"Pilot, Part 1" is the first of the two-part pilot episode of Lost. It was originally broadcast on September 22, 2004, and "Pilot, Part 2" aired the following week. The two parts re-aired together on October 2, 2004. Jack Shephard, a doctor from Los Angeles, finds himself one of forty-eight survivors of a plane crash on a mysterious island. With the help of other survivors, he begins to treat the injured and attempts to find the cockpit of the plane in the hope of contacting civilization.
The episode establishes the show's use of flashbacks to show characters' lives before arriving on the Island. The one flashback in this episode depicts Jack's view of events on the plane just prior to the crash.
Jack, looking out the window of Flight 815
Jack Shephard, sitting in seat 23A on board Oceanic Flight 815, pensively looks out the cabin window to his left. A friendly flight attendant, Cindy Chandler, passes and asks him if he enjoyed his drink. His lukewarm response that "it's not a very strong drink" leads her to give him two more sample bottles of vodka. After consuming one of the bottles, Jack rises and stands in the aisle, where a hurried Charlie Pace passes him, pursued by Chandler and another flight attendant.
Rose Nadler, sitting next to Jack in seat 23D, comments about the incident. She reacts to some light turbulence and Jack attempts to allay her fear. She says that her temporarily absent husband always reminds her that "Planes want to be in the air." Jack says her husband sounds like a smart man; Rose says she'll tell him that when he returns from the bathroom. The plane begins to shake more violently before making a sharp, uncontrolled descent. Some passengers are thrown about; one hits the cabin roof. The cabin loses pressure as the plane rapidly descends; oxygen masks fall from the ceiling. Jack secures his mask and looks out the window, this time at the approaching ocean.
On the Island
Jack comes to in a bamboo grove.
Jack wakes, disoriented, flat on his back in a dense bamboo grove. A golden Labrador Retriever, Vincent, looks at him and runs past him. Slowly, Jack struggles to his feet. He leans against a tall piece of bamboo and finds a sample bottle of vodka in his jacket pocket. Jack runs haphazardly through the grove, passing a white tennis shoe hanging from a tree. ♪
Jack emerges at a pristine beach but finds to his left the chaos of the wrecked mid-section of Oceanic Flight 815. He stumbles toward the smoking crash site where survivors move about in disarray. Charlie Pace, dazed, stands dangerously close to a still-running jet engine. Jin-Soo Kwon, oblivious to his fellow passengers, cries out in Korean for his wife and Michael Dawson shouts for his son, Walt, as he runs through the wreckage. Nearby, Shannon Rutherford stands screaming hysterically beneath the plane's precariously teetering wing. With the help of John Locke and two other men, Jack pulls a passenger with a crushed leg from underneath one of the plane's detached landing wheels and ties a tourniquet above the injury. Jack sees an 8-month pregnant woman crying for help and orders Locke to keep others away from the engine. He runs to the girl and asks how far apart her contractions are. He notices a young man incorrectly performing CPR on a woman. Meanwhile, Gary Troup, while crossing the path of the still-running engine, is sucked in and the engine explodes violently.
Jack and Locke pull a survivor from beneath the plane's wheels.
Jack and Hurley help Claire escape the falling wing.
After shielding Claire from the explosion, Jack tells her to remain absolutely still. He directs Hugo "Hurley" Reyes to take her away from the fumes of the burning wreckage and to call him if her situation worsens. Hugo asks his name and Jack calls his first name back. Jack goes back to Boone and tells him that he is doing mouth-to-mouth incorrectly. The well-intentioned but unqualified Boone goes to find a pen thinking it may help. The woman, Rose, eventually breathes again after Jack's continued attempts to resuscitate her. Jack looks up and sees Hugo and Claire sitting under the ominously creaking plane wing. He dashes to them and the three escape just as the wing collapses and explodes. A piece of the plane's engine narrowly misses Charlie as he wanders aimlessly. ♪
Jack wanders through the wreckage, stops at what remains of the fuselage, and peers in. Boone arrives with a handful of pens, saying that he didn't know which one would work best. Jack replies that they are all good as Boone solemnly looks into the wreckage. ♪
Jack finds a sewing kit in a suitcase and runs to a secluded spot away from the wreckage to treat a large gash on his lower back. He sees Kate Austen walking out of the jungle and asks her to stitch his wound as it is out of his reach. She reluctantly agrees. She rinses her hands with Jack's vodka while he washes the wound. He chooses "standard black" thread from the kit.
Jack tells Kate about his experience with fear, while she stitches his wound.
