Season: 1-3, Episodes: 7, Faction: N/A
Anthony Cooper was the presumed name of John Locke’s biological father. Cooper was shown to have used the alias of Alan Seward, and he claimed to have used Tom Sawyer, Ted MacLaren, Louis Jackson and Paul, among others. He was, by his own admission, a con man. As “Tom Sawyer”, he seduced James Ford’s mother, Mary Ford and then used her in order to swindle money from her and her husband, which resulted in the death of both. This prompted James to take on the alias “Sawyer”, and to hunt down his namesake. Cooper was killed by Sawyer on the Island.
4×11 – Cabin Fever
Emily Annabeth Locke became pregnant while she was fifteen. Her mother referred to the man she was dating at the time as being twice her age. If true, Anthony could have been born as early as 1924 and as old as 80 when he died. (“Cabin Fever”)
Later in Cooper’s life, he conned a woman named Mary Ford under the alias of Tom Sawyer for $38,000. This con resulted in her husband killing her and himself over the incident, and sent their son, James Ford, on a quest to murder the man he perceived as killing his parents. He wrote a letter when this first happened, and vowed to make the man responsible read it out loud to him before James killed him. (“The Brig”)
1×19 – Deus Ex Machina
When John Locke first found him, Anthony was on dialysis and in need of a new kidney. He got close to John by taking him hunting occasionally. Locke volunteered to give his father one of his kidneys. However, after the surgery, Locke woke to find Cooper had already checked himself out of the hospital. Locke’s mother admitted that she had worked with Cooper to con Locke into donating his kidney. (“Deus Ex Machina”)
2×03 – Orientation
Cooper moved in an attempt to get away from Locke, who was stalking him, but John managed to find his new home. Locke waited outside his house nearly every day in his car. Eventually Anthony opened the car door and got in, telling Locke that he knew he’d been stalking him and wanted it to stop, finally telling him, “Don’t come back; you’re not wanted.” Helen eventually convinced John to move on, and he and Anthony were out of contact for a while. (“Orientation”)
2×17 – Lockdown
Some time later, he faked his own death to avoid retribution for a $700,000 dollar retirement con he pulled on Jimmy Bane. He followed Locke around town in a white car until Locke found out it was him. He asked John to retrieve the money from a safety deposit box and left him $200,000 as promised for his help. Later Locke brought the money to a local motel, where Cooper is waiting for him. Cooper offers Locke his part of the money, but Locke refuses. Cooper is leaving but suddenly Helen stands in the door way. She asks “Are you him?”, and slaps him. After he has left, Locke proposes to Helen, who tearfully rejects Locke. (“Lockdown”)
Locke’s attempted murder
3×13 – The Man from Tallahassee
Several years later, John stumbled into another of Anthony’s cons. Going by the name “Alan Seward,” he was attempting to marry Mrs. Talbot in order to steal her money. Peter Talbot, her son, suspected his plan and attempted to intervene and went to ask John. Locke confronted his father at a flower shop, demanding that he call off the wedding. He told Cooper that Peter was aware of the con and threatened to tell Mrs. Talbot the truth. Cooper agreed to call off the wedding. However Peter Talbot died suddenly and mysteriously.
John went to Anthony’s apartment to confront him over the death, but Anthony said he had nothing to do with it. Locke went to the phone to call Mrs. Talbot. When John turned his back, Anthony suddenly rushed and pushed him out an eighth story window, leaving John’s back broken and leaving him permanently paralyzed. His actions make it very likely that he did kill Peter Talbot. Soon after, Cooper was suspected to have fled to Mexico and he disappeared. (“The Man from Tallahassee”)
3×19 – The Brig
According to his own later account, Cooper heard with the rest of the world that Flight 815 had gone down in a trench near Bali, and he believed that John had died along with all of the other passengers. Some time later, he says, he was driving down I-10 through Tallahassee when someone slammed into the back of his car, sending him through the divider at 70 miles per hour. He remembers being put in an ambulance, where one of the paramedics smiled at him, receiving some kind of injection, and then waking up gagged and tied to a chair on The Island. (“The Brig”)
On the Island
3×13 – The Man from Tallahassee
When Locke arrived at the Barracks, Ben told him about a “magic box” on the Island that could grant wishes and later asked Locke if he wished to see what Ben had found inside. He then opened the door to a small basement room in which Anthony was sitting bound and gagged. Previously, Ben had referred to Cooper as “the man from Tallahassee”. (“The Man from Tallahassee”)
3×19 – The Brig
Locke asked Ben how he got to the Island, and Ben told him to ask Cooper. When Locke removed his gag cloth, Cooper bit him on the hand, then yelled out “Don’t you know where we are, John?”
