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The episode begins with a man in a room looking for something - Cesar, the guy nobody knew on Ajira Airways flight 316.
After finding some maps, a woman enters - Ilana, the marshal who was also on the plane, escorting Sayid for some reason.
She claims that she found a man who appeared in the water, and who was not among the passengers on the Ajira plane.
The two trek outside (of what is now clearly a Dharma station), debating whether or not the man was on the plane.
They wind up on the beach and confront the man who they claim wasn’t on the plane, and he reveals himself to be John Locke.
The next morning Locke is looking out at the ocean and Ilana asks why they don’t recognize him from the plane.
He notices the two boats the survivors on the Island found in one of their time flashes. Ilana tells him they were here when they arrived, and that there was a third, but it was taken by the pilot and a woman.
Locke says he doesn't know how he got there, but he remembers dying.
Flashback to Tunisia at an undetermined point in time.
Locke wakes up after turning the wheel. After a long time in pain, two men drive up and bring him to a hospital. While the doctor treats him, Matthew Abaddon stands mysteriously in the background.
The doctors fix the bone sticking out of his leg, and he wakes up to find Charles Widmore sitting beside him.
They discuss about how four days ago (in Locke time), John remembers meeting a 17-year-old Widmore for the first time.
Widmore was leader of the Others for three decades until he was exiled by Ben. He found Locke because that spot in Tunisia was "the exit."
Another fascinating revelation: while only a week has passed for Locke since the Oceanic 6 left, it’s been nearly three years for the real world.
Widmore offers his assistance in bringing everyone back to the Island. He’s not doing it for himself, but because, as he claims, a war is coming on the Island, and if Locke isn’t there, the wrong side is going to win.
The next morning Widmore gives Locke a new identity - Jeremy Bentham - and a list of the whereabouts of the Oceanic 6. Locke wonders why he should trust Widmore over Ben, and viewers are left pondering the same thing.
Matthew Abaddon shows up again - he is Widmore's assistant, ready to take Locke where he needs to go, even providing a wheelchair.
Matthew asks if he can be of any help, and Locke asks him to find a woman for him: Helen.
Their first stop in his efforts to bring back the Oceanic 6 is Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) where he finds Sayid working with Habitat for Humanity.
Sayid doesn’t want to go back at all - he says he was manipulated by Ben for two years into believing he was helping the survivors on the island - and Locke is unable to convince him.
The second stop is New York City just outside a school: Walt’s school. Walt has been having dreams of Locke in a suit on the Island ... surrounded by people who want to hurt him.
Walt asks about his dad, and Locke can’t bring himself to tell the truth. He says he last heard Michael was on a boat near the island. He lets the boy go and doesn't pursue him any further because he’s been through enough. When Locke and Abaddon get back in the car, Ben is lurking in the background.
The third stop is Hurley at the mental institution. Hurley thinks this is just another hallucination from the Island, but Locke proves he’s real.
Hurley sees Abaddon, though, and that totally freaks him out after their past encounter, so he runs back to the safety of the asylum.
After going 0-for-3, Abaddon questions Locke’s strategy - and Locke wonders what Abaddon’s job is exactly. He claims that he gets people to where they need to go, like how he convinced Locke to go on a walkabout when he was an orderly. That is what he does for Mr. Widmore.
The fourth stop is Los Angeles, where Kate refuses to go back because Locke never loved anyone. When he leaves, Locke again demands Abaddon find Helen.
He does, and they go to a cemetery. Helen died of a brain aneurysm.
As they leave the cemetery, Abaddon is putting Locke in the car when he is shot repeatedly. He’s dead. Locke crawls up from the back seat to take the wheel and speeds away, getting into a huge car accident.
Locke wakes up in the hospital with Jack next to him. Locke just happened to come to Jack’s hospital in L.A., which he sees as a divine sign that they are supposed to go back to the island.
Jack refuses to believe it, of course, and even goes so far as to say there is not anything special or important about John Locke.
However, Locke strikes a chord when he tells Jack his father says hello.
Jack is stumped by this, and memories of his dad make him agitated. Locke is convinced that Jack is the one who can convince everyone to go back.
That night in his hotel, Locke writes a suicide note of sorts (the note later read by Jack) and ties an extension cord up as a makeshift noose.
He gets ready to kill himself, but is interrupted by a knock. It’s Benjamin Linus.
He tries his hardest to talk Locke off the ledge, admitting that he killed Abaddon because Widmore is a dangerous man who only wants Locke out of the way so he can go back to the Island and retake his leadership role.
Ben tells Locke how important he is and how he still has work to do. Locke steps down off the table where he was about to end his life.
Locke tells Ben about his plan to get the others to come back, and how he had no takers. Ben tells him Jack booked a flight to Sydney, so whatever Locke told him clearly planted a seed at the very least.
Locke then reveals that after the Oceanic Six are reunited, they must find Eloise Hawking to get back. At the mention of her name, Ben gets a crazed look in his eyes, takes the extension cord and strangles Locke to death.
Ben then stages the room to make it look like a suicide and flees.
Back on the Island, Locke finds Cesar in the Dharma station.
Locke talks about the DHARMA Initiative and how he was on the Island for 100 days. Attempts to explain would be pointless, he says.
Casar says that during the flight, there was a bright light and some of the people, like the big guy next to him (Hurley), disappeared. That big dude was also totally calm, like he knew what was coming.
Locke is shocked by the mention of Hurley, but it apparently dawns on him at that moment what happened. He asks for a passenger list, but the pilot took it with him, Cesar regrets to inform him.
As for the rest of the people, some of them were injured.
Cesar takes John to sees the injured survivors (presumably of a crash), and Ben is among them. Locke says to Cesar that this is the man who killed him.