Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Lost Theory Question #5: Walt

Hey all! I'm back... and somewhat sobered up finally! :)

Walt's one of the few still unsolved Season One mysteries left, but he's a big one. We know Walt has some special powers and that the Others were extremely interested in him, but what exactly was the extent of what he can do and why did they let him go? From the limited amount of time we were given with him, let's take a look at what he did and speculate on what he's capable of:

1) The Backgammon Game and the Knife

It's clear Walt's powers somehow influenced the backgammon game he was playing with Hurley and the knife he was throwing with Locke. I've lumped these both together because I think there are two identical possibilities for both: Simple telekinesis or altered probabilities, the latter similar to the Scarlet Witch of Marvel Comics fame.

In both cases it seems he has to concentrate on what he was doing, using his "mind's eye" as Locke said to him. My first thought upon seeing the episodes was telekinesis and it's certainly the simplest solution. But it seems that the latter talent would be much more useful in trying to alter the Numbers of the Valenzetti Equation (which I think are probably going to have to be altered before the show ends).

But let's say it's simple telekinesis for now.

2) The Animals

Walt concentrates on a bird in a book. The bird appears.

Walt concentrates on a polar bear in a comic. The polar bear appears.

In both cases, the animals involved were indigenous to the area, so Walt didn't just conjure them up out of thin air. He did seem to call them (unconsciously) to him, however, which makes me think he has some sort of Aquaman-type telepathy. Now I'm sure he couldn't communicate with the bird and the bear, but he was focusing on them and I bet they could sense something inside their heads. It could have even been something painful - maybe like an instant migraine that they honed in on in an attempt to stop it (the bear was pretty agitated after all).

Regardless, I think we can chalk this one up to some sort of telepathy.

3) Shannon's Vision

This is the simplest one to interpret, I think: Astral Projection. He was obviously trying to communicate with her and send her a message about the button. Remember, Bea Klugh asked Micheal straightforward if he had "ever been somewhere he wasn't meant to be?"

The vision Locke had of Walt could have also been a projection, but I think it's more likely that was the Monster (or Jacob) communicating with him.

Regardless, I think astral projection is the way to go here.

So what did the Others want him for?

My best guess is they're looking for someone who can control the "Magic Box" and that psychics have a distinct advantage in that department. It might be that also children are considered automatic "good people," i.e. innocents. Then Walt, being a psychic child, would have really been exactly what they needed. However, they couldn't control him for some reason. Ben said that Walt was "more than they bargained for."

Walt reminds me a bit of Charles Wallace from "A Wrinkle in Time" - while his powers seem to be a bit different, his intelligence and maturity for his age fit very well. In the book, Charles was treated very differently by his Mom (much like Walt is by Michael) but is well understood by his sister Meg (much like his bond with Locke).

So my question here is, what happened to Walt during his time with the Others? They ran some tests on him and he proved to be too much. Were trying to use him to work the "Magic Box?" Was he supposed to be used to communicate with the Monster, perhaps, something else on the island that appears to use telepathy?



cool_freeze said...

Yeah, I think you are straight on. My brain is racking through other possible explanations, but none seem to fit.

I just can't wait to see how the writers use Walt now and how things will play out with that character.

memphish said...

Walt is going to be a clear test of TPTB's claim that they knew where everything was going from the beginning. The actor was clearly going to grow and so if the claim is true, TPTB knew they had to remove a growing Walt from the story, but find a way to re-introduce him with a growth spurt that made sense. I'm interested to see how that works out. I don't think we're going to be able to see a current day (i.e. Dec. 2004) Walt on the Island again, but I may be wrong. Maybe the actor spent that first hiatus filming things for Season 6. :)

As for what's up with Walt and what happened to him, I'm pretty sure he got some Room 23 treatment like Karl in an attempt to control him. When Walt sees Michael in "Three Minutes" Ms. Klugh threatens to put him in the room again.

