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Theories concerning the Flash-sideways timeline

The Predispositions of Individuals in the Flash-sideways timeline to the Recurrent Lost Themes

  • It is becoming clear that the themes of fate/coincidence, destiny/free will, science/faith are beginning to play out in the f-s timeline, just as they did in the original timeline. However, some individuals are now taking an opposing stance in the f-s timeline to the one they had in the original. For example:
  1. Jack was a man of science, but in LA X, Parts 1 & 2 he says that nothing is irreversible. This is a totally unscientific statement.
  2. Locke was a man of faith in the original timeline, but in the f-s timeline, he is a man of science (or at least knows enough science to be qualified to teach it). He accepts all the 'bad' coincidences that happen to him, yet does not become Locke contra mundi.
  3. Charlie was determined that he would not die in the original timeline, but in the f-s timeline, he accepts it as his destiny.
On the island, the person in charge (previously on Lost - Jacob!) takes up a position on one of these dimensions. Jacob did not like technology (and presumably science), but required faith from his people. He constantly is saying that people have free will, but understands enough about the way the world works so that his nudges cause them to do particular things years later. This then becomes their fate, and is no coincidence. An alternative world would therefore be governed by science, destiny and coincidence. This sounds exactly like the original timeline the losties left in 2004. It is run by science, people (e.g. Desmond) are told that it is their destiny to do things, and the coincidences are ubiquitous. In this world people dogmatically believe in coincidence, even when it is clear, such as in Hurley's case that all the events happening to one person ( together with the story of the numbers), would be slighly less likely than Elvis arriving on a flying saucer to make a comback appearance in front of a throng assembled to award the Nobel Peace prize to Osama Bin Laden. The f-s timeline, however, has Locke exercising free will to change his future, Helen and Jack making statements of faith, and fate rather than coincidence now seems to be forcing people to be together. In other words, the Island is the Yin to the outside world's Yang, and whoever is in charge of the island, (Jacob or MiB) 'claims' particular dimensions to work for the island, thereby dictating that the opposing paradigms govern the outside world. As the f-s timeline does not have Jacob in charge of the island, the outside world now echoes his attributes as a result. The world since 1977 has become disillusioned with science, more directed towards faith, centred around free will and the rights of the individual, and convinced that any little coincidence is a sure sign that fate is playing tricks. (Sound familiar? Should do, it's the world we live in!!!!) The producers of Lost are fishing for the really big stuff here.

Theories concerning Jacob's Nemesis

Main article: Man in Black/Theories

Jacob's Nemesis does not know important information

  • Now that Jacob is dead the MIB is stuck as whoever he was, it is not just that he took the form of Locke. Nothing changed when he took the form of Locke, but things definitely changed once Jacob was killed. Despite this, he can still take the form of the Black Smoke though. Also of note, he seemed to genuinely not know things about Sawyer while normally he would have the power to know almost everything about any person he encountered.
  • Counter Argument: Nemesis did know that Sawyer lost someone dear to him. He might be referring to his parents, but if it is Juliet, then FLocke couldn't have known about it unless he has special powers.

Ilana's claim that Jacob's Nemesis is "stuck" in Locke's body

Note: this is not a fact, it is a statement made by a character and may not be accurate. We should also note that since MIB was seen as smoke monster at the start of the episode, we know for a fact he can take at least two forms, Smokey & Locke. Theories should therefore address why Ilana thinks the Nemesis is stuck, rather than arguing whether or not he really is stuck.

Because Jacob is dead

Jacob's death changes something

  • With Jacob gone, the island does not have a protector. This means that everything changes, and until a new protector is found, or Jacob is resurrected, MiB has to operate under a new set of rules.
  • Richard says that MIB wants to kill everyone on the island. Jacob dies in 2007, but the bomb goes off in 1977. If Jacob and MIB aren't limited by time then even though Jacob was killed in the present, he could not have intervened to prevent the bomb from exploding. In a place where events, and people seem to often be influenced by a frightening mass of smoke, hallucinations, sightings of people who shouldn't really be there, or vivid dreams you would think that one of these could have prevented that bomb from getting to the time and place of the 'incident'. Something could have convinced Juliet from smacking the bomb. Perhaps Jacob doesn't exercise power on the island, but outside it. Perhaps MIB exercises his on, but not off. MIB may have succeeded in killing everyone on the island in 1977, and now he's working on 2007 without much interference from Jacob (Though a dead Jacob can still talk to some people, or maybe what looked like Jacob was MIB telling Hurley to get Sayid to the Temple so Sayid could get all freaky-deaky). Remember Harper Stanhope appeared, and then vanished in much the same way as other people who seem to not be who they look like? A case can be made that this was MIB misinforming Juliet, and Jack to stop Lewis, and Faraday from disabling the Tempest Station? A good weapon to have if you want to kill everyone on the island.

