The Answers are coming! So the previews promise us.

We're left with under a month until LOST's final season debuts, which brings us to this somewhat insane marathon upon which I'm about to embark. There are some 26 disc's-worth of 103 episodes I'm going to review about four episodes at a time between now and February 2.

This first recap may end up longer than future installments, mostly because I have spent a lot of time with the opening of the show. Not only have the producers on several occasions reminded us how important the setup is (even suggesting that we addicted viewers have continually missed something important within the first 10 minutes), but as a self-respecting literature major I spend a lot of time on any book or show's introduction.

In a good book I'll often read the first page up to five times before moving on, to make sure I've delved the depths of what the author wanted to convey: the scene, the stakes, the tone, the imagery.

In every 4-episode recap over the next month, as opposed to just a straight narrative reminder of what transpired, I want to focus on a few categories and perspectives:

  1. The theory that perhaps the series has always been less about characters who got lost, or were lost, or an island that is lost in space-time, but more about a game in which somebody won... and somebody LOST. So I will report on anything I come across in my viewing that fits this (or other) theories.
  2. Religious themes or references. We are a Christian site after all, and LOST does tell a story of redemption, second chances, sacrifices, faith vs. reason, salvation, and more. What's more, there's that cool Season Six preview with the Willie Nelson version of "Amazing Grace," including the famous line, "I once was LOST, but now am found."
  3. Mysteries/puzzles/questions/Easter Eggs/red herrings that either remain unsolved/open, or have since been answered. You know, the reasons most of us watch the show (okay, I know there are some of you who watch for "the relationships"... you won't find too much to love here. Just sayin').
  4. The LOST Library, a.k.a. the list of books, music, films, shows - either real or fictional - with which characters interact. And what they mean.

I've also come to believe that in this show, as in a lot of films, books, and real life events, the first and last things you see and hear are very important. So we'll also catalogue how each episode begins and ends, and what it might indicate.

Let's just jump right in, then. I give you my if-we-knew-then-what-we-know-now major fanboy take on this fascinating TV series...

LOST Season One, Disc One

Episodes: 1.1 PILOT-PART ONE; 1.2 PILOT-PART TWO; 1.3 TABULA RASA (Kate-centric); 1.4 WALKABOUT (Locke-centric)

Things That Stuck Out

Jack's laying in bamboo as LOST opens. None of the bamboo stalks appear broken or bent, as they might be if he were thrown there from the crash. It's like he dropped straight down, or better yet, was placed or transported there. I am going with the latter considering what we know about how Jack will arrive at the island in Season Five in the same spot. After all, he did tell Kate he "blacked out," which is similar to his experience in his Season Five arrival.

Jack has interesting (important?) tatoos on his left shoulder. Why? Is there any significance? From Lostpedia: "The 1st Season DVD interview with Matthew Fox mentions that these tattoos were his before the show. The producers first considered putting make-up over them, but later decided they fit in with the show and kept them."

2nd character we ever meet is Vincent. Does this establish the dog as important, or merely establish a tone of weirdness that a collared dog would be coming out of the jungle toward a bruised, suited man? I'm of the opinion that the creators either originally intended to do something mysterious with Vincent, or else the oddites around the dog are a red herring. Another example is the VERY strange shot where Jack, Charlie and Kate are being watched from the bushes by Vincent as they begin their trek to the cockpit. Just weird to have a dog's-point-of-view shot... isn't it?