Hello my dear friends –
Every once in a while, something happens that makes you put life’s little day-in, day-out annoyances in perspective. Such a moment occurred earlier this week when I learned that one of the best Lost bloggers out there, my friend and fellow DarkUFO recapper Vozzek, lost his home to a fire. The good news is that his family and pets are all safe, he is currently in temporary housing, and an incredible support system of family and friends are helping him put things back in order. As he’s one of the most positive and coolest guys I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing, I’d like to ask everyone to send some prayers, positive vibes, extra-good karma, or whatever else it is you think might help his way. Some of you who read Dark’s post about Vozzek's situation have asked me if there’s anything else you can do – and my response is, “I think right about now would be a GREAT time to show your support and buy his awesome book!”
I know Vozzek was counting on “The Substitute” to take his mind off of things for a bit, and I dare say that it probably did, as a lot of crazy stuff went down in that hour. Which means there’s much to cover, but first – as is becoming a bit of a Season Six posting tradition – let me revisit two issues from my “What Kate Does” write-up that I received a particularly high number of emails and comments about.
1) Some people thought that Jack recognized Desmond on the plane because of their previous encounter running up and down the stadium bleachers. But, as I said in my “ LA X (Part 1)” post, Des probably never trained for the Widmore-sponsored sailing race if Widmore went bye-bye with the rest of the Island in the alternate timeline. Further, in the original timeline, Desmond immediately recognized Jack when they saw each other three years later in the Swan hatch. Desmond did not recognize Jack on Bizarro 815. So my point is, Jack is experiencing some sort of latent memory of Desmond most likely because his “other life” on the Island is trying to reach out and make him remember. It’s even manifesting itself in physical ways, like that nick on his neck. But that doesn’t seem to be happening with Desmond.
2) Several people didn’t understand how I thought Sayid could be “claimed” by the Man in Black (MIB) since he was one of the 815ers that Jacob touched. I guess my reasoning with this one is simply that once one of The Touched goes and gets himself killed, all bets are off – MIB is then free to do some claiming. We’ve clearly seen this happen already to a much more severe extent with Locke, who had also been visited, and perhaps even brought back to life after his eight-story fall, by Jacob. Once Ben killed Locke, MIB was able to take his form. Now, am I holding out hope that Jacob instilled a special power in both Locke and Sayid that will prevent them from being completely taken over by the MIB (even though MIB isn’t in Locke’s original body)? Yes, I am. And I think we’ve seen some evidence of that already, which I’ll cover later.
OK! On to “The Substitute.” Island events first.
I’M SURROUNDED BY LIARS
EVERYWHERE I TURN
I’M SURROUNDED BY IMPOSTORS
EVERYWHERE I TURN
How cool was the Smokey Cam shot? (Dear Powers That Be at Disney: I think the “Smokey Flying Across the Island” scene could be leveraged into a very cool rollercoaster at your theme parks – hint, hint.) Are all you doubters finally satisfied that the Man in Black and Smokey are one and the same?
When MIB needed to chop Ageless Richard-in-a-Sack down from a tree, however, he had no choice but to transform back into Fake Locke and get to knife-wielding.
Richard was having none of Fake Locke’s crap and refused to skip off into the jungle with him. “I’ll never rule the universe with you!” he hissed. Or something like that. But Fake Locke didn’t even hear Richard’s defiant reply, because some bloody-armed mop-headed boy materialized in the middle of the jungle, freaking him out (and taking ten years off of my life in the process. You KNOW how I feel about creepy little kids!) Richard noticed Fake Locke’s wide-eyed stare and whipped around… but saw nothing. Now, I’m sure a lot of people are jumping to the conclusion that Richard was unable to see the kid. But I replayed that scene several times, and to me it looked like the boy had simply disappeared by the time Richard turned around. More on this in a bit.
Curiously, Fake Locke let Richard go. But he did warn him that “people seldom get a second chance,” which is of course the great irony of this season, since we’re seeing all of the 815ers do just that (in a way).
BLAME IT ON THE
Next, Fake Locke set his sights on Sawyer, who was having a gay ol’ time guzzling down whatever Dharma Booze he could find back in his old house. I have to pause here for a moment and say that although Josh Holloway nearly took over as Man-Crying Champion in the last episode, he can’t even touch Matthew Fox’s Drunk-Acting skillz. If you want to see how Wasted, Bumbling Fool is done, check out Foxy’s manual (aka: every flash-forward in which Jack has a hillbilly beard). My husband was like, “Is the fact that Sawyer’s all squinty-eyed supposed to mean that he’s drunk?”
