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Lost: We're So Screwed, Part 2

Sawyer: "I'm the criminal, you're the terrorist, we can all play a part."

And we're off with part two and expedition number two, a trek up the mountain to situate the transmitter. The cast – especially Sawyer and Sayid – were already at each other's throats, literally and figuratively scrambling for position on increasingly shaky ground.

This unsuccessful sojourn at least got us acquainted with more of the extremely large cast as well as a polar bear. I'm still finding it hard to put names and faces together and tend to think of them (the cast, not the bear) as character types. Like:

Heroic Doctor With Issues (Jack)
Beautiful Heroine With Deadly Secret (Kate)
Coke-Head Rock Star (Charlie)
Really Nice Fat Guy (Hurley)
Nasty Blond Hick (Sawyer)
Korean Male Chauvinist Pig (Jin)
Quietly Rebellious Wife (Sun)
Heroic Arab Who is Clearly Not a Terrorist (Sayid)
Miss Rich Selfish Bitch (Shannon)
Miss Rich Selfish Bitch's Brother (Boone)
Unexpected New Dad (Michael)
Kid with Dog (Walt)
Nice Pregnant Woman (Claire)
Mysterious Guy (Locke)

The backgammon set was this episode's winner for Most Obvious Symbolism. A five thousand year old game with two sides, white and black? Dice they used to make from bone? Locke, who has been very quiet up until now, actually creeped me out by talking to Walt, the kid, about secrets. Geez, please tell me Locke is not a pedophile. I don't want Terry O'Quinn playing a pedophile.

The polar bear sequence was interesting and strange. The fact that it occurred right after Walt saw a picture of a polar bear in his Spanish language comic book made me think of the old Star Trek episode, "Shore Leave," where everything people thought of came true. A bear is a real animal, though, not a Scary Monster: except an arctic animal in the tropics is so incredibly Land That Time Forgot that it felt like science fiction again. Plus the bear wasn't anywhere near big enough to throw Greg Grunberg to the top of that tree.

The other really interesting plot point was the mysterious French woman, who was supposedly stranded on the Island sixteen years ago. What happened to her? Is she still alive? Is the fact that the signal was still around sixteen years later a clear sign that our current batch of survivors will never be rescued?

Our final shock was that Kate was a prisoner being transported to the states, which explained the handcuffs in the jungle. Kate showed courage, taking that gun from Sawyer. What on earth was she arrested for? Had to be serious for extradition. And what favor was she going to ask the Marshal?

Character bits:

Jack again tapped Hurley to help him out. Hurley, unfortunately, is not so good around blood.

The war paint-like wounds are fascinating. Sawyer's is a line pointing at his right eye, while Locke's actually transects his right eye vertically. Boone has a patch on his left cheek. Claire has an upside-down heart on her chin. I keep thinking that all this should mean something, but it probably doesn't.

Claire's baby started moving again right after she ate a piece of Jin's sushi.

Walt is ten years old. Walt's dog is named Vincent. I used to have a cat named Vincent. Interesting coincidence, since it is not a common name for a pet.

Sawyer had the nerve to stand his ground and kill the polar bear. He smokes. At one point, he was sitting in a metal semi-circle piece of wreckage, reading a letter and looking upset. And he appears to be incapable of calling anyone by their proper name.

Sayid fought in the Gulf War; he was a communications officer in the Republican Guard. He knows guns and radios, and he's good with math.

Boone and Shannon are siblings. They were supposed to be in first class, giving us a clue as to their socio-economic status. Shannon spent a year in Paris drinking, not studying, although as far as I could tell, her translation was accurate.

The Korean couple don't speak English. Jin is cornering the sushi market. He made Sun button up her shirt, and he slapped her hand, too. Why does Daniel Dae Kim always play jerks?

Kate looked really good in nothing but dirty underwear.

Bits and pieces:

— This time, we got the flashback of the crash from the point of view of Charlie and his drugs. We also saw him step over Shannon on his way to the bathroom.

— We heard iterations of the distress call starting with number 17294531. Repeated every thirty seconds made sixteen years, five months? My math certainly isn't up to that one.

— How probable is it that Sawyer could kill a polar bear with a handgun?


Shannon: "Polar bears usually don't live in jungles."

Kate: "Where did that come from?"
Sawyer: "Probably Bear Village. How the hell do I know?"

After Walt told him his mother died two weeks ago, Locke said, "You're having a bad month."

Charlie: "Guys. Where are we?"

