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Across the Sea
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Smokey is the Island's Protector and Jacob Ensures he stays to protect

  • We have seen a lot of evidence that suggests the smoke monster is a security system, protecting the island or something on the island. Remember "Cerberus vents" on the blast door map in "Lockdown" for example. Thus, the smoke monster is an unwilling protector of the island, and Jacob ensures he never leaves.
    • It seems unlikely that Jacob's purpose is solely to keep MiB on the island. Jacob was charged with the protection of the Source and MiB has been trying to expose and use the Source for his own gains.
      • Incorrect, MiB has simply been trying to go "home."
        • This is assuming that Smokey really is MiB - what if he isn't? One thing we know for sure about Smokey is that he can take on the form of dead people. He also appears to take on portions of their personality as we have seen with him in the form of Flocke (becomes easily frustrated, shouts "Don't tell me what I can't do", etc...). It is possible that when MiB was drawn into the Source, that he merely released Smokey, and once dead, Smokey took on his form/conciousness - including MiB's desire to "go home", even though he is not meant to leave.

The Smoke Monster's Origin

It was Mom's Idea All Along

  • Jacob/MiB's mother intended for MiB to get thrown into the light all along. She introduces the light to both the boys, then tells Jacob that entering the light would be worse than death. She then provokes MiB to kill her (by murdering all the redshirts). MiB kills her, which gives Jacob a motive to hate his brother. Jacob obligingly throws MiB into the light, an action entirely precipitated by his mother.
    • The mother wasn't dead at all after MIB stabbed her, and she was only released and died after he was thrown into the light. She was the smoke monster, and then MIB took her place. This was a ruse all along. Perhaps the candidate we are looking for is not a replacement for Jacob, but a replacement for MIB.
    • MiB says the exact same phrase in chapter "The incident, part 1" as mother when she is taking them to the source for the first time: "They come, they fight, they destroy and they corrupt. It always ends the same." They must be the same "person" or "thing".
      • People often echo phrases and viewpoints that they have learned from their parents.
    • The entire discussion or idea of "protecting" the source/the Island may have been part of the ruse.
      • Jacob figured this out soon after it all happened, which is why he later calls the island a cork over a source of evil, and not a source of life and light. Mother, as smoke monster, thought that its plan would help itself get off the island, but it failed to account for something that Jacob did that prevented it, or some previously unknown rule established by the island.
    • This seems eerily akin to Ben killing Jacob.
  • She provides the game to introduce rivalry between the brothers, telling one son he was special. Jacob later perceives himself a second choice.
    • She lied about giving him the game. It was washed ashore from the ship and she didn't want him to think there was anything across the sea, so she told him it came from her so he doesn't get the idea that there's anything but the Island.
  • It may be a little generous to say that her plan all along was for MIB to become the nemesis. She knew she had found a replacement, but she was unsure which brother was going to be that replacement. The game may have been a part of that, but it seems that originally she had chosen MIB instead of Jacob. Additionally, she seemed surprised that Claudia gave birth to twins, so it can't have been her plan all along.
    • Jacob and MiB are the "candidates" to replace her.
  • She lies to her Son in Black that the Island is all that there is, nothing across the sea. This sets up his departure (as below) when Claudia's ghost/apparition clues him in, although it doesn't turn the brothers against each other.
    • If Mom really is The Smoke Monster, MiB may have not seen his mother's ghost at all. The Smoke Monster can take the form of any corpse on the island, and Claudia's corpse was on the island. She might have taken Claudia's form in order to lure MiB to the settlement, thus beginning the series of events leading to MiB leaving his family to join the other people.
      • The corpse does not have to be on the island for the smoke monster to assume the dead person's appearance - as evidenced by the smoke monster appearing as Richard Alpert's dead wife while Richard was chained in the Black Rock.
        • It's theorized that the smoke monster can assume the form of someone off the island from a person's memories after it's scanned him or her.
  • The Island needs a balance of good and evil. When Mother kills the villagers out of love for MiB, the evil, corruptible side of the Island dies too. Therefore, MiB becomes the evil side, but only as a result of killing her (or perhaps her death is a punishment for disrupting the balance), and so Jacob must take up her role to once again keep balance and order.
  • (Not sure this fits here): Claudia was the mother of the twins Romulus and Remus. Claudia (of Romulus and Remus fame) was a Vestal Virgin. A vestal virgin's primary task was to maintain the sacred fire of Vesta.
    • Claudia WAS a Vestal Virgin, but not the same one who birthed Romulus and Remus. Rhea Silvia was the mother of Romulus and Remus. Claudia's fame involves saving her father from a crowd of angry peasants.

