Lost is one of the greatest TV dramas of the 21st century – maybe even of all time. Numerous aspects of its production helped the show became a pop culture phenomenon, including its mystery-driven story and stellar character work.
Even the greatest and most mysterious story wouldn’t work without a core of interesting and intriguing characters. They can be good or bad, but they must be complex and relatable to some degree.
The writers will know if they have succeeded based on the audiences’ reaction to the character’s deaths. Sometimes, the Lost writers managed to evoke a sense of relief with some exits. However, there were quite a few that caused some immense pain too. Take a look at these examples for instance…
10 Satisfying: Tom Friendly
Some fans warmed to Tom Friendly throughout the third season. Audiences were given a more favorable side to his character as he bonded with Jack in the Barracks. With that said, he was still a horrible and villainous man, who tormented the survivors.
Lest not forget either that he kidnapped a child from his father in the midst of gunfire and explosions. Tom finally met his end in the third season finale when Sawyer shot him in the chest. While Hurley showed disgust at Sawyer’s actions, Sawyer claimed that he killed Tom in revenge for kidnapping Walt.
9 Saddest: John Locke
Perhaps one of the saddest deaths in the entire series is that of John Locke. Throughout most of Lost, Locke believed himself to be special. This belief stemmed mostly from his visions and newfound ability to walk again, leading him to believe that he has been “chosen” to fulfill some type of mission.
Of course, it’s mostly nonsense. Locke was constantly being led around and manipulated by The Man in Black and Ben. In the end, Locke’s luck ran out and he was murdered by Ben after getting the Other realized he didn’t need him anymore. It was such a tragic ending for a tragic character.
8 Satisfying: Nikki & Paulo
Nothing against Nikki and Paulo as people, but they really ruined the first half of season three. It’s a well-known fact that fans hated the inclusion of Nikki and Paulo. Not only were they both boring characters but it didn’t make any sense how they just randomly integrated into the main action without any type of introduction or lead-up. They proved so controversial that the showrunners killed them off to appease the frustrated fans. It was a good decision.
7 Saddest: Jack Shepherd
While Lost is an ensemble, most would agree that Jack Shepherd is the primary protagonist. He is given primary importance, he’s the first character introduced in the show, and his personal journey from a man of science to a man of faith is perhaps the richest character development in the entire series.
This personal journey results in his death, as he returns to the island, saves it, and is subsequently killed by The Man in Black. His closing eye (not to mention the comforting presence of Vincent) was the perfect and most poetic way to end the show.
6 Satisfying: Ethan Rom
Ethan Rom was arguably the show’s first “true” villain. There were villains among the castaways – primarily Sawyer, who was nigh unbearable throughout the first season. But Rom presented an outside force willing to intrude on the castaways and cause harm, so it was very satisfying to see him get his comeuppance. It comes in the middle of season one, as he is shot repeatedly in the chest by a vengeful Charlie.
5 Saddest: Sun & Jin
In a show filled with some turbulent relationships, Sun and Jin provided the stable heart. While their relationship is certainly flawed (Sun was willing to run away to the States before Jin won her back over), they remained the most loving and supportive couple on the show.
It only makes sense that they went down together in season six. Jin had the opportunity to leave Sun behind, but he decided to stay with her and drown together. The final shot of their hands separating in the water has to be one of the most heartbreaking scenes.
4 Satisfying: Anthony Cooper
In a show full of despicable characters, Anthony Cooper might just be the worst. There are absolutely zero redeeming qualities about Cooper.
He conned his own son into giving him a kidney and he killed poor Peter Talbot. He also caused Locke’s paralysis after he pushed him out an eighth story and conned Sawyer’s mother out of $38,000. When Sawyer told him how his actions caused the death of both his parents, he wasn’t even remorseful. So it was quite satisfying to see Sawyer get revenge and kill Cooper. After all, no one would miss him.
3 Saddest: Charlie Pace
Charlie’s death has to be one of the most famous and saddest scenes in the show. A lot of fans will agree that Charlie was one of the best characters. They were devastated when he died. But at least he had a very fitting and heroic death.
After swimming down to The Looking Glass and opening up the communications, Charlie managed to get in contact with Penny. It was here that he learned the people on the freighter weren’t exactly who they said they were. However, before he could warn Desmond, Mikhail blew a hole in the side of the station.
Knowing he was going to die, Charlie locked himself in the room and did his best to reveal the truth. And if fans weren’t crying at this point, they sure were when Aaron started crying after sensing his death.
2 Satisfying: Martin Keamy
One of the vilest characters has to be Martin Keamy, who was the head of Widmore’s mercenary team. Keamy was totally ruthless – as tragically proven in his cold-blooded execution of Alex Rousseau. Following Alex’s death, everyone hated Keamy and wanted him dead.
Luckily, they got just that at the end of season four. Keamy taunted Ben with Alex’s death, resulting in Ben stabbing Keamy to death with his own knife. That said, the satisfaction was somewhat stymied by Keamy’s deadman switch, which resulted in the freighter’s explosion and Jin’s supposed death.
1 Saddest: Juliet Burke
Unlike Nikki and Paulo, Juliet was one of the show’s greatest late inclusions – having made her first appearance in the third season premiere A Tale of Two Cities. Fans immediately fell in love with her and her complicated story, and things got even better in season five when she settled into domestic bliss with Sawyer.
However, said domestic bliss didn’t last long as Juliet was killed in the Jughead debacle. Perhaps what makes Juliet’s death so haunting and sad is Sawyer’s reaction – seeing Sawyer scream and cry over her broken body like that haunted the viewers for weeks…
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