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Posted at 10:18 AM ET, 02/17/2010

'Lost' Dueling Analysis: 'The Substitute'

By Liz Kelly
Lost

This week, Jen and Liz consider the merits of an excellent Locke-centric episode. Read the analysis, then join them at 2 p.m. ET for this week's "Lost" Hour discussion and, as ever, visit "Lost" Central for the latest in show news and analysis.


John Locke (Terry O'Quinn) meets European history teacher Ben Linus (Michael Emerson). (ABC)

Jen: "You're so close, James. It would be such a shame to turn back now."

That's what MIB-Locke said to our whiskey-buzzing Sawyer during this week's episode as he (allegedly) led him on a journey to help him understand his purpose on the island. But really, couldn't MIB have been talking to us? After last week's episode, some fans -- especially some of you vocal people who came to the 2 p.m. online chat -- expressed frustration with where the show was going. Why so much temple? Why aren't there more answers? Why so much Kate? (Oh wait, that last complaint came mostly, though not solely, from Liz.)

But with "The Substitute," we got what was clearly the best episode of the season so far. Lots of Locke, plenty of "Don't tell me what I can't do" proclamations, a new perspective on the numbers, drunk Sawyer, Ben Linus the history teacher, Hugo Reyes the super-awesome CEO, scary ladders and ... wow, I haven't even scratched the surface. Oh, and no temple! Good lord, Liz, where do we even begin?

Liz: Agreed. Best episode ever. So far this season, that is. But since you started off talking about the meeting of Sawyer and MIB, I just can't go on without pointing out a Celebritology synergy moment. When MIB finds Sawyer in the wreck of Dharma-ville, he (Sawyer) is listening to the Stooges -- an apt enough song called "Search and Destroy," all about a disillusioned "forgotten boy" who is self-destructing and taking the world with him. The Stooges, of course, fronted by one Iggy Pop. And both Iggy and Josh Holloway made my list of top 10 hottest dirtbags back in November. Dismissed as coincidence?

Much more after the jump...

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Jen: Aside from that whole hot dirtbags connection -- which, I am sure, is why the "Lost" creative team chose to use that Iggy song -- let's pause for a moment to consider the name of that Pop band: the Stooges. What is a stooge? Well, one definition, if I may lift it wholesale from thefreedictionary.com is this: "One who allows oneself to be used for another's profit or advantage; a puppet." MIB wants Sawyer to think he's been a puppet of Jacob all this time. Perhaps he has. But seems to me he's becoming a puppet of MIB.

Liz: Well, and as I hinted at, the song was tailor-made for the occasion. Sawyer is teetering. And so was Iggy:

"I am a world's forgotten boy
The one who searches and destroys
Honey gotta help me please
Somebody gotta save my soul"

Though the fact that Sawyer didn't out Richard makes me think he's not entirely under MIB's control... yet.

Jen: Well, yes. But by episode's end, he sure seemed to be. But actually, I'm thinking that before we get to the money shot of the ep -- the cave, the names and, oh, bless them, the numbers -- we should start at the beginning, with L.A. Locke, wheelchair-bound but about to be married to Helen.

As we've seen with all our Losties post-Oceanic landing, Locke's life is different, but also the same. He still works at the box factory. He still desperately wants to go on walkabout, but was refused because of his wheelchair. And he still has that "Don't tell me what I can't do" complex of his. But he also has the love of a wonderful woman, Helen, which he's managed to hang on to this time. And it's worth noting that, apparently, he's on good terms with dad. How do I know? Helen notably suggested they could do a small wedding ceremony with her parents and John's dad. And we also saw a happy photograph of Locke and his pop on his desk, before Randy gave Locke the axe.

Liz: The love of a good woman who wears a shirt emblazoned with the words "peace and karma," no less -- something, as you point out, wheelchair-bound Locke still needs to acquire to some extent. And by the end of the episode we were led to believe he'd found some kind of peace with his disability by deciding against making that call to Jack Shephard. Something tells me, though, that he and Jack are still destined to cross paths. After all, every other character seems to be throwing his or herself into Locke's path. Hurley, Rose and -- surprise, surprise -- European history teacher (and coffee Nazi) Benjamin Linus.

Jen: Oh man, it was so fantastic to see Ben in another context. He's still trying to impose order on everything and, undoubtedly, annoying the entire faculty in the process. But good to see him nonetheless. Interesting thing about Hurley and Rose: Hurley is now Capt. Positivity, Mr. Keep Your Chin Up. And for good reason. Life's working out pretty well for him. But if you contrast this episode with the fourth episode from season one -- impossible not to do, by the way, since that one was "Walkabout" and there are many parallels -- that's kind of the opposite of where Hurley's head was after the plane crash. And similarly, Rose circa "Walkabout" seemed like she was living in a dream world, insisting her husband was still alive despite what appeared to be all evidence to the contrary. In tonight's episode, she was the realist. Interesting little flips there.

Liz: Yep, the flips lend the post-Oceanic landing timeline the appropriate "Bizarro World" flourishes. So perhaps in this world Ben Linus will be pathologically honest. Speaking of which, your pal Ben actually did have a pretty candid moment when he eulogized John on island. He said, and I paraphrase, that he regretted killing John, who was a better man than he would ever be. Hyperbole or is he finally starting to get it?


Sun (Yunjin Kim), Ilana (Zuleikha Robinson), Frank Lapidus (Jeff Fahey) and Ben Linus (Michael Emerson) lay John Locke to rest. (ABC)

Jen: I'm going to say he's finally starting to get it. And I say that for two reasons. One: his entire concept of right/wrong/life in general was based on Jacob. And now Ben realizes that may be a lie. So he's rethinking things. And two: If he's starting to get it, that means I was right about Ben ultimately being an empathetic character with good intentions but bad practices. And being right about Ben is what really matters here.

Although I have to say, I appreciate the fact that Ben can still manage to lie in the midst of all this chaos. He told Ilana that Locke killed all the men while in the form of a smoke monster (true) but that he also killed Jacob (false). But I can see how Ben convinces himself that's an accurate depiction of events: "Sure, I may have actually done the stabbing. But it was Locke/MIB's fault. He brought me here and made me do it."

Liz: I'm glad you added that because I was just about to throw that little omission of his back into the mix as a reason for reserving judgment on a reformed Ben. I wouldn't go so far as to say I "appreciate" his ability to lie well, though I know it's a rare talent.

Jen: Fair enough. Another quick, non-sequitur observation about people popping up in L.A. but in different roles. That woman at the temp agency asking John all kinds of kooky questions. She looked familiar, didn't she? That was Lynn Karnoff, the same woman who pretended to be a psychic in "Tricia Tanaka is Dead." Proof that regardless of circumstance, some people are always full of crap.

And since we're talking throwbacks to past episodes, as LMPodcast pointed out on Twitter, during Locke's funeral, the music playing was a theme from season one. Increasingly, the writers want us to know we're coming full circle.

Liz: Well, as long as we follow LMPodcast on Twitter and whatnot.

So in the season opener we made much of John and Jack's meeting at the lost luggage counter. It seemed almost kismet that a wheelchair-bound paraplegic and a spinal surgeon should meet by chance. We predicted that Jack would fix Locke, thereby allowing for course correction and all kinds of wide-eyed talk about destiny. But in tonight's show, John opts not to call Jack after all and he gets a back-up from Helen, who rips up Jack's card. And, despite the fact that Helen says "miracles do happen," it would seem that for her -- at least in post-Oceanic landing world -- the miracle is knowing John at all, not having him healed. Yet, as I said earlier, I don't think John and Jack have seen the last of each other.

Jen: I don't either. John called Jack and hung up. And I don't think he did that entirely because Helen seemed to want him to. I think part of him wants to believe he can get out of that chair. Or, more importantly, that there's something bigger than himself that's worth believing in.

Liz: Yes, a paralyzed man who stubbornly insists on a construction site job doesn't exactly reek of acceptance.

Jen: But, again, contrast this with what happened between him and Helen in past storylines. She dumped him, ultimately, because he couldn't let go of his anger toward his dad. Now he doesn't have that. Seems like people without daddy issues do a little better in life.

Although this does raise the question: Why is John in the wheelchair, if Daddy didn't do it?

Liz: That, Jen Chaney, is an excellent question.

Jen: Another good one: Do John and Helen live in the same neighborhood as the people who almost adopted Claire's baby? Because the houses look awfully similar.

Liz: I dunno. Suburbia is suburbia. And didn't you think that adoptive parent neighborhood looked like Kate's L.A. hood last week, too?

Jen: Yes, I did!

Liz: Another unchanged fact about John Locke: The man was hell-bent on going on walkabout, yet denied. And, dude, does one really need a case full of knives to go on walkabout?

Jen: Uh, obviously? The walkabout obsession signals that John is always drawn to living life in the wild, by his wits. That's his nature. But this time, he seems more willing to accept that his circumstances have kept him from that. And, as you said, he seems the happier person for it. Although, after meeting Mr. Linus, that may change...

Liz: Yes, something tells me that John and the Euro history teacher -- men of taste (is that what Ben said?) -- are going to strike up a friendship.

Maybe we should shift our focus back to the island and discuss what unfolded between MIB and Sawyer as they set off for the cliff cave. We had the addition of yet another new character this week -- a tow-headed stigmata'd boy of 11-ish who was visible only to John and, oddly, Sawyer. (Poor Richard Alpert. Talk about a stooge -- the guy has spent the past millennia following Jacob's orders and has nothing to show for it.) My first thought was that the kid was a younger version of Jacob, but I believe you had a different idea.