Cooper was brought with the Others when they left the Barracks, and was later seen chained to a stone column at the edge of their camp site. Ben informed Locke that he could not become a full member of their group until he made a definitive break with his past–by murdering Cooper. When Locke balked at killing him, Cooper started to mock his son, claiming he still “wants his daddy.” Shortly after this, the Others broke camp and left Locke and Cooper behind, with Ben telling Locke that he shouldn’t follow them unless he’s carrying his father’s corpse on his back. (“The Brig”)
3×19 – The Brig
Acting on knowledge obtained from a file given to him by Richard Alpert, Locke carried Cooper to the Black Rock. He then lured Sawyer there to kill him, claiming the man he was holding captive was Ben. After Locke locked Sawyer and Cooper in the Brig together, Cooper told Sawyer about how he came to the Island. He corroborated Naomi’s claim that Flight 815 was found with no survivors, and shared his belief that the Island was actually Hell. Cooper then inadvertently revealed his past connection to Sawyer, who handed him the letter he wrote to the original Sawyer as a child, demanding that he read it. When Cooper mocked Sawyer and tore up his letter, Sawyer strangled him to death with a chain. (“The Brig”)
3×20 – The Man Behind the Curtain
Locke carried Cooper’s body all the way back to the Others’ camp. He didn’t tell them that Sawyer had been the one to kill Cooper. (“The Brig”) (“The Man Behind the Curtain”)
6×14 – The Candidate
In the flash sideways, Anthony enjoyed a much healthier relationship with his son John Locke. He was still responsible, however, for the conning of James Ford’s parents. He was described by his son as a “great father”, and after John received his flying license he took Cooper along as his first passenger. This first flight resulted in a horrendous crash that paralyzed John and put his father into a vegetative state. (“The Candidate”)
6×04 – The Substitute
Years later, a photograph of Cooper and his son Locke was tacked to the wall of Locke’s cubicle at the box company on the day that Randy Nations fired him.
Tired of making wedding plans, Locke’s fiancée Helen Norwood suggested they bring Anthony and her parents and get married “shotgun-style” in Las Vegas (City of Lights). (“The Substitute”)
6×08 – Recon
Chasing a lead that “Sawyer” was in Australia, Ford did not find Cooper, but finally learned his real name. Upon returning to Los Angeles, Ford began sorting through various Anthony Coopers who may have been present in Alabama in 1976. (“Recon”)
6×14 – The Candidate
After fixing Locke’s back, Dr. Jack Shephard attempted to find out more about the accident that caused Locke’s paralysis. Thanks to information from John’s dentist, Jack went to the Sun Palms Nursing Home. He met Helen there, who reluctantly introduced him to the vegetative Cooper, who was unable to move or speak. (“The Candidate”)
Related Character Images
Anthony Cooper & John Locke (Names)
Cooper’s name may be derived from Anthony Cooper, the First Earl of Shaftsbury, a leader of the early Whig party in Britain and a formative influence on the philosopher John Locke.
In 1666, John Locke met Lord Anthony Ashley Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury, who had come to Oxford seeking treatment for a liver infection. Cooper was impressed with Locke and persuaded him to become part of his retinue.
Locke’s medical knowledge was put to the test when Shaftesbury’s liver infection became life-threatening. Locke coordinated the advice of several physicians and was probably instrumental in persuading Shaftesbury to undergo an operation (then life-threatening itself) to remove the cyst. Shaftesbury survived and prospered, crediting Locke with saving his life.
Decoded Family Members & Lovers
Decoded Season 1 Characters
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Key Episode(s) to Decoding the Character
In Greek mythology, Prometheus (“forethought”) is a Titan, the son of Iapetus and Themis, and brother to Atlas, Epimetheus and Menoetius. He was a champion of mankind, known for his wily intelligence, who stole fire from Zeus and gave it to mortals. Zeus then punished him for his crime by having him bound to a rock while a great eagle ate his liver every day only to have it grow back to be eaten again the next day. His myth has been treated by a number of ancient sources, in which Prometheus is credited with – or blamed for – playing a pivotal role in the early history of mankind.
