It’s The Locke Comedy Hour! – A Recap of Lost’s “The Substitute”

This week’s installment of Lost kind of reminded me of a sitcom, complete with running gags, a catchphrase, and Peggy Bundy from Married with Children.

Here’s the pitch.  Charlie Brown is all grown up, and is now suffering the slings and arrows of late middle age.  (Then again, Charlie Brown has been bald since age 8.  So, at least that part of the aging process is easy for him.)  Unfortunately, due to a freak accident involving an ex-girlfriend and a football, he has been confined to a wheelchair . . .

But that doesn’t mean he can’t have madcap adventures!  This groundbreaking new sitcom is called . . . wait for it . . .  “You’re Getting Old, Charlie Brown.”

Starring John Locke as Charlie Brown .  . .

Hurley as Pig Pen . . .

Rose as Marcy . . .


With special guest star Benjamin Linus as Linus!

So, without further adieu, let’s roll the credits, sing along to the cheesy theme song, and tune in for The Locke Comedy Hour!

Nobody Tells Old Locke What He Can and Can’t Do (Except Everybody Does)

When we last left our bald-headed friend in Flash Sideways World, he was at the airport, filing a claim for his lost luggage  (a case containing his spiffy knife collection), and gabbing it up with spinal surgeon, Jack Shepard, who offered the wheelchair bound “Man of Faith” his business card.  Now Locke is heading back to his cute little ranch home in the suburbs.  In a running joke that pops up throughout the episode, the thingamajigger in Locke’s car that raises and lowers his wheelchair to the street, gets stuck, causing him to face plant on his freshly mowed grass (insert laugh track here).

Eventually, Locke rights himself and enters his home, where he receives a warm welcome from his fiancé Helen (Peg Bundy in the flesh!). 

Just a sidenote . . .

If you recall, in Original Lost World, Helen left Locke when he refused to break ties with his con man biological father, Anthony Cooper, who had  convinced Locke to donate him his kidney and then promptly abandoned him after he did so.  After Helen disappeared, Locke became involved with Cooper again.  The latter pushed Locke out of an 8th story window when Locke tried to intervene in a con Cooper had orchestrated.  It was this fall that resulted in Locke being confined to a wheelchair.

In Flash Sideways World, Locke is already in a wheelchair, but Helen is obviously still in his life.  It is unclear when, in the context of this universe, Helen returned to Locke.  Additionally, when discussing their upcoming nuptials, Helen mentions having a small wedding with both her own and Locke’s parents.  Presumably, Helen is referring to Locke’s adoptive parents and NOT his sociopathic biological dad.  Yet, as all bets tend to be off in Flash Sideways World, we cannot be too sure.

Although in the season’s premiere episode, Locke spoke with Boone on the plane about attending the Australian walkabout, when Locke speaks to Helen and his D-bag boss Randy, he only refers to a “conference” that he attended while in Australia.  D-bag Randy (1) catches Locke in a lie about this “conference;” (2) determines that Locke attended the walkabout instead; and (3) promptly fires him.  In the parking lot, a recently unemployed Locke AGAIN can’t get his chair mover thingamajigger to work, because another car is parked too close to his own (insert laugh track here).

Fortunately, the owner of the car comes to Locke’s rescue.  And it’s . . . HURLEY! 

Not at all peeved that an angry Locke tried to bash in his car, Rich Lottery-Winning Hurley, who just so happens to own the box company that just fired Locke, passes him the number to a temp agency that he also owns (Who knew this guy had such an entrepreneurial spirit?) and promises  Locke a new job.

Locke travels to the temp agency and promptly asks to speak to the supervisor there.  And I bet you can’t guess who it is?  Time’s up!  It’s ROSE!

Locke demands that Rose give him a job at a construction site.  In support of his job qualifications, Locke shouts what will no doubt become the hottest catch phrase in television history.  “Nobody tells me what I can and can’t do!”  (Insert audience applause).

(OK, maybe the second hottest catchphrase . . . Sorry Arnold.)

Rose, however, WILL NOT be won over by catchphrases.  She puts Locke in his place, stressing the importance of accepting one’s limitations in order to lead a full life.  Her admission that her life is “better” now that she has come to terms with her terminal cancer diagnosis is both ironic and poignant, seeing as BOTH Rose and Locke have been cured of their respective ailments in Island World.  (Then again . . . in island world Locke is dead . . . soooo . . .)

Locke ultimately takes Rose’s advice.  He comes clean to Helen about the humiliation he experienced when he was denied the opportunity to participate in the Australian walkabout.   He then, tears up Jack’s business card, determined not to spend his life seeking treatments he knows will not cure him (so much for the Man of Faith . . .).  Ultimately, Locke accepts a job from the temp agency as a SUBSTITUTE teacher  (See how they used the episode title there?  Clever right?). 

In the teachers’ lounge, Locke encounters a curmudgeony history teacher bitching about the other teachers’ failure to clean the coffee pot after usage.  And that curmudgeony teacher is . . . 

BENJAMIN LINUS (Insert thunderous applause for our special guest star!)

And that ends our flash-sideways portion of the evening.  As you can see, not too much happened here to advance the general plotline . . .

Nobody Tells Nu-Locke What He Can and Can’t Do (No . . . Really . . .  NO ONE!)

Back in our original timeline, Nu-Locke is traveling around in style, using his favorite mode of transportation, a black cloud of smoke.  And I have to say, I’m a bit jealous.  Walking to the subway station on the way to work can be so time consuming and tedious sometimes.  All those darn people are always getting in my way!  Now, if I could travel Smokey style, that would be a completely different story.

