Lost/Deus Ex Machina

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Deus Ex Machina
Season 1, Episode 19
Airdate March 30, 2005
Production Number 118
Written by Damon Lindelof
Carlton Cuse
Directed by Robert Mandel
← 1x18
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Do No Harm
LostSeason One

Deus Ex Machina is the nineteenth episode of the first season of Lost, and is the nineteenth episode overall.

Locke and Boone attempt to open up the hatch using their latest invention. Back at the camp, Sawyer is suffering from headaches and asks Jack for his medical opinion on what might be causing them. While in the jungle, Boone and Locke make a surprise discovery - which has tragic consequences for one of them.

Starring: Naveen Andrews (Sayid), Emilie de Ravin (Claire), Matthew Fox (Jack), Jorge Garcia (Hurley), Maggie Grace (Shannon), Josh Holloway (Sawyer), Malcolm David Kelley (Walt), Daniel Dae Kim (Jin), Yunjin Kim (Sun), Evangeline Lilly (Kate), Dominic Monaghan (Charlie), Terry O'Quinn (Locke), Harold Perrineau, Jr. (Michael), Ian Somerhalder (Boone).

Guest Starring: Swoosie Kurtz (Emily Locke), Kevin Tighe (Anthony Cooper).

Co-Starring: Lawrence A. Mandley (Frainey), George O'Hanlon, Jr. (Eddie), Julie Ow (Nurse), Tyler Burns Laudowicz (Kid).


Plot Overview

The Island

  • After spending two weeks out at the hatch, Locke and Boone have built a trebuchet to break the hatch's glass. The trebuchet smashes into the hatch, but doesn't make a dent in it. Instead, the trebuchet shatters and a piece of metal lodges itself deep in Locke's leg. Locke pulls it out and treats the wound, but notices that he's lost all feeling in his legs. That night, Locke has a dream in which he sees a plane about to crash, Boone covered in blood, and his mother. In the morning, Locke grabs Boone and tells him about his dream and that he now knows where to go to open the hatch. The two make their way through the jungle to where Locke saw the plane crash in his dream, and discover the remains of a Nigerian priest with a gun. As they continue, Locke finds it more and more difficult to walk until he's barely able to. He tells Boone that he was paralyzed and wheelchair-bound for four years, but that the island changed him. Boone helps him keep going until they come across a Beechcraft perched halfway off the top of a cliff. Boone climbs up and enters the plane, finding maps of Africa and Virgin Mary statues. Boone drops one down to Locke and it shatters, revealing baggies full of heroin. He tells Locke they're drug smugglers and that's all that is in the plane. He heads to the cockpit and tries to radio for help, but someone else comes over the radio telling him they're the survivors of Oceanic flight 815. Locke yells at Boone to get out, but the plane's weight shifts too much and it crashes to the ground with Boone inside. Locke picks up Boone and carries him back to the caves, telling Jack that he fell off a cliff while they were hunting. While working on Boone, Jack asks Locke to tell what exactly happened, but Locke has vanished. Back at the hatch, Locke pounds on it and asks it why it did this to him. A light turns on inside.
  • At Sun's garden, Sawyer questions Sun about a herb that's not been helping him. Kate asks Sun what he was talking about, and Sun tells her he's been having headaches that aspirin hasn't helped. Kate approaches Jack and tells him about Sawyer's problem. He goes to talk to Sawyer, but Sawyer rebuffs his attempts to help him and Jack leaves. Kate eventually forces Sawyer to go to the caves and get looked at by Jack. After humiliating Sawyer in front of Kate through a series of medical questions, Jack tells her that he needs glasses. He eventually tells Sawyer that he's far-sighted and it can develop later in life, especially with all the reading he's been doing. He starts handing Sawyer various pairs of glasses to find the ones he needs and Sayid is able to melt two halves together to make one pair of glasses for Sawyer.

The Flashback

  • Flashback: Locke

A younger Locke is working as an assistant manager at a large store and notices a woman watching him. After getting off work, Locke notices the same woman is following him in the parking lot. He catches up to her and asks her why she's following him. She tells him she's his mother. The two continue their discussion at a diner and the woman tells Locke he's very special and part of a design. Locke asks about his father, but the woman tells him he has no father - he was immaculately conceived.

In the store's break room, Locke meets with Frainey, a private detective he hired to investigate his supposed mother. Frainey tells him the woman is named Emily Annabeth Locke, and she is indeed his mother. She's been institutionalized several times for a type of schizophrenia, but nothing violent or criminal. He asks Frainey about his father, and Frainey hands him a red envelope containing the information about him.

Locke drives up to a large house and tells the security guard, Eddie, that he's here to see his father - Anthony Cooper. Eddie tells Locke that Mr. Cooper doesn't have a son, but calls Cooper and lets him in. Cooper and Locke met, and Cooper tells him he didn't know he existed until a year after he was born. Emily told him she wasn't going to have a baby at all and dropped off the face of the planet until she showed up again asking for money and telling him she put Locke up for adoption. He asks Locke if he wants to go hunting and Locke agrees.