Clearly he wasn’t THAT drunk, though. Because within about 4 milliseconds he’d seen right through Fake Locke. It didn’t seem to bother him that some evil-ish being had taken on the appearance of his old friend, though, and when Fake Locke promised to be able to answer the mother of all questions – why the con man and his fellow Losties were on the Island in the first place – Sawyer was clearheaded enough to utter a line that dashed the hopes and dreams (nay, fantasies) of millions of women around the globe: “Well, I guess I better put some pants on.”
Once Sawyer was decent (subjective word, I realize), he and Fake Locke started making their way together across the jungle, and dammit if that spooky kid didn’t pop up and turn my blood cold once more. I thought it was HILARIOUS when Sawyer asked, “Who the hell’s that?” and Fake Locke was all surprised that Sawyer could also see the boy. Now, Fake Locke’s response could definitely be meant to confirm that the mystery kid was indeed invisible to Richard. Or it could just mean that, knowing WHO the kid was, Fake Locke simply didn’t think anyone else would be able to see him. Regardless, he went running after the boy, tripped, and then got all pissy after the towheaded pre-teen warned, “You know the rules. You can’t kill him.”
Though I haven’t had time to read through the message board or other Lost sites, I can only imagine that there are a ton of theories as to who this kid might be. To me, however, it seems like there’s really only one option: Young Jacob. As in, a vision of him, not a time-traveling version of the actual Young Jacob (this helps explain the initial shot of him with bloody arms, which were then clean the next time he appeared).
Here’s my reasoning:
1) Who else is going to make the Man in Black that agitated? MIB thought he was finally rid of Jacob, and then there his old rival is again, in all of his youthful splendor to boot, reminding MIB of The Rules.
2) I’d be willing to bet that Jacob and the Man in Black grew up together and therefore knew each other as kids. I’d also be willing to bet that Jacob appeared as a pre-teen because we’ll see him again at that age in a flashback where we’ll eventually get both his and the MIB’s full stories.
3) The blood on the kid’s hands in his first appearance is probably meant to remind Fake Locke that HE has blood on his hands from killing Jacob, and Lord knows who else during his moonlighting stints as Smokey.
4) The kid referenced The Rules. The Man in Black has spent several lifetimes trying to find a loophole around one of those rules – the one about how he couldn’t personally kill Jacob.
5) Jacob would have a vested interest in wanting to keep all of the people he visited and touched off-Island safe. As he touched Sawyer, this is why Sawyer can see him, even though Young Jacob is probably just an apparition.
You can go through every other male character who has blond hair and try to make a plea for why it might be him, but there’s no case as strong as the one above, in my mind. The only other option I might buy is if the kid is just simply meant to represent the Island overall. Older Aaron? Huh? Why would he be dressed like that? Younger Locke? Ditto (and we’ve already seen Locke around this age in a flashback). Younger Sawyer? Wouldn’t Sawyer recognize himself? I’m stickin’ with Young Jacob!
ALWAYS SOMETHING THERE
TO REMIND ME
After the kid reminded Fake Locke about the rules, Fake Locke shouted Real Locke’s trademarked line – TWICE. I don’t know about you guys, but that – combined with the fact that the Man in Black somehow knew what Real Locke’s dying thoughts were (even though he isn’t in Real Locke’s body) – gives me hope that because Jacob’s healing powers were infused into Locke after his eight-story fall, Real Locke is somewhere deep inside of this impostor and is slowly but surely battling his way out.
I'M SICK AND TIRED OF YOU SETTING ME UP
SETTING ME UP
JUST TO KNOCK-A KNOCK-A KNOCK-A ME
DOWN, DOWN, DOWN
I'M GOIN DOWN, DOWN, DOWN
I'M GOIN' DOWN, DOWN, DOWN
While Fake Locke chased the Ghost Kid, Sawyer got a visit from Richard, who seemed extremely nervous about running into the bald baddie again. Richard tried to convince Sawyer to return to the Temple, but Sawyer was all, “Hell to the no.” Before he ran away, Richard warned Sawyer that Fake Locke’s goal was to kill the remaining 815ers.
