The Enigma of John Locke: Leader or Loser?
This is a question debated many times on this site, most recently in response to Shephardsflocke’s theory on Locke’s misguided leadership, which as he said, had morphed into a discussion of time travel. Back to his main point, I am in the camp of John Locke’s not being a leader. He has no real leadership qualities, and the only reason he and everyone else believes this is because of the time travel paradox discussed so much. After reading Shephardsflocke’s theory, and re-watching some of season 1, I remembered why I dislike Locke so much. It makes so much sense that he was “infected” by the smoke monster at their first meeting. Every other character on Lost has the same reaction to Smokie–it’s black smoke, scary, evil, dangerous. It kills brutally. After one of Rousseau’s team was infected and dragged into the temple, he tried to take the rest of them with him by lying and saying he needed help. This is how Smokie operates–he either kills his victim outright or “infects” his victim and tries to convert others to his side by his wily means. However, when John Locke sees it, he isn’t afraid of it, but instead says he “looked into the eye of this island,” saw a white light, and it was “beautiful.” I believe that this is how Smokie took him over and caused a lot of his really erratic, creepy behavior in season 1. The off-island Locke in his flashbacks is a meek, pathetic follower who is vulnerable to being preyed on by his father, mother, foster families, the crazy hippies growing pot, the undercover cop, his snarky boss, Randy, and just the world in general. On-island Locke is much more sure of himself, he instinctively knows the island and how to survive (tracking, boar hunting, finding the hatch). In the first few episodes, Kate, Charlie, Jack, Sawyer, and especially Michael, all make comments on how weird and creepy he is, and wonder how he knows so much. Remember when he looks at Kate and smiles with the orange in his mouth? Remember how spooked Kate was? Charlie says at one point that Locke was probably a postal worker who killed all his colleagues cause he didn’t get a cookie in his lunch tin! Also, notice how many times Locke just sits on the beach looking out at the ocean the same way he did after he was “resurrected” after the Ajira crash. Does anyone ever think it’s strange how Locke is rarely confused or uncertain? Is this his unwavering faith or could it be more sinister, in that he KNOWS what is happening, and indeed has been planning and plotting during the entire series? After last week’s episode, I think that he’s trying to do the same thing to Sawyer by lying to him about wanting to go home, and appealing to his need to get off the island–that’s the hook, Sawyer’s weak spot, that Smlocke is trying to exploit to recruit Sawyer to his side. I think that John Locke the man hasn’t been seen since the crash, and John Locke/aka Smokey will meet his end during “the war that is coming” when he is finally cut down by Jacob’s new leader, Smokey’s nemesis–JACK SHEPHERD.