First episode: We don't know who Kate is. All we know is that she is scared to the point of tears of the whatever-it-is that tore the pilot out of the plane, and she does not want to go back although she knows she should. She counts to five. And then she stops hiding, interrogates Charlie, and goes back for Jack.
Jack: After Ben manipulates him into performing surgery on him, Jack suddenly takes charge in the middle of the operation, knocking out the henchman next to him and holding Ben's life for ransom so that Kate and Sawyer can escape.
Later on, when Jack punches Ben in the face.
After Richard asks for an assisted suicide, not being able to kill himself due to being touched by Jacob, Jack puts some pieces together and realizes there's a chance the same applies to him. And he proceeds to test it by lighting some unstable dynamite and waiting along with Richard, all while asking him some good questions for once and also venting about having been manipulated into this for his whole life.
Seeing through the Man in Black's Batman-Gambit to get all the candidates to kill each other. Shame that Sawyer didn't listen, but the fact remains that Jack saw through the plan of the same man who was able to make Ben Linus his Xanatos bitch.
"John Locke told me to stay" * pushes the Man in Black in the water*
Although because of Kate's urgings he did eventually perform the surgery in the first example, Jack was pretty darn awesome after he first figured out Ben's scheme before Ben had intended and then shot him down gloriously. He asked a lot of questions seeming to indicate he planned to do it, and when Ben gets all happy and 'we'll get whatever you need to do it' he just laughs and says 'Oh, I was never going to do it. I just wanted you to know how you're gonna die'.
Yet another Jack moment: Utterly destroying Sawyer (a professional hustler) in hand after hand of poker. In exasperation, Sawyer (who had recently conned the group out of their only cache of firearms) proposes one last hand and allows Jack to name the stakes. Jack decides to play for the medical supplies Sawyer was hoarding. After winning the hand (going all in with a pair of nines), Jack tells Sawyer he'll come around later for the meds. Sawyer asks why they didn't play for the guns, as Jack was trying to build an army at the time. Jack scoffs and says "When I need the guns...I'll get the guns."
Mr. Eko: He stares down The Monster.
Not to be outdone, he also killed three gun wielding drug lords with a machete while dressed as a priest. With his hands tied.
Eko was arguably a walking Crowning Moment of Awesome. Killing the Others that came to take him away on the first night after the crash, telling Locke off with his own catchphrase, and of course, "I was not afraid."
Sayid: He snaps a bad guy's neck. With his feet. While tied up, on his knees, on sand.
His fight with Keamy was certainly epic.
His fight with Widmore's assassins in the Season 5 premiere was even better. Especially when he throws one of them onto the stack of knives in his dishwasher, after being hit by a double dose of horse tranquilizer.
A retrospective one is when he is convinced Henry Gale is not who he says he is. Everyone thought his grief over Shannon clouded his judgment but he was ultimately proved right. Also badass lines like "My name is Sayid Jarrah and I am a torturer." Also when he talks to Charlie at the end, reminding him what the others did when 'Jack and Locke seemed to of forgotten'.
"You were right about me. I am a killer."
His AU fight with Keamy and his minions was pretty epic. "Forget about it." "I can't." BANG!
And just before it, managing to tell Jack what he needs to do next to stand a chance in hell of defeating the Man in Black.
Hurley: Tired of being told he'll "just get in the way", he charges down a group of Others with a Dharma van, provides a distraction for Sayid's neck snappage.
Turning himself into the cops and facing three counts of murder rather than go with Ben. Granted, this time he probably should have gone with him, but at this point it totally serves Ben right that someone completely refuses to believe a word he says.
His beatdown of Sawyer after one too many fat jokes.
More of a subtle/time release one, but he saves up to 78 lives in one fell swoop when he buys the remaining seats on the Ajira plane
Sun gets two: In Season 5, she delivers a Shut Up, Hannibal!}to Ben via an oar to the skull.
Then in a Season 4 flashforward, she confronts her father and tells him that she knows what he forced Jin to do so they could get married, and reveals that she used the Oceanic lawsuit settlement money to buy all her father's holdings. As he's taking this in, she very coldly fires him. The amount of barely-concealed rage in her voice and shown on her face is especially jarring.
Jin: Chasing down and beating the crap out of Mikhail.
The flash-sideways Jin scores one when, after spending a whole episode appearing to be just like the regular version when it comes to violence, he disarms one of Keamy's thugs with efficient, precise martial arts moves before giving him a Moe Greene Special. And not just any thug, but the very same Mikhail. Same eye, too.
Season 4 episode "Something Nice Back Home", while ostensibly a Jack-centric episode, is one continuous Episode of Awesome for Juliet Burke. With Jack incapacitated by his appendix and in desperate need of surgery, Juliet immediately steps into a leadership position and organizes the survivors to acquire medical supplies and create a safe operating environment... on the beach. Even though Jack shows that he doesn't trust her to perform the surgery, insisting on only local anesthetic and Kate holding up a mirror so that he can direct the surgery, Juliet has him knocked out with chloroform and ejects Kate, and completes the surgery. Then, having realized that Jack has feelings for Kate, she gracefully bows out of any "race" for Jack's affections, because damn it, she's not going to get trapped in any interminable Love Triangle if she can help it.
