Unfortunately, this theory of mine won’t delve into the spookiness associated with the Cabin; I simply want to layout my thoughts and paint the picture of what I believe happened when Richard Alpert came to the Island. Why Richard? Because the day Richard came was the same day the four toe statue was destroyed, which was the first step in the chain of events leading to the use of places such as the Cabin.
Remember what’s different with Richard; he was the first (and only) of his kind in the game between Jacob and MIB. Remember Richard and Jacob’s first conversation on the beach?:
RICHARD: Before you brought my ship, there were others?
JACOB: Yes, many.
RICHARD: What happened to them?
JACOB: They’re all dead.
RICHARD: But if you brought them here. Why didn’t you help them?
JACOB: Because I wanted them to help themselves. To know the difference between right and wrong without me having to tell them. It’s all meaningless if I have to force them to do anything. Why should I have to step in?
RICHARD: If you don’t, he will.
[Jacob pauses for a moment, taking Richard’s words into consideration.]
JACOB: Do you want a job?
Based on that conversation, I think the “game” up to that point might have been boring. Just imagine Jacob and MIB laying back, eating stone grilled fish on the beach, watching people “come, fight, destroy, corrupt” and/or “make progress”; and every time new people came, it always ended with everyone dying. That’s what Jacob said; “They’re all dead.” And that’s exactly MIB’s frustration; it all ends the same, so why even bring them to the Island?
So with the pieces of the game dying each time, it really doesn’t “win” or “lose” the game they’re engaged in. It’s only a difference of opinion; MIB says they destroyed themselves, Jacob says it ended but there was progress. It’s a stalemate.
So with the arrival of the Black Rock and Richard Alpert, Jacob expanded the game board a little. Jacob chooses to use an intermediary to teach the game pieces how to think for themselves.
THE FOUR TOE STATUE
Before Jacob talks Richard into taking the job, it was actually MIB who made the first bold move in the game; destroying Jacob’s home base, the 4 toed statue. Before I go any further, let me explain the basis of my argument; we all know it’s Jacob who chooses who comes to the Island, but I believe it’s MIB who chooses the manner of how they arrive. That manner always involving a crash; BlackRock, Henry Gale’s balloon, Oceanic, Aijira, Nigerian plane, Desmond’s Sailboat; all crashes with fatalities (except Desmond of course.) So why crashes? To kill as many people as possible, narrowing down the game pieces; MIB’s method of play is to first eliminate the variables.
So by crashing the Black Rock in a storm, he accomplishes two things; making the ship passengers easy prey and destroying Jacob’s home. So what’s the significance of the statue? I believe it served several purposes:
1. Jacob’s home:
Where he slept, ate, sewed, kept warm near the fire etc.
2. Jacob’s place of protection:
Jacob told Richard nobody is allowed inside unless they’re invited. That must be one of the game rules; so as long he’s inside, he’ll always be safe. (The Leader of the Others always had invitation, which MIB of course took advantage of later.)
3. Jacob’s meeting place. I say this because it would have been an ideal place; only people he invites may come in, so it would be a fairly secure place. But until Richard, he never wanted to meet with anybody.
4. A landmark to guide people to the Island:
I’m sure any ship that sees that huge statue, would immediately change course to investigate. That might have been what happened to the Black Rock. It’s similar to the transmission of the numbers to bring Rousseau’s ship in.
5. A place of Magic:
Here’s where things get interesting. It’s not the statue itself that produces the magic; it’s the ash within the fire circle. The ash is key. It’s symbolic. It’s actually the enforcer of the rules of the game.
One of the powerful magical phenomena the ash can be used for; it allows objects/people to appear/dissapear any place they want to travel. I know this may sound far fetched, but I believe the evidence supports this. Three things I can think of; 1) The cabin appearing/dissapearing 2) Jacob suddenly appearing in the statue when MIB and Ben came in 3)Jacob traveling on and off the Island.
