Let’s Talk About Candidates, Shall We?

3 03 2010

So… this whole candidates thing has been bugging me since FLocke told Sawyer, “He thought he was the protector of this place. And you, James, have been nominated to take that job.” and went on to say, “It means you have three choices. First, you can do nothing and see how all this plays out. And possibly, your name will get crossed out. Second option. You can accept the job. Become the new Jacob. And protect the island.” 

Flocke Explains it All...

 

So, from that I believe many concluded that there is only one protector of the island at any given time.  This has given rise to many a mental image of Jack and Sawyer, the Island Protector and his Nemesis (not  respectively I might add) in the last scene of the series sitting on a beach together contemplating the next ship on the horizon. But could that actually be the case?  I mean, think about it… what has Jacob been doing to “protect” the island?  

Jacob has been stalking people all over the world, weaving tapestries, fishing, visiting people off island and manipulating them at often their most desperate moments in life all for the sake of getting them to the island to do what?  Observe what they do in heightened state of survival and then decide who gets to be the protector? That doesn’t sound like he is doing much to protect the island.  I mean, on his watch, what has happened?  Smokey found the loophole and killed him. Was he even watching the island at all…  or just picking people to do so? 

What do we think we know about the list of names? Well, we saw that 6 of our Lostaways are listed on the wall in the cave and have not been crossed out. (There are also some of the same names in the lighthouse including the addition of AUSTEN for Kate.)

We saw FLocke cross out the name  Locke, who is now dead and having his body being used as a meat puppet by Smokey.  So, by this we assumed that Locke was being crossed out either because he was dead or because he was being used by Smokey. And somehow from their we assumed that anyone who was on the wall and had their names crossed out were either dead or not worthy of being a candidate.  But wait a minute.  How did we get there from that?  Let’s take a look at that list shall we and as we do so, let’s look at who is still alive and just what they are doing on (and in a couple cases off) island. 

On the wall (and not crossed out) we have REYES, FORD, JARRAH, SHEPHARD and KWON. We know that each of these people are alive and previous the “Substitute” episode none of them had ever heard the word “Candidate.”  And what have they been doing on the island over the last 5 plus seasons?  They’ve been trying to survive in a harsh and hostile environment, trying to protect each other in some cases and trying to figure out what the hell was going on.  

Also on the wall are a ton of names that have been crossed out and many of them we know to be dead but some could actually refer to the countless others who are never called by name in the show.  I guess we would call them ‘Extra Others.’  Think about it… for all the work that Jacob (or Jerkob as I like to think of him) did to draw candidates to the island, I doubt that there are very many random people who’ve made it to the island who were just happening hoping to try a cup of that delish, perfectly roasted DHARMA coffee that is all the rage these days.  Afterall, we’ve seen that people who showed up for on purpose to preform actual scientific studies, like the french science team, and even they had their names on the lists.

But for my purpose here, I must steer us toward Benjamin Linus.  His name (I must assume because his dad was pretty much useless) was on the list and then crossed out and he is still alive.  And just what has he been doing in his entire tenure on the island?  Well, let’s see… he has been completely allegiant to Jacob.  Yes, he was, at times, manipulated by the smoke monster and broke rules… but he was doing his best to follow the instructions given to him by Jacob.  He was given lists of things to do, orders from Richard Alpert, Jacob’s Administrative Assistant in all things protectory.  So… okay.  Ben has, in essence been protecting the island.  He has been, the island’s protector.  He thought he was anyway.  How many times has he mentioned protecting the island?  

Ben's final words to Widmore as he exiles him from the island: Because I won't be selfish. Because I'll sacrifice anything to protect this Island.

 

After Miles informs Ben that Keamy wants to speak with him about a hostage, Ben replies, "Ben: Well, then they've badly miscalculated, because every single one of my people is prepared to die in service to this island."

 

This all leads me to believe that those who have been crossed off the list are not just of the dead and those found unworthy because they are on team smokey….  but also because they have already fallen into their roles as island protector.  Dogen would be one of these people as well… and while we didn’t see his name on the list, we can’t be sure that Dogen is his real name.  Perhaps he took a different name when he left his life behind so he could bring his son back to life.  

The reason that our Lostaways haven’t been crossed out is because they are still in play.  They haven’t been recruited to either side yet.  Well, Sayid now, obviously but IMO, Kate, Jack, Hurley, Sun, Jin and Sawyer are still up for free agents (Well, Sayid not so much after last night’s Sundown).  As for Miles?  He might have been crossed off the list when he signed on to work for Widmore who was clearly a protector of the island.  Think about Widmore too…  His name isn’t on the list but who knows  if Widmore is actually his name?  He has been around forever and a day… and has been known to say things indicative of his role as island protector: 

Widmore tells Ben to kill Baby Alex then explains, "You might find this difficult to understand, Benjamin... every decision I've made has been about protecting this Island."

 

I’d also like to state here that we can surmise the same of Eloise Hawking.  (Who knows if that is really her name.)  Though off-island this woman is clearly one of it’s protectors as she guides people there from the Lamp Post station and was a sort of co-team-captain with Widmore when they were both on-island. 

So now, why did FLocke seem to want Sawyer to believe that the whole island protector gig was a one man job and not a team building exercise?  Perhaps in singling him out FLocke was trying to manipulate Sawyer into thinking he was special thus stroking Sawyer’s rebellious rule breaking inclinations in effect swaying the con-man in his less savory direction?  I don’t know.  

And what of FLocke’s claim that everyone was now free and they were to go with him to get off the island?  Will our last shot be of the empty island, now inhabited only by transparent ghosts?Or better yet by wild boar and polar bears amidst howling winds? Or just an island sitting there in silence like a haunted vessel in the Bermuda Triangle just waiting for Luke Perry, Dan Cortese and Olivia d’Abo to stumble upon it while cruising the seas in their salvage vessel?  We still have quite a road to travel to find out all this stuff. That is if Darlton is ever going to explain any of it.  

So… can anyone find the 90’s Nickelodeon Sit Com reference in this post?  I’ll let you write a guest blog post if you can find it! 

Until Next Time: All work and now play makes Claire a dull girl.

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