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Because Every Lost Fan Has One: My (Current) Lost Theory of Everything

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This is my first blog entry, so I figured I would begin by giving my theory for what the hell is happening on this island. Everyone has one, so why not me?

As I write this, "The Package" aired about 24 hours ago. We still have six episodes to go before the two-hour finale.

I enjoyed last night’s episode a great deal. I was happy to see Desmond return, albeit far from triumphantly. Per Faraday, we know that Desmond is “unique” ("Because You Left"). Something about the way he interacts with space-time (electromagnetism, multiple realities, whatever you want to call it) is qualitatively different than all the other characters. In fact, I was surprised they showed him on the LA X
6x01Desplane

Flash-sideways Desmond

plane, because I thought the premise would be that he, unlike everyone else, is singular. That is, he exists in one reality, and that's it.

Although that's not the case, it does appear that his uniqueness makes him a "secret weapon" against the Man in Black, for lack of a better word. Or at least the key to finding a way to defeat him. In addition to precognitive abilities (which seemed at the time to be limited to Charlie - "Greatest Hits"), the implication is that either something intrinsic about Desmond, or his interaction with the Swan, give him unique abilities. Interestingly, one could presume Juliet would have similar abilities had she survived post-Incident ("The Incident").

Widmore, whether good, evil, or ambiguous, is clearly of one mind with the now-deceased Jacob as to the importance of keeping MiB on the island at all costs. And that pesky electromagnetism is also obviously part of the "solution," akin to Jughead's detonation ("The Incident") or the Swan fail-safe key ("Live Together, Die Alone").

So, what to make of this? And of everything that's happened on this show up to now?

I'll break this down into two categories: Things of which I'm fairly convinced, and semi-educated guesses.

Convinced:

1. Jacob and the Man in Black are engaged in some sort of conflict, contest, or experiment that repeats itself over and over until reaching a singular endgame.

2. There are "rules" for this interaction governed by an as-yet-undetermined lawmaker. More on this in a moment.

3. While this has clearly been going on since at least the time of ancient Egypt, that's not all that significant, given the odd relationship the island has with time itself.

4. Certain people are eligible to take up Jacob's role should he die (which he just did), but it's unclear what makes these candidates eligible.

5. Despite some appearances to the contrary, the MiB and Jacob are not "evil" and "good," respectively. They are both manipulators. MiB is more desperate and ruthless due to his centuries-old frustration at being unable to leave the island, however.

6x09 EvilInABottle

Jacob discusses wine, hell with Richard

I think the last point is especially important. Jacob may wind up the lighter of the two shades of gray, or he may not, but I just don't think there are any pure "bad guys" on this show. This is consistent with the show's general themes of ambiguity as to the good / evil dynamic.

As I said, however, Jacob is also a manipulator. In fact, he pulled a "Linus" in Ab Aeterno by convincing Richard that it was Richard's idea that Jacob use him to act on his behalf to influence the choices of those who come to the island. This, after Jacob told him that it would defeat the purpose of the exercise if Jacob were to interfere. Obviously, using Richard as a proxy is the same thing.

I think it's also apparent that MiB must eliminate not only Jacob, but all potential "candidates" (whatever that term may actually come to mean) in order to leave. This is where we start to slide over into wild theory territory . . .


Speculation:

It seems to me that the reality in which the Man in Black and Jacob exist (the “original” timeline, on the island) may be a "house of cards" that only perpetuates if this cycle remains unbroken (i.e. the MiB entity remains on the island). If he leaves, the house collapses.

What puzzles me is Jacob's reference to movement toward the endgame as "progress." His motives - and true identity - are obviously central to the grand reveal, but that's not exactly breaking news. But, if he considers approaching this singular endgame as “progress,” then that seems to contradict the idea of keeping the MiB on the island. In other words, he wants to maintain this status quo of the MiB being trapped, but suggests that moving toward the "end" that only "comes once" is “progress.” Like everything on the show, I might be reading too much into that (or the writers may now regret that phrasing).

