Jacob, the tribe has spoken.
Thought I’d throw in a little Survivor humor in the title before jumping into the idea of two ‘tribes’ at war.
So, what’s going on with the ‘war’ and the talk of teams? For a war, we need at least two sides, so what are they fighting over / for and who’s on what side? It seems to me that the big conflict is over the island and how it’s properties should be used.
A: The island is a special place to be used for personal growth and healing — emotional as well as physical.
B: The island’s properties are quite valuable and could be very profitable.
To then consider who goes where, I want to talk about the characters individually and look at where their words and actions place them rather considering personal conflicts (eg Ben and Widmore seeming to hate each other). I’m also leaving out the Losties other than Locke as I don’t think they have actively decided to play the game or to consciously act for the island.
Bram: Based on his conversation with Miles “all those things you spent your life trying to find out, you’ll know, who you are Miles, why it is you have a gift… you’ll fill the hole in yourself.” I’d put him in category A — the island is a place to find yourself and where these ‘gifts’ are known and valued.
Widmore: Complicated, he wanted to keep people away from the island in the earlier dates, but after being exiled has become quite the entrepreneur and has an attitude of the ends justify the means. He was prepared to kill everyone on the island once he had Ben. I think his intentions towards the island have shifted towards ‘how can I use it?’
Richard: Seems to have a problem with progress, didn’t want the US Army around, had issues with Dharma. He commented on not liking Ben bringing people to the island for research eg Juliet, who else? Also tends to like hanging out in tents rather than Dharmaville (DV).
Locke: Seems to be ‘one’ with the island — has a go at Ben for living in DV and missing / abandoning the true point of being on the island. Is all about what’s good for the island, how he can do what the island asks of him.
Jacob: A complicated fellow, the one thing we have actually heard come out of his mouth is “It only ends once. Anything that happens before that, is just progress.” Why is he bringing people to the island, what does he want them to get out of it, what does he want to get out of it?
MIB: Same problem, but on the surface of it seems to want to keep things as they are. He seems irritated that Jacob keeps bringing people who fight, corrupt and destroy to the island. These people are not ready to accept what the island has to offer personally?
Ben: Complicated BUT, he travels on and off the island, has a pile of passports and seemingly heaps of money off island (Tom got to stay in a really nice penthouse. He brings people to the island for research, likes living in DV and uses the scientific facilities on Hydra. Interestingly the others made a more permanent move back to the tents and a group are now staying at the temple since Ben hasn’t been their leader. Has he lost the true purpose and meaning of the island? He did get cancer.
Dharma: I think that initially they wanted to investigate and utilize the island for the betterment of humankind — an unselfish intention of using the island to affect the Valenzetti equation to save the world.
Chang: I get a feeling that his intentions are about helping humanity, it was interesting that Bram told Miles that he could tell him about his father, does Chang have a more important role to play than just being a Dharma scientist?
Radzinsky: Seems to be very determined to ‘do’ despite the possible consequences. Is his obsession with figuring it out and progress what lead Dharma down a path away from their original intentions, could this have precipitated the purge?
Eloise: Very ambiguous at the moment.
Ilana: We have no actual evidence for her intentions for the island other than knowing Jacob and promising to help him.
So then the people who seemed to be aligned along the idea of (A), being at one with the island are:
Bram, Locke, Chang, Richard, MIB
Those associated with (B) and the profitability of the island seem to be:
Widmore, Radzinsky, Jacob, (Ilana)
Unknown: Eloise, Ilana, Miles…
As you can see we get some really interesting ‘teams’ when you look at things from this perspective. It can go to explain a lot, include how and why Locke seems to be in with MIB and knows about the loophole etc… a wonderful irony that one of Jacob’s own players (Ben) is the one to kill him, why Locke was unconcerned about Richard knowing of his plan to kill Jacob. Another interesting point is Ilana, is she playing Bram, could she be a double agent sent by Jacob to infiltrate Bram’s groups? She seems to be leading them, but wouldn’t that be the perfect cover (she wasn’t with Bram when he grabbed Miles). Who says the ‘Who lies in the shadow of the statue?’ has anything to do with Jacob? What if MIB has spent his life under Jacob and this is a secret reference to him?