Wednesday, February 17, 2010

LOST: He's stuck this way.

6.04: "The Substitute"

A quickISH review of revelations from tonight's episode...


Paralyzed. Went on walkabout when he was supposed to be at a conference for his job at Hurley's box company. Still with Helen, planning their October wedding, and someone they refer to as his father is on the guest list.

Maybe Locke was adopted in this reality, instead of being bounced from foster home to foster home. I think the Man From Tallahassee stealing his kidney and pushing him out a high-rise window is still the reason he's in a wheelchair. In the aftermath of that fall, it would still require a jump start from Jacob to revive him, wouldn't it?

In LOST1, Locke was turned onto the idea of going walkabout by Matthew Abaddon. I want to believe that's how it happened in LOST2 as well.

Hurley plays Mr. Fix-it when Locke is fired from BoxCo and sends him to Rose at his temp agency. She talks him down from a chip-on-the-shoulder job in construction and into a gig as a substitute teacher, which Locke really seems to fit into nicely. I was hoping to see Walt among his students, but alas, not to be. However, it's in the teacher's lounge at this school that we meet...


Benjamin Linus, European History. How does he end up here? In 1977, little Ben is shot by Sayid and then saved by Richard and the spring waters of the Temple. When he recovers, he doesn't remember being shot, and Widmore explains that he's now one of them. Soon after, Juliet and Jughead trigger the Incident. Sometime after that, the Island sinks. Apparently Ben makes it off the Island in that time. Has he taken the mantle of Other leadership, after exiling Widmore? Maybe all the Others were forced into exile in the outside world, and Widmore's activities wouldn't be grounds for banishment. In either case, maybe Ben is still an Other, or an Other sleeper, placed here in anticipation of encountering John Locke.

Or was Ben still a child when he had to leave the Island, evacuated with Uncle Rico along with the survivors of the DI, and slipped back into the regular workaday world?

In any case, it looks as if Ben and Locke are destined to meet in both realities.

Overwhile, back on the Island...


Yeah, I'm gonna keep calling him Esau until we get a name that's better than "Man In Black." Let's see, what do we find out about him this episode...?

  1. Alanna tells Ben that Esau's "stuck" in this human form. John Locke's that is.
  2. Esau tells Sawyer that he's trapped in his current existence (as Monster on this Island), and that he was once a man.
  3. When he's the Monster, Esau's POV is very similar to that of Sam Raimi's EVIL DEAD. Goofy, but satisfying. =)
  4. He and Sawyer can see a little boy that Richard cannot.

So, given item 1, until we see Esau somehow killed, if we see any reanimated dead, it's not the Monster. I'm not certain, but I'll bet that Christian stops appearing to people on the Island (he shows Sun and Lapidus the DI class of 77 photo) just before the Ajira survivors find Lockesau standing in his funeral suit in the ocean. Which would fit the theory that the Monster was also playing Christian.

This notion of him being stuck in a single form is a classic set-up for a vulnerability. At this point, tho, I'm not sure how it can be exploited, given that we've seen him change to and from the Monster at will now (in the beginning of this episode, spying on Sawyer and returning to Richard). Maybe he can be subdued or die as Locke if he's taken completely by surprise, or tricked into it, like, being served poison, or... bitten by one of those paralyzing spiders!

Esau was once a man. He makes it sound like he was turned into this Monster. Did Jacob do it to him? Is he a worst-case scenario of infection/being claimed?

Esau is surprised to see a boy, with a pretty crisp set of Other-like togs, appear in the jungle. The first time, he's with Richard, and Richard doesn't see the boy. The second time, he's with Sawyer, and he DOES see the boy. When Esau runs after him, he trips (ha!), and the boy comes back to tell him...
Boy: You know the rules. You can't kill him.
Lockesau: Don't tell me what I can't do.
I like that Esau uses Locke's own words in a situation that, at least on the surface, would be very familiar to Locke. The first time the boy appeared, I thought, "Aaron!" But when we get a good look at him, definitely not. The boy actually strikes me as a young Jacob. Not sure how that would work, tho. Also, who do we think the boy is talking about when he says "him?" Jacob's already passed. He's visited Hurley from the other side. Is he talking about Sawyer? Perhaps, Richard? I say that the reason Sawyer can see him but not Richard is cuz Sawyer's a candidate.


