Lost Season 6: The Substitute (Episode 4)

Usually, when I watch LOST I know I’m going to write a recap about it. I have a don’t-forget-about-that eye going in. Last night about 20 minutes in I said, “Oh, I just remembered, I’m going to recap this tomorrow.” I think it’s because I have NO IDEA what is going on in this final season of Lost. Although I’ve been confused for the last few seasons, we’ve still had this sense of an obvious journey to a resolution (ie. getting off The Island). Now we’re introduced to two new story lines: new LA and the Locke-ness Monster’s (Doc Jensen‘s title, my fave!) mission. Am I the only one who feels a little out of sorts?

Of course, this episode could not have been any more exciting for me because it involves my two most favorite people: Locke and Sawyer. So, who should we start with? How about the actual real (dead) Locke…

The Island Others-Other Islanders

Ilana is crying in the foot of the statue. Ho-hum. Who cares? Ben approaches and he explains what happens (ie. Locke is really a smoke monster who killed Jacob.) Lying! That man is always lying!! Ilana picks up Jacob’s ashes and puts them in the bag. (Hoo-boy, this girls fallen for it hook-line-and-sinker!) She instructs everyone else to follow her to The Temple. Sun won’t go until they bury the-real-Locke’s body. As they carry Locke’s body, Ben asks a few questions to Ilana. (Not enough to satisfy me, but at least someone’s asking questions!):

1. What is he doing now? Recruiting.
2. Why did you bring Locke’s body? To show everyone what you were up against.
3. Why doesn’t he just change bodies? He can’t. He’s stuck.

They get to the Losite graveyard and (How many times do we have to see this man buried?!) Ben says some final words. You know the typical, “He was a better man than I’ll ever be. I wish I hadn’t murdered him.” To which everyone is surprised. Really?

Meanwhile on another part of The Island…

Smokey is looking for something, or someone. We’re seeing things from his perspective–running through the Dharma barracks, through the the jungle until he sees a machete. He stops and picks it up…with John Locke’s hand. Oh, I love this.

Now our unLocke (like his new name? I made it up on Twitter this morning!) cuts down a large package hanging in a tree. And what’s inside? Dharma issued peanut butter? Nope. Dead bodies? Nuh-uh. It’s RICHARD. Old Sexy Eyes was looking a little worse for the wear. unLocke tries to convince Richard to go with him—to be on his side. Richard is just shocked that the Man in Black looks like Locke. This mystifies our new Locke, “You mean Jacob never told you? You’ve been following him all this time not knowing why? I would have never done that.” Still, the spineless Richard refuses to go with him. Interestingly enough, while they are speaking, unLocke sees a Other-looking blond haired kid staring at him through the jungle. But Richard can’t see him. Of course.

Soon we see unLocke walking to Sawyer’s house in Dharmaville. Sawyer is unimpressed by his arrival. He says, “I thought you were dead.” To which unLocke replies, “I am.” Sawyer (who is drowning his troubles in Dharma-issued whiskey) pours unLocke and himself a glass and then says, “You’re not Locke. Locke was afraid. Even when he was pretending he wasn’t. You’re not afraid. Who are you?”

Here, Terry O’Quinn is just brilliant because he pulls out his signature Locke-eybrow-lift and says, “What if I told you I was the man that knew the answer to the most important question in the world?”

Sawyer laughs. And unLocke says, “I know why you’re on this Island.”

Sawyer says, “I’m here because my plane crashed, my raft sunk and my helicopter had too much weight on it.”

UnLocke somehow convinces Sawyer that he does know the answer. And Sawyer decides to go with him. (Is this the story of The Island or what? “Hey, I know something. But I won’t tell you till we get there…”)

They travel through the jungle until unLocke sees the little blond boy again. Sawyer sees him, too and unLocke begins chasing him. He stumbles and the little boy says, “You know you can’t kill him. You know the rules.” Who is this kid?!

While unLocke and the kid are talking, Richard comes out of the jungle to find Sawyer. He gets all Other on Sawyer and says, “Come with me to the Temple! You’ll be safe there.” Sawyer is not remotely swayed by the fearful Richard and he doesn’t even think twice. He’s sticking with unLocke.

They travel to a cliff. With a giant ladder (Jacob’s ladder?) descending to it’s mysterious fathoms below (<—random Disney reference!). After an almost fall or eight, they make it to a hidden cave. A cave housing a scale–one side is a black rock and the other, white. unLocke picks up the white rock and throws it into the ocean.

