Thursday, July 9, 2009

1.02 Pilot, Part 2

Follow along! The episode guide to "Pilot, Part 2" is in Finding Lost, pp. 15-18.

Check out Sayid: he grew a mustache and full beard in one day!! That is one hairy guy. OK, so I pointed out that continuity error in my Finding Lost book (there are many of them: Sawyer’s hair is longer and he has some stubble; Walt’s like a year older…)

Fun stuff I noticed:
• Sayid’s got that signature move down pat: he says something shocking while looking down, and then suddenly snaps his head in the direction of the person he says it to so he can see their rection.
• Between Shannon sunbathing and Kate just bathing, there was a lot more T&A in these early episodes. ABC probably had a mandate…
• When the camera showed Locke setting up the backgammon board, I cheered. It’s so exciting to rewatch his first lines on the show.
• Anyone who thinks Hurley hasn't lost any weight since he crashed onto the island hasn't been paying close enough attention. He's a lot bigger in the pilot than he is now.

Things that are different in retrospect:
• Sawyer’s first line to Jack: Whatever you say, Doc, you’re the hero.” By season 5, Sawyer will be the hero.
• Sawyer and Sayid are beating the hell out of each other at the beginning; in “He’s Our You,” Sawyer is trying to save Sayid’s life, and when he tells him to punch him, Sayid refuses.
• Kate tells Jack she’s going on a trek and he tries to stop her. She asks him what makes him think they’re safer on the beach than in the jungle? Now we know that Smokey never comes up onto the beach. Again, this could be a clue that links the monster to the Man in Black, who emerged from the jungle in the finale and returned to it after talking to Jacob.
• Jack tells Kate, “If you hear anything, run.” This is what Ben told Rousseau when he kidnapped Alex.
• Sawyer’s first line to Kate: “I’m a complex guy, Sweetheart.” The line was meant to be ironic at the time – as in, there was NO complexity to Sawyer. Now, it’s absolutely true.
• Locke’s first dialogue on the show is talking about how they’d found backgammon boards in the ruins at Mesopotamia that were 5000 years old. He says, “That’s older than Jesus Christ.” Could this be a hint that there are things on this island that are also older than Jesus?
• Despite everyone talking about how Sawyer went from being a selfish ass to becoming a hero, when everyone runs away during the polar bear scene, Sawyer stops and faces it head on, shooting the gun without blinking. That’s pretty heroic to me.
• Hurley tells Jack he’s not so good around blood, and then passes out when Jack pulls the shrapnel out of the marshal. And yet we left him at the end of S5 holding bandages on Sayid’s wound, showing how different he is now.
• After Sawyer explains where he got the gun, he says he also grabbed the badge of the U.S. Marshal. He holds it up, and it’s exactly what the logo was on his Dharma uniform: a star with a circle around it.


poggy said...

Yay rewatch! I admit I'm behind on schedule, but I have periodic rewatches on my own every once in a while, so memories are still fresh... I hope.

Re: T&A/fanservice - I noticed that too, although I've got to say Lost has always been rather classy in this respect. To be honest, the fanservice is much more blatant when it comes to Sawyer or Desmond's clothes disappearing for a reason or another... not that I'm complaining! Actually, I think that as the show progressed, they aimed almost all of the fanservice to the female audience. I hope this doesn't imply they think we wouldn't be interested in the plot otherwise! *rolleyes*

"Older than Jesus" - hell yeah. If not for the reason that Egyptians themselves are older than Jesus... My current pet theory is that both Jacob and "Esau" were, simply, among the first men to be stranded on the island - and became these almost-deities because they were exposed to it for so long. I like the idea that they are a vehicle for the island's power rather than actually ruling it.

humanebean said...

The brilliance of this show has certainly been on display from the very beginning. Given all that we've seen of innovative storytelling, amazing reveals and increasingly complex narrative, it's incredibly satisfying to watch these characters come alive in these opening episodes. Given that so many individuals have to be quickly introduced and plotlines established, it would have been unsurprising if these brief sketches resulted in impressions of them as rather two-dimensional.

