Here's an idea with real resonance for considering the show's endgame, from commenter boycurry here.
Nobody has talked about the role Backgammon plays in the promo for next week. This is the key. The island is a metaphysical game of Backgammon and the numbers of the candidates refer either to positions on the board, or roles of the dice/moves to get Jack into position 23, the last position on the board that white can block the color players pieces from leaving the board/island. There are more clues about the island, candidates and their numbers and the dual realities within the rules of the game if anyone wants to look them up.
That.is.awesome. Jacob is the sort of defensive backgammon player who never moves his gamepieces from his opponents home quadrant. In backgammon though, one gamepiece in position 23 is not enough to keep your opponent from leaving the board, for if he lands on you, you're vulnerable and will have to move from the gameboard to the bar. The Candidate plus the wildcard (that is, Jack + Desmond) are necessary to stop the MiB's escape. The gamepieces that have been lost through attrition during the course of play must be moved to the bar, a sort of purgatory for those who, as Michael says, 'can't move on'.
PREDICTION: A player must roll doubles to free his gamepieces from the bar and return them to the gameboard. Jack, as the candidate, will find that he must free those dead souls trapped on the Island as part of his effort to counter Flocke.
The doubling cube in backgammon allows one player to raise the stakes by powers of two: 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64. Should the other player refuse to play with raised stakes, they lose the game. Jacob and MiB's conflict seems to have been escalating for a long time now--and neither has refused the raised stakes.
Anyone else comment on backgammon and the show? boycurry mentions a link between the sideways and the game...but I'm not bright enough to see it.