This is the second entry in a series titled “IWant Some Freakin’ Answers.” From time to time, I’ll talk about some of the things we’ve seen over the past five seasons of Lost that I’d like answered. I’m not going to deal with topics we know will get answered (like the smoke monster), but rather those things that no one but die-hard Lost fans would care about. It’s very likely that not everything will be answered, and even possible that some may be passed off as continuity errors, but Lost wouldn’t have obsessive fans if people didn’t care about the little things, right?
Out of all the Lost cast members, life outside the show has been most unkind to Malcolm David Kelley, who played Walt Lloyd (a.k.a. WAAAALT! or “My boy”). Originally playing a ten year old boy, Kelley started his growth spurt in the years following Season 1, as he was removed from the show’s main cast (in a surprisingly benign way) while making cameo appearances throughout the following season.
During Season 1, we got the impression that Walt was not quite normal. Called “special” by several people, Walt was kidnapped by the Others after flashing some knife throwing and bird attracting skills. In addition, Walt also hinted at having the abilities of precognition and astral projection–all leading up to the question behind this week’s I Want Some Freakin’ Answers — what is (or was) up with Walt?
Originally portrayed as Michael’s rebellious kid (or alternatively, the kid Michael was stuck with raising) after crashing on the island, Walt quickly became friends with Locke and Hurley. Locke and Boone taught Walt how to throw a mean knife, and Hurley taught Walt all about gambling (although, Hurley lost a lot of money to Walt, so maybe Hugo was really teaching him how not to play backgammon). “Special,” a flashback episode devoted to Walt and Michael established that Walt was raised by his mother and an unwilling stepfather who was spooked by some weird things that happened whenever Walt was around.
More weirdness happened later in the first season, during a discussion between Walt and Locke. Locke reached out to touch Walt, who got implored Locke “Don’t open it, Mr. Locke. Don’t open that thing.” Spooked by his encounter with Locke and a chilling vision of things to come, Walt willingly left the island with his father on the raft, only to be kidnapped by the Others.
Even though he was in the care of the Others, Walt appeared to Shannon twice, speaking backwards (much like another little man from another place), warning of doom shortly before Shannon’s death. Walt (or more likely, the Others) communicated to Michael through the Swan’s computer, who was slowly losing his sanity. The trick worked, sending Michael off the deep end and giving the Others their bargaining chip in Ben’s plan to get Jack to do the spinal surgery which would save Ben’s life.
In a Missing Piece produced between the third and fourth seasons, we learned that the Others were just as scared of Walt’s powers as his step father was. We didn’t learn anything of the powers or what benefit they would serve to the Island, but we learned that he was one scary kid.
After being captured by the Others, Michael is asked several questions about Walt, including “has Walt ever been somewhere he wasn’t meant to be?” Partially because he was an absent father for most of Walt’s life, Michael is unable to answer these questions, but is able to bargain for his and Walt’s freedom, as well as a safe way off the island. In a brief meeting, Walt tells Michael the others aren’t who they seem to be and that he spends his time taking tests.
Finally, Michael turns in Jack, Kate, Sawyer and Hurley (in addition to killing Ana Lucia and Libby) and at the end of Season Two, sets off for civilization. Here, Walt and Michael’s paths diverge. Michael agrees to help the Others by posing as a spy on Widmore’s ship. On the other hand, Walt goes back to school (but not before appearing to a near-death Locke on the island and urging him to finish up his work), and meets Jeremy Bentham/John Locke and travels to visit Hurley.
It would be nice in the final season to find out what was going on with Walt. Why did the Others want him? How did they know that he was special? Did he have other gifts than killing birds and appearing in places he wasn’t supposed to be? What did the Others get out of him? And why was he so fearful about the hatch.
There are a lot of loose ends in regard to Walt. And because he’s appeared on the show sparingly since the end of Season One, I don’t have many guesses as to how and if he fits in in the overall scheme of things. If they were to bring him back, at least Walt would reach Malcolm David Kelley’s real-life age, so if they were to bring him back, now would be an appropriate time.
And hopefully, we’d find out whether Walt got that $83,000 Hurley owed him.