John Locke-centric episodes are always great. This one took a step above that.
What an unbelievable performance from Terry O’Quinn. He would win an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor for this episode and it is completely well deserved. John Locke takes us through every possible emotion and feeling and shows so many different layers to the character. Whether it be the flashback showing how he wound up in the wheelchair or on the Island verbally jousting with scene partner Michael Emerson, Terry O’Quinn brings more to John Locke than you could ever wish to see.
I cannot imagine the pain that John had to feel when the man who conned him out of his kidney, shoved him from an 8 story window and caused him to spend four years of his life in a wheelchair. Anthony Cooper is seriously one of the worst people on this show.
Poor John Locke in the flashbacks was already pretty broken, suffering from depression, when a young man named Peter came to see him to ask about a man John had donated a kidney to…was he a good man? He was going to marry his mother and Peter had a doubt about him. Peter had found medical records indicating that his name was once Anthony Cooper.
John said nothing, but he went to see Cooper to make him cancel the wedding. Then, Peter turned up dead. John felt guilt over his lack of response and anger over his father’s evil and John went to confront him.
And Cooper shoved him through a window of the 8th floor.
Watching John plummet to the ground was absolutely crushing, no pun intended. Then watching John being hauled from his hospital bed into the wheelchair by the physical therapist was heart breaking. The look of utter fear and denial on Locke’s face was horrible. Such pain.
However, on the Island, his paralysis was gone. And Ben wanted to know why. But John figured out a couple things… Ben wondered why he hadn’t recovered yet and how he got sick int he first place. The healing powers of the Island worked on Locke but seemed to be skipping over Ben. This explains Ben’s fascination with John. Through John, Ben thinks he has found someone he can manipulate into giving him a stronger connection to the Island.
Ben allows John to take the C4 he brought with him to blow up the submarine. This way, Ben can keep Jack and Juliet on the Island without breaking his word. John knew this too, but he did not care. Both Ben and John wanted that sub destroyed, but for different reasons.
The scene with Jack and Kate was very powerful too. You could see that Kate felt betrayed by Jack leaving the Island, even though he promised he would come back for her. He went to Ben and arranged for his friends to be released after he was gone, to which Ben was more than happy to agree to because he knew that Locke was going to blow up the sub before Jack could get on it.
Everything was going Ben’s way.
The cliffhanger… Ben had told John about the “magic box” that could bring anything you wished for…and John dismissed Ben. But Ben then took John to see what came out of the box last.
It was Anthony Cooper.
Didn’t see that one coming.
“The Man from Tallahassee” is one of the best episodes of the show so far. Season three seems to have either average episodes or episodes off the freaking chart. This is the latter.