Fascinating. And definitely better when seen with part one,

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


  1. When Lost first aired, I never really got into it. I had friends who were fanatical about it and who would discuss it at length, but I was never that intrigued by it. Then, I started hanging out on this site where it seems to be the one show that absolutely everybody has not only seen but continually refers back to. I decided I should give it a chance.

    The two hour pilot is good, but I am not convinced by it yet. As Billie points out, the characters all appear to be stereotypical types that we have seen over and over again. Because there are so many of them, it is hard to invest too heavily in any of them.

    One of the problems I had was that, especially during the first hour, I kept thinking of the characters as the ones I watch now or have seen in the past; Jorge Garcia as Doc, Matthew Fox as Charlie, Daniel Dae Kim as Chin (he plays a nice guy there!), Terry O'Quinn as everything.

    There are some wonderful moments. The reveal of the air marshal at the end; Sun quietly unbuttoning the top button of her sweater; Hurley fainting were all well done and subtle character development. But, there already appears to be flashing arrows to some story lines already. I can see a real Boone/Shannon showdown and a Jack/Kate/Sawyer triangle down the road. Not to mention that Locke is going to prove to be odd beyond the telling of it.

    I love the scenery. Wherever the show is filmed is simply stunning. The beach is one from a fantasy and the jungle is appropriately creepy (polar bears and all).

    Finally, I know that this show has a lot of symbolism, so I'm sure I'm looking for it in places where it isn't, but... What is with the number sixteen? It jumped out at me (sixteen is my birth date and my lucky number) several times -- sixteen hours since the plane went down, Jack's former patient was sixteen years old, Claire is eight months pregnant (half of sixteen), there are forty-eight survivors (three times sixteen). Guess I'll just have to keep watching.

  2. Chris, you are so perceptive! Without spoiling you, I can say, (1) yes, the numbers do mean something; (2) the show was filmed entirely in Hawaii, all six seasons, including flashbacks to other places; and (3) the fourth episode, "Walkabout," was the one that hooked me.

  3. Yes, I was going to tell you to hang until 'Walkabout.' I remember being wowed by the pilot but not being completely hooked. The next episode didn't really take things to the next level, but by the end of 'Walkabout' I was all in.

  4. It was the one after "Walkabout" that hooked me: "White Rabbit."

  5. Chris, I'm thinking again about how this pilot didn't wow you. It definitely wowed me the first time I saw it, but at that point in my TV-viewing history, I had quite TV for years and then marathoned Buffy and Angel. So Lost was just the third TV show I watched in any serious way since the X-Files many years before.

    But you're coming at it from such a different perspective, and with all the great TV made since Lost in between. I wonder if that's part of the un-wow factor for you: what seemed shocking and new to a lot of us now seems sort of standard. (Although I still love this pilot.)

    What do you think?

  6. Josie--

    It's hard to remember exactly what I found so underwhelming about the pilot. As I say in my comment above, it all seemed a bit "been there" to me.

    To be fair, I'm sure that other shows that "borrowed" ideas and concepts from Lost probably wowed me at the time.

    Finally, however, the great thing about anything we see or read is that it will speak to different people in different ways. It's one of the reasons I love hanging out on this site.

  7. "Where are we?" Not a question,but the question. The pilote in my opinion captures the audience.
    The amazing Hawaii'scenery,the great score of Giacchino,the curiosity about beautiful character,the flashback,the sense of mistery...the pilot got me right from the start.

  8. I'm on my second rewatch now, together with a friend of mine who has never seen the show. She was instantly hooked. The Pilot really holds up well, you really can't tell it's almost 20 years old. It still looks fantastic, especially on Blu-Ray. What a ride, it was really cool watching it again after all these years.

    For anyone curious: Regarding the math equation of 17294531 (for a 30 second recording, as Sayid says in the episode) equaling 16 years and 5 months, this is the calculation that Sayid has to do to get his result:

    Since it's 30 seconds long, you have to first multiply the iteration number with 30 (17294531 * 30) to get the number of seconds the message has been playing in total.

    Then you have to divide the result by 60 (because a minute consists of 60 seconds) to get the number of minutes it has been playing.

    Then you have to divide the result by 60 again (because an hour consists of 60 minutes) to get the number of hours it has been playing.

    Then you have to divide the result by 24 (because a day consists of 24 hours) to get the number of days it has been playing.

    And finally, you have to divide the result by 364 (because that's how many days a year usually has) to get the number of years it has been playing.....aaaand you actually get exactly 16.5, so good job, Sayid! The fact that he was able to calculate that in his head might be the most unbelievable thing that happened in this episode!


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