One of the best things about Season 5 so far, in my opinion, is seeing Locke take charge and accept responsibility for saving the island. Everything has lead to John Locke’s arc being that of “The Chosen One” that can bring balance to the force… or has it? As the leader of the others (post-2005 in island-time) he can now do that. Now, let’s look at a timeline of things as to how he became the leader of The Others…
What’s most interesting is that Locke doesn’t really know what The Island is. None of his questions have been answered and at this point it doesn’t matter. He knows what it can do and that it’s special. That’s enough.
So it seams that Locke regaining his ability to walk convinces Richard that he is special and the one to replace Ben. Before that, he failed a test Richard gave him directly and denied going to a camp Richard designed for him to go. Is being paralyzed pre-coming to The Island and able to walk afterwards enough to prove to Richard that he is The One that can stop Agent Smith? Wait, yes it is. That sounds like enough proof from me.
Now, onto my theories that fill in the blanks:
One of the biggest things that has bothered me about Season 3 is not understanding Locke’s exact intention to blow up every means of leaving The Island. He came out of The Swan’s implosion and became intent on destroying every method for Jack to possibly leave. Now that we know John Locke and his rag-tag team of time travelers are jumping around the space-time continuum, what if Locke betrays his own understanding and tries telling his past self that Jack & Co. must not leave. This could be indirectly done with a message or means other than face-to-face contact.
Back to my opening paragraph, everything has led John Locke to becoming the protector of The Island. But… what if he isn’t? What if John Locke is just a means to an end? Why is it so important that Jack return to The Island if Locke is the leader under Jacob? This, to me, is the most pertinent question we should be asking. Why does the supposed leader have to sacrifice himself to get the O6 back? Wouldn’t that imply that John Locke is key to saving the island but isn’t the one that can do it by himself?
P.S. Does anyone else want to hear The Island Pledge of Allegiance John might eventually take?
“One Island, under Jacob, invisible, with DHARMA and Hostiels for all.”