Next: “The Substitute”

“Inside joke.” A great line. A provocative line. A dangerous line. Through some uncharacteristically straightforward expository scenes, this episode pulls back enough to give us the best view yet of the chess board. The game is afoot, our survivors are pawns, and presumably, despite the Man In Black’s plan to quit the island, there’s another showdown brewing. Yet, is it just a game? A battle between two eternal rivals? On many levels, this makes sense. Since Season 1, we’ve envisioned the entire show as an epic, but simple, contest between two sides. But will it be enough? Jen’s worried it may not be. I’m expecting there’s much more to the story.

The Man in Black is trapped. He sees only futility. He says Jacob is wasting lives to protect an island that doesn’t need protecting. Yet as he says this, we think immediately of the sunken island we saw in the premiere. Perhaps the island is not so invincible. And could its destruction bring about a greater, even global, calamity? Possibly.

Do we want this Man In Black running amok in the real world, in any case? Probably not.

Meanwhile, as we piece together this conflict, it’s less obvious that either Jacob or the Man In Black is noble, or good, or right. Jacob has certainly destroyed many lives in the name of protecting the island. And when The Man In Black learns that Jacob never gave Richard the whole story, his sympathy seems real. Neither player seems innocent. The scale with the black and white stones was a nearly too literal illustration of the balance between both sides. A balance that the Man In Black has apparently disrupted. And a balance that I think will prove to be necessary. No matter how frustrated or flawed, whatever forces Jacob and the Man In Black represent, we probably need them both to stick around.

Who was the young boy who appeared in the jungle? My daughter, fixated on his blonde hair, says Aaron… apparently through yet another twist in the space-time continuum. Maybe he was an embodiment of Jacob, in his original or now recycled form. But the way he reminded the Man In Black of the rules, and the way the Man In Black protested with Locke’s signature line, made me think he may actually represent something bigger, or on a higher plane, than MIB and Jacob.

Or maybe he’s just “special” in the way Walt was, giving some hope that there might be some explanation as to what was going on with him throughout the first half of the series.

We also see “The Numbers.” As MIB said, Jacob has a thing for numbers, and each of our iconic numbers is assigned to one of our survivors, who are merely the latest batch of “candidates.” There are other names on the cave wall, with different numbers, all crossed out. Is this the extent of the explanation we’ll get for the numbers? As someone who thought “The Numbers” might just be a McGuffin, I’m fine with that. But I’m hoping there’s just a little more to them.

The dialogue and flashbacks suggest that “Shepherd” is Jack, though it’s fun to think it could mean Christian, or Claire, or even Ray. The stated ambiguity of Kwon (Sun or Jin) is an interesting twist. And if we’re willing to entertain the thought that the boy in the forest is Aaron, why not add Ji Yeon to the list of possible name interpretations. Not depicted in the cave wall roll call? Austen. I’m not sure if that means anything, though, since there were a lot of names we didn’t see, and there were a lot of people on Oceanic 815 that probably didn’t make the list.

And MIB crossed out Locke, his current — and apparently semi-permanent — human form. He explains to Richard that he took Locke’s form to get to Jacob… but I don’t think that was “the loophole,” since it was Ben who did the stabbing. I also figure this can’t be the first time MIB took the form of a “candidate.” I really like the theory a listener shared on our “LA X” podcast that “the loophole” meant Jacob could only be killed by someone carrying his essence (i.e. Ben, infused in the temple spring). I still think, however, it has something to do with who’s the “leader” at any given time. “Unlocke” was allowed inside Jacob’s lair because everyone thought he was the real Locke and thus the island’s current leader, but the highest ranking person was actually Ben, who was therefore capable of killing him.

What does it mean, though, that MIB is “stuck” looking like Locke? He did change into smoke monster form in the premiere, and apparently again tonight in the eerie island flyover. (They definitely cranked up the mechanical elements of the smoke monster’s sound.) If he just can’t look like another person, can he still become a horse? An inanimate object?

