Tagged: season 3

3.23 “Through the Looking Glass, Part 2”

Jack engages in a battle of wills against Ben with potentially dire consequences, while Charlie faces his destiny.

Written by Carlton Cuse & Damon Lindelof
Directed by Jack Bender


Using the obituary he pulled from the newspaper on his Oceanic flight, Jack tracked down Hoffs/Drawlar Funeral Parlor, where the body was being prepared for burial. Inside, he found the casket along with a room set up for a funeral service, but the funeral director informed him that Jack was the only person to show up. When asked if Jack was friend or family, Jack replied “neither.” Jack refused the director’s offer to open the coffin so he could see the body, but he paid his respects in private nonetheless.

Jack ran out of his Oxycodone and tried to refill them at a drug store, but his prescription had ended and he was forced to leave the store in frustration, his mental spiral downward accelerating.

Having failed at procuring his drugs by any other method, Jack broke into the hospital stores and stole Oxycodone there. He was soon confronted by Dr. Hamill, who knew Jack was under the influence. Hamill told him that the woman Jack saved from the wreck woke up in recovery and reported that she crashed because she was distracted by a man who was about to jump off the bridge. Hamill knew it was Jack, and asked how much alcohol Jack had today. In his stupor, Jack demanded that Hamill call Jack’s father, saying that if he is more drunk than his father is right now, that Hamill can fire him right now. He stormed off.

At his apartment, Jack had world maps scattered all over the floor, as if trying to find something. He called someone and begged to see them, despite “what you said,” presumably about Jack ever contacting this person again. Jack and his mystery friend made arrangements to meet just outside the airport, at the end of the runway.

In the dead of night, Jack arrived at the rendezvous location, while his friend pulled up behind him. Out of the other car stepped none other than Kate! But these two didn’t know each other in the past — so this can only mean this isn’t a flashback at all, it’s a flash forward! We’ve been watching Jack in the future, after he’s escaped from the island, all this time. Jack showed Kate the obituary, and then revealed that he’d been flying a lot, using a “golden pass” given to him by Oceanic Airlines to fly across the Pacific and back. She asked why he would do this, and he said he wanted the plane to crash back on the island. His life had fallen apart completely since they left the island, and he desperately wanted to get back. Kate said she had to go, because “he” would be wondering where she was. Jack told her they made a mistake and that they had to go back to the island.


Danielle tells Jack that they have about an hour until they reach the radio tower. She then informs him that she’s happy to take him there, but she’s not leaving the island with the survivors, because she believes there’s no place for her in society anymore. The hiking survivors suddenly pull up short when the crest a rise and find Ben and Alex standing in their path. Ben informs Jack that they need to talk. Kate immediately takes off running into the surrounding woods, while Jack angrily and forcefully stares Ben down, considering whether or not to have this conversation Ben wants. Kate runs up from behind and says that she only found two sets of tracks: Ben’s and Alex’s, which means Ben is alone. Jack agrees to give Ben five minutes, but he takes the walkie-talkie out of Ben’s pants. When they reach a secluded spot, Ben claims that Jack is about to be responsible for the deaths of the survivors, because Naomi Dorrit is not who she appears to be. Ben says that Naomi represents some people who have been trying to find the island, and that these people do not have good intentions; he says that if Jack contacts the freighter, every single person on the island will be killed by the people on the boat. Ben wants the satellite phone, but Jack won’t hand it over. Ben asks for his walkie-talkie, and calls Tom at the beach. He tells Jack that Sayid, Jin, and Bernard are being held at gunpoint by the Others who weren’t killed by the explosions at the camp. He tells Tom to kill all three of the survivors unless he hears from Ben in one minute, and then he orders Jack to give him the phone. The time counts down, the rescue of all of the survivors at stake, and Jack refuses to hand over the phone. When the minute is up, three gunshots are heard over the walkie-talkie, and Jack flies into a blind rage. He tackles Ben and beats him mercilessly, nearly killing him. But he stops himself, picks up Ben’s walkie-talkie, and calls Tom. He tells Tom that he’s going to call the freighter to come rescue his people, and then he’s going to find Tom and kill him.

On Ben’s orders, Mikhail exits the communication room of the Looking Glass station and shoots Bonnie and Greta at point-blank range. Greta falls into the moon pool, but Bonnie’s wound is less immediate, and will take time to end her life. Mikhail stands over her and prepares to shoot her again, but Desmond steps out of his hiding place and shoots Mikhail in the chest with a spear gun. Desmond takes Bonnie’s gun and is about to kill her too until Charlie warns him that they need the code she has to turn off the jamming equipment. Desmond frees Charlie and Charlie asks Bonnie for the code. He talks her into giving up the code, but her answer is to mention the Beach Boys’ song, “Good Vibrations.” She says that the keypad represents the notes of the song, and that if he enters the melody to that song, it will turn off the jamming equipment. “It was programmed by a musician,” she explains, and then breathes her last. Charlie suddenly realizes why this was his destiny all along: he’s the only musician among the survivors, and he alone would be able to interpret the song as a code.

Jack drags Ben back to the survivors and tells them to tie Ben up and bring him along. Alex kneels to look at her father’s broken face, and Danielle steps forward to get a closer look at her daughter. “Alex, this is your mother,” Ben tiredly explains. Mother and daughter are reunited at long last. Meanwhile, Jack retreats to a private spot to collect himself, and Kate follows, wanting to know what happened. He finally breaks down and tells her that Ben had Sayid, Jin, and Bernard killed. He says that they can’t tell Sun or Rose yet, because he promised Sayid he would see this through. Kate asks why he didn’t just kill Ben, and Jack says that he wants Ben to see it when Jack successfully radios the freighter and that Jack beat him. Then, he says, he’ll kill Ben.

Back at the beach, Ryan and Tom argue about Ben’s viability as their leader, and how Ben’s questionable behavior lately made them hesitate; they didn’t kill Sayid, Jin, and Bernard after all — they merely shot the sand.

Sawyer and Juliet watch the beach camp from nearby and lament the fact that they’re outmatched by the Others and have no way of changing that. While they talk, they hear an engine approaching, and are stunned when Hurley appears in the blue Dharma van he got working weeks ago, and bursts into the camp, running down Ryan. Sawyer runs up, grabs Ryan’s gun, and is about to shoot the third man dead, when Sayid uses his legs — the only part of him not tied up — to knock the man down and break his neck. Only Tom is left, but Juliet gets his gun and holds him in place. Sawyer approaches and stares Tom down, the history between them boiling to the surface. Tom surrenders, but Sawyer shoots him in the heart anyway. “That’s for taking the kid off the raft,” he says.

As the survivors near the radio tower, Ben’s walkie-talkie suddenly goes off and it’s Hurley calling out to the Others with an announcement that he and his friends had defeated the Others at the beach. Jack replies to Hurley’s call and Hurley explains that everyone’s fine and well — including Sayid, Jin, and Bernard. The survivors celebrate the good news, but Claire grabs the radio and asks about Charlie’s status. Hurley tells her he hasn’t seen Charlie yet, but not to worry.

Down in the Looking Glass, Desmond locates some diving gear for escaping while Charlie goes to shut down the jamming equipment. Desmond notes that he’s had no new visions, and Charlie allows himself to hope that maybe they’d beaten destiny. In the room with the yellow blinking light, Charlie taps out “Good Vibrations” on the keypad and shuts off the jammer. The yellow light stops blinking and Charlie knows he’s succeeded, but immediately a transmission comes in. He answers the call and a video screen comes to life. It’s Penny! Charlie recognizes her and tells her who he is and that Desmond is alive and nearby. Penny’s overjoyed to learn that her man is okay, but has no idea what Charlie’s talking about when he asks if she’s calling from the freighter. Out in the main chamber, Desmond is startled to see that Mikhail’s body is no longer there, but there’s a blood trail that leads into the moon pool. Just then, there’s a knock from the window next to Charlie, and he turns to see Mikhail swimming out there, and holding a live grenade up to the window. As Desmond runs to help, Charlie grabs the hatch door to the communication room and slams it shut, sealing it off. Mikhail’s grenade explodes, the window bursts open, and water rushes in. Desmond tries to break the door open but it’s no good. Charlie quickly realizes that this is it, and writes the words “Not Penny’s Boat” on the palm of his hand. He shows Desmond the writing on his hand through the hatch window, and the two of them say a silent goodbye before Charlie floats off and succumbs to drowning.

