"The Substitute" is the 4th episode of Season 6 of Lost and the 107th produced hour of the series as a whole. It was originally broadcast on Feb 16, 2010. On the island, The Man in Black, indefinitely trapped in the guise of Locke, seeks to further his cause.
Previously on Lost
- Sawyer sobs at Juliet's death. ("LA X, Part 1")
- Sawyer tells Kate it was his fault she died because he convinced her to stay. ("What Kate Does")
- The Monster kills Jacob's bodyguards and the Man in Black, in the form of Locke, tells Ben that he's sorry Ben had to see him like that. ("LA X, Part 1")
- On the beach the Man in Black is recognized by Richard who he then attacks and carries off, saying that he is very disappointed in "all of you." ("LA X, Part 2")
- In the flash-sideways timeline Locke explains to Boone on the plane that he went on a walkabout in Australia; we then see Locke wheeled off the plane in a wheelchair. ("LA X, Part 1")
Flash-sideways timeline (2004)
As John Locke parks in his driveway, the wheelchair lift on his van malfunctions, forcing him to roll himself off of the lift at an awkward height. He is unsuccessful and falls out of his wheelchair onto his lawn whereupon lawn sprinklers pop up and soak him. He is noticeably accepting of the circumstance and chuckles at his ridiculous position. Helen rushes from the front door and helps him up. Inside the house, John sits in the bath as Helen speaks on the phone, discussing a wedding. She then talks to John about having their wedding “shotgun style, in Vegas” with just her parents and his father. After finding Jack’s business card in John’s pocket, Helen urges him to contact the spinal surgeon and says that John meeting Jack may be "destiny."
After returning to his desk at the box company, John is confronted by his boss, Randy, who questions him about missing a conference in Sydney which John lies about attending. Randy reveals he knows John did not attend the conference to which he had been sent and subsequently fires him. In the parking lot, John is unable to get into his van, which he had parked in a regular spot, as opposed to a handicapped spot. He pounds on the yellow Hummer blocking access to his van, causing the car's alarm to go off. Hurley steps out of the building, telling John that he is the owner of the company. After introducing themselves, John tells Hugo that he has been fired by Randy whom Hurley calls “a huge douche.” Hurley gives John the number to a temp agency (which he also owns) before telling him that “things are gonna work out.”
At the temp agency, an interviewer asks John what kind of animal he would consider himself and whether he is a "people person." John asks to speak to her supervisor, who turns out to be Rose. John stubbornly requests a job in construction, which Rose responds would not be a good match and that experience is not the issue. She asks him to be realistic, to which John indignantly asks what she knows about being realistic. Rose replies that she has terminal cancer and explains how she had to get past her denial and continue living whatever life she had left. After this, John calms down.Some time later, John rises in the morning and calls Dr. Shephard's office. The receptionist at Dr. Shephard's office answers, but John has a change of heart and hangs up as Helen walks in the room. When she questions him about the phone call, he changes the subject, telling Helen he got fired from his job. Before Helen can respond, an Oceanic courier delivers John's lost luggage. At the dining table, John admits to Helen that he was fired for lying to his boss and that he didn't go to the Sydney conference. He continues that he instead tried to go on a "walkabout" explaining the knives that are in his luggage. He tells her that the organizers of the walkabout wouldn't let him go and he became very angry and yelled at them "don't ever tell me what I can't do." John then says that he is tired of imagining life without his paralysis and has decided to accept his limitations. He apologizes to Helen, telling her he wont be able to "walk" down the isle at their wedding and that she shouldn't have to spend her life waiting for a miracle, concluding that there is no such thing (as miracles). Helen says that there are miracles, and reassures him that she loves him no matter the circumstances and was only ever waiting for John, himself. Helen tears up Jack's business card and she and John then passionately embrace.
