^ yeah, it still amazes me that they brought in all of these characters (MIB, Mother, Dogen) in the very last episode of Season 5, presumably to answer questions. They should have been able to do it with what they already had. And what about the fact that Smokey needed Locke's body to leave the island? Why couldn't he have used Christian's, or Yemi's, or any of the many people that were killed when 815 crashed. It was never established that he had to occupy the body of a candidate specifically, was it? I guess we are supposed to assume that. Was Widmore a candidate? Was Eloise?
Well MIB is pretty essential, but Dogen and Ilana have been fairly pointless in the end.
Originally Posted by TIVELNARF
No idea about widmore or eloise - we never saw their names on the cave or lighthouse, but we didn't see all the names.
Originally Posted by TIVELNARF
Re why Locke - MIB picked Locke's body because it was his best chance of getting to Jacob. If he had pretended to be Yemi or Christian, the Others would not have listened to him. As Locke, leader of the Others, he was able to manipulate ben and richard into going to the statue to get Jacob killed.
Ok as to the last paragraph that makes sense, but there could always be an argument that there were so many bodies he could have chosen when 815 crashed- and been with the Losties from the beginning. Just a little hard to grasp that from 43 AD to now, the only body that he could possess that would help him get off the island is Locke's.
Originally Posted by PhoenixUK
Don't forget about the time paradox. It was always supposed to be Locke's body, because Locke time travelled to the 1950ties to convince Richard that he will become the saviour of The Others one day.
Originally Posted by TIVELNARF
Whatever happened, happend.
So the MiB couldn't choose another body in 2004/2007. It always had to be John Locke.
Yep. I agree that there are vast confusions over this whole issue, and it gives every indication of not having been explained properly. On the one hand, we can assume that the list of candidates is what is seen on the wall of the cave when Sawyer is taken to it by the MiB. The only *significant* names flagged up here were those of the six Losties to whom the Numbers were applied, even though the art team went to the trouble of covering the wall with recognisable names for many other characters. However, these are only really known to us because we bothered to take screen caps. They would not be apparent to the general public. There do, however, appear to be some basic patterns behind these names, and there is a suggestion that most of the passengers of 815 whom we have got to know, most of Rousseau's science team, the US Marine complement and many of the Others were all candidates at one stage or another of their lives. Interestingly, there is little indication that members of the DI were necessarily ever candidates (which might have been intended to try and indicate that Jacob *didn't* bring the DI to the Island). None of these names seems to be older than those of the US Marines who, as we know, arrived in the 1950s.
In the Lighthouse, it is implied that Jacob's selection/observation methods may be far more extensive than the listing contained in the cave (quite why is a wholly different matter, and your guess is as good as mine). This may be intended to 'cover' for any eventuality by suggesting that all who have ever come to the Island under Jacob's stewardship are candidates, even if they were not listed on the cave wall.
On the other hand, 'Across the Sea' clearly demonstrates that ships were wrecked on the Island long before Jacob ever took on the task of finding suitable candidates to replace him.
My best guess is that, in fact, the institution of Jacob's search for a candidate is relatively recent (to assume it is as recent as the 1950s arrival of the Marines seems a little questionable, but I suppose its possible). The idea that Richard arrived before Jacob had a need to be replaced, and that his arrival may have sparked events that led to Jacob's search for a candidate for replacement may have some merit. Perhaps, if the point is that in the 1860's, Jacob first got warning that MiB was threatening to find a loophole and use it to kill him, he thereafter actively sought candidates to shore himself up against the MiB's threat. It would appear (from what little we have been shown) that in order for Jacob to 'determine' the life progress of a candidate he has to have actively touched them, and, in some sense, 'devoted' them to his service. This seems, in some strange way, to predetermine their arrival on the Island. It may not be what ultimately causes crashes on the Island as these appear to precede Jacob's influence, and are more likely caused thanks to the weird temporal dynamics, and always have been. But Jacob ensures that candidates are placed in life situations that will inevitably end with their stranding upon the Island.
It would appear that all candidates then either prove suitable or unsuitable through their actions when on Island. Those who don't make the grade are removed from the list of eligible replacements. Jacob appears to have no omniscience about this (he does not appear to himself know who will best succeed him). Quite how the numbering relates (sequentially) to the process of selecting candidates is, however, a complete puzzle.
Equally, what the purpose of the Others is in all this is a near complete mystery. We know that Jacob partially set them up in order to prove a point to the MiB about free will and the capacity to do good or evil. But it is not clear how this relates in the long term to the presence of the candidates. Some members of the Others (according to the cave wall) *were* candidates, and it is possible that Jacob initially hoped to gain replacements from within their ranks. Yet, if we accept what Dogen suggested as accurate, then even the Others were 'brought' by Jacob, though not all were obviously candidates. It has always been my contention that, perhaps, the Others were meant to serve as a protecting force for the candidates (which might explain the importance of the list that was given to Dogen at the beginning of the season), but are not themselves, for the most part, candidates. But none of this is clear. The Others have a very strong anti-castaway ethos for a group supposedly aiming at protecting candidates. And quite why their leadership struggles are so apparently intense when they would, in this scenario, only be serving an auxillary role, is not a question I can easily answer.
I'm assuming Dogen was just below Richard Alpert in the chain of command, he made the ashes work because he made them or ordered them to be put down and that he was the only one who could break it as a result.
Originally Posted by ben_linus