Cathode Tan - Games, Media and Geek Stuff
logo design by man bytes blog

Friday, March 23, 2007

Lost: The Man From Tallahassee

Season's three slow ascent from despair seems to trudge onward. I'm still not a big fan of Locke as Dr. Smith. Locke's never been selfish. His role in the first season was almost as a guide - as someone willing to share his skills and equipment to help the Losties learn to survive on the island. Remember the Locke who took a nearly fatherly stance with Walt? Or built a crib for Claire? Locke was almost as much of an anti-Sawyer as he was an anti-Jack. Moreso, in ways, since Jack and Locke often shared similar goals.

Yeah, he's apparently dead now. Locke is the new jerk of the island. Sawyer? Sawyer's just a funny man with funny glasses. Locke just betrayed the Losties more than anyone could.

Without anyone's permission or any discussion - he willingly destroyed what he saw as the most expedient way to get anyone off the island.

It does, at least, tie nicely back into his actions as of late. His plan is all unfolded now. His reaction to the Flame Station wasn't hope that got accidentally blown up - it was a willful attempt to destroy communications and knowledge. Then he willingly kills the only Other they've managed to keep hostage and know they're an Other. Then he blows up the submarine which will send Jack and Juliet home.

In the last three episodes, Locke has done more damage to the Losties than the Others themselves. We can only assume there will be some repercussions that will long lasting from this.

The biggest "mystery" element would be the "magic box" of course. The presumption is that the Man From Tallahassee would be Locke's dad (and I guess we could assume that unless Locke's dad magically appeared in a box, Ben probably knew who he was). There is some speculation that his dad is in the same boat at Jack's dad, Ecko's brother and possibly Kate's horse. I agree, they're thematically similar ... but there are also some big differences.

For one thing, Christian Shepard and Yemi are definately dead. They simply can't be walking around the island. Kate's horse is implausible enough to be in that boat. Plus, Christian and Yemi both walked freely and spoke enigmatically. Locke's dad was bound and gagged.

I'm guessing his dad got trapped on the island in a Henry Gale style fashion. What this means for Locke (and Ben) - we'll just have to see.

Good episode. I'm finally getting some actual confidence in the show again.


Winkyboy said...

Nah. I don't buy it that Locke is that selfish. All of his flashbacks and everything that we KNOW of his character point to him as being a man of justice and compassion*. That these issues have arisen prove that either there is something that is just not revealed to us and he is still acting within character - OR, yeah, he's just another crazy idiot.

Given the choice between the two, I'm going to trust that the writers have some sense and are doing this on purpose.

I also sense that he's acting somehow in cooperation with the island, however it communicates with him...

* After all, one of the Others at one point said that Locke was what... "almost" on their list, or something, right?

Josh said...

Well he's definately in cahoots with the island ... whatever that means and whether it's more island or more Locke we can't really tell (although Ben gives a strong argument for someone being a tool of the island).

Unless Locke knows something nobody else does - like leaving the island means certain death or the Earth has been invaded by aliens, though, his actions are crazy selfish. Considering the amount of information and opportunity Locke's destroyed, it would take a really hefty explanation to get him off the hook.

Deacon said...

I think that Locke is supposed to be a character of dueling personalities. We've seen that he's compassionate, and this is who he wants to be - but we've also seen what he's been through, with his father manipulating him, even the people on the commune betrayed him as well as the undercover cop.

So that leads him to be untrustworthy and angry at attempts to manipulate him (we saw this in Season Two as people organized around Jack and began to codify rules about the hatch). I think at this point in the story he's finally reached the 'fuck it' attitude that's been brewing. It doesn't mean he's a crazy idiot, just that the obsessive, paranoid side of his personality is winning out. Remember how he acted when he decided to let the numbers count down? For Eko, pushing the button was faith, but for Locke it was the belief that it was actually doing something - he had to know how it worked.

There was also no reason for him to believe Ben that the sub could leave the island or, even if it could, that Jack would reach safety (who knows what's at the other side?). He's also never been fond of Jack, so why would he care that he miffed Jack's escape? But it's clear that he fears either 1) rescue or 2) more people coming to the island. It can be hard to remember that the Losties aren't really a group that acts in concert since they're so easily grouped - I had assumed they'd be factionalized by this point (and maybe they are).

Locke sees the island as a puzzle to be solved, and he's got a few pieces but not the big picture. As I think I've said before, I don't think Locke cares about the Others, or even Dharma that much, probably because he figures that they know less than he does about the island - so destroying all that information wouldn't matter to him, because he probably figures it's just more bogus experiments like The Pearl. This jibes with his dismissive attitude toward Ben and his complaint that the Others are "cheating." The Island trumps all, and the Others know almost nothing and Dharma might not have been anything but a bunch of hippies doing pseudo-scientific thought experiments (we're assuming they were responsible for the polar bear, but maybe it was the 'magic box' and they only studied the bears).

Josh said...

I'd place Jack's chances of escape in the sub at about 50%, considering the likelihood of Ben's treachery and the possibility of something being so amiss that the voyage would be a failure.

Course, if we accept the theory that the Others manipulate fate in certain ways, Ben might have known Locke would appear all along. I don't buy that though, I think the island is able to manipulate fate (still sticking to the Gaia theory).

I still think we have a broad distinction between the Locke who stood on the beach and assured everyone versus Dr. Locke-Smith. I still think this is part due to retooling the show in light of ratings, but I'm not sure this is plausible.

Most people have been assuming Jack will be an "Other" as the show moves on. At this point, I see Locke working alongside Ben.