Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The Lost Rewatch: 1x02 "Pilot, Part 2"

And so we begin "Pilot, Part 2," the second episode of Lost. After Monday's extremely long write-up of "Pilot, Part 1," I'll try to keep this one more concise, but still chock full of retrospective dissection.

Jack, Kate, and Charlie, having at least somewhat recovered from the terrifying incident at the cockpit, trek home through the jungle. Kate asks Charlie what he was doing in the bathroom, and he makes up a quick lie, telling her that he was getting sick. Of course, we all know that instead he was getting his heroin which he left in the bathroom. Charlie mentions he's a coward, an opinion Kate is quick to refute. Cowardice is a theme that will run through Lost with Charlie, and later, Desmond.

Charlie then has the second flashback of the series, in which he is on the airplane, jonesing for a fix. It's interesting to note that this flashback transition does not have that familiar whooshing sound that we're all used to by now. When Charlie thinks that his obvious withdrawal symptoms have been noticed by Cindy, he flees through the plane, passing a number of passengers whom we now recognize as main characters. Charlie gets high on his heroin (though that's only really brown sugar), even though the flight attendants insist he come out of the bathroom. Charlie drops his heroin into the toilet, and seems ready to flush it down (in which case he wouldn't have had much of a character arc), but the turbulence stops him and he exits the bathroom, taking a seat and strapping himself in as the plane crashes.

We then watch shallow Shannon sunbathe, an action that will be immortalized in the form of an action figure. Claire talks to her -- she doesn't know whether her baby will be a boy or a girl, even though she's eight months pregnant. She's also worried that she hasn't felt the baby move since the day the plane crashed. Of course, we all know that her baby will be little Aaron, a healthy baby boy who will eventually leave the Island without his mommy.

Meanwhile, Michael approaches Sun and Jin looking for Walt. Of course, this won't be the last time he loses Walt, and each search attempt that he'll make will just get more and more annoying. Sun pretends not to speak English, even though she really knows how from her lessons with Jae Lee (which turned into quite a bit more than just lessons). Michael goes off again, looking for Walt, who's looking for Vincent. He finds Kate's handcuffs on the ground near some fuselage. Michael sees the handcuffs, and gets a little worried.

We come back into act two with a punch from Sayid to Sawyer. The two are fighting because Sawyer said that Sayid crashed the plane. It's quite interesting to see the two fight, because they'll later become allies (of course, out of all the survivors, Sawyer and Sayid never were really close). Sawyer points out how Sayid obviously looks like a terrorist after the two are split up by Jack and Michael, and mentions Sayid being pulled out of line before they boarded the plane, a result of Shannon proving herself to Boone by reporting Sayid for leaving his bags unattended.

Sayid volunteers to help with the transciever, the first glimpse we get of Sayid's technical prowess, which will eventually be most useful when taking the core out of Jughead in "The Incident." Sawyer also calls Hurley "lardo." He'll later become good friends with Hurley, but for now he's sticking to weight-related nicknames. Hurley instead buddies up with Sayid, and they trade names. Sayid later reveals that he was in the Republican Guard, shocking Hurley.

Sun gives Kate a message as Kate bathes, but her look of jealousy at Kate's immodesty shines through clearly. Kate goes to talk to Sayid, who has managed to repair the transciever, but wants to go to high ground to pick up a signal. Of course, we know now that this will be a waste because of Rousseau's signal and the Looking Glass station.

Jack, meanwhile, works on the marshal, who will be dead very soon. Jack's relying on chance, but he is going to try to fix the marshal. Kate tells Jack that she's going on a hike, despite Jack's warning about the marshal.

Jin's abusiveness to Sun is shown when he slaps her hand after a reach to get food, and you can see her loathing of him in her eyes. Instead, he gives that food to the other survivors, and she defiantly opens the top buttons of her shirt. Hurley laughingly turns down Jin, angering him slightly. Walt, meanwhile, read's Hurley's comic book in Spanish. The comic will later be proxied with Brian K. Vaughn's Y: The Last Man (or El Ultimo Hombre) when Hurley boards Flight 316.

While Charlie uses some powerful drugs, Jack enlists Hurley to once again use his inventory skills to find antibiotic drugs for the marshal. After Shannon decides that she's going on the hike with Kate and Sayid to prove her worthiness to Boone, there's a humorous scene when a stoned Charlie shows up.

SHANNON: You're going, aren't you?

CHARLIE: Yeah, are you?


