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You Can’t Go Home Again? – 1.01 and 1.02 “The Pilot”

By Fishbiscuit,

  Filed under: Lost Recaps
  Comments: 48

“All he knew was that the years flow by like water, and that one day men come home again.”
-Thomas Wolfe

Trying to reset yourself to rewatch Lost as for the first time is like trying to unring a bell. It’s impossible. As Sawyer repeatedly reminded us last season, what’s done is done. We know who the man in the black suit laying on the floor of the bamboo forest is. We know how he got there and what will happen to him next …..Or do we? When last we saw our long Lost friend, he had this great big plan where he was going to blast time off its axis and reset it all back to the beginning.

Or at least, back before the place that has always felt like the beginning to us.

The first thing that occurred to me, as I Reset-Rewatched the iconic opening scene of Lost, was this: How did Jack land so far from the beach, virtually unharmed, except for one conveniently placed rib wound? For that matter, how did so many of the plane crash surivivors come through their ordeal looking so healthy? Not to mention, so pretty? On the first go round there was no time to analyze these things. We were too caught up in trying to figure out what was up with the skinhead dude in the suit.

With the eye.

And the dog.

And the running.

The magnificent opening sequence flows with eery smoothness into the even more extraordinary crash scene. There is a beautiful dichotomy in the way Jack first surveys the peaceful side of the beautiful beach,

then turns to confront the smoking, shrieking carnage.

This one incredible scene surrounds us like a symphony, an overture during which we are swept into an hypnotic new world. We learn that the anonymous Man in Black is the victim of a plane crash.

We see death and suffering and chaos all over the Guernican montage, set against a soundtrack of pounding, insistent percussion.

We learn that the nameless one is a born HERO!, who leaps into the abyss to save as many lives as he can lay his healing hands on.

Before the haunting, shattering sequence is over, we learn his name, a name we know not yet how sick we will become of. JAAACK! And so, we are handed the first fixed and immutable fact of Lost: It is a story about Jaaack.

We will not be permitted to ever forget this thing, no matter how much we may one day wish we could.

What makes the opening sequence most powerful, however, is not watching Jack leap from one heroic workstation to another. It is what happens while we are watching Jack, still curious as to who he is, and the other characters appear one by one, like instruments sounding their entrance within the orchestra.

Jin.

Michael.

Charlie.

Claire.

Hurley.

Boone. Rose.

Shannon!!!

These characters come to us in a group, like a box marked “Seconds.” Other characters, the ones marked “Firsts”, make a different kind of entrance. Locke is never introduced to us. He runs into the frame without any focus, no shot of his face. He’s there to help Jack.

He’s a nobody, as ordinary as any ordinary middle aged passenger on any ordinary plane would be. But there is this one quick shot of him running past Jack, something that struck my Reset-Rewatcher’s eye.

The two men cross midframe. A whiteshirt and a blackshirt.

Hmmm.

Our first sight of Kate is no such passing glance. Kate wafts in from … someplace… all blowdried and airbrushed, rubbing her wrists. We know now (but didn’t back then) that Kate is rubbing her wrists because she just hanked off her government issued bracelets.

So Kate, we can guess, reacted to the plane crash by running as hard as she could up into the hills to get herself dolled up to make a good, innocent first impression. Which she does.

In the third famous scene from this famous episode, Kate famously sews up Jack’s side while he famously teaches her about counting to five. I think I’ll get into all that a bit more later, but for now, I draw your attention to this little factoid: She lets Jack choose from every color of the sewing kit rainbow, and what color does he pick? Standard BLACK.

OK? Just sayin’.

Sawyer is introduced wordlessly, simply, but not as anonymously as Locke. We get to see his face. He looks like the Marlboro Man.

Then he hops off the wing of the plane and merges into the disaster scene that is now calming into a tableau of human stamina.

When we meet Sayid, he is building a fire. From the start, he makes himself useful.

Later we meet, almost as an afterthought, Sun. Looking whipped.

And finally, Walt.

Having brought all the characters onstage, the story begins to be told. No time is wasted in laying out the central theme.

Just block letters written on a junky’s dirty fingers, but a word we’ll learn to respect. We will be diverted in the midseasons into the story of Desmond Hume, namesake to the great philosopher of free will, who concluded free will was an illusion, but one we had no choice but to believe in. The word FATE – and more often,Destiny! – will be thrown in our faces throughout the story. As difficult as the writers have made this puzzle, they’ve also hidden certain plum answers right out in plain sight. When the story resumes in 2010, whatever it is we see, it will be an ending that has been predetermined by forces beyond any of the characters’ control.

And here is a clue that, in Season One at least, seemed to be extremely critical.

The gameboard. The playing pieces. BLACK and WHITE.

