Locke’s fateful mission off the island to recruit the Oceanic 6 into returning is revealed, along with the circumstances surrounding his death.
|Written by Carlton Cuse & Damon Lindelof
Directed by Jack Bender
In the here and now, we see new character Caesar rifling through a Dharma office somewhere on the island. Among the objects he finds are vintage magazines about Hydrogen bomb tests, a map of the island, a time travel chart, and a sawed-off shotgun. He pockets the gun just before he’s interrupted by Ilana, the federal agent who escorted Sayid onto the plane. When she asks about what he put in his bag, he lies and retrieves a large flashlight.
She tells him that they’ve found a man that no one recognizes from the plane. He was standing in the water, wearing a suit, when they found him. Ilana takes Caesar to meet this man, and outside, they pass Ajira 316 — which looks almost completely intact. Outside the crash site, on the beach, the survivors are gathered around a hooded man who’s kneeling on the ground near a campfire. Caesar asks him who he is, and he pulls back his hood. “My name is John Locke,” says a very alive and well Locke.
The next morning, Locke looks across the shore at the main island. He spots a number of canoes on the shore, and Ilana tells him that they were already there when the plane crashed. One of them is missing now because the plane’s pilot (Frank Lapidus) and another woman took one of the canoes without telling anyone. He asks if they have a passenger list, and she says he’ll “have to talk to Caesar.” Ilana questions him about how he got there. She says she doesn’t remember seeing him on the plane. He says he doesn’t remember being on the plane, but he does remember dying.
From here, the show enters into an extended flashback, which reveals the entire story of what happened to John Locke from the moment he turned the frozen wheel to how he died. After turning the wheel, Locke ended up in Tunisia, in the exact same place where Ben was sent after he turned it. Locke is still injured from his fall down the well on the island, and he’s unable to stand. He throws up before noticing that cameras have been erected on poles, all facing the spot where he’s now laying.
By nighttime, Locke is going into shock. A pickup truck approaches, and a group of men get out and hastily load Locke into the back. At a local hospital, a doctor forces some pills down his throat, puts a bit between his teeth for him to bite down on, and resets his leg. Before he passes out, Locke sees Matthew Abaddon watching him from a distance.
Later, Locke is awoken by Charles Widmore, who tells Locke he had a compound fracture, but Widmore had a specialist flown in to repair it. He reveals his identity to Locke, and tells him that he first met Locke when he was 17 years old. Locke says that event was only four days ago for him. Widmore says that the cameras that Locke saw in the desert are his, that he’d had them placed there in case Ben Linus tricked anyone else into leaving the island the same way he tricked Widmore.
Widmore reveals that he was once leader of the Others, and that his people had protected the island for more than three decades. But he was tricked by Ben into turning the frozen wheel. He tells Locke that it is now three years since the Oceanic 6 left the island, and that it won’t be easy to convince them to return. But Widmore intends to help him do it. Locke asks Widmore why he’s helping him, and Widmore says it’s because he’s special. The island needs Locke. He then says that a war is coming, and that if Locke isn’t on the island when it comes, then the wrong side is going to win.
Later, Widmore supplies Locke with a fake I.D., using the name Jeremy Bentham. He explains that he selected the pseudonym because the real Bentham was a famous philosopher — just like Locke’s namesake. Widmore gives Locke the locations of all of the Oceanic 6, telling him that he’s been watching all of them. Locke still doubts Widmore’s motives, asking why he sent a freighter loaded with explosives to the island, if he’s such a good guy. Widmore replies that Ben Linus had to be removed from the island, so that Locke could fulfill his destiny. Locke tells him that Richard Alpert said that he has to die to get the O6 to return, but Widmore says he’s not going to let that happen, because the island needs Locke, and has for a very long time.