The interplay between Sawyer and “Unlocke” was great. As many predicted last week, Sawyer with nothing to lose is a dangerous thing indeed. Having him allied with MIB makes things much more interesting, and I suspect we’ll see more of our survivors choosing different sides. Yet, for all MIB says about Jacob manipulating people, he conned Sawyer pretty good himself. Tapping into his vulnerabilities, offering answers, and even saving his life. It seems clear that dramatic ladder sequence on the cliffside was orchestrated by MIB to earn his trust.

Notes and Notions:

  • It was nice to see Jacob’s off-island visits with our survivors pay off, but really, Jacob’s “master plan” to push all of them to the Island was only introduced in the Season 5 finale. I’m hoping the writers do a little more, and reach a bit further back, to illustrate that they knew where everything was going from the beginning. Until then… it’s still interesting to note that some of his visits were pre-crash, and some were after the Oceanic 6 returned. Why?
  • The off-island stuff is still surprisingly compelling. Locke living with Helen, but ready to give up miracles? A wedding where his father would be welcome? An alarm clock that sounds like the Swan hatch? Hurley slams Randy and offers Locke a lifeline. We see both Hurley’s psychic and Rose at the temp agency. And Benjamin Linus as a whiny European History teacher was spot on.
  • On the “miracles” question, we’re of two minds. On one hand, it seems like Locke’s life off the island is devoid of worth and meaning. Yet what Rose and Helen tell him aren’t exactly “give up.” The message seems more an argument for reason, practicality, comfort and peace. He rips up Jack’s card because he’s done resenting his disability and daydreaming, and ready to start living.
  • Jen asked if Locke somehow never saw Rose on Oceanic 815. It would’ve been great for there to be a glimmer of recognition in their scene together, which of course could be interpreted different ways.
  • The temp agency scene? That was filmed in my office. They took over our entire IT department. Take a look at all the detail work that went into setting up the cubicles shown briefly in the background… even though you didn’t see any of it on screen!
  • Other locations: Locke’s house with Helen is on Alelo Street in Waikele, literally across the street from the home Locke inspected for Nadia. The box company office where Randy fired Locke was in the Hawaiian Telcom building downtown. The parking lot where Locke met Hurley is behind the Gentry Pacific Design Center in Iwilei, across the street from my office. For details, check out my new site, LOST Locations.
  • Books & Music: It was great to hear Sawyer talk about “Of Mice and Men” again. And Jen was impressed in Sawyer’s punk rock playlist: “Search and Destroy,” by Iggy and the Stooges.

What did you think? Please share your thoughts on “The Substitute” (Episode 6×04)! Commenting below is the best way to have your say. You can also email us at lost@hawaiiup.com, or call the LOSTline at (815) 310-0808.

278 Responses to “Next: “The Substitute””

  1. John Fischer says:

    I’ve had an hour to digest this episode and I have to say in all honesty that while the on-island material is significant and extremely interesting, the alternate timeline material is leaving me totally flat and uninterested. I think it’s nothing more than the characters in this alternate timeline are NOT the people we have grown to love and hate for the past 6 years. I don’t really CARE about them at all. It may be fun to see what would happen if 815 had never crashed, but I DON’T CARE. Get back to the island story. That is what I want to see resolved. That’s where the answers to all of my questions lives. I am so divided on this season so far. I love the island scenes and really dislike the alternate timeline scenes.

  2. LostNTonic says:

    OMG I love Locke episodes, even when he’s dead 🙂

    So … The NUMBERS! HFC – the numbers = our losties. Jacob must’ve made that list eons ago and that’s why lists are so important. So anyone get screenshots yet, who is 4,8,15,16,23,42 exactly? 6 numbers. Oceanic 6. So Kate and Aaron are a number too? Ironic that all those guys would end up on the island together.

    My crackpot theory of the week? UnLocke will wage war against Jacob’s crew. The end result will catapult our Losties back into another “loop” of time and course correct. Making the “flash sideways” segments what happens after the last “thud” of LOST on the island.

    🙂
    Tammy

  3. Noelle M. says:

    That was such a great episode!! It’s episodes like this one that makes it hard to wait another week. I loved how each of the names were assigned a number. I don’t know what season it was, where the ‘lists’ first came up. The whole tail end of Oceanic 815 had many of their survivors taken by the ‘others’ because they were on the list. Then we later see an episode where Claire is pregnant and hears Ethan and Mr. Friendly arguing about the ‘list.’ It was a list from Jacob who could be part of the ‘others.’ It seemed as if they were the ‘chosen’ ones. Later some of the others, (was it Ben I don’t remember?) pointed out to some of our lostees how they were not good people, and brought up all the mistakes they made etc.