They wanted to drum this into our heads, the opposites, the duality that is the basis of all Western philosophy. We tend to think, mechanically, that black is evil and white is good. The storytellers rely on us making that assumption. But we have learned from Lost, in a story where almost no one has ever been totally good or totally bad, totally wrong or totally right, that such an assumption may have been our first misread. Or who knows? Maybe that’s exactly how it will turn out. A stark story of good and evil, with everyone falling on one side or the other. I doubt it, but we’ll find out eventually, since it seems this black/white duality was deliberately reemphasized in the final episode of Season Five.

It has to mean something, otherwise, it’s an annoying frakking fakeout.

Just as important as the bicoloration, though, is the concept of GAMES. Lost is a game, after all, and we will be seeing many more games played over the years, both on boards and off them. But the first game we see played is Backgammon. Locke, inhabiting his first deceptive shell as an avuncular old schlub, teaches Walt that Backgammon is the oldest game known to man. It is 5000 years old and was played in Mesopotamia, where civilization was first cradled. It is, in other words, a game as old as mankind.

What Locke doesn’t tell Walt is that the game of Backgammon, in its original form when it was known as Senet, was found in archaeological ruins in Egypt. And what we don’t know yet is that Egypt is going to be a place we are going to learn a lot more about.

Watching Season One for the first time, we didn’t yet know how completely this story would become unchained from time and space. We didn’t realize yet that the characters we were watching might be part of a story that is older than we could possibly imagine.

I was struck on my Reset-Rewatch with how mysteriously Locke is introduced. Unlike Jack, who is thrust into our faces as almost a cartoon version of TEH HERO!, Locke at first appears to be a Nowhere Man. We see him sitting on the beach, looking out to sea,

as we will see him do in the future.

We see him enjoying the rain,

as we know he likes to do.

He bears silent witness as Kate robs shoes from the feet of the dead.

Locke doesn’t speak until late in the second hour of the Pilot, and when he finally speaks, he speaks to Walt, another character of mystical mien. He says “It’s a much better game than checkers.”

I have wondered before if the final scenes of Lost will be something like this,

but watching and remembering how much games meant to Locke, I’m beginning to wonder if we might not someday see some twist on this classic scene instead.

LIFE and DEATH are in the balance throughout the Pilot episodes. The Pilot himself is alive one minute

and becomes The Original Redshirt the next.

Jack performs his first resurrection, wrenching Rose back from the dead to the living.

When Jack is running through the jungle, he passes a spectral white shoe,

a shoe whose ghost we will come to know so very, very well in years to come.

Death is everywhere in these first episodes, but it’s not just because it’s about a plane crash. Death will always be a major player in this story.

From the beginning, it is a story that proves it’s not enslaved by time or space. Stories and people from the past, and even those from the future, exist as much in present time as in memory. We learn, for instance, in the very first scene, that Jack has a friend in vodka,

and we see that he especially likes to guzzle his poison on airplanes,

but we don’t realize yet that we’ll eventually come to know Jack as a Friend of Bill’s as well.

We may have thought at the time that the vodka bottle was merely a prop to give Jack something to use to disinfect his side. We didn’t realize that we had been introduced to one of the primary characteristics of the character, or of his elaborate, jackbacked life story.

How many other clues like that were there in these Pilot episodes? Much of the foreshadowing has already been fulfilled. Kate’s description of the plane crash has since been graphically illustrated for us.

We see Sawyer’s letter very early on, and our attention is drawn to it,

but none of us could have suspected what it would ultimately mean,

or how well we would come to know the frightened boy inside the heart of the badass.

The first human being that Jack makes physical contact with is Claire.

Who we now know is his half sister, related through their dead white shoe wearing father.

When we first meet poor junky Charlie, he is pulling his drugs out of his black and white checkerboard shoe. We will see that shoe again someday, a long time later, on the day Charlie dies.

It may not have made much of an impression when Sawyer held up the five pointed star he stole from the Marshall,

but we have since come to learn that very little in this story has been left up to chance.

Though I still want an explanation for that “LaFleur” shit, because…Gah!

We hear the Frenchwoman’s message in the second hour of the Pilot.

Her crudely translated recording, on its endless loop, is chock full of fleeting phrases that will later mean much more to us. She was trying to get back to the Black Rock.

“It killed them all”, and she has been all alone….

for sixteen years.

Who killed the Frenchwoman’s crew? In the first episode, we are introduced to one of the great questions of Lost to which we still have no sign of an answer. The Monster.

We hear his mechanical growling subway sounds and witness his fearsome treecrushing power on the very first night the survivors spend on the beach. We have since learned a little bit more about The Monster,

but not much.

Truth be told, we don’t even know for sure that the Monster and the Smoke are one and the same. There are many awesome theories about the Monster, including my favorite – that it’s the equivalent of a video game obstacle that can be changed at will in order to keep the game challenging. Lost is a game, after all, and not just a board game.

But clearly, this is one of the BIG ANSWERS that they are saving for the bitter end.

