go back!” (*end scene*) or “Guys, where are we?” (*poof noise signaling end of show*) are the best examples, but a close runner-up is “It doesn’t mattah wha’ I do, Chaalie – you’re ginna DIE!”

  • Panthea says:

    …yeah, no one’s ever going to read this comment, I bet. But having watched a LOT of this show in the past week, one thing I keep noticing is people asking really oblique, non-specific questions, like “Did you mean it?” that refer back to a few scenes ago, and of course the other person goes “Did I mean what?” and the first person explains, like, how about you just ask a coherent question in the first place?

    That one’s mine.

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