MIB’s DESIRE TO DESTROY THE STATUE
I’ll stretch the traveling phenomena even further; I seriously doubt Jacob slid that huge stone door back and forth every time he exited and entered the statue. He could simply appear out on the beach to go fishing, or appear in the temple to talk with Dogen, or appear in America to give Jack Shepherd an Apollo bar. He’s Jacob for crying out loud. The game player isn’t constrained like the game pieces.
So the only thing MIB could piece together is that Jacob lived in statue, and that he could travel anywhere he wanted. By destroying the statue, Jacob would no longer have that power, or so he thought.
This is where Jacob’s grand illusion begins. When the statue is destroyed, Jacob pretends he doesn’t live there anymore. MIB doesn’t know anything about the living area inside the foot; he’s never been inside the statue. This is why Flocke is so surprised when Richard brings him to the foot:
FLOCKE: What is it? Why are we stopping?
RICHARD: You’ll see.
FLOCKE: Well, it’s a wonderful foot, Richard, but what does it have to do with Jacob?
RICHARD: It’s where he lives.
JACOB ON THE MOVE
After the statue is destroyed, Jacob of course continues to secretly reside in the foot. But to create the illusion he lives somewhere else, Jacob chooses a second home; the cave at the cliffs. When and how MIB founds this out is unknown. I would think the cliffs are difficult to descend down for MIB in smoke monster form. And I would like to think MIB discovered the cave after Jacob had already written candidate names and numbers on the wall; kind of a slap in the face to MIB, letting him know at the right moment how much planning is involved selecting his candidates.
Another place worthy to mention; the Lighthouse. One of the purposes of the statue was to guide people the Island, the Lighthouse replaced the statue for that very purpose. I think it’s obvious the Lighthouse was built long after the temple and the 4 toed statue were built. The temple, tunnels, and statue were likely built from people who were Egyptian; the Lighthouse, absent of heiroglyphics, was probably built during a time when the world was being discovered by ships much like the Black Rock. That being said, Jacob had people build the Lighthouse to guide ships to the Island, and of course for Jacob to use the mirrors to observe his candidates’ lives.
What is the cabin? It was a place Horrace built to vacation with his family. His wife Amy liked to get away from the Barracks, even on picnics, which we all know got her first husband killed by venturing into Hostile territory. So Horrace built a cabin, which he knew was safely outside Hostile territory, yet far from the Barracks to avoid running into his own people too.
Horrace was the leader of the Dharma Initiative residents. When Richard had a problem he needed to discuss, like the missing bodies of his people, he came to Horrace. So when conflicts arose that needed to be discussed, but not to the point of Richard coming into the Barracks; it makes logical sense that Richard and Horrace would meet halfway at the Cabin.
The ash surrounding the Cabin could have served two purposes. Firstly, it kept the smoke monster from coming in; perhaps Horrace pleaded with Richard on having that since he was used to having the protection of the perimeter fence.
Secondly, the ash was probably used for its mystical transportive powers that I talked about before. Instead of Richard talking to Jacob to receive instruction, then meet with Horrace to go over those instructions; why not bring Jacob’s presence right there at the meeting place? Think of it like this; by laying down a ring of ash, Jacob new exactly where to appear. Maybe that’s how Richard would meet with Jacob each time, even places other than the cabin; lay down a circle of the ash, and Jacob would mystically appear. The circle was only bigger at the cabin because it was used for both transportive powers and smokey protection.
FOOLING BENJAMIN LINUS
Sometime afterward, Ben discovers the Cabin as an established meeting place with Jacob. It could be Richard brings him along for a meeting with the Dharma people, or Ben spies from the woods and sees Richard visit the place often. Regardless, in Ben’s mind, he believes that is where Jacob resides.
Things change somehow, and this is where my theorizing goes flat. Somehow, MIB or “somebody else” is using it (Ilana’s words), even while the ash circle is still intact. Ben, still under the impression that’s where Jacob resides, brings Locke there in the episode “Man Behind the Curtain.”