Walt is seen reading a comic book,

which we’ll find out later belongs to Hurley,

who really likes reading comic books on planes.

Hurley’s love of comic books has provided an opening for an orgy of apophenia, but in the end it probably means nothing more than that the writers of Lost really, really like comic books…..Although, that preference of the writers may be a clue in itself, as to how this all will eventually come down. You never know.

We will later find out that the comic book Walt is reading has a city under a snowglobe, which is exactly how Desmond will someday describe the Island, when he tries and fails to escape from it by boat.

It will also have a polar bear in it.

And polar bears will matter in this story.

We learn about polar bears in the second hour of the Pilot episode, when Sawyer guns down the bear that comes charging at him out of the jungle. How the frak they figure into this story is still completely unexplained. Yes, I have read the theories but none of them satisfy me. This is another BIG ANSWER that will have to be done right, because it’s going to take a whole lotta ‘splainin’ to justify big ole polar bears roaming around a tropical Pacific island.

The first episodes were densely packed with almost all of the powerful images and mysteries that this story would come to be about. Just as importantly, and as deftly, the first episode limned the characters and their relationships with simple, bold brushstrokes. In Season One, characters were the story.

We learned that Michael was an insecure father of an unusual son.

That Jin was not just a paranoid isolationist, but also a kind, skillful provider.

And that his wife hated his guts.

We met the monkey on Charlie’s back

and, even though we didn’t realize it, we met Bernard.

We found out that Hurley’s job in the story was to be fat.

And funny.

(This is my favorite Jack scene from the Pilot, by the way, as he tries to operate on the dying Marshall as Hurley faints dead away right onto his patient’s face.)

We entered the bizarre, and slightly sick, world of helpful Boone

and selfish Shannon,

who didn’t let a little thing like a massive catastrophe get in the way of her regularly scheduled pedicure.

The Redneck’s racially charged fight with the Revolutionary Guardsman

reminded us that the passions of 9/11 were still on the writers’ minds in September of 2004.

Sawyer was initially camoflauged as a shallow, self absorbed prick,

but we later learned he was anything but.

*

Unexpectedly, and without fanfare, Sawyer was exposed as an undercover hero early on. Without the histrionics of Jack’s klieg-lit heroics, Sawyer calmly faced down the polar bear in another of the Pilot’s most famous scenes.

And that scene segued effortlessly into the first physical encounter between Lost’s sexiest lovers.

Kate and Sawyer are positioned as antagonists with the hots for each other, immediately. The moment is quick. And sizzling. It has an almost Rhett and Scarlett feel to it.

He knows girls like her?

Is that because in fact, he already does know her?

Jack and Kate’s first meeting is considerably less crisp. The endless rib sewing scene takes up two damp, limp segments and feels almost like a parody of a badly written scene in a cloying chick flick.

They talk endlessly about fear and angel hair pasta and Jack’s awesome resume.

Maybe it only feels endless because, y’know, I don’t care. Later they talk some more. About something.

And later, I think, there’s more.

It just goes on and on. It’s a prelude to the way this relationship will devour countless hours of moist, awkward screentime for years to come. Can’t say they didn’t give us fair warning.

There remains however the issue of the rib. Jack’s one wound is on his side, above his ribs. Could this mean that Kate is the Eve that was made from Adam’s rib?

Given that even in the Pilot episodes, a big part of Kate’s job was to provide the sexalicious sideshow,

maybe the writers only ever intended for her to represent Eve’s permanently subservient status. I hope not, because we did see that Kate was capable of more.

Just as long as she was nowhere near Jack.

Sadly, this does not seem like a lesson that the writers have managed to learn.

I can think of an alternate interpretation for Jack’s side wound. Maybe it’s like the wound that the Centurian put in the side of Jesus before they took him down off the cross,

the one that Doubting Thomas insisted on feeling with his own finger.

They don’t call him Jacksus for nothing you know.

What did it mean that Jack had taken a “few flying lessons”? That’s a pretty random factoid. Will it ever mean anything more?

Do these cool face markings on Jack and Locke mean anything?

I don’t know. I’ve looked up the I Ching, warrior face painting and Cub Scout initiation rites and so far, I’ve come up with nada.

But you can’t keep a good apophenic down. I’m still looking.

Where did Kate come from anyway? Why did it seem like she knew exactly what to do the second she realized she was about to be in a plane crash? Was she walking around the Island while Jack was still out cold? We know from the final Mobisode before Season Four, “So it Begins”, that Christian himself sent Vincent to go wake Jack.

Specifically because Jack “had work to do.” What I wonder now is: Was this the first time Jack had been to the Island? It’s hard to think how he managed to fall down through that bamboo grove and end up with only one bite out of his side.

What was Jack doing at the cockpit when he left Charlie and Kate alone? Was that just an opportunity to have the little woman scream for TEH HERO to come save her?