Terrified, Kate is calmed by Jack's story of his first solo surgical procedure on a girl, when he accidentally ripped her dural sac after a 14 hour operation. He says he conquered his fear by "letting the fear in," but only for five seconds which he counted away. Kate says that she would have run for the door, but Jack points out that she is not running now.
On the beach, it is twilight. Sawyer smokes a cigarette grimly as he surveys the wreckage; Claire stands looking to sea; Locke sits on the beach. Hurley salvages some meals from the plane's galley. Sayid enlists Charlie to keep the fire he has built alight and big, otherwise no one will see it. Rose tearfully kisses her wedding ring.
Night. Charlie has written "F A T E" on a bandage on his left hand, one letter on each finger. Sayid says that he would have expected them to have been rescued by now. Shannon petulantly refuses a chocolate Apollo bar offered to her by Boone while she paints her toenails, saying she will eat on the "rescue boat." ♪ Hurley distributes the meals he found earlier, giving two to Claire. Michael cares for his son. Jin tells Sun that she must stay with him at all times and not care about the other survivors.
Hurley hands Claire her dinner.
Jack tends to an unconscious Edward Mars, who is badly injured by shrapnel embedded in his abdomen. Kate asks Jack if he believes the man will live and tells him that she was sitting next to the man during the flight. They discuss the crash and where the missing cockpit and tail might be. Jack thinks there might be a transceiver in the cockpit they could use to send a signal.
The Survivors hear the Monster.
Beyond the light of their fire, the peacefulness is interrupted by loud and terrifying mechanical-sounding noises from the jungle, accompanied by the crashing of trees. The survivors gather together fearfully and look toward the noises.
The next day, as some of the survivors discuss the strange jungle noises of the night before, Kate and Jack prepare to search for the cockpit and its transceiver. Kate takes walking shoes from a dead body and looks up to see Locke watching her. He smiles, revealing an orange peel obscuring his teeth. ♪ Jack leaves Boone in charge of the wounded, including Edward Mars. Charlie pushes himself into the search group, and they set off to follow Kate's descriptions of the location of smoke she saw the previous day. ♪ Kate tells Charlie he looks familiar; he reveals that he is the bassist in the band Drive Shaft. Vincent watches the trio from the bushes.
As evening approaches, a tropical rainstorm drenches the survivors. Only Locke remains uncovered as he welcomes the rain with open arms. The terrifying noises and movement in the jungle are observed again by Claire and Rose.
Jack, Kate and Charlie discover the pilot is alive.
The trio find the nose section of the plane, which is suspended at a steep angle in trees. ♪ Led by Jack, they climb into the nose and scale the slanted floor, where Jack pries open the cockpit door and a body falls through the door. Inside, they find the pilot of Oceanic Flight 815, unconscious and still in his seat. He suddenly awakens and coughs. The pilot tells Jack and Kate that the plane had lost radio contact before the crash and changed course towards Fiji. They were, in his reckoning, 1000 miles off course and "they are looking for us in the wrong place." The pilot locates the plane's transceiver, but can't get it to work. Jack and Kate notice that Charlie is missing. As Kate calls for him, he guiltily emerges from the bathroom.
Jack, Kate and Charlie find the pilot, dead.
Loud noises and the mechanical thrashing heard by the survivors on the beach fill the air. The pilot attempts to investigate by cautiously peering out of a broken cockpit window. To the horror of the search party, the pilot is seized by something unseen and pulled through the window. A large splatter of blood splashes on the cockpit window as he disappears. Jack grabs the transceiver as he and Kate exit the cockpit in terror. As the three run from the Monster, Charlie trips. Jack runs back to him to free his leg, and becomes separated from the group. Kate continues running but stops and draws herself under the trailing roots of a banyan tree. She calms herself by counting to five, as she and Jack had discussed earlier. ♪
Charlie runs into Kate and the two begin searching for Jack. The rain stops. Kate finds the pilot's badge in the mud beneath a tree, and she and Charlie look up and spot his bloodied body suspended in the treetops, mangled. Jack steps out of hiding, saying that he dodged the Monster. Looking up, Charlie wonders what could have possibly done that to the pilot.
- The premiere episodes from the first three seasons are Jack-centric, although he only has one flashback in this episode.
- The premiere episodes from the first three seasons start with a character and locale never seen before on the show.
- The crash site seen in this episode is replicated in "Walkabout" and "Exposé".
- The day of the crash (Wednesday, September 22, 2004) is featured in this episode as well as in "Walkabout" (Locke), "Exposé" (Nikki and Paulo), and "Greatest Hits" (Charlie), in the flashbacks of midsection survivors, as well as the mobisode "So It Begins" (Vincent). It is also shown from the perspectives of others in "The Other 48 Days" (the tail section survivors), "Live Together, Die Alone, Part 2" (Desmond), "A Tale of Two Cities" (the Others), "One of Us" (the Others), and "The Other Woman" (the Others).
