Thanks to Thomas for the heads up
John Locke went tilting at windmills last night, and paid the price. The maybe-delusional/maybe-not/probably-both knight errant of Lost screwed on his Don Quixote and went on his greatest quest yet: convincing the world-weary, spiritually-defeated Oceanic 6 that they were special; that they were meant for greater adventures and grander purposes; that they belonged back on the Island. Alas, just as ''the knight of the sad countenance'' of Cervantes' mock-heroic epic was met wherever he went with derision and much physical punishment, Locke, too, was greeted with heaps of scorn and physical battery. Still, it was Locke who laughed last. In the wake of a journey that tested his faith and left him for dead, the Holy Fool found himself born again on the sandy shores of his heavenly home — or at least, just across the water from it, over on Hydra Island, the Maui-esque Purgatory which orbits the Paradise-or-Inferno(?) riddle of the (Big) Island. Continuing the season's time loop theme (figurative and literal), Locke celebrated by doing what he did the first time around — biting into a juicy mango and telling a complete stranger his big secret, which this time around was this: I used to be dead. Now I am alive. Fancy that.
We had been prepped for an episode about what happened to John Locke during his apocryphal Jeremy Bentham digression — about what happened after he left the Island and how he became coffinized. We got all that — plus a surprising amount more, beginning with the resolution of last week's Ajira Airlines cliffhanger. Good ol' Frank Lapidus managed to land Flight 316 intact on Hydra Island. (Didn't spot my runway, though. Oh, well.) And with that, Lost has a new group of castaways, and with a few exceptions, like conspicuous newcomers Caesar and Ilana (admit it: you were thinking about punching the Nikki/Paulo panic button, weren't you?), they can all look forward to glorious futures as background dressing, canon fodder, and Smokey food. To be honest, I was surprised to see Locke resurrected so quickly. Whenever I envisioned his reanimation, I always saw it at the end of an episode — a big reveal, a swell of Michael Giacchino score, and then BONG!...title card. Nope. We got the Risen Locke right away, in a moment that belongs on a clip reel of Quasi-Mystical Pop Culture Characters Who Introduce Themselves With A Dramatic Removal Of An Oversized Hoody. (See: Obi Wan Kenobi; Gandalf; Spock in the original Star Trek movies.)
''The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham'' was largely a flashback saga, bracketed by the Hydra Island stuff. Locke's globetrotting, let's-put-the-band-back-together journey began with a scene of massive mythological importance, and ended with an all-time awesome scene. The whole episode evoked and synthesized a number of literary, religious and pop culture references, and if you will allow me to just let me list some of the titles here, I promise not to bore you with the details as we move along: Homer's The Odyssey, James Joyce's Ulysses, Alan Moore's Watchmen, Neil Gaiman's American Gods, Esau and Jacob, the passion of Christ, Acts of Thomas (specifically, ''The Hymn of the Pearl''), and...Ocean's 11, 12 and 13, plus the platforming narrative structure of Rock Band: World Tour! (Just kidding.) And now let's get on with it by following ''the wandering rock'' (see: Odyssey/Ulysses) that was Locke through his not-so heroic journey....
Thanks to Thomas for the heads up