Monday, July 17, 2023

LOST: It Wasn't Purgatory, Season 3, Episode 3, Further Instructions

On-Island Events


Locke awakens in the jungle, sees Desmond run by naked, and is nearly struck by Eko's scripture stick as it falls out of a tree. He conveys to Charlie through gestures that he needs to speak to "the island." Locke makes a sweat lodge, ingests some sort of plant material, and induces an altered state in which Boone appears. In the old wheelchair from the crash Boone pushes Locke around an airport, looking for someone who apparently needs Locke's help. At the top of an escalator Locke finds Eko's scripture stick, bloody. Boone, also suddenly bloody says, "Clean it up, John. They've got him. You don't have much time." Locke bursts out of the tent and informs Charlie he is going to save Eko's life. While searching for Eko, Locke and Charlie pick up a blood trail, find the imploded hatch, and a recently killed boar. After running from a polar bear they encounter Hugo on his way back from the dock (last seen in Live Together, Die Alone part 2), who Locke nearly kills with his machete and sends on his way back to the beach. Hugo meets naked Desmond in the jungle, offers him a shirt, and questions the fact that Desmond was not at all harmed in the detonation of the hatch. "You're not gonna like, turn into the hulk or something . . . ?" Later Hugo is confused when Locke makes a speech about going after Jack, Kate, and Sawyer as Desmond referenced this very event when they were in the jungle moments before it actually happened.

Following the polar bear's tracks, Locke finds an old Tonka truck, various bones, and an
injured Eko. The bear attacks but Locke and Charlie carry Eko to safety. Locke passively accepts guilt in being responsible for the hatch implosion and informs Charlie he is following Boone's advice to clean up his mess. Locke apologizes to Eko, acknowledging he should have listened to him; Eko awakens momentarily to encourage Locke to save his people, emphasizing that he is indeed, a hunter.

Flashbacks: Locke picks up a young male hitchhiker in California and gets pulled over by police who find a large sack of guns in the back of his truck. Locke brings his new friend, Eddie, to dinner on a farm site. After staying with Locke on the farm for six weeks Eddie asks Locke for access to a greenhouse neither of them are allowed to enter; Locke laughs at Eddie's assumption that they might be building bombs. It turns out farmers-in-charge Mike and Jan are growing marijuana, Eddie is an undercover police officer, and Locke has ruined the farm operation by inviting Eddie into their midst. When confronted by Locke on a hunting trip in the forest, Eddie admits he was a purposeful target in that his psychological profile suggested he would be "amenable for coercion."

Greater Meaning: Locke wakes up in the jungle in the exact way Jack did after the crash in the first episode, suggesting again that the conflicts and similarities between the characters continue to be meaningful. Despite their frequent disagreements over how best to lead the survivors, Locke and Jack are both considered leaders and are equally important; with Jack being held by the others, Locke is the de facto leader. As such, the issues Locke has been struggling with (losing his faith after finding the pearl station, causing the implosion of the hatch/putting Eko in danger, and everything regarding his father) impact how he sees himself and affect his leadership. 

Repeated references to being a hunter or a farmer are mentioned by Locke (to Eddie, regarding the sweat lodge at the farm), Eddie (stating to Locke he was a farmer not a hunter), and Eko (to Locke, affirming he is a hunter), suggesting that Locke's identity is an important factor in his confidence. The troubling thing isn't just the truth in Locke's statement to Charlie---"bad things happen to people who hang out with me," but that many of the bad things that happen seem to come from Locke's vulnerability in trusting the wrong people (or in the case of Boone's death, the wrong signs from the island). Because of his rocky history with his father, Locke's need to prove himself is similar in importance but different in context to Jack's same need. Emily Locke informed Locke about his father well into his adulthood where it must be assumed that Locke had already formed an identity for himself (whereas Jack's conflicts with his father were present from childhood and thus informed the development of who Jack became); Anthony Cooper took an otherwise functioning adult male and traumatized him, causing Locke to question everything about himself. Locke's need to be a hunter may be about being an alpha, masculine man who could conceivably win favor with the father who rejected him AND it may also come from Locke's anger at said rejection---hunters get to kill, hunters are

Further Questions: 

1. Were there other parts of Locke's vision that are important? (Charlie and Claire---Boone said, "they'll be fine for a while," Sun and Jin---"I think Sayid's got it,"). What was the significance of the airport? 

2. Are Locke and Charlie friends again?

3. How did Desmond know that Locke was going to give the speech about rescuing Jack, Kate, and Sawyer? Was Hugo onto something about becoming The Hulk?

4. Will Eko be okay?

5. How many polar bears are on the island and how did they get there? 

6. Does Locke recover his faith in the island? In himself?

7. Was the pearl station meant to teach Locke a lesson? Is the island communicating with him? The title of the episode is "Further Instructions." FROM WHOM?

8. Did Eko really speak to Locke or was he imagining it? 

9. Was Locke really meant to save Eko? What if the vision meant someone else? Boone saying "They've got him" points more to the others (they = plural, as there was only one bear that we know of)---could this have been in reference to Jack? Boone didn't say anything specifically about Jack not being the one in need of help, only a general "there's nothing you can do for them, not yet," after seeing Sawyer and Kate. Jack was shown going through security and being examined by Ben (as a security agent). 

10. Is Jack being vetted for something by the others?