The first time Locke was called upon to enter the numbers, he hesitated. When called upon to do so again, he basically had a breakdown, imploring Jack (the man of science) to do it for him.
So why couldn't Locke press "enter"? Could it be that doing so qualifies as "using" the numbers? And if so, why does Locke now share the same aversion as Hurley and Lenny? Finally, why did it have to be Jack? Why couldn't Sayid or Kate press enter?
I have to wonder if an aversion to the numbers is a symptom of the "sickness."
balguro: Good point, but the theme of cooperation was established by Jack's return to the Hatch, and correction of 32/42. Locke's block, which was hinted at the first time he was called upon to "use" the numbers, was emphasized too starkly for me to accept it was a throw away. Esp. in light of Hurley's obvious obsession with not "using" the numbers.
That said, I do think you've put your finger on an important theme of the show that was emphasized last night. I suspect that cooperation btw science and faith (two values that have thus far been presented as opposed) will be critical to overcoming whatever the island has in store.
I agree with Balguro. Locke was trying to squeeze some faith into Jack. In my opinion, he succeeded. I think that if there was 1 second left, Locke would have pressed "execute" , but he just wanted to see if Jack would do it.
Perhaps it was Locke's way of getting Jack to admit that Locke might be right - that something bad happens if the button isn't pushed. Jack waited until there was only one second left on the timer but he DID push the button, indicating that he wasn't willing to risk NOT pushing it - that Locke might be right.
Heidi and Empty: Now that does make sense. I like the idea that Locke and the Island are trying to transform the man of science into one of faith. Maps well onto Desmond's conversations with him, as well. Interesting to wonder if Jack would have returned to the Hatch if he had not met Desmond previously and witnessed a miracle shortly thereafter.
But how does this explain Locke's initial reluctance? I sense that, if Desmond hadn't had a gun to his head, Locke would not have pressed "execute."
1.) Locke couldn't lay down his obsession with his father 'till Helen basically forced him to take a leap of faith - & he had to have another person - her - to help him do it. ("It's never been easy!")
So - Locke had to have someone take the leap with him.
2.) Locke thinks of everything as a game - with rules! And in his thinking, the rule was - there has to be two people running the station. ("This is a two man job, Jack!")
And he freaks out when things dont play out the way he sees the rules of the game making them play out. ("It wasn't supposed to happen this way!") ("What am I supposed to do?!")
...At last, I'm learning...there's no returning, once I start.
To live's a privilege - and to love is such an art...
but I'll need your help to start...oh please purify my heart...
I am your servant.
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Re: Why Couldn't Locke Press Enter?
Originally Posted by bigmouth
So why couldn't Locke press "enter"?
Finally, why did it have to be Jack? Why couldn't Sayid or Kate press enter?
There's the "Faith vs. Science" parallel, where each of them is challenging the other to at least accept the validity of the other's belief system. Jack and his reason and Locke and his faith. Having to use both men to press the button is an allegory to represent that each must must somehow take part in the grand actions, that perhaps they must work together, using elements of both faith/destiny and science/reason to accomplish some greater endgame.
Now, if you ascribe to the "Locke is the insider/Jack is the experimental subject" theory, this would dictate that Locke is testing Jack, and would want to see how he handles this stressful situation, especially something against his logical belief system. Maybe Locke was testing his ability to suspend disbelief for a minute under pressure of the time system and the threats of doom. It's Ironic that Jack challenged Desmond to think whether Desmond was part of an experiment, in that Desmond was being tested as to whether the would continue to press the buttons...yet Jack himself has to make the same decision, and that he might be the one being watched.
Conversely, Perhaps Jack was simply placating Locke for a bit, pressing the button this time whilst he gathers more evidence to better logically explain his situation, then he would plan to stop (or not stop, depending on his findings) the "execute" from being pressed at some future point.
As to why Kate or Sayid didn't press, it could also be the Jack experiment, but also, the tension between Jack and Locke was palpable and real. It was probably stunningly intimidting to be between a Locke-Jack political battle. I'm sure that given the last millisecond of doom was approaching, Kate or Sayid were close enough to press it in a pinch if they agreed it was the right course, and needed to do it.
All great points.
I also think that Locke didn't want to undertake such a 'job' by himself and he wanted to make sure someone would do it with him.
That said though, if the button really does nothing then boy oh boy will Jack be pissed.
Maybe Locke is starting to think that Jack is "him".
I got a feeling that Locke thought something would happen if Jack decieded not to push it.
I could probably be totally wrong but this is the theory board.