LOST 6×04 “The Substitute”

February 17, 2010 · Print This Article

Now 6×04 “The Substitute” was an episode of LOST!  Could it have been all killer, no filler?…in direct contrast to last week’s all filler episode.  Beware of SPOILERS beyond here . . . .


Well, nothing like going to your ace, your clutch player, when you reach a low point, and by going with a Locke-centric episode, that’s just what LOST did.  The first great episode of LOST was 1×04, “Walkabout,” so Damon and Carlton provided us with some nice symmetry making the 4th episode of the final season Locke-centric as well.

What I liked:

  • Sawyer rocking out solo sans pants, nothing says rock bottom like exposing your bottom
  • Sawyer not being too far gone to not agree to go along for the ride with Dogen-Locke
  • Sawyer packing some heat, just in case
  • Locke being with Helen in the flash-sideways
  • No mention of damn Kate at all and her name not on the wall, sweet!
  • Further mention of “candidates”
  • Badass cave lair with inside joke on desk

What I did not like:

  • Ben as a European history teacher, though I did kind of like it
  • The random kid in the forest
  • Locke being stubborn and not at least going for the free consultation with Jack
  • The rope ladder breaking, hello cliche and predictable anyone?
  • Richard looking like a scared, wet rat–dude, Man up!  I started wearing blue shirts with green pants because of you, don’t let me down

Unlike any of the other eps this 6th and final season, when the LOST at the end of the ep came up, it illicited an audible “damn it” from me in having to wait until next week for more.  I like no-pants Sawyer and Dogen-Locke teaming up.  They are good together.

Did anybody else expect Dogen-Locke to reveal some kind of high tech machine or spaceship/UFO thing when he held up the torch to show Sawyer why he was there?  I did.  So thought it was cool just a bunch of names scratched into the rock.

Loved the inside joke.

The Temple setting is now a dead spot in the storyline of the show.  I did not miss anything or anyone about the Temple.  Let Sawyer and Dogen-Locke get all the screen time for all I care.  Wonder why the Temple is the safest place on the island though?  Some kind of natural barrier to the smoke monster entering it like the sonic fence around the old Dharma village?

That one remaining commando chick, who is the same wench Pullo aggressively pounded in a kitchen on the show ROME, looked really good this ep.  I like how she carries herself, tough but still attractive.

I like how Frank just goes with the flow all the time, bury a body, alright, I’ll help dig.

I also like Dogen-Locke not knowing if its Sun or Jin that is the candidate.

All in all an ep that could easily fit into the category of a classic LOST episode.

4-stars for me


7 Responses to “LOST 6×04 “The Substitute””

  1. on February 17th, 2010 10:09 AM

    Why do you keep saying Dogen-Locke? Dogen is the J-dude in the temple. Locke is Locke, or fake Locke.

    Wasn`t so taken with this episode myself. Of course I liked the call-backs, and also seeing other characters moving through Locke`s sideways flash life, but felt a bit gimmicky.

    Fake Locke yells out- don`t tell me what I can`t do, the same way real Locke did.

    Locke`s bag of knives is opened up.

    Locke lies in the water from the sprinklers like he sat in the rain on the beach.

    Probably more too. But what did it all add up to? Well, not much. We had it confirmed that Jacob manipulated everybody onto the island the first time, and in some cases for the second time-

    Sawyer- Encourages Sawyer to write his letter, so he spends his life trying to kill the real Sawyer, goes to Oz to do that, kills the wrong guy, gets on 815.

    Kate- Helps Kate get away with the theft of a lunchbox, so she thinks she can always get away with it and not be punished. Hence she runs away all her life, then runs to Oz, gets caught, gets brought back on 815.

    Locke- Heals him with a half-miracle from a broken back, leaving him with the hope that one day he could be a real boy again. Goes walkabout, fails, comes back on 815.

    For Hurley and Saieed he only manipulates them as adults, ensuring they come back. Hurley is suggestible, especially to a guitar case cos it evokes Charlie, and Saieed`s wife is killed so he has no reason to live, which sets him up with Ben, which gets him caught by Ilyana and on the Ajira flight. Jin and Sun hmm, doesn`t do anything much really. Helps keep them together, maybe, so Sun will get back on the Ajira plane to find Jin.

    So we already knew that stuff fairly firmly already, from the end of season 5. They just confirmed it- it`s Jacob`s plan. Ok.

    The one new thing we learned- Fake Locke was human once, and also sees visions on the island- possibly of a young Jacob. People had thought those visions were manifestations of the smoke monster, but I guess something bigger even than him is playing games on the island.

    Most interesting question I want to know, which is the same as it`s ever been- what is so special about the island, to make it worth fighting over for so long? I guess we`re inching closer to an answer.

    Not a bad ep, but nothing amazing in it.


    Jason Collin Reply:

    Ha, thought Dogen was the name for the fake Locke from reading some other site, maybe they got it wrong too. It was interesting to learn that fake-Locke was once human, and I would guess THAT is the reason why the island is so special, its ability to make a regular person a near immortal, which maybe it has done for Richard too, though Richard seems to fear death quite a bit at the hands of fake-Locke.

    So I would guess Widmore wants to get back to the island to get that immortal status seeing as a man like that probably isn’t going to be satisfied with any kind of normal life span.

    But yes, I’d agree the biggest remaining question, really the biggest question since will they get off the island was answered, is what makes the island just so damn special and coveted and in need of protection in the first place?


