Ah, Lost. You beautiful hot mess. I’ve missed you.
With this past May marking the 10 year Anniversary of its final episode airing, I decided to revisit the show in earnest, something I hadn’t done in a decade’s time. And I have to admit, I was shocked how much of the show I had forgotten outside the impressionable first season and the muddled finale episodes. So much so that I thought it would be worthwhile to make a comprehensive character guide to memorialize the scattershot of characters on ABC’s infamous sci-fi island nonsense drama.
My only rule for making this list was a that character had to appear in more than one episode to make the rankings (although I’ve included a few single appearance character, so even that is a flimsy requirement).
But whatever, let’s do this:
100. Stuart Radzinsky
Radzinsky was the most frustrating season five Dharma dweeb and worthy of Lost’s all-time worst character title. Abrasive and irrational, and not in an amusing way like Artz or Frogurt, Radzinsky was a dull attempt at an antagonist in a season of floundering ideas. There’s a theory floating around that Leonard, the man who gives Hurley the numbers in the asylum, was a later verse Radzinsky, but honestly who cares? This character was the worrrrssst.
Worst Moment: Pushing the killing Sayid platform
Quick Fix for this Character: Have a piano fall on Radzinsky every episode
99. Horace Goodspeed
So, let me get this straight, Horace was so worried about keeping the truce with the Others, that when he captured Sayid, a man he believed to be an Other, he voted to kill him to protect the truce? I don’t think he gets how truces work. One star review as leader.
Worst Moment: All of Them
Quick Fix for this Character: Make Horace a dancing robot
I cheered when Phil was impaled by that flurry of rebar. It was his finest moment as a character. Another discount-bin dharma dweeb dispatched by the Island.
Worst Moment: Attempting to kill Sawyer
Quick Fix for this Character: Have him fall down a well every episode
Ah yes, everyone’s favorite homeschooled island overseer/protector/Norman Bates. After begging Lost for answers to the island’s mysteries, you almost wish they hadn’t given you Jacob’s backstory. Because what you got was a dull Cain/Abel yarn, rounding out as one of Lost’s all-time worst episodes (Jack’s Tattoos and Aaron forced baptism are in the mix too).
Worst Moment: Realizing Jacob is pure nonsense
Quick Fix for this Character: Make him a talking animated cat
Woof. This character. Poor Allison Janney gets stuck playing Jacob and MiB’s unstable mother in the aforementioned trash fire episode. Silly nonsensical turns and wishy-washy lore bog down what should have been intriguing world building.
Worst Moment: So many to choose from
Quick Fix for this Character: More exposition to inform her actions
95. Ethan Rom
Ethan’s infiltration of the 815 passengers made absolutely no sense. He’s way too creepy for sleeper cell work. His resting creep face is a dead giveaway. I would 100% remember seeing this nightmare of a person if he was sitting next to me on a plane. Plus, I’m going to hold it against him that it’s later revealed Ethan is Horace’s son. But as far as creeps go though, he’s a great creep. A+ creep work.
Worst Moment: Hanging Charlie from a tree
Quick Fix for this Character: Turn down the creep
94. Eloise Hawking
I truly believe the show had no idea what to do with this character, because she was full of platitudes, lies and nonsense. The faux Godmother of the island sacrifices her only son (a perfectly good Daniel Faraday) to the Gods of the island, because why? Because reasons. Boo!
Worst Moment: Sacrificing Faraday
Quick Fix for this Character: Sacrifice herself
93. David Shephard
You’re not a real boy, David! You’re just make believe! Shoo! Shoo!
Worst Moment: Mopey Jack
Quick Fix for this Character: Have Ben Linus play this role without any explanation
What a waste of Hiroyuki Sanada and John Hawkes. Why are people so committed to giving these two such terrible roles? Remember when John Hawkes was nominated for an Academy Award for Winter’s Bone? Or when Hiroyuki Sanada looked like the second coming of Toshiro Mifune because of his stellar work in Last Samurai? I do!
Worst Moment: The poisoning Sayid plan
Quick Fix for these characters: Give them both sunglasses and rename them the Dogen brothers
91. Bea Klugh
You wouldn’t be blamed for forgetting Bea, one of the many fake out “leaders” of the Others. Although it’s extreme, she does go out like a champ, choosing death-by-Mikhail instead of spilling the beans to the survivors of flight 815. But again, that route seems highly unnecessary considering what we later learn about the Others.