Or did Jack have work to do there also?

Who actually killed The Pilot anyway? Conventional wisdom has always held that it was The Monster, but we have not often seen The Monster be so bloody minded. Mostly he just growls and slinks away back into his hiding place. Could this be another obvious, but wrong, assumption we’ve failed to question all these years? And no, I’m not suggesting that Jack himself killed the Pilot, just realizing that there may well be implications we haven’t thought of, if Jack does indeed succeed in resetting time and returning them all to that fateful day.

I was impressed and inspired by Reset-Rewatching the Pilot episodes. An incredible amount of exposition, foreshadowing and Easter Egg hiding was packed into two hours of drama that unfolded for the most part effortlessly, magically. As we consider the possible return to this set of circumstances next season, I can imagine that many of these famous moments may take on a different cast if we happen to revisit them again.

Most intriguing for me, in light of what we now know of him, is the way Locke is introduced in this episode. He appears to be a dazed and slightly loopy old man, preternaturally calm. We think it is because he was reacting to the miracle of having his spine restored to him. But there is something more to this creature called Locke, even back then. WHY was he restored? It’s not as if those blessings were given to all the others. Shannon still has asthma. Charlie is still hooked on heroin. Sawyer still has murder on his conscience. None off their burdens are lifted. With all we know about Locke now, or whoever Locke has since become, the question is more intriguing than ever:

Why is Locke so special? And what is really on his mind as he drifts into the story, from the edges, giving no clue as to why he finds this whole process so amusing?

” I have never been lost, but I will admit to being confused for several weeks.”
– Daniel Boone

There are many weeks of confusion left for us, but one way or another, we’re finally going to stop being Lost this year. I am more curious than ever to see how much of these two Pilot episodes play into the story when it picks back up. With all the time-play we have witnessed in recent years, I am almost wondering if we even have the sequence of events right, if this plane crash indeed happened in the beginning the way we always thought it did. All bets are off and I’m looking forward to the rest of a season that I almost feel like I’m watching now for the very first time.


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  • joe_blow

    good recap

    • Lockeheart

      yeah, great recap fish. Nice to have some more recaps of the first season, especially since the astrojones recaps seemed to have disappeared.

  • martin sheen

    excellent work, doc.

    but dont you feel the polar bear has been adequately explained?? i know a lot of people hold onto the old theory that walt summoned the bear much like he summed the bird in special… and i believe that may have been the writers’ original intention… but they nixed walt as a main character and seemingly invented an alternate explanation, that the dharma initiative brought polar bears to the island for experiments.

    even if you are secretly hoping the walt explanation for the bear will be revisited… dont you feel like the dharma explanation suffices? i do. considering we have so many mysteries that are 100% unanswered, i dont feel like they need to go back and make sure that everybody is completely aware where the polar bears came from. as recently as season 5 it was reiterated that dharma brought the polar bears.

    • Ament

      They way they put the back burner on Walt was a necessary action not so much choice. the actor grew and the story only takes place during a couple months, but this part of the story was remedied with the fastforward with the 3 years Oceanic 6 were off the island. if they choose to bring Walt back (I would hope so) then his height won’t be a question. Going along with the rewatch, ultimately the people who were after Walt are affiliated with Jacob. Ben has told us that he takes orders from Jacob. Why did they want Walt? What power did this boy posses that seemed beneficial or maybe harmful? Why did Ben let him go with no hesitation, and even give Michael the correct bearing to leave the island when they could of just looped around like Desmond?

      Going with Fish’s view on black and white and our interpretation of what is may not be, Walt could be, unknowingly, a harmful entity to the island where he had to leave before he learned about himself and what he can do. Walt may not be a mainstream character but is a main character and if they end up only answering one mystery this coming season, it would be him.

  • martin sheen

    oh and also, i wanted to comment about locke being special. you ask what makes locke special.

    here is my theory, which i believe will be held up by the show.

    HE WASNT. not ever.

    jack was right.

    locke was used and manipulated from day one by “the island” or maybe it was just “the man in black”

    locke was trusting to a fault. he was conned by his dad in deus ex machina. he was conned by ben in lockedown (and again in the life and death of jeremy bentham). he was conned by the cops in further instruction (and in that episode they even outright state that locke was chosen specifically for his gullibility.

    i believe he had such a deep, all-encompassing need to be special, he became a mark for the island. the island (or the man in black) built him up to think he was special, messianic even (much like his own mother did to him) so that he could be a pawn in the scheme to murder jacob.

    the reason cons (and games, because a con is really just a game) have been such a prevalent theme is because perhaps fate/destiny/the island is just using us all to get what it wants… and, as we all know, cons work best if we think it is our own idea.

    • Devin

      I agree, this is what I’ve been thinking since the finale. Part of what made the finale so earth-shattering was the way it reframed elements of the entire series so far. I think that the man in black is either the smoke monster or associated with him, and that the entire length of the series, he has been systematically conning Locke into thinking he was special so that he could use him in his plan to kill Jacob.

