Flashbacks/Flashforwards = Flashsideways & Game over as both MIB and Jacob are wrong! by Donald Salerno

Gods plan should remain unknown and He should at times intervene in the affairs of humanity to bring it about. (Opinion of Jacob)

Gods plan should be known and thus He does not need to intervene in the affairs of humanity to bring it about. (Opinion of MIB)

I believe MIB and Jacob represent each side of the above arguments, one light one dark (depending on your perspective.) Jacob believes man is inherently good while MIB believes that man is inherently broken and corrupt and should be dispensed with. They are both trying to prove their side of the argument as Jacob brings people to the Island. Neither side is really evil as it depends of how you view the nature of existence.

Jacob’s appears to believe in a scenario where God is silent as to what the ultimate reason for everything is and why we (or those brought to the Island) even exist. Jacob, like the silent God, gently pushes people in different directions intervening at various times gathering them to the Island to bring about culmination of his plan and prove that mankind is ultimately good. Those he has chosen are given the veil of having free will, but ultimately through his own touches Jacob has predestined them to play the game according to the outcome he wants to see (to prove mankind is ultimately good and worthy of existence). Unfortunately for Jacob, despite his gentle prodding, he has been unable to bring the right individuals and obtain the right variables to win his side of the ultimate argument. Whoever, he brings no mater what help he gives along the way; it always ends up with the same outcome:

“They come. They fight. They destroy. They corrupt. It always ends the same.”

MIB appears to believe the opposite. The ultimate plan should be known and mankind should not be in the dark and thus having (the full tree of knowledge so to speak) they should then make the right choices (which never seems to occur):

(Flocke to Alpert): ”Jacob didn’t tell you? He never said why? I never would have done that to you! I never would have kept you in the dark”

MIB believes that while mankind is completely aware of the plan, humanity also should have the freewill to reach that plan without divine interference, prodding and pushing like Jacob has done. However, mankind has proven over and over to MIB that even with full knowledge mankind never ever makes the right choice.

Both Jacob and MIB conduct the game (assessment of mankind) on the ultimate playground, an Island that as we have seen can be used to create almost every scenario possible to tweak the outcome in one direction or the other. Dead people appearing, ultimate healing qualities, age defying properties, magic boxes, time travel potential etc. All the things that mankind longs and believes would change their circumstances and thus how they might have lived their lives. (If only I could travel back to in time to high school knowing what I know now things would be different) In the end all we have seen concerning time travel, voices and visions are nothing more than a large possibility lab to push the variables (subjects) in different manners. This has been going on for millennia with Jacob down to the endgame with the final subjects who will prove MIB wrong (those who number represent the final variables in the game). Jacob in his final effort has even gone so far to willingly sacrifice himself (almost Christ-like) with his hopes that those on his team and one of the variable will validate his beliefs to MIB.

In the first five seasons we have seen the results of both Jacobs and MIB’s experiments:

The flashbacks and on-Island antics show us what our Losties lives have become through Jacob’s intervention (mostly miserable and broken). The others and all those before and after are just the ones who are on the Island as a testament to the prior scenarios and failures by Jacob. These are then enlisted by him to continue to blindly assist him in bringing more variables to the Island.

The Flashforward’s in season 4 showed us that even given freedom and freewill of getting off the Island (possibly by the hand of MIB) those that were let go still end up in the same situation. Again MIB proving his point to Jacob. No matter what either MIB or Jacob does nothing ever changes the final outcome. MIB has grown tired and wants it to all end. Jacob wants’ to continue on, believing the right interventions with the right people will ultimately bring about the correct solution.

