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Can 'Lost' find its way back into the Emmys race for best drama?

May 28, 2008 |  6:10 pm

As with all TV shows vying for Emmy Awards, the producers of ABC network's "Lost" have only until Friday to submit the name of their sample episode. But the second and third parts of the fourth season finale don't even air until Thursday night . As it stands, the biggest mystery about this show might be which of its 14 episodes this season "Lost" should use to showcase itself to Emmy voters.

In 2005, the first season of "Lost" won the Emmy Award for best drama series. Then, in 2006, the Emmys revamped the nominating process by adding a new phase that requires the attention of judging panels.


No longer were the five nominated series determined strictly by the popular vote of the academy membership. Rather, this popular vote determined 10 semi-finalists. Sample episodes of all 10 contenders were then viewed by a small group who ranked the shows. In 2006, the judges' scores determined the five final nominees. Last year the nominees were chosen by a 50/50 combination of the popular vote and judges' scores of episode samples. While "Lost" made the Top 10 both years, it failed to make the cut to the final five.

Considering that "Lost" had just won the category for its first season, Emmy-watchers were shocked by the snubs.

Serialized shows like "Lost" have a harder time making their mark with voters who are not regular viewers familiar with the dangling, interweaving plot lines. And the complex story lines of "Lost" can confuse even devoted fans. In that second season run-off , the producers submitted the season premiere, "Man of Science, Man of Faith," which demanded an in-depth knowledge of the underlying mythology of the show to make much sense. A better choice would have been "The Other 48 Days" which was a self-contained episode about the so-called 'tailies' who had also survived the plane crash. Many Emmy-watchers believe that if ABC had submitted that episode — which TV Guide hailed as the best of "Lost's" whole season — it might not only have been nominated, but it might've won again. Such is the importance of strategy when picking the right Emmy episode.

We asked our forum posters to propose the best episode for "Lost" to submit this year. Their top two picks: "The Constant" and "The Shape of Things to Come." But is either of these the right choice to represent "Lost" if it makes it into the Top 10? Below are descriptions of those two episodes as well as four more. Let the producers of "Lost" know which episode you think could make them an Emmy nominee again this year by voting in the poll below.

"Confirmed Dead" was Episode 2 of the season and introduced the freighter folk who arrive on the island ostensibly to rescue the marooned plane crash survivors. The episode focuses on their back stories with flashbacks as to how physicist Daniel (Jeremy Davies), anthropologist Charlotte (Rebecca Mader), psychic Miles (Ken Leung) and pilot Frank (Jeff Fahey) came to be part of the rescue team.

"The Constant" was Episode 5 of the season and followed Desmond (Emmy nominee Henry Ian Cusick) as he traveled back and forth in time between 1996 and 2004 (the year of the crash). His fate becomes intertwined with that of Daniel.


"Ji Yeon" was Episode 7 of the season and was centered on married couple Sun (Yunjin Kim) and Jin (Daniel Dae Kim) as they debate which group of survivors to align themselves. Mixing a flash-forward of the rescued Sun delivering their baby and a flashback of Jin rushing to a hospital was an unexpected twist capped off by the revelation that Sun considers Jin to be dead now.

"The Shape of Things to Come" was Episode 9 of the season and traces the journey of Ben (Emmy winner Michael Emerson) from manipulative leader to grieving father to avenging warrior who, in a flash-forward, recruits Sayid (Emmy nominee Naveen Andrews) to help him stop Charles Widmore (Alan Dale).

"Something Nice Back Home" was Episode 10 of the season and shows us Jack (Matthew Fox) falling apart both physically -- in 2004 with appendicitis that is operated on by Juliet (Elizabeth Mitchell) -- and psychologically -- in the future with Kate (Evangeline Lilly) under the stress of living a lie.

"There's No Place Like Home" is the umbrella title for the last three episodes of the season. Two weeks ago, the first of these aired and was packed with action, including the beginning of the rescue effort, confrontations between the survivors and the Others and the renegade rescuers as well as a flash-forward showing us the Oceanic Six as they arrive home. Thursday night, the two-part finale airs and promises to be just as full of thrills and chills.