Follow along! The episode guide to "Walkabout" is in Finding Lost, pp. 27-30.
The pilot was amazing, the characters were already intriguing, but on October 14, 2004, THIS was the episode that made me go, “WOW!” And not just because Buffy executive producer David Fury was the dude who wrote it. This episode was epic. Now I watch it and think, “How did I NOT figure out he was paralyzed?” because on my first viewing, that wheelchair pulling away from the desk in the Walkabout office elicited loud gasps from both me and my husband. It was shocking; a beautiful twist to a wonderful episode. Locke was my favourite character from that point on. He was creepy, weird, possibly psychotic, but there was something about him that just made him stand apart. I LOOOOOOVED watching this episode again!
Fun things I noticed:
• A few people have wondered aloud if Smokey might have brought down the plane. One thing I noticed even back in 2004 was that there was a LOT of black smoke sort of wisping and dancing around the fuselage, even where there’s no fire. Where’s there’s smoke... there’s supposed to be fire. But here it’s just black smoke. That, however, would cancel out my theory that Smokey avoids the beach.
• When they hear the boars, Jack’s immediate assumption is that Sawyer is looting the fuselage again, showing how he already hates the guy. Sawyer’s response – “I’m right behind you, Jackass” – is frickin’ BRILLIANT. I howled.
• I love how they run from the boars as if it’s the scariest thing they’ve ever seen. I have bad news for you guys: you’re going to see MUCH scarier.
• You know, honestly, I’ve never understood why Kate and Sayid were never a thing. I sense chemistry between those two. He respects her, he doesn’t judge her, he brings her into his personal “circle of trust” and she respects him. I guess she thought he wasn’t complicated enough?
• Jack has a bandana tied around his neck. THAT is a fashion statement that, thankfully, did not continue. Thank the island gods.
• Between Claire and Boone asking Jack to do things that there’s no reason he would have to do, we can already see the makings of the reluctant leader. They want him to lead them in everything, and he doesn’t want to.
• I still can’t get over Locke with HAIR!!
• I love that Shannon’s wearing hot pink lipstick.
• Rose says that Jack has a good soul. Sometimes I have trouble reconciling this Rose – who I saw as sort of saintly, motherly, lovely – with the, “Oh you have GOT to be kidding me” Rose we saw at the end of S5 who sees everyone for the first time in 3 years and basically tells them to piss off.
• Sawyer flirts with Kate, she rejects him. Ah. Just like the good old days. In the... future. In... 1977. Man, this show is confusing.
• The show had a different format back then. There were lots of hints of closed arcs of upcoming episodes, whereas now the show has a serialized feel, with individual backstories only being part of that episode and that episode only. But in this one we see Jack’s Christian sightings (foreshadowing White Rabbit), Sayid finding Nadia’s picture (Solitary) and Charlie being used by another woman (Homecoming)
• Jack: “I’m not big on rubbing it in.” Me: “LIAR!”
• I said just before Locke disappeared down the well in “This Place Is Death” in S5 that when Juliet says thank-you, that’s got to be one of the first times anyone says it to him. Sure enough, Michael just says “Nice work” about killing the boar, not “Thank you.”
Things that have new meaning:
• Jack: “Any bodies we bury are not going to stay buried for long.” EEK! Everyone always quotes Locke telling Paulo that things on the beach don’t stay buried for long, but they were touching on this theme in the fourth episode. Nothing on the ISLAND seems to stay buried for long...
• Sayid notices that Kate is as anxious to get off the island as he is... and yet they’ll both come back (against their will, interestingly).
• In later seasons, we see John say, “My name is John Locke” to just about everyone. And yet here, when Jack asks him for the first time who he is, Michael answers that he’s “Mr. Locke.” John never actually introduces himself to Jack. Hm...
• After JL flips open the knives, Hurley says, “Who is this guy?” Many times people will ask, “Where are we?” “What is this place?” but Locke is the only one where they ask who is this PERSON.
• Jack distrusts Locke immediately.
• Randy mocks John’s mentions of “destiny,” and when he says that word, John’s three-note musical motif plays. What an awesome moment in retrospect!!!
• Randy also calls John an old man and says his delusions of destiny are just that: which is what Jack says to him in “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham”
• Hurley says he fished off the Santa Monica pier with his old man. I didn’t think anything of that, until now. He must have been very young fishing, since his old man left when he was a kid.
• The first person chosen as a babysitter is Sun, despite the fact she can’t speak English. This foreshadows how Claire always leaves Aaron with her when she has to go somewhere.
• Rose says of the Tailies, “They’re probably thinking the same thing about us.” Yep. They were.
• Jack chases the image of Christian into the jungle... and Locke is standing there. Wow. Even in the fourth episode they were linked. Now, just like Christian, Locke has died off the island, travelled to the island in a coffin, crash-landed onto it, and seems to be walking around it.
• John’s two mantras – “this is my destiny!” and “don’t tell me what I can’t do!” – are linked in this episode, and now they have SO much more resonance when we’ve seen what he CAN do. Or... what his reanimated body can do.
• At the end of the episode, fire loops up around the image of Locke standing there. It has a different resonance to me now, thinking of him kicking Jacob into the fire pit.
My Favourite New Theory:
• Ali Bags suggested on “Pilot, Part 2” that maybe Vincent is Jacob! I must admit, the dog creeped me out even more on the rewatch than ever before. I mean, this is the dog that pulled the blanket off Nikki and Paulo and tried to get them to STOP burying them alive... what kind of horrible canine IS that thing?! But seriously... he seems to be all-knowing, he does some benevolent things, some terrible things, seems to be leading people in bad directions... and he seems to have an ambivalent relationship with Smokey, who may be the Man in Black. And remember: in the cabin, there’s a painting of a golden-haired dog. It’s not a lab, but we can pretend it is. ;)