So, your plane crashed on a magical, mysterious island sometime back in the summer of 2004. Six years later, you're rescued (kudos to you!) and find yourself back in a world where the US now has a black president, everyone is tweeting (and you're not sure if that's a dirty thing or not), and the Red Sox have finally won a World Series. The world is a crazy, changed place and you're still not used to toilet paper and the cereal aisle at the supermarket.
But the one thing you can't seem to get, that seems to be the key to understanding the cultural zeitgeist of the world to which you have just returned...some TV show named Lost?
For the past six years, everybody (okay 10 million or so viewers) have been anxiously awaiting a moment that will arrive this Sunday, at 9 p.m. Eastern. Even if you started now and glued yourself to Hulu (you can google that one, survivor), you still wouldn't be able to catch up on the 119 jampacked, boar-hunting, time-traveling, WTF?-ing already broadcast hours of the series before its 2 and a half hour long finale.
So here are 10 pivotal moments in Lost history. You still won't understand a fraction of what's going down on Sunday night, but at least you'll know to shave your beard and put on a gray t-shirt, jeans, and a backpack—that's what America thinks plane-crashed survivors wear these days.
1. The crash's aftermath ("Pilot Part 1", Season 1, Episode 1)
Wow. This is cool television.
2. "Don't tell me what I can't do!" ("The Walkabout" Season 1, Episode 4)
We learn John Locke is a destiny-obsessed paraplegic and that there's probably something significant about our main characters. This crash sure wasn't random. Also, an island has healing powers? Where the heck are we?
3. "Make your own special music" ("Man of Science, Man of Faith" Season 2, Episode 1)
A guy making a smoothie for breakfast? On the island? What's that beeping noise? What are those numbers he's pressing? Who is this dude? We're introduced to Desmond, as well as the idea that this show is about way more than surviving on an island.
4. "See you in another life, brother" ("Live Together, Die Alone" Season 2, Episode 24)
We hear Desmond and Jack say this to each other at key points over the series. They're connected by more than the shared experience of being shipwrecked. Now he says it to John Locke before he turns the failsafe key, causing a discharge of electromagnetism, marking a pivotal moment in the series.
5. Are we in Kansas, Toto? ("A Tale of Two Cities" Season 3, Episode 1)
The "Others" are finally seen as people. We get a glimpse at New Otherton and meet Juliet. The show's bad guys get some nuance.
6. Skater cage sex ("I Do" Season 3, Episode 6)
Okay so Season 3 wasn't the best. But we do get the show's hottest sex scene and a pretty convincing reason for why Freckles + Sawyer > Kate + Jack.
7. "Not Penny's boat" ("Through the Looking Glass, Part 2" Season 3, Episode 23)
Charlie, former heroin addict, dies a hero. This moment—his hand on a glass window—will replay with Desmond later in the sixth season, triggering Desmond's awakening to island reality.
8. "We have to go back Kate!" ("Through the Looking Glass, Part 2" Season 3, Episode 23 AND "There's No Place Like Home" Season 4, Episode 13)
Holy crap, this show does fast-forwards, too?
9. "If anything goes wrong, Desmond Hume will be my constant." ("The Constant" Season 4, Episode 5)
Probably one of the greatest episodes in the entire series, Desmond's consciousness flashes through time and he desperately tries to figure where (and when) he is. The concept of a constant is introduced, we learn that Daniel Faraday's geekiness is central, and Desmond and Penny's exchange shows that Lost is really just another love story.
10. Jacob dies and an alternate timeline is created ("The Incident, Part 2" Season 5, Episode 17)
Ben is coerced by Fake Locke into killing Jacob causing Season 6's scramble for his successor. Juliet detonates the hydrogen bomb, creating Season 6's alternate timeline.
Think you can condense the entire plot of Lost into 140 characters? Click here to try.
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