CHARLIE: Yeah, I'm definitely going.

Sawyer smokes his cigarette and reads his letter, which he wrote to Locke's father Anthony Cooper after the funeral of his parents. And that ink that's on the letter? It came from Jacob's pen. He watches Kate, Sayid, Boone, Charlie, and Shannon leave, and decides to come along, stating that's he's a "complex guy, sweetheart." Which he really is, as we later find out. They set off, climbing up a steep ledge.

Jack, meanwhile, talks to Michael, and discovers that Michael doesn't know much about Walt, and reveals that Vincent is actually still alive, elating Michael at the chance to be a hero in his son's eyes. If Jack hadn't offered him this as a chance to be noble, who knows what Michael would have done. He might have gone so far as to put himself as a deckhand on a freighter just to blow it up, or something drastic like that.

And here's what I think is the most important scene of the entire episode: Locke explaining backgammon to Walt. Locke mentions that backgammon is the oldest game in the world. He then holds up the two round tiles for backgammon. "Two sides -- one is light, and one is dark." This sets up the ever-important black and white dynamic that is prevalent in the show even now, with Jacob and his enemy being dressed in white and black tunics, respectively. Does this perhaps mean that Jacob and his enemy are playing a game with the survivors? Fighting against each other using pawns? It's quite an interesting scene that seems to have a bigger meaning than what is obvious. Locke then offers to tell Walt a secret, which we'll later find out concerns his paralysis before the crash.

Claire writes in her diary (the same diary that Charlie will read after she's kidnapped), when Jin offers her some fish. She takes a bite, and though she doesn't necessarily like it, she feels Aaron kick, something she is elated about, and makes an uncomfortable Jin touch her belly.

Meanwhile, in the jungle, the people hiking to the mountain with the transceiver hear a roaring. Fearing that it's the monster, they all run away, except for Sawyer, who coolly faces what's charging them. Pulling out a gun, he shoots the polar bear that's running toward them. (A humorous special feature on the first season DVD revealed that at first the polar bear was a stuffed animal that looked absolutely silly when freeze-framed.) The polar bear, if you don't remember, was used in the Hydra for unknown experiments (but they were able to get a fish biscuit faster than Sawyer). They were also used to turn the frozen donkey wheel, as evidenced by the polar bear skeleton that Charlotte would find at the same dropoff point that Locke and Ben would later appear at after turning the wheel.

Jack needs Hurley's help to hold down the marshal while he operates, but Hurley has Mr. Friendly synbrome and can't stand the sight of blood. Hurley faints. Meanwhile, after confirming that the bear was a polar bear, the survivors confront Sawyer about where he got the gun. He says he got it from a U.S. marshal, and they accuse him of being the prisoner, though in reality it was actually Kate. Kate takes the gun and pretends to not know how to use it (a con she used once before in "Whatever the Case May Be".) There's a little heat between Sawyer and Kate, but nothing too much -- Kate obviously dislikes Sawyer.

There's another whoosh-less flashback, this time from Kate's perspective as we discover that she was the prisoner. Kate says she has a favor to ask, but the plane begins to crash before she can ask it. She uncuffs herself, and fixes a mask on both herself and the marshall before the plane crashes, and the tail section is ripped from the back of the plane (seen from a better angle in "A Tale of Two Cities").

The marshal meanwhile wakes up in the middle of surgery, asking Jack where Kate is. She's with the group with Sayid, when he discovers that the transciever has a bar. They pick up a transmission, which Sayid speculates could be from a satphone. Sorry Sayid, but you won't be seeing one of those until Naomi crashes on the Island. They hear a French transmission (from Rousseau), which Shannon translates to say "Please help me. Please, come get me. I'm alone now. On the island alone. Please, someone come. The others, they're dead. It killed them. It killed them all." Rousseau is of course referring to the sickness, which happened to her team after Montand was dragged beneath the Temple walls by the monster, and her team followed. What was the sickness? Was it a possession, like what Jacob's enemy did to Locke? We know that Robert, Lacombe, and Brennan weren't the same after they went into the hole...were the possessed by the monster? Either way, Danielle was right. It killed them all. Or rather, she killed them all.

And then Charlie utters that oft-repeated line: "Guys...where are we?" It's a good question that hasn't really been fully answered, yet, because, well, the Island moves a lot.

You can discuss "Pilot, Part 2" in this forum thread. You can find others' reviews of this episode at the Lostpedia hub. Look for my review of "Tabula Rasa" Thursday.
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