Worst Moment: Asking Michael to murder his friends in exchange for Walt
Quick Fix for this Character: Pick an early leader for the Others and stick with them
The Dharma Initiative has a torturer who lives in a tent and torturers people by giving them tabs of acid? Sure, Season 5, whatever you say. William Sanderson is a solid character actor (see: Deadwood and Blade Runner), but even his reliably quirky energy can’t salvage this misstep of a character. This episode is torture itself.
Worst Moment: The glamping torturer
Quick Fix for this Character: Have him torture Sayid with slam poetry
89. Woo-Jung Paik
Lost gave us a Macy’s Day Parade of bad dads, but Sun’s dad is still a frontrunner in the bad dad pack. He was an oppressive and violent business mogul who did his best to ruin Sun and Jin’s lives. At least when Sun returned to society as part of the Oceanic Six, she was able to turn the tables on him and phone slap his life. A+ revenge.
Worst Moment: Ruining Sun and Jin’s lives/Killing Jae Lee
Quick Fix for this Character: The occasional good dad on Lost would have been a nice change of pace
Charles Widmore had unlimited funds at his disposal and hired this Math teacher to fight a mythical smoke monster on a magical island? No wonder everyone died.
Worst Moment: Death by Smoke Monster
Quick Fix: Overhaul the second Widmore team so they have some real menace
87. Roger Linus
Poor Uncle Rico can never catch a break. Even on a tropical island, he’s still a janitor who gets gassed to death by his own son. Granted, he was a drunk who blamed Ben for his wife’s death during childbirth, so…karma? Maybe one day he’ll throw that football over those mountains. One day.
Worst Moment: Death by Linus/Shooting Sayid
Quick Fix for this Character: Let him throw a football over a mountain
86. Arzt/Frogurt (aka Neil)
They’re essentially the same person. They’re both annoying assholes who die hilariously morbid deaths. Arzt had a longer tenure on the show, but Forgurt was played by a distant McPoyle brother, so let’s call it a tie.
Best/Worst Moments: Arzt and the Dynamite/Frogurt meets fire
Quick Fix for these Characters: Have the island reincarnate and kill them every episode
Keame’s right hand man was offed when his fearless leader booted a grenade his way to save himself. That’s a five star way to go.
Worst Moment: Being forgettable
Quick Fix for this Character: Make him a more memorable lackey
Tons of quality actors were misused on the show, but maybe none more so than Zoe Bell. She was confined to being a voice on the radio, then made a brief appearance before wrapping herself in chains and jumping in the ocean. Why get a first class badass and professional stuntwoman like Zoe Bell for such a pedestrian role?
Worst Moment: Davy Jones Locker
Quick Fix for this Character: Make her part of Keamy’s Strike team
Oh right, the Widmore freighter had a captain. And it was this guy. The real dysfunction of this character was that he was built up to be a character of some significance, only for it to be revealed that he was just a red herring for a later Michael was the janitor reveal. That’s fine, but why hide his identity for three or four episodes then?
Worst Moment: The buildup to his shrug worthy reveal
Quick Fix for this Character: Have less red herrings on the freighter
Former NFL player Brad William Henke specializes in playing lumbering dolts, and this was one of his most forgettable. I prefer his Faraday team-up as hillbilly rejects in Justified. Now Coover, he was a first rate dolt.
Worst Moment: Trying to kill the Smoke Monster with a gun
Quick Fix for this Character: Give him a cowboy hat
The second Widmore strike team was painfully forgettable. I suppose Zoe was the least forgettable of them, but what does that even mean? Apparently she was a geophysicist, but in the end, she just came off like a discount Charlotte who got her throat cut by the Man in the Black for talking out of turn.
Worst Moment: Trying to talk her way out of the closet
Quick Fix: Scrap this character
I hope Saïd Taghmaoui got a Hawaiian vacation out of this gig, because his character was otherwise pointless. Did Caesar have an ulterior motive? Was he a Widmore plant on the Ajira flight? A first church of Jacob attendee? Or was he just some rando fodder there to reassert that Ben Linus is not to be trifled with? We’ll never know, and perhaps as the show slowly unraveled in its final season, it doesn’t matter.
Worst Moment: Death by Linus
Quick Fix for this Character: Give him a clear purpose
79. Danny Picket
Picket wanted to kill Sawyer sooo bad. And he probably would have gotten away with it if it hadn’t been for that meddling fertility doctor. Bye, Danny. I’ve already forgotten you.
