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Lost – What if the New Locke is Actually Good?

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Over the course of the few years it's been on television, Lost has, at least temporarily, put different characters in the fore.  Sure, Kate, Jack, and Sawyer have always been there, but over the past couple of seasons it's Locke who has stepped up to the plate.  I guess I like Kate, Jack, and Sawyer, but I definitely find Locke – or the man in black or the black smoke or just Jacob's enemy or whomever he is – the most compelling.

Certainly at least part of that is the fact that Terry O'Quinn does a fantastic job in the role.  There is an intensity to O'Quinn's face, something about his eyes, that makes his stare mesmerizing.  Is he evil?  Is he thinking evil thoughts?  Is he good?  Is he thinking good thoughts? He has always, even when he was definitely John Locke, been something of an enigma and that's helped by O'Quinn's semi-unreadable face.  Jack is a good guy, always has been, it's in his face.  Kate's a good girl with an edge, also in her face.  Sawyer wanPhoto Credit: ABC/Mario Perezts to be a hard-ass but when the chips are down he's the guy you want in your corner, again, it's in his face.  Locke has always been much more of a mystery, even way back in the first season when we he seemed happy that they crashed on the island.

Right now it definitely appears as though Locke (and that's what I'm going to call him for lack of a name other than "black smoke") is a bad guy, but frankly I'm not hugely sure that he is bad.  Are you?  Okay, he probably is, if I had to place a bet I'd most likely say that he is, but just because the show makes him seem that way doesn't mean it's the case.  Oh, Richard Alpert may have been absolutely right when he said that Locke wants everyone on the island dead, but not knowing what the island is and having all our Oceanic buds back in the real world in the alternate timeline may mean that they all ought to be dead, no?  We don't know the story of what's going on, so why insist that he has to be the bad guy? 

And then there's this fact that's been troubling me and may help argue for Locke being good – aren't The Others bad?  Haven't we believed that The Others are evil for years?  Didn't they lock Jack, Kate, and Sawyer up back in the day?  They may have given them fish biscuits to eat, but don't The Others – doesn't Ben Linus – stand in opposition to Locke?  Don't Ben and The Others revere Jacob?  Maybe both Jacob and Locke are bad, but we certainly know more about Ben than we do about whomever Locke is now and Ben definitely seems unabashedly evil.  That might just make Locke good.  I'd have to go with Locke being good before I went with The Others being good, and would even accept both sides as evil before taking a positive view of The Others.  Okay, so we don't know the motivation of The Others either, but why are we willing to toss out everything we've learned about them just because Locke seems evil now? 

Lastly, you're going to tell me that the black and white stones on the scale stood for Jacob and Locke and that they were in balance before Locke touched them – good was in balance with evil.  I won't quibble about them being in balance even though the black one definitely seemed minutely lower.  Locke tossed the white stone, the one you think is the good one, into the water signifying Jacob's death.  Locke called it a joke though, what if he wasn't lying?  What if that's all it was, not good versus evil?  And what if, as a joke, they had reversed good and evil?  What if Jacob's looking for a protector wasn't a good thing or what if Locke was right and there's nothing to protect the island from. 

I'm just saying and I can't wait to find out the truth.

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About Josh Lasser

Josh has deftly segued from a life of being pre-med to film school to television production to writing about the media in general. And by 'deftly' he means with agonizing second thoughts and the formation of an ulcer.
  • http://viclana.blogspot.com/ Victor Lana

    Josh, these were my thoughts exactly after watching last night. Why did Jacob visit all these people BEFORE they crashed on the island? I see no proof that Richard is good, and why did Jacob scratch those names on the cave walls???

    Also, I think the alternate universe is what happens because of the blast. Indeed no one ever met because there never was a plane crash. So Locke is still in a wheelchair, KAte on the run, Hugo the millionaire, etc.

    I think what is playing out on the island is what somehow connects everyone back in the alternate reality. Why would Kate get into the cab with Claire? Why would Jack give Locke his card? And so on.

    I had mixed feelings about this season, but so far I think it’s hooked me, and I’m watching until the end to see what happens.