Follow along! The episode guide for “Special” is in Finding Lost, pp. 87-91.
Special. It’s a word that’s now been applied to many people on the island, but most often, John Locke. Walt was the first special person on the island that we knew about – he can make things happen just by picturing it. Locke figures out his talent instantly, which is a little strange, and then hones it to show Walt how he can use his abilities. Now in light of season 5 most of this episode seems standalone because the Walt storyline is that one giant thing they’ve sort of just dropped, and it seemed to be building up to something extremely important. But then the writers got stuck in the practical problem of an actor growing up too quickly when the little character was supposed to stay the same. But I really REALLY hope that Walt is somehow addressed in season 6.
Fun things I noticed:
• Michael hasn’t yet perfected his “Waaaaaaaaaaalt!!” cry. Go here to find out how it’s SUPPOSED to be done. Heh...heh...
• When Locke tells Walt to picture the spot where the knife will go in, Walt looks at it, and then Vincent turns his head and looks at the tree. It’s as if the dog in this scene is psychically helping Walt out.
• Baby Walt still makes me melt.
• Susan = EVIL. She says they’re not married and therefore Michael has no right to the child. In what universe?! They’re common law, for goodness’ sake, and if he’d decided to fight it he would have. I found the gender reversal in this episode really interesting; if Michael had been the breadwinner, he would have moved the family to Amsterdam. But instead it’s Susan, and she won’t drag Michael’s ass along for the ride. She clearly had her eyes on Brian already. I know Michael’s one of those characters who’s not a favourite with a lot of fans, but I’ve always had a soft spot for him. Taking a child away from his father is just unforgiveable to me.
• The Bonneville of Death!!!
• Charlie’s scene with Claire’s diary is still a comedy classic.
• Re: the unopened letters... Susan = EVIL!!!
• You know, I think Brian’s a special kind of shitty for abandoning his grieving son, and letting him meet his father and new guardian completely alone, with NO ONE there to help him through the transition process. I asked in my book why Walt doesn’t call Brian “Dad,” but now I watch it and think, “Why the hell would he?”
• I’ve always believed Michael does Walt a huge disservice by suggesting Brian wanted to keep him and now Michael’s taking him against his will. Way to make the kid resent you right out of the gate, and make him spend the rest of his life thinking he drew the short straw.
• When Michael says to Walt, “I’m right behind you,” I remember at the time thinking for the first time that a major character was about to be killed.
• I still think that polar bear is horrific CGI.
Things that have new meaning:
• Locke discovers Walt’s specialness, and Michael threatens to kill him. And then... Walt is kidnapped by the Others. Presumably, they, too, sensed Walt’s specialness, and when they took him away to Room 23, they probably gave the same test to him that they did to John Locke – putting the objects in front of him – to find out if maybe he was meant to be their leader. And if you have no idea what I’m talking about... check out the mobisode, “Room 23” on the season 4 DVD. (Or look in the Season 4 Finding Lost book, page 136, for a synopsis.) But now, with Locke appearing to be inhabited by some evil spirit at the end of season 5, one wonders if he could have had anything to do with Walt’s kidnapping...
• At the time I assumed Claire’s comment in her diary, “I HATE HIM,” referred to Thomas. But could it refer to Christian? Or could it be prescient? She mentions the Black Rock in her diary... how is she seeing the future? How could she know things on the island that she hasn’t seen yet? Is it possible there’s a reason she was with Christian in season 4? What role will she play in season 6?