    Okay so my point…..tonight FLocke made it seem that all of the names not crossed off were canidates. Either FLocke is lying or I am just really confused in how the first couple of seasons our lostees seemed to be unwanted and not worthy of Jacob. That was of course according to Ben, but he did have Richard as his ‘advisor.’

    Then in the season premire where the lostees names where on a list in the onyx. So how come NOW Jacob wants them? Why were people like Cindy not on the list in the cave? When she was on Jacob’s list in the beginning?

    Are the names crossed out all the people that have died? What about any of the others? Was Ben’s name ever on there? Okay so basically this brought up more questions for me than anything. Can anyone help me out?

  4. John Fischer says:

    Why if Hurley thought that Locke’s boss was a “douche” didn’t he fire the boss and keep Locke?

  5. Carol from Boston says:

    @lucydog – what picture of Ben? I love that Alana knows Ben is full of crap and sees right through him.

    Enough of only one group or the other on the island, lets see everybody at the same time.

    I now think that the “fail” for Sayid means he didn’t become the new Jacob, even though he was a candidate.

    I also think that the MIB was in the cabin saying “help me”. Of course smokey was around the same time so that makes that theory confusing.

  6. John Fischer says:

    “The end result will catapult our Losties back into another “loop” of time and course correct. Making the “flash sideways” segments what happens after the last “thud” of LOST on the island.”

    My nightmare is that it will all be a loop and that the last scene of LOST will have Jack’s eye opening after a crash.

  7. DJack says:

    Did anyone notice that Locke’s chair lift never was able to go all the way DOWN? And when it got stuck on his way down, Locke tried to roll himself off and fell to the ground where immediately sprinklers came on and Helen ran out of the house to lift him back up. The other time, it was blocked by Hurley who also lent Locke a helping hand. Lots of irony there!

  8. Noelle M. says:

    Oh and the conversation between Richard and FLocke was really interesting. Is FLocke making up the canidate to try and get at Richard? Since Richard didn’t even know what he was talking about. This whole time I always thought Richard had all the answers and tonight we see that there is a lot he doesn’t know as well.

    well Ilana said that Lapidus was a canidate last season, does she know more than Richard? Interesting. Hope we get to see more of who Ilana is and what she knows.

  9. Danny in the Midwest says:

    Boy in the jungle = Aaron.

    Nuff said.

  10. John Harvey says:

    Why does everyone believe its an alternative time line? I mean, I think we could be watching the beginning of the end of the show which is corrected itself off the island. I don’t think its a flash sideways. It will be exactly what Jack wanted, which was not to land on the island at all. After all, Juliet said “it worked”. I know they have already gone back in time, but I think the writers are just screwing with us….what we see happening on the island actually takes place before what we see happening off the island.

    …my theory

  11. Montreal LAFLEUR says:

    I’m wondering about Ben. Did he leave the Island at the time of the incident? Wasn’t he in the Others’ care, after being shot by Sayid? Then how could he show up in the LA X timeline? I don’t recall him boarding the sub when Dharma evacuated all non-essential personnel…
    Anyway, great, great episode! maybe one of the best of the whole series. I’m watching it again, like now!

  12. Carol from Boston says:

    @John Fischer – What if it ends with the new “jacob” touching Aaron, Walt, Sun’s baby, and little Charlie to start the loop all over again.

  13. John Harvey says:

    …Or Jacob or bad Locke has gone back in time to change the outcome of things so that the Losties end up on the island again (for the first time) by the end of the season.

    …my other theory.

  14. BostonNate says:

    Loved the SmokieCam

    I’m not sold either way still whether or not Jacob is good or evil BUT it almost seems that it was too obvious that MIB was tossing the white stone because he is evil/black stone. Maybe him tossing the white stone was symbolic of him leaving the constant struggle (scale) with Jacob and he is now free to go home.

