Flashback – John Locke
(Thanks to Annafromfrance at Lostusers.com for some great photos this week). An increasingly balding, post-Helen, post-commune John Locke was denied continued disability benefits for his crushing depression because he stopped his therapy. (In the words of Doc Jensen at EW.com, “[W]hich is good, because if Locke was, like, a watt or two more introspective, Lost would be considerably short on Big Picture plot. Clearly, the character's painful process of enlightenment is the heart and soul of this show.”) In a dank apartment, eating a bad tv dinner off a bad tv tray, Jack was visited by Peter Talbot, whose mother is about to marry an Adam Seward, a man Peter learned was once called Anthony Cooper (Locke’s conman father). Peter learned that John gave Cooper a kidney and wanted to know if that meant the guy had some good in him. Locked lied to Peter and said the donation was anonymous, but then found Peter’s mother and Cooper at a florist. John warned Cooper that Peter was on to his con, and demanded that Cooper call off the wedding, or he would reveal the plot to Peter. Cooper said he would, but John later met two detectives who informed him that Peter had died and the Talbots were worth $200 million dollars. Locke confronted his father about Peter’s death, and Cooper told him Ms. Talbot called off the wedding out of grief. As John turned to call the former fiancée to verify the story, his dad bum rushed him, smacked him through a window, and Locke fell 8 stories onto his back – the genesis of the paralysis which the island miraculously cured (and you think Jack has daddy issues?) After being informed by the detectives that Cooper had fled to Mexico, Locke began his physical therapy and wheelchair training, but only after giving the wheelchair a horrified look of terror.
Realtime - Othersville
Sayid, Kate, John and Rousseau are still eyeing the football toss between their would-be rescuee (Jack) and the Lostaways' frequent tormentor (Tom). Juliet emerges and seems to "have a moment" with Jack. Kate identifies her as the one who helped Sawyer and her escape, and Danielle slips away on her search for Alex. The rescue party watches as Juliet lead Jack to a building. As Jack waits outside, Juliet wheels Ben out in a wheelchair. As Jack shakes Ben's hand, Locke mutters, “this is going to be more complicated than we thought.” Alas, John, it will be you, not Ben, who really complicates things...
Kate loads her rifle, but Sayid tries to convince her that Jack may not want to be rescued. Locke stop Sayid from stopping Kate, claiming they owe Jack, who has done so much for them. Night falls. Juliet walks Jack "home." Locke devises a plan that splits up their party to send Kate in through Jack's side door (and give Locke time to go on his own rogue mission). Kate slips into Jack’s place, where he is playing the piano. Unfortunately, she walks right into the path of a security camera, and the Others are upon her almost as fast as Jack can scold her for being there. They’ve captured Sayid as well, and want to know who else is with them, but, after a seemingly compliant Jack tells her to answer her captors' questions, Kate says nobody else.
And “nobody” shows up in Ben’s place. Ben needs to adjust his craftmatic hospital bed to sit up and see John, pointing a gun. Locke tells Ben, “I’m not looking for Jack – I’m looking for the submarine.” Ben denies knowledge at first, until John tells Ben that he killed Mikhail after Mikhail told them about the sub. Alex enters and John takes her hostage in the closet when Tom arrives to reports that Kate and Sayid have been captured. Ben tells Tom he wants them separated. Tom starts to say that tomorrow Juliet and Jack…but Ben cuts him off, demanding that "the man from Tallahassee" be brought to him. After Tom goes to "make it so," John says he wants Alex to bring him Sayid’s bag. Ben asks John’s help getting into his wheelchair – no tricks, just dignity. “You of all people should understand what it means to want some dignity.” (Incidentally, it was great that the writers let Ben chew up so much screen time just being Ben. Michael Emerson brings so much to this show, doesn't he?) Ben figures out that John has the explosives (if he met Mikhail, he must have been to the Flame, etc.) and therefore wants to blow up the sub, not pilot it. When John angrily denies that Ben knows him, Ben recounts that John Locke was born in California, wasted time in Tustin at a box company, lost his last four pre-island years in a wheelchair, and says he knows how John ended up in it. In that brilliant Ben tone that's have sensitive inquiry and half menacing taunt, he asks, “Tell me, John, did it hurt?” Locke angrily replies “I felt my back break. What do you think?”
