Garfeimao writes: I spent the weekend at Disneyland this weekend, and with the heat and long hours involved, I’m surprised I’m still vertical. Anyhow, here is a review of the Q&A session today and the screening of the Pilot episode that followed a few hours later. Let’s start at the beginning of the weekend.

I was celebrating my birthday at the park with friends, so I had a little sticker on me with my name on it. I got greeted by people all day long, and was given things left and right. It was rather nice being spoiled by the park employees, and park attendees as well. I even got free coupons for Pick Up Stix, the restaurant I went to on the way home. Adding the Q&A sessions and the screening to my birthday and hanging out with friends, and all in all, I’d say it was a good birthday.

We picked up our tickets for the screening when the doors first opened, then wandered around the park looking for the various areas to be used by the ABC event. The line for the photo op area was full by the time we got there, and I saw no reason to crowd into a hot and sunny area, so I skipped that. Instead, we went to the theater where the Q&A would be held and got in line. We were able to sit on a Red Carpet, in the shade with a lovely breeze blowing. It was actually cool and comfortable under there, so it was a pleasant place to hang for an hour.

We went inside and our patience paid off in front row seats. They had the entertainment reporter from the local ABC affiliate host the Q&A. First they showed snippets from several shows including Desperate Housewives, WifeSwap, Life as we Know it, and Lost. I also saw some previews for some other shows, but I won’t go into the details, because most of them were just not to my taste at all. I must say that Life as we Know it looks really good, much better than Complete Savages, but that’s my own opinion.

After the preview clips, they brought in Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly, Dominic Monaghan and Harold Perrineau. The cast is actually much bigger, and there is no way of knowing just how many of them will be full regulars, occasional guests, and dead meat before half the season is gone. The ABC host asked a number of questions, making sure to hit each actor at least once, and usually two or three times, so they all got equal time. The audience was really pumped up for this preview and discussion, and in fact, the fangirls in the audience squealed in delight each time Dom’s face was onscreen during the preview. Thank goodness that didn’t happen during the actual screening later on in the evening.

The host made the comment about Dom’s obvious draw, and I can’t remember what was said, but at one point Dom turned bright red with embarrasement. When I get some sleep, I hope to remember what was said, and when. I’m sure my friends will remind me, if I don’t remember soon. About the various guests, we found out that Evangeline Lilly is a new actress, recently discoved up in the Vancouver area. I’ve seen Harold Perrineau before, in the Matrix, of course, and Matthew Fox has been around TV series for a while now as well. The cast seems to get along quite well and are enjoying filming in Hawaii. They also seem to really like the premise of this show, since it can’t be pigeonholed into one category.

In fact, that was my question. They had been pretty vague about some of the stuff going on on the island. So instead of asking for details of what might happen to certain characters, since I knew they wouldn’t answer, I asked them what genre they thought the show might qualify under. Evangeline answered with Action, Crime investigation, medical drama, Romance, science fiction, mystery, family drama, international intrique, and I’m sure I’m missing a few other categories she mentioned. To me, this means this show just might be interesting enough to grab viewers, and then to hold onto them.

One of my friends asked a question and they actually called him up to sit in the Host’s chair and ask the question from there. He wanted to know if they thought they’d win over the Survivor audience, and how they thought they might differentiate themselves from that show. The answer was in two parts. One was that because they have a plane full of suitcases, the people get to change their clothes once in awhile and clean the other stuff. The rest of the answer is that while this is a fictional drama, the setting is that of a marooned crew who can’t get voted off the island. So there is more at stake than just prize money. Good question and good answer. Much better than the bulk of the “this question is for Dom” brand of questions that basically thanked him for his acting, or expressed true love and admiration. That is all fine and dandy but is just not quite appropriate for a setting with 3 other actors and a room full of people who get nothing out of those statements.

Now, onto the review of the screening. I have no idea how long the pilot episode is supposed to be, but what we got to see was about an hour long, or a little more. There were breaks in the episode where commercials will go, but they didn’t stay away that long. This review will be full of spoilers, so you’d best stop at this point if you don’t want to know what happens in the opening hour of Lost.



