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The Man in Black
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This page has theories primarily about the human form of the Monster. For theories about the Monster, see this page.

From Lostpedia Theory Policy: "A theory is an attempt to explain a certain mystery using logic backed up with logically consistent observations and facts. Without supporting evidence, statements are merely speculation. Speculation is similar to theories except there are no facts or logic to back the theory up." This is a theory page, not a speculation page. Speculation without supporting evidence can be deleted. To respond to a theory, use the discussion page. Feel free to add supporting evidence to an existing theory.

It's "Policy"

MiB takes "photographs" of their victims before "killing" them. When Eko first saw him, MiB took a "photograph" or "memorized him" (or however you want to say it) by pointing a light beam at Eko. Eko saw his past on that light. On the second encounter, MiB killed Eko. It is the way MiB does his job.

He claimed the Smoke Monster for himself

The Smoke Monster was originally a tool security system and biographical viewing device used by the island's Protector ("Mother", and probably others before her) to judge the island's visitors and protect the island itself. Jacob couldn't kill the Man in Black because of the rules, however his unique communion with death and the island itself allowed him to "cheat death" by stealing control of the smoke device as his soul left his mortal body. He was, however, unable to leave the island because the Protector retained the ability to control who comes and goes. With Jacob (the Protector) dead it became necessary to expose the island's raw electromagnetic ("soul" power) in order to decommission the island, and by extension its security and judgment system. The result was the MiB being left mortal as he was before he appropriated the monster.

He Turned Into the Smoke Monster because of the Rules

MiB's transformation into the Smoke Monster is the result of a paradox of sorts. Consider three facts: 1. No one (except Desmond) can survive the amount of electromagnetic energy in the heart of the island. 2. Jacob threw his brother into the heart of the island. 3. Jacob is not allowed to kill his brother.

He should have been killed but the rules wouldn't allow it. This contradiction fueled by the power of The Source resulted in MiB becoming the monster.

He turned into The Monster because Jacob thought so

Since Jacob was the new protector of the Island, he could put rules however way he wanted so this is the only reason why MIB transformed into Black Smoke.

Remember that Jacob's only idea about The Source was "whoever enters there becomes worse than death", so it was his intention while he was throwing MIB into the source; to make him something worse than death.

Or to say better; he threw MIB there to make him something worse than death because that was everything he knew about the source. If his mother had told him "whoever goes into the source becomes (put something else here)" Jacob would have been thinking about it and MIB would be that (something else).

So he was putting rules about the source, altough not intentionally. This is why nothing unusual happened to Jack, because only thing at that time the protector (Hurley) had been thinking was Jack getting out of there; and that's what happened.

The symbiont, its hosts and its end

Mother is the "older" smoke monster. In the smoke monster form she destroyed the Roman village. The smoke monster is some kind of symbiont that lived before mother, that lived on after mother had died.

The symbiont's source of energy is the Heart of the Island, its character depends more or less on the memories of its (un-dead) hosts. In the form of the dark brother the smoke monster was confronted with his memories of hate and it changed massively (like No-Face in Spirited Away).

The symbiont ceased to exist - leaving his "human" form - when the heart of the island was temporarily off. Its misbeliefs led to its own death. Maybe that was what was left of John Locke: his misbeliefs. So John Locke had a part in destroying the MIB.

