This article is about the episode. For the company that hosted the Outback tour, see Melbourne Walkabout Tours.

"Walkabout" is the fourth episode of Season 1 of Lost. As food supplies run low, John Locke emerges as the hunter after the survivors learn there are wild boars near camp. Meanwhile, the survivors realize that they must somehow get rid of the rotting bodies from the fuselage. The flashbacks in this episode depict Locke's plans to get to Australia and participate in a walkabout tour.




Locke at work.

Locke is at work when he receives a phone call asking for "Colonel Locke." Locke recognizes the person's voice and agrees to meet him at 13 hundred hours (1300 military time or 1:00 p.m.) in the "usual rendezvous point." His manager, Randy Nations, walks by soon after, griping that he needs Locke's TPS reports. Before he leaves, he comments that he heard Locke's phone call, saying "Colonel" smugly.

The "usual rendezvous point" is actually the staff lunch area, where Locke and his coworker play an army strategy board game. Randy arrives and once more belittles Locke. He reveals that he has read Locke's personal file, as well as documents on his desk about going on a "walkabout." His coworker asks if Locke would be telling "Helen" about his trip as Randy laughs at the idea of Locke actually having a girlfriend. He says that Locke should stop kidding himself because he can't do any of these things. Locke replies, "Don't tell me what I can't do."


Locke protesting to be let on the walkabout.

Locke speaks on the phone with a woman he calls Helen, ecstatically discussing his upcoming walkabout. He asks her if she'd like to accompany him on his walkabout in Australia. Seeming annoyed, the woman says that she is not allowed to meet customers and suggested he find a therapist. Much to Locke's dismay, she ends the call.

In Australia, Locke is prepared for his walkabout. However, the guide refuses to allow Locke admittance, on account of his "condition" which he had neglected to mention. As Locke moves away from the counter, it is revealed that Locke is a paraplegic in a wheelchair. Locke states that he "can do this" but the guide bluntly says, "No, you can't", before leaving. As the bus departs for the walkabout, Locke shouts out the window to never tell him what he can't do.

In the aftermath of the Oceanic Flight 815 crash, Locke wakes up on the beach, surrounded by screams. However, his attention is soon drawn to his feet as his toes wiggle. He realizes he is no longer paralyzed. Getting to his feet, he is called on for help by Jack to free another survivor.

On the Island[]

Day 4


Jack investigates the fuselage.

At night on the beach, all the castaways look over as Vincent barks loudly. However, another noise soon catches their attention, as rustling and roars are heard emanating from the fuselage. Jack moves to investigate with the rest of the group, but the creatures inside begin to move towards them, and the group runs for their lives. With the whole camp flustered, Locke steps forward to provide an explanation: the creatures are in fact wild boars.

Still a little shaken, some of the survivors discuss the situation in the fuselage. The remains of the dead are rotting in the sun, not to mention attracting wildlife. Jack puts forward the harsh truth that the bodies should be burnt, much to the dismay of Sayid, who points out that this act would show no regard to the individuals' wishes or beliefs about death. Jack, however, is undeterred. He states that the fuselage itself will be burnt at sundown the next day, which will also provide a strong signal fire that night for possible rescue.

Day 5


Kate discusses the distress signal with Sayid.

In the morning, Kate finds Sayid, who is working on trying to make antennas to triangulate the distress signal that they heard previously. Meanwhile, Hurley and Sawyer fight over the contents of a backpack, which contains the last of the peanuts. The group realizes that they have exhausted all of the food from the plane and face the prospect of starvation. As Sawyer mocks Sayid's idea of finding food on the Island, a knife hurtles towards him, hitting a seat, (which is part of the plane wreckage) right next to his head. Locke stands up, suggesting that they hunt the boars that attacked them. With the help of two others, he plans to kill the piglets, which would provide food and allow the mother to continue living to possibly breed more in future. As Jack and the rest of the group agree, Locke reveals the case he checked in when boarding the plane, which is full of hunting knives.


Locke's knife narrowly misses Sawyer on the beach.

Kate prepares to join the hunting mission, and Jack asks her why she is always so willing to sign up for outings into the jungle. She reveals that Sayid had given her an antenna to try to isolate the distress signal, which she is going to use when further inland. Michael is also gearing up for the trek and asks Sun to watch Walt. Despite not speaking English, she understands quickly what Michael is asking and agrees to look after him. Walt objects to not being included, but Michael tells him that this is an opportunity to get to know Locke better. Elsewhere, Claire asks Jack about a possible memorial service before they burn the fuselage, but she is abashed when Jack coldly responds, "Look, it's not my thing."


