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Pilot Episode, part 2.
Events: The second half of the pilot episode reveals more of the characters, more of the island, and yet ends with nothing but confusion and mystery. We learn that many of the characters have issues, with themselves or with each other. Charlie Pace uses heroin; Sawyer is outspokenly bigoted; Kate was handcuffed in a Marshal’s custody when the plane went down. The Korean couple (yet unnamed) are strained; Walt and his dad don’t seem to connect, and Shannon and Boone enjoy pushing each others’ buttons. Hugo, Sayid and the bald man on the beach with the backgammon set are the only people who seem comfortable or at least welcoming to others.
As Jack tends to the Marshal’s shrapnel wound, Kate, Sayid, Sawyer, Charlie, Boone, and Shannon hike to higher ground in order to test the transceiver. On their way they encounter more roars in the jungle, this time from a polar bear, which Sawyer kills. Later, when they test the transceiver, they hear a French woman’s voice already broadcasting a distress signal. As Sayid discovers that the woman’s message has been repeating on a loop for sixteen years, Charlie, concerned, asks, “Guys? Where are we?”
Greater Meaning: Both of the pilot episodes are overflowing with happenings that cannot be explained, scientifically. Surviving the plane crash was only the beginning (which was interestingly enough preceded by instrument failure). Once later events begin to unfold, the crash almost pales in comparison to the “creature” in the jungle, a mangling, roaring thing that no one can explain or even see; the tropical-dwelling polar bear; and the French woman’s transmission, playing for sixteen years. What possible explanations can there be for these occurrences?
Later, when Walt approaches the man on the beach, he notices the backgammon game and sits down. After explaining a bit about the game and its origins, the man asks Walt, “Do you want to know a secret?” In a situation like this one, it’s strange that a survivor would simply lounge on the beach with a board game (just as it’s slightly insensitive when Shannon tends to her toenails instead of helping others) given the fact that almost everyone else is busy with other, more important activities—Jack/the injured, Sayid/technology, Sawyer/firearms, and so on. But for some reason, this man, and whatever his secret is, seem significant, and so does his game.
1. Why is there a polar bear on the island?
2. What did Kate do?
3. What is the bald man’s secret?
4. What happened to the French woman?
Next week, Tabula Rasa