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10 moments that kept us ‘Lost’

This season's unforgettable scenes on (and off) Mystery Island

“Lost” is a show built on little moments of revelation.  Amid plenty of ho-hum exposition this season, its producers included some doozies.

There were a thousand little clues and inside jokes we loved — the prehistoric bird crying Hurley's name; Kelvin being the same spy (or his twin brother) who induced Sayid's torturous ways; the Oceanic jet flying overhead in Locke's flashback — but a few moments will stick with us through the summer, little reminders to tune in again come September.

Hence, a wholly subjective list of “Lost's” 10 unforgettable moments this season:

10) Eko and the smoke monster: Never explained, never put in context, this moment of CGI magic remains a huge mystery. But the takeaway message wasn't too hard to deduce: Eko is one serious badass, enough to make Smokey stop in its, um ... tracks? Those swirling patterns and hidden images within made for great TiVo, even if it utterly lacked context.  The only problem is that Smokey seemed to vanish after its run-in with Eko.  Did the Man with the Big Stick scare him off?

9) So tubular: You'd have to look hard to find a better visual cue to Dharma's mind games than the massive pile of pneumatic tubes that the hunting party discovered en route to find the Others in the finale. The conceit of the Pearl station was that it was the real deal, and the hatch just a big psychological experiment. The tape it contained, and the tubes filled with observation notebooks, were enough to destroy Locke's faith in the 108-minute routine. But Desmond hinted that perhaps it was the other way around — with the real experiment occurring in the Swan. And the discarded notebooks were the perfect reminder that nothing with Dharma should be taken at face value.

8) Ana Lucia vs. Goodwin:  It would've been enough simply to see the eerie parallels between the original castaways and the tailies, and though Rousseau seemed like a troubling presence (she did torture Sayid, after all) it was Ana Lucia, Eko and the bunch who got closer to the Others than comfort would dictate. Remember Goodwin?  Remember Ana Lucia's pit? In a single episode, Lostaway Island became way more unsettling.

7) The Others at tribal council: After furtive hints and glimpses, it was sweet gratification to watch Sea Captain Zeke confront Jack & Co. in the dark, light up the night with torches and then threaten them to stay on their side of the island. Then they offered up a gagged Kate as a bargaining chip. Perhaps it was the Others blowing smoke ... er, fire — but after so many oblique hints about their identity, this was a chance to see them in the open. It was even better than Zeke (Tom, actually) yanking his beard off in the season finale, a win for M.C. Gainey fans everywhere.

6) Sayid and Henry: Every menacing moment Sayid spent with Fake Henry was another reminder why it's so frustrating to endure an episode without seeing the Iraqi ex-soldier. Maybe you could quibble with Sayid's singleminded determination to prove Henry was lying, but it's hard to argue with someone who's right. His work at the balloon site — finding the real Henry Gale's body, and that telling $20 bill — was worthy of Sherlock Holmes. By comparison, Sayid's rage at Ana Lucia for killing Shannon was a bore. Plus it's hard to find a better line than: “My name is Sayid Jarrah, and I am a torturer.”

5) Eko's flashback: The tale of the priest-not-priest was undoubtedly the best backstory of them all — a jarring human drama that would have made Eko a compelling character, worthy of his own series, even if you took away the island and all the metaphysical mumbo-jumbo.

4) The first orientation film: The official start of the Dharma mythology, a (notably flawed) explanation for the Swan station's contents and the launch for most of the season's Big Mysteries. We all hung on Dr. Marvin Candle's every word — even if the rather less dramatic, but still compelling, second orientation film in the Pearl station — made us think that everything in the first film was a hoax, and that Marvin Candle was actually someone else.

3) Taking the pulse: Sometimes you can't beat a healthy dose of CGI, and the final moments as Desmond turned the DharmaKey and activated the hatch's “system termination” switch was the most riveting action sequence the show has yet produced. (Yes, even better than the first moments on the beach, passenger-chewing jet engines and all.) The metal swirling about the Swan station as an electromagnetic charge built up, the number counter crumpling and the eerie violet pulse that filled the sky (even if that last bit looked like Roger Corman experimenting with color correction) were the payoff we've been awaiting all season, and probably even longer. It was an affirmation of all the bad juju we assumed the hatch contained, and yet it left a juicy number of cliffhangers: Did Locke and Eko survive? Did Desmond switch control to another system that could prevent further “incidents”? Can the electromagnetic force be controlled? Did this would-be incident down another plane?  The coup de grace was the hatch door flying out of the sky, complete with “quarantine” warning, barely missing Claire.

2) Michael, get your gun: Back from his long disappearance, Michael came back with not one bang but three. Ana Lucia and Libby were in the crosshairs, as was Michael himself. As shocking as the deaths were, far more interesting was the prospect that, as Sayid put it, Michael may have “been compromised.” Boy, did the erstwhile dad's erratic behavior lend credence to that theory, as did the flashback where we saw the Others give him a list of would-be victims to bring. As out-of-the-blue shockers go, this was a stunner. And oddly, it had more emotional impact than Michael's eventual reunion with Walt, which answered nothing and felt a bit hollow after such Michael's impassioned entreaties to save his son.

LOST -- \"Live Together, Die Alone\" - After discovering something odd just offshore, Jack and Sayid come up with a plan to confront \"The Others\" and hopefully get Walt back. Meanwhile, Eko and Locke come to blows as Locke makes a potentially cataclysmic decision regarding the \"button\" and the hatch, on the season finale of \"Lost,\" WEDNESDAY, MAY 24 (9:00-11:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/MARIO PEREZ) ALEX PETROVITCH, LEONARD EDELSTEINMario Perez / American Broadcasting Companies