Harold Perrineau Jr
Malcolm David Kelley
Daniel Dae Kim
Emilie de Ravin
OTHER LOST SEASONS
OTHER LOST TRAVELLERS
The Fantastic Journey
Double Pilot Episode
What an opening! A man comes back to consciousness lying in a jungle. Stumbling, he makes his way out on to the beach to find the remains of the plane that he had been travelling in, surrounded by the dead, survivors and sections of fuselage, one with the engine still running. Turns out he's a doctor called Jack and he immediately sets about seeing to the injured. Once the immediate situation is resolved, he gets one of the other survivors to sew up his own injury (Kate) and sets his mind to survival. This is not least because there's something in the jungle, something that's big and probably isn't friendly. In order to get a message out, they need to get hold of a transceiver in the cockpit. That fell off and lies somewhere in the island's interior. Jack, Kate and a member of a famous band (Charlie) set off to find it. Charlie has his own agenda as his stash of drugs is in the toilet just behind the cockpit. The injured pilot tells them that they crashed a long way off course and the search party is probably looking for them in the wrong place. That concern is then doubled when the pilot is ripped bodily out of the cockpit and skinned. Things don't look good. Welcome to Lost.
Now there is no guarantee that Lost is a science fiction show, but we have strange things in the jungle, the potential that the plane was dragged off course and far too many strange things happening for it to be a straight drama.
It certainly gets off to a remarkable start with the depiction of a crash site that is just stunning in its authenticity. Matters settle down somewhat and we are introduced to the characters, but what is interesting is that we meet them, but know nothing about them and nothing is revealed. That comes in dribs and drabs throughout the show, through flashback and throwaway remarks. This is how we normally learn about people and it is far more intriguing than the usual pilot episode's habit of giving a potted introduction.
Jack is played by Matthew Fox and he has a very likeable and commanding aspect that is needed to anchor the plot, just as the Doctor anchors the survivors. Evangeline Lilly is Kate, the plucky, resourceful woman who is the immediate love interest and a strong female role in her own right. The other major character, to date, is Charlie played by ex-hobbit (and how long will it take for him to lose that tag?) Dominic Monaghan. A semi-comic turn and not bad at all.
This is the set up and what a set up it turns out to be. Certainly none of the shakiness you would normally asssociate with a pilot episode is here, but it remains to be seen whether it delivers on its promise.Top
Still coming to terms with the reality of the crash, the survivors start to bond, find people they don't like and struggle for supremacy. This could be the early stages some Lord of the Flies meltdown. A small party sets out to climb to a high place in order to see if the transceiver they recovered from the plane can get a signal. What they learn is that there is already an SOS signal transmitting, a french one and one that has been transmitting for a decade and a half. Back at the camp, one of the injured men comes out of his coma to announce that Kate was his prisoner.
The situation on the beach is progressing slowly, but we are learning more about the survivors. It would seem likely that all of them have something to hide. Whether these revelations are going to be enough to support the otherwise slow pace of the plot is the strongest concern. Slow is fine, but glacial is not.
That said the character interaction remains interesting and there is plenty going on in the background around the main characters. The focus here is Kate, but the acting is excellent all round. Considering the huge hit that it has been around the world, I expect that the plotting will get stronger.Top
The dead have to be buried, but Jack says that they need to be incinerated. A section of fuselage is selected to use as a furnace. A member of the Iraqi guard (Naveen Andrews) proves electronics expert enough to fashion a device to track down the signal that was detected in the interior. Kate is part of a team that sets out to hunt boar for food, taking the transceiver with them. The leader of the expedition is called Locke, a man who has a suitcase full of knives. Things don't go as planned, one of the party is injured, Kate breaks the tracker and Locke comes face to face with what lives in the heart of the jungle. He denies seeing anything, but he also has another secret. Jack sees someone on the edge of the beach, someone in a suit with an unnaturally pale face.
More character revelation, precious little plot movement. This episode is better than the last because it gives hints and intrigues as well as the character revelations. This time it is Locke, a man with a penchant for knives. The flashbacks explain why he is in Australia, and give us a shock about his past. All of this is skilfully done.
Hints about the darkness are pumping up the interest levels. The future of the series is in the balance. If there is more like this, then it will remain watchable, perhaps even justify its hype.Top
Jack saves a man from drowning, but fails to save a woman who is even further out. All his life, it seems, he's been trying to save everyone. His father chided him for it and it was his father that took him to Australia in the first place, to pick up the body. Now he's seeing figures, pale ones in suits. Could it be his father, or the ghost of his father? Is it some kind of walkabout deal where he has to keep walking until he meets his father?
