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. Connie in Oregon says:

    Loving everyone’s comments!

    Ryan-cool pics of Lost at your office. You must have been thrilled! I would have been.

    Jon Fischer-Yikes! I hope we don’t find out that it’s just game play from the mind of John Locke!

    Is it possible that Jacob is really Aaron in some mind bending time loopy way? Either baby Aaron is reincarnation of Jacob or has time looped through the ages as the Jacob character?

    I like the theory that Sideways World is the final resolution for our Lost friends. This is how they would have ended up if Jacob had not been there to nudge/manipulate their lives toward the Island. As far as I can tell, all of the Jacob “touching” came after 1977 for each of those he touched. If that didn’t happen, things turn out differently.

    What will be the qualifications of the “winning” candidate? So far the finalists are those who arrived at the Island at probably the lowest and most vulnerable and “claim-able” point in their lives.

    Another small biblical reference from Job: Job is a man who fears God and does what is right. In return God blesses him beyond measure. Satan sees this and goes to God saying that if Job’s blessings were removed, he would curse God. Satan then asks for permission to put Job to the test to which God agrees with the stipulation “Do what you will, but don’t kill him.” Satan proceeds to do horrible things to Job, but Job never wavers in his faith. In the end everything is restored to him many times over.

    Also, Satan’s original sin was pride. He though he could be equal to or higher that God, to which God said, “Uh, ain’t happenin'” and cast him out of heaven along with a third ? of the angels who followed him. He is described as a lion, out to kill, steal and destroy and also as the father of lies.

  2. cat says:

    John Fisher – very interesting on the casting call for the boy. Who do we know that had a horrible family tragedy occur as a child? Sawyer of course. So…..is that Sawyer and the reason that Sawyer can see the child? He does look like him.

    So…..Does Jacob speak through Sawyer the child about the rules or is Sawyer more important to this then we ever would have though?

  3. Kait says:

    @ Jesse- I agree with you. If the idea of the devil as a person was that key to the story, the writers wouldn’t have bothered to show the Buddhist and Egyptian mystical stuff. I think they would have only included Judeo-Christian themes. I’m hoping the good/evil thing is more abstract- and will eventually tie in with the science.
    The posts about duality and balance make more sense to me. There’s duality in nature, duality in human nature, and both need the other to exist.

  4. Kait says:

    @ Michael- yes, @Cue dblu posted information about Helen’s shirt on Feb. 16-way at the top of the page. It has a lotus flower and says something about karma…

  5. David in Chicago says:

    Sides are being chosen. Characters are being recruited. Loop or no loop, we are progressing towards a final, epic, battle…

    How do you envision this battle/war playing out? How will it be fought? Surely it will be something far more than a gun fight at the Alamo (read: Temple). We are not going to see, perhaps, Jack, Hurley, and Sayid yelling a battle cry as they lead their side to clash swords LoTR style against the other side with Jin, Sawyer, FLocke, right?

    All kidding aside, once sides have been chosen, how will this epic duel be played out?

  6. Ouiser says:

    Sometimes I feel like the LOST writers have hidden so many Easter eggs over the years, and have ascribed meaning to so many things, and have questioned the show’s “reality” so often, that when they give us answers, we pick them apart with more questions. We are now conditioned to continue asking questions of the provided answers.

  7. Karl says:

    I think it is becoming clear there is more to the story- From what we have seen this season thus far, it seems too easy to make MIB the “bad guy”. True one is black/one is white and we tend to associated colors w/behaviors. I suspect that in the spirit of symbolism, the creators may be throwing a “curve ball”. Time will tell though, and we’ll have to see how it plays out-

  8. Bill says:

    I REALLY enjoyed the birds-eye view ride with Smokey. And the sound effect as it carefully investigated the Dharma village was a roller coaster chain. The roller coaster chain sound, I thought, was building to a sudden acceleration. However, this time it was anti-climatic.

    Candidates? This is an eternal struggle and there appears to be job burnout. The next Jacob and MIB could be Sawyer and Sun.

    This episode was packed with information. Was refreshing after last week’s.

  9. JonY says:

    Are the other names/numbers on the wall all people from the plane, or are they from previous struggels between MIB/Jacob?

