THE 'LOST' EPISODE OF THE DAY
The episode: Orientation
Original Airdate: October 5, 2005
Written by: Javier Grillo-Marxauch & Craig Wright
Directed By: Jack Bender
Content: Michael, Sawyer and Jin find themselves prisoners after they encounter what they believe to be a group of Others. At the Hatch, the group learn more about their new surroundings, but are confused at Desmond's reaction when the strange computer equipment is broken.
Why It's Worth Re-Watching: Simply put, this is the true beginning of the Dharma Intiative. Sure it was technically introduced in the season two opener but this is the first episode to delve into exactly what Desmond's doing in The Hatch as well as fully lay-out the big theme for the second season. This episode has the first ever Dharma station video (titled Orientation) in which Dr. Chang (using the alias Marvin Candle) explains the function of The Swan and how the original function has since changed because of a mysterious Incident (click here to read an analysis of the episode Namaste as Orientation II that I wrote during season five).
When I first saw this on October 5, 2005 I had no idea what to make of it. I had a tough time getting into season two. Many LOST fans felt the same. We wanted The Hatch open but we weren't prepared for what was contained in that Hatch. I did like this episode though. I love the episode now. In 2005, I was (and still am) a big fan of the Island story. The character of Desmond really stole this episode. Henry Ian Cusick did a great job. From the moment he despairs that Kate just killed them all by blindsiding Desmond with a rifle to his head (which caused Desmond's gun to go off and hit the computer), he made this episode his. AND IT'S A LOCKE EPISODE! Yes indeedy, Locke's flashbacks involves him meeting Helen.
This episode also deals with the beginnings of Locke's crisis of faith. He yells 'What am I supposed to do?' when Jack leaves him alone with a broken computer. He also begs Jack to take a leap of faith, to believe in something when the numbers to be put into the computer because, perhaps, he needs to believe himself. Oh, Locke.
Back to Desmond, we get a bit of his backstory (we see these events ourselves in the season two finale 'Live Together, Die Alone'). He frantically tries to fix the computer himself while explaining how he got to The Island (a race around the world). We see a picture of he and Penny (which sparked much discussion on message boards back then about whether or not this woman was Sarah, Jack's wife and other nonsense like that). My second favorite scene of the episode occurs after Desmond has abandoned The Swan (following an attempt to power up the computer but it shorts up and the fuse bursts). He runs into Jack in the jungle. Desmond remembers that Jack was in the stadium the night Desmond was training for his race around the world. Desmond asks about the girl Jack was trying to save which then causes Jack to cry and yell that he married her (this also caused much speculation back in the day). Desmond nods and says 'see you in another life, yeah?' It's a simple scene but Matthew Fox and Henry Ian Cusick did a terrific job with it. It also sets up the great season three premiere flashback story of Jack's as well.
The meat of this episode involves the repair of the computer as well as the question of whether or not pushing the button is a social experiment or the real deal. Of course this isn't answered until the end of the season. This episode introduces some of the fundamental questions that make LOST what it is. Questions about fate, destiny, free-will, faith, science, etc. And this episode also introduces the Tailies (sort of). It's not a favorite of mine so I won't elaborate on it. My favorite Tailie story in the first 8 episodes of season two is BY FAR the Mr. Eko/Jin adventure in '...And Found.' But yes, this is an entry for 'Orientation.' And this story with Michael, Jin, Sawyer, and the deceptive Ana Lucia is not very good.
Javier Grillo-Marxauch & Craig Wright wrote this episode (the two are no longer with the show. Javier was great too as a LOST writer). The No. 1 director of LOST Jack Bender helmed this one. It's a very good 44 minutes of LOST, folks.