    Long shot but it seems like we are given obvious answers frequently just to set ourselves up.

  15. John Fischer says:

    “What if it ends with the new “jacob” touching Aaron, Walt, Sun’s baby, and little Charlie to start the loop all over again.”

    That would be a nightmare. I want resolution to the loop. My whole positive feelings about LOST will change if they end by showing it all starting over again.

    I have no desire to follow a show for 6 years only for them to show us that everything is futile, that everything just keeps happening again and again.

  16. EricFromOhio says:

    Lisa: MIB did try to temp Sawyer in the same way he tempted Ben. He manipulates people by exploiting their weaknesses. Ben – thinking that he had played for a fool and never really respected and Sawyer – by telling him that the “thing” he wants to know most is within his grasp…all he has to do is follow him. (Take the apple, it’s the tastiest) oh wait, there is an Adam and Eve on the island huh.

    The story may never be explained off with these names and for these reasons, but the metaphor is found EVERYWHERE!

  17. Carol from Boston says:

    Screen caps of the numbers

    http://www.iimmgg.com/gallery/gc4a20229e5e2ea511f2e29ff9b814546/

    I think “Goodspeed” is one of them.

  18. Carol from Boston says:

    @John Fischer – I agree 108%!! I want to see resolution, what exactly is this Island?

  19. Chelsea in CT says:

    Is there any chance that the boy MIB was running after was zack? Remember Emma and Zack the two children captured by the others from the tail section of the plane, I don’t understand the significance to MIB but he kind of looked like a grown-up Zack to me. And Walt used to just appear like that even when he was held captive by the others (for example to shannon and sayid) although still I really don’t understand why he would intimidate MIB at all..

  20. lucydog says:

    @carol from bosotn.

    At some point, I thought it was Illana, maybe it wasnt, but someone had a polaroid picture of Ben Linus where he was in an office-like room with bad lighting. (It looked like anything we would take at our own offices)…and the dialogue was “I’m here to find this man.”

    That polaroid of Ben was from the X timeline, right? Anyone? Or am I hallucinating?

  21. Knives Monroe says:

    @ John
    “I have no desire to follow a show for 6 years only for them to show us that everything is futile, that everything just keeps happening again and again.”

    But isn’t that the way life is?

    Maybe it does only end once, and everything before that is progress…

  22. Tara from Long Island says:

    Very interesting episode from beginning to end.

    Some questions I would like answered:

    Why is Richard so scared of Smokey? Who was the kid and why was Richard not able to see him but Sawyer was? Why is Smokey not able to kill Sawyer? What exactly are “the rules”? Why is Kate not assigned a number?

    Did the kid seen in the jungle seem to have blood on his hands or was that just my eyes deceiving me?

    I have a feeling the “Kwon” assigned to number 42 is Jin because Sun is only Kwon by marriage, just a thought.

    I am thoroughly enjoying the “6 degrees of separation” in timeline X. I somehow feel that one significant event in this alternate 2004 will somehow connect to the on-island 2007 timeline, what that is, I’m not exactly sure yet. Maybe this alternate universe is some sort of course correction and not a “what if flight 815 never crashed”.

    I have been trying to read the other names crossed out on the wall, but can’t make any of them out.

  23. Carol from Boston says:

    @Knives – it better end on May 23, lol or everything before that is just more frustrating than progress :).

    I don’t expect all the answers but I do want to know that their being on the Island meant something and it did make a difference.

    The last 6 years will never be for nothing, not matter what happens I have enjoyed the ride.

    @Noelle – you make some good points re: the numbers.

  24. Chelsea in CT says:

    @ Noelle M
    http://www.iimmgg.com/image/4d0a6423035ef6847bb37df033846667
    I’m pretty sure you can see “Littleton” clearly crossed out in that picture^ so I don’t think that all the names crossed off are necessarily dead, although we’ve yet to find out what has happened to Claire, so maybe Jacob considered her dead after she was “claimed”

  25. Mattfromnd says:

    @lucydog.

    That was miles that had a picture of ben, early in season 4 when the people from the frieghtor were looking for Ben. He confronts Juliet and shows her the picture and says ” we’re here for Ben Linus”.

