LOST 6.04 The Substitute

This episode of LOST was about moving on with your life.  For Locke it was about giving up his dreams of a future where he could walk again, for Sawyer it meant leaving behind Juliet and the island.

This is a perfect companion to Season One’s famous episode Walkabout.  That was the first time we saw John Locke in a wheelchair.  He planned his trip on the walkabout only to see it dashed in Australia where his paralyzed legs caused the tour guide to leave him behind.  He wasn’t ready to accept his fate, so he screamed “Don’t tell me what I can’t do!”.

He begins to relive that experience after he gets back from his failed trip.  He gets fired from the box company where he works because he lies to his boss (he said he was attending a conference in Australia).  His frustration causes him to lash out at a man who parks to close to his wheelchair enabled vehicle.  That man is none other than the owner of the company.  A very confident and kind Hugo Reyes.

Locke returns home to Helen.  I was so happy to see Locke with Helen.  That was really a pleasant surprise.  Helen tells him that he should consider calling Dr. Shephard because it may not be a coincidence that a spinal surgeon was on the plane and offered a free consult.  Locke tries to call him but doesn’t.  Instead he tells Helen it’s time he moved on with his life and she should leave if she expects him to be able to walk again.  But Helen is a good woman and loves Locke for who he is and demonstrates it by tearing up Dr. Shephard’s business card.  Locke finally accepts his fate as paralyzed because he found someone to love him just the way he was.  He wanted to find someone in his life like this all this time and it sent him to try and find that love with his con man father, and in a commune, and by trying to get the respect of Jack, and the rest of the survivors.

Locke becomes a substitute teacher (hence the episode title) after talking to Rose who works for Hugo as a recruiter (interesting occupation as Locke is trying to recruit people in the other timeline). She has to convince Locke to accept his fate, as she has with her illness.  She gives him the job of substitute teacher and on his first day he coaches girls volleyball and teaches a science lesson, before he meets Ben Linus in the teacher’s lounge where they meet on friendly terms.

Things I noticed:

  • Hugo’s luck holds out when Locke’s wheelchair lift does not strike his car.
  • We see Ben making coffee in the teacher’s lounge.  If you remember there was a picture that Miles had in Season 4 of Ben that looked like he was near a coffee machine (wearing a vest like a teacher might wear).
  • Locke was the first number in the series (4).  On the ceiling of the cave we saw Locke, Reyes, Kwon (not sure if its Jin or Sun or both since they are married, which makes them one), Ford (aka Sawyer), Jarrah, and Shephard.  Kate is missing.  Was she crossed off perhaps?  Anyway each name corresponded to one of the Numbers: We have 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, and 42; so there should be 6 names (like in the Oceanic 6).  Of course 108 is also possibly one of the Numbers, as is 815 and 316, so I guess there is room for a few more names.
  • Was the mystery boy Jacob?  And who’s body was he borrowing, Aaron’s perhaps?
  • Richard knows that MIB’s plan is kill everyone on the island.  But first MIB/Locke will try to gain recruits to help him in his plot.  His first recruit appears to be Sawyer. But Sawyer is smart and I am guessing is playing along for now.  But if Sawyer really does want to leave the island so badly (just like Juliet did) he may actually find himself on Locke’s side at some point.
  • Locke, the man of faith, becomes Locke, the man of science.  First by not believing that Dr. Shephard could be on his plane by fate/destiny, and second, by becoming a science teacher.  He teaches sexual reproduction which is ironic due to all the issues with pregnancy on the island.
  • Illana knows a lot.  Like for instance the MIB Locke Monster is now stuck with Locke’s image.  He can’t change into someone else (like he used to when he was Yemmi or Alex).