Counter Arguments

  • It cannot simply be as a result of Jacob's death; Ilana states that her reason for bringing Locke's body to Richard was to show the form of what they were up against; this would be pointless if MiB could change forms before Jacob's death.

Because Ilana thinks MiB Killed Jacob

  • Ilana said that he's stuck as Locke "now"; she did not indicate that this had been true since the Ajira crash. She says this directly after hearing that MiB kicked Jacob into the fire, dealing the killing blow. Therefore, the reason MIB is stuck in this form must be related to his perceived role in Jacob's death - it's one of "The Rules".
  • However, Ilana only says this because she believes that MiB killed Jacob. However, even if Ilana's understanding of the rules is correct, it may not actually be true. While it may not be certain that Ben's wounds to Jacob were fatal, it is highly unlikely that MiB would have spent all that time and energy manipulating Ben to kill Jacob, just to kill him himself and break all the rules. There is a good argument to say he couldn't have done this anyway: when we first saw MiB he said, "Do you have any idea how badly I want to kill you?" If he wanted to kill him that badly, and was able to, he would have already done it.
  • If the reason for Ilana saying this is if she thinks MiB killed Jacob, AND her understanding is correct, AND MiB has miscalculated, and he really did kill Jacob, then he may well be stuck. However, this is an awful lot of if's.

Counter Arguments

  • When MiB and Jacob were conversing on the beach way back when, MiB asks 'Do you have any idea how badly I want to kill you?', to which Jacob replies in the affirmative. Jacob therefore knows MiB wants him dead, yet at the time of the conversation sits quite openly before him, and shows no fear. This would imply that the rule is that they can't kill each other, literally; that the rule isn't a mere guideline, but something which prevents them from exacting physical harm on each other. Why else would MiB go through the rigmarole of getting Ben to stab Jacob? So, MiB has broken no rules, and can't therfore be suffering a punishment for doing so.

Because Locke is a Candidate

  • Locke is the first known Candidate that Jacob's Nemesis has taken the form of. That could possibly be a major difference and be the cause of him being stuck, and by taking a form of John Locke, the Candidate ("second Jacob"), MiB has made terrible mistake, because now part of Jacob's power lives in MiB, making him stuck in Locke's body, thus protecting Island from MiB, since without shapeshifting he is much weaker.
Counter Arguments
  • Jacob's Nemesis seems to have taken the form of Christian Shephard and Alex after he had already taken the form of Locke.
    • Neither of these are confirmed candidates.

Because Ilana's group brought Locke's body to the statue

  • When Ben asks Ilana why she brought Locke's body to the statue, Ilana responds that she needed to show the others what they were up against. By showing Locke's dead body to the others, she is outing the MiB, and condemning him to be stuck in Locke's body. Now that everyone knows Locke is dead, the MiB can no longer trick anyone.

Because Ilana's group burned down "Jacob's house"

  • There was a reason they burned down the house after seeing that the circle of ash was broken. It was actually MIBs house and he is now stuck as Locke. He was asking Locke for help before and now Locke has fulfilled the request.
    • Counter Argument: This would imply that the house (the cabin) would be the only means that MiB had to change appearance/body? Very unlikely, since the smoke monster never brought people/corpse to the cabin, but rather to the temple wall undergound. The cabin, thus, was not important to MiB's capacities/core, other than to pretend being Jacob. This is my way of trying to say/demonstrate that there is no evidence that the capacity of MiB to change appearance is somehow related to the cabin. At most, it would be related to the Temple wall undergound and Cerberus vents.

Theories concerning the Numbers and Names on the wall

Who is the owner of the cave?


For Argument:

  • The fact that Jacob was compiling a list of successors in the first place implies he KNEW that his time there was limited.
  • Plus it was Jacob who came up with numbers by each "candidate" because MIB said Jacob "had a thing for numbers".
  • Jacob is trying to solve a complex equation, each person represents a "variable", this series marks the beginning of the simultaneous part of the equation using the "substitution" method.

Counter argument:

  • There have been specific mentioning prior to seeing the cave (albeit from The Others) that some characters are not on Jacob's list, but whose names are shown in the caves.

