Lost has, surprisingly, given us quite a number of couples to root for, but upon what criteria am I to fashion a list of what I consider the best? It’s not an exact science, all this falling in love and staying together forever lark. But the best couple can perhaps be measured most effectively by imagining how awful it would be were they apart. Throw in factors such as the nature of their getting together, the lengths either of them have gone through to overcome whatever obstacles were in their way, and just how damn good they look and feel together on-screen I think we can arrive at a Top 5. I did. Here it is. In order of ‘least best’ to ‘best best’.
5. James and Juliet
See, I’ve always kinda liked Juliet. And I don't just mean her tits. Way back when people were slating her as a mistrustful, manipulative bitch, I got involved in online debates defending her honour and decency (FYI to those that argued against, you’re all dicks). From the moment we saw her in Not In Portland, with an ex-husband cavorting with some other woman in front of her, to how she was talked into coming to the Island under false pretences and kept there by a lovesick Ben, Juliet is a woman that has taken some hard knocks and toughened up as a result.
She’s getting some good lovin’ from Goodwin, for example, and then he goes and gets himself impaled on a skewer. And for a while it looked like she might be getting something going with Jack, only for him to backflip away towards Kate before growing a beard and hitting the hard stuff. Juliet, frankly, needed to catch a break.
And then in wanders Island-Lothario Sawyer, the one guy who has had more poontang on the Island than anyone, and the pair of them are stuck together on the beach watching the black smoke of the exploderised Freighter, and you just knew they were going to get it on. She was the only hot piece of ass left, after all. And, let's face it, those tits are worth a go.
They made for a good couple, too. Slightly hard to swallow, perhaps, but only because Sawyer became some kind of new man back in the 1970s, turning up with flowers back at his cosy house whilst Juliet played the good housewife.
It all felt too good to be true and, on Lost, that kind of situation don’t last. I didn’t doubt Juliet’s sincerity, mind, but as is usual for her she can’t catch a good man for love nor money. Kate comes rocking up from the future no less and messes up everything. I mean come on. You’ve gotta count yourself as pretty unlucky in love when the only woman that can take your man away is a fucking time traveller. And so it’s because of Sawyer’s dumb devotion to Kate and him unable to know he’s got a good thing right under his nose that relegates these two to least best couple on Lost.
As a punchline, Sawyer of course realised that it was Juliet he rather liked after all. Yeah, when she was about to be sucked into an electromagnetic abyss, that’s when his realisation kicked in. I’m sure the eye-rolling, should’ve-known-better irony of that wasn’t lost on Juliet as she slammed a rock into a hydrogen bomb.
Men are pigs.
4. Daniel and Charlotte
OK, so they didn’t really make it as a full-blown couple. I mean, there are hurdles to overcome in any courtship, for sure, but some hurdles – such as flipping around in time until your brain bleeds out of your nose – are hard to get around no matter how much you love someone.
That's the kind of expression on a woman's face that's gonna kill your hard-on, for sure.
But if the measure of a good couple is to be based on the devastation of them being apart then few can match these two. Well, Daniel, anyway. He went off the rails so much so that he decided that whatever happened, happened was a crock of shit and, yeah, for sure, he could fucking go change history and alter the course of the universe after all.
Remember Superman: The Movie? When Lois Lane died in her car during an earthquake and Superman got all pissed off and went and flew around the world backwards really fast and made it turn the other way and reverse time so he could save her after all? Daniel's reaction was a bit like that. Only a bit more realistic. (But not by much.)
The trouble with these two is that they weren’t really given chance on-screen. Season 4 was the one where Daniel’s quiet affection for Charlotte was shown through, and her coy knowing of it was quietly charming. But it was hard to give that interplay justice when the whole season had been cut short by the writer’s strike so giving the new characters about five minutes per episode to make their presence felt.
So I am basing this reasonably decent showing in the best couple stakes purely on the basis of what they would have been had they both, you know, not been killed. And hey, this is Lost. For all we know they could come back somehow. A bit of time jiggery-pokery there, some Island-healing here, and before you know it they’re the king and queen of the Island living and dying happily together to end up buried in caves with a black and white stone each.
Who are the skeleton cave couple? Chaniel! Hey, don’t write it off. Stranger shit has happened.
3. Bernard and Rose
These two should have had it sewn up. Best couple on Lost? No problem. These two have their own little picture beside the word ‘devotion’ in the dictionary. From Rose sitting apart from the group in the very early episodes, convinced Bernard was not dead, to the eager look of unending gratitude in Bernard’s eyes when Sawyer told him Rose was still alive (a moment that still chokes me up like a big sissy bitch) these two were a quietly epic love story.
Their reunion, when the fragmented remains of the tail section group made it to the beach camp, was a glorious moment.
And then Lost went and ruined everything. It went and gave them their own flashback episode - S.O.S. - and it was a massive pile of retarded shit. Before this episode we were all sold on the idea that Bernard and Rose had been together forever. You tell me they were childhood sweethearts, I’m totally on board. Indeed, it was the very idea that they had been together for years that made their being apart on the Island all the more heartbreaking.
And then S.O.S. pitched up with the ‘revelation’ that they had met only shortly before the crash, having rushed through a wedding because Rose was dying of cancer. There’s a semblance of romance to that, I’ll grant you, but frankly the story of Bernard having been married to Rose his whole life and, stricken by the thought of losing her to cancer, arranged a trip to the spiritual healer in Australia makes for a better story. Rose lying to Bernard, telling him it had worked, would have been even more bittersweet.