Method of Appearing in Other Forms

  • Both Jacob and his enemy do appear as others. It's hypothesized that the enemy is constrained to the Island whereas Jacob is depicted as meeting with several off the island. Again, notice that he physically touches everyone he meets (with the exception of Ilana who he had apparently met before - notice he also wears gloves and is dressed in black in that scene, including Locke. In the case of Hurley who has had many apparitions both on and off the Island, his first being Dave when he was in the Santa Rosa Mental Health Institute before he'd been to the Island, Jacob says of these visions "What if you weren't cursed? What if you were blessed?"
  • Jacob's enemy is the smoke monster and when it scans people, eg. Mr Eko, Juliet, John etc. he is scanning them to see if he can find the "loophole". In season 1, after it scanned Locke, it tries dragging him into a hole but is stopped by Jack and Kate, when they throw dynamite down the hole. The monster can take the form of dead bodies if they are not buried, Yemi, Christian, Locke. Also, Amy insisted they buried the bodies of the hostiles in 1974. In 2004, at Colleen Pickett's Funeral, her body is burned by the others and sent out to sea, because the others didn't want the monster to take her form. The Fake Locke/ Monster tells Richard to tell the real Locke when he is injured, after being shot by Ethan, that he has to die. After Locke's body is brought back to the island on Ajira 316, the smoke monster becomes Locke, so he has found his loophole to kill Jacob. Rebuttal: Amy insisted this because of the truce between the others and the DI, not necessarily because of the monster. Another Rebuttal: If Ben/The Others knew of this ability of the Monster to inhabit unburied bodies, They would not have left all the DI victims in an open pit. Another rebuttal: Richard said he buried Alex after Miles walked over her grave, and Alex appeared to Ben in the temple.
    • Alex was buried by Richard, but even though MIB could take her form.
  • He can read thoughts. In The 23rd Psalm in the jungle the Smoke Monster stares into Eko's eyes and after that Eko starts seeing Yemi (he learned about Yemi from Eko's thoughts.) The same thing happened to Locke and the Smoke Monster.
  • When a dead character's body is missing or not present on the island, it is in service to the Island, not the Man in Black or Jacob. Bodies missing or not present on the island include Christian, Ben's mother, and Yemi (now). Walt is also not present on the island. This is different from the Man in Black acting in the guise of Locke. Similarly, tangible apparitions such as Kate's horse and Hugo's imaginary friend Dave are a product of the Island. The apparition is not the smoke monster itself, though the smoke monster can project your memories. In "Dead is Dead" the smoke monster disappears before Alex appears. In The Cost of Living, Yemi disappears before the monster appears after saying, "you speak to me as if I were your brother". There would be no reason for the monster to not change shape right before your eyes if the monster and the apparition were the same. Instead, Alex and Yemi appear, disappear in the same way Christian, Ben's mother, Dave and Kate's horse appear and disappear, as products of the Island, which has its own properties such as appearing and disappearing and healing. Rebuttal: Fake Locke does the exact same thing; he never shape-shifts into monster form on-screen, with the exception of the scene we see from his viewpoint.
    • Other visions of dead people, especially those viewed by Hurley, are from the Island/Jacob. These visions are not mimics.
  • The MIB can read peoples memories, this is shown several times. He can use these memories to assume their likeness to various degrees. When Ben's mother appeared to him as a kid, Ben's mom had never been to the island, so the image of his mom was taken from Ben's memories of pictures Ben had seen of his mom and of Ben's conceptions of his mom. This is way she seems more like a haunting apparition, rather than a more solid manifestation. At other times the MIB can imprint a person's entire memory and personality, but this is possible only after their dead. It's like a copy made of the psyche. However, the cost of a complete imprinting is that the new form becomes "locked in" and a new form can't be taken, which is why Ilana said he can't change since she recognized it as a complete imprinting. Maybe very specific conditions have to be meet for a complete imprinting can be taken place, such as a loophole existing or a specific chain of events have to take place. Some of the manifestations of dead people that people see when they are awake and on the island could possibly be the MIB trying to manipulate them to further his cause, while dead people appearing in dreams or off the island are manifestations of Jacob or the Island itself, with Hurley being the exception as he can converse with dead people while awake, both on and off the Island.

