Analysis: 4.13 There's No Place Like Home - Part 2

Part 1 of this 2-part analysis for There’s No Place Like Home Season 4 finale will deal primarily with the first half of the show – the cut off point being the moment Sawyer jumped out of the helicopter. Whilst I will not pretend ignorance of the events that followed this halfway point I will keep my focus on this first section.

We started the end of Season 4 at the end of Season 3, directly after Jack’s “We have to go back” declaration. Kate hit the brakes and took him literally, reversing to step out and let him know what she really thought.

The news that ‘Jeremy Bentham’ was dead, and what that meant (or didn’t mean) to Kate is, of course, only more profound once we know ‘Jeremy Bentham’ is John Locke. Ostensibly John Locke had appeared in 2007 to tell Jack and Kate that leaving the Island had been a mistake, that terrible things had happened because of it and they needed to go back for reparations. And Jack and Kate were not the only ones visited.

I wonder if Locke mentioned to Walt that in taller 2007 form he would appear on the Island. There’s possibility that, when Locke visited Walt and told him that the Oceanic 6 needed to go back to the Island, Walt used his special powers to travel back to Locke in the mass grave and inform him that, no matter what happened, he needed to prevent Jack from calling The Freighter to perhaps try and prevent the Oceanic 6 from ever escaping. . .

We know that Locke failed to stop Jack calling The Freighter – course correction has a knack of making sure of that so paradoxes are averted! – but it would form a nice closed loop on the ‘tall Walt appearance’ mystery neatly enough.

On the Island, Keamy confirmed that his mission was to bring Ben back to Widmore, alive. This ties in, potentially, with the situation Ben has found himself in. We have to assume that Widmore has been on the Island. During The Shape Of Things To Come he referred to the Island as his, and that Ben had taken it from him. Is it possible that Widmore on the Island once turned the wheel under The Orchid and found himself off the Island, leaving the way clear for Ben to claim ownership in his absence? And does Widmore require Ben to be with him, off-Island, in order to get back and that was why he sent Keamy to get him?

It’s a long-shot, I grant you, but if that’s not the precise nature of Widmore’s history and intention I certainly think it’s along those lines.

Potentially the nature of Island-life is to have a new leader replace the old one, constantly. Maybe Locke had a sense of this, and maybe, maybe he had a hunch that he already knew who his intended replacement would one day be: Jack. I am reminded of the scene in Season 1, the episode White Rabbit, where Locke convinced Jack to step up and become the leader of the Oceanic survivors.

Maybe that was why Locke was adamant Jack should stay, why he tried to make Jack ‘man of science’ Shephard believe in miracles, and why Jack’s departure was apparently so catastrophic. If the template for an Island leader involves daddy issues and crises of faith then Jack certainly fits the bill.

Locke: “Lie to them, Jack. If you do it half as well as you lie to yourself they’ll believe you.”

Jack would take Locke at his word – and with his ultimate declaration of “We have to go back!” and his surrender to Ben to do his bidding at the episode’s end, it appears Jack’s man of science fa├žade has crumbled and given way to a man of faith ready to re-build himself and repent for what he has done. There’s an Island Chief in him, I tell ya!

This ever-changing role of Island Chief is set against the everlasting permanence of Richard Alpert. (If he does live eternally, it makes sense that he’s not the chief; once the chief, always the chief – and how limiting would that be?) He was on hand to help Sayid win his (ace) fight against Keamy, even if he didn’t deliver the fatal bullet. We knew Keamy wasn’t quite dead since The Freighter didn’t explode.

Ben did kill him though. With ruthless anger he stabbed him in the neck, citing the death of his daughter. Was this a more revenge-driven, non-plotting Ben we saw? One that had already realised Jacob had sentenced him to step-aside for Locke and permanently leave the Island? Is that why, when Locke told him he had just killed everyone on The Freighter, he replied, “So?” That was dark, very dark. And part of me does put it down to what Ben described as good command decisions getting compromised by bad emotional responses. But Ben, the man who always has a plan, had sown the seeds for his return to the Island. . .