According to the remaining female survivor of Jacob’s followers (Nu-Locke killed the rest under the guise of Smokey, two weeks ago), Nu-Locke is now “trapped” in Locke’s form and is “looking for recruits” to help him get off the island.  Locke’s first candidate for a recruit is Richard Alpert.  Unfortunately, Alpert is a no go, because he is on . . .

Next, Nu Locke turns to Sawyer, who is still moping over Juliet, and is busy getting wasted in the cabin where he and she used to live.  Unlike Richard Alpert, Sawyer doesn’t need to be on Team Jacob, or any team, for that matter, because he looks like this . . .

With nothing to lose, now that the love of his life is gone, Sawyer follows Nu-Locke into the jungle, enticed by Nu-Locke’s offer to show him the answer to the question that has been plaguing Lost fans for 6 seasons now: Why is Sawyer [or any Lostie for that matter] on this crazy Island?

While Nu-Locke and Sawyer are heading off on their madcap adventure, back at the beach, Jacob’s sole surviving follower convinces Ben, Sun, and Lapidus to travel with her to the Temple where the rest of the Losties are currently stationed.  Before they can go, however, they have to dispose of Old Locke’s body.  The gang dig a hole and perform an impromptu burial of their sort-of friend.  However, when it comes time to provide a eulogy, no one seems all that excited to speak on Dead Old Locke’s behalf.

Finally, Ben decides to say a few words.  “John Locke was a Believer,” he says.  “He was a Man of Faith.  He was a better man than I will ever be.  I’m sorry I murdered him.”

Haha.  I have to agree with Lapidus when he says, “Weirdest funeral ever!”

Back in the jungle, Richard Alpert tries to warn Sawyer to stay away from Nu-Locke, but Sawyer ignores him.  Sawyer isn’t the only traveler to have to cope with an unwelcome visitor, however.  Locke keeps seeing a ghostly blonde boy in the jungle.  The boy approaches Locke and says, cryptically, “You can’t kill him.”

It is uncertain who this little boy is, or to whom exactly he is referring.  Is it Jacob (who Nu Locke seemingly already killed) or Sawyer?

Nu-Locke is apparently as confused by these remarks as we are . . . confused and pissed.  Angrily, he responds, “No one tells me what I can and can’t do!”  (And there’s that catch phrase again . . .)

When Nu-Locke informs Sawyer that the answer to his “Why You Are Here” riddle is at the bottom of a steep cliff overlooking the ocean, I start to think that the little boy was referring to Sawyer after all.  I instantly became very worried that Nu-Locke was about to take his “Can Do” Attitude to a whole new level of evil  by offing Sawyer (which would be awful, in my opinion, because Sawyer is way too hot to die).  Understandably, I was pleasantly surprised, and more than a bit relieved, when Nu-Locke rescued Sawyer, after the latter ran into some trouble climbing down the cliff. 

Once on the ground, safe and sound, Nu-Locke leads Sawyer into a tunnel adorned by a small scale with a white ball on one side and a black ball on the other.  Nu-Locke smiles cryptically before tossing the white ball into the ocean.  “Inside joke,” he explains to Sawyer, causing us Losties to recall Old Locke’s “Backgammon is Life” analogy from season 1.

Fitting isn’t it?  After all,  Jacob’s Nemesis/ Nu-Locke  is typically referred to as the “Man in Black.”

Once inside the tunnel, Nu-Locke shows Sawyer that it’s walls are filled with the crossed out names of former Island inhabitants.  However, SOME names have not yet been crossed out.  Nu-Locke explains that these names represent the “candidates” that Jacob manipulated to come to the Island and protect it.  Each name is accompanied by a number because “Jacob had a thing for numbers,” says Nu Locke.

Of course, the “numbers” that accompany the names are none other than those special numbers that have been plaguing Losties for six seasons.  Here are the names that weren’t crossed out and their accompanying numbers:

4-Locke (Nu-Locke crosses this one out himself – CAN DO, CAN DO!)

8-Reyes (Hurley)

15-Ford (Sawyer)

16-Jarrah (Sayid the Zombie)

23-Shephard (Jack)

42-Kwon (Jin?  or Sun?)

Noticeably absent from this list are Benjamin Linus, Miles Straume, and Kate Austen, all of whom are still very much present in the Lost universe.  I’m not sure whether this bodes well for any of them . . .

So, there you have it folks.  What did you think?  Will Sawyer join forces with the Mysterious Man in Black to get off the island?  Are Ben, Miles and Kate, long for the Lost world?  Will the Locke sitcom make it past its pilot episode? 

Tune in next week, where, undoubtedly, none of these questions will be answered, but a few more will be asked . . . Although, it is the last season, so maybe I’m wrong . . . I hope so!

2 Comments

Filed under Lost

2 responses to “It’s The Locke Comedy Hour! – A Recap of Lost’s “The Substitute”

  1. imaginarymen

    You come up with the best show premises EVER!!

    Your recaps are the only way I’m following Lost, I am totally serious. They fill me in and entertain me and save me an hour of my life each week!

    And I cannot, CANNOT stop laughing at that “Team Jacob” picture. OMFG!!

    I agree that Sawyer is “way too hot to die”

  2. Thanks for the comment, imaginarymen. I am more than happy to keep you up-to-date on all the frustrating craziness that is Lost.

    I’ve randomly been on a Charlie Brown kick of late. So, I figured, why not make the temporary obsession useful, by incorporating it into my blogs. (Plus, Terry O’Quinn REALLY DOES look like Charlie Brown! He would be awesome in a live action Peanuts reunion, in my opinion . . .)

    As far as Richard Alpert, with his obviously mascaraed eyelashes (I don’t care what the actor says. That is NOT natural!), ageless good looks, and generally broody emo-ness, I definitely figured him for more of a “Team Edward” guy. Guess I was wrong . . . :)

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