Why I thought Locke was the loophole
I thought that Locke was the loophole because of the flashes.
I dont think Locke was ever meant to be leader of the island. Richard visits him a few times and concludes he’s nothing special. Locke only becomes leader because in the flashes he tells Richard in the fifties that he is the future leader. He essentially appoints himself leader if that makes sense? he breaks the methods by which the leader is selected, like a self fulfilling prophecy. Now smokey takes Lockes form, tells Richard to tell the real Locke he needs to die, thus the real locke dies and out waltzes smokey looking like him and takes his place, his place as leader. now as leader he demands an audience with Jacob, and richard takes him there. He also fools Ben thro taking Alexs form into believing Locke is like a messiah and must be obeyed. Thus Ben, a one time leader of Jacobs people, kills Jacob for smokey.