LOST Theories - DarkUFO

Is Jacob Good or Evil? The Debate Persists:

I’ve been growing rather weary of the constant argument in the LOST community about whether Jacob is "good" or "evil". Some people think Smokie is the true "good" and that Jacob is "evil." Some think its a wash, and that both of them are equally "gray." Others object to even applying the labels of good and evil to either and prefer to think of the show as being about dualism or perhaps even just two brothers playing a game. I, for one, think Jacob is good.

The argument was nearly laid to rest before "Across the Sea" aired. In "The Candidate", Smokie told even more lies and killed even more people. Because of Smokie's actions, Sayid, Sun, Jin and I think Frank were all killed. Moreover, with Sun and Jin's death they leave behind an orphaned daughter who never really got to know her mother or even meet her father.

In killing Sayid, Smokie allowed the man who killed Dogen for him (allowing him to decimate the Temple) and who captured Desmond for him to die. And let us not ignore the countless number of Widmore's people that Smokie slaughtered. Those hapless folks were not Martin Keamy-like mercenaries. Rather, they were scientists and engineers. Stupid perhaps, but not "evil" people so far as we know.

For me, the argument became moot mid-season, if not well before. In "Recon", we had the following exchange:

LOCKE: I have to take responsibility for Claire's behavior. I was the one who told her the Others had her baby.
KATE: Why would you tell her that?
LOCKE: Have you ever had an enemy? Someone that you needed to hate? Very powerful, isn't it? Claire was devastated without Aaron. She needed something to... something to keep her going. So, I gave her something to hate. And then... when you told her the truth... all those feelings, all that anger that she'd been holding on to for so long... it had to go somewhere.
KATE: Very insightful... coming from a dead man.
LOCKE: Well, nobody's perfect. I'm sorry that this happened. And I'm sure if you give her time, everything will be alright. I promised before that I would keep everyone safe. And that means you too, Kate.

I agree that Claire needed something to keep her going, but not Hate. It sounds like advice from someone Evil. I think Hope would have kept Claire going, and without causing her to go insane. Sayid mentioned the importance of Hope back in Season 1, you know...before he was turned dark as zombie Sayid. Beyond offering Hate over Hope, Smokie is also admitting that he is a liar. He admitted he lied to Claire, which may be justified to some or not. I would give him credit for owning up to his lie, but he kept on telling them. Promise to protect Kate? Promise to keep everyone safe? Smokie: telling lies then, telling lies now, and lying about his own lies. Not evil my ass.

In short, it was already difficult to justify Smokie's actions and "The Candidate" caused many Smokie backers to admit, if nothing else, that Smokie was not "good". Perhaps some put him in the "evil" category.

"Across the Sea" as Ultimate Proof Jacob is Not Good! Evil even! Um...No...Let's Not Judge Anyone About 2% of their life from 2000 years ago:

And then came "Across the Sea". Smokie supporters seized on this episode as proof that Jacob really is the evil/bad person, or "Bad Twin" so to speak. The evidence to condemn Jacob: 1) he was not the "special" child; 2) he beat the crap out of his brother (BIB-boy in black) three times (or two?); 3) Abandoned BIB by not following him despite learning the truth about Mother; 4) Allegedly he lied about something and; 5) he turned BIB into a (the) Smoke Monster, a fate arguably worse than death.

First, lets keep these events in perspective. They all occurred within the span of 43 years. Since Jacob and Smokie are now roughly 2000 years old, this means Smokie supporters are trying to condemn him based on a period of about only 2% of his life. It seems a little unfair to me, especially when I, like many others, am more than willing to concede that I now have total sympathy for Smokie. Both brothers got shafted from problems stemming from their shared mother. And Smokie did care about Mother. When he was playing with Jacob (when they were grown men), Smokie asked Jacob if Mother knew he visited with him. When Jacob replied "she never asks", Smokie, visibly upset, said "then I'm sorry I asked about her." Right. But he did ask about her. Smokie, like Jacob, always thought of her as his Mother despite knowing of and actually meeting Claudia, the twins maternal mother.

True, one could say Jacob abandoned his brother by not going with him. But was he abandoning his brother in favor of Mother, or his "destiny" (planned or not) to become Island protector? Mother did lie about a great many things, but when her biggest lies were finally exposed, she did admit to Jacob she had lied. I do believe the Island (or the light) needs protecting. I do assume, and I think we have to, that if the Light goes out then it means the end of the world. Sure, Mother could be lying again. But is the world ending if the light goes out such a ridiculous concept? The button anyone? If failing to press the Swan button could have meant the end of the world (and it seems that would have happened but for the failsafe key), then the light going out altogether is probably even more catastrophic....perhaps then end of the universe. 2012, eat your heart out.

Thus, Jacob was being the reluctant hero. He didn't want to take the job, which he suspected was meant to go to his "special" brother. But Jacob really didn't have a choice. If his Mother's time as protector was coming to an end, someone had to take the job and Jacob stepped up. In this sense, Smokie was the one who abandoned Jacob, if not his own destiny.