Yet, I recall being struck by the vividness of these portrayals, very unusual for a TV pilot. Upon rewatch, this is underscored by all that we now know (and learned in steady, surprising fashion over time) about these people. For all that this show would throw at viewers over the next year or two (and leave some of them unsatisfied, it must be said), these characters continued to own this singular stage for the hundred-odd episodes to come.

For Jack, this pilot is about action, duty, taking responsibility and minimizing anguish over limited options. For Locke, the pilot is about discovery, contemplation, awareness and a telling rumination on the forces of destiny. Kate, Sawyer, Sayid, Hurley .... they each have instinctual reactions to their predicaments that will be explained for us by flashbacks to come. I can almost imagine the tagline associated with the pitch for this pilot: "Bunch of people crash on an isolated island in the South Pacific. What Happens Now?"

Man, I miss Charlie. His story arc resonates powerfully for me. For all our talk of heroism, redemption and destiny - the early snippets of his utterly self-involved character here makes my heart ache to think of the ultimate sacrifice he will make to save Claire, Aaron and the rest of his friends on the Island. Hope to see you again, Charlie. First round's on me, man.

SonshineMusic said...

@Nikki: it’s exactly what the logo was on his Dharma uniform: a star with a circle around it.

Ah hahahaha! I totally missed that! Gotta love it.

1. I had a bit of a DUH! moment in realizing that Jin knew all about urchins and how to fish and what was safe to eat because his dad is a fisherman :P

2. I love how Jack is looking for some kind of blade in the suitcases and I'm thinking, too bad he didn't find Locke's!

3. A continuity error that has always bothered me is the fact that Booke and Shannon know about the pilot being killed by some monster when (on-screen) Jack, Kate and Charlie simply say there were no survivors at the cockpit.

4. Sawyer says, "Sure, I'll be the prisoner, what part do you want to play?" This is so indicative of the first season especially when they all represent some sort of role: the fugitive, the con man, the liar, the addict, etc.

5. When someone asks where the polar bear came from Sawyer says, "Probably bear village," which made me laugh because later he gets imprisoned in bear village!

Susan said...

I think the show establishes at some point that both Charlie and Hurley are blabbers of secrets. One of my favorite lines is Arzt's "If you want to keep a secret, don't tell the fat guy."

Erin said...

Hurrah! Love. It.

Am up to All the Best Cowboys have Daddy Issues. Must slow down! Anyway, will refer to my notes and come back to this but just wanted to say how great it is to be back in action and chatting about Lost. Thanks, Nikki! This is going to be F U N!

Writing is my Passion said...

I've missed the brilliance of the pilot, even though all the episodes are brilliant . . . well . . . 101 of them are. Can you guess which episode I don't find brilliant? If you guessed Expose, you're right!

Locke. . . Locke . . . Walt . . . I missed Walt and Locke hanging out and playing backgammon together. Locke was one of my favourite characters in season one.

I'm going to watch my favourite season one episode (The Moth) on my sixteenth birthday! I loved
Cha-lee, despite his illegal flaw.

Your Finding Lost book is currently on the bedside table in my room. After each episode, I read the guide for that episode.

My theory about Charlie Hume is that due to the time travel in season five, he ends up being Charlie Pace. When I told my cousin that theory, she said "That's a good theory, but what about his brother?" Oh, well!

Jazzygirl said...