Jen: Well, my first first thought, when we saw the kid from a distance, was, "Oh, it's a young Christian Shephard." If I may refer you (again) to "Walkabout" from season one, that episode marked the first time Jack saw the image of his dead father on the island. But when we saw the blond child again and got a better look at him, the resemblance between him and Claire was pretty striking. So it seemed like it could be Aaron, although I'm not sure how that works out timeline-wise.

Liz: Tell me, do you have instant recall of every single episode that has ever aired? Or just season one?

Jen: Every episode. Oh, I also have access to Lostpedia. And that helps.

Liz: Well, but then he also resembled (to me) a young Jacob. The kid is just that good.

Jen: Look at him again. He's Emilie de Ravin, in boy form.

Liz: Maybe he's Emilie de Ravin wearing a close cropped wig and kneeling.

I like the idea of the kid being Aaron and, as such, being some kind of entity that is above both Jacob and MIB. It invests Aaron with a higher purpose, something we've been trying to pin on him for years. He cautioned John Locke on "the rules" (and I don't think he meant that dippy dating book), saying that MIB could not kill Sawyer. It gave me the impression that everything that was playing out on the island was for the kid's amusement. And, although not stated by the kid, another rule -- or limitation -- imposed on MIB seems to be that he's now stuck in the form of John Locke. Or so sayeth Ilana.

Jen: Hey, that rule conveniently keeps Terry O'Quinn actively employed. So I support it.

Liz: I concur. As, of course, does Terry O'Quinn who said as much in this very good New York mag interview.

Jen: Of course, the rules didn't say that Sawyer couldn't kill MIB. Although I'm thinking he can't. But he opted to put the gun down. In more parallelism, Sawyer and MIB talked about "Of Mice and Men," a novel once discussed by Sawyer and ... Ben.

Liz: Yes, it seemed almost as if Sawyer brought up that specific book not just because it fit the situation, but to see what MIB's reaction would be. After all, Sawyer seemed to immediately sniff out that this man was not -- despite all outward appearances -- John Locke.

Jen: Yeah, what's up with that? How did he sense it? I mean, he was wasted.

Liz: Jen, haven't you ever been wasted? He had heightened drunkie senses. It's like beer goggles, but with less hooking up.

Jen: Spiritual beer goggles. Or in this case, Dharma whiskey goggles.

Liz: So shall we step inside the cave?

Jen: Oh, let's. By the way, that place is not at all handicapped accessible. I hope the ADA slaps them with the appropriate fine.

Liz: Oh there's an elevator in the back room. MIB was just taking the scenic route.

Jen: Such a showoff that guy. "Look, I'm killer smoke. Oh and look at me! I can climb down scary ladders!"

Liz: So -- in yet another reference to season one -- we again saw a white stone and a black stone. Much like the light and dark pieces on the backgammon board that Locke shared with Walt when he explained "Two players. Two sides. One is light, one is dark"...

...and the stones found with the Adam and Eve skeletons.

And, thanks to those stones, Locke delivered one of the best lines of the night: When he threw the white stone into the ocean, prompting Sawyer to ask what it meant and John/MIB to say, "It's an inside joke." Love the writing.

Jen: Yes, a nice shout-out to the fans, and an implication that MIB is pure darkness since he opted to keep the black stone. I took note of MIB's contention that "It's just an island. It doesn't need protecting." Also very flip.

Liz: I'm sorry, was there any doubt of MIB's inherent darkness?

Jen: Well, I doubt it a little. I'm not willing to buy into the obvious, that Jacob is the good one and MIB is necessarily the bad.

Liz: This might surprise you: I don't agree with you -- I think MIB is rotten to the core. Though we did get a glimpse of some former humanity in him when he told Sawyer that he (MIB) had once been a man who loved, cried, knew loss. Again, it gave me the eerie feeling that even MIB is a pawn in this game controlled by -- who? That kid?

And he longs to return to that, though I'm not sure it is possible. He wants off island. He wants out of his cage and Sawyer has agreed to help him. Though I'm not sure why Sawyer wants off island at this point. What is there for him to return to?

Jen: Well, what reason does he have to stay? His house -- if it really is "his" house -- has turned into quite the craphole. God knows he has no interest in hitting the temple for happy hour. Juliet's gone. I mean, why not get outta Dodge?

And for the record, I'm not saying MIB isn't bad. I'm just saying, in classic Chaney tradition, that it may not be as cut and dry as "this one is all bad, this one is all good."

Liz: Yes, that sounds familiar.

So MIB did his best to explain why Sawyer -- and the rest of the Losties -- were brought to the island: because they are candidates to take over for Jacob as island protector (whether it needs it or not). Apparently the litmus test is staying alive.

Jen: With all the references to candidates and recruiting, it felt like "Lost" was focused on some grassroots political campaign. (Recruits? Interesting word. It was used to describe MIB's attempts to gain followers. But Dharma referred to its members as recruits, too.) But perhaps we should talk about the cave.

Liz: Yes, the ultimate list -- the "candidates" names accompanied by some familiar numbers:

4 - Locke
8 - Reyes
15 - Ford
16 - Jarrah
23 - Shephard
42 - Kwon

Interestingly, no number for one Kate Austen.

Jen: Yes, I noticed that, too. Also, if you look at some of the crossed-out names in the cave, they aren't immediately familiar. Mattingley? A misspelled reference to the former Yankee?

Liz: O'Toole?

Jen: Actually, I think that could be a shout-out to this. But still doesn't explain who that person would be in the context of the show. It does suggest this process of finding candidates has been playing out for a long, long time.

Liz: Yes, perhaps as long ago as the Black Rock era, if not further.

Jen: I'm curious about the numbers, though. Why is, say, Jack 23? I honestly don't know the answer.

Liz: It certainly doesn't match the order in which Jacob visited them

Jen: Nope. And Jacob visited Kate, too, and she's not mentioned.

Liz: I do like the idea of Kate being excess baggage, though.

Jen: Har har. Interesting that MIB said he wasn't sure whether Kwon meant Jin or Sun. My thought? It means both. That was one number reference that made sense. "42." There are two of them, and together they are twice the sum of their parts. Or something.

Liz: I can dig that. I'm trying to remember if Jacob touched both Sun and Jin at the wedding. Speaking of those visits, MIB also suggested that each Lostie's contact with Jacob, no matter how fleeting, set them on the course to the island.

Jen: Right. And with Jacob dead, in the L.A. story we are now watching, none of them wind up there. Assuming these two timelines are concurrent.

Liz: Exactly. But will someone else assume Jacob's role? A substitute, say.

Jen: And that brings us back to the title of the episode. Obviously, it refers to John Locke. After realizing that sometimes, other people can rightly tell you what you can't do, he got a job as a sub. Proving that those who can't do, teach.

Liz: Someone's not making any friends with teachers who may be out there reading along. But I think it equally obviously refers to MIB.

Jen: Yes, MIB perhaps is acting as a substitute for Jacob. I'd also suggest that Sawyer may be a substitute. Suddenly, he's primarily interested in trying to get himself and his new Lockian friend off the island. And if you remember -- once more into season one! -- that used to be Jack's focus, too.

Liz: Not to mention the candidates could be considered subs for Jacob. But I'm thinking it's high time we got off the mic. What say we wrap this up and open up the discussion to everyone else? There's lots more to discuss -- enough to fill the comments section below and keep us in business for the 2 p.m. "Lost" Hour chat.

Jen: Agreed. Until 2 then.

By Liz Kelly  | February 17, 2010; 10:18 AM ET
Categories:  Lost  
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Comments

Wow, I can't actually be first! (Although I troll the Post website on Wednesdays waiting for this...)

Yes, Jacob does touch both Sun and Jin.

According to another Lost blog, Harper - another of the Others - was in the teachers' lounge, too, working on a crossword puzzle.

I want to go back to the cave and look at the crossed-out names, and see if they have other numbers than our mystical set, or if the numbers are repeated.

I don't believe that Sawyer has already succumbed to MIBlocke; I think he's working a long con of his own, trying to learn as much as possible.

Posted by: blondie3 | February 17, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

You need to fix the link from your lost central page; it's currently pointing to the analysis of what kate does vs. the substitute.

That being said, i'm curious as to how LA Locke came to be in the wheelchair. I would seriously doubt that if his dad tossed him out the window he would be welcome at their wedding.

Posted by: SamFelis | February 17, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

The obvious best quote for me was Ben Linus complaining about coffee filters... can't believe that's not an option for voting!

Posted by: crashinghero | February 17, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Last week I had a crazy prediction for the finale and for me this episode kind of backs it up (go figure).

My prediction, in the last scene there is a man on the beach cooking some fish and a second man joins him. After some unfriendly conversation man 2 says to man 1, 'do you know how much I want to kill you?'

In my prediction man 1 is Jack and man 2 is Sawyer.

Posted by: jes11 | February 17, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

RE: Jack's association with the number 23; the 23rd psalm. "The Lord is my SHEPHERD". No doubt many others caught this. My 18 year-old daughter, who rarely watches the show, instantly recognized the significance. Her birthday is May 23rd!

Posted by: petedebm | February 17, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

How can Ben be around outside the island? Wasn't he born on the island, which is underwater?

