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LOST: Season 1

LOST: Season 1

What He said:

He

We have to go back!”, said Jack Shepard. I found myself agreeing with him one day not too long ago. A few months back I was sitting around wanting something to watch. I wanted to watch something that I could immerse myself in. I wanted to watch something that had a lot of layers, meaning, and something I could take my time with. It was then, I that I decided that – like Jack – I needed to go back to the island.

LOST first aired on September 22, 2004. I remember seeing billboards and posters on buses for a weeks. Then a TV spot or two popped up and I was really intrigued. A primetime sci fi/fantasy drama on a major network?! This was right up my alley. I can’t think of anything (good) that fit that description since Quantum Leap.

LOST: Season 1

LOST tells the story of a group plane crash survivors. They have crash-landed on a tropical island. They are of all different ages, backgrounds, and mindsets. They must work together to survive this ordeal. That is hard enough under normal situation, but even more difficult when this mysterious island throws all kinds of things at them. Their patience is tested, alliances are formed, and seemingly impossible things are thrown their way. To put it simply, LOST shows us what people are made up of. It is really just a show about people. Yes, it has all kinds of mysteries and fantastical elements – which I loved it for – but when you get right down to it is a very character-driven show. The happy marriage between some very genuine drama and the sci fi/fantasy stuff is why it appealed so much to me.

The show unfolds through a series of flashbacks. These flashbacks explain who the characters are and what makes them tick. It showed characters dealing with very real-world problems; even if the situation they were in seemed impossible.   Something crazy would be happening to them on the island while we got a flashback of how that situation related to something in their past. The show would often take these two seemingly unrelated points of the character’s life tie them together wonderfully.  Take this clip for example. At this point in the first season, we know a few things about Jack Shepard (Matthew Fox). Back in civilization, he is a pretty successful and determined doctor. He’s got some other issues going on, but I’ll get to that in a minute. Helping people comes naturally to him and he simply refuses to quit when he has his mind set on something. That clip takes place on the island during the present. Two of his fellow survivors Charlie (Dominic Monaghan) and Claire (Emilie de Ravin) have recently been abducted by the mysterious stranger. They have recently discovered this stranger was not on their flight. Where he came from they don’t know, but they do know he took their friends. Jack and Kate have tracked him and managed to find Charlie. The only problem is he has been hung him from a tree. When Jack discovers this, he gives it his all to save his friend. Even when it looks like there is no hope and Kate begs him to stop, Jack refuses. He simply can’t let go. It’s not a part of his character.

LOST: Season 1

Besides serving as a great example of who Jack is, the scene is also some great drama. I still remember the shock and terror I felt the first time I saw Charlie hanging form that tree. None of the main characters had died at that point and for a few moments I thought, “This is it. One of them is going to kick it.” Then really emotional stuff kicks in. Jack busts his ass trying to save this guy’s life, but nothing seems to give. All hope seems lost and that is simply too much for Kate to handle. She can’t even watch anymore and Jack frantically beats on Charlie’s chest. Then – when all hope seems lost – Charlie finds his way back to the land of living?! What a rollercoaster of emotion and during just that one scene. That is LOST in a nutshell.

That brings me to the other two people in that scene. 

Kate Austen (Evangeline Lily) is a tough, independent, and resourceful gal. From the second they crash on the island, she is one of the first people to step up and volunteer to help. She knows how to use a gun, has good tracking skills, and is simply a very clever person. But where did she pick up these skills? You very quickly find out that she is some kind of fugitive. There was a U.S. Marshall on the plane and she was his prisoner. But what did she do? She is one of the first people to offer help on the island, so she can’t be all that bad. Right? You won’t actually find out what she did until season 2 and they do a good job keeping you guessing as to who she is and what she did.

She is also torn between Jack and another survivor named Sawyer (Josh Holloway), but I will come back to that later.

LOST: Season 1

Charlie Pace (Dominic Monaghan) is a struggling musician. He was a member of a group named Drive Shaft that had become very popular for a short time. Then he and his brother Liam became addicts and the band fell apart. At the time of the crash Charlie was currently working on a comeback. He was also high out of his mind. So when an addict crashes on an island and has nothing to satisfy his fix, he begins to go through withdraw. He hides this from his fellow survivors.