  26. lucydog says:

    @mattfromnd….

    thanks. i was thinking that the image of ben was from that x timeline. probably not though if it was miles who had the photo. oh, well.

  27. Sara says:

    I really loved this episode, it really felt like a season 1 episode..except this time we know the general core of the characters; like we know that Hurley is going to be helpful, that Randy is a douchbag (Hurley’s words not mine!), and that Helen is a loving and understanding woman. I’m loving the Flocke/Sawyer dynamics…they are playing each other…both lie to each other (Sawyer about talking to Richard), and Flocke about seeing the kid. I don’t think it will be that easy to manipulate our favourite conman, his intrigue in the names on the cave wall will not end by just helping Flocke get off the Island….btw he got more answers than anyone in the history of the show. Next week looks to be an awesome episode too.

  28. Kait says:

    @ Bob in Evanston- Good catch! I wonder if the other names/numbers have meanings like that. I was thinking the numbers may be some kind of scoring system…

    @ Sobaika – I thought of Jacob’s ladder too- both the biblical reference and the movie. Search and Destroy and Jacob’s ladder both have vietnam themes. So, maybe MIB is recruiting soldiers?

  29. Christy says:

    This is my first post though I’m a long time reader/listener.

    Ok, did anyone see that GIANT SPIDER behind dead Locke’s ear? So creepy, I’m getting chills just remembering how it skittered around his bald head!!!

    Also, I really liked this episode. I like the thought of the kid being Aaron. Not sure how that works with the timeline. . . I’m fine with the numbers representing people. At least they represent something! I wonder if John will end up having Walt as a student. If so, will Walt even look like himself? Would they have had the foresight to film it that far in advance? Does that make sense?

  30. karen says:

    Great episode! When the boy ran through the jungle, I thought he was Jacob… partly because of MIB/Locke’s reaction (“Oh, you could see him too??”), and also because he looked so much like a younger version of the Jacob character.

  31. Coolpeace says:

    Oh man…whats with all the Locke episodes – they are always just filler, no substance… really could the writers please get it together…

    Just kidding of course – great episode. must rewatch and collect my thoughts. Sometimes I wonder if just watching the episode without trying to figure anything out wouldn’t be better!!

    Ahhh, to simply watch for the enjoyment of the story and then just wait for the next installment week after week.

    No headaches, no mind exploisions, no crapping of any holy or unholy kind – ahh, just to watch, per chance to understand.

    See you all after a good night sleep.

  32. Bart P. says:

    A lot to process from this episode. Clearly Flocke was scared of the kid when he first saw him. As for why Richard didn’t see the child, but Sawyer did, I believe it has to do with the fact that James is a candidate. All the talk about candidates also made me think about the talk about Frank at the end of Season 5. They didn’t want to kill him in case he was a candidate, which now make a whole lot more sense.

  33. Laura says:

    I haven’t read everyone’s comments yet so people have probably mentioned these points. My first theory is that the boy Sawyer and Fake Locke saw was Jacob. He literally can’t be killed. He just gets reborn again. My second theory is that Sun is the Kwon who is Jacob’s candidate. The reason I think this is that in the season premiere when Hurley was talking to Jacob and Jin came running up, Jin didn’t see Jacob. I went back and watched that bit again to check and they shot it very ambiguously but I’m theorizing that he didn’t see Jacob instead of Jacob disappearing right at that time. And only Jacob’s candidates can see him now that he’s reborn/resurrected. So Sun will be able to see him while Jin can’t.

    Also, I’m sure many others will mention this if they haven’t already but Fake Locke throws out the white rock symbolizing Jacob of course and the rock left on the scale is a black rock (as in like the slave ship).

  34. April says:

    I’m enjoying the “what if the plane never crashed” storyline because I think it is showing that it is “destiny” for the oceanic survivers to end up together on the island. Note how their lives are slowing integrating with each other. Even without the plane crash, they are becoming part of each others lives… and they will still end up on the island together. Can’t wait to find out why!

  35. Mattfromnd says:

    Just realized the lady at the temp agency, not Rose, the first person Locke was talking to, was the fortune teller that hurley went to when he thought he was cursed.

