As usual, this is a full on discussion so please don't read it if you haven't watched the episode, The Substitute yet.
To be quite honest, my first reaction is, huh?
I'm not feeling all that well, so this will be brief. But--
Locke in alternate timeline:
Helen is alive! Yay! They are in love and getting married and apparently Locke doesn't have a damaged relationship with his father? Or is this just something he's been lying to her about, like he lied to her about going to the conference. He was still unable to the walkabout but since he went on the company's dime, he got fired. Never fear, Hurley owns everything and hooks him up at a temp agency where Rose works and she still has cancer :( I love the way their lives are all connecting anyway, even to the point where Ben is a teacher at the school where Locke ends up a substitute. The arc of the Locke character in this segment seems to be Locke coming to terms with staying in the wheelchair and believing there are no miracles.
Who's the kid and why can't they kill Jacob? (and why does this feel like when Alex got killed all over again) What's up with Flocke taking on Locke's personality traits? ("Don't tell me what I can't do?") How come no one ever found that cave before? Is fLocke telling the truth about the candidates? Are they really candidates for taking care of the island or something much different? Did anyone else ever get the feeling that fLocke was a bit like Lucifer? I seriously couldn't help but think this when he told Richard he would have told him everything and promised to answer the most essential questions for Sawyer.
Sawyer did make me laugh tonight thank God. I also feared he might plunge to his death so I'm glad that didn't happen. I am extremely curious as to why they must leave the island together and exactly what that means.
I'm not sure I really feel like I got any answers tonight, since I don't know if I can trust Mr. Smokey!