LOST Thoughts : S6/Ep4 – The Substitute or To Locke, With Love

Considering the time of year, this episode acted as a sort of “valentine” for the now “retired” Hunter/Boxman , John Locke.

Stopgap: Trying to get out of his blue van ( Dharma likes their vehicles blue too) Locke decides to jump his wheelchair off the uncooperative chair lift to the ground instead of asking for help. And we get an illustration of either ” a leap of faith” or ” Pride coming before a fall “( You decide πŸ˜‰ ) . Then John gets hit with the lawn sprinklers. Not quite as exhilarating as the Island rain. But LOST’s ” Charlie Brown” has got something going for him. He got his ” Little Red Haired Girl” , Helen, to fall for him…and the wedding is in October.

Backup:
As John is getting cleaned up from his trip from Australia, drinking from his (mostly) black and white mug, Helen is thinking of another plan for their nuptials. Why not just elope? They can just take her parents and his dad and go to Vegas for a shotgun ( Willie?) wedding. But John says Helen deserves better and wants to go through with the big day, as scheduled.

But hold on…rewind… Locke’s dad?! Since when is Anthony Cooper welcome anywhere around them? Did John, as well as Helen, forgive him ? It appears so since Locke even has a screen-cap of the two of them hunting from “Deus Ex Machina” in his cubicle) Did Cooper have nothing to do with Locke’s paralysis and/or lack of kidney and there is no need for fence mending ? I guess we are right back to wondering how John got in that chair again…just like in the first half of the series.

Mock: Monster “Locke” POV… brilliant! We got a brief glimpse of that in ” The 23rd Psalm” a few seasons ago but not to this extent. And he/it was on a mission: It’s Recruitin’ Time!

Pinch – hitter:
From the makers of Locke in a Box comes Alpert in a Bag! Yes, Alpert in a Bag. First take Richard and “marinate” him in spicy, cryptic talk about chains. “Tenderize” by chopping him directly in the Adam’s Apple . “Shake” as you carry his unconscious body over your shoulder. Then take Alpert, place him in a canvas bag, half beaten (make sure that’s only half) , and let him “stew” overnight…right in the bag! Just four easy steps and you too can have your own Island adviser! (Level of servitude results may vary)

Reserve: They had a place for Locke at the conference in Australia…but he was a no show. Randy: “We sent you to Sydney on the company’s dime” . This is similar to the travel agent telling Locke he couldn’t go on the Walkabout ( “We can send you back to Sydney on our dime”). Where did Locke go for that week? Was it to see Issac of Aluru after the travel office turned him down? Is that where he got his tan that Randy made mention of? Widmore talked about Ben having a tan too in ” Shape of Things to Come”. This was after Ben turned the donkey wheel. Was Locke in a place where he had a similar experience?

Makeshift : Since there has recently been an “adjustment” in the Richard/Jacob working relationship, Smocke decided to let Mr. Alpert know that there is a spot open in his organization. “But why do you look like Locke?” Richard inquires. Smocke said it was because Locke would give him access to Jacob. But we saw them talking to each other in ” The Incident”. Access= loophole? Richard refuses his offer. Richard didn’t know about what a candidate was. Jacob never mentioned it. Richard also couldn’t see the blond boy with the bloody arms, standing in the jungle ( Jacob? Aaron? Someone else?). Is it because of the time shift? The shift of power?

Changeling: Ben lies to Ilana about his role in the murder of Jacob. Jacob’s body is now white ash that Ilana is collecting. Will this contain Smocke again or will this be to “heal” the water at The Temple? If it was Jacob’s ash that was protecting them all this time… how many times has this “man” died? Smocke said he used to be a man. Did Jacob “used to be” a man too?

Second When Smocke finally pays Sawyer a visit, we hear the song ” Search and Destroy” by Iggy and the Stooges playing again. We heard it the first time when Smocke was scoping out Dharmaville. (The first time he went to “Search” out James… was the second time meant to be “Destroy”?).

