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"Pilot, Part 1"

22 September 2004
Running time
Production code
Centric character(s)
Written by
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Episode transcript
[[{{{transcript2}}}|Part Two]]

"Pilot, Part 1" is the first of the two-part pilot episode of Lost. It was originally broadcast on September 22, 2004, and "Pilot, Part 2" aired the following week. The two parts aired together on October 2, 2004. Jack Shephard, a doctor from Los Angeles, finds himself one of forty-eight survivors of a plane crash on a mysterious island. With the help of other survivors, he begins to treat the injured and attempts to find the cockpit of the plane in the hope of contacting civilization.

The episode establishes the show's use of flashbacks to show characters' lives before arriving on the Island. The one flashback in this episode depicts Jack's view of events on the plane just prior to the crash.





Jack, looking out the window of Flight 815

Jack Shephard, sitting in seat 23A on board Oceanic Flight 815, pensively looks out the window to his immediate left. A friendly flight attendant, Cindy Chandler, approaches Jack and asks him whether he enjoyed his drink. His lukewarm response results in her handing him two more bottles of vodka. Following his rapid consumption of one of the drinks, Jack rises and stands in the aisle, where a hurried Charlie Pace passes him, pursued by Chandler and another flight attendant. Responding to this, Rose Nadler, sitting next to Jack in seat 23D, comments about the incident. After Nadler's visible reaction to some light turbulence, Jack attempts to allay her aviophobia, to which she agrees, saying that her temporarily absent husband always reminds her "planes want to be in the air." Jack says her husband sounds like a smart man; Rose responds she'll tell him that when he returns from the bathroom. Shortly after, the plane begins to shake more violently before making a sharp, uncontrolled descent, causing those not seated to strike the cabin roof. Due to the loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks fall from the ceiling, which all of the passengers quickly put on. After securing his mask, Jack looks out the right window, this time at the approaching ocean.

On the Island

Jack Shephard wakes up in a bamboo grove.

Jack lies sprawled out under a group of trees in a bamboo grove located on the outskirts of a jungle. Vincent, a golden Labrador, trots through the trees, stopping at Jack for a few moments, before moving on. With great effort, Jack gets to his feet, rests against a tall shoot of bamboo, and pulls a bottle of vodka from his jacket pocket, looking at it for a moment before returning it. Jack then starts running haphazardly through the grove towards the beach, passing a white tennis shoe hanging from a tree to his right.

Jack and Locke pull a fellow survivor from underneath the plane's wheels.

Emerging near the ruined mid-section of Flight 815, Jack stumbles towards the crash site, while Charlie Pace, still dazed by the crash, stands dangerously close to a still-running engine. Jin-Soo Kwon, oblivious to his fellow passengers, cries out in Korean for his wife, while Michael Dawson similarly shouts for his son, Walt, as he runs through the wreckage. Nearby, a screaming Shannon Rutherford stands beneath the plane's remaining, albeit precariously teetering, wing. With the help of John Locke and another fellow survivor, Jack pulls a passenger with a crushed leg from underneath one of the plane's detached landing wheels. When Jack notices an 8-month pregnant Claire Littleton's cries for help, he orders Locke to keep others away from the engine, before running towards her and asking how far apart her contractions are coming. Jack also notices Boone Carlyle incorrectly performing CPR on Rose Nadler. Meanwhile, Gary Troup, while crossing the path of the still-running engine, is sucked in, causing it to explode.

Jack and Hurley help Claire escape the falling wing.

After shielding Claire from the explosion, Jack tells her to remain absolutely still, before directing a nearby Hugo "Hurley" Reyes to help her escape from the fumes of the burning wreckage and call for him if the situation worsens. Reyes and Littleton move to beneath the plane's wing while Jack orders the well-intentioned but unqualified Boone to go find a pen, thus allowing the former to resuscitate Rose without interruption. Subsequently, Jack urges Hurley and Claire to move from beneath the wing just before it breaks off from the body of the fuselage, causing another large explosion and the destruction of the plane's other engine, a piece of which narrowly misses Charlie as he continues to wander.

Jack tells Kate about his experience with fear, while she is stitching his wound.

After wandering through the wreckage, Jack stops at what remains of the fuselage and peers at the dead bodies within. Boone arrives with multiple pens stating that he didn't know which one would work best, then solemnly looks into the wreckage. Jack takes a sewing kit from a suitcase on the beach and moves away from the wreckage to examine a wound on his left side. He sees Kate Austen walking out of the jungle and asks her to sew his wound. She reluctantly agrees. Terrified, Kate is calmed by Jack during the process by listening to the story of his first solo surgical procedure, where he conquered his fear during an emergency by "letting the fear in," but only for five seconds.