Kate, in a rec room, gets her cuffs in front of her feet. Tom enters and seems both impressed and happy to see her (his bonding moment with Kate in the Hydra locker room hanging creepily in the air). Tom points to his head and tells Jack, now entering, to be careful in here. Jack, now alone with Kate, asks if they hurt her, and Kate returns the question. He tells her enigmatically that the abductees from the tail section are "safe." Kate asks if Jack is with the Others and he says, “I’m not with anyone Kate.” He reminds her that he told her not to come for him. “I didn’t think you meant it.” She takes his hands, and Jack tells her that the Others will let him go home first thing in the morning, but he plans to bring back help. Crushed that Jack would abandon her (despite his logic), she asks why he trusts them, and he says he does because she told him to when he asked her to save Sawyer’s life. Oh Snap! It's clear by now that Kate's plan to rescue Jack was as much to rebound from her troubled relationship with Sawyer as to help a fellow castaway, and Jack just threw it back in her face (albeit gently). Juliet comes in, and says they need to go. Kate, perhaps ashamed, perhaps feeling a little silly, realizes Jack may not be the alternative to Sawyer she was hoping for, but Jack again assures her he will come back for her.
Ben says it was rough not asking Locke about his healing while he was held captive in the Swan. Locke pieces together why Ben had such an interest in him - after all, why is it the island healed John's paralysis but not Ben's tumor, or his post-surgery infection, or even the surgical wounds that keep him in a wheelchair for the time being? After some great verbal jousting, John asks for some food.
Alex approaches Sayid, chained to a swing set. She says her father sent her for Sayid’s pack. Sayid recognizes her immediately, even though they've never met. He says she looks like her mother, but Alex thinks her mother is dead. The guard swats Sayid to shut him up.
John takes some leftover chicken from the fridge. Ben says blowing up the sub will cause a problem. He was born on the island but most of the other Others were recruited. They need to know they can leave if they want to, and he will lose his hold over them if they think is lying about the ability to leave. He recognizes John wants to stay on the island, and offers to show John a box, "and whatever you imagine and want to be in it, there it would be." John responds "I’d say I hope that box is big enough to imagine up a new submarine." Hotheaded, he blasts that he is angry because the Others are cheaters, hypocrites, Pharacies. Their cush life in the barracks reveals that they don't know what the island is really about. Ben is incredulous - how could John know more about the island than he does if John has been there 80 days while Ben has been there his whole life? "Because you’re in the wheelchair and I’m not."
(As an aside, to the left is a collage of the artwork in Ben's place. More on this later, but if you want a closer view, click on the title of this post...As another aside, on Ben's table when he was whelled out by Locke was a copy of...A Brief History of Time which by now must have been an Others Book Club selection)
Alex returns with Sayid's pack. She denies having had any problems (concealing her discovery that her mother may be alive). Ben tries to stop John from destroying the sub (or does he?) by saying, after the anomaly (Swan implosion, sky turned purple...) the sub can’t come back if it leaves, so there's no reason to fear having to leave because of the sub. John doesn't listen and has Alex lead him to the sub. She tells him that Ben was manipulating him. At last we see the Others' submarine, and John apologizes for involving Alex…who Danielle, crouched in the bushes, has finally laid eyes upon and recognizes as her long-lost child. John walks the dock and opens (not another!) hatch. He climbs down into the sub, powers on some lights…
Ben returns the leftover chicken to the fridge. Jack and Juliet enter and Jack asks Ben to let his friends go after he’s gone – and he would not leave if they weren’t let go. Ben gives his word that he’ll let them go just as soon as Jack has left the island (tee hee, because John's about to stop Jack from leaving!) Juliet tears up and thanks Ben for keeping his promise, and the Drs. J leave. A wet Locke meets up with the escort taking Jack and Juliet to the sub. John apologizes, and the sub blows up. Jack shoots Locke a look of utter horror, revulsion and anger...hoo, boy!
