Originally Posted by GuyNemeth
What Jacob wanted was for someone to kill his brother. Because he couldn't.
Just like all his crazy ass "Mother" wanted was for someone to kill her and take her place.
What do you think "now you're like me" means?
That's central to the main theme of the mythology.
A comment on incompetent authority. People with power doing stupid things. Bad parenting.
That's what Across The Sea was about. Don't forget that Damon and Carlton both were working out their daddy issues with LOST, Damon specifically with Jack - the Leader who could do nothing right until he became like Jacob "now you're like me", the same thing 'Crazy Mother' did to her "son". Let's also not forget the genesis of LOST took place in the middle of the Iraq war fiasco and the 2004 Presidential election. Once again, people with power doing stupid things. Mommy and daddy issues marries nicely into that theme. Think about "Mother". That's essentially what LOST is all about, it stems directly from this. Watch Across The Sea again if you need to. "Mother" has no earthly idea what she's doing - only to coax one of her "sons" into killing her and taking her job. That's not to say she doesn't understand that if you stick your hand in fire you'll get burned. She knows some things...just, relatively speaking, not much. Now think about that. The Smoke Monster himself, the Big Bad of the entire series was created by...a mistake. I could type for hours on this. I find it to be completely obvious, myself. Think about all leadership on LOST, from Jack and Locke to Linus to Jacob himself. Remember when everyone thought Richard Alpert knew so much and was going to be such a huge source of information? Turns out HE KNEW NOTHING. That's it, people, it's right there in front of your eyes!
Damon said more than once how he loved the notion of the unreliable expositor, or narrator. "Johnny The Explainer" comes out of the woods and 'explains' everything. Only...he's wrong. It's right there, people.
The Losties perceive 'Flocke' as evil because he's doing evil things but does that make him inherently evil?
Anyone that does evil things will appear evil. That does not make them "evil incarnate". Especially if that information comes from the brightest example of incompetent leadership in all of LOST. Jacob.
THIS is what people can't seem to grasp. The subversion/play on Good vs Evil. It's relative to what you think is Good and what you think is Evil. A man wanting to leave the Island and being kept prisoner by his captor and needing to manipulate people because of the stupid rule his brother made...is Evil. And Jacob and his silly cult religion of 'Others' is somehow Good. Plucking people from their own lives and NOT really giving them a choice. Mass killing all of Dharma. Jacobite Leader Charles Widmore ordering the execution of a baby. Jacob as 'Good' does not work. It simply doesn't. That doesn't mean that his cause isn't the right cause (morally) but that in and of itself IS the comment being made abut authority. The idea that Jack ever had a choice is SILLY. Completely dumb. He wanted to kill himself and...what wouldn't let him? What wouldn't let Michael kill himself? This is also another comment on liberty - abuse of authority and free will.
"We're the Good Guys". It's all relative. You see MiB is just a man that did bad things. He's not any more evil than Richard Alpert, the devout catholic that believed he was in Hell. Both are mass murderers. What's the difference? And that's the point, to get you talking about the nature of Good Guys and Bad Guys, comments on authority and abuse of power.
They personalized this theme (for the viewer) by using bad parenting in the characters lives.
The used the biggest 'mythology download' in the history of the series (Across the Sea) to spell this out.
Why do so many people dislike that episode? For one, because they don't understand any of this^.
For people seeing the mythology of LOST as classic Good vs Evil using archetypal characters I can certainly see how it can be seen as underwhelming. I think they set that up and wanted us to consider these questions. They want us to keep talking and thinking about it. And that's why they didn't answer everything.
The purpose of LOST was to generate more questions than answers. Because the main theme of the mythology is (ultimately, beyond these specific statements about authority) about the nature and relativity of Good and Evil. And who is to blame? At some point you have to accept bad decisions by authority (let go) and take responsibility for yourself (move on). That intertwines nicely with the general notion of forgiveness (say, of bad parenting) and moving on with your life. I could type 1,000 words on the character of Jack and his evolution throughout the series. Jack was the embodiment of Good, righteous...and flawed. He always did the right thing, morally, at least you'd think. But he was beaten into a pulp, literally and figuratively until he accepted the path chosen for him. He had a choice? I may dedicate an entire post to that idea. "Now you're like me". Jack is now like Jacob. (until he died, of course). A leader with a tremendous amount of flaws, fighting for 'Good' (relative) and most importantly, he won the fight because he had the power at his disposal. Why did MiB need to be kept prisoner? Because of the power he held and what his brother thought he'd do with it. Not any more complicated than that. And this is "evil incarnate"?
Jacob saw that he would use that incredible power as evil. But all he wanted to do was leave.