Michael and Walt lay by a fire.

Back on the beach, Jack tends to an unconscious Edward Mars who is badly injured by shrapnel embedded in his torso. Kate asks Jack if he believes the man will live and informs him that she was sitting next to him during the flight.

Hurley hands Claire her dinner.

Sayid Jarrah creates a fire and asks Charlie to assist him. Meanwhile, James "Sawyer" Ford is seen lounging nonchalantly, his back amongst the wreckage, smoking a cigarette. Hurley salvages some meals from the plane's galley and distributes them, giving two to Claire, whose pains have since subsided. Elsewhere, Shannon petulantly refuses a snack offered by Boone, saying she will eat on the "rescue boat" when it arrives. By that time, the growing general expectation among the survivors is that they will be rescued soon. Sayid organizes the cleanup of the beach.

The Survivors are awoken by the mechanical sounds of the Monster.

In the evening, beyond the light of their fire, the peacefulness of waiting is interrupted by loud and terrifying mechanical-sounding noises from the nearby jungle, punctuated by the crashing of trees. The source of these noises is later referred to as the Monster. Rose remarks that the sounds seem "really familiar." Someone asks where she is from, and she says the Bronx (in New York City).

By the next day, Jack has decided that in order to increase their chances of being rescued, the survivors should send a radio message using the transceiver of the aircraft, located in the cockpit, which broke off in the air. In doing so, Jack reveals to Kate that he took a few flying lessons but that it "wasn't for him". Jack leaves Boone in charge of the wounded, including Edward Mars. Based on her descriptions of the location of smoke, Jack sets off into the jungle accompanied by Kate, at her insistence, as well as Charlie. As the trio walk away from the beach, they are observed from the brush by Vincent. Kate tells Charlie he looks familiar, and he reveals to her that he is the bassist in the band Drive Shaft.

Jack, Kate and Charlie discover the pilot to be alive.

As the three advance into the jungle, they are drenched by a sudden rainstorm. They find the nose section of the plane, which is sitting at a steep angle in the trees. The three of them, led by Jack, climb into the nose and scale the slanted floor, where Jack pries open the cockpit door. Inside he and Kate discover the pilot, still in his seat, who suddenly awakens. The pilot tells Jack and Kate that the plane had lost radio contact before the crash and had changed course towards Fiji. They were, in his reckoning, 1000 miles off course and thus no one knows where they are. The pilot locates the transceiver, but can't get it to function. At this time, Jack and Kate notice that Charlie is missing, but he promptly emerges from the restroom.

Meanwhile, on the beach during the same rainstorm, a group of the survivors huddles in part of the fuselage. The conspicuous exception is an older fellow, John Locke, who sits alone in the rain on the beach, unbothered, with his arms outstretched in the air, as if glorying in the rain itself. A young Korean couple (whom we later meet as Jin-Soo Kwon and Sun-Hwa Kwon) stay together under part of the fuselage. The man tells his quiet wife in Korean to remain close to him at all times.

Kate questions Charlie about Jack.

In the jungle, the conversation in the cockpit is interrupted by loud noises from outside the plane, accompanied by mechanical thrashing heard by the survivors on the beach. The pilot attempts to investigate by cautiously climbing out of a broken cockpit window. To the horror of the survivors, he is seized by some unseen presence while halfway out the window, his blood splattering upon the plane's front end. Jack quickly grabs the transceiver as he and Kate exit the cockpit in terror. As the three run from the Monster, Charlie trips; Jack runs back to him. Kate continues running, but stops against a tree and calms herself by counting to five. Charlie runs into Kate and the two begin searching for Jack, who is now apparently missing. Moments after, Kate finds the pilot's badge in the mud beneath a tree. Charlie and Kate look up and spot his bloodied body suspended in the treetops, unnaturally twisted. Jack then steps out of hiding, saying that he dodged the Monster, and Charlie wonders what could have possibly done that to the pilot.