Other Manifestations


  • Would provide possible hints to the person and character of the Man in Black.
    • Before Eko's death, "Yemi" tries to elicit a moral change in him. Eko refuses, however, saying, "I did not ask for the life that I was given. But it was given, nonetheless. And with it... I did my best." If Eko had repented, he would likely not have died; we can therefore conclude that the Man in Black has no problem killing those who disagree with him.
      • John Locke ceased to push the buttons in the Swan Station, Eko felt the necessity to continue doing so. If the electromagnetic forces of the Island helped to keep the Man in Black prisoner, Eko was doing / attempting what was not in the Man in Black's interests. Eko was killed for being an obstacle, very much like Bram and the Others trying to shoot the Man in Black, though it had no effect.
      • Perhaps its that MIB has no problem with killing people who he knows he cannot manipulate. He spared both Ben and Richard when they were being judged because he saw them as people he could deceive into murdering Jacob. Eko had let go of his guilt over killing Yemi, and so the MIB would not have been able to use him.
    • Likewise, during their conversation "Yemi" chastises Eko for speaking "to me as if I were your brother." Note that his irritation in this case isn't seen at any other time: he isn't upset with Jack for treating "Christian" like his father, nor Ben for treating "Alex" like his (adopted) daughter, etc. His reaction, then, may indicate that he and Jacob are brothers.
      • This irritated tone could also be due to frustration. We don't know how long he's been searching for a loophole, nor how many times he's failed, but if it were many, he would be quite frustrated with it all by now.
  • Would add thematic depth to the short-lived Locke/Eko rivalry: Eko was killed for embracing his own free will and a firm morality whereas Locke survived in virtue of his belief in destiny and corresponding moral weakness ("Boone was a sacrifice the island demanded," etc.).
  • Yemi's post-death appearance was the Man in Black trying to find his loophole to kill Jacob but because Eko was unwilling to change he wouldn't have been accepted by The Others as a leader, so the smoke monster killed him. Eko's final words to John Locke was "you're next" meaning that the Man in Black was going to try John Locke for his loophole.
  • Ben explains that he needs to be "judged" by the smoke monster (as Alex) and, unlike Eko's experience with the smoke monster (as Yemi), Ben is willing to change.


  • Locke encounters Christian in the FDW chamber at the bottom of the well during a time period which must be sometime prior to 1867 due to the presence of the Tawaret statue. This appearance is presumably the Man in Black, given that he speaks to Locke about the conversation they had in the cabin regarding the moving of the island. We can be relatively sure the appearance of Christian in the cabin was MIB given that Claire was there with Christian and we know Claire allied with MIB. However, if the appearance of Christian in the well was MIB, that raises some questions:
    • How is the MIB able to use Christian's form more than a century before Christian's body came to the island, or for that matter before he was even born?
    • How would the MIB know who Locke is, know about their conversation in 2004, and know that he has friends that he needs to return to the Island a century or more in the future?
  • The possibilities I see to explain this are:
    • It isn't MIB, but the actual "ghost" of Christian. Since there is no time in the "place" where Christian is at, it would make sense that he (and other such ghosts) could appear anywhere on the timeline. But if this appearance is the "real" Christian then that would imply that the encounter with Locke in the cabin was also the "real" Christian, and that does not appear to be the case.
    • MIB travelled through time with the Losties. We heard throughout season 6 that if you allow MIB to speak you've already been claimed by him and/or the sickness. Locke spoke to him in the cabin, and so perhaps part of MIB's power or spirit went into Locke and travelled back in time with him.
    • MIB exists outside normal space-time, allowing him to know about 2004 events a century beforehand. The problem with this is that it causes the entire storyline to fall apart given that MIB would then be able to see his own demise. Moreover, we've seen MIB be surprised, such as by the appearance of Desmond on the island. So it seems highly unlikely that MIB can see all times.
    • The "appearance" of MIB is drawn out of the observer's mind. MIB can scan the memories of the observer and choose an appearance based on that. Therefore, he might have known Locke was expecting him to appear as Christian and either took that form or projected that form.

Method of Control/Persuasion/Manipulation of others

MIB is able to "trap" his followers by offering them the thing they want most, and is able to manipulate them by hanging it in front of them (like a carrot on a stick). This could have something to do with the 'sickness'.

  • MIB offers Claire the chance to reunite with Aaron again (yet his claim that Aaron is held by the Others is a lie, both as Claire's "friend" and as the apparition of Christian Shephard).
  • MIB offers Sawyer the explanation why he is on the Island (yet his explanation is a lie, as obviously it isn't about guarding the Island but MiB as its prisoner).
    • MIB being both trapped on the Island and its guardian are not mutually exclusive attributes.
  • MIB offers Sayid the chance to reunite him with Nadia.
  • MIB promised both Jin and Sun that he could reunite them and they could be with Ji Yeon.

It has been suggested that Dogen was brought into Jacob's service by striking a similar Faustian bargain, but at this point it remains speculation whether it has truly been Jacob or instead the Man in Black or one of his followers pretending to be Jacob (Jacob's ghost doesn't really seem to care too much about Dogen and his people).

  • Jacob gives people what they want, as long as they are willing to make a sacrifice, because he had to make a sacrifice and he believes it is for the "greater good". The MiB has no faith and acts only in his own self-interest, and there is nothing to indicate that he could make do on a promise and his word is clearly not binding.