Let's go back to Mother's lies. Willingness to confess past transgressions is a major theme on LOST, sometimes meaning the difference of being allowed to live or die. Ecko did not repent to "Yemi" and was killed by Smokie, Ben did repent to Illana and was allowed to live etc. Thus I saw Jacob's willingness to forgive his Mother for her sins as a magnanimous and compassionate act. Smokie was not so forgiving; he seemed only willing to condemn. And Smokie was the same way with the people he lived with for 30 years. He was more than willing to admit Mother was right about one thing: humans (men?) were bad. I'm not sure how Jacob can prove his brother wrong about this, as Smokie does not seem like he will ever be convinced otherwise. People are bad, to Smokie, no matter what. At least this seems to be the case for now.

Willingness to Confess and Willingness to Forgive...it comes back to Compassion:

The main issue Smokie fans can really use to make their case (within the confines of "Across the Sea") is that Jacob did steal his brothers humanity and, in essence, murdered him. In fact, maybe even worse than murdered him if you take Mother's words for it. And many Smokie fans do rely on Mother's words on that point, which partially undermines their case. In effect, they point to her as words as support when it suits them and then turn around and use her words also to condemn her.

Even if we ignore whatever justifications Jacob had for tossing brother down the river (and that argument is persuasive) and admit that what Jacob did was wrong, is that really enough to make him the bad guy? Have we no compassion? Are we not able to forgive? Because Jacob was truly repentant in "What they Died For." Like his Mother before him (or Jack, Ben, Widmore etc.) Jacob took responsibility for his actions. He said "made a mistake...a mistake I made a very long time ago." Time does not heal all wounds, so it seems. What was that mistake?

Jacob thinks he created the Smoke Monster. He knows he made his brother that way (a monster), but I also think he thinks is responsible for the Smoke Monster et al. Jacob was totally surprised at what came out of that cave. It was something he had never seen before or had any knowledge of (that we know of). But he is not responsible for the Monster, only for his brother. The consensus seems to be that Mother was also a Smoke Monster and that it is an entity that was on the Island long before MIB and would be long after him. Nevertheless, Jacob seemed to take the full responsibility.

Even if one can't forgive Jacob for what he did, Smokie's supporters don't even seem willing to concede that, if nothing else, Jacob is trying to prevent the end of the world, if not all existence. Maybe he is wrong, but is that a risk anyone should be willing to take were they on the Island. Again, look what happened with the button. If only on Faith, that light needs protecting.

Yes, I understand where Smokie is coming from and I do feel sorry for what happened to him. But this does not mean he is justified for the countless number of people he has killed or his desire, now, to destroy the Island altogether. Let me get this straight, nothing Jacob did to his brother can be justified, but what Smokie has done and wants to do not only is justified by some, but also makes Smokie good? I am sorry, but the pro-Smokie arguments for him being good or Jacob evil are just untenable at this point. Smokie supporters clinging to this are rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Was Jacob bringing people to the Island just to prove his brother wrong? Or was he bringing people to the Island for hundreds of years hoping to find his replacement, knowing that it was only a matter of time before his very intelligent brother would learn how to kill him? Perhaps it was a combination of the two. Let's keep in mind, however, that Jacob is just one of perhaps countless protectors the Island has had since time immemorial and, therefore, would need to find his replacement in any event accordingly, regardless of Smokie or not.

Being Brought to the Island is a Blessing, not a Curse. How About Thanking Jacob?:

Outside of what Jacob did to his brother, what has he done that is evil? Who has he killed (and I mean directly)? Who has he lied to? I can't think of a single solid example. However, I have seen him heal people, comfort people, guide people and maintain absolute belief in humanity when very few would. Jacob takes Idealism to new levels. Jacob is/was just a man, not a god. And like any man, Jacob had flaws. And he chose to bring Jack, Hurley, Kate & Sawyer (and countless others) to the Island because they were just like he once was: flawed.

"I didn’t pluck any of you out of a happy existence. You were all flawed. I chose you because you were like me. You were all alone. You were all looking for something that you couldn’t find out there. I chose you because you needed this place as much as it needed you."

Jack is a better person because of the Island. Kate is better. Hurley is better. Sawyer is better. Even if these people were still to die as a result of being on the Island, I think they are still the better for it. It's not the body that matters, its the soul. And I think virtually all the souls we have seen on the Island (that live or died) are better because of it. And they are better because Jacob brought them their. The people on Oceanic 815 were not cursed, they were blessed. I, for one, would love to crash on the Island. And if my body were to perish in the crash, I would take comfort from thinking my soul didn't need fixing and I was free to move on.

No one is perfect. But that imperfect people can still be good and they can still be evil. And sometimes both. Jacob has made mistakes, but overwhelmingly his balance weighs heavily as being Good. Smokie has proven worthy of sympathy if nothing else, if not one time being a caring son and brother, but overwhelmingly his balance comes down strong on the side of Evil. And now the Evil wants to destroy all existence and Good is trying to save it.

Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this post, feel free to visit my blog at: http://lost-looking-glass.blogspot.com/

We welcome relevant, respectful comments.
blog comments powered by Disqus