Lost/John Locke

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John Locke
Lost-Locke 06.jpg
Actors Terry O'Quinn
Caleb Steinmeyer (flashback)
Charles Henry Wyson (flashback)
First Appearance 1x01 - Pilot (1)
Last Appearance 6x18 - The End
Show Status Series: Billed
Episode Count 100
Notable Episodes 1x04 - Walkabout
1x19 - Deus Ex Machina
2x03 - Orientation
2x17 - Lockdown
3x03 - Further Instructions
3x13 - The Man from Tallahassee
3x19 - The Brig
Flashback Count 9 (including Exodus (2))

Johnathan Locke was a Regional Collections Supervisor for a box company in Tustin, California, before the crash, and is one of the most mysterious survivors of Oceanic Flight 815. Locke is played by Terry O'Quinn, and appeared in 100 episodes.


Basic Information


John as a child
John Locke was born on May 30, 1956 to Emily Annabeth Locke, who was roughly sixteen years old at the time she gave birth. He was born prematurely by several months after his mother was hit by a car and, although he was overcome with multiple diseases and ailments including pneumonia, was pronounced healthy after several weeks in incubation. His grandmother gave him up for adoption and Locke spent his childhood being raised in several foster homes. During this time, Emily became a schizophrenic and was committed to the Santa Rosa Mental Health Institute.
John as a teenager
Later, when Locke was an adult working as an assistant manager at a retail store, Emily found and approached him. She told him he was special and part of a plan, that he was immaculately conceived. Locke hired a private investigator to look into the woman, and found out she was in fact his mother and that his father is a man named Anthony Cooper. Meeting with Cooper, Locke learned his father didn't know Locke had been born until a year after his birth, and that Emily had told him that she would be putting the baby up for adoption. Cooper invited Locke out on several hunting trips and the two bonded, but one day Locke discovered his father on a dialysis machine and learned his kidney's were failing. Wanting to help his father, Locke offered to donate one of his kidney's to Cooper. After the operation, Locke woke up to find his father missing. He soon learned that Cooper was the one who had Emily find him, leading him to find Cooper and eventually give him a kidney. The entire relationship was an elaborate con.

Hurt and upset, Locke frequently drove past Cooper's guarded residence and parked outside of it for hours at a time. Even after Cooper moved to a different residence, Locke would find him and continue. Cooper eventually got annoyed and confronted Locke, telling him he needed a kidney and Locke needed a father figure. He told Locke to get over the con and that he wasn't wanted. Trying to find an outlet for his emotions, Locke attended anger management classes but only got angrier at the whiny sob stories offered by the other attendees. But it was there he met a woman named Helen, and the two developed a romantic relationship. However, Locke would still drive to his father's residence and sit outside, even leaving Helen's bed to do so. One night, Helen followed him and told Locke that he had to choose between his father or her. She knew he was scared of moving forward, but offered to help him and make sure he wasn't alone. Locke accepted Helen's offer.

Locke's relationship with Helen blossomed and the two moved in together, and Locke planned on proposing to her. One day Helen saw an obituary for Anthony Cooper, and the two decided to go to the funeral and finally close that part of Locke's life. But Locke discovered that Cooper was very much alive. He told Locke that he conned two dangerous men out of $700,000 as a "retirement con", but the money was in a safe deposit box at a bank and the men could be watching. He asked Locke to retrieve the money in exchange for a $200,000 share, and meet him at a motel the next day before he left for the airport. Locke went to the bank and got the money from the safe deposit box. When he arrived home, he found the two men his father conned inside his home with Helen. Suspicious of Locke, the men demanded that Locke open his bag but found only work papers inside and left. Helen asked Locke if lied to the men and knew what they wanted, but Locke lied to her and told her he was just as scared as she. Locke brought the money to Cooper's motel room, and told him he was going to propose to Helen that night. Cooper put the $200,000 on the table for Locke, but Locke told him he didn't do it for the money. As he opened the door to leave, he found Helen waiting outside. She slapped him, unable to comprehend why he would do this to Locke when they were moving past what he did to him. Locke attempted to propose to Helen, telling her that he couldn't live without her, but Helen simply told him he made his choice, that he needed his father's love more than hers, and left.

