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Lost: The Substitute

Boy: "You know the rules. You can't kill him."
Man in Black: "Don't tell me what I can't do!"

Semi-big reveal, but with caveats. According to the Man in Black, the numbers represent people who are candidates for the job of Island Protector: 4 Locke, 8 Reyes, 15 Ford, 16 Jarrah, 23 Shephard, 42 Kwon. Which Kwon? Maybe it's both of them, since 42 is the big number and the answer to everything.

Was the Man in Black telling Sawyer the truth, though? I bet he's leaving out something pretty crucial. How can we even be sure that was Jacob's cave? If they were Jacob's numbers, why would they be such bad luck for Hurley? And hey, Locke's number was first. Was that why the Man in Black took him? Because his number was up? :) And where was Kate?

I'm not quite sure what Sawyer is doing, but he's a con artist and he's not stupid. Sawyer heard what Richard said, and covered for him. I have hope that Sawyer is currently conning the Man in Black into thinking he's a good "recruit." Reckless, yes, but Sawyer may be the perfect guy to get the goods out of the Man in Black and get back to the Temple alive. Unless he actually fell for it. He didn't, did he?

What was going on with Richard? He didn't know what a "candidate" was, or why the Man in Black looked like Locke. If Richard will have nothing to do with the Man in Black, then Richard is probably on the side of the angels. I think. It's hard to tell. But I do like Richard. Maybe it's the eyelashes.

Who was the boy? He certainly seemed to look and talk like a young Jacob. Since the Man in Black was startled that Sawyer could see the boy, I assume it was like Walt's psychic little appearances. Could the boy have been young Sawyer, maybe? No, he felt like Jacob. I think.

I don't know why, but I just giggled through that entire trip down the rope ladder. Was anyone else thinking of the Cliffs of Insanity?

Meanwhile, back at the Foot

Ilana seems to know a lot more than just about anyone. She knew the Man in Black was recruiting, and said he was stuck in Locke's body. That's interesting. I was wondering why he wasn't running around appearing as pretty much anyone dead, the way he used to. How much of Locke is still in there? ("Don't tell me what I can't do!")

Ben lied to Ilana about killing Jacob, but then he confessed to Locke's murder as they were burying him at the cemetery by the sea. Ah, Ben. Such a contradiction. So much fun.

LAX timeline

I have to say that I'm really enjoying the alternative timeline stuff, and even hoping that this is how our characters end up. Yes, it's not idyllic or perfect, but so far, they seem a lot more content with their lives.

It was nice to see Locke well-adjusted and reasonably happy. He had a good relationship with Helen, probably because he was telling her the truth for a change. And that brief reference to his father coming to the wedding was fascinating; there was a photo of Locke and Cooper on the wall of Locke's cubicle at the box company, too. Was Cooper never a vicious con man in this timeline? Did Locke have a happy childhood? If Cooper never threw Locke out of an eight-story window, how did he end up in the wheelchair? And what happened to Sawyer?

I thought Locke as a substitute teacher worked, since he enjoyed teaching Walt and Boone. (Although I wondered why he was working at a box company if he had a degree in education.) Benjamin Linus as a history teacher complaining about the empty coffee pot was a hoot.

This was a compact episode, concentrating on only a few characters. No Temple, no Jin and Claire – just confusing Lostie goodness. They're never going to tell us the truth about the Island, are they? They're just going to string us along to the end and drop us, aren't they?

What have we learned?

— The Man in Black was just a man once. When did he become Smokey the Monster? And why?

— If the Man in Black isn't lying, six of the Losties are the numbers. Not the Oceanic Six, though. That would have been too pat, huh?

— The people Jacob touched are candidates to become the protector of the Island. The Man in Black said the Island didn't need protecting. I don't believe him.

Character bits:

The Man in Black said he lost someone he loved.

Locke refused to park in the handicapped spot. That's like him.

Sawyer drunk was a lot of fun. He knows how to wallow in style. What song was Sawyer playing while he was wallowing?

Hurley's luck manifested itself again; Locke's wheelchair platform jammed before it hit Hurley's SUV.

Rose was working for Hurley. And she was dying of cancer. That's too bad.

I loved how they finally resolved the Randy Nations thing: Locke and Hurley really did have the same boss. I wonder if Hurley gave Randy the job at the box company?