  36. Coolpeace says:

    OK, just a couple of things before sleep:

    1) This cave with all the scribling and names, I was sure initially that it was MIB’s lair, since Jacob’s was in the foot of the statue. But Smocke seemed to tell Sawyer that it was Jacob’s cave …. I say – LIAR.

    2) IF the cave is MIB’s/Smocke’s then (after looking at the screencaps above) … why would Claire ‘Littleton’ be crossed off… I guess because she is no longer a candidate or is it because she was ‘claimed’?? Just as he crossed off Locke name?? because he is out of play.

    Alright, trying to go to sleep, now.

  37. Bart P. says:

    Thinking about the numbers some more and I realized that those numbers go back to at least the 40’s right? (The person in the mental hospital heard them while in the Pacific, if my memory is correct.) It really shows how “pre-destined” this all was.

  38. brokennarcissist says:

    Unlock broke the rules, he killed Jacob by kicking him into the fire. Ben didn’t kill Jacob, he just stabbed him a little.

    A better title for the episode would have been Jacob’s Ladder. In the Biblical story God reveals himself to Jacob, on Lost, Unlock/Eseau reveals himself to Sawyer. On the island Unlock and Sawyer descend the latter (as opposed the Biblical where Jacob’s ladder is a climb upwards towards the heavens) to a place where Unlock throws away the white stone (innocence castaway?). Unlock’s triumph means no redemption for the Losties.

    Though there are numerous interpretations of Jacob’s ladder. Could these be reflected in Sawyer’s options laid out by Unlock?

  39. DanFromMA says:

    I’m surprised that no one has speculated yet that Kwon might refer to Ji Yeon. She’s the embodiment of both Sun and Jin, making the touching of both their shoulders by Jacob all the more important. Given the direction their relationship was heading in the original timeline, it’s safe to assume that Ji Yeon was never going to be born. If it wasn’t for the crash and the subsequent events that lead to the rekindling of their love for one another (not to mention the magical virility effect the island seems to have mysteriously bestowed on them), Sun and Jin would have most likely went their separate ways in LA. So the way I see it, Ji Yeon is more “tied” to the island, than Sun or Jin individually, while still requiring both of them to be drawn to the island in the first place.

  40. MLE in Colorado says:

    Was the little boy “baby Jacob”? It didn’t seem to make sense it would be Aaron- seemed too old. He seemed to look similar to Jacob- like a young Jacob. It was interesting that Sawyer could see him but Richard could not and that he totally freaked Flocke out. (I liked that)

    I also thought of Jacob’s ladder..and the verse it is mentioned in- which talks about stones and giving land to the descendants:

    Genesis 28:11-19

    11 When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. 12 He had a dream in which he saw a stairway [a] resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 There above it stood the LORD, and he said: “I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. 14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. 15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

    16 When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” 17 He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.”

    18 Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it. 19 He called that place Bethel, though the city used to be called Luz.

  41. malatesta says:

    Richard clearly knows exactly who Smokey is, or was, in one incarnation. How I’d like to know also. As scared as Richard is of him, he stood up courageously against him.

    Doesn;t the idea that Smokey now has to stay Locke, as Illana noted, sound familiar from some myth or other.

    Though MIB accuses Jacob of bringing people to the island, early on, we have no reason to think that Jacob or Jacob alone wrote those names on the cave ceiling or assigned the numbers to them. MIB may have been doing most of it, perhaps noting the names and assigning numbers once they arrived. And those written there may not be candidates for Jacob’s job at all, if he had a “job.”.

    It seems Jacob’s death is viewed by no one as especially bad for Jacob, just bad for them, regarding smokey. Illana cries for her mates, but not for Jacob. That suggests immortality, divinity.

    Why does no one mention numerology in these posts, an Egyptian and Greek specialty? Did the writers rule that out in the past? Numerology really seems to be involved here. Someone mentioned Jack Shephard being # 23 and Psalm 23 beginning, “The Lord is my shephard.” That connection sounds very plausible. Whomever the biblical writers were, Old and New Testament, numerology was important for most of them. (40 days and 40 nights, 12 apostles, these numbers were used over and again, not to mention three wise men, the trinity.)

