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"The Man from Tallahassee"

March 21, 2007
Running time
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Written by
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Episode transcript
[[{{{transcript2}}}|Part Two]]

[[{{{audiotranscript}}}|Commentary transcript]]

"The Man from Tallahassee" is the thirteenth episode of Season 3 and the sixty-second produced hour of the series as a whole. It was originally broadcast on March 21, 2007. As Kate and Sayid focus on rescuing a strangely placid Jack, Locke reveals his own agenda for finding the Barracks.





Locke meets with the government worker

Locke is being interviewed by a government worker, who will determine whether he will continue receiving government disability payments. She asks why he has stopped submitting his therapy bills. He says he has stopped his therapy because it was a "waste of time," so she suspends the payments, saying the suspension is temporary. He asks if he is "temporarily disabled" and it is revealed that he was suffering from depression.

Later, at his apartment, Locke eats a TV dinner while watching an episode of Exposé when he is surprised by a knock at his door. A young man who introduces himself as Peter Talbot asks Locke if he knows "Adam Seward," who claims to be a retired computer entrepreneur from Ontario and who asked Peter's mother to marry him. It is revealed that Seward is Anthony Cooper. Peter tracked Locke down through Seward's medical records to find out if he is a good man. Locke claims it was an anonymous kidney donation and that he cannot help Peter.

Locke confronts Cooper at the flower shop

Locke confronts his father at a flower shop, demanding that he call off the wedding. He tells Cooper that Peter is on to the con and threatens to tell Mrs. Talbot the truth. Cooper agrees to call off the wedding.

Arriving home later, Locke is met by Detective Mason and Detective Reed, who ask if he knows Peter Talbot. They tell Locke they know he came to Locke's apartment. When Locke says Peter was just trying to sell him something, the detectives tell him the Talbots are worth $200 million, and that Peter Talbot is now dead.

Locke falls 8 stories

Locke confronts Cooper, demanding to know if he killed Peter Talbot. Cooper claims Mrs. Talbot called off the wedding due to the boy's death, leaving him with no angle to make any profit. While reciting this to Locke, Cooper pours two glasses of MacCutcheon Scotch whisky, sipping from one, offering one to Locke and then replacing it back on the counter when Locke doesn't take it. Responding to Locke's accusation Cooper says he's a con man, not a murderer. He invites Locke to verify that the wedding is called off by calling Mrs. Talbot and asking her. As Locke reaches for the phone, Cooper lunges and pushes him through the window. He plummets eight stories and lands on his back.

Locke is visited by the detectives in the hospital

The detectives visit Locke in the hospital to tell him that Cooper fled to Mexico and disappeared. They are interrupted by Locke's therapist who demands he get up out of the bed. The therapist brings in a wheelchair and places Locke in it. Locke claims he can't do it, but the therapist responds, "John, you fell eight stories out of a window and survived. I don't want to hear about what you can't do." Locke stares at his immobile toes and cries.

At the Barracks


The A-Team watches Jack

Locke, Sayid, Kate and Rousseau are watching Jack and Tom throw a football when Juliet appears, and eventually brings Ben, who shakes hands with Jack. Rousseau disappears.

The trio of Kate, Sayid and Locke are confused by Jack's behavior, so Locke suggests waiting until dark before talking to Jack and attempting a rescue.


That night the rescue party splits up to guard Jack's bungalow, while Kate enters to talk to Jack. She finds Jack playing the piano, and when he notices her, he is shocked and immediately tells her to leave because he is being watched by cameras. Guards burst in, and Kate is immediately captured, as is Sayid. When she is interrogated by the guards, she lies and does not mention either Locke or Rousseau's presence in the Barracks.

Jack tells Kate that he is leaving

Kate's hands and bare feet are tied tightly together and she is gagged while being held in a recreation room with a pool table, foosball table and two pinball machines. She is working to free herself when Tom comes in. He is with Jack and warns him to "be careful in here," pointing to his ear and the ceiling, indicating the room is bugged. Jack tells Kate that this is where they live, and that the kidnapped people and children are safe. When Kate asks if he is with them now, Jack claims to not be with anyone. She confronts him about why he is acting this way, and he admits that they agreed to let him go home and promises to come back for her after he escapes. Juliet comes to get him - they are leaving the Island the next morning.


