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Coffee Break with Liz and Kate » Entertainment, Headline » LOST – 6.4 “The Substitute” recap by Evie

LOST – 6.4 “The Substitute” recap by Evie

LOST Recap for Episode 6.4

“The Substitute”

Locke and Helen

This episode begins with John Locke arriving at his home in suburban LA. The wheel-chair lift on the van gives out half way down and he rolls himself onto the grass, but unfortunately lands on his face. Knowing he had just flown back from Australia where he was not allowed to go on his walk-about, and that the airline has just lost his luggage, I was prepared for Locke to be extra grouchy. Especially when the sprinklers came on.  But he actually began to chuckle. Good thing Helen was there. Yay! Helen! She ran out of the house and rescued John from the shower he was getting outside….transition to John soaking in the bathtub….where he’s looking at fabric samples while overhearing Helen talking on the phone to a wedding planner. John and Helen talk about the cost of the wedding and Helen proposes they do away with all the plans and just head to Vegas with only a few invited people i.e. Helen’s parents and John’s Dad (boo hiss! We’ll probably being seeing Mr-Kidney-Thief again). John insists that it will all work out. Maybe daddy is different in this alternate timeline.
Helen cleans up John’s clothing and asks how his “conference” in Australia went (answer: “boring”) then she finds Dr. Jack Shepard’s business card and encourages John to make an appointment for his free consultation. John is not the man of faith he became on the island and Helen nudges him by telling him it may just in fact be destiny that he happened to meet a spinal surgeon at the missing luggage counter. John contemplates this as we transition to the best scene of the season so far!

SMOKY on patrol!

The camera takes us on a dizzying 1st-person-as-if-we-were-Smoky ride through the jungle, then flash, over the creek, then above the grass, then into Dharma-town where we see our black smoky reflection in the outside window of a house where we hear bottles breaking, loud music, and hammering. Then back into the jungle with a couple of teleporting flashes where we see a large knife lying on the ground. We land and see our hand reach out for the knife. Smoky has turned back into Locke. That was so cool!!!

Terry O’Quinn is such a great actor. It doesn’t matter which Locke he’s playing, Paralyzed Locke, Destiny-believing Locke, Evil-Locke, the audience knows exactly what emotion he’s trying to convey.

Locke cuts down a canvas tree-top bag containing Richard. I feel very uncomfortable seeing Richard in his new role being bullied by Evil-Locke. To me, Richard brought stability to the island. He was like my constant. Now to see him with cuts and bruises, and his eyes filled with fear, is very unsettling. Locke tells Richard that it’s time to talk.

Who’s the Boss?


Back in L.A., John Locke shows up at work where his boss Randy confronts him about his absence at the conference he was supposed to be attending in Australia. Locke explains that it’s personal and Randy immediately fires him. (Randy Nations, by the way, was in the Season 3 episode where the meteor hits Hurley’s newly acquired Mr. Cluck’s restaurant. The newscaster introduces Randy Nations as Hugo’s previous boss who now works for Hurley).

Apparently no one knew why Locke was really going to Sydney. Not his fiancé, not his boss, but actually maybe Jacob and his nemesis, “The Man in Black”, knew all along.

Back in the jungle, Evil-Locke apologizes for hitting Richard and dragging him into the jungle. He tells Richard that he wants what he’s always wanted, for Richard to come with him. Apparently Richard knows what he means because he doesn’t ask any follow-up questions other than he wants to know why he looks like John Locke. Of course it was because it would get him in close proximity to Jacob when he was prepared to kill him. John was a “candidate” he tells Richard. Richard has no idea what that means and Evil-Locke becomes annoyed that Jacob kept everyone in the dark about what was going on – first, Benjamin Linus did all of Jacob’s bidding even though Ben was never even allowed to see Jacob. Now we find out that our good friend Richard, who has been on the island a very long time, doesn’t have all the answers either. Great. It looks like Smokey just might be the answer to every mystery we’ve seen on this darn island. Evil-Locke tells Richard that he would have never kept him in the dark but that he would have treated him with respect. Richard says No Way. Evil-Locke sees a young boy behind Richard. The boys face isn’t familiar but he’s dressed like an “Other”. Richard turns around and can’t see the boy. Could this be the reincarnated Jacob? Evil-Locke leaves Richard in the jungle telling him he’ll see Richard sooner than he thinks.

Who’s Crying Now?


At the statue foot, Ben approaches Ilana who is weeping over the loss of her friends. She asks Ben what happened and he tells her that there is a good chance she won’t believe him. Ben tells her that John Locked turned into a pillar of smoke and killed all them by himself. He lies about Jacob and tells Ilana that Locke killed him as well and kicked him into the fire. Ilana places some of the ashes into a bag and tells Ben that Locke took Richard into the jungle because he is recruiting. The ashes must be important for something. And Locke will probably be approaching everyone on the island as potential recruits.