Locke eventually picked up the pieces of his life by living at a commune. He came to terms with his anger and considered the people there his real family. While taking supplies back to the farm, he picked up a hitchhiker named Eddie and brought him there for supper. As Locke vouched for Eddie, he was allowed to stay and work at the farm. Six weeks later, Eddie told Locke he wanted in on whatever they were doing inside a greenhouse that was being guarded and had a lot of fertilizer being brought in. He believed they were planning on blowing something up, which amused Locke as he knew only marijuana was being grown inside. He approached the leaders of the commune, but was told that they discovered Eddie was an undercover cop. They were going to destroy all the evidence they could before everything came down on their heads. Worried that this new life of his was going to be destroyed, Locke told them that there's still time for him to clean up his own mess. Giving Eddie an unloaded rifle, Locke took him out into the woods to hunt, but aimed his own rifle at Eddie. Demanding to know the truth, Locke learned that Eddie was waiting for him on the side of the road and that Locke was picked because his psych profile says that he was amenable for coercion. Believing Locke won't shoot him, Eddie walked away as Locke was unable to pull the trigger.

With his life once again in shambles, Locke collected disability insurance for depression. At this time he was approached by a young man named Peter Talbot. Peter explained to him that a man named Adam Seward met his wealthy mother and, after only two months, got her to agree to marry him. Troubled by this man, Peter delved into his past and discovered he was once named Anthony Cooper and received a kidney transplant from Locke. Locked feigned ignorance to Peter, but confronted his father and demanded he call off the engagement. He did not want his father destroying the Talbot's lives like his father destroyed his. Afterwards, Locke learned that Peter was mysteriously killed. He confronted his father about Peter's death, but Cooper told him he was a con man, not a murderer. Locke was told that the engagement was called off in the wake of Peter's death, but Locke wanted confirmation from Mrs. Talbot. While his attention was on calling the woman, Locke was thrown out of an eighth story window by his father. Locke survived the fall, but was paralyzed from the waist down. He learned Cooper fled the country to Mexico and disappeared.

Confined to a wheelchair for four years, Locke eventually became a Regional Collections Supervisor for a box company owned by Hugo "Hurley" Reyes in Tustin, California. He had a telephone relationship for eight months with a sex line operator named Helen, or an operator he asked to call Helen. He confided in her all of his secrets, telling her she knew him better than anyone else. Locke bought her a ticket to accompany him to Australia for a walkabout, but she declined the invitation. On arrival in Australia for the walkabout tour, the company refused to let him on the bus due to his condition and the fact that he neglected to inform them about it.

The walkabout company flew Locke back to Sydney at their expense. While waiting to board Oceanic flight 815, Locke helped pick up fellow passenger Rose's medication. He was the very first passenger to be boarded, and thus no other passenger but Rose knew he was in a wheelchair.


Season One

Immediately after the crash, Locke discovered he had the use of his legs again. The first few days he remained aloof among the other survivors, but offered up a secret to young Walt Lloyd — a miracle happened to him. After finding his checked luggage of knives and the survivors having exhausted all the food, Locke went on a boar hunt with Kate Austen and Michael Dawson. During this hunt he encountered the monster alone. Locke cryptically likened the experience to looking into the eye of the island and what he saw was beautiful. Locke later helped Charlie Pace kick his heroin habit, believing that if Charlie gave something to the island then the island might just give something back to him, namely his guitar.

Soon after, Locke attacked Sayid Jarrah and destroyed his transceiver. He would later excuse his actions as trying to prevent Sayid from finding the source of Danielle Rousseau's distress signal, a place she claimed her crew got sick at. He did not want Sayid leading the survivors into danger there.

