When it pertains to “Lost,” you either hate it, love it, or don’t acquire why human being feel so strongly around it.

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I’m in the second camp, which is to say I feel strongly about the groundbreaking and also controversial TV display. The writer in me is obsessed via everything from the character arcs to the wacky human being building; the romantic in me will certainly ship Suliet until she dies. Still, I acknowledge the show’s faults, particularly when it comes to the character of John Locke.


We meet Locke — a middle-aged, bald-headed white male — in the premiere. He’s aloof, and mostly uninfluenced by the trauma of enduring a airplane crash. He’s levelheaded, knowledgeable, and miraculously adept at hunting wild boar. But we inevitably learn that, like everyone on Oceanic Flight 815, Locke has a secret.

Until freshly, Locke was paralyzed from the waist down.


Locke was, for absence of a better term, my development to disabled characters. I remember watching “Lost” for the first time and also feeling a tug of acknowledgment — I wasn’t a middle-aged, bald-headed white male, yet I did understand what it was favor to be “confined” to a wheelchair.

Throughout the course of the present, we learn the reality of Locke’s disability: In short, he was tricked by his organic father right into offering him a kidney. It took Locke years to concerned terms with the betrayal. Finally, having grieved his naiveté, Locke confronted his father — only to be thrown off an eight-story building.


Therefore, paralysis.

I don’t mean to belittle bit Locke’s trauma, or anyone living through late-onset paralysis. I’m lucky in that, for the a lot of component, disability is all I’ve ever before well-known — I don’t have actually an able-bopassed away past to compare it to. The grief of shedding an integral facet of your physical self is valid, and also I appreciate the show’s dedication to exploring Locke’s emotions.

What I don’t appreciate is the succeeding devaluation of life in a wheelchair.


Locke’s character arc hinges on his miraculous recoincredibly. When Oceanic Flight 815 crashes on the island, Locke regains use of his reduced body. He then spends the next four periods terrified of returning to his pre-crash state. Aobtain and again, his wheelchair is provided to provoke a fear response in Locke: He will carry out anything to stop discapacity.

Locke’s story can ring true for many disabled folks. I don’t want to weaken that link or invaliday the trauma of late-oncollection paralysis. But I likewise wonder if Locke reacts to disability the way he does bereason the character was composed by an able-bodied man.

If I were miraculously healed, I would certainly be terrified of “relapsing.” Faced via freedoms I’ve been deprived of my whole life, I would fight choose hell to keep my brand-new means of being. So, I acquire it. But I can’t help but wish for an extra nuanced representation of discapacity, one that shows my very own endure.

On one hand also, Locke was thrown off an eight-story structure by his father, who likewise happened to steal his kidney. That sucks. But on the other, Locke was thrvery own off an eight-story building and endured. He was paralyzed from the waist dvery own, yes, but his life didn’t finish when he hit the pavement. He was “confined” to a wheelchair, however listen to disabled folks lengthy enough and also you’ll realize that many kind of of us see our wheelchairs as a gift. A path to freedom. A method to communicate through a civilization that would view us paralyzed from the waist up.

We learn halfway through seaboy one that Locke is skilled in searching boar bereason he’d been preparing for a walkaround in the Australian outearlier. The only factor he was on Oceanic Flight 815 was because the travel company refoffered to let him take part. When they market Locke a return pilgrimage to Sydney, cost-free of charge, he pleads his case: “Just put me on the bus ideal now! I have the right to perform this!”

“No,” says the guide. “You can’t.”

Locke erupts via rage. “You don’t recognize who you’re handling,” he shouts at the guide’s retreating back. “Don’t ever tell me what I can’t do! Ever!”

It’s a brilliant scene. Somepoint that disabled folks have actually competent time and also again. But as I watch “Lost” for the 3rd time, I wonder just how different things would’ve been if the display had taken Locke seriously. Exclusion on the basis of physical or mental capability is realistic. But what if the authors had treated Locke’s discapacity with nuance? A factor to grieve, absolutely, however likewise an possibility to prosper, to adjust, to emerge resilient.

See more: What Does You Got A Hold On Me Meaning, A Hold On Me

What if Locke wasn’t healed as soon as he cramelted on the island? What if, instead of spending four seasons in are afraid, Locke met eextremely obstacle — boars and smoke monsters and a computer system that prevented the finish of the people every 108 minutes — via gusto, not because he was “one-of-a-kind,” but bereason he knew from endure that he might survive anything?

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Brianna Albers Brianna (she/her) is a crip cyborg storyteller living in Minneapolis-St. Paul. She was diagnosed through SMA Type II at 9 months of age and also lives with co-arising physical and mental health problems. By day, she functions as an advocate, bridging disability and mental health and wellness awareness to empower world to live their finest lives; by night, she dabbles in creative thinking, and also is currently seeking representation for WANING CRESCENT, an adult area fantasy via #OwnVoices disability depiction. Find her virtual at www.briannahopealbers.com and also on social media