@ Sonshine: YES! I don't remember if I caught that the first time around...but when Boone asked "is that what killed the pilot?" I was like HUH? How did he find out? They lied and said no one survived from the cockpit. Perhaps it was an edited scene. I didn't go through my DVD's to see but that was a HUGE continuity error IMO.
Okay, my first instinct when Locke set up the backgammon game was Jacob and "Esau". Nikki, et. al. has said many times that this seems to be a story of light vs dark. We've seen Ben vs Widmore set up this way. We saw Jacob and "Esau" also wearing white vs black. I found it eerie that the way Locke describes backgammon could be the answer to this whole story. The way he holds up the two pieces. I also found it ironic that he is white and Walt is black.
Another thing that jumped out at me, that supports my suspicions mentioned in my Part 1 post...when Kate, Charlie and Jack are running from the smoke monster at the cockpit, Charlie falls, Jack goes back to help him, and Kate keeps running. It stops raining, she goes to find them and bumps into Charlie. They both go back for Jack, and they can't find him. Suddenly, he waltzes out of some bushes. They question him like WTF? and he so casually says "I dove into the bushes." It just seemed "off" to me. Was he up to something??
I also found the memorial service touching. All Claire could say about a couple of people was the seat they were in and one wore corrective lenses. Very sweet.

Scott said...

I'm sorry I know I should say something intelligent about your wonderful re-recap and I know my mind is obviously in the gutter, but I read this really quickly and when I got the final typo, my brain sort of added it's own, er typo:

* ...he says something shocking while looking down, and then suddenly snaps his head in the direction of the person he says it to so he can see their rection.

Lost suddenly got bluer ;-)

Teebore said...

It’s so exciting to rewatch his first lines on the show.

We've all discussed the significance of Locke's backgammon dialogue (especially in light of the Jacob/Esau relationship) but it never clicked until now that the backgammon speech represents Locke's very first piece of dialogue on the show.

The first thing Locke says on this show is about the struggle between two side, one white, one black, Locke, the character whose form is taken by (seemingly) one side of that struggle he's talking about?

Wow. That's plotting things out WAY in advance. Or fortuitous coincidence.

Probably a little of both.

Actually, I think that as the show progressed, they aimed almost all of the fanservice to the female audience.

Note also, that Lost keeps killing off/writing out attractive ladies ;)

Also, Nikki? "Walt’s like a year older…": LMAO. So true. :)

Anonymous said...

I hadn't noticed Sayid's beard, but I did note that in Sawyer's first scenes, he has short, rather curly hair and long sideburns; a look we never see again. Odd. Anyway, it was fun to watch again with "hindsight" - noticing the little things, like the fact that when we first see Kate, she is rubbing her wrist (apparently the handcuffs chafed). And I had not remembered how *significant* the backgammon scene was before. Super-close-up of Locke as he holds up the pieces and describes the two sides. It's almost as though he's talking directly to us instead of Walt.

Nikki Stafford said...

Sonshine: I agree with you about that continuity error: Jack clearly lies about what was in the jungle, and yet somehow they know. And Hurley wasn't there to tell them the truth. :)

Katey said...



1) T&A: I totally noticed that too, I must say I rolled my eyes when they had that long sorrowful shot of Kate bathing...clearly a plea for fanservice which, I guess, is gonna happen no matter what. But honestly-- thanks for making the rest of us woman feel HIDEOUS! *eyeroll* The scene that made me roll my eyes even more though was the one later on in The Moth--when, due to bees that don't appear to have stung them at all--both Jack AND Kate strip off their shirts in the nice sweaty cave and conveniently forget that they're half naked for the rest of the!

My personal favorite fanservice thus far has been Jin shirtless in WKD--dear heavens above. How on earth could Sun have cheated with Baldy the Alien when she could come home to that every night?!

2) I also loved seeing the Sawyer/Sayid fight, which I know sounds weird--but like you said Nikki, it was awesome thinking forward to where they are now and how close they've become, they wouldn't lay a hand to each other, they've both heroic men who live like blood brothers rather than two smart-talking scoundrels who love to throw their fists around. I love the Sawyer/Sayid connection--I feel like there should be comic books made about them or something. They're just that cool as a team.

3) Seeing the very first major Lost mystery/twist (Who's the fugitive?) was also awesome. If you watch carefully there are sooo many scenes with carefully placed line/Kate-look combos that are just amazing to notice now that we know Kate was really the fugitive and not Sawyer/Sayid. For instance during their fight, Michael holds up the handcuffs and the shot is done just so that the cuffs are framed in the foreground and Kate's face is in the background right behind them with this odd look on her face. And the wrist-rubbing I mentioned before from Pilot Part I. Oh and then the polar bear scene--everything Kate says sounds like worried "oh my gosh this guy is a convict and he's going to shoot us" talk the first time we watched it--but now that we know the words are suddenly transmorgified into "holy crap--how much does he know?" and it's SO awesome because every inclination of those lines between the two works to a T in both situations! I LOVE Lost!!

