Thursday, March 22, 2007

Lost: Season 3 Episode 13 - The Man From Tallahassee

Okay, you know you want me to do it! And I think last night's episode was worth here it comes.....WOW! We finally learned how John Locke ended up in a wheelchair. Did the writers meet your expectations for the milestone event? The actual event was shocking in itself, but what we learned in the conversations between Ben and Locke was what held weight in this episode for me. Well, let's not waste time with my intro here. Let's dive into the episode!
The premise of this episode was continuing the Jack Rescue Mission while getting into Locke's head and figuring out what he's been up to since the beginning of his time on the island as well as primarily this season. And naturally, figuring out how he became paralyzed was a pivotal moment too!
Operation Rescue Jack Concludes
Well we continue this story right where we left off last week with Jack throwing the football around with Tom and eventually Juliet. Locke puts together a plan that continues to progress his ulterior motives while getting Kate to Jack. Here's what went down:
  • Re-watching season 1 has been quite a refresher for me. For instance, I forgot that Jack was a piano player. We saw him tickling the ivories out in the Hotel the night before his wedding to Sarah. Here, Kate comes into Jack's Quarters and gets to see his skills first hand. Looks like Kate has a thing for doctors who are musically inclined! Of course this reunion attempt is cut short when Jack informs Kate of the camera watching his every move. That's some kind of house arrest they have Jack under! Football catches and Piano playing in a souped up apartment.
  • Sayid is captured and guarded by some new OTHERS faces, one that goes by the name of Ryan. Apparently Sayid's only purpose in this episode was to inform Alex that her mother is still alive. Apparently Ben and crew told her she was dead. Rousseau watching her daughter at the end of the episode was a very touching moment, wasn't it?
  • Big thing that happened in this storyline is Jack preparing to get on the sub with Juliet and leave the island. It created a perfect dynamic for an emotional scene between Jack and Kate. Jack suggests that he's trusting the others because KATE told him to in their only other conversation this season. Really Jack? That's a lame excuse! Jack's entire plan is to get off the island and figure out how to get back to it and rescue everyone. I guess he's not up to speed on the fact that ever since the Electro-magnetic "EVENT" on the island, there is no way to FIND the island after you leave. But was Jack REALLY going to be let loose? Are Michael and Walt really free right now? Or did Ben already know that something would prevent that Sub from leaving? And did Jack really think Ben would keep his word of letting Kate and Sayid go after he left? Guess it doesn't really matter now, since they're all stuck there!
Locke Flashback
Finally, we get a good flashback this season! The flashback takes place 4 years prior to the crash, which means we get to see a BALDING John Locke, unlike many of his other flashbacks which travel way back in time to show how Locke became the faith searching man he is on the island. Here's what happened:
  • We start off with Locke trying to get extended on disability. Why was he on disability PRIOR to be disabled? Did he claim to have a condition prior to giving up one of his Kidneys? They also suggest he gave up on therapy. We get a glimpse of paperwork that also shows us Locke's Birth date and address. Locke was born in 1956. This makes him 48 on the island. Also shows that we are in California, not, Florida...even though it is suggested that Locke's father is from Tallahassee ("The Man From Tallahassee") Of course that Florida reference helps us with another tidbit we'll bring up in a second!
  • We meet some people that are in the process of being conned by Locke's father. He is about to marry into a family worth 200 million dollars. The woman's son Peter Talbit, reached out to Locke as he found information going back to an Alias name and a kidney donation by John Locke. After Locke informs his Dad about the situation, Peter winds up dead. I didn't see it, but when Locke is talking to his father in the flower store, a car drives by that looks very similar to a car that has showed up in other encounters.