Posted by: sarc04 | February 17, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I completely agree with blondie3 about Sawyer - he can read people well (no matter how drunk) and he's conning MIB-Locke. No doubt he knew from the presentation that there was only one answer to the episode's final question that would get him out of that cave alive. Right now, my money's on Sawyer becoming the island's guardian - perhaps pulling a Darth Vader at the last moment to redeem himself and defeat his dark master.

Posted by: progressivePragmatic | February 17, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Sarc04 - he lied about being born on the island. He came there when he was a boy. He was not born there.

Posted by: Roxie1 | February 17, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

How can Ben be around outside the island? Wasn't he born on the island, which is underwater?

Posted by: sarc04 | February 17, 2010 11:18 AM

Ben was not born on the island. That was one of his many lies. He was brought to the island around age 11 when his dad went to work for the Dharma Initiative.

Posted by: jes11 | February 17, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

PLEASE fix the link from Lost Central. It took me a while to find this!

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | February 17, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

I assume that Ben is off the island the same way that Ethan is. They were both on the island when the bomb went off, so some of the Dharma members must have escaped afterwards.

Posted by: moonwatcher13 | February 17, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Good question - how can Ben be back in LA in the alternate reality? He was never on the flight, he was always on the island. I thought the whole alternate reality thing with the people back in LA was to show where their lives would have gone if the flight never crashed. The nuke at the end of last season split the timeline into the crash/no-crash paths.

Unless Ben was on one of his journeys off the island to interfere with the losties and somehow ultimately get them to the island.

Posted by: yetanotherpassword | February 17, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Re: Ben off the island - it is a plot pickle since he was definitely there in both time-lines. Somehow, he must have escaped after the explosion/whatever. However, it does set-up something really interesting if teacher-Ben runs into alternate Sayid and remembers him as the man who shot him as a child.

Posted by: progressivePragmatic | February 17, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

jes11,
While I can see one of the powers that be (Jacob, the Island, and/or MIB) trying to set up your end scenario prediction, that would be an extremely unsatisfying ending for the series and I don't see it happening purely for artistic integrity. That would be worse than the Sopranos ending.

Posted by: decoy13 | February 17, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Lostpedia has a list of all the names and numbers on the wall:
http://lostpedia.wikia.com/wiki/Candidates

Posted by: wojoko | February 17, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I think that "Kwon" in the list in the cave refers to Jin, since the "candidates" are only the men from Oceanic 815. There's no Kate, no Claire, no Sun on the list. Perhaps the replacement for Jacob HAS to be a man?

Posted by: houstonian1 | February 17, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the clarification, Roxie and Jes!

Posted by: sarc04 | February 17, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

to those wondering about Ethan and Ben being off-island- remember that Dr Candle (or whatever his name was) evacuated all the women and children off the island before they began drilling, after being warned off by Miles and Hurley. At that point Ben (who was not born on the island, btw) was about 12 and Ethan was a baby, as was Miles.

Posted by: floof | February 17, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Just a thing I noticed: The scene where Sayid is brought back to his friends: "What did they want? I don't know. They didn't even ask me any questions." Lifted right out of Empire Strikes Back. I don't think it means anything per se, but it fits in with the Star Wars references.

Posted by: talleyl | February 17, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

RE; Ben off the island, I'm not sure that represents so much a plot pickle as a deliberate indication that what's going on in that timeline is something far weirder than a crash/no crash alternate future. It's no accident that Locke meeting Ben comes as the big reveal of that timeline in the episode...I think maybe what we're going to find out is that not only did the bomb blast stop the plane from crashing, it also restored some fundamental rightness to the lives of those the island had ensnared.

I'm positing this alternate present as a place where Ben was never on the island, and Claire gets to keep her baby, and Jack doesn't have to deal with his dead father, and Kate gets her compromised freedom, and Locke didn't lose Helen and didn't get thrown out of a window. And of course Hugo is happy with his good fortune, rather than cursed by it. I think one of the connotations of dharma has to do with being on a virtuous path, and it appears that maybe by setting off the bomb, the world has been fundamentally altered to provide more of a virtuous path for all these characters to travel. I have no idea what the rationale behind that would be, but that's my theory at this point.

I don't rightly recall, but didn't Ben at some point in the past ruminate about what he might have liked his life to look like, had he never come to the island? It seems to me like maybe he did, though I don't recall the specifics of what he had to say (if that actually happened), and I wonder if Ben-as-history-teacher might not bear some resemblance to that. I dunno.

Posted by: dano416 | February 17, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Without benefit of having read any of the above, I just want to say that Lost is back. Great show last night. Now I'll read the posts to see if I'm offbase.

Posted by: Emcdoj | February 17, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

I could not stop laughing when Frank said it was the weirdest damn funeral. The best line of the season, so far.

Ben being in alt LA suggests that the island sank before he arrived (1972), but after Dharma was being built in 1970. Or in alt world Ben never goes to the island for some reason (Emily doesn't die?) but the Dharma initiative still proceeded in alt world.

So we're back to Fate/Order versus Free Will/Chaos. Everybody wants Free will and Order yet they usually don't come together. So MIB is advocating free will but that also means Chaos (no one in control), while Jacob seems to advocate fate/destiny/order which implies prison and pre-determination. If you want the alt LA world to be the way "Lost" ends then (it appears)you should be rooting for MIB. At this point Jacob is Mr. Destiny.

Posted by: KevinAF | February 17, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

(1) James is running a long con. He doesn't really want off the Island -- and certainly not with MIB, who he knows to be evil.

(2) MIB -- the Adversary, a liar (even if not the Father of Lies). You can be sure that if he seems to be in favor of free will and accusing Jacob of being a puppet-master, that it is he who actually seeks to control. He is not a pawn controlled by another, but a creature who wants to be a god and does not want to be subject to being merely a creature. And now he realizes that Jacob is not dead after all.

Posted by: ooyah32 | February 17, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Locke on good terms with his father? Maybe alterna-Locke met alterna-Helen somewhere other than therapy his father drove him into, and maybe he was paralyzed some other way than pushed out a window by his father.

Posted by: HardyW | February 17, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Jacob to Ben -- "You have a choice."
MIB to Ben -- impersonate other people and manipulate him like a puppet

The only one who represents free will -- which is consistent with order, not contrary to it -- is Jacob.

Posted by: ooyah32 | February 17, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I agree that its way more complicated than just a crash / no crash timeline.

Actually, I'm hoping its way more complicated. I will be bummed, if we are simply being shown, "a world with no island"

I actually had a theory that the no-crash timeline we are being shown represents the 2nd attempt at the losties preventing their plane from crashing. I assume we can still spin the frozen donkey wheel, right?

Posted by: tjkass | February 17, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Tjkass - that's what I'm thinking.

Posted by: Roxie1 | February 17, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Didn't Ilana and company say in season five that Frank Lapidus was "a candidate." Should we assume that Frank is also a candidate to take over the island? Was his name somewhere in the cave? I don't think we've seen a connection between Frank and Jacob, but then again Ilana and Jacob seem pretty tight, so one would think Ilana knows what she's talking about...

Posted by: kcp1 | February 17, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Do you think the numbers in the cave for each person are linked to their seat assignments in the plane before it crashed?

BTW, have always loved this commentaries.

Posted by: HillRat | February 17, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

She said Frank might be a candidate, so they couldn't kill him/leave him behind.

Posted by: bmp246 | February 17, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

The Lost writers have been pitting good versus evil the whole time while not explaining the purpose of the island. My take is the island, hidden from the world, dictates who is in charge of history. For example, MIB was running the show during the plague. I think the show will end up with Shepherd and Ben battling for control of the island. Shepherd and Sawyer will lock horns, but Sawyer will realize he isn’t worthy and sacrifice himself to allow Shepherd to balance Ben.

If I’m right, it’s a disappointing ending for the faithful.

Posted by: clandestinetomcat | February 17, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

42 = the answer to life, the universe, and everything.

Posted by: chrisp339 | February 17, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm not so sure Sawyer is doing inter-dimensional chess with MIB, if anything, it may be the other way around.

Two points for this, one, the blond kid telling Bad Locke/MIB that "you know the rules, you can't kill him", and then Bad Locke/MIB telling Sawyer, in the cave, "Lets go together".

What that implies to me is that Evil Locke/MIB will try to get Sawyer killed, then take on his physical likeness, just like he did Locke, in which case, both Sawyer and B.L./MIB will be together.

Totally loved Lapidus line about "the weirdest damn funeral", and was completely shocked when Ben told the truth and admitted he killed Locke. Also liked the fast-moving camera work implying Smokey's POV when going through the Dharma camp.

And how cool was it for Katey Sagal to be on the show at this point?

Posted by: kingcranky | February 17, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I agree that 42 represents Jin, not Sun. My first reaction was why isn't Kate one of the 6 numbers? I think they all represent men to be Jacob's replacements. But now I want to know what Kate has to do with anything. She's been a part of every other list, she was one of the Oceanic 6, and she made it back to the island (with Jack, Hurley, and Sayid) on Ajira 316.

Posted by: needmoredesmond | February 17, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Can not BELIEVE that "Guess I'd better put some pants on" was not the winning line.

Posted by: Sam888 | February 17, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

If I were Jacob, I would take over Kate so I could date myself.

More Kate!

Posted by: clandestinetomcat | February 17, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Here's what worried me last night. MIB kept saying "I'll give you answers." Hey! I want answers! But does only the evil guy have them? Is wanting them akin to wanting to eat the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge? Because if good = mystery and bad = answers then I fear the writers will leave us with no answers in the end. You know - if good people of faith prevail, they need no answers. That will be very unsatisfying.

