Smile Politely

Origins of LOST


”A little bit of this same light is inside every man. But they always want more.”

“Can man can possess this light?”

”No. But they can try. And if they try they can put it out. And if it goes out here, it goes out everywhere.”

We’ve always known that The Island is a fundamentally spiritual place — one that defies human understanding, and cookie-cutter interpretation. On Tuesday, LOST all but confirmed this Spirit in the great light — at the same time emphasizing anyone who claims to know who or what God is, is probably wrong.

As the Doc writes: “LOST just doesn’t trust human beings enough to know ”the right answer.” We are too flawed, too damaged, too biased, too selfish, too incapable, too limited, too mortal, just plain too much of this world to be able to really and fully know what this world is really all about. I don’t think LOST is saying to stop pursuing truth. Not at all. I think it’s more concerned with how we conduct our search and how we can labor with our neighbor in their search… Because lord knows that the bloody, brutal fight over all this stuff remains more troubling and terrifying than ever.”


  1. Jacob and the Man In Black are twin brothers.
  2. Adam and Eve revealed! No it’s not Bernard and Rose, but MIB and his Mother.
  3. The Ghost kid(s) we’ve seen earlier in Season Six is Jacob… and his brother.
  4. The dagger that MIB throws at the “wheel” well is the dagger Dogen gives to Sayid, the same one he asked Alpert to kill Jacob with and the same one he kills his Mother with.
  5. The Frozen Donkey Wheel was originally constructed by MIB to harness the light/electromagnetic energy.
  6. The source of immortality is the wine that Mother gives to Jacob, the same wine that he gives to Richard Alpert.
  7. The Smoke Monster originates when MIB is forced into the light cave. (More on this below)
  8. The Man in Black had actually been dead the entire time we’ve known him.
  9. The blue box game that Jacob and MIB play is the Egyptian board game known as Senet, ”the game of passing.” Senet had religious significance to the Egyptians; it was placed in tombs as a talisman of protection in the afterlife.


1. Did Mother intentionally raise one of the boys to take her guardianship and the other to take her life? Did she manipulate pregnant Claudia to the island so this could take place? Is this The Island’s cycle?

2. Is the Light the same as the electromagnetic energy? And if so, is this the primary reason why Charles Widmore has returned to The Island?

3. Consider the Sideways world and remember that The Island is a dead, sunken thing in the Sideways (2004) world. Did someone succeed in putting out the light in that world? And what does it mean that the castaway characters are now remembering their Island world experience?

4. We learned that MIB and his original people were responsible for designing — but not implementing — the donkey wheel mechanism that could move The Island and open worm holes/time warps to Tunisia. The episode didn’t tell us who finished the project. Was it The Dharma Initiative?


  1. Becoming The Island’s protector is a choice. The Island doesn’t demand a guardian. It may seem like it needs one, but there’s no charter that requires one. Discuss.
  2. ”One day, you can make up your own game and everyone else will have to follow your rules.” Young MIB says to young Jacob. This statement offers a revelation about ”the rules” that’s just as important if not more so than the rules themselves: they are entirely subjective (or elastic). Many have assumed that ”the rules” exist as rigid external truths that regulate all life on The Island, mortal or immortal, human or god-like. Not so. Remember the scene in Season Four, when Keamy assassinated Alex and Ben said, ”He changed the rules.” We always thought Ben was referring to Charles Widmore. But after this week’s episode maybe Ben was talking about Jacob. Discuss.
  3. Jacob’s touchy-feely tampering and his idealistic redemption schemes have undermined castaway free will and kept them alive longer than what is right and proper. Seen from this point of view, MIB’s assassinations are more like mercy killings and affirmations of the natural order of things. Discuss.
  4. Mother smashes MIB’s head into the rock wall, then, in a sequence not shown to us, she apparently carries her son up the ladder, kills all MIB’s people, then fills in the donkey wheel well with rocks. How? Mother was also the smoke monster. Discuss.
  5. MIB stabs his Mother in the back and through the chest. She falls to the ground and whispers a word: ”Nothing.” Why? Discuss.


Anything with Titus Welliver (MIB). I’ve had a man crush on this guy since Deadwood. The second half of the episode was noticeably stronger with Welliver and Pellegrino (Jacob). Also thought Allison Janney was great. I’m not a West Wing watcher, but her haunting/near catatonic performance in American Beauty is stand out.

Lots from Doc Jensen and Nikki Stafford here, props to them. Read up and Post away!

I’m going to try to post two columns for finale week. One for the final hour long episode and then a big synopsis following Sunday May 23’s 2 ½ hour finale.

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