Okay, so I made a nice little list of episodes that I thought were game changers, ranked them in order, so I could to a top ten count down like build up thing. Then I LOST the list. Oh Irony, smite me now!
So change of plans, I’ll just blather on about the game changers that matter to me, no more rankings, and y’all can self-rank, agree, disagree or just point and laugh in mirth in the comments.
This was the fourth hour of the LOST universe, and while the Pilot and Tabula Rasa were both wonderfully done, and had all the nice twisty turns we’ve come to love and expect from LOST, Walkabout is the one that dug the fish hook into the flesh of my cheek and hooked me into fandom.
We’d gotten some hints that Locke’s character was a bit dualistic by this point. He’d been forming a friendship with Walt, gave an impressive little solioquy about the game of backgammon, and of course the orange rind smile both entertained and creepied me out.
The opening scene of the crash and the yellow-threaded toe wriggle should have cued us in that the writer’s were going to pull one over on us. The setup set in our brain, we go back to present island time and backing Vincent, and a fuselage full of boars (not Sawyer… Jack). The scene had me leaning to an exposition of the monster, or whatever it was, but it just became a mundane normal creature, that John Locke would now become the hunter/provider of the survivors.
The secondary story of gathering kindling and firewood to torch the fuselage, while peeking at Sayid’s triangulation plan to locate the 16 year old signal. The episode had a more relaxed feel, with the ending montage of the the survivors as the fuselage burns was touching with Michael Giacchino’s soaring score.
The flash of a hunting knife, contrasted with Locke’s exposition on the details and habits of a razorback boar, had be totally bought into flashback’s tickler that Locke was a military man, but we soon realized that Colonel Locke was his name only in a fantasy role playing game he played at lunch, while getting humiliated by his boss Randy. The haunting sound of Locke’s adding machine, echoes the now telltale sign of the imminent appearance smoke monster.
The meandering stories this episode sets up so many themes that carry through the rest of the season, some even carry on into season six: caring for and memorializing the dead, figuring out more about the transmission, the hunt for food and provisions, thy mystery of the monster, destiny, “don’t tell me what I can’t do”, Nadia, Helen, the relationships between Rose and Jack, Michael and Sun, Charlie and Hurley, even Charlie and Shannon are all entertwined in a story of a boar hunt gone wrong. The ending hooks of finding out that Locke was going on a walkabout while wheelchair bound, Jack running after the guy in the blue suit to find a blood covered John Locke hauling in the corpse of the boar.
They hid a lot of things in plain sight in this episode, but within it I saw into the heart of the series, and what I saw was … beautiful.