Season: 1-6 , Episodes: 41, Faction: MIB
The Man in Black was an inhabitant of the Island who was antagonistic toward his twin brother, Jacob. He was once a normal man with dark hair and steely eyes, but an encounter with the Heart of the Island changed him into the Smoke Monster, a living cloud of black smoke. As the smoke, he had the ability to manifest himself as deceased individuals, most frequently as his former self. Eventually, and permanently after the death of Jacob, he took the form of John Locke.
Born on the Island in the Classical Roman era, the Man in Black lived with the other survivors from his mother’s shipwreck, after he was convinced that the island wasn’t his home. He tried to harness the power of the Source to leave, but his adoptive mother thwarted his plans and killed all the survivors he lived with, leaving him as the sole survivor of his village and the shipwreck, aside from Jacob. He, in turn, killed her in a rage. Jacob took revenge by casting him into the heart of the island, which transformed him into the Smoke Monster. The brothers spent the following centuries in conflict, drawing people to the island to test their nature. Though their mother had prevented them from hurting one another, the Man in Black eventually killed Jacob indirectly by assuming the form of John Locke and convincing Benjamin Linus to stab him. He had since tried to kill Jacob’s replacements and had also planned to use Desmond Hume for the one thing he could never do himself: destroy the Island. After Desmond deactivated the Source, he became mortal once more. With one last chance to leave the Island, he fought Jack Shephard and almost killed him before Kate Austen shot him from behind. Despite this, he thought they were too late to save the Island, but just when he realized that his plan would fail, Jack kicked him off the cliff to his death.
5×05 – This Place Is Death
The Man in Black approached Locke as Christian while Locke was trapped beneath the Orchid station in a frozen underground cave. He claimed that when he told Locke they must move the Island, he referred to Locke specifically. He told Locke to turn the frozen wheel, and confirmed Richard’s statement that Locke would die trying to unite the Oceanic Six, calling it a “sacrifice.” Moments before Locke turned the wheel, “Christian” asked Locke to say hello to his son. (“This Place Is Death”)
After the arrival of Ajira Flight 316 (2007)
5×09 – Namaste
During the day light hours on a day in late December 2007 Sun Kwon, Ben Linus and the body of the late John Locke returned to the Island on Ajira Flight 316, landing on Hydra Island in a controlled crash. Shortly afterwards Ben slipped away from the other survivors to head for the main Island. Sun and Lapidus spotted him and followed. After Sun knocked Ben out, she and Lapidus traveled to the main Island, arriving at night. As they left the docks, they witnessed some trees at the end of the dock moving, and heard the familiar sounds of the Smoke Monster. Frank asked Sun if she had seen that, to which she replied it was probably “Just an animal.” Once they arrived at the DHARMA Barracks, they met the the Man In Black in Christian’s form in the Processing Center. Sun asked him about the whereabouts of her husband Jin. He showed them an old photograph of then new DHARMA Initiative personel of 1977. It showed Kate, Jack and Hugo, all three in addition to Sayid had disappeared in mid flight. He intimated that Jin was with them. “Christian” told them they had a long journey ahead. As he said this, the door opened slightly, and a small amount of Smoke drifted into the room. (“Namaste”)
5×12 – Dead Is Dead
Off screen “Christian” would then tell a confused Sun and Lapidus to wait for “John Locke” at the Barracks which confused Sun even more since she knew that Locke was dead. (“Dead Is Dead”)
That same night back at the Ajira survivors’ Hydra Island camp, the Man in Black had assumed Locke’s form and was found by Roxanne scouting the southern part of the Island and was brought to the camp. He talked to Ilana the next day, revealing the real Locke’s memories, including remembering that he died and was wearing the suit that he was going to be buried in, which disconcerted Ilana.
That night he found Ben in their makeshift hospital (that happened to be Ben’s office) and informed Caesar Ben had killed him. (“The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham”)
5×12 – Dead Is Dead
After a confrontation that lead to Ben killing Caesar, Ben and the Man in Black traveled to the main Island in one of the outriggers where they met Sun and Frank at the Barracks after they had patiently waited for Locke as instructed by Christian two nights before. (“Dead Is Dead”)
The Man in Black convinced Ben to summon the Monster then briefly disappeared, saying on his return that he knew where the Monster resided. He led Ben and Sun to the Temple (Lapidus returned to Hydra Island reluctant to follow a “liar and a dead man”), where Ben accidentally fell through a weak section of floor. The Man in Black left and transformed into the Monster, surrounded Ben and flashed him with memories of Alex. He then retreated and returned as Alex, telling Ben to obey Locke or it would “destroy” him. The Man in Black vanished and returned to Locke’s form. (“Dead Is Dead”)
He left the Temple and led Ben and Sun to the Others’ camp where they met with Richard Alpert. Richard assumed he was Locke but noted a change, and the Man in Black attributed this to his new-found purpose. He led Ben and Richard to the Beechcraft, giving Richard instructions to relay to wounded, time-traveling Locke: That he must get everyone back to the Island and that he had to die as a sacrifice. (“Dead Is Dead”) (as originally seen in (“Because You Left”))
5×15 – Follow the Leader
After this, he demanded they see Jacob, surprising Richard and Ben by inviting all the Others to accompany him. He announced that something had to be done about the Ajira survivors then secretly told Ben he intended to kill Jacob. (“Follow the Leader”)
5×16 – The Incident, Part 1
Richard asked how Locke had resurrected, and the Man in Black attributed this to Jacob. Ben described his encounter with Alex, pleasing the Man in Black. He then told Ben he wanted him to kill Jacob, reminding him of all he’d suffered at Jacob’s hands. (“The Incident, Part 1”)
5×17 – The Incident, Part 2
The party reached the statue, and the Man in Black and Ben entered. Jacob immediately recognized his old enemy, calmly realizing the Man in Black had found his “loophole.” Ben stabbed Jacob to death, and as he fell to the floor spitting blood, Jacob told the Man in Black, “they’re coming.” Looking startled, the Man in Black kicked Jacob into the fire pit at the center of the room. (“The Incident, Part 2”)