Confounded frustration after "The Lighthouse," I neglected to write a recap for episode 4 - but LOST redeemed itself this past Tuesday with "Sundown," clearly (at least in my mind) and finally establishing the foundation for the final battle to come.
While we do not know the precise motivations or implications of this 'final battle,' it inevitably will be centered around The Island - the inanimate character in the show that has intrigued us since the very first episode in the series, and the thing that Smokie ironically (in my mind) claimed 'does not need protecting.' If this show is not culminating toward a final showdown over the fate of The Island - which will naturally directly influence the fate of our beloved castaways - then I will eat all the Dharma food in the Hatch.
Assuming this hardly far-fetched asseration holds true, then at some point the show's writers needed to bring all the characters together (rather than juggling a bazillion different storylines across The Island) into two very defined groups. The distinction between these two parties could be as black and white as 'good' and 'evil' - a likely scenario based on the language the show has adopted this season. If nothing else, there are those who remain loyal to Jacob and those who are aligned with Smokie.
Tuesday, these groups became defined. With Jacob, there is Jack, Hurley, Ilana, Lapidus, Miles, Ben, Sun, and Richard. With Smokie, there are the Temple defects, Sayid, creepy creepy creepy Claire, Sawyer, and Kate.
Important Note: While Jin is techinically "with" Smokie in a physical sense, I firmly believe that he is still on the side of (dare I say "good"?) Jacob. Why do I think this? In Sayid's Sideways storyline (something I hardly want to dwell upon beyond this point), the former Republican Guard torturer discovers Jin tied up and held hostage. Given the uncanny parallels between Island and Sideways worlds, I envision Sayid discovering Jin in a similar state next week; even if he is not physically bound, he will be incapcitated in carrying out what he actually wants - think about his lying to Claire last week.
Why am I so intent on insisting that this, for most intents and purposes, is the permanent division between the characters that Lost fans will be dealing with for the better part of the remainder of the season? Go to any search engine and type in "Lost Last Supper." There are two images that the producers released as promo posters for Season 6, both paying homage to Da Vinci's infamous "Last Supper" painting.
In both images, Smokie stares sinisterly ahead with the fellow main characters placed on either side of him. (I will conveniently ignore the image where all the characters stare ahead - it mostly fits into my theory, but there's one major kink.)
Look at the image where all the characters on either side of Smokie are looking at him. Look at the breakdown of the characters on either side. On the right side (the RIGHT side! the GOOD side! the producers, for all their mysteries, are not always so unobvious), there is Jacob's party. On the left side, there is Sawyer, Kate, Sayid, and Claire - there is also Ilana and Richard, although their positioning together and somewhat set back from the other left-siders leads me to believe either 1) the producers have a thing for symmetry and just placed those two together, apart from the group to balance the photo or 2) I'm one week off from this theory and they'll swap. Given Richard's ademant refusal to join Smokie in "The Substitute," I don't see this happening - but Smokie clearly has history with the ageless Alpert and plenty of ammo to continue to convince him if he ever gets his ear.
So just like that, the division that the producers foretold in this painting has come true - and I did not even need to take an Art History theory class to see that.
So where do we go from here? Team Jacob will most likely regroup and plot a strategy to stop Smokie's seemingly tyranical tear. Team Smokie will most likely continue to "recruit" more members - who remains to be same, although I'm thinking Jack, Hurley, and Sun (maybe?) are up next as the only two candidates not crossed out in the cave remaining.
Important Note: While Kate's name was suspiciously absent in the Cave, if one looked close enough in "Lighthouse," they would have seen Kate's name as number 51 on the wheel. 51 has no meaning...unless you consider that it is 15 reversed, and 15 is Sawyer's designated number. In other words, she's relevant.
As "Sundown" ended, the only person with no one in the immediate vicinity was Ben - who has a centric episode next week. Coincidence? Hells no. He needs to be resolved, and fast. Benjamin Linus has been one of my favorite characters in Lost, but he has been seriously under-utilized this season and it could be his time to...go? I hope not.
Until next week...Namaste.
PS - The man coming to The Island according to Jacob is going to be either Desmond or Charles Widmore.