On another day, John is seen working as a teacher at a junior high school. After leading a class of physical education, followed by another where he is to teach about "the human reproductive system," he finds his way to the teachers' lounge. Within, one teacher rails against his colleagues who do not properly maintain the coffeemaker; Locke defuses the situation by saying he was hoping for some Earl Grey (tea). The other teacher introduces himself as "Benjamin Linus, European history." John introduces himself as "John Locke, substitute." Locke gives an intense "knowing" look after introducing himself.
Original timeline (2007)
Ben walks into the foot of the statue where Ilana is crying, staring at her fallen teammates. She asks Ben what happened to them and Ben says that John Locke killed them after turning into a pillar of black smoke, also (falsely) indicating that Locke killed Jacob as well. Ilana then asks where Jacob's body is, and Ben tells her that Locke kicked Jacob into the fire and he burned away.
Ilana turns and fills a bag with ash from the now extinguished fire. Ben asks why Locke took Richard and Ilana says that the Man in Black is “recruiting.”
A crab is seen resting behind Locke's corpse's ear. It scurries off when Frank covers the corpse with a tarp, noting that Locke is "getting ripe." When Sun tells Ilana that the other people have gone to the Temple, Ilana urges the rest (Sun, Frank, and Ben) that they should also go there, as it is the safest place on the Island. Sun is skeptical until Ilana suggests that if Jin is alive and on the island, he is also at the Temple. Before they leave, Sun says they need to bury John.While Ben, Ilana, Frank, and Sun bring Locke’s body to be buried at the survivors' grave site, Ben asks Ilana why she brought Locke's body to the statue. Ilana responds that she needed to show the others what they were up against. Ben then asks why the Man in Black wouldn’t just change forms again, and Ilana replies that the the Man in Black is now stuck in Locke’s body.
At the survivors' burial ground overlooking the sea, the group digs a grave and puts Locke's body in it. Ilana asks if anyone wants to say anything, and Ben, with some reluctance, says that he knew Locke, that Locke was a "believer, a man of faith," and that he was "a much better man than I will ever be." He adds that he is "very sorry [he] murdered him," which appears to take Sun and Ilana by surprise. As he and Ben begin to fill in the grave, Frank comments to himself on the oddity of the situation, musing that it's the "Weirdest damn funeral [he's] ever been to."
The Man in Black
The Smoke Monster makes its way across the Island. From its perspective we see it pause at the Barracks outside of Sawyer's former house, inside of which loud rock music and the sounds of things breaking can be heard. It returns to the jungle where eventually the Monster comes across a machete lying on the ground. The Monster then transforms back into the form of Locke and cuts a battered Richard Alpert down from a tarp hanging from a tree, telling him it’s “time to talk.”
The Man in Black, as Locke, gives Richard a drink of water and tells him that he wants what he has always wanted: for Richard to come with him. Richard asks why the Man in Black looks like Locke, and the Man in Black informs him that Locke could get close to Jacob because he was a "candidate." Richard appears baffled by this response, and when he prods further, the MIB responds with restrained sarcasm, incredulous that Richard would follow Jacob without knowing what he was following him for. The Man in Black then claims that he, himself, would never have kept Richard in the dark. Again the MIB asks Richard to come with him and promises to tell Richard everything, but Richard firmly declines his offer. At that moment, the Man in Black sees a mysterious blonde boy, whose arms are covered in blood, appear behind Richard in the jungle. Richard doesn't appear to see the boy. The MIB asks Richard to come with him one final time, insisting that people "seldom get a second chance". When Richard declines again, the MIB, slightly shaken after seeing the boy, walks away saying he will see Richard sooner than he thinks.
The Man in Black walks to Sawyer’s house, from which he hears the song “Search and Destroy” by The Stooges being played loudly. Upon seeing the MIB in Locke's form, the drunken Sawyer says “I thought you were dead.” The MIB replies, "I am."