Ben happily agreed to allow Kate and Sayid to take the helicopter (cue Kate’s gobsmacked expression). And he encouraged Jack to go, and take everyone, and ensure he was not on the Island within the hour. And let’s not forget, as a back-door plan, Ben had Walt off-Island already. My point is, the Island doesn’t like letting people leave and never returning – not until it is done with them. And so Ben letting everyone go, knowing he was leaving too, was perhaps just him booking his return ticket home. And speaking of returning home. . .

Charlotte: “Would it make any sense to you if I told you I was still looking for where I was born?”

A little more clarification on that matter would not have gone amiss! Taking Charlotte’s cryptic question and coupling in the remark Miles made about how Charlotte had spent a lot of time “trying to get back” we must draw a conclusion: Charlotte was born on, and then subsequently left, the Island. I get two interpretations of this. Potentially she was born on the Island, perhaps as part of the Dharma Initiative, and taken off the Island as a baby before ‘the purge’ (thus her interest in finding the polar bear with the Dharma collar, and being included in The Freighter mission to disable The Tempest).

For those that like their explanations a little more ‘out there’, taking into account it is Miles that knows Charlotte was once on the Island, I’m going to go ‘out there’ and suggest that perhaps Charlotte once lived on the Island in a former life. Yeah, as in she was reincarnated and somehow remembers her former life on the Island. . . As much as I don’t like the idea, it ties in with Miles and Charlotte’s comment to Dan. I hope it’s not true, but you read it here first if it turns out to be so!

Talk of Dharma, naturally, brings us to the big Station reveal of the episode: The Orchid. Here we were given an ‘official’ version of the Orchid Orientation film, reciting once again all that business about the Casimir Effect and Negative Shifts. Or time travelling bunny facilities, if you like to keep it simple.

Quite why the tape started rewinding I don’t know. Maybe it was built-in to the tape by Dharma originally – just another one of their twists on presentation to keep test subjects on their toes. Ben did say all Dharma ever did were “silly experiments”. But the tape did start rewinding at the crucial moment as ‘Edgar Halliwax’ stated: “For the briefest of moments the animal will seem to disappear, but in reality. . .”

Yes? In reality. . .? What? Evidently, it’s the same phenomena as would later move the Island. The rabbit, in the Orientation film, was apparently about to be sent about a second into the future – so where it seemed to disappear really it was just skipping a second, unless it was moved in space as well as time in which case there’s no controlling where it might turn up (as the original Orchid Orientation film previously released can attest).

The halfway point of Season 4’s finale came aboard the helicopter, rapidly running out of fuel, when Sawyer did the heroic thing and jumped out of it to lighten the load. (Speaking of which, who didn’t feel for Hurley and his visibly hurting expression when Frank remarked he’d feel better if the helicopter was 200 pounds lighter? I thought I heard my heart break for the big, lovable bastard.) For those that don’t know, just before he made his jump, Sawyer whispered this to Kate:

“I have a daughter in Alabama. You need to find her. Tell her I’m sorry.”

It’s reasonable to conclude that Kate, in keeping her promise to Sawyer, was either having secret meetings with a private investigator or, like I have suggested previously, had already met up with Cassidy (the mother of Sawyer’s daughter) and was keeping that relationship under wraps (understandable, given the danger the Oceanic 6 exist in).

Poor Jack didn’t stand a chance. In Something Nice Back Home he argued that Sawyer made his “choice” to stay on the Island, but some choice! Sawyer left a hero-sized hole in Kate’s heart Jack could never fill. In the meantime it was Jack that doggedly soldiered on, sticking to his promise that he had made to the Oceanic people about getting them off the Island. Unfortunately, even though Sawyer’s sacrifice meant they did make it to The Freighter, Jack and the rest were not quite home and dry just yet. . .

Part 2 of this Analysis will follow.

John & Emily Locke

During the episode Cabin Fever we were shown how Locke was given up for adoption. His mother, Emily, was hit by a car, rushed to hospital and John Locke was born prematurely. As far as the hospital was concerned, John Locke ought to have never survived - but survive he did. However, by the time he was strong enough for Emily to hold in her arms she had decided that she could not do it, and Emily's mother made enquiries about adoption.

The obvious question: Why did Emily give Locke up for adoption?

I am inclined to take the matter at face-value. Emily Locke was a young girl facing the prospect of being a single mother in a time and place that was not accepting of such things. If the father - Anthony Cooper - wanted nothing to do with the child, and Emily's mother was pushing her to get rid of the child, it's understandable why she did so.

