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Lost: Greatest Deaths

Charlie drowns in Lost

“I’m a cork on the ocean
Floating over the raging sea
How deep is the ocean?
How deep is the ocean?
I lost my way
Hey hey hey
I’m a rock in a landslide
Rolling over the mountainside
How deep is the valley?
How deep is the valley?
It kills my soul
Hey hey hey
I’m a leaf on a windy day
Pretty soon I’ll be blown away
How long will the wind blow?
How long will the wind blow?
Until I die
Until I die

These things I’ll be until I die.” – The Beach Boys – ‘Til I Die

Lost featured some of the most affecting deaths in TV history. Some were vicious and terrifying, like the demise of Anthony Cooper AKA the real Sawyer, con-man and generally horrible human being. Some were sudden and surprising, like the death of Shannon at the hands of Ana Lucia. Most though were emotionally complex and incredibly moving. I have gathered my favourite deaths below, in order of how much they meant to me.

6. Ana Lucia

Ana Lucia was killed by Michael in one of the many, many brilliant twists of Lost. Ana Lucia is in my opinion, the best written and acted characters in Lost and it is a great shame that we lost her so early into her life. Her story was powerful and compelling in a way that Kate’s was supposed to be, but so clearly wasn’t. Her death, along with Libby, AKA Hurley’s crush, was nonetheless a shocking and memorable moment. The power of the SHOCK is considerable, and everyone remembers where they were when Ana Lucia died.

5. Mr Eko

Many people died from the actions of the Black Smoke, but few were as visually incredible and overpowering as the death of Mr Eko. This to me was the turning point for my appreciation of the spiritual – not religious – component of Lost. Mr Eko’s story was so tragic and upsetting that you felt in your heart that he should not be condemned because of it. The Island is a chance for rebirth, and no-one deserved it more than Eko. When he stared down the Black Smoke, who had taken the form of his dead brother, Eko told him straight: I did what I did, because I had to. I do not ask for forgiveness from a capricious, hateful God as you. “I ask for no forgiveness father for I have not sinned, I have only done what I needed to do to survive. A small boy once asked me if I was a bad man, if I could answer him now I would tell him, that when I was a young boy I killed a man to save my brothers life. I am not sorry for this, I am proud of this. I did not ask for the life that I was given but it was given none the less, and with it I did my best.” This is a moment that makes me cry and gives me a chill up my spine, in a really good way.

4. Sun and Jin

Sun and Jin were the best romance in Lost. Their story started in a way that made the viewer believe that their relationship was beyond being saved. What grew was a mature, genuine and believable partnership that had its ups and downs, just like life. When Sun and Jin died because of the Black Smoke’s deceptive nature, I, like so many others, cried like a terribly upset baby. The image of Sun and Jin holding each other as the water consumes them is forever burnt into my mind. It is one of the greatest moments in the show, and something that elevates the characters to an entirely new level. It cements everything good and decent about them and makes their love forever lasting.

3. Locke

Locke is a tragic character. He wants so much to have a purpose; to believe that what he is doing has more meaning than it seems. He is a man who is easy to manipulate for just this reason. When he finds his father, Anthony Cooper, AKA Sawyer the conman, he is conned out of his kidney. When he is tasked with “saving” The Island, he is led on a path that results in his death. On the verge of suicide, he is met by Ben who convinces him of his worth and then kills him, because as he said, he didn’t have the time to convince him again that he should kill himself. Locke’s death is so sad because the viewer understands that he is special, and that he is, as Jack admits late in the game, right about pretty much everything. He wants to belong, like all of us, and for some horrible reason he isn’t accepted in the way he wants to be. When I was close to suicide some years back, Lost was a big help in my recovery, especially the pointless and terribly upsetting death of John Locke. Maybe if John was wrong about being worthless, I was too. Locke is perhaps the greatest creation of Damon Lindelof and J.J. Abrams, and his death is one of the most poetic and devastating of Lost.

2. Charlie


Not Penny’s Boat. With that, Charlie left us, crossing himself like a good Catholic and giving over to the power of nature. Greatest Hits, Charlie’s final episode, is one of the greatest episodes of Lost for many reasons, but most of all for the power of Dominic Monaghan’s performance and the great sadness that is apparent upon Charlie being told of the inevitability of his death. This is the great struggle that we all go through. As the man said, no-one gets out of here alive. Charlie’s relationship with Claire is, along with Sun and Jin, one of the most well observed and lovely romance on the show. And his friendship with Hurley is one of the sweetest damn things I’ve ever seen. When he turns away his friend, in order to spare him the pain, I have a small, but powerful, cry. Dominic Monaghan was brilliant in Lord of the Rings, but it is on Lost that he truly showed what he could do. The return of Charlie in the sixth and final season, when he re-discovers Claire… I lose it. Charlie was one of the great characters on Lost, and his death is fittingly almost the most memorable and moving deaths of the show.

1. Jack

It had to be Jack. It had to be Jack. Jack was the every man, but don’t let that fool you into believing that he was anything but a supremely well crafted character, both in the performance and in the writing. He is such a superb character that in literally any other show, he would be the one everyone talks about. In Lost, he is surrounded by such a compelling ensemble that it is easy to forget just how good Matthew Fox is at bringing the character to life, and how good the producers, writers and directors are at giving Jack good reasons to do what he does. His death, alongside Vincent – who embodies an everlasting love and the equal status that all life has, not just human beings – who comforts him and helps ease his passing, is something that will stick with me forever. I am just a lowly writer, and I can never hope to create something as long lasting and as meaningful as Lost, but I can, in my minor role as a writer add my voice to the enlightened chorus that praises this show as one of the greats. Jack’s death was the death of the series. The last image of Jack looking up at the sky, with Vincent by his side, is iconic. The eyes close. The story ends. It had to be Jack.

Written by Paul Casey

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