Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Jacob's Touch

OK, I know I'm long overdue for a post on here. And now that the original post on "The Incident" has reached over 400 comments (!!) I think it's time to break out some of the key points so we can discuss them a little easier. I proposed in a recent post that maybe I need to switch to a website format (even though the thought of it scares me) because of the linear (and often confusing) nature of the comments sections, but most of the people who responded said they're fine with that, so I'm very happy! One person said it feels more like a family, and I really do agree. On the other Lost sites I sometimes feel like it's a bunch of people talking, but here it feels more like friends. Let's not get rid of that feeling.

So, to that end, what I'll attempt to do are short posts (short? me? Succinct and I parted ways a LONG time ago) where I just raise a topic and let y'all talk about it. Feel free to repeat what you already said in the comments in The Incident... most people probably didn't see it anyway. :)

Jacob handed Jack an Astro Bar and touched him; he handed Kate a lunchbox and touched her; he touched both Sun and Jin on their wedding day; he handed Sawyer a pen and touched him; he touches Locke (and appears to bring him back to life). Then, after they'd already returned, he touched Hurley and Sayid before they got onto the Ajira flight. He touches Sayid 9 months after Sayid returned, and he touches Hurley the day before he's going to get on the flight, and gives him a guitar case to take with him.

Why is he touching people? Is it to get them on the plane? Is it to imbue them with some sort of willpower that will put them on the plane? Hurley and Sayid are the unwilling participants in the Ajira return, and he touches them then as if to give them that added push.

Or is it protection? I'm thinking the latter, that his touch is like the touch the Good Witch of the North gives to Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz book, a mark on her forehead that tells everyone she is protected as she travels through Oz. None of them have died yet, except for Locke, and maybe the touch allowed him to cheat death more than once (he's done it several times on the island). Maybe Locke's specialness makes him a different case. He touches Ben just before he falls over when Ben stabs him. Will this protect Ben, or curse him?

Your thoughts?


Eric Antoine Scuccimarra said...

I'm not sure that Jacob did touch Sayid. I just rewatched the episode yesterday and I rewound that scene a couple of times and it didn't look like Jacob did touch Sayid. The first time I thought he had.

I don't know what Jacob's touch means, I suspect it is some sort of protection or blessing or something.

One other point - you mention Locke's "specialness." I don't think Locke is special. I think this episode showed that Locke was just a pawn, and that his "specialness" was set up by the other guy (Silas, Esau, whatever) as part of a long con to kill Jacob.

Nikki Stafford said...

If he didn't touch Sayid, then that would probably back up the protection theory, since Sayid is currently bleeding to death. Eek. I hope this doesn't spell bad news for him.

And I meant to put quotation marks around "specialness" because I agree with you, in a way. I'm not 100% sure, but I think it's a weird vicious circle where Locke created his own specialness by going back in time and telling Richard he's special, which is the only reason he's tagged.

But it's not for sure yet. I mean, why not just inhabit any body? Why not Christian? Why did he have to appear as John Locke?

Blam said...

Nikki: Why did he have to appear as John Locke?

It may as simple as needing the right disguise. Appearing as Christian would've been a red flag for Jack, since he clearly wasn't about to believe (early on, especially) that this was his father. Locke was set up as the Others' leader -- whether by his own confidence, by Richard, by Esau's machinations, or just as a byproduct of Locke and Richard's somewhat recursive conversations -- and through patience, foresight, luck, whatever, the assumption of Locke's form got Jacob's nemesis where he needed to go.

Erin {pughs' news} said...

Do you think Jacob was really there in Sawyer and Kate's pasts when they were children, (with knowledge of their destiny) before they ever ended up on 815 and the island? Or did he travel back in time to protect them AFTER their arrival on the island?

Fred said...

I keep thinking jacob's touching is less than honest. Does he really have the best at heart for those he touches, or is it some means of identification. If LOST is a game played by Jacob and his Esau-nemisis, then touching may be no more than a rule, like in chess: touch-move rule. Players that touch one of their own pieces must move it, or if they touch their opponent's piece, they must take it. With this in mind, Jacob touching Jack, Kate, Swayer and Jin and Sun may be identifying them as his pieces; while touching Sayid and Hurley may be touching his opponent's pieces. This also aoivds the whole notion of specialness identified with each of the characters--maybe Locke just is a sad, little man; Jack really doesn't have what it takes. What matters only is the two players in the game, the rest are just pawns, or other chess pieces.

Nikki Stafford said...

Frank: Nice analogy!! Chess has definitely been a motif on the series from the beginning, and this could be a very subtle nod to that. I like it!

Fred said...

If I was negative in the last post, let me be positive in this one. Perhaps Jacob can salvage some part of his soul by touching people, much like the Horcrux in Harry Potter. So if Jacob dies, a part of him resides elsewhere in others (this is also similar to Spock transfering his chakra (soul) into McCoy: see Wrath of Khan). Seems really corny as a plot device, but there you go.

A Vote for Blog (not website) said...

Immediately after the car strike, Jacob puts his left hand on Sayid's right shoulder. Of couse, we don't know if the Jacob Touch works through clothes...

Blam said...

My last comment just drove home for the first time how screwy that whole episode with Richard and Locke was: the bullet wound, the compass, "You're gonna have to die, John."

When we didn't know that Not-Locke wasn't Locke, it wasn't as weird that the scene from the time-jumping would get revisited. The recursive, twisted history between Locke and Richard had already been established, plus which Locke certainly believed in the Island and destiny (until he began to lose faith back in the outside world). Now that we know Esau as Not-Locke was prompting Richard to enact the scene that hadn't happened yet from Richard's perspective, it brings up some big questions.