Jack's small bottle of vodka
Boone offering Shannon an Apollo Bar
The tail section, originally supposed to land on the same beach as the fuselage

Production notes

  • With a budget of $11.5 million, this episode, along with "Pilot, Part 2", became the most expensive pilot in TV history. [source needed]
  • Jack was originally intended to get killed off in the pilot episode, with Kate replacing him as the de facto leader of the survivors. However, due to strong notes from the network against the death, the writers decided to keep Jack and introduced the short-lived pilot character instead. (Pilot, Part 1 audio commentary) Contrary to popular belief, this story change occurred long before the casting of Matthew Fox. [source needed]
  • At one point in the development of the script, Boone's name was going to be "Five" (he would be named "Boone Anthony Markham V" and would go by "Five"). When they decided to change it back to "Boone", they ran a find-and-replace on the script, which resulted in the the dialog between Kate and Jack in the stitching scene reading as, "One, Two, Three, Four, Boone." (Pilot, Part 1 audio commentary)
  • The pilot, although uncredited, was played by Greg Grunberg, J.J. Abrams's childhood friend who has appeared in almost every one of his productions.
  • September 22, 2004, the date this episode originally aired, was later adopted in the story as the actual date that Oceanic Flight 815 crashed. This was confirmed aloud in "Live Together, Die Alone" and "The Glass Ballerina".
  • According to producer Bryan Burk, the color red was purposefully de-emphasized in the crash scene so the few shots of blood would "really land." (Pilot, Part 1 audio commentary)
  • For the scenes with Kate and Charlie running from the cockpit, the actors weren't able to be filmed in focus, so they were filmed running in place. A long lens (putting the background out of focus) and a shaking camera were used to give the illusion of them running through the jungle. (Pilot, Part 1 audio commentary)
  • Aside from the main cast, this episode also features the first appearances of Rose Nadler, Edward Mars and Cindy Chandler.
  • Rose is the only non-main original character of season 1, to still be active in the series through into the final season.
  • An audio commentary by J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof and Bryan Burk is available for this episode on the Season 1 DVD.
  • On the DVD featurette on the creation of the pilot, a version of the cast picture with Rose instead of Claire can be seen, meaning that she may have been a regular instead.

Bloopers and continuity errors

See main articles: turbine explosion, persistent rumors
  • In the sequence where people are panicking after the plane crash, the same people are running in and out of shot repeatedly in the background behind the main characters.
  • Rose is not wearing her husband's wedding ring around her neck as she later says she always does when they are flying; although, she is seen kissing it on the beach briefly.
  • The Oceanic airplane is supposed to be a Boeing 777, but when Jack is shown running through the wreckage, the main landing gear of the plane has only four wheels instead of the six a B-777 would have. Also, in several shots of the instruments in the cockpit, there are three engine indicators instead of the two a 777 would have.
  • The black object that appears to swoop down in front of the turbine engine just prior to it exploding was believed by many fans to be the cause of the explosion, and related to the Monster. This was later refuted by the producers and explained as an artifact of poor CGI effects (which should have shown the object radiating out from the turbine after the explosion, instead of approaching the turbine beforehand).
  • When the Monster grabs the pilot and pulls him out of the plane, a lot of blood falls on the window behind Kate. A few seconds later, the window is clean again.

Recurring themes

Recurring themes in Lost
Black and whiteCar accidentsCharacter connectionsDeceptions and consDreamsEyesFate versus free willGood and bad peopleImprisonmentIsolationLife and deathMissing body partsNicknamesThe NumbersParent issuesPregnanciesRainRebirthRedemptionRelationshipsRevengeSacrificeSecretsTime
  • The episode opens with a close-up of Jack's eye, pulling back and showing him alone in the jungle. (Eyes)  (Isolation)
  • Claire tells Jack that she is eight months pregnant. (The Numbers)  (Pregnancies)
  • Charlie puts white tape on 4 fingers of his left hand onto which he writes the letters "F A T E" with a black marker. (Black and white)  (Fate versus free will)  (The Numbers)
  • When Kate is getting prepared to sew up Jack's wound, she asks him if he has a thread color preference for the stitches; he replies, "No. Standard black." (Black and white)
  • While Kate is sewing up his wound, Jack talks about his "count to five" story, which he used to combat fear. (Fear)
  • The girl Jack operated on in his "count to five" story was 16 years old. (The Numbers)
  • John Locke has a gash above and below his right eye from the crash. (Eyes)
  • On their first night on the Island, the survivors are awoken in fear by mechanical noises and shattering trees in the jungle. (Fear)
  • At the front section, Jack, Kate, and Charlie have their first traumatizing encounter with the unseen "Monster." (Fear)
  • Jack tells the pilot that at least 48 people survived the plane crash. (Life and death)  (The Numbers)
  • At the wreckage on the beach, the presence of death is very strong, with all the dead bodies lying around, in addition to those trapped in the fuselage. (Life and death)
  • At the wreckage, Gary Troup gets sucked into a still-running turbine, instantly killing him and causing the turbine to explode. (Life and death)
  • Jack saves Rose's life. (Life and death)  (Rebirth)
  • The pilot is pulled from the cockpit, and later found dead on a tree. (Life and death)
  • Jack is sitting in row 23 on the plane. (The Numbers)
  • Jack strikes the cockpit door eight times before it gives way. (The Numbers)
  • When the pilot regains consciousness, Jack tells him it's been 16 hours since the crash. (The Numbers)
  • Jack, Kate and Charlie are drenched with a sudden rainstorm as they advance into the jungle. (Rain)
  • One of the first people Jack notices and helps after he shows up at the crash site is his half-sister Claire. (Character connections)