Posted by: Roxie1 | February 17, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Actually, there HAD to be a crash so the Losties could detonate a nuke in 1977 to create the non-crash timeline.

Posted by: csteiger | February 17, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I think the Candidate's names were actually put there by MIB as possibilities to be HIS replacement, not Jacob's. It is his cave. He is looking for someone to take his place so he can "go home". He thinks he's got Sawyer on the hook now. It's possible some people could be candidates for both.

Both Jacob and MIB appear to try and influence/manipulate people so its recogniton that people have choices. Yet there is an underlying theme of fate/destiny. Jacob interfered in people's lives at crucial moments to ensure some plan works itself out (fate) in his favor.

Jacob's taunting of Ben that he had a choice, when he ignored him all those years, seemed like no real choice to me. jacob wanted Ben to kill him.

Posted by: KevinAF | February 17, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Sam888--Totally agree with you regarding the "Guess I'd better put some pants on" line. Though what made it so priceless, to me, anyway, as Sawyer's delivery. When you read it on the page, it's not so funny, really.

Posted by: dano416 | February 17, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

yetanotherpassword: "I thought the whole alternate reality thing with the people back in LA was to show where their lives would have gone if the flight never crashed. The nuke at the end of last season split the timeline into the crash/no-crash paths."

The nuke thing happened in 1977. Which means the timeline changed in 1977, and has been proceeding differently since then. ONE thing that is different is the plane didn't crash. Many other things are different too, ie Shannon wasn't even on the plane, Hurley is lucky rather than unlucky, now Locke and Helen are together and his dad is apparently not evil. These things were different *before* the plane didn't crash, not *because* the plane didn't crash.


Posted by: emfzlx | February 17, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

MIB doesn't have answers -- he has lies. He has manipulation. And one of those lies is that Jacob ever believed that he needed a replacement.

To be generous, maybe MIB actually believes that, but that is NOT the real reason that Jacob was tracking these people.

They are not candidates for Jacob's replacement as guardian of the Island -- Jacob does not need a replacement, he is still and always will be guardian of the Island -- rather, they are "candidates" for another purpose.

Posted by: ooyah32 | February 17, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Kevin's idea has great merit too -- that the list is not Jacob's list (why would he have the list in some dank cave when he lives beneath the statute, weaving a tapestry of life?), it is MIB's list.

This much is clear, whatever MIB said it was for, it was a lie.

Posted by: ooyah32 | February 17, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

The exercise of Divine Providence does not preclude the existence of free will.

Posted by: ooyah32 | February 17, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

**The nuke thing happened in 1977. Which means the timeline changed in 1977, and has been proceeding differently since then.**

Except we already know that the Island is (or can be) unstuck in time (and space). The Incident might have happened in 1977, but that does not mean that it did not have an effect on the Island (or the world) in 1877 or any other time.

Posted by: ooyah32 | February 17, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

When we first saw the golden-haired boy in the jungle, did he seem younger than the second time we see him? To me, he seemed about 5 or 6 the first time and then 11 or 12 the second time. Anyone else notice, or did I need to clean my glasses?

Posted by: Ellbeecee | February 17, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Ilana taking the 'jacob ash' out of the fire leads me to believe Jacob was not the first protector of the island. After all they've been using other protective ash for a long time, where (or who) did it come from.

Posted by: jes11 | February 17, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps each timeline is the truth but based on whether or not Jacob or the MIB wins? If Jacob wins than the island is sunk, and the crash never happened. If the MIB wins than what is occurring on island is what is actually happening.

Why Jacob would want the island sunk is beyond me but the theory aside from that seems cool.

Posted by: authorofpoetry | February 17, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

When I saw MIB toss Jacob into the fire after Ben stabbed him, I thought of the story of a phoenix. Jacob's body burned completely down to ash. Ilana took some of those ashes. I feel like we'll see Jacob reborn of his ashes to a new life. Whether as himself or a new "candidate," I don't know. But definite signs of rebirth there.

Posted by: dalrympj | February 17, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Was curious to see if the boy has a name so checked the episode on imdb. It lists Kenton Duty as the actor and the character as Teenage Boy, which is a bit older than some of us first thought.

Posted by: ImTresbien | February 17, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Why do people think that a nuclear explostion would sink an island? The U.S has set off many nuclear explosions in the Bikini atoll and they're still there. Did Faraday say the island would sink? He just said it would change the timeline by destroying the Swan station's eletromagnetic pocket so it wouldn't make the plane crash.

People jumped to the conclusion that the bomb caused the island to sink since in alt world its under water. Anything could have happened in alt world to cause the island to sink. Something we have yet to see happen.

The bomb (just the core, not the whole nuclear bomb btw- why is a hydrogen bomb so big?) interacted with the electromagnetic energy to cause a time shift also called incident (in one of the two realities) and also (perhaps) created an alt reality.

The island reality could still become the alt LA reality due to some unknown occurence that keeps Jacob/MIB from manipulating our characters' past and sinks the island in alt LA before 2004 yet after Dharma moves on the island.

Posted by: KevinAF | February 17, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm perplexed about Ben in the sideways reality. I am under the belief that the bomb sunk the island in 1977. Ben was a boy who had recently been shot and taken to The Others at this time. How is it that he is now a "normal" adult in LA. How is he even alive? Did he escape after the bomb went off? Does that mean other Others escaped? It just seems unlikely that a bomb would cause the island to sink, but Ben would be able to make it off alive. I can believe Ethan grew up as Ethan Goodspeed never becoming an Other because he was still a baby and his mother and he were most likely on the sub.

Posted by: Kship | February 17, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

RE: And, dude, does one really need a case full of knives to go on walkabout?

John has always been a man of the knife. Remember what he chose as a kid when Richard made his little visit?

http://lostpedia.wikia.com/wiki/Richard%27s_items

Posted by: skinsfan6465 | February 17, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

I am not "jumping" to the conclusion that the island sunk do to the nuclear explosion. I am basing it on the fact that the island was shown to be sunk in the beginning of the sideways reality and the description of the episode LA X was as follows:

The story deals with the aftermath of the detonation of the hydrogen bomb at the end of the previous episode.

Yes, a regular nuclear bomb doesn't sink islands, but a nuclear bomb set off in an eletromagnetic pocket strong enough to bring down airplanes could.

Posted by: Kship | February 17, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

**I found it interesting that Sawyer knew almost immediately that Locke wasn't Locke. He even seemed to sense that Locke wasn't even human.**

James has long been the sharpest knife in the drawer. Not only has he been well-read, but he is an expert in human behavior (as one would need to be to be a con man).

Posted by: ooyah32 | February 17, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

It seems that both Richard and MIB/Locke are more vulnerable than they have ever appeared. Now we know that Jacob has been keeping Richard in the dark about the "grand plan" as well (at least it seems that way for now). Richard seemed to take on the "Locke" role (being kept in the dark, manipulated, and seeming frightened and out of control) while MIB/Locke was the "Ben" role.

Then, all of a sudden, with the appearance of this blonde "boy" in the woods, the tables are suddenly turned and MIB/Locke becomes the vulnerable and unsure one. His reaction to encountering the "boy" marked the first time that the monster has seemed subordinate to another (he seemed particularly vulnerable when he tripped and fell) and he was pretty shaken by the sight. At first, I thought the boy was another being/god that's either on the same level as MIB/Locke and Jacob or is even above them. Now, I think the boy is either Jacob or Aaron - I'm leaning towards Jacob. I wonder why did the "boy" allowed Sawyer to see him, but not Richard.

I agree that Ben was being sincere in his eulogy of Locke. I think this because Ben was truly broken in the premiere episode. Not only was he spurned by Jacob, but he realized that the smoke monster was manipulating him into action. I think he's questioning every decision he's made on the island. And Lapidus is definitely one of my top three all-time favorite characters on this show - his response to Ben's eulogy was hilarious.

Also, and I know most probably won't agree, I think Hurley seems to be the most ideal candidate for Jacob's replacement at the moment, mainly because Jacob seems to trust Hurley more than anyone else. Hurley is the only one of all of them, aside from Locke, who saw Jacob's cabin on the island (if I'm remembering correctly)during the course of the series. And, Jacob not only touched Hurley, he trusted Hurley with the ankh/list - that seems pretty significant. Not to mention Hurley's ability to talk to the dead enabled him to communicate with Jacob about Sayiid.

I'm curious about Miles' role in all of this. He's not on the list, he's not one of the Oceanic 6, but he seems pretty important, given his "abilities".

Posted by: linswilliams | February 17, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

**Hurley seems to be the most ideal candidate for Jacob's replacement **

Just so long as it doesn't end with the Island being a snowglobe that belongs to Hugo in the psych ward.

Posted by: ooyah32 | February 17, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

At Locke's funeral, I was wondering who was in the rest of those graves. All I could get off the top of my head were Frogurt and Nikki & Paolo.

Posted by: HardyW | February 17, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

linswilliams - nice thoughts, and I agree with you completely about Lapidus being a favorite character. Maybe one reason we like him so much is that Lapidus gives voice to what we the audience are thinking, with a world-weary, bemused tone.

His delivery of "We're not going to Guam, are we" made it the BEST line in all of Season 5!

Posted by: NotDoc | February 17, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Hey, is anyone else having problems with watching the current episodes online on ABC.com and hulu? For some reason, we can watch older ones just fine on our computer, but when we've tried to watch the recent ones again it gets all jumpy and pixelated and is unwatchable in full screen mode, and the player seems a little different too. Anyone know if they've changed the format of the downloads or if there's anything we can do to make it better? I want to see this one again!!

