Christian lets his words sink in for a moment, then encourages Locke to keep going. He tells him that he has to get every single one of his friends who left together, persuade them to leave, and then the L.A. Woman, Eloise Hawking, will tell him exactly how to get back to the island. When Locke (and to give him credit, he's probably remembering his promise to Jin here, at least in part) wants to know what happens if he can only convince some of them to come back, Christian merely says that he believes in Locke, because for some Others, Cryptic is the new Latin.
Locke, still lying on the ground, and in obvious pain, has a hitch in his voice as he tells Christian, "Richard said I was going to die."
Sherpa Shepherd looks down and then right at Locke. "Well, I suppose that's -- that's why they call it sacrifice." Tears of pain -- and maybe fear -- stream down Locke's face as he summons his resolve. And he does. "All right. Okay." He works to control his breathing. "Okay, I'm ready."
Shepherd confirms this is good, then explains about the frozen donkey wheel. It seems it has slipped off its axis, and all Locke has to do is give it a little push. Locke asks for help getting up, but Christian says he's sorry, he can't help. Make that Spirit Sherpa Shepherd, I guess. (Or Smokey. Or Jacob. Or just an obstinate ass.) And with his shin still sticking out of his...shin, John Locke rises up to face the future. He steadies himself on a column, and peers around it to see the wheel. It buzzes and flashes. Ignoring his own suffering, Locke moves forward toward the wheel which is moving back and forth, which explain all the jumps. And so much for sentience (or maybe not -- maybe this is what it would do unchecked, and what it would want to do, and maybe there's a reason for it and oh, the Cindy that lives in my rationality drawer says, "Let's put this recap to bed," so I will). Locke has a little trouble moving the wheel at first, but the trouble just seems to be getting it back on track. He's pulling it, not pushing it, and he backs himself up against the wall. Once it's on its course, the wheel moves quite easily for Locke (see, sentience), particularly when compared to how Ben struggled with it last season. A flash revs up. The underground chamber fills with light. The camera pans to Shepherd who says, "Say hello to my son." Before they're overwhelmed by the light, Locke asks, "Who's your son?" and then FLASH!