“If you don’t, he will.”

Ab Aeterno • Season 6 • Episode 9

David, 32 —Bayonne (New Jersey, USA):

I was just starting my first year of high school when Lost began to air on TV. I was intrigued by it from the moment I saw a commercial for a few months before it premiered. By the fifth episode, “White Rabbit”, I was hooked.

Lost was the first show to make me look inside myself and ask what kind of person I was and what I believed in. The conversations I would have with friends, acquaintances, and even complete strangers would awaken a burning passion in me, one I still feel today. It still remains my favorite show of all time.

In the Season 1 finale of Lost, “Exodus”, John Locke and Jack Shepherd had their iconic conversation where Locke said: “Each one of us was brought here for a reason.” In the seasons that followed, we continued to ask why the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815, and many others before them, were brought to a mysterious island somewhere in the South Pacific.

The Season 6 episode “Ab Aeterno” gave us the definitive answer. As we are finally told the story of Richard Alpert’s past and how he came to the island aboard the Black Rock, we witness his first meeting with Jacob and watch as his life is changed forever. Richard is convinced that he is trapped in Hell when the Man in Black tells him that’s where he is, and sends him on his way to kill Jacob, who the MiB refers to as the Devil. When Jacob tells Richard that he protects the island and that he brought Richard’s ship here, Richard asks the obvious: why?

This is the answer Jacob gives:

“Think of this wine as what you keep calling hell. There’s many other names for it too: malevolence, evil, darkness. And here it is, swirling around in the bottle, unable to get out because if it did, it would spread. The cork is this island and it’s the only thing keeping the darkness where it belongs. That man who sent you to kill me believes that everyone is corruptible because it’s in their very nature to sin. I bring people here to prove him wrong. And when they get here, their past doesn’t matter.”

When Richard asks if others were brought here before him, Jacob tells him there were and that they’re all dead, killed by themselves or the Man in Black. Of course, Richard is confused. If Jacob brought others here before, why didn’t he help them?

As Jacob gives his answer, he asks: “Why should I have to step in?”

Richard’s answer? “If you don’t, he will.”

This changes Jacob’s perspective on how he’s been doing things on the island, leading him to appoint Richard as his right-hand man to act on his behalf with others that will be brought to the island in the future.

And there you have it. After six seasons and up to 112 episodes at this point, we were given the ultimate answer of what the show was all about by the man behind the curtain. From the island’s nature to the reason so many others found themselves here before our main characters.

What I love about this moment is how Jacob and Richard are set up. Jacob is obviously the all-knowing God and Richard is Christ (he even looks like him with the long hair and beard). Jacob’s explanation to Richard about his troubled relationship with the Man in Black is very much in tune to God’s relationship with the Devil. And Richard asking Jacob why he never helped anyone he brought to island before him is all too similar to one of life’s oldest questions: “If there’s an all-knowing, all-loving God, why does he let bad things happen?”

I don’t believe in organized religion (it’s fine if you do), but I do believe in God. And while this may be a TV show, I have always seen truth in Jacob’s response:

“I wanted them to help themselves. To know the difference between right and wrong without me having to tell them. It’s all meaningless if I have to force them to do anything.”

That first conversation with Jacob and Richard is my favorite moment from Lost because it says everything that the show had always been about while mirroring our own questions about why we’re here. And Jacob’s theme, “The Tangled Web”, playing in the background is the icing on the cake.

It won’t be too much if I carry it for you.

Exodus, Part 2 • Season 1 • Episode 24/25

TJ, 39 — Ocean View (New Jersey, USA):

Especially early on, I always wondered why more people weren’t totally freaking out and losing their cool on The Island. I guess frequent histrionics don’t make for the best storytelling, but I always appreciated when we got to see a character’s vulnerability.

In “Exodus”, Shannon is determinedly lugging this suitcase across the sand. Sayid confronts her about it and she says, “it’s too much.” Without missing a beat, Sayid says, “it won’t be too much if I carry it for you.”

Other people can be… disappointing. But Lost shows us how “nobody does it alone.” Life is an interconnected web and with that connection comes the potential for terrible pain and also, tremendous compassion and comfort.

In a world of social distancing for almost a year, Lost reminds me that when we are at our best, we can choose to help each other carry the weight when it gets to be too much.

