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Lost: We're So Screwed, Part 1

Charlie: "Day turning into night, end of the world type weather. Is this normal?"

Wow.

This series is different. It's the ultimate in alienation. There's no frame of reference to normal life, and the characters are completely out of control of their surroundings. It's almost like a bizarre sort of prison. The trees in the opening and closing scenes even looked like prison bars.

The concept – Gilligan's Island meets Survivor – has so many possibilities. There may even be some Forbidden Planet in there, and I have to tell you, it's the possible sci-fi elements that I find even more intriguing than who will die, what the Monster really is, or when Jack will get lucky with Kate.

I liked Jack immediately. He appears to be a man of deep feeling, with his emotions much too close to the surface. I also liked the beautiful and courageous Kate, who appears to be the female lead. We had a cute meet, a "you know they're gonna be a couple" bonding moment, with Kate sewing up Jack's back before they were even properly introduced. The other character we got quite a bit of was Charlie, who seemed to be hiding something; it was hard to tell what was going on with him at this early stage.



The Island is the biggest, most intriguing question mark. The craziness and the danger are a strange contrast to the almost surreal beauty of the place. The message we are already receiving is, This Is No Ordinary Island.

The second biggest question mark is, what the hell killed the pilot? Nothing is big enough to do what It did. Meaning that we're in science fiction territory. (In fact, the banging and thumping of the Unseen Monster reminded me of the T-Rex in Jurassic Park.) The second time I watched this episode, I started thinking that the pilot died because the Island, or the consciousness behind it, didn't want the survivors to get the transceiver. Meaning the Unseen Monster and the Island were in cahoots. I think.

And then, of course, the survivors, all forty-eight of them, are individual question marks. Forty-eight is a lot, even with only fourteen as cast members and the others as extras milling around in the background not showing their faces in case they become guest stars or cannon fodder in future episodes. That's a huge cast, and with the exception of our heroes Jack and Kate, and Charlie, whom I don't trust as far as I can throw him, the other cast members had a few defining lines and that was it. I'm sure we'll learn more about them in future episodes.

Character bits:

The episode began with a close-up of Jack's right eye opening. And the first thing he saw was Walt's dog.


Jack's tattoo appears to be a small triangle above two lines, the number five, and a partial sunburst. I wonder if Jack got the tattoo as a reminder that he only allows himself five seconds of fear. (He talked about it in relation to the surgery he nearly botched on a sixteen-year-old girl.)

In the irony department, Jack said he once took flying lessons and decided it wasn't for him.

Charlie was the bass player in a band called Drive Shaft, and sang bits of their hit, "You all everybody." He wrote the word "FATE" on his finger bandages.

Claire, eight months pregnant, was wearing a necklace with the Japanese character that means "love."

Boone was a lifeguard; he tried to help Jack perform CPR on Rose, but the whole pen/trach thing was pretty freaking weird. He did not appear to get along with his companion, Shannon.

Daniel Dae Kim, who played Jin, was also in B5: Crusade and Angel.

Rose said she was from the Bronx.

J.J. Abrams, one of the creators and executive producers, is also the creative juice behind one of my favorite shows, Alias. There were two Alias alums here: Greg Grunberg as the pilot, and Terry O'Quinn as the mysterious and extremely quiet Locke.

Bits and pieces:

— The name of the airline is "Oceanic." The flight originated in Australia, and turbulence seemed to have caused the crash. The Oceanic symbol is three concentric circles with dots around it, sort of like a target. The flight wasn't full. In the flashback plane crash sequence, all we could see was Jack and Rose sitting together, with Locke behind Rose.

— The tail and the front of the plane broke off. Are there other survivors who were thrown clear, as Jack was? (And how did Jack get so far from the plane without serious injury?)

— The flight attendant gave Jack a gift: a bottle of booze that he later desperately needed. Almost as if it was intended.


— The scene with Locke grinning with orange peel instead of teeth was creepy. I wonder if it was meant to remind us of that scene in The Godfather? I also thought the scene where Locke was worshiping the rain was interesting. Unlike the other survivors, Locke seems to be happy.

— The cockpit scene was filmed with a shaking camera. To give us the feeling we were on shaky ground, perhaps? The camera shook during the initial mad scene on the beach, too.

— The facial injuries looked a bit like artfully applied war paint.

— Kate stole shoes from the dead. Major cliche.

— I'm worried about the dog. Will he end up as snack food for the Monster? I don't want the dog to die. In the movie Alien, I was rooting for the cat.

— The actual title of this episode is "Pilot," part one. I stole "We're So Screwed." It's the title of a two-part episode of Farscape.

Quotes:

Pilot: "They're looking for us in the wrong place."

Charlie: "There's a certain gargantuan quality about this thing."

Charlie: "I heard you call 'Jack'. I'm Charlie, by the way."

Rose: "My husband keeps reminding me that planes want to be in the air."
Jack: "He sounds like a very smart man."

Shown with the second part, this is an absolutely stunning pilot episode. More in part two,

Billie
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Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

5 comments:

Aly said...

On the rewatch of Lost for now :)
Not much to say really, just that I noticed how Jack was playing (simulating the crash) with a plane made from a leaf. Funny :)

Josie Kafka said...

This series is different. It's the ultimate in alienation. There's no frame of reference to normal life, and the characters are completely out of control of their surroundings.

Excellent observation. I know you wrote this before the DVDs came out, so it's even more impressive as it's in one of the commentaries (might be JJ's on the pilot) where they talk about the lack of establishing shots to give the feeling of almost claustrophobic confusion to the surroundings.

Katherine said...

Happy 2016 New Year to the crew at Doux Reviews!

Against my most vigorous objections my family has started binge watching Lost.
Now (the reason for the objections) they are peppering me with questions about this and that. They have all been instructed (repeatedly) to come here and read the reviews. They won't get spoiled,won't get all their questioned answered, but they may (hopefully) stop bugging me!

Thank you all again for a stellar site.

Katherine

Billie Doux said...

Happy 2016 to you and your Lost-binge-watching family, Katherine. Loved your comment.

alexandra said...

I read from Italy,you did a great job,pleasant reading.
The Pilot,wow,so stunning in many ways. Great,amazing Giacchino' score.
We are catapultated into a disturbing reality,we're upset and curious and hungry.
Lost must be rewatching.