In the Flashback Walt is sitting reading a book about a specific bird, Walt starts feeling ignored, and lo and behold the bird appears.
Later in the episode Walt is reading the famous Polar Bear comic. Michael, in an uncharacteristic fit of rage, destroys the comic. Walt feels angry. Later still, Walt is trapped by a Polar Bear in a bamboo grove.
Walt isn’t actually in this Missing Piece, but Ben and Juliet refer to him and it seems as though the Others are trying to brainwash him in Room 23. He’s scaring everyone by unknown means and Juliet is trying to convince Ben that he’s dangerous. He says Walt’s “special” and that Jacob wants him there. Juliet proceeds to show Ben a pile of birds outside the boarded up window of Room 23.
After all these years, Season 1 is looking less and less amazing. Remember when you originally watched this episode, Special, (hopefully in 2005) it was so mysterious. Nothing made sense, it was just mysteries on top of mysteries. Of course few of those mysteries have actually been solved, but rewatching these episodes is really underwhelming. Current episodes have so many more compounding mysteries involving so many characters that an episode about Walt and a Polar bear seem almost trivial.
But on with the analysis.
If we look at these three scenes pragmatically then Walt’s power seems pretty obvious. When he’s mad or scared or feeling any kind of strong emotion he summons any animal that he concentrates on. In his Australian flashback and in the Missing Pieces episode he summons birds. In the second scene he summons the Polar Bear. It’s really as simple as that. It’s not a very useful power, but it shows that he has a great deal of influence, and not just on the Island. Ironically he never uses this power on Vincent…hmm.
It’s nice to define this facets of Walt’s powers but that’s not all that happens in this scene. Ben tells Juliet that Jacob wants Walt to be with The Others. I think it’s safe to say that Ben is following Jacob’s orders at this point. There’s nothing that Ben gains from kidnapping Walt. What would Jacob want with Walt? He must have seen his power and wanted to convert him to the ways of The Others. I’m thinking that perhaps Jacob was trying to have a relationship with Walt similarto the relationship he has with Ilana, more of a master-servant type thing, or leader-disciple. Is there a chance that Jacob has visited Walt in the recent past, off the Island? That would be very interesting. I hope they met before Jacob’s untimely demise.
You’ll see next week why I separated these two scenes from the next two even though they have the same titles.
Next time on Vital Scenes: Walt’s Powers 4 & 5