I want to begin with something Emzi stated in her theory; the ash was intact around the Cabin while the Smoke Monster roamed the island in Season 1-5, so it’s obvious; the Smoke Monster was not trapped in the Cabin.
It’s easy to fall into thinking he was trapped (i certainly did at first), since we’ve seen the power the ash had in protection from the Monster. Two cases in point; Braum encircling himself with it, and the people at the Temple surrounding the temple with it. So if it keeps him OUT, it could obviously keep him IN if you encircled him without its knowing, right? This is where things could get tricky…
Just like we can conclude the ash didn’t entrap him inside the cabin, we can also conclude it didn’t keep him out. We saw MIB as Christian Shepherd inside the Cabin, during a time when the ash was still unbroken. Which means he CROSSED OVER the ash to go inside, and also crossed BACK OVER to come out when he was Christian Shepherd at the bottom of the well.
So we have two observations here. Braum encircled himself with the ash, and Smokey COULD NOT cross. The Cabin was encircled with ash, but Smokey COULD cross. What is the difference?
Back to the Temple. The Others encircled the Temple with ash, so they could be protected from the Monster; similar to when Braum encircled himself. They knew the ash would protect them because the ash’s power was somehow linked to Dogen being alive. The ash lost it’s power when Dogen died, as we all know from the episode Sundown. And just as the sun went down, the Monster freely entered and raised hell.
During that episode, Flocke and Claire approached the Temple and had a discussion right at the ash boundary. I remember thinking at that moment; Oh man, here we go…this is so obvious… Claire will stoop down and make a break in the ash so her friend Mr. Smokester can penetrate through and raise hell inside the Temple. But no, Flocke held back, to launch a bigger strategic move.. He recruited Sayid to go back inside and kill the man who’s life held the power behind the ash, then he entered to raise hell.
So what would have happened if Claire had broken the ash for the Monster, before Dogen’s death? I believe if that would have happened, he still could have freely entered and raised hell
. But regardless if the ash is intact or not, I also believe Dogen couldn’t be harmed by the Monster. He was alot like a candidate; in fact, he probably was a candidate. Flocke had him killed just like he had any other candidate killed; at the hands of another candidate; Sayid.
Nevertheless, I bring this point up only to say; the ash was an extension of Dogen’s power. By having the Temple encircled in ash, his friends at the Temple were also protected by the same rules that enforced Dogen’s protection. This makes sense.
Back to the Cabin. The Cabin was encircled in ash, in which MIB could freely cross back and forth. The Temple was encircled in ash, in which MIB could also (after Dogen’s death) freely cross back and forth. See the connection?!
OK…here is where I really step from observations to theorizing. Hang with me. Suppose there is more than one Ash substance. There is Ash that has its power because of Dogen. Maybe Braum’s ash had it’s power because of Braum, or somebody else? Who knows? Maybe if the candidates hung out on the Island longer they could have had some ash that had it’s power because of them.
What I’m stretching for here is; perhaps the Cabin experienced an identical scenario to the Temple. Somebody was alive in the Cabin; who spread their own powerful ash around the Cabin for protection. Not for their own protection; by encircling the Cabin it allowed the protection to extend to others inside the ash visiting the cabin. MIB came up with a plan to “recruit” somebody who could enter the cabin and kill the person who holds the power of the ash. Soon afterward, the Smoke Monster could come in and kill all the Cabin visitors, while the ash ring still being INTACT.
Final thoughts. Why would MIB want the ash ring still intact, either around the Cabin or around the Temple? The Cabin, with its ring still intact, was a place of trapped souls; the ones who Hurley saw, and the “Help Me” ghost Locke heard; those souls were of the people killed in the Cabin ring. Similarly, the temple would be haunted with the trapped souls of the ones murdered inside the temple ring.
Honestly, I don’t know how this could help MIB… But I think it’s a good explanation of to how the Cabin got its spookiness. Thoughts?!!