Wasn’t that such an awesome episode? Blast doors! Balloon! Parachute food! Ow, my legs!
Locked Down Locke
Locke is big on the concept of the Island being an agent of Fate, and twice now, something big has happened which coincided with him losing the use of his legs: the death of Boone — which he once referred to as a sacrifice that the Island desired — and now the Hatch lockdown. It could be said that Fate operated to trap Locke just where he could see the Blast Door Map when the black lights came on. It could also be said that Fate made him a moody, gullible, codependency addict with father issues. That scene at the airport motel was a clear trinity of Locke Disasters, past, present, and future: his grifter “father,” the passing Oceanic planes foreshadowing the coming crash, and one of TV History’s Most Pathetic Wedding Proposals.
Oh, and in case you missed it, the lady whose home Locke was inspecting? It was Nadia, Sayid’s childhood friend who escaped from Iraq.
Now, all this time I figured that Fake Henry Gale (FHG) was clearly lying, simply because his name was taken from The Wizard of Oz, and I was waiting for someone in the show to point that out. But no, there actually was a Real Henry Gale (RHG), as his driver’s license showed. What I’m wondering now is, if FHG knew that Sayid and Co. would find the balloon based on his map, and would find RHG’s body, why didn’t he bolt when he had a chance, and why was he so earnest in asking Sayid if they had found his balloon? It’s unlikely that he would think Sayid wouldn’t dig up the grave site. No, I think LOST still plans to leave the Other-ness of Fake Henry Gale in question, and it’ll be interesting to see what explanation he gives for his lies in the next episode. Maybe he’s defecting.
Update: After seeing 2.18, it looks like he’s an Other. Okay.
After seeing the food drop, Amy joked that the whole island scenario is just a gigantic Skinner Box, especially given that the Orientation film mentions B.F. Skinner. It’s actually a plausible theory; one story about the Skinner Box was that in a cage where food was delivered consistently with every press of a switch, the rat would eventually learn to trigger the switch only when it was hungry, but in a cage where delivery of food would only occur on random presses, the rat would begin to push the switch repeatedly, even when not hungry — like a gambler playing at slots. Note that this episode featured a poker game between Jack and Sawyer, gambling with food.