This episode explains how Jacob and The Man in Black became who and what each of them are today.
The show starts with a woman who has survived a ship wreck. She makes it to the beach and we see that she is extremely pregnant. Another woman finds her and takes her to an unknown camp. After eating, she goes in to labor. The second woman helps to give birth to a baby boy that mom names Jacob. Surprisingly, she gives birth to a second baby boy which she doesn’t name. The woman then picks up a rock and bashes the mother’s head in; killing her.
Next we are 13 years later. Jacob and his brother are teens. The brother finds a game on the beach that consists of two sets of rocks; white and black. After the two have played, the brother swears Jacob to secrecy, but Jacob can’t lie and tells his “mother” (the same woman that killed their birth mother) about the game. We find out that she gave the brother the game, but she doesn’t tell him why.
The two boys are hunting a boar when the boar is killed by another’s arrow. They hide in the bushes and see men. When they tell their mother about the men, she makes them swear to stay away from them; that they are bad. She tells the boys that the three of them are “here for a reason”. When they question her, she blindfolds them and takes them to a stream. At the mouth of the stream is a cave that is emitting a blinding light. She tells them that they must make sure that no one ever finds the light. She tells them that there is a little bit of the light in every man, but that they will always want more. She also tells them that if the light goes out here, the light will go out everywhere. She tells them that one of them will need to protect it.
We see the boys playing the game again when the brother sees a woman that Jacob can’t see. It’s their birth mother. He tells Jacob that he’s taking a walk and follows the woman. She takes him to a camp full of people. She tells him that these are the people that she came to the island with. She tells him how he was born and what happens to her. (Is this woman a manifestation that the evil has conjured?)
Later that night, the brother wakes up Jacob. Keeping him quiet, he gets Jacob to follow him through the woods. He tells Jacob that he’s leaving and joining the other camp. He tells Jacob about their birth mother. Jacob doesn’t believe him and starts punching him. Their mother pulls Jacob off of him. The brother tells them both that he’s leaving the island and going home. His mother tells him that he’ll never be able to leave and he responds, “Prove it.”
Now we go another 30 years later. Jacob has continued to live with his mother and his brother has lived within the other camp. Jacob has visited his brother over the years and they continue to play their game. At one of these times, the brother tells Jacob that he’s found a way to leave the island. He shows him how his dagger is able to stick to the side of a rock. (He’s found the magnetism that is at the center of this island). He tells Jacob that the people he’s lived with have figured out a way to use this to leave the island.
Of course, Jacob takes this information back to his mother. She pays the brother a visit. He shows her how they’ve been able to tap in to the light by prying a rock off of the wall in a well. When the rock is removed, the light shines brightly. He also shows her a wheel that they are building that will allow them to use the light to leave the island. (This is the same wheel that Ben turned to “move” the island.) She is crying and gives the brother a hug; telling him how sorry she is, she knocks his head against the wall. He is unconscious.
Then she takes Jacob to the same stream they visited as boys. She tells him that the time has come for him to take her place and protect the island. Jacob wants to know what the light it. She tells him that it’s “Life, death, rebirth; the source.” She makes him promise to never go in to the light; that it’s worse than death. She pulls out a wine bottle and recites an incantation while pouring a cup full. She implores Jacob to drink. Jacob resists. She tells him that he has no choice and that it was always supposed to be him who becomes the protector. Jacob finally concedes and drinks the wine. She takes the cup from him and cryptically says, “Now you and I are the same.”
We then see the brother lying outside of the well. He wakes up to find the well completely caved in. He sees smoke in the distance and starts running. He comes across his home for the past 30 years and finds it burnt to the ground and everyone dead. He finds his game in the ashes; holds it up and screams.
On the way back from the stream, Jacob is told by his mother to gather some wood before a storm comes and that she’ll meet him back at home. When she reaches home, she finds everything destroyed and the game sitting by the fire. She opens the game and removes one white stone and one black stone. Next we see that she’s been stabbed by none other than the brother. He cries over her and asks why she didn’t just let him leave the island. She responds with, “Because I love you”. She thanks him and dies. Was she finally released from her unending life on the island?
Jacob comes home to find his mother dead and his brother holding the knife. His brother tries to explain, but Jacob won’t listen. He proceeds to punch his brother again and again. He then drags him through the woods to the stream and the lit cave. Jacob is so angry that he throws his brother down telling him that if he wants to leave so bad, then leave. When his brother lands in the water, he hits his head on a rock and dies. His lifeless body washes down stream in to the light. Next we see the black smoke come streaming out of the cave.
Jacob finds his brother’s body and puts him alongside his mother’s body in eternal rest. (We are flashed back to an earlier time in the series when Jack and Kate find two skeletons in a cave and wonder who they are and how they got there.) Jacob puts one white rock and one black rock in a sack and wraps his brother’s hand around them. (We are flashed again to Jack finding the same rocks. We also hear John call them “our own Adam and Eve”.)
So, what is the Smoke Monster? Jacob released it by sending his brother’s dead body in to the light. But, what is the light? The Man in Black took on the persona of Jacob’s dead brother. Whether it’s to torment Jacob or because that’s the body that released it, we may never know. What we do know is that it must have the dead body before it can “become” that person; Jack’s dad and now John Locke.
We also know that Jacob and the Man in Black have never been off of the island. This explains why each had problems knowing information from the outside world. It also explains some of the rudimentary explanations we were given. As in why some people were considered “bad” and some “good”. This also explains why “the others” were never able to explain why someone was considered bad. What do I think? I think that the good people were candidates for taking over for Jacob and that the bad were not.
This was a good episode. It explains so much about Jacob and why he is so adamant about protecting the island. It explains how the smoke monster was released, if not what exactly it is.
Next week’s episode is titled “What They Died For” and is the last episode before the series finale. Although, we don’t know what will happen, we are sure to be surprised.