- J.J. Abrams won an Emmy for the directing of this episode.
- Abrams, Damon Lindelof, and Jeffrey Lieber received an Emmy nomination for writing the episode.
- When this episode was repeated in the United Kingdom on August 10, 2005, the deaths of Gary Troup and the pilot were omitted in order for the premiere to maintain a PG rating. However, reruns shown after 10 p.m. show these scenes.
- The boots Kate removes from a corpse are from the brand "Ariat", an equestrian athletic shoe.
- Sound bytes are used from the PC game Half-Life 2: When the plane's engine explodes and debris rains down, a man is hit by a piece and the sound produced is virtually identical to that of a Combine soldier dying. The sound of the debris crashing is also identical to that of wood breaking in the game. This is one of several allusions to Half-Life within the series.
Jack's small bottle of vodka
- Jack's bottle of vodka contains the Cyrillic text "дождь", transliterated as "dozhd", and translated from Russian as "rain". It also included the words "Pure Vodka" written in English.
- The title, like many episodes, has a double meaning: not just the first episode, but the first victim of the Smoke Monster.
- By the end of this episode, only 8 of the main characters have been named for the viewing audience. They are in order: Jack, Charlie, Sayid, Shannon, Kate, Boone, Walt and Sun (in korean).
- In the enhanced version, the scene that shows Jack staring out at the ocean after the crash is shown changes. In the enhanced, the ocean is seen for a few seconds before showing Jack's face staring at it. In the original version, the scene immediately cuts to Jack's face staring.
- This Episode is rated TV-14-V.
- This is the only first hour of a season in which all main cast members appear.
- This is the only season premiere to feature Michael and only one to feature Jin and Boone in a speaking part until Season 6 premiere.
- With a budget of roughly $12 million, this episode, along with "Pilot, Part 2", was the most expensive pilot in TV history. Boardwalk Empire's 2010 pilot later cost $18 million.
- Jack was originally intended to get killed off in the pilot episode, with Kate replacing him as the de facto leader of the survivors. However, due to strong notes from the network against the death, the writers decided to keep Jack and introduced the short-lived pilot character instead. (Pilot, Part 1 audio commentary) Contrary to popular belief, this story change occurred long before the casting of Matthew Fox.
- At one point in the development of the script, Boone's name was going to be "Five" (he would have been named "Boone Anthony Markham V" and gone by "Five"). When they decided to change it back to "Boone," they ran a find-and-replace on the script, which resulted in the the dialog between Kate and Jack in the stitching scene reading as, "One, Two, Three, Four, Boone." (Pilot, Part 1 audio commentary)
- The pilot, although uncredited, was played by Greg Grunberg. Grunberg, a childhood friend of J.J. Abrams, has appeared in many of his productions as a good luck charm.
- September 22, 2004, the date this episode originally aired, is also the date within the storyline on which Oceanic Flight 815 crashed. This was confirmed aloud in "Live Together, Die Alone, Part 1" and "The Glass Ballerina".
- According to producer Bryan Burk, the color red was purposefully de-emphasized in the crash scene so the few shots of blood would "really land." (Pilot, Part 1 audio commentary)
The tail section, originally supposed to land on the same beach as the fuselage
- Originally, the tail section of Oceanic Flight 815 was going to land on the same beach as the fuselage (rather than across the Island). ("Inner Demons")
- For the scenes with Kate and Charlie running from the cockpit, the actors weren't able to be filmed in focus, so they were filmed running in place. A long lens (putting the background out of focus) and a shaking camera were used to give the illusion of them running through the jungle. (Pilot, Part 1 audio commentary)
- This episode features the first appearances of recurring characters L. Scott Caldwell (Rose Nadler), Fredric Lane (Edward Mars), Kimberley Joseph (Cindy Chandler), Michelle Arthur (Michelle), and Jon Dixon (JD).
- An audio commentary by J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof and Bryan Burk is available for this episode on the Season 1 DVD.
- On the DVD featurette on the creation of the pilot, a version of the cast picture with Rose instead of Claire can be seen, implying she may have been envisioned as a regular.
- Smoking: Charlie and Sawyer's first lines are to each other. Charlie asks Sawyer for a cigarette.
- Chicken or Lasagna: Hurley asks Locke to choose between two Oceanic meals.
- The two scenes of Kate stitching Jack were envisioned as a single scene, joined by additional material. Originally, Kate was to have claimed to be from New Zealand and would have briefly started crying. Their exchange on fear would also have been slightly longer; Jack would have referred to fear as an "in-law who just drops in."