As adults, Emily and Locke have two conversations. Bearing in mind the above apparent history, I want to look at these two key moments and discuss some points of interest. So the first conversation is after Emily has met John in the car park of the toy store he was working at, where she has announced that she is his mother. After this they go to a diner.

LOCKE: "Look, miss, I don't know why you think I'm your son, or how you found me, but..."

EMILY: "You're adopted, aren't you?"

LOCKE: "No. No, I was raised in a foster home. Well, several foster homes, actually. Look, I don't mean to be rude—what do you want from me?"

EMILY: "I want to tell you that you're special, very special. You're part of a design. You do realize that, don't you? That our meeting — me finding you — this is a sign of things to come. Great things."

LOCKE: "My father, is he still alive?"

EMILY: "Still alive? Oh, John, don't you understand? You don't have a father. You were immaculately conceived."

With dialogue like this, with all of its talk of grand designs and immaculate conceptions, it's easy to get giddy and reach wild ideas. I'm going to keep my feet on the ground and first of all ask: Does the above dialogue contradict anything we know about John's birth and subsequent adoption?

Bearing in mind that Emily is having this conversation as part of an elaborate con under the instruction of Anthony Cooper, her saying Locke is "part of a design" is kind of twisted. Talk about rubbing his nose in it! It appears Emily didn't follow the progress of Locke's life closely; she’s unaware that he was never adopted by anyone and went through the foster care system.

The immaculate conception business is certainly ripe. It's also certainly wrong. We know young Emily had a man in her life. Who that man was has been widely debated but, until I learn otherwise, I'll stick with it being Anthony Cooper. Monstrous father-figures loom large in Lost, and there was all that business with Ben insisting that Locke kill his own father on the Island. . . If Anthony turns out not to be Locke's dad I feel that will be more for shock value than logical plot progression.

COOPER: "I didn't know you existed until a year after you were born. She [Emily] told me she wasn't even going to have a baby — you — at all. Then she drops off the face of the planet. When she turns up again, she's asking for money, telling me she put you up for adoption."

It's hard to know if Anthony is telling the truth. Weirdly, I think he is, but that's purely my opinion. In the meantime we should not forget that the private investigator Locke hired turned up evidence that showed Emily Locke had spent time in the Santa Rosa mental institute for schizophrenia. Whatever happens, wherever we go, we can't just overlook the fact we're dealing with a crazy woman here! Which brings us to the second conversation Locke has with his mother; he is in the hospital, his dad has gone and so has his kidney!

EMILY: "It was his idea. I'm sorry, John."

LOCKE: "What are you doing here?"

EMILY: "I needed some money. He's always been good that way. Your father's always been generous."

LOCKE: "You told me I didn't have a father."

EMILY: "Well, he said that was the only way you would give it to him. It had to be your idea. He told me where to find you. He asked me to go see you. I wanted to see you."

LOCKE: "This can't be happening. This is a misunderstanding. This can't happen to me. He wouldn't do this to me. He wouldn't do this to me!"

Again, looked at on face-value then this is a confession scene. The moment the writers have Emily come back to deliver the point that Locke has been conned, and that she did it for money. Was all that talk of "immaculate conception" purely a ploy to convince Locke that Emily had no connection to Anthony whatsoever? Makes sense to me.

So I guess what I am establishing here, amidst the half-truths and inferred meanings, is that the face-value interpretation appears correct. Emily Locke gave up John, went crazy (perhaps Cooper, generous with his money, funded her stay in Santa Rosa?) and then returned purely to aid in a con for more money.

But here's a punchline. Look at Emily's last statement to Locke. "I wanted to see you." Locke didn't pay any attention to it as, typically Locke, his mind fixated in the wrong direction. But it does bring me back to my first question. Why did Emily give Locke up for adoption? If you believe she regrets the decision purely the way a lot of people grow old and regret some of the major decisions they have made in their lives then the matter can rest here.

Conspiracy theorists, if you believe there was deeper, underlying rationale to Emily's allowing Locke to be given up for adoption, well, there's scope to theorise away. “Our meeting — me finding you — this is a sign of things to come. Great things. . . I wanted to see you. . .”