    The boy said “you can’t kill him.” I agree that if the boy was Jacob, he should have said me. What does this mean? If the boy is Jacob, is he saying that MIB can’t kill Richard? Sawyer? Maybe MIB isn’t allowed to kill people from the list, because if we remember he had the opportunity to at least kill Locke and Jack in season 1.

    All our main friend were suposedly not on the list throught S1 and S2. Why are they now? Or was the purpose of those lists to separate the supporting people from the main players? I think those lists came from Richard, so I would assume that their source was actually Jacob and not whoever wsa in the cabin.

    Didn’t Rose live in New York? I guess whatever didn’t happen (cuz no incident) led her to seek a warmer climate – remember she met Bernard when stuck in the snow. Moot point….

    And finally, @Dave – if I remember right Jacob touched Sayid on a clothed shoulder so there wouldn’t have been skin to skin contact there either.

  10. Bill says:

    I’m not guessing that the next Jacob and MIB will be Sawyer and Sun. It could be any of the candidates.

  11. Kieran says:

    I was strongly reminded in the scenes with MIB and Sawyer of the Devil trying to tempt Jesus in the desert…

  12. John Fischer says:

    “very interesting on the casting call for the boy. Who do we know that had a horrible family tragedy occur as a child? Sawyer of course. So…..is that Sawyer and the reason that Sawyer can see the child? He does look like him.” – well, Sawyer didn’t seem to react like he was seeing himself, so I doubt it’s Sawyer, but I have no idea who it could be other than the obvious choices mentioned, so perhaps he’s no one that we’ve ever met. The first thing I thought of when I saw the boy dressed like he was that he looked like Annakin Skywalker in the Phantom Menace.

  13. Ben Mc says:

    I was just thinking, we can’t take MIB’s word for it that the cave is Jacob’s. My guess is that this is the MIB’s cave, and those are HIS numbers and names, and he’s the one crossing off the pawns he destroys, preventing a “candidate” from showing up.

    The thing is, we already know that it’s the MIB that killed a lot of those names.

  14. Greg from Minnesota says:

    So I have not read all the messages and am not sure if anyone else has come up with this, but I am beginning to think that the Off-Island “Flash-sideways” is the result of what will be if the situation on the Island resolves itself in a “good” way. Last night’s episode showed Locke overcoming inner-turmoil and living a better life. Maybe reality will resolve itself to this and only this reality if good beats evil in the Island timeline. Make sense? Thoughts?

  15. David in Chicago says:

    Perhaps the boy we saw was The Island manifesting itself as young Jacob to get MiB’s attention. Not necessarily to trick the MiB, it seems pretty safe to say the MiB knows who or what the boy really is. Since Jacob is dead, it leaves him free to be used as an apparition by an even more powerful entity, The Island. Although, we’ve never seen an apparition of a character not in the form they were in around the time they died.

    Although unrelated in terms of spoken content, the “you can’t kill him” bit, took me back to the Season 3 Eko / Yemi apparition scene where the entity posed as Yemi quips something along the lines of “You speak to me as if I were your brother”. If only to serve as a reminder that there is probably far more behind what appears as the boy.

  16. Tom M says:

    This was a great episode that didn’t really answer alot of questions but gave us tons of hints at what is going on. There seems to be an issue regarding free will. Jacob and MIB can’t force people to do things. However, when the Oceanic 6 all board the Ajira flight to go back, one of them was not there by choice. Sayid was in handcuffs and Ilana forced him to go on the plane. I wonder if that has something to do with his current state. Since he did not come of his own free will, is he no longer a true candidate?

  17. Chris says:

    Out of context but:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flocke

    AND ITS A POLAR BEAR

  18. mcliam says:

    anyone else as confused as I am about the numbers? I mean, what was the list all about back in season 2 & 3? Potential candidates? The numbers don’t refer to the oceanic six, either. I don’t get it. I loved the episode, though, and wish they’d just concentrate on flocke. I am really beginning to LOVE that character.

  19. mcliam says:

    and great use of the STOOGES! Wow, never thought I’d hear search and destroy on prime time tv.