Did Esau know when the scene transpired for Locke, before he left the Island, that things would play out the way they did? Wasn't their occurrence inevitable, whether or not Esau was behind or even aware of it, since during that time-jump Richard had been motivated not by Locke but by Esau in the Not-Locke body -- before, from Locke's perspective, Locke had even died and had his body duplicated by Esau? Had Esau indeed manipulated things to occur this way prior to our ever seeing the events, or was he just taking advantage of those events, knowing that he had to prompt Richard to play out the way things had happened?

Perhaps at the time Richard approached Locke in the first presentation of this scene he would have said the same things and acted the same way even if the events immediately before the scene had been different. Some theories of time travel, at least in fiction, would allow for different paths from one point to another, even if events of the later point are known, sort of like those Choose Your Own Adventure books in which you can end up at a given page different ways. What we don't know is if the rules of the show allow this, or if once we saw the scene the first time it was predestined; indeed, given the theory of not being able to change the past, at least within premise that allows for traveling to the future as well, the future would seem to be predestined, even if nobody has complete knowledge of where things are going.

Blam said...

Frank: I made a suggestion along those lines back in the massive episode thread. (See, even though this is a blog's comments page, I think of each of Nikki's posts as the launching of a bulletin-board or forum thread.) I wondered if, instead of "marking" the castaways with his protection, he might've been imbuing them either with power or knowledge that the Island would need if Jacob died or with a psychic hook so that if/when it was necessary he could recall them from someplace else, even the past, to his side: "They're coming."

Benny said...

I wanted to verify something so I went back and looked at all the moments when Jacob touches people and what he says. It was interesting.

Just before touching her, he asks that she's not going to do it again (steal). Then he touches her nose and says
"Be good Katie."

He gives him the pen and says he can keep it. Then says
"I'm very sorry about your mother and father James."

He asks for his help, saying he thinks he's lost. And as he puts his hand on Sayid's shoulder, Nadia gets hit. Nothing else is said from him.

As we've discussed, he doesn't touch her and he's wearing [black] gloves. She obviously recognizes him and he asks for her help.

Just after John falls to the ground, Jacob pinches his shoulder and says
"Don't worry, everything's going to be alright. I'm sorry this happened to you."

Jin and Sun:
As he wishes his blessings, he says
"Your love is a very special thing.
Then puts his hands on their shoulders and continues
"Never take it for granted."

Right after Jack has the argument with Christian, Jacob emerges and gives him the candy bar while touching his finger, all the while saying
"I guess it just needed a little push."

Jacob does not appear in this scene. And we see that Juliet is made aware of her parents' difficulties and upcoming divorce.

At the end of their conversation about Hugo's curse (blessing) and his abilities. Jacob tells him about the flight and then, as he puts his hand on him says
"It's you choice Hugo. You don't have to do anything you don't want to."The last person we are show that he touches is Ben, just as he's stabbing Jacob. This happens right after their "What about me?"/"What about you?" dialogue. Jacob, while dying, does not have the chance to utter any words while he's grabbing Ben's arm and, on ground, whispers
"They're coming."What strikes me with this string of meetings is the importance of the moment in everyone's lives. And how Jacob's presence affects it.

Kate: First time stealing. Jacob tells her to be good but obviously she fails.
James: The moment he becomes Sawyer by way of the letter, which he writes with Jacob's pen.
Sayid: Losing his love, which one can consider was provoked when Jacob hated Sayid, making Nadia stop in the middle of the street.
Ilana: So little is known, but one can argue this is when she found a new purpose (believed again or switched sides?)
Johh: When he became paraplegic and Jacob was there to wake him up and reassure him that it's going to be alright.
Sun/Jin: When they finally united their love, but at the cost of Jin's 'soul', working for her father and eventually created their relationship issues.
Jack: This was the pivotal moment in Jack's career that taught him to control his fear and that he needed to do his own work. Jacob's presence was a reminder that sometimes, all we need is a little push.
Juliet: This was a what made Juliet see her relationships in a certain light.
Hurley: Hurley finally seemed to accept his self as blessed as opposed to cursed. He's accepted this as heard when he talks to Miles. Jacob s the one who made him aware of it.
Ben: He seems to realize he never was 'special' and cannot accept it. This may be a turning point in the character's personality and is provoked by both Jacob and his nemesis.

I hope it wasn't too long!

Blam said...

Erin: Do you think Jacob was really there in Sawyer and Kate's pasts when they were children, (with knowledge of their destiny) before they ever ended up on 815 and the island? Or did he travel back in time to protect them AFTER their arrival on the island?

This is a biiiiig lingering question.

Benny said...

@Erin/Blam: I think he was there at least for Kate, Ilana and Hurley since he interacts with other observers.

@Blam: With regards to your long post on the compass.

The idea of two different paths nearly seals it for me. And I think it might bring a certain aspect of "the compass in a Moebius loop" into play. (I know I still have to update my column).

The first pass we observed was not provoked by the nemesis, while the second was. So the compass's origin when we first see Richard give it to John is unknown, while the second time, it's coming back from Richard. (I'll detail in my overdue updated column)

Telmo Couto said...

Jacob touched Ben… good point, never thought of that!!

Blam said...

The rundown was appreciated, Benny. I still wonder, though, if Juliet's flashback wasn't connected and therefore not actually remarkable for its Jacob-less-ness (as opposed to the others' Jacob-bless-ness). Past two-hour episodes have technically been back-to-back one-hour episodes with different flashbacks in each hour, I think, so if Juliet's was the only one in this finale's second hour that's the explanation.

Benny said...

@Erin/Blam: I should have read more attentively the question/comment!

I had considered it a "really there" v. "not really there" question.

I think that Jacob has a certain ability to understand what plays are coming and as a result, was always there in everyone's past.

Benny said...

@Blam: Juliet's wasn't the only one in the second half. I checked the time stamps on my recording and the sequence was the following:

1st half:Jacob sequence

Where the van is stopped by Sawyer, I consider the episode break.