It’s mighty tempting to look past the face-value explanation. To consider a longer con taking place – that Emily was part of the process of engineering Locke for “great things” on the Island, isn’t it? And, as part of a vision, Emily Locke actually appeared on the Island! And Richard Alpert was present at the moment Emily turned away from her son! And Emily shares the same name as Ben’s mother! And. . .

I’m keeping my feet on the ground. I’m taking things at face-value. For now.

Analysis: 4.12 There's No Place Like Home - Part 1

Ordinarily, when setting up an enormous firework display you light the touch paper and stand well back. If your name is Martin Keamy then you go one step further and strap the detonator to your person, wired to your heart/pulse, and rig it to a ridiculous amount of explosives. Point is, we can expect fireworks. And with a two-hour season finale coming, we're going to get them. But before I discuss that, let's just consider the state of the Oceanic 6 after the fireworks. . .

There's curious behaviour exhibited by the Oceanic 6 as they are transported on the Oceanic rescue plane; their general demeanour and their agreed decision to stick to their false story. The events on the Island during There's No Place Like Home - Part 1 take place on Day 100. The official story has the Oceanic 6 missing for 108 days. Assuming the Island fireworks will take place in the next day or two, that gives our Oceanic 6 about a week to leave the Island, get to Membata (it means 'uncertainty' in Indonesian) in the Sunda Islands for official rescue, gather their thoughts and get their story straight.

The Oceanic 6 have quickly reconciled something hard to reconcile. Many of their fellow passengers (and Desmond, and Juliet) who were all eager to leave the Island were left behind. And the Oceanic 6 are ready to tell the world that they are all definitely dead (even though they know they aren't). The Oceanic 6 reconciled that story in under a week, unanimously.

My guess as to how this transpired goes like this. After all the fireworks everyone gathers on the beach. The Oceanic survivors. The Others. The remaining Freighter People. And The Others, lead by Alpert, perhaps with Locke and Ben, make an impassioned speech about the Island before it gets 'moved'. Perhaps they reveal something about it, or talk of how everyone is supposed to be there, that they will be safe once the Island is moved and live long, healthy lives. And then comes the choice - stay or go - and all but the Oceanic 6 make the choice to stay.

Obviously, the Oceanic 6 will vow to keep the Island secret so as to prevent future assaults on the Island (e.g. Keamy) from taking place and risking the lives of those they are leaving behind. I would also add that the likes of Juliet, Desmond, and The Freighter People will not be allowed to make this choice; the cover story of the crash of Oceanic 815 does not fit for them so they will not be allowed to leave. (Scope for some heartbreaking drama there, I feel!) Thus the muted shock of the Oceanic 6 on the rescue plane as a result of their consensual decision makes a kind of sense.

Almost certainly Claire will never materialise to make her choice and Jack will evidently have to live with the decision of, in her absence, leaving her behind. No wonder learning he was her half-brother came as such a stupefying shock - just one more factor that will plague his conscience and drive him to drink and drugs. On the bright side, at least Claire's mother awoke from her coma!

Kate will have had to agree to the story that she was pregnant with Aaron when she arrived on the Island. Most probably the only way Aaron was allowed to leave was if Kate stated that she gave birth to Aaron, to maintain the Oceanic smokescreen and ensure Aaron's existence made sense for the real world.

Meanwhile Sun's grief for Jin's death (I'll get to that) will have set into an ice-cold plan against her father (when she hugged her father Sun was not smiling - her resolve was firm). But there are two elements concerning Sun's takeover of Paik Industries that may prove mightily interesting.

The Internet is buzzing with rumours about Paik and The Orchid being linked due to the similar logos. Perhaps Paik supplied the technology? Maybe. I think Paik Industries almost certainly has something to do with Widmore/Dharma/Hanso. Now that Sun has the controlling share she may learn of major revelations concerning Paik Industries' relationship with the Island. All that's for the future. But I draw your attention to Paik discussing how five bank accounts had been used, presumably to stage the take-over. We know Sun plunged all her Oceanic money in; I just wonder if she didn't convince the other four members of the Oceanic 6 with bank accounts to invest some of their cash also. That would mean, if Paik is up to its elbows in Island-related business, the Oceanic 6 will have seats on the board to it all! (If Jack desperately wants to go back, his share and Sun's controlling interest in the company may be his ticket there. . .)

