Tuesday, February 16, 2010

"The Substitute"

I seriously don't remember episodes of LOST going by so fast! I know it's only the fourth hour of the season, but I'm really starting to suspect that there may be more questions left ambiguous than will be definitively answered. I really have to start tempering my expectations each week but by the time Tuesday rolls around I am admittedly annoyingly excited.


As I somewhat suspected, we got a Locke-centric episode and although it wasn't all I'd hoped for, I did enjoy it. As far as flash-sideways Locke goes, he seemed very at peace last time we saw him in "LA X" but he certainly seemed like the old dejected Locke from pre-815 crash times in this episode. It was nice to see that in this world, he at least has Helen to help him cope and believe in miracles (loved that scene by the way--she was a woman of faith and he was a sad man of science, so to speak). It sucked to see Locke get fired by "douchey" Randy but great to see Hugo give him a break and hook him up with a new job. And while it was interesting to see Rose in charge at the temp agency, doesn't it seem like she would have known that the owner of her company was on the same flight back from Sydney as she was? Maybe not but I thought it a little bit of a plot hole. Regardless, I did appreciate that in this world, she still has terminal cancer and she and Locke connected on their feelings of helplessness just as they did in the other world. And of course, just for us fans, we got that short scene with substitute teacher Locke meeting history teacher Ben in the teacher's lounge. Is John Locke a nexus for LOST crosses or what?!?

On the Island though things look to be pretty final for John Locke. It was very sweet of Sun to insist on burying Locke's body and actually quite sad to see Ben and Lapidus lower it into a grave. So many Losties are buried on that hill...I never thought John Locke would end up as one of them. For once in his life, Ben finally told the truth when he said that John was a believer and a better man than he would ever be. I was surprised that he admitted that he was sorry for murdering Locke, but I suppose he is after the conversation he had with Fake Locke in "LA X." In true LOST fashion though, just when it couldn't get any sadder, Lapidus chimed in with a great bit of comic relief about this most unusual of funerals.

Meanwhile, Fake Locke seemed to be on a quest to recruit as many Losties as possible to his cause. Of course before making contact with Sawyer, he tried to make a convincing argument to Richard Alpert. I really hope we get to see Richard's backstory because I'm very curious how Jacob recruited him and how much he really knows. Aside from his unexplained eternal youth, I like how he has become less mystical in his knowledge with each season. There is a very strong possibility that he's only on Jacob's side because that's who got to him first.

I'm a little worried about Sawyer to say the least. Juliet's death has really taken any will to live from him and I fear that he may not make it through the end of the series. I was never really worried about him dying while climbing down the side of the cliff, but I have my doubts that he will manage to survive until the end of the show. By the end of this episode, he seemed to have reverted back to his old "every man for himself" ways. Then again, he is a con-man and may be working a long one on Fake Locke. Also of note is that according to Ilana, the Man in Black is stuck in Locke's form for some undisclosed reason. Of course, as we have seen, that does not preclude him from turning back into smoke in order to wreak havoc.

But now to perhaps the juiciest information revealed in this episode: Jacob/Man in Black's Cave of Names. Fake Locke promised to show Sawyer the reason that he was on the Island and it all has to do with his meeting with Jacob earlier in his life. Apparently, those on "the list" are candidates to take over for Jacob.

So who are the candidates?

42-Kwon (Sun or Jin?)

As Fake Locke went through the list and we saw flashes of the Losties interactions with Jacob, I noticed one glaring omission: Kate was not listed despite that fact that she was touched by Jacob that we first saw in near the beginning of "The Incident" last season. Why isn't she a candidate? Perhaps the answer lies in the shadow of the statue. Last season when Ilana, Bram et al kidnapped Lapidus, they had a conversation about him being a candidate. I'm guessing that only men can be candidates leading me to also believe that the Kwon referred to on the list is probably Jin. But what of the significance of the numbers assigned to each name on the list? You got me! I never expected the numbers to come back into play other than as Easter Eggs and for all I know, that could very well be all there is to their appearance here!

Fake Locke told Sawyer that he has three choices: 1) do nothing, see what happens and possibly be "crossed off" the list, 2) become the new Jacob and protect the Island or 3) get the hell off the Island and never look back. For now it seems that Sawyer is ready to choose option three but as I mentioned before, it might just be a log-con and he'll eventually double-cross Fake Locke. One other oddity of note. Early in the episode, Fake Locke sees a little boy dressed in shabby Others-esque clothing. Later both he and Sawyer see the boy. When Fake Locke actually talks to the boy, he is told that he "knows the rules" and he "can't kill him" to which Fake Locke angrily replied "Don't tell me what I can't do!" Great response but it doesn't bode well for Fake Locke seeing as how will things worked out for the real Locke! So is the boy a form of Jacob? He would seem to be, but why is he a boy? Or is he someone else? My guess is that he is Jacob and all this means that Fake Locke is not allowed to kill anyone but if they were to killed by someone else, that's a "win" for the dark side.

Why can't these episodes be longer?!? I don't know what will happen next but based on some things Jorge Garcia said on his Geronimo Jack's Beard podcast, it would appear that the centric episodes this season are, so far, following the order of episodes from the first season. Both "pilot" episode sets dealt with multiple character's flashbacks/sideways, followed by Kate-centric second episodes and Locke-centric third. So are we to expect that next week's episode will be Jack-centric? I like the symmetry however it can't be sustained due to a fewer number of episodes this season not to mention the absence of several characters that are no longer alive. Whatever the plan, I'm interested in finding out!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

oh how I have come to loathe Jack's and Kate's episodes! I still like the characters, but their episodes are sooooo boring! Enough already! Great review, though, and good point about Rose and Hugo being on that plane.