Matthew Abaddon arrives in a car, and Widmore says that Abaddon is to be Locke’s driver and protector. Anything he needs, Abaddon will get for him. He takes Locke to the airport, where he flies to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. There, Sayid is working as a volunteer for a Habitat for Humanity type organization called Build Our World. Locke tells Sayid that it was a mistake for the Oceanic 6 to leave the island, and that they have to come back. Sayid says that it wasn’t a mistake, that it led to his reunion with the love of his life. He and Nadia had nine months together before she was killed, and those were the best nine months of his life. Locke tells Sayid where to find him in L.A. should he change his mind. Sayid replies that if Locke wants to do some real good, he’s welcome back here anytime.
Next up is Walt, who Locke and Abaddon find at Fieldcroft School in New York City. While they wait for school to get out, he asks Abaddon to find his lost love, Helen, for him. Walt exits the school with other children and spots Locke across the street immediately, as if sensing his presence. He crosses the street and Locke asks why he’s unsurprised to see him. Walt replies that he’s been having dreams about Locke, about him standing on the beach wearing a suit, surrounded by people who want to harm him. Walt asks about his dad, Michael, but Locke doesn’t tell him the truth, that his father is dead. He merely says that the last he heard of Michael, he was working on a freighter. Walt asks why Locke has come to see him now, and after a moment’s hesitation, Locke appears to decide on the spot not to ask Walt to come back to the island. Instead, he merely says he wanted to make sure that Walt was okay. When Abaddon questions this decision later, Locke tells him that Walt’s been through enough, and he couldn’t bring himself to ask this of the boy. In the distance, the camera reveals that Ben Linus has been watching this entire scene.
In Santa Rosa, California, Locke meets with Hurley in the same recreation yard where Hurley spoke to Dead Charlie. Hurley is unsurprised to see him, assuming that Locke is dead, too. When Locke proves that he’s very much alive, Hurley sees that Matthew Abaddon is with Locke, and he freaks out, and runs away.
Back in the car, Locke asks Abaddon just who he really is. Abaddon asks Locke if he remembers that it was him, working as an orderly at the hospital, who suggested that Locke go on an Australian walkabout after his paralyzing accident. Locke says he does remember. Abaddon explains that his job is to “help people get to where they need to be,” and that this is what he does for Charles Widmore.
In Los Angeles, Kate flatly refuses to go back with Locke. Locke doesn’t understand why she would refuse to help everyone else on the island, when they need the help of those who are off the island. Kate dismisses him, suggesting that he’s desperate to stay on the island because he had never loved anyone. Locke tells her she’s wrong, that he once loved a woman named Helen. She asks what happened, and he says it didn’t work out, that he was “angry and obsessed.” “Look how far you’ve come,” Kate replies coldly.
Back at the car, Locke asks Abaddon once again about Helen. Abaddon says he couldn’t find her, that she’s moved, possibly married with a new name. Locke finds this hard to believe, when Widmore so easily tracked down the exact locations of all of the Oceanic 6. Finally, Abaddon takes Locke to a graveyard in Santa Monica, where Helen is buried. She died of a brain aneurism in 2006. Abaddon tries to console Locke, telling him that Helen is where she’s supposed to be, that this is where her life’s path led her, just like Locke’s path leads back to the island. He insinuates that Locke’s having to die, as Richard told him he must, isn’t fate at all, but ultimately a choice that Locke must make. When they return to the car, Abaddon is shot and killed. Locke jumps into the front seat and takes off, causing a terrific car crash with two other vehicles.
He awakens in a hospital, and Jack is in his room, waiting for him to wake up. He was brought to Jack’s hospital after the car crash. Locke immediately tries to convince Jack to come back to the island with him, that Jack is the linchpin, and if Jack agrees to return, the others will come too. He claims that someone is trying to kill Locke because they don’t want him to succeed, and that’s why he was in this accident. Jack tells him the whole thing is ludicrous, that Locke is just a delusional old man, looking for meaning amid a life that has none. As he goes to storm out of the room, Locke says, “Your father says hi.” He explains that he deduced it had to be Jack’s father who came to him on the island with Jacob’s instructions, because he knew it wasn’t Hurley or Sayid’s father. Locke even knows the man’s name as Christian, but still Jack claims not to believe him. He tells Locke to leave him and all of the others alone.
