Next: “Across the Sea” (Episode 6-15)

The “LOST” creative team took a huge risk this week, taking a sharp detour this late in the season and unabashedly plunging into fantastical mythology. And, given the payoff from “Ab Aeterno” earlier this season, we give them a great deal of credit for doing so. But “Across the Sea” seemed to fall far short of that ambition. It was a grand tale, but strayed into melodrama, and told us little that we hadn’t already been told. The good-evil polarization that had thus far developed with Jacob and the Man in Black became ambiguous again. And the one answer to a long-standing question was both overplayed, and underwhelming.

Last week’s episode put into stark relief the fact that our collective hearts are still closely tied to the timeline we’ve followed since season one, no matter how clever or resonant the flash-sideways exercise has turned out to be. Similarly, “Across the Sea” tried to give us insight into the two sides of an epic battle in which our survivors are apparently just pawns… and mostly convinced us that we’d prefer to follow the story of those pawns, rather than pick apart the game.

Yes, there’s something mystical on the island that connects to the very essence of man, or perhaps life. Yes, harnessing or exploiting that power inevitably drives man to destroy itself with greed. And yes, the island and this power has had a series of protectors, and a dark side that cannot be allowed to leave. Seeing all these things explored (and explained) on screen was interesting. But feels unnecessary. Only time will tell whether “Across the Sea” will be a key part of understanding the whole of “LOST,” or a curious distraction.

The character of Mother says that answers only bring more questions… a fact she embodies herself. She, too, was looking for a worthy successor, somewhere among the people who come to the island. What better candidates are there than innocent newborns? She raises two, chooses one, and welcomes her own death once the mantle has been passed. So we’ve now been shown the end of the preceding cycle, and know that “LOST” is leading up to the next transition. So where did Mother come from? And where did this eternal cycle begin? I guess, like a circle, there simply may be no such thing.

And the all important rules? The emphasis on the games that Jacob and the Man in Black made up tonight suggests that “the rules” are not rules imposed upon them by some higher power or construct, but some arbitrary set of restrictions they’ve set for each other.

After tonight, I’m no longer confident we’ll get a coherent explanation for the ultimate nature and overall purpose of The Island. Though “Across the See” makes me think I might prefer things left unexplained.

We did learn that Jacob and Man in Black were brothers, as many had suspected. And the rivalry and ultimate act of fratricide echoes the biblical tale of Cain and Abel. Jacob, the older brother, kills the Man in Black, who was the favored son. (Mother tells the Man in Black that he will never have to worry about death as a child, and she does not deny to Jacob that she loves the Man In Black more.) And we did enjoy the limited scenes the adult brothers had, which made up for the unfortunate reliance on child actors to carry the first half of the episode.

But after the events of “Across the Sea,” its hard not to again feel sympathy for the Man In Black, and question the assertions of Jacob. The Man in Black only wanted to leave the island, to leave the woman who killed his mother behind, and return to his true home, among people. Meanwhile, Jacob was a hapless mama’s boy whose worldview, however validated by Man in Black, was inherited from a woman who basically settled for him and who denied him any choice in succeeding her.

It was nice to learn that the Man in Black was the architect behind the Frozen Donkey Wheel, but now we’re wondering who eventually finished building it? When the wheel was imaged by the DHARMA Initiative in “Because You Left,” was it already assembled? At first I thought DHARMA must have connected the dots that the Man in Black left behind. But then I remembered that the wheel was working when Locke turned it, which was much, much, earlier. (Before, even, the well had been dug?) And why was the underground chamber freezing cold when Ben visited in 2004?

And we did like how “Across the Sea” suggests that “The Purge” of Season 3 was also part of the unending cycle of life on The Island. Perhaps the DHARMA Initiative, like the Man in Black’s people, were getting too close to “the light,” and had to be violently exterminated.

But did Mother destroy the village and slaughter its residents? As well as fill in a deep well and underground excavation? All before the Man in Black woke up? The moment when she slams his head into the wall of the well was violent enough that I could believe she has some kind of superhuman strength. But the scale of the destruction is so great, I couldn’t help think the smoke monster was involved.