4) I always found the Marshal's words on the plane extremely odd, almost like they were insinuating some kind of weird relationship between him a Kate in the past (other than what we've seen). He says something like "You look worried--don't worry. There's always a chance they'll believe your story, I know I sure did." That puzzled me...maybe it was just random but I could never quite figure out what he meant. And then later when he's talking to Jack in the episode where he dies he says something like "don't listen to her--no matter how she makes you feel" and later on he says "she's gotten to you too hasn't she?" when Jack defends her. I know it's not a big deal, but it just never seemed consistent with what we've seen of the Marshal's plot and it bothers me everytime I watch those first few episodes.

5) Nikki: I agree that Sawyer showed his heroic side with that polar bear, that man can stand up to the face of danger for sure! And he sure doesn't look bad in the process!! ;) It's interesting that Sawyer, a character who they make out to be pretty horrible in the beginning also has those really deep moments too with the letter and staring down the polar bear. It parallels the duality they make for Kate's character, that in the same episode they reveal her fugitive past they also show her leading an expedition into the jungle, reassuring Charlie that he's not a coward, wanting to go back for Sawyer when they face the polar bear, etc. it just shows how right from the beginning the personal duality between good and evil in each character was a huge theme. I love that.

Jazzygirl said...

Okay, I just checked Jorge Garcia's blog...this was awesome!

He doesn't often make LOST references, or not as often as you would think. So I LOVED this one! :)

Fred said...

Why did they stop smoking. Sawyer was lighting cigarettes on the downed wing of the plane. In a show that has so much drinking, drug use, and sexual activity, you'd think smoking wouldn't be such a big thing. (Dharma, 1970s, everyone smoked--and what do we get, nothing). Does anyone know if there was something like a viewer write-in that said seeing Sawyer smoking wasn't cool? Seeing him with a cigarette was sort of appropriate for someone playing a Southern con man. Or maybe it's only Smokie the monster that smokes?
I also think its a sly tip of the hat to the early tv show The Fugitive with the Marshall. Something that we see later when Kate finds Ray has a prosthetic arm (it was the one armed man!!).

Nikki Stafford said...

Fred: I think it was the same reason Charlie stopped taking heroin: they ran out. There were only so many packs of cigarettes on the plane, and Sawyer just smoked them all. Remember Nikki and Paulo and how he was looking for his Nicorette gum because he didn't have any cigarettes left? I think that's all it was. And then in Dharmaville Sawyer just never started up again.

From a purely storytelling perspective, cigarettes these days are usually only smoked on TV by the baddies, and they were trying to make Sawyer look all badass, but now that he's so lovable and heroic, having him smoke would be counterproductive.

J.W. said...

Pilot 2 thoughts:

Isn't it so much more fun to be watching Lost almost everyday with no commercials as opposed to once a week, or once every few weeks (with reruns inbetween) and seven month breaks between seasons? This type of show, with its serial nature and the way it builds momentum, is so much more fun without all the interuptions and delays we had to put up with because of the way television works. Thank God for DVDs. (I'm glad I don't even have to worry about severe weather disrupting the signal, or having severe weather bulletin interuptions.)

The good stuff continues in Pilot 2, where for the first time the writers tease us with a character we don't know anything about while still not revealing much about him: Mr. Locke, who in my opinion is the most fascinating character on the show. (My wife is watching Earth 2 on DVD, and it's funny to see Terry O'Quinn ranting about "destiny" on the show. "Hey, it's John Locke on Earth 2!")

The funny thing is that watching this the first time you'd think Jack, Kate, and Charlie were the lead stars of the show, and Locke and some of the other important figures seem almost like extras.