    The last names of the core survivors have been emphasized in 6.04. With the cave numbers corresponding to the last names of our heroes, there may be something special about the fact that the name Reyes (meaning Kings, protector) and Jarrah (meaning God gives sweetness, honey), Shephard as noted, Ford (river crossing), John Locke (social contract theorist, key to setting and also breaking social rules as in the US Declaration of Independence. Later he was called Jeremy Bentham, father of the Utilitarian anti-child-labor movement (now stuffed and kept in a college at a London University–in the shadow of some church steeple?)

    Could there be two survivor teams here–two trinities of 4, 8, 42, and also 15, 16, 23? Both adding up to 54. Then 54 twice is 108. If they’rethe antithesis of each other, perhaps on a good and bad scale, their meeting brings an explosion, canceling each other out like matter and anti-matter do every millisecond?

    The numbers 4 and 8 have clear numerological associations with creation and death. The idea of dualities like good and bad, life and death depending on each other fits right in.

    Can we assume that the child is Arron, Jacob or Sawyer because they are blonde? Lots of kids start out blonde, but start becoming brunettes by puberty.

  42. Kaneohe_Jack says:

    Just got finished watching it in Hawaii. Two questions:

    1) Did I see correctly? Was that a photo of Kate and Desmond at that temp agency?

    2) Why was Kate touched, but not one of the names scribbled (or at least not associated with one of the “numbers”)?

    Another great Locke episode!

  43. Looking at screen caps of the cave, I could pick out the following (question marks by those I’m not sure of):

    4 – Locke
    8 – Reyes
    10 – Mattingly
    15 – Ford
    16 – Jarrah
    20 – Roup(?)
    23 – Shephard
    42 – Kwon
    64 – Goodspeed
    75(?) – Costa
    115 – Bargas
    119 – Almieda
    222 – O’Toole
    291 – Domingo(?)
    313 – Littleton
    ?? – Troup

    When I was first watching I thought that every name was preceeded by one of The Numbers, but on second look, the other names are assigned fairly meaningless numbers, so of course our heroes are somehow special, or the numbers are somehow otherwise connected to them.

    Other interesting things, though: Goodspeed is one of the names, and though I didn’t see the number, the implication is that Horace was brought to the island by Jacob. Could it be that Jacob was responsible for bringing ALL of Dharma to the island?

    Another interesting thing: is this the first time we’ve seen Gary Troup’s name shown in the show proper (i.e., not in an ARG)?

    Anyway, great episode tonight. Not the all-time best Locke episode or anything, but seeing European History teacher Mr. Linus venting about coffee filters was PRICELESS.

  44. Alexandros says:

    Wow. Just wow. Now we know that Sawyer is special enough to see blond kids running through the jungle. What’s next, Walt sightings? Whatever that blond kid was, I don’t think it was Jacob. A third island entity perhaps? Maybe a referee of sorts.

    This adds room for more theories (not that we didn’t have enough already).

  45. Ben Mc says:

    I’m going to need more than a week to digest this one 🙂

    It’s looking more and more like the God/Devil scenario all the time. Now that Jacob is gone, Locke/Devil can start making his way “home”, and I REALLY don’t think we want him getting home…..

    All I see now is a huge war between Good and Evil coming. It’s about to get crazy!!!!

  46. Rich in Cleveland says:

    I’ll read and respond later, but here are my observations sight unseen.

    In the very first scene, the machine got stuck when John’s ramp wouldn’t articulate. This is exactly what Jacob told Jack in his vending machine visit and also happened with the frozen donkey wheel. I even recall way back when Jin was instructed to deliver a message to the uncooperative official, the problem arose because the “machinery was very old” and somehow locked up. So, John’s ramp would not work and this required a leap of faith followed by the waters of life springing forth anew. Or you can just ascribe it to coincidence if you want to be stubborn.

    The successive scenes of Locke’s funeral and his flash sideways admission to Helen illuminated a substantial difference between the “separate realities.” At the funeral Ben eulogized Locke as a believer and a man of faith. Yet in the sideflash that immediately follows, Locke’s description of his failed walkabout is almost a direct paraphrase of the way Flocke portaryed him. Moreover, Locke’s completely given up on miracles and rends the paper with Dr. Jack Shepherd’s name on it, not an insignificant act. The world is not ideal on the other side of the mirror.