OK, here is the opening shot.

It’s an eye opening up as conciousness returns to Matthew Fox, playing Jack, a Spinal doctor. He is lying on his back in a Bamboo grove. As he sits up, he hears a noise and sees a golden labrador running towards him. OK, so that’s not so strange. Anyhow, he get’s up and sways a bit and then runs out of the bamboo grove so he can see whare he is. He winds up on a beautiful white sand beach with lovely sets of waves rolling in. Then he hears some noise, and moves round the brush towards the source of that noise.

It’s the chaos of screaming people, fires, explosions, and a jet engine that is still one and turning. He wanders through the wreckage and sees people in various states of shock, before he sees someone calling for help that is under the debris. He grabs a few people to help lift the debris off this injured man, and then sees a pregnant woman in distress a few yards away. He puts a turnaquet on the leg of the injured man and then runs off toward the pregnant woman. He grabs another man and asks him to pull the pregnant woman away from the smoke and fumes, because he sees a man trying to give CPR to another woman nearby. Just as he stands the pregnant lady up, the jet engine explodes and they all fall down. I won’t tell you how the engine explodes, but this show is definitely not for small children.

Anyhow, he get’s the pregnant woman and the guy helping her to move along and goes to the woman receiving incorrect CPR. He revives her just in time to run and get the pregnant woman and man helping her out from under the toppling side of the plane’s fuselage. Once it’s clear there is no immediate danger, we see the doctor grab something from a suitcase and run into the trees.

He’s injured, but been ignoring it the whole time, but now needs to take care of himself. But once he get’s his shirt off, we see that the laceration on his side is just too far back for him to stitch up on his own. Enter Evangeline Lilly, who he enlists to sew up his side. While doing so, and trying not to get sick or pass out, the doctor tells her a story about fear. It’s basically about one of his first surgeries and how something went wrong and he had a choice between the fear of failure, or getting back to work and using the fear to focus his energy. She later uses this same technique, so I’ll leave it at that.

Mind you, I believe this is all part of the long opening beginning, because there were no cuts in this. >From this point on, we get a few flashbacks of the crash from different character’s perspectives. These accomplish a few things. One is to establish where the character was on the plane and how they survived the crash, and the other is to delve a bit into their characters. I’m guessing with a large ensemble cast like this, we are going to get a lot of a flashbacks to establish their character. I hope all of them are not the last two minutes before the crash, because that’s just going to get boring seeing the crash over and over again. But the few characters that were revealed in flashback play out like so.

Matthew Fox is a doctor named Jack, and he had a drink while on the plane and got a second one, which he put in his jacket. Luckily, it was some sort of drink you can use to sterilize wounds, because it’s what he used to pour on his laceration before Evanegline stitched him up. Her flashback is rather precious, and could be a major spoiler, but since they revealed it in the first hour, maybe not. She is a prisoner, was locked up in handcuffs on the plane, and only got free because the US Marshal was knocked unconcious and she got the keys. She was able to unlock the handcuffs and and put on her oxygen mask, and the unconcious marshal’s mask as well. This is all important, because he actually ends up really injured and is still unconcious on the ground. She asks the doctor about his injuries, and seems concerned for him. This flashback, which takes place more than halfway to the end answers the real question as to why she’s so concernced.

But what about Dom, you all ask. OK, I’m getting to him. His character is called Charlie, and he’s the bassist for a band. When the doctor suggests going on a hike to find the cockpit of the plane, and hopefully a transmitter, Charlie and Evangeline’s character (I’m blanking on her name) go with him. It rains quite heavily on them by the time they find the front of the plane. They have to climb up into it because of the angle and everyone in the seats is dead. The doctor and Evangeline get to the cockpit and find the pilot is still alive. He says the radio went out, so they turned around to land in Fiji and then went down. They are 1000 miles off their projected course, with no radio to say otherwise, so all rescue efforts will be in the wrong area.