After finally killing Jacob MIB is working on his escape thinking he has almost won. And I guarantee once he gets off it will not be pretty for the rest of the world, as he ultimately judges Mankind just as he judged Eko. MIB was semi-right in telling Sawyer there is nothing necessarily special about the Island. What he failed to mention was that it’s the only place that can hold him from exacting his judgment upon mankind (I am very disappointed with you all). Jacob has been trying to convince MIB otherwise and he has thus far failed. However, Jacob maybe ultimately knowing he could not convince his nemesis enacted his own series events that would end in MIB’s destruction. In the end, while MIB (through the rest of this season) will look like the hero spewing talk about freewill and giving “vital” information to our Losties, they will reject him and make the ultimate decision to not let MIB off the Island. As the Island is sunk and both MIB and Jacob’s game comes to an end, we will at least know what life could have been like for those trapped in their little game. Jack will suffer a life ending neck wound as he and our heroes gives his life make sure MIB is taken down once and for all. Did Jacob ultimately win? Does MIB ultimately win?

The flash sideways that we are currently seeing shows us that they are both right and both ultimately wrong. Humanity is not best controlled by predestination or by freewill and mankind is not completely nonredeemable. The flash sideways is a view of the world where both predestination and freewill coexist at the same time and there is redemption. It shows us what type of life our Losties and mankind would have been like without one side or the other controlling the outcome. Does this flash sideways universe really exist? As Jack sees a neck wound in the mirror on Oceanic 815, perhaps, just perhaps the Flash sideways universe really does exist for our Losties. However, we will be pondering that question for a long time to come….

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14 thoughts on “Flashbacks/Flashforwards = Flashsideways & Game over as both MIB and Jacob are wrong! by Donald Salerno

  1. Hi brondar1, a couple of points that I would like to bring up.

    You make mention of the situation with Eko and that was one of the things which stood out to me after watching the episode. Eko was killed because he wouldn’t repent for his sins. You would think that Nemesis/Smoke Monster might want to keep Eko around to recruit for his cause.

    It also makes me wonder if Nemesis is so evil, why he would do this. He truly seemed to be very angry because Eko didn’t want to repent.

    Also, I noticed that when Nemesis and Sawyer enter Jacob’s cave, the ‘scales of justice’ were on Jacob’s desk containing one white stone and one black. The scales were even, indicating that the balance of light vs. dark were also even. The symbolism was also there.

    Only after Nemesis threw out the white stone, did the scales tip in favour of the ‘dark’ side.

    Nemesis also told Sawyer it was an inside joke, and perhaps that joke was also intended to be directed at the viewers. Not everything is as it seems.

    We finally received some solid evidence and proof of some type of game with ‘high stakes’ involved. We see this when the young boy appears to Nemesis and cautions him about ‘the rules’.

    Nemesis did show fear towards this young boy, which indicates that there is a third party involved, who I will choose to refer to as, ‘The Game Master’.

    The ‘island’ is the stage for where this game plays out. I have to believe that the ‘stakes are high’, and that even when it comes to Jacob and Nemesis we cannot view them or their actions at face value.

    As always beautifully written.

  2. Great theory, my only question that is up in the air is will the two time lines some how intersect. It is aparent that all these people are destined to meet at some point in there lives, hence the flash sideways. Is this part of the master plan? Just a thought!

  3. Great post! I like what you said and agree with most of it. Last year I posted a very similar theory (albeit not as well defined as yours), and the major difference I have is that MIB does NOT believe man has free will, but rather is inherently evil, corrupt and controlled by that inherent nature, “They come. They fight. They destroy. They corrupt. It always ends the same.” Point being that mankind is not basically good and no matter what the circumstances may be, no matter who you “play the game” with, you will always get the same results, b/c man is bound by his corruption.

    Jacob believes that man is basically good, though flawed and has the ability, given the right circumstances, do the right thing. Man has free will and can choose to do what is right. Hence the reason he continues to bring people to the island “still trying to prove me wrong” (MIB). “You are wrong” (Jacob).

    I do like your idea of these two poisting their beliefs to a “Game Master” (God?) and so they are placed on this island to prove their point. It may very well be that (and I think it is) that Jacob or MIB cannot leave the island until they prove their point. For MIB, Jacob must be proven wrong and the best and fast way, “find a loop hole” and have him killed(at least in his mind).

    I also think that what MIB tries to offer is this “tree of knowledge of good and evil” idea (“I would never keep you in the dark”), but in the book of Genisis that didnt’ turn out so well. So MIB says he has the answers, just join him, knowing full well mankind regardless of what they know will still screw it all up in the end and again this would only go to prove his point and he gets off the island and back home (wherever that is)!