2nd half:Jack/Juliet/Hurley
Ben sequence

Blam said...

Benny: I think he was there at least for Kate, Ilana and Hurley since he interacts with other observers.

I think Erin meant there in their pasts, visiting them "horizontally" in contemporaneous time, rather than, as she wondered, visiting them in 197x from some later point such as after they'd been to the island in 200x. We, or at least I, wasn't disputing that he was corporeally there.

Blam said...

Benny: I sit corrected. That's a crucial piece of information.

Blam said...

Benny: @Blam: With regards to your long post on the compass.

Me pot, you kettle, and you very black.

Benny said...

@Blam: Erin's meaning

I did notice that after I published, hence I also posted a reply to myself in that regards!

@Blam Me pot, you kettle, and you very black.


Blam said...

Benny: !

I got that turned around, didn't I? You pot, me kettle, i.e., watch the stone-casting Mr. Longposts. 8^)

Benny said...

@Blam: HA! I believe we got our signals crossed!

I certainly wasn't criticizing your long post, more of an admiration. I was just emphasizing which post I was referring to. I could have very well referred to "the compass post", but it wasn't as fun to write!

Long posts, though sometimes tangled up, usually have the most sustenance. I know I have long posts often and that's how we write 'em. And I like to read 'em long to!

Hence my reply "!", both in admiration of your (tangled) use of the idiom and in acceptance of it.

yourblindspot said...

I've heard some really good theories about this. I like the "horcrux" notion of passing along bits of his soul/knowledge/power to the gang, and I suppose simple protection could also be the culprit (though definitely less interesting). My favorite idea thus far is Jeff Jensen's, who is assuming that Juliet's bomb hammering will actually yield the timeline reboot that they hoped for, and that Jacob's touch will enable those specific individuals to retain their memories of the events that were effectively negated by the reboot. (Cool!)

What I have yet to decide for myself is not so much what the action of his touch did, but whether, in and of itself, it was a giving or a getting. A dispensation or an acquisition. I can't decide if Jacob was actually bestowing something upon them or, rather, taking something away. I think, from what we've seen so far, it could just as easily be a curse as a blessing.

Benny said...

@joshua: Thanks for bringing up D.J.'s idea. It's pretty interesting. I would suggest on top of that that Jacob may have known of his upcoming fate and played a role in the events leading to the 'reboot', hoping that everyone's memories would help alter the course of his fate.

Your undecision about taking and giving is one I had not further studied myself. But it certainly is worth pondering. So far, most of the theories out there suggest giving (protection, special abilities, knowledge).

Fred said...

Blam, sorry about treading on your earlier comments in a former thread (I didn't get a chance to read that).

About the Locke and non-Locke episode with the compass, I've been wondering how god-like Jacob and "Esau" actually are. Both have been on the island for a long time (perhaps since Egyptian days), and both know of the various survivors of Flight 815, as well as a host of other characters, like Ilana, Widmore, Ellie etc. If this is the case, how then did Jacob not "see" non-Locke trick Richard into telling time-travelling Locke that he must die to get the others back. Something doesn't sit right in this plot.

I'm thinking that Locke's early connection with the island is just that--the island is alive (likely a feminine force-whole lot of signifiers indicating such a possible assumption). Jacob and "Esau" are not the connection Locke feels with the island. (This goes back to Sayid's statement to Elsa: "Everybody's got a boss").

This would make a little more sense with regards to Jacob being tricked by his nemesis (or Jacob tricking his nemesis with a long con). No one on the island has perfect knowledge; but islanders do have greater knowledge the longer they are on the island. How does this affect the idea of time travel.

What ever happens, happens, is a rule in LOST. But how whatever happens does happen may alter--the form of the past remains unaltered, but its significance may be altered. (This is hinted at in the flashbacks: we watch them one time and get a sense of what occurs, then we see them again from a different angle, and our sense of the past changes). I think that's the whole point of LOST, not generating rules of time travel and following them without deviation. (I agree that compass of Locke's is a bit confusing; it seems to be locked into an eternal loop).

Just as a wierd aside, did the writers leave us a pun at the end. Jacob and "Esau" are bound by a rule not to kill one another--could we say they are in a 'deadlock' (hence, Ilana spilling Locke's dead body from the box). Better Locke than the good doctor, or Ilana and her group would have been carrying a Jack-in-the-box to Richard.

Jason and Alicia Halm said...

Ok – I was wrong, wrong, wrong – WRONG about Jacob being John Locke. However, I did feel somewhat satisfied to see that John Locke was not really John Locke at the end of the episode (well not satisfied in the Ben stabs Jacob in the heart satisfied – but the I knew that John Locke was a key to the entire show – who didn’t know that right?). There was something right about John Locke being Jacob – and there still is - . I have a bunch of thoughts and this post will be constructed throughout the day when I have time – and copy and pasted into the comments section later. Who says BSG had the most complex plot laced with religion on TV – short of Robert Tilton – da boo ag mi jem kar free? Whoops – sorry going into tongues again – let’s stick with Lost, shall we?

