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Lostwatch: Locke Keeps Legs, Grows Feet of Clay

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SPOILER ALERT: Before you Lostwatch, watch Lost.

So in last week’s "Next week on Lost," we were promised that this episode would contain five revelations, or shocking moments, or something to that effect. Tonight we got, by my count, (1) the discovery, in flashback, of how Locke lost his not-quite fiancee, (2) that elaborate map briefly lit up for Locke during the lockdown in the hatch, which is undoubtedly being screen-capped and websites devoted to it as I write (near as I can tell, it’s the terminal map for LAX), (3) the discovery of Henry Gale’s balloon, followed by (4) the discovery that Henry Gale is not Henry Gale–the real Henry Gale’s body having been disposed of in the grave that pseudo-Gale said was his wife’s.

And number 5? I’m guessing it must have been the revelation that Sawyer once got VD in Tallahassee ("Let’s just say somethin’ was burning and it wasn’t from the sunshine). 

What we didn’t learn, but expected to, was how Locke lost the use of his legs, which was where his flashback seemed to be leading. Instead, we saw him emotionally kneecapped, as his girlfriend (Katey Sagal) dumped him when he once again fell for a scheme of his father, who had conned him out of a kidney earlier. It’s becoming hard to get a fix on Locke, who in the first season of Lost seemed like the repository of all wisdom. Now, as we saw him get taken twice in one episode, by Dad and by Gale, it’s unclear whether he’s a sage or a sucker.

Here again, we run into the science-faith dichotomy between Jack and Locke (underscored recently by the appearance of the book The Brothers Karamazov, which juxtaposed spiritual Alyosha and rational Ivan). Earlier, Locke’s mysticism seemed to have him in tune with the spirits and rhythms of the island. Now–while Jack used his cold reason to win medical supplies from Sawyer in a poker game–we’re seeing the trouble his faith can get Locke into.

In a show full of liars and cons and truths that disguise themselves as cons, he’s an easy mark for ruses and misdirection. For any viewer of the endlessly tricky Lost, that’s a familiar feeling.