Overall I liked this episode quite a lot.  It’s one of the best of Lost.  Stayed tuned for our podcast this weekend and please let us know what you think and any cool things you noticed or theories about this episode.  Here is a question to consider.  Is Locke Monster telling the truth when he said Jacob brought them there to use them to protect the island?  Is this a half truth perhaps?  TLE

31 Responses

  1. Colour me confused on Richard. He knows about Smokie but not that he’s MIB or does he? If yes then he either does or does he not know that Smokie can take on other forms? If he doesn’t then what’s the scene with young Ben all about and seeing dead people?

    If no to these then he’s a real dupe and been left totally helpless by Jacob. Hopefully his backstory will make this clear. One wonders if Richard was a candidate at some point but something went wrong. He certainly was granted the agelessness for some reason maybe he almost made it (without knowing) but just fell short.

    He sees Sawyer in the 70’s first saw him die but then sees him in 2004 and then 2007. Just what does he think is going on and when. Methinks he doesn’t ask many questions of Jacob.

    • I think Richard recognized FLocke as MIB so MIB knocked out him before he could tell Lapidus and the other statue people.

      But yeah, why did Richard allow FLocke into the temple. He knew something was wrong, but let him enter anyway. Why didn’t he recognize MIB then?

      And wasn’t Ben getting lists and tasking from Jacob via Richard (his advisor)? So was Richard taking orders from the wrong guy? Confusing, no.

    • Ryan, I agree with you about MIB duping so many people, even Richard. Maybe Ilanna too. I wonder what the candidate process is like, and if your theory is corect, how did Richard fall short?

      I am confused about Ben. Do you think Richard took young Ben to the spring in the Temple or to Smokey. If so, which aspect of Smokey? As Smokey has 3 heads, it stands to reason, he or she must have 3 personas.

      I do see that MIB using Smokie or as Smokie coerced Ben into following his every order. Yet is Jacob any better with his room 23 stuff?

      Could Ilanna be the mother of the MiB and Jacob? Ot is she a goddess or a priestess to a goddess (like Juliet?)

  2. Something occured to me about Kate’s seeming lack of a number. If Kwon is both Jin and Sun why can’t Shepard be both Jack and Kate (or I supposed Kate and James) apparently even Troup (engine turbine man) had a number so Kate must have one.

    • good point, Ryan! Kate must have had a number. Though, like Sun and Jin, I wonder if it is baby that is listed. If Jack and Kate did conceive the last night of the O6, this baby could be the Shepard on the list. Also, I think Ray was a doctor and we know Christian had been a doctor, so in typical misleading fashion, MIB could have been referring to either of them as “Doc”.

  3. Locke seems to have a great relationship with his father if Helen is willing to invite him to his wedding. If Locke’s father has changed in this alternate time line, then it’s possible Sawyer is not the same angry man.

    It was great to see things from the perspective of smokey. It appeared as though smokey was jumping around different parts of the island, as if it’s able to split into multiple parts. I think in a previous season we saw smokey in three parts that come together to combine. Why the mechanical sounds? We’ve seen instances when smokey doesn’t make these noises.

    I wonder if smokey is behind the mysterious appearances on the island. Looks like it might be another power. As Un-Locke seemed to be confused when seeing the boy. Sawyer was able to witness the boy also. Now I can’t remember if he was also able to see the horse that Kate saw in season one.

    The names of the losties in the cave look like newly written names. I notice Un-Locke threw the white rock away, and said it’s an inside joke, I wonder what that meant. Un-Locke crossed his name out, now he needs a substitute for himself, maybe Kate? I’m trying to make out the other names; I see Mattingly, Goodspeed, Domengo, O’Toole. I wonder if MIB has also been recruited an sometime and wants to leave now. I wonder if Shephard could be Ray, Christian. The names seem to only be men. So I would say Kwon is Jin, why is it that men can only be candidates? The reveal of these names really reveal the fact from the previous episode, Justin wouldn’t shoot Jin because he thought Jin was one of them. And the reason why Aldo said “MIGHT BE” was maybe he thought it could also be Sun. If these are choosen candidates why are they subject to suffering, torture and abuse, are they all a test for worthiness? You would have thought if a person is special enough to be listed, then you would treat them like royalty.