Worst Moment: Sawyer rage
Quick Fix for this Character: Flip it and have Sun kill him on the sub, and make Colleen go on a Sawyer killing rampage. Way more interesting.
78. Colleen Picket
So many Deadwood actors were recruited for boring roles on Lost, and Paula Malcomson was no exception. I guess Colleen should have taken Sun seriously. Because, in the end she was wrong. Sun was a killer.
Worst Moment: Not taking Sun seriously
Quick Fix for this Character: Flip Colleen and Danny’s roles to prevent fridging
77. Amy Goodspeed
Amy Goodspeed sure seemed like she’d be an important character when she was introduced in Season 5, but she’s wasn’t. She faded into the background, only noteworthy for the later revelation as Ethan’s mother. Reiko Aylesworth is forgiven though, because she will always be the rock solid Michelle Dressler to those who know what’s up.
Worst Moment: Being Ethan’s Mother
Quick Fix for this Character: Give this character more proactive drive
76. Tom Brennan
Hey, it’s Kate’s childhood friend she got killed while running from the cops. Cool, can we move on now?
Worst Moment: Born to Run
Quick Fix for this Character: Refocus Kate’s flashbacks
75. Richard Malkin
Malkin the psychic later outed himself as a fraud to Mr. Eko, but somehow still had the clairvoyant foresight to put Claire on Flight 815 to “protect” her unborn child from being raised by others. Only for the child to later be raised by others anyway. Huh?
Worst Moment: Being a fraud or not?
Quick Fix for this Character: Less muddled lore/purpose
Remember this guy? Not really? I wouldn’t blame you. He was the doctor aboard the freighter. He had a cool time distortion death and was also featured in the Constant, but otherwise he’s an afterthought on a show full of afterthoughts.
Worst Moment: Try to smack talk Keamy
Quick Fix for this Character: Maybe combine Minkowski and Ray into a single character?
Pryce wasn’t super memorable outside of his death, which came courtesy of Hurley and the Dharma van. What a way to go.
Worst Moment: Having bad situational awareness
Quick Fix for this Character: Cut down the amount of Other lackeys
Uh, Justin, are you okay?
Worst Moment: Death by Claire
Quick Fix for this Character: Still too many Other lackeys
It was fun to see Mac in the Lost universe, but his character was otherwise an idiot. If you’ve forgotten, Aldo was a bumbling Other who gets killed by Claire of all people. I guess in the end Country Mac was the cooler Mac.
Worst Moment: Being a doof
Quick Fix for this Character: Recast Charlie Day as his paint huffing sidekick
70. Liam Pace
Liam wins the show’s underwhelming sibling award, heavily contributing to Charlie’s downward spiral and ghosting him when he needed him most. Also, Drive Shaft was trash. They’re the Matchbox 20 of the Lost universe.
Worst Moment: Guilting Charlie into becoming a heroin addict
Quick Fix for this Character: Make him less of a one note heroin fueled dick
69. Edward Mars
Are we sure Edward Mars was actually a US Marshal? Because he seemed more like a restraining order candidate who liked smelling Kate’s hair. At least his demise made for a great season 1 mini-arc.
Worst Moment: Kate creeping
Quick Fix for this Character: Drop the law enforcement angle and just make him an outright, hitcher-like villain posing as a Marshal
68. Susan Porter
It’s hard to dismiss Susan as an awful person since her relationship with Michael seemed subject to mutual dysfunction. Michael was stubborn and quick to anger, while Susan’s decisions seemed selfish and impulsive. Certainly not Lost’s best couple by any means.
Worst Moment: Hijacking Walt
Quick Fix for this Character: Give Michael and Susan more nuance
67. Seth Norris
It’s not a JJ Abrams project without an appearance from childhood bestie Greg Grunberg. Even though he died in the pilot, he was memorable for having one of the most telegraphed death scenes in Lost history. You want to put your head out the window to investigate mechanical t-rex sounds? By all means, have at it. He was no Lapidus, that’s for sure.
Worst Moment: Investigating monster noises
Quick Fix for this Character: Be more like Lapidus
66. Emily Locke
Boy, the parents on this show sure were shitty. Emily Locke was a slightly (emphasis on slightly) better person than Locke’s conniving conman dad, but she’s also a less compelling, shallow sketch of a character.