- Michael and Walt's first scene was written slightly longer. Michael would have said "I love you" to his son.
- After first suggesting searching for the cockpit, Jack would have asked for details about Kate's time in New Zealand. Kate would have changed the subject to Jack's tattoos, an exchange instead later worked into "House of the Rising Sun". 
- Jack's conversation with Cindy would have mentioned that he'd given his first class ticket to an old, overweight woman.
- After Shannon lent him sunscreen, Charlie would have mocked its low strength. 
- During the first rainfall, Sawyer was to approach Sayid's enclosure before being sent away. He would have then called Sayid "Osama," which would have led to their later fight.
Bloopers and continuity errors
The blood on the window is inconsistent
- Rose is not wearing her husband's wedding ring around her neck as she later says she always does when they are flying; although, she is seen kissing it on the beach briefly.
- The Oceanic airplane is supposed to be a Boeing 777, but when Jack is shown running through the wreckage, the main landing gear of the plane has only four wheels instead of the six a B-777 would have. Also, in several shots of the instruments in the cockpit, there are three engine indicators instead of the two a 777 would have.
- The black object that appears to swoop down in front of the turbine engine just prior to it exploding was believed by many fans to be the cause of the explosion, and related to the Monster. This was later refuted by the producers and explained as an artifact of poor CGI effects (which should have shown the object radiating out from the turbine after the explosion, instead of approaching the turbine beforehand).
- When the Monster grabs the pilot and pulls him out of the plane, a lot of blood falls on the window behind Kate. A few seconds later, the window is clean again.
- A possible reason for this is the heavy rain that was happening at that time washing the blood away.
- When the Monster is heard on the first night and all the survivors crowd together, Jack and Kate are standing just in front of Michael and Walt. When the camera cuts back to them, Michael and Walt can be seen standing away from them.
- When hiking to the cockpit, Charlie tells Kate he is in Drive Shaft and points to his ring as proof, as he claims the ring was from the 'second tour of Finland.' In the season 3 episode 'Greatest Hits,' we are told that the ring is in fact a family heirloom from Dexter Stratton.
Michael Giacchino's score for this episode relies more on synthesized instruments than later episodes would, but the instrumentation is otherwise very similar. The episode also establishes the basic contrast between quiet, consonant passages and loud, dissonant ones.
The episode opens, in quick succession, with a crash motif, a "waking motif" and the show's main mystery theme, all of which appear on the season one soundtrack in the track "The Eyeland". A 14-bar percussion cue during the chaotic scene at the crash site appears on the soundtack as "World's Worst Beach Party" and was appropriated for use in the end credits theme music for the show. After the action settles down, Giacchino introduces the gentle theme for the survivors as "Credit Where Credit is Due", which has become a much-used theme throughout the series.
The other major theme introduced in the episode is the show's first "traveling theme," a quiet and repetitive motif for scenes involving treks across the Island. A different statement of this latter theme can be heard on the Season 3 soundtrack as "Juliette is Lost". Other motifs include an action motif, which appears as the track "Run Like, Um... Hell?", a motif for the camp, a grim motif as Kate collect shoes from a corpse and a suspense motif that plays during the cockpit scene. Another suspense motif plays soon before the episode closes.