    I have a feeling the LAX time line is in fact a reset, but the reset was not achieved at the incident, but the final reset will play out later on, as they have yet to fulfil their destinies back on the island.

    My crack-pot theory is that there will be one more jump back to the past where they will infact sink the island and sacrifce themselves for the sake of the island. For this it will allow their lives to live a fulfilling life in the alternate time line, as the island will reward them with a better life for the deeds done, instead of making them lead troubled lives in the real world. But this will only happen to the candidates.

    I think we can predict the centric episodes from the pattern season 1 is taking. The pilot was everyone, followed by Kate, Locke then Jack.

    • JayJay
      My guess is the UnLocke was surprised that Jacob had found a “substitute” for his bodily form in the guise of Aaron. At least I think that’s who it is.

      After he killed him, UnLocke seemed to know that Jacob would be gone and not dead though.

      It was interesting that Illana removed what looked like white ash (symbolizing Jacob). Will she use it to repel Smokey or is it to reestablish Jacob back to his original form?

  4. The ash must be cremated remains, is that why the Hostiles wanted Paul’s body to cremate it to make more ash as protection. There is some connection as Mile’s wasn’t able to be a medium for a guy in season 5, due to the son’s remains being cremated and scattered on the football field.

    Sawyer must believe in the “another go around” since he saw Locke back from the dead.

    Have we seen that lady in the temp. office before? I’m sure she’s been on LOST before.

    MIB knows what it feels like to lose someone he loves.

    Ben’s ulogy was a classic. 🙂

    It seems as though, if you’re a man a faith, then your life runs smoothly.

    It must be Locke’s destiny to walk again. As it already happened on the island. I’m sure that’s not the last between Locke & Jack. If Locke’s knives turn up, I wonder if Jack’s dad will turn up?

    Helen wears a shirt with “Peace & Karma” on it. Any significance?

    It’s not often in life we have 3 choices. If MIB wanted of the island, maybe he should have followed Jack on the chopper at the end of season 4.

    • I should have read ahead before I replied to TLE’s starting post. All I did was say alot of what has already been said. oops. I didn’t read ahead though (story of my life ) I like the idea of the division of men and women (though Juliet being in charge of car mechanics and hiring on Kate might contradindicate that. In 1974 or 77 it would be extremely unusual for a woman to work as a mechanic, unless maybe in a family shop with 7 older brothers. Women were fighting for the right to do better paying jobs like construction, car mechanics, advertising etc back then

      I still think there are 3 immortals (minimum) here and Smokey has 3 heads. Maybe to show they are really all united, Smokey is the real persona of MIB, Jacob, and a female-mother-fertility persona as well. . I don’t like this alternative 3 persona smokey theory, but if the shoe fits… 2 male and one female caught in a triangle through the ages. Sound too familiar? I’ll stick with MIB, Jacob (2 male manipulators) and a female/fertility being.

      The 3 heads of smokey (whose pov did we have?), 3 choices from MIB, 3 choices from Danielle (Run, hide or die), love triangles (maybe they do mean something as much as I hate to think so).

      It sounds noble and final, but I can’t buy into the Losties sacrificing themselves theories. At least, not yet. Tomorrow is another chance to change my mind. Always.

      For Peace and Kharma to go together, War (or the equivilent) would have to be part of the equation. Here is a very interesting short video from A Moment of Peace : http://video.yahoo.com/watch/581896/2849325.

      And for those of you too young to have heard this, check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqP3wT5lpa4 Innstant Kharma

  5. I have a theory that the cave actually belongs to MIB and not Jacob. I mean why would Jacob need a cave if he can live in a shoe 🙂

    So if the cave is MIB’s then maybe the names in the cave were put there by MIB too. And the reason they are crossed off is because he killed them. Yes Jacob did want them on the island for sure, but MIB hates whoever Jacob brings to the island and wants to kill them. However “the rules” don’t allow him to kill anyone who comes to island.