Naomi gets a signal on her phone and reports that Charlie was successful. She turns on the phone and hears Danielle’s distress call, which is still blocking the signal. Danielle announces that they’ve arrived at the radio tower. They enter the tiny room adjacent to the tower and Danielle turns off the message she recorded sixteen years ago. Back outside, Naomi makes her call. Ben warns Jack that if they do this, it will be “the beginning of the end,” but Naomi gets a signal just then. As she’s about to answer the call, Locke appears, bloodied and injured, and throws a knife into Naomi’s back, apparently killing her. He pulls out his gun and orders Jack to step away from the. phone. Locke says he had to do this, for the island, but Jack grabs the phone anyway. A standoff ensues while the phone rings; Locke swears he’ll shoot if Jack doesn’t put the phone down, but Jack informs Locke that “you’re done keeping me on this island.” Jack calls Locke’s bluff and Locke drops his gun, but he wearily tells Jack that he’s “not supposed to do this.” The phone is answered on the other end by someone named Minkowski, and Jack verifies that he is talking to the freighter. Locke retreats as the rest of the survivors look on in excitement and hope. Jack explains who he is, and Minkowski says he can lock onto the phone’s signal and come rescue everyone. Jack feels the burden starting to lift from his shoulders from the promise he made to get everyone off the island, and the survivors embrace one another, rejoicing that rescue has come at last.

  • Who was the occupant of the coffin?
  • Why was Jack so deeply troubled and emotional by the death of the casket’s occupant?
  • Who are the “people who have been trying to find the island” that Naomi and her freighter represent?
  • Why are these people that Naomi works for such a threat to the island?
  • Who was the musician who programmed the jamming device’s code in the Looking Glass station?
  • How exactly did the survivors get off the island?
  • How many of the survivors escaped from the island?
  • Which of the survivors escaped the island?
  • What happened between Jack and Kate in the future that they wound up on such bad terms?
  • What happened to Jack to convince him that leaving the island was a mistake, and they had to go back?
  • Why did Jack end up taking drugs and drinking so heavily?
  • How long was Jack off the island before his rendezvous with Kate at the airport?
  • Who was the “he” that Kate said would be looking for her?

“Through the Looking Glass” is the eighth Jack-centric episode of the series.

With the death of Charlie Pace, the survivors’ numbers have fallen to 43.

Matthew Fox has never been my favorite actor on the show. I think he does a fine job, but his character is rather lacking in layers, on a show where most of the characters are defined by their many layers. But Fox’s performance in this two-parter was a revelation. His raw, broken intensity in the flash forwards and the brutal scene where he faces off against Ben back on the island both let Fox stretch his acting muscles in ways we’ve never seen before, and he hit the fences in both cases. Utterly gripping, amazing work.

I noticed a trend as Seasons 1-3 played out, and I’m curious if any of you picked up on it as well. The Others started out as a menacing group of island natives who eventually were revealed to be a more benevolent “family” type group — if still obsessively, dangerously protective of the island. As this shift from seemingly-evil to mostly-good occurred, the show slowly shed all of the Others that we’ve seen behaving cruelly. Big bad Ethan? Shot dead by Charlie. Goodwin the tailie spy? Killed by Ana-Lucia. Cold, conniving Bea Klugh? Killed by Mikhail to keep her secrets. Mean ol’ Danny Pickett? Killed by Juliet to help Kate and Sawyer escape. Mikhail Bakunin? Drowned/blown up by his own grenade. Ryan? Dead thanks to Hurley. Bonnie & Greta the Looking Glass gals? Dead. Even Tom, who was later shown to be not such a bad guy after all, was killed by Sawyer for kidnapping Walt. Slowly, these more vicious-flavored Others were replaced with a new, kindler/gentler variety. Folks like Richard Alpert, Alex Linus/Rousseau, Karl, Cindy the flight attendant, Juliet, and more.

And here we go: the flash forwards begin! What an insane shock this was, at the end of Part 2. It was shocking less because it happened to the survivors, and more because it happened to us, the viewers. It was the ultimate rug-pulling-out, and it was brilliantly executed. It’s so different to watch Jack’s “flashback” scenes now, knowing that they weren’t visions of the past at all, but of the future. They were already emotionally compelling, but peeling back this extra layer transforms them into entirely new scenes. Jack’s attempted suicide, for example, mirrors Michael’s Season 4 flashback attempt to do the same thing, when he was told that the island wouldn’t let him kill himself. The same went for Jack, here.

Until this episode, Lost was following a fairly rigid storytelling format, slowly unspooling mystery after mystery with the occasional answer. What’s most impressive to me about “Through the Looking Glass” is the way it changed all those rules. After this, the show kicked into overdrive, and every episode was loaded with so much happening, it became appointment television. And it made up new rules as it went along, introducing flash forwards and time flashes and who knows what else that’s still to come. Comparatively, Seasons 1 through 3 were crawling at a snail’s pace, following a simple formula, over and over. Seasons 4 and 5 (and presumably, 6) were bullet trains, taking bold, thrilling chances and barreling ahead with developments we never thought we see. This was the turning point.


3.22 “Through the Looking Glass, Part 1”

Jack enacts his daring plan to defend the camp against the Others, turn off the jamming equipment in the Looking Glass, and contact the freighter, in a bid to finally get the survivors rescued.

Written by Carlton Cuse & Damon Lindelof
Directed by Jack Bender


On a different Oceanic flight than 815, Jack was drunk and despondent for unknown reasons. As the plane was about to land, he found a newspaper obituary that named someone he knew as the person who died, and it caused him tremendous anguish. He called an unidentified someone on his phone and left an incoherent message before hanging up. He was so traumatized by the newspaper story that he pulled over on the side of a road and tried to commit suicide by jumping off of a bridge. But while he stood there on the ledge, a car on the bridge was in a terrible accident very close to where he stood, so he got down to go save the passengers: a woman and her eight-year-old son.

Jack brought the two victims to the ER, after pulling them from their wreck. He was visited there by his ex-wife Sarah, who was visibly pregnant. Sarah saw that he was strung out and hung over, and wanted to know what he was really doing when the crash occurred. But he didn’t answer her question.

The next day, while reviewing the chart of the woman from the crash, Jack took a powerful narcotic called Oxycodone just before he was met by a Dr. Rob Hamill, the new chief of surgery. The woman had a severe spinal injury and Jack wanted to perform her needed operation, but Dr. Hamill refused his request, because the surgery was already scheduled and another doctor was handling it.


The survivors depart from camp as planned, escaping before the imminent arrival of the Others. Sayid, Jin, and Bernard stay behind to detonate the dynamite. Sayid makes Jack promise not to come back for his team if anything should go wrong, because he’s willing to give his life if it means everyone is rescued. Rose and Bernard say their own emotional goodbyes, as do Sun and Jin.

As they walk, Naomi shows Jack how her satellite phone works in case anything should happen to her.

Charlie is captured by the two female Others down in the Looking Glass. They tie him to a chair and hit him repeatedly, trying to find out how he got down there and how he even found out about the place. He tells them that Juliet has switched sides, so they go to a nearby communications room to call Ben. Charlie watches them enter the small room and notes that there’s a blinking yellow light inside — just like the light Desmond saw in his vision of the place Charlie is supposedly going to drown.

