As promised, today we start the "We Have to Go Back" campaign, in which we as a group rewatch Lost from the first episode during the hiatus. And given how much fun it was to revisit the show from Minute 1, this should be a fun experience for me as well as for the many of you doing it with me.
If you’re not going to view every ep from the beginning again, fret not: you can still relive them through my analysis of each over the coming months. I had an organizational principle in mind for these, but something didn’t feel quite right. Then, my wife suggested a numerical value for each category, and, well, the whole thing fell into place. She’s a catch, my wife.
Pilot, Part 1
4) In Short
"If only we’d put our tray tables to their full and upright positions, none of this would have happened."
8) On the Island
A man named Jack wakes up in a jungle, wearing a black Armani suit. He follows a Labrador Retriever back to a beach, where he encounters the partial remnants of a plane crash. He can’t save everyone he encounters, but countless live thanks to his help.
That night, the survivors make tentative connections with each other, wondering when rescue might come. All conversation stops when a mysterious, metallic series of noises are heard inside the jungle, coupled with the sight of trees being seemingly pulled to the ground. "Ruh row," says you all, everybody.
Jack, Kate, and Driveshaft’s bass player reach the cockpit, where they learn from a barely alive pilot that the plane was a thousand miles off-course, and that rescue is looking in the wrong direction. The monster makes a sudden and violent appearance, snatching the pilot out of the plane and making me soil my pants, even though this is the third time I’ve seen it.
The trio manages to escape the monster long enough for the sun to reappear, but then find the pilot’s newly mangled body lying lifeless, twenty feet above the ground, deposited on the trees. This is not the usual way in which the tribal council speaks.
15) Off the Island
Jack, on Oceanic 815, talks to Rose, a passenger in his aisle. He vows to keep her company in absence of her husband, who is in the bathroom, during what Jack assures her is minor turbulence. Bad timing there, Bernard.
16) The Mythology
An important tennis shoe makes an appearance. We hear the monster for the first time. A sudden, torrential rain drenches all on the Island and ends just as rapidly as it appears.
23) The Moment
The first scene on the beach has lost none of its visceral thrill, wit, and invention. One of the best opening sequences of any show, ever.
42) In Retrospect
- Vincent’s first appearance resonates more now, having seen "So it Begins." His appearances often meant as much as the mysterious rainstorms on the Island, although that dropped off somewhat in Season 4.
- Michael’s first line? "WAAAAAALT!!!!" I mean, first line, people! It was there all along!
- The first time we see Kate, she’s rubbing her wrists. One of the myriad of nice touches the show employs that only pays off on repeated viewings.
- The interaction between Sun and Jin has layers we couldn’t have seen initially. With the literally hours of flashbacks that we’ve seen since, it’s amazing to see how fully formed those interactions are in these largely wordless scenes between them.
- Why did the pilot need to know first thing how many survived…guilt, or another reason? Or, "Ryan looks too deeply into something that probably means nothing. Again."
108) In Summary
An incredibly effective introduction to the show. While the end of the second hour provides the actual meaty hook upon which the entire show hangs, this episode serves up action, pathos, genuine character development, and the first building block of the mythology that’s still deepening with every episode. Anyone expecting "Survivor: The Weekly Drama" was either sadly disappointed or thrillingly surprised.
Leave your thoughts about this episode below!
Ryan also posts every 108 minutes over at Boob Tube Dude.