Sawyer's favorite author is John Steinbeck. Of Mice and Men has been mentioned before.

Jack's card gave the address of St. Sebastian Hospital as 8444 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, 90025. That's close to Larry Flynt's office building, as in Hustler. A Google search brought up William Morris, so maybe it's Matthew Fox's agent.

Bits and pieces:

— Henry Ian Cusick's name in the credits was back in its usual position, before Emilie de Ravin. What happened last week? Did someone just make a boo boo?

— Busy episode for Terry O'Quinn: he played LAX timeline Locke, the Man in Black, and the original Locke's dead body on the beach. I bet he's having a ball this season playing the big bad guy.

— In the cliff cave, there were two large stones, white and black, on a scale. The Man in Black threw the white one away and said it was an inside joke.

— Helen was wearing a shirt that had the words "Peace & Karma" on it.

— Locke and Helen talked about their wedding in October. I wonder if the date on the ultrasound was just a production error?

— It seems unlikely that a box company would pay an employee to attend a conference in Australia. I'm just saying.

— Locke's suitcase o' knives arrived, just as Locke began to accept his life and his condition. I wonder what happened with Christian's body?

— I really wish Sawyer had shot the Man in Black. I wonder what would happen?

— Names on the cave wall included Rousseau and Littleton. Interesting that Claire was crossed out, huh?


Helen: "You are a very sweet man."
Locke: "I know."

Ilana: "Tell me what happened to them."
Ben: "All right. There's a fairly reasonable chance that you won't believe me."

Sawyer: "Here's to being dead."

Sawyer: "I don't give a damn if you're dead, or time traveling, or the Ghost of Christmas Past. All I care about is this whiskey. Bottoms up, and get the hell out of my house."

Ben: "He was a much better man than I will ever be, and I'm very sorry I murdered him."
Frank: "This is the weirdest damn funeral I've ever been to."

Ben: "If you have the last cup of coffee, you remove the filter and throw it away!"

I really enjoyed this episode. Maybe it was the Cliffs of Insanity. Three out of four polar bears,

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. Before any other comment: the song Sawyer listened to is Search and Destroy, by The Stooges

  2. IMO, the Littleton on the cave wall refers to Aaron, and it is crossed out because he left and didn't come back.

    Also, remember Rose was on the plane in the premiere and she referred to Bernard as her husband then.

  3. Thanks, Gustavo, for the song title. And thanks, Patrick. I fixed the bit about Rose. There's always something I forget!

  4. I don't know why, but I just giggled through that entire trip down the rope ladder. Was anyone else thinking of the Cliffs of Insanity?

    I did get a warm fuzzy during that bit. I watched THE PRINCESS BRIDE a handful of times over the last month on cable.

    I was wondering why he wasn't running around appearing as pretty much anyone dead, the way he used to.

    When I read that the first thing I thought of was The First Evil from BUFFY.

  5. Great review as always. Just watched the episode, need to let it sink in a little.

    One minor detail: the Man in Black threw the white stone (representing Jacob I suppose) away.

  6. Hellblazerraiser -- Princess Bride is probably my favorite fantasy movie. I know a lot of the dialogue by heart.

    Thanks, Corak -- I fixed that, too. Wow, where was my head? My only excuse is that I had an epically bad day today.

    Same here!!!

    The end always gets me. I get all verklempt. I still remember the first time I watched the movie – where I was, what day of the week it was and who I watched it with. The film holds a very special place in my heart.

    Back to LOST....

    I was just about to pull my tape of the episode. I thought it was the white stone he threw, but I am so distracted during the show (my dog seems to only want to play when my shows are on and my friends and sisters and I text back and forth all throughout) that I thought I saw it wrong.

    I thought for a while that little boy was Aaron doing a Walt until a friend said it was most likely Jacob.

    I still hope it's Aaron though.

    I am such a sap, that very nearly cried when Pegg-- Helen walked out of the house. I love them together.

    Rose broke my heart.

    4: Locke
    8: Reyes
    15: Ford
    16: Jarrah
    23: Shepherd
    42: Kwon

    I wonder why Kate was left off the list (and not because they ran out of numbers)?

    Jin and Sun have never really played any integral part on the series as far as the overall mythology is concerned. They've always been bystanders. They were never part of the main group that was sought by the Others or that Ben manipulated.

