Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Everybody hates John Locke.

... no not THAT John Locke...

So I’m in a unique position writing this post because as everyone knows, I have not seen any of the episodes from the new season of “Lost”. I absolutely despise watching shows on television, being forced to sit through commercials and then have to wait a week (at least) to find out what happens. As such, I have seen all the episodes up until this point, but I have watched them on DVD. That being said, I am in a unique position, because I don’t know (nor do I wish to know) what is happening currently on the show.

But getting back on track, from what I gather listening to everyone I know who watches, everybody hates John Locke… everyone but me that is.

I constantly have arguments defending Locke, and while I understand why people hate him, I will qualify my defense of him with the statement that I’m not defending the character, his actions or motivations, I am defending the structure of the character, as a character.

Few people can deny the allure of the villain, and while there are many different types of villains, John Locke is one of the most entertaining types of villains. He is ambiguous, but all knowing. He’s not a mindless brute like a zombie or an “I know what you did last summer” type. He is calculated and mysterious. Just the fact that we had to wait until the third season to find out what the hell happened to his legs meant that we were constantly in a state of wonder, and constantly questioning him. Was it something huge like a train wreck, or perhaps he was paralyzed saving a bunch of drowning orphans from a great white shark. Maybe he was paralyzed drowning a bunch of orphans in a bathtub, or, likelier still, maybe his injury had nothing to do with drowning orphans at all! Like him or not, one couldn’t help but wonder what happened to him.

We also can’t help but wonder generally what his deal is. A great example of his mystery is early on, when he’s walking to the hatch (remember that thing?) with boon (remember that guy?) and he says that it’s going to rain, and then it starts raining immediately. He may be a prick, but it’s hard to deny the fact that he’s in tune with the island somehow.

Benjamin Linus is another great example of a villain in this same vein, and when the two of them get together its villain-tastic.

Admittedly, Locke comes unraveled in the later episodes, but early Locke is a lot of fun to watch. The villains are always the most fun part to watch, even when we look at simple superheroes, the heroes are always defined by their villains, Batman has Joker, Mr. Freeze, Two Face, etc. Spiderman has all of his lame villains, and Superman is just a stupid flying jerk… but I think I’m getting off topic here. Everyone loves villains, just look at this crazy guy’s page about villains, I even found an instructional page on how to become a villain .

John Locke is a great villain because you’re never really sure that he IS a villain, and ambiguous villains are the best. I think it was in the movie “Unbreakable” where Samuel Jackson’s character is talking about two different types of villains, and he says that you always have to look at the eyes, for the most dangerous types, you can see it in the eyes.

1 comment:

Steph said...

honestly, I dont think he is a villain... I do like John Locke. the fact you havent seen this season though, is kind of tough. wiping this season out to relate I think John Locke is definitely an amazing character and an interesting one. I agree he is one with the island and Ben is probably jeaouls of this. Yes, people now hate him but for different reasons then you think. I still dontthink he is a villain though, just a guy looking to find his purpose and this island is his purpose, he just doesnt know how to handle it yet. so he may seem unbalanced at times possibly crazy, but that doesnt mean he is a villain.