Lost: Here comes the man in black

This week’s flash-sideways focused on Jack (finally!) and his relationship with his son. Yes, in this other timeline, Jack has a teenage piano-prodigy son named David with an unidentified ex-wife. The littlest Shephard at first appeared to be following in his dad’s father-hating footsteps, but by the end of the episode Jack and David had a heart-to-heart and resolved their differences. While the story was sweet and the father twist was interesting, the really crucial aspects of the flash-sideways were the things mentioned in passing. Like, for example, Jack’s childhood appendectomy. According to his mother, he had it removed when he was a boy, but the Jack we all know and love had it removed on the island last season. In the vein of survivors running into other Others in flash-sideways lives, we also caught a glimpse of “Samurai” leader Dogen. Also, Jack and his mother first hear the name “Claire Littleton” when reading Christian’s will. They still do not know their relation to her but something tells me that whatever money Christian leaves her will help her raise Baby Aaron.

Speaking of Claire, we got to see more of her in this week’s episode as well. She helped pry Jin’s leg out of the trap he got caught in a few episodes ago and sewed him up in her jungle hideout. After that, she dragged the other Other that she shot at a few episodes ago as well to her hideout to be questioned about the whereabouts of Baby Aaron. She was convinced they were holding him, and when Jin told her that Kate had been caring for Aaron, she put a hatchet into the other Other. Jin recanted, saying he only told her to save the man, and Claire confessed that if it were true, she’d kill Kate. If all of that is not crazy enough for you, she also chatted it up with Smocke like they were old pals.

Elsewhere on the island, Hurley and Jack managed to escape the temple by following instructions Jacob gave Hurley via ghost sighting. How did Hurley and Jacob get Jack to agree to come along? By telling him “You have what it takes,” exactly the opposite of what his father had been telling him his whole life. The two men travel to the Lighthouse, where they find three mirrors and a big dial with names written at every degree that they were told to set at 108 degrees to help bring a friend of Jacob’s to the island. While spinning the mirrors, Jack sees a building in the reflection. When he sets the dial to the number where his name is written down, Jack sees in the mirror his childhood home. Before getting to 23, the audience catches glimpses of the church where Sun and Jin got married and the church where Sawyer’s parents’ funeral was held. Infuriated and confused, Jack demands to see Jacob and when Hurley explains he can not make him appear, Jack smashes the mirrors. Shortly thereafter, Jacob does come back and tells Hurley that he could not just tell Jack to do something, he had to come to the realization himself. Jack had to realize how important he is on his own (or rather, with subtle Jacob manipulation).

After seeing the dial with all of the names written on it and scratched out, I am convinced that Jacob has been working so hard gathering these candidates because this is the end. I would bet money that Jacob and MIB’s names are written somewhere on that dial, as are the names of the people who were candidates when they were chosen and the people who came before them. But the dial is filling up, time is running out, and Jacob needs to find the final protector of the island.

Here’s a question I have: Why so many candidates? And why is Kate not one of them? Her name was on the dial, but Smocke did not list her as a candidate. My guess is that Kate is there purely to help facilitate Jacob’s manipulations. What is Jacob looking for in the next island protector? And is he manipulating events to test the candidates?

My other question requires a response from my readers. Who is the good guy and who is the bad guy? At this point we are going to assume that the Man in Black = Smoke Monster = the thing inhabiting Locke’s body. So far, we know that Jacob has lied, manipulated, and controlled. MIB, on the other hand, claims to be honest and there is no evidence of the contrary thus far. Nonetheless, he is portrayed as evil and Jacob as good. Why does the audience insist that Jacob’s tricks are for good and MIB’s honesty is false? What do you think? Please comment below and tell me!

There are a few things from the episode I want to point out in case you missed them.

The hieroglyphic Hurley stared at in the hallway represents an ouroboros, the snake eating its tail symbol of cyclicality that Mrs. Hawking has a pin of. Also, the name associated with number 108 on the dial is “Wallace.” And we got to see Adam and Eve – the skeletons in the cave – again. I especially enjoyed Hurley’s remark that possibly the skeletons belong to Jack and him after a time traveling mishap. The theory that the skeletons actually belong to two of the survivors has been circling since last season and the writers’ wink to the audience amused me. Finally, the song David is playing on the piano is the same song Daniel Faraday played in last season’s “The Variable” episode.

Some Lost enthusiasts are speculating that Faraday is David’s piano teacher. Others have posited that Jack got his appendix taken out the same year they blew up the island (if he got it removed when he was seven, he was born in 1970 and would have been thirty four when the plane crashed…it works!). Rumors are also flying that Juliet is David’s mother. But these are just wild guesses.

And I’ll end tonight with another fan theory to share with you all, this week courtesy of my brother’s friend Chase Mizelle ’05: “Jacob has his list of potential replacements, [and] given the necessary balance for white versus black, wouldn’t it make sense that the Man in Black needs a replacement too? Could this all end with Jack as the new Jacob and Sawyer as the new MIB – both bound to protect the island, Jack wanting to protect it and Sawyer wanting to leave?” After the whole Sawyer/Smocke (assuming Smocke = MIB) interaction in the episode two weeks ago, this theory seems quite plausible.

See ya in another week, brotha!


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