Walkabout S.1 Ep. 4
I had a bit of trouble coming up with a theme for this episode. The obvious ones are there of course.
- Don’t tell me what I can’t do!
- Miracles and the magic of the island
None of them seemed entirely right to me, until I stopped and thought about Sayid’s side-story in the episode Walkabout…
Sayid had a problem with what Jack decided should be done with the bodies of those that passed away in the crash. At dusk the following day, the castaways will burn the fuselage to dispose of / in remembrance of / those that died.
Sayid, not wanting to take part in that, because it disrespected the 815 dead’s possible and completely unknowable final wishes, decided to focus on a side project. He removes wiring, electrics, and metal from the wreckage to build antennas, which will work with a repurposed transceiver to triangulate the mysterious signal left by Rousseau.
The idea of repurposing has often occurred to me while watching Lost. I’ve always had this thought, that I’ve mentioned in a few other articles, that the island exists outside the dimensional plane of the rest of the Earth. That is how and why things like the flashes, time loops, teleportation, etc. seem to not affect the rest of the planet. i.e. It isn’t so much that you teleport to Tunisia when you turn the wheel, so much as Tunisia is the closest place on Earth to the island’s dimension, when you open the “door.”
So, if you accept that the island exists in its own dimension, with its own rules governing time, space, distance, etc. then the rest of this won’t be that crazy.
I’d like to suggest that when a person crosses over to the island he or she leaves their destiny behind. They skew from the destiny that they were heading for and embrace a new one which includes time spent on the island, thus drastically changing their life-course.
What if all the characters had very specific destinies? What if they all had a purpose back in their lives before the crash? What if, by leaving, and crossing over to the island, these destinies were interrupted, changed, or diverted? (Course correction is a big theme later…)
I propose that Jacob, just like Sayid repurposing a few wires and circuit boards, repurposed the survivors of flight 815. He took their destinies that were set in stone, and changed them. It is no coincidence that in the season 5 finale we see that Jacob uses an ancient looking loom to weave tapestries. Many ancient mythologies compare fate and reality itself to the act of weaving a tapestry.
Three examples from wiki:
Many of the world’s people believe that the world is woven and that a weaving Creator wove its designs into being. Compare the Navajo legend of the Spider Woman, of Teotihuacan origin.
In Greece the Moirae (the “Fates”) are the three crones who control destiny, and the matter of it is the art of spinning the thread of life on the distaff.
In pre-Dynastic Egypt, nt (Neith) was already the goddess of weaving (and a mighty aid in war as well). She protected the Red Crown of Lower Egypt before the two kingdoms were merged, and in Dynastic times she was known as the most ancient one, to whom the other gods went for wisdom.
"It takes a long time if you're making the thread." - Jacob, from the Incident part 2. The threads are the castaways. The tapestry is the whole story.
By pulling flight 815 to the island, Jacob removed these people from one tapestry and added them to another.
Jack, destined to live in the shadow of his father, even after his death, was given the chance to be his own man after Jacob crashed 815. The island made him a doctor not just for individual patients, but a doctor for the whole planet.
Sawyer was on the road to vengeance since his namesake caused the death of his parents. The island would give him a focus for all that anger and rage.
Sayid was full of regret for the pain that he’s caused and was seeking his true love. If he had not been one of the “Oceanic 6” would he have ever found her?
Through her island experiences Kate was finally able to stop running from her past mistakes.
Charley? In season 6 he declared on the plane “I was supposed to die!” Was THAT his destiny back in the ‘real’ world? Would he have just been another rocker that overdosed in a hotel? Probably. The island, through Jacob, gave him a grander purpose, and made his death mean something more than a TMZ headline.
Hurley experienced the grandest change to his destiny.
Then there was John Locke. John was destined for tragedy and heartbreak at every turn in his life. Betrayed by his father and constantly harangued by his co-workers, John was given a new destiny by Jacob. Jacob brought him to the island, and gave him what he always wanted, adventure, purpose, and family. In this episode we got to see the very first glimmer of this new destiny John is in the process of embracing. In this new place John is a strong and mysterious man. He carries knives and hunts for his food. He is trying to actually become the man that he merely pretended to be in his war games back at the box factory in California.
Walkabout was a terrific episode. I’m sure there are dozens of other topics we could pull from this fantastic example of scripted television, but this was the one is pulled. I repurposed an idea and made it fit into my Walkabout post.
Further Jack/ John visual references hinting at the conflict to come:
John Locke and Jack Shepherd are set on a collision course right from the start, which never fully culminates until after one of them is dead and ends with the other dying. This conflict was hinted at right from the beginning by drawing visual parallels.
From the first image of this episode we get a familiar visual reference. A Close-up of John Locke’s eye as it bursts open, just as we saw Jack in the first image of the pilot episode. Then the camera movements are similar. We go from the close-up to a wide shot angled straight down at the body as it twists around almost like a spirit floating above. A very similar movement was used to show Jack’s location in the pilot.
They both lost consciousness, and when they came to they found themselves on a new road, with a new destiny, reborn.
The primary difference between Jack and John’s re-birth just after the accident is that Jack is reborn into the peaceful bamboo forest, while John is born into pain, screaming, and anarchy. In the midst of this anarchy though, a miracle occurs. John wiggles his toe.---- And don't you just love the small early clue in the episode when they show the unworn soles to John Locke's shoes?
Walkabout S.1 Ep. 4