Worst Moment: Setting up her son to have his kidney stolen
Quick Fix for this Character: Be a better parent
65. Sam Austen
There’s stiff competition for worst Kate parent. Both parental units come up seriously short in the providing a healthy environment for Kate department, but at least Kate’s dad gave her head start before he called the cops. I guess that’s something?
Worst Moment: Being a limp, absentee parent
Quick Fix for this Character: Be less terrible
64. Diane Janssen
I do sympathize with Diane Janssen’s situation. And in the end, her refusal to testify against Kate was a long overdue attempt to save her daughter from circumstances she had helped create.
Worst Moment: Selling Kate out
Quick Fix for this Character: Have her extend the olive branch earlier
63. Matthew Abaddon
Lance Reddick was wasted on a character whose allegiances were never explicitly clear. Does he work for Widmore? Or was he an emissary of the island? Or was he another character the writers had no idea what they were doing with initially, only to be later retconned as a Widmore lackey? I believe it was the latter, but honestly, who the hell knows.
Worst Moment: Letting Ben get the drop on him
Quick Fix for this Character: Make his purpose less nebulous
62. Kevin Callis
I love Nathan Fillion but this character was a first rate goober. Next.
Worst Moment: Kate’s Goodbye
Quick Fix for this Character: Condense Kevin and Tom Brennan into a single charisma void of a character
These two got the Siberia designation of Dharma stations and were murdered for their time. Sucks for them.
Worst Moment: Trusting Ben
Quick Fix for these Characters: Give them pet Dharma Sharks
60. Jae Lee
It seems harsh that Jae suffered the John Locke special for having an affair with Sun, but it doesn’t take much to put you on the chopping block in Lost. Goodnight, sweet price. Sorry you got thrown out a window. So it goes.
Worst Moment: Apparently sleeping with Sun
Quick Fix for this Character: Don’t sleep with Sun
59. Kelvin Inman
It’s fun to see Clancy Brown pop up in a few intersecting off island backstories, but aside from that, he was a fairly benign presence. I mean, he did convince Desmond to push a button every 108 minutes for three years. I guess that’s a funny prank.
Worst Moment: Trying to dip out on Desmond
Quick Fix for this Character: Tie him to more Dharma lore
58. Rachel Carlson
Robin Weigert, a true acting chameleon, never got the opportunity to flex her muscles in this peripheral role as Juliet’s cancer stricken sister. But that’s okay, she’ll always be foul mouthed Calamity Jane in my book. The woman who saved Seth Bullock from sure death and destruction.
57. Nikki Fernandez
Watching it a second time, Nikki and Paulo aren’t that bad, they’re just integrated poorly into the story. If they were introduced in a way that wasn’t so jarring, then maybe everyone wouldn’t have hated them and the writers wouldn’t have had to bury them alive. But, they didn’t, so here we are.
Worst Moment: Trying to kill Paulo with jungle spiders
Quick Fix for this Character: Better integration into the story
Again, this wasn’t really Rodrigo Santoro or Kiele Sanchez’s fault. They’re both capable actors that got thankless roles. It’s not like a murdering diamond thief couldn’t be an intriguing Lost staple, but Paulo arrives too late in the game to really have a lasting impact. I’m ranking him just higher than Nikki based on the fact that he didn’t try to kill her with jungle spiders. He always seemed more like the handsome dum dum of the outfit who was just along for the ride.
Worst Moment: Diamonds in the toilet
Quick Fix for this Character: Make Nikki/Paolo a single Gollum like character obsessed with diamonds
55. Cindy Chandler
Cindy, the one time stewardess on Flight 815, wins the award for most loyalty swapping on the show. Once a stewardess, then Tailie, then Other, then Temple Other, then…wait. What happened to Cindy? Or those kids she was always watching? Did they die?
Worst Moment: Pick a side
Quick Fix for this Character: Clarify her allegiances
54. Emma and Zach
Seriously, what happened to these kids? Did Widmore blow them up on the beach? Or did the John Locke smoke monster kill them offscreen? If so, that’s dark, Lost. REAL DARK.
Worst moment: An unknown fate?
Quick Fix for these Characters: What happened to them?
53. Karl Martin
Alex’s devoted boyfriend unfortunately got caught up in the Rousseau fire sale when the show decided to off the entire family in unceremonious fashion. As a result, we never got to learn much about ol’ Karl. He seemed like a good guy as far as Others went though, and that’s something.
