We have decided to try out another weekly recap here. The recap is by Anna and some of you know her from MySpace or my site, but most of you know her from the DarkUFO forum on this site.
Anna's recaps have done really well on the forum page and the readers there have rated them really high. She uses a good mix of theories, screencaps, points from previous episodes, and tries to keep it fun.
So we are going to try her out here for the next few weeks and if you guys like the recaps we will make her recaps a regular here in Season 5.
Also, if you have any feedback for her please let her know, she is a DarkUFO reader like us and will respond to your posts.
We Don’t Need Another Hero
INTRO: "MY NAME IS JOHN LOCKE, AND I’M RESPONSIBLE FOR THE WELL-BEING OF THIS ISLAND.”
It’s been a long time since we had an episode which centered on John Locke, who in my opinion is LOST’s most intriguing and deeply-developed character alongside Jack Shephard. We were given so many levels to think about in this episode it was difficult to not want to discuss every detail. I have done my best to keep this from becoming a book but I have to say, from his most pathetic moments to his most heroic moments, I do love my Locke.
John has been a major figure in the show’s mythology since that first moment in season one when we learned he had been in a wheelchair prior to the crash. It makes sense then, that “Cabin Fever” follows an episode centering on Jack who not only serves as the Science to Locke’s Faith, but who is also notorious for his own little Hero Complex.
John Locke was the first character to mention outright the concept of duality in the show; the dark and the light. He also reminds us that everything is based on our perception. Like a shaman he was the first to have visions and dreams that demonstrated a unique connection with the Island. Locke discovered the Swan Hatch and saved Desmond’s life, and then later the Pearl Station with Eko, where he began to question his destiny. After causing the Swan implosion, he went on a vision quest, received further instructions, cleaned up his mess, and his connection to the Island was restored.
This is the timeless cycle of the Hero’s journey. The Hero is typically born under some sort of rare or otherworldly circumstances, and often with some type of parental dysfunction. At some point he begins to understand that he was meant for something larger, and ventures out into the world on a kind of soul-searching adventure. This is his Rite of Passage, or what is referred to as a “walkabout” by Australian Aboriginal culture. From there he must be tested, he must be put through trials that push his talents to the edge, he must be asked to make sacrifice, and he must be tempted to the point where he wants to relinquish all faith. If he is destined for greatness, he will only return even stronger. The Hero ventures into the deep, dark places the rest of us are afraid to explore, and rescues us by bringing light to that which we do not understand.
Locke’s back-story has definitely not been without its trials and sacrifice, as we have seen him allow himself to be easily manipulated and rejected throughout his life. There have been countless times he has also been dishonest, or has made decisions with what seemed like a total disregard for the lives of others. However, I don’t think we have the complete picture, and in relation to the overall scheme of things perhaps some of John’s blind faith and poor choices will turn out to have been the right ones after all. If he is indeed a classic Hero, then what he has done cannot be judged as it will have been done for the Greater Good. As Aristotle said long ago:
“THIS IS DESTINY, THIS IS DESTINY, THIS IS MY DESTINY...”
We have also seen Locke be a strong survivor with an odd sort of metaphysical wisdom, and a long-held conviction that it is his destiny to be on the Island. For a while now the question has been whether or not he really was being favored by the Island, or if he was being led by his belief and this was serving as a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy. Locke has been told, and he believes, that he is special in some way. Ben certainly fed into that conviction and it has allowed him to continue to manipulate Locke since they first met in the Hatch. But is it really true? Is John Locke really special?
If special means surviving countless health problems after being born three months early to an unwed mother whose labor was induced after being hit by a car, then I suppose that might fit the definition. I would think being conned out of a kidney by your own father is pretty unique as well. Joining a commune and then inadvertently getting them busted is certainly different. And having your kidney-stealing father then later throw you from an 8-story window definitely counts as something, although special isn’t really the word that first comes to mind.
All his life John wanted to be the warrior, the general, the explorer, the hunter. But some wanted to tell him that he couldn’t be any of those things. They tried to tell him what he couldn’t do. They tried to put Locke in a box.