  20. Stathis from Greece says:

    I am not 100% sure about that,but check out the background of the office where John meets Rose.That man.It seemed to me like Desmond with the woman he left to join the monastery.Am I right?

  21. Briand says:

    This was a really good episode. Still think, though, that they’re going to have to pick up the pace to really finish in May.

    Maybe the numbers being typed into the computer in the hatch over and over again was a way of summoning our heros. The fact that they kept it up after the crash is just that nobody bothered to tell Desmond to stop. Jacob does seem a bit capricious at times!

  22. cutepoison10 says:

    Holy cow what a fantastic episode.

    I do not think Sawyer is really taken in by MIB, they are both conning each other.
    May the best con man win 🙂

    Love the podcast.

  23. KC Bob says:

    I’m still betting UnLocke is the bad guy, especially after hearing Iggy Pop’s “Search and Destroy” playing as Smokie/Locke enters New Otherton -also the pan to Iggy’s album “Raw Power.” I think these are hints.

    Did anyone else notice that when UnLocke fell, chasing the boy, the camera started with a shot of the boys foot and then panned up his body…the same way one might have seen the statue on the island before it was destroyed. I wonder if there was a reason for this?

  24. kathyk says:

    We can’t forget about Charles Widmore.
    he still has a huge role in this story.
    Wonder how and when we will hear from him again….

  25. Mattfromnd says:

    Looking at the list on lostpedia, there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to how the numbers were assigned. Why would Locke, who only came to the island fairly recently have a lower number than people that were on the island decades earlier? You would think they would go in order of when the people came to the island.

    So I guess I’m thinking there’s nothing behind the numbers at all and using the numbers we’ve come to know, 4,8,15,16,23,42, was nothing more than fan fodder. Just an interesting way to showcase the numbers again.

  26. Bill says:

    When European History teacher Ben had his back to the camera and was going on-and-on about the coffee maker, he sounded like the stereotypical gay guy.

    Wouldn’t it be wild if we learn, in a future X sideflash story, that Ben is married to Tom Friendly?

  27. Connie in Oregon says:

    @Bill-Wow! Now that would be something! Although from what we saw when Tom was in NYC with Michael, Ben Linus doesn’t seem to be his type.

  28. Bill says:

    @Connie in Oregon – that’s true, but this is the X story and maybe Tom’s type isn’t what it used to be; or never was; or will be; or is currently; or something along those lines.

  29. LReene says:

    Not sure what this could mean, but did anyone else notice that “the blonde boy” had his arms and hands covered in blood the first time FLocke saw him? The blood however was gone when FLocke saw him again when he was with Sawyer.

  30. John Fischer says:

    Folks over at DarkUFO have been studying the screencaps of the numbers in the cave. Look at this list (so far) of what people have found:

    4 – Locke (John)
    8 – Reyes (Hurley)
    10 – Mattingley – Other
    15 – Ford (James)
    16 – Jarrah (Sayid)
    20 – Rous (Possibly Rousseau)
    23 – Shephard (Jack)
    31 – Rutherford (Shannon)
    42 – Kwon (Jin or Sun)
    49 – Cha (Possibly Chang)
    56 – Burke – (Juliet)
    64 – Goodspeed (Ethan Horace Olivia or Amy)
    70 – Faraday (Daniel)
    73 – Costa – ?
    90 – Troupe – ?
    115 – Bargas – ?
    117 – Linus (Ben, Roger)
    119 – Almeida – ?
    142 – Lewis (Charlotte)
    171 – Straume (Miles)
    195 – Pace (Charlie)
    222 – O’Toole – U.S. Military
    233 – Jones – U.S. Military
    226 – Carlyle
    291 – Domingo – U.S. Military
    313 – Littleton (Claire or Aaron)
    317 – Cunningham – U.S. Military
    321 – Fernandez (Nikki?)
    337 – Martin (Karl) – Other
    346 – Grant – U.S. Military

  31. David in Chicago says:

    @Mattfromnd
    Perhaps the size of number correlating to the candidates is not directly proportional to its weight in value/importance as part of the equation they fit into. If we think of the candidates as variables (thanks Dave in NY), and consider that the chooser (Jacob or MiB) of the candidates also has fairly extensive knowledge as to how they (candidates/variables) would effect the outcome (whatever that may be). Furthermore, it might be the case that it is most important that a specific candidate represents a specific number in the equation rather than the reverse.

