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Alright, let's be honest. None of us really know anything concrete when it comes to discussing that already-infamous opening scene. In particular, Jacob's enemy is a character who we know so little about, it isn't even funny. We have no name, no motivation... just a few lines of dialogue and a black shirt. How about that? Nothing like another mystery to add to the heap that Darlton has burdened (or granted) us with. However, this leaves a whole lot of room for speculation. That is why, through this series titled Jacob's Enemy, I will discuss the ins-and-outs of what I believe the nemesis of the Island's leader is and stands for. And for the record, you might find me calling him Esau, Enemy, Man #2, or Man in Black. Doesn't really matter.
The First Scene
It's impossible to find the transcript for the dialogue between Jacob and his Enemy online. So instead, I decided to make one myself. Feel free to use it in your own blog, so long as you give me credit. Thanks.
ENEMY: Mind if I join you?
JACOB: *shakes head* Please. *takes a bite of food* Want some fish?
ENEMY: *shakes head* Thank you. I just ate.
JACOB: I take it you're here because of the ship.
ENEMY: I am. *gazes out at sea* How did they find the Island?
JACOB: You'll have to ask them when they get here.
ENEMY: I don't have to ask. You brought them here. You're trying to prove me wrong, aren't you?
JACOB: You are wrong.
ENEMY: Am I? They come, they fight, they destroy, they corrupt. It always ends the same.
JACOB: It only ends once. Anything that happens before that is progress.
- Long dramatic beat*
ENEMY: Do you have any idea how badly I want to kill you?
ENEMY: One of these days, sooner or later, we'll find a final loophole, my friend.
JACOB: Well when you do, I'll be here.
ENEMY: Always nice talking to you, Jacob.
JACOB: Nice talking to you too.
Jacob & Esau
In the Bible, in the book of Malachi, the story goes that Rebekah gave birth to her son Esau, but that Esau's twin also came out in the same contraction, clutching his twin's heel. For this, Rebekah named her second son Jacob (meaning "heel" in Hebrew). From that day forward, Rebekah preferred the studious Jacob, while her husband Isaac favored the outdoorsman Esau. In the end, however, Jacob impersonated his brother to gain a birthright Isaac has intended for Esau. (Remember this impersonation factor, for it will be referenced later) For this reason, the name Jacob means supplanter, or one who wrongly or illegally seizes and holds the place of another.
I wonder if LOST'S Jacob pulled a similar stunt. Perhaps his Enemy (who I'm almost certain is going to be his brother, whether he's named Esau or not) was meant to be Leader of the Island, but Jacob pulled some strings and de-throned him. That certainly would explain Man #2's contempt for our favorite Cabin owner.
Remember that guy who flew into the propeller in the Season One premiere? Well, for those of you unaware, his character was later elaborated on, and he was named Gary Troup, famous novelist and essayist. Not only did he write a text centered around the Valenzetti Equation (for which the solution is "4 8 15 16 23 42"), but he also wrote a fictional novel titled "Bad Twin." However, as the alternate reality game continued, audience members were led to believe that the book was a cryptic message sent to those opposed to the Widmore Industrial branch. However, I wonder if the title of the novel was something much more than that...
Perhaps Damon Lindelof and J.J. Abrams assumed from the get-go that Jacob and Esau were going to be major players on the Island. That would certainly explain the title of Troup's book, since Jake and Essie are obviously twin brothers pit against one another in a battle of the ages. But the question is, which is the Bad Twin referred to in the novel? Is it Jacob, the impersonator, but favorite of God's? Or Esau, the tree-hugger who was Daddy's boy? That, we don't know yet, though I'm leaning towards Esau, who doesn't think human kind is capable of positive progress.
Man #2 = Monster
This is one of those theories that may very well come back to haunt me. However, I strongly believe that Jacob's Enemy and the Smoke Monster are one and the same. Take, for instance, Loophole Locke. When Locke's body returns to the Island, Man #2 assumes John's body, takes Ben to the Temple, and has him killed. This immediately proves that Esau is capable of mimicking the dead. Who else can do that? Why, the Smoke Monster, of course. When Mr. Eko spoke with Yemi, it was obviously that the latter was not of this world. Rather, Monster Yemi gave Eko the chance the repent, which Eko did not take; perhaps Eko was then killed because, just as Esau predicted, Eko "destroyed" and "corrupted" with no sign of remorse.
This would also explain why Monster Alex told her father Ben to do everything John Locke said. (Oh, did I mention th at Locke just happened to disappear right when the Monster appeared?) As Alex, Esau convinced Ben to help him as Locke so that... yeah, it's confusing, I know.
I also wonder if Christian and Claire are both Esau allies as well. Remember that Ilana says "someone else" had been using Jacob's Cabin for a good long while. Perhaps Esau assumed the bodies of Christian and Claire, both realistically dead, but metaphysically stable, and inhabited the Cabin to convince John Locke that what they said was the word of Jacob. In "Cabin Fever," Locke asks Christian if he is Jacob.
CHRISTIAN: No. But I can speak on his behalf.
This line convinced most of us that Christian was a servant of Jacob's. But with what we know now, it is possible that Christian lied when he said that. After all, remember that Jacob originally impersonated Esau to get his birthright; perhaps Esau is attempting the same to even the score. Maybe acting as Jacob's (false) mouthpiece has helped him gain trust from Locke, who ultimately would provide him with a body to manifest within.
Well, that's it for now. Volume 2 will discuss more about the possession qualities of Esau/Man #2, as well as Ilana and Bram's visit to the Cabin in "The Incident."