Why didn't they elaborate more on this? Because it was precisely WHAT IT WAS. And yes, by the end of the series, there isn't any doubt that Flocke/MiB was using it for evil. But why was he doing it? Was he wanting people to 'join the dark side'? What was this nonsense about being "claimed"? More crap from Dogen, via Jacob. Jacob was a PRIME manipulator. How reliable is anything he said, be it from ignorance or his ultimate motive? Claire and Sayid both ended up fighting the 'good fight' so to speak. That's not much of a evil influence, is it? You don't think this was intentional? Flocke was only using it to suit his needs. He killed Jin and Sun (among others) in a horrible way because he couldn't leave AND he couldn't kill them. All of this because Jacob didn't trust his brother with POWER. That is the factor that turns bad decisions into 'evil'...how much power the authority has, power to do bad things to many people.
Think of The Light, or even the Malevolence, as the weapon. Does it matter, specifically, who uses it?
What matters is what they use it for. And thus is the commentary on authority figures. Bad parents, bad leaders, whatever they are. Good and Evil or Good and Bad is entirely relative. That's what that entire idea about the game and the side who's going to win was about. Shall I post a diatribe on Jacob and how idiotic he was? Do you need to be reminded of it? Maybe when I make my post on Jack this will be more than abundantly clear. I may do Jacob at the same time.
Last edited by Thunderstorm; 08-18-2012 at 06:44 PM.
I certainly agree that the notion of good vs evil is far from cut and dry as far as LOST is concerned. I definitely wouldn't say that Jacob is pure good, and MiB is pure evil. However, I do believe there is a difference between MiB and the Smoke Monster as characters. MiB, the man in ATS before he was thrown into the Source is a very tragic character indeed. All he wanted to do was leave, but he was manipulated and forced into staying by Mother pulling the strings. Mother is also a character who is big mixture of good and evil. She selfishly needed him to fulfill her plans, and so leaving was not an option. She filled in the well and burned the village, and MiB killed her. MiB at this point is a tragic character. He seems to be the sanest person of the 3, learning and experimenting and questioning, while Jacob merely absorbs what he is told by Mother. However, once MiB is thrown into the Source, the character as we know him is gone. Yes, the Smoke Monster is obsessively consumed by the same desire MiB had in ATS, but the character is different. To me, the Smoke Monster represents only the evil in MiB, and any good qualities that MiB had in ATS have been stripped away. I can be sympathetic to MiB. But I cannot be sympathetic to Smokey.
I also don't see Smokey leaving the island as ambiguously good or evil. In this case, I believe Jacob's side in determining that Smokey leaving is certainly bad. Now, it could be bad simply because an unbeatable evil smoke monster is wandering around the world. However, I also think there is evidence in saying that Smokey leaving means the Source going out, which means everyone "ceases to be" or whatever you believe, but still worse for everyone. Smokey is connected to the Source. When the Source is unplugged, he becomes mortal. This is very ironic because as MiB, his desire to leave was personal and not harmful to anyone. It is only after the manipulation of Mother, and the mistakes of Jacob, that he becomes the Smoke Monster, and now his only desire which was harmful to no one now becomes harmful to everybody. So while the actual consequences of him leaving the island were actually the fault of Jacob and Mother, and not MiB, I think we can believe Jacob in this instance in saying that preventing Smokey from leaving is a good thing for everyone. Two wrongs don't make a right. Jacob messed up and created the Monster, but he is still correct that Smokey leaving is a very bad thing indeed.
Last edited by GuyNemeth; 08-19-2012 at 03:33 AM.
Jacob is a bit of a simpleton, but I think that is because "mother" never showed him the love she showed his brother when they were young. I think she wanted the unnamed to be the new guardian of the island. She stole the boys from their human mother, because she wanted a replacement who had not been tainted by humanity. She wanted someone she could imbue with her powers and abilities while not having to try to reprogram him, weeding out the human off-island traits a person would have.
But what she didn't count on was her chosen one, the one she loved more and told more to, wanting to be with the off-islanders. He became tainted by them. Sure, he knew they were human and therefore corrupt. He accepted that she was right about that, but he still wanted to see what was beyond the island. Being with them was a means to an end. Jacob, on the other hand, had no knowledge of these people save for what his "mother" told him and what his brother told him. Strange that after his brother killed "mother" and he turned to black smoke, Jacob became the one with the empathy toward humanity. He was wise enough not to follow the same failed course "mother" took, and take a baby to raise to be leader. He could have had Alex Rousseau, or Aaron Littleton if he so chose, but he decided that mankind could present him with candidates.
He recognized his own flaws, and realized that if he could be the guardian with all of his imperfections, then a suitable replacement could be found from the billions of people off island. He simply went about it in a flawed manner; bringing people to the island to A: prove his brother wrong about their nature (while usually proving him right in the process,) and B: to get a replacement for the inevitable day his brother found his loophole. Unlike "mother," Jacob wasn't unhappy being guardian. He was fine with it. He just knew one day it would end, as his brother's machinations continued over the centuries.