Lost: Walkabout   Rewatch 
March 25, 2023 11:02 AM - Season 1, Episode 4 - Subscribe

Don’t tell Locke what he can’t do.

S1E4: Walkabout (Lostpedia | transcript ): air date 13th October 2004 • writer David Fury • director Jack Bender • days 4-5 on the island • Locke flashbacks

An eye opens • toe wiggle • right behind you, jackass • Jack’s little flashlight, Sawyer’s huge flashlight • boars in the fuselage • they’re gone and we’re not • last I heard we were positively made of time • stay out of this, Metro • there is no rest of the food, dude • KNIFE • CASE OF KNIVES • who is this guy? • Colonel Locke • TPS reports • a hike into the heart of darkness • it’s not my thing • what’s a four letter word for I don’t care • the ocean is not going to take your gold card • I’m a fishing fiend • I perused your file in HR • god, Randy is such a dick • DESTINY • Sayid’s envelope • you don’t have to keep your promise • family business • Kate climbs a tree • Locke meets the monster • Shannon caught a fish • Jack saw a man • Locke caught a boar • goodbye Harold • you misrepresented yourself • I never lied • the reveal • DON’T TELL ME WHAT I CAN’T DO • toe wiggle • fireside smile

Jason Snell, The Incomparable: Re-watching Lost, Season 1, Episode 2: "Walkabout"
If there is a single, series-defining episode of “Lost,” it’s almost certainly “Walkabout.” The final scenes, with their “Twilight Zone”-caliber revelation about the true story of John Locke that casts everything we’ve seen before in a completely new light, set the standard for many future revelations that precede the final LOST title card and clunking sound effect by only a few seconds.

Here’s the thing about this episode: It makes it clear that, from the very beginning, Locke is aware that the island is special. Not only does he know it because he’s been healed, but then he sees the monster. Locke is way ahead of everyone else. He’s not playing the same game as the rest of them, and it’ll be a long time before they catch up with him.
Javier Grillo-Marxuach, The Lost Will and Testament
[spoilers for future episodes & events throughout]
The episode’s writer, David Fury, initially argued against the Locke-in-a-Wheelchair twist. He held fast to the contention that he had already rendered a very Willy Loman-esque version of the story where Locke was a truly tragic figure. In David's arguments, the wheelchair twist was a kind of supernatural crutch that robbed the character of a pathos that felt lived-in and real.
Emily St. James, Vox: The Lost Interviews: Walkabout
[bylined under St. James’ previous name; slight spoiler for S1E5 White Rabbit]
Damon Lindelof: “I definitely met significant resistance from some people about putting Locke in a wheelchair, and whether or not we could pull it off, whether or not the audience was going to get it, whether or not it could be shot in such a way that we could conceal this idea. We had to write four scenes where the guy is sitting down and you never see this thing, and there were nervous individuals.

But it wasn’t until I was sitting in the editing room and saw the first cut of the show and Terry’s performance. I sat there in the editing room going like, ‘Oh, this is going to work. This is really cool. I'm all about Locke right now. Whatever this guy says, I’m going to follow him because he’s on a journey.’ It was certainly a moment of profound faith and reassurance in what we were doing, surrounded by doubt and trepidation on either side of it.”
Rewatch companion: THE STORM: A Lost Rewatch Podcast - S1, E4: "Walkabout"
Neil Miller: “We start this episode with Locke, who up to this point has been very separated from the group, and we end this episode with Jack being separated from the group because Jack can’t, for reasons that are his own, deal with the memorial service. And so we've sort of flipped Jack and Locke. Locke is now very necessary to the group because he’s the guy who hunted the boar, and Jack is not participating, and so he’s off to the side now, which: I think it’s fascinating how quickly this show can can flip dynamics.”

Joanna Robinson: “We see in Locke, who’s been healed magically by crashing on this island, these strong man-of-faith storylines start to lift off. Because even though Locke isn’t overtly Christian or anything like that, this is a faith-based, a spiritual story for him. He’s like some greater power, some beautiful monster that I'm gazing at, something has — you can just see it on his face. Oh my God, this is a miracle. This isn't science. Science didn't cure me. This is a miracle cure that I've experienced on this island."

“A Walkabout is a journey of spiritual renewal, where one derives strength from the earth; and becomes inseparable from it.”

posted by We had a deal, Kyle (3 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Currently streaming in the US on Hulu (subscription) and Freevee (free with ads); in the UK on Disney+; and available for purchase just about everywhere. I’m going to try a three-per-week cadence next week so the next episode will post, let’s say, Tuesday.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:02 AM on March 25, 2023

The reveal still works really well in rewatch, and part of the fun of it is how well-constructed it is: we never realize that Locke's only shown seated in the flashbacks, and only in angles that don't show the chair.

Terry O'Quinn is fantastic in this and I think that -- unlike some of their other actors where they ended up developing the characters towards the actors' strengths or popularity -- they knew exactly what they had with O'Quinn/Locke right from the start.

Jack entirely nope-ing out of the leadership role. I like the scene with Rose; Joanna Robinson points out that this is another man-of-science / (wo)man-of-faith juxtaposition, Jack is doing the doctorly bedside-manner thing -- you should hydrate etc -- and is utterly thrown by Rose's assertion that Bernard is still alive.

Locke's bedroom: I don't think they know yet why Locke uses a wheelchair and so there's some vague militaria scattered around which suggests that maybe he's a veteran?

This didn't fit into the post, but from the ">DVD commentary: the flashbacks are deliberately shot differently to the island scenes:
Jack Bender: "I tried to keep blue and green – which I felt were the two major colors of our jungle and beach – out of all the flashbacks. And it was something that I said, ‘Ok, let's let this be a rule for all flashbacks until we can no longer…’ I mean, I believe as a producer on the show, rules are to be broken when there's a good reason, but it lasted exactly one more episode until we had to throw out that rule. But for this episode it worked out really well that Locke's world would be devoid of any kind of big splashes of blue and green."

David Fury: "That was something else you did with the flashbacks I think, you keep the camera static or steady and keep the shots kind of minimal which I thought was an interesting choice."

Jack Bender: Yeah, the lenses were wider closer shots so that the background was more in focus, and unlike the jungle where we were using longer lenses and a lot of camera movement I tried to keep the flashbacks totally still and composed, you know, Godfather-esque in terms of a lot of camera moves… just to show the sterility of his world.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:10 AM on March 26, 2023

ah, let's try that link again, as it's too late now to fix in edit: DVD comentary
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:40 AM on March 26, 2023

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