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Who she works for
More discussion about her purpose and allegiances at Bram/Theories.
Ilana is part of Jacob's masterplan focusing on the Candidates. While it is somewhat unknown as to how much the Oceanic Six are manipulated by the Man in Black and/or his associates to return to the island, Jacob interferes directly with Hurley (leaving him the guitar case) and Ilana by recruiting her for the mission to capture and bring Sayid. Quite obviously, Ilana receives various information by Jacob prior to her trip to the island, which also demonstrates some ability of Jacob to foretell the future. From what we have seen we can conclude
- Ilana received instructions to secure the dead body of John Locke and bring it to the island.
- Ilana received instructions not to interfere with the fake Locke (MiB) but play along.
- Ilana received instructions to keep pilot Frank Lapidus close to her group (as to the "why?" she tries to figure it out on her own by asking the password question while Bram and the others speculate whether Frank might be a candidate).
It is yet unclear whether her mission is to prevent the Man in Black from leaving the island with the Ajira plane or merely to postpone his departure unless the replacement candidates have settled in.
- Ilana received instructions to go to Jacob's cabin (where she found the tapestry piece of the Taweret statue, left as a clue for her and her group where to find Richard Alpert).
- Ilana received instructions to seek out Richard and ask the password question
Jacob didn't tell her that by the time she would arrive he'd be dead. Neither did he tell her that bullets wouldn't harm the Man in Black (Bram and the others shoot MiB only to be killed, Ilana is stopped by Richard from doing the same mistake).
- Ilana further received instructions to eventually go to the temple and use the secret passageway.
Though it remains unknown what had caused her severe injuries prior to Jacob's visit in the Russian hospital, it seems she may been on a previous suicide mission on behalf of Jacob but barely survived. The tension and dialogue of the hospital scene suggests that Jacob wasn't simply asking Ilana for another field trip but one he (and her) knew would ultimately result in her death, but she agreed nevertheless.
- Ilana is working for Eloise Hawking as a proxy to replicate Oceanic 815. She is a proxy for either Edward Mars(the Marshal) or Ana Lucia, since she is escorting a prisoner (like the Marshal) and is a female in law enforcement like Ana Lucia.
- The second criteria was that an additional person, Christian Shepard was to be proxied by the late John Locke. Looking for other correspondances between Ajira and Oceanic passengers seems like a bit of a goose chase: no attention was ever paid by Hawking, Linus, or anyone else to ensuring that there was a dog on the flight, or an unpublished novel manuscript. There aren't enough Ajira passengers to go around in any event. This was just what Hawking had to tell everyone to get the proper people back to the island. Having already lived the events, she knew exactly who needed to be on Ajira 316.
- Ilana does not work for Eloise per se, but Eloise, believing that fate must play out in the context of the coming "war," provides info about Flight 316 to the Shadow of the Statue group, enabling their passage to the Island (and allowing Ilana to fulfill the proxy Marshal role).
- Knowning that Sayid needed to be forced back to the island, Eloise got Ilana to bring Sayid to the Island. She did so knowing that he would be one of the ones who would flash back to 1977 and with his knowledge of WMDs, help detonate Jughead after Faraday's untimely demise.
- Jacob searches for Ilana off the island and heals her from burnt wounds. He asks for her help at a time in her life in which she appears to be between life and death and asks for assistance, which she immediately agrees to even before knowing what it is, indicating they have a very close and personal relationship.
- When arriving at the statue, Ilana asks to speak to "Ricardus, and Richard Alpert corrects her from the use of the Latin wersion of his name. That indicates she is much more ancient to the island than she appears.
- She introduces herself to Richard at that point, meaning she and Richard had not met until that point. Considering Richard has been on the island for a very long time (he is shown to be there in 1954, probably longer), which indictase that, had Ilana been on the island since that time, they would have met. If she knows Jacob as closely as it appears, the chances of her never being on the island before are close to zero, indicating she has left before Richard even arrived.
- When she introduces herself to Richard, she says "I am Ilana" to him enphasizing the word "I", indicating Richard should immediately recognize her and trust her to be at Jacob's side.
- Once Jacob dies, Ben finds her siting inside the foot crying, and she then recollects his ashes, indicating mourning and emotional connection to the deceised.
- Alternatively, she is not directly related to Jacob, but adopted. This would explain why their dialogue during their meeting seemed so strange- he could have adopted her in her teens, so she wouldn't necessarily think of him as parental figure, but they would still be very close.
- Ilana represents a secret society or cult that has preserved knowledge about the Island over time and seeks to take it over. This society could be unconnected or even opposed to Widmore, the Others, and/or DHARMA.
- This society or cult is run by The Economist, hence Ben's desire to kill off him and his associates. The Economist is therefore not Widmore, as Ben has led Sayid and the viewers to believe.
- Ilana and Bram work for or are part of a group of descendants of the crew of the Black Rock who exited or were banished from the Island at some point in the past. This group has retained secret knowledge of the island and seeks to take it back. They are opposed to both Widmore and The Others.
