Maybe I have it all backwards about Lost.  Maybe Jacob is actually the bad guy and Smokey is the good one.  At the very least, Lost is going to make is wonder about who is really good and bad.  A twist at the end, where Jacob turns out to be the villain would be quite a shocker.

Here’s the case for Smokey being good and Jacob being bad…  Perhaps the trap that Smokey says he is in is being condemned to a world where the same mistakes are committed.  In the parallel world we can see what it would look like if everyone got out of that trap by never coming to the Island.  Kate would stop running.  Locke would accept his disability.  Jack would resolve his daddy issues.

Smokey wants to release everyone from the traps of their mistakes and let them move on.  Jacob tricks people so that they never learn from their mistakes and stay ont he Island.  Jacob gives Sawyer the pen so that he writes his pledge to seek vengeance.  Jacob enables Kate to shoplift, so that she never learns to live within the law.  Jacob heals Locke but perhaps in a way that he never accepts his disability.

Smokey is an advocate of free will and choice.  Jacob seems to be manipulating everyone so that they do what he needs them to do. 

Yes, Smokey has killed people, but Jacob may have killed many more.  If the purge was done by Jacob order(and it seems to have been, given Richard’s loyalty to Jacob and involvement in the purge), then Jacob is a mass murderer.  Jacob’s people also tortured Claire and Sayid.  That doesn’t seem very nice.

Jacob may well be the good guy, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Lost flips on this issue.

4 Responses to Tsol

  1. Greg Forster says:

    And Smokey killed all those transparently innocent people, starting with the co-pilot in the first episode . . . why?

    Jacob and his minions kill Smokey’s minions, for the cause. So there’s room for ambiguity because if their cause is bad, killing the opposition is obviously bad, but if their cause is good, killing the opposition is good.

    But with Smokey there’s no room for ambiguity. What possible “Smokey is good” backstory could you cook up that’s consistent with his killing the co-pilot?

  2. Daniel Earley says:

    Of course, all we’re really trying to do is figure out the minds of a handful of writers, who, while unquestionably skilled at spinning a yarn, may or may not be particularly enlightened. If written in Athens 2600 years ago, given the humanly flawed nature of the Greek gods we would have no assurance of a good or bad character in the end.

    So it may be that Lost could even end like a Greek tragedy. While infuriating Americans, European audiences would be delighted at the relativistic nihilism. The only reason I doubt they would dare is their presumed need to appease the U.S. market — assuming they want to write this side of the pond in the future. Then again, Americans seem to slowly be developing a taste for such themes and perhaps they just want to help that along.

  3. Greg Forster says:

    Well, let’s not forget that the writers themselves *are* Americans. Statistically, it’s very unlikely they’d even want to produce that kind of ending.

    More to the point, the ending will almost certainly be heavily if not predominantly shaped by J.J. Abrams, and he has a long track record of morally robust endings. The usual arc involves some key heroes who are clearly good dealing with several powerful figures close to them whose ultimate allegiances are either openly ambiguous or duplicitously concealed. Then, in the end, everybody’s true colors are revealed and good conquors evil.

  4. Daniel Earley says:

    I really hope you are right, Greg. I cringe to think of the hours I might otherwise have been swindled out of over the last five years. And J.J. Abrams has indeed been consistent, so that does give me some hope.

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