We have to go back… to the very beginning. They say hindsight’s a wonderful thing and in the middle of Lockdown, we’ve got plenty of time for reflection. So, just as a whole new audience prepares to get Lost on Disney Plus’ Star, let’s look back and wonder what if we’d known then what we know now.
Episode 1: Pilot (Part 1)
A plane crash leaves a group of survivors stranded on an island in the South Pacific, but it soon becomes clear that the survivors have as much to hide as The Island itself. Three survivors head into the jungle to find the cockpit and hopefully, a transceiver. But something is waiting for them.
What’s alarming about Pilot (Part 1) is how truly deplorable the characters are to begin with. You forget that Jin was overbearing and controlling of his wife Sun, and that Charlie was not only a skag head, but also willing to flaunt his fame to get close to Kate. There’s very little sympathy to be felt for Michael as Walt’s disinterested and formerly-absent father and Shannon is nothing short of vain and vacuous. Locke, on the other hand does very little: he stares at the sea and he does his ominous orange slice smile… and that’s all.
Firsts: We hear (and almost see) plenty of the Smoke Monster. An alarming amount in fact. Old Smokey’s all over the Pilot episode! We endure the first of many “WAAAAAAALT”s from Michael and glimpse our first white tennis trainer, that later becomes synonymous with Jack’s father, Christian.
Flashforward: We get our first hints of Jack’s alcoholism as he rinses the air steward (Cindy) for extra vodka miniatures (although it is understandable).
Lost Totes Quote: “So I just made a choice. I’d let the fear in, let it take over, let it do its thing, but only for five seconds, that’s all I was going to give it.” Jack to Kate.
Episode 2: Pilot (Part 2)
Sayid, Kate, Shannon, Boone, Charlie and Sawyer trek to the top of a mountain to try and boost the transceiver signal and send a Mayday. However, they discover a signal is already broadcasting and has been for 16 years.
We later find out that this signal is from Danielle Rousseau; a shipwreck survivor from an earlier scientific expedition. Later, right in the middle of the jungle, Sawyer (doing his best Han Solo impression throughout) shoots down an attacking polar bear, which we later learn was there as part of The Dharma Initiative’s experiments. Curiously, we also see Walt come across a polar bear in a comic book, which points towards his abilities with animals/telepathy.
Firsts: Sawyer’s nicknames get their first airing as he dubs Hurley ”Lardo”. He gets more imaginative with them later on.
Flashforward: We suspect there’s more to Sawyer as we see him emotionally reading a crumpled letter, that we later learn he wrote to the man who caused his parents’ death. That man was Anthony Cooper, otherwise known as John Locke’s dad. Boo this man!
Lost Totes Quote: “Two players. Two sides. One is light. One is dark.” Locke to Walt, whilst explaining backgammon.
Episode 3: Tabula Rasa
Back at the beach, it’s discovered that a survivor with a fatal shrapnel wound is actually a US Marshall and Jack and Hurley find out that Kate’s a dangerous fugitive, formerly in his custody.
The group that trekked up the mountain decide not to share the details of Rousseau’s transmission, in the first of many miscommunications which stop them from demystifying the Island much, much sooner. However, Kate buckles and tells Jack, but Jack alone. Michael awkwardly bumps into a naked Sun in another encounter which suggests a romance might be on the cards, but it frustratingly never amounts to anything.
Firsts: Sawyer christens Kate “Freckles” for the first time and it soon sticks. Hurley closes out the episode by playing Joe Purdy’s ‘Wash Away (Reprise)’ from a discman as we see a montage of each character and the various states they’re in. It’s a nice touch that closes other episodes but is, unfortunately, short-lived.
Flashforward: We see Locke’s survival skills come into play when he crafts a whistle so he can find Waaaaalt’s dog on behalf of Michael.
Lost Totes Quote: “3 days ago, we all died. We should be able to start over.” Jack to Kate.
Episode 4: Walkabout
Locke emerges from the group as a master hunter, before going on a boar hunt with Michael and soon-to-be tracker extraordinaire, Kate. But the Smoke Monster has other ideas. Meanwhile, we learn that until the plane crash, Locke was confined to a wheelchair.
Whilst on the boar hunt, Michael ends up getting gored and Locke momentarily struggles to get his legs moving again; an early reminder that his recovery could well be temporary. Locke is also confronted by the Smoke Monster, who later appears to draw on the memories and worthiness of each character before deciding whether or not to kill them.
Firsts: Jack has his first vision of a suited, grey-haired gent at the edge of the jungle which we soon learn is his father, Christian. Further down the line, we learn that he is actually the Smoke Monster using the dead body of Christian as a vessel, as he eventually does with poor old John Locke.
Flashforward: After surviving his face-to-face encounter with the Smoke Monster, Locke’s affinity with The Island only grows as he claims that he belongs there, even though it eventually consumes him.
Lost Totes Quote: “Don’t tell me what I can’t do.” Locke to, well, everyone.
Episode 5: White Rabbit
Jack denounces his position as the defacto leader of the survivors, instead heading off into the jungle on the trail of what appears to be his father.
Like father, like son, we learn that Christian died of heart failure due to chronic alcoholism. When a survivor is seen drowning on the horizon, Charlie’s the first to admit that he can’t swim although later, he’s selected as the strongest swimmer and chosen to dive to the underwater Dharma station. Is this a huge, hatch-shaped plot hole? Or is Charlie lying because he’s still in his selfish skag-head mode?
Firsts: “If we don’t live together, we’re gonna die alone.” The line almost brings a lump to your throat the first time you hear it… but Jack really dines out on it throughout the series.
Flashforward: Locke saves Jack from falling over the cliff edge and together they lie exhausted, pre-empting their climactic showdown at the end of Season 6. In his flashback, Jack’s father, Christian, has spent his last days in Australia to try and see his secret daughter Claire. Yes, THAT Claire.
Lost Totes Quote: “But what it everything that happened here, happened for a reason?” Locke to Jack.
Episode 6: House of the Rising Sun
The group splinters as Jack decides that the caves offer the best chance of survival, whilst Kate, Sayid et al disagree and opt to stay at the beach. In flashbacks, we see how working for Sun’s shady-AF father ends up pushing Jin further away from his wife.
We find out that Sun has actually been able to speak English all along; a reveal which was a big, big deal at the time. It also felt brave to have an episode of a mainstream show that was 45% subtitled as we spend a good portion of our time in South Korea. To close the show, we get another song from Hurley’s discman. This time, it’s Are You Sure by Willie Nelson and it does the job of emphasising just how fractured the group is becoming.
Firsts: We get our first, solid proof that The Island had previous inhabitants. The decayed corpses that Jack and co. find in the caves are christened ‘Adam and Eve’ by the survivors, but in reality, they’re the remains of the mysterious “Mother” and her assumed son, The Man in Black aka The Smoke Monster.
Flashforward: We hear Kate quiz Jack on his out-of-character tattoo which we later learn means; “He walks amongst us, but he is not one of us.”
Lost Totes Quote: “What I know is that this island just might give you what you’re looking for, but you have to give the island something.” Locke to Charlie, who needs his guitar to help him get off the smack.
Episode 7: The Moth of the Lost: Season 1 rewatch is coming soon.