Sawyer is again unimpressed by this. In typical Lost-fashion this answers NOTHING. Until unLocke pulls out a torch to reveal some graffitti on the wall and celing of the cave. Hundreds of names and numbers are written on the walls and then scratched through…except for a few:


Hmmm…now where do we know those numbers from?!! HELLO! The Numbers are in play again! FINALLY. Sawyer is finally imressed. unLocke tells him these names are up here because they are all candidates. Candidates to be Jacob’s replacement–to protect The Island. Now, Sawyer has 3 options…

  1. Do nothing. (Here unLocke crosses out Locke’s name. Weird seeing as how Locke is the ONLY one that did something.)
  2. Take over for Jacob. (Sawyer asks why the Island needs protecting. unLocke says, “It doesn’t! It’s just an island!”)
  3. Leave the Island. (unLocke tells Sawyer they can leave together.)

Any guess for which one Sawyer chooses? That’s right. Door #3.

And now for our new Locke…

Present Day LA

A minivan pulls into a normal suburban neighborhood. The side door opens, a handicap lift is seen and Locke rolls out. However, he gets stuck and tries to catapult himself off the lift. Which sends him on his face in the grass. And of course, the sprinklers come on. *sigh*

But just then HELEN runs out of the house to help John! Yay! Locke is with his real true soul-mate!! They are planning a wedding and seem to have a normal good relationship. It *almost* made me like the flash-sideways!

The next morning Locke’s rolling into work, reluctantly pulls up to his desk when his boss, Randy approaches. Randy begins to grill him about the conference in Sydney. Locke confesses that he didn’t go to the conference. He apologizes and insists he doesn’t want to talk about it because it’s personal. Randy, in his usual jerky self fires Locke on the spot.

As Locke makes his way to his van, he sees a bright yellow Hummer parked next to it—so closely that he can’t get his wheelchair lift down. Poor guy. Locke decides to make it pull down anyway and hit the Hummer, but it gets stuck. This is so typical pre-crash Locke, I’m feeling sorry for him again. Anyway, he bangs on the side of the Hummer making the alarm go off and who comes out to inspect?

The new owner of Locke’s company: HURLEY (dressed in a suit, no less!). They talk for awhile about why Locke didn’t park in the handicapped space, his boss and soon Hurley tells Locke to go to a temp agency he owns. He says they’ll take care of him.

When Locke gets to the temp agency, he is unimpressed. He asks to see the supervisor and who is it? None other than ROSE! (I knew it! I did! This is just who Locke needs to see!) Rose encourages him by telling her story–she’s got terminal cancer but once she got over that fact, she’s living her life to the fullest (really? by being a manager at a temp agency?).

This does something for Locke. When he gets home he confesses to Helen—that he was fired and he lied about his trip to Sydney. He shows her his knife collection from his lost luggage (recently delivered). Then in a beautiful speech he opens his heart and tells Helen that he doesn’t want her to wait for him to be a whole person. He doesn’t believe in miracles. He just wants to live his life and not think of how much better his life would be out of his chair.

She tells him he is the miracle, kisses him passionately and then rips up the business card from Jack Shepherd, spinal surgeon. (Hmmm. That’s one connection that seems closed.)

The next day Locke is happily substitute teaching in a High School. When he rolls into the Teacher’s Lounge who does he hear complaining about the coffee? None other than BENJAMIN LINUS, European History teacher. Oh, lovely day. I think I see a new BFF in the future.

Stuff To Talk About:

1. The Numbers. If we put the numbers & people in order it would be: Locke, Hurley, Sawyer, Sayid, Jack and Sun/Jin. That order has no significance to me. Except Locke died first. And why didn’t we see Kate on the wall? Did you happen to catch any other names that were already scratched out?

2. Locke. As in LA Locke. Why is he alive and in the wheelchair? Helen mentioned having the wedding with only her parents and his dad. There didn’t seem to be any weirdness with his dad. So, if his dad didn’t push him out the window and Jacob didn’t touch him to bring him back to life, then HOW and WHY is he paralyzed and alive today? What’s the sideways backstory?

3. Ilana. She’s getting on my nerves. Why does she know so much about Jacob? Is what she knows true? Or just what Jacob told her was true?

4. White/Black. Lost always tempts us with good and evil. One day Ben is evil, one day we’re rooting for him and feeling sorry for him. One day Juliet is evil, the next we want her to have Sawyer’s baby. So, today, I have to admit that I’m on the Black Team. I get the feeling that Jacob is more manipulative and selfish than we were led to believe in Jacob’s beachy backstory from last season. I’m wondering if his winsome ways are just a decoy to lure in his brainwashed followers. If that’s the case and the Man in Black is the victim…well, it seems probable. Of course I may just be blinded by my extreme love for Locke and Sawyer.

5. Ben. So, why do you think LA Ben is teaching European History? I just love the thought of them being friends in this reality!

