"The Brig" is the nineteenth episode of Season 3 and the sixty-eighth produced hour of the series as a whole. It was originally broadcast on May 2, 2007. Ben and his people offer Locke the chance to join them if he shows his commitment. Unable to do what they ask, Locke recruits an unlikely person to do it for him. Meanwhile, Desmond questions whether or not the Flight 815 survivors trust Jack enough to tell him about the woman they saved.


Previously on Lost[]

  • Locke's father Anthony Cooper cons him for his kidney by pretending to have interest in having a relationship. ("Deus Ex Machina") ("Orientation")
  • Cooper pushes Locke out of a window, dropping him eight stories, breaking his back, and paralyzing him from the waist down. ("The Man from Tallahassee") However, after the crash, Locke wakes up on the beach with the ability to walk. ("Walkabout")
  • Ben tells Locke that he knows everything about him, including that he was raised in foster care and was in a wheelchair for four years. He tells Locke to imagine that the Island contains a "very large box" that can manifest anything one wishes for. Locke sarcastically suggests Ben should wish for a new submarine, because it was to be blown up by Locke. ("The Man from Tallahassee")
  • Locke asks sarcastically about the magic box and Ben says he will show him what came out of it. Ben unlocks a door, revealing Anthony Cooper, bound and beaten with a gag in his mouth. ("The Man from Tallahassee")


Day 81[]

Fighting dirty

Anthony Cooper bites Locke as he removes Cooper's gag. Tom shocks Cooper in the process.

Locke looks through the doorway at Cooper, gagged and tied to a chair. Locke asks Ben what's going on; Ben replies "You tell me, you brought him here." Locke denies this, and despite Ben's warning to be careful, un-gags a very distressed Cooper, who viciously bites Locke's hand until Tom zaps him with a Taser. Cooper roars, "Don't you know where we are?" and Tom shuts Locke and Ben out of the room before he can say more. As Ben escorts John away, he tells him that they are leaving for a new place, then corrects himself, saying that it's actually an "old place." Ben invites Locke along, and after some hesitation, John agrees. "Good," Ben says, then suggests that Locke might want to say goodbye to Kate.

Day 86[]


Ben takes Locke to Cooper so that he can "let go".

Five days later, the Others are seen setting up tents in a valley. Cooper is there, tied to a large classical column which seems to be part of a larger ruin or folly. Locke helps Cindy set up her tent; Others nearby are openly curious, glancing at Locke. Cindy explains that they've been expecting him and they're excited that he's finally here. Tom interrupts, telling Locke that Ben is asking for him.

Ben is listening to the tape Juliet left for him at the Staff. When Locke approaches, Ben switches the recorder off and leaves it on top of a wooden chest of drawers. He reveals to Locke that Juliet has infiltrated the camp to determine if any of the women are pregnant, so the Others can go in and take them. Ben reassures John that they have done this before and no one will get hurt. Ben casually puts the tape recorder in the top drawer as Locke watches. Ben says that a week ago he couldn't move his toes, but that when Locke arrived, suddenly there were "pins and needles." "I can't wait to show you what this island can do," Ben says, but tells him that John isn't ready yet. He tells John that he won't be free until he releases himself from his father's hold. John asks if he is talking about the magic box. Ben says that is just a metaphor, and that when people join them on the Island they must of their own free will make a gesture of commitment, and that's why John will have to kill his father.


Ben tries to convince Locke to murder his own father.

The Others' tents are all lit from inside. Ben wakes Locke, who is sleeping outdoors, and tells him it's time. He brings John to the column. Cooper is tied to it and still gagged. Ben hands Locke a knife and suggests that although it won't be easy, "the quicker, the better." Cooper's gag is removed and he mocks John. John stalls, saying he has to think. Ben baits Locke with talk of how Cooper has hurt him. Cooper addresses Ben as Bug-Eye and suggests John won't kill him because he is spineless. Slowly, a crowd of silent Others, adults and children, gather. They watch as John holds the knife up to Cooper's neck, but then finally backs away. Cooper starts to gloat but Ben knocks him out with his cane. Ben takes the knife from John and announces to the Others that John is "not the man [they] thought he was;" John walks away through the silent observers, including Zach and Emma.