Sawyer pours a glass of whiskey for the Man in Black and himself. The MIB tastes but does not drink his. Sawyer says he "doesn't give a damn" if the man before him is dead and tells him to "get the hell out of [his] house." The Man in Black tells Sawyer that this was never his house, that he just lived there for a short time. Sawyer says that he doesn’t believe that The Man In Black is Locke because Locke "was always scared" while this version of Locke is not. The MIB says that, if Sawyer comes with him, he can provide the answer to the most important question there is: Why are you on this Island? After some initial reluctance, Sawyer agrees to go along.
As the Man in Black and Sawyer walk through the jungle, the MIB asks why Sawyer is not at the Temple with his friends. The mysterious boy appears in the jungle again, but this time his arms are not bloody. When Sawyer takes note of the boy, the Man in Black seems shocked that Sawyer can also see him. The MIB chases the boy into the jungle, eventually falling and looking up to see the boy standing above him. The boy tells the MIB, "you know the rules, you can’t kill him." At this, the MIB becomes furious and exclaims "don’t tell me what I can’t do" much as John Locke once did, in a mixture of fear and anger. As the boy walks into the jungle shaking his head the MIB, now yelling, repeats his statement to the boy.
Meanwhile, a frantic Richard approaches Sawyer and urges him to go to the Temple, telling Sawyer that the Man In Black "wants everyone dead." Sawyer refuses, insisting the MIB promised him answers. Richard's attempts to convince Sawyer are cut short as he hears the Man in Black approaching and flees back into the jungle. The Man In Black asks Sawyer who he was talking to and Sawyer says "nobody". Sawyer then asks The Man in Black if he ever caught up to the "kid" to which the MIB wryly replies “What kid?” Sawyer says "Right, let's get on with it."
As Sawyer and The Man in Black continue, Sawyer asks if the MIB reads and tells him that his favorite book is Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. The MIB replies that the book was written "a little after my time." After a brief synopsis of the book, Sawyer pulls a gun on The Man in Black asking what would happen if he put a bullet in the MIB's head. The MIB says, “Why don’t we find out” indifferent to the gun in his face. Sawyer asks him what he is and The Man in Black replies that he is trapped, and has been trapped for so long that he doesn't remember what it feels like to be free. The Man In Black elaborates that he "once was a man" who had normal human emotions, just as everyone does and that he knows what it is like to lose someone he loves. He prods Sawyer to continue following him, because Sawyer is "so close now, it would be a shame to turn back."
The Man in Black and Sawyer arrive at a seaside cliff and the MIB indicates that they are to go over the side of it. The Man in Black offers to go first, allaying Sawyer's skepticism, and climbs down a series of wooden and rope ladders. Sawyer follows, but the ladders give way, perilously swinging him over the cliff side. The Man in Black reaches over, hoisting Sawyer over to the final ladder and saving his life. They come to a shelf in the cliff face and enter a cave.
Inside the cave is a scale, balanced on either side by a white stone and a black rock. The Man in Black removes the white rock and casts it into the sea, referring to it as an "inside joke." MIB then lights a torch and leads Sawyer into a deeper cavern, where, looking up, he tells Sawyer, "That's why you're here. That, James, is why you are all here."On the ceiling and walls of the chamber are names scratched into the rock. All names are preceded by a number and most are crossed through. He tells Sawyer that the man who wrote them "was Jacob". Sawyer asks "Was Jacob?" The Man in Black says "He died yesterday" and adds that he's not too upset about the death. He points out that not all of the names are crossed out, at which point and Sawyer sees "23 - SHEPHARD" on the wall (Flash-back: Jack receives the candy bar from Jacob). The MIB goes on to show Sawyer the names of other survivors — 8 - REYES (Flash-back: Hugo receives the guitar case from Jacob), 16 - JARRAH (Flash-back: Sayid is touched on the shoulder by Jacob at the moment of the fatal car accident that killed Nadia), 42 - KWON (MIB states that he doesn't know "if it's for Sun or Jin") (Flash-back: Jacob congratulates them together at their wedding), and 4-LOCKE (Flash-back: Jacob touches Locke as Locke lies on the grass after being pushed out of the window), — showing that all of them had been touched by Jacob at some point in their off-Island history. When asked about the numbers preceding the names, the Man in Black dismissively says Jacob had a "thing" for numbers.
