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Sorry for the delay in my first rewatch review, I've been very busy lately. I am writing this rewatch blog so that I can rewatch the series and look out for things that came up the first time that I may have missed. I will make connections from each episode to things that will happen later in the show.
One of the most dominant themes in the entire show is the image that opens up the entire series...Jack's eye opening after a plane crashes. This is particularly poignant now that we know that the final image of the series is Jack's eye closing as the plane flies away. It is amazing how well the first and last scenes of the series mirror each other. In the opening, Jack struggles against the bamboo trees to get up off the ground, in pain from a wound to his side. (that Kate will later stitch up) In the ending, Jack struggles against the bamboo trees on the way to the ground, in pain from a wound to his other side. We see Vincent run up to Jack, which is what we see in the series finale too, except in the finale, Vincent stays and comforts Jack. In the Pilot, Vincent runs away.
The behavior of Vincent in the Pilot interested me slightly. We know that Christian Shephard (most likely the Man in Black) told Vincent to go find Jack (from the mobisode, So It Begins), and we then see Vincent later watching the survivors as they trek up the Island to use the transceiver. I don't really know what to make of Vincent's behavior here, but he seems to have been influenced by the Man in Black slightly. I may be looking too far into this.
Jack runs over to the wreckage and we get to one of the more thrilling scenes in the series. This is when we first see a lot of characters. The first words of the series are "WALTTTTT" (we had no idea how annoying that would get later, especially in Season 2 after the Others stole Walt). We see Jack and Locke's first scene together on the Island during this action sequence as they help pull a man out from under a piece of wreckage. The Jack/Locke dynamic, which gets its start here, would become for me one of the most fascinating and interesting aspects of the show. We see Boone fail in giving Rose CPR, and run off to find pens to help Jack. This scene is mirrored in the Season 6 premiere when Jack is trying to save Charlie in the afterlife version of Flight 815, but doesn't have a pen to perform a tracheotomy because Kate stole it.
The parts that interested me the most watching the Pilot again were certain characters' first interactions with each other. We see Jack and Kate's first scene together, the famous "Count to 5" scene. I was really happy to finally see the flashback behind this story in the Season 5 finale, The Incident. Kate will use the Count to 5 technique on a few occasions during the series, including when she is hiding from the Man in Black/The Monster later in the episode, and when she is being lowered into the Hatch in Man of Science, Man of Faith. Again, it is notable that Jack's wound here is very similar to the stab wound he'll get fighting the Man in Black at the end of the series, just on the opposite side. It is also notable that we get our first black/white reference when Jack choose "standard black" for his stitches. I also noticed how Kate said she would have reacted to Jack's story (the rupturing of the patient's dural sac) by "running for the door." Running has always been Kate's modus operandi, and this is the first time we hear about it. When she comes into the scene, she was rubbing her wrists where the handcuffs were, the handcuffs that signified her born to run lifestyle. Later, she'll insist on coming with Jack to find the cockpit, something she'll do for the rest of the series.
During the second part of the episode, we see Sayid and Hurley's first scene. Hurley comes up to Sayid after his bout with Sawyer, and says "You're ok, I like you." This part really made me think of Hurley asking if they should go get Sayid in The Candidate, and Jack saying "There is no Sayid!"
We also later see Jin and Claire's first scene together, where Jin feeds her, and Aaron kicks for the first time on the Island, and it reminded me of the fact that Jin was the first Oceanic 815 survivor to find Claire after her exile in the jungle for 3 years.
The first episode of the series also featured the introduction of the Monster, now known as the Man in Black, the nameless nemesis of Jacob. Knowing what we know now about his powers and the rules, it's interesting to look back at this episode. We now know that the Monster couldn't have killed Jack, Kate, or Charlie, as the rules prevented him from killing candidates. He was probably however very angry that a large group of new candidates came to the Island, and wanted to kill the pilot for bringing them all there. Also, at this point, nobody actually knew about the rules, so Jack, Kate, and Charlie certainly thought that the Monster could kill them when they saw him kill Seth Norris, and this instilled fear that benefited the Monster. The thought that the Man in Black could kill them at any time helped the Man in Black during Season 6 because he could threaten the candidates into complying with him. The other thing I noticed about this scene was the presence of a lot of empty seats in the front section of the plane. Where did the bodies of these people go? Were there survivors in the front section? If so, where are they?
