Could Jacob be the bad guy?

A few things we know (or at least think we know):

It could stand to reason then that Jacob is responsible for bringing both the Others and Dharma to the island.

We know the Others look to Jacob as their leader, but, in a way, so does Dharma.  Remember Karl and the brainwashing in Room 23?  Dharma was using a video that had the screen cap “God loves you as He loved Jacob”.

It just feels like to me that even Dharma has a reverence for Jacob, but why?


I keep going back to the conversation that Jacob had with his nemesis:

YouTube – LOST 5×16 The Incident – Jacob and Rival

I really think that conversation is really important to the whole story of the island.  I mentioned before, I really think that both Jacob and the other guy dressed in black are the two gods of the island. Here’s the transcript of their conversation:



BLOND MAN: Mornin’.

GRAY-HAIRED MAN: Mind if I join you?

BLOND MAN: [Shaking his head] Please. Want some fish?

GRAY-HAIRED MAN: Thank you. I just ate.

[The gray-haired man sits down not far away.]

BLOND MAN: I take it you’re here ’cause of the ship.

GRAY-HAIRED MAN: I am. How did they find the Island?

BLOND MAN: You’ll have to ask ’em when they get here.

GRAY-HAIRED MAN: I don’t have to ask. You brought them here. Still trying to prove me wrong, aren’t you?

BLOND MAN: You are wrong.

GRAY-HAIRED MAN: Am I? They come. They fight. They destroy. They corrupt. It always ends the same.

BLOND MAN: It only ends once. Anything that happens before that is just progress.

[The gray-haired man stares at his compatriot.]

GRAY-HAIRED MAN: Do you have any idea how badly I wanna kill you?


GRAY-HAIRED MAN: One of these days, sooner or later… I’m going to find a loophole, my friend.

BLOND MAN: Well, when you do, I’ll be right here.

GRAY-HAIRED MAN: Always nice talking to you, Jacob.

JACOB: Nice talking to you, too.


It just seems so epic that you have one guy in white, one in black, talking as if they are the ones in control of everything. One (god in black) can’t kill the other (god in white) for an unknown reason, meanwhile the other (god in white) brings people to the island to the utter disgust of the other (god in black).

Could Jacob possibly not be all that of a good god? He brings people to the island who, in the words of the god in black, will fight, destroy, and corrupt.  Just look at the island folk – all of them fight, destroy, and are subject to corruption. If he’s right about Jacob sets all this up, this paints Jacob in the light of a god pitting people against each other just for kicks (or in the name of “progress”).  So could it be that the god in black isn’t necessarily motivated to kill Jacob but to stop the madness? Of course it takes his death to stop him, but the focus is to stop him.  

Of course it could be a power grab, but from this angle, it almost feels like the god in black could actually be the good guy.  The people on the island are either following Jacob thinking they are good guys fighting to please Jacob or save the world through experiments.  And they follow/respect him because he brought them to Island LOST — even if they don’t know it.

I don’t know where this leaves us, but it sure is fun to think and talk about.

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  • Phil

    Like your thinking, but I think if the man in black is NOT the bad guy, that does not mean that Jacob is NOT the good guy. Does that make sense? Let me try and put it another way: I believe that Jacob thinks the ends (bringing groups of people to island who constantly fail) justify the means (that eventually one group will be able to “end” it, whatever that means).

    I think these groups are “iterations”, much like the French radio signal loop. Groups have come to the island for who knows how long, trying to do the same thing (I don’t know what that “thing” might be) but failing. It could be that the man in black is also the smoke monster, and he purposely sabotages any chance these groups have of succeeding to prove Jacob wrong. So, like most characters on Lost aside from Cooper and Keamy, I think there’s not going to be a clear Big Bad–sure, one will be considered better than the other, but neither has completely evil intentions. Think Ben, Darth Vader, Snape–these writers aren’t going to give us straight up good vs. evil even though they sold it as that. It’s going to be gray vs. gray, which is a whole lot more fun to watch right! At least that’s what I hope.

  • rob

    Good thoughts, Phil. The only thing about the gray vs gray is that in the very beginning, remember Locke talking to Walt about backgammon and saying there is white and black only? And the black and white rocks (wasn’t it?)? I could be wrong about that one. I agree in that everyone has been gray — there has been no certain good or bad, black or white except those you mentioned + maybe a handful more. But I wonder if it’ll all come back around to black and white. I don’t think it’s coincidence that Jacob and the other were in black and white. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be a sympathetic bad. I think of young Ben — the only reason we don’t like him is because of the future, but I feel bad for the kid.

