Locke Box: John Comes Face to Face with the Man from Tallahassee on Lost

I don't know about you but my jaw is still on the floor after last night's episode of Lost ("The Man from Tallahassee"), which finally answered some questions that have been plaguing me from the start of the series and raised more than a few new ones.

I'd be remiss if we didn't talk about the reveal of just how John Locke got into that wheelchair years ago. While the obvious answer seemed like a car accident or similar, I am glad that Damon and Carlton twisted our anticipation of this and instead brought us an answer that was wholly unexpected. (Okay, I expected it as soon as I saw Locke walk into the room with large, floor-to-ceiling windows.) I am sure that no one out there imagined that Locke's putative father, Anthony Cooper, pushed him out of an 8th floor window when threatened by exposure. I never had Cooper, a notorious con man, pegged for a murderer, but he casually threw his son out the window and may have had a hand in the death of Peter Talbot, the son of his latest mark.

Back on the island, the castaways try to rescue Jack, only to learn that Jack made a deal with Ben and he and Juliet are scheduled to leave the island the following day in the submarine, which Locke casually blows up. (Damn you, John Locke!) Apparently, he's still terrified by the hold his father has on him; on the island he's whole again: able to walk, able to escape from his past and his paralysis. Scared that Jack and Juliet will leave and bring rescue and he'll have to return to the cruel reality of the world. (Though I still think, with the navigational beacons out, there's no way anyone could return.)

I love the fact that Ben and Locke have now become inverted mirrors of one another: one confined to a wheelchair, the other walking. In reality, neither of them should be in the state they're in. Ben isn't healing as quickly as he should be and, well, we all know there's no possible scientific explanation as to how Locke is walking after the dive he took. Plus, Ben is as Machiavellian as they come, and I was impressed with the way he manipulated Locke into doing just what he wanted (the explosion of the sub), just like he previously got Locke to stop pushing the button and cut off the island from the outside world. He's a demon of the highest order, and his agenda is so dark and selfish it's impossible not to be impressed by his methods.

LOVED that Sayid told Alex that her mother was still alive (how painful was it to see Rousseau watch Alex through the trees?) and that, for once on Lost, a character actually asked a question, as Alex revealed that the Others told her that Rousseau was dead. (Naturally.)

I'm curious to see where the new battle lines are drawn in the sand as shifting loyalties and the new fact of their life on the island (there's no escape now for any of them) turns friends against one another (Jack must be pissed!) and makes strange bedfellows.

Lastly, I want to talk about that mind-blowing ending in which we learn what stepped out of that metaphorical magic box Ben told Locke about. I'd still like to think that the box is a metaphor rather than a physical construct, but somehow, some way, something led to this moment in this place as Locke comes face to face with the mysterious "man from Tallahassee" who Ben claims stepped out of the box: none other than Anthony Cooper, Locke's father. Is it really Cooper? Is it a construct of the island's monster (a la Yemi)? Or is it another test to see if Locke has the cunning and faith to be part of Ben's master plan? Find out next week.

Next week on Lost ("Exposé"), we finally see the conclusion to a long-dangling plot point, as Sun learns the truth about the Others' attempted kidnapping (and decks Sawyer), fresh graves are dug, and an accomplice to the Others right in the castaways' midst is exposed. (Please be Nikki and Paolo!)

 

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Jace is an LA-based television development and acquisitions junior exec who watches way too much television for his own good and would love a TiVo for every room in the house. (He's halfway there.) His blog, Televisionary, can be found at televisionary.blogspot.com.