LOST Thoughts : Red Files and Rabbit Holes

In Season One’s “Deus Ex Machina”, John Locke decided that he wants to meet his father, Anthony Cooper. This is provocated by the bizarre arrival of his long lost mother, Emily, back into his life. She is convinced that her son was “immaculately concieved”. Locke is obviously not and the search is on for his dad. He hires a private investigator who hands him a manilla envelope with Emily’s entire history. The PI “lifted some hairs from her car and matched it with your DNA sample. 99.9% certain ” (of her maternity). He tells Locke how she was institutionalized several times for schizophrenia (at Hurley’s Santa Rosa Institute) but is fine if she is on her meds.

Locke : “What about my father?”
P.I. : (deep sigh) ” Here’s the thing. Your mother sought you out, so she’s “fair game”. But THIS guy? Maybe he doesn’t even know you exist? I’ve done this enough times to know. This stuff isn’t meant to be , even thought it may FEEL that way. This probably won’t have a happy ending. So, (slapping red file) do you want it or not?”
Locke: ” I want it.”

As we know, it was just as the P.I. said, to say the least, in the short and long term.

Move ahead several years. Locke is in a dilemma. After Anthony Cooper shows up in the “box” , Locke is told that he must, according to Ben , murder his own father if he was truly “special”. He balks and walks, openly humiliated by Ben for being “not who we thought he was”. (Another question for the list: What’s with all the patricide?)

The next day, Richard approaches Locke with more information that will help John “bypass” the whole “kill your dad” on a technicality: of a one James “Sawyer” Ford . It’s the whole ugly history of Sawyer’s past, including the name of the man who sparked the murder/suicide of his parents: Anthony Cooper. (The Brig, Season Three) Richard is the catalyst for Locke’s journey to finding out his “purpose” and his being “special” , much like Emily. “And to do that, your father HAS to go, John” . And it all rests inside a what? A little red file.

In the 1999 movie “The Matrix” , Keanu Reeve’s character “Mr. Anderson” is confronted by the mysterious Morphius (his eventual friend and mentor) with the question of whether he wants to know what is “truth”. He has the option of taking two pills. One is blue and he will end his journey right then, despite his inexplicable feeling that there is more than what he “sees” in this world. But if he takes the red pill, he is taken down the “rabbit hole” and show what is “The Matrix” and to fulfill what “fate” has for him as Neo their “savior” . The choice, like Locke “wanting” what was in the red file, was only his to make. Of course, Keanu takes the red pill (We wouldn’t have a story if he didn’t 😉 ) .

Are these red files Locke’s “pills” toward his “destiny”? Is he the Island’s “Neo”? And is that why he didn’t mind “going down the rabbit hole” with the smoke monster in Season One finale, Exodus? And if that is the case, of the P.I. or Mr. Alpert, who is acting as the ” Smith” , the Matrix’s evil henchman, and who is the “Morphius” ? Or are they both playing from the same side, initially using Locke’s “Don’t tell me what I can’t do” signature “philosophy” against him? Was it Anthony Cooper that was like “Smith” , inadvertantly sending Locke on a path to the place/people that would help him find his “destiny” in an attempt to destroy him. Perhaps Locke is the “mentor” and someone like Aaron or Jack is the “Neo”? And ultimately, which “side” do all these people “play” for, in the grander scheme?

Locke “failed” Richard’s test at the tender age of five and wanted nothing to do with Mittlelos Science Camp as a teenager. It seems it wasn’t until he was presented with the red file of “daddy issues” did his quest truly begin.

It’s either that or the props department got a great deal on crimson folders at Staples. 🙂

* Update (1/13/09) (In the midst of a Season 4 rewatch) Guess what Ben gave to Locke ,along with the recorded over Red Sox tape of Charles beating up one of Ben’s “field agents”? It was everything Locke needed to know about Mr. Widmore…all in a little red file.

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