Worst Moment: Death by Keamy
Quick Fix for this Character: More episodes of him trying to date Ben’s daughter
52. Naomi Dorrit
We never learned much about Naomi due to her abrupt death, but she had a way healthier vibe as a Widmore emissary than the warmongering Keamy ever did. Kudos for that.
Worst Moment: Death by Locke
Quick Fix for this Character: More screen time, clearer objectives
51. Susan Duerden
Claire’s Mom was in a coma and then suddenly wasn’t? After that Days of Our Lives turn, she was unfortunately used mostly as a goofy late show red herring, then eventual caretaker for everyone’s favorite island baby, Aaron Littleton. Despite her earlier clashing with emo-Claire, she remains one of the more positive parental influences the show ever gave us.
Worst Moment: The miraculously unexplained coma recovery
Quick Fix for this Character: Don’t use her as a red herring
50. Michael Dawson
Michael’s trajectory on Lost was a real Jeremy Bearimy. He had tunnel vision for being a better father, which was great, but his execution of said fathering was often reduced to shouting his son’s name incessantly. Not exactly a tactful execution of advanced parenting. And instead of getting the redemption arc Michael was owed, we were given a murdering semi-villain instead, depriving the character of any real growth or value to the overall story.
Worst Moment: Libby’s Surprise
Quick Fix for this Character: Not every character needs a happy ending, but Michael’s arc feels especially pointless
49. Ana Lucia Cortez
As much as I like Michelle Rodriguez, this was a difficult character to watch. Trauma and loss bolstered her understandable trust issues, but that shouldn’t excuse her wildly abrasive and irrational decision making. It would have been nice to see some evolution to this character, but we all know that didn’t happen.
Worst Moment: The aftermath of murdering Shannon is real dumb
Quick Fix for this Character: I’m not sure. I feel like Miles is a softened reimagining of this character type, and he works, so maybe soften her edges?
The concept of Bernand on paper was great, but when you actually met him, you discovered he’s pretty annoying. Sure, he has his moments, but he was easily the lesser half of the Rose/Bernard super duo.
Worst Moment: The SOS project
Quick Fix for this Character: Old couple nagging is fine, but he needs to tone it down
47. Aaron Littleton
Oh right, Aaron, I forgot about him. This kid is going to have so much PTSD when he grows up. But here’s to hoping Claire and little Turnip Head lived happily ever after when they finally got off the island.
Best Moment: Surviving those smothering Kate hugs
46. George Minkowski
I love how much the show retcons Minkowski to make sure you know he was an okay guy. It’s always fun to see Fisher Stevens though and he was a pivotal part of the show’s best episode, the Constant, so points for that.
Best Moment: I Can’t Get Back
I despised the way Eko died and how they used Yemi to orchestrate it, but Eko’s little brother was an otherwise intriguing presence in a complex backstory.
Best Moment: Saving Eko
44. Carmen and David Reyes
Hurley’s dad dipping out on him until he became rich was lousy, but otherwise these two are the closest thing to supportive parents the show ever provided.
Best Moment: Carmen being a solid parent/David eventually getting his act together
43. Ilana Verdansky
Ah, Ilana, brave protector of Jacob. It’s a shame she didn’t survive her encounter with the infamous Black Rock dynamite pile. Because right when she was morphing into an interesting character, especially in regards to her relationship with Ben, she blew up. Thanks for nothing, Lost.
Best Moment: I’ll have you.
42. Cassidy Phillips
Kim Dickens evolved nicely from mark to Sawyer staple over the course of a few seasons. I wouldn’t say her character was vital to the overall story, but she did thematically represent a stable future for Sawyer, one which he seemed determined to flee at any cost.
Best Moment: Rising to Sawyer’s level
41. The Man in Black
Not Lost’s best creation by any measure, but MiB was legitimately threatening in his smoke monster and John Locke forms, and also way less hateable than Jacob. And, I mean, come on, it’s Harry Bosch. Give him a break.
Best Moment: Killing Jacob
40. Mikhail Bakunin
Mikhail, the one-eyed unkillable Other was aptly named for a 19th Century Russian anarchist of the same name. He killed his own, he killed Driveshaft bassists, and in the end, killed himself? The man sure loved killing.
