Season 1 Episode 4


Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Oct 13, 2004 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (98)

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  • Don't tell me how brilliant this episode is

    Usually when you watch the pilot of a series, the writing and acting are so impressive that you find yourself watching to see if they get top it. While this has been true for ninety percent of the series I've watched, sometimes --- not often --- there will come a moment went everything clicks and you decide "I need to stay how this turns out." On Lost, this moment came roughly two minutes before the end of 'Walkabout'. I'd thought it was good up until then, but when I saw that, I knew I was in for the duration.
    Part of this reason was because of the character at the center of the episode: John Locke. Up until, he's seemed a little creepy and eccentric, with absolutely no indication that he's about to become the center of the series and one of the most fascinating characters in television history. Of course, I didn't know that, but there are certainly hints of it both in the scenes we see of him on and off the island.
    Under other circumstance, Locke appears to be this military, survivalist guy, who seemed to be stuck in the middle of a corporate job. Certainly, we have no idea what is in this man's makeup that allows him to gather so much information on hunting and tracking. There is something charismatic about the man--- how else could he have managed to convince a phone sex operator to become a close friend with him solely through months of conversation? More unsettling is the certainty about this man--- he seems to feel that he has a great destiny (and given what I've seen over the past four years, he's probably right)-and that he will not accept defeat in any form "Don't tell me what I can't do" is a phrase he uses over and over in the episode. He shows that when he slaughters the boar basically on his own, when whatever monster it is looks him in the face--- and doesn't kill him. But mainly it's because of his major secret --- before the plane crash, he had been in a wheelchair for four years. This revelation is handled so well and crafted so carefully that Rod Serling would have been proud. Not since the revelation that Nina Myers was actually the mole at CTU during the initial season of 24 have I ever been so shocked.
    Even though the majority of the episode is focused on Locke, there is a quite a lot going on. For starters, there's the fact that the food has finally run out which brings about the boar hunt in the first place. The boars have been attracted by the smell of the corpses in the fuselage --- which leads Jack making another unilateral decision that the bodies and the fuselage should be burned. While this is probably the right call, several of the others --- particularly Charlie and Sayed--- are repulsed by the idea, mainly because it seems to go against what is decent, and it's clear Jack is somewhat uncomfortable with his decision.
    But Jack's got other things on his mind. For one thing, he spends much of the episode telling Rose--- the black woman he saved in the Pilot---- trying to calm her down from post traumatic shock, and mourning the loss of her husband. He succeeds in part, but he doesn't convince her that her husband is dead, even though he was in the tail section of the plane (Turns out her faith is correct, though we're not going to learn that for awhile) Then he sees the man in the suit. No doubt Jack is inclined to dismiss it as a hallucination, but given what we've seen on the island, he should know better. But at the end of the day, Jack is far more of a realist than any of the others, and while that mindset will help him lead, it probably isn't the wisest path to follow.
    Sayed is now in the process of trying to find the power source sending out the transmission that we heard on the transceiver. He is now trying to build an antennae, a project which Kate seems more than willing to help him with. We also the first time get a look at his human side when Claire locates a photograph belonging to him from the wreckage. Who is the woman? We'll find out soon.
    We also get a look at Michael, who joins Kate and Locke on the boar hunt. We're not sure why--- perhaps it's to keep Walt from heading off with Locke, who he doesn't trust even before the knives come out. It 's also clear that unlike Kate and Locke, he is a city folk not built for the outdoors, which probably isn't going to help much in the long run
    Just like in the last episode, what we gather about the remainder of the characters comes in snapshots. Even though Michael can't talk to Sun, he now seems willing to entrust Walt to her care, at least temporarily. Boone and Shannon are squabbling again, this time over on her ability to gather food, which leads her to basically seduce Charlie into catching one for her. Shannon seems to be getting less likable by the episode. Charlie might notice he's being used, if it weren't for the fact that he's still trying to snort, and he's running out of heroin. This is going to be a problem.
    Despite her pregnancy, Claire seems to be becoming more compassionate. She is the one who comes up with the idea for the memorial service, and after Jack refuses, she is more than willing to lead it. Hurley is in a similar frame, in one of the funnier scenes in the show, where he tries to help Charlie fish, in a very primitive way. (Asking Jin for help is out of the question.) And Kate is demonstrating a streak of recklessness --- she now makes her third hike out into the woods with Sayed's antenna, only to drop it when the monster attacks. She wants to get off this island, too, but given what we know about her, it's hard to figure why.
    But it's Terry O'Quinn (to date the only actor on the show who has won an Emmy) who's the real story of 'Walkabout'. Up until now, we've been able to explain at least some of the mysteries as realistic ones. But the revelation about Locke turns the entire series on its ear. We now understand his amazement when he climbs to his feet, and we can understand why he is in awe of this island. Locke will represent our fascination with the island. Problem is, a lot of people--- Jack, for one--- don't drink at this particular lemonade stand, and there may Be more problems coming down the line because of it.
    My score:10