My suspicion is verified when we see Locke show up again at Dharmaville to the house with the loud music. That’s where Sawyer has decided to take up living with his whiskey. Sawyer tells Locke he thought he was dead and Locke states, “I am.” But he notices that Sawyer doesn’t seem to be fazed but it. Nope, he doesn’t care about anything anymore and he invites Locke to get out of his house. Sawyer asks Evil-Locke who he is and Sawyer tells him that he knows he’s not Locke because Locke was always scared even when he was trying not to be; not but this new guy, he ain’t scared.

Locke tells Sawyer that he has the answer to why Sawyer is on the island and it’s not because his plane crashed, his raft blew up, or his rescue helicopter had one too many passengers. Sawyer is so despondent about his life that he seems up for this curious proposal; it sure beats going back to the temple with the “Others.”

Back in L.A. John rolls out of his office building with his boxed up belongings and finds that he can’t get into his vehicle because a big yellow Hummer is parked to close to the side of his van. John decides to move out the lift anyway but just as it’s about to hit the Hummer, it stops. He throws a John-fit and bangs on the car making the alarm sound. Out comes the owner of the Hummer to find out what he’s doing. It’s Hurley, I mean, Hugo Reyes. He tells John that he owns the company and apologizes that Randy fired him. He writes down the number for a temp agency and tells John to call them to get hooked up with a new job.

At the beach, Ilana takes charge and tells Ben and Sun and Lapidus that the safest place for them to be is at the temple; and if Jin is still alive on the island then he’ll at the temple. Sun insists that they bury John Locke’s body.

Play by the rules!

While they are walking through the jungle, Evil-Locke asks Sawyer why he was in the house alone and why he’s not with the rest of his friends. Sawyer reminds him that he was drinking (duh) and that his friends are at the temple. He doesn’t want to talk anymore and he stops when he sees the same “Other” kid in the jungle. Locke seems surprised that Sawyer can see him too. This must be significant because Richard couldn’t see him. Once Locke understands that Sawyer can see the kid too he takes off after him in the jungle. I was wondering why he didn’t turn into Smoky, it probably would have been faster. Locke trips and looks up into the kids’ face who says, “You know the rules. You can’t kill him.” Evil-Locke seems to have taken on some of angry Locke’s personality as he shouts out, “Don’t tell me what I can’t do!” The boy calmly walks away.

Each time I’ve watched this scene I think of the conversation between Ben and Charles Widmore when they were discussing “the rules”. So is this kid on Jacob’s side? Is he on Ben’s or Widmore’s side? Is the kid actually Aaron?

Sawyer, meanwhile, is waiting in the jungle for Locke and shouts out that he’s leaving if he doesn’t get back here right now. Richard stumbles out and tells Sawyer that they need to get to the temple. Sawyer explains that he knows that Locke is a look-alike but that he’s already been to the temple and he’s sticking with Locke because he’s got the answers about why he’s on the island. Richard warns Sawyer that Evil-Locke isn’t going to tell him anything but that in fact he wants to kill him and all his friends, but before he can say anything more he runs away because he hears Evil-Locke coming. Sawyer denies that he was speaking to anyone and when he asks if Locke ever caught up with the kid, Locke asks, “What kid?”

At least one thing is for sure on this island – Lying and Deceit.

In L.A. Locke is seen at the temp agency applying for a job. The first interviewer John meets was a tarot card reader back in Season 3 when Hurley and his father were looking for answers. Rose shows up as the office supervisor. She and John have a little quarrel about what type of job John can realistically handle. Just as he was about to begin his don’t-tell-me-what-I-can’t-do outburst, Rose cut him off by announcing that she has terminal cancer and she understands all about accepting the facts.

Sawyer is following Evil-Locke into the jungle and asks him if he’s ever read Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. I laughed at Sawyer’s face when Locke told him that he hadn’t read it because it was a little after his time. Sawyer goes all-George on Locke-Lenny and aims a gun at his head. Locke tells him that he’s been trapped for a long time but that before he used to be a man with feelings who’s experienced much of same things we all experience. He tells Sawyer to go ahead and pull the trigger but he’s so close to finding out the truth. (Yeah, right, *cough cough*)

Bring out your dead!


While Iliana and Ben are carrying Locke’s body to the Cemetery (which I heard someone recently call “Boone Hill”) Ilana says something interesting and probably important that I didn’t quite catch the first three times I watched this episode. She told Ben that the people had to see the face of what they’re up against. I thought that was metaphorical but she goes on to explain that Smokey can no longer change “faces” and that he’s stuck that way. So, unlike in past seasons, Smokey won’t be manifesting himself as Mr. Eko’s dead brother or Jack’s dead dad or a dead-Claire, right? He will always look like John Locke.