Not the Man in Black

  • The Smoke Monster is not the Man in Black (Adam), but rather it was there in the cave all along. Fake mom told the twins that all men have this light inside them, and they desire even more of it. In the Nature vs. Nurture argument, the Nature side (Jacob) believes that all men are born inherently evil, but capable of resisting this evil. The Nurture side (MiB) believes that all men are born with tabula rasa (blank slate), and that they inevitably become evil as a result of their experiences. Fake mom knew that there was a great evil in the cave, which is why it must be protected at all costs. Once a human came in contact with the cave, it broke the seal, releasing the Smoke Monster. Also, Lucifer (not implying Satan, just evil in general due to the connotation of the word) comes from lucem ferre, meaning "Light Bearer", referring to the "Morning Star", referring to Venus. Hence the bright light in the cave. Not to mention that evil can be attractive.
    • Support: when Locke first catches a glimpse of the Smoke Monster in White Rabbit, he says he looked into the "eye of the island," later describes it to Eko in Walkabout as a "bright light," and even when it encounters Juliet and Kate in Left Behind, it flashes a bright light in their faces 4 times. Also, support for the Smoke Monster not being equivalent to Man in Black can be seen in the REAL body of Man in Black (Adam and Eve); the Smoke has shapeshifted into his body, the same way as with Locke's, Christian's, Yemi, ...
    • I'm reminded of the deadlights from "It".
    • Jacob says "Goodbye brother" to his brother's dead body, implying that as far as Jacob is concerned, his brother is dead.
    • If the smoke monster isn't MiB, he smokey would've easily killed Jacob as nobody said he can't. To elaborate further, what probably happened is that when a human enters 'The Source', their light returns to the source, turning their soul into complete darkness and that's why it is a fate worse than death.
    • Support: MiB was knocked inside the wheel-pit, and was taken out. I don't think he was sleept for "a few days". We saw him waking up outside the pit as if he was uncounsious for a couple of minutes, maybe an hour, but not more. It's impossible for fake mom to fill the pit, kill everyone and burn everything in such a short period of time. The black smoke monster did this, he is the "security system" Daniell Rousseau mention once. Fake mom protects the light, and she can use the smoke monster for this purpose.
    • You have Jacob and MIB confused. Jacob believes that "when they come to the island, their past doesn't matter" (Tabula Rasa) and MIB believes that men are evil because "it is in their very nature to sin".
      • That is what they say in Ab Aeterno, but I believe there is a twist in their words. Jacob supposedly represents fate, yet Tabula Rasa implies free will (man's choices makes him evil). The MiB is supposed to be representative of free will, but an inherent sin view would be indicative of fate. This stuff makes my head hurt sometimes.
      • They were likely speaking in antagonistic sarcasm.
      • MiB tells Richard in Ab Aeterno that "the devil" took his humanity. This pretty clearly represents when he was thrown into the light cave. It's still him.
    • It has been pretty clear to me that Jacob represents "free will" while MIB represents "fate." In "Ab Aeterno," Jacob says, "Because I wanted them to help themselves--to know the difference between right and wrong without me having to tell them. It's all meaningless if I have to force them to do anything. Why should I have to step in?" And he attributes to MIB the belief that "everyone is corruptible, because it's in their very nature to sin" (i.e., they don't possess the moral freedom to choose to do good). This debate predates Locke/Hobbes by MANY centuries. It's basically the Augustine/Pelagius debate. Augustine believed in "original sin," as MIB does, while Pelagius, like Jacob, believed in "free will."
    • The smoke monster was already in the cave. It was being held back by the energy just like the fences restrain it today.
    • Perhaps Jacob's brother didn't actually see his real mother's ghost. Maybe that was the Smoke Monster taking her form in order to manipulate him. In that case, Jacob's brother becomes a tragic figure much like Locke -- his passions and beliefs were used to lure him to his own death so the Monster could assume his identity. In previous episodes, we've seen Jacob refer to the MiB as his "old friend", not as his brother. If the role of island guardian can be passed down, perhaps the role of island monster can change hands as well.
  • The Smoke Monster requires a dead body to take human form. The Monster takes MIB as its form. The question is if Jacob and MIB cannot hurt one another, how did MIB die?
    • Maybe MiB wasn't killed by Jacob, he just knocked him out. Maybe MiB was killed by the Smoke Monster while he was falling into the light. Or maybe MiB ins´t dead at all. Or maybe smokey killed MiB's body only, but he took his soul.
    • Not necessarily. The Smoke Monster has manifested into people it "scanned" out of other people's memories. e.g. Richard Alpert's wife (after scanning him on the boat, his wife's body was not there.)
    • Perhaps his assimilation by the Smoke Monster created a grey area in the rule: because his 'essence' (memories, personality) survived and only his body perished, it didn't qualify as Jacob killing him.
    • Jacob just knocked MiB out and let the current carry him into the cave. Their mother stated that going into the light was worse than death. MiB did not "die". Only his body did which became an empty vessel. His spirit survived as the Smoke Monster. MiB did blame Jacob for the loss of his body. We've yet to see Jacob's and MiB's first encounter after MiB became the black smoke.
      • His Smoke form is his essence, his "soul", which still lives, and now that his body is dead, he can take its form, and the form of any other dead individual.
      • The Smoke Monster is the light in the cave, the life of the island. It's been trying to get out for a long long time, but Fake Mother was there to stop it, and she knew to ignore it's tricks. But then BiB fell for it when she took the form of Claudia. It then tricked him into that whole 30-year rebellion which led him to kill Fake Mother. But she had already made Jacob the new protector, and when Jacob accidentally caused MiB to go down the hole in the cave, the Monster escaped, and is now roaming the island, which is better than being stuck in a hole. But it's still using the same tricks (dead people) to find a way to leave the island, which would be killing the Protector (And now all the candidates for being Protectors, as it cannot leave if they're on the island). It even tricked Jacob into believing it's his brother's "soul" or something. The fact that it manipulated BiB into hating his Fake Mother and then killing her proves that the Monster/Light/Life-of-the-island CAN'T kill the protector, which is why it's using loopholes. AND another thing which proves that Claudia was a manifestation of the light is the fact that when BiB saw her, she was "glowing"
  • We don't know that the smoke was in the cave all along. That is some viewers supposition because we did not see what happened inside that cave. It is also possible that whatever energy exists in the cave transformed MiB into a smoke creature. How are we to see this episode and still believe that everything in the series can be explained by science? If it is science then it's not of the current Earth timeline and is either alien technology or that of a parallel Earth humanity.
  • The smoke monster clearly existed prior to the events of "Across The Sea" as evidenced by the drawings in the temple that Ben sees in "Dead is Dead" when he goes to get judged by the monster. An Egyptian god-like figure is kneeling before the monster, hence, the MiB is just another form that the monster has taken on, or perhaps the first physical form in quite some time (looked like it was escaping).
    • The date in "Across The Sea" is not known. The temple and the drawings on it, along with the statue, may not exist yet.
  • Fake Mother's purpose was to keep Smoke Monster inside cave. Smoke Monster planted the seed to escape by appearing as Claudia to BiB. The turn of events by which Jacob tossed MiB into cave, released the Smoke Monster once again. He then assumed the form of MiB as his physical presence, and others, those that were left unburied. The Candidate's task will be to "trap" Fake Locke back into the cave.
    • It's possible that the temple was built after MiB turned into the smoke monster.
    • There are glyphs on the game board that look a lot like those used on the Temple. Since Mother placed the game there for BiB to find, the temple-builders could easily have existed prior to the brothers' birth, although this does not necessarily mean that the Temple had already been built.
      • The fact that the Senet game is likely Egyptian, and has hieroglyphics on it may indicate Mother has encountered Egyptians in the past, or may be one.
        • If MiB had walked the entire Island for 30 years searching for the Source Cave, surely he would have noticed a Temple and its walls.
  • Simply put, he is special. Many people on the show have been said to be special, Hurley, Walt, Miles, etc. and each with some diffrent ability. MIB's fake Mother told him he was also special, which could contribute to him living on without his human body.
    • What if by "special" she meant that he had a special purpose? Perhaps she knew she would die soon and that MIB (Adam) would have to die/go away and Jacob stay, and that his placement was his special purpose.
    • She might have told him he was special just to plant a subliminal thought in his head, like she did with the game.
    • He is special in the sense that he saw his dead mother, just as Hurley can see and talk to dead people.
  • When Jacob explained his death to Hurley he did not refer to the Smoke Monster as "my brother" but as "an old friend".