Posted by: LizaBean | February 17, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

HardyW - Other graves include Boone, Shannon, Libby, Ana-Lucia, and Mr. Eko (probably more that I'm forgetting)

And poor Frogurt didn't get a grave - he was nailed by a flaming arrow during an Island "time shift" and presumably lay where he fell.

Posted by: NotDoc | February 17, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

OK, so the explosion of the nuclear bomb (i.e., the primary from the thermonuclear bomb) sent the ~8 1977 Losties 'forward' to 2007... arriving at almost the exact time that Ben killed Jacob.

So we might reasonably assume that the two timelines split at 1977? (e.g., 1977 Ben and Ethan, as children, left the island on the submarine... or did death-defying Ben not return from the temple in time to be evacuated on the submarine?)

Or was the timeline split, assuming there is one, occur upon Jacob's death? Thus giving us a timeline where Jacob was unable to touch our candidates? (no theory on why an intact island might sink though).

Posted by: PatAbroad | February 17, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

"Or was the timeline split, assuming there is one, occur upon Jacob's death? Thus giving us a timeline where Jacob was unable to touch our candidates? (no theory on why an intact island might sink though)."

Interesting. But Jacob was killed in 2007, so how that have stopped him from doing everything prior to that? Unless maybe he exists simulataneously in all times, so dying in one time removes him from all time...whoah...:)

Also, what do people make of the fact that Jacob's contacts (that we've seen, anyway) with Hurley and Sayid occurred *after* the first plane crash, and after they left the island as part of the Oceanic 6? Did they only become candidates at that point in time?

Posted by: LizaBean | February 17, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Re: who Kwon is... As far as I know, in real life Korean women do not generally take their husband's last name at marriage. So Kwon would definitely be Jin. However, if the credits always give Sun that name too, then I guess we have to assume that she is a rare name-changing Korean wife and the identity remains unclear.

Posted by: bellabone | February 17, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

The bomb did go off at the end of Season 5, but that doesn't mean the island sank because of it. LA X is an alternative.

It was not the whole hydrogen bomb (I'm not sure how it could go nuclear without the rest of it) and not enough to provide much of a blast. The core would just start the chain reaction. We never saw the expected effects of a nuclear explostion, the Losties were tossed a little, and they time shifted from 1977 to 2007.

An electromagnetic (EM) pocket is already a big stretch of the imagination, but its plausable that an EM pulse can bring down an airplane (metal and eletronic), but EM pulse does not ahve the same efect on rock and dirt.

Since EM seems to be a major part of the timeshifting storyline, I can buy into the bomb blast causing the timeshift, but causing an island to sink? We must be in Wonderland. That's how they'll end it, everyone goes into the Looking Glass.

Posted by: KevinAF | February 17, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

"It was not the whole hydrogen bomb (I'm not sure how it could go nuclear without the rest of it) "

From my understanding, the primary for a hydrogen bomb (really a thermonuclear bomb (i.e., fusion)) is itself just an atomic bomb (really a nuclear bomb (i.e., fission)). So I guess it's correct to say that they detonated a nuclear bomb.

Posted by: PatAbroad | February 17, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

1) the kid didn't say, "you can't kill sawyer." he said, "you can't kill him," which could mean jacob. that "loop hole" which allowed him (through ben) to kill jacob may actually be a violation of "the rules." it must be the most fundamental rule. why else would MIB's most memorable words be "do you know how much i want to kill you?" and the fact that he broke the rule no doubt explains why MIB seems spooked to see the kid. he knows there are consequences that will be coming down, and he has to work fast to "recruit" "men" (Jacob's list, notably, only includes men) to his team before the rules are put back in place.

2) many great quotes from last night. my favorite: "jacob's got a thing for numbers."

3)while it was also producing comic effect, it seems a hint to something that john locke is teaching the human reproductive system at the school where he works. remember the island cult to fertility?

4)i was glad to see john with helen. though his story in the first timeline was tragic, this gave a version of a happy ending that didn't seem sentimental. it produced surprise in the same way as the punchline to "walkabout" where we found out that locke was paralyzed before.

5) sawyer is working as a double agent.

Posted by: plathman | February 17, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I am going to go out on a limb and say the Kwon candidate is neither Jin or Sun. I betting it is the baby Kwon in Sun's belly.

Posted by: SameDifference | February 17, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I think when the bomb went off, the explosion - whatever kind it was - created two existences: One with the Island underwater in 1977 and there is no Jacob on the Island who in turn does not touch the lives of our Losties at different points in their lives (which explains the different lives they have to date) and a parallel existence on the Island in present time where the Losties are dealing with the consequences of the explosion.

Posted by: Lostie | February 17, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

In response to Jen's comment:

"Aside from that whole hot dirtbags connection -- which, I am sure, is why the "Lost" creative team chose to use that Iggy song -- let's pause for a moment to consider the name of that Pop band: the Stooges."

A reason for this may be that The Stooges were formed in Ann Arbor, Michigan = the home of The University of Michigan = the home of The Dharma Initiative.

Posted by: StephinA2 | February 17, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Didn't Ilana say they should show everyone at the Temple that Locke is actually dead? Then they burried him without showing anyone - I must have missed something...

Posted by: SSDF1 | February 17, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

The LA timeline is not an alternative. Cuse and Lindelof said it is not an alternative timeline. Both timelines are real.

Come on, LOST is a big stretch of the imagination. Of all the things on this show you really can't believe that the bomb sunk the island?

Posted by: Kship | February 17, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Is anyone actually suggesting that the nuclear bomb directly sunk the island? I don't think so (and we could all be wrong!)

But, all previous things considered, it is perhaps believable that the nuclear bomb triggered something that "moved" the island [in one timeline] to the bottom of the ocean.

Posted by: PatAbroad | February 17, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

I was thinking about how Locke was crossed off and the fact that MIB can no longer change human form. Possibly they are related. The MIB has chosen his human form from the list of candidates and since Locke is dead he cannot change. Maybe one of the other candidates is going to be a reincarnation of Jacob and they will continue to play out their rivalry in those forms.

Posted by: etownbetty | February 17, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

A note on the statement "And similarly, Rose circa "Walkabout" seemed like she was living in a dream world, insisting her husband was still alive despite what appeared to be all evidence to the contrary. In tonight's episode, she was the realist...." Remember, She Was Right about her husband being alive! She wasn't living in a dream world, she had faith based on her love and her man.

I think Rose is one of the key points of the 2 timelines. Jack assumed that all would be better off if Flt 815 hadn't crashed. Not true for Rose. I have the nagging feeling that there might be more bad turns in the non-crash timeline for some of the other Flt 815 passengers.

Posted by: lostein | February 17, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

**Jack assumed that all would be better off if Flt 815 hadn't crashed.**

Jack is a self-centered idiot and he KNEW that many people would be much worse off, including knowing that Kate would likely be going to prison for life.

Posted by: ooyah32 | February 17, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

One of the major unanswered questions is why these people's lives are so intertwined. They were intertwined before Flight 815 (Jack is Claire's half-brother, Sawyer meet's Jack's Dad in a bar, etc.) but none of them ever really met.

Now, in the short space of time since Flight 815 safely landed, not only are their fates still intertwined but they've actually starting bumping into each other. In a city the size of L.A. that's more than coincidence. In some cases (Kate and Claire, Locke and Ben the teacher) they are even getting mixed up in each other's lives.

The question is: why are their fates continuing to be so intertwined?

A related "big" unanswered question - why THESE people? This episode went some ways toward answering that question but it is still mostly unanswered (in my mind).

One last thought: what about all the dead people (Mr. Eko, Libby, etc.) - are their names crossed out? Is Miles' name on there? Walt's?

Posted by: marclips | February 17, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Hm, regarding those numbers, is it so obvious that you didn't mention
"Shephard - 23" and The 23rd Psalm, according to Wikipedia, known as the Shephard Psalm!

Posted by: lostein | February 17, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

"Jack is a self-centered idiot and he KNEW that many people would be much worse off, including knowing that Kate would likely be going to prison for life."

Really? I don't buy it. Sure, Kate goes to jail. Rose's life expectancy is reduced by 20 years. Maybe some other examples (are there?)

But of the 324 people on 815, how many are even alive still? A dozen perhaps? And are all of those better off?

Posted by: PatAbroad | February 17, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

nobody ever talks about Walt or the dog anymore. Seems it would be a shame that there is no closure to their stories. Didn't an early episode say something about Walt being the key to everything...?

Posted by: sodamnlost | February 17, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Great comments all. It looks like the excitement is back. So where is Bevjims to set us all straight : - )

Some of my thoughts: I totally agree with Plathman above that the blonde kid was probably not telling MIB that he couldn't kill Sawyer. I thought immediately that the kid meant that MIB couldn't kill Jacob, even using his loophole. This spooked MIB. If this is so, then it does mean that MIB can kill Sawyer. Sawyer knows this, or senses this, which is why he is playing the long con. He wants information that can help him, and help his friends.

I loved MIB's line, "it's an inside joke," the best of the comments but there were a number of good ones.

