Still processing this episode.
Locke and Sawyer's lives were both ruined by the same man. Do either of them have the guts (or whatever you want to call it) to kill him? Both of them have hesitated when it came time to pull the trigger before, but both have caused a great deal of damage themselves. Locke willfully led Boone to his death, thinking that a "sacrifice" for the island was justified. He showed no remorse at all in killing Mikhail, and he surely knew that shoving him into that fence would kill him. Sawyer killed Duckett out of revenge, even though the man he thought he was only responsible for his parents' ruination, not their deaths.
I never figured Sawyer would get a chance to confront the real Mr. Sawyer and now that he seems he might get that chance, will he? I don't think so. It took a bottle of whiskey and the encouragement of a stranger to go confront the man he thought was the real Mr. Sawyer the first time. And now that he's killed the wrong man, I don't see him rushing to kill anyone else in cold blood. I was earlier musing that the island has had an effect on Sawyer, forced him to socialize, given him the opportunity to make friends and be part of something and to be heroic. Not that he hasn't also fought and conned and betrayed and stolen and been a complete pain in the ass. I just wonder if Sawyer is still capable of murder.
The island has emboldened Locke and made him reckless. He didn't have murder in him before the island. He didn't kill that undercover cop. And he couldn't even comprehend that his own father would try to kill him, even after what he'd done to him, and even after Locke suspected him of murdering his would-be son-in-law once he got suspicious. (I have to say, in TMFT, they cut from pre-island Locke hearing about Peter's death to on-island Locke looking out the window for signs of trouble. For a second, I thought it was still on the island and Locke was worried that his father would come after him now.) But on the island? Yeah, Locke is racking up a lot of collateral damage.
After this episode I think we've seen just how vulnerable and easily manipulated Locke is, both by Ben and his own father. In their drives for revenge, both Locke and Sawyer are thinking and acting out of blind obsession. And since they were both abandoned as children and spent time in foster care, they are still blindly thinking and acting on selfish whims like children and still seeking approval. For Locke to not see what his father was truly capable of, even when he'd been victimized by him as an adult, suggests that Locke is still seeking his father's love and acceptance and he couldn't bring himself to believe he was truly evil.
And I think this episode throws some light on Locke's wanton destructiveness, even if it is a rather recent development. Locke's maniacal devotion to the island, to the button, to solving its mysteries, is like pursuing his father all over again, and he won't let anyone stand in his way. He's been exerting all this selfish, destructive energy in feeding the island and his own newfound recovery and he hasn't cared who's gotten hurt all along the way, but is he really capable of coldblooded, premeditated murder? I don't know. I don't think John Locke knows who he is. Is he at all like his father, who is so devastatingly ruthless? I think he'd very much like to be. Despite everything, I think he admires his father.
I do think that if Sawyer is able to confront Cooper and see what kind of man Cooper is, and all he's done, he'll realize that no matter how much he's copied himself on the man who he's been hunting, he never did become him. He's just not capable of such incredible cruelty. I like to think he would feel, finally, that he is, if not a good man, than not a completely bad one. I do not think that they can let Sawyer kill Cooper and I also don't think that, at this stage, he would. Not that that couldn't be some very compelling TV. I'm kind of dying to fic it but I already wrote spec fic of Sawyer meeting the real Mr. Sawyer that, of course, the show did so very much better.
Anyway, for the first time in a long time, I'm very curious to see what happens next, not just with Locke and Sawyer, but with Jack now that his deal has fallen through and he has to deal with the repercussions of having made it, since, no matter how noble his intentions, there is still an element of betrayal in it.