LOST Season Six: More Thoughts on The Substitute

What’s been bugging me about this episode is the portrayal of a faithless Locke. The flash sideways is just not a story I’m interested in; nor is it a story-telling device that intrigues me that much. I guess this is the inevitable part of having such high expectations for a show like LOST. You run the risk of those expectations not being met. It’s not that the sideways stories are BAD; it’s that it’s not the story that I was hoping to see. I know that sounds like a pretty selfish way to view the show, but I can’t help it.

Back to Locke losing his faith: We’ve been here before (Locke’s decision to stop pushing the button was pretty much his most despondent moment in the Island timeline), but the Locke that emerged from that experience was a fierce devotee to the Island’s mysticism, and I loved him for that. But this alternate reality Locke is different. His declaration — “There’s no such thing as miracles.” — is a radical (and unwelcome) departure from the Locke I’ve known and loved for 5 seasons. Sure, he’s domestically happy with his life with Helen; but something is dying or has fully died in this Locke. And I can’t stand watching it.

HOWEVER (Dylan, you’ll like where I’m going with this), I CAN get really excited about what might be coming down the pike. I have a feeling all of this is a major set up for Dr. Jack Shepherd (our original “man of science”) to burst onto the scene and perform a miracle, healing Locke (the new science teacher — the newest “a man of science”) and restoring the faith that we’ve all seen Locke exhibit on the Island for five seasons. The prospect of such an encounter alone gets my juices flowing with this whole flash-sideways deal. I still don’t care  much for alternate universes or parallel realities or whatever we’re supposed to be calling these things, but a Jack / Locke partnership that completes both of these conflicted characters would be great.

I found this over at another blog and decided to share it. I think its a great theory on who that kid may have been that FLocke and Sawyer saw.

I’ve been giving this some thought and it occurs to me that the young boy that UnLocke saw last night might be …. his own son. We’ve seen characters from our LOSTaways’ past appear to them before, to remind them of their past transgressions or evoke in them remorse and regret. Now, a lot of these times we’ve later assumed that this apparitions were just Smokey (and perhaps they were) but I’m not sure.

Jack obviously sees his late father. Kate sees the horse. (interestingly, so did Sawyer) Hurley sees his imaginary friend, Dave. Eko sees Yemi. Juliet sees Harper Stanhope. Locke sees Taller Ghost Walt. Then last night, UnLocke sees … a little boy, his arms held out from his sides, smeared with blood.

When he sees him again, he chases after him through the jungle. When he returns to Sawyer, he talks about how he was once a man, who knew what it was to lose someone he loved and to be betrayed. I’m starting to wonder if MIB had a son on the Island who was gravely wounded … and grew angry and embittered when he couldn’t save him, perhaps after a trip to the Temple of his own.

At some point, he aligned with the dark energy of the Island and became one with Smokey. Thereafter, he lurked on the fringes of the Temple, wreaking havoc on those Jacob brought to the Island time and again. Finally, his rage became all-consuming and Jacob’s followers had him imprisoned at the Cabin, keeping him surrounded by ash … until that was disturbed one day and he leapt free to seek his loophole and thereby have his revenge.

This would make sense. Clearly Smokey / MIB is haunted by some experience (or experiences) from his past. He’s loved someone, lost someone, been betrayed at a deep level. It would make sense that Smokey would have harbored hard feelings if he had an injured son and the Island’s healing hot tub didn’t restore his health. In that case, we can see why Smokey would want to destroy the Temple and why the Temple’s inhabitants would take such drastic measures to ensure it’s safety.

Other tidbits:

  • Locke’s neighborhood looked very similar to the one Nadia lived in. You’ll remember this is the same neighborhood where Locke does some odd handyman jobs in his “other” timeline.
  • The episodes for this season have been following the same arc as Season One. Episode one – two hours, multiple characters; Episode three, Kate-centric; Episode four, Locke-centric; if that’s the case, next week should be all about the good doctor Shepherd.
  • I love Jensen’s theory at EW; he believes Sawyer is pulling a long con, the longest of his career, with Smokey. He doesn’t believe for one minute that Sawyer is going to betray his Island friends and leave with Smokey. I’m not sure he’s right; when Sawyer left the Temple, he didn’t really seem to care much about anybody else. And at this point of total heartbreak, it would be easy to imagine Sawyer reverting back to “look out for number one” mentality. But check out the link and read for yourself; I hope he’s right.
  • When FLocke shouted, “Don’t tell me what I can’t do!”, I wondered if some of the original John Locke might not be “overtaking” FLocke. Is there some kind of inner battle occurring here that we’re just able to see? Is original John Locke at war with MIB for ownership of this “body”? I know, that’s out there. Just a thought.
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2 Responses to LOST Season Six: More Thoughts on The Substitute

  1. dpyeatt says:

    Hey BIB, you may be onto something with your last point there about an inner battle between MIB and Locke. In an interview with EW Terry O’quinn says:

    In the scene, for example, right after I told Ben I was Smokey – “I’m sorry you saw me like that”— occasionally there’s residual Locke emotions or feelings that Smokey gets that may surprise him, may irritate him, that he can’t completely control, so he’ll be smug or make fun of John Locke. Or say he was a loser and he was pathetic and he was broken. But for my own edification, I keep a little spark of John Locke alive in this being, whatever he is… so that if for any reason, anybody wants to summon that spark, it’s there. And I think sometimes Smokey’s indifference is my choice. Smokey’s puzzled by it: What is this persona he’s inhabited? Maybe it’s stronger than he thought it was. But that just gives me things to play in the scene, gives a little bit of color to a scene. And I enjoy it. He was moved when he told Ben that John Locke’s last thought was, “I don’t understand.” And he was surprised to be moved.

    Interesting stuff. You can read the whole interview here: http://popwatch.ew.com/2010/02/21/lost-terry-o%E2%80%99quinn-smoke-monster-man-in-black-season-smoke-and-unlocke-a-few-secrets-about-his-character/?ew_packageID=20313460

    • Jason says:

      I’d love it if somehow Locke could “overthrow” Smokey in his own body!

      At least, I think I’d love that.

      I don’t know, it might be a little too Bruce Campbell from Evil Dead.

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