That would have been love. Proper, grown-up, deeper than most ever know about love. They could have taken every emotion the audience had about these two as a couple and put it through the wringer and had us all sobbing buckets in our homes with that episode. Instead they cheaped out, and diminished their worth. (Don’t even get me started on how dumb it was that they were a part of the expedition to get rescued at the end of Season 3 when they both knew leaving the Island was a death sentence for Rose and they had vowed to remain there no matter what.)
That they were last seen happily forging a life together is, at least, some redemption. Content to see out the rest of their days together, with Vincent, regardless of whatever nuclear detonations might be lurking round the corner. Now that’s love!
The pair of them look like they could use a good wash, mind. Love may be blind but, when it comes to these two, it appears it's also lost its sense of smell.
2. Desmond and Penny
Probably if it wasn’t for Season 5 these two might have nicked the top spot (you can probably figure who has got it by now). Possibly it’s because the two episodes Desmond and Penny have primarily featured in (Flashes Before Your Eyes and The Constant) are two of Lost’s very best which prompts them to be so endearing.
Desmond’s devotion to Penny does strive towards something immense. The guy set out to win a round the world boat race to win her hand, for God’s sake! No flowers, chocolates or poetry for this guy! Oh no! And when it came to turning the Fail Safe, potentially the end of his life, his last words were, “I love you, Penny.” The guy was so enthralled with this woman his dying word was her name. Man, he's got it bad.
Except he didn’t die, and instead his consciousness went back in time and provoked a semi-tragic story of a man doomed to repeat the mistakes of his past as he succumbed to the fate he knew awaited him and spurned Penny’s hand in marriage, condemning himself to the Island and pressing that bloody button. His mournful lament to go back once he returned to the Island is, frankly, one of the most profoundly despairing moments Lost has ever given us.
But the real cementing of Desmond and Penny reaching top flight status as Lost’s premier couple was in the creation of a whole new romantic term:
What does one Lost fan say to the Lost fan they love?
“You are my Constant.”
Aww. A bit geeky, obviously, but worthy of an awwww all the same. I actually tucked the phrase into my wedding speech, believe it or not. Absolutely no one knew what the fuck I was talking about, of course, but I didn't care. This expression of affection is borne out of Desmond’s saving declaration, nominating Penny as his Constant – the one and only thing in the whole universe that completes his heart and is capable of preventing the space-time continuum of his consciousness from collapsing in on itself.
To be fair, that says a lot more than flowers and a box of chocolates ever will.
That memorable exchange on the phone during The Constant, with the pair of them quickly exchanging their undying, unyielding will to get back to each other is real sweep you off your feet stuff. Again, it’s another one of those scenes that provokes the lump-in-throat, something in my eye ridiculousness of being reduced to an emotional mess by little more than some actors on a television screen.
There are some flies in the ointment, mind. Whilst Desmond was in prison Penny went and met another guy and got engaged. We still don’t know who she got engaged to (or quite what she did with him before she decided to spend her time hunting for Desmond’s whereabouts on the Island). But perhaps the bigger problem facing Desmond and Penny, and denying them the top spot, is the sense that they’ve got nowhere else to go. . .
As of the end of Season 5 they were pretty much out of the picture. Shacked up on a boat, looking after baby Charlie, Desmond had a brief dalliance with the main plot but his last pledge to Penny, after he had been shot, was to stay the hell out of all Island-related business. As far as I know, for all I know, we may never see or hear from those two again. That means their story is done, and if that’s the case then the romantic grandeur they began with has slowly trickled away into a gentle sigh rather than an orgasmic moan. Ironically, if they hadn't got together they would probably be at number one. Like I said, if it wasn’t for Season 5 they might have nicked the top spot. . .
1. Jin and Sun
Lost’s first couple and, after all these years, still its best.
It took a while for us to warm to them, mind. Jin having his hands all bloody and Sun admitting that she was going to leave him before they boarded Oceanic 815 didn’t exactly make them perfect couple material. But then there was the phonetic book gift scene in Season 1. . .
I’m sure you remember it. It was after they had had a major bust-up after Jin found out Sun could speak English, and Jin was all set to go on the raft and leave her behind. Sun finally made a move to speak to him before he left, to give him a book she had made that would help him speak some rudimentary English to Michael and Sawyer. And it was with that gesture Jin admitted he still loved her, always had in fact, and he was only going on the raft to try and get help so he could save her. Bam! Not a dry eye in the house!
I'm a grown man. It's downright embarrassing what an emotional mess that scene makes out of me. Do your dignity a favour: if you can't watch it alone, make sure the lights are off!
Of course, when discussing how Jin and Sun are the first couple of Lost, we don’t mention this piece of shit scumbag.
He had his chance. He blew it. And then he came back after the fact when Sun was taken and decided he wanted some after all. Son of a bitch. At least he had the decency to kill himself.
God I fucking hate Jae Lee.
Since then however, triggered by the moment of intense gratitude Sun felt when she learned that her unborn child was definitely Jin’s (despite it meaning a death sentence) their love has been beyond reproach. As I said at the top, a couple’s importance to one another can be measured by how dreadful it is that they are apart. The poor bastards haven’t seen each other for years, and as of the end of Season 5 they’re in different bloody timeframes. But perhaps it’s that lack of conclusion is what keeps them at the top – above the likes of Desmond and Penny. The story of Jin and Sun isn’t over yet, and the hoped-for reuniting we are all waiting for is just one element that keeps us glued to our screens.
No question they’re Lost’s best couple. If Lost even considers not putting them back together forever by the show’s end then it will be nothing short of an outrage. An outrage I tell you! Just think of little Ji Yeon!