So, let's go over this brief-like, and I'll probably post again later with lots of links to all my favorite folks who are funnier and/or smarter then me. (Though I'll pretend that that's only the case because they have more time on their hands at the moment. Gotta save face somehow...)
Lots of interesting bits and pieces filtering through to us this episode about Jacob and The Shadow Shapeshifter Dude! The thing I feel like we have to really keep in mind with all of it though, is that "filtering" bit -- it's all coming to us filtered through The Shadow Man in this episode. Our new information includes:
- Shadow Dude's shapeshifting days are over (per Ilana, who seemed pretty confident), yet he can still morph into the smoke monster at will.
- Jacob had everyone's names carved into the roof of his cave. Any opinions on whether that cave "lies in the shadow of the statue"?
- Jacob was "protecting" the island, and wants somebody to take over for him. Which reminds me of Willy Wonka to be perfectly honest.
- Shadow Man claims that Jacob was manipulating and controlling everyone to bring them to the island. My one problem with that is that I think it was implied that he brought John Locke back to life after he was thrown out of the window; that isn't so much manipulation as it is straight miracle. What makes this even more interesting to me, is that at least in the case of Locke, Jacob brought life, and Shadow Man brought death, through orchestrating his death during the flashes when the island was skipping through time. (Cuz correct me if I'm wrong, but the Locke who stepped in and instructed Richard with the whole "John, you're gonna have to die" thing, was actually Psuedo-Locke, and not real Locke at all)
- Shadow Man is definitely not the ultimate authority on the island, even with Jacob gone. He seemed genuinely unnerved when he saw the child in the forest. Ok, question here, in that first glimpse of the little blonde boy, does it look like his hands are bleeding? You know, like... stigmata?? If so, I feel like that points to him being Jr. Jacob. Thoughts?
- Shadow Man claims to have been human once upon a time, and that he is trapped and just wants to be free. He needs Sawyer to do this... just like he needed Ben to kill Jacob. For being so destructive, when you come down to it he's actually kind of helpless.
- As symbolized by the scale and the dark and light rocks, Shadow Man and Jacob balanced each other out, like yin and yang, but Shadow Man believes he's eliminated Jacob from the equation.
- Ilana collects Jacob's ashes. Ashes -> phoenix?? Significant perhaps? Or maybe she just wanted to scatter them somewhere... but I'd guess there's more to it then that.
Jacob isn't guarding the island from the world... he's guarding the world from the island. Let's be honest, from smoke monster to mysterious destructive energy, from skipping through time and wreaking havoc on people's brains, to folks who apparently have the power to revive the dead and/or assume their shape, there's a lot on the island to be protected from.
Ideas & Points I like from the Lost forum:
- Sawyer is pulling a long-con on Shadow Man, and will be the one who defeats him in the end.
- Shephard's number was 23 -- Psalm 23 is the famous "The Lord is my shephard" psalm...
- Richard is no longer immortal now that Jacob is dead.