Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Lost Again

Last week on Lost, something occurred which gave me faith in the validity of my theory as to which of the candidates will replace Jacob and, conceivably, the Smoke Monster who is not so much Jacob's evil self, as the primal, emotional side of this schizophrenic entity-Jacob being the coldly logical, calculating, pragmatic side.

Sun will replace one, her husband Jin the other, and the two of them, by reason of their love for each other, will serve to integrate the two conflicting sides and make them whole.

But before I go into what happened last week, there is also another aspect that might seem confusing and which needs to be addressed. If what we are seeing in Sideways time is the result of what would have happened if the crash of Flight 815 never occurred, then how does that explain such drastic changes in their lives inflicted by Jacob's influence, from years before the crash, suddenly no longer being in affect at the time the crash ordinarily would have occurred?

Luckily, we have the possible answer there as well-time travel again. Jacob didn't insinuate himself into the survivor's lives until they became survivors after the crash. Once the crash occurred, only then did Jacob, after almost instantaneously learning all there was to know about them, go back in time to pivotal points of their lives and influence them-in affect changing them to what he most needed them to be. Had he chosen not to do so, or had he been unable to do so, the crash survivors would have been as we see them in Sideways time, stranded on the island due to a mishap with the escaped electromagnetic energy which initially caused the crash-but otherwise the same people, with the same lives, that we are seeing in Sideways time.

As for what happened last week, it was one of those "blink and you miss it" type of things. When Sun and Jin were finally reunited on Hydra Island, after a separation of some three years, they ran toward each other and embraced. In a straight line from the exact spot between the two of them as they embraced stood one of the pylons erected by Charles Widmore as a means of keeping the Smoke Monster at bay.

Something else happened. Sun got back her ability to speak English-after Fake Locke (Smokey in the guise of John Locke) touched her. Recall that Flocke had previously touched an unconscious Sun, whereupon she awoke having forgotten how to speak English, though she could still understand it, an indication that her desire to speak English derived from a previous touch from Jacob. Flocke's previous touch negated that gift, while not negating the ability to understand English (possibly because she was unconscious when he touched her, which might have limited his power).

When Flocke saw the result of his touch, and that it would be more of a hindrance than a help to his plans, Flocke rescinded the power of his own touch with a follow-up, not realizing the true import of Jacob's influence, in Sun and Jin's case, was their marriage, which otherwise would have never come about, despite their love for each other. As we saw in the Sideways timeline, they would not have been married at the time of the crash of Flight 815 had it not been for Jacob's influence.

Yet, Jacob's influence was also such that Sun became fluent in English as a means of eventually leaving Jin, who though loving him she had come for a time to distrust due to his criminal associations with her mobster father. It took a time of separation following the birth of their daughter before she realized just how much she really loved him after all. So what will the overall implications of Flocke's latest actions amount to?

We also saw how his touch has influenced Sayid. We saw in Sideways time how Sayid would do anything to protect Nadia, including from himself. Jacob's influence changed him to where he would do anything to get Nadia for himself. Now that's she's gone, Sayid wants her back, and Flocke has promised to deliver on that promise. Yet, Flocke's touch in Sayid's case seems to have had yet another unexpected result. Sayid is changing back to where he is not willing to go too far, not despite his feelings for her, but because of them. In last week's episode, he apparently backed out of murdering Desmond Hume in cold blood, against Flocke's express orders, after Hume asked him what would Nadia think if she found out he committed such a cold blooded murder on her behalf?

That seems to have been too much for Sayid to cope with. Yet, this was a man who, while yet under Jacob's influence, willingly became a hired assassin for Benjamin Linus during his return stint to the outside world.

So if you see where I'm going with this, then it becomes obvious that the seemingly ageless war between Jacob and the Smoke Monster is much more complicated than that of a simple war of good versus evil. If anything, Jacob's influence would seem to be a net negative. On the other hand, it might be more pragmatic in certain ways-yet it seems to instill a sense of determination towards the candidates to go about the accomplishing of those innermost desires which they might otherwise sublimate for the greater good of all concerned.

Another case in point is Sawyer. Although it is hard to gauge the influence of Flocke's touch on him (remember, Flocke touched him when he saved him by grabbing his arm as he was about to fall to his death while descending the face of the cliff towards Flocke's cave), it is certainly obvious by now what Jacob's influence was.

In Sideways time, we saw how Sawyer, whose true name is James Ford, decided to become a devoted officer of the law in the aftermath of his mother and father's murder and suicide by the "real Sawyer". Although he was still devoted to tracking down the villain and possibly killing him, he still wanted to make a positive difference.

Jacob's influence changed all of that. Instead, Ford adopted the name Sawyer and became not just a career criminal, but the same kind of con artist who wooed naive and unhappily married women and stole their family's life savings. It would stand to reason now that the effect on Sawyer of Flocke's touch, of negating Jacob's influence, would be to revive in him that dedication to justice and honor that might in the long run contribute yet another facet of Flocke's ultimate downfall.

And at the end of last week's episode, we saw Flocke touch Jack Shepherd. How will that play out? In truth, we know little of Jacob's influence on him, other than had he not intervened in Jack's life, he would have had a relationship with his son, something he ended up avoiding due to the belief that he would be a terrible father.

So far, Flocke has not exercised the power of his touch on Hugo, whom Jacob transformed from a business entrepreneur with a golden touch of his own, into a lottery winner, though of otherwise uncommonly bad luck.

He has also not touched Kate, nor for that matter Jin. Doubtless he will in time, but to what effect?

In closing, I should like to point out that I might be in the course of revising an earlier theory to the effect that the island is itself alive, and Jacob and Smokey could just represent two conflicting sides of its personality. While that might well be true, it is also conceivable that the island is just a place of special electromagnetic power, and the two warring sides just might have been caught up by the force of its power and transformed by it in some unknown way.

it is even conceivable that the Adam and Eve skeletons might well be the original persons of Jacob and Smokey-a husband and wife. It's been theorized that since time travel is an integral element of the show, these skeletons, whom Jack Shepherd says died about fifty years ago, could in fact be Sun and Jin, victims of time travel. I think, however, that they might actually be the original parents of Jacob and Smokey, regardless of whether those two are one person or two. It is also possible that they might be those two, and that they-Jacob and Smokey-might have originally been husband and wife.

One thing about this show-there's no end to the possibilities, which is one of the things that make it so compelling.