Smoke Monster is the MiB

  • If the Smoke Monster was not the MIB, this would imply that Jacob really killed his brother, something Fake Mother said that could not happen. Not only that, Fake Mother said death was something they would never have to worry about. Since we have seen the MIB's body, we can only assume he went on living in another form - the Smoke Monster.
  • Flocke was the MiB having a conversation with Jacob on the beach, this was basically established in The Incident. Flocke is also the smoke monster, this would seem to have been established several times since The Incident as well. Given this information we can conclude that Flocke = Smokey = MiB. The reasoning is also sound, Smokey wanted to kill Jacob so he can go home, which appears to be the only thing MiB wanted to do and the only thing that Flocke wants to do. Since the Goal of all 3 is exactly the same, it seems to be sound reasoning to say that given the information we posses it would appear that all 3 entities are in fact one in the same, hence Flocke = Smokey = MiB.
    • Additionally, the following sequence of ideas is also logical. MiB was sent into the light and his soul was separated from his body, released as a column of black smoke, leaving his body an empty shell of a corpse. We know that The Smoke Monster can take the form of any corpse on the Island. MiB's corpse is on the island. It's only logical that if MiB is The Smoke Monster, he would probably first (and most often) choose the form of his former body. The exceptions would be A) when reverting to his "natural" Smoker Monster form to scare/attack people and; B) when using the form of another corpse in order to manipulate people (such as taking Locke's form and using it to convince Ben to kill Jacob).
      • The reasoning looks sound, but I don't think that the three of them having the same goal is a solid and undeniable proof of the identity S = MiB. under the hypothesis that this identity does not stand, it's not unreasonable to think that "evil personified" has the goal of spreading all over the entire world and free itself from the prison that is the Island. yes, they look similar. but are they the same? maybe. maybe not.
        • Having the same goal does not necessarily mean it's the same person. As we have seen with Smokey taking the form of Locke, he has adopted some Locke's personality traits (easily frustrated, shouts "Don't tell me what I can't do", etc...). It is possible that when Smokey takes the form of someone, he also absorbs their consciousness. In this case that would result in Smokey wanting to "go home".
        • The fact that they all have the same goal is not the only evidence used. With all the information we've collected we can determine that Flocke = Smokey. And with previous statments from smokey like "He stole my body" the episode explained how Jacob "stole" his body, he was seperated from it after being tossed into the cave. That being the case and due to another fact of Smokey can't kill Jacob or he would have done it already. All of this put together suggests that MiB=Smokey=Locke.
    • If Smokey is MIB and didn't exist before MIB, how do you account for the Egyptian-style iconography Ben saw in "Dead is Dead"? That would seem to suggest that Smokey predated "Mother", MIB and Jacob, but is certainly not conclusive.
      • Assuming the iconography predates these events, it suggests there was a smoke monster on the island before, but not necessarily that it was the same one. Perhaps anyone that goes into the cave will come out in the same condition.
  • Maybe its like Paulo, and the smoke just knocked MIB out, and Jacob thought he had died which made him bury him in the Adam and Eve cave, and so he was just buried alive which led to his death. Ironic, right?
    • No, not ironic. And he wasn't buried. The bodies were just left in the cave, like a tomb.
  • When talking with Kate about Claire, Flocke referred to "my mother." If the MIB was just one of many forms that the Smoke Monster had taken on over the years, he wouldn't have referred to her in this way. She would just have been the mother of one of his previous forms.

Smoke Monster is the real mother (claudia)

  • if black smoke could be anyone who is dead, so it can be claudia when MiB saw him when he was young.

Smoke Monster is Fake Mother

The Light transformed into the Smoke Monster

  • The Smoke Monster is the result of a hybridization between the Light and a Human. Every Human carries something bad/evil inside him, while the Light itself represents pure goodness. So the moment MIB came in contact with the Light, the Light lost its "pureness" and transformed into something new: Something corrupted, evil and powerful. So, the white Light (being pure goodness) became black Smoke (being pure evil).
  • The "sound" of the smoke monster is more than vaguely similar to the sound of the game box when it is moved with the pieces in it. When "mother" picked it up in the cave before being stabbed, the rattle it made sounded extremely familiar - if that rattle was amplified, it might sound alot like the rattling of the smoke monster.
  • The Electromagnetic forces on the Island have a unique property of being able to capture and preserve the patterns of human mind and consciousness. That's why people who die on the Island get stuck there and cannot "move-on". They might think this happens because they "have stuff to do", but it may be happening totally indiscriminately. Some people, like Hurley, are sensitive to such electromagnetic activity and, as a result, can see those dead people. People who are not that sensitive can only hear whispers. The most dramatic manifestation of this phenomenon is when somebody enters the Source itself. Then subject's conciseness gets imprinted on hugely more powerful field and he is transformed into a "Smock Monster". Being a smoke monster by itself does not necessarily make you a bad person.

