Smile Politely

Episode three begins to reveal the mystery




This episode introduces the parallel timelines of John Locke. In 2004, he remains paralyzed, but is engaged to be married to sweetheart Helen Norwood. Fired from his job at the box company, this timeline still shows a confused and unfulfilled man, yet something is different. In 2007, Man-In-Black/Locke begins his recruitment of the candidates.



1. (From Doc Jensen) Locke cranked the wheel and was teleported off The Island. Back in “the real world,” Locke was once again a man whose legs didn’t work, and his bid to bring various Island escapees back, supported by former Others leader Charles Widmore, ended in failure. Despairing over the apparent pointlessness of his Jacob-given destiny, Locke decided to kill himself, but was interrupted by Ben… who then killed him after learning some crucial intel. Given that Locke’s murder set in motion the chain of events that would allow Jacob’s bitter rival, the Man In Black, a.k.a. The Monster, to fake Locke’s resurrection and assume his identity, it is pretty safe to conclude that Smokey had been manipulating Locke’s Island adventure since their eye-to-“beautiful” eye meeting in season one. Moreover, we must also wonder if perhaps Ghost Christian has been Smokey or Smokey-controlled all along. Discuss.

2. (From Doc Jensen) In 1961, Richard Alpert paid young Locke a visit after meeting the boy’s time traveling older self on The Island. Alpert claimed he ran a school for special kids and wanted to test Locke to see if he qualified. He presented Locke with six different objects — a compass, a baseball mitt, a book called Book of Laws, a vial of ash, a comic book, and a knife — and said that one or all of them belonged to the boy. He asked Locke to pick which one. Locke picked the knife. Alpert was disturbed and left in a huff. Alpert saw that Locke had drawn a picture of a whirlwind of black smoke – foreshadowing of Locke’s Smokey fate?

3. The Man In Black was, by his own admission, “betrayed.” Thoughts?


1. We know who the candidates are (mostly) and that they are candidates to replace Jacob.
2. Ilana claims that Man In Black is stuck with Locke and cannot move to other recipients… however we (think we) know that the smoke has appeared as Alex and possibly Christian, Yemi and others.

3. In 2004 Ben is off-island and a teacher of European History. Heh.

4. (From Doc Jensen) On Locke’s impending wedding… We know from season one that Boone Carlyle’s mother, Sabrina Carlyle, owned a massively successful wedding business, and that Boone served as the company’s chief operating officer. Looks like th Carlyle family will play a role in solving Helen’s catering crisis…

5. 2004 Locke appears to have been injured by something other than his father pushing him out the window. In the new 2004, he has a good enough relationship with his father for him to be involved in the wedding and for Locke to have a picture of ol’ Anthony Cooper on his work desk.

6. Man In Black/Locke has been around while… He told Sawyer that Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, published in 1937, was “after his time.”



1. Lets start with the Candidates, identified and unidentified. Why would Jacob need a replacement? Why did Jacob compile this list of candidates? Why these people? Was this actually Jacob’s cave/writings? Maybe it was Man In Black’s digs?

  • Note that there no corresponding numbersfor Kate, Ilana, or any of the other original survivors. We already know that Jacob visited (and touched) Kate and Ilana, Do the Numbers only relate to the male survivors?
  • In what way do the Numbers correspond to Jacob’s candidates?
  • The names Littleton and Straume were crossed off the cave wall. It’s long been suspected that Claire may be dead, but Aaron? Miles?

2. Is the boy in the forest young Jacob? Whoever he was clearly disturbed the Man In Black, particularly when the boy tells Locke that he “knows the rules” and that he “can’t kill him” to which Locke says “don’t tell me what I can’t do” before the boy walks back into the jungle.


1. Sawyer and “Search and Destroy” by The Stooges

2. Confident business owner Hurley making sure 2004 Locke is hooked up with a new job after he agrees that boss Randy is a douche.

Lots to talk about here, particularly MIB/Locke’s cave conversation with Sawyer at the end of the episode.

Post away!

More Articles