The Compass

Unlike Jacob, MiB is stuck on the Island and has no means to "touch" and influence people off the island. To touch or claim a person off the island he therefore must smuggle a physical object in his possession off the Island (the "loophole"?).

Using the confusion of the 2007 time shift appearance of the injured John Locke at the Beechcraft site, the (fake) Locke (aka MiB) switches his ('new') compass with the ('old') one Richard Alpert has been carrying for years.

Richard passes the compass (MiB's) on to John Locke.

John Locke soon travels back to 1954 and gives Richard the compass. John tells him that Richard will eventually pass it back to him in the future during an encounter when John's leg is wounded (i.e. 2007).

Richard visits Locke in 1961 and performs the "Dalai Lama" test during which John Locke (as a 5-year-old and for the first time in his life) picks / touches the compass but eventually settles for the knife (though Richard notices young John's premonition painting of the smoke monster, he is disappointed that John doesn't go for the compass, yet unaware that the compass never belonged to John Locke in the first place!). Rather than let young John Locke keep any of the items, Richard takes them back. The compass remains in Richard's possession until 2007 when (fake) Locke asks him, if he still has the compass 'he' gave him (in 1954).

  • What disappoints Richard if the fact that John chose the knife instead of "The Book of Laws".
  • You are all wrong about what young John chooses. He chooses the container of sand, THE COMPASS, and then as the comment above me states, he chooses the knife instead of "The Book of Laws". Read up on the episode called "Cabin Fever".

The compass does not necessarily constitute a "predestination paradox" (temporal causality loop), as long as MiB switched the compasses (offscreen) in 2007: Richard gives the 'new' one to John Locke (starting point of the compass journey) who travels back in time to 1954 where compass posession changes to Richard. From 1954 to 2007 the compass passes forward in normal time with Richard until MiB recollects it (switch) in 2007.

(In contrast, Admiral Kirk's reading glasses in the second and fourth Star Trek movie constitute such a time paradox: as from the moment in the future he receives the glasses there will be additional wear and tear which will travel back in time together with the glasses but can't be there once they arrive back in the future because they haven't occurred yet).

If a switch did not occur it would constitute a "temporal causality loop" because neither origin, ownership or starting point (causality) of the compass could be established. (Fake) Locke tells Benjamin Linus it's Richard's compass which is either a deception or merely an indication that Richard possessed the compass the longest since 1954.

Evil or Good?

  • The MiB inherently is neither evil nor good, he has his own personal motives which have placed him on the dark side at odds with Jacob. The MiB is however very deceptive, when explaining the choices Sawyer had at the cave, he considered the island 'just a damn island', yet when he was sitting on the beach with Jacob, he seemed concerned that people were coming to the Island and stated pessimistic views about humans, suggesting the Island is actually important to him.
  • The Man in Black is not the evil that Jacob was referring to when he used the metaphor of the wine bottle; in fact both Jacob and the Man in Black constitute the cork. In the episode "Dead Is Dead", the murals underneath the Barracks show the smoke monster as an entity that judges people, and indeed what Ben says in that episode indicates that the monster decides if a person has turned from good to evil, and in the latter case he is allowed to kill them. Jacob brings people to the Island and gives them a clean slate. If they remain good, he is proven right; if they turn bad, the smoke monster can kill them (we've seen this happen to Eko). Good and evil exist beyond Jacob and the Man in Black; they merely act as judges. The Man in Black is not evil, he simply wants to leave the Island. However, with him and Jacob gone and no replacement for either of them found, the cork is removed, and the true evil force is no longer held on the Island either.