Charlie has been in the bathroom behind the cockpit, and comes out just as they hear some noise outside the plane. They’d heard the noise the night before, and saw the trees moving, and just couldn’t place it all. Now they see movement outside the plane, and the pilot sets the transmitter down to investigate. Bye Bye pilot, he gets pulled out of the wreckage by the unknown and unseen beast and blood splatters all over the windows. The doctor grabs the radio transmitter and they all run out the bottom of the plane. All three run through the darkness and rain, with Charlie being caught up in a tangle of roots. The doctor helps him up, while the girl runs and hides in a thicket of bamboon. We never really see what’s chasing them, but get the sense of power and speed and danger from it.

It finally passes them by and they find the pilots body high in the trees, covered in blood, and decide now is a really good time to get back to the group. They arrive to find people fighting. You see, there is a middle eastern man on the plane, a pair of handcuffs found in the jungle by a little boy, and a lot of suspicion. I must say that at this time, the flashback about the girl being the prisoner hasn’t happened yet, so the mystery of the handcuffs leads to some stress for while longer. But what of Charlie’s flashback, you ask?

OK, so what was he really doing in the bathroom on the plane. He said he was throwing up after climbing up all those dead bodies. But in the flashback we see a very agitated Charlie trying to get rid of the flight attendant’s notice. He rushes to the bathroom with the flight attendants in pursuit. All hell breaks loose in the plane while he’s in there, so he just drops the drugs he smuggled onboard into the toilet, but never flushes. This is what he’d gone on the trip for to find the cockpit, his drug stash, not to actually help. When he runs out, he’s going to be in a lot of trouble, I can tell you. Then again, so is the man smoking a whole pack the first day. I’m sure he’ll run out soon too, and then anyone else who has an addiction, or a medical condition will soon run out of whatever it is they need, and that will make for an interesting episode or two.

Now back to the dispute between one of the hero type Americans and the middle eastern man. The doctor and his group have brought back the radio transmitter, but it doesn’t work. Guess what, the middle eastern man knows how to fix it, so he does, but there is no reception on the beach and he suggests a climb up the nearest mountain should help. So, the hero type american, the girl convict, Charlie, the middle eastern man, and a brother and sister duo head off to climb the local mountains. The get to one plateau, but aren’t high enough to try the radio and suddenly hear a noise in the forest again. Everyone runs, except for hero man, who pulls out a gun and starts shooting at the creature bearing down on the group. This would be a Polar Bear, on a tropical island, no less. So, the presence of the bear freaks them out, but this man having a gun on a plane freaks them out even more. He says he got it off a US Marshal, and has the badge that went with the gun.

He pulls the gun on the middle eastern man because he’s just sure he’s a terrorist who is not trying to fix the radio. The woman is the one who pulls the gun away from him, points it at hero man, and then asks if anyone knows how to disassemble a gun. The middle eastern man tells her how to remove the clip and bullet in the chamber, and then gives the clip to the middle eastern man and the gun to the hero man. It’s at this point we get her flashback that she is the convict, so you are really confused now as to what type of person she is.

To make things worse, the doctor is at that moment operating on the man who is the US Marshal. He has a piece of metal sticking out of his belly, and halfway through the surgery, he wakes up and asks “where is she?”. We never see if there is more to the converstaion, so that storyline is definitely going to be continued later on, I’m sure.

Gosh, I haven’t even gotten to the Korean couple who don’t speak any English. I suppose I’ll give you an even bigger spoiler now by telling you that changes. Daniel Dae Kim, who plays the Korean Man has stated that all is not what it appears on the island, or that the people aren’t, or something to that affect. So, while he only spoke Korean in the episode, I’m going to assume he speaks some English at some point later on in the story. There is also the older gentleman who is quite mysterious, we never get a real handle on him during this episode. There is a black man and his son, who he is only just now getting to know since the boy’s mother died a few weeks before this accident.

Yup, you guessed it, this show is full of characters, some of them quite intriguing. There is lots of action, some mystery, blood and guts, family drama, and I haven’t even gotten to the 16 year old repeating SOS message yet. Don’t want to give away every detail and spoil the entire episode, especially since I didn’t give it away in the correct order. But it is my opinion this show will be one of the break out hits this season. Hope you all have fun on Bilbo’s birthday watching it.