Yes, this is probably WAY off-topic, but there are enough fans of the show in our office that maybe some of our readers will appreciate it, too. Besides, with TV’s longest-running mystery wrapping up in the next few weeks, I’d like to take one last chance at annoying those who don’t watch “Lost.”
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
— Arthur C. Clarke
The island is a prison for “The Man in Black” and Jacob is his guardian. Both are from a distant future — the island was sent far back in history to isolate The Man in Black both in time and space to contain whatever menace he represents. He is an artificial intelligence comprised of nearly microscopic nanobots, which allow him to take human form and appear as a cloud of smoke which also emits flashes of light and electricity. He is able to assume the forms of people known to humans after scanning their memories. The island’s electromagnetic core is a power source which keeps him activated and also isolated. If he travels too far from the power source, he deactivates. The ash circles and sonic fences have some property which prevents him from crossing. His programming prevents him from breaking the rules which Jacob is there to enforce. Jacob may be a similar construct, following his own programming. By touching various candidates, Jacob may also be injecting them with nanobots which guide them to the island. They may also allow the candidates to adopt the same capabilities through a biomechanical conversion. The nanobots in Richard Alpert regenerate his body and have kept him alive all these years without aging. Candidates can’t kill themselves since the nanobots can interfere with suicide attempts — defusing bombs, rendering bullets inert, etc. This may also explain why some of the island’s inhabitants were believed to be infected by The Man in Black and would gradually lose their identity and humanity — they are overcome with nanobots which replace the human identity.
The gateway in the island, activated by the wheel below the Orchid station, transports people to a desert in Tunisia — another isolated location where The Man in Black would soon run out of power before reaching civilization. He may also have been developed as a weapon and the island isn’t so much a prison as it is a storage facility used to contain him until he’s needed.
The Man in Black has spent the last few hundred, if not thousands, of years working out loopholes in his programming which will allow him to leave the island. Jacob, knowing this and the limitations in both of their programming, has spent the time searching for a human suitable to the task of guarding The Man in Black and keeping him on the island.
Desmond Thume may be a third type of human/android hybrid who retains an immunity to intense electromagnetic radiation. If Desmond isn’t entirely human, this may be why Charles Widmore didn’t want his daughter Penny to get involved with Desmond. And why Widmore and Eloise Hawking believe he isn’t ready for whatever they have in mind for him in the sideways timeline.
For me, this adds up in a neat and tidy way. However, given the very convoluted and bewildering twists of this story, the conclusion will probably be chaotic and messy and completely different.
And in a few weeks when it’s all over, we’ll need to find something else to discuss Wednesday mornings. 🙂