Ben: Pretty much every appearance in the 4th season. But especially when he summoned the smoke monster to brutally attack the people who killed his daughter. There's also...
Ben: "Oh, so you do speak English!"
And when we finally discover that he's a formidable physical threat as well as a Chessmaster when he takes down two Arab soldiers with assault rifles within seconds. Actually, just about every time he uses his baton is automatically awesome.
"You just killed everyone on that boat." (beat) "So?"
In season five: blowing away Caesar mid-speech with his own shotgun. "Were you looking for this?" BLAM!
Earlier in season 5, when asked by Jack whether the passengers on Ajira 316 would die in the crash they were planning on causing, replied while hardly looking up from his book with a nonchalant "who cares?".
There's no place like home, part one, as Ben calmly walks towards Keamy and his men to bring them away and let Locke get into the station. Of Mice and Ben, indeed.
"My name is Benjamin Linus. I believe you're looking for me."
The moment in which Michael Emerson went from guest star to full-fledged cast member:
"Henry":(eating cereal) Course if I was one of them - these people that you seem to think are your enemies - what would I do? Well, there'd be no balloon. So I'd draw a map to a real secluded place, like a cave or some underbrush, good place for a trap. An ambush. And when your friends got there, a bunch of my people would be waiting for 'em. Then they'd use them to trade for me. [jokingly] I guess it's a good thing I'm not one of them, huh? (Beat) You guys got any milk? (LOST end screen)
Desmond: Shooting Mikhail with a speargun.
Better yet, Desmond points a flare gun at Mikhail:
Desmond: You've got five seconds to talk, brother!
Mikhail: That's a flare gun.
Desmond: And how do you think it'll feel, taking a flare gun to the chest at this range?
Beating the crap out of Ben and tossing him off a dock, seconds after being shot.
And using one arm to do it.
Sawyer: Killing Locke's father/the man who caused his father to kill his mother and himself. Also, the long con he did in order to take possession of the guns.
"Sawyer's my name, too."
And the way he inhumanly snarls "You wanna go to hell!?" while delivering the coup de grace.
Also jumping off the helicopter in order to give the Oceanic Six the chance to make it to safety—quite possibly the first truly selfless thing Sawyer has ever done.
And killing Tom "for taking the kid off the raft."
Speaking of which, when he and Michael are on the remains of the raft, after having hauled Michael out of the water (shark infested no less) while having a bullet in him, he removes the bullet with his bare hands.
Sawyer's first moment of badassery is most definitely the pilot. Something loud and feral is running towards the group...and they all flee, while he stands calmly, reveals a pistol from his person, and shoots what turns out to be a polar bear. His comments afterwards push this into Crowning Moment of Funny too. "I JUST SHOT A BEAR!"
Flash-sideways Sawyer (or James Ford, as he became a cop instead of a con man) heads with his partner Miles to arrest Sayid. Sayid convinces his sister-in-law Nadia to stall Miles while he heads out the back door...but finds that Ford had anticipated this and had prepared a trap with the house's garden hose.
Locke (first crowning moment): He gets up and starts walking around after the crash. He's paralyzed due to a broken spine.
Locke (second crowning moment): He blows up the hatch.
Locke (third crowning moment): He apologizes to Jack, and a submarine explodes behind him. I'd say that's impressive.
"Well, I'd say I hope it's big enough to imagine yourself up a new submarine."
Locke (fourth crowning moment): After being shot, he fully recovers (but temporarily becomes paralyzed again), and decides to shoot himself in the head because he can't move his legs. Walt, who isn't even on the island, appears and stops him. The man of 400 knives later gets up, walks to the radio tower, and chucks one of his weapons into Naomi's back.
Locke (fifth crowning moment): 'Hello Ben, welcome to the land of the living' and anything with him in the entire episode 5x12, even walking out of a bush. although that wasn't actually Locke.
Heck, Locke had one of the series' first crowning moments of awesome in "Walkabout." "Don't tell me what I can't do", indeed.
Also, his smirk at the very end of the episode as he watches the wheelchair is one of the most badass smiles of the history of television. ◊
The Monster: Its incredibly Badass attack on the soldiers in The Shape of Things to Come, where it's larger, faster, deadlier, and just generally cooler than ever before.
Season five: The Monser takes the form of Ben's daughter, and viciously gets him to knock off his scheming against Locke and do whatever Locke says from now on. Awesome.
This is even better in retrospect. both Alex and Locke were actually the Man in Black, so this was all just one big Kansas City Shuffle by him.
Frank Lapidus landing Ajira flight 316.
And then taking off in it after using little more than spit and duct tape to put it together.