    Now one last point and I’ve stated this elsewhere, I’m sitll not convinced or believe this is simply a question of good vs. evil/ Jacob = good, MIB = evil. Jacob has done some pretty horrible things or allowed them to happen. This could be a poke at the “justice of God” kind of thing, why do bad things happen to good people. I still think Jacob, like MIB, views peopleas pawns to prove a point, not so much that he cares about them. Time will ultimately tell on this one.

    In the final analysis I do think it is about free will verses determinism, only I’ve reversed your two points: Jacob believes in freewill, the ability to choose to do good; MIB believes man is inherently corrupt and is destined/ bound to do that which is evil. I think this is why he judged Eco, to get him to confess that he is a “sinner” to repent of his “sins”, but Eco refuses to acknowledge this and that pisses off MIB b/c he wants man to see he is right!

    But again, I like your post, it was well thought out and had some really good stuff!

  4. I only take the opposite of you becuase I beleive the producers of LOST want us to bleeive that Jacob is the good one who promotes freewill only to turn the table on us and show that through his little pushes we were shown last season that he influenced freewill thus changing the true choices they would have made. In the end I bleeive we will be left with an opened ended choice as to who was really good and who was really evil that will be debated until LOST the movie comes out…

  5. I certainly can’t say you’re wrong, I disagree w/ it, but the writer’s are great at turning things back on its ear, presenting us one thing only to switch it at the end!

    However, I don’t think their intention is to always do that, it can get old after awhile and some tings they want us to figure out. So I banking on this being one of those things.

    A movie?

  6. Great thoughts on this topic appledouble.

    We cannot forget that while God grants man Free Will, and that it is the ‘devil’ who tempts man with ‘choice’.

    We also cannot forget that the show is about sacrifice and redemption. Eko was attempting to redeem himself by becoming a man of cloth and building a church.

    Eko would not repent as he felt that he had sacrificed his life, so that his younger brother Yemi, would not have to endure the same future that he did.

    Traditional religion would have us believe that because Eko would not confess his sins, that he would not be in Gods favour. Personally, I tend to believe in a much broader sense of spirituality that ‘man’ is judged based on the sum total of his actions and deeds, in most cases.

    I see elements of dark and light in both Jacob and Nemesis. That is the point that is being illustrated to Lost viewers, in that, these lines are often blurry.

    It is providing us with an opportunity to raise our own conscious awareness regarding these issues and not to view life in black and white terms that are quite linear in thinking.

  7. Great post I love it 😀

    And dabiatch I think hes trying to say nobody is evil its just two debates, two sides of the story trying to prove which one is right. And I believe the little boy could be Jacob starting all over again…..always ends the same…..that must mean that it restarts right? Whether starting all over again or not I do believe this boy is Jacob….however it also looks alot like Sawyer when he was a boy :S

  8. dabs, i totally and wholeheartedly agree with your view on Eko and how we are judged. The scales in the cave immediately brought to mind the scales in Egyptian mythology where your heart was weighed against a feather to determine your afterlife.

    brondar. great post. and i believe in the end you will be very close with your broader ideas here.

  9. Even though my views are a bit different, I still think this is a great post!

    The way I look at it is that one lives to fulfill their Destiny… I don’t classify Destiny and Fate as being one and the same… Both Free Will and Fate have a hand in your Destiny. We all have Free Will, and one cannot achieve their Destiny without it. But, sometimes when we lose our way from the choices that we make for ourselves, Fate will have to come along and give you the “needed push” back in the right direction. And, once touched by Fate, the choices that we think we are making for ourselves are not really our choices at all.

    This is why I believe that Jacob is the hand of Fate, but Jacob/Fate does not deny Free Will. I think his whole belief is that there can be a balance between the two…

    I also think that the battle between Fate and Free Will, will come down to more of a Morality issue… Possible hint to this was the book that Jacob was seen reading. “Everything That Rises Must Converge” is a book dealing solely in the issues of morality.

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