#8: Lost - Season Four

Jarah,  Sayid Jarah
I ranked the fourth season of LOST at #9, but few people who watched LOST will agree with this ranking.  Those who didn't like the second half (seasons 4-6) of the show will probably berate me for its inclusion and fans of the series will likely think I didn't rank it high enough.  The reason being is that season 4 is where LOST fully embraced being science fiction show.  While I would still argue the chief focus of the series is the characters and not the mythology, there is no denying that season 4 upped the ante when it came to the role of science fiction.

The season really benefited from the combination of its trimmed down roster of episodes (only 14), the strength of the season 3 finale ("We Have to Go Back!"), and perhaps most importantly, the fact that the producers were able to negotiate an end date to the series after season 3 and map out the final 3 seasons.  Off the bat, us as viewers knew that some of the survivors of Oceanic 815 had made it off the island, and the season utilized the newly introduced concept of the "flash forward" to show us the less than perfect life of the rescued Oceanic Six while simultaneously building up to their "rescue" in the "present" time of the island.

Almost all of the "flash forward" episodes were excellent, but a couple really stood out.  Watching Sayid go all James Bond secret agent in "The Economist" was extremely fun, while the tragic reveal of "Ji Yeon" was perfectly executed, and Michael Emerson shined as always in Ben's flash forward episode "The Shape of Things to Come."  All that said, the best episode of the season (and to many the best of the season) was the Desmond-centric episode "The Constant" which managed to up the ante for the show's sci-fi side by introducing time travel while simultaneously showcasing the show's best romantic plot (Desmond and Penelope).  Season 4's finale didn't disappoint either, with an episode that was action packed on the island (including an awesome fight scene between Keamy and Sayid) and mystery-laden off of it ("who is Jeremy Bentham").  I could go on much longer but I need to stop before I change my mind and move this season into the top 5...