    So he needs a “substitute” to kill them. He got Ben to kill Jacob (although we know Jacob can’t be killed) and now MIB is getting Sawyer to carry out another murder under the pretense he can leave the island. MIB’s plan is to kill all the people that Jacob brings to the island. I mean Richard tells this directly to Sawyer. Now will Sawyer believe him or will he believe MIB’s lies?

    Another related theory is that Kate’s name was one of the 6 numbers but MIB replaced her name with Locke’s. However I do like the idea that if Jin/Sun could be one number why not Kate/Jack.

    I do get the feeling that Sawyer will be playing the long con on MIB and will doublecross him at some point.

  6. Just an FYI, the pic that Miles had of Ben wasn’t by a coffee machine, he was at a check-in desk by a computer. Different hair too.

    I thought the same thing at first :-). Would have freaked me out if they were thinking that far in advance…

    • Thanks. I was being a bit lazy and was going by memory. Its cool that he was wearing a vest just like in his scene in the teachers lounge. Perhaps he is in the computer area or in the library at the school. Or maybe I am just stretching things a bit too far again.

  7. I agree with Jay Jay Ben’s eulogy and Lapidus’s reaction was one of the best scenes of this episode.

  8. Kwon could refer to Ji Yeon.

    So, if Jacob is firmly engaged with the numbers, does this mean that Dharma was in cahoots with him either explicitly or implictily? They used the #’s all over the place.

    • Yes Kwon could be Ji Yeon, I hadn’t thought of that one.

      I want to do a post just on the Numbers when I get a chance. I like it that they gave Jack the 23. As in the 23rd Psalm, “The Lord is my Shepherd” for Jack Shephard. And Jack was in seat 23 on the Oceanic flight (at least in Season 1 he was).

  9. What does everyone think of John Locke’s dad having a better relationship with Locke now? If they are having a good relationship then how did Locke end up in the wheelchair. If Anthony Cooper is still evil, then why would Helen invite him to a wedding, it would explain why Locke’s isn’t so obsesses with chasing his father, and now has committed to Helen.

    I still think all candidates need to be men, just like God only choses male prophets.

    • Whoa…. that isn’t exactly true. Only under the paternal religions stemming from Abraham (who was told to stab his son, Issac, to please God) – Judaism, Christianiy and Muslam. Before there were many maternal goddesses ruling the world, loving the world, creating the world. In the souls of human ancestors when memories were carried in genes, there was the Great Mother. Even in Judaeo-‘Christian/Muslim, there are female prophetesses that are still left in the Bible. Most have been written out of the Bible by men in the church.. And if Dan Brown and others like him are revealing a long hidden truth, we still have female prophets of the highest degree. Perhaps as part of the godhead even.

      Men may have changed the name of God’s female prophets to Blessed or Saint or Holy Mother, but women are still prophets and women are still deities. Just have to look around into the religions of Nature (natural) and of times when our blood knew the truths.

      (stepping off feminist soap box)
      I am Woman – Hear Me Roar.

  10. If the cave did belong to MIB, why would have have a white rock on the scale. I’m sure he would have thrown that away a long time ago in disgust. I think it was their meeting place, when they were friends. Something drew them apart, possibly a lady, like MIB said he had loved before. Some people would go to extrordinary lengths for love. In this case, it destroyed a friendship. I would love the ending to have Jacob and MIB reconcile.

    I also think MIB needs to get to the temple to go home. Not that his home is the temple, but there is away off the island through the temple. This was alluded to by Richard in the episode Jughead when Locke asked how to get off the island. But Richard didn’t reveal it to Locke. There must be a portal to the real world from the temple.

    • I like your thought JayJay that Locke needs to get to the temple to find a way to his real home. In fact, I wonder if they are guarding the temple just so he can’t go home. In other words, MIB is a prisoner on the island and the temple people and Jacob want it to stay that way. Because if MIB leaves he will just create more havoc wherever he goes.

