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Listeria: The 40 Most Ridiculous Out-of-Context Pieces of Dialogue from The First Half of LOST, Season Six

Posted by Andrew Unterberger on March 25, 2010

First and foremost–this article is not meant to come down as any definitive statement about the objective quality of the ABC primetime TV drama LOST. I’ve gone through just about every stage of push-and-pull with the show, and now I’ve reached a point where I watch it instinctively and no longer question why. Few things are as annoying as people who complain about LOST, and one of those things is people who complain about people who complain about LOST, so I’m going to try to refrain from doing too much of either. It’s a fine show, with many flaws. I watched it last week, and I’ll watch it next week. Value judgments are not the matter at importance here.

Rather, I wanted to write about one specific aspect of the show, which has fascinated me for some time–the unparalleled bluster of the dialogue. It’s not that the dialogue is bad per se, it’s just that it has its own loud, hermetic, rhythmically disntcitive feel, one oddly hypnotic in how jarring it is. This was a style perhaps berthed out of necessity, as the show’s tendency to release exposition only in the form of further-confounding questions for five-and-a-half seasons no doubt called for a lot of dialogue which sounded revelatory while actually saying nothing. Similarly, it arguably makes sense even within the LOSTverse, as the show’s characters have been exposed to so much weird shit without explanation over that time period that they would likely inspire respond in turn by adapting a style of speech to reflect that state of affairs.

But whatever the cause, the result is at lot of dialogue exchanges pivoting on phrases like “Do you honestly expect me to believe that?” or “I think we both know who I’m talking about” or “He said to tell you [x]. He said you’d know what that meant.” And at least three or four times a week, the result is what I refer to as an “Oh, of course” type quote. These are the quotes where one character says something dramatic, unforseen, and largely incomprehensible, and after six years of watching this show, there’s no feasible reaction to it as a viewer except to say “Oh, of course.” Oh, of course the guy posing as Locke is actually the smoke monster. Oh, of course Hurley’s guitar case contains a giant ankh with a hidden message inside it. Oh, of course Jack has to blow up the island with a nuclear bomb because doing so will trigger an alternate reality where he has a shot to maybe get another shot at a relationship with Kate. There’s just nothing you can do with these quotes and developments but accept them as entirely sensible and move on.

What really make these quotes sparkle, though, are when they are stripped completely of their context. It’s amazing how these exchanges that seem almost borderline-logical within the context of LOST just sound utterly preposterous when viewed by their lonesome–as Chuck Klosterman pointed out in a recent B.S. report podcast, anyone who didn’t watch LOST eavesdropping on a conversation two fans were having about the show would just be mind-blown at how stupid the whole thing sounded, and that’s doubly true when viewing these quotes in a complete vacuum. So without further ado, and with a huge assist from the thankfully nutso folks over at Lostpedia (without whom this project would have taken many hours and far too much bandwidth): The 40 Most Ridiculous Out-of-Context Pieces of Dialogue from the First Half of LOST, Season 6.

40. “Once we’ve spoken to Mr. Jarrah, we’ll be more than happy to tell you everything you want to know.”
“Something tells me that you’re not going to be happy telling us anything.”

39. “Thanks for the advice, dude, but it’s not gonna happen.”
“It’s not, huh?”
“Nothing bad ever happens to me. I’m the luckiest guy alive.”

38. “So why the bracelets?”
“I’m wanted for murder.”
“Murder?”
“You don’t happen to have somewhere I can change, do you?”

37. “Richard, I’m sorry I hit you in the throat and dragged you off the beach, but I had to do something.”

36. “Yeah, he killed the interpreter too.”
“Are you sure?”
“He was standing over their dead bodies holding a bloody dagger, so yeah, I’m pretty sure.”

35. “Even if we could get on that plane, who’s gonna fly it?”
“We ain’t taking the plane, Freckles. We’re taking the sub.”

34. “Jin knows. Tell him to take you to the hole in the wall where he was with the French team. Through that opening you can get into the Temple. You still have that guitar case I gave you?”

33. “You speak pretty good English for someone who needs a translator.”
“We both know that I don’t need a translator.”

32. “That’s not why you’re here. And if you come with me, I can prove it.”
“Well, I guess I better put some pants on.”

31. “You didn’t really send me over there to find passengers from that plane, did you?”
“No.”
“Well in case you’re interested, they’re all dead.”

30. “Why didn’t he fight back? Why did he let me just kill him?”
“I guess he knew that he was beaten.”

