Apr 1, 2010

[TV] All Hail Jacob

Jacob (Lost)Continuing our Holy Week religious theme challenge, today we're venturing into the convoluted and sometimes confusing realm of TV's Lost.

One of the most central figures of the show that remained pretty much behind the scenes most of the time was the enigmatic Jacob. He had been somehow controlling the actions of the figures that had been referred to the "Others" for most of the series who apparently have some sort of a near-sacred mission to keep the secrets of the Island safe from those who would use its unique properties for their own goals. Now who exactly represents the "best" interests of the Island remains more and more unclear during the show's progression and has become the subject for much debate.

So let's go explore what we may or may not know about Jacob and where the show might end up going to. If you haven't watched the first five seasons of the show, this is going to be highly spoilery and you might not want to continue past this point.

Once we as viewers were allowed to know more about the Others' side of the story, we learned about Jacob as the person who had been giving Benjamin orders. We never got to actually see him for most of the series and there was a lot of speculation that perhaps Jacob WAS the Island or was just a figment of Benjamin's imagination. But that wasn't the case when they finally revealed that there was in fact a person named Jacob and he was in a contest of sorts with another figure, a man in black.

Jacob has been manipulating the events around the nature of the Island for quite some time now including touching the lives of almost all of the key survivors of Oceanic Flight 815. It also gets revealed that Jacob may have also been involved in drawing many of the key players to the Island over the years, all part of this game or contest he's playing together with the man in black, who is later on revealed to be the smoke monster. Yeah, the plot thickens and all.

The whole point of this article came to me when my partner and I were talking about Jacob and where things might be going when he referred to the two players as Jacob and Esau, in reference to the characters in the Christian Bible. In terms of that story, the two brothers were rivals for pretty much everything. Jacob was pretty crafty though and eventually manages to "steal" his father's blessing by posing as Esau and later on becomes the third patriarch of the growing Jewish nation.

The Man in Black in time reveals that he is trapped on the Island because of Jacob and he only wants to escape. Jacob refers to him as being the manifestation of evil, and thus the reason why he needs to remain trapped. The Candidates referred to in the show are all in line to become the next "Jacob" as needed and Jacob and Esau / Flocke are forced to use these same Candidates to further their respective goals since they are unable to act against one another directly.

My partner speculated that more likely Richard was meant to become the new Jacob instead of any of the Candidates. As for the Smoke Monster, he felt that Benjamin would somehow end up taking his place in order to contain the evil to the Island. It's an an interesting theory but I somehow don't see that happening.

If it's one thing that's clear is that the two players are forced to stick to the rules. Had that not been the case, then "Esau" would have killed off Jacob a long time ago. So if the rules indicate that the Candidates are the only ones who can become the next Jacob, then Richard is not an option since he has not been declared as a Candidate. So what now?

If we base it again on the Christian / Jewish character, we can see that Jacob is truly meant to be quite the manipulator. He's smarter and tends to favor brains over brawn in terms of his strategems. Even after death, he continues to manipulate events since some of the players on the Island can actually speak to the dead like Hurley and Miles.

So given this, my money is on Sawyer potentially being the next Jacob. He's the bay boy who has shown that he's capable of being good given his interesting relationship Juliet and his time with the Dharma Initiative. The Man in Black admitted that he can't think of anyone else who can lie better then Sawyer, and that lends credit to his more creative abilities of persuasion and manipulation. And those are the kind of skills that fit the Biblical image of Jacob and would be key to a new Jacob continuing the mission of keeping the Smoke Monster in check.

When I told my partner this idea, he then speculated that it would likely mean that (1) Kate is probably going to die and (2) the Smoke Monster will take on her deceased form in order to spite Sawyer as he takes on the role of Jacob. Painful and heart-wrenching and so it just might work. Jack is just too much the "good" guy to become the new Jacob and our Korean friends Jin and Sun just don't seem pivotal enough to become the next guardian of the Island.

But this is just my theory - I'm all you geeks out there have even better ones. And thus the never ending Lost speculations will continue as we draw closer to the inevitable end. If you have some extra reflection time this week, feel free to devote some of it to unraveling the mysteries of the Island and the even more convoluted secret of the show's final plot outcomes.

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