Day 87[]


Richard and Locke discuss Ben and what happened the night before.

The next day, Locke is taking in the view of the encampment from the hillside. He looks down towards the pillar where Cooper is still bound and gagged. He takes the bandage off of his hand, discovering that his wounds have already healed. Richard Alpert approaches, remarking on the beautiful scenery and saying that however long you are here you never tire of the view. He introduces himself to Locke. He tells John that Ben knew Locke wouldn't kill his father, and had put him in front of the camp so everyone would watch him fail. When John asks Richard why Ben would do that, Richard explains that Ben was worried because the Others were starting to think Locke might be "very special" because his paralysis had been cured. Richard says Ben has kept them occupied with 'novelties' like fertility issues, wasting their time, and that Locke could remind them of the more important reasons they are there. Richard wants Locke to find his purpose but for that to happen, his father "has to go." Richard knows that Locke won't kill him and suggests that he could enlist someone else to do it. He hands him a file on Sawyer. Locke is confused as to why Sawyer would want to kill Cooper, but Richard tells him to keep reading. Locke looks down at the file as Richard leaves. The page he is looking at is an INTERPOL report written in French.

Day 88[]

Locke Left Behind

Locke is left behind by Ben and The Others.

John wakes up the next day as the Others are packing. When he asks, Ben explains that they are moving on and leaving John and Cooper behind. John says they can't leave him behind; "Don't tell me what I can't do, John," Ben replies. "But I thought I was special," Locke pleads. Ben says that everyone makes mistakes. They will leave a trail for John to track, but he shouldn't bother unless he arrives carrying the dead body of his father on his back. John does not attempt to follow the Others as they leave.

Present day[]

In the jungle and at the Black Rock[]

At night of the day 88, Locke reads the contents of a red folder by fire light. A muffled voice struggles to make itself heard but Locke tells the man to save his breath because no one will hear him. He throws the folder and its contents into the fire.

Locke returns

Locke confronts Sawyer as he relieves himself.

Shortly before sunrise in the day 89, at the beach in Sawyer's tent, Kate gets restless and starts to dress. Sawyer stirs and asks where she's going. Kate says that she can't sleep unless she's in her own tent - nothing personal, just "old habits." Sawyer offers to walk her home, saying that he needs to pee anyway; Kate declines, kisses him goodbye and leaves. Sawyer picks up his gun and follows her out, to find Hurley and Jin acting suspiciously outside a tent. He asks them what they're doing; they ask him the same question. Sawyer ends the standoff by going off to pee, and while doing so hears footsteps. Locke emerges from the jungle shining a flashlight. Sawyer aims his gun at Locke, accusing him of joining the enemy and asking angrily if he's back from his "blow up everything that could get us off the Island tour." Locke explains that he has infiltrated the Others and kidnapped Ben, and asks Sawyer to kill him. Sawyer claims he isn't a killer, but Locke says he has read the Others' files on him, which reveal his murder of the man in New South Wales. Locke adds that the Others have files on all of them. When Sawyer continues to defend his innocence, Locke starts to leave. Sawyer orders him to stop but Locke ignores him; ultimately Sawyer follows him, barefoot, into the jungle.

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Locke and Sawyer walk through the jungle.

As they walk through the jungle together, Sawyer asks about his file. John says it contained high school transcripts and criminal records for con jobs but didn't explain his parents' murder-suicide; he then asks James why he chose the alias "Sawyer." Sawyer knocks John to the ground with the gun and demands to know at knife-point what con Locke is trying to pull and why Locke won't kill Ben himself. Although Sawyer is furious, Locke remains calm and, continuing to address Sawyer as James, insists he is telling the truth. Locke admits that he brought Sawyer because he can't kill Ben himself. Sawyer agrees to come with him, but says he won't kill him, he'll only bring Ben back to the camp. Locke says he believes Sawyer will change his mind when he hears what the captive has to say.

