Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Review: Lost 1.2: Pilot (Part Two)

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Kate is a criminal - but no-one else knows yet.
Lost - Season One, Episode Two - Pilot (Part Two)
Written beteen 15th and 16th April 2013
Warning - I've seen all of Lost, so I might sometimes accidentally make reference to massive spoilers from later series.

And here comes the tricky bit. Lost's second episode follows up nicely from the more action-packed pilot, taking a greater focus on the rest of our character ensemble before establishing true centricity next week. This episode is responsible for the introduction of two of Lost's first great mysteries - the presence of wild polar bears on a tropical island, and the strange message that's been playing for sixteen years. With Abrams still here (though not for long), the same standards all apply, and the show's embryonic stages certainly don't show their underdevelopped nature in the writing room on screen.
     Having returned from the cockpit, Jack, Kate and Charlie keep their experiences on the down-low, only bringing with them a broken tranceiver. As they return, techy Sayid gets into a fight with suspicious yokel Sawyer, and Jack is forced to break them up. The two later join together with Kate, Charlie and arguing "siblings" Shannon and Boone in order to find a signal on the tranceiver, while Jack tends to the dying Marshall who we discover through flashbacks was escorting Kate - a criminal - back to the United States. After shooting a polar bear, Kate takes away the gun that Sawyer stole off of the Marshall. They find a signal - it's a message on repeat: a French woman asking for help, that they calculate has been running for sixteen years.
     In contrast to later seasons, the episode makes no qualms out of the fact that we're in it for the slow build-up. The lack of centricity allows us to look around at all of our characters, and it's a selection of quiet establishing moments that really sell them even before we get to see their backstories later in the season. Jin and Sun's harsh conversations in Korean (untranslated until a month later!), Michaels attempts to sympathise with son Walt, Shannon's discussion about pregnant Claire's baby - they're all quiet little character moments that say very little on screen but are screaming with subtext.
http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20060814131733/lostpedia/images/b/be/Distress_signal.jpg
Shannon's single useful action over the course of her existence.
     The second half of the pilot certainly isn't as barnstorming as the first, but it does give us a nice overview of the characterisations in the first series. There's nothing else for me to really say that wouldn't be a dull platitude, so I suppose that's the long and short of it. Next week we get our first centric episode, and I get to take a long look at what the hell happened to Kate over the years.

Thanks.

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