The same song was repeating. Was Sawyer just playing it over and over?
A couple posts ago, I talked about his original ” Dear Mr. Sawyer” letter. In it, he repeats the same paragraph multiple times. Is this a loop? Purely obsession, even at an early age?

This scene in the house reminded me of the miniseries “The Stand” ( haven’t read the book ) when Randall Flagg goes “recruiting” and finds Lloyd Hendreid, a thief/murder who was abandoned in a jail cell after the plague took the lives of its inhabitants. Lloyd was suicidal and vulnerable. Flagg released him from his confinement ( Richard/chains?) and Lloyd became his right hand man, despite figuring out who Flagg really was (just like Sawyer knowing that this wasn’t Locke anymore and went with him anyway, even with Richard’s fearful warning later on).

Ghost-writer Sawyer doesn’t care if Smocke’s “dead or time travelin’ or the Ghost of Christmas Past”! (referring to Charles Dickens ” A Christmas Carol” ) So, Smocke is The Ghost of Christmas Past and Sawyer called himself The Ghost of Christmas Future last season. Now, we just got to wait and see who The Ghost of Christmas Present is (Desmond, perhaps?) .

Speaking of Desmond and Charles Dickens, I got an email from Hooray4Hawking that mentioned about the 140 years earlier that Jacob and MIB were talking in The Incident (according to the pop up version of LOST). Smocke said that ” Of Mice and Men” was “after his time”. But that beach talk would make it around the time that Dickens had written “Our Mutual Friend”. ( Thanks Hooray4Hawking 8) )

Temp Hugo not only owns the box company that Locke works for…worked for…but he also owns an employment agency. John didn’t want to answer the “What kind of animal ” Dharma Initiative recruiting type questions asked by the fortune teller from ” Tricia Tanaka is Dead”. Locke wants to see the supervisor who is…. Rose Nadler! John insists on having that manly construction job ( Reminded me of the ” I like boxing and sports!” speech he gave to his adviser of why he wasn’t going to go to Mittlelos Science Camp). But Rose thinks that you’ve got to deal with where you’re at and keep living…and that John should make a living doing something else.

Understudy: And that something else is teaching children about “Human Reproduction” from Chapter 4 in the textbook ( Locke’s number). Going to take a break in the Teacher’s Lounge, John runs into the fastidious Keeper of the Coffee Pot, Benjamin Linus: European History (nice scene segue since Ben’s main concern was with the fertility issues on the Island)!

Let’s see. We knew Hurley owned the box company in Tustin. But now, he owns a temp agency there too. Ben is in the Tustin area (born in Portland). Rose is in the Tustin area ( from the Bronx). Ethan is nearby. In this timeline, it appears that they are all merging in or around this town. This got me thinking about what is so special about Tustin, CA?

In Tustin, there is a place called The Bae Institute Advanced Space and Energy Technologies. They have invented a workable photon laser thruster. They are also working on things like Photon Tether Formation Flight and satellite technology the size of ping pong balls. A lot of concepts that were comic book fodder since the 1950’s, they are attempting, and even succeeding in some areas.


The Bae Institute of Immune Inhancement
is where they are working on alternative healing techniques.

Tustin has also been a place with quite a few UFO sightings as well ( which was one of the alluded to topics that were discussed on the “Mysteries of the Universe” ARG this hiatus).

To me, it sounds very similar to what the Dharma Initiative were studying. Coincidence? Maybe…but then again… πŸ™‚

Symbolic The young blonde boy with his bloody arms/hands. Was this to represent MIB murdering Jacob ? Is that Jacob we saw? Aaron? Someone we have yet to meet? “You know the rules. You can’t kill him!” Who? Richard? Sawyer? Jacob? Locke ( in a crackpot sort of way πŸ˜‰ ? Why could James see the boy but not Richard. With them both Sawyer and Alpert wearing essentially the same dark blue button down shirt, is James now going to become an “advisor” like Richard? Both Jack in Locke’s vision in ” Further Instructions ” and Desmond wore dark blue button down shirts. Is this a sign of rank or a type of uniform?

