Episode Re-Watch: Season 1, Episode 4: “Walkabout”

6 05 2008

Continuing our review of past episodes leading up to the premiere of Season 5 in Jan/Feb 2009…

For those of you that don’t remember, this was LOST’s first big twist ending.  Through the first 3 episodes, Locke had been a mysterious fellow, but seemed to be doing OK physically.  But in the show’s final sequence, we learn that Mr. Locke was confined to a wheelchair prior to arriving on the island.  If you’re a frequent visitor to this site, you probably know that I didn’t start watching LOST until the 2nd season.  So, I first watched this episode on DVD just before Season 2.  And unfortunately, someone had already spilled the beans to me about Locke having been in a wheelchair.  So it didn’t have the same impact on me as it may have had on some of you.  If it did, I’d be curious about it.  Was it here that you knew LOST had you hooked?  Or by some wild chance, did you see it coming?  Please leave your comments below.

In addition to the big Locke reveal, there were also some interesting events in this episode.  It was the first episode with island “weirdness”, as a “strange man” (later revealed to be Christian Shepard, Jack’s dad) appeared and then disappeared.  (You could count the first non-visual encounter with the monster “weird”, but this was the first shared visual weirdness.)

And finally, this episode marked Locke’s first encounter with the smoke monster.  Why didn’t it try to kill him or take him like it does in subsequent episodes?  Maybe we’ll get that answer at the end of the series.

For me, this episode was the first to really capture my imagination.  The pilot episode and “Tabula Rasa” were interesting, but this episode, despite knowing of Locke’s secret, was the one that started to make me believe that I was going to be a big fan of this show.

One last comment: it’s amazing to me how different this show was at its start compared to where it is now.  I doubt that it could really be any other way, but the plot advancement in the current crop of episodes is miles ahead of Season 1 and its focus on character development.  It’s quite interesting to contrast this episode with Season 4’s “The Shape of Things to Come”.

I think it’ll be almost as interesting as comparing this past week’s “Something Nice Back Home” with the next re-view episode, “White Rabbit”…




One response

23 09 2009

I just discovered your blog this week after watching the series Lost for the first time starting last month (August). I haven’t had television for years, so when Lost came to Hulu, I did a few marathons through all five seasons. I thought I’d answer your question about how I felt when I learned that Locke had been in a wheel chair.

I knew I was going to like this show in the first scene when Vincent appeared out of nowhere in the jungle and practically ran over Jack’s face. There was something very eerie and disorienting about that scene — even more so than when the wreckage appeared behind Jack on the beach. The scene took something very familiar and friendly (beautiful Lab) and made it uncomfortable.

Seeing John in the wheelchair gave me the same eerie feeling — something I had come to think of as a friendly force immediately became uncomfortable. It’s one of the things I appreciate about the show — the ability to disrupt my comfort zone and recast everything in a new, sometimes jarring, light.

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