    • Not in Portland is a portal, I really think so. Mittleson is there. It is woods leading to a street. I believe Ben was born on the island, as he was birthed beyond the invisible portal to the “island”. Perhaps Mittleloss is even an entry to the temple, though that probably isn’t the case.

  11. Found at another webiste. I don’t claim to know the validity of this but it’s interesting to read. Have a blast all you numbers nuts! [img]http://img39.imageshack.us/img39/507/cool9xa.gif[/img]

    The Numbers as displayed in cave:
    4 Locke
    8 Reyes
    10 Mattingley
    15 Ford
    16 Jarrah
    20 Rousseau
    23 Shephard
    25 Reynolds
    29 Brennan
    42 Kwon
    55 Burke
    64 Goldstein
    90 Troupe
    115 Bargas
    119 Almieda
    161 Faraday
    171 Straume
    175 Costa
    195 Pace
    222 O’Toole
    226 Carlyle
    232 Aguila
    233 Jones
    272 Kalingo
    285 Je(…)
    291 Domengo
    301 Mars
    313 Littleton
    317 Cunningham
    321 Fernandez
    335 Hen(…)
    396 Grant

    • Perhaps a better depiction of the numbers is if viewed in the original format. Here’s the link to my discovery, where you’ll be able to see the names that were crossed out.


  12. Locke Sideways question:

    Locke gets fired when he’s confronted by Randy (douche) Nations for not attending the seminar in Sydney. Then he tells Helen that he wasn’t allowed on the Walkabout. Assuming these facts to be true, where was he?

    • Buzmeg
      Awesome website, thanks! Now I can really do that post I want to do on the Numbers with that info from the website for reference. “Mattingley” is that Don Mattingley from the Red Sox?

      I guess Locke wanted to do the Walkabout but was so ashamed he lied to both Boone and Randy. But he tells the truth to Helen which confirms what we saw in the Season 1 episode when he uttered the famous “Don’t tell me what I can’t do!” for the first time to the Australian walkabout tour guy.

      It’s interesting that he won’t listen to him, but he does take Rose’s advice to do something that’s within his capability by giving up on the Construction job and becoming a substitute teacher instead.

    • Awesome information! However, if Locke is number 4 why are there 4 before him? Is there any order of heirarchy to the corresponding number? Like is Goodspeed number one? Was Horace meant to be Jacob’s or MIB’s number one? (Ben killed him too, such irony and tragedy) or is Ethan meant to be number one with Claire by his side and succeeded by Aaron at some point in time (ooops wrong word – leave time out of it.) Did Charlie kill the number one sub to protect Claire and Aaron. Again, how ironic and tragic.

  13. TLE: right sport, wrong team. Mattingly played for the NY Yankees. Some would say your comment re: Mattingly/Red Sox is blasphemy. (lol)

    • Yes of course. George (Constanza) used to talk about Donnie Boy all the time! I am an Orioles fan (yes crazy I know), so I like to insult the “other” AL teams as much as possible. Don’t get me started on “Paulie” O’Neill.

  14. Very very good episode and a great podcast, TLE and Jeremy. So much to think about. It feels good to stretch my Lost brain muscles again, like a big full body stretch in the morning. 🙂

    TLE, I agree that this episode is companion to Walkabout, but I also see it as companion to the story of Sayid and Nadia during the Oceanic 6 time. Sayid got another chance to be with his long lost love (although I’m still trying to remember when they fell so deeply in love.) Then Nadia dies (is murdered) and Sayid gets stuck, or he moves on with his life but in an angry destructive way.

