Back in Season 2, we met the man formerly known as Henry Gale when he lied to the LOSTies and told them that he had crashed on the island in a hot air balloon. This was a somewhat obvious nod to the Wizard of Oz, but many folks missed it. It was a bit more difficult to miss the references this time around, particularly since the episode title was “The Man Behind The Curtain” and Locke and Ben had a very direct conversation that prompted Locke to accuse Ben that there was no Jacob and that Ben was the man behind the curtain.
As the episode progresses, it would seem that Ben was lying all along and may even be a bit crazy. That’s until Jacob’s presence is heard, felt, and even seen for a single frame. I’ll admit that I didn’t see him when I watched it and haven’t yet watched the episode again to try and catch a glimpse, but fortunately there are plenty of LOST fanatics that have done the work for us and took a screen capture of the moment. Meet Jacob:
I thought this was a great scene and so was the scene when young Ben meets the never-aging Richard Alpert in the jungle just after hearing the whispers. What are the whispers? Who is Jacob? Why are some people “too limited to see” him? I can’t answer for sure, but I can sure as heck try.
Quite a number of fans have hypothesized about a collective consciousness on the island that “controls” or “manipulates” the thoughts of the LOSTies and attempts to steer them in the direction they feel they should go in terms of their physical actions. This has led some LOSTies toward opportunities to change their lives and start over with a blank slate (tabula rasa) and some have succeeded to certain extents while others have failed. Well, what if it’s not a collective consciousness, but some spiritual beings or entities that are trying to guide the island inhabitants. The strong magnetic attributes of the island might make it easier to connect with the spirit world then in other locations throughout the world. This could explain the dead people and other things that a number of characters have seen on the island. It could also explain the whispers.
Okay, I know what you might be thinking, but I really haven’t “lost” it. Going way back to an early season one episode, you may remember a very subtle scene where Claire is trying to find a hairbrush:
CLAIRE: “You haven’t found a hairbrush in there, have you?”
KATE: “No. Sorry.”
CLAIRE: “I must have looked through 20 suitcases. I can’t find one. It’s weird, right? When you think that everyone packs a hairbrush.”
This seems like an insignificant scene, but there doesn’t seem to be anything insignificant with this show. Theoretically speaking, brushing your hair would create static electricity that could potentially interfere with the magnetic spiritual connection that helps to both heal physical ailments and communicate through the senses of sight (dead people) and sound (whispers and Jacob’s “Help me”). And this might be a stretch, but Locke is bald which might give him an even stronger connection.
I’m not making this stuff up. Do some Web searches and read about the endless theories and beliefs with relation to these kinds of spiritual entities. I could write for hours about this, but there’s too much other stuff to get to. However, I will share the fact that the very first link I clicked on when looking for information on “spiritual entities” also contained a philosopher’s name I didn’t expect to see – John Locke!
Philosopher Locke’s theory of mind states that everyone is born with a blank state (tabula rasa) and that data is added and rules for processing the data are formed based on each person’s sensory experiences. He was also the first philosopher to define the “self” through a continuity of consciousness. The same link also mentions that this definition of “self” is also featured in the works of philosophers David Hume, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Immanuel Kant. Any of those names sound familiar? Perhaps Immanuel will be introduced in season 4.
Information found on Wikipedia also states that the “Lockean self” is a self-aware, self-reflective consciousness that is fixed in an “empty” mind body that is shaped and gradually unfolded based on our experiences. Locke also suggested that “the little and almost insensible impressions on our tender infancies have very important and lasting consequences.” I included this thought because of the impact each character’s past experiences have had on their lives and how they define themselves. The island has given them all a chance at redemption by giving them a tabula rasa of sorts or at least an opportunity to start over even with the mind influences of the past experiences.
I would be neglecting a big part of this episode if I didn’t mention that we learned that even Ben had a “daddy issue”, like almost every other character on the show. His obsession in the previous week’s episode to have Locke purge the pain from his past by killing his father makes a lot more sense now since that’s how he handled his “daddy issue”.
Annie’s fate? I believe we’ll see a lot more with regards to the purging of the DHARMA folks in other flashbacks, so I hope they explain whether or not Ben’s little girlfriend (Annie) was one of the people smart enough to make sure she didn’t end up in the ditch. This brings me to…
Is Locke dead? The popular guess is no. Funny thing it that a co-worker of mine stated, “If I was a betting person, I’d say he’s not dead.” Two days later I hear the Executive Producers say the same exact thing on this week’s podcast. Locke IS special! Ben knows this and that’s why Ben shot him. By the way, I think that Alex knew her “dad” was going to try and kill Locke when she handed him the gun. She said she was giving it to him because he was going to see Jacob, but I think she’s smarter than that.
Mikhail is alive! Apparently the pylons weren’t set to a lethal level. I didn’t really like this explanation cause it seems like a cop-out, but I’ll let it slide unless the reason that Locke survives the gunshot to the stomach is explained to us by them saying that the bullet wasn’t set to a lethal level.
Tom sips coffee while Locke kicks Mikhail’s a$$. There’s most definitely a little upheaval in the Others group. Great little scene.
The Richard Alpert and Ben Linus dynamic. I’m really curious to find out more about this because Richard doesn’t age at all and since he was a hostile prior to Ben joining them, why does he seem to report to Ben? Is it because Richard let Ben join them because HE was special and could hear the whispers and see his dead mother?
Jack’s Ego Trip! What the heck? He hasn’t decided what to do yet? Sure, perhaps he can rationalize that he felt that keeping the information to himself was in the best interest of everyone because he didn’t want to cause a panic or something, but if I’m one of the LOSTies, I am thoroughly aggravated.
Roger “Workman” Linus was a jerk! That was perhaps one of the toughest “daddy issues” presented thus far. He actually accuses Ben of killing his mom in childbirth because he was born early. Ouch!
Ben was born in Portland, not on the island. Fate stepped in to have Horace Goodspeed and his volcano-eruption teaching wife (or girlfriend) drive by as Ben’s mom Emily dies during childbirth.
Jacob doesn’t like technology and is located in an island location that is close to where the volcano erupted a long time ago. I’m making an assumption that the line of gray powder that Locke touched and sniffed on the way to see Jacob was volcanic ash. I could be wrong. Doubt it though.
Only 50 episodes left until the SERIES finale in 2010. Enjoy!