Jack speaks to Rose on the beach.

Boone speaks to Shannon about Rose, a woman who lost her husband in the crash. She sits staring out at the water all day, and Boone is worried that she is suffering from some kind of shock. Shannon shows little interest, however, and the two argue about her not caring about others, despite the fact that she is relying on them for food. Shannon says that she can look after herself, and Boone smirks at the idea that she could catch fish for herself. Soon after, Shannon finds Charlie in the jungle and uses her charm to make him try to catch a fish for her. Meanwhile, Boone asks Jack to speak to Rose, on account of him being the man who saved her life after the crash. He reluctantly obliges, but Rose gives him no reply as he tries to chat with her.

In the jungle, Locke tracks the boars' movements while Michael explains to Kate that Walt lived with his mother until her death two weeks ago; he and Walt had very little contact prior. They suddenly happen upon one of the boars, but when Michael speaks loudly as Kate and Locke silently approach, the mother boar charges at them in fear. Michael is injured, with Locke also winded. Kate asks Locke if he is all right, and he calls her Helen in a Freudian slip. While Kate tends to Michael, Locke says that he will find the boar alone, and states, "Don't tell me what I can't do" when Kate doubts him.


Charlie and Hurley attempt to catch food.

Charlie and Hurley try to catch fish with a stick to little avail, as the tides throw them back. Meanwhile, Claire finds Sayid, giving him a letter she found with his name on it. Inside are photos of a young woman. Up the shore, Rose finally begins talking to Jack, and he reveals amongst other things that he only became a doctor as a result of medicine being the "family business."

As Kate and Michael head back, she climbs up a tree to attach the antenna. However, before she can finish, she hears the sounds of the Monster, causing her to drop and break the equipment. The Monster heads straight for Locke, who stares straight at it.

Sawyer offers Claire some diaries and documents he found previously, and Michael arrives back at camp with Kate. Charlie also arrives back from his own hunt, giving Shannon a fish he eventually managed to kill. Boone and Shannon argue once more about her using people to get her own way, however, and Charlie realizes that she used him. Elsewhere, Jack and Rose move from their spot back to the camp to prepare for the memorial. He comments that she could say something about her husband, but he is shocked to hear Rose claim that she believes those in the tail section survived. Suddenly, Jack sees a man in a suit standing by the trees and is shocked into silence. On second glance, however, the figure is gone, and a confused Jack follows Rose back to camp.


Claire, Boone, and Hurley conduct a funeral.

Kate returns the broken antenna to Sayid, with the resolve that they will try again until they succeed. Jack arrives, and Kate reveals that Locke was right in the Monster's path and probably did not make it. However, Jack once again sees the man in a suit and runs into the jungle, with Kate at his heels. Instead of the figure, however, they find Locke, who brings with him a dead boar.

At sundown, Claire reads off the names of the dead, giving brief bits of trivial information she managed to glean from the documents in the wreckage. The only survivor not attending is Jack, who sits away from the service looking out at the sea. Michael appreciates Locke for hunting the boar and then asks Locke about the Monster, but Locke says that he did not see anything. Looking towards the fire, he sees his wheelchair silhouetted against the flame.


  • Dominic Monaghan's Lord of the Rings tattoo (nine in Tengwar script) can be clearly seen when he is being cleaned up by Jack.
  • The names of some of the dead passengers mentioned by Claire during the ceremony can be heard: Judith Martha Wexler, Steve and Kristen, Emmanuel Rafael Ortiz, Harold Wollstein (seat 23C), and Millicent Louise D'Agostino.
  • Harold, who Claire says was assigned seat 23C on the plane, next to where Jack was sitting, was never seen in the episodes with Jack's flashbacks on the plane; the seat was always empty, although Harold may have simply moved to another seat or may have been in the bathroom at the time.
  • After Randy confronts Locke about the TPS reports, Locke returns to work, using his adding machine. As the receipt prints, the clicking sound of The Monster can be heard. This makes sense because according to the producer's podcast, the Monster sound was taken from a taxi receipt printer in a NY taxi.
  • Claire's pendant is the Chinese Mandarin symbol for love.
  • In the flashback, Locke has an electromedical nerve stimulation machine by his bed.[1] It is a PRO ElecDT® electromedical device from Hako-Med used for stimulating motor nerves for the purpose of providing muscle reeducation.
  • Kate's a vegetarian.
  • This episode is rated TV-14.
  • The running time of the episode on DVD is 42 minutes and 42 seconds.
  • Fans often mark this episode as the point in which most people get hooked by the show. This is usually called the "Walkabout Effect".