The Prometheus myth first appeared in the late 8th-century BC Greek epic poet Hesiod’s Theogony (lines 507–616). He was a son of the Titan, Iapetus by Clymene, one of the Oceanids. He was brother to Menoetius, Atlas, and Epimetheus. In the Theogony, Hesiod introduces Prometheus as a lowly challenger to Zeus’ omniscience and omnipotence. In the trick at Mecone, a sacrificial meal marking the “settling of accounts” between mortals and immortals, Prometheus played a trick against Zeus (545–557). He placed two sacrificial offerings before the Olympian: a selection of beef hidden inside an ox’s stomach (nourishment hidden inside a displeasing exterior), and the bull’s bones wrapped completely in “glistening fat” (something inedible hidden inside a pleasing exterior). Zeus chose the latter, setting a precedent for future sacrifices; henceforth, humans would keep the meat for themselves and burn the bones wrapped in fat as an offering to the gods. This angered Zeus, who hid fire from humans in retribution. Prometheus in turn stole fire in a giant fennel-stalk and gave it back to mankind. This further enraged Zeus, who sent Pandora, the first woman, to live with men. She was fashioned by Hephaestus out of clay and brought to life by the four winds, with all the goddesses of Olympus assembled to adorn her. “From her is the race of women and female kind,” Hesiod writes; “of her is the deadly race and tribe of women who live amongst mortal men to their great trouble, no helpmeets in hateful poverty, but only in wealth.”
Prometheus, in eternal punishment, is chained to a rock in the Caucasus, where his liver is eaten out daily by an eagle, only to be regenerated by night, which, by legend, is due to his immortality. Years later, the Greek hero Heracles (Hercules) would shoot the eagle and free Prometheus from his chains.
Hesiod revisits the story of Prometheus in the Works and Days (lines 42–105). Here, the poet expands upon Zeus’ reaction to the theft of fire. Not only does Zeus withhold fire from men, but “the means of life,” as well (42). Had Prometheus not provoked Zeus’ wrath (44–47), “you would easily do work enough in a day to supply you for a full year even without working; soon would you put away your rudder over the smoke, and the fields worked by ox and sturdy mule would run to waste.” Hesiod also expands upon the Theogony’s story of the first woman, now explicitly called Pandora (“all gifts”). After Prometheus’ theft of fire, Zeus sent Pandora in retaliation. Despite Prometheus’ warning, Epimetheus accepted this “gift” from the gods. Pandora carried a jar with her, from which were released (91–92) “evils, harsh pain and troublesome diseases which give men death”] Pandora shut the lid of the jar too late to contain all the evil plights that escaped, but hope remained in the jar.
Angelo Casanova finds in Prometheus a reflection of an ancient, pre-Hesiodic trickster-figure, who served to account for the mixture of good and bad in human life, and whose fashioning of men from clay was an Eastern motif familiar in Enuma Elish; as an opponent of Zeus he was an analogue of the Titans, and like them was punished. As an advocate for humanity he gains semi-divine status at Athens, where the episode in Theogony in which he is liberated is interpreted by Casanova as a post-Hesiodic interpolation.
Some two dozen other Greek and Roman authors retold and further embellished the Prometheus myth into the 4th century AD. The most significant detail added to the myth found in, e.g., Sappho, Plato, Aesop and Ovid — was the central role of Prometheus in the creation of the human race. According to these sources, Prometheus fashioned humans out of clay. In the dialogue Protagoras, Protagoras asserts that the gods created humans and all the other animals, but it was left to Prometheus and his brother Epimetheus to give defining attributes to each. As no physical traits were left when the pair came to humans, Prometheus decided to give them fire and other civilizing arts.
Although perhaps made explicit in the Prometheia, later authors such as Hyginus, Apollodorus, and Quintus of Smyrna would confirm that Prometheus warned Zeus not to marry the sea nymph Thetis. She is consequently married off to the mortal Peleus, and bears him a son greater than the father — Achilles, Greek hero of the Trojan War. Apollodorus moreover clarifies a cryptic statement (1026–29) made by Hermes in Prometheus Bound, identifying the centaur Chiron as the one who would take on Prometheus’ suffering and die in his place.
Reflecting a myth attested in Greek vase paintings from the Classical period, Apollodorus places the Titan (armed with an axe) at the birth of Athena, thus explaining how the goddess sprang forth from the forehead of Zeus.
Other minor details attached to the myth include: the duration of Prometheus’ torment; the origin of the eagle that ate the Titan’s liver (found in Apollodorus and Hyginus); Pandora’s marriage to Epimetheus (found in Apollodorus); myths surrounding the life of Prometheus’ son, Deucalion (found in Ovid and Apollonius of Rhodes); and Prometheus’ marginal role in the myth of Jason and the Argonauts (found in Apollonius of Rhodes and Valerius Flaccus).