Jacob and Esau – Free Will vs. Destiny:

This makes a lot of sense, and I feel very foolish for not seeing it before. It’s been the thing with which nearly everyone on the island has struggled. However, regardless of destiny or chaos, free will or predestination – there has been manipulation. By introducing Jacob and Esau to be whom they appear to be, we realize that they are the master puppeteers of everyone on the island. These two guys are obviously the big picture string-pulling gods. However, I have to pose a question that we’ve been able to wrap our heads around better as a society in the last 20 years – with the emergence of reality TV. Does not the introduction of any external influence into an environment – specifically knowing you’re being watched – alter the natural flow of things? In other words, does not the very existence of Jacob and Esau still imply that some sort of destiny is inevitable – and by extension the existence of Benjamin, John Locke, Desmond – the list could go on and on . . . shape destiny? Perhaps the question that is more pertinent is whether we are free to choose from limited destinies – as Jack, Kate, Sawyer and Juliet’s of the world? Are we not equipped with a certain set of gifts in life that direct us to those big picture items? Sure! We can teach or we can work in a factory or we can stay at home with children – but aren’t we still going to do the big picture things that were always fated for us – and the rest are simply details to the story? The apple will still be eaten. Consummation will still take place and children will be born to continue the cycle. Lost simply has been very good at illustrating whether or not we will continuously act within the nature that is wired in our DNA or our predestined strings. It must be noted, however, that temptation constantly is introduced to the characters attempting to alter the choices which would normally come natural to them – more on that in the next section.

Jason and Alicia Halm said...

God and Lucifer – Don’t Forget Milton Already Did This:

No. I know you’re all disappointed – I’m not going to talk about L'Allegro or Il Penseroso – or am I? Shakespeare asked us “What’s in a name?” implying the question – what’s in a word? After all, a rose is still rose and a turd a turd - by any other name – more or less. See, it was when I started thinking about God and Lucifer that I starting thinking about Lost and Milton. Sure when we focused on Jack’s eye over five years ago, we assumed the show would be about all these people that are lost and they need to get home (having gone astray or missed the way; bewildered as to place, direction, etc). However, there’s another meaning to lost – destroyed or ruined; distracted; distraught; desperate, hopeless – this is the Milton sense of the word. This is Paradise Lost. This is the theme that is timeless and what we as an audience care about. There’s a reason that you watch Gilligan’s Island and chuckle at its cuteness and a reason you sit every Wednesday with white knuckles (thanks for the term from your first Lost book Nik), desperately yearning for the next week’s, next season’s episode. This is a story about the loss that everyone has had to endure in order – what we hope – prevail in the end. This is the real destiny vs. freedom confrontation – because we all know that with real freedom comes a loss.

Jason and Alicia Halm said...

God and Lucifer – Don’t Forget Milton Already Did This (cont):

The reason – as a modern society that we cannot associate good vs. evil to fate vs. free will is because freedom has become heroic. It is a sign of coming of age. It’s a virtue of our young new world order – well middle-aged new world order. However, if you’re a Biblical-type, the first choice – or the first act of declaring freedom was Lucifer’s fall – as illustrated in Paradise Lost. The first significant character introduced in the poem is Satan (was that really your eye Jack?). We know that to yearn for free will is a sin – one that Satan talks Eve into committing – with Adam following. However, it is hugely important that the pride of Lucifer and ultimate revolt (better to rule in hell than serve in heaven boys!) is the first act of free will. Again, it is free will – from a Biblical sense – that makes us human. But the very same thing that makes all of us human is what also brought us death and loss of innocence.

"They sat them down to weep, nor only tears/ Rained at their eyes, but high winds worse within/ Began to rise, high passions, anger, hate,/ Mistrust, suspicion, discord, and shook greatly/ Their inward state of mind."

These are emotions and feelings all of the major characters of Lost have experienced – via manipulation – whether it be from Ben (who can remember Jack being forced to watch Kate with Sawyer) or from Jacob and Esau. The most interesting though I considered as I reviewed Paradise Lost was the use of the serpent by Satan to trick Eve into eating the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. This goes back to my thoughts on free will – and whether there is any real freedom when the characters are but marionettes controlled by two puppeteers at the same time. On one hand, sure, they are making choices that shape and form their futures. However, the choices with which all these characters are faced are relentless and never-ending. One has to wonder when the final choice to prove faith, worthiness, love or whatever it is Jacob and Esau seek will occur. Or do their strings keep being pulled one way or the other until they make the wrong choice with no chance at redemption – but wait – we do have time travel that can now give us that second chance at proving ourselves – or redemption from sin (even though these people were pulled onto the island against their will – no free will there). In gaining choice – in gaining freedom – safety is lost. We’re now subject to the consequences of our incorrect or wrong choices. Do we stay on the beach or do we go to the caves? Do we pursue Kate or do we lead with a clear mind? Do we stab Jacob in the heart or do we stand firm against our pride and savor the moment for which we’ve waited our entire lives?

Jason and Alicia Halm said...

Return to Eden

There’s a book that I read for a class called Literature of the Old Testament called The Lost Books of the Bible and the Forgotten Books of Eden. This book contained what would be called an anthology of lost books of the bible – some of which were thought to have been undiscovered until after the first publication of early versions and others considered to be apocryphal. Contained within were two books called The Book of Adam and Eve I & II (also known as The Conflict of Adam and Eve with Satan). Though it didn’t occur to me until very recently, the entire season has been about a return to the island. It’s about a return to Eden. This is the miracle jungle that heals the sick and is hidden from the rest of the world – minus a select few. In the Books of Adam and Eve, once the two are banished from the Garden, Adam and Eve are full of sorrow. They are so stricken with grief once the realize that they cannot return to Eden that they try to take their own lives over and over. The leap from cliffs only to be spared by a God that feels sorry for them. I thought of Jack quite a bit here – he wanted to go back. He was so stricken with sorrow that he’d drank himself into addiction, alienated the love of his life and was completely broken. However, returning to the island was not even good enough to satisfy his quest to return to paradise. He had to make them go back – go back to before the plane crashed and land safely in LAX. He wanted his innocence back – which is what Adam really wanted back – as seen in both Paradise Lost and The Book of Adam and Eve. At some point, Jack has realized that he’s been tricked into losing something so significant that he’s willing to lose everything that he’d gained in his time on the island – and Juliet is able to articulate it best – if the plane never crashes, she doesn’t have to love and lose Sawyer. Again, this is the use of the world loss, lost, lose with which the show’s double meaning engulfs us.

