It wasn’t supposed to be him.
If, way back during Lost Season 1, you were to go through all of the survivors of Oceanic 815 and pick one to be the protector of the Island for all eternity, the smart money would have been on John Locke. Locke believed in the power of the Island and experienced its benefits first hand. The actions he took were to explore the Island and learn about its secrets. Locke’s main rival, Jack Shepard was everything Locke was not. Rather than believing that the Island was some special place, he was focused on escaping it and getting back to his life. The protector of the Island was supposed to be John Locke. Jack Shepard was supposed to leave the Island and save those who needed to be saved off of it.
Yet here we are. Six seasons later, with What They Died For, the second-to-last episode of Lost. John Locke as we know him is dead, A quasi-immortal centuries-old being is using his likeness. And Jack Shepard, who was willing to go to “war” to get off the Island, experienced hell off it, traveled through space and time to get back and now willingly accepted the mantle of Island protector.
Congratulations Jack Shepard.
While I wasn’t as disappointed as most were with last week’s episode, Across the Sea, I did think that it left out a few important answers. Tonight, some of those questions were answered and Across the Sea fits into the Lost puzzle better.
In the Sideways universe (in what has to be my second-favorite Sideways story so far, behind the incredible “Happily Ever After), Desmond continued his plan of getting all of those important to the Island in one place. He started by using a pretty decent fake American accent to fool Jack. Then, he beat up Mr. Doctor Linus, a guy who gets beat up no matter which dimension he’s in. Desmond told Linus the reason he ran over Locke was to get him to let go. When Ben shared this with Locke, Locke actually started to think about it. Meanwhile, Ben was kidnapped and enjoyed a nice dinner (and possible love connection) with an off-Island (and not crazy) Danielle Rousseau. Desmond turned himself in, shared a jail cell with Kate and Sayid, but later staged a jailbreak with help from Ana Lucia, Hurley and a bag of money.
On the Island, some disturbing things happened in New Otherton. Ben and company met up with Charles Widmore, who said Jacob allowed him to see the errors of his ways and tasked him with bringing Desmond to the Island. They learned that fLocke was on their way, so Miles ran (while taking a walkie-talkie from Ben), Richard got run over by a subway killed by the Smoke Monster, and Ben agreed to work for fLocke, in exchange for being in charge after fLocke did what he had to do. fLocke learned why Widmore was there, and Ben finally got his revenge on Widmore. fLocke learned that Desmond escaped and Ben learned that once fLocke was done, there wouldn’t be much of an Island to control.
Meanwhile, the candidates trekked their way across the Island and had a nice little sit down with Jacob. Jacob explained that all the candidates were people whose lives were otherwise miserable and therefore would not be giving up much were they to take his place. Jacob also clarified something- he did not cross Kate’s name off because she’s a horrible character, as we’ve suspected for some time here at the Kingdom, but rather, because she became a mother and has a life off the Island. Yet, like he told Richard a few centuries ago, people have free will on the Island and off- she can still be the protector if she wants and he wouldn’t make anyone the protector without them choosing the job. The job entails something we learned about in the much-maligned Across the Sea- protecting the magical mystery cave of light from fLocke. Former man of science Jack stepped up and volunteered to do the job for as long as it took. Everyman Hurley said he was glad it wasn’t him. Sawyer sat around brooding. And Kate, as usual, was useless.
And five short days from now, it all ends. fLocke against Jack. Hopefully, Hurley, Sawyer, Kate, Desmond, Miles, a conning-the-smoke-monster Ben and a not-dead Richard will be in his corner. And if they’re not, well at least Desmond’s getting the band back together in the Sideways Universe.
Some other thoughts:
-Nice to see Sideways Ben and Rousseau get along. I almost fell off my couch laughing when she threatened to “kidnap” him (almost as good: Ben threatening to pull a “citizen’s arrest” on Desmond). My interpretation? Ben was crying because he knew about what went down on the Island.
-I’d like to think that Ben is playing fLocke. He has some plan (or I’d like to think so) as revenge for being used as fLocke’s pawn.
-I’d also like to think that Richard is okay. We didn’t see a body. On the other hand, we did see:
-Jack has a lot to learn about being the Island protector. In the beginning of tonight’s episode he was trying to patch up Kate’s gunshot wound. Doesn’t he know to just take out the bullet and let the Island do the rest?
-Funny how everyone else in Sidewaysverse has connected to their Island lives through love. Except for Ben. He had to get beat up for it to happen.
-Ben told Miles and Richard that he used the secret room to summon the Smoke Monster, while in reality he was the one being summoned. I’m sorry, but Richard failed at his advisor role if he neglected to tell Ben that Smokey was evil.
-Nice hearing that Widmore had to repent to get back into Jacob’s good graces. But this is one of those things that I would have liked to have seen. Not only what Widmore did to get banished (aside from what’s already been hinted at) but his redemption through Jacob. Not much chance of that happening, though.
-Didn’t Locke already say something similar to “I was hit by a car and of all the doctors in Los Angeles, I ended up with you?” Not exactly, but yeah.
-Yeah, they’ve been foreshadowing that Jack was supposed to be the protector all season long. But at least they’ve made him likeable. Is it me, or does he look like the most criminally underrated James Bond, George Lazenby?
What did you think?