Wallowing in failure at his hotel, sometime after he’s been discharged from the hospital, Locke writes his suicide note, throws away the cell phone Widmore gave him, and makes preparations to hang himself. He has the noose around his neck when there’s a knock at the door and when Locke doesn’t answer, it’s broken down to reveal Ben Linus. He claims he knew Locke was here and what Locke was up to because he’s watching all of them, keeping them safe. Locke accuses him of killing Abaddon, and Ben admits to it, but says that Abaddon would have killed Locke eventually, if Ben hadn’t taken him out. He says that Widmore is the true bad guy, that he’s using Locke because he’s important. Locke believes himself a failure since he couldn’t convince any of the O6 to return, so he can’t be “important” or a leader. Ben reveals that Jack had just booked a plane ticket from L.A. to Sydney, and Ben believes Jack is hoping the plane might crash back on the island. So whatever Locke said to Jack, according to Ben, it worked.
Ben manages to talk Locke down, untying his rope and telling him, “You can’t die, you’ve got too much work to do.” Ben says he’ll help Locke, and suggests they go see Sun next, since Locke hadn’t made it to her yet. Locke says he can’t, that he promised Jin he wouldn’t tell Sun that Jin is alive. Ben says he doesn’t know what to do once they have everyone back together, but he’s sure they’ll figure it out. Locke says they have to take everyone to see Eloise Hawking, and he asks if Ben knows her. Ben says that he does, and suddenly he grabs the rope and uses it to strangle Locke to death!
Ben strings Locke up to look like suicide, cleans up the crime scene, and then takes Jin’s wedding ring and Locke’s suicide note. Before leaving, he says to Locke’s hanging body, “I’ll miss you, John. I really will.”
Back on the island in present day, Locke walks into the Dharma office and finds Caesar reading various files. Locke tells him that the logo on the files belonged to the Dharma Initiative, who lived on the island and did experiments here back in the 70s. Caesar takes the opportunity to grill Locke on what he knows. He says that he watched people disappear on the plane, before the crash, but others were hurt in the crash. When Locke asks about the passenger list, Caesar tells him that Lapidus took it when he left. He takes Locke to another part of the Hydra facility, where a number of injured people are resting. Among them is a sleeping Benjamin Linus.
Caesar asks if Locke knows this man. Locke nods. “He’s the man who killed me.”
- Presumably, they know one another because they’re both Others.
Question: How does Ben know Ms. Hawking? [5.02]
- Because Ben supplanted him as leader of the Others.
Question: Why does Charles Widmore want Ben dead? [4.06]
- Essentially, yes. Ben took Widmore’s position as leader of the Others, and exiled Widmore from the island.
Question: What did Ben take that was once Widmore’s? The island? [4.09]
- Using the Exit transports one not only through space but time as well.
Question: Why didn’t Ben know the date when he arrived in Tunisia? [4.09]
- Apparently, it was Charles Widmore.
Question: If Ben was telling the truth about not being directly responsible for the Purge, then who was the leader of the Others at that time, who did make the decision? [4.11]
- It was given to him by Charles Widmore as a means of protecting him.
Question: Why did “Jeremy Bentham” use a pseudonym? [4.13]
- Locke spoke to Kate of “anger and obsession,” suggesting that such things were in his past. But she pointed out he was still just as angry and obsessed as ever, and hadn’t changed at all.
Question: What did “Jeremy Bentham” say to Kate to convince her he was crazy? [4.13]
- The survivors left behind were dislodged in time, jumping randomly from time to time throughout the island’s history, until it began to take a physical toll on them, endangering their lives.
Question: What “very bad things” happened on the island after the Oceanic 6 left? [4.14]
- Sayid was right, though he didn’t know how right he was. Locke was indeed murdered — by Sayid’s former boss, Benjamin Linus.
