Episode Review: Last Night's "Lost"

  • Publish Date: March 10, 2010
  • Comments: ↓ 5 user comments

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven't yet seen this episode of Lost, you should avoid reading this article and the user comments, as they will discuss events that happened during the episode.

Episode 7 Metascore
Ep. 6 82 Ep. 3: 64
Ep. 5 71 Ep. 1/2: 89
Ep. 4 88  

Season 6, Episode 7: "Dr. Linus"

Before we get to details about the Ben-centric "Dr. Linus" -- the best-reviewed episode of Lost's final season so far -- let's take a quick moment to address the nature of these episode review compilations that we have been posting for Lost this year.

In a follow-up to his recap of last week's episode, Zap2It Lost columnist Ryan McGee wrote: "Am I leaping for joy over 'Sundown' 24 hours later? Definitely not. My problems with the episode still remain. Still, for Metacritic to interpret my recap as giving the episode a 40 out of a possible 100? That's more than a little much."

That brings up several interesting points:

  1. The scores we assign to episode reviews represent our interpretation of how the reviewer/recapper not only feels about the episode in question, but how he/she compares it to other episodes of Lost. Thus, the episode metascores for Lost can be compared to each other, but not to those for other programs. (We haven't mentioned that before because we don't actually cover any other programs on an episode-by-episode basis right now, but we may in the future.) For example, if an episode of Lost were to get a Metascore of 40, it might be one of the worst episodes of Lost, but it is probably still much better than, say, an 80 episode of Melrose Place. Thus, McGee's problems with "Sundown" (for example, he wrote "I rarely felt compelled by what I saw onscreen") indicated to us that he rated that episode much less favorably than he did previous episodes -- hence the 40 score we assigned. (40, by the way, is not even a "bad" review on our scale -- it indicates a "mixed or average" review.)
  2. All of the people who review and/or recap Lost on a weekly basis probably love the series to begin with -- or else they wouldn't be writing about it so frequently. So, in many of their reviews and recaps, you'll see plenty of good things about the show, even if it wasn't the series' best episode. Thus, we try to be a little stricter about how we assign scores to episode reviews than we normally might be with a TV series as a whole.
  3. With the luxury of being able to write about the show daily, McGee in particular does something that many reviewers are unable to do with this or any other show: he is able to re-watch the show, give it more thought and time, and post his revised opinions in a later column. While that's great for readers, it's problematic for us when calculating Metascores. So that there is a level playing field -- and the reviews are directly comparable to each other -- we have a sitewide policy to use only the first review posted in a publication for any release. (This problem also comes up with online videogames, among other things.) Any re-reviews are ignored.

OK, now it's time to get on to the show. By the way, we try to select quotes from the reviews/recaps that represent the episode as a whole. So what you may not see below is something that was present in every review of last night's episode: heaping amounts of praise for Michael Emerson's performance. Oh, and that there aren't many fans of Arzt.

Score Publication Reviewer
100 Chicago Tribune Maureen Ryan
This wasn't just an excellent episode of the show. I'd venture to say "Dr. Linus" was a gamechanger.
100 HitFix Monkeys As Critics
The best episode of this final season.
100 Los Angeles Times Todd VanDerWerff
It may be the series' best episode since "The Constant."
100 Television Without Pity Cindy McLennan
[Full recap forthcoming; Grade: A]
100 TV Fanatic M.L. House
An exceptional episode.
100 TV Overmind Sam McPherson
The best part about Emerson's performance is, it wasn't the only great part of the episode. From the well-done opening to the stunning conclusion, the episode was definitely in the all-time top tier of LOST episodes, and will definitely prove itself to be a fan favorite later down the road, especially after that oh-so-brilliant ending reveal. [Grade: A]
100 What's Alan Watching Alan Sepinwall
Easily the most compelling episode of this final season so far, one where all the tumblers clicked into place and I was reminded in so many different ways of why I love "Lost," past, present, future and alternate timeline.
93 IGN Chris Carabott
Lindelof and Cuse have managed to find the perfect mix between character, action and science fiction.
90 Cultural Learnings Myles McNutt
The episode was a pleasure from a performance perspective: so much of this episode depended on both Nestor Carbonell and Michael Emerson, and both delivered some really great work.
90 St. Petersburg Times Eric Deggans
There's so many things to love about this episode, which brought to full fruition the reason for Lost's alternate timelines.
90 TV Squad Jason Hughes
Definitely one of the best installments of the new season, 'Dr. Linus' managed to turn Ben into a character to root for rather than be wary of.
90 Zap2It Ryan McGee
A Ben Linus-centric episode. That's all you need to know about the quality of tonight's episode of "Lost," people. ... It's probably my second favorite this season, a smidge higher than "Lighthouse."
80 Entertainment Weekly Jeff Jensen
This was a good episode. ... Not everything worked for me, though. I hate to begrudge genuine humor in Lost, but I felt Ben's Sideways story could have been a smidge better if played a little more straight.
80 Time James Poniewozik
"Dr. Linus" [featured] the most affecting of the flash-sideways yet ... Though I'm still foggy on this season's direction and taking it on faith—I still operate on the theory that this is one big episode and we just have to see how it ends—"Dr. Linus" gave me reason to hope.
67 The Onion A.V. Club Noel Murray
like a lot of Losts this season, “Dr. Linus” overcame a shaky start with a strong finish. Granted, it was a very shaky start. [Grade: B-]

Individual critic scores are assigned by Metacritic (on a scale of 0-bad to 100-great) based on the overall impression given by a review. The overall Metascore listed at the top of this page is a simple average of the individual scores.

What did you think?

Did you enjoy this episode of Lost? Let us know in the comments section below. As a courtesy to other users, please do not include spoilers of any kind in your posts, although you are welcome to discuss all events shown in this particular episode of the show.

We're sorry, but comments are closed for this article.

Comments (5)

  • Anna  

    I thought this episode was by far the best of this season so far. While watching Ben explain to Ilana why he killed Jacob, I found that my surroundings were just melting away and it was like I was on the island myself. Ben seemed sincere, like he wasn't hiding anything at the moment... which is refreshing because normally he'll say one thing and mean another. Overall, I believe this episode is one of the best and if the writers keep with this trend I'll become even more addicted to LOST...(if that is even possible!)

  • Ryan McGee  

    Hi Jason: Just to clarify, I have no problem with the 40 as a review of my recap; I felt compelled to clarify later that such a score might have been easily inferred by my initial take and I wanted to make sure that I published a more accurate representation of how I felt in a later entry. (In other words: it's not you, it's me! Heh.)

    I appreciate you even linking the recap at all, and greatly appreciate your clarifications here. Thanks!

  • Mitch Sloan  

    I still feel that the Sayid episode was better, but this was an absolutely stellar episode. [**SPOILER**] I'm so glad that Ben didn't choose the Machiavellian option by taking the principal position over Alex's future. While this may have been the easy way out and slighly inconsistent with Ben's island character, it worked.

  • Celoriu  

    Yay! I was hoping that the critics agreed with me, 'cause this was the best episode of the season by far. No need for big plot twists when you have all these emotion-charged, awesome scenes... and still, we got an exciting cliffhanger for the first time in the season.

  • Episode Review: Lost  

    [...] Episode 7: Dr. Linus [...]

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