I soon plan to write about my conflicted feelings over the last season of Lost. I'm sure it'll be one of many post-Lost contemplations.
Until then, let me list my ten favorite characters, in ascending order. I should note I'm picking the characters based on them at their best--there were certain episodes, and even seasons, when they were not well served.
One of the more mysterious characters (until revealed in the final season), Richard was very capable but usually worked in the background, acting as the voice of reason.
Someone's got to be the hero. It's often a thankless job. Jack tried so hard to be the good guy it could get to be boring. But he was central in getting the show off the ground and rallied well in the final season.
Soft spoken and often confused, he was the only one who seemed to understand what was happening scientifically. I wish he could have been around in the sixth season--we could have used some rational explanations.
There were decent female characters on the show, but Juliet is the only one who makes my top ten. She was stuck on the Island quite a while, and had lost the ability to smile until she surprised herself and found love. I'm certain the producers had no idea when they began the show that Juliet would be half of the greatest couple on the show.
I see Desmond as the most separate of the leads. He sometimes worked with the others, but usually seemed to be on his own. I mean there were the Losties, the Tailies, the Others, the Freighter Folk and the DI, but from the start, Desmond was all by himself, in the hatch. And when he turned that key, he separated himself even more.
The audience stand-in, an everyman who often asked the questions the audience was thinking. Also, the show's comic relief. If he hadn't been around, I think the show would have been too grim.
Maybe the most troubled (of a very troubled bunch). He was one of the most talented, good at both technical matters and battle, but was so uncertain of his moral center that he sought out others to help show him the way.
The ultimate bad boy--which is why he hooked up with more women than any other character. His arc into hero and lover may have been the most dramatic in the show.
I don't know if it was the writing or the actor, but Ben was the character who was the hardest to see into--you didn't know if he was telling the truth or using you. I'm not sure if he knew. At times he seemed to be a psychotic killer, but also seemed to believe he was one of the good guys. His need for power led him astray before he learned what he truly was, but along the way he provided more tension (and got beat up more) than any other character.
Sometimes wise, sometimes pathetic. He was a believer, but he also knew how painful believing could be. Ironically, believing in the island made him the perfect mark, but also led to the final resolution, even if it meant the ultimate sacrifice.