But the smoke monster was created when Jacob cast the Man in Black into the light. Right? It somehow released his inner, darker, flawed essence, but left his body behind. A body that provided the form in which the Man in Black appeared (such as in the conversation with Jacob on the beach), until John Locke’s body arrived. And a body that Jacob could recover and leave in the cave with Mother.

And voila, there we have Adam and Eve.

As “LOST” reveals go, we have to be honest: learning the identity of the skeletons in the cave from Season 1 felt pretty hollow. To be fair, though, this is largely due to factors outside the show. It was one of the mysteries explicitly described as key, a reveal that would prove that the creators and writers of “LOST” had the endgame in mind when they introduced them in 2004. That they were a character introduced in Season 5 and his mother? It doesn’t give me the reassurance I was expecting. Locke described them as Adam and Eve. Jack said they were a female and male, and that they’d been there 40 or 50 years. We had time travel. We lost several couples. It would have been just as satisfying had they turned out to be Rose & Bernard, after all.

The anvilicious insertion of clips from “House of the Rising Sun” made the moment even more frustrating. Seriously, if you were a latecomer to “LOST” who didn’t know why it was significant that black and white stones were placed with two bodies laid to rest in a cave… would you have missed much without the flashback?

Last week’s episode felt like an episode of the last season of “LOST.” This week’s episode felt like a distraction. A sometimes beautiful, certainly daring tangent, but one that — at least at first blush — we feel like we could have lived without. We have only one more episode to get us back on track, and a series finale to wrap things up. We’re nervous, but still hopeful. We still love “LOST,” golden glowing caves and all.

  • The Man in Black’s lack of a name was already absurd coming into “Across the Sea.” When Claudia says she only picked one name, the whole conceit collapsed into ridiculous. Now we’re hoping he doesn’t have a name at all. It’s hard to imagine any name being satisfactory.
  • Seeing Mother smash Claudia’s skull moments after she gave birth was a shock. And, of course, both Jacob and the Man in Black end up getting raised by someone who wasn’t their mother, and both were clearly shaped in their own way by hardcore “mommy issues.”
  • Interesting choice to transition from Latin to English fairly quickly during the episode. It wasn’t a “Hunt for Red October” transition, but still noticeable. Especially when Mother switches back to Latin when she pours the wine for Jacob. Was that to show she was speaking a different language that Jacob didn’t understand?
  • Mother was tired and said her time was over, and handed things over to Jacob before he was ready. We can only assume she’d been the island’s protector for decades, if not centuries. But what brings about this inevitable decision to find a successor and check out? When Jacob let Ben stab him, was he also grateful for being released of this burden?
  • Mother distrusts people, and denies that there’s anything beyond the island. Why? It seems almost as if her kidnapping of the twin babies was part of a weird experiment to see if people could be raised absent evil? After all, they had to ask, “What is dead?” But even without the influence of people, whom the Man in Black lived among, Jacob exhibited jealousy and rage.
  • Mother tells the boys that she’s made it so they “can never hurt each other.” Except Jacob easily pummeled the Man in Black as a kid, and ultimately brought about the Man in Black’s death.
  • I’m not entirely sure why the golden glowing cave was so hard to find, yet so easy to find. I think we’re supposed to think that its waters are the waters of The Temple, which was probably built to keep people away. Meanwhile, the specific well (of many wells) that Man in Black worked with will end up beneath the Orchid. We did get a little “LOST” geography lesson tonight, whether or not it makes sense.
  • If Jack is indeed Jacob’s successor, who will administer his little cup of wine?
  • Why was Jacob unable to see the vision of his dead mother, while the Man in Black could talk with and follow her? She says the reason is because she’s dead, but that’s not exactly an answer. Now that the Man in Black is a disembodied smoke monster, he certainly has communion with the dead. But did this ability predate his transformation?
  • We were thrilled when we first heard the news that Allison Janey was cast for this episode. And given some of the lines her character had to deliver, its clear the role couldn’t go to a lightweight. (Frankly, the dialogue was often too heavy for even her.) Still, as an actress, she’s almost larger than life, and we have to admit it was a little distracting. It was the closest thing to “stunt casting” we’ve had on “LOST,” and we’re glad they didn’t make a habit of it.

We’d love to hear what you thought of the episode. Please comment below! Or, email us at lost@hawaiiup.com, or leave a brief (about a minute) voicemail on the LOSTline at (815) 310-0808.