  2. on February 18th, 2010 8:39 AM

    Yeah nothing stood out for me much in this ep. either, and there is no way in hell I would ever add this to the list of ‘classic’ Lost episodes. Not that I didn’t like it though, I enjoyed watching Sawyer and Locke banter back and forth, maybe they are the two characters I’ve consistently liked the most throughout the show. Had to laugh out loud at Locke calmly asking Sawyer ‘What’s on your mind James?’ when Sawyer had a gun pointed at his head. And the pre gun warmup story of ‘Of Mice and Men’.

    On the downside though, I like them both less now as Locke isn’t really Locke anymore, and Sawyer has seemingly joined the side of ‘evil’ now, and has reverted to his old raging, uncaring self. Hmmm. It seems so obvious to me now that the two of them are going to end up losing in the end. To what? Dunno, but I just know that the writers aren’t going to let Sawyer and Locke come out on top of Jack.

    Didn’t like Sawyer’s analysis of the old Locke, at how he was ‘always scared even though he pretended not to be’. Didn’t seem quite fair or accurate to me.

    I was unimpressed at the cave and names written on the walls, seemed a bit anticlimactic somehow, and I totally expected Sawyer to voice that comment with a ‘so what?’

    Anyway now that we know that someone may replace Jacob, I kind of hope it will be Hurley, as he’s the only character left that is still pure in my mind. It soooo better not be Jack as he deserves it the least out of everyone.

    God damn Locke being so pathetic in his side life, makes me sad.

    Richard acting like a wide-eyed boy weakling… yep, not what I expected out of him.

    Totally don’t like what is going on with Ben now, seems like they threw away one of the best characters, and now he’s been reduced to nothing.

    For god sake, just let Sun and Jin find each other again, why are they saving this? Any reunion between the two of them will no doubt be boring, and I can see no interesting reason to keep them apart.

    Totally not digging the characters that are SUPPOSED to be on the island being randomly found in LA. Ben as a teacher, Desmond on the flight and Ethan in the hospital. WTF?? I hope they know what they’re doing here, because it seems to me they don’t really have time to add more bizarre elements to the storyline. Time to start tidying things up!

    Don’t know if its the gimmicky feeling about the eps so far, but I find myself not really caring about Lost like I used to. Hope things pick up soon. Will give it three stars, which I feel is a bit generous, but two would be disrespectful.


    Jason Collin Reply:

    Actually I felt Sawyer’s description of real-Locke as “always scared even though he pretended not to be” was a great line and a dead-on analysis. Locke is not a natural born leader. He has some survival skills and got his legs working again on the island. So even though he was brave to face the smoke monster, skilled to hunt and kill a wild boar with only a knife, inside he was actually scared because he never knew when or if his legs would give out again, and had no history of success, only failing and being at the bottom, so no real confidence to base his leadership on.

    Then he was totally wrong about pushing the button too, just when he had thought he had the island figured out, he goes and blows up the whole damn hatch.

    Yeah, the show promises to nearly wrap everything up but they’ve got a long way to go still and just 14 more hours to do it in. Widmore will have to come back in to play somehow, hope that’s sooner rather than later.

    Ben not having answers, letting that wench lead them across the island, not good. Maybe he feels bad over killing Jacob and Locke. It was nice of him to say he felt sorry for doing it at his grave.


  3. on February 18th, 2010 9:23 PM

    I feel a bit like Mike does, a bit that it doesn`t seem to matter at the moment. Essentially it`s just a lot of stuff happening. I think it`s an offshoot of the writers` refusal to tell us who the good guys are and who the bad guys are.

    For a while we had clear bad guys. The smoke monster, Tom, Ben, Widmore. But now it`s even less clear than ever. Fake Locke says it`s all for nothing! That`s probably a lie, but we can`t help but feel some malaise from that All this effort, for nothing?

    They need to give us a bad guy, and soon. The smoke monster Fake Locke doesn`t seem so bad. We need someone to hate, otherwise it`s all just a bunch of wandering in the jungle for an island that doesn`t matter. It HAS to matter in a serious cosmic way for us to care.

    Theory to that end- The smoke monster Fake Locke guy must be super evil. Super evil, so much so that releasing him will unleash serious pain on the world. Will destroy everything, essentially. Then the island is a prison. So in that sense, what Fake Locke says about it not mattering is true. What matters is that Fake Locke is kept imprisoned on it.

    Who`s good and who`s bad here becomes clearer if we look at Jacob. He seems to be the jailer. He`s given up everything to jail this guy. He`s ruined countless lives just to keep him jailed. Unless he`s seriously masochistic against this one guy (which doesn`t seem to be the case, he doesn`t torture him, just imprisons him), then he`s doing it for the greater good.

    So. what they need to do is show us what a bastard the smoke monster Fake Locke is. Perhaps it`s not even his fault, just his nature is to be a bastard. In a way, he`s innocent, but his very existence off he island will cause destruction.

    If any of that is gonna be true, they need to start showing it to us soon. Perhaps in the sideways flashes- the world will start to unravel because in that world, the prison is sunk and the Fake Locke is escaped. To that end, the electromagnetism was a restraining field of some type. By blowing it up, Jack et al opened the door and released him.

    Agreed that the cave filled with names didn`t mean much. No proof even that it was Jacob that wrote it. Could easily have been Fake Locke for all Sawyer knew. Certainly underwhelming. I guess one episode where they reined in the budget.


  4. on February 23rd, 2010 7:34 AM

    The interesting point for me was that Locke’s personality seems to have imprinted on the Smoke-monster in a meaningful way. The final battle may be subverted by Locke taking control (for once).

    Also, shout out to Rose the HH’er and bizzaro Hurley’s random awesomeness.


    Jason Collin Reply:

    HH’er? Is that a reference to the size of somethings?


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