After Ethan Rom kidnapped Claire Littleton, Locke and Boone Carlyle discovered a steel hatch buried in the jungle. The two spent many days digging out the hatch and trying to open it to no avail. In an attempt to open it, Locke injured his leg and discovered he was losing feeling in his legs. He later had a dream which led him to a crashed Beechcraft hanging precariously over a cliff. Boone volunteered to climb up into it as Locke could not move his legs. Boone's weight tipped the Beechcraft over the ledge and it came crashing down, critically injuring Boone. Summing up his strength, Locke carried Boone back to the caves where he lied to Jack Shephard, telling him Boone fell off a cliff. Returning to the hatch, Locke pounded on it until it lit up with a bright light. Locke rationalized Boone's death as a sacrifice the island demanded. Returning in the morning, just in time for Boone's funeral, an enraged Jack attacked Locke. Jack based his treatment of Boone's injuries off of Locke's lie, and blamed Locke for Boone's death. This was the catalyst of a rift between the two men. With her brother dead, Shannon Rutherford asked Sayid to deal with Locke. Sayid interrogated Locke about the incident and decided it truly was an accident. Shannon still wanted revenge and, using one of the Marshal's guns, tried to kill Locke. Sayid tackled her and saved Locke's life.

Rousseau arrived at the beach camp to warn the survivors of the impending arrival of the Others. Locke accompanied an expedition to the Black Rock to retrieve dynamite and blow open the hatch. On the return trip, the monster appeared and the group scattered except for Locke. He approached the monster, but it grabbed him and attempted to pull him into a hole. Jack was able to catch him, but Locke tried to convince Jack to let him go. Instead, Jack yelled for Kate to throw a stick of unstable dynamite down the hole, and the monster freed Locke. Jack talked to Locke about his motives and believed he could pose a problem in the future.

Season Two

With the hatch blown open, Locke eventually descended inside to find a man named Desmond Hume. He learned the hatch was part of a DHARMA Initiative station called the Swan, and the need to enter the numbers into a computer terminal. Whereas Jack was skeptical and dismissive of the button, Locke believed it needed to be pushed.

After taking Claire's baby, Aaron, while sleepwalking, Charlie went to see Locke and tried to have him put in a good word for him with Claire. Locke didn't believe Charlie's visions of Aaron in danger were real, and asked Charlie if he was using heroin again. Charlie told him that all the heroin was destroyed, but Locke followed him and found his secret stash. Locke confiscated the heroin and told Charlie he had lost the right to be believed. After Charlie set a fire that nearly destroyed the beach camp, all as a diversion to take Claire's baby, Locke got Aaron back and beat Charlie.

Sayid convinced Locke to change the combination to the empty armory in the Swan, so he could interrogate Henry Gale without being interrupted by Jack. Jack was furious at Locke and, when the countdown timer started, Jack refused to let him push the button until he opened the armory. Locke eventually relented, but got to the button after it hit zero. Strange Egyptian hieroglyphics appeared and Locke was able to enter the numbers and reset the timer. With Henry held prisoner inside the station, Locke's disputes with Jack would be heard by Henry through the armory door. Henry used this to advantage by needling Locke and using Locke's frustrations against him.

Alone in the station with Henry, a lockdown was triggered and blast doors dropped from the ceilings. Locke freed Henry for help in prying up one of the blast doors. He attempted to slip underneath, but the blast door came down and one of the door's prongs pierced Locke's leg, pinning him to the floor. With the timer nearing zero minutes, Locke had Henry climb through the air vents and enter the numbers into the computer. Henry left and the timer hit zero, but the lights turned off and blacklights turned on to reveal a hidden map on a blast door. After a few seconds the lights came on and the lockdown ended. Henry helped Locke up when Jack, Kate, Sayid, Ana Lucia Cortez and Charlie came in and revealed Henry was an imposter.

Speaking alone with Henry, Locke was told he didn't push the button and that the Swan was a joke. Locke refused to believe him, but was later told he was one of the "good ones" and Henry was coming for him when he was captured. Henry eventually escaped and Eko helped Locke track him down. Instead, Eko demanded he take him to the question mark. Locke showed him a fragment map of the blast door he drew from memory, and Eko used it to find another DHARMA Initiative station called the Pearl. The orientation film associated with the Pearl implied that the Swan was a psychological experiment. Locke was angry at having wasted his time pressing the button, that Henry was right, but Eko believed the button was important and would continue pushing it.