Cultural references

Cultural references in Lost
(direct references only)
ArtBooksCarsGamesMovies and TVMusicPhilosophyReligion and ideologiesScience

Literary techniques

Literary techniques in Lost
ComparativeIronyJuxtapositionForeshadowing PlottingCliffhangerPlot twist Stock Characters:  ArchetypeRedshirtUnseen character
Story:  FlashbacksFlash-forwardsFlash-sidewaysRegularly spoken phrasesSymbolismUnreliable narrator 
  • Jack finds a vodka bottle in his pocket when he wakes up disoriented in the jungle. (Foreshadowing)
  • Jack's flashback introduces one of the main storytelling device of the series. (Flashback)
  • Kate is first seen by Jack emerging from the jungle rubbing her wrists. In "Pilot, Part 2", we see that this is because she was wearing handcuffs on the plane. (Foreshadowing)
  • After Jack's "count to five" story, Kate tells Jack she would've run for the door in that situation. Jack replies, "No, I don't think that's true. You're not running now." (Foreshadowing)
  • When Jack is explaining to Kate what happened to the plane, he makes a model of the plane out of leaves to illustrate his point; this looks similar to Kate's toy airplane. (Foreshadowing)
  • The introduction of the Monster is the first big plot twist of the series. Its appearance and nature remain concealed. (Plot twist)
  • Rose is shown kissing her husband's wedding ring. (Foreshadowing)
  • Charlie runs by Jack in the airplane and later spends extra time in the cockpit restroom. (Foreshadowing)
  • Before entering the cockpit, Jack tells Kate and Charlie, "Let's do this." (Regularly spoken phrases)
  • After getting separated from Jack, Kate tells Charlie, "We have to go back for him." (Regularly spoken phrases)
  • The pilot is the first "redshirt" of the series. (Redshirt)

Storyline analysis

Storyline analysis in Lost
  • Jack, Kate, and Charlie locate the cockpit in order to salvage the plane's transceiver. This is the series' first A-Mission. (A-Missions)
  • Attending to various medical situations after the crash and coming up with a plan to locate the transceiver to find rescue, Jack begins to emerge as the leader of the middle section survivors. (Leadership)


Main article: Musical score
Main article: Musical themes

Michael Giacchino's score for this episode relies more on synthesized instruments than later episodes would, but the instrumentation is otherwise very similar. The episode also establishes the basic contrast between quiet, consonant passages and loud, dissonant ones. The show's main "mystery" theme is introduced as Jack runs out of the jungle to the crash site. A 14-bar percussion cue during the chaotic scene at the crash site was appropriated for use in the end credits theme music for the show. After the action settles down, Giacchino introduces the gentle theme for the survivors, which has become a much-used theme throughout the series. Also introduced is the show's first "traveling theme," a quiet and repetitive motif for scenes involving treks across the Island. (A different statement can be heard on the Season 3 soundtrack as "Juliet is Lost.")

The Season 1 soundtrack includes the following tracks written for "Pilot, Part 1":

  • "The Eyeland"
  • "World's Worst Beach Party"
  • "Credit Where Credit is Due"
  • "Run Like, Um... Hell?"

Unanswered questions

Unanswered questions
  1. Do not answer the questions here.
  2. Keep the questions open-ended and neutral: do not suggest an answer.
More details...
For fan theories about these unanswered questions, see: Pilot, Part 1/Theories

See also

This article uses material from the "Pilot, Part 1" article on the Lostpedia wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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