Follow along! The episode guide for “The Man From Tallahassee” is in Finding Lost — Season 3, pp. 101-106.
Locke might have gone off the deep end in season 3, but in this episode, the one where we finally see how Locke ended up in a wheelchair, I just can’t find enough synonyms for “amazing” to describe Terry O’Quinn’s performance. His reaction when he is placed in the wheelchair for the first time leaves me gutted every time I see it.
Fun things I noticed:
• I love that moment in the beginning where Jack looks like the traitor (and the fact that Locke, of all people, is the only one willing to give him the benefit of the doubt).
• “I’m from Ontario.” Must be evil!! Of course, if they’re in Tustin, then he could mean Ontario, California (trust me, when you’re from Ontario, Canada you rarely say “Ontario” and just say “Canada” or “Toronto” if you’re in a city that’s recognized internationally). Ethan was also from Ontario, interestingly.
• Jack coming in to talk to Kate is similar to Juliet coming in to talk to Jack.
• Alex seems socially awkward, just like Karl always did, which is fitting. I mean, they were never allowed to watch TV (Karl’s never heard of the Brady Bunch) and there weren’t very many other people their age, so what precedent would they have had for what social behaviour is? I’ve always thought this was a very subtle but meaningful touch about their characters.
• Ooh, that Locke and Ben scene is ELECTRIC when they’re both one-upping each other about the island. LOVE IT.
• That perspective of Locke peering down the hole foreshadows that this will explode (because of Locke) just like the hatch did.
• I don’t think I’ve ever noticed that extra-gooey squish when Locke lands before. Ick. It reminds me of something I read years ago that was talking about how they get that juicy noise in a low-budget horror film (or in live theatre) when someone’s hand is cut off – the actor pulls their wrist up into the shirt and holds a bunch of celery, and the fake hand is attached to the end of the celery. The other actor cuts the bunch of celery and CRUNCH, you get that satisfying and disgusting sound.
Things that have new meaning:
• Someone asked last week what the flower was that Hurley put on Libby’s grave, and I pointed out that it’s the same flower that’s in the “garden” where Yemi confronts Eko right before Eko dies, and that it signifies death for me because of it. And here, again, the flower is in the flower shop where Locke confronts his father. We know Cooper will end up dead, and Locke will soon be paralyzed, so maybe the flower really does symbolize something bad on the show.
• Locke’s “You got anything to eat” to Ben echoes Henry Gale’s line, “You guys got any milk?” from season 2. Both have just said something to unnerve the other person, and then rub it in their face by delivering a flippant line right after.
• That look between Locke and Jack is priceless. I couldn’t help but think of Jack holding a gun to Locke’s head at the beginning of season 4 and pulling the trigger.
• This ranks as one of the all-time best endings of Lost. And the way he said, “Dad?” immediately brings to mind the ending of the S2 episode where Michael is on the computer, and the final word of the episode is “Dad?” from Walt.