The Lost Recap: Episode 604 – “The Substitute”

Here are the top things you need to know from this week’s episode of Lost, “The Substitute.”

1. I take thee, Peg Bundy…

In an alternate universe, where the crash never happened, Locke would have been engaged to Helen Norwood (Katey Sagal). The future Mrs. John Locke appears to be a perfect fit for our bald friend; and it will be interesting to see where this arc goes. It’s also nice to have the real Locke back for a change.

2. I wanna show you something.

The man in black, as Locke, finds a drunken Sawyer and tells him he is the man who can answer the most important question in the world. The question: Why are you on this island? Seems like a fair question considering we’ve waited six seasons to find out the real reason why Sawyer and company are there.

We know that supposedly Desmond’s not typing in the numbers caused an electromagnetic event that crashed Flight 815. But what if that was just a coincidence that that happened at that precise moment? As we know, with a show like Lost, anything is possible. So off Sawyer goes with “Locke” to get the answer.

3. These kids today!

Over the course of the series we’ve seen lots of people see lots of dead people roaming around the island. Whether it was Jack and his dad, Ben and his mom, Kate and the black horse, or Hurley and his imaginary friend Dave, visions are not uncommon. So when “Locke” and Sawyer see a blonde boy in the jungle, “Locke” gives chase only to fall and when challenged by the boy offer up Locke’s catch-phrase: “Don’t tell me what I can’t do!”

Who is this blonde boy? Is it a younger version of Jacob? Did it appear that the boy had some weakening affect on “Locke”?

4. It’s so hard to say goodbye.

The burial of John Locke on the island he worked so hard to help and defend seems fitting and sad at the same time. Ben’s eulogy appeared to be heartfelt, but who knows when it comes to Ben Linus what he really feels and thinks at any given moment. His admission to the group that he was sorry that he murdered Locke was also interesting.

Does he really regret murdering him given all that has happened since? Does he regret his manipulations to get everyone back to the island only to have created a scenario that’s now out of his control?

5. Six degrees…

We already knew from previous seasons that Hurley owned the box company that Locke once worked at. But after Locke is fired by his douchebag boss, Randy, Hurley sends him to a temp agency he owns to get a new job. The boss at the temp agency happens to be Rose (of Rose and Bernard, that Rose). She gets him a gig as a substitute teacher where Locke runs into European History teacher Ben Linus! Coincidence?

Does this mean that Ben was moonlighting as a teacher while also being the leader of the Others? Or in this parallel universe did Ben Linus never go to the island as a child? We know from the season six opener that the island is at the bottom of the ocean, so it’s clear that the Others are no longer on the island. Unless they’re dolphins.

6. Name and number, please.

“Locke” takes Sawyer into a cave inside a cliff and reveals a massive list of names and the numbers associated with them (yes, THE numbers: 4 8 15 16 23 42). All the names are crossed off except for Hurley’s, Sayid’s, Sawyer’s, Jack’s, and either Sun or Jin or both (it’s by last name). Each name has one of the mysterious numbers linked to it, like so: 4 – Locke. What do the selected number next to each name means? And why is Kate’s last name, Austin, not shown?

Apparently, Jacob has been compiling this list and has been plotting to bring these select folks to the island. But for what purpose? “Locke” has a theory that Jacob was recruiting for a new caretaker for the island. Interesting way to interview for a job; are the numbers their personnel ID?

7. Will it be door number one…

“Locke” gives Sawyer three options of what do. He can become caretaker; he can walk away, stay on the island and see what happens; or he can leave the island with “Locke.” Gee, I wonder what Sawyer will choose…he’s getting off the island, baby.

What’s interesting is that “Locke” tells Sawyer that the island doesn’t need to be taken care of. It’s just an island, according to him. Does this negate and cancel out everything that we’ve come to expect as to the true purpose of the island and the reasons these castaways were chosen? Is “Locke” lying to promote his own agenda?

It was nice to see old Locke again. While this ep does move forward into answering questions about the island, the numbers, and why they were chosen, there’s still plenty left to uncover and reveal.

I liked that we were around the old characters again and not the new Others this time around. It felt like a typical Lost ep, if you don’t take into consideration that John Locke is now someone else entirely. Still, there’s a lot more on the way as Lost continues to provide answers a little bit at a time.

Check back next week for our recap of episode 405, “Lighthouse.”

Have your own burning Lost questions, comments, or frustrations? Leave a comment and let us know!

One thought on “The Lost Recap: Episode 604 – “The Substitute””

  1. It was only Locke, Reyes, Ford, Jarrah, Shepard and Kwon listed on the ceiling of the cave – no Austin. It was actually notable that Kate’s name wasn’t there, despite having been visited by Jacob as the others were.

    It’s also notable that Locke was first on the list. Now he is no longer a ‘candidate’, we can assume the mantle would fall to Hugo, but seeing as he’s safely tucked away in the temple, the next on the list is Sawyer…

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