I decided that I would start a rewatch this summer of LOST, my favorite TV show of all time. And since I was rewatching the show, I would also add a category to the TV G[eek] menu so I can write about each episode.\
I must say that when LOST went off the air, I had a hole in my heart for quite a while. It was finally filled by a bunch of good TV shows, but nothing has ever matched J.J. Abrams’ classic ABC show.
The first two episodes go together as Pilot Part 1 & 2, so I am reviewing them together as well. I do not know how someone could watch this pilot episode and not be completely swept up in the mystery and excitement that was LOST.
The show famously started focused in on Jack’s eye. It is one of the most iconic of shots from LOST. Then, we learn so much about the character of Jack Shepherd in the next 10-15 minutes, which were 10-15 of the best minutes on network TV. Jack comes to and finds the crash scene on the beach with people crying and confused. He then runs back and forth trying to save as many people as he could. Jack was always the hero. The frenetic pace of Jack going from a man pinned beneath plane wreckage to Claire who looked to be in labor to Boone who was doing CPR on Rose incorrectly was something to see and informed us about Jack’s character more than any flashbacks could.
That is one of the strengths of this episode. We are introduced to these characters: Charlie, Kate, Sawyer, Sayid, Boone, Shannon without having to use flashbacks, which would eventually be used to go deeper in the character. We know that everyone gets a new start on the Island, and the first introductions we have are not influenced by who they were.
We are introduced to the monster on the Island. Of course, we learn what that is as the series progressed, but at this point, we had zero idea. The sounds were scary and intentionally mysterious. Then, with the killing of the pilot (which was originally supposed to be Jack- imagine how different LOST would be without Jack) showed how deadly serious this situation was.
We got a conflict between Sayid and Sawyer which would carry over for much of the series. It started out growing out of Sawyer’s mistrust of Sayid because of his nationality. Sawyer also turned on Hurley, everyone’s favorite, calling him “Lardo”. We discovered that Sawyer was not a nice person. Still, the scene with Sawyer reading the letter hinted that there was more to this redneck than we thought.
The episode also spent a bunch of time making Kate look like a hero, only to pull the rug out from under her and us by revealing that she was the prisoner being escorted from Australia by the Marshal. It was a great reveal to tell us that what we see from these people, who they appear to be, may not be who they are.
Jin and Sun were quite isolated early because of the language barrier and the closed mind of Jin. These two are probably the characters who change the most during the run time of the show.
We get very little about one of the series’ most important characters, John Locke. However, John, unwittingly, does specifically explain the entire Island to Walt when he is telling about backgammon. Two sides-one is light, one is dark.
We get the scene with Sawyer shooting the polar bear which caused a lot of controversy and debate at the time. Clearly, polar bears should not exist on this island but here it was. It just added to the group of strange mysteries that we see. Little things meant to mess with a viewer. The shoes hanging from the bamboo. The arrival and seemingly knowledgeable Vincent, the handcuffs, the French message, and the Monster were all dropped on the viewers with no explanation.
Charlie perfectly summed up the thoughts of the viewers with the last line of episode 2: “Guys, where are we?”
The LOST pilot is one of the greatest pilot episodes ever shot and does an amazing job of setting up the story as well as presenting us with characters that may not be what they appear.