- Ilana and Bram are working with the same purpose as Locke: To kill Jacob and his clan and regain control of the Island that they presumably once lost. Locke may have been appointed by other interests on the Island as "leader", but Ilana and Bram are or will be his true guides. They may have been sent to the Island to play the "Richard" to Locke's "Jacob" (or "Ben".)
- Ilana is clearly under the command of Jacob. So it is unlikely that she is in a separate group when she seems to know Richard Alpert and Jacob very well. While her an her men are preparing the crate for transport - they must be aware that it contains Locke's dead body - the "other" Locke is standing at the beach, yet Ilana and her men do not 'spill' their secret until they arrive at the broken statue to the shock of Richard and the others assembled there. This suggests a premeditated plan of Jacob (including his death?) and will put 'Locke' in a hot seat the moment he emerges from the broken statue again.
- Ilana does not know Richard Alpert up to the point she arrives at the statue. Just as she arrives, she asks to speak to "Ricardus", the latin name for "Richard", and he corrects her. Only then she introduces herself.
- Ilana is equally, if not more, important than Richard Alpert to Jacob. As she walks in and introduces herself to him, She says I am Ilana as if he should know who she is and trust her immediately.
- Ilana receives her burns from the eruption of the volcano on the Island.
Working for Benjamin Linus
- Her and Ben not knowing each other is a ruse - the other facts fit in well with this. Ben killed Caesar because he was asserting himself as leader and he wanted his people (Ilana and Bram) to take control while he's gone. He would also have used her as a last resort to get Sayid onto the island.
- She lied to Sayid when she told him that she was hired by the family of Peter Avellino to bring him to justice ("He's Our You"). She was working for Ben to get Sayid back to the island, and for other unknown purposes.
- She was in fact, unknowingly, hired by Ben to make sure Sayid made it on Ajira 316. Ben knew that Sayid had killed Avellino. Ben also had the means to hire Ilana. This explains why Sayid was on Ajira Flight 316, and that their 'reunion' was much more than chance.
- This same theory could be applied to Jacob, as we know he wanted her to do a favour. This favour could be bringing Sayid back to The Island, because he is a candidate.
- She could be Alex from an alternate timeline. After Ben confessed his failure to save Alex, Ilana appeared to offer a pardon and take him in ("Dr. Linus"). Her familiarity with the island also suggests that she had lived there for a time, as Alex did. Ilana's casting call described her as 'European' and her features are similar to those of Alex (who is French). - credit MS
- When she is seen in the hospital with Jacob, she has bandages on her face. She is a character we've seen before, but now has a new face (and a new actress playing her).
- She could be related to Mikhail Bakunin or Ivan Andropov.I don't think her being in a Russian hospital is mere coincidence. An she also had her eyes injured just as Mikhail.In fact, we know that she was working for Jacob and if she was connected with Andropov, it means that Ben in working against Jacob. That could be an explanation why he never saw him and a proof that the orders Ben received were always given by Jacob's Nemesis posing as Jacob, who obviously inhabited the Cabin.
- She could be the daughter of Mikhail Bakunin and Beatrice Klugh, if the two were in fact lovers. It would explain her knowledge of the island if she grew up there as a child and why she speaks Russian, which both Mikhail and Klugh spoke.
- Jacob comes to meet her in person, talking to her as if the two of them have known each other for a long time. If he hadn't shown himself to any of the Others, he would have no reason to come to her if she were merely Mikhail and Klugh's daughter. She presents herself only to Richard and calls him by his Latin name, Ricardus, at first, which indicates a more ancient connection to the island. Also, she is in her early 30's, and both Mikhail and Klugh are in their late 30's, early 40's.
- Her last name is Kysea. She is a candidate because she was specifically recruited by Jacob to go to the Island.
- She is Richard Alpert's daughter, but does not know it. This is the reason for Richard to stay with Jacob for so many years, he made a deal with Jacob, that his daughter would be let off the island if he served him.
- Then why doesn't Richard recognize her at the beach?
- He has not seen her since she was a child, he would not know how she looked/looks.
- That would make her alot older, seeing as Richard is "old".
- This could also be a result of Jacob's "touch".
- Then why doesn't Richard recognize her at the beach?
- She is MiB's daughter. Jacob is "the closest thing to a father" she's ever had. That means it's likely she has had a longer, more intimate relationship with him than anyone else we've met. They clearly go back aways, and she might have similar life expectancy to Richard, Jacob, MiB, etc. It's kind of likely that Jacob and MiB knew each other before becoming island-bound, and because MiB was an evil little monkey even back then (enough to want Jacob to imprison him forever) he wasn't a good father to Ilana. Jacob filled that gap, and she turned on her father in this long "war."
- She is the daughter of someone from the DI, like Radzinsky, and defected to the others or was taken in by Jacob.
- Ilana's wounds are caused by an EMP. Because of the EMP she has an extended knowledge of her timeline and possibly of sideway timelines. That is the reason why she is a willing follower of Jacob.