Lost Theory: The Man In Black and Aaron Are the Same Person
About two months ago, I suggested that the Man In Black and Aaron are the same person. That was just a crackpot theory I came up with, and aside from several points, I didn't have strong support for it. However, after watching last week's episode, The Candidate, I'm about 85-percent convinced that Aaron will grow up to become the Man In Black.
How is this Possible?
When I discuss this hypothesis with other fans of the show, I'm frequently asked, "How will Aaron become the Man In Black if he's only kid right now, and Man In Black has existed for hundreds, if not thousands of years?"
Before we get into why I think they're the same person, let's explore how this theory could come to fruition:
Claire is insane. I think we can all agree on that (if not, you didn't see her precious animal carcass). If Claire ever manages to get off the island, she will raise Aaron. Thus, Aaron will have a crazy mother and will probably have a disturbed childhood. He'll grow up wondering why his mom is nuts. He'll eventually learn that Claire lost her mind on some island in the Pacific Ocean. He'll spend his entire life trying to find this island, and he'll eventually locate it.
Once there, he'll need to go back in time to prevent his mom from losing it. So, he'll attempt to move the island through space time, as occurred in Season 5. Unfortunately, he'll go back too far in time - and he'll be the only person on the island except for Jacob. Sensing that Aaron is disturbed/evil, Jacob will prevent Aaron from leaving the island and thus doing harm to everyone in the wake of his rage.
Being a fair man and a believer in humanity, Jacob will give Aaron the opportunity to leave the island if he can win a bet, or a game (Jacob and Man In Black are seen playing backgammon in a preview for The Candidate.)
The rules are: 1) If neither Jacob nor his candidates are there to guard the island, Aaron can leave. 2) Aaron may not harm Jacob or his candidates. 3) Aaron may kill the other people on the island and possess them after death. 4) If Jacob or his candidates can prove Aaron wrong about humanity being inherently evil (indirectly, of course), then Aaron will cease to exist (which was what the two were talking about in the opening scene of the Season 5 finale, which I discussed earlier.)
That's a possible explanation for how Man In Black came to be. Maybe I'm completely off, but I think it's a plausible avenue the writers could take for the upcoming Jacob- and Man In Black-centric episode.
Before I get into my reasons for believing that he and Aaron are the same person, I feel it's important to discuss how Aaron/Man In Black acquired his special abilities (smoke monster form, possessing dead people).
It's always possible that Jacob gave these powers to Aaron to make their real-life game of backgammon fair. But consider this alternative: We know of four people who were born on the island: Aaron, Miles, Ethan and Alex. Miles can talk to dead people. Ethan had super strength, as seen in Season 1. Alex was hot. What if Aaron also has an ability that we don't know of yet - perhaps the power to turn into a giant pillar of black smoke? Sounds crazy, but so is talking to the deceased.
1. Beginning at the Beginning: Richard Malkin
For those of you who don't remember all the way back to Season 1, Richard Malkin was a psychic who told Claire that it was crucial for her to raise Aaron herself, and that her goodness must be an influence on the child's development. He was pretty adamant about this, and it makes you wonder if he knew that Claire's insanity would lead Aaron to become evil. Had Claire left the island with the Oceanic Six and continued to raise Aaron, she never would have gone insane.
2. Encounters with the Smoke Monster
When I became suspicious that Aaron and the Man In Black were the same person, I decided to research all of the encounters that Claire had with the Smoke Monster in Seasons 1-4. Surely if the Smoke Monster were Claire's son, he wouldn't scare, chase or attempt to kill her, right?
You want to know what I came up with after re-watching all of her encounters with Smokey? Here's what: Nothing. Zilch. Nada.
In the first three seasons, Claire had never even seen the Smoke Monster. Not once. It never chased her. It never attacked her. It never debacled her. In fact, the first time she saw it was in Season 4 when Ben summoned it to attack Martin Keamy and his merry band of mercenaries.
Is it possible that the Man In Black is just a nice guy and avoided Claire because she was carrying a child? Umm... no - not unless the child was a younger version of himself.
3. In the Three Years the Oceanic Six Were Gone
When the Oceanic Six left the island, Claire was stuck with a tent, a bunch of guns, no shampoo, and an animal carcass she would learn to cherish. But who took care of her while everyone else was either away or flashing through time? The Man In Black.
Why would the Man In Black spend three years watching over of Claire? What's the point of that? Why not abandon her or kill her? He had no problem murdering Captain Seth Norris, Mr. Eko, the French people and hundreds of others. What was the purpose of keeping Claire alive and well?
