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.
Season 6, Episode 16: "What They Died For"
It played more as the first hour to a longer finale than it did as a stand-alone episode, but "What They Died For" did bring the welcome return of long-forgotten characters like Ben, as well as some seemingly major plot twists. But the episode's status as a setup for the conclusion rather than a self-contained hour of television means that you should consider the individual critic scores (below) even more inexact than you usually do.
As you no doubt know, the series finale of Lost airs this Sunday night from 9:00pm - 11:30pm. We will be back with an expanded roundup of reviews for that last episode either very late Sunday night or early Monday morning (we'll be waiting for the reviews to be published, so we can't tell you exactly when, yet).
|Episode 1/2: LA X||89||Episode 9: Ab Aeterno||93|
|Episode 3: What Kate Does||64||Episode 10: The Package||72|
|Episode 4: The Substitute||88||Episode 11: Happily Ever After||93|
|Episode 5: Lighthouse||71||Episode 12: Everybody Loves Hugo||83|
|Episode 6: Sundown||82||Episode 13: The Last Recruit||73|
|Episode 7: Dr. Linus||92||Episode 14: The Candidate||92|
|Episode 8: Recon||76||Episode 15: Across the Sea||58|
|100||Television Without Pity||Cindy McLennan|
|[Full recap forthcoming; Grade: A]|
|100||TV Overmind||Sam McPherson|
|The real highlight of the sideways story belonged to Desmond, who was acting like more of a puppeteer than we're used to. [Grade: A]|
|A fantastic setup for the series finale.|
|91||The Onion A.V. Club||Noel Murray|
|It was funny at times, poignant at times, shocking at times, and it made the overall picture a little bit clearer. And I especially liked the way the tone shifted as the episode progressed. [Grade: A-]|
|90||Chicago Tribune||Maureen Ryan|
|Something about the weighty developments and the wry humor of "What They Died For" made me think of those key "Mad Men" episodes that often come near the end of a season, the ones that start to pay off all the developments that were set up over the course of the previous 10 or 11 episodes.|
|90||HitFix||Monkeys as Critics|
|What really made this episode great was the way things unfolded with an awful locomotion, a sort of mounting hope on one side of the equation and mounting dread on the other.|
|90||Los Angeles Times||Todd VanDerWerff|
|"What They Died For" is a lot of things. It's a fantastic episode of "Lost," one that moves like a rocket. It's a big, relatively well-handled infodump that makes sure we know how everything and everyone fits into the big picture, mostly. It's a reminder that even though the show is going to do big mythology episodes now and again, it's always going to return to the characters we loved from the regular cast. ... But most of all, it's a thematic episode, an episode that's all about the scary and thrilling process of letting go.|
|90||What's Alan Watching||Alan Sepinwall|
|I found "What They Died For" to be one of the strongest episodes of this season, and a perfect set up for Sunday's finale. ... We can all argue over what the right ratio is, but "Lost" is a show that's about plot and about people, and "What They Died For" didn't lose sight of either part of that equation.|
|An hour of television that was meaty, emotional, and shockingly funny. ... Too much of [last week's] "Across the Sea" demanded a step back from the elements onscreen, almost pushing us back rather than inviting us in. Tonight? I found myself consistently leaning forward to watch what was going on this week.|
|80||Entertainment Weekly||Jeff Jensen|
|A set-up episode, albeit an extremely entertaining one. [Full recap forthcoming here.]|
|Much of the rest of the episode was scene-setting for the final showdown. But what scene-setting!|
|80||TV Fanatic||M.L. House|
|Jacob simply sat around a fire, explained the situation to Hurley, Sawyer, Kate and Jack and accepted Jack's decision to assume the position? This scene from "What They Died For" was either one of the most anticlimactic in Lost history, or a tease that a lot more is set to go down on this Sunday's series finale.|
|80||Cultural Learnings||Myles McNutt|
|The episode is an important connecting point between the show’s two realities, emphasizing the ways in which choices – and the trust implicit or explicit to those choices – shape both the show and its characters on the island and within the newly introduced sideways stories.|
What did you think?
Did you enjoy this episode of Lost? What are your expectations for the finale? Let us know in the comments section below.