Wednesday, February 17

Five Things About The Substitute

There'll be a (likely lengthy) column for The Substitute up on this Thursday afternoon. In the meanwhile, I thought I'd list five things about the episode that stick out immediately to me, and provide a space in the comments to talk about the episode.

Instant reaction: My favorite of the season so far.

Five things about The Substitute:

1. Helen suggests that Locke invite his father to the wedding.

Say it with me now: 'Whaaa?' Does Locke have the relationship he wanted with his father off-Island? Is Helen simply unaware of Locke's history with his father?

2. Numbers and Names - Anti-Locke takes Sawyer to a proto-Dharma station located in a cliff face, where the names of certain castaways are scrawled on the walls and ceiling, alongside the infamous Numbers. Again: 'Whaaa?' Where did Jacob get these names? Why isn't Kate's name up there with a number?

3/4. Bloodyboy Jacob(?) and Smokey-sight - a young boy who seems go be Jacob (but could also be an older Aaron - and remember that the two might be one and the same) appears to Anti-Locke in the jungle and tells Locke that 'killing him' is against the rules. So it seems that even Smokey himself can see 'the dead' on the Island. Does this imply that Smokey (who claims he's a man) was once a candidate too? And what was up with the MiB seeming to 'mirror' the character of Locke, yelling 'don't tell me what I can't do'?

5. The 'Evil Dead cam' used to show Smokey's POV was pure awesome.

Let me know what you thought in the comments!


  1. 1. Neither, I think it's an unknown third option.

    2. Yeah, where was Kate? Jacob definitely visited her in the flashback.

    3/4. The boy definitely gave off the Jacob vibe. Is the "him" he's referring to Sawyer, or Jacob/the boy himself? Or someone else entirely?

    5. First thing I said to my wife as that scene played out: "This is so Evil Dead." She nodded in agreement.

  2. Morse, the fact that again everyone we see in the island-less reality seems to be doing better with their own redemption on their own is what makes me lean towards your 2nd snake versus split timelines. It is so satisfying so see these people deal with their lives head on. I know a lot of people are still unsure, but I like the sideways timeline alot. They are almost like crack if you care about these characters.

    On the island, I was glad Sun called to bury John. And I'm glad that John was buried in the graveyard on the island that he devoted his last days to.

    Ben's eulogy was perfect.

    Loved Ben being the (harmless?) scourge of the teacher's lounge.

    Maybe Kate wasn't on the list because Kate was Aaron's foster/substitute mother?

    Also, could Kwon be Ji Yeon? Jacob did touch both Sun and Jin...

    So do you buy that Jacob was the bad guy and Smokey could be - as I saw someone else call him - really a Severus Snape?

    damned that unreliable narrator. It let's Lost get away with revealing the answer to the same question 3 or 4 times...

  3. Oh, and the kid in the Jungle reminded me so much of Peter Pan as described in the JM Barrie's original story.

  4. 1 - I like to think of the new off island as "perfectland". It seems everything goes...right.

    2 - Whos to say we just didnt see all the names in there? It seems to me they must all be on there somewhere.

    3/4 - It seems like when Jacob touches someone he "claims" them for his "game" and those people are off limits, or maybe just cant be killed directly. only through manipulating other people. That took me back to Ben and Whidmores exchange "what are you going to do kill me?" "You know i CANT do that" hmmmm

    5 - Yes, awesome.

  5. Morning, folks.

    Miles, the kid reminded me of Pan as well, which links nicely with the allusions/similarities to JM Barrie's story that have been present before. I don't know that Smokey is a 'Snape' - I suspect it's more complicated than that. I'll get into this question in the column.

    Interesting thought about Ji Yeon - that's a smart, sneaky guess.

    Dan, what might that third option potentially be?

  6. 1. John could be lying about his dad. Not sure I'd want to hang out with a guy that pushed me out a window.

    2. Intersting, not sure what to think about the Kate not being on the list. Clever theory on Ji Yeon

    3/4. I found it odd that Richard didn't see the Kid and surprised that Sawyer say him and that Sawyer still followed Anti-Locke despite the blatant lie. My wife and I have a theory about the Kid; we think the Kid is the one that makes the rules. Jacob/MiB and Ben/Widmore always talk about rules and not breaking them and so forth, but who makes the rules. I don't think that the Kid is Aaron or baby Jacob. All the "ghosts" have been about the same age as when the "died" and the Kid is too old to be Aaron.

    5. Props to the Evil Dead homage.

  7. Why is everyone so excited over the Smokey Cam? We've seen it used before. In "The 23rd Psalm" and even briefly in "LA X, Part 1". This was the longest Smokey Cam, but not the first.

  8. Nobody got a Cain and Abel vibe from that little kid? Read up on the curse that was laid on Cain...And also the punishment dished out for those who might kill Cain. Maybe thats why noone wants to directly kill certian people? Im sure its not the story in a literal context, but seems heavily influenced...

  9. I was also really curious about the crossed out names. For example, did they include Dawson, Pace, Eko, Cortez, Smith (hah), etc? Sure we haven't seen Jacob visit them, but it doesn't mean that he didn't. It would be pretty easy to imagine that he visited them around key scenes that we've seen already.

    I'm also thinking that Ben has met Jacob. Probably when Richard took him to the Temple to be healed. He just doesn't remember.

  10. I went back on my DVR to see what other names I could find on the wall. Most of it is pretty illegible, but a couple stand out:

    313- Littleton (crossed out)
    140- Lewis (crossed out)

    I assume those refer to Claire and Charlotte, but maybe the first one is Aaron. Dunno.

    Two other legible names meant absolutely nothing to me:

    10- Mattingly
    222- O'Toole

  11. Oops, I should have specified that both of the latter names (Mattingly and O'Toole) were also crossed out.

  12. The part where the sprinkler sprays Locke was like a visual echo from Season 1 where it rains on him after predictig it.

  13. Steve, wow. That seems pretty damned relevant. If it IS Claire, and Littleton is crossed out, then you don't have to die to be disqualified. Maybe being "claimed" isn't really infected. It just means, no longer eligible for Jacob's purpose.

    Now we need to know what that means

  14. 1. Perhaps in the sideways flash John Locke has a less destructive foster-child experience and instead actually has a strong adoptive family. Just a thought.

    2. Does anyone have a full run-down of all the castaway names that we were shown in this episode along with their corresponding numbers? I'd be very interested to see exactly who was left out and where each person falls in the sequential order of the numbers.

    3/4. A friend of mine is of the mind that the boy represents the establisher of the rules, or what you could refer to as Jacob and MiB's "boss." Also, what is the significance that Richard could not see the boy the first time we see him and Sawyer could the second time? And what's with the blood on the hands the first time and nothing the second time?

    I can't count out this boy being Jacob himself. It seemed as though the ash that is used to repel Smokey is actually Jacob's ashes (Ilena seemed to have a significant moment scooping it into her pouch, and I mean significant in that it was given some swelling music and a specific camera move to give it attention), which would make sense in terms of the circles of ash and Dogen's "test." So, I wonder if Jacob's death is actually part of a larger cycle...and is the process of finding candidates one that is singular (as in seeking one end, one replacement), or is it a continuous process (which would seem to flow with Jacob's "everything up to that is just progress" mentality). Anyway...that was a big spewage of brain fart.

  15. I find it surprising that no one I've read on the web has mentioned how perceptive Sawer is. That was one of the most surprising moments in the episode for me. Sawyer continues to surprise me at how intelligent and observant he is. Especially since he is the only one who saw through the MiB completely on his own. Just a thought.

  16. Shepherd 23....Psalm 23? The Lord is my shepherd?