The Lost Blog

Key Points from "Deus Ex Machina"

Season 1, Episode 19
Episode Air Date: 03/30/05

Point 1
Locke I love me some Locke backstory!

We had a whole bunch of revelations this week -- both island-based and back-story based -- and most of them revolved around our mysterious island sage, John Locke.

Let's hit the backstory first. The big news is that Jack isn't the only castaway with daddy issues. In fact, Locke's relationship with his father pretty much puts Jack's daddy-doesn't-love-me nonsense to shame.

Now, we already knew two things about Locke's family dynamic:

  1. He was an orphan raised in foster homes.

  2. He offhandedly told Walt that his father wasn't "cool."
We learn in this episode that point 2 was a massive understatement.

The backstory picks up years ago. Locke is working as a clerk in some sort of Wal-Mart/KMart type store (it should have been an S-Mart -- "Shop smart, shop S-Mart"). One day a red-haired older woman starts staring at Locke in a creepy way. Later, Locke spots the same woman giving him the hairy eyeball in the parking lot, so he chases her down. And that's when Locke comes face to face with his mom for the very first time.

So the two get together for a cup off coffee and Locke's mom proceeds to tell her son that he doesn't actually have a father. He was, according to her, an immaculate conception.

Ahhh, that explains it. Locke is the second coming, right? No, that's not what it explains. It explains that Locke's mother is out of her friggin' mind.

Nonetheless, the "Immaculate" episode gets Locke's familial juices running, so he hires a private investigator to get the low-down on his mother, and, if possible, his father. The investigator comes through with the goods: Locke's mother is schizophrenic (no, really?) and has been in and out of institutions her entire life. His father, well, that's a different story. Locke's daddy is a man of means and, judging by all accounts, he does not exhibit any outward signs of insanity.

Choosing the path of least resistance, Locke opts to pursue a relationship with his non-crazy parent. He tracks down his dad -- he goes by the name Anthony Cooper -- at his high-end home and the two immediately hit it off. Cooper is one of these explorer/hunter types. He's also a pathological bachelor. He tells Locke he tried to be a family man "a couple of times," but the family way didn't sit with him. Nonetheless, he's super enthused to finally meet his boy -- so enthused he immediately invites Locke on a hunting expedition the next weekend.

Weeks go by and Locke and his father form a bond while blowing birds out of the sky (nothing says love like avian murder!). And then things get complicated. Locke arrives early for a hunting expedition and finds Cooper hooked up to a dialysis machine. It seems that Locke has stumbled upon something he wasn't meant to see. Remember, I said seems. Cooper tells Locke his kidneys are failing him, and while he's on the donor list, his advanced age doesn't make him a prime candidate. You see where this is going, right?

Yes! It's going right to the operating room. Locke, as you probably guessed, offers up his kidney and Cooper accepts. The father and son share a pre-operation moment: in side-by-side beds, both wearing hospital gowns, Locke and his father join hands in solidarity.

Alas, this is the high point of Locke's relationship with his father. Following the operation, Locke wakes to find the bed next to him empty. A nurse tells him that Mr. Cooper left earlier that day and he left no message (or note, or card, or flowers) for the son who gave him a kidney. The nurse leaves as Locke's face crinkles into a "noooooo, he wouldn't do that, would he?" expression. Suddenly, Locke's nut-job mother appears at the doorway of his hospital room. Now, at this point in Locke's existence his family history was sad, but it wasn't heartwrenching. Well, not anymore. Locke's mother unloads a grade-a Greek tragedy on her son. The entire thing -- Mommy tracking down Locke in the Wal-Mart, Locke finding his father, Locke's father conveniently "revealing" his kidney condition -- was one giant scam. Mother Locke says Cooper set the whole thing up, and here's the real kicker: The diabolical plan was developed so Locke would be the one to offer the kidney. Cooper never asked.

Whoa.

