The Man from Tallahassee

Well, if that doesn’t hook you for the rest of the season, just go watch American Idol. It’s not often that the consistently overblown ABC promotions team and the fan press hit the mark, but “The Man from Tallahassee” is indeed a “game changer.” It says something that “why Locke was paralyzed” was most certainly not the big reveal in any “LOST” episode. The gotchas were reminiscent of “Walkabout.” The clues were reminiscent of “Orientation.” And, says Jen, “Just go ahead and give Michael Emerson all the Emmys right now.”

The “LOST” word of the day, boys and girls, is “defenestration.” So Locke finally steps up to stop Anthony Cooper from his life destroying ways, but gets Peter Talbot killed and gets himself tossed out an eighth story window. Amazingly, he survived… something that most would call a miracle is, for Locke, the ultimate indignity. His dread upon being carried to his wheelchair was palpable.

But the story on The Island took centerstage, and Locke’s conversations with Ben were like a grandmaster chess game, each line crawling with significance. Locke’s faith in the island is absolute, but that blinds him. Ben’s understanding of The Island is probably unsurpassed (he recognizes that Locke has some “communion” with it), yet it has apparently failed him. And as incredible it was that Locke blew up that submarine, it’s obvious we’re a long way from knowing what it really means.

But the big mystery, the overarching mystery, is The Island, and we’ve never had so big a piece of the puzzle as we got tonight. Even blurred by metaphor, The Island does deliver a heart’s desire. Sometimes. For some people. And — here’s the thing — somehow. But surely that’ll have to wait until Season Eight (with the zombies). But whatever gave us Jack’s dad and Kate’s horse seems to be what has now given us a bound and gagged Anthony Cooper.

Talk about a big finish.

Frankly, “LOST” delivered tonight. Old “LOST,” big tease “LOST” would’ve cut to the thud as soon as Ben asked, “Would you like to see?” I actually heard it in my head. But in an episode crammed with answers, they saved the best one for last.

Of course, “Magic Box” isn’t a particularly satisfying explanation, one that — like the “Nanobot Theory” of Season 2 — would be too easy and too ridiculous to tolerate. Still, wish fulfillment has been on our minds lately, both on and off the island. The list can go on and on, mixing conveniently with separate debates about coincidence and fate. Walt’s bird, Ben’s spinal surgeon, Juliet’s homicidal bus, maybe even Hurley’s lottery win and Claire’s comatose mother.

My head hurts.

Jack’s talk with Kate, no doubt, swelled the hearts of Jaters (ugh) everywhere, even though I’d guess Kate isn’t completely convinced of Jack’s intentions. It was nice to get absolute confirmation of Alex’s relationship with Ben (socially, if not biologically) in both dialogue and in the unsubtle omnipresence of Alex pictures throughout Ben’s cabin. Sayid has brilliantly planted a seed of doubt in Alex’s mind, and it turns out her mother, Danielle, is at least slightly curious about her.

All in all, “The Man from Tallahassee” easily slides into the top ten episodes of all of “LOST,” which is no small feat in Season 3. And we’ve still got ten episodes to go.

LOST Location Notes:

  • Locke was defenestrated (I love that word) from the Waikiki Landmark Hotel at Kalakaua and McCully avenues.
  • His disability benefits office and hospital room were both in the Pauahi Tower in downtown Honolulu (same building as Hurley’s accountant… but no, it was not Locke falling past that window).
  • The flower shop was Rudy’s Flowers in McCully.
  • Locke’s apartment building looks familiar, but I can’t identify it at the moment. I’m not aware of too many submarines, either, unless it was the U.S.S. Bowfin.

Notes and Notions:

  • Memorable Lines? So many. “Sorry, unfortunately we don’t have a code for, ‘There’s a man in my closet with a gun to my daughter’s head.’ But we obviously should.” Or: “We have two giant hamsters running on massive wheels at our secret underground lair.” Or: “Don’t tell me what you can’t do.”
  • I love that the last line of the episode was an astonished, “Dad?” Goes back to Michael in the hatch in Season 2.
  • MacCutcheon whiskey returns. There are a lot of menacingly wealthy people in the “LOST” universe.
  • How’s that? Sayid gets chained to a playground swing, Kate gets the pool hall. And, of course, another scene to demonstrate her bendyness. Jen notes that the “LOST” writers sure do like to tie her up a lot (almost as much as they like to get her wet).


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64 Responses to The Man from Tallahassee

  1. NuckinFuts says:

    Dr. Belden :

    Thanks – you’re right – – Henry didn’t seem to know it was coming…but that would mean that the clip wasn’t talking about those two…that or what if the crash wasn’t planned, as we’ve come to believe….but they were heading there eventually and were on that plane as coincidence….perhaps ( and this is a stretch ) they were in Austrailia and one was recruiting the other…they decided to head to the US to pick up someone else or meet w/ the main group of recruits and wait in Tallhassee for the sub to pick them all up and take them from there to the island……then when they actually crashed there the recruit stayed quiet while learning from the “other” and paying attention….ugh…my head hurts….this must mean that I’m onto something or need a new hobby….

    Rick :

    If I remember correctly… Locke himself tells Sayid that he was the one who hit him on the head….he tries to explain it away to Sayid that he would not have been ready to understand why the transmitter was a bad idea and that he wouldn’t have beleived him and such….he’s been sabotaging (need spellcheck ) various plans to get off the island in one way or another since day 1

  2. Steve says:

    Anybody see the big poster in Ben’s room… aroud it he have some Africain mask… it look like a big map of the island.. or the sky.. or.. something… I dont know… but its a big part of Ben’s room… what is it ?

  3. Steve says:

    and the producers said “If you’re asking about daddy issues, you’re asking the right questions.”…. so.. if you keep that in mind… this episode is the big ”blowing mind episode” there talking about..