Question: Did Locke, aka “Jeremy Bentham” really commit suicide, or was he murdered as Sayid believes? [4.14]
- I think one of the biggest takeaways we get out of this episode is that Ben and Widmore are engaged in an endless Cold War against one another, constantly spying on each other, each of them watching the Oceanic 6, and anybody else with connections to the island. All of it is in service of each man’s desire to regain control of the island. And they’ll do absolutely anything to get back to the island — manipulating, killing, or using others. I think this notion of the Oceanic 6 being in danger comes from the dangers they were placed in at the hands of both Ben and Widmore, and not any one particular villain.
Question: If Locke’s death was a murder and not a suicide, does that mean that all of the Oceanic 6 are in similar danger? [4.14]
- How did Ajira 316 wind up on the island? Did it land? Did it crash?
- How did Locke wind up standing in the ocean just off the shore of Hydra Island, apparently resurrected after killing himself in Los Angeles?
- How exactly was Locke resurrected?
- Why did Frank steal a canoe to go to the main island?
- Which passenger did Frank leave Hydra Island to go to the main island with?
- What is the “coming war” that Widmore told Locke about? Is it between Widmore and Ben? Or two other parties?
- If Abaddon’s the reason Locke went to Australia for his walkabout, and Abaddon works for Widmore… does this mean that Widmore knew Oceanic 6 was going to crash on the island, and he arranged for Locke to be on it?
So John Locke is alive after all. Told you so. Still, he really did die; it wasn’t faked or an induced coma or any other kind of ruse as I suggested a while back. And I don’t even want to think about how long it must’ve been before someone finally found him hanging there. (The fact that Jack’s beard was only starting to grow when he turned up here is evidence that at least a few good weeks passed before he found Locke’s obituary and tried to kill himself on the bridge.) And since it was at Ben’s hands, we might take that to explain why Ben was so cagey about answering Jack’s earlier inquiry regarding Locke being dead, a few episodes ago.
There were the usual references to the cursed numbers (4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42) throughout this episode. Widmore gave Locke a number to call to reach him, telling him to “press 23″ to speak to him personally. According to her tombstone, Helen died on April 8, 2006, aka “4/8.” Jeremy Bentham’s birthdate, according to his passport, was listed as “15 Feb 48.”
Ajira 316 crash landed on Hydra island, the tiny island off the main island where the Dharma Initiative’s Hydra station was. (This is the station where Jack, Kate, and Sawyer were held captive by the Others back in Season 3.) This was confirmed in the final scene, where the Hydra logo could clearly be seen on the blue file Caesar was reading. That office Caesar was so interested in had to have been part of the above-ground portion of the Hydra station.
The objects Caesar found were most interesting. The magazines referring to the Hydrogen bomb tests are an obvious reference back to Jughead, the atomic bomb that the U.S. military attempted to detonate on the island. But Lost is fond of foreshadowing, so I think H-bombs will somehow play a part in the island’s future, possibly even in this “war” that’s coming. Oh, and in case you missed it, the issue of Life magazine that was on top of the stack was dated April 19, 1954.
The map of the island was the exact same map (or at least a copy) as the one that Daniel Faraday used to find The Tempest in Season 4’s “The Other Woman.” It’s also very similar to the one Ben gave to Danielle, Alex, and Carl to help them find the Temple.
And might that sawed-off shotgun be used in the near future to shoot from a canoe… at another canoe? A la the events we saw flash-forwarded in “The Little Prince.”
So, Ajira 316 did crash after all. But it looks as though it crashed onto Hydra island. If that’s true, then how did Jack, Kate, and Hurley end up over on the main island? Also, there’s the fact that Ajira 316 looked to be more or less in one piece, unlike Oceanic 815, which was torn into three pieces. We know that Oceanic 815 crashed because Desmond stopped pushing the button, triggering the super electromagnetic reaction that pulled the plane off course and onto the island. Aside from the giant magnet, what made Ajira 316’s crash so different that it was able to stay whole? And why did it end up on Hydra island instead of the main island, anyway?
