Season 1 Episode 2

Pilot (2)

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

Episode Fan Reviews (83)

out of 10
1,993 votes
  • This episode shows us the other reasons Lost will become the great show it is: flashbacks, twists, and interpersonal group-dynamic drama. SPOILERS FOLLOW:

    Where the first hour of the Lost pilot set the situation, scenery, and tone of the series, this hour would establish perhaps the best innovation of the show: using flashbacks to inform the present story. Finding out that Kate is a fugitive, and that Charlie is a user not only leads us to second-guess everyone's motives, but it also lends an out-of-the-frying-pan-and-into-the-fire tragic air to the series.

    This episode features so many strong moments. The musical score during the hike wonderfully evokes those great '70s exotic adventure 70's TV themes. The many group scenes during the hike are expertly staged, giving each character something to do within the scene; this is a skill that Lost would at times have difficulty returning to. These group scenes are particularly interesting since our ostensible hero, Jack, isn't present for them. Finally, the final shot, with the title card following Charlie's iconic question, is such an elegant and 'meta' moment, and is only somewhat spoiled by the introduction of the title card at the end of the first part of the pilot (you can tell the creators design the episodes as a two-hour experience, and were forced by ABC to insert the title after the first hour only when the pilot had been broken up by the network).

    There are a couple of false starts in this episode. I'm glad to see that not every character has Hurley's difficulty grasping that Sayid is an Iraqi--the scene actually felt like it was for OUR benefit, as in, 'we wanted to trust Sayid during his confrontation with Sawyer, but shiver-me-timbers, he really IS Iraqi, and maybe a spy!' It's interesting that today's (4th season's) Sawyer and Sayid would both be much less affected, and less likely to be engaged, by idle accusations.

    This is an honorable episode of Lost, marred only by the fact that it doesn't have a gorgeous seven-and-a-half minute rescue sequence. I present this episode with 4.5 out of 5 Smokeys.
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