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.
5×01 – Because You Left
The results of the Island “moving” had immediate effects for all the survivors left behind. After the white flash, Locke found that Richard and the Others have vanished, and that it was now raining when moments before it was clear weather. Locke witnessed the Nigerian Beechcraft plane crash onto the Island and rushed to the crash site.
He arrived and tried to climb up to where the plane was stuck, but was stopped by a bullet piercing one of his legs. A stunned Locke fell to the ground. The shooter was revealed to be none other than Ethan. Locke tried to explain to him that he knows who he is and that Ben appointed Locke as the leader of the Others, but Ethan did not believe him and prepared to shoot him. However, a white light flashed, causing time to shift again. Locke looked to see that it was now night, and the Beechcraft was on the ground, fallen from the cliff edge again.
Locke was shifted to the year 2007, and heard someone approaching. At first scared, he kept silent, but soon saw it was a friendly face: Richard Alpert. Richard removed the bullet from Locke’s leg and gave him a compass and told him to give the compass back to him on their next meeting, in a different timeframe. He also told Locke that the only way to save the Island is to get those who left back. In order to do that, Locke was told that he would have to die. (“Because You Left”)
5×02 – The Lie
Later at night, after another time shift to 1954 (two years before Locke was born), Locke encountered Sawyer and Juliet who were being attacked by “Jones” and his men. Locke attacked the men, knocking two of them out with rocks, and killing one with his knife.
He took his knife out of the man and said “James. Juliet. Nice to see you.” (“The Lie”)
5×03 – Jughead
The next morning, the three attempted to gain information out of the two surviving men. After Juliet was able to determine that they were Others, one of the men, known as Cunningham, was willing to lead them to their camp. Suddenly, “Jones” quickly snapped Cunningham’s neck and escaped.
As he ran away, Locke had a clear shot at “Jones'”. Despite being prompted by Sawyer, Locke refused to shoot “one of his people.”
They then followed “Jones'” trail to the Others’ camp. There, he spoke with Richard Alpert and relayed the information as he had been instructed to do so previously. When “Jones” protested, Alpert dismissed him using his real surname, Widmore. Locke asked if his first name was Charles, but did not explain how he knew; he then said he was glad to meet Widmore.
He explained his predicament to Alpert, who was somewhat skeptical. Locke countered by asking him to visit him two years in the future when he is born. He asked Alpert how to get off the island in order to retrieve the Oceanic 6, but was unable to find out before another flash took place. (“Jughead”)
5×04 – The Little Prince
After the flash Locke told Sawyer that the only way to stop the flashes was to bring back the Oceanic 6 and suggested that they travel to the Orchid so he could find a way off the island. He later recognized the light coming from the hatch, realized they traveled back to the night Boone died, and suggested they avoid the light. When asked by Sawyer why he avoided the light and chose not to warn his past-self thus relieving his pain he stated that he needed that pain to get to where he was now. (“The Little Prince”)
5×05 – This Place Is Death
On their way to the Orchid, Locke and the Survivors ran into Jin who had just run away from a rifle-toting Rousseau before another flash. They were reunited, and tried to explain to Jin what was going on and that they were heading to the Orchid to stop the flashes. Jin wanted to go with Locke, but he told Jin that it was a one man job and that he promised to bring back Sun. As they neared the Orchid the flashes became more frequent, which finally started to take its toll on Charlotte.
She was incapacitated, so Locke decided they should leave her there, continue on to the Orchid, and pick her up after he had stopped the flashes. Daniel refused to leave her so Locke, Miles, Juliet, Jin, and Sawyer continued on toward the station. However, before they left, Sawyer wondered what to do if the station itself was not there. Charlotte then told Locke to look for the well.
When they finally reached the Orchid, the station was there, but then another flash occurred and it was gone. Locke then started looking for the well, and eventually found it a little way from where the greenhouse would stand. Locke decided to climb down the rope going down into the well and said goodbye to his friends, but Jin threatened to cut the rope. Locke told him that if he did not leave then they would all die.
He told Locke not to bring Sun and his baby back, and that the Island was bad (Charlotte told Jin in her ramblings not to bring “her” back). Locke told him that he may not go to her, but she may come to him, Jin then told Locke to lie to Sun and tell her that he washed up on the beach and that they buried him. He gave his wedding ring as proof to give to Sun, and told him to promise he would not bring them back. Locke promised. Juliet told him thank you, if it works, as he began his descent down the well. Another flash happened though, and Sawyer tried to bring him back up, but Locke fell to the bottom of the shaft.
On hitting the bottom of the well shaft, Locke suffered a compound fracture to his shin, seriously injuring him and rendering him unable to stand back up. In the tunnel in front of him, Christian Shephard, actually an impersonation thereof by the Man in Black, came into view and told him that he was here to guide him on his way. The Man in Black explained that Locke, and not Ben, was the person who was supposed to turn the wheel, asking Locke when anything that Ben ever told him was worth a damn. He also told Locke that, once he had gotten everyone who had left to agree to come back, he was to contact a woman named Eloise Hawking in Los Angeles. The Man in Black confirmed Richard’s prior statement that Locke’s upcoming death would be a “sacrifice”, then informed Locke that there was a wheel in the chamber at the end of the tunnel that was off its axis, and that he needed to re-set it. Locke asked if ‘Christian’ could help him up, but he replied that he could not. Locke pulled himself up and walked into the wheel chamber.