It’s not until we’re given this glimpse into Locke’s early life, from his birth forward, that the question of his connection to the Island can finally been put to rest. Locke has more than likely been protected and kept alive by the Island since his mom was forced to give birth to him. As early as age 5, the mysterious paradise was reaching out to John through his subconscious. It just took him a little bit of time to answer.
And destiny can be a fickle bitch when you do not abide to its calling.
“ARE YOU HIM?”
Ageless uber-other Richard Alpert seemed to understand something about Locke’s destiny, as he beamed like a proud parent upon seeing little John’s drawing of what had to be the smoke monster. He then proceeded to test the young backgammon-lover by placing a series of six objects in front of him and asking which of the objects were Locke’s...already. If certain Buddhist practices and beliefs come to mind, well you are not far off since this is the same method used to find a newly reincarnated Dalai Lama. However, I was initially reminded of the stories I have heard of very young children who seem to remember themselves in a previous life, and often speak explicitly of experiences no child their age could possibly know.
There is a ton of speculation as to what each of the objects Richard brought represent, and an entire article could be written on this subject alone. I am more concerned, however, with the reason for the test in the first place. The best I can figure at this point is that we might have some type of prophecy on the Island that involves a male child being born three months early to a woman named Emily, who also has a last name starting with the letter L. Have the Others been expecting some type of savior-figure? Was Richard trying to discern whether or not Locke was the reincarnation of the person they have been waiting for? Or, could Alpert have been looking to see if Locke would recognize something he was destined to own in the future?
Much to audiences’ dismay, he chose poorly. Richard left in a huff and would not attempt to recruit John Locke again until he reached his teenage years.
“DON’T MISTAKE COINCIDENCE FOR FATE.”
When you think of car crashes, think Richard Alpert. Well, at least in the LOST universe he seems to always be around when someone gets smacked by a unit of transportation. For instance, while trying to decide whether or not to take Richard's offer of employment, Juliette's husband was conveniently hit by a bus. Locke’s dad Cooper was in a sudden collision before he woke up on the Island. To me it’s all just a little too coincidental that Locke’s mom was also in a car accident, and we see Richard not long after watching over the newly born babe.
I am even more curious now about who or what Richard really is, because he appears not to age whatsoever, and even Ben made a sarcastic remark to him about remembering birthdays. Has he been time-travelling from the present to Locke’s past? Or was Richard actually in some period in the past before Locke was even born, and then travelled to the different moments in his life? Could the Mittelos Company in all of its various incarnations actually predate the DHARMA Initiative?
As mentioned before, I believe ancient civilizations have been drawn to the island for thousands of years. The original group deemed the "Hostiles" by DHARMA could be a summation of these people who have landed on the island over time. What if they somehow discovered its secrets, learned how to use them, and continued over all of these years to be the Caretakers? It would also then make sense that the Hostiles/Others would follow a blend of various belief systems. Though mostly Eastern in influence, we have also seen Egyptian, Greek, African, and Christian references as well.
For some time now I have wondered if Richard is not a descendant of those who were shipwrecked from the Black Rock. Actually, I think Richard may have been on the Black Rock, and some property of the Island that has yet to be revealed to us has kept him from aging further. The DHARMA Initiative was certainly interested in life extension experiments, and I may be way off base here, but I think that this is somehow related to Alpert’s apparent eternal youth over the past six decades.
“MR. LOCKE SAID A MIRACLE HAPPENED TO HIM.”
Matthew Abaddon is one of the more mysterious characters brought onto the show this season. It is easy to assume that he has some connection to the Island, too. We see him harass Hurley in the mental hospital for information as to whether or not “they” are alive, most likely referring to the survivors left on the Island. This is odd since before the freighter was even sent on its mission, he had a private meeting with Naomi and repeatedly told her, “There were no survivors of Oceanic 815.”