A major improvement on the last two episodes sees Jack's history revealed and forces him to come to terms witht the fact that he is a leader, not because he has chosen to be, but because the others have chosen him. Kate continues to grow in strength, Charlie is a bit more serious now and Locke remains a figure locked in mystical nonsense.
This is Jack's story and Matthew Fox plays it well, making the most of the subtleties and depth of the writing. His emergence as the reluctant leader is eminently believable, but then most of the characters, however slightly written so far, are a good deal less than two dimensional. The quality of the writing is coming to the fore, making Jack's story much more subtle than it at first appears. The questions, though, are piling up. Was the figure hallucination or real? Did it really lead Jack to the vital water source? What did Locke see and why will he not speak of it openly, only in riddles? These secrets do not look like they will be arriving any time soon, but the wait is looing much more worth it.
House of the Rising Sun
One week after Jack stood up and announced that everyone had to stick together, the community of survivors splits into two. The division is based on those that want to live in the caves near to the fresh water and those that insist on staying on the beach to tend the signal fire. The reveal this week is the story behind the asian couple who have been all but excluded for the community by their lack of english. When the man attacks one of the community for no apparent reason, he is handcuffed until the truth is discovered. Charlie's drug secret is discovered by Locke who again speaks with mystic tongue. Jack and Kate are growing close, something that is proving to be a problem for Kate.
Once again, the main story of the survivors doesn't move forward in leaps and bounds, but it's starting not to matter. There is more than enough incident and the character interaction is getting more interesting. The flashback story of the asian couple has more than a slice of cheese about it, but it doesn't matter because it's all so underplayed. This is good storytelling, but there is still the lingering fear that the story isn't going anywhere fast.Top
Charlie's story. As the withdrawal symptoms start to kick in, Charlie flashes back to the rocky road of music that led to the addiction and his presence on that fateful flight. Meanwhile, Jack gets caught in a cave-in and Sayeed sets in motion a plan to triangulate the source of the french SOS signal.
There's plenty going on here to distract and entertain. Jack's situation may not be original, Charlie's redemption hackneyed and the moth symbolism heavy handed, but it's all played straight and there are enough hints of what's coming up to keep things interesting. Kate and Jack can't get it together, but there are other attractions simmering beneath the surface and just who decided that Sayeed's plan shouldn't come to fruition? LOST is growing in strength and surety.Top
The Confidence Man
Sawyer has been a thorn in the side of the survivors since the beginning. Looking out only for himself, hoarding goods salvaged from the plane and helping out only where he thinks he can get something out of it, he has been motivated by nothing but self interest. It's his turn to flashback and show us the events that brought him onto the fateful plane trip. In the meantime, he is refusing to hand over the asthma medicine that might help one of the women unless Kate kisses him.
This is a much better episode. The series is growing in stature with every passing story. Whilst the truth behind Sawyer's story is not as deep as the show would like to think it is, it comes with an interesting twist and a side interest in what is revealed about Sayeed. The Iraqi national guardsman may have been a communications officer, but it turns out that his skills are in making people communicate, preferably with bamboo splinters. Events drive him out on a walkabout of discovery, whilst Kate is left with a hero who is more tarnished than he was and a villain who is more attractive and charming than he should be. Things are heating up in the jungle.
At the end of the last episode, Sayid went on walkabout to map out the island and try to find some redemption for his past. That past is told in flashback. An up and comer in the Iraqi army, he discovers a talent for making people talk about things they don't want to talk about. This leads to a conflict of interests when his next victim is a woman he used to play with as a child. In the here and now, though, he has problems of his own, having been captured by the french woman whose signal they picked up, a woman who has turned a bit towards the shadowy side and hand her hand on the electric switch.
When it comes down to it, Sayid's story isn't one that hasn't been done before, but it is very nicely played out against the background of his encounter with the nutso french woman. What a delight it is for any fan of Babylon 5 to see Mira Furlan in the jungle. despite having been there for 16 years, though, she doesn't exactly shed a lot of light on the survivors' plight. There's also a lot in her past that doesn't bear close inspection and her final words leave some chilling possibilities. On the lighter side, the cave dwellers decide that the secret to sanity and salvation is a round of golf. I kid you not.
It's all fascinating stuff and Lost is finally starting to live up to its billing.Top
Raised by Another
Claire's story, and if you're not sure which one is Claire then you will be on the wavelength of this episode. She's the pregnant one and her backstory is interesting insomuch as it is the very dull story of what happened with the father of the baby, but backed up by an interlude with a psychic that starts off 'ho-hum' and quickly becomes 'bloody hell!'. Sayid gets back with his news that they are not alone and, someone having had the bright idea of making a list of survivors to check against the passenger manifest finds out there is one survivor who wasn't on the plane - and guess who just appeared in the jungle with in-labour Claire and Charlie.
