Posts Tagged ‘Jack’

Getting Lost (Redux): Pilot

There’s no doubt that a large reason for Lost’s initial success was its impressive pilot. Directed by J.J. Abrams, the first episode of Lost has both the intense feel of an action movie, and the enticing suspense of the first chapter of a mystery novel.

So many images from the pilot are obviously memorable. The opening shot of Jack’s eye, the sight of a pregnant Claire on the beach, the scene in which Kate stitches up Jack’s wound, and so many others have become burnt into Lost lore. The episode is stunningly visual—the first line of dialogue (aside from screams and cries for help, of course) doesn’t come until almost five minutes in, when Jacks asks Claire how many months pregnant she is. This comes amidst the famous opening sequence of Jack pulling bodies from the wreckage.

What stands out about these opening scenes, looking back, is how the priority of characters has changed. We see a lot of Michael, Walt, Shannon, and Boone, but Sawyer and Locke don’t even speak in the first hour. Even Vincent the dog seems more important than they do.

This is not to say that the writers and producers didn’t know what they were doing—just that the story they were setting up was clearly very deep. In fact, Abrams’ direction is impressive in its ability to capture the core of characters in single shots. Whether it’s something easy and simple, like Shannon painting her toenails on the beach, something obviously important but cryptic, like Locke sitting on the beach as the rain begins to fall, or something subtly telling, like Sawyer’s silent self-loathing as he smokes a cigarette, it’s clear that there is a very defined view of all these characters.* Continue reading

Introducing….Getting Lost (Redux)!

There are very few episodes of Lost that I’ve seen twice. This is not because I dislike the show, obviously, but merely because re-watching Lost often seems pointless. Unlike other, denser shows on television, like The Wire or The Sopranos or Breaking Bad, Lost does not seem like a show that would reward repeat viewings. It’s not layered with the same subtlety and depth as those shows, and a lot of the suspense of certain episodes is drained when you know, for example, that Jin has not been captured by “the Others” but by the survivors from the tail of the plane. Continue reading

Getting Lost: Happily Ever After

It’s time for another installment of “Getting Lost,” where John S takes you through all the salient questions from last night’s episode of Lost:

As Bunk Moreland might say: Are you happy now, bitch? You know, it’s almost like the producers said, “Alright, fine, you think this season is starting to stall? Well, we’ll give you Desmond. And then we’ll throw Daniel Faraday in. And then we’ll throw in the clearest explanation of the Alternate Timelines to date.” Unlike “Ab Aeterno” from two weeks ago, which positioned itself as a mythology-heavy episode but didn’t really tell us much that we didn’t already know (with the notable exception being “cork”), “Happily Ever After” was quite the opposite. It was an episode that seemed like an repeat of a typical Lost formula but was actually more illuminated than any episode thus far this season.

How exactly did this seem like a repeat of a typical Lost formula? Well, in many ways this episode was exactly like the first Desmond-centric episode of the series, “Flashes Before Your Eyes.” In that episode, a “catastrophic electromagnetic event”—in that case the explosion of the hatch—sent Desmond’s consciousness into an alternate timeframe, in which he was still with Penny. Even though his life in that timeframe seems ostensibly better, though, he is forced to return because it is his purpose to return to the Island.

The same format, more or less, happened in “Happily Ever After.” In this episode, the electromagnetic event is merely an experiment done by Widmore’s new crew* to see if Desmond can, indeed, survive it. Instead of having the relationship he wants with Penny, he has the approval he craves from Widmore. And instead of simply going back in time, Desmond goes into the alternate version of 2004 that we’ve been seeing all season long. Continue reading

Lost Season Six and the Importance of The End

“It always ends the same.”

“It only ends once. Anything that happens before that is just progress.”

—Jacob and the unidentified Man In Black, from the Season Five finale of Lost

The sixth and final season of Lost kicks off tonight, in what is likely the most anticipated final season since at least the end of The Sopranos. It’s conceivable that Lost is actually more anticipated than The Sopranos final season. For one, more people watch Lost, since it’s on a network and not premium cable.

But it’s not simply the number of viewers the show has, it’s the type of viewership the show inspires: There are no passive Lost fans. You cannot just check in every few weeks to see where the characters are—you will be totally fucking confused. The show is so deeply enmeshed in mystery and ambiguity that missing any steps in the narrative will get you completely lost. This is also what makes the show so addicting. Continue reading