LOST: No “Substitute” for Locke
by Sarah Carbiener
I was first inspired to watch Lost by hearing someone recount a Locke (Terry O’Quinn) episode from the first season. After getting the play-by-play of the first Locke-centric episode, where he tries to go on his walkabout, I knew I had to watch this show. Six seasons later, he is still the main reason I keep tuning in. After the shocking reveal at the end of last season, I’m very happy the character and the actor are getting the treatment they deserve.
The biggest difference between this week’s episode and last week’s is obviously that the “flashbacks” were so much more meaningful. They were entirely believable and, even though there were no guns or fugitive shenanigans, everything felt like it mattered more. Even when Locke has nothing left to lose, as is often the case, he still fights like he has everything at stake.
I find that in episodes where the writers don’t heavily broadcast what they’re trying to get across or what they may or may not reveal (unlike episodes where Jack demands answers over and over again) are the most riveting. This week, it’s never entirely clear what exactly we’re going to figure out by episode’s end, and so when we do learn something new, the impact is that much greater.
Locke episodes are great, but man, are they exhausting. Watching him struggle against the terrible hand life has dealt him over the course of an hour really takes it out of me. I sit there, tense, willing good things to happen for him and they almost never do.
Locke makes it worth renting Season 1 and starting the whole series from the beginning. But if you’re going to do that, you’d best catch up before the series finale in May. I’m guessing spoilers will be even more rampant than the spoilers for the final Harry Potter book.
What did you think of this episode? Were you exhausted like I was afterwards?