6. Richard. Is this man for real? He seemed so all knowing until recently. For someone who’s been around hundreds of years, he certainly doesn’t know much, does he?

7. Sawyer. If unLocke is truly evil we should be worried for Sawyer. Gulp. I don’t like to think about that.

8. The Kid. At first my husband thought he was a young (or reborn) Jacob. But then he seemed to be talking about Jacob. Of course, he may have been talking about someone else…


First of all, I’m sorry this was so long. I had hoped to keep it short today. The dialog was just so yummy this week I wanted to transcribe it!

So. I have no conclusion. No real theory. It’s like I said at the beginning. I just don’t get the we’re-coming-to-an-end vibe here. Or maybe I do, but I don’t like where it’s headed. How are you feeling about this final season?

I had tons of fun twittering about Lost this morning. Why don’t you join me @oohamanda? Of course, you can always find me at my blog, ohamanda.com!

34 thoughts on “Lost Season 6: The Substitute (Episode 4)”

  1. Very good recap! I’m so confused. I keep hoping for answers, and I only end up with more questions (pretty much like every other season). As we went to bed last night, I asked my husband, “So, what did we learn tonight?” Not much.

    I’m still stuck on Juliet’s final words (actually spoken after death, and articulated by Miles), “It worked.” I want to know what she meant by that.

    1. We can hope “it worked” meant something more but I tend to think it just was the directive for this season. The bomb worked, The Island never happened. Now all I can hope is that DESTINY wants Juliet and Sawyer together and they’ll meet at some other time in the LA-flash-sideways. :)

  2. I’m still thinking unLocke (great nickname!) is the bad guy, but that maybe Jacob, although good, shouldn’t have manipulated people.

    I really thought the kid was telling unLocke he couldn’t kill Sawyer. But if he was talking about Jacob does that mean Jacob can come back somehow?

    One theory I have about Juliet, that I hope we see soon, is that while she was dying, hovering between realities, that when she was talking to Sawyer about getting coffee and going Dutch, she was speaking to him from the Sideways reality. (Because Miles said, she said “It worked.”) I really hope that happens, I loved them together!

  3. At first, I thought the boy in the jungle was Jacob too. Maybe he is another boy like Walt, with special powers? My husband was getting so ticked watching this episode because they really don’t seem to be giving us any answers.

    On another forum, someone went frame by frame to read all the names in the cave. They include names of: Dharma folks, Others, dead Losties.

    I don’t like the idea that black=white and white=black. That just messes with my head too much. I want to believe that Jacob is good and unLocke is bad. I think partly because unLocke seems vindictive and that’s not usually a quality I equate with “good” people.

    Does any of this make sense? I have a cold… I am definitely going to have to re-watch this episode.

      1. And what if it’s not even about good vs. evil, but balance vs. imbalance. The scale, of course, got me thinking about this. It’s a minor distinction, maybe, but Jabcob doesn’t seem to have any desire to destroy Smokey, only to keep him in check (as far as we’ve seen anyway).

  4. I think the boy in the jungle was, in fact, young Jacob. I think he was talking about killing Sawyer, not Jacob. My $.02.

  5. my head is still spinning from last night.

    Someone mentioned to me today that Jacob and “man in black” or UnLocke (love that btw) are brothers???? Do we know that??? I didn’t think that was the case.

    I too was confused with the mention of LA Locke’s Dad being invited to the wedding, if there is no love lost there and he didn’t push Locke out of a window then why is Locke in the wheelchair??

    Can’t wait for next week, looks like we may learn where Claire has been and why she is looking all Rousseau’ish.

    Love your recaps Amanda, thanks!

    1. I know! I wanted more Claire!!

      I don’t think we know they are brothers. I think everyone was speculating about their backstory. People are calling him Esau (as in Jacob/Esau twins from the Bible), so I think the idea is that they are brothers. Even if they aren’t..you could pull a lot of correlations from the story.

      WHO KNOWS.

  6. I really don’t feel like we’re getting answers either.

    And I’m confussed. Didn’t Helen walk out on Locke pre-crash? As much as I loved seeing them together, I was a little confused by that as well.

    1. I guess b/c The Island/Jacob wasn’t drawing them to The Island (b/c remember it’s submerged) then the Losties backstories have been changed, too. It’s the butterfly effect.

  7. Right, but the plane not crashing isn’t the point of change. The point of change was 1977 when the an atomic bomb went off and blew up the whole island. Presumably, anyone on the island died, resulting in a myriad of changes. None of the things those people did after leaving the island ever happened. None of the people who ever arrived on the island after that moment (Desmond, Ben, etc.) arrived there. It’s the butterfly effect (only this is a big butterfly). Lots of things have changed, and we’re seeing strange unexpected results (Helen is still with Locke, Desmond was on the plane). I don’t think this is an entirely different reality with random changes, I think it’s a reality that was the same as ours up until the moment of the island’s explosion.