Locke stumbles out of his hospital bed and drives to Cooper's gated home. The guard refuses to let him enter. Locke half-heartedly tries to reason with the guard, but there's absolutely no way he's getting into that house. So Locke crams himself -- sorry, he crams his bleeding self -- back into his compact car and drives off. He stops the car on a nearby road as the gravity of the situation lands squarely on the top of his head. He cries and screams in frustration, and that's where the backstory ends.

Point 2
Locke

Boone
Back on the island, we see that Locke and Boone have finally put a little work into their open-the-mysterious-hatch scheme. In fact, the pair have basically excavated the entire container. It's HUGE. Fully uncovered, it bears an uncanny resemblance to a gigantic breadmaker.

But there's a problem: They still haven't cracked the damn thing open. Locke's latest plan is to smash the breadmaker's little window (the window is roughly a foot wide and maybe six inches high and it appears to be the only window on the whole contraption). And how is he going to smash something that appears to be impenetrable? By building a trebuchet, of course! Yes, Locke and Boone have built a giant medieval weapon. Locke put all his genius to work on the device -- he calculated the angles, estimated the force, and now the moment of revelation is upon us ... soon the breadmaker will be ... nothing. It'll be absolutely nothing because the trebuchet doesn't even make a dent in the thing. In fact, the trebuchet lands its blow and then cracks and collapses to the ground. Locke throws himself on top of the breadmaker and pounds the metal door in frustration. He really believed that this was the moment.

Unfortunately, things are about to get even worse for Locke. When he's done pounding on the breadmaker, he realizes his leg has been pierced by a large, pointy splinter from the trebuchet. But here's the problem: he didn't feel it. Nor does he feel anything when he yanks the splinter from his calf. For a guy who just recently overcame paralysis, lack of feeling in the extremities is cause for concern. Later, Locke pokes and prods his legs with needles and twigs. He even takes a hot stick and crams it into his foot, but there's no feeling at all.

Uh. Oh.

That night Locke has a prescient dream full of Important Symbols. The symbols are:

  1. He sees a small plane sputter and crash onto the island. This is a different plane than Oceanic 815.

  2. He sees his red-haired mother point to the sky (presumably, she's pointing at the plane, but who knows what this "immaculate receiver" is up to).

  3. He sees Boone standing on top of the breadmaker, covered in blood.

  4. He seems himself sitting in a wheelchair.

  5. He hears Boone say: "Theresa falls up the stairs. Theresa falls down the stairs."
With all these images swirling around his head, Locke wakes with a purpose. To him, this menagerie of symbols is a Message from the Island. And we all know that anytime the Island leaves a message on your voice mail, you best be calling back. Locke rounds up Boone, but Boone is initially reluctant to run off on a wild journey. He changes his mind when Locke asks "Who's Theresa?" Boone doesn't immediately answer, but it's clear that Theresa isn't a random name from Boone's past.

And so Boone and Locke set off into the woods to pursue Locke's hunch. The hunch soon uncovers a decomposing corpse that's outfitted with a wad of Nigerian money, a cool pen knife thing, rosary beads, and a bad-ass pistol. Boone suggest the body's previous inhabitant may have been a priest, but Locke considers the evidence -- wad of cash, pen knife, gun -- and rejects Boone's notion (nice try, wedding boy!).

This body, while intriguing, does not hold Locke's answers, so the two continue on. However, the next leg of Boone and Locke's journey becomes infinitely harder because the deeper the two travel, the less stable Locke's legs become. Soon, Boone has to support Locke and eventually the two are overcome by fatigue and are forced to take a break. And this break turns out to be Very Important Indeed because Boone tells Locke that "Theresa" was/is his dead childhood nanny. When Boone was six years old he constantly called for Theresa from his bedroom, thereby forcing her to walk up and down a huge flight of stairs. One day she took a bad step and broke her neck. Locke responds to this story by cackling, which Boone finds odd because dead nannies aren't really funny (unless it involves "The Nanny," of course). But then Boone realizes Locke is staring -- and laughing -- at something behind him. Boone turns, looks up and he sees ... a small airplane nestled in high, dense foliage. Let that sink in. Boone and Locke found the airplane from Locke's dream.