Jason and Alicia Halm said...

Jesus Christ and the John Locke Resurrection:

What would Biblical text be without Jesus Christ? I suppose it’d be the Old Testament. What would Lost be without a Jesus-figure – Gilligan’s Island? Really, we’ve been toyed with a bit on the theme of resurrection throughout the course of the show, and time and again – we’ve watched John Locke rise to the occasion – pun intended. Locke has been the most interesting, complex, confusing characters in recent television. Now, Paradise Lost doesn’t focus much on The Son of God – other than to offer himself as sacrifice to God on behalf of Adam and Eve – or mankind 2000 years later (if you’re going to sacrifice yourself – might as well get your bang for your buck). The important thing to note in Paradise Lost is that – unlike The New Testament – Jesus Christ is not the main character. He is a side character at best, because the purpose of Paradise Lost is not to chronicle saving mankind. It’s to illustrate the humanity in its loss. I think it’s pretty hard to try to explain what Milton was thinking or intended when he penned that piece. However, I know my feelings when reading it is that Adam, Eve – hell even Satan – all have human qualities prior to their falls. They are vain, prideful, independent and argumentative. They – just like our lovely cast from Lost – exhibit qualities of humanity. It is not a matter of whether they will rise above all the noise to sacrifice for and save one another – it’s a matter of whom. So far it seems like John Locke is the piece of the puzzle that continues to inspire, drive and lead both The Others and The Losties. He’s had his moment of doubt when he shouted at the sky – and refused to press the button. He’s risen more times than a flag in a schoolyard – both from a grave and his sweat lodge. He’s been pulled from the clutches of death so often - that I was no longer surprised when he was still alive. I am not sure of what’s to come in Season Six, but I do feel that John Locke will be back – but he will not be the same man he grew to become. I believe he will once again be broken and shattered, but I do believe that in him lies the key to saving everyone else – doesn’t that make him Jesus’ mini-me in the Lost Universe?

Jason and Alicia Halm said...


Betcha think this is going to be about Benjamin and the gang. Nope. I just needed one last section to sort through a few other interesting thoughts, characters and possible ties to Paradise Lost. To quote one of my favorite movies – Blazing Saddles – “Where are all the women?” Okay, so I am missing a qualifier there – but you understand my point. If this is all about Paradise Lost, we’re going to have to start trying to figure out who Eve is. Could be a few people right? Is it Kate? Is it Juliet? Is Jacob really a woman? Who knows. I do know this though – if the theme of our favorite show on TV right now centers around Paradise Lost. A lady’s going to be/or already has been tempted by the serpent. Last time I checked, John Locke’s got a Y in those chromosomes. Could it be Juliet has already eaten her apple by banging on the H-Bomb. Was Jack our fool to be duped by Satan (or one of his demons – in Paradise Lost it is mentioned that Satan worked with Beelzebub – Lord of the Flies)? Did that snake take the form of Daniel? Remember, just because a body wasn’t inhabited doesn’t mean that the power of Jacob (or something) didn’t start impacting the way people thought on the island. Daniel had clearer thoughts and knew what he had to do as he stayed longer. Speaking of stayed longer – where did he go for three years in the ‘70s? Are we sure the Daniel that influences Jack (people and free will are time travel’s wild card) is really the Daniel that we met present time?

Another thought that I considered was an interesting relationship that Satan has in Paradise Lost. He creates Sin – his daughter which came into being when his plan to overthrow God was conceived. He later spawns Death – with Sin. Sin is an interesting character because – well she is created in the image of her father – and eventual lover – only to spawn an unholy offspring – aptly named Death. I’ve been trying to wrap my mind around who might represent these characters in the story. Do any of them represent Benjamin? Juliet? Kate? It seems to me that it’s important to consider Sin and Death to be represented as characters in Lost if there is a tie to Paradise Lost – as children have also played an important part of this story (or the lack of natural born children on the island – making every child who has been on the island all the more important). So – is Lost an allegory for the fall of angels and man – better known in this post as free will vs. fate? If that’s the case, did the creators of Lost consider Paradise Lost as the main piece of work from which their phenomenon is based? Will we see Sawyer’s book in his carry-on luggage is a piece by Milton? I dunno – but he does like to read.

Robert said...

I think it's some form of protection as well. What interests me if how he decided, or "found" the people to imbue his power with. Was there a prophecy or was it just random?

MJCarp said...

Hi, all.

Jacob uses money to pay for Kate's lunch box. He hands Jack the Apollo bar, and gives James a pen. No object related to Sun/Jin, Locke. All touched pre-815.

We don't see any objects related Jacob's visit to Sayid.

Sayid, and Hurley are visited after their return to the 'real world' pre-316.

Hurley claims his money, fruit rollup, pen when he is release from jail. He is given the guitar case in the cab. Which leads me to believe that Charlie's guitar S1 might be a gift from Jacob which puts some new light on Charlie's death and/or DS ring which is now in Sun's possession.

I think the touch is a marker of some sort for tracking their whereabouts. So when he says "they're coming" he knows because they are moving in time -Jin, Kate, Sawyer, Jack, Hurley. They are his players.

We do not see Jacob visit Juliet or Miles (both came to the island through other means).

Other than saving Locke by touch, no one seems the wiser. So I will go with Ben is neither blessed or cursed, just marked, or is now a Jacob player instead of MIB's pawn.

Robbie said...

As I mentioned in the other post, Jacob touched Hurley in 2008, but he was stabbed in 2007 (316 time traveled to 2007 when it landed on the island).

So this means he touched Hurley after being stabbed 'to death'.

OR, since 2007 is the islands "present" maybe when u leave the island it is 2008, so if Jacob left the island and was in 2008, and went back and was back in 2007, then it could work o_O

peacockblue said...