  4. FoKoF says:

    ” I dont know how its happen..but you seem to have some communion with this island John..and that’s make you very very important ! You’ve no idea what’s Im talking about, of course but.. in time you’ll have a better understanding of things.. so what would I want ?!… Its help you John”

    that is what Ben said to John.. before the final scene.. and I think its a very important moment of the episode… because Ben dont understand what happen to John.. he dont really want to help him.. he want to know whats happen to him.. why the island help him…
    I think John is the only ”good people” on the island (probably Rose too) he never kill or hurt anybody in his life…he always want to help… (his father with a kidney,, a police man and the son of a stanger rich girl) so .. John is a good man.. and its probably the reason why the island is in ”communion” with him…
    Ben is a liar.. he are not the ”good people” he want to kidnap them to understand them.. or to put there power in is avantage…he know the island have a power with the good people.. but…he dont know how to use it… and that what he want… well… I think… so Ben brings John’s father on the island…( how ? i dont know yet) and what Ben want… its John to kill him… Why ?? I dont know.. probably for a test.. if he do it , he will be a Bad person.. and probably come back paraplegic…and Ben will know that he have to be a good person if he wanna stay on his leg on the next loop time…my head hurt… dont drink beer and watch Lost… you getting confuse… and sorry for my english.. im from Montreal !

  5. Dish says:

    John Locke was responsible for blowing up the hatch door, blowing up the hatch itself, the station with the eye patch guy and now the submarine. He is a blast of a man.
    In some of the earlier scenes of the plane and the tail section I’m sure I saw a man that looked like Anthony Cooper. Could he have been on the plane/tail section and then become one of the earlier abductees?

  6. Teresa says:

    About the “Magic Box” and “deepest wishes come true” theories: It reminds me of C.S. Lewis’ book “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” where the characters come across an island where their dreams come true. A man tells them “Do you hear what I say? This is where dreams – dreams do you understand – come to life, come real. Not daydreams: dreams.” They all get away as fast as they can because “it had taken everyone just that half-minute to remember certain dreams they had had – dreams that make you afraid of going to sleep again – and to realize what it would mean to land on a country where dreams come true.”

    This might explain Jack seeing his father, the horse, the thrashing trees, the black smoke, Hurley’s numbers. Their dreams coming true. The possibilities and the terror. Locke’s dad appeared because his “dream came true,” the same reason his paralysis went away.

  7. pete moss says:

    The whole magic box thing fits conveniently with the current interest in the book “The Secret,” which is a re-hash of old spiritual ideas about manifesting what you think about.

    Best catch was that Locke was wet – I didn’t get that, and I have the feeling that’s going to be important.

  8. Terie says:

    Did anyone else notice that Dharma food was in Ben’s fridge? If the others are not part of Dharma then why is Ben eating their food? If Ben ahs been on the island his whole life then wouldn’t he have another way of feeding himself?

  9. Nadia says:

    I don’t know…but I found it interesting that Ben said “sorry I ate all the dark meat” and john had the white meat……another black and white motif? bad vs. good…..or just good dharma chicken!

  10. NorCal Matt says:

    How come all of sudden so many people have this idea that the Others are not part of Dharma? The Dharma of the 70s is not the same Dharma as today, but it’s still Dharma. Some one is still sending Dharma food drops. Mittelos, a front for Dharma/Hanso/Widmore, is still recruiting talented people onto the island. It’s a quasi Dharma now, but still the same organization.

  11. Tawl says:

    Time-Loop Observations

    How come Ben knows so much about Locke? Ben is aware of the time-loop, and I bet he’s met Locke countless times before, in addition to meeting all of the Losties in previous loops. Groundhog day! Maybe Ben had Locke’s dad imported to the Island to use in his con against Locke.

    Things change slightly during every iteration of the time-loop, so even though Ben can’t predict exactly what will happen, and when.. he has a pretty good idea. And that’s the reason for his calm confidence in every sticky situation.

    How did Ben know about the explosives in Sayid’s pack, especially since Sayid still had the pack close to him after he was captured? Hmmm

    Walt was beginning to exhert power on the Island, and that worried Ben and the Others. I believe that is why Walt was initially tested and then set “free” with his Dad (another “Dad”).

    My guess is that Walt and Dad are circling the Island, because reality and time circle the Island. The Island is the Center. I think that the compass heading that Ben gave them will keep them circling, rather than returning like Desmond did on his sailboat.

    Hurley’s “Dave” shows that Hurley also has power on the Island, and maybe that’s why the numbers worked for him before he got to the Island.

    In fact, I think that most of the Losties who are still alive, have Island powers, which could be the only reason they were “sent” to the Island. Ben wants to learn how to get these powers.

    To sum it up… A few people are aware of the Time-Loop.. Ben for sure, and Desmond is learning. I think Ben’s awareness of what had happened in previous time-loops (maybe because he has always lived on the Island) constantly gives him the power of knowledge over everyone else around him.

  12. Andrew says:

    Great website
    Ryan and Jen rival and writers on LOST for shear brilliance. Two questions, how did the anomaly affect the passage of Michaeland Walt from the island as Ben says that communications were knocked out due to the anomaly in the second season finally?
    Why would Ben let Micheal and Walt leave the island, if he says that if he let Jack and Juliet leave it would be a sign of weakness?

  13. DR Belden says:


    It is my suspicion that there is much more to the Michael and Walt story than we know. I suspect also that Ben’s people know this, else Ben would be having “a problem with his people” as he mentioned to Locke. I fully expect Michael and Walt (or at least Walt) to show up again before it’s all over. I think there was too much of a build-up over Walt and his abilities to just send him away to live happily ever after.

  14. Jen says:

    Goodness, Andrew, you’re making me blush!

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