    @LReene
    Tying your comment into my previous post, I think that if the boy turns out to be an Island manifestation of young Jacob, the blood could be in reference to MiB killing (or attempting to kill) Jacob, since the MiB dealt the final blow as opposed to Ben.

    @Rich in Cleveland
    Your posts examining symbolism and deeper meaning of the actions and objects in the episode are phenomenal, well done.

  32. ShannyMac3T0 says:

    Backgammon is one of the oldest board games for two players in which the playing pieces are moved according to the roll of dice. Players win by removing all of their pieces from the board. There are many variants of backgammon, most of which share common traits. Backgammon is a member of the tables family, one of the oldest classes of board games in the world.

    Although luck plays an important role, there is a large scope for strategy. With each roll of the dice players must choose from numerous options for moving their checkers and anticipate possible counter-moves by the opponent. Players may raise the stakes during the game. There is an established repertoire of common tactics and occurrences

    Backgammon is one of the hardest to master. While you can learn the basic rules in just a few minutes, it takes many years of practice and study to become a real expert…

    hmmm…

  33. falsemaria says:

    Really interesting observation from DanfromMA about Kwon referring to Jin and Sun’s offspring.

    This episode definitely marks the first descent on this final season’s rollercoaster ride. Sawyer fully recognizes that Flocke is trying to con him. He, of course, feels he has nothing to lose at this point and wants to see where this might be going (not unlike the audience of show.)

    Interesting that Locke’s body has a second funeral service. The first had no attendees in L.A. and no one eulogized him. This time Ben touchingly gives expresses his impressions of the man and admits he killed him.

    Just a casual thoughts–Locke used Sawyer to kill Anthony Cooper on the Black Rock. Flocke used Ben to “kill” Jacob. And Flocke is leading Sawyer somewhere.. Sawyer and Ben, in this way, have also been substitutes.

    And if Claire and Straume are not dead, then what are other ways that one can be crossed off as a potential candidates?

  34. Bill says:

    FLocke seems very confident and adept EXCEPT in the presence of the “Other” boy. He is visibly weakened and even fell down when he ran. The kid is his kryptonite.

  35. corivee says:

    I agree with the analysis of the significance of all the characters names. My husband laughed when I said that Jack was “the shepherd” because he was the leader, always going after anyone who went astray in season 1. He says I read too much into everything…..

    Example of my obsessing:
    Google St. Catherine (that’s our Kate) and you will see she is often pictured with a large wheel (Hello, the mechanism that moves the island). According to legend, St. Catherine was a martyr put to death by a “breaking wheel” which was a medievil torture device. Well, when Catherine touched the wheel, it broke, splitting in half, so she was beheaded instead.

  36. Chris in Seattle says:

    I’m a little confused about the flash-sideways. In the original universe, Locke and Helen broke up before his trip to Australia. In this universe, they are still together. As Ryan noted, Locke’s father would have been welcome at their wedding, but certainly not in the original universe. The Incident did not only change the fact that Oceanic 815 didn’t crash on the island, I get that. But with these flash-sideways, it means one of the two timelines never happened. Locke and Helen either stayed together or broke up, but not both. Locke’s father either pushed him out the window or he didn’t, but not both. So one of these storylines must have never happened. I find that a little frustrating, the idea that we watched (or are watching) something that never actually happened.

  37. Harold CBD says:

    Jesse (Feb 17th, 2010, 7:25 am) – I second that this is not about Satan in conflict with Gd, that is too trite.

    Much more should be made of MIBLocke claiming he’s human. It seems so gratuitous if it’s not true. Is his claim to be human going to make Sawyer cooperate? In the Previously On Lost, Sawyer is recapped and emphasized saying to Kate, “I didn’t want to be alone”, and MIBLocke I bet knows this and offers companionship to Sawyer, culminating in the final thud. Sawyer already has said, “What are you” and MIBLocke does not respond to Sawyer as he did to Ben, “I’m a who, not a what”. He works with him and upon him.

