Every few months, to replenish the internet’s supply of grousing, someone has to write an article about Lost. This time, it’s Esquire’s turn, and Lost showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse admit that not every episode of the show was a perfectly formed gem to be treasured for all eternity. “We did 121 hours of Lost,” Lindelof says. “Arguably only 15 to 20 of them were subpar, bordering on turds.” Cuse agrees.
I mean, I think the episode where Jack gets his tattoos in Thailand [is the worst episode]. I think it’s cringe-worthy, where he’s flying the kite on the beach. It was not our finest hour. We used Matthew Fox’s real tattoos. That’s how desperate we were for flashback stories.
Season three’s “Stranger in a Strange Land” is indeed as awful as Cuse remembers — Bai Ling, etc. — but not everyone would call that the worst episode. Some of us are still chapped about “Across the Sea,” the antepenultimate episode that had Allison Janney as the olden-days murder-guardian of the island. Man, oh man, that one still kinda burns.