The Opening Act From the Original, Unused Teleplay of Lost’s Pilot Episode
JACK: OK, everyone, gather round. I’m Jack. We crashed on this island. I’m kind of an alcoholic, and I had a really complicated relationship with my father, Christian, who was also an alcoholic.
CLAIRE: Christian Shepherd? That’s my dad, too!
JACK: No way!
SAWYER: Oh, yeah, I know that guy, too. I met him at a bar. He’s proud of you.
JACK: You met my dad?
SAWYER: Yeah, I met him right before I killed this guy I thought had ruined my life as a child. He was a con man who went by “Sawyer” and had an affair with my mother and then my dad found out and killed her and himself. It was ugly.
LOCKE: No way! That sounds just like my dad! He stole my kidney and then paralyzed me.
KATE: Paralyzed people can’t walk.
LOCKE: Don’t tell me what I can’t do! I can walk now, obviously. I think this island is magic or something crazy like that.
KATE: Know what else is crazy? I killed my stepdad, who was actually my dad, by blowing up the house he was in. Then I went on the run for a long time. That marshall guy that’s dying there was taking me to the U.S. to put me in jail.
(The “monster noise” is heard in the jungle.)
CHARLIE: What was that, mates?
HURLEY: I think it was a monster made of smoke that’s floating around for some reason.
CHARLIE: That’s bloody weird. Almost as bloody weird as me being a heroin addict due to my rock band, DriveShaft, and my brother, Liam.
HURLEY: Oh, yeah, you guys were popular right around the time I won the lottery thanks to some cursed, mysterious, omnipresent numbers. You guys suck.
SUN: Ha! They totally do.
SHANNON: You speak English?
SUN: Yeah, I do. Hey, Jin.
JIN: (Something in Korean.)
SUN: I speak English. I also had an affair with a bald guy, who taught it to me, then he killed himself, or maybe I killed him. But you can’t blame me, right? You used to be a really nice guy before we got married and I paid off a blackmail debt to your prostitute mother by taking a loan from my father, which led him to make you his guy who beat the shit out of people, which destroyed your soul. I hope we reconcile and you gradually learn English. Wanna go in that tent and see if we can get me knocked up?
JIN: … Boat?
(JIN and SUN go into their tent.)
SAYID: While they’re doing that, we should try to figure out how to get off this island. I need to get back to Nadia, this chick I used to like and who I sorta tortured once. I’m from Iraq. Did I mention that?
MICHAEL: No. Hey, where’d Walt go?
SAYID: Oh, some grungy-lookin’ pirates took him.
MICHAEL: WAAAAAAALT! WAAAAAAALT! I wanted to be there for him, but his mom was a bitch and took him away from me. I’m trying to get to know him now. Sucks that he got kidnapped.
LOCKE: Hey, while you guys were talking, I found some door in the jungle.
JACK: Did you open it?
LOCKE: Yeah, there was a Scottish guy in there, and I made him stop pressing some button. It just exploded and released a bunch of electromagnetic energy, so the island is visible to the outside world again.
DESMOND: Hi, bruthas. I’m Desmond. I can kinda see the future. Charlie, you’re gonna die.
CHARLIE: OK, I’ll go swim to an underwater station so we can all get rescued.
DESMOND: Sounds good. Then I can reunite with this chick I liked but got separated from due to her father’s meddling. It was kinda like The Notebook.
ROUSSEAU: I found this guy in the jungle.
BEN: My name is Henry Gale!
BEN: No, it’s Benjamin Linus. I’m an Other, which means I’m part of this group of people who were on the island before you guys. I was initially part of the DHARMA Initiative, but it was purged by me and other people who have been on the island a long time and may or may not be immortal. It’s complicated.
ROUSSEAU: They whisper.
BEN: Right. I’m really manipulative. If you help me escape, Michael, I’ll give you back Walt. He makes birds run into doors. I don’t like that and neither does Jacob, the cabin-ghost guy who runs this island.
MICHAEL: OK. (Shoots off into the distance.) I just killed Libby and Ana Lucia. Trust me, they’re on the other side of the island. Tail section.
BEN: OK, here’s Walt back. Get on this boat and then go sneak onto the freighter that’s coming to kill us.
(MICHAEL and WALT get on the boat and sail off.)
ALEX: Hey, Dad, what’re you doing here?
BEN: Hi, Alex, this is your mother.
ROUSSEAU: Hey, I’ve been looking for you for 16 years.
JACK: Hey, Kate.
JACK: Pick me or Sawyer.
KATE: Who’s Sawyer?
KATE: Oh, OK. I dunno. Sawyer, I guess.
SAWYER: Thanks, Freckles.
BOONE: I’m gonna go die now.
LOCKE: Yeah, the island’s been saying it demands a sacrifice. Go for it, kid.
(First commercial break.)
SUGGESTED READSThe Long Island Smoke Monster Speaks Out About Lost
by Kate Hahn (5/4/2010)
Non-Essential Mnemonics: “Bad acting, jerky dialogue, possessed Locke. Anyone else lost? JJ’s ‘symphony’ now celebrates rampant confusion, smoke monster escapades, and Lockean demon magic.”
by Kent Woodyard (3/29/2010)
In Memoriam, Charles Schulz: A Short Autobiographical Screenplay
by Greg Purcell (3/7/2000)
RECENTLYThe Hidden Rich: Confessions of a Closeted One-Percenter
by Jane Dough (10/22/2014)
List: New Baseball Statistics
by Ezra Deutsch-Feldman (10/22/2014)
My Signed Comedy LPs: One Comedy Nerd’s Obsessive Journey: George Carlin
by Dan Pasternack (10/22/2014)