Jin's death then, as predicated since Ji Yeon, is apparently down to two people, according to Sun. The second is her father, indirectly responsible since he put Jin on Oceanic 815. The other person, I assume, is someone directly responsible. If Jin dies on The Freighter explosion then that other person would be Keamy - and if The Freighter explodes it means Keamy's death triggered the blast so Sun only has Mr. Paik to exact her vengeance on. Thing is, I am thinking this may present hope for Jin's survival.

Almost certainly The Freighter will explode. And we know Sun won't be on it when it does. But what if she leaves Jin on it and then it explodes? And what if, without her knowing it, Jin wasn't killed in the explosion? Perhaps he remained there with Desmond and Michael, and then Desmond received a flash of the future and they somehow escaped. Maybe picked up by Frank and his helicopter in the nick of time? It would be like when Jin escaped off the exploding raft in Season One's finale Exodus. And so Sun leaves the Island as one of the Oceanic 6 convinced her husband is dead unaware that he actually survived. . .

For those that really like their Jin dead, however, Sun does convincingly blame someone other than her father directly. She seems certain Jin is dead, and who was responsible. So maybe we will witness someone kill her husband right in front of her to leave no doubt. At this moment in time I am leaning towards the 'exploding Freighter with Jin not on it' idea. I think I like that one best because I hope Jin's not dead. Ask me tomorrow, I might be convinced Jin is dead meat. It's touch and go with that one.

There's No Place Like Home - Part 1 was all about set-up rather than pay-off, which is why this analysis is leaning heavily on predictions, and what a set-up! As we left it there were story strands dotted all over the place waiting to play out.

How are all these threads going to be woven together?

I've already stated I think The Freighter will explode. Ergo, since the detonator is strapped to Keamy, I reckon he's going to bite the big one too. I expect Ben will be the man that kills him. In the meantime Locke will get into The Orchid, but probably only after Jack and Sawyer, and Kate, Sayid, Alpert and The Others all converge to assault Keamy and co. Maybe Locke and Ben will stay at The Orchid to successfully move the Island, whilst the rest go back to the beach (Jack, Kate, Sayid and Hurley only have to meet up with Sun and Aaron to complete the 6). Sawyer will choose to stay, and request Kate fulfill a promise. That's kind of how I see it working because those are the beats that have to be hit to make everything play out. There are, however, potential wildcards all over the place.

Surely a pilot with a fully-functioning helicopter can't remain on the Island, and yet the Oceanic 6 made it to civilisation in a black dinghy (one we've not seen yet), so what of Frank and his flying machine?

And what of Dan's boat? And his urgency to get himself and his sweetheart Charlotte off the Island? And we can't discount the Black Smoke.

Or this guy.

Nor this persistent soul.

Let's face it. I'm overlooking the inevitable. I'm ignoring what's certain. The ending. Whatever it is, it's got to be a knock-out. Season One may have had that frustrating 'Jack and Locke peering down the hatch shaft' finish, but since then Lost has dropped bombs. Not fireworks. Bombs. From "Miss Widmore, I think we've found it" to "We have to go back!" the finales have delivered. So whilst I'm making all these predictions, the last prediction is the one I know the least about yet the one I am most certain of. We're going to get hit by a knockout punch; blind-sided, left reeling, stumbling into the space between Season 4 and Season 5.

I'm expecting fireworks all right. I'm expecting fireworks full in the face. Light the touch paper and stand well back. . .

The Crash Of Oceanic 815


This is a nicely synchronised sequence of what all the key players in Lost were doing leading up to and during the crash of Oceanic 815. Sit back. Ensure your seat is in an upright position. Enjoy.

Why The Crash Of Oceanic 815 Could Have Been Intended

Let me state at the top - I don't believe the crash of Oceanic 815 was intended. The business with Desmond just happening to not press the button at the precise moment that Oceanic 815 was travelling above the Island affords such an unlikely set of circumstances against someone intending that to happen it breaks my probability register.

So that's that.

