Anyone I’ve ever watched this sequence with the first time they watched it, from the Season 2 episode Lockdown, they all have the same reaction. It’s the precise same reaction I had. There’s tension generated from the silence as Locke waits to hear if ‘Henry’ had pushed the button, and then the lights go down, and suddenly the Blast Door Map is revealed in the hum of fluorescent blue.
Everyone's reaction, like mine was, is to generally exclaim something like “What the hell?” and probably lean forward in their seats to get a closer look. Try it, if you ever get the chance. Get someone who has never watched the show and watch the whole thing through with them – there are stacks of killer moments to enjoy their jaw-dropping surprise with, and their reaction to the Blast Door Map reveal is one such pleasurable hit.
Amazingly, so far as Season 5, Episode 8 at least, this is the only time we have ever seen the Blast Door Map. Bizarre, don’t you think? That these ten or so seconds of screen time are all we have ever been given? This is the only time we have ever seen it!
Perhaps the reason that feels so unlikely is probably due to the fact that online, on Lost sites and blogs all around the world, the Blast Door Map has been discussed, deciphered, poured over and analysed to death. We can talk about certain notations that were on there casually, perhaps forgetting that someone who only watched the show and never looked online will have only ever had that one fleeting glimpse and really gained no real insight into what information the map contained.
In fact, you could go so far as to suggest that it's moments such as these that cemented Lost has the show you needed to go and research and read about online after you had finished watching if you were going to truly appreciate what you had seen. There's simply no way to take in all that's on display in one shot, which leaves the viewer much like Locke; desperately trying to absorb everything we see but ultimately doomed to never manage the feat.
Doesn't stop us leaning forwards in our seats and trying though, eh?