This episode takes place mere seconds after 'The Whole Truth' ended, and shows how the tension between Locke and Jack continues to build. But this episode is completely (as the title says) focused on Locke, and sets a whole new set of mysteries about the hatch, reveals the single biggest prop used in the series, and ends with one of the greatest twists since 'Walkabout'.
Even those he's only been in the armory for two days, it's pretty clear that Henry is starting to convince Locke that he is who he says he is. Minutes later, however, the situation between them takes on dire straits. Remember those blast door that Michael pointed out? A countdown is heard over the speakers (it's hard to tell whether it's live or a recording) and down they come, sealing Locke in. Realizing they're trap, Locke has no choice but to turn to Henry for help in getting out of their trap.. However, Henry convinces Locke that he will be on his side when Jack' comes back.
They try to pry the door open, but in the process a metal rod goes through one of Locke's legs. There's a look of sheer horror on his face when he realize what might have happened, but he can't even stop to focus on it, because there's something else he has to deal with--- the button. Once again, he is forced to put his trust in Henry. as he tells him to crawl through a grate in the pantry and get to the computer.. The suspense in these sequences is thrilling even if you know how it's going to end, but more important is the interaction between Locke and Henry. The scenes between Locke and 'Henry' are among the richest and most thrilling parts of the entire series. In almost all of them, Henry is trying to convince Locke, even though horrible things have happened to him because of what he did, his actions were the right ones. No matter where they are, no matter the circumstances, Locke will always try to prove his superiority in regard to the island, and almost always Henry has outmaneuvered him. Why does this happen? Because, as we see in the flashback, Locke can not avoid being conned. He is finally approaching happiness with Helen (who we met in 'Orientation'), when he learns that Anthony Cooper has died. He thinks he's finally gotten past, when a few days later Cooper pops up, saying that he fakes his death to get $700,000 from a couple of guys. Once again, he manages to convinces Locke to help him, in exchange for a cut of the money. Yet again Locke has been fooled, and this time when Helen learns, she will not forgive him. She turns away from his proposal, and leaves his life for good. (In the it's a small world after all category, we also see Locke doing a house inspection for a woman in California. I missed it the first time, but the woman is Nadia, Sayid's beloved, who the CIA said was living in California.)
The timer finally runs out, and we wonder what's going to happen next, when something out of left field comes: a black light goes on, and we see that written on the blast door is a map of the island. The map is so complex that three years later we are still trying to divulge information from it. To try and sum up what we learn in a few words would be impossible, but suffice to say the writers have really been trying to test the will of the fans with this particular prop.
I will therefore pose another question: why did the lockdown happen so close to the timer going off? Weren't the Dharma officials afraid that something like this could keep people from entering the code? More importantly, why did it happen now? Does it have something to do with another event? Was it arranged by the Others? Did the Dharma Initiative program it, and that's still going on twenty to twenty five years later?
Another possibility occurs near the end. Kate and Jack are walking back to the beach, when they see a flashpoint flicker. A few feet onward they come to a parachute, and there's food in it (as well as other supplies? Was the lockdown connected to this parachute drop/ And more importantly, how a plane find the island? This kind of gets lost in the shuffle, and we don't answer it, either.
Above ground, there are some more light-hearted events taking place. Sawyer is fleecing some of the locals at poker (a game all about bluffing, which is right up his alley), and Jack comes up, and is lured in. Again the game begins, and once again the con man gets play. This time Jack manages to win the medicine back. The macho posturing proves that at least ere, Jack will always out maneuver Sawyer. However, this doesn't exactly do much to make him a good leader, just someone who won't let anything go.
Meanwhile, Sayid, Charlie and Ana finish their search of the wreckage, and find Henry Gale's balloon. (We also see that the balloon came from somewhere Widmore Labs, which if you were paying attention--- I wasn't--- also showed up on Sun's pregnancy test and in Charlie's flashback. We'll learn some of its connection soon enough.) Yet despite all the evidence, Sayid didn't believe his eyes, so he goes searching further. And when he digs up a grave, he doesn't find a woman, but a man: Henry Gale. Now every action that 'Henry' has taken must be seen in a new light, and we find ourselves wondering again: who is this man?
'Lockdown' features everything that you expect from Lost--- superb writing, fine acting, several great props, and a whale of a kicker. John Locke thinks that he has the answers, but yet again he has been proven wrong. The consequences of this episode will be far reaching, even as yet another lockdown begins.