Lost season 3 episode 19: Bonding trips into the jungle are all the rage these days

I’m getting behind again- it’s just unacceptable. Let’s blame my laptop.

Locke and Sawyer: I need to see a man about a murder
After a late night cuddle with Kate, Sawyer goes out to take a leak in the jungle- only to be confronted by Locke even as he unzips his trousers. Locke tells him that he went undercover with the Others, and now he has Ben in his custody- but since he can’t bring himself to kill him, he wants Sawyer to do it. Sawyer claims he is not a murderer and has no intention of just killing a man in cold blood, but when Locke reveals that he knows about Sawyer’s past and the man he murdered, he somehow can’t help going along.

After a long trek through the jungle, Locke takes Sawyer to the wreck of a nineteenth century sailing ship, claiming that Ben is locked in the hold. Going inside, Sawyer sees a hooded man, but even as he takes off the hood and discovers that the man is not Ben, Locke shuts him in.

Sawyer is desperate to get out, but Locke refuses to unlock the door, not even budging when Rouseau comes in to collect some dynamite. As he had hoped, Sawyer ends up in a conversation with the man, who is of course Locke’s father. Cooper claims that he came here after a car accident in Tallahassee, and thus believes that the island is actually the afterlife- and too hot an afterlife to be heaven. Sawyer refuses to believe him, but Cooper has something else to interest him with- he is a man who has lived under many times, and Tom Sawyer is one of them.

With a little more probing, Sawyer realises that it was this man who used the name ‘Tom Sawyer’ to con his mother, and so he duly forces Cooper to read the letter he wrote as a boy. Cooper ends up ridiculing it, however, and eventually he pushes Sawyer over the edge, causing him to choke Cooper to death with the chain.

Having achieved what he wanted, Locke takes his father’s body away and tells Sawyer to go back to the camp but not mention their meeting. He admits that he did not actually go undercover, he has just chosen a new path to follow. Nonetheless, he has one piece of information for Sawyer- Juliet is a mole sent by the Others, and her purpose is to find out which women in the camp are pregnant. Sawyer replies that he has never trusted Juliet and so this new claim is hardly going to make anyone pay attention, but Locke has one more card to play; he has the recording about Sun that Juliet made for Ben, and now he is giving it to Sawyer as evidence.

Want to keep a secret? Don’t tell Kate
Having returned to camp, Hurley, Jin, Desmond and Charlie decide to keep Naomi hidden in Desmond’s tent. Even so, it becomes clear that they cannot proceed without further help, and so they invite Sayid in to see Naomi. Naomi’s explanation that Oceanic Flight 815 and the corpses of the passengers have already been found casts a pall over the rescue status of the survivors, but nonetheless she did come to the island for a reason- she was hired by Penny to find Desmond, and her helicopter originated from a ship some miles offshore. Not that the search team even knew the island was there until Naomi stumbled on it- as far as they were concerned, they were searching the ocean on the order of an eccentric rich woman!

Naturally, Sayid is eager to learn if Naomi has a communication device on her person, and so she shows him the satellite phone. Whilst trying to get it working, however, Sayid is spotted by Kate, who demands to be let in on the secret. He ends up explaining the truth to her, but as he and the others had already decided, he makes her promise not to tell Jack- after all, given Jack’s recent stay with the Others and his new closeness to Juliet, can he really be trusted anymore?

Naturally, Kate being Kate, she cannot even follow simple instructions, and so she ends up telling Jack, adding a warning that the people who once chose him as their leader now no longer trust him.

Flashback- Locke’s eight days with the Others
Eight days ago, Locke said goodbye to Kate and went off with the Others, but what he didn’t realise was that there was a catch; if he wants to truly be one of them, then Ben expects him to cut the hold his father has over him- by killing him. As Locke’s father knows, however, Locke doesn’t have it in him to kill someone else, and indeed, despite his strongest resolve, Locke is simply unable to take another man’s life. When the Others next move on, Locke will not be coming with them, but Ben promises to leave a trail for him to follow- if he brings his father’s corpse with him.

As it turns out, however, not everyone is in accord with Ben’s way of running the island. One man in particular, Richard (the same man who brought Juliet on board) tells Locke that his miraculous healing makes him special, and that Ben is deliberately trying to offset by forcing him to commit an act he knows Locke will be unable to do.

Observations and Speculation

  • Locke’s father was in an accident in Tallahassee- is he the ‘man from Tallahassee’ that Ben wanted brought to the island?
  • The fact that Locke’s father was ‘Sawyer’ offers another strong link between characters, and means that if there really is a ‘magic box’, Sawyer would have wanted him here as much as Locke, albeit for different reasons.
  • This episode seemed to be pushing the angle that everyone on the island is dead and that it is a sort of purgatory- this is one theory I have liked to keep in mind, but the fact that it has been pushed to the forefront seems to suggest that it is a double bluff. Would the Others and their backers go to the trouble of creating a dummy plane and filling it with corpses, perhaps even stealing survivor DNA (or growing clones- let’s not be bound by reality here) so they would be verified as Jack and the others?
  • Will the offshore ship crash on the island and provide us with new characters for seasons 4-5?
  • This episode seems to tie up all we know about Locke- a man who desperately wants to establish himself as a ‘hunter’ when deep down he is a ‘farmer’. Can his essential nature be changed? What results from the conflict? Why was he chosen by the island?
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