Best/Worst Moment: Blowing up the Looking Glass station
39. Pierre Chang
Dr. Pierre Chang was nothing more than our friendly Dharma orientation video guy until season 5 added some depth, revealing him to be father to our favorite Ghost-busting cynic, Miles. Pierre didn’t have a ton of screen time, but he was always memorably prickly. Also, points for being surprisingly receptive to the save the women and children on the island plan pitched by the time traveling 815ers.
Best Moment: Believing the ‘future crew’
38. Goodwin Stanhope
Goodwin’s infiltration of the 815 passengers made way more sense than Ethan’s, because Brett Cullen had enough latent charisma that you’d probably buy a car from him or believe he was a plane crash survivor. Goodwin’s softened backstory clashes with the neck snapping terror he was in his time with the Tailies, but he still registers as an engaging presence.
Best Moment: Sleeper Cell Other
37. Tom Friendly
So many Others and Dharma members registered as flat, generic antagonists, but MC Gainey brought enough cagey menace to make Tom Friendly a memorable baddie. If only he would have heeded Sawyer’s warning about killing him someday. He certainly didn’t see that one coming.
Best Moment: Having a catch with Jack
Don’t get me wrong, Keamy was a bastard, but he’s played to bastard perfection by Kevin Durand. Killing Alex was cold though. Even for a hardened mercenary, that seemed like an unforgivable act.
Best Moment: Death by Ben
35. Anthony Cooper
Since we’re on the subjects of bastards, here’s another upper tier bastard executed skillfully by Kevin Tighe. This was a man who scammed his estranged son out of a kidney and then speared him out a window. That’s impressive bastardedry. Most bastards could only dream of being that much of a bastard.
Best Moment: The Man from Tallahassee aka Death by Sawyer
34. Charles Widmore
Ah, Charles Widmore, the Tywin Lannister of Lost. A mostly worthy adversary for our resident Other defacto leader Benjamin Linus. Widmore certainly did some despicable things, making it a shame his final actions on the island were so contradictory and impotent.
Worst Moment: The season 6 plan
33. Boone Carlyle
I’m sure everyone will disagree with me, but I believe Boone, not Shannon, was the worst of the original 815 survivors (well, other than Michael). Shannon was glib, but Boone’s shitty decisions directly contributed to the deaths of his peers.
Worst Moment: Stealing the water
32. Shannon Rutherford
Yes, Shannon is a better character than Boone. Sure, she sucks in a very unique and shallow way, but Boone’s stupidity was more detrimental to those around him.
Worst Moment: Profiling Sayid at the airport
31. The Dharma Shark
That’s right, the Dharma Shark is a better character than Shannon. That’s what I’m saying.
Best Moment: Resisting the desire to eat Sawyer
30. Charlotte Lewis
Apparently Lost fandom despised this character, which is strange, because if anything, she’s underdeveloped. But as we only got glimpses of her past, any intrigue Charlotte held died with her on the island. But come on, she wasn’t that bad.
Best Moment: Not taking shit from people
29. Helen Norwood
Katey Sagal is always crushing. What else is there to say?
Best Moment: Me or your father
28. Ji Yeon Kwon
You monsters. Why did you orphan this child? Unforgivable.
27. Libby Smith
Due to her aborted storyline, it’s hard to know what to make of Libby. She had some positive contributions like talking Hurley down from the ledge, but they also never addressed ‘Crazy Libby’ episode. In the end, she’s just another unfinished thread of the island, flying in the wind.
Best Moment: Talking Hurley down from the ledge
Worst Moment: Crazy Libby
26. Nadia Abed Jaseem
Don’t even get me started on Sayid ending up with Shannon in the limbo church instead of Nadia. You’re telling me, that Sayid’s four day beach fling with Shannon was more significant than the woman he called the love of his life? Besides, Nadia was a boss. Nadia > Shannon.
Best Moment: I look forward to our talks
25. Walt Lloyd
It momentarily looked like Walt was turning into a Smallville villain who could kill birds with his mind, but then he wasn’t? He was just a normal kid? It was abundantly clear that Lost didn’t know what to do with Walt, further compounded by Malcolm David Kelly hitting puberty and aging out of the role. Regardless, Walt’s time was cut short in a really unsatisfying way. And I’m guessing Hurley never paid him that 200k he owed him, but according to the epilogue, he might have made him the new Richard? So, maybe they’re even?