In a cool shout-out to his time with Ben on the Hydra island in Season Three, Sawyer started talking about “Of Mice and Men” to Fake Locke, who mentioned that the 1937 novel was “a little after his time.” I thought that when Sawyer pulled a gun on Fake Locke he was going to reveal that he was TOTALLY on to his evil plan, but alas, Fake Locke sweet-talked his way out of the situation, thanks to claims of being “so close.”
Eventually the two climbed down Jacob’s ladder (get it?) and head into a totally random cave that appeared to have some sort of musical instrument and a scale holding one black and one white rock. (Those were not the same stones Jack found on the Adam and Eve skeletons in the cave in Season One, by the way.) As an “inside joke,” Fake Locke grabbed the white stone and tossed it into the ocean. And then he lit a torch and took Sawyer into the Cave of Names.
While I do think the Man in Black is “the bad guy” and that his plan IS to kill all of the 815ers, I don’t think he was lying about the Cave of Names. I think over the course of time, Jacob identified people (how? Not sure – maybe by wandering around the world and observing behaviors?) he thought could one day take his place, serve as the ultimate protector of the Island, and prove to MIB that humankind was inherently good. Then he found ways to get them to the Island. He kept track of them all in this cave and assigned numbers to them because he had “a thing for numbers.” And that, my friends, might be all the insight you ever get into The Numbers. (I actually don’t think it will be, but I’ve never been that interested in this particular mystery, so I’m OK if that’s the extent of the reveal.)
The gang’s all listed, with the glaring exception of Kate and the weirdness of not knowing if Jin or Sun was meant to be one of Jacob’s candidates. My first thought upon not seeing Kate’s last name was that I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that in the original pilot for the entire series, KATE was supposed to be the hero (and Jack was supposed to die). So maybe in the end Kate will still end up as the Island’s ultimate savior, and Jacob purposely didn’t list her because he knew that the MIB might use the information in the cave for eeeevil one day? Who knows. That really doesn’t seem like it would work, though, because Kate’s never felt a strong connection to the Island, like Locke and Jack (and even Hurley sometimes) have. Another idea is that Jacob simply didn’t write ALL of the names out because he knew that if MIB ever found the cave and went after everyone listed, he might kill all of them. If the “Harry Potter Horcrux” theory I mentioned in a past post is valid, then Jacob might’ve had reason to leave at least one name off of the cave wall so that there would still be part of his soul left within one or more candidates. I could seriously write for a loooong time about all of the possibilities the Cave of Names brings forth, but, um, I’d rather not. So let’s talk about Sawyer’s options.
Now that he knows he’s up for the title of Head Cheese, Sawyer needs to decide what he wants to do. The way Fake Locke sees it, there are three choices: 1) Do nothing and possibly wind up dead, 2) Take Jacob’s place (though I think Fake Locke neglected to mention that doing so would probably require a little more than saying, “Hey everybody, I’m the new Jacob and you will treat me with respect!!!”, or 3) Get outta dodge with a little help from Fake Locke.
Because we’ve seen a season of real-world events courtesy of the Oceanic Six, it’s easy to forget that Sawyer has been stuck on the Island for three years. He’s lost his ladylove, he is sick and tired of the other survivors, and we wants OUT. Does he know that Fake Locke is probably going to try and kill him? I think so. But does he care? That is the question. Sawyer has nothing to lose and might not even mind dying. So he might go along with Fake Locke’s plan, whatever that ends up being. Though I personally think that you can’t out-con a born con man, and therefore Sawyer would never let himself get played. I think he’s going to pull one over on MIB before it’s all said and done.
And once again, I DO think the Man in Black wants control of the Island and is therefore precisely who the Island needs protecting from. If he’s been alive THAT long, he has no home to go back to. He probably wants to totally destroy the Island out of revenge for whatever wrongs he suffered earlier in his life – perhaps when he was mortal. Recall that he mentioned being betrayed and losing someone he loved. I’m confident we’ll get those details in the next fourteen episodes.
MIB is clearly trying to manipulate Sawyer into doing something that will result in him (MIB) having more power. He’s picked off Locke and possibly Sayid, and now he’s focused on Sawyer. Anyone else with an uncrossed name on the cave wall will be next, just like Richard said. What has Richard ever done for us to NOT trust him, people? Look into those supposedly un-eyelinered (yeah right) eyes!!! Can’t you see he’s telling the truth?!?
