John Locke

John Locke

Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Living... every day like it’s a gift, even though he’s stranded on a remote island with the other surviving passengers of the doomed Oceanic Flight 815. Or maybe he lives that way because he crashed on an island that he firmly believes is somehow magical. The robust, confident Locke quickly becomes one of the group’s leaders. Nobody seems to remember that he boarded the plane in a far weaker state; let’s just say he needed significant mechanical help.

Profession... mentor to many of his fellow survivors. His transformation since crash-landing on the island gives him a confidence that attracts many of those on the island to him, from the pregnant Claire to the drug-addicted rock star Charlie. Locke helps her along in her third trimester, and he guides Charlie through withdrawal and beating his addiction. Factions form when some see Locke as a better leader than the surgeon Jack Shephard, the first survivor to step into that role.

Interests… exploring the island to discover its secrets. Along with Boone, another survivor, Locke explores the woods. They find a second crashed plane, and also a hatch that’s bolted shut but seems to lead deep underground.

Relationship Status... single, both on the island and before. Back on the mainland, Locke was in love with a woman named Helen, whom he met at an anger management group. But she grew frustrated when he was unable to let go of unresolved conflicts he had with his father – the reason he joined the group in the first place. It was one of many regrets Locke had before landing on the island that gave him an opportunity for redemption.

Challenge... maintaining his faith, even when so many signs point to him giving up. After working day and night to open the hatch, he almost abandons his mission when it simply won’t budge. He questions if his surroundings are really as meaningful as he has been preaching. Then, as if on cue, a light shines up from the bottom of the hatch. But who – or what – turned it on?       

Personality... resilient, determined, and fatalistic. As he frequently tells anyone standing in his way: “Don’t tell me what I can’t do.” Yet Locke is convinced that some higher power has led them to the island. This puts him at odds with Jack in a conflict of faith vs. science. When Locke finally opens the hatch, it leads to a fight based around the question they both become obsessed with: “Are we here for a reason?”


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