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Episode 4x11 -- We Don't Need Another Hero

We Don’t Need Another Hero


It’s been a long time since we had an episode which centered on John Locke, who in my opinion is LOST’s most intriguing and deeply-developed character alongside Jack Shephard. We were given so many levels to think about in this episode it was difficult to not want to discuss every detail. I have done my best to keep this from becoming a book but I have to say, from his most pathetic moments to his most heroic moments, I do love my Locke.

John has been a major figure in the show’s mythology since that first moment in season one when we learned he had been in a wheelchair prior to the crash. It makes sense then, that “Cabin Fever” follows an episode centering on Jack who not only serves as the Science to Locke’s Faith, but who is also notorious for his own little Hero Complex.


John Locke was the first character to mention outright the concept of duality in the show; the dark and the light. He also reminds us that everything is based on our perception. Like a shaman he was the first to have visions and dreams that demonstrated a unique connection with the Island. Locke discovered the Swan Hatch and saved Desmond’s life, and then later the Pearl Station with Eko, where he began to question his destiny. After causing the Swan implosion, he went on a vision quest, received further instructions, cleaned up his mess, and his connection to the Island was restored.

This is the timeless cycle of the Hero’s journey. The Hero is typically born under some sort of rare or otherworldly circumstances, and often with some type of parental dysfunction. At some point he begins to understand that he was meant for something larger, and ventures out into the world on a kind of soul-searching adventure. This is his Rite of Passage, or what is referred to as a “walkabout” by Australian Aboriginal culture. From there he must be tested, he must be put through trials that push his talents to the edge, he must be asked to make sacrifice, and he must be tempted to the point where he wants to relinquish all faith. If he is destined for greatness, he will only return even stronger. The Hero ventures into the deep, dark places the rest of us are afraid to explore, and rescues us by bringing light to that which we do not understand.

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