Locke shows up at Cooper's house to shoot some birds again, but walks in and sees Cooper on a dialysis machine. Cooper tells him he's early and wasn't supposed to see this. His kidney is failing and he needs a transplant, but he's not going to let it spoil their day together. The two go hunting and Cooper tells Locke that, although his mother may be a little crazy, at least she brought the two of them together while they still have time.

Later, Locke and Cooper are in a hospital being prepped for transplant surgery. Cooper tells him he still has time to back out, but Locke tells him it was meant to be. After the surgery, Locke wakes up in the hospital room but Cooper is missing. A nurse tells him Cooper already checked out and went back home under private care, but didn't leave a message for Locke. Emily shows up in his room and tells him she's sorry. She tells Locke that she needed some money and that it was all Cooper's idea to get his kidney. Locke cannot believe it and drives to Cooper's house, but Eddie tells him Cooper isn't seeing guests.



  • How did the Nigerian smuggler's plane end up on the island? Is it really from Nigeria?
  • Who responded to Boone's mayday?
  • What is the light inside the hatch?


Arc Advancement


  • Locke and Boone are unable to break open the hatch.
  • Jack and Sayid help fashion a pair of glasses for Sawyer.


  • We discover that Sawyer needs glasses to help him read.
  • Locke was only paralyzed for four years.



The Show

  • The Gold Car: The gold colored car that hits Locke in the store parking lot is the same that struck Michael in 1x14 - Special.

Behind the Scenes

  • Location, Location, Location: The store that Locke worked at as an assistant manager was filmed at a Costco Warehouse in Waipahu on Oahu.
  • Missing in Action: Shannon, Walt, Charlie, and Claire do not appear in this episode.
  • Nielsen Ratings: On its original airing this episode scored 17.6 million viewers for ABC, being the highest rated scripted series for the night and winning ABC among the night overall in viewers.

Allusions and References

  • Episode Title: Deus ex machina is Latin for "god from the machine". The term is used when an author uses some improbable plot device to work his or her way out of a difficult situation.
  • Harry Potter: Hurley references Harry Potter when he gets a look at Sawyer's new half white, half black glasses. Harry Potter is the spectacle-wearing protagonist of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series.

Memorable Moments


  • Cooper: She say anything about me?
    Locke: She said I didn't have a father. That I was... immaculately conceived.
    Cooper: Really? [laughs] Well, I guess that makes me God, huh? I didn't even know you existed until a year after you were born. She told me she wasn't even gonna have the baby, you, at all. And she drops off the face of the planet. When she turns up again she's asking for money, telling me she put you up for adoption. You gonna drink that or what? You have a family of your own?
    Locke: No, sir.
    Cooper: Me neither. I tried it a couple times. Didn't take. Do you hunt?
    Locke: No, no.
    Cooper: You're not one of those animal rights nut-jobs, are you?
    Locke: No. No, sir.
  • Sawyer: My uncle... he, uh... died of a brain tumor.
    Jack: Yeah?
    Sawyer: That run in the family? Tumors?
    Jack: What type of tumor was it?
    Sawyer: The type that kills you.
    Jack: Do you smell anything funny? Brain tumors bring on phantom smells. Maybe like something burning.
    Sawyer: Just headaches.
    Jack: Well, I'm sure you're fine, then. Look, if this is worrying you, there's a couple of tests that I could do.
    Sawyer: Sorry, doc. Sounds fun, but... my insurance ran out.
    Jack: [chuckles] Insurance ran out. That's a good one.
  • Jack: You ever had a blood transfusion?
    Sawyer: What? No.
    Jack: Taken pills for malaria?
    Sawyer: Nope.
    Jack: Have you ever had sex with a prostitute?
    Sawyer: What the hell's that got to do with anything?
    Jack: Is that a yes?
    Sawyer: Yes.
    Jack: And have you ever contracted a sexually transmitted disease? [Sawyer doesn't answer] I'm gonna take that as another yes. When was the last outbreak?
    Sawyer: Go to hell, doc. [leaves]
    Kate: [smiling] I know he deserved it, but...
    Jack: He needs glasses.
  • Boone: Hello. Hello. Anybody out there? Mayday! Mayday!
    Locke: Boone, there's no time. Get out now!
    Voice: Is someone there?
    Boone: Hello! Hello! Can you hear me?
    Voice: Repeat your transmission, please.
    Boone: Hello! We're survivors of the crash of Oceanic flight 815. Please copy.
    Locke: Get out now!
    Voice: Hello. We're the survivors of flight 815.
  • Emily: It was his idea. I'm sorry, John.
    Locke: What are you doing here?
    Emily: I needed some money. He's always been good that way. Your father's always been generous.
    Locke: You told me I didn't have a father.
    Emily: Well, he said that was the only way you would give it to him. It had to be your idea. He told me where to find you. He asked me to go see you. I wanted to see you.
    Locke: This can't be happening. This... This is a misunderstanding. This ca- This can't happen to me. He wouldn't do this to me. He wouldn't do this to me!


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