Upon seeing 15 - FORD on the wall, Sawyer states that he had never met Jacob. The Man in Black explains that, "At some point in your life he came to you when you were vulnerable or miserable, he came to you, manipulated you, pulled your strings like you were a puppet and as a result the choices you thought you made were never really choices, he was pushing you, pushing you - to the Island." The Flash-back shows young Sawyer receiving the fountain pen from Jacob at his parent's funeral.
The Man in Black says that all the people were candidates for Jacob's job. Jacob thought it was his job to protect the island. He then explains that Sawyer has three options:
- "Do nothing. See how all this plays out. And possibly your name will get crossed out" (The Man in Black crosses out Locke's name).
- Take over Jacob's job and protect the Island. (As the MIB puts it, "from nothing, there's nothing to protect it from, it's just a damn island").
- "We just go. We get the hell off this Island and we never look back. We do that together."
The Man in Black asks Sawyer if he is ready to go home. Sawyer responds, "Hell yes."
- The Man in Black's smoke monster form makes a cameo when it is reflected in the window of Sawyer's Barracks home.
- In the teachers' lounge at the school where Locke works as a substitute, a wall banner in the background reads: "Live in the present, plan for the future."
- The title of this episode, "The Substitute", has multiple meanings. It refers to the choice the characters must make, to become a substitute for Jacob or not; John Locke becoming a substitute teacher; Locke's body on Ajira 316 substituting for Christian's on Oceanic 815; MIB taking Locke's form as a substitute for his previous one; etc.
- The T-shirt Helen was wearing printed with chinese text on left and right side.
- The text on the left is "精神啟示" which means "revealation to/for spirit".
- The text on the right is "喚醒的靈魂" which means "awakening soul".
- Locke uses the same brand of alarm clock as Desmond in "Flashes Before Your Eyes".
- This episode follows the current pattern of copying season 1's centrics. The pilot and LA X were multi-centric, episode 3 of season 1 and 6 were Kate-centric, and the fourth episodes of season 1 and 6 are Locke-centric.
- Henry Ian Cusick (Desmond), Emilie de Ravin (Claire), Ken Leung (Miles), and Evangeline Lilly (Kate) do not appear in this episode. Naveen Andrews (Sayid), Matthew Fox (Jack), and Daniel Dae Kim (Jin) only appear in archive footage from "The Incident, Parts 1 & 2".
- Katey Sagal (Helen) appears for the first time since the Season 2 episode "Lockdown".
- Suzanne Krull (Lynn Karnoff), appears for the first time since the Season 3 episode "Tricia Tanaka Is Dead".
- Certain sounds in the flash-sideways sequence resemble sounds on the island throughout the series. Locke's wheelchair ramp breaking down resembled the clicking mechanical sounds of the Smoke Monster. His alarm clock resembled the beeping of the alarm at the Swan station.
Bloopers and Continuity Errors
- When Locke comes back to his office and takes a time to rest, his wristwatch stands still at 11:05:15
- While Locke contemplates calling Jack's office for the free consult that was offered to him, different versions of Jack's business card are shown.
- Hurley's Hummer was parked too close to Locke's van, which would not have allowed Hurley enough room to exit his vehicle from the driver's side door.
- In the final shot when Randy says to Locke "Hey. You're fired." There is a cut that is hardly noticeable but is definitely there. After the cut comes a somewhat out of place salute.
