The Best and Worst Character Arcs on LOST

LOST is a beloved series that aired from 2004 to 2010 and is remembered for its complex characters and intriguing plot. Over the years, we’ve watched these characters go through numerous trials and tribulations, resulting in some incredible character arcs. However, not every character was treated equally, and some received disappointing storylines.

The Best Character Arcs

Jack Shephard

Jack Shephard was the de facto leader of the survivors from the very beginning. We watched him strive to keep the group together while also struggling with his own inner demons. His arc was expertly crafted, culminating in his selfless act of sacrificing himself in the final season to save his fellow survivors. Jack’s journey was a perfect balance of redemption and self-sacrifice, making him not only one of the best LOST characters but one of the best TV characters of all time.

Benjamin Linus

Benjamin Linus, the manipulative leader of the Others, was a complicated character with a diverse range of emotions. As the series progressed, we gained insight into his past, including his traumatic childhood on the island. This helped explain how he became one of the most fascinating characters on the show. He ultimately helped the survivors against the Man in Black and went on a journey of redemption, leading to a touching reunion with his daughter, Alex. Ben’s arc was one of the most compelling on the show, and his final moments of choosing to stay on the island and atone for his sins were perfect.

John Locke

John Locke was introduced as one of the most intriguing characters on LOST. Paralyzed before the plane crash, he suddenly had the ability to walk after landing on the island, giving him a newfound sense of purpose and destiny. Unfortunately, Locke was also naive and vulnerable to manipulation. But his arc was one of becoming a true believer, ultimately leading to his death sacrificing himself to protect the survivors and prevent the Man in Black from escaping. His arc was a heartbreaking journey of leadership and personal growth, making him one of the show’s most memorable characters.

The Worst Character Arcs

Claire Littleton

Claire Littleton, who was stranded on the island while pregnant, was initially a sympathetic character. However, as the series progressed, her storyline became increasingly irrelevant and frustrating. She was written out of the show for a season, inexplicably became one of the Others, and then had a bizarre reunion with her son in the series finale. She deserved a much better arc than what was given to her.

Nikki and Paolo

Nikki and Paolo were introduced in the third season, and their storyline felt like a punch bowl at a party: awkward and out of place. Their introduction was sudden, and their characters were shoehorned into the narrative, only to suddenly be killed off in one of the show’s weakest episodes. Their arc was a forgettable misfire that left fans wondering why they were even introduced in the first place.

Charlie Pace

Charlie Pace was beloved by fans, making his departure from the show all the more heartbreaking. However, his arc leading up to his death was frustratingly stagnant, with his drug addiction being a plot point that never seemed to go anywhere. His relationship with Claire was underdeveloped, and his death felt like it was only done for shock value rather than being a natural progression of his character. Charlie deserved better, considering how important he was to the survival of the group.


LOST was an incredible show that featured a stunning ensemble cast. While there were many memorable moments and fantastic character arcs, there were also some disappointing ones. Jack, Benjamin, and John had some of the best character arcs in the series, while Claire, Nikki, and Paolo, and Charlie were unfortunate examples of missed opportunities. Regardless of these shortcomings, LOST remains a testament to the power of storytelling and the impact of quality character development.