Pilot, Part II

Episode Report Card
Dan Kawa: A | Grade It Now!
The Second Time Is Always the Sweetest Time (For Rammin')
Jack is ransacking the luggage of dead people looking for a blade. I hope he's looking in checked baggage, because FAA regulations don't allow you to carry on a friggin' hockey stick, never mind something actually sharp. He sees Mercutio and asks after his son. "How old is he? Nine, ten?" Mercutio confirms that Walt is ten and says he's mostly worried about his dog. "Is it a Lab?" Jack asks, and says that he saw Vincent the shifty-eyed dog (tm The Boards) in the jungle yesterday. Mercutio looks really shocked, which could simply be because who would expect a dog to survive a crash like that, or it could be because the dog died in Australia, and Mercutio was using "We put Vincent in the cargo hold" as a synonym for "We sent Vincent to a farm where he can have more space to run around and chase rabbits." Jack, still discussing the dog, admiringly adds, "He looked good." Whoa, cool down there, buddy -- you've got a lot of other recreational options on the island still.

Like backgammon! Locke, the old guy who everyone thinks is so creepy, is setting up a board down the beach. Walt asks him if the game is like checkers, and Locke says the game's better. My attractive lawyer wife and I were in a Cracker Barrel a year or so ago -- we go there on road trips because despite the chain's politics, we admire their devotion to the art of starch -- and our table, of course, had a checkerboard on it, just one of a thousand examples of fussy furniture and out-of-place knick-knacks in every Cracker Barrel. We jokingly asked our server for some checkers, and because sarcasm, like homosexuality, doesn't exist at the Cracker Barrel, she immediately brought us a set. And we couldn't remember for the life of us how one plays checkers. Do the checkers move diagonally or vertically? When can you jump the other guy? Doesn't something happen if you reach the other side of the board? Once the Cracker Barrel waitress re-taught us the basic rules of checkers -- something she did entirely unsmirkingly, as if this was as much a part of her job description as harassing black people -- we realized that checkers is an extremely boring game, barely a step above Tic-Tac-Toe. Anyways, I'm glad the central foreshadowing of this episode is gonna be delivered via something at least a little more complicated than checkers.

Walt tells Locke that he lives in Australia with his mother, but that she got sick and died a few weeks ago. "You're havin' a bad month," Locke replies. He then offers up a dissertation on the history of backgammon, blah blah Mesopotamia-cakes, and then delivers that previously foreshadowed foreshadowing. "Two players. Two sides. One is light. One is dark." He holds up two opposing backgammon pieces to drive the point home. Then the camera Spielbergs in as Locke asks Walt, "Do you wanna know a secret?"

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