The Original Smoke Monster Vs. Smoke Monster 2.0

  • The Mother and the Original Smoke Monster were guardians of the Source/Light. The Mother could be compared to a guard while the Original Smoke Monster can be compared to a guard dog (i.e. Cerberus). The Original Smoke Monster had no personality/soul and was around before Roman Times - definitely around the time of Ancient Egypt as shown in the hieroglyphs below the temple and Ben's Dharma house.
    • The Mother was not the Original Smoke Monster. The Mother summoned the Original Smoke Monster (much like how Ben did in Season 4) to carry MiB out of the well, to destroy the well and village and to kill all the villagers. There's no way the Mother could have done this all by herself. The Mother was a mortal who didn't age and had long life like Jacob and Richard - both confirmed mortals. When Jacob drinks the wine, the Mother says "now we are the same". We know that Jacob is not like the Smoke Monster. Also, we see MiB stab and kill the Mother. Sayid stabbed the Smoke Monster / FLocke with the same dagger but he was not killed.
    • As a result of going into the Source/Light, MiB's soul was separated from his body. His soul went into the Original Smoke Monster and now MiB will live forever restless without a body - a fate worse than death. Now Smokey 2.0 is an unwilling guardian of the Source/Light, is eternally obsessed with leaving the Island and is willing to do evil things to make it happen.
  • In the Smoke Monster's hostile encounters with 'redshirts' shown to date (perhaps coincidentally) the redshirts have always fired rifles first & escalated the confrontation into a rampage. The tribe of castaways included at least five women and two children. They had spears and knives. Mother does not deny her deeds to the Man in Black when accused, and admits so to Jacob. She is the Smoke Monster, or had a similar nature and powers.
    • Jacob's twin, although human, should not have been able to die. Nor should Jacob have been able to harm him. Mother is similarly indicated to be immortal, not least of which is her role as guardian. Yet all 3 prove to have a certain mortal vulnerability, and leave mortal remains.

Time Frame

Roughly 2,000 years. The script, as noted on the Geronimo Jack's Beard podcast, said that "two millennia" passed between the events of the end of the episode and the discovery of Adam and Eve.

Roman Era

    • The knife that MiB has as an adult is shown to be magnetic (when it sticks to the stone of the well) so it must be made of iron.
      • It is interesting that MiB does not call this property "magnetism" as if he and the villagers do not have a name for it - when was magnetism discovered?
        • The term magnetism is introduced in 1600 by William Gilbert in his book "On the Magnet and Magnetic Bodies, and on the Great Magnet the Earth"
        • Lodestones were discovered in Greece and China around 800 to 200 BCE. Ironically, this discovery corresponds with the Axial Age. The roots of modern technology and contemporary spirituality/philosophy all emerged about the same time.
    • Previous theory pages have noted his knife to be a Roman dagger.
    • Both mothers speak Latin.
      • Claudia is the feminine form of Claudius.
        • Roman children were often named after Roman emperors. The first emperor named Claudius was Tiberius Claudius who reigned from A.D. 41 to A.D. 54.
          • Not quite right. Roman girls were not named, in the sense that we talk about it now. They were given a name that was the feminine version of their father's family name. One of the Julius clan would have daughters named "Julia," a man of the Claudius clan would have daughters named "Claudia," etc. When there were multiple daughters, they would all have the same name, but would be given different nicknames, so sisters could be Julia and Julilla ("little Julia"), for example.
      • Claudia gives her firstborn child the name Jacob, which suggests it to be after 300 AD. Christian names wern't given by pagan parents, so this has to be after christianity became widespread over the latin speaking culture area.
        • Jacob is the Latin form of the Hebrew name Yakov. Therefore the time period can predate the conversion on Constantine.
          • Romans didn't give their children "foreign" names, and certainly not a jewish/christian name. The date of the events has to be after the late 4th century, when both Latin (Claudia) and christian (Jacob) were used.
            • There are many alternatives that would not limit it to the 4th century. It was never stated that Claudia was an upstanding Roman citizen. She could just as easily have been Christian or Jewish, having the name Claudia for political reasons.
              • If she were Jewish, she wouldn't have been named Claudia. She'd have a Jewish name. She has a distinctly Roman name and is giving her child a distinctly Christian name. Also, if she were Jewish, Hebrew would have been her primary language and she and Mother would have conversed in Hebrew. She'd also be unlikely to be giving birth to a blond baby. Given Claudia's colorful outfit, jewellery and sandals, she's unlikely to have been a slave (and even less likely that a pregnant slave would be brought aboard a ship). Chances are, Claudia's shipwreck occurred during a period when Romans were giving their children Biblical names. I'd place it no sooner than 1st century AD.
                • Or maybe she just happened to know a Jewish fellow named Jacob and decided to name the child after him. There's far too little information available to sustain any timeframe beyond about 2000 years.
      • Jacob derives from Latin "Iacobus" and Greek "Iakobos". Jacob is the English version, as they do speak English to make it easy for us. It's not a distinctly Christian name at all. Just because it's well known in English to refer to the Biblical Jacob, does not mean the name root isn't from Greek and Latin, the languages spoken during that time.
      • it is hard to tell, but I believe that they are using (or trying to use) an older, pre-classical version of Latin, which would place the events before 75 BC, or so. in classical Latin -um and -us endings replaced older -om and -os.
        • Mother greets Claudia with "Olle quidae gravers?" but olle became obsolete during the transition from Old Latin to Classical Latin, being replaced by ille. Claudia responds to her offer for help with "Gratias ago tibi" where ago should go at the end of the sentence. Those are the only differences between the two.
          • "olle" was still used in colloquial Latin and didn't die out in 75BC. In Roumanian - the modern language closest to Latin - olle is still used. Also, the word order does not really matter in Latin, except if you want to stress a certain word. "Gratias ago tibi" is correct, in any timeslot you place it. Think of the latin mass, which has "Gratias agimus tibi" in the gloria. The first written text of the Gloria dates from 382AD.
            • Olle was still used in classical Latin, but not in day-to-day conversation. In much the same way, "thou" is still used in English, but rarely. She might as well be saying "Art thou hurt?" Old Latin was loose about word order while Classical Latin put slightly more emphasis on it. She would most likely speak like those who she was around, and the social norm was to put the verb at the end. But, the word order is not indicative of much, as every Roman writer/speaker had their own "style".
              • Mother may have been using antiquated speech. We don't know when she learned Latin, and she was apparently ageless. Mother's grammar isn't going to tell us very much.
              • We also don't know how Jacob speaks fluent Korean or Russian, yet he does. Perhaps the protector of the Island gains the ability for langauge. We can then assume that what Mother spoke in Latin was exactly correct for the time period and for Claudia to understand her.
                • Greek was the lingua franca of the eastern empire, not Latin. Anywhere someone would have named their child Jacob before Christianity was probably Greek speaking.
    • The boards from the shipwreck Claudia clings to show a lapped-board construction, reminiscent of Roman and Greek sailing vessels.
    • The shots of the women in the village appear to show them wearing stolas.
    • The island at this time must exist in the Mediterranean or somewhere in the northeastern Atlantic Ocean, Black Sea or very close to the coasts of Britain, France, or Spain or possibly near the northwest African coast, but most likely in the Mediterranean Sea. These were the waters of the "Known World" of the time for the people of the Mediterranean.