And then I had other arguments about how the crash wasn't intended. Like how getting all those people deliberately on the plane requires such a level of organisation and planning it, once again, baffles me. All of it would have taken is for Hurley to choose to spend one more day with his father after they had made up to not go to Australia and not get on Oceanic 815, or for Kate not to help Ray Mullen (the one-armed farmer) so she wouldn't have got caught and been transported on Oceanic 815. (All the other characters have equally finely-balanced circumstances that could have changed.)

And then there was always the issue of survival. Namely: If you want to get a bunch of people onto a desert Island then sending them there in a large tube of metal and allowing that same tube to drop out of the sky and crash into the ground in flaming debris is not the best way of going about it. Let's just say if I wanted to get all my best friends to the Island for a party, a plane crash is not how I would make sure they arrived. Chances are, some - if not all - of my best friends wouldn't make it.

However, since Meet Kevin Johnson, and more acutely in Cabin Fever, there's been gathering substance to the idea that some people cannot be killed. Michael has a specific purpose and he cannot be killed. Locke, as Ben ruefully states, also cannot be killed (and so shooting him at the mass grave was pointless). If some people are "supposed" to do something, then they stay alive.

That's one aspect of my argument attacked. Approximately two hundred Oceanic 815 passengers were killed. They were not protected by this 'invulnerability'. Those that were protected - the likes of Locke, Jack, Hurley, Michael, etc - were guaranteed to survive. And that's my point. If the plane crash was intended, the invulnerability of the 'special' passengers guaranteed their safe arrival.

And what of the likes of Joanna - the girl that drowned during White Rabbit? She survived the crash, and yet pointlessly died not long after. To that I would argue that she was either not "supposed" to survive and yet did (and so course correction caught up with her and Joanna the strong swimmer died whilst swimming!), or her death was the purpose for her on the Island (it triggered Jack's accepting of the role of leader for the Oceanic Tribe). Looked at from any of those two perspectives, the deaths of passengers since the Oceanic crash can be explained.

Let me state at the bottom - I don't believe the crash of Oceanic 815 was intended, but one of my main arguments against it has been knocked over and who's to say my other arguments won't be equally disproved over the course of the show. . .? So I don't believe the crash of Oceanic 815 was intended, yet, but I'm more receptive to the idea that it might have been.

Analysis: 4.11 Cabin Fever

Cabin Fever

(n.) 'Boredom, restlessness, or irritability that results from a lack of environmental stimulation, as from a prolonged stay in a remote, sparsely populated region or a confined indoor area.'

Jacob's Cabin is the ultimate place to get 'cabin fever'. Sparsely populated region? The Island. Confined indoor area? A small, wooden shack. Put the two together: "Help me!" So that's Jacob. And applying the definition to Locke, who in flashback evades his destiny in misguided pursuit of his 'hunter' persona, there's a strong cabin fever resonance. Locke was the definition of restlessness and irritability precisely because he stuck so hard to his "don't tell me what I can't do" mantra and stopped listening to people advising him about what he should do.

Locke, it would appear, is destined to be the Island Chief. He would have been one sooner had he passed Alpert's test (more on that to come) or just bothered to study at Mittelos when the offer presented itself. Instead Locke metaphorically reached for the knife his whole life and missed his calling. In the meantime, then, on the Island, Ben was acting leader. A caretaker to the throne of Island Chief.

There are clear parallels between Locke and Ben. Both were born prematurely. Both had lousy fathers. Both were very quiet boys. Both never knew their mothers. If Locke was always destined to be the Island Chief then Ben almost fit the Locke template. Perhaps that's how he came to be the caretaker Island Chief. Maybe, for a while, some people believed Ben was the real deal. Elsewhere, other people like Richard Alpert didn't stop pursuing alternatives. . .

So what's the deal with the never-aging Richard Alpert and the six object test he presented to young Locke? I'll give you three explanations in order of the one I like least to the one I currently like best.

Explanation Number One is that Richard Alpert is travelling through time. He can crop up in Locke's life having never aged because he can visit Locke's entire lifetime in the equivalent of an hour or so of his own. So he came from the future with Locke's knife and compass and presented them to young Locke as a test to see if he was 'ready' for the Island. . . Trouble with this is, since Alpert can time travel, he already knows when Locke will be ready and knows he is the right man. Ergo, there's no need to test him.

