Lost (2004–2010)
6 user 9 critic

The Substitute 

On the island, the being now occupying Locke's body turns to Sawyer and promises to tell him why he's on the island. Back in Los Angeles, Locke loses his job and encounters a number of familiar faces.


Tucker Gates


Jeffrey Lieber (created by), J.J. Abrams (created by) | 3 more credits »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Naveen Andrews ... Sayid Jarrah (archive footage)
Nestor Carbonell ... Richard Alpert
Henry Ian Cusick ... Desmond Hume (credit only)
Emilie de Ravin ... Claire Littleton (credit only)
Michael Emerson ... Ben Linus
Jeff Fahey ... Frank Lapidus
Matthew Fox ... Dr. Jack Shephard (archive footage)
Jorge Garcia ... Hugo 'Hurley' Reyes
Josh Holloway ... James 'Sawyer' Ford
Daniel Dae Kim ... Jin-Soo Kwon (archive footage)
Yunjin Kim ... Sun-Hwa Kwon
Ken Leung ... Miles Straume (credit only)
Evangeline Lilly ... Kate Austen (credit only)
Terry O'Quinn ... John Locke / Man in Black
Zuleikha Robinson ... Ilana Verdansky


On the island, John Locke tries to convince Richard to follow him. Meanwhile Ilana asks Ben what happened to Jacob and to her friends and Ben tells that Locke turned into the smoke monster and killed all of them and burnt Jacob; Ilana takes his ashes. Locke meets Sawyer and he asks who he is since John was a frightened guy. Sawyer follows Locke and they see a boy in the woods. When Locke chases the kid, Richard warns Sawyer about Locke. But Sawyer follows him to a cave in a cliff by the sea and Locke shows the reason why they are in the island. Ilana summons Sun, Frank and Ben to go with her to the temple and they bury John Locke first. In the parallel reality, John Locke lies about a conference in Sidney that he missed and is fired by his chief, Randy. When he is leaving the company, he meets Hugo, who owns the company and offers him to call an employment agency that also belongs to him to find a new position. John has an interview with the supervisor of the agency, Rose, and asks ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-14 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

16 February 2010 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

O'ahu, Hawaii, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Bad Robot, ABC Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


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Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Each of the names written in the cave has a number next to it. These are the doomed numbers seen through the entire series. 4-LOCKE; 8-REYES; 15-FORD; 16-JARRAH; 23-SHEPHARD; 42-KWON. See more »


John Locke is shown in his bathroom carrying the business card Jack gave him. From the angle that shows him holding the card, you can see a different, yellow-ish logo on the left and the name and title on the right with no red banner on top. The real card Jack gave him is shown in the close-up with the red banner on top and his name and title centered on the card. See more »


Ilana: [at Locke's grave] Does anyone want to say anything? Didn't any of you know him?
Ben Linus: Alright, I know him. John Locke was a... A believer, he was a man of faith, he was... A much better man than I will ever be.
Ben Linus: And I'm very sorry I murdered him.
Frank Lapidus: [to himself] Weirdest damn funeral I've ever been to...
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Main Title
Written by J.J. Abrams
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User Reviews

The interesting substitute
9 September 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

When 'Lost' was in its prime, it was must-watch television. Remember first watching it, found it remarkably easy to get into, was hooked from the start and was on Season 3 by the end of one week. The general consensus is that the final season is a disappointment and cannot disagree.

It, Season 6 that is, started promisingly enough with "LA X", both parts, before reaching disappointment with the still watchable "What Kate Does", which had great moments but a dull and soap-heavy central story. "The Substitute" is a step up and perhaps the best of the four episodes up to this point of the season, but not one of the best 'Lost' episodes. Did find a couple of issues with it but can understand why critically it has been positively received.

Lets start with the issues. There are no real answers provided here, there are explanations that easily could have been provided but don't come and felt overdue at this stage like with the Oceanic Flight 815.

Not all the character motivations are clear enough either, it can be frustrating when one doesn't understand some of why certain characters behave the way they do and what their goals here in a season where it's preferable to have loose ends tied up all the time. Maybe structurally it's occasionally slightly rushed as well.

However, "The Substitute" really excels in the characterisation, character work and character interaction, much of it evoking classic 'Lost'. It is a terrific showcase for one of the show's greatest characters in Locke, one of few to remain consistent and interesting in terms of writing and acting quality throughout. His story, both in flash-sideways and original timelines, here is not repetitive of what we already know about him and is compelling and emotional. Also was intrigued by the six numbers/names mystery and with Jacob, which did grab the attention and didn't confuse too much.

Cannot fault the acting, which is uniformly very good. Superb in the case of Terry O'Quinn. The visuals are stylish and atmospheric, while the music is understated and chilling and the writing taut. The directing has breathing space and alertness.

In conclusion, very interesting and well done episode. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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