|Animals • Black and white • Character connections • Children • Coincidence • Death • Deceptions and cons • Dreams • Economics • Electromagnetism • Eyes • Fate versus free will • Games • Good and bad people • Imprisonment • Isolation • Leadership • Life and death • Literary works • Mirrors • Missing body parts • Nicknames • The Numbers • Pairings • Parapsychology • Parent issues • Pregnancies • Psychology • Rain • Redemption • Relationships • Religion • Revenge • Salvation • Secrets|
- In the new timeline, Locke's socks are white, in the original timeline, they were black. (Black and White)
- The rocks on the balance scale are black and white. (Black and White)
- The Man in Black picks up and throws the white rock into the ocean. (Black and White)
- The camera angle shows the scale splitting the screen of The Man in Black and Sawyer with Sawyer on the side of the black stone (the right) and The Man in Black on the other (the left) where the white stone is, and later, was. (Black and White)
- While in the bath tub, Locke is drinking from a black & white coffee mug. (Black and White)
- It is revealed that six of the main survivors of Oceanic 815 each correspond to one of the numbers in the Valenzetti Equation. (Valenzetti Equation)
- Helen is wearing a shirt that has the words "Peace" and "Karma" on it. (Redemption)
- During Locke and Helen's embrace, Helen is shown to have black nail-polish. (Black and White)
- The phone Locke is using to call Dr. Shephard's office is black and white. (Black and White)
- Locke is engaged to Helen. (Relationships)
- Locke's body is buried. (Life and Death)
- Hurley owns the company Locke is fired from. (Character connections)
- MiB claims that Jacob is responsible for bringing the losties onto the island. (Fate versus free will)
- Jacob's Nemesis tells Sawyer that choices he thought that he made were actually a result of Jacob's intervention. (Fate versus free will) (Deceptions and Cons)
- Benjamin Linus is a European History teacher at the school where Locke is a substitute. (Character connections)
- Rose Nadler is the supervisor at the employment agency owned by Hugo Reyes. (Character connections)
- Hurley offers Locke another chance at a job after being fired. (Redemption)
- Benjamin Linus says that John Locke was a better man than he will ever be, and that he is sorry for murdering him. (Redemption)
- When asked who killed Jacob, Ben lies to Ilana by saying that Locke did it. (Deceptions and cons)
- Helen suggests to Locke that he brings his father to have a 'shotgun style wedding in Vegas' which suggests Locke and his father are on good terms. Additionally, a picture of Locke and his father can be seen at his desk at the box company. (Parent issues)
- The box that held Locke's dead body is labeled with the numbers 823. In numerology 823 = 4, 8+2+3 =13 and 1+3=4 (The Numbers)
- While substituting at the school Locke is teaching the students about human reproduction from Chapter 4 of the textbook. (Pregnancies)(The Numbers)
- After purportedly burning down in the Statue's fire, Jacob's body left a pure white ash. (Black and White)
- MiB (Mysterious boy) and Sawyer (Richard Alpert) lie to each other about other people in the jungle. (Deceptions and cons)
|A-Missions • Crimes • Economics • Leadership • O-Missions • Relationships • F-Missions • Rivalries • S-Missions|
- The Man in Black says that Locke, Sawyer, Hurley, Sayid, Jack, and Jin or Sun were candidates to become the next "Jacob". (Leadership)
- Sawyer decides he will try to leave the island with the help of The Man in Black. (A-Missions)
- Ben admits to murdering Locke in front of Sun, Ilana, and Frank while giving a eulogy during Locke's funeral. (Crimes)
- Richard frantically tries to persuade James into following him back to the Temple. (O-Missions)
| Cultural references|
(direct references only)
|Art • Automobiles • Games • History • Literary works • Movies and TV • Music • Philosophy • Religion and ideologies • Science|
- Search and Destroy: James Ford is listening to The Stooges' "Search and Destroy." Which contains the lyrics, "I am the world's forgotten boy; the one who searches, searching to destroy," and "I'm the runaway son of a nuclear A-bomb". The lyrics also plead "Somebody gotta save my soul." (Music)
- Of Mice and Men: James wanted to kill the Man in Black the same way in which George killed Lennie in the novella, after pointing to Steinbeck as his favorite author. This mirrors a conversation about Of Mice and Men that James had with Ben Linus in Season 3. (Books)
- Allegory of the Cave: The cave that the Man in Black takes Sawyer to can be a reference to this philosophical concept attributed to Plato. The idea that people live their lives and form ideas that are not indicative of reality is mirrored in the Man in Black's view that Jacob manipulated everyone he brought to the Island into believing certain ideas. (Philosophy)
