John Locke was one of the middle section survivors of Oceanic Flight 815. Before the crash his father conned him for one of his kidneys and later pushed him out of a window, breaking his back, causing him to have to be in wheelchair. After this he spent the next four years of his life paralyzed from the waist down and looking for his purpose in life. He was then told by Matthew Abaddon that he must attend an Australian Walkabout after which he found himself aboard Flight 815. His paralysis was immediately healed upon crashing on the Island, which ultimately led him to believe that he had some sort of special connection to the Island. John was very handy with tools and a good hunter of boar and other animals of the Island, which proved to be very helpful in the survival of the group. Seen as antithetical to Jack Shephard, he and Jack were philosophical opposites and used to share leadership among the survivors.
When Locke discovered a Hatch on the Island, he was determined to open it, insisting that everything happened for a reason. He opened it and took it upon himself to continue pushing the button, believing that this was his purpose. However, Locke soon lost his faith in the Island and stopped pushing the button which ultimately caused the discharge. After this, Locke looked for his purpose again and led the mission to rescue Jack from the Others. Locke eventually decided to stay with the Others and with Sawyer’s help, he passed the test of killing his father. However, his apparent ability to commune with Jacob made John a threat to Ben, who shot him and left him for dead in the DHARMA Grave.
An apparition of Walt (possibly the Man in Black or the Island itself) found Locke and told him that he still had work to do. (This phrase was previously spoken by the MiB as Christian, hinting that he was impersonating Walt.) After Jack called the freighter for rescue, John (convinced that the freighter had no intention of helping them) led a group of his supporters to the Barracks for safety, where they were attacked by mercenaries. After the Oceanic Six left and Ben moved the Island, John assumed leadership of the Others, but was immediately separated from them as a result of the Island skipping through time. Locke left the Island via the Orchid, in an attempt to stop the erratic flashes through time and bring back everyone who left. After trying and failing to reunite them, John attempted to take his own life, only to be stopped and then strangled by Ben. His death was used to convince the others to return to the Island. John’s corpse was placed upon Ajira 316 and crashed on Hydra Island along with the plane in 2007.
After the crash, Locke appeared to have been resurrected, rejoining the Others and embarking on a mission to assassinate Jacob. However, his body was discovered in the hold of Flight 316 some days later. John Locke had been dead all along and had been replaced by The Man in Black. After several days he was finally buried in the graveyard. Jack later carried on and fulfilled Locke’s goal of protecting the Island.
3×03 – Further Instructions
After the implosion of the Swan Locke woke up in the jungle with no voice. He made his way back to the beach and, with Charlie’s assistance built a sweat lodge on the site of Eko’s church. There he underwent a vision quest where he was reunited with a vision of Boone.
Boone took Locke on a vision quest through an airport where he saw many of the people on the Island, continually telling Locke he must “clean up [his] own mess.” Locke soon realized that what Boone was trying to tell him was that he had to save Mr. Eko, since it was his opposition to Eko that caused the Hatch to implode. After his vision, Locke was able to speak again and convinced that Eko was carried off by a polar bear somewhere. Together he and Charlie found and rescued Eko.
After Hurley told them about Jack, Kate and Sawyer’s capture, Locke made a speech declaring his intent to rescue them. Locke’s later behavior cast doubts as to whether anything he said in the speech was honest. (“Further Instructions”)
3×05 – The Cost of Living
Locke, Sayid, Desmond, Nikki and Paulo then went after Eko to the Pearl station, to see if there was any opportunity to watch any other stations on the monitors, and perhaps locate Jack, Sawyer and Kate. They got signals on one of the monitors, and it showed a one-eyed man in a DHARMA suit (later revealed to be Mikhail Bakunin), in a room which contained a computer and other electrical equipment. The man understood they were watching, and turned the camera off, right before Locke said “I guess he’ll be expecting us” – meaning he would find this possible station.