We’re not going to Guam, are we?

316 • Season 5 • Episode 6

Zoe, 15 — Columbus (USA):

I only recently watched Lost with my family, my mom actually watched the season two premiere in the hospital after my birth. My mom loved Frank Lapidus, as one should. She told us this was one of her favorite lines from the series, and I think it’s mine too. It leads you into this new stage of the show, going back to the island. It’s the perfect way to tie it all together, and whenever I hear Guam, I think of this line.

What’s done is done.

The Incident, Part 2 • Season 5 • Episode 17

Aman, 18 — Birmingham (United Kingdom):

I first watched Lost when I was 12 and fell in love with the TV show. Rewatching it with older eyes makes me appreciate how beautiful it was and how it taught many lessons to me, even though I was too young to understand.

My Lost moment occurred to me whilst rewatching recently as an adult. [It] is when Jack and Sawyer are talking in an episode of season 5. Sawyer brings up his tragic past to Jack but tells Jack something that has stuck with me for life. He goes on about how he could have hopped on the sub last year and stopped his father from killing anyone.

But he didn’t because “what’s done is done.”

That resonated with me quite profoundly as I saw a lot of myself in Jack. Jack was someone who couldn’t let go, he always believed he could “fix it”. However life is suffering and we have to let go and move on, even when we don’t want to or can’t see how to. I lost my grandfather recently and I’m still trying to let go as it’s not easy, but it’s important that we all know we should be trying to move on and continue forward. Not try and fix the past but experience the future.

There are many other great moments in Lost but this has to be my moment , where I truly realized this was more than a TV show.

What is he running from? Does he know where he’s going?

Pilot, Part 1 • Season 1 • Episode 1

Maggie, 14 — Portland (Maine, USA):

When I was 9 years old in the summer going into my 4th grade year, my family hosted a Fourth of July party at our camp. Family members visited, relatives came and left. After the party, my neighbor and her family had stayed a little while longer. Her, myself, and my three other sisters were bored and had nothing else to do. We were worn out from all of the swimming and running around we had been doing the entire day. So, in our living room we sat, thinking of what to do. Then, my neighbor made the suggestion that changed everything.

“Have you guys ever heard of Lost?” she asked. My sisters and I shook our heads. “We should really watch it. It’s my favorite show!” So, she turned on our ancient Wii console and turned on the pilot episode.

From the moment Jack’s eye opened, my young mind was already racing with thoughts and questions. “Why is there a man wearing a suit in the middle of the jungle? What is he running from? Does he know where he’s going?” My neighbor shushed me and said that I would find out soon. Then, I saw the plane. All of the screaming people, stumbling across the wreckage of the fuselage. Jack running around the beach to help those in need. The injured people crying for help. I knew I was far too young for such gore, but it was so captivating that I just couldn’t peel my eyes from the screen. My little sister was already out of the room, and my older sister was covering her eyes with her hands. But I just watched, so fascinated, yet so terrified, of what was happening.

As the summer went on, episode after episode was watched by my sisters and I. We came to love the characters. We laughed with them, mourned with them, and grew very close with them. Some of my sisters had eventually fallen away from the show, and by the time I had reached The End, my twin sister and I were the only ones still watching.

In the basement of our lake house, the two of us sat in silence as we watched the church fade to white and Jack’s eye flutter closed, and tears ran down my cheeks as the iconic “LOST” closed what was the best show on television.

Five years later, I still watch Lost. But now, since I am older, I have a much deeper understanding of the beautiful details that made Lost such an incredible show. It seems like the connections I made with these characters become stronger every time I watch it. Lost has so many essential lessons about love, life, destiny, faith, and, most importantly, being able to let go, like all of us viewers had to do with Lost.

There are some fans of Lost that may have just finished the show, and some others who have been watching since September 22nd, 2004, long before I began, but no matter how long we’ve been watching it for, Lost has still made an impact on all of our lives.

It was not all misery.

Follow the Leader • Season 5 • Episode 15

Nicolás, 18 — Barcelona (Spain):

I’ve known about this website for ages and I thought about contributing and sharing my Lost moment with all of you, as Lost has been, is and will always be extremely special for me. So here it goes.