Elsewhere on the Island…
Surprise, surprise… Ben LIED to a distraught Ilana and told her that MIB killed Jacob. Upon hearing that her boss was then pushed into the fire pit, she pulled out her handy dandy pouch and started pouring Jacob’s ashes into it. Which made me think, “Um, has Jacob died before? Is that where all of the other ash came from?” Kinda gross. But also kinda cool. That’s as far as I’m going to let my mind go with this theory right now, though.
Ilana informs the rest of the group that they best head to the Temple, but they decide to give Real Locke a proper burial first. Ben begrudgingly uttered the most inappropriate eulogy of all time (or maybe I’m not aware of the etiquette – is it OK to admit you murdered the guy being buried?) and then Lapidus grumbled the best follow-up of all time. “Weirdest damn funeral I’ve ever been to.”
Oh, geez, I almost forgot. Ilana gave us a key bit of information as they were putting Locke to rest: The Man in Black is now frozen in Locke’s form – no more shapeshifting into Zombie Dad or Alex or Yemi or whoever else he’s been over the years. Why? Who knows – it probably has something to do with Jacob dying. I don’t really care about the reason, all I care about is the fact that the burial of one Locke body and the existence of another one that isn’t going anywhere unless something drastic happens is enough for me to keep hope alive for my “Real Locke is in there somewhere” theory mentioned above.
Alrighty, then. Though bad things might go down if Sawyer leaves the Island, it doesn’t mean we can’t. Time for the flashes.
LOVE AND MARRIAGE
LOVE AND MARRIAGE
GO TOGETHER LIKE A
HORSE AND CARRIAGE
You can bet that I was prepared to be crying my eyes out during all of Locke’s off-Island scenes. Things certainly started out looking grim, didn’t they? He fell flat on his face trying to get out of his van and then got drenched by the sprinklers (which evoked happier times when he’d predict downpours on the Island). But then he laughed it off, out came Helen, and we learned that they’re happily engaged and soon to be married.
When she mentioned the wedding, she also mentioned getting her parents and HIS DAD to go to Vegas and do the whole shebang shotgun-style. And then Lost fans around the world cried to the heavens, “Saaaaaaay wwwwhhhhhaaaaaa???”
Now, like I can only imagine everyone else did, I assumed that the father in question was NOT the Anthony Cooper we’ve come to detest over the series. The guy who stole Locke’s kidney, pushed him out of a high-rise and left him for dead, and then mysteriously showed up bound and gagged on the Island, was revealed to be the Original Sawyer, and was finally ceremoniously strangled by Sawyer/James.
Surely it wasn’t THAT Bad Dad, right?
Thanks to the awesome Brothers Headington at GetLostPodcast.com, we have this screenshot from Locke’s cubicle, and displayed proudly is a picture of him hunting with dear ol’ pop.
NOW is the time we can all cry to the heavens, “Saaaaay whhhhaaaaaaaa?????”
I have NO IDEA what to make of this. Helen and Locke met in the original timeline because they were both at an anger management session. Locke was there trying to get over the whole “my dad stole one of my organs” thing. So if he’s got a picture of Anthony in his office and Helen’s talking about him coming to their wedding, it’s unlikely that he did anything to cause Locke to seek therapy. Helen and Locke must have met some other way. And I HIGHLY doubt Locke’s paralysis was a result of his father trying to kill him. Which probably also means that it wasn’t Orderly Abaddon who put the walkabout idea in Locke’s head. I repeat: I have NO IDEA what to make of any of this. Why would his dad be a con man in one timeline and not the other?
MEET THE NEW BOSS
SAME AS THE OLD BOSS
Since I skipped ahead a bit to talk about Locke’s cubicle, let’s stick with that scene for a minute. Randy Nations, representing all that is wrong with Corporate America and sending chills down my spine in the process, was still Locke’s boss in the alternate timeline, and was still an incredible prick. He found out that Locke hadn’t been at a conference in Australia and straight-up fired him.
But never fear, because there was a bright yellow H2 parked next to Locke’s van, and that could only mean one thing: Hugo Reyes had arrived to save the day. As he did in the original timeline, Hurley owned the box company Locke had been employed with, and – in an effort to make up for Randy’s douchery – hooked Locke up at his temp agency. Where Rose works. BOOM!
