Friday, May 11, 2007

The Man Behind the Curtain: MORE Thoughts
Thanks to everyone who left comments and theories on the two Lost posts that were up yesterday. Combined, there were almost 50 comments in one day, and I had my highest traffic numbers ever (the mantle had previously been held by the Nikki/Paulo episode, and I assume half the people stumbled onto my blog by simply typing in Nikki…)

As I said several times yesterday, this episode will make us think a lot. Maybe a week from now we’ll see it in an entirely new light than we did two days ago, and we’ll be coming up with new and more angles every day. The one I was thinking of was Locke as a phoenix. Both Crissy and Chapatikid yesterday commented that the line around Jacob’s house could be volcanic ash, and it made me think of a phoenix. The more I thought about it, the more I realized just how many times we’ve seen Locke lying flat on his back. Possibly in every Locke flashback episode. I went through and found them in everything but Orientation (though I could be missing something there), and picked up these screen caps from

In season 1’s Walkabout, the episode opened with Locke on his back after the plane crash, looking down at his toe as it wiggled. This was his rebirth on the island.

Later in the episode, he thought his new gift was being taken away from him after he was felled by a boar, and he was similarly on his back, but wiggled his toes and they worked fine.

Near the end of the season, in Deus Ex Machina, in the flashback he was chasing his mother through a parking lot when he was hit by a car. He lay there for a moment, then got up and continued running.

While walking through the jungle with Boone in the same episode, his legs begin to give out on him because he begins losing faith in the island, and at one point he falls down, with Boone standing over him, not knowing what’s going on. (There’s also the scene later in the ep of him on his back in a hospital bed, but that’s a little different than these others.)

In season 2, there’s the obvious scene in Lockdown, where he is knocked out by the blast doors in the hatch coming down, and he lays there the entire episode, while we are just as terrified as he is that he’ll lose use of his legs again.

In the season 3 ep Further Instructions, it opens similarly to Walkabout, where he’s flat on his back after the hatch explosion/implosion. (Check out the clothes and how similar it looks to the final image of this week’s episode.)

In The Man from Tallahassee, we see him fall from the building after his father’s pushed him, and while we don’t see him lying on the ground from above, we can picture it.

And finally, in last night’s episode, he’s lying in a grave of Dharma casualties.

In each of these cases, Locke has arisen and walked again, so I think there’s probably no doubt he’ll do it again, unless his luck has finally run out. It can't be a coincidence that we see Locke lying in this state again and again. Like a phoenix, it’s like Locke keeps living these complicated, difficult lives, and dies, only to be born again from the ashes of his previous death.

Another theory buzzing around boards is that, if we take the time warp/time travel theory to be true, then there are possibly various times happening at once on the island. If that’s the case, could Jacob actually be Locke, an older version of him who’s been trapped by the Ben of the past? Complicated, creepy, and intriguing.


Anonymous said...

If Jacob is Locke, then I want to know what miracle elixir he used to regrow his hair.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking about "The Purge" and came up with this theory that may be pretty obvious and is probably already ou there.

I think that Kelvin and Radzinsky, stationed at The Swan, were completely isolated from the rest of the Dharma Group. K&R were self contained and had all the supplies needed for their shift in The Swan. (It has already been stated at The Flame that supplies were scheduled to drop in perpetuity, until ordered to stop). The Swan had a quaratine sign on the outside in order to keep Dharma workers OUT should they stumble across it. K&R were instructed to push the button every 108 minutes, and, as a sideline, were subjects of an isolation experiment (the B.F. Skinner box mentioned in The Swan orientation film) The only people who knew K&R were in The Swan were their observers in The Pearl. When "The Purge" happened, (circa 1992), no more replacements were sent to The Swan.

This would explain why Kelvin was so desperate for a replacement when Desmond showed up, and why K&R went a bit mad after their years of isolation. (Radzinsky later shot himself) K&R would have known about the Dharma Initiative, but very little about their surroundings, and so created the blast door map in order to stay sane and to familiarize themselves with the outside.

"The Purge" seems to explain some of the mysteries surrounding The Swan Station.

Michelle Rowen said...

I thought it was a pretty lousy shot, considering how close Ben was standing to him. I never know why these people don't just go for the kill shot (the head) instead of a vague stomach-area wound.

Anonymous said...

Amazing theory about Locke/Jacob! And thank you so much for bringing us major Lost fanatics together for such an awesome forum, Nikki! I am not as well versed as many on the board about the nuances, such as the religious significance of certain characters and events, but it is so awesome to find true fans who love Lost as much as I do! You definitely deserve all the hits for doing such a great job!

And they better not kill Locke! I don't think they will either, he is too integral to the mythology of the island. Wow, I didn't realize how many times Locke ended up on his back...poor thing! :)

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's symbolic that Locke's a good lay.

Pay attention, Danielle. Sawyer shouldn't get all the action.

Actually, I studied the image of Jacob with the idea of debunking the Locke theory, just to see that it could well be Terry O'Quinn's face.

Is that a lock (no pun) of hair on the side, or does he have a shotgun hole on the side of his head?

Nikki Stafford said...

Brian, Brian, Brian. Don't you know the island HEALS all baldness? It's on the list of things to heal, right under cancer, and above paralyzation. heehee...

Tanyam: Great theory, and I was thinking along the same lines. I would think somehow Radzinski and Kelvin knew about the purge, and maybe that's why they wore the yellow suits; they thought the gas the Others used was still in the air somehow and they didn't want to succumb to it. OR maybe they didn't realize the "hostiles" had done it, and instead thought something had happened naturally in the air that caused the mass deaths.