    These encounters? Season 1 - Michael gets hit by a car (same car), Locke is chasing his mother in the parking lot and gets hit by a car (same car), Kate is running from the hospital with her teenage sweetheart, Tom and hits a car (same car). Coincidence? In any other show, I'd say yes. In LOST, I'd say all of the events are connected in some way! Was this car en-route to making another hit and run on Peter? Yeah, probably.
  • Locke's encounter with his father in the apartment building showed us another bottle of Macutheon Whiskey. Last bottle we saw was in Charles Widmore's office. I guess all these bad daddies like to drink the same Whiskey. Again, showing us that there is a common link between all things LOST.
  • So the big did it happen? Cooper (I'm sick of calling him Locke's father) pushes John out the window of his apartment 8 stories up. Locke falls flat on his back breaking it. I mean...WOW! Was that fantastic? We knew the moment had to be coming up soon, since the episode was nearing the end.....but it still seemed so unexpected! John's father tried to kill him. Obviously, this means cooper killed Peter. Did he kill the mother too? Not sure if I caught that or not. So, the paralysis John suffered from prior to island life would seem like something that is unrecoverable from. Yet, he was instantaneously cured on the island. More on that in the next section.
  • Okay, time to possibly tie some more story lines together from season 1. Remember Hurley's first flashback when all the bad stuff kept happening to him after winning the lottery? We see him meeting with his accountant in an office building of some sorts. While he's explaining to the accountant that bad stuff keeps happening to him...a man falls outside the window. Is it possible that this was John Locke? Well we do know that Locke worked for a Paper company that Hurley owned. We know that they were both in California. But some issues with this? Locke falling was 4 years prior to the crash and in an apartment building. Hurley winning the lottery seemed to be not long before the crash and was in an office complex. Still, it seemed too coincidental NOT to mention!
The Mind games of Ben and Locke
Yes, this was the meat of the episode. If you go back a few blogs to when Kate first returned to the beach after her captivity, we even knew then that Locke was suspicious that The Others had contact with the outside world. We couldn't quite understand why he was so interested in this because we know he does NOT want to leave the island. Well, this episode clarified Locke's position and what he is willing to do to make sure he stays on the island.
  • Why did John Locke bring the C4 with him? He wanted to blow up the submarine to prevent anyone from leaving the island and for anyone getting TO the island.
  • Ben played Locke to perfection in solving his issue of letting Jack leave the island. As Alex pointed out, he was manipulating Locke into thinking it was HIS idea to blow up the sub. When did his mindgame with Locke start? How did Ben know he was going to show up? Does it go all the way back to Ben's captivity in the Hatch? Does it include the engraving on Eko's stick that led John to the FLAME station and eventually to Othersville, creating a path of destruction along the way? Seems a little far fetched for Ben to have THAT much control over people's intentions. But at the same time, he got what he wanted. No way off the island.....but again IS there a way off the island? Michael and Walt went somewhere on that boat...the submarine was going to go somewhere. What about Desmond's sailboat the others have now...couldn't that boat leave the island? And what about Ben's slip that the submarine is to keep order and to keep up the "illusion" that the recruited OTHERS can leave the island? Something is fishy in the state of LOST Island indeed! And you just can never really believe anything Ben says can you? Even though it's so easy to!
  • Okay, take a break from my ramblings and look at the artsy decor in Ben's office. I really have nothing to say about it. But I found the picture, so I thought I would just post it. There are some ancient relics of some kind on the wall that might indicate just HOW long the others have been on the island (as Mikhail had suggested...a very very long time). Remember the 4 toed statue from the finale last season? The island is very old. Also, who is the woman in the portrait, and what's up with the picture of that hut? Do we even care?
  • So one of the big conversations between Locke and Ben was about Ben's knowledge of Locke's paralysis and his curiosity into how Locke was instantaneously cured on the island. As expected Ben in the wheelchair tied in perfectly to this reveal. Locke and possibly Ben are under the belief that Locke has fully embraced the island and has some special bond with it. This somehow explains why Ben is NOT recovering from his surgery quickly. If you recall, Rose also embraced the island and knew her husband was still alive and also that she was cured from Cancer. (more on Rose and Bernard in a bit too!). Are we meant to think there really is some supernatural power on the island is bonding with John? That is the continuous mystery behind LOST, and we probably won't find out the answer until the end of the show!
  • Locke's take on Ben not recovering is that he and his crew are CHEATING with their communication with the outside world and their use of technology on the island. He clearly thinks he understands the island better than Ben who has been there his entire life. Of course, this may all change when Ben explains to him the nature of the MAGIC BOX.
  • Ahh yes the Magic Box. The box that will show you what you want to see more than anything else in the world or the thing you fear the most. This ties into the "Get me the Man From Tallahassee" that Ben commands Tom (11/1/2009 Oops...Rewatching and realized it was Richard he told to get him.  Hmmmm)  to retrieve. If we are to believe this BOX delivered what Locke wanted...what do we see? Well if it his John's father bound and gagged in a closet! Sure, most of us probably saw it coming as Ben so clearly set it up. I think I have even suggested in blogs last season about possibly some of these fathers of the survivors showing up on the island. The Big questions we're left with though are these:
  • Is Cooper another manifestation of the island? Is this more for us to theorize on for other visions we've seen on the island? Kate's Horse, Jack's Dad etc.... Is this some technology that the DHARMA initiative brought to the island? And during the PURGE the OTHERS killed the DHARMA members and stole their technology? Or the simpler Locke's father IN on the whole conspiracy? Or did the OTHERS, after learning about Locke's past...hunt down Locke's father and bring him to the island? Lots of ways we can go here.....but Locke's father being on the island brings these possibilities with it:
  • We know Locke's dad is a conman and so is Sawyer.....and one of the running theories in LOST is that Locke's dad might be the REAL Sawyer. You know the one that conned James Ford's (who we know as sawyer on the island) mother causing his father to kill her and then himself...and causing a life of pain for James....also causing him to become a conman himself while hunting down the REAL sawyer. Wouldn't it be convenient that the island brought him the thing he wanted the most too? A chance to kill the man that ruined his life? Kinda like the thing Hurley wants most is FOOD and it keeps showing up in endless supply? Ahhhh crazy stuff.
  • Another theory going around...there are lots of people with FATHER issues on LOST island.... Jack, Kate (killed hers), Walt (Michael), Desmond (well Penny's father really), Jin, Sun, Hurley etc...... Perhaps Ben is sympathizing with John because he has father issues himself? BTW...the producers have confirmed that the MAN in charge of the OTHERS is definitely Jacob. We aren't meant to be theorizing on this anymore. So the theory is...what if Jacob is Ben's father? And he has issues with his father also....even though he did suggest that the man in charge is a GREAT man. Oh well....just something to keep tabs on.
  • On a lighter note...Ben is ALSO reading "A Brief History of Time" which we saw someone reading in episode 7 of this season. Perhaps that's the current BOOK CLUB book that the others are reading? Or maybe it's emphasizing the Black Hole theories out there and the BENDING of Time theories.

