Thoughts before the Lost Finale

>”Across the Sea” confirmed what was mostly known: that Jacob is protecting the Island. More specifically and what I did not know was that he was protecting the white light at the heart of the Island, so that no one could come and extinguish it. “If it goes out here, it goes out everywhere,” his adopted mother told him, who had his job before him.
But if he was protecting the white light at the Island, why did he allow the Dharma Initiative to get so far in their exploration? They had two stations on the Island linking to the white light, what they called the massive amounts of electromagnetism:: The Swan and the Orchid. Much of construction on the Orchid was completed prior to 1977, the year of the Incident, and the Swan was somewhat completed at the time of the Incident. The both seem to have been completed after the Incident, the Orchid able to reach the frozen wheel.
Why didn’t Jacob stop the Dharma Initiative until the early 1990s? Thats a few years after both those stations were finished.
Maybe Jacob had planned from the start that the Oceanic Flight 815 people like Jack and Locke would find the stations and travel back in time to the times of the Dharma Initiative. In the season 5 finale, when Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Juliet, Hurley and Jin detonate the hydrogen bomb into the Swan site, maybe that caused a different degree of the Incident, something else that left out future Dharma exploration. But still it is unclear how they traveled back to the present timeline. Juliet said that “It worked,” though, how would she have known? Maybe Jacob through Richard had told the Others that this would happen and that all the efforts by the Others were made to ensure that the Losties would travel back in time and change the past.

*Although why did Ben first turn the frozen wheel in the season 4 finale? If he was one of Jacob’s people, why would Jacob let him do the thing he was trying to prevent? Perhaps a mean to an end?

*Thoughts on who will replace Jacob: I think it will be Jack. I was thinking this for most of the season especially after “Lighthouse” because Jack is the leader. His character has developed throughout the show from a man of science scared of his father to a man of faith who has a son and tries to treat him well. He jumped off the boat because he thought that they should not leave the Island. I think that John Locke’s death was not in vain: It gave Jack the faith he needed to come back to the Island and embrace what needed to be done.

*Also I am predicting that Ben will die this season. I thought this for a long time, because a villain either gets whats coming or turns good; or both. I think that he will redeem himself at the end by perhaps taking out Fake Locke. I think he will die protecting the Island, something he should have focused on his entire life but instead focused on his own power. Which is why I liked “Dr. Linus” because he finally decides to help someone other than himself, both in the present and alternate timelines.

*Also “The Candidate” explained why the Man in Black was able to greet Michael goodbye in the season 4 finale. I had wondered how if he was not able to go on water how he came to the freighter and appeared there. But after Jack pushed the Man in Black in the water as they were about to enter the sub, it became clear that he was conning them that entire time. By leading them to think that he couldnt survive in water like the Wicked Witch in the Wizard of Oz, he let them do just that: just with no results. So he had a backup for when they went against him, which apparently he knew they would do. Very cunning.

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