Thursday, June 21, 2007

Lost Rewind - "Walkabout"


Episode Review: If I had to pick one episode to sum up what this crazy show called “Lost” is all about, this would be it. This is the episode that made Lost. It’s a tight story, gorgeously shot (the scene of Locke wiggling his toes post-crash is absolutely perfect), and took Lost beyond being about “an Island full of dinosaurs”.

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The fantastic thing about “Walkabout” isn’t just the surprise ending – but the fact that upon re-watching the episode, there are numerous clues absolutely smacking the viewer in the face, hinting at the big reveal – and yet I don’t know a soul who predicted the ending during their first viewing just shows what a fine piece of storytelling it was. But aside from the ending, this episode gave us the first true indication that there were much bigger mysteries to the Island than the “Monster”… there was something almost magical about it – and it gave each future episode the potential for revealing more of this magic. There was something fantastic about the Island.

I think a lot of people look back so fondly upon this episode because it was one of the few episodes of the first season that hinted at something greater going on, other than our Survivors trying to get off the Island. There was clearly some sort of Island mythology at play, and that hooked a lot of viewers. While some point to Charlie’s line at the end of the Pilot (“Guys… where are we?”) as being the signature line of the series, it wasn’t until Walkabout that we truly realized what that line meant.


Deeper Meaning Explanation: Pretty simple and straightforward, but packed with meaning. Locke was attempting to go on a “walkabout” in his flashback, a spiritual journey in the Australian wilderness – but was denied (ironically) due to his inability to walk. Instead, he ended up on the Island, where he gained the ability to “walk about”, and go on an even deeper spiritual journey than he intended – one where he could find meaning in his life and a greater purpose for his existence.


Original Thoughts: Shockingly, there were none. But this episode was really the one that showed me that there might be something worth thinking about on Lost, aside from just guessing what the Monster could be. It showed that there was a more complex storyline at play – one that might deserve a closer examination… or thousands of words written about it each week. Don’t worry, we’re only two episodes away from my hilariously sucky original Lost thoughts starting, and being inserted in this place. Get ready to laugh.


New Thoughts: Personally, I’m pretty shocked at the lack of inconsistencies we’ve found in the first four episodes. These writers really must have known what they were doing from the start! Here’s what stuck out to me during “Walkabout”…

Time. For the better part of three seasons, I was pretty sold on the “Funky Time” theory, and it’s little things like this that helped sell me: In Walkabout, we see everyone on Lost continuing to wear watches post-crash. EVERYONE. It’s almost ridiculous. We also have Charlie making his statement about “Last time I checked, we’re positively made of time”. Now that we had our flashforward, the “Funky Time” theory kinda takes a backseat (simply because I don’t think it’s needed), but it’s been interesting to see all the “clues” that led me down the path.

Radio Tower. This episode reminded me of something interesting. Sayid makes the comment that wherever the radio tower is, there must be a power source from it. We’ve seen blueprints that would seem to indicate there are underground power lines running between the different Dharma Stations, so I guess we can assume that they’re going to the radio tower as well, right? Is the entire Island basically wired?

Kate. For being a character who probably has the least motivation to actually get off the Island, Kate sure does seem to be going above and beyond to help get them rescued – from going with Jack to get the Transceiver to trying to triangulate a signal for Sayid, she’s gung-ho about escaping in these first few episodes, even though it would likely lead to her going straight to jail. Stange.

Randy. Locke’s boss at the box factory is the same as Hurley’s boss at Mr. Cluck’s – Randy Nations. That always struck me as weird, but apparently in a Podcast the creators said that once the meteorite hit Mr. Cluck’s, Hurley felt sorry for Randy and gave him a job as a manager at the box factory… so I guess it does all make sense in the end!

Jack. This episode once again exhibited the excellent foreshadowing for characters. We see Jack refusing to be a part of the eulogy for the dead, which seems weird – but makes total sense after next week’s episode, when we learn that he wasn’t yet over the loss of his father. The other curious thing about Jack this week was that Rose commented on how Jack “has a nice way about him”, yet we later learn that Jack absolutely sucked at bedside manner. I guess even Jack was using the crash as an opportunity to “start fresh”.

Monster. I agree with some of the comments people have made to previous Rewinds – the sound of the Monster has definitely changed over the years. It’s gone from being more mechanical to being more “chattery”. The other thing that has changed is the way it moves through the jungle. We see it now either gracefully moving between trees, or totally uprooting them – but in these early episodes, it’s knocking down trees, as if it’s walking through them and bumping into them.

I still want to know what Locke saw when he encountered the Monster. Last season showed us that Locke isn’t some all-knowing person on the Island, who had all the answers revealed to him during the encounter, since he’s still looking for answers. But the Monster must have showed him something to give him such faith in the Island. I wonder if it somehow reminded him that he was no longer in a wheelchair, and that was enough for Locke to make the assumption that he had a greater purpose.

