LOST Theories - DarkUFO

After re-watching the final season again I realised something about Jack's death.

The question i kept asking was "but WHY did Jack HAVE to die?". It all seemed a little pointless and mean-spirited for such an important character who had traversed such a vast gulf of personal realisation. We've seen characters get stitched back together after apparently worse injuries (and in more unlikely circumstances), so why couldn't Jack, the show's hero, be saved this time and live to protect the island?

Apart from the producers' stated intention to finish the show in an overtly circular way by ending on the closing of the eye, there's a great deal more value in this plot feature, especially when trying to understand the "rules" and "mythology" of LOST and how these elements play together in defining the story/plot structures.

Let's start with the premise that prior to the twins (Jacob & MIB) arriving on the island, the good and bad personifications of the island existed in balance, within the one person, Mother. This is evidenced by the apparently monster-scale damage wrought when MIB shows Mother how close he was to leaving the island.

By throwing his twin brother into the island's "heart", Jacob effectively splits the core duality (good vs evil) across two people. (This is why, thematically speaking, twins were needed, because there needed to be a "sense" of the two parts of the one.) The result is a conflict between two individuals (giving rise to a "structure"), instead of the internal conflict that underpins the "individual" human condition.

Based on this premise, the end game becomes the need to kill both MIB and Jacob, AND his replacement, and thus return to a "unity personification" of the island (in this case, it had to be Hugo). At this level, we see it is the island defining the "game", not Jacob.

In the context of how it all played out:

1. The only way to kill MIB was to "switch off" the island, making him mortal. The trade off is that this also made Jack mortal (assuming he became "like" Jacob, and therefore immortal, when he took "the job").

2. It is important to note that Jack sustained his mortal wound while the island was "switched off". This guarantees that he CAN die, fulfilling his part in the restoring of the "unity".

3. By climbing back down and "restarting" the island and then laying there in the water while it powered up, I think we're meant to assume that Jack suffers the same fate as MIB. This is evidenced by the location and nature of Jack's reappearance after restarting the island. At this stage, Jack is the new smoke monster.

4. Despite this, he has been mortally wounded, and will die.

If Jack had not died, the "broken duality" would have remained as "Hugo vs Jack" and the cycle would have merely repeated with Jack's disillusionment with his new predicament eventually driving him to the same motivations that drove MIB.

The "unity" was restored by killing both sides of the island's human representation, paving the way for a new era, a return to a balance. Albeit a balance that no doubt would one day be undone again, since the unity of good vs evil within the one person is as unpredictable and volatile as it is when it exists in the form of conflict between two separate entities.

In terms of the island and its own motivations, I will assume that the unity arrangement within the one person is a safer, more stable and therefore preferred condition, while the other facilitates the need for change. This overarching cycle about the internalisation and externalisation of conflict is a result of the island's need to have a human involved (in the same way that Jacob needed Richard Alpert), and the inherent unpredictability of this relationship (variables, constants etc.)

Thanks for reading. I hope I haven't missed anything obvious that would completely debunk this position...

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