Here is a blog comment I made on the Lost Pieces Blog. Hope you guys will let me know if this makes any sense to you.
I really like your idea that each Protector of the island gets to make (or at least add) his own rules. This episode was very confusing and frustrating to me. I expected we would get more answers about the statue and the history of the island. Now that I have had time to think about it, I understand this episode better.
Here goes my crazy theory and I hope it makes some sense (although it probably has its share of holes): The light cave is actually the entrance to the underworld. [Remember the hieroglyphs on the countdown timer in the hatch – the symbols were translated “underworld”]. This place must be guarded so that no one inadvertently goes there. In our parlance it is the “gateway to hell”. The ancient Egyptians had a similar idea about a river to the underworld.
The guardian of the underworld is Smokey – he basically lives there but can take on human form if someone dies on the island, and in this case it was Brother aka the MIB. But before that Mother too died on the island.
Smokey then takes on that person’s personality but the person’s soul or consciousness lives on. So in MIB’s case he still remembers wanting to leave the island. And in Mothers case she remembers going down the river and becoming Smokey – so that’s what she means as something “worse than death” will happen to you.
She, the Mother part, wants to be free from Smokey, so she chooses Esau/Brother to be that replacement. She also wants someone to protect people from entering the light cave, so she picks Jacob for that job. That’s why the SmokeMom was able to kill all those men and fill in the well, because she had Smokey’s power. And that’s why she wanted to die because she wanted to be free from Smokey. She picked Esau because he was a good liar, and Jacob because of his loyalty.
Remember what we heard in Jacob’s cabin – we heard “help me”. Could that be another soul trapped by Smokey try to escape? Thank you for the excellent recap and thoughts.