As night falls, Ben gets a call out at the Others’ camp from the more temperamental of the two Looking Glass women, Bonnie. Bonnie reports that Charlie is there thanks to Juliet’s betrayal, and Ben orders them to do nothing until Mikhail gets down there. He asks Mikhail to go, but Mikhail points out that Ben has been lying to his own people about the Looking Glass having supposedly been flooded. Mikhail agrees to go, but notes that Juliet may have compromised more than the underwater station — like Ryan’s plan to abduct the Oceanic survivors’ pregnant women. Ben tries to contact Ryan to warn him, but Ryan has his radio switched off. So the Others enter the camp quietly and prepare to carry out their plan, as Sayid, Jin, and Bernard watch with their guns ready to fire. When the Others are in optimal positions, Sayid, Jin, and Bernard open fire, and kill all but three of Ryan’s team, including Tom and Ryan himself. The remaining Others get the upper hand, though, and the three survivors are taken captive.

From up in the hills, the survivors watch the beach in the distance, realizing that something’s gone wrong. Sun and Rose want to stay behind and wait for their husbands to be sure they’re okay, but Jack won’t allow it. So they keep moving.

Bonnie and her friend Greta continue to interrogate Charlie, who tells them everything, including his plan to turn off the jamming equipment in the room with the blinking yellow light. He’s not worried about revealing his plan to them because he knows from Desmond’s vision that there’s nothing they can do to stop him from eventually succeeding. But Bonnie points out that there’s a code needed to turn off the jammer, and only the two of them have it. He’s still not worried, suggesting that he’s going to flood the station so he won’t need the code, and the two women are unnerved when he calmly says he knows that he’ll die along with them when his job is done.

Tom radios Ben to give him the bad news, that they’d been duped and that seven of their people were dead. Their captives won’t talk about where the survivors have gone, until Ben orders Ryan to kill Jin. Bernard cracks as Jin is about to die, and reveals that the survivors have gone to the radio tower to try and contact the freighter. He also tells them about Karl’s betrayal, and Ben immediately knows that his daughter Alex has turned on him as well.

The next morning, Ben decides to go off on his own to intercept the Oceanic survivors at the radio tower. He orders Richard to carry on without him and take all of the Others to the Temple. But Richard argues, revealing that Ben’s leadership of the Others is falling apart all around him, thanks to the events of the last week. Alex volunteers to go with her father, and he agrees, spitefully pointing out that he knows Karl is with the survivors, thanks to her.

Out in the jungle, the survivors stop to refill their water bottles at a creek. Kate and Sawyer talk privately about how Sayid, Jin, and Bernard should have caught up with them by now. But Sawyer is too busy brooding over his murder of Locke’s father to care. Kate calls him on it, but it doesn’t seem to do any good.

Desmond wakes up out on the outrigger canoe and realizes that Charlie knocked him out and dived down to the Looking Glass. Mikhail appears at the shore and starts shooting at him, so, seeing no other choice, Desmond dives into the water and swims down to the station as well. While Bonnie and Greta argue in an adjacent room, Desmond pops up from the moon pool and Charlie warns him to hide. Bonnie and Greta hear him and come out to ask who he’s talking to, but Charlie tries to cover by singing to himself. Meanwhile, Desmond has hidden himself away out of sight.

After some time to think about what Kate said to him, Sawyer declares that he’s going back to the beach to check on their missing friends. Kate wants to go with him, but he refuses her, saying he doesn’t want her help. Jack says there’s no point in going without guns, but Juliet steps forward and says she knows where there’s a hidden cache of weapons that could be used. She asks to go with him, wanting to purchase a little redemption of her own, and Jack agrees. Juliet kisses him as they go, and Kate watches, jealous.

Mikhail swims into the Looking Glass station and greets Bonnie and Greta, saying the two of them were thought by everyone else to be “on assignment in Canada.” Greta explains that Ben ordered them not to tell anyone of their true whereabouts. Mikhail tells them he saw Charlie’s friend Desmond dive into the water, but Charlie turns the tables by telling Mikhail about Ben’s deception of his own people: that Ben ordered Bonnie and Greta down here to jam all transmissions off the island. Ben calls down, and Mikhail answers it so he can find out from Ben what’s going on. Ben answers back that “Jacob told me to” lie to his own people, because the island is under a very dangerous assault, and they have to protect it. Ben convinces Mikhail to kill Charlie and keep the jamming going, and then to take out Bonnie and Greta so the rest of the Others never find out about any of this.

Jack and Kate stop to talk for a moment as the hike continues, and Jack tells Kate that Sawyer didn’t mean what he said about not wanting Kate to join him. Jack says Sawyer was just trying to protect her. Kate asks why Jack is defending Sawyer, when Sawyer would never do the same for him. Jack’s reply: “Because I love you.”

As they walk to the hidden cache of guns, Sawyer passes the time by asking Juliet about what the Others were up to out on Hydra island. He asks about how he and Kate were put to work moving rocks around, and Juliet replies that the Others were building a runway. She jokes that the runway was “for the aliens,” but Sawyer’s not amused. When he asks how far away the guns are, she reveals that she lied about there being any guns because she knew it was the only way Jack would let them go. Hurley suddenly catches up with them and offers to help, still feeling stung from the way Charlie refused his assistance on the Looking Glass mission and wanting to be useful. But Sawyer’s reaction is similar to Charlie’s, telling Hurley that he’ll only get in the way. So Hurley sadly turns to go back and join up with the survivors.

As they hurry to intercept the survivors, Alex asks Ben why he allowed her to come. Ben’s explanation is that he intends to let her join the survivors, because she betrayed him. Furious, Alex defends herself by reminding her father that he locked Karl in a cage and then tried to brainwash him. He says he didn’t want his daughter to get pregnant. Alex doesn’t understand why Ben won’t let the Oceanic survivors leave the island, but Ben merely says that he can’t allow it.

In the pit where the Dharma Initiative members were tossed after the Purge, Locke is severely wounded and slowly dying from the wound in his abdomen. He spots an old revolver in a holster, attached to one of the bodies, and painfully moves to get it, intending to use it to end his suffering. But as he’s about to pull the trigger, he hears Whispers, and then a very familiar voice says, “Don’t, John.” Locke looks up at the rim of the pit, where he sees Walt, who looks several years older than Locke remembers him. Walt orders Locke to get up, but Locke says he can’t, he’s been shot. Walt tells him he can do it, and he must, because he has “work to do.”

  • The Others are headed for a location on the island known as “the Temple.”
    Question: What’s the “very old place” the Others are going to? [3.19] & Question: Where are the Others planning to go now that they can no longer live at the Barracks? [3.15]
  • Ben took drastic measures against Alex’s boyfriend Karl because he didn’t want Alex to get pregnant — a turn of events that would endanger her life, since pregnant women die on the island.
    Question: Why was Karl locked up? [3.01] & Question: What was the purpose of what was being done to Karl in Room 23? [3.07]
  • According to Juliet, the Others were building a runway.
    Question: What are the Others building near the Hydra station? [3.02]

  • What’s at the Temple?
  • Where is the Temple?
  • Who built the Temple, and when?
  • Kate was a potential target of the Others, just like Sun. Is she pregnant too?
  • What is the “assault” that the island is under, according to Ben? Is this related to the freighter?
  • Why were the Others building a runway on Hydra island?
  • Who or what was the Walt that Locke saw from the Dharma burial ditch?

“Through the Looking Glass” is the eighth Jack-centric episode of the series.