Seeing the plane crashed there on Hydra island, I couldn’t help being reminded of an important landmark on that same island — the supposed “runway” that the Others were having Sawyer and Kate help build during their captivity there. I seriously doubt this is a coincidence on the part of the writers.
The mystery of the canoes back at the Oceanic survivors’ beach camp is revealed. They came from Hydra island, of course. This shouldn’t really be a surprise, because we saw back in Season 3 that the Others had canoes that they used to travel from one island to the other.
Ilana said that the plane’s pilot and another woman took one of the canoes without telling anyone. We know that the pilot was Frank Lapidus. So who was the woman? Sun? Seems like the most probable answer, though one should never assume anything on Lost. If it was Sun, she was obviously wasting no time in her desire to get to the other island and find her husband. But Frank’s motives for helping her remain cloudy. It’s possible that she merely asked him for his help, knowing that it would be difficult to paddle to the main island alone. Caesar said that Lapidus took the passenger list when he ran off. Why would he do this? If he’s with Sun, the Ajira passenger manifest would not help them find Jin.
It looks like we now have ourselves an entirely new group of castaways slash plane crash survivors. Interesting how quickly Caesar and Ilana have risen to leadership roles among them. And it looks like Locke and Ben are the only two pre-existing characters among them (that we know of so far). Now we know why the writers were so cavalier about killing off so many of the Oceanic redshirts at the beginning of the season.
Clearly the cameras at the Tunisian “exit” spot were placed after Ben left the island. But if Widmore left the island the same way, and ended up in the same spot, then why did he wait until after Ben left to put up the cameras? We can safely assume it was Ben’s nighttime visit to Widmore in London that prompted the move, but why didn’t he have the cameras there all along, since he left the island back in the day?
Locke’s scene with Widmore was one big info dump. Here’s what we learned:
- The Tunisian desert is the “exit,” the spot where turning the frozen wheel always sends people who use it to leave the island. Why this is, remains to be seen.
- Charles Widmore was once the leader of the Others. Presumably, this happened after the events we saw in “Jughead,” where Richard Alpert was maintaining order, and there was no other leader apparent.
- Widmore was tricked into turning the frozen wheel and leaving the island by Benjamin Linus. And he’s been trying to get back ever since? Possibly. This means that Widmore was the leader of the Others for more than twenty years. I think we can safely assume this deception was done as part of Ben’s plan (which also included the Purge of the Dharma Initiative) to take over leadership of the Others.
- The group of people we know as the Others protected the island for more than three decades while Widmore was among them. Are they truly indigenous to the island, or merely visitors like everyone else, who just managed to get there first?
- Everybody with any kind of unique connection to the island or its past believes that Locke is special, and is needed by the island. Why is he so special, and in what capacity?
- Widmore believes a war is coming to the island. Very likely it is to determine the possession and future survival of the island. I’m going to hereby stake my claim that this war is what Season 6, the final season of the show, is going to be all about.
Widmore somehow knows an awful lot about what’s taken place on the island, while he’s been away. He told Locke that he was “deeply invested in the future of the island,” but I wonder where he gets his intel. His quip, “I haven’t tried to kill you. Can you say the same for him?” leads one to believe that he already knows the answer to that question. Yes, Ben has indeed tried to kill Locke once before. How could Widmore possibly know this?
We’ve known all along that “John Locke” was the name of a real-world famous philosopher, but this episode marks the first time that this fact is mentioned in canon with the story. Widmore suggested that Locke’s parents chose the name for him because of an appreciation for philosophy. (This seems unlikely, given what we know of Locke’s parental heritage.)
The passport ID that Widmore gave Locke listed Jeremy Bentham as a Canadian, with a date of birth February 15, 1948. The passport’s “date of issue” is December 12, 2007, which gives us a decent idea of when this episode takes place.