Continuity Note: This newly discovered airplane looks a little like Kate's toy airplane. Coincidence? I think not.

Locke's degenerating physical condition prevents him from investigating, so it's up to Boone to solve the Case of the Symbolic Airplane. Boone shimmies up some vines and steps into the precariously perched plane. The plane is intact, but the fuselage is littered with debris. Boone sifts through maps and wreckage, looking for some sort of Major Clue. This Major Clue, Locke believes, is the reason he had his dream and, more importantly, it's the reason he and Boone joined forces and it's the reason why Locke's paralysis is coming back. But Boone doesn't find anything. Well, that's not entirely true. He doesn't find the Major Clue. He does, however, stumble across an enormous stash of heroin (all of it hidden inside plaster Virgin Mary statues). This drug discovery single handedly creates a Giant Future Plot Development because a plane full of heroin and a recovering junkie (Charlie) are destined to cross paths at some point.

But let's get back to the business at hand. As Boone shuffles around, the plane begins to slowly slide out of its tree perch. Boone moves to the cockpit and, in a desperation move, switches on the radio just for the hell of it. The radio unexpectedly crackles to life! Boone calls out a mayday for Oceanic Flight 815 and, after a few seconds, a garbled voice responds in English. The exact conversation goes like this:

Boone: Hello, hello. Is there anybody out there? Mayday, mayday.

Man on Radio: Is someone there?

Boone: Hello! Hello! Can you hear me?

Man on Radio: Repeat your transmission please.

Boone: Hello! We're survivors of the crash of Oceanic Flight 815. Please copy.

Man on Radio: There were no survivors of Oceanic Flight 815.

Boone: AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!

Editor's Note: That "AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!" bit is poetic license. It didn't actually happen, but its inclusion in this review represents the sound Boone makes when the plane falls out of the tree. This is relevant because the plane actually fell.

That's right. The plane fell. Boone was in it. Boone got messed up real bad. But he's not dead. At least not yet.

Following the plane's crash, Locke somehow finds the strength to pull Boone from the wreckage, hoist him across his shoulders, and rush back through the underbrush. Paralysis my ass.

Later that day, Locke stumbles into the cave camp and deposits the badly injured Boone with Jack. Locke claims Boone fell off a cliff while they were hunting. Technically, this is only sort of a lie since Boone did, in fact, fall of a cliff. Locke just forgot to mention that whole airplane thing.

With Boone bleeding from a variety of deep puncture wounds, Jack springs into doctor mode, demanding towels and water. He also demands to know exactly what happened to Boone, but his question falls on deaf ears because Locke has scampered out of camp.

And where did he scamper to? To the breadmaker, of course! In the closing moments, Locke pounds on the breadmaker, screaming: "I've done everything you wanted me to do! So why did you do this to me?!"

Suddenly, the breadmaker's little window fills with light as something -- or perhaps, someone -- inside the device responds to Locke's painful plea.

But then the scene fades to black ... and that's it. That's all we get. The stupid hatch finally wakes up just as the episode ends.

Point 3
Sawyer

Jack

Kate
Sawyer is suffering from migraines, but he's too stubborn/stupid to talk to the only person on the island who can ease his pain (that would be Jack, the guy with the medical degree). Eventually, Kate hauls Sawyer off to see Jack and the good doctor runs Sawyer through a battery of sensory tests. These intricate tests involve a ball point pen and a series of probing questions.

And this is when the funniest moment in the entire series comes to fruition.

Jack gets a concerned medical look and asks Sawyer if he's ever had a blood transfusion (no); has he ever taken pills for malaria (no); has he ever had sex with a prostitute (pause ... yes); has he ever contracted a sexually transmitted disease (pause ... pause ... no answer, so Jack assumes yes); and finally, when was the last outbreak ...