Isn’t it funny how every season finale has included some kind of major trek across the island? What’s more, the same survivors tend to be involved in said trek just about every time. Season 1’s finale, “Exodus,” featured Jack, Kate, Locke, Hurley, Danielle, and Dr. Arzt on a trip out to the Black Rock to get dynamite, as well as a foot chase across the island by Sayid and Charlie to get back baby Aaron. Season 2’s “Live Together, Die Alone” saw Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Hurley, and Michael head off on a deceit-filled mission to get Walt back. Season 3’s finale (this very episode) had all of the survivors on a big walk up to the radio tower. Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Hurley, and others were back-and-forth all over the island in Season 4’s “There’s No Place Like Home,” in their attempt to secure rescue. While Season 5’s “The Incident” saw Sawyer, Kate, and Juliet making their way across the island in 1977 to stop Jack from detonating the hydrogen bomb (though they later agreed to go through with it), as well as Locke, Sun, Richard, and most of the Others on a mass march to the statue, to see Jacob. It’s no wonder the season finales have always been filled with so much storytelling momentum — the cast is literally on the move the entire time!


3.21 “Greatest Hits”

Charlie says goodbye to his closest friends after Desmond reveals his latest vision of Charlie’s death comes with a happy ending for everyone else. Jack explains his dangerous plan to defend the survivors from an impending attack by the Others.

Written by Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz
Directed by Stephen Williams


After he left Sawyer and Kate behind (in 3.09 “Stranger in a Strange Land”), Karl covertly caught up with his girlfriend Alex and she helped keep him hidden from the Others while secretly supplying him with food.

Six hours prior to Karl’s arrival at the survivors’ beach, Ben returned from his trip to see Jacob with Locke. He lied to everyone, claiming that Locke “had an accident,” and that Jacob wanted them to move up their schedule to take the pregnant women from the survivors’ camp. He ordered a man named Ryan to take ten of his best men and leave immediately. Richard argued that Juliet couldn’t have marked the tents of the pregnant women yet, but Ben shot him down, ordering Ryan to take all of the women and they would sort them out afterwards. If any of the survivors’ men tried to get in their way, Ryan was to kill them. Alex overheard Ben’s instructions and ran to tell Karl that he had to go and warn the survivors. She told him to take an outrigger canoe so that he could reach the survivors before Ryan’s team did, and reminded him that he owed Sawyer and Kate for saving his life.

Drive Shaft’s band broke down on its way to one of their first gigs, their van broke down. Charlie was ready to quit the band because it wasn’t going well, when their single “You All Everybody” suddenly started playing on the radio. It was the first time any of them had heard one of their songs on the radio, and it changed Charlie’s feelings about staying with the band.

When Charlie was a little boy, he went to a public pool with his father and brother, but he didn’t want to go in the water. His father, standing in the pool, asked him to jump in and promised to catch him, but Charlie didn’t believe him. Finally he did it, and his father caught him as promised.

One night in December when Drive Shaft’s stardom was at its peak, Charlie was awoken from a post-concert threesome by his brother Liam, who had decided to surprise him with a unique Christmas gift: the “DS” ring Charlie wears in the present. The ring was revealed to be a family heirloom, passed down through generations, and the initials on it actually stood for an ancestor of theirs named Dexter Stratton (they named the band using Stratton’s initials). Charlie reluctantly agreed to take the ring.

One day on the streets of London, Charlie came to the rescue of a woman who was being mugged, and managed to drive away her attacker. The woman was none other than Nadia, Sayid’s long lost love. She told him that three people had passed by her before he stopped to help, and they did nothing. She called him a hero.

The night of the plane’s crash onto the island, Charlie introduced himself to Claire by offering her his blanket. He cheered her up by offering encouragement and a little dry wit, and they sparked immediately.


Jack takes most of the survivors out to a secret location deep in the jungle to show them his plan for stopping the Others from kidnapping the pregnant women, including Sun, tomorrow night. Danielle Rousseau emerges from the jungle and Jack asks her to show the rest what the two of them have cooked up. Danielle detonates a massive explosion using the dynamite she recently procured from the Black Rock. Jack plans to use the explosives to spring a trap on the Others when they come to the beach camp for the pregnant women. With Juliet as his accomplice, they will lure the Others in, believing that Juliet has done everything Ben asked her to, but the survivors won’t be at the camp when the Others come — instead, waiting for them will be the explosives.

Back at camp, Charlie starts writing out a list on a piece of paper. But he counts down instead of up, with his first entry being #5. It reads, “The first time I heard myself on the radio.” Naomi approaches and asks who the survivors are about to go to war against. The two of them briefly bond when they realize they’re both from Manchester, and Naomi says that she recognizes the name of Charlie’s band from the plane crash. He was “the famous rock star” on the plane, and she says that he became even more famous after his supposed death — there was a memorial service, a Drive Shaft greatest hits album, and more. He’s thrilled until he sees Desmond watching him from afar, sending the unspoken message that he’s had another vision of Charlie dying.

Danielle returns with the survivors to the beach, where she helps Jack and Juliet rig up several tents with long wires that will allow them to remotely detonate the unstable dynamite. Sayid comes to them and says that Danielle’s distress call — the one that’s been transmitting for sixteen years — is preventing any other transmissions from being sent from the island. He can’t contact Naomi’s freighter unless they go to the radio tower and turn it off. But Juliet reveals that just powering down the radio tower won’t get the job done, because the Others are using a Dharma station to jam all radio signals except their own. Juliet says the station is called the Looking Glass, and that it’s underwater, but she doesn’t know where. But Sayid recalls the electrical cable running into the water that he found the same day he first met Danielle, and realizes that this cable must go down to the Looking Glass.

Charlie quietly calms Claire’s fears that the Others might attempt to take Aaron again, but their talk is interrupted by Desmond. He privately tells Charlie about a new vision he’s had of Charlie’s death. But this one is different, because if Charlie goes through with it and allows himself to die, then a rescue helicopter will land on the island, and everyone — including Claire and Aaron — will be saved. The two of them retreat to a more private spot, and Charlie writes down #4 on his list: “Dad teaching me to swim at Butlins.” Then he asks Desmond to tell him the details. Desmond says that in his vision, Charlie is in a Dharma station, in a room full of equipment. There’s a blinking yellow light above a switch. Charlie flicks the switch, the light goes off, and Charlie drowns. Charlie considers that Claire and Aaron will be saved if he follows this path laid out by Desmond, and decides to sacrifice himself so they can be rescued.

Sayid finds a schematic of the Looking Glass station and shows it to Juliet and Jack. Juliet says she doesn’t know anyone who’s ever been down there, because Ben told the Others a while back that there was an accident there that had flooded the whole place. Jack wonders how the station’s jamming equipment could still be working if it’s flooded. But Sayid says that he’ll gladly sacrifice himself by swimming down to the station and turning off the equipment, if it means everyone else will be rescued. He points out that the station has a moon pool, a large bay with an open floor exposed to the ocean, which Dharma sometimes used to dock its submarine. This is his way in. Desmond and Charlie approach just as Jack refuses to let Sayid do this, so Charlie volunteers, claiming to have once been named Junior Swim Champion in Northern England, and that he can hold his breath for four minutes. Still Jack refuses, saying that they’re going to focus instead on dealing with the Others, and then they’ll worry about contacting the freighter.

ernard, Rose, and Sun chip in to the dynamite-wiring efforts. Jin returns from retrieving more wire from the Oceanic 815 wreckage, and asks Sun to tell him why Juliet mentioned Sun’s name on her recorded message to Ben. She tells him that Juliet showed her their baby on an ultrasound, and that it’s very healthy, but she avoids telling him the rest — that pregnant women die on the island, and that the Others are coming for her.