In the jungle, Locke and Sawyer rest at a river. Sawyer tells Locke he didn't mean to kill the man in Sydney, that he thought he was someone else. Locke asks who he did mean to kill, but Sawyer sidesteps the question.

Sawyer and Locke

Sawyer and Locke arrive at the Black Rock.

Later, John and Sawyer arrive at the Black Rock. Locke tells Sawyer it's a slaving ship from the mid-nineteenth century and that Ben is locked up in the brig. He speculates that the captain brought the slaves to try to mine the Island. As they enter, Sawyer investigates a box which Locke informs him is full of dynamite; Sawyer moves away. There is a human skeleton chained to the wall of the ship. A muffled voice cries out and Sawyer is surprised that there is actually a prisoner. He reiterates his refusal to kill the captive and Locke replies, "Whatever you say, James." Leaving his knife outside, Sawyer enters the brig; Locke suddenly slams the door and locks Sawyer inside. Sawyer beats on the door, then turns around and takes off the bag covering the prisoner's head, revealing not Ben but Cooper, whom Sawyer doesn't recognize.

3x19 sawyer fingers

Sawyer attempts to keep Anthony Cooper silent during the ordeal with Locke.

As Sawyer bangs on the door and demands to be let out, Rousseau enters the ship. Locke and Rousseau do not seem too surprised to see one another. They calmly greet each other by name, ignoring Sawyer's shouting, and Locke asks her what brings her to the Black Rock. She tells him she is there for dynamite, and asks why he is there. He doesn't answer, just points her towards the box with his torch, warning her that it's unstable. She takes a crate labeled 'EXPLOSIVES' and leaves.

Sawyer removes the gag and gestures at Cooper to keep quiet. He yells at Locke and threatens to shoot through the door, but John has figured out it's a bluff and there are no bullets in the gun. Cooper chuckles about not raising a dummy and explains that Locke is his son. Sawyer asks Cooper how he got to the Island. Cooper says he was in a car accident and doesn't remember anything until he woke up gagged and tied to a chair, greeted by his dead son - Locke died, he says, when his plane crashed in the Pacific. Sawyer tells him that he was on the plane, Locke wasn't crippled, and they crashed on the Island, not the Ocean. Cooper suggests that they're not really on an island, and that it's "too hot for Heaven."

Normal thebrig-caps196

Sawyer looks at his parents' killer.

Sawyer asks Cooper why he threw Locke out the window. He says Locke became a nuisance after Cooper conned him out of a kidney. Sawyer is surprised that Cooper is a fellow con man and asks him his name. Cooper says he has had many names including Adam Seward, Anthony Cooper, Ted MacLaren, Tom Sawyer, Louis Jackson, and Paul. Sawyer has a moment of realization: "Well, how 'bout that. Sawyer is my name too."

Sawyer kills cooper

Sawyer chokes Cooper with chains in the brig of the Black Rock.

Sawyer asks Cooper if he's been to Jasper, Alabama, and Cooper admits it. Sawyer accuses Cooper of killing his father. He pulls his letter from his back pocket and orders Cooper to read it. Cooper starts to read it aloud, realizing that Sawyer wrote it as a child, holding Cooper responsible for Sawyer's parents' murder/suicide. Cooper trivializes what happened to Sawyer's parents, saying that he pulled the same con dozens of times. As his eyes fill with tears, Sawyer tells him his mother's name was Mary and Cooper remembers her. Cooper says he only took their money and isn't responsible for their deaths. Cooper tells Sawyer that if his father killed Sawyer's mother and then himself, he must be "down here somewhere" and maybe Sawyer should take this up with him. Sawyer demands that Cooper finish reading the letter, but Cooper rips it into little pieces. Sawyer asks him if he wants to go to hell, wraps a chain around Cooper's neck, and strangles him to death.


Locke carries his baggage for the last time.