After that Locke, Desmond, Sayid, Nikki, and Paulo heard the Monster and went out to find Eko who had been attacked by the Monster. Eko died in Locke’s arms after telling him “You’re next”. (“The Cost of Living”)
3×06 – I Do
Locke decided to bury Eko at the spot where he died. When Nikki asked why, Locke explained that there had been a lot of deaths and the other survivors could not take another one. Locke explained that he believed the “Monster” killed Eko for a reason, and that he wanted to find out what that reason was.
Locke retrieved Eko’s Jesus stick from the jungle in order to place it as a marker on Eko’s grave. When the group buried Eko, Locke looked at Eko’s stick and took special note of one particular bit of scripture carved on it: “Lift up your eyes and look north. John 3:05.” (“I Do”)
3×10 – Tricia Tanaka Is Dead
Locke interpreted this as a message to himself and determined to go north on a bearing of 305 degrees. Though skeptical, Sayid accompanied him, as did Kate and Danielle. (“Tricia Tanaka Is Dead”)
3×11 – Enter 77
The compass bearing eventually led the team to the Flame station, where the group met Mikhail Bakunin, who initially claimed to be the last member of DHARMA Initiative, but was soon revealed to one of the Others.
Locke quickly became absorbed in a computer chess game at the station, even leaving the subdued Mikhail unguarded to play it. Locke won the game and unlocked a sequence of commands.
He entered “77” into the computer, ostensibly in response to an incursion by the “hostiles”; as a result soon after the team left the Flame with Mikhail as prisoner, the entire facility exploded. (“Enter 77”)
3×12 – Par Avion
Locke continued with Sayid, Kate and Danielle (with prisoner Mikhail in tow) toward the Barracks. When they encountered the sonic barrier, Locke decided to test it by pushing Mikhail between the posts. Mikhail thanked Locke and then got wounded by the sonic waves. Locke’s decision to test the fence without consulting any of the other members of the expedition, which resulted in Bakunin’s apparent death (it is not yet known whether or not Locke intended this to happen and could potentially have alerted The Others of their approach), and created tensions with them, particularly Sayid, who considered Mikhail his prisoner.
This tension was heightened even further when they discovered that Locke had sneaked some C-4 out of the Flame (even though he claimed that he had no knowledge of it beforehand, which was why he entered 77 into the computer). It became clear to everyone else that Locke was not trustworthy, had repeatedly lied to them, and had taken actions by himself without consulting the rest of the group which had resulted in destructive and fatal consequences. (“Par Avion”)
3×13 – The Man from Tallahassee
At the Barracks, Locke went off to look for Ben leaving Kate and Sayid to rescue Jack by themselves. Having found Ben, and seeing him for the first time since their last talk in the Swan Station, Locke confronted him. Ben revealed that he knew everything about Locke including how he ended up in a wheelchair. Locke asked Ben about the submarine that he had heard about from Mikhail, but was interrupted by Alex, whom he held as a hostage in Ben’s closet as Richard Alpert came in to tell Ben that the Others had captured Kate and Sayid. After Richard left, Locke ordered Alex to retrieve the bag Sayid was carrying. Ben discussed Locke’s former paralysis with him, asking him “Did it hurt?”. Locke interpreted this as a reference to the fall that broke his back. Upon learning that Locke had been to the Flame, Ben realized that he may have brought the C-4 with him in the bag, and that he planned not to escape on the submarine but to blow it up in order to ensure that nobody could ever leave the Island.
Once again Ben started to manipulate Locke in a number of ways. First, he falsely took Locke into his confidence and told him that the submarine was important to his position as leader thus encouraging Locke to blow it up. He then started to share information about the Island with Locke, knowing that it would motivate Locke even further. Ben asked Locke to imagine a “magic box,” that could make any of his wishes come true. Locke sarcastically responded to Ben that he hoped it would be big enough for him to wish himself a new submarine. Ben gradually shared other information with Locke. He told him that the submarine would be departing in a few hours and that it would not be able to come back. He explained that the only thing Locke would accomplish by destroying it would be to keep Jack on the Island. As a result Locke went through his plan and destroyed the submarine, after which he was soon captured by the Others.