Karl sails up to the beach camp on one of the outrigger canoes, and Sawyer vouches for him in front of everyone. Karl quickly warns them that the Others have misled Juliet; they’re not coming tomorrow night as expected, they’re already on their way and will be at the beach tonight. Karl is taken before the entire group so he can warn them all. After everyone hears Karl’s warning, Jack and Sayid confer about the dynamite’s readiness. There’s no way they’ll have enough wire to blow the bombs before the Others arrive, so Sayid suggests that a few of the survivors remain behind to set off the bombs by shooting them. Jack sets out a new plan: three things will need to happen at the same time. When the Others arrive at camp, they will be ambushed by three of the survivors and the dynamite. Meanwhile, Danielle will be leading everyone else to the radio tower, both to keep them away from the Others and to give them the chance to contact Naomi’s freighter. The third leg of the plan is assigned to Charlie: swim out to the Looking Glass and deactivate the jamming device. Desmond volunteers to join him.

Later, Charlie fills in the #3 item on his list: “The Christmas Liam gave me the ring.” He visits Claire’s tent, and she’s hurt that he never told her about his part in the plan to signal the freighter. He asks that while he’s gone on his mission, that she not worry about him. He takes Aaron and says an emotional goodbye to the little guy, and then gives Claire a very passionate kiss, saying he’ll see her soon. He returns Aaron to his crib and leaves his “DS” ring in it as well.

While Desmond prepares Karl’s canoe to sail out to the location of the Looking Glass, Charlie fills in #2 on his list: “Woman outside Covent Garden calls me a hero.” Hurley comes running up and wants to join them. Charlie knows that Hurley runs the risk of drowning alongside him if he comes along, so he’s forced to insult Hurley’s weight as being unsuitable for the tiny boat as a way of keeping Hurley from coming along. But as Hurley’s skulking away, Charlie catches up to him and gives him a big bear hug as a goodbye.

Bernard volunteers to stay behind as part of Sayid’s small team, who will ignite the dynamite by shooting it. He demonstrates his prowess with a rifle to Sayid, but Rose doesn’t want him to do this. Jack appears and talks her into it, but she’s not happy about it. When Rose and Bernard leave, Sayid says that he’s going to stay behind and shoot the dynamite, and that Jack should be the one to lead the survivors to the radio tower. Jack argues, but Sayid points out that as the group’s leader, Jack can’t divulge in his own desire for revenge. The survivors need him to get them rescued. So while the survivors gather for their trek — along with Juliet, Danielle, Naomi, and Karl — Sayid recruits his third shooter: Jin.

Desmond and Charlie locate the cable running into the ocean and use it as a starting point to cast off the outrigger. As they reach their destination, Charlie jots down the final item on his list, at the #1 spot: “The night I met you.” With this, we realize that this list is comprised of Charlie’s fondest memories, and that he intends to leave it behind for Claire, the “you” he’s referring to in his #1 memory. Desmond announces that they’ve arrived, and Charlie hands over his list to Des, asking that he give it to Claire. Desmond tries one last time to talk Charlie out of it, suggesting that he go instead. Maybe, he says, he keeps seeing Charlie die because he’s supposed to take Charlie’s place. But just as Desmond prepares to jump in the water, Charlie knocks him out with an oar so he can go through with the plan himself. After several deep breaths, Charlie works up the courage to dive in. It’s a very long swim down, and he barely makes it to the moon pool in time to pop up and take a needed gasp of air. He happy to find that the station isn’t flooded after all, but a pair of female Others suddenly appear and draw their guns on him.

  • Danielle was helping Jack with a secret plan to defeat the Others, who would soon attack the survivors.
    Question: Why was Danielle retrieving so much dynamite from the Black Rock? [3.19]
  • Radio signals are being blocked by a jamming device located in the underwater Dharma station called the Looking Glass.
    Question: What’s blocking radio transmissions to and from the island? [3.19]
  • It seems conclusive at this point that Juliet is genuinely on Jack’s side.
    Question: Whose side is Juliet really on? Ben’s or Jack’s? [3.18]

“Greatest Hits” is the fourth and final Charlie-centric episode of the series.

I still wonder why Desmond’s vision of Claire and Aaron being rescued didn’t come true. According to what Desmond saw, if Charlie died by drowning in the Looking Glass station, Claire and her son would subsequently be rescued from the island by helicopter. Only half of this came true — Claire was left behind while Aaron was loaded onto the helicopter. The simplest answer is that “something changed,” as Desmond has already revealed that his visions are subject to change if he does something to save Charlie. But he didn’t save Charlie. So what, if anything, changed Desmond’s vision?


3.20 “The Man Behind the Curtain”

Locke returns to the Others and demands Ben take him to see Jacob, but when Ben finally relents and agrees, their visit with Jacob leads to disastrous consequences. Back at camp, the survivors finally confront Jack about Juliet’s treachery. (Includes My Big Theory about Ben!)

Written by Elizabeth Sarnoff & Drew Goddard
Directed by Bobby Roth


Benjamin Linus was not born on the island, as he claimed, but in a forest outside of Portland, on December 19th 1964. His father, Roger Linus, carried the two of them out of the woods and near a highway, where the three of them were found and rescued by a couple named Horace and Olivia Goodspeed. Ben’s mother Emily died giving birth to him, and Roger was destroyed by the loss of his wife.

In 1973, when Ben was eight years old, his father took a job offer from his friend Horace Goodspeed as a member of the Dharma Initiative, and the two of them were taken to the island on the same submarine that Locke recently destroyed. Ben wasn’t a very talkative child at the time, but he was intrigued by his new home. Ben and Roger were taken to an orientation building, and shown a welcome video featuring Dr. Marvin Candle. The video welcomed newcomers to the island and asked that they stay within the boundaries of the Barracks, for their own safety. While Roger checked in, discovering much to his chagrin that he had been assigned to janitorial duties, Ben was befriended by a girl his own age named Annie.

One day while Ben and Annie were at the elementary school built on the island for the children of Dharma members — which was taught by Olivia Goodspeed, Horace’s wife — they learned about volcanic reactions. Olivia pointed out that there’s a volcano on the island, and once a very long time ago, it erupted. Her lesson was interrupted when gunfire was heard in the distance and alarms began to sound. Olivia armed herself with a nearby rifle and ordered all of the children to take cover as a precaution. Annie tells Ben as they huddle together that it’s the Hostiles attacking. Later that night, Ben watched as Roger complained to Horace about being caught in the middle of the attack, and Horace explained that these Hostiles were natives to the island that the Dharma Initiative knew very little about. Ben retreated to his room but was startled to see his dead mother watching him from outside his window.

On his birthday, Annie gave young Ben a pair of figurines she’d carved and painted out of wood. Later that night, Ben found his father drunk and passed out on the couch in their home. Roger woke up and saw Annie’s present, realizing for the first time that it was Ben’s birthday. Roger drunkenly apologized for forgetting, but said that he found it hard to celebrate the day Ben killed his own mother. He was sorely embittered by the loss of his wife, the fact that he was stuck in a dead-end job on a remote island, and that the only person in his life was a son he couldn’t stand. Deeply hurt, Ben ran out into the night alone until he came close to the sonic fence. There, he heard Whispers coming out of the jungle, and suddenly his dead mother Emily appeared before him again. He tried to cross the fence to get to her, but she warned him to stop, saying that “It’s not time yet, Benjamin.” She turned and walked into the jungle, leaving him confused and upset.

The next day, Ben found the combination to the sonic fence and snuck out there to turn it off. He wandered into the jungle looking for his mother, but found someone else instead: Richard Alpert, looking the same age as he is in the present! Richard kindly offered to help Ben find what he was looking for, even though Ben knew that he was a Hostile, so Ben explained that he was trying to find his dead mother. Richard was stunned to hear that Ben had seen and talked to his mother even though she died giving birth to him; though he never said it, his expression and body language conveyed a suspicion that Ben was special to the island in some way because of this. Ben confessed to Richard that he hated his life and didn’t want to be part of the Dharma Initiative. He said he would rather join up with the Hostiles. Richard told him to think long and hard about it, to be certain that that was what he really wanted. He said it would take time and patience if it were to happen.