Best Moment: Locke Reunion
24. Alex Rousseau
If ever Lost did a set of characters dirty, it was the Rousseaus. They should have just let her, Danielle and Karl sail off into the sunset, no questions asked. Instead of fridging her for Ben’s storyline.
Best Moment: Being a better Other
23. Rose Nadler
Rose’s chastising of her peers’ stupid behavior always felt like she was a mild proxy for the audience, which I always appreciated. Too bad she’s married to Bernard. I’m kidding. Bernard is fine. But just fine.
Best Moment: Finding Bernard
22. Christian Shephard
Jack treated Christian like the antichrist, but ol’ Christian ain’t that bad. Sure, the secret family and surgery boozing aren’t great looks, but like 70% of the time, he offers Jack decent advice. He’s like 70% of a good dad.
Best Moment: Meeting Sawyer in a bar/Comforting Jack at the end
21. Danielle Rousseau
I have to believe Danielle, who survived on a smoke monster infected island for seventeen years, would have better survival skills than she demonstrated in her final moments. Aside from that momentary lapse, Danielle’s tragic tale was compelling sci-fi television.
Best Moment: Alex Reunion
There at the beginning and there at the end. Vincent wasn’t a good boy. He was the best boy.
Best Moment: Being the best boy
19. Claire Littleton
Claire’s time on the show seemed dominated by storylines where she was victimized, passive and abandoned, demonstrating the show’s relative disservice to her development. I think they tried to make it right with later seasons Survivalist Claire, but the flip doesn’t quite take. Still, she’s an 815 original and to be respected as such.
Best Moment: Hmmm….Something something Aaron?
18. Penny Widmore
Sure, she was a seldom seen supporting character, but Penny and Desmond are the two main ingredients in Lost’s best episode, the Constant. I love you, Penny! I’ll find you!
Best Moment: The phone call
17. Richard Alpert
Richard’s standout flashback episode Ab Aeterno cements him as an upper tier character, finally thrusting him out of the peripheral fix-it-all mystic role the writers commonly overused. His backstory thematically aligns with “The Constant”, proving Lost’s best moments were about love and compassion, not needless island drama. I’m shocked he made it off the island, but I suppose if anyone was owed a chance to be free of its nonsense, it was Richard, the semi-immortal island consigliere.
Best Moment: Ab Aeterno
16. Miles Straume
Miles perfects the sarcastic dick formula in a way that other pretenders couldn’t quite land. And as much as I hate season 5, Miles’ time with his dad added nuance to a character that was previously confined to comic relief and communing with the dead to fill plot holes.
Best Moment: Quality time with dad
15. Frank Lapidus
Frank was one of the few characters in TV history to properly live up to the vibe of his Hawaiian shirt. Sure, he may be more of an anachronistic lost A-team member, but he still manages to slot in seamlessly to Lost. Frank can fly anything, dammit. Don’t you go doubting him.
Best Moment: Getting everyone off the island
14. Charlie Pace
It really pains me to put Charlie this low. I have a real fondness for Dominic Monaghan and had previously remembered Charlie as one of Lost’s most endearing characters. But upon rewatching it, I had forgotten how toxic and possessive he was for large portions of the show. Don’t get me wrong, his story was bookended by compelling material, and the writers fully commit to his satisfying redemption arc culminating in ‘Not Penny’s Boat’, but Charlie was a nightmare in the middle seasons. I mean, did we all forget about the time where he dragged Sun through the jungle as petty revenge on Locke? I sure didn’t.
Best Moment: Not Penny’s Boat
Worst Moment: Baptizing Aaron
13. Jin-Soo Kwon
Jin was painfully old fashioned and suffocating out of the gate, but eventually evolved into the well rounded version of himself we could cheer for. It’s just a shame that when Sun and Jin were finally reunited, they had so little time together.
Best Moment: “I’m not leaving you again.” *single tear*
12. Sayid Jarah
Sayid’s apparent death wish for the entirety of the show and baffling decision to reunite with Shannon instead of Naydia in the church, undercuts what was at times a stellar character. Lost’s stoic interrogator will best be remembered for his early show antics, like wrongfully torturing Sawyer, being held prisoner by his feral French friend, and having hands down the best hair on the island. Sorry, Kate.