    Compare the frames when the smoke monster POV enters the barracks (about 4:22, without commercials) with when MIBLocke enters with the camera following over his left shoulder (about 10:39, after Illana’s “He’s recruiting”). The shots were taken at almost precisely the same height and pass through the same forward movements. Smokey POV was taken perhaps 20 minutes closer to the sun’s zenith, judging from the shorter shadows. Why does Smokey check out Sawyer, but then return to pick up a machete and retrieve Richard? Why are we shown the motions and proximal intent of Smokey? I think the narrative is taking pains to emphasize in this way that Smokey and MIBLocke are the same. Did we need the emphasis, no, but with it, I’m reverberating with the fact that the game has changed.

    The question the narrative wants to and has to resolve, then, is how did human MIB come to be MIB/Smokey? And so, perhaps, MIB is not the equal of Jacob, if we can rely upon him that while Jacob wants to protect the island, MIBLocke wants nothing of that. Rather, he wants to leave.

    The transitions between scenes in this episode are great. Almost every one had me going. I didn’t want any scene to stop when it did. The storytelling tension was great.

    Ben’s epitaph for Locke was moving. “I’m very sorry I murdered him.” Regret doesn’t rectify his act, but it’s not nothing.

    I was also very moved by Locke and Helen when Locke admits his failed hope and Helen confirms her commitment to him despite it.

    By the time I got to the final scene, whew, where had the 45 minutes gone? I don’t think the writers ever have the characters lie to us. They have them lie to one another regularly, but to the viewers, they mislead or misdirect with partial truths and incorrect emphasis and implications. When MIBLocke says you and me, Sawyer, we’ll get off this island together, I think he should be believed that he means what he says. It might result in a fate worse than death for a naive and vulnerable Sawyer, but that’s our fun, to see how the narrative develops and ends, and, in truth, MIBLocke did not promise Sawyer or us a happy end.

    One thing that remains a note of falsehood in him is his claim the island is but an island. Clearly it is not a mere island, but, perhaps it is true that it doesn’t need his or anyone’s protections.

    I believe MIBLocke that Jacob had the incredible power to leverage such a small thing as a touch into an avalanche of events that brings his chosen people to fulfill his desires. Do you like that in a person? I can live with it. I manipulate my kids and my wife to the best of my ability to help them realize their potential and to thus achieve the greatest good for them. I regret when I fail to do this. I expect and desire no less from my wife towards me.

    Yet, who wants to be manipulated by a selfish or malevolent custodian? No one should delude himself that he has complete liberty and freedom of will, but equally, no one should imagine that he cannot achieve his potential, realize his nature and be. Until I know Jacob for who he is and no other and can make a proper choice for or against him, I’d rather he keep himself off me, thank you very much.

    Harold Claimed By Darkness

  38. Joop says:

    @ Chris in Seattle
    I’m confused too. At this point it’s like Shrodinger’s cat, but at some point the thing’s got to be either alive or dead. I can’t imagine this whole saga ending with separate conclusions to both story lines.

  39. Dave says:

    Just watched the episode off DVR… I’d give it a special Ash Wednesday Holy Freakin’ Crap. Hope I’m not being blasphemous.

    So Kate is not among the numbers on the cave ceiling. I was surprised that Locke was #4. Locke is also not on Jacob’s list from the season 2 finale, and not on the list Jacob gives Hurley. She and Aaron are the O6 missing from the ceiling, while Locke and Sawyer are those not in the O6 that are on the ceiling. Coincidentally, or maybe not, they’re (or their bodies are) the two people in the cave.

    Do we have any reason to think the Man in Black *isn’t* lying and manipulating, a la Ben Linus, and as he accuses Jacob of? I don’t know what to believe any more, but it seems like the more someone goes Queen Gertrude and asserts their pure convictions, the more F.O.S. they are…

  40. Dave in AL says:

    A couple of posts remarked about a spider on Locke’s face. Looked more like a little crab.

  41. Dave says:

    And I am *loving* the way they’re working the characters in to the “flash sideways.” Hurley and Ben are priceless. Rose was great.

    That Randy Nations is such a DOUCHE.