Man In Black is NOT The Monster

  • His body was found by Jacob after he passed through The Source. It's not that he became The Monster, rather The Monster was created after a man passed through it, which was not supposed to happen and so Malevolence was released from it. Jacob's brother is dead. He died when his head hit the rock, the Monster simply has his memories much in the same way that it has Locke's.
    • MiB became the smoke monster because he went into the light AND he was special, he didn't die, his unique (but evil) spirit was removed, his fake mom did stuff to him and Jacob as children/infants, Claire and Sayid had a similar experience but they were not really special, so instead went crazy/numb.
  • MIB saw his dead mother as a child. The monster already existed before Jacob and his brother ever went to the island. Either that, or there is another entity in the Island that takes the form of the dead (like with young Ben).
  • As seen in "The End", when Smokey takes on someone's identity long enough, it begins to believe that it is that person. It began talking to Jack under the belief that he/it really was Locke when they were lowering Desmond towards the Light. It is quite likely that MiB was Smokey's first transformation and became convinced that he/it really was MiB. This resulted in him believing in "the rules" and having a desire to "Go Home".
    • Jacob had limited information concerning the Smoke Monster, so he ended up believing that it was in fact his brother's spirit when this was not the case.
  • Initially I rejected the idea the MiB as Jacob's brother was dead in Across The Sea and the SM was just released and posed as him. But the evidence strongly points in this direction. The cork and its chamber are obviously not natural, and I believe the cork has some Egyptian hieroglyphs on it. If so, the Egyptians on the island predate Jacob and MiB. In earlier seasons there are Egyptian carvings of what seem to depict Anubis summoning the SM. I think the SM begins to take on the personality of whoever he imitates, as theorized above. You see him yell, "Don't tell me what I can't do!" to young/ghost(?) Jacob and in "The End" he tries talking with Jack like they were old buddies. That's after just a short period of time. He was MiB for TWO THOUSAND YEARS. Going stir crazy. Trapped on an island. With the one man keeping him there who also killed his "host". And also he apologizes to Ben for "having to see me like that." He also objects to being called a what, insisting he's a 'who', not a 'what'. He despises his Smoke form and tries to convince himself he's whoever he's posing as. And on top of that, Jacob and MiB COULD hurt each other, as seen by Jacob pummeling BiB, Mother just tried to convince them they couldn't. The SM only couldn't kill Jacob because he was the Island's protector, and technically the SM (by my theory) would be a servant to the island/it's protector.
  • The Man in Black never was the Smoke Monster. The Smoke Monster however could take on the form of Jacob's nameless brother and also access (i.e. "Xerox") all the memories he had, the same way as he could "become" FLocke. Both Fake Man in Black and Fake Locke were not identical to the real persons, just copies made out of corporeal manifestations of electromagnetic energy. Similar to the way the "ghosts" on the Island could become real.
  • In conclusion, with this now written by a different user, the Man In Black was not the Smoke Monster. The monster was an entity that existed on the Island long, long before the MIB arrived, trapped in the Light without a host's body to inhabit and allow it to leave, perhaps by Mother.
  • When the Monster rushed out past Jacob after his brother's death, it was finally free. From that moment on, the Man In Black was not his brother - it was merely a corpse, a vessel, to allow the Monster to exist in human form. There was nothing left of Jacob's brother in there except superficial looks.
  • Its reason for not being able to harm Jacob was not because Mother had made it so because they were brothers, but because the Monster was simply unable to hurt the Protector of the Island. When he said, "you have no idea how much I want to kill you", he wasn't speaking as his sibling, but as a resentful Monster who thought it was finally free and found itself once again bound in chains by the Protector, able to roam the Island freely but never able to leave.
  • Before he was lost to the Light, the Man In Black was bitter and psychologically lost, but he wasn't sadistic or violent. There's a notable shift in acting styles - the Man In Black when he was human, when he was Jacob's brother, when he was sad, and broken, and confused, when he didn't know who he was or where he belonged, and the Man In Black when he was just a puppet of the Monster's, homicidal and arrogant and cold. They were two completely different characters, with the Monster being entirely independent of the Man In Black, who died two thousand years ago, and having its own distinct personality, traits, and motivations.


  • A major theme in Lost has been the feeling of worthlessness and rejection. When the MiB entered the Source, the Source saw that his heart was not good and rejected him. This is why the Smoke Monster comes out of the cave so angry, and why the Light must still be protected from him.

The Man in Black

(moved from The_End/Theories)

The Man in Black was Right

He told Jack that the light/Island doesn't need protecting. Maybe The Island is magical, but it doesn't have global consequences. Once the light is extinguished, Smokey is no more. So, the Man in Black going elsewhere would just be a regular guy in society. And with the Island sunk, nothing would change anywhere. So, Jacob brought a bunch of people to the Island, made crazy drama in their lives, and there was no grander purpose. It would be like someone inviting you to their home where a bunch of the other guests try to kill you, but you don't leave because you think one of them will burn the house down, and if the house is burned down the entire world will be set ablaze.

