This is an anomaly. A John-centric episode where the flashbacks were not very good.
Who knew that could happen.
Locke on the Commune with the pot dealers just did not seem to fit wit anything. They tried by playing this off of John’s desire to find a family, but it just felt too forced. It does show Locke as a good man, because he would not execute Eddie to protect the Commune’s secrets.
The Locke story on the Island was much more entertaining than the flashbacks. John came from the Hatch implosion unable to speak so he built a sweat lodge to talk to the Island and see what he was supposed to do. John’s spirit guide turned out to be Boone, who took John on a campy metaphysical voyage through an airport with all the other regulars showing up in weird roles. This was all meant to get to the point that Locke needed to clean up his own mess, and save Mr. Eko.
Apparently, Mr. Eko had been taken by a polar bear and John needed to find him. Charlie came along, still pretty ticked at John for last season’s events.
As they were tracking the polar bear, Locke and Charlie stumbled across Hurley, who had the message from the Others. John told Hurley to return to the camp and tell everyone what the Others had said.
On his way back, Hurley came across a naked Desmond. “The Hatch blew you out of your underwear?” Hurley asked, barely able to look toward Desmond. Hurley gave Desmond a tie dye shirt. Hurley worried aloud about Jack, Kate and Sawyer. Desmond said not to worry because John would help them and that Locke had said that in his speech. Hurley was confused because John had not said anything like that. Desmond claimed to be confused.
John and Charlie arrived at the polar bear cave and John went in. John found Eko and used a torch and some hairspray to create a flamethrower and burned the bear badly. It ran off and John got Eko out of the cave.
They returned to the camp. Eko had talked to John, though it seemed that it was not Eko doing the talking (the Island, perhaps?). After laying him down, Locke gave the speech that Desmond had told Hurley about to the people at the camp, including Nikki and Paolo (making their debut). Hurley was confused, looking over to Desmond.
This was better than the other episodes so far in season three, but it is definitely the worst of the Locke flashback episodes. It also feels weird now knowing that Mr. Eko will not last much longer on the show. The main story of this episode was saving Eko and he dies very soon.
However, it was nice to see John Locke back to his old self, before the Hatch and the button, back when he had faith in the Island. Perhaps that is the key result of this episode.