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Lost: Special

Locke: "As long as we're here, I think Walt should be allowed to realize his potential."

Michael and his son Walt have been hanging around in the background while lots of other stories were told. They didn't seem to be all that important in the grand scheme of things. Wrong.

Ten-year-old Walt may be the local version of Billy Mumy in the classic Twilight Zone episode, "It's a Good Life." If Walt is truly that kind of "special," then it opens up a whole can of worms. Did Walt unintentionally cause a lot of what has happened? Did he "create" the polar bears by seeing them in his mind's eye? Did he, intentionally or unintentionally, kill his mother? And could Walt be the reason that they are all on the Island in the first place? Did the plane crash because he was trying to make it return to Australia? Or is the Island his way of sending everybody to the cornfield?

This week's winner for Most Obvious Symbolism was the bronze cuckoo Walt was reading about in his textbook. Walt represents the archetypal cuckoo in the nest, the mystical evil changeling who replaced the real baby. And there was the bird, too. During that same scene, Walt was angrily telling Brian, "Look! Look! You're not looking. You're not looking!" and a bird threw itself against the glass and died. (And let's be silly and include the penguin with the sunburn, too.)

Susan deliberately kept Walt separated from Michael, his real father who wanted to be involved in Walt's life, for nine years. Bitch. Why didn't we see Susan's death? All we got was stepdad Brian telling Michael about it. Was Susan also "special?" Walt had to get it from somewhere. Michael's car accident seemed way too timely to me, and Walt couldn't have caused it. It would explain why she felt compelled to pay the hospital bills, too.

Poor Michael. He's the father of a possible Bad Seed and didn't know it, wouldn't see it. During the polar bear attack, I started worrying that Michael would die... but I wasn't worried about Walt. Of course, Walt could just be a normal boy who is lucky in backgammon and knife-throwing, and unlucky with parents. Brian might have just been weirded out by the bird incident as well as his wife's death. Like everything else on the Island, everything about Walt can be taken two ways.

Finally, Claire, our other parent, returned at the last minute – which was way too easy to see coming because her name was back in the credits. She looked awful. Did she have the baby? Is it dead or alive?

Character bits:

We know a lot more about Michael now. He was an unmarried house-husband, and an unfulfilled artist/cartoonist. Walt loves cartoon art. They finally have something in common.

Michael is also a damned nice guy. He had two huge opportunities to trash Susan and Brian and bring them down in Walt's opinion, and he didn't take either opportunity. At the same time, he didn't exactly lie to Walt, either.

Michael's last name is Dawson. Walt's mother was Susan Lloyd, and her husband was Brian Porter. What is Walt's last name?

Susan, Brian, and Walt lived in Amsterdam, Rome, and Sydney. I think Michael lived in New York.

Meetings, maps, planning, decisions... Jack and Sayid seem to be the Island's executive committee.

Boone was wearing a shirt with four aces on it. He was following Locke around like a puppy dog, or a religious convert. And he wasn't showing any interest in the raft idea.

Shannon gets seasick, and may have been bulimic in high school: two, count' em, two vomit references. Boone might have been exaggerating about the bulimia to piss her off, though.

Other bits:

— This episode began with a close-up of Michael's left eye.

— The scene with Charlie trying not to read Claire's diary was an absolute gem.

— There were two minor fistfights: Michael/Boone, and Charlie/Sawyer.

— It almost seemed like Claire answered the dog whistle. Where was Vincent the dog?

— Nothing about The Mysterious Metal Hatch this week.

— I have grave misgivings about Michael's raft idea... although Locke will probably find a way to sabotage the project before it takes off, pun intended.

— Did Locke know all along that Walt was special? Is that why he was paying Walt so much attention?

— The alien city in the Green Lantern/Flash comic book looked like an Island. There were aliens in that comic book, too. Do you think we'll eventually start seeing aliens?

— The Black Rock may be symbolic of the Black Stone of Ka'ba, at Mecca. According to legend, the rock absorbs sin. More afterlife symbolism for our mess-o-theories.

— The polar bear didn't look real. Dan said that the bear looked like a cartoon bear, and that the fact that it didn't look like a real bear might have been on purpose. If Walt unintentionally created it in his mind's eye, that was the way the bear would look, wouldn't it?


Hurley: "Yo, dudes. Got a new tourney lined up. We're playing for the last of the deodorant sticks."
Maybe it's a good idea that smellivision never took off.

Sawyer: "Good literature is kinda scarce around here."
Now that the comic book is ashes, the Island's bestseller list is down to three: Watership Down, Claire's diary and Rousseau's map with the lyrics to the fish song.

I'm impressed. Who knew there were even more possible crazy theories about the Island?

Three out of four polar bears,

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. Amazing review, Billie. I had missed so much of this the first time through, that I watched the episode again. More than one person called Walt "special." Whether or not he is supernatural, he is a great kid. I really, really hope he doesn't turn out to be a Bad Seed. That would bum me out.

  2. No, no, no, Billie. You've got it all wrong.

    Clearly, Walt is not special. Vincent is.

    Didn't you notice Vincent in the bird scene?

    Didn't you notice that Vincent ran after the polar bear, then mysteriously disappeared?

    Didn't you notice that it was Vincent who answered Locke's dog-whistle? Sure, he'd shape-shifted into Claire, but that just shows the extent of his power.

    Now here's where it gets tricky: Michael refers to Boone as Locke's "attack dog." Is that a clue that Boone is really Vincent, too?

  3. One of the concerns about rewatching any show that is almost 20 years old is how does it stand the test of time. So far, Lost has exceeded my expectations- I am enjoying the rewatch, and my son is absolutely hooked. Unfortunately, this particular episode hasn’t aged that well for me. A lot of it has to do with the fact that in the last 20 years child actors have become so darn good (ex. Stranger Things, Haunting of Hill House) that watching Walt front and center here took me out of the moment again and again. Also, the idea that Walt might be special didn’t seem to play as well for me.

    I did want to say, Billie mentioned in her review that Walt being special might be why Locke is paying him so much attention. I saw it differently - Walt being special allowed him to recognize that Locke had been impacted by the island and that was why Walt kept trying to reconnect with him.


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