09 May 2009


I'd been keeping an eye on the price of the Lost DVD's at Fred Meyer. I wasn't interested in trying even one season while they were at $50 a set. A few weeks ago, season 1 came down to $35, so I got it, but was too busy with school stuff to actually watch it. Thursday night I popped in the first disc and watched the first half of the pilot episode. All I can say is, WOW. After making it through the rest of the pilot and the next two episodes, I felt the same way. The characters are believable, their reactions are believable ... the situation is rather odd, but that a plane might crash on a remote island is certainly believable.

But not only are the characters believable, they're interesting and fun and come across as people, not as vehicles for someone else's ideas (which is what often happens on situational shows like this). There are also just enough hints of something weird about the island they've landed on to spark curiosity and interest. What are the strange whirring noises that make the trees of the jungle move? Why is there an apparent polar bear in a warm, humid jungle? How did someone rig a Mayday message and power it so that it would play continuously for 16 years? What's the deal with Locke—his background only adds more questions, particularly at the end of the fourth episode)? Some of these I'm sure I could find answers to on the internet, as there have been many more seasons since the first, but I prefer to be surprised.

The first four episodes are interwoven so well that they might have been from a feature film. We see hints of characterization in the pilot, which start to make sense when we later find out the character's background. Examples: Kate asks about a guy who wound up with a piece of shrapnel stuck in his gut during the crash, and seems a bit too intent for her explanation of interest, "He was sitting next to me." Yes, he was sitting next to her, and for a very specific reason. Locke wakes up flat on his back, and stares fixedly at the gold-toe socks of his right foot as he slowly wiggles the toes. He finds his shoe, puts it back on, and seems strangely giddy as he climbs to his feet. That explanation totally blew me away.

I do have one minor complaint, in that no one has a broken femur. That is probably the most common injury for plane crash survivors. The seat is designed to absorb a lot of the impact, but the thigh is most directly contacting the seat, and it tends to take some of the damage as well. Better that than the spine, but the result is that people commonly survive the crash itself only to be unable to leave the plane, and then die of smoke inhalation. Admittedly, it wouldn't be a very interesting show if, say, half the cast was immobilized due to broken femurs, but I'm curious as to whether there's an in-universe explanation. I'm also curious if a crashed plane is really as volatile as it was depicted in the pilot episode. That I honestly don't know. It seems possible that it would be... I guess the Mythbusters are just going to have to crash a plane and find out. `/^ (That, or I could do some research... I just want to avoid running across spoilers for the rest of the seasons)

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