It's happened; in one single episode, Lost has finally lived up to its reputation. It starts off as OK as all the others, but suddenly things start happening that make you sit up, the truth about Claire's psychic is kicker enough, but Sayid's arrival is abrupt enough to set up a cliff hanger ending that just leaves the words 'Holy Sh....' unfinished on your lips. Lost just went from pretty good to bloody unmissable.Top
All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues
More of Jack's story. We saw already what put Jack on the plane from Australia, but this time we delve a bit deeper into the guilt that Jack has for what happened and why there was such enmity between his father and him. However, there are more important things to sort out, such as what has happened to Charlie and Claire at the hands of Ethan.
Carrying straight on from its kick-ass cliffhanger last time, Lost is now flying. This story fair zips along as Jack, Kate and Locke head out to catch up with the kidnapper and a hanger of another kind. True, the flashbacks into Jack's past are into a story that we've seen many a time, and better, even on daytime soap, but that's the secret behind Lost's success, using familiar (some might say hackneyed) plots without being hackneyed itself.
Flashbacks aside, the plot is dynamite and their reunion with Charlie is a killer (no pun intended). And then there is the small matter of what the other half of the search party has found hidden in the jungle floor...Top
Whatever the Case May Be
Kiss Me Kate. From the start of the show, we have known that Kate is not as pure as the driven snow, but there has always been the strong suggestion that she is a fundamentally good type that has been led astray by forces beyond her control. Now we find her involved in a bank robbery, more involved than either the victims or the robbers it seems, and a bit bloody handy with a gun as well. On the island, everyone's moving up off the beach and Charlie is trying to come to terms with losing Claire. Sawyer, meanwhile, is trying to break into a locked case that holds something that Kate is desperate should remain hidden.
For once, the real drama in this episode is provided by the flashbacks rather than what's happening on the island. After the jolting of the past two weeks' plotline, this show is a bit more laid back with not a lot going on other than the revelations from Kate's past. We are left with more questions than answers, of course, but Jack's not the only one having to reassess his opinion of our Katie.Top
Hearts and Minds
Boone's been looking after his sister Shannon since the plane crashed, before in fact. The flashbacks this week show that how he chased her to Sydney to save her from an abusive boyfriend. Or did he? Anyway, he has a lot more immediate problems in the shape of Locke, who has knocked him out and tied him up with only a little salve for his head wound, the big monster in the woods that is coming in his direction and Shannon, who is screaming that Locke has tied her up as well.
Lost has slipped off the boil since the heady heights of Charlie and Claire's abduction. The plot is meandering a bit. Locke and Boone have discovered a hatch hidden in the jungle floor, a hatch that can't be opened. Locke is being as mysterious as ever and it is on his wierdness that this week's events rely. Why has he tied up Boone? Why (and how) has he tied up Shannon? Exactly who is doing what to whom? Fascinating it may be, but we've seen what Lost can be and this isn't quite up to the mark.Top
When it comes to fatherhood, Michael's not making too good a job of it. His relationship with Walt has been strained since the crash and his refusing to let his son hang around with Locke isn't helping none either. When Walt walks off in the jungle alone, you just know he's gonna end up in a heap of trouble, and he does.
The flashbacks to Michael's story are a distraction here as they add nothing to the story of Michael and Walt apart from pointing out that Walt isn't like other children and the fact that he was reading a comic about polar bears just before one shows up could explain a whole heap of stuff. Of course, if he is manifesting what he sees whilst under stress, all the survivors have to do is to show him pictures of a rescue ship and make him upset.
That said, at least things are happening here. The attack of the polar bear is genuinely exciting even though the effects are a bit dodgy. And then there is the small matter of what comes out of the jungle in the last shot.Top
Claire's back, but she doesn't remember anything since before the plane crash. Unfortunately, Ethan is also back and he wants Claire. He tells Charlie that if she is not given up to him then he will kill one survivor a day. They 'circle the wagons' (to use Locke's phrase), but the watch is overtaken by sleep and a survivor winds up dead. Claire insists that they use her as bait to catch Ethan. The trap is sprung and Jack beats Ethan to a pulp before Charlie fills him full of 9mm bullets, making sure that they can't ask any questions and he can't give away the plot.