Replacing Jacob

Why MiB/Smoke Monster Kills the Candidates

  • MiB/Smokey keeps track of and kills candidates, because if a replacement is found for Jacob, he will return to his cave prison and at the very least would be unable to roam the island. Now that Jacob is dead, if MiB/Smokey can kill the remaining candidates, there is no power left to keep him there.
  • Except that Smokey was seen many times around the island while Jacob was alive. It seems more that he can't leave the island while someone is protecting it.
  • As theorized earlier on this page, the candidate may be replacing the MIB. If the MIB kills the right one they become the smoke and the MIB will be released and able to go home. Just like Jacob trying to kill the MIB when he became the smoke and security system for the island.
    • This is also confirmed when the submarine explodes and MIB says that it didn't work. He immediately knew he hadn't succeeded in killing everyone. Maybe the goal wasn't necessarily to kill everyone, but just the "right" one. If he had killed the correct candidate, MIB would have been able to leave the island immediately and the new candidate would take over as the smoke monster.
  • It is NOT the touch that makes people candidates, it is the GIFTING. Jacob didn't just touch Jack, Kate, Sawyer Hurley and the Kwons, he GAVE them something. HE gave Jack the candy bar. He gave Kate the lunchbox,he gave Hurley the guitar case and he gave the Kwons a blessing. This is what makes them candidates. Jacob's mother gave his the wine. It is TOUCH that makes Smokey unable to harm them.
    • Jacob touched Locke - and we all know how that turned out. Touching does NOT makes them susceptible to the Smoke monster.
      • Locke was killed by Ben, NOT the smoke monster, since Locke was dead when he arrived on the island, the smoke monster was easily able to take his body. He didn't harm him at all.
  • If Jacob is replaced, then the cycle will repeat itself. More people will be lured to the island, only to turn against each other and kill themselves. MiB wants to "stop pressing the button" and see what happens when nobody is left to protect the island. Perhaps he hates the island itself now and wants to destroy it, even if he dies in the process.
  • Jacob's game could (in theory) involve him giving MiB a list of names. The last person alive will become Jacob and the game will begin again. But if MiB can get all the people on the list (the candidates) to kill themselves he will be able to escape the island. Sayid said to Jack "it is you" (quote not 100% accurate) before he runs off with the bomb in the sub. This could mean Jack will be the "winner" of the game and be left on the island with Locke.
  • Jacob draws people to the island to help Smokey leave. People have some of the light in them, and are greedy for more, according to fake mom. Jacob loves his brother, and feels compassion for him being trapped against his will. Since, because of Jacob's actions, smokey does not have a body, and cannot leave the island. It could be surmised that the best way to protect the cave of light is rid the island of Smokey. Jacob is arranging both his and smokey's departure . When this episode ends, the only known living person on the island is Jacob. If Jacob is tasked with protecting the light from men, this explains why he would deliberately bring men to the island.
    • Jacob draws people to the Island to see if all people are bad, like his 'mother' said. That is why he watches his brother with the other people on the island.

Richard and the Wine

  • If you go back and rewatch Ab Aeterno, you will see that when Jacob is discussing the whole cork analogy with Richard, he gives Richard a glass of wine from the same bottle and in the same glass that he was given when he accepted his position as guardian of the Source. Perhaps this means that Richard has unknowingly become a guardian of the Island (hence his agelessness) and this is somehow part of Jacob's loophole?
    • If that was the case, Jacob would have made the consequences of drinking plain to Richard, just like Mother did with him. Also, why go to all the trouble to recruit candidates if Richard is suitable for the task?
      • Maybe because the candidates worked to motivate Richard? Remember, he had given up hope when the recruited candidates convinced him to sabotage Flocke's plan to leave the island.
        • If Richard is the replacement for Jacob - perhaps the 'candidates' are a replacement for Richard and his job of advisor.
          • I actually think that the wine is for mortality and not necessarily to signify the protector's job.
  • The cup itself must be special in some way, as part of this ritual. It appears to be a silver cylindrical cup, and we see Jacob offer it to Richard many years later. Being silver, and the fact Jacob's home in the base of the statue is by the sea, the cup would normally quickly tarnish and blacken with silver oxide. So it is special enough that Jacob keeps it cleaned and shiny.
    • The cup is special, because it is the Mother's preferred way of passing on her gift. If you notice, in the beginning when Mother gives Claudia the cup, the EXACT moment after she drinks she begins to converse in English. This is a gift from the Mother, similar to Jacob's touch. There is even a little trill of music right as it happens, to draw attention to the moment.
    • They are not conversing in English. The music trill was to indicate that even though they would now be speaking in English for convenience, in reality they are still speaking in Latin.
      • ...and it's a different cup, larger and made out of clay, and Fake Mother does not pass it to Claudia, it was on the floor all along.
    • In this episode the drinking of the wine symbolized Jacob accepting the position of protector of the island. Maybe the scene with Richard was to symbolize his acceptance of the position of Jacob's representative.
    • Fake Mother recited what sounded like a Latin prayer or spell which seemed to 'bless' the wine. We don't know that Jacob ever learned any spells, prayers or any further knowledge from Fake Mother before her death.
    • If everyone is still speaking in Latin (but in English for us the audience to understand), why can't we understand Mother when she recites her incantation over the wine? Can someone who understand Latin give a transcription of her words?
      • Perhaps the prayer was part of the prayer for the wine in the Eucharistic Service of Holy Communion.
      • The implication was that drinking the wine is what made Jacob immortal. It's possible that it has nothing to do with becoming the Island's protector.
        • Jacob and MiB were immortal before that. Fake Mother said something about them never having to worry about death.
          • Mother may have just been saying that to quell their fears. She also said that the brothers couldn't harm one another, but Jacob whipped dat ass twice.
            • Mother was immortal because she drank wine. Then, she actually gave wine (off camera) to Jacob and MIB when they were younger. From that point, they became immortal : that is why she said that she made impossible for them to harm each other. Then Jacob gave wine to Richard who then become immortal.
              • They weren't immortal. Mother didn't give them the wine 'off camera' because there would have been some acknowledgment of this. She told Jacob's brother that he did not have to fear death because she initially thought he would be the protector of the island. Then, when he wanted to leave, she had no choice but to choose Jacob instead, which is when she gave him the wine and made him immortal.