If I read Erin's post correctly, she's hypothesizing that Jacob had gone back to formative times in our Losties’ lives rather than having been there during their first run through these periods, in the same way that Daniel hadn’t always spoken with Desmond at the Hatch’s front door. Desmond only ‘remembered’ the meeting after it happened during a time flash on the Island. Therefore, I posit, that because Desmond didn’t always remember the event, and that because it hadn’t always happened, Daniel changed the future.
I’m also suggesting that Jacob did not visit the Losties before the crash of 815 until he went back in time after the crash of 815. He didn’t get them on the plane, he already knew they were on the plane.

B.J. said...

I think it was interesting that the candybar was off the Island. I was under the assumption that it was a Dharma only product. This opens many new ideas about the far reaching effects of the Initiative.

Benny said...

@Robbie: Do we have any confirmation that it is 2007 on the island (for the exception of "Thirty Years Later")?

@Beej: In fact there have been other references to the Apollo bar outside DHARMA:

-Apparently Boone had one in the Pilot
-The bus that hit Juliet's husband had an advertisement for it.
-It's advertised on the soccer field when Desmond watches TV ("Flashes Before Your Eyes")

But this could raise the question of DHARMA's reach even further!

They also appeared in a vending machine in Scrubs' season 7 premiere.

Robbie said...

@Benny The podcasts/recap provide the statements that it is 2007 on the island and it is the island's present, but it hasn't been addressed in the show itself except for the 30 years earlier.

Benny said...

@Robbie: Sounds good. The same could be said for 2008 I think. It wasn't directly addressed on the show but was only hinted at with the "December 2007" passport.

I really can't wait for this to be addressed or resolved.

Blam said...

Benny: I certainly wasn't criticizing your long post, more of an admiration.

No offense taken, believe me.

Benny: [Joshua's] undecision about taking and giving is one I had not further studied myself. But it certainly is worth pondering. So far, most of the theories out there suggest giving (protection, special abilities, knowledge).

Sonshine Music had a great post in, I think, the comments section of Nikki's first recap post on the (no pun intended) devil's-advocate view of Jacob imparting curses rather than blessings:

[M]y sister noted that if you look at it right, Jacob is going around cursing all of the Losties. He's the one who aids and abets Kate in her life of crime ... [H]e's the one who gives Sawyer the pen to write the letter that will be a constant reminder of his bitterness ... He saves Locke's life, but if he knew about [Locke's circumstances], he could have stopped Locke altogether. His comments to Sun and Jin sound very nice, but they end up doing the exact opposite of what he said.

Blam said...

Fred: You don't have to apologize for not reading posts in a comments section begun almost two weeks ago with 400+ messages in it by now. And you weren't "treading" on anything; none of our ideas are proprietary.

likely a feminine force-whole lot of signifiers indicating such a possible assumption

I'd love to hear what makes you say so (not that I take an opposing view; I hadn't got a sense of gender from the Island at all, other than associating it with Jacob).

Benny said...

@Blam: Thanks for bringing it up. It seems I missed a comment or two!

Kirathena said...

On the Locke's "specialness" question:
Locke, despite creating his own form of ultra specialness through the time travel convos with Richard & Not-Locke's influence etc. still seems to have some kind of special abilities. The island did heal him; he seemed to be connected to the island (its going to rain!) on several occasions; and also had Ben's interest from the beginning. Jacob or someone did talk to him in the cabin. Now, all of these could possibly be put down to Jacob's touching him after he fell and some residual effects of connection to Jacob (thus also connected to the island?).
However, he did draw the smoke monster as a child and seemed to survive an extremely pre-mature birth that amazed people. He also barely failed Richard's test identifying what things belonged to him as a child. And that failure only seemed due to his unwillingness to let go of his personal wants to be a 'hunter'. Are those coincidences? Or is he in fact special?
Perhaps, he is not "ultimate Moses figure special" (as Ben would say) but he seems to have some special/island connection from birth that can't currently be traced back to Jacob's interaction or a time shift.

Batcabbage said...

@Blam: Had Esau indeed manipulated things to occur this way prior to our ever seeing the events, or was he just taking advantage of those events, knowing that he had to prompt Richard to play out the way things had happened?

With our (admittedly limited) knowledge of the nature of MaybEsau (and Jacob, for that matter) and what they're capable of, you could go either way with this. The confident way that Zombie-Locke tells Richard what to tell Real-Locke suggests some form of foreknowledge, or, that's just part of the role he's playing, and, knowing that he's now inhabiting Dead-Locke, he simply nudged Richard into setting Locke on the path. I tend to be in the 'MaybEsau's set this up from the start' camp, knowing what had to happen for him to triumph (Jacob's death), and he'd been prompting events from way back (I still think he was the one that set Ben up to lead the Others, appearing as Ben's mother on the Island, alerting Richard to Ben's supposed 'specialness'). Of course, then you have Jacob touching the lives (and bodies) of the Losties, eventually bringing them all to the Island, a series of events culminating in his 'apparent' death at the hands of Ben. By that rationale, you could assume that this was always Jacob's intention, and that 'dying' was always part of his plan.

I don't think I'm gonna be able to handle the '8 frakkin' month' wait to find the answers to all these questions! On a related note, I've decided that the free-to-air tv station that airs Lost in Australia hates Lost fans. They're showing the finale tonight (finally) - but only part 1. Part 2 next week, I assume. Thank god for the interwebs!

Benny said...

@Kirathena: There is definitely a specialness to Locke, but the question as shifted. We seemed to go straight to "Is Locke actually special?" while we should have re-emphasized "How is he special?"

Perhaps his specialness was always a result of the nemesis' intervention rather than the island (or actually Jacob's will). The others think he is special because he has a good connection to the island when (probably) he has a bad one.

