So Mercutio's on the phone, explaining to "Ma" that he doesn't know what to do with Walt. Mercutio's got a studio apartment, he's got to be out the door at 5 AM for work. How's Walt going to get to school? What's Walt going to do after school? Well, that GameBoy seems to be remarkably engrossing. "I can't do this, Ma!" he says, before softening his tone to suggest that his mother take Walt. He waits. And she apparently tells him to stuff it, because he starts to imply that he can cover the financial cost, but apparently Mama Mercutio interrupts him again to tell him to stuff it again. "Well, Ma, what am I supposed to do with him? He was never supposed to be mine! This wasn't part of the plan!" And here is where I imagine his mom saying, "Mercutio, all those things you just said? They apply even more to me, so deal with it." And I have to admit I'm not fully on board with Mercutio's attitude here. Yeah, Walt's going to require some major changes in Mercutio's life, but this is his son, and with how ecstatic Mercutio was over having a son, and how devastated he was to have Walt taken away from him, I'd thought he'd be at least a little happy to get him back. But there wouldn't be as much dramatic tension if that was his response, I guess, only the tension here is about the same as a broken rubber band. And if you haven't figured out that Walt's going to turn up behind Mercutio, so we can wonder how much of the phone conversation Walt heard, you've never watched television before. Mercutio hangs up the phone, and turns around to see his son standing there watching him. "Hey man," he begins, looking absolutely terrified, "I was just, uh," and Walt just tells him he needs new batteries. Something tells me Walt's getting new batteries without any argument.
Back on the raft, Mercutio's steering while watching his son. And as we all know, he's come to terms with his fatherhood role, to the extent that maybe all stepfathers or men like Mercutio who find themselves suddenly caring for a child should, if they can, survive a plane crash with them. It seems to work wonders. Mercutio asks Walt if he wants to try "driving" for a little while, and shows him how to steer by pushing the rudder. They check the compass and determine they're moving north by northeast. Walt points to the horizon and tells Walt to aim for a particular cloud (this is not unlike learning to drive in the vast open emptiness of Alberta and Saskatchewan).
So they steer together, and it's sweet. And Walt knows when to pick his moments, boy: "How come you and Mom didn't stay together?" Mercutio says that they tried, but it just didn't work out, and their lives and interests went in different directions. Walt asks why Mercutio never saw him. Mercutio says simply, and honestly, that Walt's mom didn't want him to, and quickly adds that she did what she thought was best for Walt. Walt thinks about this. "She was wrong," he says, and Mercutio beams.