I apologize for the absence of a Lost post over the last few weeks. Much has happened and we know much more than when I last posted.
My speculation that the show may flip and have Smokey be the good one and Jacob be the bad guy seems very, very unlikely at this point. That being said, I think it would be a mistake to see Jacob and Smokey as simply good versus evil. They are not gods representing pure evil or good. It’s clear that they are/were human beings with all of the complexity that human characters have.
What we know is that Smokey wants to get off the Island and Jacob is determined to keep him there. Jacob says that if Smokey get’s off the Island some very bad things will happen. He’s probably right, but we don’t know for sure.
The only way for Smokey to get off the Island is for Jacob to be killed and not replaced. Jacob is already dead so now the issue is whether one of the 6 candidates will replace Jacob before Smokey can leave. Smokey can’t directly kill any of the candidates but he can corrupt them or perhaps kill them through proxies.
Smokey’s method of corruption is to know people’s minds and histories and offer them something they really want. Often the thing he offers is to be reunited with a dead loved one. Smokey can appear in the form of that dead loved one to tempt the person. As I’ve suggested before, all dead people we see walking around the Island are actually Smokey. The only exception to that is that Hurley has the power to see actual dead people, like Jacob and Isabella at the end of the last episode. If only Hurley can see the dead person, it really is that person.
Smokey probably needs some physical item from the dead person to appear as that person. Most often the body of the dead person is on the Island. But in the case of Isabella, he probably used her cross to appear as her.
Smokey has offered other things to corrupt people. He offered Ben power to rule the Island after he leaves, but Ben refused. He offered Sawyer transport off the Island. Smokey appears to keep his word, but often his deals are less attractive than they seem. Generally, what he offers is bad.
Just because what Smokey offers is generally bad and just because his escape from the Island may lead to bad things, does not make him pure evil. First, Smokey has reasons for being as he is, which we will learn over the next several episodes. We already know that he has a “crazy mother” and is still “working on” things related to that. I’d be surprised if Smokey’ mom were someone other than a character we’ve already seen, since that would be introducing a major character very late in the story. It’s possible that Claire is really his mother and he is Aaron. Another possibility is Eloise Hawkins, but my money is on Claire.
Second, it’s not clear that Jacob is less manipulative than Smokey. Jacob says that he wants people to be good without his intervention, while Smokey corrupts everyone. But Jacob is the one who hands Sawyer the pen to write his revenge note. Jacob is the one facilitates Kate’s running ways. Just because Jacob does some of his manipulation through proxies, such as Hurley or Richard, doesn’t make him less manipulative. Also, Jacob says that he believes in choice and free will while Smokey believes in fate. Smokey says the opposite. We don’t know exactly how this all will play out.
Third, while Smokey killed Jacob, it also appears likely that Jacob (or a proxy) killed Smokey. We know that Smokey lost his body and had to take over Locke’s form. Both Smokey and Jacob’s proxy, Dogen, sought to kill the other with a special knife before the person could speak.
It’s not clear how Widmore and Hanso (the owner of the Black Rock and the backer of the Dharma project and Sun’s father’s company) fit into this struggle between Jacob and Smokey. I would guess that they are not on either side and are in it for themselves. The Widmore and Hanso connection to the Island also goes back a long, long way (did anyone else notice that the man who took Ricardo as a slave was named Widfield — pretty close to Widmore?).
Someone or something is in the locked room on the sub. I’m guessing it is Aaron or baby Kwon.
I also don’t know how the parallel world will merge with the Island world, but they somehow will. The parallel world looks generally better and that is the one where the Island is underwater and the 6 candidates never went to the Island. This raises questions about Jacob’s claim that the Island is a stopper keeping bad from the world.
Ultimately, I think we are going to learn that both Jacob and Smokey play necessary roles in the world. There is a balance between choice and fate, good and evil, so both of them need to exist. There is also a recurring theme about people needing to work out their issues. The good people work them out while the bad people can’t let go of their problems.
Only 7 more episodes to go — until there is another 2 hour episode (and probably a movie sequel).