Pop culture has posed so many questions over the past hundred years. Who or what was the mysterious rosebud?  Where’s the beef? Who shot J.R., or for that matter who shot Krusty? How many licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?  The list can go on and on.  The phrase ‘Whodunit’ is considered a genre, and is so assimilated into our culture and language that that my spell-check recognizes the phrase and even offers synonyms for it.

We all have so many questions going into the new/ FINAL season of Lost.  Why was Walt ‘different’?  What is the smoke monster?  Why is Christian Shepard wandering the island, even though he died in Australia?  What is the pocket of Energy under the Swan Station?  What happened to Claire?  Will Driveshaft release a greatest hits album?  Will Hurley understand the significance of the numbers?  Will Ben and Widmore settle their score finally?  Who are the ‘Others?” No, really who are they?  We have so many questions and very little time left.

I have one question, and from it most of the other mysteries can be solved, or at least make a little more sense.  This question is very basic, and philosophical at its core.  Why?  It is a question that has baffled mankind since we first became aware and became burdened by morals, intelligence, and memory.  To elaborate a little more on my question, I will ask Why them?  By them, I mean Jack, Kate, Sayid, Hurley, Sawyer, Locke.  Why are they and the rest of the castaways so important to these, dare I call them biblical, events that are unfolding?  If Jacob, or his mysterious friend/ brother/ adversary from the Finale of Season 5 could answer that one question, I believe everything else would fall into place.

Lets take a look at the Finale episode of Season 5, The Incident, and make some educated guesses as to where this whole thing is going.

The Incident followed the pattern set by previous finales.  Each of the primary characters, to the current storyline was featured in the flashbacks.   Revealed to the audience were moments, some seemingly mundane, but still defining.

Wait a second!  Or you could look at it another way!  The entire flashback portion of this episode was Jacob’s flashback!  He is the only constant to the flashbacks, which seem to stretch from 1845 all the way to 2007.

From the moment we see Jacob on the beach filleting a fish, he takes part in all of the flashbacks (except Juliet).  Further, they feature Jacob instigating events that NEED to happen to ensure the future as we know it, be it luring the Black Rock trading ship to the island, and/ or time-jumping to visiting with people, ie Kate, Sawyer, Jack, Locke, etc. and spiritually preparing them for their trials to come and giving them the fuel that will drive them inevitably towards their fates on the island.

Early in the episode the Man in Black tells Jacob that he will find a loophole, which would allow him to kill Jacob.  A loophole by definition is a way to break a law or rule, without technically breaking it.  What law is he referring to?  Is it the Written Law of the Island? The Code of Hammurabi?  The Ten Commandments?  Or maybe he is referring to Genesis 25:23-27 which details the birth of Jacob and Esau?

And the LORD said unto her: Two nations are in thy womb, and two peoples shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger. 24 And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. 25 And the first came forth ruddy, all over like a hairy mantle; and they called his name Esau.. 26 And after that came forth his brother, and his hand had hold on Esau’s heel; and his name was called Jacob. And Isaac was threescore years old when she bore them. 27 And the boys grew; and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a quiet man, dwelling in tents.

Jacob Wrestling with the angel.

It does sort of sound like the two guys on the beach, right?  That would make the island, what?  Eden?  Babylon?  Hades?  To follow these statements in the bible, it is clear that they will be locked in an ongoing struggle, and one will serve the other as they are representatives of two nations.  Also, it’s kind of funny that Jacob lives in a big heel.

“Jacob – The man who lived in a heel”

The first castaway flashback showcases a young Kate with her best friend Tom Brennan.  They are outside a roadside general store, as Kate lays out the plan for the heist of the century, or at least 1987.  They enter the store.  Tom keeps watch as Kate enters the first aisle, and with as much care as Indiana Jones lifting the idol in the opening sequence of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Kate slips a New Kids on the Block lunchbox into her backpack.  Of course they are caught.  The shopkeeper is about to call the police and Katie’s mother, and he would have too, except a stranger steps forward and offers to pay for it.  The shopkeeper accepts.  Problem solved.  The mysterious saviour that came in the nick of time (timing is so important on this show) is Jacob,  and before he lets the kids leave, he takes the time out to ask “You’re not going to steal anymore Katie, are you?”  She promises that she won’t.

