LOST & Found
My Big Picture Theory
I've heard it repeatedly being said, "Once Lost ends you'll say 'ah yes it was right in front of me the whole time.'" That being said I believe I have a strong theory on what exactly has been in play on the island especially in regards to Jacob and the Man in Black. It most important theme of the show has been the battle between good and evil. It’s not the most original concept but LOST has taken this long used struggle and made something much more of it. LOST is a show that forces big questions like what exactly do the lines of good and evil extend to? Who’s to say what actions can be deemed wrong or right? Can someone cross a moral line if the ends justify the means? In the midst of all this philosophical babble, there are two men with opposing views watching their opposing theories play out; Jacob and the MIB. I believe there are many clues to point to this ancient battle between these two island gods from the use of the smoke monster, to a man who never ages, to the stealing of children in the early seasons, there are so many strange happenings that have gone unanswered. I intend to start connecting the dots that will lead us to our final masterpiece in season 6. Here is my Big Picture Theory!
As I do believe a great deal of this story is revolved around Jacob and the eerily anonymous entity that is the Man in Black so I’d like my Big Picture Theory begins with them. I have read quite a few posts that have begun to speculate that the "Anti-Locke" may have been around long before the Man in Black took over after the Death of Jeremy Bentham. I agree that the Man in Black has been around long before the season 5 finale but not in the form of John Locke. I believe the island has been a game played by two important characters; Jacob and of course MIB. Their conversation in the season 5 finale suggests a God-vs-Satan type situation but I think their status is slightly less in magnitude. I am prone to believe there is a higher authority that has placed Jacob and MIB on the island to prove which one has the more accurate idea of how humans approach free will. My knowledge of Egyptian beliefs is limited but I get the feeling Jack and the MIB aren’t the God and Lucifer but just two of many gods much like in Greek Mythology. Maybe you could compare them to a Thor and Loki situation with different circumstances. Anyway, I believe Jacob has a strong belief in free will and the goodness of man, where as MIB believes free will only enhances the selfish and violent actions of humans. Jacob has, for the most part, sat back and let the castaways, the Others and the Darma folk live their lives and make their own choices hoping in the end goodwill will triumph and progress with present peace. The MIB does not believe in wait and see and has had much more of an impact on island life.
The conversation in the opening scene of the season 5 finale I believe is the most important scene on the show to date. I have a feeling that scene alone revealed everything to the audience they will need to know without being specific and direct. "You know how badly I want to kill you?" the MIB angrily asked. From the days of the Black Rock sailing to the shores of the island the MIB was set to find the loophole that would destroy Jacob and prove their is no stopping the evil ways of man. (Thus proving himself to my proposed higher power, a Zeus type, the one who may have set the "rule" the loophole, seeks to break.) So far we've only witnessed the MIB in manipulation mode when using Locke's form, but I believe we've seen him many times before.
The evidence for my argument pops up throughout the LOST series. The MIB was looking for the perfect person who could facilitate a rise of evil; someone who could be easily manipulated. I believe he found the perfect person in Locke (and you bet I have an explanation for that) but he started with different castaways. I think Jack was the first to be tempted. Much like Locke's body was used in season 5, the man he proxied for on Ajira flight 316 was Christian Shepherd. Christian's casket was found empty yet Jack had several encounters with his father. I think when the MIB found the Oceanic survivors on the island he found the strongest personality and tried to turn him immediately. Jack being a rationale man and a "good" person must have scared off the MIB. Christian haunted Jack but a few times and then the appearances stopped all together. Jack was the last person who could be turned and the MIB gave up on him quickly.
Another frightening ghostly appearance came in the form of an Oceanic survivor who wasn't quite yet dead. Didn't Walt seem to turn up in the most inappropriate places at the wrong times. His strange appearance drove Shannon in the wild where confusion got her killed. Dripping wet he visited several of the castaways driving them mad. It's as if the MIB was trying to get the castaways sympathy for Walt to forge a war against the others thus turning them to man's evil ways. It drove Michael to sell his soul, saving Walt at the cost of giving up his friends and safety of the beach survivors. Michael wasn't the power player MIB was looking for but he was definitely a pawn in his game. It was Michael’s guilt for his actions that made him seek redemption. His sacrifice saved many and I’m sure made Jacob proud.
Next are my favorite reasons why I believe the MIB has used many forms to provoke evil. The first of which is I believe that the MIB not Jacob, has control of the smoke monster and the forms it takes. Remember when Mr. Eko refused to repent for his sins when the smoke monster transformed into his brother? Mr. Eko was on a very righteous path at that point, making up for his sins and fighting to save those around him. Why then would the smoke monster challenge him on his childhood decision to take the gun from his brother’s hand to save him from a life of violence? The smoke monster let Mr. Eko live on after one encounter, and I believe the reason is because at that moment the MIB still believed Mr. Eko could be used in his evil plan, but after seeing the way he had found redemption on the island, the MIB knew Mr. Eko needed to be destroyed. Without knowledge to form this theory at the time of his death I was furious with the way Mr. Eko was killed. It didn’t seem to make any sense at all and it was the first point I questioned LOST’s direction. So why bring up the story of Mr. Eko at this point? Easy, because I believe Mr. Eko’s death has been justified and it explains everything we saw when the smoke monster judged another man in the basement of the temple; Benjamin Linus.