Reason for this Purge

We saw that Fake Mother destroyed the village and the villagers. The question was why not do this earlier, immediately after she located them? Why let them survive and endure for 13 years for the twins to come into contact, and then for another 30? The theory here is that strangers to the Island are left alone unless are going to damage the Island or they gain knowledge of the Island's Source. As soon as MiB told Fake Mother that the villagers had knowledge of the Light in the wheel well, she knew she would have to kill them all.

  • This is also the reason for the Purge of the Dharma Initiative. The DI's research had come too close to "touching the Light" (accessing the Source).
  • Still does not really explain why the villagers were just left alone, unless Fake Mother expected them to die out from their own actions.
    • If someone is immortal, they would develop the view that all normal humans were short-lived.
  • Mother needs the villagers to corrupt MIB. The main debate during the Enlightenment was over the nature of man. Is man naturally good (Jacob - as the philosopher John Locke believed) or is he corrupted by society (MIB - as Thomas Hobbes believed). Mother needs "man" on the island to complete the decent of MIB
    • It's more like the show's writers needed a way to corrupt BiB. Sometimes, incongruencies are needed for plot advancement.
  • How did she do this? How did she rebury the hole?
    • Like Ben did when he needed help, she called on the Monster...she has knowledge of it and its purpose, she knew how to communicate with it and that is why she told the boys to stay out of the cave.

The Wheel

We saw the MiB wanted to put the wheel in the light, but was stopped. How was it done so that Ben and others had a wheel to turn?

  • Dharma built it. We saw deep scan photos taken by the DI revealing the full wheel. They completed what MiB started and conducted all those crazy experiments we've heard about.
    • The DI didn't build it - During excavation for the Orchid Station, Dr Chang is shown the sonar image of the cavity the digging crew detected, and the image showed the wheel in place.
  • MiB probably went back and finished the construction but learned he couldn't leave the Island as long as Jacob (and any candidates) were alive. And MiB was barred from directly killing Jacob or the candidates.
  • The well could have been redug after it was destroyed in an attempt by smokey/MiB to leave the island which inevitably failed because he can only leave when Jacob is dead possibly.
  • We know that turning the wheel can get you off the island (Ben does it). So that part definitely works. It seems clear that MiB had plenty of time to re-dig the well. He could have done it himself, but it's likely that a group of Egyptians came to the island after the Romans that Mother killed. MiB probably manipulated the Egyptians into helping him re-dig the well and finish building the wheel system, but when he tried to turn the wheel, it failed because he's unable to leave the island until Jacob (and all his replacement candidates) are gone.
    • This would be just about perfect except that the timelines don't mesh right. Assuming the wheel construction was started about 2000 years ago, and hieroglyphics would have already gone out of style by then. Now I suppose this could all be explained though some weird time skipping theory but that would just reek of a ret-con. The Dharma initiative seemed to use hieroglyphics (Countdown Timer) so maybe they finished it. Unfortunately I get the feeling that the hieroglyphics were a production goof, yes there were Egyptians on the island, seems like it must have been when the Crazy Mother was making the rules, but the appearance of their writing all over some things just doesn't make sense.
      • I like the theory that the Egyptians were on the island before Across the Sea. Mother is perhaps the last remaining person from that group, and therefore took on the role of protector.
        • When BiB finds the Senet game on the beach, Mother says that it came from her. Senet is an Egyptian game, and the game surface seems to show hieroglyphics. This would seem to indicate she had this Egyptian item prior to this episode's time period.
      • Heiroglyphics were still in limited use 2000 years ago; the Egyptians stopped using them around 400 AD. Thus, it is entirely possible that a group of Egyptians came to the Island after Mother's death and installed the wheel, along with building the Temple, the Statue and other ruins, probably by MiB manipulating them. Jacob stated to Richard that he preferred to take a hands-off approach, while MiB was more than willing to use arrivals to the Island as a "means to an end." First it was having someone finish the wheel, which didn't work, and then it was trying to get people to kill Jacob.
  • MiB's frustration is that he has built this means of leaving the Island, yet cannot leave due to the fact he is Smokey. So all his efforts since then have been to find a way to be human again, and to be able to turn the wheel.
    • Appearing as Christian Shepard, he knew where the FDW room was to tell Locke to turn the wheel. MiB is the only person who knows and understands the workings of the wheel.
    • This strengthens the theory that MiB plans in the current day to use the FDW to leave the Island, not the Ajira plane or the Sub.
    • Christian directly states that he can't help Locke turn the wheel or even get up after he broke his leg. Seems to fit with the "can't leave the island" rule.
    • The MiB can't leave the island by turning the wheel or else he would have already, for example when posing as Christian while talking to Locke in the season 5 episode This Place Is Death.

Why is the Wheel frozen in the present day, and how did it get turned from upright to flat? Is this wheel perhaps a different one from the one that Ben and Locke turned?

  • The wheel was unfinished, propped up against the wall while it waited to be completed and installed in the hole in the wall of the chamber. It is not a different wheel.
  • The wheel was frozen because the Man in Black's system involved diverting water into the Light. For some reason the conditions at the bottom changed to frigid.
    • Jacob has the ability to control temperatures throughout the Island, and froze the wheel in place to hinder its use, or prevent random skipping.
      • The Smoke Monster & its forms cannot touch ice, thus Jacob prevents its only real means of escape. 'Locke' is attempting to make good on MiB's promise to Jacob that he would kill all his potential replacements. With no Protector the donkey wheel chamber will thaw, allowing Locke to turn the wheel.

(Side thought, not sure if it fits in this section) When thinking of the wheel, and those possible suggestions that the Egyptians helped put it into place made me wonder how did Egyptian's and Roman's end up going to the middle of the Pacific? And then I thought, of the island moves, perhaps it used to be in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea...