29. “What happened back at the temple? How’d you know to rescue everybody from that smoke thing?”
“I didn’t rescue them. I’m the smoke thing.”

28. “Hey, excuse me, I carried that case across the ocean and like, through time, so I wanna know what that paper says.”
“The paper said that if your friend there dies, we’re all in a lot of trouble.”

27. “John Locke was a.. A believer, he was a man of faith, he was.. a much better man than I will ever be. And I’m very sorry I murdered him.”

26. “Claire, how do you know they took him? How can you be so sure?”
“How can I be so sure? Well, first my father told me, and then my friend told me, so I’m pretty damn sure.”
“Your friend? Who’s your friend?”
“My friend!…You’re still my friend, aren’t you, Jin?”

25. “I was afraid you’d left.”
“Is leaving an option?”
“Everything is an option. But I would have to stop you.”
“Well…I appreciate your honesty.”

24. “Tell him you can do what you want. Tell him you’re a candidate.”
“I’m a candidate and I can do what I want.”
“Who told you that??”

23. “Who brings a book into a cave?..And why is his arm missing?”
“It was ripped off when he was attacked by the black smoke.
“Well, this is gonna be awesome.”

22. “Anything to declare?”
“Just a murderer.”

21. “Everyone to your posts! On the walls, prepare the ash!”

20. “Jack is here because he has to do something. He can’t be told what that is. He’s got to find it himself. Sometimes you can just…hop in the back of someone’s cab and tell them what they’re supposed to do. Other times…you have to let them look out at the ocean for a while.”

19. “Whoa! Hey, it’s me!”
“[laughs] Jack! I almost shot you!”
“[laughs] I noticed!”

18. “I’m not a fool. If I step outside this temple, he’ll kill me.”
“Well, then maybe you should send someone he won’t kill.”

17. “Hello, James.”
“I thought you were dead.”
“I am.”

16. “You let him talk to you.”
“I stabbed him in the chest like you told me to. Then I let him talk to me.”

15. “Where are we?”
“We’re in a temple.”
“We got caught by the others again?”
“Yeah, only, this time they’re protecting us, I think.”
“Course they are.”

14. “It’s right there. It’s a lighthouse.”
“I don’t understand. How is it that we’ve never seen it before?”
“Guess we weren’t lookin for it.”

13. “What are you doing here?”
“Visiting. What are you doing?”
“I’m digging my own grave.”

12. “And that’s why you tried to poison me?”
“Yes. I think it would be best if you were dead.”

11. “No. There’s a group of people back on the main island. I can take you back there.”
“Thank God…”
“Trust me… God’s got nothing to do with it.”

10.”I found a flashlight.”
“Dude, who cares? The sky just went from day to night.”

9.”What are you?”
“Wh.. I’m not a what Ben, I’m a who.”
“You’re the monster.”
“Let’s not resort to name calling.”

8. “What the hell did you do to Sayid?”
“We, we didn’t do anything to him. Your, your friend is sick.”
“Sick with what?”
[speaks Japanese]
“He’s…yeah, I…not really….there’s not really a literal translation. The closest thing would be…infected.”
“Infected? He’s not even running a fever.”
[Chuckles]
“Did I say something funny?”
“I doubt it. He doesn’t really have a sense of humor.”

7. “Yeah, well if you’d told me that and I’d like, explained everything, then maybe Jack wouldn’t have freaked out and smashed your mirror into a billion pieces. Thanks for the seven years of bad luck, by the way.”
“You’ve got ink on your forehead.”

6. “Your friend Jin won’t be able to see me.”
“Why not?”
“Because I died an hour ago.”
“Sorry, dude, that sucks.”

5. “You know the rules. You can’t kill him.”
“Don’t tell me what I can’t do…Don’t tell me what I can’t do!!!”

4. “Did I tell you how I found this place?”
“You were looking for water, right?”
“No. I was chasing the ghost of my dead father.”

3. We’re sorry we had to put you through that. It was a test. We had to be sure.”
“Test to be sure of what?”
“Don’t worry. You passed…I just lied to him, didn’t I?”
“Yes.”

2. “Where are you goin’?”
“There’s something I need to do.”
“To do what?”
“Die.”

1. “Who were you talking to?”
“Nobody. You ever catch up to the kid?”
“What kid?”
“Right… let’s get on with it, shall we?”
“Yes, James. Let’s get on with it.”

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