Friday, July 08, 2005

[TV] Lost 1.5

****1/2 (out of 5)

After a disorientating opening (small boy in a schoolyard fight with a bully), it becomes obvious that this is Jack's episode. It's about building pressure on Jack to assume the role of leader - an episode I've wanted to see for a while. Aside from that, there is the growing pressure to find water and the appearance of the ghost/hallucination of Jack's dad.

Watching this, I noticed three distinct plots. The Real (Jack becomes leader), The Flashback (Jack as a young boy is told he doesn't have what it takes by his dad + Jack recovers his Dad's body from Australia) and The Island (Jack pursues the ghost of his Dad, dealing with unresolved issues that are stopping him from becoming leader).

What's neat is that they're using back story not only to answer questions about who these characters are, but each bit of information is also setting up new questions. It is also providing linear character development fire non-linear means. For instance, Charlie appears to be a playa in these early episodes (and the flashbacks reinforce this), even though on his journey to becoming committed to Claire the incident with the rich girl in England has already happened.

Act breaks:
1. "Dad?"
2. Dad causes Jack to take a fall. ¶
3. "A leader can't lead till he knows where he is going."
4. Jack smashes the coffin.

By the end of the episode when Jake gives his speech that it is time to organise, it feels right. In Series Design terms, we have established the premise. Now it's time to move on.

Cool stuff:
The first time we see Jack's dad, he's drinking.
Jack's last name is Shepherd. B'oh.
I'm looking forward to Charlie's withdrawal.
Locke saves Jack. "Okay, so it's an hallucination. But what it isn't?"
Kate as sheriff!
I was touched, concerned and interested by the end of this episode. At the moment the series is very good at making me think "What would I do?"


Jenni said...

I'm really enjoying reading these reviews. I don't really have any comments, but I thought you'd like to know that I appreciate them.


hix said...


Mostly I'm just writing down first impressions, hoping I'll extract some general principles of how to write TV shows from them later. But equally mostly, I'm just watching Lost, trying to figure out what it is, what I like and what's going on. Y'know, being a fanboy s grateful he's watching this all in a row rather than spread out over weeks and weeks.

My big suspicion with Lost is it may be the first series deliberately written with the DVD mass-market in mind. Its pacing and structure suggest that, anyway.

And also anyway, I'll keep posting, you keep enjoying and after this, it'll be on to Angel S5 and probably Gilmore Girls (the whole damn thing).