I want to look a bit more closely at Jacob, if I may, and since this is my blog and I rule it with a fascist-like grip, I think I shall. I’ve been pondering the possibilities opened up by "Room 23", and maybe I’ve been going about this all wrong. I’ve been approaching Jacob as a singular entity, which might be the wrong way to go about things. I want to look at some powder, some bunnies, and a special boy, and then offer up another way to think about Walt’s powers and Jacob’s identity at the same time.
1) The powder. The powder in question sits outside of Jacob’s cabin. If you remember, Locke notices a chalk-like, grey substance on his way towards the cabin. He bends over, touches it, rubs it between his fingers, but is soon called away by Ben. Remember also that Ben carefully steps over the powder, seemingly unwilling to touch it.
2) The bunnies. A few weeks ago, I pointed you towards an orientation video for the Orchid, a yet-to-be-seen hatch on the show. In it, our old friend Marvin Candle (using the name Edgar Halowax) looks visibly nervous while holding a white rabbit with the number 15. Halfway through the video, an object drops from the sky. This object turns out to be another white rabbit with the number 15 on it. Halowax, to put it bluntly, FREAKS OUT and starts yelling, "Don’t let them near each other! When did you set the shift?" The word "shift" refers to the Casimir effect, mention in the video. One application of the Casimir effect? Wormholes/time travel.
3) The special boy. Now, think about the powers unleashed by Walt in Room 23. I posited yesterday that Walt’s powers can be achieved either through intense mental effort or overwhelming emotion. The latter seems to produce dark, foreboding effects (suicidal birds, angry polar bears, potential hungry hungry hippos), while intense concentration produces desired results (accurate knife tossing, astral projection). In short, Walt’s got two sides within him, as do we all. But his light and dark sides manifest themselves according whether Walt employs his power via the id or ego.
Now, what if those two sides come into violent conflict in Room 23? What if the reason Walt doesn’t wish to be placed back into the room when threatened by Bea is due the room literally splitting him in two? What if the mental rearranging that Room 23 seeks to affect instead causes a psychic schism within Walt?
Put all of this together: the chalk, the bunnies, Walt’s reaction to Room 23. What would happen if two Walts come into contact? Disaster, if the Orchid video is to be believed. So what if the chalk outline outside of Jacob’s cabin is not meant to keep Jacob in, but keep something out? That would give it something in common with say, a sonic fence. Which would make sense, since both serve the same function: to keep Smokey out.
And why would Jacob want to keep Smokey out? To ensure the two never meet. After all, they are the same entity. They are two sides to the same individual: the yin and the yang, the light and the dark; unleashed by an incident, separated by a thin line of powder.
Yesterday, I posited the theory that Jacob needed Walt to enter Room 23 in order to seek clues towards his own liberation. Perhaps he needs to see Walt battle the psychic schism because he himself failed decades ago: that failure created a smoke monster (his id) and a largely disembodied, shriveled figure (the ego approaching superego). If Jacob is Walt Version 1.0, then Walt is Jacob 2.0.
As a final note, think about this exchange between Halowax and the cameraman during the Orchid video:
Halowax: Why is that still running?
MALE VOICE: He told me to keep the camera running…
Halowax: Turn it off. Turn it off!
Now, who is the most famous "He" on Lost? Exactly: Jacob. That little exchange could identify Jacob as a former member of the Dharma Initiative, one intimately involved with various aspects of research on the Island. This person would know the importance of keeping one person split into two apart. This person, having fallen victim to an unforeseen incident, would maintain his ego-led side in isolation while the id-driven creature roamed uncontrollably.
And there he would stay, until a special boy came along to liberate him at last.
What do you think? Plausible? Outright laughable? Leave your comments below!
Ryan also posts every 108 minutes over at Boob Tube Dude.