Why is it that when Claire and Ethan are on the scene Lost flies higher than at any other time? The episodes dealing with her kidnapping were the best of the show so far and this one chases them hard. There is a real sense of threat and danger, with just a hint that we might be getting closer to some sort of explanation as to what is going on. Unfortunately, Charlie sets all that back a long way.Top
Poor Sawyer's really not had a good time of late. Apart from the crash itself, he's been generally reviled by the survivors, cut by a knife and tortured a little bit. Now, one of the boars on the island seems to have taken a dislike to him. First it trashed his tent and the attacked him in a very un-boarlike fashion. Now, it's personal. He's on it's trail, with the help of Kate, the only other survivor who seems to understand him. Whatever the outcome, it seems likely that they are going to learn a bit more about each other.
Sawyer's a fascinating character, fighting against his own self loathing and pity, lashing out at those around him and bringing everyone else down to his own level, whilst somehow managing to believe that he's better than they are. The whole boar hunt story is wonderfully entertaining (illuminating - no, diverting yes) and counterpoints the much darker edges of the flashbacks that tell what brought him to Sydney and the fateful plane in the first place. His dynamic with Kate is proving to be one of the more interesting ones. As for the others, well Charlie is coping with offing Ethan in the last episode, though I must say that his drug withdrawal is going terribly well, and Locke just keeps popping up with that wonderful homely folklore.Top
The raft is almost complete, but catches fire. Everyone suspects sabotage. Michael suspects Jin. It takes a surprise revelation from Sun to demonstrate his innocence, but that revelation drives the wedge between their marriage even deeper. Flashbacks explain how these two, once so in love, are now so at odds and how they came to be on the plane.
This flashback story is one of the more interesting ones, which helps because the rest of what is happening is verging on the dull. Sayid's growing relationship with Shannon is given a dose of cold water by Boone and the rest of the main plotlines move barely an inch.Top
Hurley's been around in the background since the beginning, not really playing a major part in the story, but always adding colour and a bit of humour. Now it's time to tell his story, a tale of numbers and curses. It starts with him winning lottery using numbers that he got from a man with mental problems. It turns out that the numbers carry a curse that dates back to two radio operators picking up a signal in the static from the Pacific. After winning the money, everything starts going wrong for everyone around him. Did the numbers cause all his problems, did they cause the plane crash and do they have something to do with the markings on the maps that Sayid took from the french woman? He sets off into the jungle to find out the answers for himself.
This is a nice episode with a tone that keeps switching between high drama and sly comedy. Hurley's problems would be absurd if they didn't play into the big story that lurks behind the island. The fact that the numbers that ruined his life originated on the island and are etched into the side of the hatchway are nice touches that deepen the mystery. The scene where Hurley discusses it with his accountant and something passes by the window is pure silliness (you have to see it to enjoy it). It's also nice to see Mira Furlan back as mad Rousseau and Locke and Claire share a nice little side story.Top
Deus Ex Machina
The hatch continues to resist all Locke and Boone's efforts to open it, but Locke has a vision involving a crashing plane, his mother and Boone covered in blood. He sets off to find the plane, but needs Boone to help as he is losing the feeling in his legs again. When the plane is discovered, it turns out to be Nigerian drug smugglers with maps only of Nigeria. How did it get there? Why did the island show Locke it? Will Boone get out in time before the thing falls off its perch and he gets seriously mangled? How long can they keep dropping meaningless clues before we all get bored?
Fathers aren't exactly doing very well in Lost. Jack's wasn't exactly a paragon of virtue, Michael hasn't done so well and now we flash back to Locke meeting up with his and finding out that he is no angel either. The flashback quickly becomes predictable and if you don't get the twist really quickly then you're not paying attention. Jack and Sawyer have a nice side story about headaches with the attendant clash of personalities. Both are lightening up and there is sure to be more fun there. But this episode is Locke and Boone's show and their attempts to open the hatch are the thrust of it. The final shot sees Locke being faced with a still stubbornly locked hatch, but one from which light is burning. Have we moved forward, or are we just being kidded?Top
Do No Harm
Boone hasn't had a lot of luck with planes recently. First the one carrying him from Australia to the US fell out of the sky and now the one that he was investigating has fallen out of a tree, leaving him really messed up. Jack fights hard to save him, puncturing lungs, resetting broken legs, stitching up wounds and even pouring his own blood into him. None of it proves to be enough, but whilst all of this is happening, a new life is coming into the world. Claire is having her baby and, with Jack occupied, it's up to Kate to deliver it. The only thing that remains is to break the news to Shannon.