The theory would follow from it that Locke was made special from his birth and was directed towards many loops to end up where he did. ("What I've had to go through.")

Emily Locke's mother was heard saying that the father was twice her age. If taken literally, would that characterize Anthony? Doubtful. Whichever way one sees it, it is forseable that Jacob's nemesis was the architect of this whole tapestry.

By telling Richard he was special, Richard started visiting him and realized he was some sort of special. Which resulted in Jacob visiting him during the crucial moment in his life (or not, depending on how you see Jacob's presence). By making Locke one of the chosen, Jacob allowed him to connect with the island and become a leader, which was used by the nemesis for his own purpose.

The loophole being that the nemesis found a way to infiltrate one of Jacob's chosen leaders and get to where we last saw them.

Benny said...

@Batcabbage: I think my recent post includes some of you thoughts!

Batcabbage said...

@Benny: LOL! Great minds, and what have you. And mine included some of Blam's from earlier. I think it comes down to perception vs. reality, in some of these cases of 'specialness'. I really like your idea of Locke's 'bad connection' to the Island.

I'm loving the comments still coming from everyone here two weeks after the finale. Makes me look forward to the rewatch discussions even more.

B.J. said...

Benny: I had completely forgotten about the ad on the bus, and I completely missed the other two times.

Batcabbage said...

Actually, Benny, that 'bad connection' idea: the more I think about it, the more it fits in with the pattern of Locke's life. Rediscovers his father, who turns out to steal his kidney and push out a window; places trust in someone he helps out who turns out to be FBI; wants to marry Leela/Peggy Bundy, stuffs it up because of the aforemention father; comes to an Island where he's apparently special, but it turns out he's special in the wrong way. His life is a series of crushing disappointments.

Kirathena said...

Definitely an interesting point about Locke's birth & relative specialness being masterminded from the beginning by the nemesis. That hadn't occurred to me which is great for my brain. :) That is why I love coming here (although usually I'm just reading and not posting!).

So, we are essentially saying yes Locke is special. But, not like Widmore, Ben, or Richard special. As in, he was not necessarily meant to be leader of the Others but rather that was a result of intervention by the "Not Locke". Though...Who on the Island first told Locke he was special, anyhow? Ben? Why did he think so? Richard told him? Or he sensed Locke's special connection with the Island?

And what effect does Jacob's touch have on the specialness? Haha, I've typed special so many times its starting to annoy me...

Fred said...


Regarding the island as feminine, I'll sketch this out (I am currently writing on this topic elsewhere, so I don't want to give too much away).

First, a major theme in LOST is fertility: the island is a place that is threatening to pregnant women. Yet it was not always so. Some event had to have happened--the incident is a good possibility. Symbolically, Dharma's activities may be defined as 'science over nature'. The island was fine until the Dharma Initiative arrived--the others lived a more natural lifestyle, living in tents, supplying their existence from the land, unreliant on technology. LOST dramatizes the symblism of the 'frontier wilderness' found in American literature. In much frontier lit., Nature/wilderness is often depicted as feminine (sometimes represented by a female hero--Smith and Pochohantas, is just one among many examples). The island in LOST is a kind of frontier--wild, green, and resource abundant. Everything the Oceanic survivors need is available: water, meat (boar, fish), medicine (Sun's use of plants), natural healing qualities. The survivors response to this is two fold: (1) reject the island, as Jack does (scientific view, echoing Radzinsky's view of exploiting the island), or (2) going native, as Bernard and Rose, or initially Sun. But the island has been damaged somehow: you can read into this Lovelock's ideas about Gaia (the island as metaphor for Gaia). The solution is to let the island heal itself (an idea Jack ennunciates when he refuses to save the young Ben) or change time, thereby undoing the initial injury to the island.

Second, the island may have this force for healing etc., but how do we know it is conscious? Little hints appear from time to time. In season one, the survivors had to move their camp because the wreckage was being washed off the island. How would an island heal itself if it had been scarred by a downed aircraft? It might tip a little over to allow the waves to come in and wash away the wreckage. Slowly, over the seasons, the remnants of the Dharma Initiative sites are removed. Is it possible the island was acting through Desmond, Locke and Eko to rid itself of the Swan station? As each of these stations go (flooded or blown up), the island is returned to a natural state, and the result is the Others abandoning New Otherton for their earlier lifestyle. In trying to heal itself, the island is returning to its primal form, and it is doing this through various individuals.

Third, LOST plays on binary oppositions to drive narrative. One of those binary oppositions is male/female. With Jacob and "Esau", we have the male counterpart, but are missing a female element. While we might associate a female element with beauty (the island is a beautiful natural location), there are female monsters in myths (while the Greeks had Medusa,the island has its own monsters--polar bears, smokie). These monsters come from within, quite literally with the smoke monster. While Apollo is associated with the sun, the island's rain may be associated with fertility and cleansing (against this binary notion is the identification of Zeus as the Rain god--so both male).But, to underscore the symbolism of rain, think of the use of constant rain in Blade Runner. The Blade Runner world is the opposite of the LOST island, and yet they share the theme of a decayed world, or a world under threat. Locke's initial impression of the rain is one of renewal; later heavy rain in the Dark Territory foreshadows the smoke monster's arrival. Thus, as a symbol, the rain can be interpreted in at least two ways. Can this dualism be associated with the island as feminine? Quite possibly, if we allow the feminine nature of the island to encompass both ideas of beauty/fertility/renewal and danger/threat/death.

I know this may not answer all your questions of the island as feminine, but I hope it provides a decent start.

Blam said...

Wow. Great stuff, Fred. Let me know where and when to find your complete thoughts, if this was just a sketch.

Big Lebowski said...