The numbers! 4 8 15 16 23 42. Not really an explanation, but at least, a connection, a possible apparent source. We see Jacob's master list chalked onto the cave walls and ceilings. Names with numbers, and most of them crossed out. The ones I could make out...

* 2/17/2010. Broke down and went searching for cave wall screencaps and updated the list below... "Austen" is conspicuously absent. Anyone see a "Hume" or a "Gale?"
  • 4 - Locke
  • 8 - Reyes
  • 10 - Mattingley
  • 15 - Ford
  • 16 - Jarrah
  • 20 - Rousseau (?)
  • 23 - Shephard
  • 42- Kwon
  • 125(?) - Pace
  • 131(?) - Littleton
  • 171(?) - Straume
  • 222 - O'Toole
  • 291 - Dominguez (?)
  • 346 (?) - Grant
  • ?? - Troup
  • ?? - Goodspeed

Esau explains that Jacob had a "thing" for numbers, as if they're not really important. I'm sure Hurley would beg to differ, but whatev, that's as much as we're getting for now. These are the names of candidates (both Esau and Jacob's Shadow bodyguards use this word), potential protectors of the Island, replacements fo Jacob. Esau tells Sawyer this is the answer to the question, "Why are you on this Island?" Because Jacob manipulated his and the other Losties' lives, came to them at crucial points in their lives and nudged them just so, ultimately resulting in their ending up on the Island. He goes on to explain to Sawyer that as a so-called candidate, he has three options.

  1. Sit back and end up like the other crossed out candidates.

  2. Take the position of Island protector (even tho the job is ridiculous, "It's an island!")
    Esau: Become the new Jacob. Protect the Island.
    Sawyer: From what?
    Esau: Nothing, James. There's nothing to protect it from.

  3. We just go, get the hell off this island
    Esau: What do you say, James? Are you ready to go home?
    Sawyer: Hell, yes.

Looks like Esau's got his first recruit, but I want to believe that Sawyer's playing along, and his gears are spinning hard now. That he's looking for angles to turn things around on Esau, con him. He knows right off he's not dealing with Locke, and that he's likely not dealing with a human being, but something in the form of a specific human being. And a good con man is gonna be a pretty brilliant student of human nature and motivation. We'll see how it plays out.

While visiting the cliffside cave (Jacob's summer home?), Esau crosses out Locke's name. Littleton's is crossed out, but Jarrah's is not. Can we assume that a crossout = death? In that case, Claire's dead. Sayid probably is, but Jacob's no longer around to update the list, right? Does Esau know or sense Sayid's current condition? I don't recognize numbers 222, 291, and 346, but Goodspeed could be Horace or Ethan, and Troup would be Gary Troup (anagram = purgatory), the writer of the novel BAD TWIN, the manuscript of which Sawyer was reading, but never finished, on the beach. Interesting that he was actually a candidate. Is it possible that Shephard could refer to Christian or Ray instead? I suspect we're seeing names from every group of visitors to the Island, including the Blackrock, the DI, Rousseau's ship, and 815. In any case, seems like Jacob's done a *lot* of reaching out and touching over the years, eh?

* 2/18/2010. Hey! Straume is crossed out on Jacob's cave wall, and Miles is still walking around. So, either a crossout does not necessarily equal deathness (but rather, disqualification for some reason), or... Jacob believed that Miles died, or... Miles IS actually dead... For now, given that Miles is still walking around in the Temple, and until/unless we see how Jacob would consider him dead, I'm gonna say that Jacob disqualified him.

Also! Forgot to mention how much fun it was to see Richard completely discombobulated as a totally freaked out Renfield type! =)

Will try to get a summary up before next week, too.

Keep on keepin on~


zorknapp said...

I think your assumptions re: Locke, and why he's in a wheelchair are interesting, but honestly, I don't think we can assuming *anything* in this timeline at this point.

Same with Ben. We just don't have enough information as to *when* he left the Island, and *why* he left the Island. With the Island submerged sometime between 1977 and 2006, we just don't have enough info one way or another to determine what's happening.

Miles' last name is Straume? I didn't realize that. Could that be his father's *real* last name, or perhaps his mother's? Or, does crossing out *have* to mean death. It did in Locke's case, according to NewLocke, but is NewLocke being *totally* truthful...