My current bottom-line theory is agreement with those who believe MiB is Aaron. However, we encounter a bit of a problem in that Jacob looks like an adult Aaron. Perhaps MiB’s comment to Richard about Jacob “taking” his body should be interpreted literally, and the man we see as MiB now is either Jacob’s old form, or simply one of the people who came to the island and died, just as MiB would later emulate Isabella, Christian, Yemi, Alex, and Locke.
3x05 YemiInEko'sTent

The "Man in Black" as Yemi

Ready to jump off the cliff? Here we go . . .

I think that Aaron and Jacob are actually from post-2007, which explains why Aaron might appear as a teenager. I believe in the original iteration of the timeline, there were no people at all on the island. Only the strange scientific properties and wildlife. The human-caused "movement" of the island had not yet occurred in this iteration, and the U. S. Army never discovered the island (or at least never tested an H-bomb on it). The Dharma Initiative (or some other scientific outfit) discovered the island and went there to study it. Aaron and Jacob were both there when something went wrong with one of the experiments in time travel, thus sending them back in time, to be inside this “bubble” of the island.

So, in the true "original" timeline, the Dharma Initiative were the first people to set foot on the island. There were no hostiles with which to deal, and they ran their happy little experiments for years at the behest of the DeGroots and the Hanso Foundation. Aaron and/or Jacob may have been "special" along the lines of Walt, perhaps being there to be studied as part of the parapsychology experiments. Or, perhaps Aaron was just a kid who was the child of a Dharma Initiative employee (Aaron's adopted parents, for example) who sneaked down to the Orchid and started playing around sometime in 2015-2020. Regardless of what happened, they somehow wound up too close to one of those pockets of electromagnetism when it was "offset."

Landborchid

Perhaps we'll see a reprise of this scene before the series is complete

Here's the point: Through some unique set of circumstances, something goes horribly wrong, throwing them back in time thousands of years.

Events take place between them once they're on the island, and Jacob realizes that they're in the "wrong" reality, and that events on the island are unfolding differently because they're there. Under this theory, the "rules" of which they speak are not necessarily the work of a lawmaker to whom they both answer, but, rather, the rules of time-travel and use of the Orchid that ensures nothing catastrophic happens.

Put another way, Jacob realizes that, if they do certain things while in their current predicament, it will create one of those fabled paradoxes that "destroys the fabric of the space-time continuum," or some such thing. MiB either disagrees, or just gets tired of being on the island, but he does concur to an extent. He recognizes that there ARE some rules by which they must "play," or he risks destroying himself or the existence of his loved ones. For whatever reason, this includes him killing Jacob (or the candidates) directly. Yet, he seems to recognize that he needs Jacob dead in order to join the current continuity/reality. Jacob uses rhetoric like "we'll all go to hell" or "MiB is evil" in order to manipulate others to help keep the status quo in order. It seems somewhat evident from the show that MiB doesn't truly hate Jacob, but merely needs to kill him to escape the island.

So, why does he need all of these people to be eliminated? I think it ties in to the notion of people being linked. Just as we've seen the same group of supposedly-random strangers being connected in FST and OT in all sorts of odd ways, I think the idea here is something along these lines: MiB acknowledges that he is subject to certain rules of time-travel. Breaking these rules could potentially cause the reality in which he's living to cease to exist. However, if he can "un-tether" himself from the people to whom he's connected, he can re-enter the world off the island without disturbing things. This un-tethering process involved all of these select people (i.e. the candidates) to be eliminated - but, due to another rule, he can't kill them himself.

In short, in order to get off the island, he has to cut all the threads by having these people (1) die, (2) not by his hand, and (3) while on the island - or at least return to the island - because the island is "out of bounds" as to the rest of space-time.

