Joe Dyton

“Lost” thoughts: “The Substitute”

In Lost on February 17, 2010 at 6:59 pm

Last night on “Lost,” we got a Locke-centric episode, which I thought was much better than last week’s Kate-focused hour. Especially when it came to the characters’ flash-sidewayses. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Terry O’Quinn play virtually two roles last night: U.S.-bound Locke and a resurrected “Man in Black” on the island. I thought he knocked both roles out of the park.

Like I mentioned in the season premiere; it’s interesting to see Locke be such a non-believer in his flash-sideways scenes. For five seasons, we watched this guy be the eternal optimist and now it’s just odd to see him be so hopeless in the alt-timeline scenes.

I also liked the non-Locke scenes, which looking back there were few and far between of those. I loved the burial scene; especially when Ben wrapped up his eulogy by saying, “I wished I hadn’t murdered him.” I also loved Lapidus’ reaction, “Weirdest (darn) funeral that I’ve ever been to.”

And I think that that might have been it for the non-Locke scenes, save the other beach scene when Sun said they had to bury Locke and the 30 seconds that Richard and Sawyer had together. Despite the lack of character diversity, I still thought this was a solid episode.

Some other quick-hit thoughts from last night…

*I really felt for Locke in his first scene. First the ramp from his fan fritzes out, then he falls out of his chair and then the sprinklers turned on him. I wanted to laugh, but I felt bad about it, but fortunately Locke did the only thing he could—laugh and then I joined in.

*I’m very curious about how Locke and Helen’s relationship in this flash-sideways. How’d they end up staying together? If my memory serves me, in flashbacks Helen left, because Locke couldn’t move past what his dad did to him. Helen mentioned they should round up her parents and his dad and just get married in Vegas, so did Locke’s dad not push him out a window and he just ended up in the chair somehow else? Or did his dad push him, but Locke forgave him and in turn Helen stayed with him? Or does Locke have a different dad in this timeline?

*The main reason I enjoyed Locke’s flash-sideways scenes more than Kate’s from last week was because of the interactions he had with the other passengers/island-dwellers. I loved his scene with Hurley; how great was it to see a confident, self-assured Hurley hook Locke up with another job?

Speaking of which, I forgot until I read another review of last night’s show (http://sepinwall.blogspot.com/2010/02/lost-substitute-happy-john.htmlthat) that Locke’s boss who fired him was the same guy Hurley worked for at Mr. Cluck’s Chicken before he won the lottery. Why Hurley would hire the guy is another story.

I had a feeling that when the woman who was interviewing Locke at the temp agency went to get her supervisor, it would be someone we knew. I was delighted to see it was Rose. I enjoyed her talk with Locke about accepting her cancer and encouraging him to do the same with his paralysis.

*As much as I loved the appearance of Hurley and Rose, my favorite interaction Locke had was with Ben, European History teacher. I loved watching him flip out about the unchanged filter in the coffee pot. He wasn’t on the doomed Oceanic Flight 815 though. What’s he doing in states?

As for what’s going on back at the island…

*I liked Sawyer and “Locke’s” scenes. I thought for a moment that “Locke” was leading him into a death trap when they started climbing down the rock on those rickety ladders. I especially loved their earlier exchange: Sawyer: “I thought you were dead.” “Locke”: “I am.”

*Speaking of “Locke,” I found it interesting that the Man in Black used the original Locke’s catchphrase, “Don’t tell me what I can’t do!” I know he took his body, but does he have some of his memories too?

A few of my burning questions from last night:

-We kept hearing people were candidates last night. Candidates for what? “Locke” said to be the protector of the island, but I don’t know how reliable of a source he is these days

-I found the wall with a lot of their names interesting, but why wasn’t (Kate) Austin up there anywhere?

-And finally, who was that kid and why could “Locke” and Sawyer see him, but not Richard? And what did he mean when he told “Locke” that he could kill him (who?) and that he knew the rules?

So, overall I though last night’s show was a strong episode, that gave us inklings, but not answers and threw a few more questions on to the pile. Hopefully next week, we’ll get a little more.

Joe Dyton is a marketing copywriter in Washington, DC. He is a former assistant editor for The Dealmakers real estate magazine in Hamilton, NJ and a former sports writer and copy editor for The Trentonian in Trenton, NJ. He can be reached at thedytonian@yahoo.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http://twitter.com/dyton99.

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