Well, the mystery surrounding Locke's former disability was finally solved, and it was worth the wait. Leave it to super-evil Locke's dad to add extra creepiness to the show. It looks like a popular theory about the island was confirmed, but as usual the truth was only hinted at.
I finally learned how Locke got in the wheelchair, and I learned the fate of the man who put him there. Even before his near-fatal injury, Locke had been collecting disability checks. Perhaps there were complications with his kidney surgery--he certainly looked like hell. Locke was approached by Peter Talbot, the son of a wealthy woman. This woman was engaged to a man named Adam Seward, of whom Talbot was very suspicious.
Talbot certainly had reason to be suspicious, since Seward was none other than Anthony Cooper. I cannot figure out why Locke kept Cooper's secret, but it didn't win him any points with the old man. Locke's threats to expose Cooper only got Peter Talbot killed. Cooper did not stop there, either. The man is a fixer, so when Locke confronted him about Talbot's death, Cooper pushed Locke through an eighth-story window. I know! Locke miraculously survived, and would be paralyzed for the next four years. I still cannot get over that scene.
Sayid and Kate were finally ready to rescue Jack, but of course Danielle and Locke were up to their respective tricks. Danielle instantly disappeared and turned up only to spy on Alex through the bushes. Locke, on the other hand, suddenly became very involved in storming the Barracks. He was acting on his own selfish motives, unfortunately, as I had suspected. Locke's first stop was Ben's bedroom, where he held Alex hostage in exchange for the explosives in Sayid's pack.
Kate went straight to Jack, who was less than pleased to see her. Apparently, Jack and Juliet were set to leave the island on the submarine in a few hours, and Kate's rescue mission was not part of the deal. Kate's reaction was pretty heartbreaking, as was Jack's promise to come back for her (that would not have been possible, right?).
Sayid made good use of his time at the swing set, planting serious doubt in Alex's head. I love Sayid; he can do anything with a few minutes of screen time.
As much as I loved the Locke near-death scene, the scenes between Ben and Locke were my favorites. Locke's face looked incredibly evil as he challenged Ben's right to live on the island. Each man held his knowledge of the island over the other, but Ben easily had the upper hand. Alex hinted at Ben's ability to manipulate people, making them think something was their idea. Sounds like a few con men we know, doesn't it? Locke initially believed he was forcing Ben to help him blow up the sub, but Ben had his own motives for going along with Locke's plan.
Mikhail was obviously telling the truth about communications being cut off, and about the Others' inability to return to the island if they left. Leaving will no longer be a possibility, now that more of Locke's sabotage has been carried out. What will happen to Jack and Juliet, now that their only ride off the island is gone? Ben surely has a plan for them as well. He definitely has a plan for Locke.
Earlier in the episode, Ben had asked Richard (Dr. Alpert, of "Not in Portland" fame) to bring him the man from Tallahassee. The man in question turned out to be a bound, gagged, and bloody Anthony Cooper. I was floored by this revelation. What am I supposed to think about this?
Ben gave a fascinating speech about the island's ability to show people what they want to see. Did Locke's presence on the island bring Cooper to the island also? Is it really Cooper? Are all of the previous island visions real, or were they conjured up by each character's thoughts? I cannot wait to learn more about the "magic box." I do hope that the writers give it a better name, though.