Kate leaves Sawyer’s tent after another romantic interlude, saying that she has to sleep in her own tent to feel comfortable. Sawyer half-follows her, since he needs to do a pee. He notices Hurley and Jin, back from their ‘camping trip’, doing something to Desmond’s shelter and looking suspicious. Uninterested, he continues on his way. While standing in the dark jungle, he hears rustling noises and draws his gun. Locke emerges, saying he is looking for Sawyer. After awhile, Sawyer lowers his gun. Locke says he has infiltrated the Others and captured Ben, and he wants Sawyer to kill him. Sawyer says he is not a murderer, and Locke says he made a mistake. He begins to walk away, and Sawyer, intrigued reluctantly follows. Locke’s tiny hidden smile reveals that this was exactly what he wanted.
As they walk, Locke reveals that he knows about Sawyer’s previous murder from reading his file. Sawyer becomes agitated, whacking Locke’s head and then holding a knife at his throat and demanding to know why Locke wants him. Locke says he could not do it himself.
Locke leads Sawyer to the Black Rock, the landlocked pirate ship whose hold is filled with the skeletons of slaves. Locke says he has Ben tied up in the brig. Sawyer enters the brig; sure enough, there is a hooded man tied up in there, complaining in a muffled gagged voice. Locke closes and bars the door, trapping the complaining Sawyer as well. Sawyer removes the hood and sees he is locked in with Anthony Cooper, a man who is a stranger to him.
Danielle shows up at the Black Rock unexpectedly. She has come to get some dynamite. Locke is unperturbed, banking on the fact that Danielle will not get involved in this kind of situation. Sure enough, she ignores Sawyer’s cries from the brig, takes her dynamite, and leaves.
Sawyer talks to Cooper a little, and, over time, realizes most horribly that this is the man who, by conning his father, pushed his father over the edge and caused the murder/suicide of his parents. Cooper shows no remorse, and in fact seems to think the whole thing is meaningless. He has even more reason to feel that way, since he believes that he and everyone else on the ‘island’ are dead. In fact, his last memory is of being in a serious car crash and closing his eyes while on a stretcher. He is also aware that flight 815 was found with all bodies intact – and dead.
Sawyer tries to make Cooper read the letter, but Cooper gets halfway through and then rips it up. Enraged, Sawyer strangles him. Locke then opens the brig and quietly thanks Sawyer.
Sawyer heads back to camp, but not before Locke tells him that Juliet is a mole who is still working for Ben. He gives Sawyer the personal recording device with Juliet’s message to Ben to use as proof to the survivors that Juliet is bad. Locke also says that in three days, the Others will raid the camp and take the pregnant women – and they say no one will get hurt. Locke also says that he is not infiltrating the Others – he is on his own journey now. He slings a bagful of dead Cooper over his shoulder and heads out on that journey.
Back at camp:
Hurley and the campers are hiding the parachutist (Naomi) in Desmond’s tent while she heals. Charlie and Hurley want Jack to look at her wound, but Desmond doesn’t trust Jack, nor do the other campers. Instead, Hurley fetches Sayid. Naomi tells Sayid that the plane was found in a deep trench off of Bali, with all bodies dead and accounted for. Sayid is suspicious after questioning Naomi. This doesn’t exactly endure him to her, but she still gives him the broken phone to fix. While Sayid is working on the phone, Kate sees him and it. Sayid tells her where they got it, but warns her to keep it a secret. Kate doesn’t listen and goes to tell Jack, asking to talk to him in private. Juliet, who is sitting there, says she will go, but Jack insists that she can stay. So Kate tells both of them about the phone, Naomi, and, most importantly to her, the fact that no one trusts Jack anymore. Jack is very concerned about the phone, but unconcerned about whether anyone trusts him. Intriguingly, Juliet says they should tell Kate something that seems to be relevant to where they are and whether they will be rescued. Jack heads off toward Desmond’s tent and confrontation.
We go back 8 days to learn about Locke’s time with the Others and Ben. Locke is a bit of a celebrity among the Others, since he is known as the Guy Who Is No Longer Paralyzed. Ben seems to believe that Locke is special; he says he is healing faster since Locke arrived. It seems to be true, too: Cooper bites Locke quite severely in their first meeting, and two days later, Locke is fully healed. Ben was pushing Locke hard to kill Cooper, even trying to get him to do it in front of virtually the whole camp. But Locke was unable to do it. Richard Alpert suggests getting someone else to do it, and gives Locke Sawyer’s file.
This is one of the better recent episodes, with plenty of gray areas, and the bombshell that the survivors may not have survived after all. This has been one of my theories for some time, but I’m not about to believe it just yet.
The structure of this episode helps to build the tension and queasiness. For example, I liked the scene amid the Others’ tent village, where Locke is happily helping Cindy pitch her tent. All around them, Others are peacefully setting up camp in an idyllic valley. Now pull back to reveal Locke’s father tied to a pole in the middle of all this!
If the bodies of the people on flight 815 have truly been found dead at the bottom of an ocean trench, then the only explanation that comes to mind is that the island is the afterlife (with Ben or Jacob as the pseudo devil?). However, the producers have apparently denied that this is the case. The producers are painting themselves into a corner where they will have some explaining to do, and have to be very creative to adequately explain everything. At this point, it is highly likely that whatever explanation they come up with (if they bother coming up with one at all) will be a disappointment to most fans. It is just too difficult to come up with something original, logical, and not trick-laden. More likely, it will involve an alternative universe and timeline, one that was punctured by the plane crash and is tied to the strange magnetic and healing properties of the island.
Sawyer: You want me to walk you home?
Kate: It's five tents, I think I'll make it.
Sawyer: You sure? I gotta pee anyway.
Kate: That is so romantic.
"You're wasting your time, bug eye. Me and him have been through all this. All he wants is his daddy."
- Anthony Cooper to Ben
Sayid: Naomi, from where, exactly, did you take off?
Naomi: A ship, a freighter, about 80 nautical miles west of here. I'm part of a search and recovery team.
Sayid: You told my friends the wreckage of flight 815 was discovered; did you mean the partial wreckage?
Naomi: No, they found the entire plane off the coast of Bali in an ocean trench four miles deep. They sent down cameras in these little robots to survey the wreck. The bodies were all there.
Sayid: Well, obviously we're not dead.
Cooper: (Reading the letter) "You don't know who I am, but I know who you are and I know what you done. You had sex with my mother, and then you stole my dad's money all away, so he got angry and he killed my mother, and then he killed himself-" Blah, blah, blah, blah. So, what? Is this supposed to be you? You wrote this letter? Hey, wait a second. Did you take my name because you were on some kind of revenge kick?
Sawyer: Keep reading!
Cooper: Easy, easy, don't get all worked up. Look, I ran that con two dozen times. If your mother was one of the-
Sawyer: Mary. Her name was Mary.
Cooper: Mary from Jasper, Alabama. Yeah, I remember her. She practically begged me to take her $38,000 and to rescue her from her sorry little life.
Sawyer: You finish the letter!