Flashback: The episode starts with a “younger” Locke (he has hair!) working in a toy store, setting up the board game “Mouse Trap”. He explains the game to a boy who asks about it (this theme of Locke being someone who likes games and puzzles is very apparent at this point). He notices a woman wearing a fur coat loitering nearby and he goes to ask if he can help her. She asks about footballs and he directs her to the right aisle.
Locke and Boone are at the excavated hatch (really, it looks like a concrete bunker that might be more reminiscent of a bomb shelter). Locke has assembled what he calls a trebuchet to break through the small glass window in the hatch door. Boone makes a comment about them working on opening the hatch door for two weeks and the fact that Locke never talks about himself to which Locke explains his life story is boring. They get ready to try their trebuchet and initiate its action. Failure. The trebuchet breaks upon impact which takes a toll on Locke as he seems completely baffled at his plan failing. Boone mentions Locke’s leg and he looks down to find a piece of metal sticking out of his flesh (bummer…).
Locke patches up his leg wound and begins to poke and prod at his legs where it’s apparent he seems to have lost feeling but not functionality. As a final test, he takes a burning end of a stick from his campfire and presses the embers to the bottom of his foot: nothing. That’s not good. He tells Boone that morning that the trebuchet didn’t work because it wasn’t strong enough. Boone challenges him on their next step and Locke says they will get an answer from the island. It will tell them what to do. Boone is perplexed by this line of thinking (maybe thinking Locke’s gone crazy?).
Flashback: Leaving for the day from his job, Locke sees the woman in the fur coat loitering in the parking lot and tries to confront her again. Once he catches up to her, she confesses she’s his mother (unexpected). They go to coffee and Locke asks some questions eventually asking about his father to which she says he doesn’t have one and that he was immaculately conceived (yeah, okay). Shortly after that, Locke gets results from a private investigator who confirms the woman is his mother, states she’s been institutionalized for a form of schizophrenia, and also has info on his actual father who may or may not have known of Locke’s birth.
The Plot B thread of this episode focuses on Sawyer and a bad case of the headaches. He’s trying to get help from Sun who tells him to use a particular plant (island organic all-natural) but it doesn’t seem to be working. Kate is concerned and goes to Jack to see if he can help Sawyer but unless Sawyer comes to Jack-o himself, Jack’s not interested in helping. Kate is done with Sawyer’s outbursts at people about being too loud and takes him to Jack who does a brilliant job of “diagnosing” Sawyer by asking some very private questions with Kate present mind you. Sawyer storms off once things get a little heated and Jack smugly tells Kate Sawyer needs glasses because he’s been spending a lot of his time reading, straining his eyes. Sayid puts his ingenuity at work and fashions a pair of glasses for Sawyer which helps. Definitely a lighter tone as this episode with Locke gets emotional.
Boone arrives on site and Locke tells him he’s late for “work” to which Boone remains unconvinced they are making any real progress on the hatch. Locke continues his schtick about the island giving them a sign and looks up to see a small seaplane flying overhead looking as if it’s going to crash nearby. When Locke asks Boone if he saw the plane, he is speechless at the sight of a bloody-faced Boone saying in a creepy voice, “Theresa falls up the stairs; Theresa falls down the stairs” over and over again. Next, he sees his mother in her fur coat pointing up at the sky before finding himself back in his wheelchair unable to use his legs. He begs, “Don’t take it back!” before waking up from the obvious nightmare. Yeah, that was weird and creepy but knowing Locke, that’s his sign from the island. He wakes up Boone and they get an early start on the day.
Flashback: Locke drives to a gated house fit with a gate guard and asks for Anthony Cooper who happens to be his biological father. He gets some pushback from the guard until he calls the house and grants Locke access. Inside the house, Locke notices photos that show a man who has been around the world. Cooper comes out and the two share pleasantries. Locke is definitely not sure what to make of meeting the man but when he’s asked to go hunting, he agrees to go.
Locke tells Boone about his very real dream and as Boone pushes back, Locke asks who Theresa is. This shakes Boone and he agrees to continue on with Locke. Later, he mentions possibly saying Theresa’s name in their time together but doesn’t expound. Locke’s legs give out at one point and as Boone helps him up, Locke reaches out to take a rosary out of a tree. The owner of said rosary falls out of the tree: a dead priest. Locke finds a wad of Nigerian naira in the priest’s pocket and a pistol making it quite clear the man was unlikely a priest.
Locke loses all feeling in his legs and collapses soon after they find the dead priest. Boone says they need to stop their trek and gets pushback from Locke and as he tries to help Locke tells Boone about his being in a wheelchair for four years and getting healed by the island, not understanding why the island was taking the healing back. Boone tells the story of who Theresa is, saying she was a nanny of his who took a bad step and died while falling down the stairs when he was six years old. Locke starts to laugh, angering Boone but when Locke points past him at the seaplane he saw in his dream. Boone agrees to climb up to the plane and search inside it.
Flashback: Locke returns to Cooper’s house for another hunting trip. Inside, he finds Cooper hooked up to a dialysis machine for his kidneys which he needs a transplant for. He and Locke go dove hunting and Locke gets an attaboy when he gets a kill. Cooper tells Locke that at least his crazy mother brought them together, allowing time spent with each other with what little Cooper has left. The next thing we know is both are in a hospital with Locke donating one of his kidneys to his father.
Boone climbs up to the plane while Locke watches on; he succeeds despite the plane not being very stable on its cliff perch. Inside, he finds a second dead not-priest and the mother load: heroine-filled Virgin Mary statues. Yep, Locke thinks the answer to his problems are actually dead drug smugglers and heroine-filled statues. Boone throws a statue out to which Locke is confused, unsure what to make of the revelation. Boone tries the radio in the plane and actually makes contact with someone. He says they’re survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 (is it just me or have I put “Flight 180” in some of these posts? I’m sure one of my many readers can confirm this) but before any more information can be exchanged, the plane shifts and nose dives into the ground. Locke gets use of his legs again (not sure how) and pulls Boone out of the wreckage and he’s in bad shape.
Flashback: Locke wakes up in his hospital room alone and asks the nurse tending to him where Cooper is. She says he checked out of the hospital earlier and returned home under private care. Locke is in disbelief and his mother shows up saying it was Cooper’s idea and that Locke would not have offered his kidney unless it was his idea to do so. Still in disbelief and denial, Locke leaves the hospital, goes to Cooper’s house, and is denied entry. Heartbroken and reduced to the lowest of emotions, we feel Locke’s pain as we realize as he does that his father conned him, only wanting a kidney and nothing more.
Locke brings Boone into the caves, saying Boone fell off a cliff while they were hunting, and while Jack gets to work, he asks Locke what happened exactly but Locke slips out avoiding answering. In obvious anger and confusion, the episode ends with Locke at the hatch banging against the door screaming at the island for reasons why things had happened as they did. Suddenly, a light from inside turns on and Locke’s left shocked and speechless.
Woo! What an episode! Seriously another one of my favorites (I may say this about the next few episodes to be honest). This show really picks up from this point forward and we get some truly amazing storytelling and character moments. Locke remains an amazing character and this episode solidifies why Terry O’Quinn was nominated and won an Emmy for this season. I SOOOOOO wish I could go into spoilers now but I will resist.
Answers are coming in the next episode (though not some of the ones you might hope for).