  • Jacob was only able to bring people to the island because the island allowed him to. "Mother" made him "special" when she offered him the cup. Otherwise, he was an average human. He mentions that Kate can still take his position if she's willing. He is not ultimately in charge of the island. Ben tells Hurley that he can run things differently than Jacob did. This means that the island's protector can make up rules. Anyway, Jack needed to restore the light in the heart of the island in order to "let go." It may not have affected anything else in the world, since Jack killed the smoke monster in Locke's body. Maybe there is no more evil force on the island unless somebody comes to corrupt it. However, as mentioned by Jacob and his brother, it only ends once. It is possible that this was the end to the conflict between good and evil on the island.
  • To validate Jacob's ability to create rules for the Island, Boy in Black tells young Jacob while playing the board game that he can create his own game and make the rules up as he wishes. The Island is his "game" and his rules
  • If MIB was right, that would mean that he was the ultimate victim of the island -- all he wanted to do was get off the Island because of he was (non-consensually) forced to stay on it.
  • If the Island is a living entity, presumably because it has a "heart", then it's logical that it would be "dead" in the afterlife, which is physically seen as being underwater. However since the afterlife is taking place in a metaphysical environment the MIB was only right about everyone, including the island, passing on to the afterlife at some point in time.
  • FSW was a manifestation of what the characters wanted, not something that was actually taking place. The characters wanted to be happy independent of the Island, so it didn't "exist" in their "limbo." It was underwater.
  • If the electromagnetic powers of the Island caused the crash of Oceanic 815, it would be the characters assumption that if the plane didn't crash the island was no more. The FST was a manifestation of an alternate reality where the plane did not crash. It's safe to assume in the alternate reality the Island either didn't exist or didn't exist to the characters which is the same thing. I think showing the island underwater was a tactic of misdirection on the writers part to mislead the viewers into thinking that after Jughead detonated, reality split.
  • It's suggested in Across the Sea that extinguishing the heart of the island would mean the end of life. If this is true it would seem the MIB is wrong.
  • He was wrong in saying that the Losties died for nothing. Christian Shephard tells Jack that they time that they spent on the Island was the most important thing that they all have done.
  • It is possible that this story was not meant to have real world consequences, or have as grand a scale as some people are prescribing to it; this is a story centering on very few characters, and on a relatively small location, not the entire world. The said story also happens to be very symbolical; 'push the button, or the world will end' - not the the whole world, just the world these people know, or the Island's world. It's a wagnerian conflict on a miniature scale; there's a proverbial god and devil, but are they even close to what people would normally percieve to be the actual god or devil? No, of course not, both can, and are killed, both play by rules, and both are (albeit, somewhat) bound by human emotions and motivations. Hence, the story's logic should be taken in context of the narrative; perhaps it doesn't matter if the MiB escapes in the wide scope of things, but if he does, evil would have triumphed in that story, so the resolution is negative, regardless of what happens to the rest of the world.