    That struck me as very odd.

  8. Theres one thing that bugs me...(well not one, but the recent one) If the chosen ones were so important, how come the island didnt protect Locke or the french chick like it didnt allow Michael to kill himself or anything bad to happen to him?

  9. awwww, I enjoyed this episode so so much :) It might be my fav of this season so far. I just realized that some characters start to annoy me and it might have been their absence that made this ep so great. I just dont care about Jack and Kate anymore. I cant really say why but there is always so much drama about them and they make things so much more complicated (and thats totally unnecessary, considered the basic situation they are in with the timetravel and the island itself). And I was happy that there wasnt any temple action this week either. I just think its ridiculous at this point how cryptical the japanese guy and his ppl act around our Losties. I mean I get why there always have to be things to wonder about, but it just feels forced for me this time and thats never been the case for me with Lost before.

    Billie I am with you on the "Sawyer might con the man in black" :) That would be really awesome and would suit him well. When the MIB asked if Sawyer was ready to go home, I immideatly thought of all the times we were reminded that Sawyer doesnt really HAVE a home to go to, so we´ll see if he fall fot the MIB or not ^^.

    Since the MIB told Sawyer that Jacob wants to protect the island for no particular reason and that its pointless to do so, maybe its more like protect the world from the island or more like the MIB. Dunno, Im not good in speculation with this show (one reason I love it so much, lol), but it just felt that way.

    Well all in all I simply loved this ep and I cant wait till next week :DDD

    And btw Im sorry u had a bad day Billie. Hope the rest of the week will be better.

    - Mona

  10. If Sawyer had shot the Man in Black, then Sawyer would not have been a good recruit. Then he would've been killed.

  11. Great episode!! I have been reading your blog since Alias...love your reviews. Not a Lost comment - but thought the comment would get "lost" over on the other page...I was home with my kids for the 9th snow day in a row (I live in Maryland), and decided to watch Firefly episodes on Hulu...love it!

  12. Am I right in remember that back in Season Three old fake-beardy Tom said that Jack WASN'T on Jacob's list?? I wonder what changed. Or perhaps this indeed isn't Jacob's list. Or perhaps the writers just forgot....... dammit.

  13. MIB is trapped and wants to be free again. As long as Jacob lived was he held in the cabin and could only perform his monsterly duties if summoned? And now he can run wild and kill everyone but the candidates. - The little boy might as well be a future aaron (but, naw, why with blood on his hands?) - Does Kwon stand for Sun's daughter? - Why is Claires name crossed out? Because she is infected?

  14. I don't trust neither MIB nor Dogen or all the other Others. They all have guns and are willing to kill for their believe. Jacob seems the only major player that never killed anyone. But he didn't save Nadja either (probably was her destiny anyway to die).

  15. Excellent episode! (although if I hadn't read it yet, I would probably hate the Of Mice and Men spoiler :-p )

    Maybe the island doesn't(didn't) protect the candidates as it protected Michael because surviving in it is part of the 'test' to become the new Jacob.

    Kate being left off is very strange, since we know she was touched by Jacob. I think her name must be on the wall, but since unLocke didn't mention her, maybe she's already crossed out (or he hid her name to Sawyer for some other reason)

    However, I seem to remember an Other saying Kate wasn't on Jacob's list a while back (probably the beginning of season 3)

    Another strange thing is that (according to lostpedia) Miles name is also crossed out.. I can understand Claire being crossed if she was 'claimed', but why would Miles also be out of the competition?

    And does this mean it will all end with one of them winning the reality show and returning home with $1,000,000? :-)

  16. Oh, thanks cloutman0, it was Jack, not Kate, who was not in the list.

    Btw, do you think Sayid and Hurley were candidates when they first crashed on the island? We only saw them being touched after getting out..

    Sorry about the double posting

  17. Cesar, I think you were right - didn't Pickett say "Shephard wasn't even on Jacob's list" just as he left Ben's surgery to go kill Sawyer? Although if Sawyer is / was on Jacob's list, then it would be a very brave man to go against the list and go out to kill Sawyer in the first place!!

    I think Mikhail seemed to imply that neither Sayid or Kate were on the list as well because they were "flawed".

