About the Others taking Walt:
- Are we sure they set out to do that? Because they were going away from the raft and wouldn’t have found him if Michael hadn’t fired the flair. And isn’t that a ridiculously chancy way of going about kidnapping a boy? They couldn’t know exactly wen the raft would be launced (the builders didn’t know), they couldn’t know what the winds would be like. Apparently they don’t have sonar themselves, so how were they planning to find a dark raft at night in the ocean?
1b) If they weren’t after Walt, what were they doing and why did they take him? Well, maybe they were out fishing and didn’t make it back to the island before dark. Some up above speculated the smoke was intended as a beacon to get them back to the island. Which is fine during the day, but if they’d had some trouble with the engine, they could have been keep out much longer than they planned.
As for taking Walt – that may not have been the point of that particular trip, but they were interested in him and seized the opportunity. Why would they want him? How about just because he’s a young-ish boy? They (presumably) have a group that consists of some number of people who were working scientists 16 years ago and thus likely mid-forties and upward in age, plus a 16 year old girl. Primitive living is hard work, physically hard work, and that gets harder and harder as you grow older. The traditional way to see that you are cared for in your older years is to have a supply of younger people to take over the labor.
If you look at it, they’ve gone after the most ‘reasonable’ people to add to their island population:
a) a heavily pregnant woman (a twofer: not just the baby itself, but a female who is patently fertile and so young she have many child-bearing years ahead of her)
b) a near adolescent boy, that is, one already mostly reared and beginning to be strong enough to work, but young enough you have a chance of 'reconditioning' him to accept his new life.
Note: he’s also a more reasonable age for a mate for Alex than the old guys, meaning more kids in time.
- Was does Walt’s ‘talent’ say about his being taken? Either the talent failed him OR being taken was somehow better than sailing on the raft.
Note that Walt was at first dead set against sailing, then dropped his opposition. Could that be BECAUSE on some level his talent figured out he WOULD be taken off the raft? Or figured out some way of making sure he was ‘rescued’ from it?
As in, perhaps the raft was fated to run into one of those early monsoons, and everyone aboard would have died far out at sea. So his talent steps in, and inspires the Others to go fishing at just the right time. And maybe screws up their engine for a while, something like that.
As a result, Walt is safe and the others have at least a chance of swimming/floating back to the relative safety of the island.