    1. Why is Ben alive the flash-sideways? He was a boy living on the island in 1977, and he stayed there until he helped the others wipe out the entire Dharma Initiative. He should be dead.

  8. Here’s my take on it: MIB found a ‘loophole’ around the rules and managed to convince Ben to kill Jacob. All MIB wants is to leave the island, but the rules still prevent him. After Jacob died he had to find a ‘new Jacob’. He tried to recruit Richard, but Richard wasn’t interested. Now Sawyer is the new Jacob, or MIB’s new opponent in this game. He doesn’t know the rules and MIB/Locke is trying to use this against him by giving him only a couple of options: 1. do nothing, 2. protect the island, 3. leave the island. Of course, Sawyer wants to get the hell off the island, but the right answer would have been to protect the island, which is what Jacob has been doing all these years.

    One of the rules of the game seems to be that MIB cannot kill the Oceanic Six. The kid in the forest (young Jacob? Only Oceanic Six can see Jacob!) reminded MIB of the fact that he wasn’t allowed to kill Sawyer. I think that MIB is not allowed to kill anyone who was brought to the island by Jacob.

    I think it’s cool that the hatch / lottery numbers are actually our Oceanic people: 4 8 15 16 23 42 where 4 = Locke, etc. Kate is missing. Is Kate “108”, the total of these numbers?

  9. I can’t claim this theory as my own as it came from my friend, but she wondered if the numbers correlated with Psalms. I haven’t looked them up myself, but she said that you can read into the psalm assigned to each character and see some sort of connection with each character’s struggle.

  10. Why is the boy (and the beings he represents?) upset with Smokey? Did manipulating Ben in to killing Jacob break the rules? I don’t think so. I think Ben hadn’t quite killed Jacob. I think kicking Jacob into the fire actually killed him, and THAT broke the rules. But then what?

    How dead is John Locke? His body? Very dead. His personality and spirit, though? Smokey clearly has limitations. He got winded chasing the boy, but didn’t transform into Smokey to give chase. We’re told he cannot change into yet another human form, he’s stuck as Locke now. Is Locke’s personality starting to assert itself onto Smokey? Hollering “Don’t tell me what I can’t do!” certainly implies that there is some of John in there. Is this the purpose John was always meant for? Did his terrible life temper his personality so that his will has become so strong it will slowly subvert Smokey’s? Was this always Jacob’s plan for him?

    1. What ARE the limitations of Smokey? If unLocke knows who the little boy is then maybe he knew it wasn’t worth turning into Smokey (ie. unable to kill him, not worth showing the Smokiness to Sawyer)

      I thought about Jacob’s actual death being in the fire, too. You’d think tho’ if that happened, there’d be some cosmic affect…they seem too super-natural to have to chase each other around and be able to get away with it.

      I like the idea of Locke’s personality (yeah I forgot to mention that “don’t tell me what i can’t do” thing) melding w/Smokey. It’s quite a shift from modern day LA Locke who came to grips with the fact that he can’t do stuff…

  11. Posted by Mizzed on another forum:

    First, according to the numbering, there are over 300 names on the ceiling. Included are members of the 1954 US Army (Mattingly, Cunningham, and Jones), the Rousseau science team (Lacombe and DANIELLE Rousseau), the Others (JULIET Burke, Pickett), the freighter team (Faraday, Charlotte Lewis) and the Dharma initiative (Goodspeed, Straume- presumably meaning Dr. Chang?)

    The names include unfamiliar names- both Spanish (Almieda, Bargas, Kalin, Costa, Domingo) and English (Goldstein, O’Toole, Reynolds, Petersen, Grant, Martin).

    Crossed out Oceanic names included Rutherford, Pace, Carlyle, Troupe, Sullivan- and CLAIRE Littleton.

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  13. Certainly an interesting episode. The “Don’t tell me what I can’t do” line really struck a chord with me, as did the balance scale in the cave.

    Are we to assume in that in the LA timeline, Jacob and MIB have both been killed as a result of the bomb’s detonation? Obviously(?) because of Jacob’s death, they are not immortal. I guess it could tie in to why the lives and backstories of the Oceanic have been changed.

    1. If they ARE dead then that means they are not immortal. So, in order to kill them you just need a bomb? That seems weird. Even still, if they aren’t dead and just displaced then it’s weird that a bomb could do it. Doesn’t seem very supernatural, does it?

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