    The dark man had Richard Alpert wrapped up in a canvass cocoon hoping for a transformation from skeptic to servant.

    Flocke told Sawyer “this isn’t your house.” I can’t help but wonder if this has some connection to Sawyer and Kate talking about playing house in the very same cabin.

    What was up with the apparition of the feral child? At first, it was displaying a kind of stigmata. However, Flocke disregarded him completely as an illusion or echo–until Sawyer acknowledged his presence. That external validation somehow made it real and worth pursuing.

    In the cliffside cavern, the materials on the table seemed, upon the most cursory examination, to deal with assaying and mining. There are many subtle references to mining going back to Henry Gale and, of course, the Black Rock. Then, in the very next scene, we see the substitute Locke urging his runners to “Dig it out! Dig it out!”

    Finally, Richard tells Sawyer, “He doesn’t just want you dead, he wants everyone dead.” This explains all the seeming incongruities of the smoke monster’s actions. He very well might be able to dispatch any single person right on the spot, but this wouldn’t serve his larger purpose of ending the grand experiment so he can find relief and go home.

    Sorry. First extra “finally.” Does Jacob’s quest for the right candidate shed new light on Desmond’s search for a replacement at the hatch?

    Final “finally.” The distorted image of Jack in the promo: is the illusory reality finally going to break down so that the remaining players begin to “wake up” from their dream?

  47. Oh, and neatly forgot: the “inside joke” with the stones was great, but my favorite inside joke was Locke telling Ben he was “the substitute,” referencing the episode name and the role of Locke’s body on Ajira 316.

  48. Connie in Oregon says:

    Great episode…the answers are coming, they are just beyond our grasps!

    First, I thought it was strange that all these people did not recognize each other after being on the SAME FLIGHT from Australia just days before! You would think that one of them would have said, “Oh, yeah! I remember you from the plane.”

    What was the significance of Jacob’s ashes? How are they related to the ash around the cabin, the temple and Bram?

    After waffling back and forth for Team Black or Team White, I am leaning toward Team White. I think Flocke is lying to Sawyer about Jacob, doing anything he can to get people on his side. At the moment he is vastly outnumbered given the number of Others in the Temple.

    Despite what Flocke says, I think the Island IS important and protecting it is a high priority. It is another ploy to get Sawyer on his side. And the names and numbers…I think they are Flocke’s doing. Remember that Jacob lived in the foot, not the cliffs.

    @Sobaika-If Kate’s transgressions got her off the candidate list, then some of the others would be off too. Sayid: bad, Jin: bad, Sawyer: bad.

    @Jeremy-LOL Wanker County! Ha!

    I nearly fell off of my chair when it became clear that the numbers represented actual people. I listen to a pop culture podcast called the Steelehouse Podcast. They do a section every week on Lost and one of the hosts actually predicted a couple of weeks ago that the numbers would represent people and specifically those touched by Jacob!

  49. Rich in Cleveland says:

    I believe Jack’s seat number was 23 as well. There is a master plan at work here.

    @ Kait
    What struck me about “Search and Destroy” is how similar it is to the Nirvana and Pixies songs Jack listened to when Ben described him as being “very dark.” Sawyer has surrendered to abandon and despair which has given AJ a way into his heart.

    @Sobaika @MLE
    The ladder in this case descends down corresponding to the dark man’s pull. Lost is littered with upward/downward modes of conduct–ladders in the hatch, in the sub, escalators, etc. The iconic image that first made me aware of this symbolism is Sun standing at the base of her father’s staircase looking up tentatively.

    What does it mean that the ladder snapped behind Sawyer? Is there no way back for him?

    @cuedblu
    “This genie’s too angry
    to go back into the bottle again….”

    @Matt from MD
    Yes! I knew she seemed familiar. I guess Rose has her own Lennon, an intermediary to screen out those who would just waste her time.

  50. Rich in Cleveland says:

    I can’t believe I almost forgot this one. Helen gives Locke a choice of 2 fabrics, one lighter than the other. He chooses the light, but is quickly swayed toward the dark out of his desire to please her.

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