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I recently re-watched "Lost" in its entirety for the first time since the show ended. Overall, I appreciated the show, and especially seasons 4-6, a great deal more now than I did during my initial watch. Now I also see that most questions were answered, even though some questions are still left for debate.

One question that I do wish the producers had given a more satisfactory answer to, though, is the connection between Eloise Hawking and MIB's loophole. When Locke leaves the island, he is told by Christian Shephard (i.e. MIB), to find Eloise Hawking in Los Angeles. Eloise is then later paramount in ensuring that the loophole works in that she is insisting that the coffin with Locke's body must be on board the Ajira-flight, thus providing MIB with his "vessel" for completing the loophole. These two facts made me think that perhaps Eloise somehow was cooperating with MIB, but this is never really confirmed, and since we know that MIB can not leave the island, this means that MIB must have "recruited" Eloise before she left the island. But if this is the case, how could MIB know about his loophole-plan years before it manifested? Does MIB perhaps have contact with somebody else off the island who could relay information to Eloise? Or is it perhaps possible that Eloise really had no contact with MIB, and simply insisted Locke's body had to be on the Ajira-flight in order to have a "substitue" for Christian Shephard's body which was on Oceanic 815? Or was she somehow manipulated by MIB without her knowledge through some way never seen on the show?

I really do not find a satisfactory answer to this, so I would love to hear some theories from other people here!

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I don't think it was ever made clear what the loophole actually was. MIB once manipulated Richard into stabbing Jacob for him, but Jacob easily evaded that murder attempt. And I was under the impression that Jacob allowed Ben to stab him. So if the loophole is 'get someone else to kill Jacob' then it only seems to work if Jacob plays along, which makes me wonder if the loophole is actually something else. –  Oliver_C Aug 13 '13 at 16:51
    
Plus, didn't MIB impersonate Walt once? This would imply that he can also impersonate people who are neither dead, nor on the island. –  Oliver_C Aug 13 '13 at 16:54
    
@Oliver_C: Interesting input. I thought the reason why Jacob perhaps let Ben stab him could be because of his belief in "free will" - thus he would not stop Ben from stabbing him, if that is what Ben really wanted to do. Also, it could be because Jacob knew he still could defeat MiB even after his death through his candidates. Speculation I know, but still. As for Walt, I think it was actually explained that MiB could not take the form of Walt since Walt was not dead. So when Walt appeared it was actually Walt using his special "gifts". –  Kristian Aug 13 '13 at 16:56
    
Richard also had "free will", yet Jacob stopped him. The whole loophole thing wasn't well explained in my opinion. And why was Jacob even vulnerable to a simple stabbing? He is a supernatural being. MIB couldn't be killed with conventional weapons. –  Oliver_C Aug 13 '13 at 23:23
    
Yeah, as I said, it was just speculation on my part. I agree that this part wasn't explained well, and it is probably my biggest hang-up with Lost. I don't really mind that some of the minor mysteries were left unexplained, but this was such a pivotal part of the plot, that it should have been fleshed out more IMO. –  Kristian Aug 14 '13 at 8:29
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Eloise Hawking was one of the Others. As such, she had been communicating with the MIB (at least during Ben Linus' reign as leader of the Others). The 'loophole' was part of MIB's years in the making plan to escape the island, and as such MIB would have provided Eloise/The Others with pieces of the plan that they needed to contribute to. The Others have reliable ways of communicating and traveling to/from the Island. That's the (admittedly off-camera, and not fully explained in the show) way that she would know of the need to have Locke on the plane.

However, she was also responsible for getting Desmond onto the Island originally. In the final season it was revealed that Desmond was part of a plot that Widmore and Hawking enacted to kill the MIB. Desmond's ability to survive exposure to large amounts of electromagnetism was used to get him to the heart of the Island, where he temporarily disabled the MIB's immortality.

So presumably Eloise took orders from the MIB. But also, at some point (likely after realizing she'd shot her own time-traveling son), she started enacting a plan to kill the MIB. Widmore worked with her on this, although he likely started contributing later, as he was working to dethrone Linus until pretty late in the show.

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Didn't the 'Others', and thereby Eloise, serve Jacob? Although I think MIB occasionally tricked the 'Others' by pretending to be Jacob. –  Oliver_C Aug 13 '13 at 17:01
    
Thanks for your input. Yes, this is a good analysis indicating that MiB did something during the years Eloise was on the island that would allow him to manipulate her later on. Yet, I still would have liked the producers to explain whether Eloise was consciously working with MiB when she put the coffin on the Ajira-flight, or if she just was just another pawn in MiB's game and did this without knowing the consequences. –  Kristian Aug 13 '13 at 17:01
    
@Oliver_C That's why I had the parenthetical about Linus at the start. We know that Linus had been manipulated by the MIB, but we don't know about Widmore's or Hawking's reigns as the leader of the Others and if they were also being controlled by the MIB instead of Jacob. –  user209 Aug 13 '13 at 17:09
    
@Keen: I have one follow-up question to your comment. If we assume, as you write, that Eloise started plotting to kill MiB with Widmore after she realized she'd shot her son, why would she then send Locke on the Ajira-flight if this was an order by MiB? –  Kristian Aug 13 '13 at 20:24
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@Kristian Because the scheme involving Desmond was in motion. Ensuring that the MIB believed his scheme was still going according to plan was important so then Hawking and Widmore could then attack MIB and take him by surprise. –  user209 Aug 13 '13 at 20:32
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