Yep, so just as confused as ever, but everyone has to admit that LOST has been on a roll again. Everyone's patience is finally paying off. And if we are meant to believe that this is a 5 season show (with possibly a 6th). Well if that's the case...we've passed the MIDPOINT of the entire we should be seeing a lot of PAYOFF now. But this IS Lost. There are bound do be some snoozer episodes here and there! I'm on board though!

Okay so next week is a Nikki and Paulo flashback episode! Don't be discouraged. I've heard great things about the episode and the concept of it is a really good one. This is rumored to be the "GAME CHANGER" episode where an event will happen that changes everything we've come to know on the island. I don't want to potentially spoil it for anyone that doesn't want to know, but I'll post a cool theory that's been going around below. You'll just have to highlight the text to read if you want!
  • First, premise of the episode will fill in the gaps of what Nikki and Paulo have been up to in the 1st 2 seasons where we didn't see them. What does this mean? Expect to see Boone and Shannon...maybe even Ana Lucia and Mr. Eko. Great concept!
  • Take that even one step further....the theory..Have you noticed how we haven't seen Rose and Bernard ALL of season 3? And you remember how we're meant to believe Desmond actually changed his past? WHAT IF when Desmond went back he changed something that caused Rose and Bernard never to get on the plane? And what if Nikki and Paulo got on the plane instead? Well I like this theory in that it definitely explains why these 2 just showed up! And I like it in the fact that it drives my mind crazy thinking of the possibilities. But I'm skeptical to how they could pull that off without messing up PAST Plotlines too much. I guess we'll see if it's even a possibility!
Alright, I think I went overboard with this blog! Hope you enjoyed! And I'll see you next week for another hopefully high-quality LOST adventure!


Anonymous said...

One of my fave episodes this one! Totally wicked!

Anonymous said...

just a random thought, was reading a news story about peace/governing deal between protestants and catholics in northern ireland. i was thinking about now ireland is an island, and how the north is cut off by barriers in places. just an interesting parallel

Anonymous said...

Could the lady in the portrait be Penny Whidmore?

Oh, and I'm not sure how ancient the relics on the wall are supposed to be. It looks like Ben might just have a Hawaiian/Polynesian themed house. I saw a ton of masks like those for sale in Hawaii.

Mike V. said...
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Anonymous said...

So who is the "Man from Tallahssee"? I was never a big fan of Locke's, but this episode made me hate him even more :)

Mike V. said...

Yeah Locke was doing some questionable things in season 3! Lol The Man From Tallahasee is locke's father Anthony Cooper. They showed him at the end of the episode. He was brought to the island and Ben claims that he came out of the "magic box".

Miles Balzard said...