They proceed to bury Locke, hopefully next to Boone and not Nikki and Paulo, and Ben offers some words for his dear friend. It was perfect, as was the comment made afterward by Lapidus. Ben says, “John Locke was a believer. He was a man of faith. He was a much better man than I’ll ever be. And I’m sorry I murdered him.”

“This is the weirdest damn funeral I’ve ever been to.”

It was funny, but I also think Ben sincerely felt sorry for killing John. Especially in light of what transpired in the foot statue. What else has Ben really been doing for Smokey when he thought that he was doing what Jacob wanted? After all, Ben did have the plug to the Smoke Monster summoning drain.

In Locke’s bedroom the alarm clock sounds a lot like the buzzer down in the hatch. And he wakes up at 8:15. Or did it say 6:15? John calls Dr. Shephard’s office then changes his mind about making an appointment. When Helen asks why he’s not going to see him he tells her that he got fired.

Oh, yeah, that’s one more thing that’s for sure on his island. There’s seldom ever an appropriate answer to a direct question.

The doorbell rings and it’s the courier returning John’s box of knives. Helen returns to the conversation and asks John why he got fired to which he replies that he lied to his boss; he didn’t go to the conference. Oh yeah, and he lied to you too, Helen? John tells her about his walk-about that wasn’t and he confesses that he is tired of picturing himself walking her down the on her wedding day. This was a very touching scene because what it came down to was John wanting Helen to be realistic about her expectations for him having corrective surgery or a miracle. Helen showed what a great woman she really is and I felt like cheering when she told him that all she really wanted was him and she tears up Jack’s business card.

We see Locke at his job as a coach/substitute teacher. It’s hilarious that as a substitute teacher he was assigned to teach the class on the reproductive system. Isn’t that how it always goes? He passes a young black man on the campus asking for directions to the teacher’s lounge. They probably wanted us to think it was Walt. At the teacher’s lounge we discover Benjamin Linus who happens to be a teacher of European History. OK, so was Ben EVER on the island? Did he leave in 1977 when the bomb blew it up?

If your friends jumped off a cliff, would you?

Sawyer and Locke end their trek through the jungle at the edge of a high, scary cliff. Sawyer cracks me up! When Locke tells him they’re going over the edge Sawyer says, “No offense, but you already died, so this is no big deal for you.” Locke’s not worried that he has to go first for Sawyer to trust him so over the cliff and down the shaky, creaking ladder he goes beckoning Sawyer to follow him. Sure, why not? For those of us who saw this episode’s commercial we knew that Sawyer was going to fall on the ladder (that had to hurt) but Locke made sure no harm came to him and they both safely entered the cave at the bottom of the cliff. Upon entering, we see a white and a black rock resting on each side of the scale. Reminds me of the rocks in the cave some of the Losties called home back in Season One. Locke picks up the white rock and throws it into the ocean. He tells Sawyer it’s an inside joke. He’s eliminating signs of Jacob and his maddening Jacobness one step at a time. On the walls of the cave are written names, some crossed out, some not. The noticeably uncrossed out names include: 42-Kwan, 23-Shephard, 8-Reyes, 16-Jarrah, 4-Locke, 15-Ford.

4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42.

Locke explains that the names were written by a man named Jacob who wrote the names, and that he had a thing for numbers. The names were candidates whom Jacob had selected to take over for him as protector of the island. Locke tells Sawyer he can do nothing, and see what happens, and “possibly” his name will be crossed out. Or he can become the new Jacob and protect the island. He clarifies this option to Sawyer saying that there is absolutely nothing from which to protect the island. It’s all a big joke and the island will be fine without Jacob or anyone else whose lives have been wasted. Or he can leave the island. Of course there’s no direct answer to a direct question, so when Sawyer asks how he’s supposed to leave the island Locke replies, “Together”. Sawyer doesn’t hesitate; he’s made up his mind to leave with Evil-Locke, and Evil-Locke looks completely satisfied.

At first, I thought it was all of our Losties’ names who were mentioned by Evil-Locke. But he didn’t mention Kate. Then I thought it was maybe all the Losties who were visited by Jacob as an adult, but Sawyer, or James Ford, was a child. Then I thought they must have accidentally left Kate and her number out of the script. But all of the numbers are accounted for, so where is Kate’s name? And Claire’s? Rose, Bernard, anyone else? They weren’t candidates apparently. Are all the candidates men? Then Kwon on the wall must refer to Jin, and not Sun. When Lapidus was knocked out on the canoe, Ilana and Bram were talking about Lapidus being a candidate.

My final question from this episode is what would happen if Smokey left the island (no matter what form he’s in). Would it be terror and chaos like when the T-rex left Jurassic Park?

What do you think about this episode?  Any comments or theories to share?

Read recaps of other LOST episodes from season 6

~Evie

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