      Everyone seems to talk about what Locke will do next season, and although it’s possible we will see John Locke ACTUALLY resurrected (and not simulated by the man in black), the fact that people seem to forget is that at this point John Locke is DEAD, and has been ever since The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham. In a way, he’s been dead since Through the Looking Glass, when we first saw him in a coffin (although we wouldn’t learn that it was him for another entire season. It’s actually kinda funny, for three season finales in a row now, Locke’s dead body has been in a box. At this point, 60% of all Lost season finales include Locke dead and boxed up.

      • Lockeheart

        both great points martin and devin. But as a locke freak do you think it is possible that locke was specificly chosen because of his tendency to take that leap of faith. I know that is basicly what your saying, but your making it sound like it is a fault or a deficency of his character. Maybe this faith is what MIB and most likely jacob (they are both seperate smoke monsters) craves, respects, and looks for when choosing thier “vessels” to inhabit.

        • neoloki

          Yes Locke was used and yes Locke was an insecure man who wished to be a Messiah. To trusting, etc, al. but NO Jack was not right. This show has always been about dualities so to right off locke as dead and pathetic is a big mistake. The writers will not leave such an iconic character dead on the beach. We will see his return and he will play a VERY important part in the end game..

  • Zoriah

    I’m so glad you’re doing this, Fish. I’ve been in a bit of a funk with Lost over the hiatus. I wasn’t impressed with the Incident, and how everyone just turned around and went with Jack’s ridiculous plan.

    You’ve actually managed to get me enthused again about this final season. I agree with the poster up thread who said season one in many ways was the glory days of the show. That sense of wonder I felt when a new layer of character was revealed through their flashbacks, or when some new aspect of the island was discovered. I miss those heady days. If the PTB can recapture some of that excitement and bring it back to the characters we initially fell in love with and became invested in, I will be a happy viewer.

    I love that you are bringing us back to the original themes. Reminding us of the black and white and gaming imagery. The idea that this ‘game’ of power has been going on for millenia.

    I’m fairly sure that Jack and his family line are going to have some ultimate significance to the story. Via Claire and Christian and of course AARON.

    I love that the very first female Jack meets is CLAIRE, his half sister. What tremendous irony looking back from what we know five seasons in.

    I agree with the above poster though, I think the polar bears were explained adequately enough not to need more elaboration on why they were there.

  • martin sheen

    oh i’m sorry. i thought doc arzt wrote this recap. great work, fish.

    i agree with zoriah that the character’s motivations in the incident felt forced. lost has always been about the characters, and having the characters betray their own ideals in order to expediently serve the plot felt like a bit of a betrayal.

    the reason i believe this was necessary was because after season 3, the writers only left themselves 3 seasons to tell “the real” story of lost. they spent the first three years giving us lots of amazing character-based back stories and slowly delving into the main mythology and the core mysteries. then, after burning themselves out, they sought to wrap it all up as quickly as they could. presumably they said “here’s what we want to do. one season where they get off the island. one season where they come back. and one season to polish it all off.” in retrospect, they should have pushed for a 7th season so that big plots like detonating jughead didn’t have to be so rushed and done without concern for plausible character motivations.

    the only thing i didnt like about the incident was that they all went along with jack’s plan in part two after spending part one trying to think of ways to stop jack’s plan. then, on a dime, they all joined jack, seemingly for no reason. of course, the reason was that the writers wanted it to go that way so that jack could be the hero again. but it rang false to me, and presumably to a lot of fans.

    i think if you want to enjoy the next season, you just have to let that go. hopefully the producers won’t do that again, but there’s no point in agonizing over a past that cannot be changed…. unless of course you have a thermonuclear device and a subterranean pocket of electromagnetic energy.

    • neoloki

      “i agree with zoriah that the character’s motivations in the incident felt forced. lost has always been about the characters, and having the characters betray their own ideals in order to expediently serve the plot felt like a bit of a betrayal.”

      I think this statement is so incredibly wrong, it is almost as if you hadn’t watched five seasons of the show. ALL the characters followed exactley how they have always reacted to situation. I feel the writers would have been better off not giving the characters reasons for following the bomb at all because their motivations have been explicitly written over 5 seasons.

      Jack…needs to fix everything
      Kate…always does what Jack thinks is best. (on Island at least)
      Sawyer…did it for Juliet and the fact that his Dharma life is over.
      Juliet…is probably the most difficult to place her motivation but she new she was going to lose Sawyer and wanted to avoid the inevitable.
      Sayid…Has a death wish

      the worst line of the Incident was Jack saying “I had her”. That was unnecessary. Agreed.

  • i will have to go back and rewatch the story from the beginning. thanks for all those little tidbits of info. there are some great theory’s there on some of the symbolism. i can not wait for the new season to start and see how they pick up and carry on.

