07 February 2005

Lost - Pilot (1 & 2)

(This started out as a comment on Casyn's post, but it just got way too long, so I transferred it here instead.)

The people at M-net were nice enough to screen the first 2 episodes back to back. It makes a big difference, and I would have been really frustrated to be left hanging in the middle of the pilot. Not that there isn't enough questions already after just 2 episodes.

They way they use non-linear storytelling is very effective. The viewer is thrust into the middle of this world without knowing anything about the any of the characters, just like them. Even the setting is alien - any normal reference framework doesn't exist here.
I am really glad that they decided to drop the subtitles for the Korean couple, Jin and Sun, in the second half. This puts the audience in the same shoes as the characters as they try to cross a very crucial barrier.

So everything is very strange and stressful already, just to have a 'Lord of the Flies'esque 'Beast' thrown into the mix too. At first it is possible that The Beast could be a manifestation, a sort of embodiment of the survivors' collective fear. But the fact that it brutally killed the pilot of the ill-fated plane and left it in the tree left two things quite clear - it is very real, and this series has much more supernatural elements in it than I ever expected.

Everything is shrouded in mystery, even the plot itself - slowly, through flashbacks exclusive to each characters' point of view, we find out how these people got to where they are, and, essentially, who they are.

Kate's flashback for example completely changes the way we regard her motivations and actions pre-flashback. It explains why she was so concerned about the man with the scrapnel in his gut and why it was she who succeeded in breaking up the fight between Sawyer and Sayid, attempting to keep the others focused and trying to get them to look beyond their petty differences. Because if Sayid is ostracized even though he has done nothing, what will happen when the others learn her secret?

Orange man(Locke) is extremely creepy - he obviously knows much more than he is letting on. There is the orange peel incident and then way he serenely sits in the rain while the rest of the survivors desperately scramble to find some cover - he even looks happy. When he finally does speak in the second half, it only deepens the mystery: "Two players. Two sides. One is light; one is dark. Walt - do you wanna know a secret?"
Eerily reminiscent of Carnivale.

It is interesting that the whole Polar Bear incident occurred right after Walt saw a picture of a polar bear in his Spanish language comic book. Like in Sphere where people's fears come to life.

I wonder if the 5 on Jack's tattoo has any relation to the story he told about conquering his fear?
One critique though, no airline that I know of will allow an 8 months pregnant woman to fly, especially not on an international flight.

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Anonymous Martin said...

I watched about 5 minutes of one of the episodes, and my general impression was that of "dramatized". Maybe it's just me, but uplifting music coupled with slow-mo footage of wreck survivors looking happy is just a little too much.. But like I said, maybe it's just me :-)

9:45 AM, February 15, 2005  
Blogger onanymous said...

I think you might be referring to the last few minutes of the third episode, and if so, I do agree with you. It actually came as a bit of a surprise, since everything preceding it was really well done.
It's a pity that you saw that particular scene instead of, say, the opening scene of the first ep.

9:58 AM, February 15, 2005  
Anonymous Martin said...

Yeah, I think it was the 3rd episode...

Maybe I'll catch a bit more next time - the cinematography looked pretty decent (great colour, good use of focus, and all that geeky stuff :-)
I'll have to wait and see about the story then!

4:45 PM, February 15, 2005  
Blogger ex raver girl said...

You may think Locke is creepy, but just wait until you see his backstory - it's absolutely amazing. I love "Lost". We in America have about 5-6 more episodes of the season to go and it's still a fantastic show and we still have NO idea what's going on!

5:00 PM, February 16, 2005  
Blogger Jay said...

I originally liked the show, but now I find it frustrating that with every passing episode, we don't learn anything about any of the island's mysteries. In fact, the questions keep piling up, and no answers are ever given. I can only be strung along for so long before I give up and leave, which is what I'm on the verge of doing with this show.

6:45 PM, February 16, 2005  
Blogger onanymous said...

jay - Who knows, maybe they will surprise you. JJ Abrams did say that they do know what the answers to all the questions are, but looking at Alias, it might take a few seasons to find out.
Still, I really like what I have seen so far (obviously) and I can't wait for the next ep.

8:26 AM, February 17, 2005  

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