Alex takes Locke to the submarine

Alex goes to get the pack from Ryan, who is guarding Sayid at the swing set. Sayid tells her she looks like her mother. "My mother is dead," she says, and he replies, "I'm sure that's what they told you," before being hit by Ryan and told to keep his mouth shut.

Jack and Juliet

Ben is interrupted by Jack and Juliet at his house. Jack asks for "one last favor," that his friends be released after he is gone. Ben agrees to let them go, shaking Jack's hand and giving his word to "let them go just as soon as you've left the Island." Juliet thanks him for keeping his promise.


Meanwhile, Locke surprises Ben in his room with his gun drawn. Locke asks Ben where the submarine is, and Ben claims ignorance until Locke mentions that he killed Mikhail Bakunin. Next, Alex enters and is taken hostage by Locke. As Tom knocks on the door, Locke takes Alex into a closet while Tom and Richard Alpert enter to inform Ben that Kate and Sayid have been found in the Barracks and captured. Tom goes to wait outside, and Ben asks Alpert to bring him "The Man from Tallahassee," then both Tom and Alpert leave. Locke sends Alex to retrieve Sayid's backpack as he holds Ben hostage.

Locke brings a wheelchair to Ben

Ben asks for help getting into his wheelchair and Locke is reluctant at first. Ben asks how Locke will pilot the submarine and asks what is in the pack. He deduces that Locke has explosives from the communications station and that he plans to destroy the sub. "I know you, John Locke," says Ben. He outlines Locke's life, saying he knows he spent four years in a wheelchair, and that he knows how Locke ended up in it. He asks if it hurt, and a bitter Locke replies, "I felt my back break. What do you think?"

Locke asks where the electricity comes from and Ben makes a joke about hamsters. Ben tries to convince Locke to leave the submarine alone, that destroying it would give him "a big problem with [his] people." He says he was born on the Island but many of the Others weren't, that the submarine helps them to remain committed to being on the Island. Ben promises to show Locke "things he wants to see very badly." He tells Locke to imagine that the Island contains a "very large box" that can manifest anything one wishes for. Locke suggests Ben should wish for a new submarine. He says Ben is a hypocrite for using electricity and guns. Ben asks how Locke thinks he knows the Island better than he does, and Locke replies, "Because you're in the wheelchair and I'm not."

Locke also calls Ben a "Pharisee." In using this term, Locke is claiming that Ben is not practicing an authentic spirituality. He is claiming that Ben and the Others have become self-righteous, arrogant and powerful. They live a life of comforts off the remains of the Dharma Initiative while not doing what Locke thinks is their religious duty to the Island.

Ben and John discuss their circumstances

Ben is very interested in Locke's recovery, asking if it was "immediate." Locke asks why it hasn't happened for Ben, and why he got sick in the first place. Ben asks if Locke wants to destroy the submarine because he is afraid that if he leaves the Island "it will go away," and he will be back in the chair.

Alex returns with the bag and Locke demands that she take him to the sub. Ben pleads one more time, telling Locke about his deal with Jack. He tells Locke that the Submarine will leave in the morning with Jack and that it will never come back after it leaves because the magnetic anomaly disabled their sonar beacon. Outside, Alex tells Locke that Ben was manipulating him. She shows him to the dock and we see Rousseau watching her from the trees. Locke enters the empty sub and looks around, turning on the lights.

The sub explodes

Locke leaves the sub (he is soaking wet) and is confronted by Ryan and the Others with Jack and Juliet. Locke apologizes to Jack just as the sub explodes.

Later, Locke is cuffed in an industrial room when Ben and Richard Alpert enter. Locke claims Ben wanted him to destroy the sub, and Ben confirms that Locke "made his dream come true" by creating a situation where Jack cannot leave the Island but Ben can be said to have kept his word to Jack. Ben tells Alpert to uncuff John.
The man from Tallahassee is revealed.