Charlie is also one of those people that others tend to overlook. He’s a little guy and in an environment where strength, size, or some useful skill quickly creates a group of “popular kids” amongst the survivors, he’s feeling left out. That doesn’t mean he isn’t eager to help though. He is always willing to help, but others sense his lack of skills and treat him a little bit like a kid. Charlie picks up on this and it eats away at him.

You can’t mention Charlie without mentioning Claire. She is a single soon-to-be mother. Being pregnant on a tropical island, she feels like a very big inconvenience to everyone. Charlie identifies with this and the two quickly form a bond. It starts out as him simply having someone to identify with, but as you can see in that scene, you can see that he starts to care about her happiness and wellbeing.

LOST: Season 1

Let me bring it back to the Jack, Kate, and Sawyer dynamic for a second. Almost from the get-go you see signs of a few things. First, Jack and Sawyer both seem to be attracted to Kate. Seriously, who wouldn’t be? She is a looker. Kate also seems tough as nails. Hot chick who can kick ass, you’re on a desert island, it’s the perfect mix for a little hanky panky.

 

Jack and Sawyer also don’t seem to like each other. They are simply the exact opposite of one another. Jack is a doctor and that willingness to help others kicks in when they find themselves in this situation. He has his problems back in the real world like everybody else, but is all business on the island. Sawyer is a con artist. He is little more concerned with his own wellbeing than that of his fellow survivors. Form the second they crash he begins hording supplies – which becomes a major point of contention – and blaming others for their predicament. He also resents Jack’s leadership and the other willingness to follow him. He’s also a tough and resourceful guy; as a result of him having to fend for himself in the criminal world. So when the group needs a little toughness, he’s not afraid to take charge.  He’s not afraid to point this out and is often quite funny in doing so.

LOST: Season 1

One of the other big players in the show is John Locke (Terry O’Quinn). Locke is one of those guys who seems perfectly nice one minute and kind of nuts in the next. You just get the vibe that something is going on with this guy. Take this scene for example. It defines John Locke. One minute you are thinking, “The guy is organized, seems capable of taking care of himself, and is willing to chip in.” Then – right about the same time the rest of the survivors starts to feel the same thing – you begin to think, “Ok, so he’s a possibly a serial killer.” I love that scene. The look on their faces at first when he shows them his knife is one of horror. Then realization that he has a point starts to kick in. Then finally the deafening silence when they realize just how many knives he has with him. Watch that scene and when you do make sure your speakers are turned up so you can hear the wonderfully timed music kick in. A good soundtrack can do a lot to add to the emotion of a situation and LOST always did that well.

There’s so many characters I could go on for hours. Sayid (Naveen Andrews) was an Iraqi soldier and not the kind that was aligned with the United Nations forces. You would think being a solider under Saddam Hussein might make him rather unlikable, but he was probably one of the most popular characters on the show. Along with Jack and Kate, he is one of the first people on the island to offer help and take a leadership role. Speaking of popular, how could I not mention Hurley? Hugo “Hurley” Reyes (Jorge Garcia) is the kind of guy everybody likes. He isn’t a doctor, a master hunter, or a criminal with all kinds of clever skills, but he’s always willing to lend a helping hand. He’s also one of the biggest sources of comedy on the show. There’s also Michael (Harold Perrineau), his son Walt (Malcolm David Kelley), Korean couple Jin and Sun (Daniel Dae Kim and Yunjin Kim), and brother and sister Boone and Shannon (Ian ). Michael is trying to connect to his son, who he lost in a custody battle many years ago. Jin and Sun are a couple with several problems and secrets (even from each other).

If you like your drama with a little fantasy sprinkled in then LOST is the show for you. It’s the best of both worlds and season 1 is the show at its absolutely best.

Rating: Thumbs up.

This movie review was given the He said, She said seal of approval on June 7, 2012.

LOST: Season 1

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