4. Season 6, Pre-Candidate
Even with all of Jacob's candidates in his company, the Man In Black has spent time consoling Claire and telling her his plans. He told her that he only needed Kate to recruit Jack, and revealed that he planned to allow Claire to dispose of Kate once they were aboard the Ajira plane.
Now, it's possible that the Man In Black was just lying to Claire like he was with everyone else, but I don't see the point of that. Claire's not a candidate. Why would he need her to get off the island? Why would he need to convince her to come with him?
The only instance that the Man In Black was aggressive toward Claire was in the episode Recon, when he slapped her. This was when she inexplicably attacked Kate. Perhaps the Man In Black did this out of frustration. Considering the possibility that he has been lamenting his mother's insanity for hundreds or thousands of years, it's a miracle that all he did was slap Claire after finally witnessing an action he was all too familiar with from his childhood.
A bit later in that episode, the Man In Black admitted to Kate that his mother was insane. Was he so annoyed with his upbringing that he just had to vent to someone?
5. The Candidate
I thought the second half of The Candidate was very revealing. When Claire apologized to the Man In Black for leaving him, he wasn't angry. He simply smiled, put his arm around her, and said, "I know why you did it." The Man In Black knew she wanted to leave the island by any means necessary to be with Aaron - or perhaps the younger version of himself.
Later, when Sawyer locked the Man in Black and Claire out of the sub, Claire ran toward the edge of the dock, and began crying and shouting. The Man In Black quickly ran toward her, held her back and said, "You don't want to be on that sub."
Again, why is he doing this? Why would he care about Claire's well being if she wasn't important to him? Why not just let her get blown up on the sub? And why not just kill her even after the sub departed?
6. The Name
The Man In Black currently has no known name. The writers have purposely avoided revealing this. Are they messing with our heads? Does the Man In Black even have a name? Or is it so significant that the writers haven't been able to tell us yet?
If you don't think the Man In Black's name is important, here's a quote from Titus Welliver, the actor who plays the 19th-century version of the Man In Black:
"They don't want to give anything away. I know that this character has a name and I know the importance of it; that's all that I know. I think they deliberately withheld that."
If the Man In Black's name has a significance to the show, what is it? In all likelihood, it's one of the remaining characters. Jack doesn't have a crazy mother. Neither does Hurley or Sawyer. Ben never knew his mom. Miles' mom was sane. As was Walt's.
Who does that leave? Desmond, Richard Alpert and Aaron. I don't think it's Richard, and if it is Desmond, why would the Man In Black order Sayid to kill a past iteration of himself? Makes no sense.
Conversely, the Man In Black would never touch Aaron if they were the same person. If he would have killed himself as a baby, then he would just cease to exist. Kind of gives him an excuse not to attack or chase Aaron and Claire, doesn't it?
Other Lost Tidbits
This upcoming episode, Across the Sea is the one we've all been waiting for. The back story focuses on Jacob and the Man In Black, so I'll guess we'll find out this Tuesday if I'm a Lost genius or a Lost dumba**.
Across the Sea is the show's antepenultimate episode (that's third-to-last for those of you who don't like to use fancy shmancy words.) The season finale, which will air next Sunday night, was extended from two hours to two-and-a-half hours. As Jack on the Lost Podcast joked, "That's 10 minutes of actual show and 20 minutes of commercials." Hey, someone needs to pay Matthew Fox's $250,000-per-episode contract.
By the way, if you haven't checked Jay and Jack's Lost Podcast, I highly recommend it. With three episodes left, you might as well start listening. It's a great complement to Lost.
As for Lost's superantepenultimate (OK, not a real word) episode, The Candidate, the four people who survived the sub - Jack, Kate, Sawyer and Hurley - were the four people on Ben's list from the end of Season 2. Coincidence? Probably, but on Lost, you never know.
I have to say that Jin and Sun are the worst parents ever. I know that Jin promised Sun that he'd never leave her again, but dude, you have a freaking daughter. Now that you and your wife are dead, she is going to be raised by the tyrannical Mr. Paik. When she's 8, she'll break a glass ballerina and blame it on the maid. The freaking maid!
As for Sun, I understand that she was distraught over losing her husband, but I don't understand how she could abandon her daughter to go traipsing back to the island in search for Jin. If you think about it, if Sun never went back to the island, Jin wouldn't have died with her on the sub. So, Sun essentially murdered her husband and orphaned her daughter. Great going, worst mom and wife of all time.