    • This is very interesting considering that neither Egypt nor Rome had the means to travel "long distance" in their time. Neither they had the interest to be in the middle of the Pacific. Sure this may not account to anything but it's still a very nice catch.
    • Considering the island moves, I don't think it's a stretch to assume it was once in the Mediterranean.
      • The dwellings constructed by the Greco-Roman survivors have stone walls and thickly thatched roofs, which would be extremely stuffy on a humid, tropical isle.

Theories about The Light

Main article: The Source/Theories

Mid-wife/Mother's death

  • She thanks him for her death because she had been guardian for a long time and was world-weary. Perhaps she had tried suicide even but nothing had worked. These two boys were her ticket to peace.

Remember when Dogen said that within each person a balance exists between light and dark. Perhaps, the Cave somehow absorbed the light portion of the MIB soul and expelled only the darkness.

  • She foresaw her death. After knocking MIB out and destroying the village, she woke Jacob and told him it was time. She took him to the Source and made him protector. She did all this because she expected MIB to come kill her for what she had done and she was ready. This is the same thing that Jacob did in preparing for his death. He expected MIB to find a loophole and accepted that he would die.
  • Once Mother passes on her duties to Jacob, she is now vulnerable to death.
    • That would mean that Jacob already passed his duties to someone before being stabbed by Ben. More likely, protectors and "strange entities" like Flocke can be murdered with that knife.

Jacob's New Rules and New Game

  • Remember that the reason Jacob brought people to the Island since he wanted people to know the difference between right and wrong without being told.
    • Yes, but why? It was not just to have people to know the difference between right and wrong , but it was so he could show MIB that people can know the difference between right and wrong. OK, why do that? Why is it important that Jacob demonstrate that normal people know the difference between right and wrong, and that they choose to do right, without being told? This is the crux of the story. The theory here is that, for as long as people continue to freely choose to do what is right/good, there is a purpose to the Source existing and being protected. And therefore, while there is a need for the Source to be protected, there will always need to be a protector. This therefore means that MiB can never leave.
  • MIB said that one day Jacob can make up his own game and then everyone will have to follow his rules. Bring people to the Island is thus Jacob's game since everyone on the Island has to follow his "rules".
  • As their mother told, the basic rule of the game was that Jacob and MIB can never hurt each other, so MIB cannot kill Jacob directly and needed to find a loophole in order to do so.
  • Fake Mom seems to be able to create any rules she wants. Perhaps as the guardian of the Source, she's able to create rules for whatever comes from the Source. That's why she was able to declare them both immortal and prevent either from hurting each other.
    • By giving Jacob her gift, he now has this power and indeed takes up MiB's offer to create his own rules.
    • Notably, Fake Mom said they would never be able to hurt each other, but they do in fact hurt each other. Jacob beats the living hell out of MiB before tossing him down the river towards the Source. Maybe "can't hurt" just means "can't directly kill."
      • That actually happened when she wasn't "in charge" anymore.
        • Jacob also beat the holy hell out of his brother when they were 13, and mother was still in charge.
    • Perhaps Jacob just broke the rules. The first time, the punishment was that his brother would never come back (which is why Fake Mom was so certain he wouldn't). The second time, the punishment was his brother becoming the smoke monster.
  • Original Smoke Monster, the Mother and the Island were guardians of the Source/Light. The Mother (and now Smoke Monster / MiB) believed people were fated to be corrupt and evil while the Island (and now Jacob) has faith in the free will of people. That's why the Island sends ghosts to people - to give them the knowledge that they have a choice (i.e. original mother appearing to little boy in black). Jacob has embraced the Island's calling and not his Mother's or Smoke Monster / MiB's beliefs about humankind. As a result, Jacob has created a new "game" to find a new and worthy guardian of the Source/Light. Someone who discovers the difference between right and wrong on their own. Someone who knowing the sacrifice still makes the choice of becoming the new guardian. Jacob was not given a choice by his Mother - he only knew what his Mother told him when he became the new guardian. Somewhere down the line he realized what his Mother did to him was wrong and that his Mother was wrong about people. Jacob realized there is hope in people as long as they are given a choice and act out of their own free will. The goal of Jacob's new game is to find someone worthy of being the guardian and to not just dump the job on them (like how his Mother did to him). That's why it important for Jacob to tell everyone that they have a choice.

Good and Bad people

  • This episode raises some doubts about Jacob/MiB's apparent morality dichotomy and almost asks the viewer to sympathize with MiB rather than with Jacob. While young MiB was smart, contemplative, independent, curious, and possessor of some kind of mysterious gift, young Jacob is shown as slow-witted, sheep-minded, prone to violent outbursts, with deep mommy issues and in the end, cruel and merciless. Time after time, MiB shared his plans and discoveries with Jacob and every time Jacob betrayed them to their mother or simply lashed out at him. Unsurprisingly, time after time, Jacob's followers (the Others, Widmore, Bram) have presumed of being the "good guys" while letting their actions speak louder the opposite. Interestingly, MiB shared his mother's belief in the inherent badness of people.
    • MIB's only crime was to try to leave the island. He was favored by his "mother", but sought "truth" and enlightenment even when it was painful (truth: your "mother" killed your bio mom). He was "special" as both he and his mother noted. He was not shown to be evil by his actions until he killed his "mother" after SHE had killed an entire village of people that had not harmed her in any way. He never tried to kill Jacob. Jacob did act the sheep, blind and ignorant. (This story reminds one of the biblical Jacob and Esau, only in this story, mom prefers "Esau"/MIB.)
      • Fake Mom does not, in fact, prefer MIB. She loves them both differently, but if we're going to compare it to the biblical Jacob/Esau story, she seems to trick MiB and ultimate bless/gift Jacob, which is what happens in the biblical tale. As Esau was about to be blessed by his father, their mother tricks him and gets the father to bless Jacob. Likewise, in LOST, MiB is about to finally get to the Source and change things, so she hugs him, smashes his head into a wall and gifts/blesses Jacob.
        • Fake mom truly loves Jacob, he is honest and good and true. She does NOT want to put the eternal burden of protecting the Island on Jacob. She appears to favor MIB because her goal was to pass on the role to him. When he leaves she is forced to make Jacob her replacement.
  • This episode harks back to the 'Man of Science, Man of Faith' argument rather than simply good and bad people. Jacob blindly follows his mother out of faith, whereas MiB refuses and joins the progressive group of settlers who want to learn about the Island's mysterious properties.
  • "Mother's" protestation that she realizes that it was always supposed to be Jacob is correct. She brought the ship to the Island just as Jacob has done so many times knowing that there'd be a pregnant woman aboard and intending to take the baby and raise her own replacement. She did not know about the twin -- the MiB -- however. Watch her reactions to each as they're born. He's clearly a troubling surprise. No wonder she thought he was special. In the end, however, she comes to realize that the baby she intended to take before the ship ever came -- Jacob -- was indeed always supposed to be her replacement. MiB was, rather, the instrument of her release.