Locke opens the door and thanks him. Outside the Black Rock, Sawyer vomits. Locke tells him he can go back now. Sawyer asks why Locke did it. He says Cooper ruined both of their lives and had it coming. Then he reveals that Juliet is a mole, and that the Others will raid the beach in three days. He tells Sawyer to go back to warn them, but that he himself won't be returning. He explains that he was never undercover, but rather that he's on his own journey now. Sawyer is worried he won't be believed, but Locke gives him the tape recorder as proof. Sawyer asks if Cooper really threw Locke out a window, making him paralyzed. Locke responds, "not anymore," and disappears into the jungle, carrying his father's dead body in a bag on his back.

At the beach[]

Camping huh?

Jack asks Charlie about the camping trip.

During the day, Charlie hurriedly piles food from the kitchen area into a suitcase lid. Jack arrives and asks him about his camping trip. Charlie affects nonchalance, nervously telling him they were exploring, male bonding, and just got back early this morning. At the tent Charlie suggests to Desmond that they should tell Jack about Naomi. Desmond doesn't trust Jack; he was with the Others too long and is too cozy with Juliet. Desmond is protective of their secret. He points out that Naomi is their best chance of getting off the Island. Desmond tells Charlie to bring someone they can trust.

3x19 Sayid with shovel

Sayid works as Hurley approaches him about the parachutist's arrival.

Hurley finds Sayid digging in the jungle with a shovel, asks him if he can keep a secret, and brings him back to the tent. Sayid is relieved to hear that no one has told Jack yet. Sayid goes inside introduces himself to the parachutist. She speaks with an English accent, and tells Sayid that her name is Naomi Dorrit. She flew the helicopter from a freighter 80 nautical miles west as part of a search and recovery team.

3x19 Naomi gives info

Naomi tells Sayid a bit about her mission to find Desmond.

When he asks her about Flight 815, she says the entire plane was found off the coast of Bali in an ocean trench four miles deep. Submersible robots explored the wreckage with cameras, which showed that all of the bodies were there. Her company was hired to find Desmond by Penelope Widmore, whom she never actually met; she only gave them a set of coordinates in the middle of the ocean. They had been conducting a differential GPS grid search, but considered it a fool's errand because they knew of no land in the area. Three days ago she was heading back to the ship when the clouds parted and she spotted land. The instruments started spinning and she knew the helicopter was going to crash in the ocean so she grabbed her parachute and bailed out. Sayid asks Desmond if he actually saw the helicopter, and Desmond confesses he did not. Naomi asks if Sayid thinks she's lying. He asks her if she had any communication device. She asks Sayid to confirm his name again before she shows him the satellite phone.

Channel Not Found

Sayid tries to use Naomi's phone after he manages to get it working.

Sayid attempts to use the satellite phone. He tells Hurley that he's never seen such sophisticated equipment. He manages to turn it on, but can't find a channel and hears only interference. Kate discovers them, sees the phone and asks what is going on. Sayid asks her to keep quiet.

3 19 kate confronts jack

Kate confronts Jack about the camp's suspicion of his relationship with the Others and Juliet.

Back at the beach, Jack and Juliet are eating together. Kate rushes up and asks to talk to Jack in private. Juliet immediately agrees to leave but Jack stops her. Despite Kate's requests for privacy, Jack insists that Juliet stay. Kate becomes annoyed and tells Jack the truth about the woman in the tent. Jack asks why nobody told him; Kate replies that they don't trust him. Jack catches Juliet's eye for a few moments. He insists on knowing how Naomi was supposed to contact the boat. Kate tells him about the phone. Juliet tells Jack that they should reveal something to Kate, but Jack says "not yet" and rushes off to find Naomi, leaving Kate and Juliet alone together.