My thought, is that is there more than one Smoke Monster? We have never seen multiple ones at the same time, but the smoke monster was at one point, *housed* in the Temple, and now it's the Other's base of operations? Ben could also call on the Monster to take care of the commandos back at the end of season 3 (or was it 4?).

I'm glad you got as much of a kick out of Richard losing his cool (in the scene with Sawyer) as I did...

Is Sawyer playing along with NewLocke for now? I think that I agree with you, he probably is... Sawyer knows that he's not Locke, and he's in a crazy cave with no way out. I'd play along with NewLocke if I was Sawyer?

Claire may be crossed out, because she is *infected.* At least, according to English/Non-English speaking Asian dude. And Sayid is not *quite* infected yet, but is on that road... Remember, Rousseau talked about her shipmates being *infected* too, the ones who were sucked into the Temple. What is this *infection,* is it real, what does it actually mean?

And, poison can sometimes be a purgative, it doesn't have to kill you... Was the 'poison' in the pill that Jack was supposed to give Sayid supposed to kill him, or kill something inside of him?

Little boy running around: For some reason, I got the impression that it was a little Jacob. No evidence for that at this point, just an impression.

More to come with this. I'm really enjoying this season so far.

cabinboy said...

I'm open to lots of possibilities, and I'm well aware of how little information we've been given so far, but I WANT for shadowy motivations and conspiracies in LOST2 to follow as close as possible their counterparts in LOST1 and am quite happy to build some longshot-but-satisfying (to me, at least) theories on the shaky foundations of extrapolations and guesswork over 30 years.

Hari Seldon, I'm not.

But my WANTING includes Ben being an Other, perhaps their leader, but perhaps not. In LOST2, "future" Locke timeskipped back to Fonzie times and met clued Richard in to his destiny as future leader of the Others. And by 1977, Richard had already dropped in to check on Locke in the outside world (3 times?). If the Others exist post-sinking in the outside world, I'd think they (advisor Richard, maybe leader Widmore or Ben) would continue keep tabs as best as possible on this guy. So, I'm thinking that Ben might've conveniently started as European History teach at that high school in September, divining, somehow, that once he returned from his kiboshed walkabout, Locke would land there as a sub.

Really crazy thought: Maybe Hurley's luck in LOST2 has already landed him benevolent membership w the Others?

Yeah, Miles Straume. I thought it was Strohm at first, but I was wrong. So, I'm thinking a cross-out does not necessarily mean death, altho I want it to, to confirm my thoughts on Claire. If we can trust the marks on the cave wall, we can only say that a cross-out certainly means disqualification. Longshot interpretation: Maybe Miles's ability makes him "dead" somehow?

I remember thinking there might be more than one Monster early on in my viewing, but dismissed it. It's a very fun notion... Perhaps the Monster is an evolved/adult form of an infected person? Maybe Esau was the first person to be claimed on the Island, cursed with long life and a dour disposition?

I think that the Others, by virtue of being under Jacob's protection/influence were protected from the Monster, so Others and Esau could cohabitate at the Temple without conflict. The Monster would have his fun with unbaptized newcomers, tho.

This is why Dogen and the Others ash up when Hurley reveals that Jacob is dead. They've lost their Monster immunity.

The poison pill. Part of Dogen's prescription was the patient's consent or willingness to ingest the medicine. Seems like that mental/emotional factor would decide whether the poison would kill Sayid and/or fight the infection. The Others haven't just sliced Sayid up or gunned him down, so maybe an infected individual CAN'T be killed unless he willingly (but unwittingly?) participates in his demise?

I did some rambling on the notion of being claimed in a previous post. I don't think it's a claim by Esau, but by Darkness, which, depending on the individual, might align the infected with Esau's plans.

The little kid, in appearance and manner, really did call to mind a young Jacob. Visible only by Esau and the candidates (those touched by Jacob?)?

I feel like his warning, restating the rule about not being able to kill him, is redundant-dumb if referring to Jacob, so I think he's reminding Esau that Sawyer, and probably all candidates, are off limits.

Altho, I wonder if leading a candidate to his death would be allowed, i.e. if Sawyer had fallen off one of those cliff face ladders?

Had a zany thought regarding LOST2's Locke's father. What if Widmore or Richard, settled in the outside world and aware of John's alternate destiny, went ahead and adopted him? =)

Does Richard age naturally off-Island?

Except for the Kateness of the second episode, and, y'know, the usual LOST frustrations, I'm very happy with what we've seen so far.