|Animals • Black and white • Character connections • Children • Coincidence • Death • Deceptions and cons • Dreams • Economics • Electromagnetism • Eyes • Fate versus free will • Games • Good and bad people • Imprisonment • Isolation • Leadership • Life and death • Literary works • Mirrors • Missing body parts • Nicknames • The Numbers • Pairings • Parapsychology • Parent issues • Pregnancies • Psychology • Rain • Redemption • Relationships • Religion • Revenge • Salvation • Secrets|
- The episode opens with a close-up of Jack's eye, pulling back and showing him alone in the jungle. (Eyes) (Isolation)
- Claire tells Jack that she is eight months pregnant. (The Numbers) (Pregnancies)
- Jack asks Kate if she ever sewed a pair of jeans to get her to admit to knowing how to sew; as he knew she might decline if she knew she was really going to sew his wound. (Deceptions and cons)
- Charlie puts white tape on 4 fingers of his left hand onto which he writes the letters "F A T E" with a black marker. (Black and white) (Fate versus free will) (The Numbers)
- When Kate is getting prepared to sew up Jack's wound, she asks him if he has a thread color preference for the stitches; he replies, "No. Standard black." (Black and white)
- The girl Jack operated on in his "count to five" story was 16 years old. (The Numbers)
- John Locke has a gash above and below his right eye from the crash. (Eyes)
- Jack tells the pilot that at least 48 people survived the plane crash. (Life and death) (The Numbers)
- At the wreckage on the beach, the presence of death is very strong, with all the dead bodies lying around, in addition to those trapped in the fuselage. (Life and death)
- At the wreckage, Gary Troup gets sucked into a still-running turbine, instantly killing him and causing the turbine to explode. (Life and death)
- Jack saves Rose's life. (Life and death) (Rebirth)
- The pilot is pulled from the cockpit, and later found dead on a tree. (Life and death)
- Jack, Rose, and Bernard sat in row 23 on the plane. (The Numbers)
- Jack strikes the cockpit door eight times before it gives way. (The Numbers)
- When the pilot regains consciousness, Jack tells him it's been 16 hours since the crash. (The Numbers)
- Jack, Kate and Charlie are drenched in a sudden rainstorm as they advance into the jungle. (Rain)
- One of the first people Jack notices and helps after he shows up at the crash site is his half-sister, Claire. (Character connections)
| Cultural references|
(direct references only)
|Art • Automobiles • Games • History • Literary works • Movies and TV • Music • Philosophy • Religion and ideologies • Science|
- Monkey Island: Sawyer calls the Island "Monkey Island," a possible reference to the LucasArts series of computer adventure games. (Games)
- The Godfather: Locke is seen smiling with an orange peel in his mouth, a trick Vito does for his grandson in The Godfather. (Movies and TV)
- Alice's Adventures in Wonderland: Vincent the yellow labrador is seen racing by, similar to the white rabbit in this book. (Literary works)
- The Drawing of the Three: by Stephen King, is the second book in The Dark Tower Series. Charlie has strong similarities to character Eddie Dean. Both are addicted to heroin when introduced and are nearly caught while attempting to smuggle the drug on board an airplane. (Literary works)
|Comparative: Irony • Juxtaposition • Foreshadowing Plotting: Cliffhanger • Plot twist Stock characters: Archetype • Redshirt • Unseen character|
Story: Flashbacks • Flash-forwards • Flash sideways • Framing device • Regularly spoken phrases • Symbolism • Unreliable narrator
- Jack finds a vodka bottle in his pocket when he wakes up disoriented in the jungle. (Foreshadowing)
- Jack's flashback introduces one of the main storytelling devices of the series. (Flashbacks)
- Kate is first seen by Jack emerging from the jungle rubbing her wrists. In "Pilot, Part 2", we see that this is because she was wearing handcuffs on the plane. (Foreshadowing)
- After Jack's "count to five" story, Kate tells Jack she would've run for the door in that situation. Jack replies, "No, I don't think that's true. You're not running now." (Foreshadowing)
- The introduction of the Monster is the first big plot twist of the series. Its appearance and nature remain unanswered until the final season of Lost. (Plot twist)
- Rose is shown kissing her husband's wedding ring. (Foreshadowing)
- Charlie runs by Jack in the airplane and later spends extra time in the cockpit restroom. (Foreshadowing)
- Before entering the cockpit, Jack tells Kate and Charlie, "Let's do this." (Regularly spoken phrases)
- After getting separated from Jack, Kate tells Charlie, "We have to go back for him." (Regularly spoken phrases)
- The pilot is the first redshirt of the series. (Redshirt)
|A-Missions • Crimes • Economics • Leadership • O-Missions • Relationships • F-Missions • Rivalries • S-Missions|
- Jack, Kate, and Charlie locate the cockpit in order to salvage the plane's transceiver. (A-Missions)
- Attending to various medical situations after the crash and coming up with a plan to locate the transceiver to find rescue, Jack begins to emerge as the leader of the middle section survivors. (Leadership)
- Welcome to Oahu (transcript of the DVD bonus features about the filming of the pilot)
- Turbine explosion (debunked theory)
- The Wreck Of Island Aeromotive (a parody of this episode)
- ↑ Vancouver Sun: "They once were lost, but now they're found" Alex Strachan, 06/17/2010
- ↑ Variety: HBO lays a big-bucks bet on 'Boardwalk' Cynthia Littleton, 08/07/2010
- ↑ SpoilerTV.co.uk Pilot, Part 1' Script, Scene 41
- ↑ SpoilerTV.co.uk Pilot, Part 1' Script, Scene 50
- ↑ SpoilerTV.co.uk Pilot, Part 1' Script, Scene 52
- ↑ SpoilerTV.co.uk Pilot, Part 1' Script, Scene 65
- ↑ SpoilerTV.co.uk Pilot, Part 1' Script, Scene 69
- ↑ SpoilerTV.co.uk Pilot, Part 1' Script, Scene 73