I didn’t have an absolute favorite Lost moment until I rewatched it for the fifth time (I used to have a life before Lost…). It was on 05×15, “Follow the leader”, right before “The Incident”. Eloise just killed Daniel, and Jack and Kate are caught by Eloise’s people, and they are in a tent, waiting for Eloise. And, here’s my moment:

KATE: You know, before we were caught… [panting] you said that we needed to put things back the way they were supposed to be. What did you mean by that?

JACK: If we can do what Faraday said… [sniffs] our plane never crashes… Flight 815 lands in Los Angeles. And everyone we lost since we got here… [chuckles] they’d all be alive.

KATE: And what about us? We just… go on living our life because we’ve never met?

JACK: All the misery that we’ve been through… we’d just wipe it clean. Never happened.

KATE: It was not all misery.

JACK: [Sighs] Enough of it was.

OK, so let me break it down for you. You may very well remember the reason why they want to detonate a bomb in The Swan Station, as you may infer by the quote or remember from the show, they want to put things back where it were supposed to be. By doing that, everything that happened in the island will disappear, as it never happened. The bad things (all the deaths, suffer, misery), and the good things (joy, laugh, LOVE). That’s why Kate says “It was not all misery“, referring to her relationship with Jack. Jack’s answer devastates her “Enough of it was“, meaning that it was worth not meeting Kate if by that, everyone who died on the island and all the pain they’ve been through would never happened.

I burst into tears every time I remember that scene… It’s so powerful and sad, and, as a Jate fan, I love all the Jack/Kate scenes, but this one is just so powerful…

Damn, now I’m nostalgic, I guess it’s time for the sixth rewatch…

No matter what you hear, don’t come upstairs.

Confirmed Dead • Season 4 • Episode 2

Raymond, 34 — Glasgow (Scotland):

My Lost moment is one that perfectly encapsulates the show. It didn’t reveal the identity of the smoke monster, or who The Others were, or where Jack got those rad tattoos. Instead the moment introduced a single character, but did so in a typically Lostian way.

Miles Straume made his first appearance on the island in a confrontation with Jack and Kate. But this is Lost, after all, so it was time for a  flashback.


(That was the flashback noise, by the way)


Inglewood, California

Miles arrives at the house of Mrs Gardner, whose grandson, we learn, had been murdered. As Straume enters, the camera dwells on photos hanging on the walls—images of a teenage boy, presumably the dead grandson, staring back from inside wooden photo frames.

Whatever this Miles guy is here to do, he’s given $200 for it. Straume heads upstairs to the dead boy’s bedroom, warning Mrs Gardner, “No matter what you hear, don’t come up.

Miles enters the room and sits on the bed. The camera fast-pans—a sign something weird is happening. Miles looks around, then speaks to someone unseen, “Tell me where it is.

There’s a rumble; something falls. Miles pulls open a vent on the wall, finding behind it a banded wad of cash and a pouch of yellow powder. He sniffs the powder, says “You can go now“, and leaves the room.

Miles goes back downstairs, the camera again pausing on those same metal-framed photos. He gives Mrs Gardner half her money back, and leaves. End of flashback.

Miles appearance on the island raised some questions: who is this guy, and what skills does he possess that make him suitable to land on my island? As was often the Lost way, the flashback answered some questions but generated many more: so this guy can speak to the dead? Was he supposed to exorcise the dead boy’s spirit? How did he know there was a stash in that room? Why is he stealing from a dead boy? Is it still stealing if the boy is dead? Should I know who Mrs Gardner is? What is this show doing to my mind?

Lost would go on to make Miles’ talent for necrocommunication part of the show. The other questions I had? They didn’t get answered. Which was fine. I didn’t obsess over them.

Well, except one.

There was another mystery in that moment that, six years after the episode aired, still picks at my brain. And that, more than anything else, is what makes this scene classically Lostian.

When Miles went upstairs, those photos were in wooden frames. When he came back down, the frames were metal.

Say what now?

There are some who consider this not a mystery, but a production error, a simple mistake in set design. Yet twice in that scene the camera deliberately paused on those photos. As viewers we were definitely supposed to focus on… something. Who Mrs Gardner’s grandson was didn’t appear to matter, so what other reason could there be to focus on those images unless to highlight a change?