  • A brig is a compartment that serves as a jail aboard a ship, especially on a warship.
  • Cooper claims the Island is in fact hell. A popular, debunked theory is that the Island is not hell, but purgatory. This theory would later be revisited in "Ab Aeterno".
  • Locke's hand was injured and wrapped in "Left Behind" because his father bit him in this episode's first flashback.
  • The "column" that Cooper is tied to may be what was referred to by Ben as an "old place", suggesting it has been on the Island for a very long time.
  • The files that Richard gives to Locke include a police report in French, labeled "Ford, James (aka. Sawyer)".
  • Zach and Emma, the kidnapped tail section children, are shown in the Others camp along with Cindy.
  • When the satellite phone searches for a channel, it shows its point of origin as being on the West Coast of North America.
  • Locke suggests the Black Rock is a mid-19th century ship. This is consistent to what was revealed in the Lost Experience, about the Black Rock illegally transporting slaves and having disappeared in 1881. It's also consistent with the facts that the abolition of slavery in the UK occurred in 1807, and that dynamite was invented in 1866. Finally, it is confirmed in "Ab Aeterno" to have crashed on the Island in 1867.
  • Pilots do not normally "bail out" of helicopters. Helicopters normally are able to auto-rotate and are controllable even without power.
  • Richard formally introduces himself to Locke, but we later learn that chronologically, Richard first met Locke 50 years earlier and has visited Locke multiple times since then. ("Jughead")  ("Cabin Fever")
  • This episode is rated TV-14-LV.

Production notes[]

  • Terry O'Quinn (Locke) appears after being missing for 3 episodes.
  • A podcast rehash for the episode was released on May 4th, 2007. (Official Lost Podcast/May 4, 2007)
  • This is the fourth episode that takes place completely on the island.
  • This is one of only two episodes of "Lost" not to introduce any new characters, the other being "This Place Is Death".
  • Naomi's name is revealed onscreen in this episode, although ABC had placed it on press releases for the previous two episodes. She even mentions her full name as being Naomi Dorrit.
  • The bonus feature "Lost in a Day" from the season 3 DVD boxset includes a meeting in the writers' room, in which they are discussing early ideas for the plot for what would eventually end up as "The Brig". Details regarding Sawyer's confrontation with Anthony Cooper still differed vastly from what ended up being in the actual episode. One of the early ideas for this scene was that Sawyer and Cooper were to meet inside a well rather than in the Black Rock's brig, and Richard Malkin would be there as well. The idea for that scene was that no explicit reference to "Raised by Another" would ever come up, and remembering Malkin from earlier episodes was supposedly irrelevant as well. However, Sawyer was supposed to vaguely remember Malkin from somewhere, thus implying that Malkin might have been intended at one point to be revealed as the "Real Sawyer."
  • This episode was the final episode with Kevin Blank as a visual effects supervisor. He was replaced by Mitch Suskin. (Season 4 Arrives!)
  • It was originally reported that this episode would have no flashback. [1]

Bloopers and continuity errors[]

  • When Sayid is digging, the bandage on his arm is small. In the next scene when he visits Naomi it is bigger but in the scene following that when he is fixing the satellite phone it goes back to being a smaller bandage again.
  • Anthony Cooper tells Sawyer that Locke was dead because his plane crashed in the Pacific. He then explains how Flight 815 was found on the bottom of the ocean. While Flight 815 did really crash in the Pacific, the fake wreckage was found in the Indian Ocean.
  • The Black Rock is green from outside. While in "Exodus, Part 1", the Black Rock is brown from outside.
  • As Locke is standing up after being hit in the head by Sawyer, there is no mark from the gun butt. As he starts to continue to walk, there is a mark.
  • Juliet's recording was probably on Day 87, but she claims it is Saturday morning, which would make it on Day 88. However, Ben is listening to it on Day 86.


Recurring themes[]

