Sunday, September 24, 2017

Lost - Walkabout





“Who is this guy?”

I knew during a particular exchange that this episode was going to be damn good. Jack is conversing with Kate about “going into the heart of darkness” seemingly because “she can’t stay in one place too long”. It is this kind of dialogue and character development that signs me up for any show. The intuitive nature of dialogue to search out characters and rattle the cages of who they really are and are perceived to be. Kate has her secrets like others. She is someone, it seems, who can’t stay still very long in one place and Jack is a perceptive fellow who reads people well and asks the appropriate questions. Why does John Locke have a suitcase full of knives? Can he be trusted?

So wild boars attack the beach looking to eat the bodies of the dead passengers in the fuselage. Jack knows that they must burn the bodies so that the boars won’t return. Sayid doesn’t agree, believing the dead should be respected. But burying the dead would assure a return of the boars. John Locke offers to lead a hunt for boar meat, understanding that the boars which rushed the beach were children of a mother that was quite bigger.

Sayid continues to prove quite handy with technology. He believes he can use a transceiver to triangulate where the distress signal originates, with Kate willing to go into the woods with the hunt to see if they can pick up anything. During an attempt up a tree to see if she can get a signal, the monster that has been stirring in the woods appears to be nearing her and a wounded William (a smaller boar charges towards William and gores the side of his leg), with her dropping the transceiver, breaking it. She wasn’t going into the woods to hunt a boar. She’s a vegetarian. William will need her help making it back to the beach while an undeterred John Locke soldiers on to hunt for mama boar.

Now the treat of the episode is the revelations of John Locke, through back story. An emphasis on Locke looking at his moving toes, eyes fixed on his feet will lead to an incredible twist that drives home a question: what allows John Locke to walk? What is it about this island that Locke can walk on his legs when back story proves he shouldn’t? While there seems to be this romantic idea that Locke is this incredible action hero, his past proves otherwise. But what this island does is allow Locke not only to have his walk but live out a dream he’s never been able to anywhere else. At work punching in numbers on a spreadsheet at some workstation within the monotony of company life, Locke has envisioned a trek in Australia, on the Walkabout. His superior at his company, a real asshole who feels enabled to mock Locke every chance he gets, tells him he’ll never be able to enjoy the dream of the Walkabout. A woman named Helen that Locke is all crazy about, with him even buying a ticket to Australia for her. It turns out she’s a voice on a phone that Locke pays for time. She is nothing more than a fantasy. And his vacation to Australia, for the Walkabout…his condition won’t allow him to participate. All of this, plus his nickname, Colonel, is just that a nickname. He’s not been in the military. So Locke, the hero, is but someone who wants to be more than what life has confined him to be. And here Locke is, on this island, who walks, goes into those damned woods, encounters something very fucking big, and comes out with a boar that will give the survivors some much needed meat to get them by.

As they prepare to set fire to the fuselage, Claire asks Jack if he’ll be the one who leads a type of memorial for the dead. Jack just doesn’t want any part of it. When Boone sees Rose () afar off sitting all alone, staring into the ocean and having not eaten for four days, unable to accept her husband’s death (he went with the tail of the plane), he enlists Jack to speak with her. Jack reluctantly does. Jack, despite trying to shirk such human contact, can’t seem to escape the leadership role, nor avoid demands to be a rock for those on the island. He wants to be a figure that encourages action that will help those on the island and himself but when it comes to anything beyond maintaining survival Jack is not quite comfortable. Yet, it is easy to see that Jack has this way about him that is comforting and soothing, as Rose informs him during their sitdown together. He might just have to adapt to that role, as it might be of great importance during their time on the island ahead.

Speaking of the island’s “magic”, as evidenced by the extraordinary function of Locke’s legs, Jack sees a figure in a suit off at a distance. Who is this guy? Jack speeds towards his position with Kate, bewildered at his haste, following close behind. Kate had returned with William, and without Locke, emerging from the woods a bit disappointed. This episode proves that there is more to Lost than just “passengers trying to survive on an island while stranded”. There is just something about this island…but what is it exactly?

Minor bits and pieces that remain include Shannon using her feminine wiles to prove her brother wrong about securing a fish by “influencing” Charlie to get one (with help from Hurley), leaving him quite hurt, William requesting Sun-Hwa to watch after his boy through a type of sign language (previously seeing her accidentally naked, William and Sun-Hwa’s encounters have a particular awkwardness), and Claire takes it upon herself to lead a eulogy for the dead. Great episode.








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