Jack is working late one night when he hears beeping. It's a broken smoke detector (or is it broken? Did it perhaps just detect some SMOKE just fine?, because...). Christian is sitting in a chair in the waiting room, and addresses Jack. Unlike Hurley with Charlie, however, the woman who Jack works with can not see Christian... unless of course he didn't want to be seen, because when Jack turns back he's gone. He gets Erika to write him a scrip for Clonozepam. He's starting to lose control, which is really the cause of what sends him spiraling. He's great when everything's great, when life is tidy, when he's a hero and people want his autograph. But when things start going crazy... Jack Shephard, like 95% of the rest of us, does too.

When Jack gets home late, Kate is having a suspicious phone call about visiting with someone before he gets home some night. The next night, he makes sure he's home early, and this is when they have their tragic fight. Jack's drinking and taking meds together, he's creeped out by seeing his dad and talking to Hurley, and now he thinks his fiance is cheating on him and lying to him. I hate this scene, because I think it would take SO LITTLE for Kate to just tell Jack the truth - Sawyer had a kid, and Kate promised to look her up. What's the big hairy deal? "He wouldn't want me to tell you"?? What's that about? This is your fiance, girl! Come on, people, talk to each other. Have we learned nothing through four seasons?

Locke's mom, Emily, is in her room getting ready for a date with her older boyfriend (Anthony Cooper). She runs out of the house away from her mother and into an oncoming car. In the hospital she mentions she's almost 6 months pregnant. They induce labor, and John Locke is born very prematurely.

Locke was the youngest preemie to survive in that hospital. He even knocked out pneumonia and other complications and just kept on going. But his mother never holds him. She gives him up for adoption on the day he comes out of the incubator. And staring through the window is one Richard Alpert, looking very much the same as he always does (except on Pirate dress-up day, that is).

When Locke is visited by Richard as a boy, Richard claims to run a school for very special kids. He'd like to show John some things, and puts him through a test similar to how monks find the Dalai Lama. It's suggestive of the time-looping theory as well, and of ownership / possession / past ownership, which we have seen as a theme before. Richard is also intrigued by the drawing Locke did that looks like a stick figure getting attacked by the Smoke Monster.

Richard places before Locke these items to "look at" and "think about" and decide "which of these things belong to you already":

  • Book titled "The Book of Laws"
  • Vial of some kind of granules
  • Baseball glove
  • A knife
  • Comic titled "Mystery Tales" with the tagline: "What was the secret of the mysterious hidden land!"
  • Brass compass (same compass, probably, that Locke gave Richard in 1956 on the island, also the same year Locke was born... which is probably why Richard showed up to see Locke born)

Locke picks the vial (which is probably sand from the island), and the compass. If he had stopped there, I believe he would have chosen correctly. But as we know John Locke can't resist a good knife. Richard even gives him a chance to put that down, but nope. Richard seems mad. Yanks the knife away, puts all the stuff in his bag, and storms out. And the kid is left wondering what he did wrong, as is his foster mom.

High School lock was locked in a locker with a Geronimo Jackson poster. The counselor at Locke's school got a call from a Dr. Alpert at Mittelos Labs in Portland, and he's very interested in bright minds like Locke... "Don't you understand that things like Science Camp are the reasons I get stuffed into lockers? I'm not a scientist!" Locke is SO tragic that he has spent his entire life both running toward and hiding from his destiny, all because he couldn't accept what it was.