I don't think we are dealing with an alternate reality. I agree with Kship above. I think we are dealing with a separate parallel timeline, the path's between which have been opened by the 1977 explosion. Both time lines are real. This may be similar to what is happening on Fringe, thought I don't watch that show much so I'm not totally sure about that. But, because of the hole torn between the timelines, there may be some effect on the two separate timelines caused by what is happening in the other time line. Could one of the timelines be the home that MIB wants to get back to? Or is there someother timeline he wants to get back to? I realize this is a stretch, but I'm thinking out loud to work this thru. Feel free to disabuse this speculation.

One last thought: maybe MIB is good and Jacob is bad. Or maybe they are both grey. Think about it, Smokey didn't kill, or infect, everyone he (it) ever came in contact with. How will this play out, I don't know. Certainly, the story line is still ambiguous to this point. I mean, what is wrong with MIB wanting to go "home?" Something was keeping him and Jacob on the island. He wanted off the island; it's not clear that Jacob did (does). Does that make MIB bad that he wants off? No, but it may make him desperate.

Sorry about the rambling. Anyway, glad the show is getting back to the standards we were used to.

Posted by: Emcdoj | February 17, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Some interesting tidbits:
I tend to think now that the date on Claire's sonogram had a mistake on the month (October) & should've read 09-22-04 (as mentioned in the Fuselage website...2 numbers are correct, 1 is a mistake)...in the very start of the episode, Helen made reference to their wedding scheduled for October...this was repeated when Randy was talking to Locke at his cube. Locke had a photo of him & his father in the cube.

When Smokey-Locke finds Sawyer in the wreck of the Dharma house, the music being played is from the Stooges (fronted by Iggy Pop)-- a song called "Search and Destroy," about a disillusioned "forgotten boy" who is self-destructing and taking the world with him. The Stooges were formed in Ann Arbor, Michigan = the home of The University of Michigan = the home of The Dharma Initiative.

The woman who was interviewing Locke was the fortune teller in the Season 3 episode "Tricia Tanaka Is Dead".

Locke's' alarm clock sounded just like the warning from the Hatch computer when the 108 minute counter was approaching zero.

Jack's association with the number 23; the 23rd psalm. "The Lord is my SHEPHERD".

Another Locke/ Smokey Locke parallel....both exclaimed "You can't tell me what I can't do".

Interesting paralells with Jacobs Ladder...since a ladder was used to get to Jacobs lair. Jacob's Ladder is a ladder to heaven, described in the Book of Genesis, which Jacob envisions during his flight from his brother Esau. The Bible depicts Esau as a hunter who prefers the outdoor life, qualities that distinguished him from his brother, who was a shy and simple man. The allusions to the Biblical tale of Jacob and Esau dont end there, however. In the Bible, Jacob came out of the womb attached to the heel of Esau. When we first see Jacob in present day, he is in the heel of the statue (a statue that represent birth, among other things). In addition, Jacob took Esau's birthright.. trapping Esau to live forever without it. In LOST, the MIB's birthright to live free has apparently also been taken by Jacob. More tidbits about Jacob & Esau...they were twins (albeit fraternal). Regarding Locke seeing the teenage boy in the jungle...In the first shot, the boy had blood on his hands, on the second, no blood. So we saw two different boys, not just one.Perhaps it's two boys & they are actually Jacob & Esau....

Posted by: harrelsonw | February 17, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Re Jacob and MIB not being able to kill each other. Wasn't that the deal with Ben and Charles Widmore too?

Posted by: doobrah | February 17, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

I don't have time to read all the posts so far so sorry if I'm repeating, but here are some thoughts:

1) The names/numbers are not about the lostees but about their parents, and Locke is crossed out because his DAD is dead. Shepard is still around, ghostly but around. So is Reyes' dad. Jin, Jarrah and Ford's dad I'm not sure about. Kate killed her dad so no Kate on the wall. So, in other words, possibly Christian Shepard is a candidate, not Jack.

2) I'm pretty sure Sawyer is conning MIB.

3) Not sure how Ben can be in LA. Many have said he must have gone to the island even if it was sunk in the 1977 bomb blast. But its possible that he was on the island and escaped as the island was sinking, via the sub or the donkey wheel, and knows our sideways-lostees from his experiences in the past.

4) The kid is a mystery to me. Could be Aaron but way too old. I'm guessing he's simply someone we have not yet met but will become important in the future. Maybe a cherub ;-)

5) Where is Vincent? Where is Michael and Walt? I assume they also landed in LAX but no sighting of them.

Posted by: Fate1 | February 17, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

A number of comments/conjectures:

1) The entity in Locke's shape tells Sawyer that he once was a person, that he knew about happiness and pain, of betrayal and love, as well as being familiar with losing a loved one. We have every indication that he has been trapped in the island for a long time, at least since the Black Rock. So when he tells Sawyer and Ben (in the first episode) that what he wants is to go home, what home is that? Every human he might have known is surely gone by now, except maybe Richard. There's nothing to go back to, except maybe trying to learn how to be a person again.

2) Unless the entity in Locke's shape is lying and what he wants is to destroy everything (as stated by Richard and Ilana). I think the sentence "You'll see me sooner than you think, Richard" is a direct threat to him. Perhaps one possibility (not too enthusiastic about it) is that he is a kind of creature from the sea, and that by going home he means "driving the island to the bottom of the sea".

3) Maybe the two timelines are interconnected: moving the island circa 2007 (after the "war" is over) to the past and letting time evolve could lead eventually to the new LA 2004 reality.

4) A number of posters mention that the name Straume is crossed out, implying either that he's dead or that he has been disqualified as a candidate. Miles' last name must have come from his mother, so maybe the crossing out of the Straume name refers to his mother, whom I believe is dead in 2007.

5) I really hope that we learn more about Ilana, of her relation with Jacob and of her allegiances. I thought it was moving that she was the only one that had tears for what happened to Jacob and her colleagues. The others, including Richard, had spent a lifetime or more following him, but Jacob's dead only stirred fear and violence in them. I believe Sun has sensed that Ilana has lost much too much in these developments.

Posted by: for33 | February 17, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Never forget that the MIB lies.

He lied about being Smoky, who judges the balance of one's life against a feather in the Egyptian afterlife, and is Set in that incarnation, just as Jacob is Osiris - who arises again after being killed and destroyed, with the aid of his mother.

Which is why Sahid is now Osiris/Jacob, but we're still missing the mother figure ... unless that is the woman on the plane?

Posted by: WillSeattle | February 17, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone else think that the opening of the episode showing MIB Locke and dead Locke on the island, then jumping to the scenes of Locke in LA was just screaming that Locke in LA is MIB Locke? Possibly that's how he managed to leave the island. Note that in that time line the island had been destroyed, maybe because there was no one to save it.

Posted by: richarde1 | February 17, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

I keep going back to the thought that MiB is the devil. aka, a fallen angel, wanting to go back to "heaven", trying to convince everyone to take the forbidden fruit, to seek knowledge over faith (I have the answer). Living in "hell" collecting "bad" souls (as smokey), tempting the living (Ben with his daughter "you must do what John Locke wants", Eko seeing his brother...) "Richard, you'll see me before you know it" Just wanting to go back to heaven.

Whereas Jacob lives more according to faith, free will (you have a choice), selflessness (telling ben "what about you" not in a spiteful way, but think about the others you were leading dude;) He accepted his death because it was all part of the plan, but he is not dead, rather ascended or reincarnated as the blond boy (you can't kill him). Like other posters have mentioned, it clearly spooked MiB seeing the boy, not something he anticipated. And I couldn't help but think of the bloody hands and the aura were Christ-like after the resurrection...

and the "chosen ones" are coming, all part of the plan "it all ends the same, the rest is just progress". I really don't want it all to be about heaven and hell, God and the Devil...but the signs are there?

Posted by: smd520 | February 17, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Ok, here's a thought ... The Nile in ancient egypt was considered the giver-of-life and Osiris was god of the Nile. One of the plagues administered by God was to turn the Nile red with blood. The temple water that use to be clear sure looks like its red and did not heal Sayid, well, maybe not.

Posted by: Fate1 | February 17, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

**But of the 324 people on 815**

What about the other passengers?

EVERYONE knows that, except for our merry little band, everyone else on the plane is a red shirt. They are red shirts in every reality. They don't count.

Posted by: ooyah32 | February 17, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Two things never to be forgotten --

MIB is Jacob's "Adversary," and he is a liar. He may throw some truth in now and then, but that is only because the best lies have a measure of truth in them.

Jacob, on the other hand, is "he who will save us all" and the weaver of the tapestry of life.

Posted by: ooyah32 | February 17, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

This whole thing is starting to feel like The Mummy, where a bad dude gets through the whole egyptian afterlife thing and is resurrected, with powers (smokey powers) and is now working to become free in some way.

MIB is obviously trapped on the island and it seems he was trapped on purpose, possibly in the cabin with the ash around it but we've seen smokey since day 1 on the island, and it seems MIB is smokey, so he was never trapped in the sense of being contained. He must have been under some sort of control which he is now free of. That would likely be Jacob, who maintained MIB on the island, keeping him from leaving or causing too much trouble. Now that Jacob is gone MIB is free to do what he wants, including leaving the island and, like the ancient gods, causing all kinds of mischief in the world.

Last night when they replayed "What Kate Wants" the subtitles said that the sideways timeline was what would have happened had the plane never crashed. And since we saw the island underwater it means the plane could only have not crashed due to the island being underwater. Now, this does not mean its a real timeline. It could be a hypothetical to show us how these people would have lived their lives had they never crashed. Not part of the story but more a way of explaining how these people are changed by their experiences on the island, a measure of the progress Jacob keeps referring to.

