Remember That Time On LOST When: Ben SUMMONED The Smoke Monster?
[Remember That Time On LOST is a daily post running the entire month up until the season premiere of LOST on February 2nd. I’m going to just pick something awesome, noteworthy, or ludicrous about LOST when I wake up that morning, and hopefully get you geeks talking about it with me.]
Raw Fucking Awesome:
Ben: Okay, listen to me very carefully. I need you all to do exactly what I say. In a minute we have to run from this house as fast as we can At that moment, when I give the order, I want you to head straight for the tree line.
Hurley: You mean towards the guys with the guns?
Ben: No, we want to be as far away from them as possible.
I spent fifteen minutes rewinding Netflix to try and get this conversation as accurate as possible. Find an inaccuracy? Kiss my ass.
Summon thy smoke monster, summon thy goosebumps! One of my favorite moments on LOST is when Ben summoned the Smoke Monster in The Shape of Things to Come. My huggies were absolutely overflowing with brown excitement. One minute Linus is disappearing into some secret closet, and the next moment there is a bellow of death and the crackling of electricity. There is the vague sensation that something epic is about to occur, but I couldn’t believe what my brain was telling me.
Brain: Dude, he just summoned the Smoke Monster.
Me: No way, he couldn’t do that.
Brain: It’s coming dude, prepare for it.
Me: WHAT. WHAT. WHAT. WHAT.
Brain: Told you.
Unfettered, jaw-dropping destruction is the only way I can describe the scene. Smokey had tore some ass up in his day, for sure. He laid waste to Boone, he gave a respectable ass-whupping to Eko, and he tried to drag Locke to his obliteration. But this was a different side of Smokey than we had ever seen. Smokey had been drinking green tea all damn day. He was hopped up and rocking out to Cowboys from Hell when Linus went into that secret closet and cried in his nasally voice:
Come hither, Black Cloud of Annihilation, I Humbly Request You Rain Death!
And Smoke Monster was like:
Hell yeah! BRT, d00d!
Mercenaries were ganked and crushed and smashed into gorgeous gooey little bits. Lightning crackled and Linus and Sawyer and Claire and Hurley stared at a rather impressive manifestation of death. The cries of death and Smokey slowly gave way to an eerie quiet, and then there was silence.
I sat there completely rocked, trying to wrap my feeble brain around what I had just seen. When Ben summoned the Smoke Monster, it didn’t just give me one of my favorite moments in the entire show. It took the preconceptions about Smokey and threw them out the door. They landed in the same pile that all my preconceived notions about LOST land in, which is rather voluminous and reaches an impressive height.
Smokey can be summoned? What the fuck?
PREVIOUSLY ON LOST, they gave the impression that Smoke was this runaway formless demon thingamajig of doom. It seemed to deal out fatalities to anyone within its perimeter, displaying no particularities about who was felled or where. The whole idea was backed up by the fact that the Others still needed Dharma’s Sonic Fence to protect them when they inhabited their barracks. You want to argue they were just using it to keep out boars and mercenaries? C’mon dudes.
So the idea that Smokey could be tamed by some sort of summation was a significant paradigm shift. Just what the fuck was this Ball of Black? Who was controlling it? Ben showed that he had the means to summon Smokey, but could he control it? I don’t think the two are mutually exclusive.
What if Smokey is something of an independent spirit, but still answers to a higher calling? As an analogy – say there is a droid who operates under its own volition, and can do whatever it pleases. However, upon flipping a switch, it immediately has to do whatever its master demands.
If I’m going to begin flinging spaghetti at the wall, I’d argue that Smokey is a servant of the Island, and desperately hates its status as such. It has been corralled by the Others, via Jacob, and while it must do what they demand, it spends the rest of its days being pissed off and hating its situation. Which sounds like someone else.
In case you’ve missed it, I think that Smokey is Jacob’s Nemesis. Consider: Jacob’s Nemesis seems clearly subservient to Jacob, as though he is somehow bound to Jacob. He wants nothing more than to kill him, but he cannot carry out this wish. Instead he has to stare out into the sea and wish he could just go catch the plague in England or some shit. Whatever was going on in the Civilized World at the time.
But he can’t. He’s bound.
Just like? Just like Smokey! Smokey clearly serves the Island, whether or not it wants to. And since it spends a good amount of time beating whoever gets close to it into paste, I’m going to say that it resents its situation. We also know that Smokey can take the form of people – having appeared as Eko’s brother, Ben’s daughter, and I’m going to postulate, Locke. God only knows how/why Jacob’s Nemesis was reduce to Smokey’s form, but if Smokey can take human forms, and somehow Jacob’s Nemesis is appearing as Locke, it doesn’t seem impossible that they are one and the same.
All of this crazy conjecture and mind-warping started when Ben summoned Smokey. He went from some sort of rampaging immateriality into something that can be caged and controlled. And oh yeah, seeing the Smoke Monster lay waste to an entire mercenary group was pretty boss as well.