Abaddon also succeeded where Richard Alpert failed in getting Locke to the Island. Alpert had been trying to appeal to Locke’s natural aptitude for the sciences, but we all know that Locke is a self-proclaimed Man of Faith. Matthew instead first reminds Locke that he is special, a true miracle. He then introduces our crippled friend to the concept of the walkabout, and convinces John this is what he needs to truly find himself. And boy does he.
I am still on the fence in regards to whose side Abaddon is really on. However, there is something quite ominous about the way Abaddon told Locke that when they meet again, Locke would “owe him one”. I am very interested in seeing their next encounter.
SYMBOL WATCH – AN OCEAN OF WISDOM
In a previous article on episode 8, I discussed the possible symbolic meanings for the constant use of water or rain in the show. It has been used to reference the purifying of one’s soul, such as with Michael’s sins, or the concept that surrounds Locke of “cleaning up one’s mess”. Rain has been shown as a way of denoting a connection to the Island as well. We have witnessed Locke often predict weather events as they were about to begin or end.
Underwater is another symbolic “underworld” where the archetypes of humankind are brought forth to be incorporated into individual lives. It also represents the power of transformative thought, as in, we make our own reality, otherwise known as, “don’t tell me what I can’t do.” Water is an ancient metaphor for the unconscious, and all that has yet to be brought to the surface.
In the episode “?”, Charlotte Malkin, the daughter of the psychic that Claire consulted in “Raised by Another”, experienced the “in-between” first-hand when she appeared to have died by drowning in a river. She later gives Eko a message from his dead brother, Yemi, suggesting that when she was unconscious she had some contact with the world of the dead.
Even more fascinating is what happened when she first awoke, immediately before an autopsy was about to be performed on her body. As evidenced by the transcript from the doctor’s tape, Charlotte actually calls out John Locke’s name!
Dr: This is a clear case of drowning. I'll begin with a thoracic...
Assistant: Oh my God!
Assistant: She's Alive!
Dr: I think she's trying...
Charlotte: Let John Locke go (on)!
Dr: Try and calm down
Dr: Valerie get... she's crying, don't just stand there do something!
I also believe that water is being used in some way to denote occurrences of time travel. There were several references in “The Constant” and “Meet Kevin Johnson” that I’ve already discussed. In “Cabin Fever”, we see Richard Alpert show up at Locke’s foster home during a downpour. Emily Locke’s car accident also took place in a rain storm, furthering the idea that someone may have traveled to that time to try and manipulate events by running her over.
One final tidbit of interest: Dalai Lama means “Ocean of Wisdom”.
"IT’S NOT REAL, NONE OF IT IS REAL.”
Near the end of the episode, Frank Lapidus throws a pack from the helicopter as he is flying over the beach, and it lands directly on Claire’s tent, destroying it completely. From what I can tell at this point, she probably won’t be needing it anymore, anyway.
That would be because it is looking more and more like Claire has entered some otherworldly state, as we find her sitting back in one of Jacob’s chairs as if she had not a worry on earth. She is not at all concerned about Aaron, as Locke is told that he is “exactly where he needs to be”, which is currently with Sawyer. I still think she is probably no longer living, and either passed away into that “dead but here” state during the explosion, or as a result of it during the night.
Of course the main attraction in Jacob’s fun-house would be Christian Shephard, who claims to be speaking on the Big J’s behalf. Again, an entire article could probably be written about that little bit of time that John spent in the cabin and what it all could possibly mean.
One of LOST’s biggest mysteries right now is who or what is Jacob? My best guess so far is that he is some type of entity stuck in-between places; in between life and death, time and space, existence and nothingness. Was this condition the result of some accident or could this be the “incident” that has been referred to that resulted in DHARMA being shut down? I also wonder if Jacob has not instead been imprisoned and is being kept in this state against his will. Whatever the cause of his current situation, there must be some reason why he throws temper tantrums around technology and asks John Locke for help.
This time however, John asks Jacob for help. And Jacob wants John to move the Island.
“I’M NOT A BIG BELIEVER IN MAGIC. BUT THIS PLACE IS DIFFERENT. IT’S SPECIAL.”