There's also the question of how these two entities can perform the amazing feats we see on the show (smoke monster, Jacob's ability to be off the island, etc). I think it's probably one of (or a combination of) three things:

1. The island's inherent strange properties, about which Jacob and MiB have extensive knowledge. There may also be a hidden technological component here - perhaps originating from the future from which the two came. I've speculated that this equipment may be stored in the foot of the statue, which is why Jacob is so protective of it (I doubt he's merely guarding tapestries and sandals). These strange properties may also allow Jacob to bestow immortality upon people through a scientific, rather than purely-supernatural means. The touching of Richard was symbolic, but perhaps actual immortality was granted by the properties of the island (or conveyed via the "wine" Jacob gave him?).

2X01 WaltJungle

Walt appears to Shannon

2. Powers obtained by being part of the event that sent them back in time. As mentioned above, Desmond develops mild precognitive abilities as a result of the hatch implosion ("Live Together, Die Alone"). One might presume that a much more powerful event of the same type would grant the survivors even more bizarre abilities.

3. MiB (Aaron) and/or Jacob were both "special." In this example, their powers are to Walt's like their powers are to Desmond's in #2 above: Exponentially greater. This would fit the idea that Jacob could project a physical presence off the island as Walt seemed to do on the island at certain points ("Man of Science, Man of Faith"). It would also explain how MiB can read thoughts / memories and then conjure a form from those memories.

I think whatever is going on here requires that they go through the motions. Whatever happened (to an extent), happened. Even though they both know in general terms what their "futures" hold (in the same sense that the time-traveling 815-ers knew in 1970's Dharmaville), they have to play out this hand as best they can. If they don't, the consequences are unpredictable.

We found out definitively last week that Jacob has used his powers to bring people to the island throughout his time there("Ab Aeterno"). He also notes that all of these people are dead. However, this doesn't necessarily mean that none of them were able to get off the island. This is important, because I think that some of the allusions to other cultures, myths, and religious traditions may be traced to the stories that emanated from people who managed to leave (especially Egyptians). Again, in 1867, anyone from ancient Egypt who visited the island WOULD be dead - even if he managed to escape.

If either of our friends from the future had technical / scientific knowledge of the island's properties, things like the time wheel may have been early, primitive attempts to extricate themselves from the situation. Naturally, they would use the "labor" Jacob brought to the island to help further these projects. This would account for the hieroglyphics seen throughout the various underground chambers and ancient-looking structures on the island. These projects may have led to Jacob's conclusion that they were stuck until the endgame played itself out, and his dedication to that belief might have motivated his desire to keep MiB on the island.


This over-arching theory is far from bulletproof, even at this early stage.

MysyeriousKid

If this is Aaron . . . then can the MiB still be Aaron? Are either of them?

For one thing, if the boy they see is Aaron, and MiB is Aaron, then the scene in which MiB (as Locke) chases the boy doesn't necessarily make sense. It becomes even more confusing if the supposition about Jacob literally assuming Aaron's body is accurate. Because of this, I am also open to the idea that Aaron is "The Boss," while MiB and Jacob are two other entities. However, this would still be consistent with the notion that these are time-travelers from the future, flung backwards.

Secondly, MiB's comment about "Of Mice and Men" being "after" his time doesn't jibe with the notion that he's a relocated person from the future. On the other hand, this could merely be MiB speaking figuratively as an acknowledgment of his ancient predicament.

The truth is that a little of what I have above is probably right on the money, some of it is not exactly right, and much of it isn't even close. Still, part of what makes this show so much fun is guessing, even if half of what we throw at the wall doesn't stick.


Now that the big picture stuff is out of the way, I'll be doing blog entries on each of the remaining episodes after they air. This will be mostly for my own amusement, but I appreciate anyone who takes the time to glance at them. Note that they'll be shorter than this - I promise! Thanks for reading.



--Montecore's Revenge 02:17, April 1, 2010 (UTC)

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