The Pilot was originally split into two parts, each broadcast a week apart. It aired in its original format on October 2, 2004. The premise for the series is set forth in an indirect and incomplete manner, which has become the defining style of the series.
This episode in particular introduces some of the main characters and their traits, and shows how the plane crashed from one person's point of view. The episode is mainly about how the survivors of the fuselage adapted to life on the island, and what roles each of them took up. It also introduces one of the major mysteries of the show- the Monster.
The flashback opens on a man, Dr. Jack Shephard, drinking an alcoholic beverage on Oceanic Flight 815, traveling from Sydney, Australia to Los Angeles in the United States. He was seated across the aisle from Rose, a woman whose husband had just gone to the bathroom at the rear of the plane. It was while Jack was talking to her that the plane began to hit turbulence; he told her "it's normal", and that he'd keep her company until her husband returns from the bathroom. The plane then lost cabin pressure, and oxygen masks fell from the ceiling. The passengers scrambled to put them on as quickly as possible.
A close-up of an opening eye shows the pupil contracting. The tops of trees in a bamboo grove are seen through the eyes of man (who is later identified as Jack Shephard) lying on his back in the jungle. A Golden Labrador Retriever dog trots past through the trees. Obviously confused to how he arrived there, the man gazes about at the idyllic surroundings when his memories rush back to him. He notices a White Tennis Shoe hanging from a tree. With great effort, he sits upright, revealing blood on his shirt. He bolts upright and runs pell-mell through the jungle, emerging at a beach strewn with the wreckage of a jet airliner and almost 50 confused survivors of the crash. The fuselage of the jet is still burning and one of the engines is still in operation, though its speed waxes and wanes due to no apparent cause.
On the beach, Jack moves quickly among the survivors attempting to administer medical aid, identifying himself as a medical doctor. With the help of other survivors (one is later identified as Johnathan "John" Locke), he pulls a man with a severed leg from underneath the fuselage. When he notices a pregnant woman (whom we later meet as Claire Littleton) complaining of possible labor pains, he directs a nearby survivor (whom we later meet as Hugo "Hurley" Reyes) to help her. Chaos continues as the fuselage continues to burn and disintegrate. A male survivor is sucked into the jet engine, which explodes, sending debris raining on the beach. Jack administers CPR to a woman (later identified as Rose Nadler) unconscious on the beach after a man had attempted to do the same (later identified as Boone Carlyle).
After administering aid to the others, Jack takes a sewing kit from a suitcase and slips off into the jungle to examine the wound on his left side. He sees a young woman (who later identifies herself to the unconscious man as Kate Austen) standing nearby and drafts her to sew up his wound, calming her by telling her the story of his first solo surgical procedure, where he conquered his fear during an emergency by "letting the fear" in, but only for five seconds. It is also revealed through their conversation that the plane disintegrated in the air, with the tail section of the plane having fallen off (Kate claims she saw the whole thing, while Jack says he blacked out before that).
On the beach, Jack tends to an unconscious male survivor who is badly injured by a fragment of the fuselage embedded in his torso. Kate asks Jack if he thinks the man will live, and informs him that she was sitting next to him during the flight. Other survivors (including the father and son we later meet as Michael Dawson and Walt Lloyd) congregate and discuss what to do with the bodies still in the fuselage. A male survivor (identified soon as Sayid Jarrah) has created a fire and asks another man to assist him (later identified as Charlie Pace). We briefly encounter the character later identified as James "Sawyer" Ford, lounging nonchalantly on his back on the beach, who lights a cigarette and smokes in the wreckage. The character we earlier met, Hurley, salvages meals from the plane's galley and distributes them, giving two to Claire (her labor pains were false, but it is revealed she is eight months pregnant). A young woman whom later meet as Shannon Rutherford petulantly refuses a chocolate bar offered by her male companion (whom we later meet as Boone Carlyle, her step-brother) on the grounds that she will eat on the "rescue ship" when it arrives. Among the survivors, there is a general expectation that they will be rescued at any time. Sayid organizes the clean-up of the beach.
In the evening, beyond the light of their fire, the peacefulness of the waiting is interrupted by loud terrifying mechanical-sounding noises from the nearby jungle, punctuated by the crashing of trees. The source of these noises seems invisible or hidden, and is later referred to as "The Monster". The next day, Rose remarks that the sounds remind of where she used to live - The Bronx, New York.
The next day, Jack decides that in order to be rescued, the survivors will need to send a radio message using the transceiver of the aircraft, which is located in the cockpit, which broke off in the air (In doing so, Jack reveals to Kate that he took a few flying lessons but that it "wasn't for him"). Jack leaves Boone in charge of the wounded, including the man with sharpnel in his stomach. Based on Kate's descriptions of the location of smoke, he sets off into the jungle, accompanied by Kate at her insistence, as well as by Charlie. As the trio walks away from the beach, they are observed from the brush by the dog encountered in the opening scene. Kate tells Charlie he looks familiar, and he reveals to her that he is the bass guitar player in a band called Drive Shaft.
As the trio advances into the jungle, they are drenched by a sudden rainstorm. They encounter the nose section of the plane, which is sitting at a steep angle in the trees. The three of them, led by Jack, climb into the nose and scale the steep floor, where Jack pries open the cockpit door. Inside he and Kate find The Pilot, still in his seat, who awakens suddenly. The pilot reveals to Jack and Kate that the plane had lost radio contact before the crash, and had changed course towards Fiji. They were, in his reckoning, 1000 miles off course and thus no one knows where they are. The pilot locates the transceiver, but he cannot get it to function. At this time, Kate and Jack notice that Charlie has disappeared. He suddenly emerges from the restroom to the suspicion of Kate.
Meanwhile on the beach during the same rainstorm, a group of the survivors huddles in part of the fuselage. The conspicuous exception is the older fellow, John Locke, who sits alone in the rain on the beach with his arms outstretched up the air, as if glorying in the rain itself.A young Korean couple (whom we later meet as Jin-Soo Kwon and Sun-Soo Kwon) huddles under part of the fuselage. The man tells the woman in Korean to stick close to him at all times.
In the jungle, the conversation in the cockpit is interrupted by loud noises from outside the plane, accompanied by mechanical thrashing identical to the "Monster" heard by the other survivors on the beach. The pilot attempts to investigate by climbing out a broken cockpit window. To the horror of the others, he is seized by some unseen presence while halfway out the window and disappears. Jack grabs the transceiver and he and Kate exit the cockpit in terror. As the three run from the "Monster", Charlie is nearly taken by it, after he trips, and Jack leaves Kate to return to fetch him. She calms herself by counting to five as Jack had suggested. Charlie runs into Kate without Jack, and the two go searching for him. Kate finds the pilot's badge in the mud, then they spot his bloodied body suspended in the tree tops. Jack emerges and says he dodged The Monster, and Charlie questions what could have done that to the pilot.
The creators note that Boone's original name was going to be "5". When they decided to change it back to "Boone" they ran a find-and-replace on the script. They later noticed that this changed the dialog between Kate and Jack in the stitching scene to "1, 2, 3, 4, Boone!".
The pilot that was killed by the monster, although uncredited, is played by Greg Grunberg, J.J. Abrams' childhood friend who has appeared in almost every one of Abrams' productions.
J.J. Abrams won an Emmy for directing the Lost Pilot; he, Damon Lindelof, and Jeffrey Lieber also got an Emmy nomination for writing the Pilot.
The Turbine Explosion - A strange discrepancy just before the explosion of the turbine, which has yet to be completely explained.