If I were going to move an Island, I would use its naturally-occurring electromagnetic properties and Casimir effect to create wormhole and slip the whole thing from one point in space-time to another.
But that’s just me.
We are going to have to wait and see how Jacob suggests it be done. I also have a feeling Ben knows what to do as well. Mr. Linus seemed a bit detached so it was a good thing that Locke was there to receive instructions. In fact, Ben was depressed through most of the episode, telling Locke how his “destiny” on the Island led him to a tumor and the death of his daughter.
Did Ben lose favor with the Island and Jacob? As Richard told Locke, Ben had become too distracted with fertility issues and the Others were searching for someone to remind them what they are there for. Perhaps the Island demands total attention from its Caretaker. Ben also took a child, Alex, as his own. Maybe the Island doesn’t like its Chosen One to have anything of his own, and actually allowed Alex to die. Ben’s obsession with Alex possibly becoming pregnant also may have led him to make decisions the Island or Jacob may not have sanctioned.
I believe Jacob may have stopped talking to Ben some time ago, and that he may have had an idea he was on his way out when he first became ill with the tumor. It is possible that Ben has been giving orders that were not Jacob’s so that he could “keep up the appearances”. This is also why he could have been so angry when Jacob did speak to Locke, as it was just another confirmation that the Island was indeed replacing him.
I would not be too worried, however, as we see Ben gets his game back at some point in the future with Sayid as his right-hand hit-man.
I am also becoming increasingly concerned that things may not be as we think they are on this Island. Sometimes I wonder if the Island is not at all the benign place that the castaways believe that it is. What if the Others have been helping some force with some ultimately dark agenda, and now our castaways are unwillingly being drawn into it as well? There are just too many strange, unpleasant aspects of the place that do not make sense to me. For one thing, why won’t it just let the survivors leave if they want to? What is the meaning of so many references to the Underworld? And why does the Island “demand” sacrifices?
So many questions...but we did get another very juicy answer. Finally, we learned that Charles Widmore is indeed connected to DHARMA. The logo on the protocol booklet on the freighter that Martin Keamy references is the same as the logo that is on Ben’s parka when he arrived in the Sahara. The general consensus is that this is the logo for the Orchid Station which we have yet to see, and that is used for time travel and/or teleportation.
CONCLUSION: “ALL RIGHT DETECTIVES, THAT’S ENOUGH. MR. LOCKE HAS WORK TO DO TODAY.”
As we head full-force into the first part of the finale, I wanted to briefly review some of the core beliefs I hold in regards to the show for those of you who do not already know me from the various forums. I apologize in advance if for one last time here I am sounding like a broken record.
1. The Island’s relation to time can be described as a wheel. It exists at the center, the spokes are the various time differentials or bearings, and it might be spinning or looping in some way.
2. The submarine was just for show and not actually used for transportation to and from the Island. Another method has been used we have yet to see. I speculate this to be the Orchid Station from the 2007 Comic Con video. However, the natural properties of the Island may have allowed this ability before DHARMA was even there, who probably arrived later with intentions of controlling it.
3. The Island is similar to the Overlook Hotel in the Shining – it always needs a Caretaker. Locke is meant to be the Caretaker and will eventually become the Hero of the overall mythology.
4. For some reason, small details have been changing through the show and are intentional (the Swan Hatch furniture, Ben’s fridge contents, the picture frames in the stairway of the old lady’s home that Miles “ghostbusted”…). This might be related to time looping and/or past events being changed by someone in some way.
5. The show itself is running the Long Con on us. Nothing is as it seems.
Kind of like Wonderland.
Special thanks to Lost Media for the screencaps I was unable to grab myself.
*I write about LOST because I love the challenge of deciphering the clues and adding the pieces together. My thoughts are based solely on the show, the LOST Experience, and random research, as I try to avoid spoilers, promos, and even future episode titles. I love to guess what is going on, but I also like to do so in a way that leaves some of the conclusions still up to you. I do not know the answers and am often wrong. Whatever the truth turns out to be, it has been the journey that has meant the most to me.*
Posted By: The ODI