Best Moment: Hero run with the bomb on the sub
11. John Locke
Sure, John Locke was a top tier character, but I have spited him out of my top ten. Season 1 – 3 John Locke was prime Lost, but right around the time he buried a knife in Widmore emissary Naomi Dorrit’s back, he ceased being a relatable character. His hard-on to stay on the island and continue his eternal walkabout makes him an extremely frustrating watch; never possessing the full-on salacious villainy of a character like Ben Linus (at least until he’s smoke monster Locke) or the true mythic qualities of a character like Richard. Instead, we get a whiny boy scout playing in the woods.
Best Moment – Reborn on the beach aka “Don’t Tell me what I can’t do.”
Worst Moment – Killing Naomi/Blowing up the (first) Submarine
10. Sun-Hwa Kwon
I had forgotten how good Sun was on Lost. Seriously, go back and watch. She dunks on everyone, viciously. And I contend that Sun and Jin’s death, not Charlie’s, was the most impactful goodbye on the show. Having said that, I’m still bummed the show thought orphaning their child was necessary. Thumbs down for that.
Best Moment: Dunking on everyone
9. Juliet Burke
Elizabeth Mitchell possessed the same qualities that made Michael Emerson’s Ben Linus so wonderful. That sly grin, that undercurrent of danger, but also the depth to convey moments of deep vulnerably and insecurity. Juliet was unquestionably one of the show’s best late stage additions.
Best Moment: Fuck this bomb
8. Mr. Eko
Although Mr. Eko was gifted an unsatisfying conclusion, fueled by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s desire to leave the show, it didn’t completely diminish his time on the show. He still stands as the most complex of the Tailies; a man of faith, haunted by the sins of his past.
Best Moment: Are you okay, Father?
7. Daniel Faraday
Only Jeremy Davies can pull off a tragic genius like this without making him a pretentious asshole. Sure, Faraday’s story, like so many before him, felt incomplete, but it was a good ride while it lasted. He sure could sell Lost’s nonsense like no one else.
Best Moment: Meet me in Oxford
6. Ben Linus
Michael Emerson deserved all the Emmy nominations he got for this role, a smarmy and manipulative weasel in the most entertaining vein. Ben was so lovably hateable, sacrificing his own daughter to the island only to be “Who are you’d?” by Jacob when they met. My only regret with Ben was that we didn’t get more episodes of him antagonizing Karl like an overprotective dad on prom night. Ben sure was a smarmy son of a bitch, but what a smarmy son of a bitch he was.
Best Moment: “If I were an Other” speech as Henry Gale/becoming Hurley’s sidekick
5. Kate Austen
Kate was arguably the show’s most prominent character along with Jack, but she was also bogged down by too many dopey flash-back/forward/sideways episodes featuring bad wigs, head scratching decisions and smothering Aaron hugs. But she’s still a top five character. Lost doesn’t work as well without her.
Best Moment: That’s an excellent question????
4. Jack Shephard
Jack, like Kate, was undoubtedly the core of the show, but he’s also an absurd and wildly inconsistent character. One part magnetic screen presence, one part rage monster with a savior complex and a dash of serious, undiagnosed Christian Shephard issues. It’s hard to justify him out of the top five though. He’s present at too many pivotal moments, and bookends the show’s run with his rebirth/death in the bamboo forest.
Best Moment: Live Together, Die Alone
3. Hugo ‘Hurley’ Reyes
Hurley may have lacked significant character growth, but he was still the consistent heart of the show. While others flailed wildly to find purpose, Hurley’s journey was ultimately more about supporting all the lost souls that were trapped on the island. Hurley hugs for the win.
Best Moment: Hot Pocket Toss at Ben
2. James ‘Sawyer’ Ford
While Sawyer may have been an anti-hero for most of the show’s run, he remains a magnetic presence and his redemption arc, fully realized. Josh Holloway injected just enough charm into his southern conman that the audience could never completely turn on him, and the result was Lost’s most complex character.
Best Moment: Telling Jack about meeting his father in Sydney
1. Desmond Hume
After crunching the numbers, I believe Desmond was the best character Lost ever produced. Yes, it may be sacrilege to not give the top slot to an original cast member, but Desmond was the true standout of the show. While all other characters were victims of diminishing returns, Desmond was, forgive me, the show’s real constant. And while his story was more or less confined to a retelling of the Odyssey, it’s no less satisfying watching him reunite with his beloved Penelope. The show’s best moment in the show’s best episode. Single tear. The end.
Best Moment: The Constant