From the Season 1 finale, “Exodus” scene, the rift between Locke and Jack first starts to develop, as the two work side-by-side in the anxiety-provoking task of retrieving dynamite:
Locke: I’m removing the driest pieces to minimize our risk transporting it. [he reaches for another stick] You ever play Operation?
Jack: Sure. Don’t touch the sides.
Locke: I always got nailed on the funny bone. [he picks up a stick] Bzzzt!
Jack: [flinching]: You like to play games, John?
Locke IS a man who is mysterious and marches to the beat of his own drum, but there are some times when I don’t think anyone knows where he’s coming from. Seems like almost every episode he is getting into some sort of trouble because he doesn’t share things that he should be sharing, or someone else has to say “What did you do, Locke?!”
And oh yes, he does like to play games. From backgammon (“Pilot”), to Risk (“Walkabout”) to Mouse Trap (“Deus Ex Machina”) to crosswords (“Collision”), this guy has been up to all sorts of things… as Gollum from LOTR might say, he’s very “trixy”.
It was only a matter of time before they spotlighted chess on the show, one of the most thought-provoking and deception-requiring games. It was a nice touch to have the winning reward be the key to unlocking the Flame video with Dr. Candle. If only Locke had just said something about “Enter 77” to his friends… the information sharing would likely have prevented the explosion, because Sayid and Kate had already seen the C4 in the basement. But I guess we could expect no less of Locke, who goes on his own vision quests, doesn’t share information about The Monster, the blast door map, or just about anything he finds. Just what is this man up to?