Sawyer tells Jack to go to hell and storms off. Kate -- who is sitting nearby and heard the whole exchange -- looks at Jack.

And Jack announces: "He needs glasses."

POINT JACK! Actually, make that two points because I'm still laughing.

Point 4
Michael

Jin
The Odd Couple continues to build Escape Raft 2.0
Point 5
Sun Now that her language secret has been revealed, Sun is conversing in English with her fellow castaways. She's also taken to quoting Chris Rock routines. Well, no she hasn't, but she should.

Point 6
Island Jack's slow beard growth has finally been explained. Early in this episode he's seen shaving. However, the blade appears to be dull because Jack is sporting that Sonny Crockett look. Next week: pastel shirts and white loafers!

That's it for now. Be sure to drop by our "Lost" Forum for stimulating conversation and conjecture.

Next Episode:
"Do No Harm" -- Claire finally pops that baby out. Meanwhile, Locke goes missing and Jack tends to the critically wounded Boone. Airs: Wednesday, April 6, 8 p.m., ABC.


Review by Mac Slocum. All photos and episode descriptions © ABC Inc.


Mac, I just wanted to say that your comments on the Lost Blog are the funniest I've heard in a long time. I sat there laughing so hard! The part about the hatch resembling a giant breadmaker was so funny, and so true! Keep up the great work! Love it!

#1. Posted by: Christina at April 4, 2005 11:35 PM

Christina: I'm glad you enjoy it!

#2. Posted by: mac at April 4, 2005 11:48 PM

Good stuff Mac. This is my first visit to this site, but I'll be back after reading your commentary.

#3. Posted by: Rico at April 5, 2005 1:09 PM

Glad to have you around Rico! Hopefully you'll enjoy the stuff to come.

#4. Posted by: Mac at April 5, 2005 1:10 PM

hey, everything was great except that in the conversation between boone and the radio guy, the guy says "no, we are the survivers of 815", not there were none. just helpin out.

#5. Posted by: Laura at June 25, 2005 8:52 AM

Just a brief comment. When locke's mom asks for the footballs, they are in row 8 and 15.
I don't know if sb had posted it before, but well, I'd just love to know what all this number thing is all about

#6. Posted by: ana at July 5, 2005 1:26 PM

Hey, this is a real discovery for me!

As many others, I move between the nedd to know more about each episode, and the fear of discovering more than I want to know before time. i live in LatinAmerica and Deus Ex Machina is the latest episode we've seen. It aired on monday, july 4. So, with each new episode I'll be checking your comments from now on.
Nice blog.

#7. Posted by: Wega at July 6, 2005 12:33 PM

Wega, I'm from Argentina... Deus ex machina was on air last Monday on AXN... but i couldn't take it anymore and I downloaded all the remaining episodes from the net... =S
My friends hate me now, jejej

de qué país sos vos???? ( o eres tú?, jajaj)
Es lindo conocer más gente de latinoamérica ^_^

#8. Posted by: Ana at July 6, 2005 3:54 PM

I just wanted to point out that I watched this episode with the close-captions on, and the conversation with the transmission went like this:
Boone: "We're survivors of Oceanic flight 815!"
Voice: "We're [as in "us, too!"] survivors of Oceanic flight 815!"

I think it was the other half of the plane. They've found a radio and are manning it, and happened to catch Boone's distress call.

#9. Posted by: Machina at September 20, 2005 5:07 PM

Just to add a really belated comment as I read the old reviews (Sorry, mac, I wasn't with you from the first).

"The Immaculate Conception" is an article of Catholic dogma that referrs to the conception of *Mary*, not Jesus. It is their position that Mary was conceived without sin (unlike all the rest of us humans) so that she would be a fit vessel for bearing the body of Jesus. "Immaculate Conception" refers to being conceived in the normal way through sexual intercourse, just without sin. It is not a reference to the virgin birth of Jesus.

#10. Posted by: Cecil Rose at July 23, 2007 10:59 PM