So Michael has a touching scene with his son as he talks about how they're not going to see each other, but Walt's going to have a great life, and his mommy's going to take really good care of him, as is Bryan (it clearly takes a little effort for Michael to say this pleasantly). "But you know what? I just want you to know, that no matter where you go, I...that your daddy...yeah, your daddy, he loves you very, very much. And I always will. Always. 'Kay?" Walt says nothing. Susan apologizes, but Michael says it's okay, and he stands up, and he hands over a bag to Susan and asks her to let Walt know sometime that it was from him. She smiles warmly and says she will, then says goodbye. "Goodbye," says Michael, trying not to cry as he does so, which gets harder as Susan and Walt turn their backs and walk away.
So Michael loves his son and it was tough to give him up? And here I was thinking we didn't learn anything from these flashbacks.
Present-day Michael is on the pontoon, sobbing. And it is getting a little dusty in here. I'm not saying the Walt custody thing wasn't well-acted or anything, just that it didn't really present anything we didn't know. And I don't buy the argument that we're supposed to make a connection between Michael losing his son back then and losing his son now. There's a huge difference between giving your son up because you think it's better for him (even if it sucks for you), and having your son kidnapped by biker gang pirates. Besides, would Michael feel any better now if he'd kept Walt all these years?
Anyway, Sawyer wakes up looking rather uncomfortable, sees Michael crying, and quietly asks if he's okay. "It's my fault," says Michael. "I never should have brought him on the raft." Sawyer looks down. Not to pile on, but I think he's probably right about that, although it's not like that would have been an easy call. Any other deserted island, leave him there, no question. Steady source of food, a doctor on the island, several people around. Because if your little rafting expedition is successful, then Walt gets rescued anyway. And if it's not, and you wind up running into biker gang pirates and bio-sharks, then he's still safe on the island. But this is Craphole Island, with polar bears and monsters and crazy Canadians and French women. And it might have been really tough for Michael to leave Walt behind, having found it so hard to give it up before.
Wait...did I just learn something from the flashbacks? Shit. I hate when that happens.