Pilot, Part II

Episode Report Card
Dan Kawa: A | Grade It Now!
The Second Time Is Always the Sweetest Time (For Rammin')
Fight! Fight! Fake TV-style fight, where people land expertly Foleyed punches! The scruffy cigarette smoker is duking it out with Sayid. After a couple of good wallops, they end up rolling around on the ground before Jack and Mercutio break it up. It's revealed that Sawyer, the scruffy dude, accused Sayid of crashing the plane, and then the claws came out! Rowr! Sawyer explains that he'd been watching Sayid throughout the flight, and that he sat in the last row of business class with his hands folded under a blanket, next to someone who "didn't make it." What I find annoying about this scene is that it's too easy; never at any point does a smart TV watcher actually think that Sayid was responsible for crashing the plane. We know, for instance, that the lovable liberals who tend to make TV would feel bad about themselves if they made a show's one Arab character a terrorist. And I have no problem, in general, with this, even when as a result shows present pretty blonde terrorists, but I do resent a show as ostensibly smart as Lost playing clumsily around with racial profiling. The argument is halted by a suddenly-authoritative Kate Beckinsale, who shouts, "Stop!" Because the script says this was enough to make them stop fighting, they do.

"We found the transceiver," Kate says, "but it's not working. Can anybody help?" Surprise, Sayid can. And surprise, Sawyer mouths off again. He's tiresome already. Hurley says, "We're all in this together, man, let's treat each other with a little respect." Sawyer considers his point for a moment and then thoughtfully rebuts, "Aw, shut up, lardo." Sawyer's virulent racism wasn't enough to spur Jack into action, but his making fun of the fatty is, so Jack steps up and tells Sawyer to give it a break. "Whatever you say, Doc," Sawyer sneers. "You're the hero." Jack looks hurt. My opinion of Sawyer instantly does a 180! He thinks what we're all saying! Boone, God's Friggin' Gift to Humanity asks the relevant question, considering the group just found the cockpit: "Any survivors?" Charlie and Kate look at each other, and Jack sort-of-lies, "No." Sayid says he needs a little time to fix the radio, and wanders off; Jack's old seatmate tells him that the guy with the shrapnel in his belly needs some attention.

Hurley wanders over to where Sayid is fiddling with the radio and calls Sawyer a "chain-smoking jackass." "Some people have problems," Sayid says, and Hurley agrees. "You're okay. I like you," Hurley says, which makes me smile because it makes it seem as though for a guy like him, making immediate allies and establishing common enemies has always been a necessity whenever he's dropped into a new social situation. Even if that new social situation is being stranded on a tropical island. It gives the whole scene a nice middle-school feel. Sayid uncomfortably tells him that he thinks Hurley's okay too. Let's please all stay off the slash in this particular pairing, shall we? I am uncomfortable with the amount of scraggly man-hair through which fingers would run. Hurley asks about Sayid's radio-based expertise, and Sayid tells him that he was a military communications officer. For the Iraqi army, I think. "You ever see battle?" Hurley asks, and Sayid says he fought in the Gulf War. For the Iraqi Army, I think. Then Hurley asks which branch of the military Sayid fought for -- "Air Force? Army?" -- and Sayid, of course, says, "- .... . / .-. . .--. ..- -... .-.. .. -.-. .- -. / --. ..- .- .-. -.." That's "The Republican Guard," but I put it in Morse code because that twist was so unbelievably telegraphed.

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