Mike, you always write a terrific Lost recap, but this was perhaps your best one up to this point! Really enjoyed reading it and it helped clarify so many things and brought up possibilities that I never thought of! Your recaps always do that, but this one really stood out for me. As you would say...good times.

This was one of my favorite episodes, and learning how Locke came to be a paraplegic was a real shocker. I knew his dad was a ba-a-a-d man, but never expected him to try to murder his own son. No matter what Cooper ever does for the rest of his life, he is utterly irredeemable and evil in my mind.

Which brings up the subject of redemption and atonement. Lost is certainly overrun with stories of redemption or potential redemption. The flip side of that is damnation, and Lost has plenty of characters who are on the road to that as well.

Which brings up our main triumvirate of Jack, Kate and Sawyer. So far, everything we've seen in Jack's behavior and his flashbacks tells us he's a man of integrity and good deeds. But Kate and Sawyer are in need of redemption, if not salvation, because they've both killed a person in cold blood, plus Jack was a con man and Kate was an armed bank robber.

Now I know some people think of hustlers and swindlers as a petty criminals, but Sawyer was robbing people of their life savings. To me, bad people who fleece good people of their life savings are some of the worst people ever. It's really hard to find redemption after doing that, and then Sawyer kills a man because he was angry at somebody else. And Kate robs a bank with three armed men (there were innocent bank customers who could've been killed) because she wants a plastic airplane toy. Then she kills her father because he smacked around her mother, which Kate did for her own satisfaction and not for her mom's (who was really pissed off about it).

Kate and Sawyer need redemption badly, and I'll grant you they're earning it here on the island. But more than most, I'm not so forgiving of their past mistakes, especially because they were horrible, evil crimes. Whereas Locke appeared to be a very good man before he crashed on the island. He gets a lot more leeway with me, at least until I see him something entirely unwarranted and unforgivable.

As far as the submarine goes, I believe there will always be another way off the island. Like you said, Mike, there's the sailboat, but beyond it appears the island has been visited many times in the past by different entities, including the food drops, etc.

With the degree of coming and going that has taken place, I think the island is more physically real than some may have thought. I don't think it's moving around, either (the survivors know exactly where the sun rises each morning), because that stretches logical credibility in a direction I don't think the show wants to go. There may still be a chance that it is somehow cloaked from the world (it really is a giant almost as big as Hawaii, lol), since it seems hard to find once your away from it. But if Lost turns into a pure dream location or a mirage or something...argh.

The island (or something within or on the island) has enormous, sometimes supernatural powers and it hosts unearthly beings (is the entire island still contaminated with something?), but beyond that is it really more than a very remote, uncharted island?

But how the hell is anything uncharted these days? Obviously there are still a lot more questions than answers, but I'm enjoying the mysteries.

Mike V. said...

Thanks Miles. I appreciate the props. I don't even remember what I wrote, but it's nice to hear that some stand out more than others. A lot of people thought I perfected my craft in season 6. All I know is that my recaps got longer and longer where I felt like I couldn't leave out a single detail! lol It became great "next day reading at work" for people. Meanwhile, I had to stay up half the night writing it! But, I did it because I loved it. Much like George R.R. Martin recently said in an interview, I liked "having written" more than "actually writing" lol Anyway, enough about my supposed "craft" of blogging. :-)

This definitely stands up there with some of the best episodes. Ahh just thinking of it reminds me of the Magic Box and how long we spent speculating about that.

Jack is a man of integrity?? He's just as flawed as the rest of them, just a born leader. He certainly did drive his father back to alcoholism which eventually led to his death. He has jealousy issues and he doesn't respect other people's cultures. (had to throw the tattoo stuff in there LOL) He is in need of redemption, or maybe just forgiveness. Of course, he did get that in the emotional scene between him and Sawyer at the end of season one where Sawyer tells the story of his run-in with Christian (one of my favorite LOST scenes). But yeah...Kate and Sawyer are murderers so they are in need of a different kind of redemption.

Locke - man yeah...that's a guy who just had a rough life. And always believed he was destined for more. So, on the Island...he's living out what he thinks is his destiny (whether that's true or not, well we need to keep watching).

You're absolutely perceptive about different modes on and off the island. I still get confused about this though. Of course, after all is said and done...I think we all decided that Ben had already retrieved Cooper prior to asking Richard to "fetch me the man from Tallahassee" and maybe used the submarine to do it. Because nothing that comes after this indicates any easy ways to come and go from the Island. Though, there are certainly ways...and obviously in the scheme of things it doesn't matter how things happen, it's the stories that result BECAUSE it happened.