Posted by: Fate1 | February 17, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse

I almost forgot --

Last week, there was some discussion about the October date on Claire's ultrasound picture.

However, Helen mentioned that the wedding was going to be in October, which would indicate that they are still in September.

Posted by: ooyah32 | February 18, 2010 2:37 AM | Report abuse

Incidentally, now that I think, another good phrase in the show was Ben's

"Am I interrupting?"

to Ilana when she was crying inside the statue.

Posted by: for33 | February 18, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

The entity is the shape of Locke seemed very surprised by the fact that Sawyer was able to see the boy. There is the possibility that there is a type of beings in the island, invisible most of the times, and that they are the source of the whispers (instead of the others), and the boy is just but one of them. In the website losteastereggs there are several transcripts of the whispers over the years, and at times after reading them (they usually spoken by more than one voice) they remind me of somewhat detached game-players or watchers.

Posted by: for33 | February 18, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

"EVERYONE knows that, except for our merry little band, everyone else on the plane is a red shirt. They are red shirts in every reality. They don't count."

Poor Jack being called an idiot for saving hundreds if red-shirt lives!! On the other hand, I count at least a dozen non-red-shirts on 815 that would be alive still. I suggest someone lightens up on poor Jack!!

Posted by: PatAbroad | February 18, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Why is everyone so certain that the bomb DID go off? Yes, Juliette hit it with a rock and there was a white flash, but there is always a white flash with a time shift. And I believe she initially told James "It didn't work" before she started suggesting coffee dates and declaring that it worked after all. I think what worked was that history changed, not that the bomb went off. What evidence do we have of a hydrogen bomb going off? Wouldn't the island be devestated, even 30 years later?

Posted by: PQSully | February 18, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Well, I remember in season 2 that Sayid and Jack explored what seemed to be the hatch's underground. Sayid commented that the structure had been shielded with cement in enormous amounts, that he thought reminded him of Chernobyl. So, it seems fair to think that under the hatch there was a radiation source of some kind: either unexploded bomb, or exploded bomb with, somehow, the blast front "attracted" or "eaten" by the "strange energy properties of the hatch site".

Also, Richard told Sun that he had "watched" Jin, Jack, and the rest of the people in the 1977 photo die at the hatch. Clearly, if there was an atomic or hydrogen bomb "incident", it was confined to the hatch. The rest of the island was not affected.

Posted by: for33 | February 18, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

lins mentioned up above Hugo becoming Jacob's replacement. I'm agreeing with this because 815 has been such a significant number throughout all the seasons, that I'm thinking Hugo (8) will be Jacob's replacement and Sawyer (15) will be MIB's.

Posted by: needmoredesmond | February 18, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to raise an issue about THE NUMBERS. Obviously we see that each of the numbers corresponds to a Lostie. However, the numbers are *everywhere* and clearly in play well before 815 arrives on the island in the original timeline.
http://lostpedia.wikia.com/wiki/The_Numbers
The big one being that the numbers were being broadcast and attracted Danielle and her people to the island. Anyone have any thoughts on why the numbers appear in such a myriad of different places? Other than as just an intriguing plot device? :)

Posted by: daward74 | February 18, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Here is some food for thought I just stumbled upon, although it doesn't have so much to do with this particular episode as it does the LOST Story as a whole...


Reading up on some Egyptian Mythology, just for fun and not because I am obsessed with this show, I learned that two gods in particular, Osiris and Set, more or less represented good and evil. (Light and Dark, however you'd like to coin it). Set was the dark/evil one. Osiris married Isis and he reigned over Egypt before Set finally overthrew him.

How did he overthrow him? He made a wooden chest that would only fit Osiris' body, and tricked him into getting in.

So that happens, and Isis is upset because if she does not find Osiris' body he will not be able to go to the 'underworld' or I think its more of a "he'll be a restless soul forever" kind of thing. As she is out searching for his body, out pops Horus, destined to rule Egypt and also kin of Osiris. Set, currently leading Egypt, would surely kill Horus, so Isis hides him on the island of Chassis and has it moved around to different locations while she is off trying to find her deceased hubby's body. (hello LOST island...)

Isis finds the chest with her lover's body in Byblos, and brings it back for a proper burial. But then, Set gets a hold of it and cuts it up into 14 pieces and scatters them across the region. Isis recovers all but one piece (it was eaten by a fish), and buried them, and Osiris was at peace.

A couple things from this... Can we relate characters to these Gods? And if we can do that, can we make our own answers?

PS: This all started out with the Egyptian Goddess Nut who had 5 children in 5 days that "Did not belong to any year" 5 children? 5 "canidates" left if we count Jin/Sun as two or Lock as still in the running...?

http://www.jimloy.com/egypt/osiris.htm


Thanks for your time :)

Posted by: kmonwilcox | February 18, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Actually, 5 canidates, not including locke... I forgot to count Sayid. What a bad obsessed fan I am!

Posted by: kmonwilcox | February 18, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Two thoughts:

1) Remember when Locke could not kill his father? He wanted him dead but had to manipulate Sawyer into doing it for him. Very similar to what is going on now.

2) The list isn't Jacob's, its MIB's. We saw MIB cross Locke's name off the list, just as the other names had been crossed out. MIB keeps a list of Jacob's candidates that need to be subverted. Once he's successful, he strikes them out.

Jacob wasn't living in his neat and orderly statue home, but keeping a second hideaway camp in a cave with a list scratched all over the ceiling. MIB's cave was a sort of exile.

Posted by: MDSCP | February 18, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

MDSCP: I think Locke not being able to kill his father was also him giving Sawyer a chance to seek revenge on the person who killed his parents. Sawyer never let it go, and Locke gave him that feeling of relief.

Posted by: needmoredesmond | February 18, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

FYI: The Heddington brothers over at GetLostPodcast accurately point out that some of the other "crossed out" names on the cave walls were also on the 1950's army uniforms Widmore and his men were wearing.

On some of their screengrabs you can also see the names "Goodspeed" and possibly "Chang"

Posted by: deltaxi | February 18, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Smokey/Flocke says "Kwon--not sure if it's Sun or Jin"--though it could mean both. Jacob touched them both. And for Shephard, he says something about "all of them" which could mean Christian, Jack, Claire, and Aaron. Maybe even Kate? How awkward would it be if she also ended up being Jack's sister. Or perhaps her real family name is another on the wall...

Posted by: chunche | February 18, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

"Locke on good terms with his father? Maybe alterna-Locke met alterna-Helen somewhere other than therapy his father drove him into, and maybe he was paralyzed some other way than pushed out a window by his father."

And then it stands to reason that if Locke's dad is an OK guy, he didn't con Sawyer's mom, so Sawyer's mom and dad are STILL ALIVE.

Posted by: chunche | February 18, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

I agree the cave is MIB's and he is the one crossing off the names, after he directly or indirectly killed the candidates.

But what is really making me wonder is MIB saying he was once a normal man (if we can trust what he says). That would mean he was not a god, but became one, or was born of a god and human. I'll need to read up on Set, who the consensus seems to think is MIB. Was Set born a man and became a god later?

Posted by: Fate1 | February 18, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

In past weeks, I was one of those echoing the idea that maybe we had been led astray about Jacob and MiB, in terms who was good vs. evil.

After this last episode, I no longer share that doubt. Jacob is good, MiB not so good.

I am, however, totally with linswilliams above who noted how vulnerable MiB seemed in this episode: His shock when he saw the boy, his amazement that Sawyer saw the boy too, the fact that he stumbled while running soon thereafter. Very interesting.

Posted by: MeriJ | February 18, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Also, the Psalm 23 angle totally vindicates clr5f's comment last week about Jack's last name being emphasized at the temple.

Posted by: MeriJ | February 18, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Kate's name was on the list of people that Ben persuaded Michael to bring Kate to the Others toward the end of season two. She was one of only four people on Ben's list, along with Jack, Hugo and Sawyer. Add that to Jacob touching her as a child and it does seem odd that she wasn't on the cave ceiling/candidate list.

Although, to be honest, I'm not sure what to make of Lostpedia having all those names worked out. Did we see the entire ceiling?

Posted by: MeriJ | February 18, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Why don't you lighten up on your boyfriend Jack?

In other news -- if the cave and the list is MIB's, then does that mean that he is responsible for the Numbers? (which are cursed)

Posted by: ooyah32 | February 19, 2010 3:06 AM | Report abuse

"Why don't you lighten up on your boyfriend Jack?"

Failed homophobic jab aside(!), MIB intentionally implied (or misdirected!) that the cave was Jacob's. For example, MIB explicitly says that Jacob wrote the names (Jacob's cave, or shared cave?). And MIB (says he) doesn't know if it's Sun or Jin's name (or both). Though the Shephard comment, one presumes, is important.

Though if it was indeed Jacob's ladder and cave, there would be many potential biblical implications (ladder between Earth and Heaven etc.).

Posted by: PatAbroad | February 19, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Whose cave is this: Jacob and MiB might be two aspects of one entity. You know, the old dual/dueling personality thing.

I don't actually suspect it yet, but the idea did pop out at me in the middle of the night. It might explain a few things, such as whose cave that is and who wrote the numbers -- it belonged to both of them, etc.

File this one as a plausible but less likely theory for now...

Posted by: MeriJ | February 19, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Concerning whose cave is it? I think either belonged to Jacob or, as MeriJ suggested, to both of them. With the hatred that seems to consume the man in black/smoke monster/person in the shape of Locke, I can't imagine that he would have the coolness of mind to keep at his place a balanced scale with a white and a black stone. But may be I'm underestimating him.

