Locke & Jacob – Good & Evil
Written 16th February
Alright, I’m writing this off the cuff – though I’ve let the new episode simmer for just a little bit.
Tonight’s episode was the first time where my faith in Jacob being the representative of ‘good’ was shaken. For a moment, the wall full of names and numbers revealed to me the ravings of a crazy man – a man who, at any cost, would cling to his role as the Island’s ‘god’ character. My initial thoughts were that Jacob, in fact, wants all the candidates dead, in order that he may maintain control of the Island and its people. My second thought was that “candidacy” is for leadership of the Others. This is why our Losties must not be killed or compromised – they are the future leaders and protectors of the Island.
I began trusting Locke this episode because he had several chances to kill Sawyer, and he didn’t. I trusted him further when he pointed out how manipulative Jacob has been in tweaking their lives: He pushes James to be vengeful of his parents’ death by giving him the pen that he’ll use to write the letter that spurns his hatred. He ‘rewards’ Kate for her attempt to steal by buying her the item that she tries to steal. He comforts Jack with a little chocolate bar after having a big blowout with his dad. Etc., etc. Jacob’s involvement in their lives nurtures the negative aspects of their personalities, making their lives miserable.
But – and here’s a big but – Locke is one manipulative SOB. Locke has no intention of helping Sawyer or giving him any valuable answers or answers that will fully enlighten him. He holds back. The one option he presents to Sawyer in a pleasing manner is to get the hell off the Island – this is exactly what Locke wants. He can’t leave on his own… he needs someone to go with him – a quasi-proxy if you will. He can’t kill Sawyer (it’s against the rules according to the cute yet semi-terrifying little blond boy) so there must be a way in which Sawyer can take him off the Island.
((Small side note: Im pretty sure that the Others have not conceived of the fact that Locke wants off the Island – I think they’re under the impression that all Locke wants to do is kill them all.))
My point boils down to this – and I’m sure it’s been alluded to in many theories. There is no absolute good or absolute evil. Each character (Jacob & Locke) implements the actions or events that they view as striving for the greater good. To illustrate my point: Locke’s code name in season 5 was Jeremy Bentham. Historically, Bentham’s philosophy of utilitarianism stands for the actions which cause the greater good for the greater number of people. This is not a coincidence – nothing on this bloody show is. What the greater good is to either Locke or Jacob.. is uncertain in my eyes. But regardless of whether the two sides are black and white, it’s a “bit of an inside joke” because they dwell within a very grey playing field.