The episode begins with a flashback of Emily Locke when she was young. She is hit by a car, while pregnant, at six months. John Locke is the youngest premature baby to survive in their hospital. Some have called him a miracle baby. They will give him up for adoption. Richard Alpert is looking through the window. Then when John is older, Richard goes to see him. John is playing Backgammon. Richard says he runs a school for special children. Locke had drawn a picture of a man being attacked by black smoke. Richard outs some things on the table and asks him which of the things belongs to him already. There is a comic book, sand, a knife, a compass, and a book of laws. He chooses the knife, and Richard leaves disappointed. Then in high school, Locke has been shut in a locker. A teacher tells him that a Dr. Alpert from Mittelos Laboratories wants him to go to their camp near Portland. Locke insists that he isn’t a scientist – he likes boxing and sports. The teacher tells him that he can’t be the prom king, or the quarterback, or a superhero. Locke says to the teacher, “Don’t tell me what I can’t do.” Finally, doing therapy after his spine is crushed, Matthew Abbadon comes and pushes his wheelchair, asking whether he believes in miracles. He tells him that he needs to go on a walkabout, which is a journey of self-discovery.
John Locke, Ben, and Hurley are wandering, none of them knowing where to find the cabin. They make camp. Locke thinks he has woken up, and sees Horace chopping timber for building the cabin. He says he has been dead for twelve years. Horace says that John needs to find him, and when he does, he will find Jacob, who has been waiting for him for a long time. He wishes him Godspeed. Then Locke wakes up and tells them. Ben says that he used to have dreams. They go to the mass grave. hurley asks what happened to them, and Locke points to Ben and says, “He did.” Locke finds the corpse of Horace, with the title mathematician, and in his pocket is a blueprint for the cabin.On the freighter, Keamy is talking about torching the island. He pulls out a secondary protocol from the safe, which says where Ben will go. Sayid and Desmond ask the captain for the zodiac raft in order to begin ferrying people off the island. Keamy is having devices attached to him. Later he slits the throat of the ship’s doctor to make a point.
Ben tells John that there are consequences to being “chosen” and that “destiny is a fickle bitch.” Locke goes into the cabin alone. There Christian speaks to him, saying he can speak on Jacob’s behalf. He asks John if he knows why he is there, and he says, “Because I was chosen to be,” and Christian replies that that is exactly right. Claire is also there. Locke asks Christian how to save the island. He tells him to move the island.
This episode is a wonderful one, offering the mystery of Richard Alpert’s seeming agelessness, as well as how an island can move, and why Christian is there. Recognizing that he is the smoke monster, and that he had manipulated things to make John seem chosen and of interest to Jacob and his people, makes poignant tragic sense of elements of this episode that were much more puzzling the first time around.