Free Will vs. Fate

Jacob was told by Mother that she had "no choice" but to let MIB go. She then takes him to the Source and tells him he does not have a choice and must become the protector. This is why Jacob later in life makes a point of telling people that they have a choice. He was not given free will and wants to change that for the people he becomes involved with, or a least in his eyes feel that he has let them exert their free will. MIB actively avoided the fate Mother had planned for him. His attempt to exert free will ended in his being tied to the island - the opposite of the fate he desired. He now assumes that all men are doomed to perpetuate their dark side and cannot avoid their fate. Both were influenced by how fate vs. free will manifested in their lives.

Jacob Controls the Flash Sideways Timeline

  • While playing the game with his brother, Jacob attempts to move a piece sideways, and his brother tells him that he can't do that, adding that when he's in charge of the game he can make his own rules. Jacob is responsible for the creation of the alternate timeline.
  • Jacob knew he was going to be killed. So he created the alternative time line. In this timeline he still lives. This is his loophole to get back to the normal timeline.

Similarities between 'Special' characters

We have seen how MIB was described as special by his fake mother. This is seen in his ability to simply know about things and how they work despite never having seen them before (the boardgame). Also this is seen in his ability to talk to the dead. We can now look at Walt, another child with mysterious abilities who was described by many people as being special. In extension we can notice that Hurley also has the same ability to converse with the dead as the MIB has/had. So then where does this speciallness come from and how is its host picked? and for what reason?

Raised by Another We have seen the 'heart of the island' in human form as Locke and MiB (Adam). Both were raised by another (i.e. not their biological mother). Great emphasis was placed on Aaron being raised by Claire (i.e. not an other). By this logic, Aaron is a potential human form for Smokey.

    • Could you also add Ji Yeon to this list now that her parents are dead and will be raised by another? We know Kown was on the list of candidates... as was Littleton, even though Littleton was crossed out.
      • Could be Littleton was referring to Claire and Shephard refers to Aaron through his relation to Christian, perhaps.

The Boy in Black saw a ghost turtle/apparition

The sea turtle which Boy in Black is regarding vanishes as the camera cuts to reveal Mother approaching. This is not a blooper, rather it was the first shown manifestation of his 'specialness' - the ability to see the dead.

  • The turtle was not a ghost but rather an apparition, projected by Mother to test BiB's reaction/belief, and to help foster curiosity about what is across the sea. Jacob at the time confirmed his brother's propensity for staring out to sea, and Claudia's apparition provided proof of his origins and a goal to leave.

Hurley is No Longer a Candidate to replace Jacob

Jacob is unable to lie according to his mother. Hurley's distaste for lying was essential in returning the Losties to the Island. In an act of desperation, Hurley took it upon himself to pretend he saw Jacob in order to get the A-Team at the Black Rock to not blow up the plane in Everybody Loves Hugo, thus disqualifying him as having the perfect virtue Jacob was looking for.

  • Jacob would have disqualified himself by denying to his brother that Mother knew of their visits.
    • Well if lying disqualifies you from being a candidate then there wouldn't be any left. They have all lied about a lot of things in their lives. Jack, Hurley, Sayid and presumably Sun were all still candidates when they returned to th Island even though they all lied about what happened to them after the plane crashed. Sawyer has been lying for most of his life, considering he os a con man. I think they talk about how Jacob can't lie as a way to show that Jacob really is purely good, and it is just a personal characteristic of his.
      • Unless the candidate has to be child who has no concept of good or evil. I still think the two best choices for candidates are Ji-Yeon (best chance) and Aaron (dark horse). This could specify which 'Kwon' is in the cave, and why the others were obsessed with children in the early seasons. --MisterThou 06:47, May 13, 2010 (UTC)
        • I don't know how they could possibly be candidates, considering that we have only one episode left until the series finale and both of the children are off the Island.
          • In the FST, we have two children to potentially fill this role: Aaron (assuming he's born by then) and David Shepard.

Jacob's Lie

Jacob denied to his brother that Mother knew of their visits, demonstrating he has learned how to lie.

  • He goes so far as to say she never asks about him, a hurtful addition to the lie.
    • Jacob's anger over his brother's severing their family still smolders, a telltale indication of his humanity. Mother was exaggerating.
      • Mother gave no sign that she was aware of the visits, Jacob assumed she didn't know about them, and she never asked about MiB because she has an intrinsic awareness of everything that happens on the island.
        • Mother immediately asks "What did he say to you?" after Jacob says "You know where I was." They have discussed Jacob's visits before.
  • Mother has instructed Jacob to lie when asked, alleviating blame & supplying the "know how to" aspect via the "never asks about you" barb.
  • Jacob technically does not lie, but rather deflects the question with the statement "She never asks about you." We cannot determine this to be false.
    • Possible, though improbable, that prior to Jacob's talk quoted above with Mother she had never initiated any question about MiB's doings. For this to be true Jacob would always admit where he's been, and Mother would always drop the topic (or he would volunteer something). That being the case over time, it would also foster Jacob's bitterness over their severed family, again prompting him to say it with some malice.
      • While not a lie, answering MiB's question "Does Mother know?" in this fashion is a deception, assuming the probability Mother at least once prior to asking "What did he tell you?" continued a previous conversation where Jacob had revealed he'd been visiting his brother.


  • All these theories seem to imply a total understanding/awareness of the protagonists.
  • The 'Mum' seems to have made a lot of mistakes (and human foibles). We don't know her story, we only know the consequnces of it.
  • Jacob was 'named'. MiB was 'her' child and she mistakenly hoped he would be the one to replace her.