Ep. 04 – The Substitute

One of the reasons I like LOST so much, is because you can rest assured that a) a bad episode is still good compared to most other shows and b) a bad episode will always be followed by a great episode. And because I believe that all is eventually right in this world, I am happy to anounce that, after having watched The Substitute, these rules still stand.

The Episode…

In the Sideways story, we got a lot of refreshing set-up. At a first glance, it didn’t seem like that exciting a story, but a lot of hints were given to the dramatic changes in Locke’s life if Jughead had exploded. Apparently, something in the explosion caused Locke to not have problems with his father. It’s a thought worth pondering: what could this have been? But, more importantly: how did John end up in the wheelchair, if not by his father’s hand? There’s probably some sort of couse-correcting involved, but what kind… it’s a mystery.

Locke having a good relationship with his dad caused another thing: he is still together with Helen. I wonder if she’s going to get cancer and die like she apparently did in the main story? Or was that a lie by Widmore to get Locke back on the island? I liked how destiny shoved him away from Jack and back into Ben’s hands. It was clear that for the final season, the writers would want to squeeze the last life out of the wonderful Emerson-O’Quinn duo, but Ben as a high school teacher? …It blew my mind.

The much more interesting reveal came on the island, however. In 2007, Sawyer willingly allied himself with the Monster, and thus got introduced to not one, but two of the core secrets to the series. Does this mean Sawyer is now a “bad guy”? My guess is that Sawyer will con our Man in Black in the end. It’d be like Sawyer to do that.

The Questions…

This episode made me fall in love with the nemesis. Apparently, he’s not just some diety, but was a man in the past, a man with an obviously backstorywound. Who’s the little kid he (and Sawyer) saw? Was it Jacob? Did they try to kill each other to discover the island’s secrets? I’d say the sickness is probably involved somewhere in there, but I can’t put my finger on it just yet.

In other news, Richard Alpert took an interesting turn aswell. Never before have we seen him this twitchy and in the dark. After Jacob’s “what about you” to Ben and now his supposed betrayal to Richard, I’m starting to wonder which side is dark and which side is light all over again. Is the monster truly a bad guy? Funnily enough, Richard’s mentor role has been taken over by Ilana. She seems to know everything about everything, but isn’t really letting out more than she wants. I can’t wait for more information on her!

And, going to one of the core answers in this episode: yes, it is destiny that they ended up on the island. They are possible candidates to fill Jacob’s shoes. At the moment, Hurley seems the most logical solution. But let’s ask ourselves: do we really want anyone to fill Jacob’s position? Would that be a satisfying ending?

The second core answer – which was not in my questions list because I just figured they’d let it be – concerned the numbers. Apparently, the numbers fit right into Jacob’s love of lists: every number corresponds someone. At the moment, only Sawyer, Jack, Sayid, one of the Kwons and Hurley are still contending. Where is Kate? Wasn’t she touched by Jacob in the season five finale aswell?

Next Week…

If they keep the season one structure copying up, next week will be all about Jack. I wonder if he’ll meet someone interesting in his Sideways? I can’t imagine his life having changed so much – his dad even disappeared just like he did back in Season One. It’s so tempting to look at the cast list whether Christian is on it, but I promised myself I wouldn’t this season.

Anyway, looks like we’ll be seeing more of the temple, the place where the action seems to be happening. Sun, Frank, Ilana, Ben and Richard should have arrived there by now. Poor Sun, missing Jin all over again.

In All…

This episode rocked my socks off. I felt so amazed looking at Jacob’s messy list and the implications it had. But it truly were the little things that made this so great: the little boy, Locke getting along with his father, Helen, Hurley’s car not getting hit by Locke’s because he is the luckiest guy on earth… There’s just so many details, I could watch it over and over again.

Favourite Quote: BEN: Alright, I know I sound like a broken record, but how many times do we have to go over this? If you have the last cup of coffee, you remove the filter and throw it away. Fear not. I will make a fresh pot.
LOCKE: Actually, I was just hoping for some Earl Grey.
BEN: Tea? Now there’s a gentleman drink. I don’t believe we met. Ben Linus, European History.
LOCKE: John Locke, Substitute.
BEN: Well, Welcome.