By 1992, a 28-year-old Ben worked a janitor for the Dharma Initiative, just like his father. It was his birthday again, and once more his father forgot. To make it up to him, an older and somewhat gentler Roger offered to take Ben out to a private spot so the two of them could share some beer and a little quality time together. Ben agreed, but when their Dharma van came to a stop high up on a lonely mesa, Ben quietly asked his father if he blamed him for his mother’s death. Roger evaded the question, but promised to do his best to remember Ben’s birthday next year. Ben looked at his watch, noting that it was 4 o’clock in the afternoon, and then pulled out a gas mask and a gas grenade from his bag. Saying goodbye to his father, he put on the mask and pulled the pin on the grenade. Roger died from the gas, and when it was over, Ben returned to the Barracks to find that every other member of the Dharma Initiative was dead from gas poisoning just like his father — including Horace Goodspeed. The Others emerged into the Barracks wearing their own gas masks, and Richard asked if they should retrieve Roger’s body. Ben, apparently now made the Others’ leader due to this victory on their behalf, replied that his father should just be left out there to rot.


Sawyer returns to the beach camp, flags down Sayid, and gives him the tape recorder that Locke gave to him, proving Juliet’s status as a double agent. The two of them search for Juliet, but she’s gone. Kate explains that Juliet left with Jack on a secret mission of some kind, right after she told them about Naomi. Sayid is angry that Kate told their secret, and tells Sawyer to play the tape for her.

That night, Sayid tells the entire camp about Naomi, and Sawyer plays the tape for them. Jack and Juliet return just then, and Jack demands to know where they got the tape from. Juliet tells them to turn over the tape and press play. Sawyer complies, and they all hear a newer recording from Ben, giving Juliet instructions on the Others’ plans to kidnap Sun and anyone else Juliet determines to be pregnant. She’s to mark their tents so the Others will know who to grab when they sneak into camp in the middle of the night. Juliet explains that after she saw Sun’s baby on the ultrasound, she told Jack everything about what Ben had sent her here to do. Jack tells everyone that he’s helped Juliet keep her secret so he would have time to formulate a workable plan, and that now, he has one.

Ben mentions to Richard that today is his birthday, just before Locke shows up in the Others camp, lugging his father’s body over his shoulder. He plants the body at Ben’s feet and tells him to start talking. Ben takes Locke inside his tent and explains to him that the Others and even Ben himself all answer to a man named Jacob. Locke asks to be taken to see Jacob, but Ben says no, insisting that Jacob will talk to no one but Ben. Ben claims to be one of the last members of the Others to have been born on the island, and this heritage gives him Jacob’s ear. Locke, growing tired of Ben’s games, calls him a liar and says he doesn’t believe this Jacob even exists.

Mikhail runs to the Others’ camp in a frantic state, and shouts for Ben. Ben is surprised to see him, pointing out that Mikhail had supposedly died at the sonic fence. Mikhail explained that the pylons weren’t set to a lethal level, so he was able to believably fake his death in front of the Oceanic survivors. He reports to Ben about Naomi Dorrit’s arrival on the island, and her freighter that’s parked eighty miles off the coast. Ben is deeply troubled by this news, and Mikhail insists that they return to the survivors’ camp to “deal with” Naomi. But Locke appears and announces that Ben can’t be troubled with that just now because the two of them are going to see Jacob. Ben’s hand has been forced by Locke, and he knows it, because his people look on with shock. Ben tries to forestall Locke’s visit to see Jacob, and Mikhail insults Locke’s very presence, pointing out that Locke was the one who tried to kill him. Locke violently attacks Mikhail, beating him to a bloody pulp. Ben calls out to Tom and Richard for help, but neither of them move a muscle. When Mikhail is satisfactorily knocked out, Ben has no choice but to agree to take Locke on his journey.

As Locke and Ben prepare for their hike, Alex stops by and gives Locke a pistol, which she says he’ll need if he’s visiting Jacob. She defiantly announces that this was her father’s birthday present. Later, as they are about to leave, Ben warns Locke that Jacob is not going to be happy that they’re intruding on him. He says that Jacob is not someone you just decide to go visit; Jacob is someone who summons those he wishes to see. Locke is undeterred, so they leave.

That night, they arrive at a ramshackle cabin in the jungle, surrounded by a circle on the ground made of what looks like gray volcanic ash. They step over it and walk to the tiny house, which Ben claims is where Jacob lives. Ben warns Locke that Jacob doesn’t like technology, so they leave their belongings outside before entering. Ben warily leads the way, but once they’re inside, Locke sees nothing but an empty chair where Ben insists that Jacob is sitting. Locke angrily accuses Ben of being insane, or of trying to trick him, but when he goes to leave, he hears a new voice say the words “Help me.” Locke thinks it was Ben, but when he turns on his flashlight to shine it in Ben’s face, Jacob is angered by the technology in his home. The house begins to shake, objects fly around the room, and for a split second, Locke sees the outline of a man with long hair sitting in the empty chair. Ben and Locke flee the house, and outside, Locke asks what just happened. It was Jacob, Ben replies.

The next morning, as Locke and Ben make their way back to the Others’ camp, Locke again asserts his opinion that Ben is a fraud, and that everything that happened last night was just a show on Ben’s part. Locke says he’s going to expose Ben to the Others as a fake, and Ben admits that some of the things he’s maintained to everyone around him aren’t true. He says he wasn’t actually born on the island, and before they return to the Others’ camp, he wants to show Locke where he really came from. Ben takes Locke to the site of a mass grave, where the bodies of every member of the Dharma Initiative were dumped after the Purge. Ben explains that he “did what he had to do” when it became clear that either the Dharma Initiative or the Others “had to go,” insinuating that he was directly responsible for the Purge. As Locke examines the huge hole filled with rotting corpses, Ben shoots him in the abdomen, and he falls in. Ben tells Locke he shot him because Locke heard Jacob speak to him, which makes Locke a threat to Ben’s leadership. He asks what Jacob said to Locke, and Locke tells him. Ben is severely unnerved by the words Locke utters, and then leaves Locke there to die.

  • Benjamin Linus is a leftover from the Dharma Initiative, but he appears to be the only one. The rest of the Others have different origins.
    Question: Is Jack right that the Others are leftovers from the Dharma Initiative? [3.01]
  • Roger the corpse was Roger Linus, Ben’s father.
    Question: Who was Roger the corpse? [3.10]
  • The Dharma van was out in the jungle because after murdering his father, Ben ordered that it be left there as a final indignity to his father.
    Question: Why was the Dharma van left out in the jungle? [3.10]
  • The Dharma Initiative was massacred by the Others in 1992.
    Question: What happened to bring the Dharma Initiative’s work on the island to an end, and when? [2.24]
  • Ben Linus orchestrated a gas poisoning of them all as a means of revenge against his abusive father and a way to secure his future as leader of the Others.
    Question: What happened during the Purge when the Others wiped out the Dharma Initiative? [3.11]

  • What is Horace’s position in the Dharma Initiative?
  • Why was Horace wearing a jumpsuit bearing the Arrow station’s logo? Does he work at that station?
  • Where is the volcano that’s on the island?
  • When in the past did the volcano erupt?
  • Is the island’s volcano now dormant?
  • Why was the Dharma Initiative at war with the Hostiles/Others, back when Ben was a child?
  • Who or what was the Emily Linus we saw on the island, when she is known to be dead? Is she in the same state as Christian Shepherd, and other dead people who have been seen on the island?
  • How old is Richard Alpert?
  • Why doesn’t Richard age?
  • Who exactly is Jacob, and how did he come to be on the island?
  • Why doesn’t Jacob like technology?
  • What became of Ben’s childhood friend Annie? Was she killed during the Purge, or had she left the island by then?
  • How did the Others orchestrate the mass release of a poisonous gas on the island to kill every member of the Dharma Initiative?
  • Why did the Others enact the Purge, which was nothing less than a massacre? What pushed the war between the Others and Dharma to such an extreme?
  • Ben claimed to have masterminded the Purge. How did he convince the Others to go through with such a dark, horrific deed?