Ben eventually revealed to Locke that destroying the submarine was a dream come true for him. That he wanted to keep Jack on the Island but had no way to do it by himself. He described Locke coming out of the jungle within hours of Jack leaving as the answer to his dreams. Ben arrived with Richard, and the two freed Locke, bringing him to a concrete door. Ben told Locke that he was special because of his relationship with the island and that Ben wanted to help him to know more about it. Ben told Locke that when he earlier asked about whether or not “it hurt,” he was referring to if it hurt knowing his own father tried to kill him.
He also told Locke that he believed he destroyed the submarine because the Island was the one place his father could never reach him and to cut the Island off from the outside world made this more certain. Ben then asked if Locke was ready to see what was in the box, and opened the door, revealing a bound and gagged Anthony Cooper. (“The Man from Tallahassee”)
3×15 – Left Behind
Locke was soon after released from captivity and decided to join the Others on a journey to an unspecified location. He went to say goodbye to Kate, who was held in the game room at the Barracks. After Kate told him he could not trust the Others if they promised to take him home, Locke responded that he did not want to go home. He then told Kate that he had made a strong case for her to stay with the Others but “forgiveness was not one of their strong suits”. He left the Barracks along with all of the Others. (“Left Behind”)
3×19 – The Brig
Accompanying the Others, Locke made way to the ruins, where Cooper was being tied to a large pillar. Cindy revealed to Locke that the Others were very “excited” about him being there, and that they have been waiting for him. Later, Ben told Locke that he was special and the minute he arrived, Ben began to feel pins & needles in his previously numb legs, but to show his commitment (and in turn have Ben reveal the island’s secrets), Locke had to kill his father.
That night Ben brought Locke to the pillar, giving him a knife and taunting him in order to try to make him kill Cooper in front of the rest of the camp. When Locke did not follow through, Ben announced that he was not who they thought he was.
Richard gave a file to Locke the next day, saying that Ben was trying to make him seem weak, and suggesting that there may be another way to kill Cooper. Later, Locke read a file on another survivor inside the Black Rock. Locke went back to the beach camp for Sawyer and told him that he had kidnapped Ben, and that he wanted Sawyer to kill him.
Locke took Sawyer to the Black Rock and led him inside to the brig, where Sawyer was locked inside by Locke, and discovered it was not Ben whom Locke was holding captive, but Anthony Cooper. After Sawyer discovered that Cooper was the original Sawyer who conned his parents, he brutally murdered him. When Locke entered the brig and found his father dead, he thanked Sawyer for killing him.
Outside the Black Rock, Locke revealed to Sawyer that Juliet was a mole, and gave him the tape as proof. Locke then picked up Cooper’s body and walked to the Other’s camp. (“The Brig”)
3×20 – The Man Behind the Curtain
Having delivered his father’s body to the Others, Locke demanded to be initiated into the secrets of the island. After some wrangling, he convinced Ben to take him to see Jacob.
When he and Ben reached Jacob’s cabin, Locke initially could not see or hear Jacob, but as he was about to leave, Locke heard a voice say “Help me”, which was presumably Jacob’s, following which there was a bout of poltergeist-like behavior with the furniture and Ben was tossed around the cabin. Seeing all that, Locke quickly left the cabin.
The next day, Ben led Locke to the open grave of the DHARMA employees who were killed in the Purge, and then shot Locke in the abdomen, knocking him into the pit. After learning what Jacob had said to him, Ben walked away, apparently leaving him to die in the mass grave. (“The Man Behind the Curtain”)
Locke woke up sometime later in the grave, unable to move his legs. Despondent and in pain, he was about to shoot himself with a gun he found on one of the corpses, when suddenly Walt appeared on the edge of the pit, telling him that he could move his legs and that he had work to do. (“Through the Looking Glass, Part 1”)
Locke reached the radio tower just as Naomi was making the call to her ship. He threw a knife at Naomi, hitting her in the back. Jack picked up the phone, and Locke asked with him not to contact the ship. Jack refused, and Locke threatened to kill him, but was ultimately unable to. Locke told Jack that he was not supposed to do this.
After Jack used the phone to call the ship, Locke walked away from the tower looking extremely disappointed with Jack’s decision. (“Through the Looking Glass, Part 2”)