MIB Corrupts – and the numbers
Jacob brings people to the island. He brought Black Rock, and we may assume is the one who brought most of the Others.
The Others say they are ‘the good guys’ who are working ‘to save the world’
Dharma advertises ‘want to save the world?’
I contend they were BOTH brought by Jacob … but MIB, through manipulation and fear (e.g. Smokie) got them to destroy and corrupt and turn against each other and be kinda’ evil (like politicians do to us!) That he is able to take the pure and make ’em kill each other shows he needs to not go home. (Kinda’ like Charlie Manson.) Keeping him there ‘saves the world’.
Jacob wants him there. MIB wants to go home. They were once men, like Saywer.
I think they got stuck there (I think thousands of years was on an expanded view) when Jacob was transporting MIB away from home. They stumbled upon something that made them ‘eternal’ – as did Alpert, but Alpert has always been a lower guy (like 1st mate on Black Rock … he sure acts like a 1st mate when you think about it). MIB is the villian trying plans to excape, and Jacob our steadfast hero.
They can’t kill each other (had something to do w/eternal thing) and become incarnate, eat, etc., but only so many times. This is Locke’s last chance. (Ilana said something like he can’t take another human form.) Jacob always knows who he is. Jacob has at least one last form … which MIB may NOT know and is trying to figure out to not be at a disadvantage.
As for the numbers. They weren’t written by the same people. The “4” in Jarrah and Locke are different. (as for crossed out numbers, “2”s are different, among others – but we don’t know if that was ‘cuz everyone in the crew may have got to write numbers for fun (hey! that’s the one I did!) … but I’d think the major ones should have been by the same guy ‘cuz the writers know how crazed we’d get if they looked different.)
Can’t decide if they were written by Jacob or MIB (who like a snake in a hole).