“The Man Behind the Curtain” is the first Ben-centric episode of the series.

So very different to look back on this episode now, knowing that everything that happened between Locke and Ben was all a lie on Ben’s part. All except for their encounter with “Jacob,” who we know assume was probably Jacob’s nemesis, instead.

Fans have long speculated that the boundary of ash around the cabin was meant to keep Jacob inside. It fits now that we know that the person trapped inside was never Jacob after all, but Jacob’s enemy. We have to assume that someone trapped him inside there at some point, but who and when remain to be revealed. In any case, I suspect that the words Locke heard as he escaped from the cabin, “Help me,” were in reference to this — the being inside the cabin was trapped there by the ash and wanted Locke (or anyone) to release him.

strong>My Big Theory about Ben: The Others are always on the lookout for people who are “special to the island” in some way. This goes beyond their lists and kidnappings and all that. The ones they define as special have a rare communion with the island, and are usually inducted as their leader. This is what happened to Ben, and what would later happen with Locke. Ben’s “special” status was derived from the fact that he could see and talk to his dead mother. (Locke’s was that the island had miraculously healed his broken spine.) But after Season 5, many (including myself) have speculated that Jacob’s nemesis and the smoke monster are the same entity taking different forms. We’ve seen the smoke monster take on the form of dead people before — such as Eko’s brother Yemi and Ben’s daughter Alex (and very possibly Christian Shephard) — and the fact that it only took on Locke’s form in Season 5 only after Locke had died, reinforces this theory. If this is true, then every time a dead person has manipulated someone into doing something, it’s all been in service of finding a way through the “loophole” so that he/it could kill Jacob. If Emily Linus was another instance of the smoke monster/Jacob’s nemesis taking on the form of someone dead, then it was almost certainly done to manipulate Ben into becoming one of the Others. Which could only mean that Ben was never meant to be an Other after all, since they are usually chosen by Jacob alone, via his lists. He was an unwitting plant, placed among the Others by Jacob’s nemesis, to serve his/its own purposes. Ben made for a malleable subject, thanks to his tragic, abusive childhood. It’s also worth pointing out the irony that Ben has spent most of his life exploiting the weaknesses of others and manipulating them to get what he wanted… when he himself was a victim of the same kind of exploitation and manipulation by Jacob’s nemesis. His entire life has been built on a lie. It’s no wonder he was never allowed to see or interact with Jacob; Jacob never chose him, and knew who Ben really had to thank for his place among the Others.


3.19 “The Brig”

Locke returns to the beach camp to recruit Sawyer for a mysterious mission that only he can fulfill.

Written by Damon Lindelof & Carlton Cuse
Directed by Eric Laneuville


Eight days before Locke took Sawyer to the Black Rock, and right after he found out that Anthony Cooper was on the island, he removed the gag from his father’s mouth, and his father bit his hand. Ben escorted Locke out of the cell and told him that the Others were leaving the Barracks first thing in the morning and setting out for a very old place on the island, and asked if Locke would like to come along.

Three days ago, Locke settled in with the Others at a small tent city they erected in a valley near some ancient Ruins. While helping Cindy (the Oceanic 815 flight attendant who spent time among the tailies) to secure her tent, he noticed that many of the Others stared at him a lot. Cindy told him that everyone was excited that he was there, because they’d been waiting for him. Tom appeared and mentioned that Ben wanted to see him. At Ben’s tent, Locke noticed Ben listening to the audio tape recording that Juliet left for him at the Staff station. Locke asked what it was, and Ben, surprisingly, told him the truth: that Juliet had infiltrated the survivors’ camp so that the Others could determine if any of the women there were pregnant. Then, the Others were going to go and take the ones who were and bring them into their society. Locke expressed concern at this, but Ben promised that no one would be hurt during the kidnappings. Ben then showed Locke that his condition was improving, and he was able to walk with the help of a cane — a turn of events he said he had Locke to thank for, because his improvement began when Locke showed up. He was eager to show Locke the secrets of the island, but said that Locke wasn’t ready yet, because he had never learned to let go of the hold his father had over him. Locke mentioned the “Magic Box” and how it had supposedly brought his father to the island, but Ben revealed that the Box was just a metaphor. He said that when people became one of the Others, they were required to demonstrate their commitment somehow, and that Locke would have to do this by killing his father — who was tied up nearby to a large pillar that stood as part of the Ruins.

Late that night, Locke was woken up by Ben, who told him it was time to do the deed: kill his father. He took Locke up to the Ruins where Anthony was still tied, and gave him a very large knife. Anthony taunted his son, suggesting that he was too cowardly to kill his own father. A crowd formed as the Others heard the commotion and came to see what was going on. But despite everything, Locke still just couldn’t bring himself to commit murder. So Ben took back the knife and told the crowd that apparently, Locke wasn’t who they all believed he was.

The next day, Locke was approached privately by Richard Alpert, who told him that Ben staged the entire event last night because he wanted to embarrass and discredit Locke in front of the Others. When Locke asked why Ben would do that, Richard said that Locke was extremely special, as proven by the fact that he had a broken spine that was miraculously healed. According to Richard, the Others have had their eye on Locke ever since the crash, and have been excited about his arrival on the island, all this time. He said that Ben has been wasting their time with less-important matters like fertility issues, and the Others are in need of someone to remind them that they’re on the island for more important reasons than that. He explained that he wanted to help Locke find his purpose, but that would only happen after Anthony was dead. He said that since Locke couldn’t do what was necessary, he knew someone else who would. He gave Locke a red file containing information about Sawyer’s past.

The next day, the Others picked up stakes and began to continue their journey across the island to their mysterious destination. Ben told Locke that he was no longer invited to come with them, and that they were leaving Anthony behind in his care, too. He told him that the Others would leave a trail that he could follow, but unless he was carrying his father’s dead body, not to bother.


Locke stares at a red folder by firelight, in a dark place we can’t quite make out. A muffled voice complains somewhere nearby, but Locke tells the other person to save their breath because no one will hear them here. Locke then tosses the folder into the fire and watches it burn.

Kate wakes up in the middle of the night after another round of sex with Sawyer, and says she needs to return to her own tent to sleep. After she’s gone, Sawyer leaves his tent to use pee, but passes by a suspicious-acting Hurley and Jin. When he steps into the jungle, Sawyer is met there by Locke, who says he’s there to find Sawyer. Sawyer doesn’t trust him, asking why he’s back after he joined the other side, but Locke claims to have infiltrated them as a spy for the survivors. Locke alleges that a few hours ago he snuck into Ben’s tent and kidnapped him, tied him up, and left him at a certain location in the jungle. Locke asks Sawyer to return to the place where Ben is waiting, and kill him. Sawyer argues that he’s not a murderer, but eventually agrees to come anyway.