Explanation Number Two is that the Island is running on a time loop, only Alpert exists outside of that time loop. So Alpert has lived through iterations of the Island where the Island Chief turns up and leads the Island to safety and. . . Oh Jesus. Why the hell did I put this idea as better than Explanation Number One? Well, there was a hint of a loop in the way Locke dreamt of Horace Goodspeed perpetually chopping a tree down - but it was just a dream.

Let's just press on to: Explanation Number Three is the big idea. Locke is Jacob. Jacob is Locke. For this to work I'm going to get all Buddhist on you and posit that Locke is the next 'Tulka' in line after Jacob. To make sense of that, some information: "Dalai Lama is the title given to an individual believed to be the current incarnation of a long line of Tulkus, or Buddhist Masters, who have become so enlightened as to be exempt from the wheel of death and rebirth. Familiarity with the possessions or attributes of the previous Dalai Lama is considered the main sign of the tulku."

Richard Alpert presented Locke with 6 objects, a couple of which could have been possessions of the previous Island Chief (Jacob). If young Locke selected the right objects this would prove he had an affinity with the previous Island Chief. For this to work in practical Lost terms it would mean that Jacob, as he currently exists, is the bodiless, eternal spirit, trapped, waiting for the right Island Chief vessel to turn up and assume the mantle. Enter John Locke. Jacob's words to John? "Help me." As in, help me by realising what you're supposed to do.

It all seems cut and dried and simple until we factor in Christian and now Claire in Jacob's cabin. (I think we can be sure that 'the eye' Hurley saw during The Beginning Of The End belonged to Horace Goodspeed, so at least that's that kind of cleared up!)

Christian and Claire in the cabin create questions (no tuxedo for Christian, Claire's happy, carefree manner) but as Christian mentions to Locke, whose head was similarly full of grand ideas, there are more pressing concerns. . .

Big Bad Keamy and his men are planning to torch the Island in Stage Two of Operation: Capture Ben. And Keamy is a bad man. He shot the captain. It was he that slit the Doc's throat (seriously, having just heard his body had washed ashore you'd have thought Doc Ray would have been a tad more vigilant!). Keamy would have killed Michael, too, were it not for Michael being invulnerable.

Michael, it seems, genuinely cannot be killed until his purpose is complete. And we had Ben's remark to Hurley about how he had been silly to shoot Locke at the mass grave since he ought to have known that Locke could not be killed. Tie that in with Ben's conversation with Widmore during The Shape Of Things To Come - Widmore: "Have you come here to kill me, Benjamin?" / Ben: "We both know I can't do that." - and the insinuation is that Widmore, too, has purpose and is, like Michael, invulnerable. Destiny may be a "fickle bitch", but when she's on your side she's a tough act to beat!

I think I can make a prediction as to how the finale, in part, will play out. Sayid and his boat will be the means by which the Oceanic 6 leave the Island. Sayid will steer. Sawyer will show up with Aaron and, with no Claire, demand Kate take the kid and leave (no doubt asking her to fulfil a promise, too!). Sun, naturally, will get a place due to her pregnancy-certain death predicament. Hurley? Hurley I find hard to justify (maybe his millions could fund another rescue?). And Jack, as I believe has been foreshadowed, will do something heroic and rip his fresh stitches, go into a critical condition and so be put on the boat (by a selflessly trustworthy Juliet, natch, hence the cover story that Kate saved his life as heard in court during Eggtown). And, of course, the Island will get moved.

Well, it has to, does it not? In The Shape Of Things To Come Ben tells Widmore he'll never find the Island. Since Widmore sent The Freighter he knows where the Island is, but in the future, after the Island has been moved, his search will begin again. There's also a possibility that the Island has been moved somewhere really cold (perhaps it's been there before, perhaps that's where it picked up polar bears) and that was why Ben appeared wearing a parka with steam coming out of his mouth when he teleported to the desert.

As for how the Island moves (through time? through space? through time and space?), well, I'll file that under the same rationale that dictates how Jacob's Cabin can move around, appearing and disappearing, with the likes of Claire and Christian and Horace and Jacob inside it. I don't know how, but I know it does, and I assume someday I'll find out. Those are big ideas, and we've got a season finale heading our way. "Beware distractions," as Yemi once advised. I think that's good advice for an Island Chief with an Island to save.