    No idea, but that was a great episode! And providing this series finshes with a Vincent-centric episode, I'll be happy! ;-)

  18. Hmmm... I loved this episode. Very good. Has anybody noticed how the white stones were very reminiciant of Adam and Eve? Alot of questions answered here with loads of new ones raised as usual. Locke may be dead but is Smokey turning into him? He certainly has some of his traits, "Don't tell me what I can't do!"

  19. So maybe the Rousseau and Littleton are Alex and Aaron. Both born on the island, both with absent fathers, and hey, Claire seems to be turning into Rousseau. There's obviously a connection they're trying to draw between the two.

    Also, technically both kids (in the main timeline anyway) are "raised by another"...Ben and Kate.


  20. I enjoyed this epi and i think it was because not only did we get lots of Sawyer and MIB, but we also got answers which was exactly what i wanted. And even if it turns out that MIB was lying i don't care because i enjoyed it and it was fascinating to watch. I also really loved Ben as a teacher.

    Seversl posters have mentioned the discepancies with the list on the wall and the list that Ben told the others about several seasons ago. Am i wrong in thinking that that list was actually Ben's list of losties that he wanted for his own resons and he just told the others that it was Jacob's list ? That was the impression i had. Of course i'm often wrong about these things...

  21. Billie, your reviews of Lost are the best. I think the producers are sending a red herring with the good vs. evil thing. Remember the first reference to "dark" and "light" was when Locke was explaining backgammon to Walt. I have never seen Jacob as "good" (just look what his followers have done - remember they were going to shoot all of the Losties when they first arrived at the temple. Therefore, it is incorrect to assume that Flocke is "evil". I think we are going to find that this whole thing is an amoral game between two supernatural beings - I get the feeling they are brothers and their parents are Adam and Eve from Season 1.

    Just my thoughts - thanks again for your great work.

  22. At the end of this episode I said: That`s why I love LOST. I agree almost totally with you Billie, except that i think that being part of jacob`s list explains why Hugo`s numbers were so ulucky. After all, if it wasn`t for his bad luck, he`d never have gone to Australia and never ended in the island. I too think the little boy could be Aaron, and that he could be seen by Sawyer, for he`s a candidate. Now, talking about candidates, didn`t Ilana tell Bram the pilot could be a candidate? But i`m happy they left the temple stuff a little away and again, any locke-centered episode is great.

  23. "They're never going to tell us the truth about the Island, are they? They're just going to string us along to the end and drop us, aren't they?"

    I bought the season 6 DVDs as soon as they were available, but I'm just now watching for the first time (after seeing them all when they were broadcast). I think I was so disappointed with the ending that I just couldn't bring myself to watch again. Now I'm enjoying them (it's still a wonderfully engaging and inventive show) but it's a bittersweet experience, knowing what I know about the writer's Big Fail at the end.

  24. Just to follow-up on Scott's comments for any newbies who may be reading the review and the comments as they are watching for the first time ... the "Big Fail" is, by no means, a universal opinion. I'd wager that for every person that passionately hated the end, there's a person that passionately loved it. :)

    I've actually been re-watching Season 6 of Lost recently, and I've got to say that watching it free of all the questions about what is going on has been really delightful for me. This show does an excellent job of telling episodic, character-focused stories, and I've found it particularly rewarding to revisit this final season and the alternate universe stories.

  25. Although I don't passionately love it, I am one of those who liked the ending and found it satisfying. Let's face it, no show ever ends with 100% of the audience completely happy. A lot of shows have ended recently, from Fringe to 30 Rock, and all the finales have sparked mixed reactions. I think the problem with LOST is that its ending was built up to be a major event, one it could never possibly hope to live up to.

  26. Was there a back way out of that cave? Or did they really climb back up those rickety rope ladders spanning the Cliffs of Insanity? & why didn't Smokey take Sawyer to the Lighthouse? It's way cooler, less dangerous & illustrates the same thing. Why would Jacob even need the lighthouse AND the cave?

  27. The lighthouse is a place for observation of external events. It is directed out.

    The cave is a place for reckoning and recording--moving from observation to assessment, from outward situations to internal judgment.

    They balance each other out, and Jacob loves balance. Right?

  28. Poor Sawyer. The MIB played him throughout most of Season Six and he didn't even realize it.


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