  • dolce

    Awesome.

  • Wally

    the most important part of the Pilot 1&2 is that it was the first step that they all took towards the hatch. The main thing that really stood out for me from when I rewatched season on was that idea. All roads lead to the hatch, that is the end game.

    If it only ends once and everything else is just progress. My guess is that at the end of season 6 they will all be back in the hatch pushing the button. No matter what road they choose that is where they will go, that is Locke’s destiny

    • Zonker

      First step towards the hatch? In the Pilot? I thought that was much later in Season 1, when Boone & Locke came across it.

      • grasspike

        You have to get to the island in order to get to the hatch. The entire theme of seasons 1&2 was getting to the hatch, and then pushing the button, and the results of not pushing the button. It was Desmond’s destiny, then it was John’s destiny, then Eko’s, then it got blown up not one but twice. There were so many lines between Jack and John about “all roads lead to the hatch” that it must be important. When Desomond went back in time Mrs Hawking sent him back to the hatch to push the button.

        Then you have the numbers another important theme in the first season that are also about the hatch.

        The hatch provided a lot for the losties, food, shelter, weapons etc.

        We know that Dharma built a lot of underground stuff to manipulate forces on the island, and at some point before that a long time ago so did other people, The Well, The Temple, The Tunnels, was the wheel in the well a “hatch” also? Did some other group brought to the island by Jacob wind up in a “Hatch” also where they had to turn the wheel every 108 minutes? Did they have an “incident” where something happened with that? Did that “incident” destroy the statue?

        Season one ended and season 2 began and ended at the hatch. Season 5 ended and my guees is that season 6 will begin and end at the hatch

        • Zonker

          I actually hope you’re correct. I’m still feeling let down that the Season 2 implications have never fully been dealt with. Particularly with all the dread associated with activating the Swan station failsafe, the consequences of that action have not really been explored. Yes, it got Desmond unstuck in time, and I suppose it also was the means by which the freighter found the island. But now we know that Mrs. Hawking could find the island again via the Lamp Post station, and presumably Widmore could have eventually done the same. Seems like the costs of turning the failsafe key were very low associated with the costs of keeping the Swan protocol going every 108 minutes. Hopefully this will finally be addressed in Season 6, but I got a bad feeling the minute I heard they had demolished all the Swan station interior sets as soon as the Season 2 finale completed filming.

  • Chip

    I agree with Sheen. The last two seasons have had some of the best episodes of the series, but they’ve overall been too rushed. Character has taken a back seat to solving mysteries. A seventh season could have helped a great deal.

    Regarding Locke — the man may be overly self-absorbed with whether he is “special,” but one of the major subtexts to the show is that everyone is important. Locke’s being touched by Jacob portends good things for the character.

    And I know I’m probably in the minority here, but I’m still holding that Jack and Kate are Adam and Eve. Kate’s vehement dismissal of any notion of being Eve later in the first season (and note that she drew out implications from Jack’s discussion of the skeletons that I don’t think he intended in the least) was too strong not to have some type of payoff later.

    • Hmmm

      It’s a fine line for the producers. A lot of people were complaining about some of the episodes last season that were character based/bridge episodes(e.g. He’s Our You; Whatever Happened, Happened; Namaste; etc.), saying they were slow or uneventful. I happened to like those episodes, but if the show were stretched to a seventh season, we would have seen much more padding, which would mean the producers would have to stall.

      What we have seen is the story they want to tell. I thought S5 was one of the strongest seasons yet, and (other than the odd character motivations in the finale) thought that the characters were well represented. Who knows, Jacob may have subliminally manipulated their actions on the island to help Jack set off the bomb, therefore ensuring that “they are coming”.

      I can’t wait to see the EPIC final season of my favorite show!

      • Chip

        No disagreement about the fine line, Hmmm, but the producers have admitted that reducing the number of episodes in the last three seasons necessitated sacrificing back stories. This last season, we saw a woeful lack of attention given to Charlotte, Daniel, and, most grievously of all, Sun and Jin. It also apparently led Darlton and company to nix the storylines of everyone who wasn’t around in the first season. Fortunately, we apparently will get more characterization in season 6, and that’s welcome.

        • neoloki

          Chip

          When they were referring to sacrificing back stories because of fewer episodes they were talking about season 4 and not getting to the freighter folk’s back story because of the writers strike. Not the fact that they agreed to 16 eps a year.

          We have had 4 seasons of exposition on the characters. that time is over.