Production notes[]

Cut material[]


Kate the philosopher.

  • The episode's teaser was scripted as two parts, separated by the title screen. The first part would have ended with eyes in the fuselage, their nature ambiguous. [2]
  • Michael's conversation with Sun originally contained a few more lines. The two would have exchanged names, despite the language barrier, and Michael would have mistakenly identified her language as Japanese.[3]
  • The first tracking party scene was scripted quite a bit longer. Locke would have introduced himself as "John Locke" for the first time, and Kate would have quoted the philosopher, claiming to have minored in philosophy in college. Michael would have revealed that he'd minored in art, and Locke would have dodged further questions, leaving Michael to dub him the "International Man of Mystery."[4]
  • Locke's coworker was originally written as less enthusiastic about his and Locke's game. Locke and Randy called the man "Warren Goldberg." Locke would have been more assertive during the conversation, contrasting his own destiny with Randy's modest ambitions.[5]

The monster kills a boar.

  • Hurley and Charlie's fishing misadventures would have ended with Jin appearing, easily catching a fish with his bare hands and presenting it to Charlie.[6]
  • Jack and Rose's conversation would have begun by Jack asking if she was religious and revealing that his family were not. It would have ended with further talk of family - Rose would have said she and Bernard had three grown-up sons.[7]
  • Right before confronting Locke, the monster would have killed a boar - quite possibly the boar Locke ended up dragging to camp as his own kill.[8]
  • Walt and Sun's conversation originally ran slightly longer - Sun would have called Walt a "smart boy" and given him a wink.[9]
  • When Kate returned with the broken transceiver, Sayid would have jokingly blamed his hunger for his frustration and voiced additional confidence in his ability to fix the device.[10]
  • Christian would have appeared in a blue suit rather than a black one. Jack would have seen him a second time, right before Locke appeared with the boar.[11][12]
  • The script suggested an iPod and recorded music during the crash victims' service. Claire would have gotten emotional on reading about victims with children.[13]

Bloopers and continuity errors[]

Wet and Dry Hurley

Hurley's shirt repeatedly changes from wet to dry.

  • When Hurley and Charlie are trying to catch fish with the spear, Hurley's t-shirt changes from being wet all over the front to only wet halfway up his chest repeatedly between shots.
    • Also, the tattoo on Charlie's right shoulder disappears during the scene.
  • Locke tells Randy that Norman Croucher climbed Mt. Everest despite being a double amputee. While Norman Croucher did scale a lot of mountains, he did not climb Everest. (Walkabout audio commentary)
  • During the final flashback, set in Australia, multiple cars with left-seat drivers can be seen, indicating that this scene was actually filmed in Hawaii.
  • When John Locke is being shown standing up at the end of the episode, Claire can be heard screaming desperately for help before Jack shouts at Locke to "give him a hand." Yet in the pilot, Claire can be heard screaming exactly the same way after Jack and Locke have already freed the tourniquet man. This blooper has been fixed at least in the German localization, as Claire cannot be heard screaming.
  • When Jack asks for Locke's help, what he says is different from what he said originally. In the flashback he says "You! Come on! Come over here! Get over here and gimme a hand!", whereas during the pilot he says "You! Come on! Come over here, gimme a hand!"
  • In the final scene of the burning fuselage, a wide camera shot shows Locke's wheelchair to the left and a good distance away from the fire. After Locke looks at it and smiles, the chair is shown directly in front of the fire.
  • Kate tells Jack that she is a vegetarian, although on the previous episode ("Tabula Rasa") she appears to be eating eggs and bacon at Ray's house.
    • However, this could be a lie for the sake of convenience, or simply for the sake of lying.


Main article: Musical score
Main article: Musical themes

The score to "Walkabout" starts off with the subtle introduction of one of Locke's themes, though it isn't fully developed until the end of the episode. After screeching action music for the boar attack and a long stretch without any scoring, Locke's primary theme is then introduced as he explains how they will hunt the boars. This latter piece appears on the soundtrack as "Crocodile Locke." Locke's later encounter with the monster introduces a danger motif.