Also, you should note the similarities between Seth Norris and Jonas Whitfield's death. Both were killed shortly after they arrived on the Island, and were high-ranking officers on the vehicles that brought them to the Island (Seth Norris was the pilot of 815, and Jonas Whitfield was the first officer of the Black Rock). Both were killed by pulled out of top of their plane/ship by the Monster, leaving other terrified people below (Jack and Kate on 815, and Richard Alpert on the Black Rock.) We also see Kate and Charlie, after they have escaped the Monster but have lost Jack, with Kate telling Charlie, "We have to go back!" Sound familiar? Going back for their friends has always been a motivation of a lot of survivors on the show. Jack went back to the Island because Locke told him that things were wrong with his friends on the Island. Michael went back on the Kahana in order to redeem himself over how he betrayed his friends on the Island. Kate went back to the Island for Claire so she could reunite her with Aaron.
When Kate decides to go up to high ground to work the transceiver, she says about the Monster, "What makes you think we're safer here than in the jungle?" This is an interesting point. We've never seen the Man in Black in his smoke form on the beach. He only attacks when people venture into the jungle. Does it have something with the close proximity of the water with the beach that prevents him from attacking people on the beach?
We see the existence of polar bears on the Island for the first time, as Sawyer shows his sarcastic side for the first time by saying the bear came from "bear village." Earlier, we also hear Sawyer give out his first nickname, by calling Hurley "lardo" during his fight with Sayid. We won't learn about the nature of the polar bears until their is a quick shot of them in Swan Orientation video in Season 2, and we learn in Season 3 they were kept on Hydra Island in the same bear cages that Kate and Sawyer were kept in.
For me, the most important scene in the Pilot is the backgammon scene with Locke and Walt. Up until that point, Locke hadn't spoken, and had merely been very creepy. He had smiled at Kate with the orange in his mouth, and then stayed out in the rain when everybody else ran for cover. The tendency for armageddon-like weather conditions to appear on the Island without warning was noted by Charlie earlier in the episode as they trekked to the cockpit. We saw severe weather on the Island a lot of times, with the rain as a backdrop for many dramatic scenes, including Ethan's death, the arrival of the Black Rock, and Jack and the Man in Black's final battle. The backgammon scene is important is because it basically lays out the conflict between Jacob and the Man in Black in the very first episode of the series. "Two players, two sides, one side is light, and one is dark." He says that the game is the oldest in the world, referencing the fact the Jacob and the Man in Black played their game concerning humanity for 2 millenia. Locke also states that early versions of the game used bones for dice, which could symbolize that fact that Jacob and the Man in Black used people as the pawns in their game.
The first instance that rescue would not be coming anytime soon was the final scene of the episode, where we learn that a French woman (later determined to be Danielle Rousseau) had been playing a transmission for 16 years, and 5 months. This sort of messes up the chronological timeline of the Island if Sayid's calculation is correct. This would put Rousseau's arrival in 1988, which begs the question of how she survived the Purge, which occurred in 1992.
We also see the first 3 flashbacks of the show during the 2 parts of the Pilot. The familiar whoosh flashback sound wasn't used yet. The image of Jack looking out of the plane over the wing is the exact same shot that opened Season 6. We are also introduced to the tenuous relationship Jack has with alcohol during this series, as he requests a stronger drink from Cindy Chandler, the flight attendant. This scene reminded me of the opening of the Season 3 finale where Jack was denied a drink on the plane because he was clearly very drunk. Alcohol would a strong factor in Jack's spiral downwards in the middle of the show after he left the Island. We are introduced to Charlie's vices in his first flashback, as he gets high in the airplane bathroom. And, in one of the big twists of the episode, we find out that Kate was the convict in handcuffs on the plane.
Now there of course is a lot that I missed, if I included everything, this would be an incredibly long review (well it already is, anyway.) What did you guys notice from your rewatch of the Pilot?
My review of Tabula Rasa will be coming soon.
Thanks for reading as always, Doug