          • Chip

            Neoloki, you’re right about the then-new season 4 characters (Charlotte’s story was reportedly cut partially due to the writer’s strike), but Darlton and co. have several times over the past year referred in a more general sense to cutting back stories because of the set end date. My point is not *whose* back story gets cut (nor that Darlton seem happy to leave at least some back stories behind), just that the emphasis since episode 8 or 9 of season 4 has moved *primarily* from characterization to plot (or, better said, resolution), as you yourself note. If you’re happy with that, fine; I love LOST but feel that the show has been missing at least half of its heart and soul (if you count LOST as 1/2 story and mystery and 1/2 character development, as Lindelof has said repeatedly is the genius of the show) with the decreased emphasis. (And I speak as one who came to LOST drawn in by the mysteries but found that it was the focus on characterization that got me to stay.) It does seem, from everything Darlton has said, that there will be a great deal more characterization in season 6, however.

  • KJJ

    The polar Bears have been explained. The Dharma Initiative conducted gene therapy on them, allowing them to live in tropical environments. Case closed.

    • Zoriah

      From what I recall, in one of the orientation films (S2 ‘Orientation’), they showed the polar bears and mentioned research in zoology.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYJf5rZQgb0

      Then in season 3, at the Hydra Tom mentioned to Sawyer that the polar bears were being kept in the same cages as Sawyer and they had taken much less time to figure out how to get the food.

      Someone else, probably Ben, mentioned that they must have swum to the main island.

      But I don’t believe they ever referenced gene therapy as the reason for their survival canonically on the show itself. Can you enlighten me as to which episode this is in?

      • Baalzak

        It’s on the Blast Door: “STATED GOAL, REPATRIATION ACCELERATED DE-TERRITORIALIZATION OF URSUS MARITIMUS THROUGH GENE THERAPY AND EXTREME CLIMATE CHANGE”.

    • Yeah, they hinted that they were doing experiments on them, but not what the experiments were, or why polar bears, or how polar bears got there in the first place. They also never gave us any clues about why a polar bear skeleton was found in Tunisia. It may just turn out to be a Dharma experiment, but I think (and hope) there’s more to it than that. In my opinion it’s not going to be explained by Dharma, because my theory is we’ve seen the last of Dharma. I don’t think Dharma will figure in the final answers, which will be more spiritual and metaphysical. And since it’s a prime first season mystery, I think it will be explained in some way that (hopefully) surprises and impresses us.

      • icy_one

        Givens:
        Dharma conducted experiments on polar bears
        Dharma had access to a submarine
        Dharma had access to the island

        The most logical conclusion is that the bears were brought to the island by Dharma. There are some other theories but none of them interesting: it’s possible the island, during its many movements, was near the north pole and some bears migrated. There’s nothing interesting in “how did the polar bears get to the island?” that isn’t already in the show.

        Given: Turning the FDW put Ben in Tunisia 18 months after he turned the wheel.
        Given: Turning the FDW put Locke in Tunisia 3 years after he turned the wheel.
        Given: There were polar bears on the island.
        Given: There was a polar bear near the exit point in Tunisia.

        The most logical conclusion is the polar bear turned the wheel. We can’t hypothesize when it turned the wheel because we can’t connect the time you turn the wheel to the time you come out the exit point in any reasonable formula. Maybe it was in the past, maybe it was in the future. The point of the bear in Tunisia was for the viewer to connect the island to Tunisia and Charlotte to Dharma, not to connect the polar bear to the wheel.

        Some things in the show are given way too much weight.

        • Ament

          I would agree that they trained Polar Bears, using methods like getting their own food so they can turn the wheel. It kind of makes sense because the environment that the wheel was located. How Ben found out about the wheel being hidden in the Orchard behind the time-portal device is a mystery, but whats more is how he knew it ended up in Tunisia and that the nearby city with a hotel knew his alias.

      • Zonker

        If we’re to believe the Lost Experience, the purpose of Dharma was to change the factors described by the equation that predicts the end of the world. And turns out the Numbers are the coefficients that make up that equation.

        So one of those factors was likely related to climate change. Maybe determining under what conditions polar bears could adapt to a tropical climate was part of the Dharma research, or part of their mitigation strategy should the equation prove not to be amenable to change.

  • Chuck

    “We hear his mechanical growling subway sounds”

    Am i the only one that’s noticed that those mechanical growling subway sounds are the sounds of the plane crash? Go back and watch again and pay attention during the flashbacks of the crash. Many of the noises you hear of the monster in the forest on the first night were in the crash scenes.

  • anna

    Hmm… do you hate Jack??? ‘Cause I couldn’t quite tell. Season 1 focuses a lot on Jack so, enjoy the re-watch. But I won’t be reading b/c your Jack-hate blinders make it kind of hard for you to discern a lot of important scenes. Just letting you know you might want to tone it down. Like it or not, Jack is important to LOST.

    • SharkTaco

      You cant tell people like fishbiscuit stuff like that. It just goes in one ear and out the other.

    • Jack

      Completely agree.

    • Neon Trotsky

      Yeah I like Jack too and I think it’s great that they’ve made a character who can be good at saving people but at other times a self-absorbed buffoon. It’s the same way that Lock can be mystical at one point and a looser lame-ass at other points. The writers and actors play with and against archetypes and their own character set-ups and it’s great to watch even if you end up hating people you love or loving people you hate.