Locke asks sarcastically about the magic box and Ben says he will show him what came out of it. Ben tells Locke that when he asked him earlier if it hurt, he was asking what it felt like when Locke's "own father tried to kill him," not what Locke felt physically. He says Locke is afraid of Cooper, and that the Island is the one place Cooper can never find him. Locke has "some communion" with the Island and that makes him very important. He unlocks a door, revealing The Man from Tallahassee: Anthony Cooper, bound and beaten with a gag in his mouth. Anthony Cooper's reaction to seeing Locke is a mixture of shock and fear. John Locke's reaction is shock and one word: "Dad?"



  • During his flashback, Locke is watching an episode of Exposé.
  • Locke's form at the government office in the flashback lists his address as 168 San Juan St., Tustin, California. The floral shop is called "Tustin Ranch Florist".
  • Locke falls in a palm garden that is actually an octagon.
  • When Locke confronts his father about Peter Talbot's death, a picture with the word Apollo can be seen behind Anthony Cooper (Possibly the Apollo Theater in New York).
  • The piano Jack plays appears to be the same Kawai once owned by Charlie.("Fire + Water")
  • Anthony pours two glasses and drinks MacCutcheon whisky right before pushing Locke out of the window.
  • This episode features two unusual musical choices. Firstly, the piece Jack plays on the piano is actually an arrangement of the theme that composer Michael Giacchino wrote for the character; normally, the themes are only heard as part of the orchestral underscore. Secondly, the scene inside the submarine features a theme that Giacchino originally wrote for the video game Medal of Honor. This can be heard on the game's soundtrack as "The U-Boat." (The same theme was used much later for the same submarine in "Follow the Leader" and "The Incident, Parts 1 & 2".)
  • This episode marks the first time Locke meets Richard Alpert. However, it is not the first time Richard has met Locke. ("Cabin Fever")  ("Jughead")
  • During their conversation about the sub, Ben asks Locke how he plans to pilot it. Locke says, "For all you know, I used to be a commander in the Navy." This is a reference to Terry O'Quinn's earlier role in JAG.

Production notes

  • Charlie, Claire, Desmond, Hurley, Jin, Nikki, Paulo, Sawyer, and Sun do not appear in this episode.
  • At one point this episode was titled "Last Man Standing".
  • When debating the issue of how many stories Locke could realistically fall, the people involved in the production looked at the following story of a man surviving a fall from a greater height. Minneapolis Star Tribune (Official Lost Podcast/March 26, 2007)
  • In several Others' houses, and even in different rooms of the same house, several paintings depicting the Island can be seen decorating the walls.
  • The music that Jack plays on the piano was composed by musical score composer Michael Giacchino and played
    Locke opens Ben's fridge to get the chicken.
    by Matthew Fox. (Official Lost Podcast/March 26, 2007). The music was not played on the Kawai piano pictured in the episode, but rather recorded from a Nord Electro 2 keyboard.
  • This episode marks the first appearance of Ryan Pryce.
  • A Lost: On Location for this episode is available on the Season 3 DVD.

Bloopers and continuity errors

Ben opens his fridge to put the chicken back.
  • When Ben goes to put the chicken back into his fridge, the contents inside have changed.
  • When Kate opens the side door to Jack's house, the entire door can be seen as all white. In the next shot, Kate shuts the door and a blue jacket can clearly be seen hanging from a hook.
  • At the beginning of the Season 3 premiere episode, "A Tale of Two Cities", the overhead view of the barracks shows them located in a deep valley surrounded by mountains, far from water. And in the episode "Enter 77", Sayid's map of the Island shows that the Barracks are entirely surrounded by the sonar fence. However, in this episode, Locke and Alex are able to walk quickly from the Barracks to the pier where the submarine is docked, and return to the Barracks, without passing through the sonar fence.

