"The pope, I get the pope. But Gary fuckin' Busey? How did he make the cut?!"
It boasts the same executive producers as Lost and Friday Night Lights. You must have known I was going to write about this puppy. (Spoilers ahead for the pilot episode.)
*Congressman Whitten, who goes to see Wayne to become unburdened, is Buddy Garrity
*the security guy who meets the truck is Peter Berg himself, who always makes a cameo in his shows
*Tom asks Whitten, "So you're from Texas, huh?" and Whitten says, "How did you know?" like a little in-joke to FNL fans.
*there are clearly Daddy Issues going on throughout the show, whether it's Kevin dealing with his own father or Tom dealing with Kevin.
*Tom is seen reading Albert Camus's The Stranger, which, if I were writing a book on this show, I'd know what one of the chapters was going to be
*the flashbacks are quick, but Lindelof specializes in showing how the present has been shaped by the past, and that is one of the cornerstones of this series
*the constant science vs. faith arguments
*the biblical Easter eggs (when Kevin is flipping the radio you hear someone proclaim "Corinthians 15!!" which is the chapter in the Bible in which Christ's resurrection is retold by Paul)
And of course, there are the trademark Lindelof questions here:
*what exactly is the cult in white supposed to represent, how did they form, and what do they hope to achieve? why cigarettes?!
*why does Tom have slash marks on his back?
*why did Laurie leave her family behind?
*what is up with Wayne? Why does he have a bunch of bikini-clad Asian women hanging around his pool? What does he do in the room to "unburden" people?
*what was happening in everyone's life before the Disappearance?
*what the hell happened on October 14th?
I wasn't sure what I thought of the show at the halfway point, but by the end I was really enjoying it. From the super-scary sculpture in the park to the fact that in a crisis, we tend to divide and argue rather than connect and heal, the tone of the pilot episode was almost pitch-perfect, introducing us to a dark world that looks like our own, but with even more grief and heartbreak. And the music, by one of my absolute favourite musicians Max Richter (the piano music playing throughout much of it is from his sublime record The Blue Notebooks, which I highly recommend and probably listen to three times a week), sets an atmosphere and tone much like Michael Giacchino did on Lost and Explosions in the Sky did on Friday Night Lights.
So, at least for the first episode, I'm hooked. Are you?