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I am writing this rewatch blog so that I can rewatch the series and look out for things that came up the first time that I may have missed. I will make connections from each episode to things that will happen later in the show. Here's the review for one of the best episodes of the show, Locke's first centric, Walkabout. For me, this episode is the blueprint for a classic Lost episode. What made this episode so perfect was how well the on-island and flashback story lines coincided. As someone pointed out to me in a previous review, Locke's episode number in Season 1 and 6 corresponds with his candidate number. Coincidence?
The episode starts with Locke wiggling his toes after the crash. At the time, as viewers we didn't know the significance of this. As we all know now, Locke regaining feeling in his toes in the afterlife after Jack's successful surgery was the final push he needed to remember his Island life and be ready to move on. I just can't fathom what Locke was feeling when he first landed on the Island, miraculously being able to walk again after spending years in a wheelchair. This begs the question for me of who or what gave Locke back the ability to walk when he got to the Island? Was it simply the Island? Was it Jacob? Was it the Man in Black? Ultimately, my guess is the Man in Black because of how much it helped him achieve the loophole in order to kill Jacob. By giving Locke the ability to walk, The Man in Black gave Locke a chance, and gave him some hope. Locke felt a special communion with the Island, because he assumed the Island had chosen him by giving him back his legs. I don't think the Island necessarily chose Locke...Jacob originally singled out Locke as an important candidate (he was #4, if being a lower number means importance) but was instead chosen by the Man in Black as the best candidate for his own plan. I think the Man in Black decided that Locke was a worthy choice for his plan when he first encountered him in this episode, much like he did when he first encountered Richard and Eko and scanned them. The timeline of this somewhat boggles my mind, because Locke had been on the Island chronologically before the crash of Flight 815 (during the time shifts) so the Man in Black had to already know about him (considering the fact he appeared as Christian Shephard to Locke in the wheel chamber in a very ancient time period). I've always wondered when exactly the loophole "started," meaning what exactly was the first action the Man in Black took to place Locke in the position of becoming leader of the Others so the Man in Black could take his body when Locke died. Don't try to think too much about it, your brain will start hurting.
Back to the actual episode, in the discussion about the burning of the fuselage, Jack tells Sayid that any bodies they bury won't stay buried for long. Given what we know about the Others' funeral practices and the use the Man in Black makes of dead bodies, the burial of bodies on the Island is very important. On the subject of Jack, I always enjoyed his scene with Rose in this episode and her faith in Bernard and the tail section still being alive. Jack is thinking scientifically in assuming the tail section would all be dead, but Rose has faith. Jack will eventually turn in that direction, but it would take a lot of alcohol and multiple seasons.
This episode is really the true introduction to Locke in the show. In the first 3 episodes of the season, he was a very mysterious character who got relatively brief screen time. His two major scenes where finding Vincent and telling Walt about backgammon. Locke's entrance into the survivors' community, achieved with a well-aimed knife throw at Sawyer's chair, is a very iconic scene for me.
The reveal at the end of the episode that Locke was in a wheelchair before the crash forces the viewer to reexamine everything they had seen in the episode. There a few select episodes of Lost that force the viewer to look at the episode in a entirely different light. 3 episodes immediately come to mind- the reveal of the flashforward in "Through the Looking Glass," the reveal that Jin's scenes in "Ji Yeon" were a flashback and that he didn't make it off the Island as part of the Oceanic Six, and the reveal that Locke was dead the whole time and someone was impersonating him in "The Incident."
Though for me not as strong as his flashbacks in "Deus Ex Machina," Locke's initial flashbacks were very interesting. We get the introduction of Randy "Huge Douche" Nations, possibly the worst boss anybody could ever have. I loved how the first flashback scene, of him working in a ho-hum office setting, was juxtaposed against Locke looking like the boar killer extraordinaire on the Island. I had assumed before this episode that Locke was an incredibly mysterious character before the Island, but all he was a lowly manager in a California box company. The flashbacks were littered with clues that Locke was paralyzed, notably the fact that we never see Locke stand up in any of the scenes. But I still was very shocked by the twist ending, as Locke wheels away from the desk, saying his immortal, signature phrase, "Don't tell me what I can't do!"
I don't usually like talking about Shannon too much because she was never one of my favorite characters, but in this episode we see for the first time her penchant for using men to get what she wants. It's the way Shannon had lived her life up to that point. It was only once she had proved to Sayid she could fend for herself and wasn't useless, that she was killed. Redemption on Lost often comes not too far before death.
One scene that had me scratching my head was Locke calling Kate "Helen" during the hunt after he was knocked over. It's possible he was just disoriented and I'm looking too far into this, but Locke seemed to be exhibiting signs of temporal displacement in this scene, by talking like he was in a different time period. But I don't really think temporal displacement was even a twinkle in the writers' eyes at this point in the show, so as usual I'm digging too deep into the show most likely.
I noticed from my rewatch of this episode how much I love Locke's musical themes and motifs. His first theme, a kind of jungle-like action theme called "Crocodile Locke," plays during his boar speech. His second theme, the more emotional string theme called "Locke'd out Again" plays during high emotion Locke scenes, including the reveal that he was in a wheelchair juxtoposed against him getting up to walk after the crash. Both themes are some of the best Michael Giacchino has composed for the show.
We also get the first appearance of Christian Shephard during this episode, as Jack sees him on 2 occasions. The second occasion is more important in my opinion because of who Jack finds instead of Christian Shephard after running after him- Locke carrying the boar. Considering the fact that the Man in Black would eventually use Locke's body after Christian's, this is either a coincidence, or an instance of the writers knowing eventually Locke's body would be used by the Monster as well. Back on the topic of Christian Shephard, his introduction is important because I always viewed him as the show's most important flashback character. He was the focal point of the main character Jack's personal issues, and appeared on the Island in many important scenes. He also was the character that revealed the show's final twist, that the flash-sideways timeline was really the afterlife.
On a final note, this episode showed the beginnings of Charlie and Hurley's friendship as they both attempted to fish, without much success. Screw the Jaters, and the Skaters, the Churley bromance was the best relationship on the show.
And with that, I'm done. Thanks for reading as always. Next blog post, barring catastrophe, should be around on Sunday or Monday. If you want to read reviews for previous episodes, my user page is only a hop, skip, and a jump away. (actually it's just a click away). I'll stop sounding like an idiot now, and I'll see you in another life, brother.