Locke, convinced that the button was a fraud, went to the Swan and tried to stop Eko from bushing the button, but Eko threw him out. When he learned that Desmond had returned aboard the Elizabeth, he went to Desmond and convinced him that the button was a fake. Desmond and Locke worked together to create a lockdown to keep Eko out of the control room. Desmond began to have doubts and asked to see the evidence that the button was fake. Locke gave him log printouts from the Pearl. Desmond asked him what day the plane crashed and, finding that it was the same day that he missed pressing the button, decided that he was going to press the button after all. When he tried, Locke smashed the computer. Desmond ended the lockdown and went to get the fail-safe key. As the Swan began shaking itself apart, Locke looked around in terrified horror and told Eko that he was wrong.

Season Three

After the activation of the fail-safe device, Locke woke up in the jungle and found himself unable to speak. He returned to the beach and constructed a sweat lodge in order to commune with the island. The vision he received warned him that Eko was in danger. Venturing into the jungle with Charlie, Locke tracked a polar bear to its den inside a cave. He scared off the bear with a makeshift flamethrower and rescued Eko.

With Sayid back from his failed attempt to help Jack, Locke told him that he and Desmond believed that the computer inside the Pearl might be used to communicate with the Others. At the same time, Eko disappeared into the jungle. Accompanied by Nikki and Paulo, the group made their way to the Pearl and running across Eko, who was being followed by the monster. Inside the Pearl, Sayid discovered that the computer could only receive data and not send it. But switching video inputs revealed a new feed of another station. A man with an eye patch was revealed, but he disabled the camera. As they contemplated what they witnessed, the group heard the howl of the monster and rushed outside, and discovered Eko's battered body. Eko's dying words to Locke was that he was next.

With the return of Kate and Sawyer from the Hydra, Locke accompanied Kate, Sayid and Rousseau on a mission to find and rescue Jack. The group came across a DHARMA Initiative station called the Flame, and a man inside with an eye patch. The man identified himself as Mikhail Bakunin, and claimed to be the last living member of the DHARMA Initiative, but he was soon discovered to be one of the Others. Using a computer terminal at the Flame, Locke discovered it was a communications station with the outside world. Dr. Mark Wickmund appeared in an interactive computer program and ordered the user to enter 77 should there be an incursion on the station by the hostiles — the Others. After leaving the station, Locke revealed he entered the code and the station exploded.

Continuing onward, the group came across a barrier encircling the barracks — the home of the Others. Mikhail claimed the system was nonfunctional, but Locke decided to test this claim by throwing Mikhail between two pylons and he was subsequently killed by a sonic weapon. Sayid questioned Locke about what he was doing, and then found a block of C-4 he secretly took from the Flame. Going over one of the pylons and continuing their trek, the group found Jack and the Others. Under cover of darkness, Locke infiltrated Ben Linus' house and found him unable to use his legs. Ben believed he was looking for Jack, but Locke told him he was looking for their submarine. He ordered Ben's daughter, Alexandra Rousseau, to retrieve Sayid's pack. Ben realized he must have a block of C-4 since he found the Flame, and was intending to destroy the submarine. Ben was unable to talk Locke out of his course of action and Alex led him to the submarine, and Locke successfully destroyed it. Captured by the Others, Ben told Locke that Locke has some sort of communion with the island and that makes him very, very important. He told Locke he wanted to help him and, to that effect, showed Locke's father, Anthony Cooper, tied to a chair in a room. Ben refused to divulge how Cooper arrived on the island, rather he cryptically stated that Locke was the one who brought Cooper to the island. As Locke's friends had found the barracks, Ben ordered the Others to leave for a new place and invited Locke to join them. Locke agreed.

