My answer to Barry is to long for his comments, so I’m answering him here. If you haven’t seen this week’s show, stop reading now.
The leader/magnificent man is definitely “Jacob”. You think he is one of the following:
a) Sun’s father, Mr. Paik, the Korean businessman/crimelord – I say no to this option. Jacob is there on the island in some form and he would not have left Sun out of the “chosen ones.”
b) Locke’s father, Anthony Cooper, the recent kidney recipient who faked his own death – I like this idea because we are not done with his character, but I vote no because I don’t think Jacob is as clearly evil as Mr. Cooper.
c) Kate’s stepfather, Sergeant Major Sam Austen of the US Army – I vote no. Too insignificant a character.
d) Jack’s father, Christian Shephard, supposedly dead and in a coffin on the plane but the body was not there. – No, because he is dead, he wouldn’t leave his children out of the chosen ones and he spent too much time off of the island.
e) Desmond’s former girlfriend Penelope’s father, Charles Widmore, businessman. – No, because he isn’t on the island.
I prefer to think that it is someone we don’t know. I think the information on all the survivors came from computers connected to the outside world or someone with paranormal talents. I also think that the others are not clearly evil. I think it is a gray line that divides which group on the island is the good group and which is the bad group. All of the survivors have done some shady things in the past and since their arrival on the island. Have you ever seen the movie “Lost Horizon”? What if “Jacob” is unbelievably old and wise, but protecting their cult-like lifestyle? The others have been there a long, long time (four-toed statue) and the Dharma group only arrived in the 70s.
The French lady does things that make her look like a liar. How can she have never seen the farm or the village? Why did she use almost the exact same phrase that eyepatch man used when talking about the others? Why did she give Ben to the survivors? Why does she have such a flat affect? Why would we believe she killed everyone in her group and her infant would have been safe with her?
The fence does seem designed to keep out non-thinking beings.
Jack was rejected when he saw Kate in the cage with Sawyer. He decided that the crash survivors didn’t need him as much as the others (and Ben) need him. He is not brainwashed. He is looking for the place where he belongs. He sees a possible new love interest in Juliette. Maybe he feels that by being a part of the others he can keep them disinterested in the survivors. Maybe he just wants to learn more about them, like a “long con”. Yes, they are building up to a big battle (of wits?). In the end, some will leave the island and be different people than they were pre-crash. Others will stay on the island (dead and alive). Locke will never leave the island. Neither will Jack.