The Substitute

Posted on February 17, 2010

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Locke becomes a substitute teacher in the new reality, and on the island, he is a substitute body for Smokey. Ah, got to love the constant treasures found in LOST.

As we follow Locke in the alternate universe, we see a much different man than the boar-hunting Locke we once knew. Still living in the company of the love of his life, Helen, Locke struggles to keep his faith, and he’s usually faith’s chief campaigner. I reckon he’s the type of guy that has to see before he believes; that’s what happened on the island after all when he was completely healed of his paralysis.

On the island however, his body is buried by Ben, Ilanna, Lapedus, and Sun. During his burial he once again praises Locke for how great of a man he was, and then admits to the others that he murdered him. This brings me to another thought I had at the end of this episode. Both Smokey and Ben commend Locke for how smart he was, and then through their actions it seems they paid no attention to what they just said. Example: Smokey recognizes John as being the smartest of the Oceanic survivors, and yet Locke wanted so desperately to stay on the Island, while Smokey’s primary objective seems to be getting off the island.

Sitting in his Dharmaville house, drowning his Juliet’s dead sorrows in some alcohol, Sawyer’s got nothing to lose, when Smokey shows up. Instantly, being the great con man he is, he knows this is not the real John Locke. This John Locke has changed, this was a man who truly shows no fear; unlike the real John, who acted unafraid when deep down he was always afraid. But of course after Smokey promises to show him why he’s on the island, Sawyer has this to say, “Well, I guess I better put some pants on.” And with that, it’s off on a journey to a cave carved in the side of quite treacherous cliff.

While voyaging to this cave, Sawyer and Locke run across a mysterious young blonde boy decked out in the tattered, yet fashionable style brought to you by The Others. This is the second time we see this boy in this episode; early on Smokey was trying to convince Richard to come with him when the boy appeared, then disappeared. This time Smokey chases after him, remaining in the form of Locke. He catches up with the kid, who then criticizes him for killing Jacob, and tells him that he can’t kill him, because it is against the rules. He then runs off while Smokey in an extremely well done impersonation of Locke screams, “Don’t tell me what I can’t do!” Widmore and Ben like to talk about the rules a lot as well. I would seriously like a copy of this supposed rule book. It would make solving this puzzle so much easier.

Sawyer and Smokey make it to the cliff and begin to head down, what I like to call Jacob’s Ladder, into the cave carved in the side of the cliff. An inside joke takes place as Smokey tosses a white rock from a scale that was currently being balance by that white rock, and a black rock. Funny stuff, and I really don’t think it is anything significant. We then discover how mad Jacob really is as we tour his gallery of cave art. Names are plastered across the walls and ceiling of this cave, many of which are crossed out; Jacob obviously has some issues. The interesting part is this though:

4 Locke

8 Reyes

15 Ford

16 Jarrah

23 Shephard

42 Kwon

This list of names is the only ones not crossed out, and the numbers beside each name are marked beside each name in the cave. The same numbers we have seen over and over again. Quite possibly the most nagging question of all revolves around these numbers. Where the heck did they come from and what is up with them man?!

Smokey tells Sawyer that he is a candidate to be Jacob’s replacement. Well, he is or one of the other names still uncrossed is supposed to be, because that list is a list of candidates for that position. He then gives Sawyer three options: Do nothing, protect The Island, or leave The Island. Right away he chooses to, “…get the hell of this island.”

Back in the real world, the pattern of all the survivors continuing to somehow meet each other continues. Hurley meets Locke in the parking lot as Locke is trying to leave his office after being fired. It turns out Hurley owns the company he was just fired from and promises to assist Locke with a new job. At the job finding office he sends Locke to, we find Rose. She gives him a good talking-to about the reality of what he can and can’t do because she is living with terminal cancer, and he needs to just accept his condition. Later, Locke is working as a substitute teacher, when he meets Ben. Ben still displays his controlling ways as he yells at coworkers for improper use of the coffee maker. Oh, and the two of them hit it off immediately, in a good way.

Other Notes

I find it interesting that Kate was not one of the candidates on the list, even though Jacob made contact with her, like he did with all of the others numbered. But, if you notice, all of the others chosen to be candidates are male; with the exception of “Kwon”, which could be either Sun or Jin. The fact that all the others are male and that Kate isn’t on the list, leads me to believe that it is Jin, and not Sun that is meant to be a candidate.

Everyone on the island is in a really big hurry to get to the Temple; especially Richard, who has had a very bad week.

Questions

Why did Ilana take Jacob’s ashes?

Why does the island need to be protected?

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