Jacob's Nemesis

  • It seems like the cave is used by the Nemesis, rather than Jacob. As mentioned before Jacob lives in the statue. There is evidence, as well, that names in the cave written by someone else other than Jacob: why would Jacob bother writing them down if he met those people anyways? I mean yeah he was bringing people over for a long time, but he can probably remember a dozen individuals at any given period of time, given he met and touched them. Those writings look more like a list of MiB, who is trying to guess who they are; this is the reason he does not have Kate: he did not know about her. Much like he did not know if it was Sun or Jin. Lastly if Jacob used that cave why did he not make it a little bit more accessible? My logic is as follows: if Jacob used that cave and chose the location to protect it, he would know that the smoke monster could access it without a problem with his flying ability. Whereas if monster used that cave and did not have the ladder (and nothing stops him from making a ladder for Sawyer, even make it faulty to save Sawyer), Jacob would have a hard time getting there.
  • Jacob lived in the foot of the statue. Why wouldn't he write the names on the wall of his home? His residence in the statue was hidden, so it would still be secretive. So, it seems more likely it is MIB's cave and does not belong to Jacob. MIB wrote the names on the wall and Jacob is trying to ruin whatever his plans are with the people.
  • MIB put up all those names and brainstormed about how to influence over 50 years of events and interactions to successfully get to this point. Jacob knew what MIB was up to and allowed him to run around getting his loophole set up, but Jacob was prepared. Jacob knew he was going to get stabbed by Ben, he knew the loophole, but Jacob has his own gameplan that includes getting killed.
  • If the cave is actually the MIB's, maybe Jacob went to visit Frank, and made sure he didn't fly that plane so that Frank would be off MIB's radar.
  • The only person seen marking the wall is MIB.
  • When MIB marks Locke's name off the wall, this could indicate that it was his cave as he is now finished with Locke and still has plans for the others whose names are left on the wall and not crossed off. Sawyer is the next of the survivors he needs to complete his plan. You can also notice the black stone is heavier than the white stone on the scales. If the stones represent Jacob and MIB, the fact that the black stone is heavier may indicate the power has switched to the darkness and MIB is winning in the battle. He throws the white stone away indicating he believes he has won by killing Jacob and it is only a matter of time before he completes his plan and gets "home".
  • The names on the wall refer to MiB's plot to have killed (or lead off the island) whichever candidate is chosen by Jacob. Locke was eliminated - so MiB crossed him out. He is hoping to lead Sawyer off the island, and can then cross him off etc. until he eliminates all of the "Candidates".

Counter argument:

  • Jacob living in the statue does not preclude him from using the cave as well.
  • In The Incident, Part 1, MIB's conversation with Jacob makes it clear that Jacob brought the ship to the island, and that he has been bringing people there for a very long time.

Both Young Jacob and Young Nemesis

  • MIB had obviously been in that cave before. When he was young, he played there with young Jacob. He was now disgusted by the scale and threw a stone (presumably representing Jacob). In the past, both Jacob and MIB came up with a plan and wrote the names down. When MIB sees young Jacob he remembers how they used to be friends when they were boys.

Theories about the Numbers

  • From the Lost ARG's, The Numbers are the Valenzetti Equation. The Valenzetti Equation was discovered by a mathematician named Valenzetti, that predicts the date in which humanity will extinguish itself. In Season's 4 & 5, Daniel Faraday talks a lot of "equations" "variables" and "constants." He says that the Variables are people. The Numbers coincide with different characters names sketched across a cave wall belonging to Jacob. This is not coincidence.
  • On the wall of the cave, numbers have clearly been associated with the individuals for some time, and the only ones remaining are the individuals associated with THE numbers. There is no evidence that the numbers have ever been associated with different individuals, only that everyone seems to have a number, and if the numbers or individuals are somehow not right, both the names & numbers get crossed out. This leads to an interesting observation: the broadcasting of the numbers in the 1980's was somehow a 'Siren', bringing these particular individuals to the island at a particular point in time. If it is true that these 6 numbers are the ones determined by Valenzetti that when inserted into the equation, predict the end of the world, then the only conclusion from all this is that it is the 6 losties themselves who will be responsible, and if the catastrophe is to be averted, they themselves must find a way of changing their number attributions, or finding other individuals with the same numbers who will somehow act differently. We have seen this alluded to in the title of the episode. Locke is not just substituting for another teacher: the MIB is substituting for Locke on the Island. A further substitute is required for the Locke who has now been buried.

Theories about name/number combinations

  • Locke's surname was the only one without a dash between it and his number (4 Locke). This signifies that he no longer has a connection with the island.
  • The crossed out names have numbers as well. However, those numbers are not THE Numbers. Jacob broadcasts the numbers which summons people the numbers symbolize. He tries them out, they fail and he then summons new people. He is trying to get the right grouping of people/numbers. 4 is Locke and always will be. There was no other 4.
  • If Faraday is right about people being variables, Jacob may be trying to "manipulate" or guide the people into being constants corresponding to some significance of each number name pair.

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