The Others made camp at a clearing on the island, setting up tents. Locke met Cindy there, the former flight attendant of Oceanic flight 815. Locke noticed members of the Others were watching him, but Cindy told him to not mind them as they were all excited he was there and had been waiting for him. Ben met with Locke, revealing to Locke that he could walk again thanks to Locke simply being near him. However, he ordered Locke to kill Cooper as a gesture of free will that he was ready to join the Others. When put to the test, Locke failed. Later, Richard Alpert approached Locke when he was alone, informing him that Ben wanted him to fail as Ben wanted the Others to believe he wasn't special. Alpert believed Ben was wasting their time with novelties like their fertility problems, when what they needed was something to remind them that they were on the island for more important reasons. He believed Locke was that something, and so he gave him a detailed file on on James Ford and suggested James would be the one to kill Cooper. Locke dragged Cooper to the Black Rock and chained him inside the ship's brig, then brought Sawyer there and locked him inside. After conversing with Cooper, Sawyer discovered the man was Tom Sawyer, the man who ruined his life. Cooper shredded Sawyer's letter to him, enraging Sawyer to the point that he choked Cooper to death. Locke thanked Sawyer for what he did and carried his father's body back to the Others.

With his father's dead body as proof, Locke demanded to learn everything about the island from Ben. Ben was less than receptive to Locke's demands, only informing him that he wasn't the leader of the Others but took orders from Jacob. Ben is the only one who talks to Jacob, who knows where he is and who goes to see him. Locke eventually forced Ben to take him to see Jacob and was led into the interior of the island to a nondescript shack. Warning Locke to turn off his flashlight as Jacob wasn't fond of technology, the two ventured inside to find no one inside yet Ben held a conversation with an empty chair. Believing that Ben was crazy, Locke attempted to leave but heard a voice say "help me." Locke turned his flashlight on, causing the shack to shake violently and flames to erupt spontaneously. Wondering what happened, Locke was told that that was Jacob and was asked what Jacob had said to him. But Locke believed it was all a show put on by Ben, that Ben was a fraud and his people should know the truth. Ben, however, disagreed while showing Locke a mass grave of DHARMA workers and shot Locke in the abdomen. Ben demanded to know what Jacob had said to Locke and, upon learning what it was, left Locke for dead. Unable to move his legs, Locke spotted a pistol on one of the bodies and was about to shoot himself in the head when Walt appeared above him. He was he could move his legs and work was needed to be done. Getting out of the grave, Locke managed to make it to the radio transmitter as Naomi Dorrit was attempting to use her satellite phone to contact her off-island freighter. Locke threw his hunting knife into the back of Naomi, killing her, and warned Jack not to pick up the phone or he would shoot him. Jack refused to let Locke keep him on the island and retrieved the phone. Unable to bring himself to shoot Jack, Locke cryptically told him that he wasn't supposed to this and disappeared into the jungle.

Season Four

Locke eventually ran into Hurley and learned that Charlie had perished while warning Desmond that Naomi wasn't who she claimed to be. The two met up with the Oceanic survivors at the wreckage of the nose section, but he was knocked down by Jack who then took his gun. Locke didn't believe Jack would shoot him, but Jack pulled the trigger. The gun wasn't loaded. After making his case to the survivors, Locke told them he was going to head to the barracks and welcomed those who wanted to come with him. Hurley sided with Locke due to his friend Charlie's warning, leading other survivors to join Locke's group, including Claire, Sawyer, Ben, Rousseau and Alex. The group left Jack and his group behind at the nose section.

Before heading to the nose section, Locke had to make a stop at Jacob's cabin. He told them he was supposed to go like how he was supposed to kill Naomi. Asked who he got his orders from, Locke informed them he was told to by Walt. He had work to do and was tasked with stopping Naomi from bringing her people to the island. He couldn't ask any questions as Ben had shot him and left him for dead, but Walt healed him. Sawyer was skeptical of Locke's tale, but Locke showed the group the bullet wound he received. Locke's group encountered one of the people from the freighter, Charlotte Lewis. The woman had many questions for the group regarding their survival on the island, but Locke didn't want anyone to answer her questions. After learning she was in possession of a GPS transponder which would mark her position, Locke had the group continue on and took Charlotte with them. He tied the transponder to Vincent and let him loose, so the people from the freighter couldn't track them. Charlotte eventually wanted to leave, but she was shot twice in the chest by Ben. Luckily she was wearing a bullet-proof vest and was uninjured. Fed up with Ben, Locke resolved himself to finally kill Ben. Ben attempted to stop Locke, telling him he had information and answers, but was unable to tell Locke what the black smoke monster was. As a final gambit, Ben gave the group detailed information about Charlotte and the other members of her team; that they were on the island for him.

