I’m super busy these days with work and school, and therefore I will apologize in advance for this post not being as in depth as the episode deserves. Ultimately I am only going to touch on a few of the important points brought up by this outstanding Locke-centric episode.
As always, if you aren’t caught up there are SPOILERS throughout the post!
The title of tonight’s episode is The Substitute, which harkens to the titles of episodes in the last couple of seasons, The Variable last year, and the incomparable The Constant in season 4. Both of those episodes were time travel related, this one, not so much, but constants and variables are much more similar in mathematical equations than substitution. After all, in an equation, constants and variables are parts of the equation. Substitution is a method in which you can solve the equation.
Fitting since we are coming to the end, it is about time some things start getting solved!
Of course, as many answers as we may have gotten in this episode, there are still many questions. Let’s touch on a few of both, shall we?
LA X TIMELINE
Nice to see Helen again, and she touches on a few important points in the episode. She talks about destiny and that Locke was perhaps meant to meet Dr. Jack, which we of course know to be true. Also, Rose, Hurley, and Benry are people that Locke is inexorably tied to.
On the Island timeline, Locke has always been the Man of Faith, whereas for the longest time, Dr. Jack was the Man of Science. Lately, Dr. Jack has been moving into the void left by Locke’s death, but in the LA X Timeline, Dr. Jack (along with Helen) believes that nothing is impossible, but Locke, always he of the “Don’t tell me what I can’t do!!!!”, has apparently become the Man of Science and willing to accept that there are things that he can’t do. If Dr. Jack is truly the Man of Faith in the other timeline, then we still have the important combination of a Man of Science and a Man of Faith which has always been at the heart of this show, and there remains the idea that if they can come together and work together, anything could be accomplished, Island or No Island.
So, if we can trust Esau-Locke, there are “Candidates” for replacing Locke and, surprise, surprise (not really a surprise), they correspond to the Numbers.
4- John Locke
8- Hugo Reyes
15- James Ford
16- Sayid Jarrah
23- Shephard (I’ll argue against this actually being Jack in a moment)
42- Kwan (and my argument for Shephard will also answer who is meant by Kwan)
Each of these correspond to someone that Jacob touched in the Season Finale last season, but the problem is, Jacob touched both Sun and Jin, so which one is Kwan and why did he touch them both? And Jacob also touched Kate and yet she is not here.
The solution… Jacob was touching the parents of 23 and 42, not the people actually named by 23 and 42, therefore, 42 is Ji Yeon Kwan, not Sun or Jin, and 23 is actually the baby of Jack and Kate, not Jack or Kate. There were many theories last season that when Kate got on the plane (Ajira flight 316) she was pregnant with Jack’s baby. On that flight, there was also a lot of talk of substitutions (there’s that word again) being made for people who were on flight 815 to turn flight 316 into another flight 815. Sayid was in handcuffs like Kate was in the original flight. Hurley had a guitar case like Charlie did in 815, Locke was in a coffin like Christian was in 815, Benry was late and barely made the flight like Hurley in flight 815, so it makes sense to think that Kate was pregnant like Claire was in 815.
So, the kid that Esau/Locke and Sawyer saw in the jungle would be the replacement for Jacob, one of the candidates, and therefore the child of Kate and Jack. Of course my original thought upon seeing that kid was that he was Aaron, and that is still possible. Aaron is, after all, technically a Shephard, and he was raised (for a time at least) by Jack and Kate, making him in a way, the child of Jack and Kate.
Until Next Time, I do love that every season we see a part of the Island that we have never seen before, and the home of the lists was an awesome revelation this week.