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.
6×01 – LA X, Part 1
The Man in Black sent Ben to fetch Richard, but Bram’s crew entered instead. The Man in Black revealed Jacob was dead and gave the bodyguards permission to leave, but they instead opened fire, striking him several times to no effect.
The Man in Black then disappeared behind a pillar, returning as the Smoke Monster and killing them all, though Bram temporarily repelled him with an ash circle. He returned to Locke’s form and admitted to Ben that he was the Monster but said he resented the term. He then revealed his goal, the opposite of the man whose form he’d taken – to “go home.” (“LA X, Part 1”)
6×02 – LA X, Part 2
He then exited the statue, knocked Richard unconscious, announced disappointment in the crowd and carried Richard into the jungle. (“LA X, Part 2”)
6×04 – The Substitute
After Richard declined to join him, the Man in Black recruited a drunk Sawyer from the Barracks. On the way to the cliffside cave, they encountered Jacob’s ghost, who warned privately that killing “him” would break the “rules.” After a dangerous climb to the cave, the Man in Black threw a balanced scale’s white stone into the ocean, tipping it in the black stone’s favor. He then escorted Sawyer to Jacob’s list of candidates, explained its meaning and gave him three choices: do nothing and risk dying, become the island’s new protector or leave. Sawyer picked the third choice, and the Man in Black smiled. (“The Substitute”)
6×05 – Lighthouse
At some point after residing with Christian Shephard in the cabin, Claire came to know the Man in Black enough to consider him her “friend”. She credits him with helping her survive in the jungle from attacks by the Others for the next three years. He falsely told her the Others had Aaron, allegedly to motivate her with hate. He met a shocked Jin at Claire’s camp and sent Claire to the Temple to fetch Dogen. (“Lighthouse”)
6×06 – Sundown
Dogen instead sent Sayid to kill him, warning to stab him before he spoke. The Man in Black snuck up on Sayid, and he stabbed in vain. The Man then cryptically offered him anything he wanted in exchange for his help. Sayid delivered the Temple a message from the Man in Black – join him by sundown or die – and then killed Dogen and Lennon, likely at his new boss’s instruction.
The Man in Black appeared just after sundown despite the Temple’s ash circle and as the Smoke Monster killed everyone who remained. As Locke, he then walked off into the jungle with his new followers. (“Sundown”)
The next day, he came to Ben and undid his shackles with a single gesture. He offered him control of the Island and directed him to a rifle. (“Dr. Linus”)
6×08 – Recon
He then led to his followers to Claire’s shelter, where he blamed the Black Smoke for killing the Temple Dwellers. Privately, he told Sawyer he killed them to save himself and sent him on a reconnaissance mission to Hydra Island. Returning to the camp, he broke up a fight between Claire and Kate. He took Kate aside and explained why he’d told Claire the Others had Aaron. (“Recon”)
6×10 – The Package
He advised Jin about his wounds and told him about the candidates, then he left for the beach camp, leaving his own in Sayid’s care. He then reached the beach camp and offered to lead Sun to Jin. He then chased her till she run into a tree and was knocked unconscious. He returned to his camp and found Widmore had attacked it and kidnapped Jin. He rowed with Sayid to Hydra Island and exchanged words with Charles Widmore. (“The Package”)
6×12 – Everybody Loves Hugo
He returned to camp, and the next day led Desmond, whom Sayid had taken from Widmore’s camp, to one of the wells he’d dug years ago. They passed Jacob’s ghost, now a laughing older boy. The Man in Black talked of the Island’s mysterious properties then, angry at Desmond’s confidence, pushed him into the well. (“Everybody Loves Hugo”)
6×13 – The Last Recruit
Hurley’s group joined his camp, and the Man in Black privately told Jack he’d assumed Christian’s form to lead them to water. Zoe arrived demanding Desmond’s return, fired a missile nearby and gave him a radio to contact her. The Man threw it on the ground and crushed it with his stick. He sent Sayid to kill Desmond, and the two shared a tense moment when he doubted whether he’d obeyed.
He talked to Sun and denied guilt for her aphasia. And he sent Sawyer to retrieve a sailboat to ferry his followers to Hydra Island, but when he reached the beach, he found Jack crawling out of the ocean, Sawyer having taken the boat. Widmore then fired at the area, and the Man in Black carried Jack inland as another missile hit. (“The Last Recruit”)
6×14 – The Candidate
They rowed to Hydra Island where he freed the candidates from cages by attacking Widmore’s followers as the smoke monster. As Locke, he then disarmed an explosive from the Ajira plane after killing Widmore’s guards easily, but he secretly slipped it into Jack’s pack, hoping the candidates would activate it and kill each other.
He then led the group to Widmore’s submarine, where Jack pushed him into the water. He climbed back out and shot several of Widmore’s men, who were attacking the group.
The sub left, according to his plan, but three candidates and Kate escaped before it sank. The Man in Black walked off, rifle in hand to “finish what he’d started.” (“The Candidate”)
6×16 – What They Died For
The next day, the Man rowed back to the main island and attacked the Barracks as the monster, tossing Richard against a tree. As Locke, he talked to Ben who led him to Widmore and Zoe.
Widmore told Zoe not to speak, so he killed her immediately. He then threatened Penny till Widmore agreed to reveal why he’d brought Desmond to the island. Ben shot Widmore, but not before the Man in Black heard all he needed that Desmond was a fail-safe in case the candidates died, one that could let the Man destroy the island. (“What They Died For”)
6×17 – The End
The two trekked to the well and found someone had freed Desmond. They spotted Sawyer watching them, and Ben him at gunpoint, but he took Ben’s gun and ran. The Man in Black followed dogprints to Rose and Bernard’s camp and threatened to kill them till Desmond came with him. His group soon crossed paths with Jack’s, and Kate vainly shot at him; he scornfully told her to “save her bullets.” He joked that Jack, the new protector, had been the obvious choice, and Jack said they’d go to the Heart of the Island together, where he’d somehow kill the Man in Black.
The Man in Black lowered Desmond into the Heart with Jack, joking about Jack and Locke’s old times together. Desmond uncorked the Heart, and the Island began to shake. Satisfied, the Man in Black left the cave, but Jack attacked him, drawing blood, making the Man in Black realize that he’d just made himself mortal. In a last attempt to leave for good, he knocked Jack out and ran for the cliffs where the Elizabeth was waiting.
Jack regained consciousness and now had a chance to kill him, so he caught up to the Man in Black and the two fought.
The Man in Black stabbed Jack in the abdomen and tried to stab him in the neck, thinking Jack would “die for nothing,”but Kate shot him in the back, “saving him a bullet.” The Island continued to rumble, and the Man in Black told Jack he was too late, but Jack let him know he could never be free, then kicked him off the cliff, and the Man in Black, the Smoke Monster, the very essence of evil and darkness, was dead. (“The End”)