Welcome back to "Too Much Information," the companion column to the Lost Rewatch at Chud.com. I'm using this column to air some of my more speculative (and scattershot) ideas about the remaining mysteries on the Island, and about the basic structure of the show. Today's discussion point:
TMI 3: Loopholes and Prison-Feet
There's been much speculation following the Season five finale about the 'loophole' that the mysterious Man In Black (who, I'm theorizing, may be a manifestation of the Island, like all of the apparent apparitions we've seen on the show so far) exploited in order to kill Jacob.
The most obvious answer to the question of 'what is the loophole': The Man In Black had to have someone else kill Jacob since, being a 'ghost,' he can't do it himself. Instead, the Island/MiB needs to use visions/apparitions to influence those that come to the Island, either to goad them into helping him kill Jacob, or to eliminate those that could end up interfering with that goal.
But there are some problems with this, most notably the fact that we see 'ghost' Christian use a flashlight to illuminate the picture from the Dharma barracks in Season five and sit physically in a chair in Jacob's cabin in Season three, implying that Christian, at least, can touch physical objects.
So perhaps its more complicated than an inability to physically kill Jacob. Let's consider Jacob's cabin.
We know through Ilyana that Jacob used to reside there (S5 finale). We also know that he's since moved to the statue's foot. Why?
Well, presumably the Island/MiB has been trying to kill him, directly or indirectly, for longer than the three years that the Oceanic castaways have been on the Island. The line of ash around the outside of the cabin (first seen in season 3) may have been meant, not to keep Jacob or the MiB trapped within, but to keep the Island/MiB out. Presumably, this stopped being effective sometime before Ben first takes Locke to see Jacob.
Does Jacob's move to the statue's foot - which resides on the beach and away from Island-centric sites like the Temple and the barracks, about as far from the Island-proper as its possible to be without swimming away from it - represent a retreat of sorts?
If that's the case, if Jacob's move to the foot is an effort to sidestep the Island/MiB's increasing efforts to destroy him, then this helps to explain why no one but the leader of the Others gets in to see Jacob. It limits the ability of the Island/MiB and/or the people that it's influenced to kill Jacob. The statue's foot, like the Swan and the Bear cages, may turn out to be a prison of sorts - a prison that Jacob has confined himself inside to escape the Island's wrath.
And if the MiB/Island is attempting to influence the people who land on it, it helps to explain why the Others are trained the way they are - why they're sometimes required to undergo conditioning, and why they're living a life that's simultaneously free of past demons and Walden-ian in its respect for the Island. They've been trained/conditioned in order to be as free of potential Island influence as possible, and their respectful treatment of it helps ensure that they won't be attacked by it.
All of this seems plausible (in the universe that Lost inhabits at any rate), but there's one more factor worth considering: the 'ghost' of Claire.
This year's Comic Con confirmed for us that Jacob has never appeared looking like another person. Season 4 confirmed for us that Claire's 'ghost' is quite comfortable around fake-Christian (who I believe is, like the Man In Black, a manifestation of whatever intelligence is inhabiting the Island itself). This implies that both manifestations are originating from that same Island intelligence. In other words, the 'Claire' and 'Christian' that we've seen in Jacob's cabin are more Solaris-esque projections of the Island.
If that's the case, then it's the Island/the MiB that warns Kate not to 'bring him back' while wearing Claire's face. If Aaron turns out to be Jacob somehow, a possibility that I've brought up before, then 'Claire's' attempt to influence Kate into leaving Aaron behind may turn out to be the loophole in the end. By leaving Aaron behind has the Island/MiB succeeded in breaking some time-travel anamoly that granted Jacob seeming-immortality? Has the MiB rendered him 'mortal' just in time for the leader of the Others, corrupted by his own inability to move on and the influence of faux-Locke, to enter Jacob's prison sanctuary and exact revenge?
What do you think?