"I remember dying..."
This season keeps getting better and better. Of course, Locke's story was the star of the show, but tonight's episode was the first this season that felt like a self-contained story of old. You have to feel a bit sorry for Locke - when he was standing on that desk with the noose around his neck, I don't think he was doing it because Richard and Jacob told him to do so. I think he was standing there because he really did want to commit suicide, not just because he had failed to convince them to come back, but that Jack and Kate's words had cut him deeply.
Throughout the second season, a lot of people complained how pathetic Locke's character had become. They wanted the "Locke of Season One" back - the hunter, the tracker, the wise man with all the answers who believed they were on the Island to fulfill their destiny, not the miserable man sitting in his cave (cubicle) pushing a button. But the thing is that Locke's destiny was to push that button and that the real Locke really is a sad, lonely man who, yes, is a bit pathetic and suffers from dreams of grandeur.
When Richard came to visit Locke as a child, Locke reached for the knife and Richard took everything away disgusted. Locke wants to have an exciting, important destiny and has trouble accepting that it seems he has the latter without the former. This episode, after he rose up on the Island again, I think has finally accepted this.
Terrific performances from Terry O'Quinn, Matthew Fox, Michael Emerson and Lance Reddick. Great scenes between Locke and Widmore, Locke and Abaddon, Locke and Hurley, Locke and Jack and, of course, Locke and Ben. Could we see an Emmy for best writing out of this episode? Could we finally see an Emmy for Michael Emerson? Or a second helping for Terry O'Quinn. And the look Jack gave Locke when Locke mentioned Christian was probably the best Jackface of the entire show. I really thought we were going to get a Luke Skywalker "That's not true!" for a sceond there. :)
Lots to go through. First off, what did we learn?
1. Charles Widmore met Locke when he was 17 years old. He claims he was leader of the Others until he was overthrown by Ben.
2. He watches the spot in Tunisia because it's the "exit." He claims a war is coming to the Island and Locke needs to be on the winning side. Since this is the case, I do wonder if the Donkey Wheel opens up a wormhole.
3. Abaddon works for Widmore and "helps people get to where they need to get to." I'll get back to this below.
4. Locke visited Hurley, Kate, Sayid and Walt, but determined Walt was already through enough, so he didn't ask him to return, which is kinda odd considering I'd think Walt would be the one who likes (and respects) Locke enough to actually take him up on the offer on the spot.
5. Helen, his former girlfriend, is dead.
6. Abaddon gets killed by Ben (presumably).
7. Locke ends up in the same hospital as Jack and tells him Christian sent him.
8. Ben killed Locke after Locke told him Eloise Hawking was going to help him get back to the Island. He then took Jin's wedding ring and set Locke up to make it look like a hanging. Interesting that Ben didn't find Locke's suicide note. Wonder how Ms. Hawking got a hold of it without Ben's knowledge?
9. Locke is now alive and back on the Island with the rest of the survivors who did indeed appear to have landed on the Hydra Island runway.
10. Frank and either Sayid or Sun took off in one of the skiffs (I forgot to write down whether Locke was told Frank took off with a man or a woman). Either way there's only one more of the O6 unaccounted for - whichever of Sayid or Sun didn't take off with Frank. Remember Jack, Kate and Hurley landed at the waterfall.
This pretty much tells all of Locke's story, however we still don't know all the circumstances behind how the O6 made the final decisions to come back, i.e. How Sayid got arrested, how Hurley got Charlie's guitar and where Kate stowed Aaron. Future flashback episodes to be sure.
Man, I haven't even asked a question yet! :)
1) So is Ben just evil or is he Sauron, cover-the-world-in-darkness evil?
While I'm always hesitant to claim something is definitive on this show, I think this episode established once and for all that Ben is the real bad guy and Widmore is more like the Man in the Iron Mask. All Ben seemed to need Locke for is to find a way back onto the Island. Once he got Hawking's name out of him (and Jin's wedding ring as a bonus) he killed him. For real this time.
But we still don't know Ben's true motiviations. Does he just want the Island's power for himself along with leadership of the Others? Does he, as Doc Jensen speculated, want to use the Island to change his past? Or could it be something even more sinister? Does Ben perhaps want to use the Island to destroy the world entirely - in a kind of "if I can't have it, no one can" attitude?