- Jacob's Ladder: Sawyer and the Man in Black descend "Jacob's Ladder" and arrive at a cave formerly inhabited by Jacob. A Jacob's Ladder has significance in both the Jewish and Christian religions, having many interpretations, among them that it is a bridge between heaven and earth. Saint John Climacus (also known as John of the Ladder) wrote a book called "Ladder of the Divine Ascent" which uses Jacob's Ladder as an analogy for the ascetic life. It is frequently read by Orthodox Christians during the Lent season before Easter. The episode "The Substitute" aired the night before the start of non-Orthodox Lent (Ash Wednesday) (which does not coincide with Orthodox Great Lent). (Religion and ideologies) (Christianity)
- Hummer H2: Hurley is shown to own a "Hummer H2" in the flash-sideways timeline when he meets John Locke. (Cars)
- A Christmas Carol: After the Man in Black confronts James, he claims that James is not so put off by him being there, to which James no longer cares if Locke (as The Man in Black) is dead or if he were the Ghost of Christmas Past. (Books)
- Tibetan Buddhism: The scale with black and white rocks is part of Buddhist mythology, in which a god called the Dharma-Raja judges the dead using such a scale. (Religion and ideologies)
- Raiders of the Lost Ark: The music cue when Ilana is placing Jacobs ashes in the pouch is reminiscent of the opening scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark where Indiana Jones is measuring the sand in the pouch to replace the golden idol. (Movies and TV)
- Star Trek: The Next Generation: In one of his flashes-sideways, John Locke (at the time a bald, wheelchair-bound teacher) asks for Earl Grey tea. Given their fondness for all things science fiction, this was likely a nod on the producer's part to Sir Patrick Stewart, who played both Captain Jean-Luc Picard (who always requested Earl Grey tea and was bald) and Professor Charles Xavier (a bald, wheelchair-bound teacher). (Movies and TV)
|Comparative: Irony • Juxtaposition • Foreshadowing Plotting: Cliffhanger • Plot twist Stock characters: Archetype • Redshirt • Unseen character|
Story: Flashbacks • Flash-forwards • Flash sideways • Framing device • Regularly spoken phrases • Symbolism • Unreliable narrator
- Locke is shown to be dealing with his life in a wheel chair. (Flash-sideways)
- Helen is wearing a "Peace & Karma" t-shirt in comparison to Locke's "destiny" philosophies. (Juxtaposition)
- Richard, who lied to Juliet to recruit her into the Others, claims that the Man in Black is lying to Sawyer to recruit him. (Irony)
- The Man in Black removes a white stone from a scale while in the caves, tipping the scale in favor of a black stone. (Symbolism)
- The Man in Black shouts, "Don't tell me what I can't do!" at the mysterious kid in the jungle. A phrase the real Locke said frequently. (Regularly spoken phrases) (Irony)
- Richard tells The Man in Black, "I'm not going anywhere with you." (Regularly spoken phrases)
- Hurley gives Locke another job after he is fired and tells him that everything is going to be okay. The first shot of the next scene is a dead John Locke. (Juxtaposition)
- Locke told Helen that when he wasn't allowed to go on a walkabout he started shouting at them for telling him what he can't do. (Regularly spoken phrases)
- Helen tells Locke "Good for you. When are you going to see him?" (Regularly spoken phrases)
- MIB asks Sawyer "Who were you talking to?" and Helen asks Locke "Who was that on the phone? [...] No one? John, I just heard you talking on the phone.". (Regularly spoken phrases)
- Despite The Man in Black's admonishment of Locke for being weak/helpless, the Man in Black is equally as confined to the island as John was to his wheelchair (the Man in Black even uses the phrase "Don't tell me what I can't do."), and although he recognizes John as being the smartest of the Oceanic survivors for being the only one who didn't want to leave the island, The Man in Black's primary goal seems to be to do just that: leave the island. (Irony)
- In the flash-sideways timeline, Locke befriends Benjamin Linus. Ben murdered Locke in the original timeline. (Irony)
- In both timelines, Ben recognizes Locke's good qualities. He gave the moving speech quoted at his grave in the original timeline, and he called Locke's desire for Earl Grey tea the mark of a "gentleman." in the flash-sideaways timeline. (Juxtaposition)
- Locke loses his job at the box company , puts his possesions in a box, and finds his car boxed in the parking lot. (Symbolism)
- MIB is "recruiting"; Locke must go see a recruiter. (Irony) (Juxtaposition)
Locke mentions his Walkabout tour denying him admission. We return to Locke's cubical and see Randy as his boss for the first time since his original appearance. Randy calls Locke "Colonel." He refers to sending Locke to Sydney on the company's dime, as Rick Romer did. An early scene of Locke looking through the sprinkler's spray echoes his "redemption in the rain" scene from Walkabout's opening.