The only other thing I have to mention is that I have this book by some Nikki Stratberg or something, and you should all check it out, because it really helps keep the details straight as you watch the series. I especially am enjoying reading the bios of the actors in there after watching their episodes.

Anonymous said...

I'm really enjoying reading Nikki's notes and everyone's comments on the Pilot. I have a lot of thoughts, but not the time to write them up because I need to be planning my trip to Hawaii. I told my daughter if I ever went that this would be the year since it is the last year they are filming Lost. She knows what a Lost fanatic I am, so she said go for it and she would come along (if I pay her way lol). So I'm going for 2 weeks in October. I don't expect to see any filming (what a plus that would be), but I do plan to take a couple of Lost tours. Any suggestions? (Looking into KOS tours and Hawaiian Escapades so far: don't know how good they are or if there are others). Anyway, I hope I can get this set up soon, (but there is so much to see and do that I know it will take awhile to set up a good itinerary). So when I'm done I plan on participating more fully in your discussions. They are great.

SonshineMusic said...

Re: The Marshal...

You know, the marshal is one of the few character on Lost that I actually physically hate. I cannot stand him one bit from the first glimpse we have of him until he finally, mercifully dies (but he came back in flashbacks, curses be upon him :)

In response to your wonderings, Katey, I kind of feel like the marshal had some sort of attraction to Kate that built as he was chasing her, but, of course, he could never have her, so he just wanted to put her away where no one could. Almost like there should have been a flashback about him being rebuffed by her, but then that storyline didn't really matter for the show. I don't know, that's just the feel I've always gotten from it. And I hope we never find out, because that would mean we'd see him again, the big slime ball.

The Shout said...

Echoing the thoughts of pretty much everyone, its amazing to go back and see how everyone had their characters down right from the off. Often it can take a while for actors and even writers to settle into the characters but Lost definately hit the ground running.

Looking back on it now, by the end of The Pilot, you get a strong sense of all the main characters which still hold's strong now that we know so much more their pasts and futures.

Anonymous said...

Good Times

SonshineMusic said...

Yes, I absolutely love the nuances you can pick up now that resonate with even season 5 and the direction it went, even though they didn't (especially the actors) have any idea where it was going. Phenomenal acting and phenomenal writing and directing. This is why we love this show so much

kirathena said...

Kind of off-topic (the totally different "French Lady message" reminded me of this) but I can't wait until we get to the episode when we get to discuss how screwed up Rousseau's story about getting stranded, the sickness, and how Alex got kidnapped was. On a related now, has anyone decided how she escaped the purge & managed to send a repeating radio signal in 1988 from a functioning Dharma station while they will still using it?

Matt said...

Re: the continuity error about the pilot being killed vs. not surviving, when Boone asks "is that what killed the pilot," Charlie is right behind him and immediately says something like "No, that's a tiny sliver compared to what killed the pilot." I think Charlie must have told Boone that the pilot had survived prior to that.

One other thing I noticed is that right from the start of the pilot, Charlie keeps coming pretty close to dying. In part 1, there's a big piece of the plane that lands near him. Then he gets his leg caught running away from Smokey. In part 2, the flashback of him on the plane, he just barely gets out of the way of a heavy-looking beverage cart speeding towards him. I think these are all examples of what Desmond tells Charlie later on, that Charlie is supposed to die and just keeps avoiding it.

In that light, I find Charlie writing "FATE" on his hand more interesting. I don't think enough of that happened when he wrote it for him to think he's fated to die. But maybe it's a foreshadowing of his fate by the writers.

Azá said...

Part 2:
• Walt and Locke - a number of suspicious shots and quite frequent too – what’s it all about?
• Backgammon game! What is that secret!!!
• Sawyer letters - season 5 finale again - great!
• How good is Sayid at maths to calculate the time the distress has been playing over and over!
• Locke behaves very strange when it rains!?
• Marshall Legs crossed during procedure - dangerous?
• Where did Jack disappear to during the monsters attack!?