Character History

Information is shown in chronological order. Episodes in bold are flashback episodes.

Before the Crash

On the Island

Memorable Moments

  • 1x04 - Walkabout: Locke's final flashback of the episode has a shocking revelation set to some powerfully emotional music.
  • 1x19 - Deus Ex Machina: Locke, his shirt soaked in Boone's blood, sobs over the hatch, only to see it lit up from below.
  • 1x24 - Exodus (2): Locke and Jack have a heart-to-heart in the jungle.
  • 2x03 - Orientation: Locke, left alone in the darkened bunker as the minutes tick away shouts his frustration and confusion to the air.


  • John Locke is named after an English philosopher who strongly believed that a government could only be legitimate if it emphasized freedom of the individual.


  • 1x04 - Walkabout: "Hey, hey, don't you walk away from me. You don't know who you're dealing with! Don't ever tell me what I can't do, ever! This is destiny. This is destiny. This is my destiny. Listen, I'm supposed to do this, damn it! Don't tell me what I can't do! Don't tell me what I can't...!"
  • 1x05 - White Rabbit: "I'm an ordinary man, Jack. Meat and potatoes. I live in the real world. I'm not a big believer in... magic. But this place... is different. It's special. The others don't want to talk about it because it scares them. But we all know it. We all feel it. Is your White Rabbit a hallucination? Probably. But... what if everything that happened here happened for a reason? What if this person that you're chasing is really here?"
  • 1x07 - The Moth: "That's a moth cocoon. It's ironic. Butterflies get all the attention. But moths, they spin silk. They're stronger, faster... [...] You see this little hole? This moth's just about to emerge. It's in there right now, struggling. It's digging its way through the thick hide of the cocoon. Now, I could help it. Take my knife, gently widen the opening, and the moth would be free. But it would be too weak to survive. The struggle is nature's way of strengthening it."
  • 1x16 - Outlaws: "My sister Jeannie died when I was a boy. Fell off the monkey bars and broke her neck. And my mother, well, my foster mother, she blamed herself, of course. Thought she wasn't watching close enough. So she stopped eating, stopped sleeping. The neighbors started talkin', afraid she might do something to herself, I guess. [sips his coffee] Ooh, that's good. Anyway, about six months after Jeannie's funeral, this golden retriever comes padding up our driveway, walks right into our house, sits down on the floor and looks right at my mother there on the couch. And my mother looks back at the dog. After about a minute of this, them staring at each other like that, my mother... burst into tears. Beautiful dog, no tags, no collar. Healthy and sweet. The dog slept in Jeannie's old room on Jeannie's old bed and stayed with us until my mother passed five years later, then disappeared back to... wherever it was she came from in the first place. [Kate asks if the dog was Jeannie] Well, that would be silly. But my mother thought it was. Thought that Jeannie had come back to tell her the accident wasn't her fault, let her off the hook."
  • 1x17 - ... in Translation: "Why would he burn the raft? [...] OK, it's personal. But why take it out on our best chance at getting off the island? Why would any one of us block an attempt to get home? We're so intent on pointing the finger at one another that we're ignoring the simple undeniable truth that the problem isn't here, it's there! They've attacked us! Sabotaged us, abducted us, murdered us. Maybe it's time we stop blaming us and started worrying about them! We're not the only people on this island, and we all know it!"
  • 1x19 - Deus Ex Machina: "I've done everything you wanted me to do. So why did you do this TO ME?!"
  • 1x24 - Exodus, Part 2: "I think that's why you and I don't see eye to eye sometimes, Jack. Because you're a man of science. [...] Me? Well, I'm a man of faith. Do you really think all this is an accident? That we, a group of strangers, survived. Many of us with just superficial injuries. You think we crashed on this place by coincidence? Especially this place. We were brought here for a purpose. For a reason. All of us. Each one of us was brought here for a reason."
  • 2x03 - Orientation: "I can't do this alone, Jack. I don't want to."
  • 2x23 - Live Together, Die Alone: "I was wrong."