What is the significance of Jacob arriving here to intercede?  Further, how did he know he was needed here and then?  Did he time-travel to this point in time from our present, or does he have pre-cogniscient abilities?  The shopkeeper was about to call the cops on Katie and even worse, Her MOTHER.  In some cases a kid would rather go with the cops when they’ve done something wrong.  What does getting away with the theft do to an impressionable young girl?  What was she thinking?  So, all I have to do is smirk and wrinkle my freckled nose and men will do things for me and get me out of trouble. Okay life lesson learned. This whole scene reminds me of a classic episode of Woody Woodpecker Ever.  If Woody had just gone to the police, none of this would have ever happened. Now Kate is prepared for a lifetime of running and damn the consequences attitude.  Good Job Jacob!

In 1976 a sad little James Ford was sitting on the steps of the church just after his parents funeral, and we already see hints of the man to come.  The graves are not even covered, and James is already putting pen to paper to inform the elusive Mr. Sawyer, that he will get revenge for what he took from him.  His pen ran out of ink.  That might have been the end of it, his uncle would have brought him to the cemetery, and the need for revenge might have been replaced with mourning, but no.  Jacob attended the funeral, and introduced himself by giving him another pen so he could finish scratching out what would become both his manifesto and identity.  Thanks Jacob, for giving James a lifetime of focused anger.

“Son of a Bitch”

Sayid switches it all up a bit.  Sayid is visited by Jacob after his escape from the island.  What Sayid is ‘given’ is a reason to want to change everything.  He gives him the fuel to want to detonate Jughead.  Sayid has faced a number of horrors throughout his life, and was finally at peace with his new wife.  Jacob casually stops Sayid on the street in L.A. to ask for directions, and distracts him.  Sayid’s wife is hit by a car right in front of him.   Sayid was helpless to stop it.  OR,  maybe Jacob saved Sayid.  Was Sayid supposed to die?  Jacob needed him, and course corrected the universe, by sacrificing Sayid’s wife instead?  Hmmmmm?  Valid theory.

John Locke is given the breath of Life.  Jacob was there when John’s father shoved him out the window?!  How great is that?  How many other characters were in that immediate area?    Jacob lays his hand on him, John gasps, regaining consciousness to hear “I’m sorry this happened to you.”

Hurley, in 2007, was just let out of jail, and has no intention of ever going back to the island.  He gets in a cab with Jacob, and is given Charlie’s guitar, which is a physical representation of Hurley’s need to embrace those that have passed away rather than ignore them.

Jack, Jin, Sun, and newcomer Ilana all have similar encounters with Jacob.  They all receive a bit of a soul push in the ‘right’ direction.

The common thread that we have, other than the obvious, is a laying on of the hands by Jacob in each sequence.  He bops Katie’s nose.  He grazes Sawyer’s hand when he offers the pen, he touches Sayid’s shoulder stopping him from entering traffic.  In each of the flashbacks, he touches them.  The laying of hands in religions can mean many different things, from blessing to healing to forgiveness.

In comic books, characters of immense cosmic power are very often able to impart some of their power, abilities, etc. onto others.  It happens all the time.  Lex Luthor will steal superman’s powers for a time.  Bruce Banner will have to use his intelligence to win rather than the Hulk’s brute strength, because someone else has taken the Hulk’s strength temporarily.  In the Fantastic, Four Mr. Fantastic and family constantly trade powers around.  With that in mind, maybe Jacob gave the castaways a bit of himself.  They each get a micron of his power, which would protect them during their adventures through time and space until they could serve their purpose in this great cosmic game of backgammon.

Lex Luthor with the Powers of Superman

Juliet never got a visit from Jacob.  She wasn’t touched.  Poor Juliet is probably lost.

An interesting line in the 2007 storyline was stated by Jacob with regards to his tapestry, “It takes a very long time when you’re making a thread, but I suppose that’s the point, isn’t it?”  Many theories regarding time-travel refer to time being a tapestry, made up of infinite threads of possibilities and continuities.  This whole episode was Jacob creating the ‘time thread’ he needed to complete his tapestry.  This thread needs a damn the consequences Kate, a vengeful Sawyer, a Hurley that accepts his ability, and a Jack that is willing to lead.  With these elements in place, Jacob’s tapestry is set.  We just need to step back so we can see the whole picture.

Before I go, I have one last idea.  It occurred to me last night.  I have nothing to back this up, other than a few bible passages, and it is only applicable if Jacob and the Man in Black are in fact Jacob and Esau from the Old Testament.   I think there is a very good chance that the Man in Black/ Esau is the good guy, and everyone working for Jacob is fighting for the wrong side, which would make Benjamin Linus the ultimate good guy of the island.   Really really last thing – in the Bible, Benjamin was the name of Jacob’s twelfth son.

“We’re the Good Guys.”  Really.  We are.  I wasn’t lying.  I was telling you the truth the whole time.