Summary and Spoilers
In the present, un-Locke machetes Richard down from a hanging bag and tells him it is time to talk, then quickly changes and invites – closer to demands – that Richard come with him, follow him instead of following the deceased Jacob. Richard refuses, and we think that he is about to face the wrath of this god, but un-Locke leaves suddenly when he is unnerved by the image of a young boy with bleeding arms. This meeting is noteworthy because it is the first time I have ever seen Richard looking scared – and he looks terrified.
Ben tells partial truths to the sobbing Ilana. He says that Locke killed her men by turning into a Smoke Monster. He also says that Locke killed Jacob. Ilana scoops up Jacob’s ashes and bags them.
Un-Locke visits Sawyer’s bachelor pad, where loud music plays on a retro turntable and Sawyer glugs whiskey. Sawyer realizes quickly that this thing may look like Locke but it is not him. Un-Locke is there to recruit – we know that now – and he offers to explain why Sawyer is on the island. Even a drunk, depressed Sawyer is intrigued by this, and he agrees to follow.
The real, dead Locke is still lying on the beach, his body beginning to decompose. Ilana is heading for the temple with Jacob’s ashes. She convinces Sun to follow her, because she says that Jin will be there, too. Frank also follows. But first, Sun says they must bury Locke. I’m thinking, no, don’t bury him – bring him to the temple, and dip him in the water. Can’t hurt. But no, they bury him, and Ben says some words over his grave, including how he is very sorry he murdered him.
Un-Locke and Sawyer begin their journey. Un-Locke sees the boy mirage again, but this time his arms are not bleeding. Sawyer can see him too. The boy runs and Un-Locke pursues, then falls. The boy and Un-Locke exchange a typical cryptic Lost dialogue exchange. Un-Locke’s response is a typical Locke line, and makes me wonder who or what this being is.
Richard pops out of the woods just long enough to tell Sawyer that Un-Locke is going to kill Sawyer and everyone else. A bit later, Sawyer draws his gun, ready to kill Un-Locke, but a passionate, fearless speech by Un-Locke makes Sawyer lower his gun and continue to follow. After a hair-raising brush with death on a series of bamboo and rope ladders leading down a steep ocean cliff, Un-Locke leads Sawyer deep into a cavern where the names of people who have ended up on the island are scrawled on the cave ceiling. Un-Locke says the names were written by Jacob. Most of the names are crossed out, but not Shephard or Reyes or Jarrah or Kwon. And, of course, Ford. And Locke. Where’s Kate? All the names are there because they have been nominated to protect the island. Un-Locke says there are three choices: ignore, protect, or just leave – together. Sawyer favors the leave together choice – and, suspiciously, that’s the choice also favored by Un-Locke (who perhaps wants the island for himself?).
In flashback, Locke takes time out from choosing fabric colors for wedding chair backs to consider taking Jack Shephard up on his offer for a free consultation. Back at work in this alternate universe, Locke is fired when his boss finds out that he did not attend any convention events in Australia.
In the parking lot, Locke meets Hurley. Hugo is a different man – self-assured and confident, he owns the company that Locke has been fired from. Hurley also owns a temp agency, and tells Locke to go there and mention his name – and they will get him a job pronto.
Locke isn’t happy with the fuzzy wuzzy questions he is asked at the temp agency. He asks to speak to the interviewer’s supervisor, and comes face to face with Rose, the office manager.
The next morning, Locke calls Dr. Shephard’s office, but hangs up rather than speaking. He then tells Helen that he was fired for not going to the conference in Sydney – two things she did not know yet. At that moment, he also has his lost luggage delivered. Inside are the knives that he planned to use on his walkabout – the one he was not allowed to go on. So, three things that Helen didn’t know. Locke is feeling down about being trapped in his chair, forever, and tries to break up with Helen, but she loves him just as he is.
Locke is now coaching and teaching at what appears to be a high school. He looks rejuvenated and happy to be working, but that was before he meets Ben Linus, European History teacher, in the teacher’s lounge. Locke is a substitute teacher.
"Alright, Richard. Time to talk."
Ben: Locke – do you know why he carried Richard out into the jungle?
Ilana: He’s recruiting.
Sawyer: Thought you were dead.
Un-Locke: I am.
Ben: John Locke was a – a believer – he was a man of faith, he was - a much better man than I will ever be…and I’m very sorry I murdered him.
Frank: This is the weirdest damn funeral I’ve ever been to.
Sawyer: Who are you? You sure as hell ain’t John Locke.
Un-Locke: What makes you say that?
Sawyer: ‘Cause Locke was scared. Even when he was pretending he wasn’t. But you – you ain’t scared.
Boy: You can’t kill him. You know the rules.
Un-Locke: Don’t tell me what I can’t do.