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Lost is a drama about a group of plane crash survivors. They land on an unknown Pacific island and have to learn to live together. ABC 2004-2010


Episode 2 - Pilot (2)

20 November 2016

Present: Sayid works on the transceiver and suggests to Kate that they head to higher ground to get a better signal before the battery dies. Jack stays behind to try and operate on the Marshall. Kate and Sayid are joined by Charlie, Shannon, Boone and Sawyer who shoots a polar bear on the trek. Jin finds sea creatures for the survivors to eat and it sparks some kicking from Claire’s baby. Meanwhile Locke teaches Walt to play Backgammon. 

Flashback: Charlie is taking heroin in the airplane bathroom. While Kate is the Marshall’s prisoner.  

The Good: Both flashbacks give us revealing glimpses at Kate and Charlie’s personalities. Kate in particular could be an interesting story as we don’t yet know what crime she committed. Her behaviour so far has been nothing short of moral and helpful, she even puts the unconscious Marshall’s oxygen mask on him.  Meanwhile we begin to learn more about the other survivors. The unhappy Korean couple, the estranged father and son, the dysfunctional siblings. Then there is Sawyer the antagonist, Locke the mysterious Backgammon player and Sayid, the Iraqi. That revelation is handled with a smart piece of dialogue. Hurley asks “What were you air force? Army?” and Sayid simply replies “The Republican Guard.” It’s an intriguing group of characters and the trek exposes their conflicts nicely. The trek brings the drama to the episode with both the final scene (see Best Moment) and the appearance of a polar bear. These two sets of revelations make it clear to the viewer that the survivors will be on the island for a long time to come and that something supernatural or at least unusual is going on.  Hurley meanwhile provides the comedy by fainting at the sight of blood. It’s a nice moment and much needed relief from the relentless tension. Similarly Jin’s discomfort at Claire forcing him to feel her stomach is pretty funny too.  

The Bad: The shot of Kate in her underwear is gratuitous. I don’t have a problem with Lost showcasing its attractive cast, but a little subtlety would be nice.  

The Unknown: What is Locke’s secret? There is a strange racial undertone to his explanation of Backgammon which I’m not sure was intentional. How did a polar bear end up on a tropical island? Who was the French women who left the signal? What happened to her friends? How has the signal been playing for sixteen years? What did Kate do to be arrested?  

Best Moment: The final scene is a thing of beauty. In television, real drama doesn’t always come from bullets and death. Often the knowledge that it is a television show robs supposed dramatic scenes of much of their drama. Usually as a viewer you know when a character is likely to die or survive. So really good television is about finding consequences for characters that the viewer will believe in. Here, the producers of Lost create stomach knotting tension from the simplicity of six people standing around a transceiver. Sawyer is constantly sniping at them all for their inadequacies as Shannon gets upset from the pressure of translating the French message. Meanwhile Sayid closes his eyes, calculating how long the message has been broadcasting. The final revelations that the message is from a lone survivor saying all the others have been killed and that it has been playing for sixteen years is quite the moment. The survivors are now faced with the real possibility that no rescue is coming. Charlie sums it up perfectly “Guys, where are we?”  

The Bottom Line: Another excellent episode. Watched together the pilot packs quite a punch. Separately and part two is a little slower, until the final scene. But that is understandable after the drama of the first episode. The pilot is a huge success though. Not only is the island a great mystery which will draw viewers back but the characters themselves are a mystery. It’s difficult to remember a show with more potential for different developments than Lost. 



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  • This kept up the pace wonderfully and was an excellent part 2. I agree that it works better when watched together with part 1 though and doesn't hold up quite as well as a stand alone episode. However that's not a huge complaint since this episode was much better than I remembered. I love the way Lost shifted through all of its characters, allowing everyone to be introduced in just a single 2 Part episode. Modern TV shows wish they could do something of that magnitude. The drama and mystery heightens even more in this episode, and characters remain great. Add the early twist about Kate's identity, and we have a perfect second part of the pilot.

    Viewer score: 80 / 100

    Posted by Aaronic, 05/11/2016 8:19pm (4 years ago)

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