Michelle: I don't think Ben was trying to kill him with that first shot; he still wanted to know what Jacob said, and that was extremely important to him. He aimed at his head for the second shot, but never delivered it. I think he knows as well as we do that Locke will recover, and there must be a reason he spared him.

Roland: I know; I never have to go to other sites because you guys come up with all the great theories right here! :)

Colleen: Hmm... I definitely have to go back and look at the picture again. Great observation if it IS a gunshot on the side of his head? Maybe, if Jacob is Locke, he can't die no matter what happens, by another's hand or self-inflicted. And it got to him and that's why he needs help -- to die. (and that's why they keep showing Locke rising from the ashes, because they're showing how invincible he's become)

The Chapati Kid said...

That's so creepy, if Jacob is Locke. That's spine-chilling.

Yes, Nikki, I second that Thank You from Roland. I come here every day to see if there's anything new posted, and the people who post here are all so well-spoken and well-read. It's like a "Lost" forum for intelligent fans.

The Phoenix theory is interesting, although we have had Kate and Jack both wake up on their backs as well a few times. Do you think the fact that Locke was once paralyzed from the waist down has something to do with the lying on back shots? It's the most vulnerable position a paralyzed man could find himself in. Still, the idea that he keeps "rising up" is a very valid and applicable one. I'm just being the devil's advocate here by saying that they're using that repeated shot to impress upon his vulnerability. If you look at all those screencaps, most of them are long shots, and the one of him falling through the sky is so similar to the one of him lying in the mass grave -- the way his arms are splayed out and everything. He almost looks like an infant.

Maddy -- I agree -- why didn't Henry just shoot him again after finding out what he wanted to know? This definitely means Locke will be back. Perhaps Henry's motivation is that no one will find Locke here in the remote grave, and obviously, Locke is too weak to speak, let alone shout. I bet that someone's followed them, and is going to rescue him. I bet that someone is Alex.

Matthew D said...

If Jacob is Locke, which I thought immediately when I saw the screen cap, why is everyone so fascinated with how he would regrow that much hair. If Jacob is the original Locke who came to the island on the Black Rock centuries ago, I'm pretty sure he would have had hair when he was younger and if he lived on an island it would have been long and unruly.

Don't know about a shotgun hole, but they did have dynamite. Could Lost take a turn towards Pirates OTC in a season or two. I can't wait to see that flashback. Maybe all the losties were originally shipmates and they made a deal with the devil (or island force) for immortality for a certain time. Now they've all come to the end and returned here to reconcile and be laid to rest where they should have died a long time ago.

That would explain the 'collection' of them and so many of the conincidences. This is their destiny. So we have two unrelated groups of people (Dharma & Losties) coexisting in a magical place.

Maybe 'Lost' is not about lost in a plane crash, but rather lost in time or lost in life. They are all definitely lost in multiple ways but connected in many ways too.

If the Black Rock was a slave ship, maybe one group is the pirates and the other group is the slaves, hence the continued struggle thoughout time.

Have any of the Others ever interacted with one of the Losties in a flashback? I can't remember.

Matthew D said...

Revision: Maybe the Dharma folks were just legit science/hippie folks who didn't have anything to do with the bigger story. Its possible that Ben's involvement with them was part of his story and unfortunately for them, they got caught up in his 'reconcilation'. I think Ben and some of the key Others are part of the bigger picture. Its possible that some of the 'filler' losties/others are just innocent bystanders. I don't think the Black Rock could hold everyone who's been on the island.

I think that the immortality probably involved reincarnation and not living one continous life (Highlander). We've obviously seen aging in flashbacks.

How about Locke as ship's captain, Ben as first mate and a mutiny occured on the island after the shipwreck. Ben imprisioned Locke and made a deal to trap his soul on the island for eternity in exchange for rescue of the rest of them. Now their souls have all returned here to pay for their sin and Locke's soul will finally be released from its prison.

Jason Halm said...

If that is a gunshot wound, who say's that's Locke? Why wouldn't it be the only character to splatter blood on a wall - Radzinsky? Could Locke be Radzinsky?

Jason Halm said...

Here is another thing to think about. In season 2, we learn that the Others had their list and that they were to collect people from the wreckage - based - we think - on their morality.

That said, Locke does not make the list. It's not until BEN meets him and talks to him that an indication is made that Locke should travel back with him and join them.

He does this ONLY after face-to-face interaction. Now, I am not sure that I believe Jacob to be Locke, but if he is - this just might be evidence to indicate that Ben had seen him before... and changes his mind about bringing him back to camp.

Futhermore, the most compassionate or caring that we have ever seen Ben - or what seems to be genuine - is when the Blast Doors crash down on Locke's legs. Again - humbled by the pressence of Jacob/Locke? Who knows?

Jason Halm said...

UHM - I just had a thought in trying to figure out a Radzinsky/Locke connection. Why does the Russian have an eye-patch? Could it be because he put a gun to his head to take his own life and regenerated? Could it be because Radzinsky is eye-patch? Edvard Radzinsky is an author/historian who wrote book _Stalin: The First In-Depth Biography Based on Explosive New Documents From Russia's Secret Archives_ and other books on Nicholas II, Rasputin and Alexander II.

Radzinsky is definitely Russian.

Anonymous said...

Working with the Lord of the Flies symbology, if Locke is Simon - the mystical character with a strange connection to the island going off into the jungle alone, speaking with the Lord of the Flies - he can't be dead! He needs to be killed by his own group on the beach in a case of mistaken identity.