Recurring themes[]

Cultural references[]

  • Walkabout: a "rite of passage" ritual traditionally taken by Australian Aborigines at thirteen years of age, where the youth will wander around in the wilderness for six months. (Religion and ideologies)
  • Burial rites: Sayid is put off by the idea of burning the bodies in the fuselage, as it shows no regard for their religious beliefs or values. (Religion and ideologies)
  • Office Space: Randy confronting Locke to demand TPS reports is a reference to a scene from the 1999 movie Office Space. In this scene, boss Bill Lumbergh demands exactly the same from Peter Gibbons, and the office environment is very similar. Since that movie, TPS report has become a term used to describe any mindless paperwork. (Movies and TV)
  • Captain America: Captain America was a Marvel comic book character that was created in 1941. He is the subject of numerous comics and books (1941-Present), TV Cartoons (1944), TV series (1966), TV movies (1979), and motion pictures (1991,2011,2014). Shannon sarcastically calls Boone after this hero for wanting to help Rose. (Movies and TV)
  • The Beverly Hillbillies: Hurley and Sawyer are scuffling over peanuts. Jack breaks up the fight and asks what is going on. Hurley says, "Jethro here is holding the last of the peanuts." Jethro Bodine is a fictional character in the 1960s television sitcom. (Movies and TV)
  • Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory: Claire mentions a crash victim's rental receipt for this 1971 movie, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Music. The movie tells the story of a group of people invited to a factory who are secretly candidates to replace the man currently running it. (Movies and TV)
  • A Little Princess: another rental receipt for a movie. A Little Princess was made in 1995 and was nominated for two Academy Awards for Best Art Direction and Best Cinematography. (Movies and TV)
  • Heart of Darkness: Jack questions Kate as to why she signs up for every trip into the “Heart of Darkness”. This is a reference to the novella by Joseph Conrad, about a physical and psychological journey into the heart of the African continent. (Literary works)
  • Norman Croucher: Locke incorrectly tells Randy that Norman Croucher, a double amputee with two prosthetic legs below the knees, climbed Mt. Everest.

Literary techniques[]

  • In Locke's past, he planned to head out on a journey of spiritual renewal, or walkabout, in the Australian Outback. He was told that he was incapable of doing what he believed to be his destiny and was in fact prevented from fulfilling it. After having reached the Island (and having been healed), he made his own destiny by facing the Monster and killing the boar single-handedly. (Juxtaposition)
  • When Locke was paralyzed, his sense of self-worth and confidence was very low, and he was controlled by pain and anger; after he miraculously regained the ability to walk, he became confident and at peace with himself. (Juxtaposition)
  • Rose's firm belief that those in the tail section of Flight 815 survived turned out to be true. (Archetype)
  • It is revealed that Locke couldn't walk before the crash. (Plot twist)
  • The episode begins with a flashback of Locke on the day of the crash, with him lying on the beach, wiggling his toe, putting on his shoe and getting up slowly. At the end of the episode, the same flashback is used, right after Locke's condition is revealed. The preceding plot twist provides context to Locke's actions on the beach. (Framing device)  (Flashbacks)
  • Locke tells Randy, "Just don't tell me what I can't do." He also tells the Australian travel agent, "Don't tell me what I can't do." Later on the Island, he also tells it to Kate after she doubts that he can hunt the boar alone. (Regularly spoken phrases)
  • Locke's paralysis is foreshadowed throughout the episode several times. (Foreshadowing)
    • Locke is surprised that he can move his toes when he wakes up.
    • One of the survivors uses a wheelchair to transport wood.
    • Locke looks at his foot again lying on the ground after they were attacked by a boar.
    • Locke's boss asks, "So you wander around, hunting and gathering food right? On foot?" and later adds "Wake up; you can't do any of that."
    • Locke gives Norman Croucher, a double amputee who climbed to Mount Everest, as an example to make a point that he can go to the walkabout because it is his destiny.
    • Locke is seen using a nerve stimulating machine while he is on the phone to Helen.
  • At the end of the flashback with Randy, Locke returns to his work at the adding machine. The adding machine's printer makes the same scratching sound as the Smoke Monster, indicating Locke's future connection to it. (Foreshadowing)

Storyline analysis[]

  • Kate, Locke and Michael hunt a boar to gather food for the survivors' camp. (A-Missions)
  • Locke says patience is the hallmark of a leader. (Leadership)

Episode connections[]

Episode references[]

  • Rose tells Jack that he doesn't have to keep the promise he made on the plane, which was to keep her company until her husband got back from the bathroom. ("Pilot, Part 1")

Episode allusions[]

  • Locke had told Walt that a miracle happened. In this episode we learn it: Locke has regained the use of his legs. ("Pilot, Part 2")

External links[]