Season 1 Episode 2

Pilot (2)

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Sep 29, 2004 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (84)

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  • "It's a Polar Bear" The second hour of the Pilot is a whirlwind of strong character development, special effects and plot points, all which are essential to the rest of the series.

    After the menacing first hour, which was meant to pop some eyes out of the sockets with its rollercoaster action adventure and scary jolts, the second hour starts to really bring forth what is to be more of the traditional format minus the one-character flashbacks.
    Character development in the first hour was minimal, but that wasn't a bad thing. The first hour was essential to fixate viewers' eyes to the screen with visuals and shocks, but it wasn't saying that this is what Lost is going to be like over the course of the series to follow. Part 1 stands as a classic on its own, as does Part 2 here. When put together, the result is one that makes some movie blockbusters pale in comparison. Part 2 introduces the more layered storytelling that the show would become known for.
    For Lost is not a scare-fest, a SFX piece or a series about a monster in the Jungle. It is much, much more than that and Part 2 establishes that fact quickly.
    More characters are fleshed out now, all of whom add to the ongoing mystery of why they are on the island and why THIS island.
    One of the key characters that gets coverage is John Locke, who gets that memorable first talking moment with Walt regarding Checkers and Locke's little secret, something that we don't learn about `til his own flashback episode, Walkabout.
    It also officially introduces us to all the other Lostaways, including Sawyer, who we only briefly saw in the opening hour. Each moment with all of the characters (and yes, every one is covered), however brief, gives enough information about them to give us first impressions of them. After viewing this episode you could say "I like that character" or "I hate that character". But the writers challenge your biased feelings towards someone as you learn more about them in subsequent episodes. You may love Kate in the opening hour or so but then things change when you realise at the end of this hour she is a criminal, and was the one who wore the handcuffs discovered by Walt in the Jungle.
    Pilot Part 2 gives some examples on why Lost is not solely about a Monster. We see there is an out-of-place Polar Bear on the island, as well as a French Woman, who left an ominous Distress Signal message for the Oceanic survivors to discover.
    The episode is superbly written and organised in a way that builds slowly but surely as the minutes go, building to an unforgettable climax, which merges the Polar Bear discovery, Kate's secret that she is a criminal and was being escorted by the Marshal that Jack is operating on and the disocvery of the French Woman's transmission.
    It has that triple "Oh My God!!" strategy to it and it works perfectly. You just can't deny the power of this episode, which is better than Part 1, if less visually exciting. But Lost is not about visuals or scary-movie gimmicks and it is not a Disaster movie, so don't expect Charlton Heston or Steve McQueen to be rescueing everyone from collapsing skyscrapers. This is no out and out action series. Part 2 demonstrates that Lost is to be more than Popcorn fodder for the TV audience. Lost is a return to the classic TV Series of the 60's and 70's (aka The Prisoner).
    A superbly layered, carefully plotted and equally exciting second hour of a Pilot episode that beats all others.