I like how we got to see stuff in "Smokey-cam" perspective! We could even see his smokey shadow against Sawyer's house.
I very much want to know who that boy is that Flocke (that's Fake-Locke) saw. It seems that he was a real boy because Sawyer saw him too. Was it Zack? I don't remember him very well, so I don't know. Why did Flocke see an apparition of him all bloody? Is that kid somehow special like Walt was? At least this is proof that not all apparitions are Smokey. This seems to indicate that Christian is definitely not Smokey.
When Locke's body was lying there in the sand and Lapidus said he was getting ripe, a spider was on his head. I wonder if that was a Medusa spider. You think?
You've gotta love it: when the kid tells him something he doesn't like, even FAKE Locke yells, "Don't tell me what I can't do!" I wonder if there's a bit of Locke fused to the Man in Black now...
There were a lot of great lines in this episode, like Sawyer saying he doesn't care if Locke is the ghost of Christmas past. I like his observation right away that this isn't Locke because Locke was always afraid.
What was with that series of ladders on the cliffside? One or two wouldn't suffice? Honestly, it looked to me like a video game level. You know, like in Super Mario Bros. 2 when you'd have to climb up this ladder, then that ladder, etc.
In the cave, there was a white stone and a black stone in balance on a scale. This recalls the white and black rocks found on Adam and Eve at the caves way back in season one. Glad they're finally following up on that. Locke takes the white stone away. I'm assuming that represents Jacob. What will that mean? Also, does this imply that the bodies found in the cave had each been candidates at one time?
"Jacob's lists" are starting to make a bit more sense now, as he's got his own master list on the cave wall. I wonder why it's in this cave down here and not in the foot or in the cabin where Jacob supposedly was. And the numbers!! There's finally a bit more sense to the numbers!! Now, I don't know why the numbers were being broadcast from the island radio, or why they seem to be cursed, or why they were stamped on the Swan hatch door. Or why they were chosen as code to push the button (I mean really, why even bother with number entry? Why not just make it one button to push?) Coincidence? But at least there's SOME significance. But wait, one of those numbers was missing! Here's what we saw:
4 - Locke
8 - Reyes
15 - Ford
16 - Kwon (at least I think it was 16)
23 - Shephard
This leaves 42. Who is 42? My guess is that whoever is 42 will be the key to everything in the end. In fact, number 42 may be "he who will save us all". ...Unless that's number 108, which I guess is possible. I think there are several possibilities. I think Sun is number 16, and not Jin, which may be why she didn't go back in time. Or it could be the team of Sun and Jin together, or even little Ji Yeon (wouldn't THAT shake things up?!). Could 42 be Claire? Possible, though seeing that she seems to have been stolen away by Christian, this may not be. Is Christian an emanation of Jacob?? 42 might be Kate. I don't recall seeing her name up there. But right now I'm leaning VERY heavily to number 42 being Walt. We don't know if Jacob ever met Walt, but we can assume he probably did. And this would bring Walt's importance back into the forefront.
EDIT: I realize now that I left Sayid out. Sayid is number 16 and Kwon is 42. This possibly ruins my whole above paragraph, unless Walt is number 108. Fingers crossed...
When Locke fell on the lawn and the sprinklers came on, it perversely reminded me of when he would predict the rain on the island.
And he's living with Helen! My oh my, there's a story behind that I'm sure. The Locke we know was unable to keep Helen because of his ties to his evil father. This Helen has no such problems, and is with Locke even in the wheelchair. And yet they haven't gotten married yet. I wonder how long they've been engaged, and when they met. She mentions inviting John's father to the wedding. This strongly suggests that Cooper in this universe is not the sadistic con artist we know. It may even be that Locke's paralysis is no longer due to being thrown out of a window. I wonder, then, how it happened.
I've suddenly begun wondering... is there a Jacob in this universe, and has he been visiting people off-island too?
Helen says "What are the odds of just running into a spinal surgeon?" That's very similar to what Ben said about one just falling out of the sky. Will Locke give it a try, and can Jack fix him?
Thinking about Jack the miracle worker, I wonder if he's married to Sarah in this world.
We learn that he in fact did NOT get to go on his walkabout; it played out just like the first time. I'm a little disappointed by that. Curiously though, in this version Locke doesn't go to Australia because he has vacation time and he's been planning it for months. Here, he was sent by the company to go to a conference and he skipped out. Never mind the seeming nonsense to this; I mean, why does a box company need to send a guy to Australia to hear some seminar? It's good to see Randy again, and hear Locke referred to as Colonel again.
Look at Hurley saving the day! And he's introducing himself as Hugo. Does he never gain his nickname in this universe? ...And why IS he called Hurley anyway?? Nice of him to try to hook Locke up with a job. And I'm glad some things are still the same. Hurley still owns the box company and Rose still has cancer. Was she in Australia to see Isaac the healer?
This Locke is not a believer. He's a frustrated man, like the other one was, but he is not a man of faith. Was this Locke visited by Richard as a kid?? I really need to know whether this timeline split off when the bomb detonated, or if it was always running parallel.
Locke becomes a substitute teacher, which actually seems a decent fit. And the best reveal is to learn Ben is there teaching! Did he leave the island? Was he ever ON the island? I like that he wears glasses here. He also gets to be broader and funny, which is something Michael Emerson is very good at but rarely gets to play on television. I hope we see more funny Ben.
So in the end, who is the substitute of the title? Is it John Locke, who becomes a substitute teacher in the flash-sidways? Or is it Sawyer, who has been recruited by the Man in Black as a substitute for Jacob, or perhaps someone else?
Favorite line: "Richard, I'm sorry I hit you in the throat and dragged you off the beach."