Widmore clearly wants to be seen by Locke as the good guy in his struggle with Ben. This was driven home by his statement about helping Locke and saving his life, “Can you say the same for [Ben]?” So… Is it possible that he is the good guy? With all the time we as viewers have spent with Ben, it’s been easy to see him as a flawed antihero type, with Widmore being the true Big Bad. But since almost everything we know about Widmore comes from Ben’s perspective or Desmond’s (who also had a serious personal issue with Widmore)… could Widmore actually be the better of the two? Ben didn’t exactly go a long way toward proving himself the hero in this episode, despite all of his protestations the last few weeks about how hard he’s worked to “protect” the Oceanic 6. He killed Abaddon and then he killed Locke! On the other hand, we’ve seen Widmore kill people, too. I doubt that in the end it’s going to come down to a struggle between good and evil with Widmore and Ben. I think instead what we’re seeing are two very powerful and very motivated men doing everything in their power to possess the island. Both of them are capable of good, and both are capable of evil.
Interesting, is it not, that Locke is once again denied use of his legs while off the island? This was driven home by the bitter moment when Abaddon unfolded a wheel chair for him, much as he did the last time these two met. And interesting also, that once Locke is back on the island again — even though he was dead and his leg still broken when he died — he’s completely healed and whole, just like when Oceanic 815 crashed and he found he could walk. Is this evidence of Locke’s unique relationship with the island? It sure looks like it. The island certainly won’t let Locke die — it’s saved him from death at least twice now. And as Ben told Locke in Season 3, Locke is special “because I’m in a wheelchair, and you’re not.”
This marks the second time Ben has attempted to kill Locke. This time he succeeded, but the death wasn’t permanent. We can easily say that the island brought John back to life because he’s Mr. Special, but I still hope to find out how and why this was accomplished. In any event, the island clearly isn’t done with Locke yet, and once again, Ben’s attempt to kill him was all for nothing. Ben can’t outwit the island or alter its plans.
Given that the island has needed John Locke for so long, and that Richard Alpert has been watching Locke for most of his life, waiting for him to be ready to assume the role that the island (or destiny) had chosen him for… I can’t help wondering if there’s more to Locke’s lifelong delays than just general life circumstances. We’ve seen Ben try repeatedly to keep Locke from fulfilling his destiny, so could he have been involved in Locke’s life long before he came to the island, attempting to keep him from ever making it there? For that matter, since it was Widmore who told Locke that the island has needed him for a long time, could Widmore have been involved in keeping Locke away from his destiny?
And while we’re on the subject of Locke getting to the island… Matthew Abaddon suggested that Locke go on an Australian walkabout. In this episode we learned that Abaddon was responsible for helping people get to where they were supposed to be. And that Abaddon worked for Charles Widmore, in this capacity. Does this mean that Widmore and/or Abaddon had prior knowledge of Oceanic 815’s ultimate fate? Did they see to it that Locke got on Flight 815 to ensure that he made it to the island, at long last? If so, how could they have known that the plane would crash? It was undoubtedly an accident, due to Desmond’s actions on the island at the Swan station. Has Widmore or Abaddon ever traveled through time, and seen the future, and that’s how they knew 815 would crash on the island? Or maybe that psychic who told Claire to get on the plane back in Season 1 was on Widmore’s payroll.
Strange to find Sayid helping to build a church (there was a steeple, that’s how I know) for something called “Build Our World” in the Dominican Republic after two years of killing for Ben. No doubt he was trying to find a way to atone for his sins, but now I’m eager to find out how he went from good will doer in a foreign country back to full-on assassin mode, where we saw him when he rescued Hurley from the mental hospital.
There is no Fieldcroft School in New York — or anywhere else. It’s made up, though I do wonder about the significance of the name. A Google and Wikipedia search for the name “Fieldcroft” generated no results. Could it be another anagram?