This is an intense episode to say the least. The full hour is based solely on Jack's efforts to save a dying man. We already know that Jack has a problem with giving up on anything or anyone, but the flashback to a wedding just hammers the point home with the subtlety of a sledgehammer. The scenes of surgery are pretty graphic and certainly look (and sound) painful enough to make anyone uncomfortable. It's a measure of the series that it is willing to kill off a major(ish) character and to do so in such a gripping fashion. This is high drama of the kind that shows just why this series has been so hyped around the world.Top
The Greater Good
Sayid's got some problems. Firstly, the flashbacks are all about how he was forced to betray an old friend and the consequences of that action. In the present (assuming that it is the present, who knows with this show?), his girlfriend has just asked him to kill the man that she thinks killed her brother, but he doesn't think that Locke did it, though he knows he's lying about something. Jack is collapsing from exhaustion all over the place, so Kate drugs him in order that he should get some sleep. Whilst he is asleep, however, Shannon gets hold of the key to the gun case and goes after Locke herself.
Despite what seems to be an awful lot of plot when you write it down, there isn't a lot going on in this episode. It feels like we're in a holding pattern again, simply filling in time whilst the writers think up some more plot. Or maybe just how to fill in the empty spaces that are the plot. With the end approaching, however, that must surely be about to change.Top
Born To Run
The raft is almost ready to sail, but it needs to leave now in order to avoid monsoon season and catch the winds to the north where the shipping lanes are. The jockeying for positions aboard has begun. Michael's in charge as it's his boat and Jin has been working alongside him since the start. Michael won't be leaving without Walt, which leaves only one spot open. It's currently filled by Sawyer, who provided some of the vital parts, but Kate wants off the island. How far is she willing to go to get Sawyer's place and how far is he willing to go to keep it? The, Michael suddenly falls ill.
With the series end rapidly closing, you would expect a little more urgency to be developing in the series, but matters are ambling along at the same pace as they have all along. There is plenty of character interplay, most of which is pretty nice and well played, but the plot is advancing with all the speed of an arthritic tortoise going up K2. Interest isn't exactly waning, at least not yet, but the show has found it hard to live up to some of the gripping episodes that it has shown itself capable of.Top
Exodus Part 1
Danielle, or the french chick as she has often been called, walks out of the jungle to tell Sayid that the others are coming and that they can either run or hide or die. Jack decides to go and find some dynamite to blow up the hatch. Michael, Sawyer, Jin and Walt are just about ready to set sail, but not before a few more flashback revelations are made, a few secrets are shared and people who want to say goodbye find ways of not doing so.
This is an episode that is full of pathos and feeling, quite unlike many of the recent ones. Sawyer and Jack share a moment, Shannon and Walt share a moment, the entire camp and the rafters share a moment and Danielle takes Jack and Kate into the heart of darkness. The thing that is so huge that it can't be seen shows up again, but isn't seen and the raft finally sets sail. Things are amping up for the finale and the show is all the better for it. Shame it couldn't have found this quality more consistently or sooner.Top
Exodus Part 2a
It's the penultimate episode here (though shown as a feature length episode elsewhere) and it's all kicking off. The boys on the boat are having the easy time of it. Nothing worse than their rudder breaking off and nearly leaving them adrift happens there. On the mainland however, Jack, Kate, Hurley and Locke get a salutory lesson in how to transport sweaty dynamite, Claire's baby is kidnapped by Rousseau and Sayid gives chase with Charlie, their route bringing the ex-junkie into contact with a plane full of heroin.
The ending of this episode is a damp squib, but that is the only flaw to be found with it. The foray into the jungle looking for dynamite is a masterclass in surprise and tension. It has one of the best moments of the show to date. Claire seems to be taking a kicking. First she was abducted and now the mad french chick steals here baby. This is not turning out to be her best trip. There may be hope for Sayid and Shannon yet and everyone else is making for the supposed safety of the cave. Roll on the cliffhangers that the last episode is sure to bring.Top
Exodus Part 2b
And so the cliffhangers arrive thick and fast, rounding off stories, but making sure that there are enough loose ends to bring us back next time. The dynamite carrying team meet up with an invisible, yet very mechanical sounding monster. They escape, but Hurley realises the hatch has the same numbers on it that have made his life a misery. Locke blows open the hatch anyway. Beneath it is a ladder. Where does it lead? Find out next time.
With almost obscene speed, the boys on the raft get a radar signal and meet up with folks in a boat. Thing is, they want Walt. Michael says no, so they take him anyway, shoot Sawyer and set the raft alight. What is going to happen to the boy? Find out next time.
Sayid and Charlie catch up with Rousseau at the site of the black smoke. They get baby Aaron back, but Charlie is carrying more from the crash site of the drug smugglers' plane than just memories. Will he use it? Find out next time.
Lost has come good right at the end and there can be no doubt that we'll be there when Channel 4 get their act together and bring us series 2.Top
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