Posted by: for33 | February 19, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Recruits in the epic struggle:

Jacob vs. MiB
Ben vs. Widmore

I'm at work, but Lost keeps running through my head!

So if Jacob and MiB have been recruiting surrogates, which of the two were Ben and Widmore aligned with? Their struggle was bound by simlar rules, which suggests they understood theirs was an extension of the Jacob/MiB battle -- or that both struggles were subsets of some larger battle.

Was Widmore aligned with MiB? Weren't his mercs supposed to kill everyone on the island? Or was that just Ben propaganda? He wanted to nab Ben, for sure.

Why did Widmore help Locke get everyone back to the island? Was that purely to set up the Jacob-killing loophole for MiB? Widmore really didn't seem so bad for a little while there.

Ben seemed to think he was working for Jacob. And Widmore was kicked off the island, which would make him a likely Jacob foe. But maybe they both thought they were working with Jacob -- MiB is a trickster, for sure.

The easiest answer aligns Widmore with MiB, and Ben with Jacob, even if some of the time Ben might have been getting instructions from MiB pretending to be Jacob.

But as PQSully noted last week -- and I would certainly include MiB and maybe even Jacob in this -- no one camp seems to know everything that is going on.

Posted by: MeriJ | February 19, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

In the last episode of season 5, the Incident, we see Jacob and the man in black walk freely on the island; none of them is protected or trapped in a restricted area. It is also clearly suggested that it is the time of the Black Rock.

So, either at that time the man in black was not the smoke monster yet, or there were no other living people on the island, for if such was not the case we would presume that either the man in black would be a prisoner (to protect the people) or Jacob would be in his hideout protected by ashes.

I guess that we could assume then that the ash business happens after the Black Rock arrives.

I also think that we can safely assume that Ilana has broad knowledge about the status of Jacob, the monster, and the island. I mean, it seems reasonable to take her revelations as true. So the cabin was Jacob's and she knew where to find it. At the beginning they were fine with the ashes, so Jacob must have taken refuge from somebody in the cabin. But later they found the breach in the ashes, and Ilana concludes after going inside that (a) Jacob's not there anymore but has gone to the statue, and (b) that somebody else has occupied it.

So this "hiding" by Jacob happened after the Black Rock.

Finally, I don't understand how the man in black/monster/entity in the shape of Locke can have the knowledge that he has. We've seen Jacob outside the island, so presumably he caught up with the times in that way. But unless the monster gets everything that is in the mind of the person he impersonates, how can somebody from ancient times have an english language indistinguishable from Locke's or Sawyer's.

A final thought: could all the constructions in the island (statue, temple, etc.) have been built over the millennia by Jacob alone? He certainly took time and pleasure doing stuff inside the statue. But where did the materials come from?

Posted by: for33 | February 19, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Candidates and the rules:

I assumed the boy was refering to the same rule that Ben perceived vis a vis Widmore: The combatants can't directly kill one another. Or at least you can't kill anyone on the *opposing* team. That would presume that Ben/Rousseau's daughter was on a team, or that Ben thought the protection extended to family members.

After this last episode, I amended the rule in my mind to be "Jacob and MiB can't (directly) kill each other nor can they kill a candidate. But a candidate has free will to kill it's own patron."

The boy was reminding MiB that Sawyer is a candidate. Maybe Alex was one too, or maybe Ben just thought she was.

What I wonder now is whether both Jacob and MiB have candidates, or whether there are only candidates to replace Jacob -- candidates that MiB is trying to subvert or get killed.

If they're borrowing from the God-Lucifer storyline, it would make more sense for candidates to be unaligned until they choose a side. Then the storyline would contrast the styles that Jacob and MiB use uses to win converts -- rare direct contact, and reliance on faith and goodness (God) versus a more active seduction that preys on disatisfaction and self-interest (Lucifer). It's one of the great storylines in our mythology.

I need to revisit Eko's death by Smokie. Why was that an allowable kill?

Posted by: MeriJ | February 19, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm starting to feel like Henry Hawk from the old Warner Brothers cartoons:

"If I give the cat a fish, I get a dog...no, the fish gets a bone...no, wait, the cat wants some cheese...no, the mouse wants cheese! GOSH, I wonder what the cheese will want!"

Posted by: PQSully | February 19, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Eko's death: "smokey" was trying to break Eko's spirit: the visions of Yemi, trying to make him atone for his sins, trying to make him feel guilty for the life he lead. But HE COULD NOT BREAK EKO. He said something to the effect of " I did the best I could with what I had...I did not sin". And therefore, MiB killed him. He could not convert him, so he got rid of him. On the contrary, Ben was broken, he did what MiB wanted. Sawyer, so far, is complying...

Do we know that the candidates are to replace Jacob and/or MiB?? could they be candidates for some other purpose?

Posted by: smd520 | February 19, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

>Do we know that the candidates are to replace Jacob and/or MiB?? could they be candidates for some other purpose?

Yeah, that's what ooyah32 was saying: That since MiB is the Deceiver, the fact that he claims the list consists of candidates to replace Jacob makes it almost certainly not true.

What do they call that in the movies, an unreliable narrator? I guess he's not really a narrator, but he's certainly a damn liar.

Thus far, I feel no solid hunch about whose cave that was prior to Jacob's death. For33's comment about the balanced scale seeming out of character for MiB rang very true. But the idea that it's MiB's cave, with a list of team "Jacob candidates" he is attempting to eliminate rings true also.

Just have to wait, I guess.

Posted by: MeriJ | February 19, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

for33: Re your question about how MIB knows english because there is no evidence that he leaves the island while there is direct evidence that Jacob can and has left the island, likely many times. One answer could be simply that he also can leave the island (but for some reason not be able to go "home".). But, even if he can't, he has been watching humans brought to the island by Jacob for millenia. I assume he has has plenty of opportunities to learn their language. Remember, he can turn himself into smokey and has likely been able to observe the humans fairly closely. I also think that he does learn things from the bodies (souls as well?) of the humans he kills/inhabits/infects (Alex for one; Locke for sure). Recall that MIB told someone (Ben?) that the thing in Locke's mind as he was dieing was confusion (or something to that effect), implying that he is capable of learning what is in a human's mind (at least in Locke's mind). I don't have any problem with him being able to learn English, or any other language for that matter.

Posted by: Emcdoj | February 19, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

The scale in the cave could simply mean that Jacob visited MIB's cave and left it there as "an inside joke." Except for the scale, everything else in the case could be interpreted to belong to MIB, or be due to MIB. Someone above posted that the way that MIB crossed out Locke's name made them think it was MIB who wrote the names on the ceiling. I had the same feeling.

Posted by: Emcdoj | February 19, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Some thoughts and a few questions:

Might the two timelines become one at some point through the use of a constant in the way that Desmond did in the episode when he began freaking out in the helicopter heading toward the barge? Might the alt-LAX folks start to have some nose bleeds etc.?

How is it Ben knows about "the rules" about killing Widmore and yet seems so clueless about what is happening around him now? It seems strange that he was at one time clued in about "the rules" but now only seems to be along for the ride. Is he faking it?

Who's side is Eloise on? How is it she left the island? She seemed to have a civil yet very tense relationship with Widmore once off the island. What happened? And why did Ben kill Locke as soon as he mentioned her name? Why is it Widmore can find the island and send the mercenaries there but doesn't back there himself? Has he been banned for life? ARGGH!!! I love it!

Posted by: balboacruiser | February 20, 2010 1:37 AM | Report abuse

OMG, I'm watching what appears to be a cheesy SiFi on the SyFy channel called "Sunshine" and the actor who plays Dogen is on it in a major role, the captain of the ship. Something about reigniting a dying sun. I get annoyed at space stories where it appear billions of dollars have been spent on the ship and mission but they put idiot hot-headed crew aboard. Glad that didn't happen with Lost :-) Dogen appears to be very level headed. Guess its his acting persona.

I think its clear Ben knows he was deceived for years by MIB pretending to be Jacob. Maybe Richard too. Richard is in total panic mode but I don't think Ben will go this route. He's too devious. I think he's going after MIB in the next few episodes.

I also think Sawyer is also leading MIB on, pretending to go along with his plan to leave the island. All of this is part of Jacob's plan. Consider that right now, with the possible exception of Sawyer, no one is on MIB's side. By exposing himself, and thanks to Ilana bringing Locke's body proving un-Locke is this really bad dude, MIB's options are getting fewer and fewer.

I also think this is not the first time this has happened. Jacob seems pretty confident he can handle this. Jacob may be MIB's jailer, and this is yet another attempt by MIB to escape and Jacob, using people and decades of time, will once again keep him confined.

Posted by: Fate1 | February 21, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

MIB vs. Jacob

I seem to recall Jacob telling Hurley that MIB was his long-time friend (or some word to that effect) but that had MIB had grown tired of his company.

Mr. Eko:

Thanks, smd520, for the reminder on Mr. Eko's death. Interesting that he was killed for not accepting guilt (he believed he had done the best he could) whereas Ben felt he had to confess and beg absolution in order to be spared from smokie's judgement.

It's so hard to wait!

Posted by: MeriJ | February 21, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

JES11-- I love the way you think. I can just see Jack and James there now!!

Posted by: scandibaby | February 23, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Not alt time lines, but parallel universes.

Posted by: oypay | February 24, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

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