Saturday, June 06, 2009

The Lost Rewatch: 1x04 "Walkabout"

It's hard to top "Walkabout," which is still on top of many fans' favorites lists, even after all this time. It was the very first (and perhaps best) Locke-centric episode, and the fourth episode of the series overall. So let's begin, shall we?

"Walkabout" begins with the opening eye of John Locke. It's the first time since Jack's eye in the first episode that an eye has opened an episode. This time, it's the green eye of Locke. It's a flashback to the crash. He's unconscious on the beach, surrounded in debris from the plane. Locke looks down at his moving toe, and is shocked. Of course, we now know that he was shocked that he could even move his foot at all after that little push that his dad gave him four years before. He sees a shoe next to him, and he picks it up.

A barking dog leads us out of the flashback and to a closeup of Locke's face. Vincent is barking in the background, and we see that he's running toward the fuselage, where there is a rustling and growling. The survivors quickly deduce that there's someone in the fuselage. Jack immediately suspects Sawyer, but Sawyer is "right behind ya, jackass." Either Jack didn't hear the growling, or he took Sawyer literally in "Tabula Rasa" when he said he was "in the wild." Pulling out his pocket flashlight, Jack goes to investigate. Sawyer follows, holding a much larger flashlight. They slowly walk into the fuselage, and see the outline of something hairy. Sawyer decides to "shed some light on this thing" by shining his huge flashlight at the creature, but it's a boar. It charges. Or rather, three of them charge. The beach erupts into chaos as everyone tries to get away from the charging creatures, but they simply run off into the woods. Locke recognizes that they are boars, and then gives that mischevous smile.

After the Lost intertitle, Jack cleans Charlie's wound, and thinks that they need to burn the bodies to keep them from being eaten. Sayid thinks that they deserve better, but Jack insists that any bodies they bury would not stay buried for very long. Locke will repeat this sentiment to Paulo in "Expose" ("nothing stays buried on this Island"). Which is funny, considering the creation of Boone hill (the cemetery) later on in the series. Sayid is still skeptical, asking Jack to consider people's religions, but Jack says they don't have time. Jack intends to light the fuselage on fire the following night, so that people will see it.

The next day, Sayid works on building an antenna, so that he can find out where the signal is coming from. Michael and Walt are gathering firewood, and Michael notices Locke looking into a box. He decides not to let Walt go see Locke. Meanwhile, Hurley is fighting Sawyer for the peanuts, because there is no food left. Sayid says that there are plenty of food sources on the Island. Sawyer asks how they can find sustenance, and Locke throws a knife into the seat beside him. "We hunt," he says as the theme "Crocodile Locke" plays. Locke says that he checked the knife onto the plane. Jack introduces himself to Locke, and Michael looks on with loathing. Locke explains that they'll be hunting boar, and describes how he's going to kill the boar (leading Sawyer to ask Jack why he gave Locke his knife back). Locke then opens his case and reveals that it's actually filled with knives (for his walkabout that he attempted to go on).

As Hurley asks who this guy is, we get a flashback. Locke's working in a cubicle (the episode was originally titled "Lord of the Files"), when he gets a call. The man on the other end, calling him Colonel Locke, asks if the line is secure. Locke is then harassed by Randy, who we later find out was also Hurley's boss at Mr. Clucks before beginning to work at a box company. Later, Randy would work at a "Circuit House" electronics store, and would film Hurley's car crash in "The Beginning of the End." Locke continues working, and the calculator he uses prints out a reciept with a monster-like sound.

Jack is skeptical of Locke, something that will continue until after Locke's death. Kate's going with Locke because she has Sayid's transciever, and Kate says that she's a vegetarian. Claire approaches Jack and asks if they should do a memorial service, but Jack doesn't want to lead it. Boone notices Rose sitting down the beach in her vigil for Bernard. He mentions it to Shannon, and the conversation moves to Shannon finding food, and she insists that she can catch a fish. She cons Charlie into fishing for her. Somene uses Locke's wheelchair to carry wood while Boone goes up to Jack to ask him to talk to Rose. Jack does, bringing her some water. She doesn't talk, but he sits with her for a while.

Meanwhile, Locke, Kate, and Michael hear a boar. The boar tackles Michael after he doesn't keep quiet, and it cuts his leg. In a flashback, Locke is playing a Risk-like game, while he is harassed by Randy about taking a walkabout. Randy tells Locke that he can't do any of that, but Locke says that it's his "destiny," a phrase that he'll use many times later. "Don't tell me what I can't do," he says. Back on the Island, Locke continues after the boar on his on while Kate takes Michael back to the beach.

Hurley and Charlie fish, the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Claire, meanwhile, gives Sayid an envelope containing pictures of Nadia. Sayid will eventually find Nadia once off the Island, only to have her be run down by a car while he helped Jacob "find" directions. Rose breaks her silence to Jack, telling him she's letting him off the hook, a line that will be repeated by Boone before his death. Rose tells Jack that he has a "good" soul.

In a flashback, Locke sits on his bed talking to a phone operator named Helen. It's unknown why she's named Helen, like his old girlfriend Helen Norwood, but it's likely that he asked her to use that name. He tells her about his personal goals, and invites her to come along with him on the walkabout. She refuses, because he's a customer, hanging up on him. If you'll notice during this scene, Locke's wheelchair is nowhere around the bed, presumably to keep the twist secret.

Kate climbs a tree to boost the transciever signal, but the monster approaches, causing her to drop it. She worries about Locke, who suddenly is approached by the monster, which rises above him. He looks at it with a look of wonder. Did the monster judge him like it did Eko? Or, due to Locke claiming that she did not see black smoke, did he see something else entirely?

Kate and Michael return to the beach, but without Locke. Charlie realizes he's been conned by Shannon. Jack tries to get Rose to return to the funeral service to say words about Bernard, but Rose does not believe Bernard is dead, which is stunningly correct. Jack says that everyone in the tail section is gone, and Rose insists that "they're probably thinking the same thing about us." Jack, at a loss for words, looks out into the jungle and sees his father standing there. Now, this raises some interesting questions. Of course we know that it's not a hallucination, and that his father's actually there, but is this Jacob's nemesis? I think so. Jack sees Christian again, but he's gone just as quickly as he appeared. Jack follows Christian into the jungle, but instead sees Locke dragging a boar to the beach. He survived.

At the funeral, Claire reads out the names of the deceased. Jack sits down the beach, trying to figure out what he just saw. Michael congratulates Locke about the boar. He asks Locke if he saw anything, but Locke denies it, even though we know he did.

In a flashback, Locke is denied a walkabout because of his paralysis, and we see that Locke's in a wheelchair, a result of being pushed out a window by his con-man father. Locke's able to "walk about" on the Island, leading us to wonder how exactly this was possible. Was it the Island's electromagnetism that conveys the healing properties? Regardless of what it was, Locke is able to walk, and he sees it as a new beginning as he watches the wheelchair in the fire.

And thus the episode ends. It's been consistently heralded as one of the greatest of the series, and it really is one of the best. It's a brilliant introduction into the character of Locke, and we'll get another flashback from him in "Deus Ex Machina."

Now for something completely unrelated -- next week's Lostpedia blogs will not be done by me -- I'm going on summer vacation for the greater part of the week. The rewatch will be covered by another administrator. I should be back week after next to go through "Solitary," "Raised By Another," "All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues," and "Whatever the Case May Be" with you guys. I will watch next week's episodes, though, so when I return I'll discuss them along with everyone else in the forums.

Until then, thank you, namaste, and good luck.
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