Locke has made his way to the bottom of the hatch-hole, and he splashes in the water at the bottom of the shaft. "Kate!" he whisper-shouts as he makes his way down the corridor, by the paint-with-numbers mosaic thingy. He gingerly makes his way forward, and when his boot makes a surprisingly loud squishy noise, he takes them both off and lines them up neatly against the wall, so those were his boots Jack saw last week. Or in a few moments. Whatever. You know what I mean.
Let me repeat that. He gingerly makes his way forward, and when his boot makes a surprisingly loud squishy noise, he takes them both off and lines them up neatly against the wall. Did Terry O'Quinn know what a firestorm of controversy he would touch off? Did he have any idea, as he removed his shoes, that countless people would be parsing such a simple act for a deeper motivation? O'Quinn's a fine actor, an opinion I don't think I've shared before (to my discredit), with an enviable range that deserves a far bigger screen than Lost, as good as it is and as popular as it is. He can play friendly and he can play menacing and several shades in between. He can move you (see "Walkabout") and anger you (see "Deus Ex Machina"). Would it break his heart to find out that had he rehearsed the Taking Off Of The Shoes once or twice more, people would have had no trouble distinguishing "sneaky" from "reverent"? I think it would break his heart. I think it would, a little bit.
He looks around the underground lair, examining an octagonal logo that looks a lot like this, which is called a ba gua, only in the centre is a silhouetted snake or a swan and the word "Dharma," and it's slapped on some breaker-box-looking thing. He makes his way into the living quarters, past a lava lamp (I don't know what it is, but I love lave lamps) and a ping-pong table that's got one end folded upright, for the solo ping-pong enthusiast. He checks out the blinds that appeared to have morning sunlight streaming through last week, and turns them so that we can see that it's merely a powerful light shining through.