He pulled the frozen wheel, thereby stopping all of the Island’s flashes. Before he was teleported off the Island, ‘Christian’ told him to say hello to “his son”, but before Locke could get the an answer to his question as to who that was, he was teleported away. (“This Place Is Death”)
Post-Island: As Jeremy Bentham
After turning the wheel, John Locke was transported to Tunisia in 2007. Left unable to move from his leg injury, John was finally picked up that night by local representatives of Charles Widmore. Locke was taken to a field hospital where his compound fracture was painfully reset–eventually passing out from the pain. Upon regaining consciousness, Locke found himself face to face with Widmore himself. Widmore confided in Locke that he too had been “exiled” from the Island by Ben, and this was how he knew where to find him. Widmore assumed that Locke was exiled by Ben as well, but Locke corrected him, saying that he left voluntarily, to bring his friends back to the Island. Locke questioned why Widmore should want Locke and the others back on the Island. Widmore said that there was a war coming and if Locke was not back, the “wrong side” was going to win.
Later, during the daytime, Widmore and Locke sat outside the hospital and Widmore told Locke that he would help him find the Oceanic Six. Promising to do whatever necessary to keep him safe during the course of his mission, Widmore gave him the alias Jeremy Bentham and left the services of Matthew Abaddon at his disposal.
With Widmore’s resources, Locke began contacting those who had previously been on the Island: Sayid, Walt, Hurley and Kate. He failed to convince any of them to return to the Island, other than Walt, whom he did not ask.
He and Abaddon then visited Helen’s grave. While there an assailant brutally gunned down Abaddon, and Locke fled in terror. He crashed his car and awoke in Jack’s hospital.
Jack, far from pleased to see him, dismissed Locke’s claims that they should return to the Island, and of their destiny, with increasing hostility. When Locke mentioned Jack’s father, Jack countered that his father was dead, and severely warned Locke to leave him and the Oceanic Six alone. (“The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham”)
A month after he visited Jack, Locke entered his hotel room at the Westerfield Hotel with a bag containing a new extension cord. Having failed to convince any of the Oceanic Six that he visited to return to the Island, Locke intended to commit suicide. He wrote a final note to Jack, hoping that if he could convince him, then all the others would follow Jack to the Island. Locke then tied the extension cord around the base of the radiator in his room and looped it through a rafter and around his neck. Just as he was preparing to step off the table supporting him, Ben entered the room and convinced Locke not to kill himself, exclaiming that he had no idea how important he was. Ben revealed, confirming Locke’s suspicions, that he had killed Abaddon — Ben claiming that he was doing so to protect him.
Ben was able to finally convince Locke to save himself when he told him Jack bought a plane ticket to Sydney — that he was not a failure. With new hope, Locke told Ben about Eloise Hawking. Upon hearing this name mentioned, Ben abruptly strangled Locke to death with the extension cord. (“The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham”)
6×01 – LA X, Part 1
According to the Man in Black, Locke felt confused while Ben was strangling him, and his last thoughts were “I don’t understand.” (“LA X, Part 1”)
Post-Death: Off Island
After killing John, Ben carefully posed him to make the death appear to be a hanging suicide, cleaning the room of any fingerprints or forensic evidence. As he left the room he said, solemnly “I’ll miss you, John.” (“The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham”)
Jack first learned of John’s death from a newspaper article on a flight home from Singapore. The news devastated him, and he spent several days trying to call Kate to go to the funeral with him. (“Through the Looking Glass, Part 1”)
When John was later laid out for a viewing at a funeral home, in the name Jeremy Bentham, Jack was the only person to attend. (“Through the Looking Glass, Part 2”)
Later that night, Jack broke into the funeral home to look at John’s body, and was startled by Ben who was also in the room. As Jack left Locke’s coffin, Ben mentioned that if Jack wanted to return to the Island he would need everyone to come too, including John’s corpse. (“There’s No Place Like Home, Part 3”).
5×02 – The Lie
Later, in a motel room, when asked by Jack if John was actually dead inside the coffin, Ben did not answer. Ben kept John’s coffin and body at Simon’s Butcher Shop under Jill’s care. (“The Lie”)
5×06 – 316
Jack later turned up to take the body, putting a pair of his father’s shoes on John. He checked the coffin on Flight 316 claiming he was a friend of the deceased. The coffin and body were on board the plane when it crashed back upon the Island. (“316”)
Post-Death: On Island
5×15 – Follow the Leader
Upon Flight 316’s landing on the Hydra Island, The Man in Black posed as a resurrected Locke and infiltrated the Others, assuming leadership. After leading Ben and Richard to the Beechcraft airplane to give the real, time-skipping John Locke the compass. (“Follow the Leader”)
5×16 – The Incident, Part 1
He led the Others, along with Sun and Ben, to the statue of Taweret with the purpose of having Ben kill Jacob. (“The Incident, Part 1”)
5×17 – The Incident, Part 2
When Ilana arrived at the remains of the statue, she emptied the contents of her large crate for the Others to see. Inside was the body of the real John Locke from the plane’s cargo hold.
Meanwhile Jacob’s nemesis, still in John’s form, had Ben kill Jacob for him. (“The Incident, Part 2”)