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….