Here's to Being Dead

I can easily see many viewers being frustrated by tonight’s episode, particularly as it’s Lost’s final season and “The Substitute” — while full of some great stuff to pore over by way of screenshots — offers a lot of clues without explicit answers. I say have some patience and enjoy the ride; we’ve got 14 episodes left for answers, and the deliberate way in which we’re slowly being given pieces of the puzzle one by one will make for a much more rewarding experience when all is said and done (and will make eventually re-watching the series on DVD, looking for all those clues, all the more enjoyable). Plus, no Kate to deal with tonight – you should all be thankful for that! Although, perhaps the lack of Kate in tonight’s episode should be assigned some significance. Let’s start at the end, with our mysterious, Numbers-laden cave.

cave names

The episode’s title, as I mentioned, is “The Substitute.” There are a number of ways to interpret that:

  • Sawyer substituting as the Island’s new protector now that Jacob is “deceased.”

    sawyer underwear

    I think we all need some protection from Sawyer’s soiled underpants.

  • Locke as the substitute gym/biology teacher.

    locke teacher

  • Man-in-Black/Smokey/Esau as the substitute for Locke.


Those translations are all well and good, but none appeal as much to me as figuring out who will serve as the possible substitute for the latest name to be crossed off Jacob’s scrawled list of names covering the walls of The Cave.

locke strikethrough

Of course, maybe there isn’t a substitute for him. Plenty of names have been written on the cave walls over the centuries as Jacob has tried unsuccessfully to “win” whatever game he’s playing with Esau on the Island. Refer, again, to the conversation Jacob and Esau had in “The Incident:”

Esau: “You brought them here” (referring to the crew of the Black Rock). “Still trying to prove me wrong, aren’t you?”
Jacob: “You are wrong.”
Esau: “Am I? They come, fight, they destroy, they corrupt. It always ends the same.”
Jacob: “It only ends once. Anything that happens before that…just progress.”
Esau: “You have any idea how badly I wanna kill you?”
Jacob: “Yes.”
Esau: “One of these days, sooner or later, I’m going to find a loophole, my friend.”

All those names crossed-off; all those people dead; all “just progress.”


9 thoughts on “Here's to Being Dead”

  1. Ok, I”ll try again. Last/first. I seem to recall the writers wanted Kate to be the “leader” when they conceived the series. And, it was only after the first episode/Pilot, that they decided to keep Jack in that role (instead of killing him off). So, maybe they will hold true to their original plan, and yes, have Kate be the pivotal/leader role.

    Second, the ash…in addition to it being the “protector” that gets spread, and could consist of dead people’s remains, perhaps there is also a dna element to the ash which allows the recreation of those gone, out of the ash…which could feed into the fountain of youth theories.

    Also, Jacob/Esau stuff. I seem to remember from my Biblical stories, that their Mom (Ruth?)had something to do with their “choices” and outcomes from that Bible story. I’ll have to dig out my Bible to review… maybe Kate is their Mom…..

    As for the Greek mythology and all the other Easter egg clues with books and “gods”, etc…I am out of my element on that stuff!

    As for the young boy/Jacob/Aaron…his appearance reminded me of a “savior” image…so perhaps Aaron/Jacob, are one in the same, and will end up being the savior…ie Aaron takes Jacob’s place on the island as the leader…

    As for the Kwon’s….I hope they both find each other and get together…bummer, if not…after all they have been through with her yucky Dad, and the baby thing, and wanting to leave Jin.

    And, lastly, I am so curious to know how and who, the Black Rock came to be. Richard and Esau originally slaves? and who else? Looking for more Charles Widmore background here, especially as he ties into Ben….and, why can’t Esau get off the island without taking Sawyer with him? Can’t he leave alone? or is that more rules?

    Sideways flashes are interesting….but as you say….lots more to come.

  2. What did you think when Ilana said that (Man in Black/Evil Locke/Esau whatever) had to remain in Locke’s body now and couldn’t change? Meaning that he could change before, or what’s happened to essentially trap him in Locke’s body…

  3. Yipes! Good thought about Jack and Sawyer!.

    I think he can still change into the smoke monster, can’t he? He did in the “foot” after he had Ben kill Jacob?

  4. @skater
    He also changed into the smoke monster when at the beginning of the episode when they went through dharmaville (before Richard was cut out of the tree). If you looked in the window you would have seen the smoke monsters reflection.

  5. Other names glimpsed on the walls (don’t have visual confirmation on all of these yet):
    ? – GOODSPEED (Horace, Olivia)
    222 – O’TOOLE
    233 – JONES
    40 – LEWIS (Charlotte)
    313 – LITTLETON (Claire/Aaron)
    11 – STRAUME (Miles)
    135 – HENDERSEN
    316 – GRANT
    195 – PACE (Charlie)

  6. here’s a thought….what if “Kwon” on the cave ceiling isn’t Jin or Sun, but their baby? who, of course, is back “home” with the babysitter? or Jin’s deceased Dad?

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