Follow along! The episode guide to “Hearts and Minds” is in Finding Lost, pp. 81-85.
Aside from being the flashback for the “Dumb” half of “Dumb and Dumberer,” this is the episode where Locke goes completely frakkin’ nuts. I still remember watching this one and thinking, “Uh... what the HELL is he doing?” (I still loved him, though...) It’s also our first hint that Locke was actually the guy who clocked Sayid in the back of the head. Locke has a purpose, but at this stage in his spiritual journey, he’s already learning to hurt people in order to get ahead.
Fun things I noticed:
• I’ve often talked about Sayid’s active b.s. detector, and how he can usually see through the crap that brainwashes everyone else, but he’s definitely not yet on his game in season 1. First, he falls for Locke’s trick in “Confidence Man” by making him think Sawyer’s the guy who hit him, and now he seems surprised when Kate suggests that maybe Locke’s not actually hunting boar for them anymore.
• I’ve always laughed at how Hurley complains that Jin is holding a grudge. Watch that scene again where Jin tries to offer him sea urchin, and Hurley doesn’t decline, he flat-out refuses, then makes fun of him and then laughs his ass off at the poor guy. Remember that Jin was embarrassed by what his father did for a living, and now he’s actually doing the same thing, which is a necessity, but it must cause a pang of guilt for him. So for Hurley to laugh at him must have been very painful. I probably would have avoided the big guy, too, if he’d treated me like that and I didn’t understand anything else he was saying.
• It’s still so weird to me to see Jack and Locke having a normal, joking conversation.
• I mentioned in “Whatever the Case May Be” (which is the episode that precedes this) that Jack is an absolute dick and it comes out of nowhere. And once again, he’s very sweet to Kate in this episode, giving her the guava seeds. Definitely chalking it up to the changing writers.
• Shannon asks if by hatch he means door, and Boone says, “That’s what a hatch IS” but throughout season 2 (and right through to season 5 when Hurley says it in “Some Like It Hoth”) they refer to the actual station/bunker as the hatch.
• That crazy Batman-esque music that plays while Shannon and Boone run from the smoke monster is something we never hear again.
• Boone doesn’t actually see Smokey, and yet his sounds and presence are exactly the same, and you even catch a glimpse of the smoke as it’s uprooting a tree. Strange that a hallucination could be so accurate. Why did the island want Boone to see this particular thing?
Things that have new meaning:
• Seeing that hatch gives me CHILLS now that I know what it’ll be. It’s so weird to watch it now and know that Desmond is in there. What never ceases to baffle me is that in all that time they NEVER found the back door.
• Locke was full of his weird stories in season 1. In scenes like the Michelangelo’s father story (or the Norman Croucher story in “Walkabout”) I’m starting to look at him as if he IS the Man in Black, as someone suggested a few episodes ago. What if when he looked into the eye of the island he was momentarily possessed by the Man in Black, and then when he saw the monster as just that – a monster – he turned back into John Locke? OK, I’m being a little sarcastic now, but season 1 Locke is a lot like season 5 Locke, whereas the Locke in seasons 2, 3, and 4 is very different. Again, this could have been part of the growing pains, since Locke is definitely the most complex character on the island, and the writers were probably trying to figure out exactly which direction to take him in.
• Notice that Locke is making his concoction already and saying it’s for later... as if he can see the future.
• Wow, that Sydney marina looks a LOT like the one in L.A. where Ben visits Penny. Nyar nyar...
• John Locke hands Sayid the compass and tells him that he doesn’t need it anymore. Oddly, that’s exactly the instrument he needs – and gets – from Richard Alpert.
• Sayid’s story about the magnetic pull has always resonated with me, and was in the back of my head in season 5. Obviously we’ll find out the magnetic pull he can sense is the one from the Swan station, and it’s thrown off the accuracy of the compass. However, in season 5 when Locke returns to the island in “Follow the Leader,” he asks Alpert if he still has the compass. Alpert says yes, it’s a little rusty, but it still works perfectly well. Why does it work perfectly well? Shouldn’t it also be skewed? Is it possible that the Alpert compass is actually designed to be used specifically on the island, so the N is on a different spot?
• Locke is staring at the water the same way Jacob stares at it at the beginning of “The Incident.” Jack asks jokingly, “Any ships?” and at the beginning of “The Incident,” that’s exactly what Jacob is watching. Locke says no, but he’s patient. Jacob was patient, too, and no doubt sat on that beach waiting for decades for a new group of people to show up.
• Charlie says, “If there’s one person I put my absolute faith in who will save us all, it would be John Locke.” As I wrote in my season 5 book, the answer to the question, “What lies in the shadow of the statue” is “He who will save us all.” So... is Charlie’s comment a very early suggestion that that person is, in fact, John Locke?