651 Responses to “Next: “Across the Sea” (Episode 6-15)”

  1. corivee says:

    It’s just a turtle

    I just read some more of the posts and I saw a few have mentioned the turtle on the beach. In Chinese mythology the sea turtle is a symbol of wisdom. Hawaiian myth tells of great sea turtles leading the first people to the islands.

    I believe this was a leatherback sea turtle, one of the largest of the sea turtles which can grow up to 400 pounds. Sea turtles are ancient. They have been around since the dinosaurs walked the earth which means they have been swimming around for 200 million years. Sea turtles are known for their longevity (30-80 years) and endurance. Leatherbacks also have the longest recorded migration. Over 4,000 miles. The turtles always return to the place from where they hatched, no matter the distance. There is some kind of magnetic pull that leads them home to lay their own eggs. This is clearly and obviously a huge and intentional symbolic placement by the creators. But what could it mean? I need answers! Could the significance of the sea turtle speak to the mysterious magnetic properties of the island, and if the island is moving how is it that the turtle found home? I am going to re-watch the first few seasons to see if we have seen this turtle before. I think this turtle may be the answer to it all.

  2. Anthony from Tampa says:

    Here are some of my thoughts based on reading some of the comments.

    I believe Mother, who said she arrived on the Island “the same way that you did, an accident” to real mom, really did arrive the same way. She became the protector of the source and eventually went into the source and it converted her into a smoke monster just like what happened to MIB. That is how she knew going into the source is a fate worse than death. As a smoke monster, she inhabited her own body or someone else’s body and continued to live on the island, like Unlocke is currently doing.

    When real mom arrived, she helped her deliver her babies, but when she saw the second baby, MIB, she realized something and decided to kill real Mom and take both babies as candidates to replace her.

    When real mom appeared to MIB, it was not real mom. She was dead. Instead, it was fake mom appearing to be real mom using her smoke monster powers. She knew what was going to happen, much the same way that unlocke knows what will happen and Jacob knew that Ben was going to kill him.

    She wanted MIB to kill her to end her “worse than death” existence. When she was killed, MIB stabbed her with the dagger before she said anything to him.

    The current smoke monster is the MIB smoke monster simply inhabiting Locke’s body. But Unlocke has MIB’s mind and desire to leave the Island. MIB was not dead when he went into the source and lost his humanity. He was and still is alive, simply in a different form.

    Because he is not human, the writers chose not to give him a name. If he had a name, we would want to try to humanize him or think of him in human terms. He will never have a name, because he is not human. If Desmond, using his ability to withstand electro-magnetic forces is able to somehow reverse the smoke monster thing, maybe MIB will return to human form and get a name. I doubt that will happen.

    But that does bring me to my next point. Desmond is the key. With his power, he might be able to withstand the powers of the source and do something no one else can do. That is how the end of Lost will occur.

    Remember when fake mom told Jacob he had no choice but to drink the wine and become the new protector. I think that is why Jacob is insistent that everyone be given a choice to do what they want to do without Jacob telling them what is right or wrong.

    Another thought. When the bomb exploded and sent the island to the bottom of the ocean, what did that do to the source? Did that affect the sideways world and change everyone because if the light goes out in the source, it goes out everywhere. That is what fake mom said.

  3. Matio in Denver says:

    @ Michael
    I like that theory about Dez and Jack being brothers. Kinda makes sense since we have not gotten Desmond’s back story and Cristian was makin babies across the globe.

    Perhaps Dez is the only one that can survive entering the golden cave without becoming a smokie? Maybe Widmore wants to send him down to recover the golden object/essence?

  4. Mark@NOVA says:

    Ryan/Jen state:

    “But did Mother destroy the village and slaughter its residents? As well as fill in a deep well and underground excavation? All before the Man in Black woke up? The moment when she slams his head into the wall of the well was violent enough that I could believe she has some kind of superhuman strength. But the scale of the destruction is so great, I couldn’t help think the smoke monster was involved.

    “But the smoke monster was created when Jacob cast the Man in Black into the light. Right? It somehow released his inner, darker, flawed essence, but left his body behind. A body that provided the form in which the Man in Black appeared (such as in the conversation with Jacob on the beach), until John Locke’s body arrived. And a body that Jacob could recover and leave in the cave with Mother.”