JUST GIMME SOME TRUTH
As I suspected in my “LA X” write-up, Rose has terminal cancer in the alternate timeline, since the Island’s powers aren’t around to cure her. She seems to be handling her situation well, but has no patience for Locke’s delusions. Even though their exchange about finding Locke a job that was “a little more realistic” ripped my heart into ten bazillion shreds, a teeny part of me was chuckling because I ran a contest in November where people were supposed to send in tongue-in-cheek ideas about something we’d see go down on the show in its final season. The winner, Dirte, entered: “Someone Finally Tells Locke Something That He Actually CAN'T Do." Whaddaya know, Dirte was right!
Once Locke had returned home, however, he toyed with the idea of having a consultation with the spinal surgeon he’d met at the airport (I loved when Locke explained to Helen that “He’d lost something, too”). But after dialing Jack’s office, he quickly hung up. Not before Helen heard the call, though, and confronted Locke about what was going on. Cue the arrival of the Case o’ Knives.
Locke spilled the truth about the walkabout and losing his job, and I was seriously afraid that Helen was going to dump his ass right there and then Locke would end up a sad, pathetic dude once again. Instead, she was like, “I love you for YOU!”, ripped up Jack’s card (yes, I shrieked in horror) and then gave her man a big ol’ kiss. She also reminded him that miracles DO happen. His initial assertion that “there’s no such thing” was of course exactly what Jack said on the Island at one point. The parallels were flying all over the place like Hot Pockets in this episode.
One last comment before we leave Helen… I never believed that she had actually died of a brain aneurysm in 2006 like Abaddon claimed she did in the original timeline when Locke went off-Island to try and convince the O6 to return. I figured that Abaddon just didn’t want Locke to be distracted from his mission, so he had a tombstone erected to throw Locke off of the trail. I really, really hope that she remains alive and kickin’ in this new set of off-Island occurrences, because my heart won’t be able to take watching Locke lose her now that he seems to have truly found happiness. ARE YOU LISTENING, WRITERS?!?!?
One more last last comment: I still have faith that Jack and Locke WILL cross paths again. They’ve got to.
HIGH SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL
In Locke’s final off-Island segment, we see that he’s found work at a school. During a break he goes into the teacher’s lounge and there’s some sniveling guy droning on about how no one ever brews a fresh pot of coffee. When Locke asked for Earl Grey I actually cheered, because anyone who knows me knows that there are two things in this world that I cannot do without: 1) Kiehl’s lip balm and 2) a cup of Earl Grey each morning. I got a huge kick out of Locke being a fellow tea-lover. Let me have my moment, OK? Sheesh, I had to endure his funeral earlier in the hour, remember.
Anyway, the big WTF moment in this flash was of course the reveal of Ben as the sniveling teacher. Cordial introductions are made. And… scene.
My initial point of confusion was how Ben could even be alive. When all hell was breaking loose at the Swan site in 1977, he was still deep within the Temple being healed from Sayid’s assassination attempt. I assumed that if the Island had been destroyed, Ben would’ve died. His presence in the teacher’s lounge makes me think that a theory I mentioned two write-ups ago might be correct: Jughead didn’t decimate the Island in the alternate timeline, but it might have caused some other chain of events to occur that still concluded with the Island sinking. In that scenario, Young Ben would’ve had time to evacuate. Would that mean that European History Teacher Ben has memories of his time on the Island? Or am I totally off base here and the alternate timeline veered from the original timeline’s course much earlier than 1977? It’s late and I can’t drink another cuppa Earl Grey or else I’ll be up all night, so I’ll let you guys tell me what you think could be going on with the Ben situation.
My final thought about this episode is this: when I heard that its title was “The Substitute,” I would’ve never guessed that it was, in the most literal sense, referring to Locke as a substitute teacher. “The Substitute” seems more in line with other episode titles like “The Constant” and “The Variable” – you know, algebra-y terms and whatnot – the “substitution method” to solving equations, yadda yadda yadda. That’s probably the real meaning of the title, what with all the talk about “candidates” being replacements/substitutes for Jacob, the MIB attempting to pass himself off as Locke, etc., etc. I’m not going anywhere else with this thought. Just felt like sharing.
That’s all for this episode, folks! Let me leave you with a hilarious picture that longtime LLL reader Wanders (from the awesome Mary Worth & Me blog passed along. This is an untouched photo of a very suspicious snow removal truck he spied in his office parking lot earlier this week. He wrote, "I have to tell you... When I saw it, I truly was jolted. Then I remembered, I live in the real world, and I was okay."
Hmm, I don't know, I think he should still be worried!
Until next time,
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Hello my dear friends –