I think the more than they bargained for may have to do with the fact that Walt while powerful is not indeed "good" or "innocent" as his youth would suggest. He's really a liar and a manipulator, traits he no doubt learned from his mother who ranks up their in the LOST pantheon of crap parents.

As for the nature of his power, I'd say telekenesis is certainly fair game give the introduction of the book "Carrie" in S3. Why he was wet and talking backwards? Beats me. I'd say some sort of projection, but clearly not one very controlled. I'd agree Walt appearing to Locke was an Island manifestation, but that makes me wonder if Walt is actually on the Island dead somewhere like Christian and Yemi's bodies were there for Smokey to possibly use.

Sorry for the ramble. Keep up the interesting posts.

Bigmouth said...

Jay: I think Walt is, at a minimum, capable of influencing probability (i.e., making his own luck). That's how he makes what he visualizes a reality.


Jay said...

Memphish - Ramble away! I do my best thinking about rambling.

Good point about the writers - you have to figure they knew Walt was going to age. I used to think that maybe leaving the island caused premature aging or some other sort of physical problems (like from Richard's ancient uterus he showed to Juliet). But obviously it seems the Others have been traveling back and forth at will without any ill effects. Regardless, I really hope the explanation is a good one.

It seems though that most of Walt's powers aren't well controlled - in fact, he really only manifested them unconsciously, under duress, or both. Room 23, as you point out, was probably used on him. So I wonder what would happen if you put a powerful telekinetic with uncontrollable abilities in such a contraption? Methinks "more than we could handle" was an understatement. Walt with the Others would make a terrifically entertaining flashback if they could pull it off.

Bigmouth - I'm going to have to digest your post for as bit before I comment. But let me say that I do find the question of luck (or fate, perhaps) very interesting, certainly more interesting than Walt being a simple telekinetic. But as much as I try to incorporate that in, it just seems to me that moving things by concentrating is just a much simpler solution.

Plus, it seems to me that if Walt COULD influence probabilities, the Others would be much more reluctant to let him go (unless he was so agitated that bad things started happening to them as a result... hmmm...) :)

cool_freeze said...

I agree with bigmouth.

You would say I'm completely crazy if I said that I do think that this is a theory of reality, but I'm sayin it anyway. I do think that people can make their own luck.

This is good..just wait..

I will be back with more later.


memphish said...

Interesting you say "making your own luck," CF. This is said at least twice to Hurley by Mrs. Sam Toomey and by his dad, yet in this instance it is Walt making his own luck to Hurley's detriment.

I had some other idea about Walt, but now it's gone. Maybe coffee will return it. :)

memphish said...

I remembered. It has to do with Wet Walt. The first time Shannon sees Wet backwards talking Walt he says "Don't push the button; the button is bad." And before Walt even left on the raft, he told Locke "don't open it," probably referring to the Swan, but it's vague, so it could be something else.

I'm trying to decide how people are lining up in this thing. Mrs. Hawking is doing her thing to make sure Desmond pushes the button and ultimately turns the key; fake Henry Gale works to convince Locke not to push the button; the Others also use the Swan computer to communicate with Michael about Walt and try to convince him that the Swan film is not to be believed. Wet Walt and possibly dry Walt pre-raft is also working on the side of the forces attempting to stop the LOSTies from pushing the button. So it seems that Walt or at least Wet Walt is on the Others side working against Mrs. Hawkings side. I guess my conclusion on this is that Wet Walt's appearance to Shannon was manipulated, tho poorly, by the Others to stop the button being pushed.

capcom said...

Great thoughts everyone!

I was bothered by the wet and talking backwards Walt only in that it was way too "Twin Peaks" for me and seemed too weird-for-weird's-sake. I hope that there is a reason for all that down the line. :-p

It's interesting that the Others would have put Walt in Room 23. Of course they would have to, since Walt is so strong-willed. And it can be assumed that those tactics on him failed, since they chickened out in their plan to use him and pushed him out into the ocean to get him away from them. Maybe. :-)