  • Cooper claims he "died" in a car accident before waking up tied to a chair in a dark room. (Car accidents)  (Imprisonment)
  • Ben and Juliet's plan is to find out which women are pregnant at the survivors' camp, and kidnap them. (Imprisonment)  (Pregnancies)
  • Locke's father is the same man who conned Sawyer's parents, causing his father to kill his mother and then himself. (Character connections)
  • Locke tells Sawyer about Juliet's mission, whilst Jack and Juliet publicly demonstrate to Kate that they are hiding something. (Secrets)
  • Locke lied to Sawyer with the ultimate intent to make him kill Cooper. (Deceptions and cons)  (Death)
  • Ben tells John he has to make a gesture of free will. (Fate versus free will)
  • John locks Sawyer in the brig of the Black Rock in order to force him to do his dirty work and kill Anthony Cooper. (Fate versus free will)  (Imprisonment)
  • Sawyer calls Locke "Tarzan," "bald bastard," and "John boy." Cooper calls Ben "bug-eye," Sawyer "friend" and Locke "Bald headed bastard," Interestingly, Sawyer and Cooper come up with similar nicknames (Sawyer has referred to Ben as "bug-eyed" in the past). Locke uses Sawyer's real name, James. (Nicknames)
  • According to Naomi, the wreckage of Flight 815 was found in an ocean trench 4 miles deep. (The Numbers)
  • According to Ben, Locke has to kill Cooper so he can move on from the person he was before the Island. (Redemption)
  • Locke hates his father, but can't bring himself to kill him. (Parent issues)
  • Sawyer became the man he is because Anthony Cooper is indirectly responsible for the deaths of his parents. (Parent issues)
  • Anthony Cooper tells Sawyer "Don't tell me I'm your daddy" to tease him about his questions. In more than one way, Anthony Cooper is more of a father to Sawyer than to Locke - he even adopted the same nickname. (Parent issues)
  • Kate wakes up in Sawyer's tent after having sex with him. (Relationships)
  • Ben says in a previous episode, "We're not murderers," and Locke was unable to vouch for Kate after finding out she killed her stepfather. But Ben forces Locke to kill his own father before he can follow the Others. (Parent issues)
  • Cooper realises that James Ford took his name on "some kind of revenge kick." In killing Cooper, Sawyer gets that revenge. (Revenge)
  • Locke tells Sawyer "I'm on my own journey now." (Isolation)

Cultural references[]

Literary techniques[]

Storyline analysis[]

  • Sawyer kills Anthony Cooper. (Crimes)
  • Locke is faced with the possibility of killing the person who ruined his life, but can't do it. Sawyer finds in that same person the enemy he's been after his whole life. (Rivalries)
  • The rivalry between Locke and Ben escalates when Ben apparently tries to humiliate Locke in front of the Others. (Rivalries)
  • Locke reminds Sawyer about the man he killed back in Sydney. (Crimes)
  • Kate wakes up in Sawyer's tent. (Relationships)

Episode connections[]

Episode references[]

  • Ben teases Locke about being kicked off the walkabout tour because he couldn't walk. ("Walkabout")
  • Sawyer dreamed about the events that led up to his own parents' deaths, which Kate had figured out earlier. ("Outlaws")
  • Locke tells Sawyer that he knows Sawyer killed a man in Sydney. ("Outlaws")
  • Both Ben and Cooper refer to Locke being conned out of his kidney. ("Deus Ex Machina")
  • Sawyer refers to the con Ben pulled on him earlier in the season. Specifically the rabbit with an '8' painted on it. ("Every Man for Himself")
  • Ben referred to a previous conversation with Locke when he said that the magic box was just a metaphor. ("The Man from Tallahassee")
  • Ben referred to Locke's father pushing him out of a window. Anthony Cooper also told Sawyer he pushed Locke out a window. ("The Man from Tallahassee")
  • Anthony Cooper biting Locke's hand explained the bandage seen in an earlier episode. ("Left Behind")
  • Jack quizzes Charlie on the "camping" trip. ("Catch-22")
  • Ben is listening the the tape recording Juliet left for him at the Staff. ("D.O.C.")

Episode allusions[]

  • Kate leaves Sawyer's bed in the middle of the night because "I can't sleep if I'm not in my own tent." This is similar to the line Locke used when leaving Helen's bed in the middle of the night. ("Orientation")
  • The episode bears some structural similarities to "Three Minutes". Both episodes begin with a character burning a piece of paper, the contents of which are revealed later on. Both episodes have flashbacks showing what a missing character has been doing with the Others for a large chunk of time. Both episodes came late in the season. ("Three Minutes")
  • Locke was unable to kill Cooper. This was foreshadowed when Eddie told Locke that he was "not a murderer." ("Further Instructions") Of course, Hibbs told Sawyer, "We both know you ain't the killing type," ("Outlaws") but since that time Sawyer killed at least two men (Duckett, an unnamed other, and Cooper).

External links[]