LOST 3.13 - The Man From Tallahassee
LOST 3.13 - The Man From Tallahassee
It’s time to put another LOST mystery to rest:  just how did John Locke wind up in the wheel chair?  The better question is, can it be made relevant to the overall story?   I’ve always thought of the fact that John Locke got out of the wheelchair to be a more important LOST mystery then how he got in it.  That, sadly, is not a mystery that is solved this time around, but we do make some surprising progress towards understanding this that will blow peoples minds, entirely.  ‘The man from Tallahassee’ is easily one of the best episodes LOST ever.  Bar none.

What makes it so great?   Y’know, I may be way off on this, but I am thinking that this episode was written around the time that the mini-season was drawing fire from fans and critics for its sluggish pace.  One thing I have never had a concern about with about LOST is the creative teams sensitivity to the shows weaknesses.  Answering the fans criticisms would be a huge mistake, but taking note of the way LOST’s progenies, such as Heroes, are improving on the formula wouldn’t be a half bad idea. 

With the ‘The Man from Tallahassee’, the LOST creative crew pulled a few new plot devices out of their hat and put them to enormously good use.  Primarily, the introducing of an extremely intriguing concept in the plot, and then paying that concept off before the end of the episode.   This is really unheard of for LOST.  In general,  LOST has been about prolonged set ups.  The flow of this episode reminded a lot of some of Heroes better efforts, but at the same time the work here really took NBC’s wunderkind back to school.

So how did John Locke get paralyzed?   Let me say up front that how isn’t so important, and the episode reminds us of this in the ‘payoff’ I told you about.  When you watch ‘Tallahassee’ you need to pay close attention because everything that is happening is leading to a central reveal that really change the shape of events that we see throughout the episode.  Locke was paralyzed when his father pushed him out a window.  Okay?  That’s it, its over.  If you expected something a lot weirder, hold your judgment.  Because this isn’t the end of Locke’s paralysis story by a long shot,  that takes place in the present tense story.

Kate, Sayid, Locke, and Danielle wait until nightfall and split up.  Kate goes after jack,  Sayid goes off to keep an eye on Danielle, and John Locke confronts Ben.  There is tons of dialogue that you just wish would happen, like why is Ben in a wheelchair and Locke is not.   The answer comes in the form of a parable from Ben.  What if there is a box on the island, and whatever you wish for, when you open the box, it is there? 

Okay, wow.  Is there a box? Or is this just a metaphor?  Locke’s response to the Box story is funny, he says he hopes it’s a big box because they’ll be wishing for a new submarine.  He intends to blow up The Others ride.

Jack isn’t very pleased to see Kate.  He explains that he and Juliet are leaving the island tonight, on said sub.  He’ll come back, and he’ll bring help.

Well, that is a solid plan until Locke goes through with his and blows up the only way off the island.  Up until this point you think Ben is furious, and Locke is arrested and taken to a room.  Ben comes in with the guy from Not in Portland, Dr. Alpert, and lets Locke go.  He acknowledges that he manipulated Locke into blowing up the sub, he wanted him to do it.  Not only that,  but Locke is special, he does have a connection to the island and Ben needs to help him so he can understand what the island is all about.  Then he asks Locke if he wants to see what came out of the box. 

At this point, you’re screaming at your tv, DO NOT END!  You can just feel that the black screen with the letters L O S T is going to come in and leave you with a hell of a cliff hanger, but it doesn’t!   Ben takes Locke to the next room and Locke says ‘Dad?’ 

That’s right… Locke’s pappy, the original Sawyer, is right here on the island. How is that for weird?

- Jon Lachonis, BuddyTV Senior Writer

- Image Courtesy ABC