Following the turning of the frozen wheel by Ben, all of the Island’s inhabitants except for Claire and the Others began skipping in time. Why the Others alone stayed with the Island in the present is unknown; possibly they have some sort of deeper connection to it. For three years, the Others lived on the Island alone. They were living in a camp made up of yurts on the beach when Benjamin Linus and the form of John Locke suddenly returned, the latter reassuming his leadership after a long absence. Richard readily yielded authority to John, and, while he expressed reservations with the newly returned leader’s new motivations and goals, he accepted his commands. The Others also seemed to tolerate the presence of Sun, who had returned to the Island with Ben and Locke, and was in their company when the two arrived at the camp.
The next day Locke, with the help of Richard, led the Others to the four-toed statue, where he had promised them that they could finally meet their mysterious leader, Jacob. The Others responded enthusiastically to this new approach. While en route, Locke quietly convinced Ben to kill Jacob, a deed Ben had not actually decided to go through with until he arrived. The Others waited as the two men entered the statue. While they were waiting, Ilana and her group arrived bearing a heavy crate, asking for “Richardus”, and presenting the question, “What lies in the shadow of the statue?”
When Richard answered correctly, they emptied the crate, revealing the corpse of the real John Locke. The man whom the Others had been following appears to have been The Man in Black, for when he entered the statue, after exchanging pleasantries with the mysterious Jacob himself, killed the Others’ leader through the manipulation of Benjamin’s resentment and bitterness. After being stabbed by Ben, Jacob whispered, “they’re coming,” to which Jacob’s nemesis responded by kicking him into the fire.
From the answer to Ilana’s riddle, it would appear that the Others’ reverence for Jacob borders on the religious, as he as thus known as “he who will protect/save us all”. The riddle’s existence also implies that the Others may not be the only group with knowledge of and allegiance to Jacob.