  42. Ryan says:

    No doubt that this episode was one of the best, but I just though they gave so much answers on information in one episode, and as a “lost addict” I’m not used to it 😐 and one more thing that I have started doubting about a the great finale they promised.
    Skeptic?!

  43. Mike Friar says:

    I believe there is a theme this season with mirrors. In “The substitute”…Locke was looking into a mirror and decided that he was going to call Jack for a consult. Then in “what kate does”…she was looking in a mirror at the chop shop and saw the stuffed whale and knew she had to give claire her bag back. And in LAX jack sees the blood on his neck in the airline mirror and senses something is up. It will be interesting to see the rest of this seasons episodes and see if mirrors are involved in other charachters ‘flash sideways”

  44. jim says:

    after all this reading..and consideration..here is my though
    Flock = Captain
    Jack Sheppard = The Professor
    Kate = Mary Ann
    Juliet = Ginger
    Sun and Jin = The Howells
    Hurley = Gilligan (Little Buddy)
    Flight 815 = SS Minnow
    and nobody can get off the darn island..what do you know..21st Century Gilligan’s Island
    Everyone start singing..Just sit right back…
    Night!!

  45. HeyKir in NYC says:

    Had soooooo much fun with this episode!! Loved hearing The Stooges on my TV!!! And btw the definition of a ‘stooge’ is:
    “One who allows oneself to be used for another’s profit or advantage; a puppet.”

    Man, I love this flippin’ show.

  46. Trish says:

    In season one, the recurring trope in almost every episode was the eye. This season, it’s the mirror. Every episode so far has shown our off-island losties (Jack, Kate, and Locke) pausing in front of a mirror, reflecting in front of their reflection. The mirror is a literal reference to the two worlds–two Jacks, two Kates, two Lockes–even as it pulls in old tropes–like “Through the Looking Glass.”

  47. Carol from Boston says:

    If anyone is a friend of Lost Countdown on Facebook- ABC released the titles of the next 10 episodes. Very interesting!!

    I know that a lot of people speculate this is a God vs. Satan issue. I think it has more to do with Greek mythology. I have done some online research re: KA and Akh and those seem more appropriate in this case. I googled egyptian mythology and found this:

    The kings of ancient Egypt were an integral part of religion. They formed a bridge over the chasm dividing the people and the gods. In pre-dynastic times the kings were considered to be gods. In later times, around the third dynasty, the kings became “transformed into” gods. This was a crucial part of the governing of the people. The heirs to the throne were not kept out of public display. At a young age they were known to many, and were known as children, not future gods. A king may have had many heirs and may not have known who would assume the throne until a much later time. In order for the people , (and the future king), to accept the transformation, certain procedures had to be worked out. This dilemma was beautifully solved by the ritual that merged the king with the god. Belief was that all future kings had two aspects of his being, his physical being and his “ka.” The ka was his spiritual counterpart that was part of the king at birth and remained with him throughout his life. Before assuming the throne a ritual was performed that united the king’s ka and his person. The king and his priests would enter a temple, perform the ritual, and emerge as a god. All of the people would wait outside to witness the miracle of the transformation when the king re-emerged from the temple. In this way was the new king accepted as a god and his word was accepted as law.

    Website – http://www.touregypt.net/gods1.htm

    Any Egyptian Mythology experts here to verify this?

  48. Carol from Boston says:

    AKH – In the realm of the Afterworld, akh was the deceased who became an effective being by being supplied with all of the necessary offerings and who knew the necessary spells. One became an akh through a ritual appropriately titled, “Cause One to Become an Akh.” This ritual was performed by a priest called the “akh-seeker” (skhen-akh). Those deceased who have become akhu can still act for or against the living, and exist with them in a reciprocal relationship. If the living care and maintain the deceased, the deceased can care and protect the living.

    website- http://www.egyptianmyths.net/akh.htm

  49. Carol from Boston says:

    Actually I meant EGYPTIAN Mythology not Greek, sorry it is late and I am tired, it is after midnight for me.

  50. Ben is still a liar. Telling the truth when it suits him and lying when he has an open to manipulate. I am with the crowd that thinks that the Candidates are for the MIB and not Jacob. The lair is obviously the MIB’s.

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