Recurring themes

Recurring themes in Lost
Black and whiteCar accidentsCharacter connectionsDeceptions and consDreamsEyesFate versus free willGood and bad peopleImprisonmentIsolationLife and deathMissing body partsNicknamesThe NumbersParent issuesPregnanciesRainRebirthRedemptionRelationshipsRevengeSacrificeSecretsTime

Storyline analysis

Storyline analysis in Lost
  • Locke is faced with his nemesis, or a man who looks like him, in a position of superiority. (Rivalries)
  • Rescuing Jack is an A-Mission. (A-Missions)

Cultural references

Cultural references in Lost
(direct references only)
ArtBooksCarsGamesMovies and TVMusicPhilosophyReligion and ideologiesScience

Literary techniques

Literary techniques in Lost
ComparativeIronyJuxtapositionForeshadowing PlottingCliffhangerPlot twist Stock Characters:  ArchetypeRedshirtUnseen character
Story:  FlashbacksFlash-forwardsFlash-sidewaysRegularly spoken phrasesSymbolismUnreliable narrator 
  • In flashback, Locke is placed into a wheelchair for the first time. In the next scene, Locke is standing, and Ben is in a wheelchair. Ben responds to one of Locke's questions with "Because I'm in a wheelchair and you're not." (Juxtaposition)
  • Locke is watching a TV series. It mentions a Bolivian gold deposit being stolen at 2AM "the night before" and a character called "The Cobra". At the time of the first viewing it wasn't known that this was Nikki's television show, Exposé. (Foreshadowing)
  • Locke declines to help Peter find out the truth about Anthony Cooper. On the island, Locke works with Kate and Sayid to help rescue Jack from The Others (Juxtaposition)
  • Locke's father is revealed to be on the Island. (Plot twist)
  • After disabling all known communications, and destroying the sub, which Ben implied was his people's only means off the Island, Locke should have been free from his father forever. Then Locke's father shows up on the Island. (Irony)
  • Locke falls to the ground, from the building, and ends up paralyzed. Later Locke falls to the ground, from the airplane, and is healed. (Irony)
  • When Locke gets the chicken from the refrigerator, the camera view is from the outside looking in. When Ben later puts the chicken back, the camera view is from the inside looking out. This shows each characters' perspective on the island and its mysteries. (Symbolism)

Episode references

  • Locke saying "Dad?" and looking shocked right before the end credits parallels two other episodes.
    • In "White Rabbit" Jack looks shocked and says "Dad?" after apparently seeing Christian on the Island.
    • At the end of "What Kate Did", Michael is communicating with someone on the Swan computer and types his name, to which the response is "Dad?".
  • The first time Ben appears in a wheelchair is the same episode in which Locke first uses a wheelchair and his 5th wheelchair appearance since the start of the show. The others are "Walkabout", "Exodus, Part 1", "Exodus, Part 2", and "S.O.S.".
  • Locke’s famous saying "don't tell me what I can and can't do" is said by another character in this episode: John's physiotherapist tells John, "You just fell eight stories and survived, I don't want to hear about what you can't do."
    • In "The Brig", Ben says it back to him when the Others abandon Locke at the Ruins with the man from Tallahassee.
  • There are a large number of uses of the color red in this episode, much like in Desmond's episode ("Flashes Before Your Eyes"), including the whiskey bottle of MacCutcheon whiskey, shirts, Locke's VW Beetle, prominent flowers, prominent lights, cushions and other things.
  • The shot with Locke looking down into the submarine is strikingly reminiscent of the end of shot of Season 1 with Locke and Jack looking into the hatch. ("Exodus, Part 2")
  • Jack is, surprisingly, playing the piano when Kate breaks in. The only other time we've seen him do this were in the flashbacks for "Do No Harm" when he was struggling with his vows for Sarah before their wedding.
  • In "...In Translation" the group is arguing about whether Jin burnt the raft or not. Locke appears and says, "Why would anyone of us block an attempt to get off the island?" In this episode he does just that.

This article uses material from the "The Man from Tallahassee" article on the Lostpedia wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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