    It is more fun with gray, and I’m not convinced it’ll be black/white. But there’s been a reoccurring theme of “we’re the good guys” and they don’t always act redeemingly. I just gotta wonder if that theme will be solved by the end.

  • Phil

    Okay sure, you’re right about the black/white thing. But Lost loves to subvert our expectations at every turn. We expect that white=good and black=evil because that’s what our previous experience tells us. But I didn’t mean to imply that there won’t be a bad guy and a good guy–I just mean that the bad guy isn’t going to be all bad (e.g., Darth Vader, Ben) and the good guy isn’t going to be all good and might use some questionable means to reach a more important end (e.g., Roland in the Dark Tower series). So, yes, I agree that there will be a definable “good guy” and “bad guy”–I’ll just be interested to see how good and how bad they will be in the end. The more three dimensional the better.

  • rob

    Phil, I think we’re saying the same thing — there is a good/bad split but they aren’t pure. That’s what LOST has been giving us the entire time and it’s great!

  • Hey Rob,

    You may have already seen this, but many people are saying that the fish that Jacob was making was a red herring?


  • rob

    LOL! Red herring. That’s funny. Never discount anything with LOST writers!

  • graciela

    Finally, someone else who doesn’t think Jacob is this shining beacon of goodness! I thought he was fishy the moment I saw the opening scene (and yes, the literal red herring just drives it home). When I think about all of the horrible things that have happened to many of the characters and the murders made in the name of this Jacob guy, I don’t see anything good about him. It’s too easy to show the nice and gentle guy in white being the good guy. Lost is not that transparent. I think season 6 will prove that Jacob is not a good guy or meant for anything good.

    Also, I’ve started to rewatch the series from the beginning and now whenever I see Locke acting strangely I can’t help but wonder if there were two Lockes on the island all along.

  • It was the Others, not Dharma that was using the video.

  • rob

    @Jayson – interesting, you made me go back and look it all up again. Looking at the Lostpedia entry on Room 23 ( it says “Inside room 23, Karl was subjected to brainwashing by being forced to watch a video, strapped to a chair, while extremely loud drum-and-bass music was played. He was found with an IV in his arm, and wearing LED goggles. The video contained various quick cuts of images and text, as well as short glimpses of Gerald DeGroot and Alvar Hanso. At the time the facility that housed room 23 was guarded by Aldo.”

    So you’re correct, it was the Others. However, look at the content of the film – it had DeGroot and Hanso in there which are big Dharma people. No wonder I was confused. The Others were showing a film with both Jacob and Dharma leaders.

    Of course I still don’t know where all of this leaves us!

  • Jayden

    I found this posting because I too was wondering if Jacob was really bad and MIB (Man In Black) was actually good. The character wearing colors opposite of what you would suspect is a great way to keep viewers off track, if so. if it's a God vs. Devil (good vs. evil) type deal, that would explain why MIB couldn't kill Jacob. Another factor is Richard was supposedly in cuffs & shackles when he came which is common with prisoners, criminals, etc. If Jacob was good, why would he release him and make him his messenger. I think Jacob knew the only way “to keep the wool over everyone's eyes” is to make himself look like the good, innocent guy. MIB may be the only that knows the truth. It also appears MIB knows how to leave the island and can so if he's staying it might be to protect it. If his goal was to destroy it the island, he could easily do it at anytime. On the other hand, the vast majority of killings and destruction has been the result of someone trying to carry out Jacob's wishes.

    I don't know, these are just a few of my thoughts. One thing I have learned is that normally when something appears to be clear and easy (Jacob/white/good vs MIB/black/bad)- it's not! It's usually the opposite or some other angle alltogether.

  • erulin

    Ben is Jacob's follower and in his name kills off the entire Dharma Initiative… To my knowledge they weren't doing anything “wrong” on the island, so it's quit possible that Jacob is actualy the bad guy. Ben, Jacob's agent, does alot of bad stuff. He was ordered to kill Russo and her baby. It was his choice to adopt Alex. He killed Lock, got Sayid to kill a list of people. I have watched the entire series, upto now, about 3 times (yeah, I'm a TV-addict) and I must say that the Others (Jacob's side) have done ALOT more evil things then we've actualy seen the Black Smoke ever do.

    In Ben's own words : I sacrificed everything for the island (referring to Alex getting shot,) for Jacob… and he didn't even care…