We now have an answer about what a “candidate” was.
According to John “Smokie” Locke, Jacob would bring people to the Island whom he considered candidates to take over the job of Island protector, a job which Jacob has now. Locke took Sawyer to a cave on the side of a cliff where Jacob had scrawled names all over the wall, most of which were scratched out.
That is…except for six of them. Each one had a number beside it. Yes, they were the numbers. Locke said Jacob had a thing for numbers. The names included 4 Locke, 8 Reyes, 15 Ford, 16 Jarrah, 23 Shephard, 42 Kwon. There were many other names on the wall but they were all scratched out. “Locke” went ahead and scratched Locke out as well.
Locke was trying to convince Sawyer to forsake the Island and join him in getting off the Island. Sawyer agreed to join him.
I like the connection to the numbers. I do not think this is the final explanation of them. I believe the Valenzetti Equation, an equation to determine the end of the world, is the main idea behind the numbers. Still, it is fun to think about how the numbers are continued to be used. We got flashbacks to the Incident when Jacob approached each candidate in their younger years. For some reason, Kate, who was also touched by Jacob, was not shown on the wall. I guess they ran out of numbers.
On the trip to the cave, Smokie was approached by a young blonde boy. Locke chased him but fell on his face. The boy stood over him and told him to remember that he cannot kill him. I am assuming that this means that the Smoke Monster cannot kill any of the candidates and that is why he needs others to do it.
It was also said that Smokie could no longer take on a different face, indicating that his appearances as Christian, Yemi, Alex were now finished, probably with the death of Jacob. That means we will be getting John Locke or the Smoke Monster for the remainder of the series.
Ben, Frank, Sun and Ilana buried the body of the real John Locke. Ben’s words were touching and felt sincere. Ending the eulogy with the “I’m sorry I murdered you” was weird, but surprisingly touching. Sun’s look was great as was Frank’s response about this being the strangest funeral he’s ever been to.
One has to wonder how many people Jacob brought to the Island in search of a replacement for Island protector. How many lives were lost because they did not measure up to the job. In this case, Smokie is not that far off. He says he just wants to leave the Island, and that does not seem unreasonable. I wonder if he would retain the ability to change into a pillar of smoke off Island.
By the way, it was great to see Helen again this episode. She and Locke are truly a great couple and have the chance to be happy. Seeing Ben as the history teacher was funny.