I'm operating under the idea that the smoke monster is controlled by and may even be the Man in Black. When Ben was "judged" he was shown only the images that led to his daughter Alex being killed. While this was a terrible event, was it the most terrible sin Ben has committed on the island? Although Ben did nothing to stop it he surely did not pull the trigger of the gun that killed Alex. He should feel guilty for what happened and should show remorse but why was this THE great sin he needed to repent for? I believe it's because this was the only sin Ben was truly sorry for and it was the best way to manipulate him. The smoke monster spared Ben's life after forcing him to relive those horrible visions, but then Alex mysteriously appears behind him. Anti-Locke was no where to be found giving the MIB the perfect opportunity to change into Alex and begin phase two of the manipulation game. Alex told Ben he must do everything John tells him to do. It seemed like good advice at the time but when we find out that Locke hasn’t quite been himself you have to question that scene. It helps you realize the vision of Alex was used only to put Ben on the path to following the lead of Anti-Locke right up to the point where he was asked to kill Jacob. Ben has been the villain everyone has been looking for on the show and has always had plenty of evil in him to be manipulated. He was the perfect one to use the knife but none of it could have happened without the biggest pawn of them all; Mr. John Locke.
John Locke has been my favorite character on this series since day one. When I found out that John's body was being used by the MIB and that he truly was dead it was a very painful realization for me. Was John Locke, man of faith, island survivalist, and button expert really just a pawn in this long war of good vs. evil? No one has sacrificed more for the island than John Locke has. The island gave John something he had lived four years without, his legs, only to have something even more crucial taken from him; his life. I was angry when thinking that the man who has gone through so much may have been nothing more than a stepping stone to a bigger picture. This is a man whose father and mother abandoned him early in life, his father used and abused him leading to his crippling injury. His island beliefs were constantly questioned by the other castaways and even the others. He was constantly challenged, questioned and laughed at but he always stayed true to the island that gave him his first miracle. Faith can be a strong tool but blind faith can lead you down dark paths.
From the moment John began to walk on the beaches in season 1 he knew something truly amazing was happening around him. From then on he believed feverishly that he had a destiny and was willing to do anything and everything to achieve that destiny on the island. He started to blindly follow any lead he believed held the key to it all; the hatch, the button, the orchid. This left John very vulnerable as he was just looking for the right path to travel down and when you’re weak and vulnerable you'll follow any signs or leads without question. This is why John was always destined to fall from grace. The MIB and Jacob had a battle over John. John was tested constantly sometimes cursing the island and other times praising its glories. In the end both may have won.
The MIB seems to have won the battle, after we witnessed the downfall and death of John Locke. The MIB was able to take over his body and use his island experiences to form an interesting dynamic with Ben ultimately leading to convincing Ben to Jacob. Victory for evil! But did John die only to be used, never fulfilling a destiny he so much deserved. I refuse to believe that! Obviously the final scenes of the season 5 finale would lead you to believe Locke was only a means to destroy Jacob for evil to prevail but I believe Locke's final acts on earth may prove to have been his true destiny. His real destiny was to die for the island and help get back the ones who can truly help Jacob and good overcome the MIB and evil. The real Locke may be dead but he did not die in vain. Ultimately his death helped to propel the others to return to the island. Their importance is yet to be truly realized but I believe a clue to this truth is in the touch Jacob gave each of the castaways in the flashbacks of the season 5 finale. "They're coming" Jacob said as he keeled over. The MIB appeared furious with rage. He thought he had gotten rid of Jack and company in Darmaville and had completed his mission for evil triumph. Jacob let him know in those two words that it's not over yet. The MIB may look like John Locke but the real Locke worked for Jacob and died for the good of man on the island.
It's a lot of confusing theory and the funny part is, it only begins to explain the chaos that has happened on the island. We're so focused on looking for complexities within the story that sometimes we forget that when you pan out and look at the big picture of this show its basis is quite simple: good vs. evil. It's been a game played between Jacob and the MIB and every human that has touched foot on the island has been a player. The War Charles Widmore prophesized is indeed coming. We have not seen the last of Jacob, his war has just begun to hit its climax. Which side will win and how this war will be fought is the real mystery remaining. Did John Locke die in vain or will good prevail? Will the series that began with Jack's opening eyes, end with a sacrifice from him to save the island potentially starting the show with his awakening and ending on his final breath? Is Jacob good or am I way off and the MIB is actually the good one? Is there a difference between the two? This series is beautiful because of the questions it evokes but now I'm ready for the payoff and the answers to cap off a perfect television series.
- I have so much more to add this but I had to get this discussion out there. Let me know what you think!