Although the episode title refers to a “leader” in the singular, there are actually two leaders in this episode who set out on parallel treks in different times — Jack in 1977 and Locke in 2007. Each is convinced that he is finally acting out his destiny. And each has Richard Alpert tagging along, as fresh and dewy-looking as ever.
Jack wants to carry out Faraday’s plan to explode the bomb, in order to put things back the way they were. Kate’s not interested. If everything is undone, she will just become a fugitive again, and will never have met Jack. Besides, she thinks, not unreasonably, that it’s irresponsible to go around detonating hydrogen bombs.
Ellie, though, is glad to show Jack where the bomb is. She knows she has just shot her future son and of course would want to see that undone. Not to mention that the bomb is right under the village of her enemies, the Dharma Initiative.
Sayid pops up (I had forgotten about him!) and rescues Kate from being shot by a Hostile. Kate takes the opportunity to head back to Dharmaville, where she is captured and put on the submarine in the impromptu prisoner’s quarters already occupied by Sawyer and Juliet. They were gazing into each other’s eyes and reveling in their sweet Suliet-ness until being rudely interrupted by Kate’s arrival.
Jack, Sayid, and Ellie, accompanied, for some reason, by Alpert, enter some very cool-looking underground tunnels and find the bomb, which apparently was not encased in concrete after all.
Meanwhile, Hurley, Miles, and Jin are in the hills above Dharmaville. Poor guys! Sawyer, who was supposed to lead them to the beach, is on the sub, apparently not caring that he was leaving them behind.
Miles, though, learns something important about his past. He watches his father, Dr. Chang, yelling at his mother, who has baby Miles in her arms, telling her she has to leave. Grown-up Miles understands that his father is yelling not because he is cruel, nor because he wants to get rid of his wife and infant son, but because he knows that yelling is the only way he will get his wife to leave — and save herself and baby Miles. And so the Island, once again, seems to have healed one of its character’s painful lifelong Daddy issues!
Thirty years later, in the Hostile’s camp, John Locke is glowing with alpha male energy. Alpert (who John aptly describes as a kind of adviser who has had that job “for a very, very long time”) and Ben appear submissive, but seem to harbor mutiny in their hearts, as they follow John on a trek to find Jacob, who no one has ever seen before.
Alpert had told Sun that he had seen all the 1977 Losties die. Locke told her that Jacob can bring them back. But Locke told Ben that he really wanted to find Jacob in order to kill him.
There’s a mind-bending scene where Locke tells Alpert that his time-tripping self is going to appear in the jungle with a bullet in his leg (just as we saw him earlier this season). Locke tells Alpert to tell the other Locke that he has to bring everyone back to the Island, and that in order to do that he will have to die.
So Locke’s instructions came from …. future Locke. So it’s all a big circle? Excuse me while my head explodes.
Screencap from Lost-Media, (c) ABC