    Just how destructive or mature will Sawyer move on with his life? Will he start with going through the mourning process and giving himself compassion and time to heal, or will be turn reactive and lash out? Signs have so far shown us that he will go through the mourning process and heal, but it is still too early to call it. I hope that he will move on to Juliet in another world instead of becoming the “second” for MIB or Jacob. I’m still not sure who claimed those people numbered in that cave, but since Sayid is there, it could have a major bearing on what the pill will do to Sayid and how far into the darkness he will succomb.

    Another love story this can be compared to is Des and Penny, with the woman waiting for years for the man to catch up to her in their journey. I have never been a shipper and the only love stories I have cared about are the Kwons, the Nadars and Sawyer and Juliet. The fact that he through the ring away is a direct connection to Des. However I hope that Sawyer, like Des and Sun, does not have a very long journey ahead of him, like they did.

    By the way, I never trusted Penny. I am curious to see if she will show up in this other universe, and if so, in what compacity,

    I know it is unrelated but I loved seeing Ben as a teacher of western European history (I would have picked literature for Ben). He is good at teaching – he taught many, including Locke, through the saga. He also seems to love children and he also wants to somehow fill the void in his heart from losing Alex. I wonder if Alex and Rousseau will be in this other world? (
    Actually, I am still looking at this as a mulitiverse, with many different universes going on (which may be why noone seems to communicate), but I haven’t had a chance to develope this yet.)

    Ben has had a thing for coffee, too.. Remember their first breakfast on the Hydra? Ben told Kate to put on her handcuffs tighter. She asked what would happen if she didn’t and Ben repled something about needing to stay after school and get no coffee
    You mentioned if Shepard Kate could be part of Shepard #23. Perhaps they were supposed to get married during the Oceanic 6 timeline. However, there could also be a baby Shepard on the way. I still thing we have not heard the last of Grandpa Raye yet.

    There is always the chance of Sarah being on the island in some timeline. Maybe the baby she was carrying was Jack’s but she never told him.Then again, without the island she might never be a part of Jack’s life. Maybe John is meant to be his miracle operation??? The operation all about believing and then it is so. John even told Jack he believed in miracles but just didn’t remember it yet (s4 finale, I think)

    So many possibilities it can drive one insane. But what a wonderful way to go insane.

    One last thing: The ODI came out with an awesome podicast this week. Apparantly Darlton was a bit upset that fans saw What Kate Does as a filler episode. It really is so full of mythology and major reveals as well as questions. I honestly did love the episode (although I chose to look at it as Claire- centric off island, and Jack and Sayid on-island.) but they showed me even more things that I had missed. I recommend that podcast to anyone. ( I always recommend your podcast too). But what a new light they shed on ODI about that episode so many loyal fans hated or called a filler.


    I am the walrus 😉

    • Thanks Lucy
      I am going to check out the ODI podcast. btw I was just on their website yesterday. Anyone who does not hate Kate episodes ranks high with me. Kate is so misunderstood, although I wish they would give her a chance to redeem herself on the show like they did Locke. Hopefully soon.

      Yes so many possibilities. I thought Kate was playing the part of Claire on the Ajira flight. Someone needed to be pregnant and that could have been Kate. I do remember the scene with Ben and breakfast and the coffee, good catch!

      I thought Ben might have been a psychologist because he seemed to read people’ s weaknesses.

      Number 9 , Number 9…. Do you remember that one?

  15. If Ben is left alone with emotionally vunerable people, well God help us all! Remember when we thought he was the embodiment of evil?

    I think the blonde boy may be Desmond. In the hospital after Des was shot Mrs. Hawkings told Penny little Charlie had his father’s hair. I thought that odd. But blonde children often grow up into brunette adults. He could be young Charlie, but due to Des’ “unique and special qualities” I think it is Des.

    Do I remember

  16. oops, hit return by mistake. I just wanted to ask which number nine?backwards dead in a revolution or was it just a dream? It sure seems just like a dream to me, Paul lived on. So very sadly, John did not. Like I said, both a revolution and a dream.

    And of course there is that engine coming down the Chicago line. I don’t think that is what you meant though.

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