- When asked if Sawyer knows the reason why he is on the island, he retorts that it is because his plane crashed, his raft blew up, and the helicopter he was on had one too many people on it. ("Pilot, Part 1") ("Exodus, Part 2") ("There's No Place Like Home, Part 2")
- Locke's case of knives is returned to him. ("LA X, Part 2")
- Hurley is seen visiting the box company in which he holds the majority of shares. ("Numbers")
- Locke has a photograph of himself and his dad hunting together on the wall of his cubicle. ("Deus Ex Machina")
- Rose tells Locke that she has terminal cancer. ("S.O.S.")
- Sawyer tells Richard he has already been to the Temple. ("LA X, Part 2")
- Sawyer tells The Man in Black that "Of Mice and Men" is his favorite book. ("Every Man for Himself")
- In Locke's flash-sideways, the temp agency worker was Hurley's tarot card reader in the original timeline. ("Tricia Tanaka Is Dead")
- The Man in Black assures Sawyer that the Island doesn't need to be protected. Jack made a similar statement to Locke 3 years earlier ("There's No Place Like Home, Part 2")
- Ben confesses to murdering the real John Locke. ("The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham")
- Hurley owns the same yellow Hummer H2 he did in the original timeline. ("Numbers")
- The Man in Black considers Jacob responsible for the presence of the survivors on the Island, just as he once accused him of bringing the Black Rock's crew. ("The Incident, Part 1")
- As the Man In Black explains to Sawyer how Jacob manipulates people, Jacob's off-island interactions with Jack, Hurley, Sayid, Jin, Sun, Locke, and Sawyer are quickly seen. ("The Incident, Parts 1 & 2")
- Locke tells Helen that Jack gave him his card when they meet at lost luggage at the airport. ("LA X, Part 2")
- For fan theories about these unanswered questions, see: The Substitute/Theories
- What does the Man in Black want to know from Richard Alpert?
- What is the Man in Black recruiting for?
- Is the Man in Black really trapped, and if so, how and why?
- What betrayal did the Man in Black suffer?
- Whom did he lose?
- Is it true that the Man in Black now only transform from the black smoke into John Locke? If so, why?
- Why would Man in Black want everyone dead as Richard claims?
- During what time period did The Man in Black come to the island?
- Does part of Locke somehow survive as the Man in Black?
- Who are all the candidates?
- How are they chosen?
- Why do Jacob's primary candidates correspond to the Numbers?
- Why are some names crossed out?
- Why does Jacob and any potential candidate need to 'protect' the island?
- Who was the mysterious boy that the Man in Black chases through the jungle?
- When first seen, why does the boy display both his bloodied arms?
- Why did Richard not see the child? Why can Saywer see him?
- What is the meaning of his warning to the Man in Black?
- Who is the child referring to when he tells the Man in Black "You know the rules. You can't kill him"?