Locke later finds himself chained in a pipe room. John tells Ben he knows Ben wanted it to happen, which was why he left the C4 in the bag. Richard Alpert, the Mittleos recruiter who conned Juliet onto the island, shows up and releases John's cuffs. Ben tells John that he was scared that letting Jack go would mean defeat in the eyes of his people, but killing him would break a promise, which the Others would not cotton to, either, but then John took care of everything for him by blowing up the sub. Now Ben doesn't have to let Jack go but can't be blamed for Jack's continued presence, either. Ben tells John he will show him what came out of the "magic box" he described earlier. He clarifies his question about whether the back-breaking hurt was asking what it felt like when John's own father tried to kill him. Ben taunts that John is afraid of him and the island is the one place he can never find you. He notes that John seems to have some sort of communion with this island, and that makes him very important, which, in timem he’ll understand. "I want to help you John," says Ben, "because I’m in a wheelchair, and you’re not." Richard opens a door, and John sees… his father, tied up and gagged!!
Recap Part 1 - the Cooper/ Sawyer Connection
I've long maintained that Locke's dad, "Cooper," will turn out to be the "real" Sawyer that James Ford was hunting when flight 815 crashed. To me, last night proved it. Here's my thinking:
- Both James and Cooper are from Tallahassee.
- Cooper makes a living by stealing from people after getting close to them. That's what Sawyer did to James's mother.
- Cooper has used multiple aliases, so why not Sawyer?
- Ben said the box gives you what you want to find most in the world, yet John wants to avoid his father more than he wants anything else...but James Ford has been obsessively hunting for "Sawyer."
- Finally, there is no shortage of connections between the survivors of flight 815.
I know I'm not the only one in cyberspace to think this, but at least now I have some "evidence."
Recap part 2 - that Devious Scamp, Benry
Ben is good. Really good. He even boasted to James about how much better at the long con he is than the island's version of Sawyer. Last night he manipulated Locke into blowing up the sub so he would be held blameless for keeping the other Others (and the castaways) trapped on the island. But this was not the first time.
Think last season, in "Lockdown," when "Henry Gale" was dispatched by John to push the button. Later he claimed he never did and nothing happened, which began John's fateful doubtfest that ultimately led to the implosion of the Swan (and the purple sky event that cut off the Others' access to the outside world). I'm thinking Ben knew what would happen if the button was not pushed, but he sure as heck did not want to be around when it happened. So he pushed the button to save his own skin but planted the doubt in Locke that would ultimately cut off all off-island communications (and really, he didn't seem all that surprised in last season's finale when it happened).
Two things to reconcile with this theory: 1) if John was so important to tumor-laden Benry, why goad him into being in the hatch when it blew (I suppose he figured Locke would just walk away and let the clock count down while he was not there...); 2) the very plausible theory put forth by the producers this week that the Others didn't know about the Swan hatch (since Kelvin Inman was not killed in the "purge")... There will hopefully be explanations for both of these inconsistencies, but for now it's a thing to make you go, hmm...
Recap Part 3 - Ben's Decor
If you have not yet, click on the title of this post to be whisked away to a collage of Ben's wallhangings. In addition to the detailed map of the island (someone from props, please please post that!), there are lots of unique tribal masks. What do you think? Ancient history of the island (the 4-toed people?) Just a love of primative things from around the world (but don't take his fridge!)?
Recap Part 4 - the Psychology of John Locke
Poor John. At least now we have a good idea of what makes him tick. Forever tormented by his father's leaving him, then stealing his kidney, and later, trying to kill him and leaving him maimed, John Locke was depressed before he lost the use of his legs. Trying to break free from his humdrum existence in data entry at Hurley's box factory, he tried to prove himself on walkabout, but got more than he bargained for when he crashed on the island, regained the use of his legs, and became a spiritual guru/ expert survivalist for his ad hoc new community. He believes his life finally has a purpose, and more importantly, that purpose is far away from his father. No wonder he doesn't want to leave, and, scared that his father's machinations will follow him here, he is scared to let anyone else leave and send help. In the end, John is far more fragile than the rugged jungle man he projects. Too bad for those around him...
We're told the heretofore useless Nikki and Paulo will get their moment in the sun, as their flashback to the last 80 days on the island will bring back deceased favorites Boone, Shannon, Arzt and Ethan.