Just to add to the theory that Jacob is cursing people when he touches them. Sayid was essentially saved by Jacob, but it can also be looked at that Jacob made it possible for Nadia to be killed and allowed Sayid to turn into Ben's assassin.

dan said...

"Or did he travel back in time to protect them AFTER their arrival on the island? "
Hmm, this lines up nicely with the theory that Jacob is actively protecting time and only after he dies "in the future" (sorry for that awful wording) can Juliet set off the bomb back in the past. So the variable stopping anyone from changing time was actually Jacob, until he 'died' and was somehow removed as an influence.

Plus this means that Essau's loophole was finding a way to kill Jacob through someone else, an act that maybe Jacob couldn't foresee and prevent with his powers. Maybe Jacob couldn't know that Essau would manipulate time to mislead John Locke and "alter" his death so that Essau could impersonate him and get Ben to kill Jacob. Perhaps Jacob can see anything that Essau does throughout time, so this was a way to avoid being detected by someone who is, essentially, a guardian/god of time.

It reminds me of Watchmen where you have a character that can see any of his future experiences, what could you do to stop someone like that? How could you plan something against him that he would never see? The answer appears complicated but is fairly simple once you know all of the details.

dan said...

"but it can also be looked at that Jacob made it possible for Nadia to be killed and allowed Sayid to turn into Ben's assassin."

hmm, didn't Ben say the Whitmore killed Sayid's wife, and if so that can have two meanings. The first would be that Ben lied (I know, that one's so hard to believe, Ben a liar!) to get Sayid to kill. But what if Whitmore turned and now works for 'Essau' - this would be a good reason for Ben to hang Jon and work against Jon (who has been duped into helping the wrong people, in Ben's mind, as he has been duped on the island in the past).

Rebecca T. said...

So, I see that no one has posted on here for days, but I was so busy all week and I really wanted to respond to some of these thoughts. So here I go...

The only problem I have with the theory of Jacob touching people to "mark" them is the fact that, supposedly, Jack was "not on Jacob's list." If he was one of Jacob's chosen one as we would believe from the touch in this episode, then wouldn't he have been on the list?

@Fred: Perhaps Jacob can salvage some part of his soul by touching people

Which definitely makes his intentional touching of Ben right at the end momentous. Wouldn't it be absolutely crazy if it comes down to, once again, Locke vs. Ben, but it's really MaybEsau vs. Jacob?!?!?!?!

@Benny: I know I have long posts often and that's how we write 'em. And I like to read 'em long to!

True, true. And many of us are happy to accomodate :)

@Fred: could we say they are in a 'deadlock' (hence, Ilana spilling Locke's dead body from the box). Better Locke than the good doctor, or Ilana and her group would have been carrying a Jack-in-the-box to Richard.

HA! Terrible, but terribly funny. That was my laugh of the night :)

@Lottery Ticket: We do not see Jacob visit Juliet or Miles (both came to the island through other means).

You know, your statement made me think about Miles and the fact that Bram tried to talk him out of going on the freighter. So does that mean that Jacob doesn't want Miles there? Or that MaybEsau does? Or that Bram isn't working with Ilana? Or for Jacob?

@Benny: Emily Locke's mother was heard saying that the father was twice her age. If taken literally, would that characterize Anthony? Doubtful. Whichever way one sees it, it is forseable that Jacob's nemesis was the architect of this whole tapestry.

I've said a few times that I seriously doubt that Cooper is actually Locke's father, but this is an amazing idea!

Fred said...

Likely this thread is at an end. But I was wondering if "Esau" might be going out to touch people. Candiadtes are:
(1 & 2) Charles Widmore and Eloise Hawking,
(3) Desmond Hume (he said he was picked up by a guy in a robe, which changed his life),
(4 & 5)Charlie Pace and Claire.

No guarantee on any of this, but it would be cool if each side had it's own 'touched' people.

Benny said...

@Fred:I understand the Widmore and Hawking idea, but I'm not sure if I get the logic behind Charlie and Claire.

As for Desmond, I think the guy in a robe would have been a monk, hence his changed life as an aspiring monk.

Who knows...

Fred said...


It was just an idea given what I thought the writers might throw at us next season. I liked the idea of Charlie and Claire, because they were part of the group Jacob touched. If somehting like this were true, then how might we re-interpret Charlie's actions, or even Claire's birth of Aaron? Anyway, until next season I am only speculating.

As for Desmond, given that Desmond is considered by many fans to be the Variable, how might he fit in? Considering that all the people Jacob did touch seemingly kept events on track (remember Miles asking if Jack detonating the H-bomb would not cause the Incident).In other words, are the people Jacob touched Constants?

Anyway, this is all just speculation that will likely mean nothing next season.

Benny said...

@Fred: I see. I agree that there is an interesting aspect of the touch that can likely be carried over. I just wanted to know more.

In your line of thinking, I would suggest Desmond's specialness is maybe one that has him NOT belong to any side. That perhaps he is pushed, coerced and even convinced into some actions (by possibly both parties) but in the end, he has the ultimate free will to act based on himself.

Everyone else acts out of free will but are predetermined to act in the interests of a single party (the touch).

The entire touch/sides would certainly force us to re-evaluate the actions of every character involved.

JS said...

Maybe too late, and I apologize if someone else has already commented on this, but did anyone notice that the ash in the fire pit at Jacob's "residence" in the "shadow of the statue" has ash in it, and that by burning him, he turns to ash, AND that Jacob's cabin (which I really think is Esau's cabin) is encircled in ash???

Was the ash really keeping Esau in the cabin? Clearly he has been able to move about the island using dead bodies. Was it keeping Jacob in? He who said "Help me" to Locke, the Esau makes a rukus?

I don't know if you are still checking this post, but maybe I will post this on the rewatch site. I couldn't do the rewatch schedule - I watch EVERYTHING in the last three weeks.