Okay – that’s what I saw. How about you?

Message Board it here.

Comment below!

22 comments:

jack e. said...

One thing I'm curious about is that if the others were committed to destroying the Dharma Initiative wouldn't they have kept them from building all of the stations and wiring the island in the first place? Seems like it would take a long time to build everything, even the fence that was supposed to keep out the others, giving the others plenty of time to wipe them out before everything was completed.

Additionally, I miss the old smoke monster.

joe d. said...

That is the only big thing left in Locke's past that I would really like to know....what happened to him during his encounter with Smokey? He's mentioned it twice now. Do you think they will ever show that via flashback?

susa said...

Hey Brian, I like the new look and the rewinds even more! You´re right about "Walkabout" - it took the show to a new level. And it´s fantastic how Terry O´Quinn contributed to that, he´s an amazing actor! I remember when I first watched the episode, I thought of Locke being a professional hunter, due to his equipment. Later, he was adressed with "Colonel", making you think of the army. And then he ends up with a lame office job...perfect storytelling, especially with the wheelchair-moment in the end!

Did I get it right, that the sound of his adding machine on his office desk is quite like the one from the flipping numbers in the hatch?
Another thing: I think I didn´t recognize the machine Locke had on his bedside table - what was that?

Oh, and joe d. - thanks a lot for the great tv-link; I don´t really need it for the Lost episodes, but there are a lot of other things to watch :-)!

Anonymous said...

sorry to ask again, but what is easiest way to watch past LOST episode's for FREE? I tried and failed to download UK software earlier. Thanks!

Drudo said...

Brian,
I think you covered the difference in Smokey in your last post. The smokey we see now is a smokey trying to scare away intruders. If you're in the woods and want to scare something away you rattle about making lots of noise. In the more recent episodes, smokey has switched to observing the newcomers. If you want to spy on someone, you're very quiet. That's where the difference is in my opinion.

Jules said...

Susa: The machine on Lockes bedside table was one of those electrical machine things that you put on your muscles to stimulate them to prevent atrophe.. It explains why Locke could actually walk when he got movement in his legs back.

susa said...

Thanks jules, for the explaination - always wondered about that...Never seen such a thing!

Anonymous said...

hey anonymous check out http://www.tv-links.co.uk/ and http://www.videostored.com/

Anonymous said...

still getting a failure message when trying to download episodes....any advice anyone? http://www.videostored.com/

Anonymous said...

what error are you getting?

Sawyer's Optician said...

Somehow I missed that the rewind was to be two episodes per week. I'm not good with math. I have to catch up!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Kate wants to get off the island BADLY, yet that will only get her into jail more quickly. But, I'm sure she had some scheme to adopt a new identity when she returned to the civilized world and Fugitive Kate would be "presumed dead on Oceanic 815".

BH

Rodrigo said...

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kathy said...

i don't know if you saw this, but it's pretty awesome:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nu3SxqSrAOM

amber said...

That was a pretty neat video:)

Sawyer's Optician said...

What about Helen? Locke is talking to a woman named Helen who earnes her living by listening to lonley men on the phone. Wasn't Locke's woman friend that we learn about later named Helen? Did he ask the phone lady if he could call her "Helen" to try to pretend she was the real Helen? I know this is probably irrelevant, but I find it curious. When we first met the real Helen, I assumed she was the one who asked to go on the Walkabout with him. I had forgotten her comment about charging him for another hour. Any ideas?

joe d. said...

Sawyer's Optician:

Yes....The "Helen" that John was talking to on the phone in "Walkabout", was not the Helen that he was in love with. THat was some sort of phone service. I seriously doubt that the woman on the phone was even named Helen. The real Helen (Katey Segal) left John and they never got back together. During their conversation, John says something about talking to this woman for the past few months.

joanh said...

this is the episode that started me on LOST. i didn't really want to watch it, but my friend told me about this episode and i was hooked.

Stef said...

Was that an "Office Space" shout-out with the TPS reports? I laughed out loud! Stupid Randy.

The fantastic Terry O'Quinn deserves an Emmy. Hopefully his Season 3 island tour of destruction, vision quest, and messianic evolution will get him that spiky gold statue!

Joe d. said...

"Locke, I told you I needed those TPS reports by 12 oclock. Not 12:01, not 12:15."

Anonymous said...

when i visit www.videostored.com or others, i get a message that reads "cannot download video file". any suggestions or advice?

thnks!

webuffy said...

The first revelation about Locke is that he sees life like a game - with black and white - two sides; and he must win or he will lose. After being on the losing end for so long - he is a player. There isn't a gray area for Locke. He is going all out or nothing.

He is going to face the Monster without fear. He is going to kill a wild boar by himself or die trying. He is going to find out his destiny on that island with or without anyone else!