As is the Lost way, one question leads to another. If we’re supposed to realise the frames had changed, then why did they change? Did Miles’ visit in some way affect Mrs Gardner’s past? If metal photo frames are more expensive than wooden ones, then did Straume’s appearance make the old woman retroactively wealthier? After Miles gave Mrs Gardner $100 back, did she hop in a time machine and go spend that money on some new home furnishings? I do not know.

This scene encapsulates my experience of watching Lost. Because it was weird, exciting, and unpredictable. Because it answered questions with more questions. Because there were lots of things I didn’t understand.

Because I’m on the internet wondering about weird theories when I should be in bed.

Because six years after this episode aired, and four years after the show ended, I still regularly think about both.

That, to me, is what Lost was all about.

You felt it.

Happily Ever After • Season 6 • episode 11

Sydney, 15 — Orlando  (Florida, USA):

My “Lost moment” is in the episode “Happily Ever After” in season 6, which depicts and explains Desmond’s “other life”. He has just spoken with Eloise about losing track of Charlie and is about to drive off with George as his chauffeur when Daniel “Widmore” (Faraday is his last name in his original life) approaches him and explains how, after seeing Charlotte (whom he hasn’t met in this lifetime) in a food court, he “felt it”, how he felt love, and how it was like he already loved Charlotte. He proceeds to tell Desmond that after waking up the next morning he wrote a series of equations about releasing an extreme amount of energy, and tells Desmond he couldn’t possibly know these quantum mechanics equations due to his career choice: a pianist. At the end of the scene, Daniel explains to Desmond that this “Penny” IS real, and that she is actually his half sister.

Lots of scenes mean a lot to me, some equal with this one, but I chose this one because at my stage in life, I am trying to figure out what really matters, and Lost has certainly made it clear, and couldn’t have come at a better time. This scene features Desmond’s uncertainty with the whole scenario, because he pretty much is a man of logic shown when he states that Penny is just an idea, and can’t wrap his head around it. I’m typically the same way, and when Daniel was speaking to Desmond, he also spoke to me.

Also, I ponder death quite a bit, and the possiblity of the whole “second life” scenario has touched me. “What if this wasn’t SUPPOSED to be our life?” really hit me in ways I cannot even explain.

This scene, and Lost in general, taught me at a most critical time what truly is important. That trust and love are what really matter, and to make the most of the short life we are graciously given. I was always someone who thought logic was all that counted in life, it was the only way to get somewhere. Thanks to Lost, I now know how wrong I was.

Let’s go find out.

The End • Season 6 • Episode 17

Amy, 44 — Troy (Alabama, USA):

When Jack is finally awakened to the memories of his life, his conversation with his father became my favorite Lost moment. Jack’s very last words of the series are “Where are we going?“, which sums up my experience in watching Lost for six years.

Christian’s answer, “Let’s go find out“, brought me cathartic hope. After watching Lost for five years, I was diagnosed with cancer in the summer before the last season. A brutal year of treatment followed, ending in May and just in time for the finale. Hearing those words and seeing Jack die and simultaneously reunite with his loved ones helped heal my battered spirit. It wasn’t coincidence that Jack hugged people who he learnt the most from on the Island: Locke (his foe/teacher), Desmond (the man he saved), Boone (the man he couldn’t save), Hurley (the friend) and Sawyer/James (the man who set him back on the path toward forgiving his father).

Seeing Jack take courage, let go and find out gave me perspective on death that continues to help me.  Lost is the only TV Series to speak so truthfully and eloquently on death… and life… and finding out…

Are you sure
you want to do this?

Tricia Tanaka Is Dead • Season 3 • Episode 10

Jon York, 38 — San Diego (California, USA) :

My 10-year-old daughter got her first Lost moment.
She loves music, asked me for a song I like to play on YouTube, so I said “Shambala” by Three Dog Night. I explained to her why I liked the song, that it was from Lost and it came at a moment when two people felt they were surrounded by bad luck. These men got in a car and ran it down a hill to jump start it – and if it didn’t start they would crash. I explained that it was about faith… She asked to see that video and and now watches that scene over and over. It opened a dialogue about the show, and faith, and redemption. She now knows the names of the characters and has asked to start watching the show with me… So proud…