Imitation: According to Ilana, MIB can’t change his face and that he is stuck being Locke. Is this why he is starting to pick up mannerisms, phrases, etc. that once belonged to John? Is he going to continue to be more like Locke, not just on the outside?

Supplanter : This was what the name Jacob meant in the Bible. It also meant one who grasps, trips up, or deceives. MIB said that that is what Jacob was doing, coming to people when they were vulnerable ( you mean like when he went to a drunk , grieving Sawyer πŸ˜‰ ). Smocke accused Jacob of pushing people to come to the Island ( Jacob to Jack: ‘Guess it just needed a little push” ). This was all to find a candidate to take over protecting the Island. But why did Jacob go to so much trouble if it was as meaningless as Smocke said?

Additional : We got to see The Numbers in what we are told is Jacob’s cave. Dozens and dozens of names written and mostly, crossed out. Were these only crossed out because of death? Being claimed? But 6 names read clearly …
4: Locke
8: Reyes (Did Hurley and Lenny emphasize “EIGHT!” when saying The Numbers because it was Hugo’s # ?)
15: Ford
16: Jarrah
23: Shephard ( presumed Jack but MIB doesn’t answer)
42: Kwon ( “not sure if it’s Jin or Sun…why not both?”)
If these “numbers” are put together (108) will they be the combination to bring this to its potential outcome in the “War”?
Austen wasn’t there. Kate is either completely irrelevant, vitally significant… or just written somewhere in the back.

Question about Locke’s number. If this is Jacob’s cave, he knew that Locke was dead. Ilana and the rest were there to carry Locke in the box. So why didn’t Jacob cross his name off?

Other: Here’s a few more quick points of interest …
Locke loved those checkered shirts ( more “boxes”)
” Sullivan” was one of the names on the wall … the hypochondriac with the rash that liked golf
Mirror image of Ben and Sawyer talking about answers ( two islands) and Of Mice and Men in ” Every Man for Himself” ( Season Three)
There was a stringed instrument in the cave ( Charlie’ s guitar, French teams violin)
The word “Dream” was on two posters at Hugo’s temp agency and ” Live for the present” on a banner in the teacher’s lounge.
Ilana said that The Temple was the “safest” place on the Island ( safe again)
Sawyer to MIB : You’ve got about 20 seconds and then I’m outta here! ” 20 was a number that showed up a lot in Season Five. Look like its back.
Helen ” I’m sick” …of all the wedding preparations, Locke : I’m sick”… about thinking about life outside of this chair. Jack : ” I’m sick” …of lying! ( TTLG, Season 3) I AM SICK on the mural of the Hatch. The Sickness…any connections? We’ll see.
And finally, Ben’s graveside confession mingled with Frank’s reaction… instant classic! 8)

There’s more that I could talk about from this episode… but I’ll stop here. Next stop… Episode 5.

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2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Wray said,

    Hey Ms. Wendy,

    Gotta love this show when, even in the final season, they still pose new questions with their answers! What would we all do without that?!

    Hurley not only owns all these companies, but takes charge of their operations. Seems truly at ease doing so too.

    Someone on The Black Rock Podcast brought up the similarities between the boar hunting scene in “Walkabout” and the scene where Locke falls on his lawn. In both scenes he tells Helen that he’s alright. I didn’t think about this before, but it bears an eerie likeness to Desmond’s flashing in “The Constant”.

    Can’t wait until tonight!

    • 2

      mswendy said,

      Hi Wray,

      I truly is amazing that LOST can just keep raising the stakes at the point in the story. What are we going to do without it. 😦

      Hugo is smooth in this parallel time line! Boone may run a business …but Hugo’s running several. I wonder if in this time line, that Johnny didn’t get mad and run off with Starla either?

      Great catch from the Black Rock podcast and what you said about The Constant. 8)

      Happy LOST Watching Day! πŸ™‚


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