I'll let you stir in your theories about the Island for awhile. Things will be revealed. And the fun of it is speculation!

Victoria said...

I loved this episode! Just can’t believe how awful Locke’s dad is though, I have to say that I was completely unprepared for him pushing Locke out the window! I love those “OMG!!!” moments and we definitely had a lot of these! I have so much respect for Locke becoming a functioning member of society though, based on his backstory you would expect him to be the most criminal of all of them so it shows a great strength of character that he hasn’t let the horrible, evil things his dad did shape him into a monster too!

Mike V. said...

Agreed, this is a good one! Cool to hear your perspective on Locke at this point in the story. He certainly is a rival to Jack due to their differing philosophies (man of science/man of faith), but he certainly has proven his worth on the island. And yeah, Anthony Cooper is the worst! :)

Mike V. said...

I had to go back and check the recap to make sure I didn’t spoil anything. But sure enough you did see Anthony Cooper on the Island too! This show gets nuts, but it’s soooo good!

Simon Sandiford said...

That glass window that Locke fell out of... How dangerous was that glass?! I wouldn't want to be sting there when a slip on the floor and you could be through the glass. Think some reinforced glass was needed there.

Other thing is the village's sonar protection posts... How did people avoid them on the way to the Dock, unless this Dock was inland and not on the coast? And Danielle just randomly wandering round at night wouldn't be able to see them... Very risky.

Plus I thought Danielle had stolen Claire's baby to offer it to the others as a swap for Alex, or did I dream that bit? Seemed odd that she didn't want to know anything about her.

Overall a great episode!

Anonymous said...

Back again after another late night binge. I absolutely loved this episode, the manipulation of Locke and the reveal of it by Ben was fantastic.

One thing that I noticed in this episode was that when Tom brings Jack to talk to kate, he tells him to be careful what he says and gestures that there are cameras.

With my last watch through being a very long time ago I can’t remember if this is paid off at all but it really got my mind whirring.

The Mikhail and Flame station scenes had completely fallen out of my memory as well, although the security fence death was something I’d remembered clearly. There’s so many huge moments, realisations and reveals over this back half of S3, it’s truly testament to a great show.

You said something on my earlier comment Mike which stuck with me, has there ever been a series that was as mind bending as these first 3 seasons of lost? Heroes S1 and 2 spring to mind but they couldn’t hold on to the narrative as well in my opinion.

Lost really doesn’t date either, it could be a brand new show as far as I’m concerned. What a great job they did.

Stephen, Uk.

Mike V. said...

LOST most certainly doesn’t date. It’s helpful that there’s not a lot of technology on that island and flashbacks span all different decades. Don’t want to say too much on the cameras as I don’t want to spoil first time viewers. But I think it’s just the fact that anyone could be watching. Damon and Carlton (showrunners) used to refer to Tom as “Mr. Friendly” lol. He was always nice with his demeanor and behavior around the LOSTIES. But they were always at odds with the others too.

Seasons 1-3 of LOST was a good run. When season 3 kicked off it was going against S1 of Heroes…and people were saying LOST had “lost” it. But what stood the test of time? I thought heroes dropped off quickly from the S1 finale onward. I watched the rest of it even the revival..but nothing was as good as season 1. And the end of season 1 was a huge letdown from what I recall. Meanwhile…we know how s3 of LOST ended. LOST at its finest.

Nice to hear from you again Stephen. Keep enjoying the rewatch!

Anonymous said...

Jack and Juliet, like Michael and Walt, would have been able to leave the island. You know why Jack wanted to leave . . . Kate's post-coital moment with Sawyer inside one of the Hydra cages. Locke is a chip off the old block. He murdered Mikhail in the same way Cooper tried to murder him - with a push.

Anonymous said...
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Mike V. said...

Ok well that was rude and profane. I deleted the comment but I’ll respond. I mentioned 17 years ago all the people that drama with their fathers. I don’t even remember the point I was making but I included Walt and Michael as 2 of them. It’s neither of their faults but they were separated for awhile and Walt thought his father abandoned him. So yeah Walt had daddy issues. They reconciled but it was still a thing on the show. So don’t appreciate that language being sent my way. But whatever.

To anonymous post on April 27th - all good comparisons.i forget when we find out Jack’s true intentions and don’t want to spoil future episodes so I’ll go with that you’re saying for now! :)