Monday, January 06, 2014

LOST Rewatch: Pilot, Tabula Rasa, Walkabout, White Rabbit

Credit:tle1lost.wordpress.com
It's something that I've thought about doing . . . pretty much since LOST left the air back in, um, was it 20010? Really? But I never got around to it and certainly other shows grabbed my interest and I think I just needed to let the show sit and let my memories of it fade a bit so that I wasn't simply reliving things that I already knew pretty well.

So, when Grace approached me this weekend and asked if we could start watching LOST together, well . . . you didn't need to ask ME twice. Who loves LOST more than me? Who has never completely bowed in the face of the criticism that the show felt after the final episode aired. Who needed a thematic reason to blog more in 2014? And, putting it all together . . . who BETTER than I?

Frankly, LOST and blogging are historically intertwined. Much of my earliest posts here on WWYG and on the now fallow WWYG: Omnimedia were centered around LOST, the development of the show, my coworkers discussion of it, and much, much more. I look forward to reliving it, especially with Grace--with whom I am always casting about for something that we can share together.

We blitzed our way through the two hour pilot and the next three episodes this weekend. I am trying to put a curb on my excitement and limit the viewing to one per day. (That'll also help me space out my blogging thoughts a bit so that they can be a.) more comprehensible and b.) more careful and detailed. But since I'm starting by playing catchup, I'll try to give some overall thoughts on this first handful in this initial post.)

And, I'll most likely be throwing up at-the-minute impressions over on my Twitter feed. So, you could follow me there and look for the #LOST hashtag.

Pilot: It felt really, really good to watch this show again. Even though I know so much about the show and what is to come, the reintroduction to the characters when all was new and fresh (for them) is great. And to see Grace's reaction to these characters, to watch her growing amazement as flashbacks begin, as names are introduced, as the motley crew of Flight 815 is examined . . . that is just priceless. I've got to work hard to not give anything away, to not feed Grace the information that she so badly wants. I need to remember that the slow reveal is the best part of the show, that experiencing the mystery and puzzling it out was so much fun for me.

And I find that I really enjoy hearing the characters say things that were completely innocent phrases in 2004 but are so fraught with meaning now. (Such as, did you realize that the very first words that Michael ever said as the plane fuselage burned on the beach was, "Waaaaalt!" I kid you not.)

And while I know the tortured history of how the narrative of the show developed, I see where--in their final hours--Lindelof and Cuse tried to tie up things in the seasons 5 and 6 endgame.


Tabula Rasa: Get to know Kate and think about what she did. The structure of the first season is established with a character being examined through pre-crash flashbacks. Our early introductions into the surly, crass version of Sawyer that is now so hard to remember given how far his character changed over time. This episode shows Kate's propensity to keep moving, hold her secrets close, and never ever trust anyone.

The idea of redemption and moving on from the past is shown here. How much the show would rely on that, we then had no idea. Plus, there were these prophetic words that ring so strongly now.

Walkabout: One of the iconic episodes of the most iconic LOST season. This Locke-centric episode pulled back the curtain behind the mysterious man who had all the knives. During the flashback I was reminded of how much a jerk Locke's boss "Randy" was. And, of course, the first "Holy shit!" reveal of Season 1 happened in the final moments of this episode.

John Locke would come to mean so much to the show as the seasons piled on. And it's hard to separate out the man we are getting to know in the opening hours to who he would later become. But there isn't much better to remember him by than this.

White Rabbit: Jack finally gets an episode to himself and it introduces the Shephard father-son relationship for the first time. And, even after the big reveal at the end of Walkabout, this--more than any of the first few episodes--gives you the thought that something really strange is going on here on this island. Locke says as much during his jungle talk with an exhausted and bewildered Jack, telling Jack that he has "seen the heart of the Island . . . and it is beautiful." There will be many more Jack/Locke talks to come, but this one first brings into question the nature of where they are--much more so that Charlie's iconic question in the Pilot:

Credit: abc.com


And then, at the end, Jack takes on the leadership role after finding his father's empty coffin in the water caves. But while doing so, he gives his first Rousing Speech, uttering the immortal LOST words: "If we don't live together . . . we're going to die alone."

Lovely, lovely memories.

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