Locke breaks Ben. The world's most Magnificent Bastard just stops moving, while holding a "..." expression. And holds it till the episode ends a few seconds later. Though as it turns out, that wasn't Locke at all.
Dr. Chang gets a brilliant CMOA in season 5's "Follow The Leader".
Dr. Chang: Your friend Faraday said that you were from the future. I need to know if he was telling the truth.
Hurley: Dude, that's ridiculous.
Dr. Chang: What year were you born? What year?
Hurley: Uh... 1931?
Dr. Chang: You're 46?
Hurley: Yeah. Yes, I am.
Dr. Chang: So you fought in the Korean War?
Hurley: ...there's no such thing.
Dr. Chang: Who's the President of the United States?
Hurley: ... All right, dude, we're from the future. Sorry.
All seems lost as the plan to erase the entire timeline that the whole second half of season five was leading up to fails as the nuke doesn't go off. Except Juliet survives falling dozens of feet, then uses every bit of strength remaining in her battered body to whack the thing with a rock until it goes off.
"Come on, you son of a bitch!" * fade to white*
Juliet's first CMOA comes with a bullet and a distraction that allows Sawyer and Kate to escape: "Danny" BANG! This troper knew she'd be a main character immediately after that moment.
A Crowning Moment for the filmmakers is the scene in which Jacob meets Locke for the first time. You know, the part where he's sitting calmly reading while Locke comes flying out of an eighth story window behind him.
After being MIA for the entire fifth season, Claire reintroduces herself by blowing away two Others with a high-powered rifle.
The Man in Black's attack on the Temple, killing most of the Others and sending the rest into hiding within minutes. And earlier that day, when he nonchalantly shrugged off Sayid's huge dagger to the chest and proceeded to recruit him with just a few sentences.
Claire, Sayid, and Kate walk through the destroyed temple at the end of "Sundown" while "Catch A Falling Star" is playing. Not to mention the fact that this song seems to be a new Nightmare Fuel of Lost.
The Candidate is one long love letter to Un-Locke's awesomeness. Specifically? He proves himself to be immune to bullets and have ridiculously good aim, and kills at least 8 of Widmore's mooks, one of whom with his bare hands. Then he tricks Jack into bringing aboard a bomb, which leads to the deaths of Sayid, Jin, and Sun. Then he goes out to personally kill Kate, Jack, Sawyer, and Hurley. He also uses Claire's delicate emotional state to recruit her back to his side like a master.
"Trust me, you don't want to be on that sub." Quite possibly the single biggest Oh Crap moment of the entire series.
In "Ab Aeterno," when Richard says aloud he's "changed his mind," meaning he wants to side with the smoke monster/Locke monster, Hurley arrives and relays the words of Richard's deceased wife Isabella to Richard. While the scene is slow and more of a Crowning Moment Of Heart Warming, the real kicker comes at the end of Hurley and Richard's conversation. Hurley has a concerned look on his face and Richard asks if something's wrong. Hurley says Isabella has one more message. Richard has to stop the "man in black," AKA the smoke monster/Locke monster from leaving the island, because if he doesn't, "...todos nos vamos al infierno." Which, for non-spanish speakers, means "We all go to hell."
Before that, the scene where Jacob kicks Richard's ass was pure win. For a guy who had, thus far, basically sat around doing nothing, that was pretty hardcore.
Richard: I'm already dead.
Jacob: * proceeds to drown Richard*
Richard: * between gasps* STOP!
Jacob: What's that?
Richard: I want to live!
Jacob: That's the smartest thing you've said so far.
Jack had one in "The Candidate":
Flocke: Whoever told you that you needed to stay had no idea what he was talking about.
Jack: John Locke told me I needed to stay. (pushes Flocke into the water)
Rose gets one in the finale by fearlessly standing up to Fake Locke.
Another Rose one: "Jack, if you say 'Live Together, Die Alone', I'm going to punch you in the face."
Some of the other fight scenes may have been better through choreography or other aspects, but the final fight became pure, untainted awesome through location alone: on a collapsing cliffside during a thunder storm.
Really, the entire finale is a CMOA for Darlton, as well as screen-writing in general.
Jack: You're not John Locke, you disrespect his memory by wearing his face, but you are nothing like him. It turns out he was right about just about everything. I just wish I could have told him that when he was still alive.
Kate was generally considered a Creator's Pet on this show, but give the woman credit: she went back to the island in order to bring Claire home, and that's exactly what she did. The moment she grabs Claire's hand in the Ajira as it takes off, the fact that her "awakening" in the Alt-Verse was delivering Aaron, and the fact that ultimately the character of Kate wasn't defined by her Romantic Plot Tumour: that was pretty awesome.
Frank. After spending most of his time on the show just tagging along after everyone else, finally gets to FLY THAT PLANE OFF THAT ISLAND. "Amen."
Locke in the finale: "We've been waiting for ya."
Which is the last line of the series. Of course Locke had to get it.