The Smoke Monster Is Back

  • Jack restarted the light, which means that Smokey can come back too. He's either still the Man in Black, or awaiting a new host to be thrown into the heart.
    • The smoke monster does not necessarily exist independently of a human "host." It could be the case that Smokey is simply the perversion of the person who falls into the Source (not an entity in itself).
  • Jack is the new Smokey.
    • Jack was dressed in dark (not quite black) clothes that became darker throughout the episode (because they got wetter), echoing his transition into "The Man in Black".
    • Jack moved on with the rest of his group, then after encountering the heart of the Island he awoke in the same place that the MIB's body was discovered by Jacob.
    • Similar to how Jacob thought MiB was loved more and apparently the "obvious choice" to protect the island at their young age, Jack is also the "obvious choice". But, clearly, Hurley becomes the island's protector, and if the writers intended on paralleling the past, then Jack becomes Smokey.
  • Smokey is gone. Smokey was the boosted manifestation of the MIB's soul: He wanted to leave the island at all costs, he felt betrayed by "Mother" and by Jacob and he was disgusted by people in general - all before his dead in the light. So my interpretation would be this: the light doesn't turn everybody into a smoke monster, it distills the very essence of a human being and manifests it, that's why it doesn't seem to harm Jack - he let go when he stood in the light, there was nothing evil in him anymore. So, the only way to produce another smoke monster would be, IMHO, if a "bad" man enters the light again.
    • Smokey is not gone. There was a Smokey before MIB and mostly likely a smokey after MIB. Mother represents both parts of the protector of the Island (the jacob and MIB parts). she was most likely smokey and this is how she was able to wipe out everyone in MIB's villiage. Then when she died the parts of the island protector were split up between Jacob and MIB. There have been numerous references to Smokey being the protector of the island (Egyptian hieroglyphics, the Others, Dharma folk). MIB had begrudgingly fulfiled this role until he was able to put his plan in place with the Locke loophole. Jack waking up in the same place as MIB after he went into the light gives credence to the theory that he becomes Smokey, although I dont know if I necessarily believe this yet.
    • The ancient Egyptians believed in five parts of a soul: the Ib (heart), Sheut (shadow), Ren (name), Ba (personality) and Ka (life force). When the MIB appears at an "exit point" he has not survived the encounter with the source so the life force is gone. The MIB never seemed to have a name, and very little "heart", so the smoke monster is a combination of Sheut and Ba.
    • Mother said they could not hurt each other. It seems as if Jacob cannot kill MIB and that is why he returned as Smokey. Kate and Jack are not forbidden to kill him.
  • The smoke monster is the result of Jacob breaking the rules, i.e. he harmed and killed his brother.
    • Darlton suggested in the podcast for Across The Sea that Jacob didn't technically kill the MiB because it was indirect. If you knock someone out and then they float down river into the Source, that's indirect enough not to break the rules. Likewise, manipulating Ben to kill Jacob is indirect and doesn't break the rule.
      • If that's true, why has Smokey never done that to Jacob in the 2000 years they've been there? Seems a pretty good loophole to me. Bash Jacob's head in until he's unconscious and then throw him into a river face down. Using that logic, it's technically the river/water killing Jacob, not Smokey.
  • Although Jack could hurt the Man In Black he can't kill him, that's why Kate has to kill him.
    • Kate could kill him because the light was off, Jack could have killed MIB too, because the light is what gave them power, but he got stabbed by MIB. Therefore Kate finished it.
  • The Smoke Monster was never anything more than a "fail safe", intended as last resort in case a Guardian of the Source fails to do his job or cannot do it any longer.

There are two Smoke Monsters

  • Smoke Monster #1 - The Man in Black's essence. It can shift into someone's form as long as that person is dead. Only killed Bram and Jacob's other security guards while in the smoke form.
  • Smoke Monster #2 - The Devil. It killed the Pilot, Eko, and Rousseau's team. It was trying to pull Locke down the cave to hell, because of how jealous it was of him that he was healed by the island.
  • When Jacob chucked the Man in Black down the centre of the island, the black smoke comes out, twice as big as otherwise seen. This is because half of it is the Man in Black's consciousness, and the other part is the Devil.
  • Jacob and the Man in Black hate each other, but agree to respect each other while the devil is still alive.
  • The Man in Black disguises as Isabella (someone who Richard would listen to). This is when it gets interesting, because the smoke monster sound is heard, but the Man in Black is in the form of Isabella. This was the devil smoke killing the officers, and then it tries to kill "Isabella", but fails. The Man in Black, in his real form, frees Richard.
  • The Man in Black knew that the other smoke monster was the devil, so he told Richard to kill him (He knew Richard would immediately think that Jacob was the Devil, but the Man in Black wanted Jacob dead too anyway, so it didn't matter for him to tell Richard that Jacob wasn't the Devil).
  • The Man in Black thought the island was hell because it is where the Devil lives
  • The Man in Black says to Richard "the Devil took my body". He could have literally meant that the Devil took his soul out of his body (because the Man in Black's body is found after by Jacob).
  • The Man in Black tells Richard that he only has one chance to kill the devil, and when Richard unsuccessfully returns after talking to Jacob, the Man in Black got angry that Jacob got in the way, he just said "him" instead of "Jacob".
  • Isabella's ghost tells Hurley to tell Richard that if the Man in Black leaves the island, they all go to hell. She saw the devil smoke in its real form, and thought it was the Man in Black.
  • The Man in Black wants Jacob and the candidates dead so he can leave the island, and he wants the devil dead for the curse it had on him.
  • Eko's final words were "I saw the devil", not "you're next".