Now one can argue that Ben does (or did) seem to love the Island and the power he seems to have (or had) on it, so why would he want to destroy it. But I wonder if seeing Locke, the man he killed, standing over him will be enough to finally make him snap and consider destroying the Island all together. After all, the Island has now resurrected Locke, a fairly clear indication that it wants him to stick around. I wonder how Ben will take that kind of rejection? Probably about as well as he took Juliet's, I'm guessing. Can not wait to see what that scene between Ben and Locke.
A while ago I wrote:
It's interesting to note that John seems to almost have a child-like innocence about him: His need for a father-figure, his simple enjoyment of games, his gullible trusting nature that always seems to get him into trouble. It seems that young Ben had these properties, but perhaps his time leading the Others (and his subsequent desire to hang on to his power) has corrupted him.I still think this is plausible as well, although that corruption seems to have now descended into desperation and madness.
2) So did the Island resurrect Christian too?
Last week I speculated whether Jacob and Christian were one and the same, but now I really wonder whether the Island simply brought Christian back to life and now Jacob is simply using him as his mouthpiece. We know Christian was up and walking from the get go as soon as the plane crashed, much like Locke this time around. I made a flippant comment the other day about Smokey being Metatron, but maybe Jacob's voice is really Jack's alcoholic dad instead.
3) So if Ben's evil and Widmore is good, then whose side is Ms. Hawking on?
On one hand, if Ben is really Dr. Doom, you would think Ms. Hawking wouldn't help him, but she did. Ben probably came to her and asked her how he could get back to the Island. She told him the only was to get back was to bring all the O6 back, like Locke was trying to do. Which does kinda make sense in that Ben's only motivation in getting them all back was so that HE could get back. And did he know he'd need them all? Is that why he had Sayid try and protect them? Was the only thing he didn't know was who could help him return? Seems a little funky, but lets roll with that theory.
If that's all true, perhaps Hawking is merely a neutral force, playing her role, but not judging, a Watcher if you will, who sometimes is called upon to act. Of course, what does that make Daniel? Hmmmm....
4) So can the Island only resurrect dead bodies that crash on the Island?
Or special dead bodies, I suppose, otherwise Eko's brother would probably be alive as well. Oh wait...
But seriously, do people that die on the Island stay dead? And what about famous people who may have crashed on the Island too? :)
5) Now what?
Locke's back. The Oceanic Six are back (sans Aaron, plus Jackface Jr.). What happens next?
Will the time skipping continue? What will the O6 have to do? How will the Island be put to rights? Will Locke finally assume leadership of the Others? Does he have freaky Jedi powers? Will they have to find a cure for why mothers on the Island keep dying or will we get to see Kate the Ticking Time Bomb meet with a bloody miserable death?
I tell ya', this season keeps getting better and better. :)
Bonus question #1:
So what was Ben doing with Walt oh-so-long-ago when he was "testing" him? He doesn't seem to have an Island destiny. Why was he on the plane in the first place?
Bonus question #2:
So was Matthew Abaddon responsible for putting everyone important on Flight 815. We know for certain he got Locke on the plane and since getting people "where they need to get to" was his primary role for Widmore, did he get everyone together - like Claire with Richard Malkin and Sun and Jin with Mr. Paik's watches - behind the scenes?
* Definite Top 10 episode. Might need to watch this one again next week.
* The two new people are named Ceasar and Alanna.
* Ceasar looked like he found a copy of Rousseau's maps in the Hydra:
* "This may be the best mango I've ever tasted." Awesome.
* The license plate number of the truck that picked Locke up in Tunisia was 342 6346
* Locke's, or rather Jeremy Bentham's, passport:
* Widmore told Locke to press "two three" if he needed anything.
* Sayid's shirt read "Build the World"
* Helen was born on 4/30/57 and died on 4/8/06
* Locke was staying in the Westerfield Hotel
* Hurley's been getting a lot of good lines this season. His "am I talking to a dude in a wheelchair"was priceless.
Best episode this season (and that's saying a lot) and one of the best of the entire show, not because it answered a lot of questions (which it did), but because it gave us back the John Locke of old. Of course, he was always there, only this time it's not just a face or persona Locke uses to cover up for the rest of his life that he's ashamed of. This time, it's who he really is because that other person, that John Locke of old, is dead. 5/5, easily.