Charlie takes some Dharma food supplies from the kitchen to the tent where Desmond, Hurley, and Jin are watching over the injured woman who parachuted onto the island, whose name is Naomi Dorrit. Charlie wants to tell Jack about the woman, but Desmond says he’s uncertain that Jack can be trusted after his odd behavior lately with Juliet. Naomi had promised them that if they kept her safe, she was their ticket off the island. He proposes instead bringing someone they can actually trust: Sayid. Sayid is brought into their confidence and asks Naomi to hear her story. She says that her helicopter took off from a freighter eighty nautical miles west of the island that’s part of a search and recovery team. She says that the entire wreck of Oceanic 815 was found in an ocean trench four miles deep off the coast of Bali. Naomi explains that since Oceanic 815 was already found, her people weren’t looking for the survivors, they were looking for Desmond. She was hired by Penny, Desmond’s girlfriend, who gave her a set of coordinates of where to find him. She knew nothing of the island until she lost power to her helicopter while doing a grid-by-grid search of the coordinates. Sayid doesn’t believe her story, suggesting it’s all too convenient, but Naomi produces her satellite phone for him to see, convincing him otherwise.

As Locke and Sawyer walk together through the jungle, Locke tells Sawyer about all of the things he learned in Sawyer’s file. Sawyer grows suspicious and jumps Locke when he turns his back, demanding to know where they’re going and why Locke won’t just kill Ben himself. Locke says he can’t do it, and that’s why he came back for Sawyer. Sawyer says he’ll go with Locke to see Ben, but that they’re going to bring him back to the camp instead of kill him. Locke agrees but asserts that Sawyer will change his mind when they get there.

Sawyer and Locke arrive at their destination: the Black Rock. Locke takes Sawyer to the ship’s brig, where Ben is supposedly waiting. But when Sawyer’s inside, he sees that their captive isn’t Ben at all — it’s Locke’s father, Anthony Cooper. Before he can do anything about it, Locke bars Sawyer inside with the man. Sawyer’s furious of course, but Locke seats himself calmly outside of the brig and waits. Danielle Rousseau enters the ship and tells Locke she’s come to get some dynamite. Locke greets her but refuses to explain himself, despite Sawyer’s irate shouting from inside the brig. Rousseau takes a large crate of dynamite and leaves.

Back at the beach, Sayid repairs Naomi’s broken satellite phone but realizes that there’s some kind of interference that’s blocking every channel. They won’t be able to use the phone as long as the interference is jamming all transmissions. But as he and Hurley discuss the phone’s workings, Kate stumbles across them and demands to know what’s going on. Sayid takes her into his confidence and tells her everything about Naomi, but asks that she keep Jack out of the loop.

Sawyer removes Anthony’s gag and finds out that this man he’s never met is Locke’s father. Anthony reveals that he was driving through Tallahassee, Florida when someone ran his car off the road. A group of people posing as paramedics loaded him into an ambulance and used drugs to knock him out. They brought him to the island and he didn’t wake up until the moment Ben revealed him to Locke. Anthony tells Sawyer how Oceanic 815 was found on the bottom of the ocean, and asserts that this place they’re on isn’t an island at all — it’s Hell. They’re all dead, he says. As they talk, Anthony reveals that he’s a con man by trade, and Sawyer starts to piece together what all this is about. He asks Anthony what his name is, and Anthony says he’s gone by many names — one of which is Tom Sawyer. Hearing this, Sawyer realizes that this is the man responsible for his parents’ deaths, the man he’s been searching for his entire life. He asks if Anthony’s ever been to Jasper, Alabama, and Anthony says he has. Sawyer tells Anthony that he killed his parents, and pulls out the letter he wrote as a child, telling Anthony to read it. Anthony starts, but refuses to finish, despite Sawyer’s increasingly furious demands. Finally, he tears it into little pieces, and Sawyer’s rage becomes so great he can’t keep his vengeance at bay any longer. He grabs a chain hanging from the ceiling, wraps it around Anthony’s neck, and strangles the old man before breaking his neck. Once it’s done, Locke opens the door and merely says “thank you.” No further explanation is necessary between either of them.

At the beach, Kate goes to Jack and asks to speak to him alone. Juliet agrees to give them some privacy, but Jack insists that she stay, telling Kate that anything she says she can say in front of Juliet. Kate angrily tells Jack that Juliet is the reason that no one trusts him, and the reason that no one wants to tell him about the injured woman hiding in a tent who parachuted onto the island. Jack and Juliet both are surprised to hear this news, and Juliet says to Jack that the two of them should tell Kate about a secret they’re keeping between them. But Jack refuses to tell anyone yet.

Outside the Black Rock, Sawyer vomits and then asks why Locke did all this. Locke says that his father ruined his life, and Sawyer’s too, so he had it coming. Then he tells Sawyer that Juliet is working as a mole for Ben, and that Sawyer should warn the survivors. Locke explains that he’s not going back to camp, and that he was never undercover among the Others. He’s on his own journey now, he says. Locke produces the tape recorder that Juliet recorded her covert message to Ben on and gives it to Sawyer to show the others as proof of her treachery. Locke then hefts his father’s body onto his back and marches off on an appointment with destiny.

  • The original Sawyer was none other than Anthony Cooper, John Locke’s father.
    Question: Who was the original “Sawyer,” who our Sawyer blames for his parents’ death? [1.08]
  • It’s never revealed either way, but the implication we’re meant to believe is that after the Others learned of Locke’s “extremely special” healing after he crashed onto the island, he became a figure of great interest and excitement among the Others. So it’s very possible that Ben really was on his way to find Locke when he was caught.
    Question: Was “Henry” telling the truth when he said he was on his way to find Locke when he was caught by Danielle’s trap? [2.20]
  • Ben was likely on his way to see Locke to discuss the possibility abandoning the survivors to join up with the Others.
    Question: If Henry was telling the truth about being sent by his people to find Locke, then what did he want with Locke? [2.20]
  • The Magic Box is just a metaphor for the miraculous properties of the island.
    Question: Where is the Magic Box that Ben told Locke about? Given that everything Ben said during that conversation was part of a big ploy to manipulate him… was Ben telling the truth about the Box? Does it even exist? [3.13]
  • It would appear that Anthony Cooper’s arrival on the island was part of an elaborate plan to discredit Locke in front of the Others. Cooper claimed that he was brought to the island after someone ran his car off the road in Tallahassee, Florida.
    Question: How did Anthony Cooper wind up on the island? Was he magically brought there by the island, as Ben suggested? [3.13]
  • Ben is obsessed with solving the fertility issues of the Others, and his means of doing this is to seek out any pregnant women than wind up on the island and kidnap them. He has sent Juliet to the Oceanic survivors’ camp to find out which ones of them are pregnant, if any. At the end of Juliet’s week among the survivors, Ben plans to send his people to the survivors’ camp and take the pregnant women.
    Question: Why did Ben order Juliet to infiltrate the survivors’ beach camp? What’s he planning to do in a week? [3.16]

  • What’s the “very old place” the Others are going to?
  • What are the Ruins leftovers of?
  • Why have the Others been waiting for Locke? What exactly do they expect of him?
  • What’s blocking radio transmissions to and from the island?
  • The survivors have been able to receive transmissions on the island before now, such as Rousseau’s distress call and the radio station Sayid and Hurley once picked up. Why are transmissions being jammed now, seemingly out of the blue?
  • Richard seems to hold a unique position among the Others, able to defy Ben with no repercussions. What’s the story between these two? And what’s Richard’s role defined as?
  • Why was Danielle retrieving so much dynamite from the Black Rock?

“The Brig” is the seventh Locke-centric episode of the series.

Josh Holloway’s slow burn performance in the brig scene is one of the highlights of his work on the show. While it’s hard for most people in this day and age to condone the death penalty, Anthony Cooper was such a wicked, unrepentant person, and Sawyer’s (and Locke’s) pain was so raw and real, it was hard to see Sawyer’s murder of Anthony as anything but some much-needed, cathartic justice.

It’s so different to look back now and see how everything Ben did involving Locke this season was part of an endless series of manipulations to try and keep Locke from supplanting him as leader of the Others. And it’s likely that Ben himself was being manipulated by Jacob’s nemesis so that he could eventually take over Locke’s body. What a tangled web!