All of Locke's episodes are of a high quality. There hasn't been a bad one yet. However, I like some more than others. I'm not insinuating that Lockdown is a weak episode because it is far from that. In fact it is still one of the best of this season, which has been rather up and down to say the least. But there is something missing! Lockdown is indeed exciting and revealing but when I watched it (certainly on first viewing) it just didn't seem as exciting and as fast-paced as I expected or would have hoped. The problem comes not from the action in the hatch but the action outside, which although broadens some character threads, does little to progress this episode's story or momentum. The poker game, while entertaining, is the one time when I can say something has been fitted into the episode just to fill up the running time and to try to break up the tension between the hatch happenings. It would have been better if there was other tension back on the beach. Sawyer is too playful in this episode, which goes against the grain of events in The Long Con, which saw a return to the dark roots of his character. Comic relief works in Lost but in this episode you could do without it. It would have worked better in an episode, which was of a generally slower pace and more character focused. Lockdown is mainly centered around the mysteries of the island, and in particular, the Swan Station. A new mystery is added into the mix, consequently piling on more questions - the Blast Door Map!!!!
This was surely the biggest discovery of Season 2, next to the discovery of the Swan Station in the first episode.
Certainly, post airing it was the most talked about, theorised about and obsessed about mystery of the show for a good long while. And we only see a few seconds of it on sceeen. It is the viewer's need to pause, zoom and rewind countless times using our modern technology that offered the more concrete revelations about what the Map revealed.
All the scenes in The Swan are totally engrossing so it is fortunate that they occupy the majority of the screen time.
Locke's flashbacks in this season have been not as powerful as they were in Season 1. I still can't quite to grips with the fact that Locke was in love and was in a comfortably relationship with a woman. In Season 1 we were introduced to Locke as a small man with big dreams, a loner and a loser in life. That was how he was portayed and that was how I accepted him to be. The last Locke episodes had cast that notion aside. So Locke wasn't so much of a loner all his life, as I had imagined him to be. He WAS in a relationship, he WAS in love, he WAS reasonably happy and most importantly he didn't seem as LOST, as we saw him earlier in the season. I had ignored the dark cloud that hovered over him in Orientation, his father, and that obstacle continues to be a key aspect to turning Locke's flashback story full circle somewhat. By the end of the episode Locke loses his girl, is broken by his father and consequently returns to the pathetic, lonesome loser that he was (before landing on Lost island). It was nice to bring back Locke back to being Locke (as sad as it is to see him so broken-hearted).
Terry O'Quinn's performance is stellar and Michael Emmerson's portrayal of Henry Gale nearly matches up to it.
There are a number of other mysteries addressed in this episode. One is that Kate and Jack discover a supply drop, which may be connected to the Swan Station Lockdown. The fact that food is being dropped onto the island neatly explains how there is food in the Hatch. But the question remains who is dropping it and for whom? Is it for the people assigned into the Hatch or is it for The Others also?
And we also discover that Henry Gale is NOT Henry Gale but is assuming his role (the real Henry Gale is dead!). Have we now got proof that he is an Other????
Another terrific Locke-centric episode despite some minor momentum issues, which makes this the weakest of his episodes thus far.