There’s one fact in this backstory that does not add up. In the final scene of Season 4, when Ben meets Jack at the funeral parlor, Ben asks Jack if Locke told Jack that Ben was off the island. Jack nods an affirmative. But in this episode, during the brief meeting between Jack and Locke, no mention was ever made of Ben, off the island or otherwise. Discrepancy? Footage that got cut for time? Or just plain error on the part of Lindelof and Cuse?
So was it just me, or did it look like Ben really had no intention of killing Locke until Locke mentioned Eloise Hawking? If he’d wanted Locke dead all along, he could have just let him hang himself, instead of working so hard to talk him down. Maybe Ben thought he could get some choice intel out of Locke before killing him — and it looked like he did, when Locke revealed the bit about Hawking. But it could also be interpreted that Ben changed his mind on the spot, that maybe he felt threatened by Locke’s knowledge of Hawking. Ben probably knew that Locke’s knowledge of Hawking is something that could only have come from Jacob, and just like the last time he tried to kill Locke (when he shot him and left him in the Dharma grave trench), perhaps he just couldn’t stand the thought of someone else being Jacob’s chosen one. I’m sure some explanation of this will be forthcoming.
Ilana and Caesar made reference to “the ones that disappeared,” and Caesar later expanded on this, telling Locke that people disappeared from the plane in the middle of the white light, one at a time — before the crash. Yet the plane didn’t even look like a crashed aircraft. So the ones who are here, on Hydra island, were survivors of the actual crash. But they know that there are others who disappeared. Who were the ones that disappeared, and why? It looks like it wasn’t just the Oceanic 6, but was it? Ben wasn’t included among them… And if the woman who disappeared with Frank Lapidus really was Sun, then she couldn’t have disappeared, either.
Okay, here’s my big, wild thought of the week, and I’ll end with this… Since we know from Eloise Hawking that the island is always moving, could all of this mean that turning the wheel doesn’t actually move the island at all, but is merely a means of exiting the island? If that’s true, then it could be that Ben was lying to Locke and Hurley when he led them to the Orchid station back in the Season 4 finale. It was never his intention to move the island at all, just to exit it himself. On the other hand, Jacob (via Christian Shephard) specifically told Locke to move the island. And Christian later confirmed that this was done using the frozen wheel, when he met Locke at the bottom of the well. Further, we know from the first scene of Season 5 that the frozen wheel and whatever is behind it is a pocket of energy that taps into time itself. And I think we can safely assume that when Ben turned the wheel, he accidentally dislodged it, which caused the unpredictable, random jumps through time. Do the math on all of these facts, and it’s looking more and more like Jacob didn’t want Locke to move the island physically (since it’s always moving anyway), but through time, and that’s what the frozen wheel really does. But that leads to a new question: why did Jacob want this? What does moving the island through time get Jacob, or anyone else?
I still don’t know if Locke’s planned suicide was a decision made out of his own feelings of failure, or if he was going to do it as a last-ditch effort to fulfill Richard’s prophecy on the only way he’d be able to get the Oceanic 6 back to the island. Locke was certainly wallowing in his own feelings of uselessness, but I wonder if he might have hoped that this final, desperate act would succeed where he couldn’t while alive.
The thing that struck me the first time I watched “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham” was how anti-climactic it felt. Sure, there was the twist of Ben murdering Locke, and we got some interesting answers about Widmore, but otherwise, almost nothing happened that could be described as “exciting” or “surprising.” It was more of a character piece than anything else. I do like the way the writers chose to wait until the Oceanic 6 returned to the island to go back and explain just what happened to Locke after he left the island. It was a perfectly self-contained storyline, worthy of its own episode. But it’s also a perfect example of how the questions are often a lot more interesting than the answers. So much time was spent in the last year alluding to these wildly dramatic and pivotal things that happened when each of the Oceanic 6 met “Jeremy Bentham,” but when we finally saw what happened, the events in question felt pretty ho-hum.