WHOA, what an episode!
We have wanted Richard's backstory since he showed up with young Ben in The Man Behind The Curtain. All of us at the same time said, "This guy doesn't age!!!!!!" And now, we have an ANSWER. That's right folks, answers. To all the people saying "They aren't answering questions" or "they are wasting time!". Well, this better stop all that talk. And not just answers about Richard, but about the Island as a whole. We got more information in this episode about the nature of the Island than we got in the entire run of the series. Sure, their have been clues, and theories, and jokes on the Island. But Jacob clearly says the Island is keeping EVIL or Darkness locked away from the rest of the world.
So whoever predicted the Island was a lock on Pandora's box, or a cork on the bottle of Evil Wine, you win a cookie.
I really have no complaints about this episode beyond the things I mentioned on the podcast. With all those things, I can look past them pretty easily. I was however, slightly put off that on another Podcast the idea that the ship seen in The Incident is seen in daylight with perfectly calm seas, and in this episode The Black Rock was in a massive storm was somehow a stupid thing to wonder about. According to this person(not the host of the show), the ship was a ways away and easily could have taken several hours to sail towards the Island and the massive storm is the barrier between the outside and inside. It's a nice theory and I can accept that. But that's what it is, a theory. They have no proof that the ship in The Incident was the Black Rock, and to put down any theories that say the other ship was an older ship from maybe 100 or 200 years before is just rude.
Ok, rant of the week is done.
NOW, on to my theories.
I don't really have new theories, one thing about an episode with so much real info and answers is it's hard to create a new theory. I mean we knew nothing about Richard before this, and most people had come to the conclusion that he arrived on the Black Rock. So most of this was enjoying the story. And hearing the explanations.
One BIG theory I have, and it's really building on a old one, is about Jacob and MIB's body. MIB says to Richard that Jacob took his body. Lets take him at his word since lying about that seems odd. If it's not true why say it? It's not really the kind of info that will make Richard believe him more. If anything, it's a deeper emotional wound that he let slip. Like when he tell Sawyer he was once a regular man, or when he tells Kate his mom was crazy.
I think that many many years ago, Jacob took MIB's human form as a punishment. Punishment for what? I'll get to that in a bit. After this, he is now trapped on the Island, and is a slave to Jacob and whoever is else has power over him. His form is that of the Smoke Monster. He's like a genie. Genie's have incredible power over the universe but are bound to their master.(source: Disney's Aladdin). This means every time we've seen MIB he is simply assuming that form. Sort of like the T1000 in T2. His natural form is not Robert Patrick, it's a liquid metal terminator. But to exist and communicate in our world he needed to assume human form. As I said, Smokey needs to protect the Island. In this regard, he was a security system. Also explains why he was so pissed about Jacob saying the Island needs protecting.
The disagreement between them is also finally answered. Jacob thinks people are generally good, and can live together peacefully. Smokey believes that people are generally bad, and will do nothing but fight and kill each other. Jacob puts Richard in charge of spreading his word, and trying to prove him correct. This doesn't seem to work out well though. We know the Island dwellers killed off the US Army folks who brought Jughead. That doesn't exactly sound like the actions of a group who thinks all humans are good. The hostiles as they would be called, become a force that will attack and kill anyone who arrives on their island. They try and wipe out DHARMA, but can't so they form a truce. Until, young Ben joins them and they commit The Purge. They also kidnap a child and almost kill it as you recall Widmore wanted to kill Alex and Danielle. They then attack, kidnap, and kill the Losties until they finally fight back and win, more or less.
Now, one could say that Richard was just an observer, doing what Jacob said which is don't interfere, let them realize the right path without being shown. But wasn't Richard's job to bring the anti-Smokey message? Richard also according to Ben, brought him list from Jacob. What of these lists? Were they lists of Candidates? Cause Richard had no idea what a Candidate was. Were they lists of good and bad people? The Good would be taken to live with them, and the bad would be left to their own devices? But this also doesn't make sense. Jacob believes that all people are good. Therefore he wouldn't label anyone as good or bad. There has to be a way they decided who would be including in the Hostiles and who would not. Why Ben and Ethan? Cause they were young perhaps? We know the Others have trouble with birth, at least in the time of Ben. Where did Friendly come from? Where did Mikhal come from? These are important questions because some of these people are NOT good people. Pickett was a violent person, and Friendly, while very friendly, kidnapped children and didn't mind trying to kill a bunch of Losties.
I promised I'd get to MIB's punishment, and here it is. I think MANY MANY years ago, Jacob and MIB ruled this place together. The Island is a place of unspeakable power, and I think they were the guards of that power, maybe since the beginning of time. One day, people arrived from off Island. Maybe this is the mythical Lost Island of Atlantis. The built the statue and the temple. But as they often do, the people started fighting. Fighting over which god was better, or who curried favor from the gods more. Jacob and MIB watched as these people fought and died. Maybe they all died. I also think that at this time, MIB and Jacob were pretty much people like us. They simply could harness the power of the Island. So with that in mind I think that MIB fell in love with one of the people who died, and this left him angry and hateful of humankind. The events though left both MIB and Jacob feeling quite horrified. Had they caused this, or was it simply the nature of man to kill. MIB believed that it was the nature of man to behave this way, and didn't want Jacob to bring new people to the Island. Jacob however, did. To stop him, MIB attempted to kill Jacob. He failed, and was punished by a greater force. The Child we see perhaps, think of him as the Personification of the Island's Power.
He was transformed into the Smoke Monster and was tasked with protecting the Island and judging those that arrive. We all know humans are capable of evil, and also good. As Smokey, he had the power to look into people's souls, and see what they really were. Since he was obsessed with killing Jacob and also proving that man is evil, he became more and more angry and bitter. He grew to the point where he would kill anyone that he didn't think could help him complete his task of killing Jacob and getting off the Island. This went on without luck or change until Richard arrived. MIB tries his old trick with him, kill Jacob he's the Devil. Usually, maybe they would chicken out(and be killed by MIB), or they would try to kill Jacob and would be unsuccessful as Richard was, but they wouldn't react like him. Jacob would simply send them back out and have them killed by MIB. This time though, things change. Richard becomes the emissary for Jacob. This doesn't make MIB happy obviously, but he does notice it as a change. He tells Richard, if you ever change your mind, the offer still stands. Over the next 140 years the Hostiles/Others cause much death and destruction. As does everyone else that comes to the Island, until MIB meets a man named John Locke. Locke likes it on the Island, doesn't want to leave, believes it's a magical place, and most important, wants more than anything to be important and have purpose. MIB gives him that purpose, plays on this faith in the Island, tricks him, and taunts him, until eventually Locke in trying to save the Island, gets himself killed, giving MIB the opening he needed. And the rest as they say is history.
Well folks, that's quite a theory. I guess I was wrong of sorts about no new theories, but a lot of this is older theories just brought together clearer.
I really would like to hear some feedback on my wild, and pretty expansive theory.