"Guys... where are we?" - Charlie Pace
The opening moments of the pilot episode of Lost are arguably the most iconic in television history. Stark, poignant, and a simple metaphor of things to come: the series begins with an eye opening under a severe close-up and the pupil instantly dilates. The shot is small and precise, and the dilation foreshadows the start to an adrenaline search for answers beyond the immediate query of the character - "Where am I?"
The remainder of the cold open is a rush of activity. The dilating eye belongs to a man in a suit who is laying on his back in a grove of bamboo shoots. He lifts himself up, with some effort, and staggers out of the undergrowth, passing a shoe stuck high in a tree. Exiting the forest, he comes to view an ocean. Gazing out over the water, the man becomes aware of sounds: screaming (havoc). He starts to jog up the beach and stops, dumbstruck as the site of the beach north of him hits home. The camera pans, revealing an airplane torn in half laying on its side, its former inhabitants spread out between the beach, the surf, or the afterlife. There is a man standing still next to the plane, stunned. There is a pregnant woman desperately trying to catch her breath. There is a blond woman - she is screaming. Stops to inhale, and screams again at the (havoc) site before her. One engine is smoldering hot and belching smoke. The other engine whines and sputters as the turbines yearn to keep moving. (havoc) A man no longer stands still next to the airplane.
Welcome to the first 80 seconds of the rest of your life.
While there has been some mood music during the previous scene, it's hardly a tease of what strikes the audience when the man in the suit begins to sprint across the beach. Michael Giacchino is the composer of the orchestral soundtrack behind the show, and his compositions are more an emotional amplifier than mere background music. The music is eerie, organic, and flows perfectly with the events on the screen. In short - it is alive, and a huge part of what has made Lost so successful. The music of the cold open ends as it began, quietly. Waiting. The action cuts abruptly to the famous jet black title screen. A single out of focus word in a white font floats out from the back of the screen. That word, of course, is Lost.
First Argument: This is the first of a series of writeups seeking to revisit the existing canon of Lost. It will very likely culminate with my own humble analysis of the story's greater meaning at the completion of the in-production Season Six. The intent of this set of nodes will not be to revisit each detail in encyclopedic fashion - IMDB does a much better job of that and also remains spoiler free. Speaking of spoilers - beware for they will appear from time to time. There will never be 'future episode' spoilers within each writeup, but if you dare to read before having watched the episode being discussed... I make no promises. I can hear the PM's now, "But you simply cannot have spoilers in a review!" To those I reply, here and proactively, these writeups will not constitute a review; I am far too enamored with the story to submit anything other than utmost praise. To be sure however, there will be summaries of action. There will be popular themes I'd like to revisit my thoughts on. Mostly, and I beg your patience, I plan on sharing pages upon pages of mental notes and references which I feel will aid an analytical thesis to evaluate the success of a story as vast and epic as that told in Lost.
Just as the pilot episode to Lost was told in two parts, so to will be the corresponding analysis. The brief essay above the break, spelling out the action contained in the cold open, is truly intended to pique the curiosity of any brave reader who has not yet watched the show at all. To this audience: please watch the show. I fear these notes won't be quite as accessible as the infamous 8:15 summaries which have been "leaked" out from ABC prior to some seasons, and there is a myriad of hidden details in each episode which may be vital, or may simply be extraneous information, depending upon how the final season plays out. In any case, I hope (after this "business node" is complete) that the audience here enjoys reading through these summaries as much as I enjoy documenting my own personal Lost rewatch prior to the start of Season Six.
Lost + Season One + Next