    • Ament

      I’m not a Jack-hater, I actually love the way they wrote Jack and how Matthew Fox portraits him as for his character I can’t tell at this point. He thrives on accomplishments and will become a self-absorbed individual to make it work. He doesn’t listen to reason. He always assumes he has the right answer. He was appointed leader with no intention of becoming one, and then at some point absobed himself into that position. He may not of had a drinking issue at the start, but lets face it like his Dad after he lost role as Chief of Surgery and developed a regret for his decisions, Jack developed a dependancy on alcohol and prescription drugs after he lost his role on the island and regretted his decision for making that radio call which ended up killing the passengers and leaving others stranded. His character is so well written that we can’t see him as his Dad or as a closed minded leader, but he is. He has issues. What was his reason for dropping the bomb again…to avoid the crash to save everyone? No it was so he doesn’t have to go through the pain in losing Kate, if thats not self-absorbed nothing is. Again I like Jack, but he is darker then people see him.

  • Timberloid

    This kind of post looks like something from twitter. Maybe should just do it as a series of 140 or less chars and a link to a pic in each and tweet it.
    It’s weird.
    You might also want to consider not starting sentances with “And” 😉

  • Jack

    I hate how you don’t even give Jack and Kate a chance. I think the scene where they meet is incredibly powerful, and is made even more so in the third season when Kate tells Jack the story again over the radio as she escapes with Sawyer. That moment, when Sawyer looks at her, is when he realizes Kate will always love Jack.

  • nitobe

    I always got confused with “deja vu” in scenes in the season one. If you look closely to the people in the background you can see that they do that twice in the same manner. Did you ever paid attention to the people in the background? Where they are and what are they doing? Something like black cat walking the screen twice in “Matrix”. Scene with Walt and Locke (Backgamon scene) is one of the examples – see it for yourself:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_9Dzo8AfDA

    There are more than twenty examples in the first 20 episodes of season 1, so they are not errors – they are put there intentionally. Why?

  • LostTvFan

    Jack says:
    “I hate how you don’t even give Jack and Kate a chance. I think the scene where they meet is incredibly powerful, and is made even more so in the third season when Kate tells Jack the story again over the radio as she escapes with Sawyer. That moment, when Sawyer looks at her, is when he realizes Kate will always love Jack.”

    That’s what you see, what you think. Fishbiscuit sees and thinks another way so you HATE her point of view because it doesn’t match yours?

    Where is it canon that Sawyer realizes Kate will always love Jack? Again, that’s what you see, what you think. You are entitled, as is Fishbiscuit, to believe what you believe.

    Let’s not forget that in S5 we found out that the whole ‘count to five’ thing wasn’t even Jack’s; it was Christian’s way of calming him down.

    If you HATE what you read from Fishbiscuit, you can pick and choose which recaps, reviews or rewinds you follow. Find one whose point of view suits you. HATE is a strong word and Lost is a television show.

  • smwvc

    Years ago I saw the pilot and said to myself: “Oh God, people marooned on an island. How original! Where’s Tom Hanks?” So, I never bothered to watch it again. Years went by and I started hearing how great a show it was etc etc, but I really don’t like jumping in the middle of a story. I only want to follow a GOOD story from it’s beginning.

    Luckily this year, HULU had all the episodes from season 1 on up available, so I started my journey. 60 something episodes later (yeah, I know. I gotta get a life!) I’m up to date and all I can say is WoW! I really can’t wait for this season to start.

    Today I got the link to hear from TV Squad and had another pleasant surprise. Especially this article. Talk about having your life flash before your eyes!

    Great site. Keep up the good work. I’m RSS’s now and will be checking in often.

  • chris

    I agree that games are important in lost, after all lost is what happens when you play a game poorly.

  • Neon Trotsky

    Nice job. The markings on Jack’s face after the crash have never seemed to be important to me, but I always thought of Lock’s cut as symbolizing some kind of enlightenment: having his “eye opened” through the crash. It’s like the opening shot of Buñuel and Dalí’s “Chien Andalou”… his eye is opened to things beyond what we can normally see just as he sees “the heart of the island” and it’s apparently not the black smoke monster but a white light to him.

    This show likes to play with religious imagery so I don’t think that is is quite as simple as “Lock is enlightened” but I think that’s what the cut is supposed to suggest and he certainly feels that he has been enlightened through much of the first season.

  • neoloki

    “Just block letters written on a junky’s dirty fingers”

    GREAT line, Fishbiscuit.

  • meems

    Fish, you are always the best and always will be. I LOVE your illustrated recaps – they are genius!

  • z

    Well written article. You pointed out a lot of things that I hadn’t noticed before.

  • thanx a million for this amazing article. It assisted me alot.