Not John Locke is here to give us some answers. But then again, he's really not. We do learn a bit more about the real John Locke's life in the multiverse. We were promised "answers", right? Just making sure, because I could swear this is the series finale and a "conclusion" usually coincides with something like that.
TAGENT WARNING: So I'm going to go on a tangent here before I get into what happened in "The Substitute". It will be impossible for LOST to ever meet our expectations in terms of addressing and satisfactorily answering the questions raised by the series; this much I'm sure of and pretty OK with. What I do expect, of most any television show (and I realize in the large scheme of life and the world and everything that a TV show is meaningless and pointless and brain-dissolving fluff, yet entertainment and enjoyment are also parts of life, and help inform our lives if we allow our brains to seek for more layers to what we watch, so there is some significance) is for the characters to change and evolve. And so far, I'm not sure LOST has done that. If anything the characters have gotten more one-dimensional (but thank God not Heroes level one-dimensional) and predictable — to the point of caricature. I think beyond the fact that we're no closer to figuring out say why and what Dharma is, the island, the multi-verse, Christian Shepherd, the whispers, who Not John Locke and Jacob and the temple people and the statue and the island being able to move and ... all of it ... we're getting regressive characters who haven't changed or learned or grown. And that annoys me. Ok ... all done now.
What We Learned
- More of the alternate world showing us how everyone is still somehow connected.
- Bizarro John Locke is with Helen still. That's pretty cool.
- Bizzaro John's boss Randy is still a douche and fires BJ (which, is understanable) for lying about his purpose in going to Austarllia and using company funds to go.
- Not-John Locke is "recruiting" (or so says Richard, who kindly declines the offer to join the team) and he convinces Sawyer with the temptation of "knowledge" to join him. Again the serpent, Eden metaphors are easy, and hopefully just being used as dressing to a fuller mythology.
- A little boy appears (perhaps it's Jacob?) tells Not-John-Locke that "there are rules" and that he can't kill "him". Him who? James? Richard? He's already killed Jacob, unless it's more a statment about the fact that killing Jacob doesn't kill Jacob.
- James learns that Not-John-Locke is "trapped" on the island (Why? By whom? James for some reason doesn't ask him this). Jacob kept him on the island, but for what purpose? Punishment? Who's punishing him and why?
- Hurley owns the box company where Bizzaro John works (which we knew), they meet in the parking lot as John is attempting to get into his van — Hugo tells him to go to the temp agency he owns and he'll hook him up with a job.
- Rose works at the tempt agency. And she has cancer.
- Bizzaro John takes a job as a substitute teacher, where low-and-behold we see Ben Linus — history teacher ( I honestly thought he'd be the principal, that seems more fitting for a man of Ben's ambitions).
- Lady-Who-Looks-Sorta-Like-Ana-Lucia tells Hurley and the others gathered at the grave for Dead John that Not-John-Locke is stuck in that body — but of course there is no elaboration. Why is he stuck? How can he use someone else's body? Where is his body?
- Not-John-Locke takes Sawyer/James to a cave where he shows him names on a ceiling — the names of most of the Oceanic 815 survivors — apparently put there by Jacob. He tells James that Jacob has manipulated his entire life to get him, and everyone, to the island to protect the island. From what? Nothing (well, except the great deceiver known as Not-John-Locke)
- Apparently Not John Locke can get them off the island with the hel of James, but of course doesn't elaborate in how — because you know it'll involve some "choice" and "consequence".
This is more and more becoming mythology and allegory, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but a huge genre leap from being mysterious and puzzling. I'm beginning to think we'll never learn about Libby or Desmond or Dharma or how Walt showed up to Shannon or the "dial" that moves the island. We'll get more of Jack being angry and crying and sticking it someone because he's Jack; and Kate running away and being a loner and crying; and Sawyer being mad and spiteful and doing something to make people push him away; and Ben being self-righteous and pathetic and unpredictably calm; and Hugo providing comic relief ... but answers, will we get answers? I'm starting to think we'll be left more confused and frustrated than satisfied (and that is terribly disappointing)