I'm working on a longer post about the Loophole. But I wanted to write separately to address a related thought I had some time back regarding Daniel's mommy dearest, Eloise Hawking.
Since the Variable, we've debated what kind of mother sends her only child to the Island knowing she will kill him. In Three Black Swans, I suggested that Jacob convinced her this sacrifice was necessary to complete the causal loop that saves the world. But it continues to bug me that Eloise never actually mentions Jacob's name. Like Charles, she speaks solely in terms of the "Island." I now believe she may be driven by guilt to complete the loop irrespective of any alliance with Jacob.
Eloise's guilt is a result of her participation in the Incident. She helps the '77ers carry out Daniel's plan hoping it will erase the time loop leading to his murder. When that fails, Eloise will peruse her son's journal and reach two tragic realizations: (1) their attempt to change the future actually helped effectuate his death, and (2) they're responsible for creating the extinction-level threat represented by the Swan Station. From this, Eloise will conclude that the future can be changed, but only for the worse.
You can see this lesson at work in her efforts to neutralize the Swan threat. Thanks to Daniel's journal, she knows all about how Desmond will go to the Island, press the button, and turn the key. Eloise watches over Desmond every step of the way for fear that any deviation from this sequence of events will change destiny's picture to yield some even more horrific outcome -- e.g., destruction of the world. Her fears are very nearly realized that day in the pawn shop when Desmond buys the ring.
Here's what she says, followed by my translation in italics:
MS. HAWKING: Well, I know your name as well as I know that you that don't ask Penny to marry you. In fact, you break her heart. Well, breaking her heart is, of course, what drives you in a few short years from now to enter that sailing race -- to prove her father wrong -- which brings you to the island where you spend the next 3 years of your life entering numbers into the computer until you are forced to turn that fail-safe key. And if you don't do those things, Desmond David Hume, every single one of us is dead. So give me that sodding ring!
TRANSLATION: Listen, little man, I know exactly who you are and what you're supposed to do. And you'd better do all of it -- every last bit -- or we're all extinct!
MS. HAWKING: Because it wouldn't matter. Had I warned him about the scaffolding tomorrow he'd be hit by a taxi. If I warned him about the taxi, he'd fall in the shower and break his neck. The universe, unfortunately, has a way of course correcting. That man was supposed to die. That was his path just as it's your path to go to the island. You don't do it because you choose to, Desmond. You do it because you're supposed to.
TRANSLATION: Don't make the same mistake I did. I tried to save my son's life by changing the future. Not only did I fail, it made things so much worse. You may think you're changing the future by proposing. But that's just going to make everyone miserable, including your beloved Penneh.
MS. HAWKING: You may not like your path, Desmond, but pushing that button is the only truly great thing that you will ever do.
TRANSLATION: I know this sucks, but we all makes sacrifices for the greater good. I'm deliberately sending my son to the Island to die. By my own hand. His dying thought will be that his mother betrayed him. So believe me when I say, I feel your pain.
The possibility that Eloise is motivated by guilt raises one last whackadoo speculation for you all everybody to ponder. In recent posts, we've discussed how the Man in Black's manipulation of memories and emotions is the mental counterpart to Jacob's physical touch. If so, perhaps the Man in Black exploits Eloise's emotions to help create the Loophole. Maybe that's why Zombie Christian directs Locke to find Hawking in Los Angeles -- her guilt makes her amenable for coercion.
As always, you're welcome to post anonymously, but please identify yourself somehow, so I can distinguish between anonymous posters. Thanks!