But What About Jacob
Ok, so what if they don’t go with a completely unsatisfactory ending.
Let’s assume that the battle between good and evil, wrong and right, darkness and light, black and white, has a point. The season finale introduced a few things that we may need to reconcile.
It is clear that Jacob and company have been on the island a VERY long time. As the sailing vessel (I must assume it is The Black Rock), cruises along the coastline, our would be Johnny Cash (the man in black) asks Jacob if he brought them to the island and is still trying to prove him wrong.
This is where I dive into unknown territory to some extent. I am not a biblical scholar or a religious person by any strectch, so forgive me if I get some of this wrong.
Jacob and Esau were brothers. Jacob was the pious brother while Esau was not. When Rebekah and Jacob conspire to deceive Isaac and Jacob recieves Isaac’s blessings, Esau is angry and swears he’ll kill Jacob.
Let’s assume that the man in black will be revealed in the final season to be Esau. What is the detente that the two of them have respected? What is the “loophole”? Is the rule by which Esau is unable to murder Jacob similar to the accord between Ben and Whitmore? When the smoke monster spoke to Ben, was it Esau who commanded Ben to follow Locke’s every word? Is Esau the smoke monster? Did he kill Mr. Eko as a surrogate for his brother? Eko was, after all, now a pious man.
Are all the “visions” of the dead and or disappeared actually manifestations of Esau? Was it Esau who had kept Jacob locked in the cabin with the ring of ash to contain him?
If you view Jacob and Esau as somehow temporally unrestrained, they could be anywhere or anything. Jacob can clearly raise the dead with a touch of his hand, as he did with John. Can they assume other forms or be omnipresent?
Using the construct of Jacob and Esau, you could easily begin to make sense of many occurrences on the island. Just about everything that has happened and every vision could be explained away with these two playing an odd cat and mouse game to “test” humanity.
As they meet on the beach at the beginning of the finale, Esau says to Jacob, “It always ends the same.” It is clear that they have done all of this before. Did the crew of the Black Rock – like Danielle’s Party – come to distrust one another and kill each other off? Are “The Others” the sole survivors of each such iteration of the cycle of violence? Did they band together realizing that they were somehow a part of the island now? Did Whitmore come to the island as a soldier with the Jughead crew? Ben was the sole survivor of Dharma? Was that the common characteristic The Others shared at the beginning?
And what of Richard Alpert? Did he come to the island aboard the Black Rock? Or further back?
I can see a clear scenario where an island with abundant resources and strange healing powers would be paradise. But to borrow from The Matrix:
Did you know that the first Matrix was designed to be a perfect human world? Where none suffered, where everyone would be happy. It was a disaster. No one would accept the program, entire crops were lost. Some believed that we lacked the programming language to describe your perfect world. But I believe, that as a species, human beings define their reality though misery and suffering.
Perhaps the two brothers are running some sort of test to determine whether people can simply live together in paradise or whether they will, eventually, devolve into tribes and attack one another. Is the story of Lost simply a karmic test based on The Lord of the Flies? Could be.