This idea was sent to me in an email, so I'm sorry if someone on this site has already posted this....

Sayid seemed to come around again after his conversation with Desmond, much like Richard did in Ab Aeterno. With Richard, MIB told him to not let Jacob talk to him because he can be very convinving. That being said, doesn't the situation with Desmond and Sayid resemble the one with Richard and Jacob? MIB sent both Richard and Sayid to kill Jacob and Desmond, respectively, and neither did the job because either Jacob or Desmond had talked them out of it.

If Desmond isn't a candidate but holds a strong reseblence (in this situation at least) to Jacob, maybe it is the candidates' job to protect Jacob's replacement. This thought may be well off-based, but I feel like the one above makes a lot of sense...

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