    However, I believe that the smoke monster existed all along. I believe that it was Smokey that appeared to MIB as his true mother, which Jacob could not see. I believe that Smokey removed MIB from the cavern and destroyed both the cavern and the village. Smokey, being unable to kill the fake mother, did this to mislead MIB into believing that fake mother did this and motivate him to kill the island’s current guardian.

    After MIB was dead, Smokey was able to assume MIB’s form. Rather than MIB being able to assume the form of black smoke, it is Smokey that is now assuming the form of MIB. Just as, since the start of season five, we have not seen the real John Locke on the island, we have not seen the real MIB either until this episode.

    I would like to tie this in to the blond boy that Fake Locke has seen in the jungle in season six. This boy has now been revealed to be young Jacob. Although Desmond (who appears to be special in some way) was able to see the boy when he appeared to MIB, Richard was unable to see him. This parallels the fact that Jacob was not able to see the apparition of their mother when MIB was. I stated earlier that this could have been the smoke monster appearing to MIB, informing him that his true mother had been killed by the woman who was raising them her own children. This is when Smokey began to turn MIB against fake mother and creating the conditions where he would want to kill her.

    This would lead us to:

    1) The appearance of MIB’s mother to him is similar to young Jacob’s appearance to Flocke years later.
    2) The appearance of MIB’s mother was, I feel, the black smoke monster assuming his mother’s form.
    3) The appearance of young Jacob, in the present, to Flocke would then also be the smoke monster.
    4) But, in the present, Smokey is Flocke.
    5) Thus, the smoke monster is appearing as young Jacob to himself, as Flocke.

    This would be as unsettling to me as young Jacob’s appearance is to Flocke. Others have speculated that there might be two smoke monsters, one black and one white. Is this possible?

    ———-

    Ryan/Jen also state “Seeing Mother smash Claudia’s skull moments after she gave birth was a shock.” From the moment that newborn Jacob’s mother asked to see her son and fake mother set Jacob aside, out of reach from his mother, I new that she had sinister intentions. At this point, neither knew that a second child was coming, so there was no reason not to place the child into his mother’s arms.

    ———-

    Final observation. Just as Jacob and MIB has a woman pretending to be their mother, Aaron, too, had a woman pretending to be his mother.

  5. MeginPa says:

    Didn’t have time to read every post, so I’m not sure if anyone’s mentioned all of these yet. I never would have thought there would be so many Biblical references when the show started. Adam & Eve, Cain & Abel, Jacob & Esau. I kept thinking we’d find out that was the MIB’s name. It was nice to get a back story on Jacob since we’ve seen at least an episode on everyone else. But they’re going to have a lot of questions to answer in a very short period of time.

  6. John says:

    Quick point. In rewatching, MIB says to Jacob when Jacob is dragging him to the cave, “you can’t kill me. Mother made it that way.” Jacob responds, “I’m not going to kill you.” Earlier Mother had told Jacob to never go into the cave because it would be a “fate worse than death.”

    The point is that Jacob didn’t violate the “rule” that they can’t kill each other when he threw him into the cave. Regardless of the body that ultimately was left over, MIB didn’t “die”. He was simply tranformed. While we can have a metaphysical debate about what it means to “die” in the context of how the characters were speaking of it, Jacob did not kill MIB.

    This passage also suggests that becoming a/the smokey is a direct consequence of going into the light, suggesting that there is not one unique smoke monster.

  7. Preston in Michigan says:

    I loved this episode. It filled in the mythology (or some of it, anyway). As it is, it revealed the motivations and back story of two of the characters that are pivotal in this struggle between two sides. From the perspectives of Mother and the twins, we learned as much as they would have known at that time (well, perhaps Mother knew more, but we’ll never know). I think this set out to reveal what needed to be revealed, and more is coming in the finale. Perhaps scientific explanations are forthcoming through Widmore’s group (knowing about the pockets of electromagnetism). Can’t wait for it to all unfold in a grand finale fashion.

    Some disjointed ideas I was thinking about:

    Perhaps MiB’s name will be revealed near the end, coinciding with gaining back his humanity somehow. It’d be poetic.

    Regarding Jack being the candidate, perhaps he’s a candidate to replace the Man in Black instead of Jacob. Jack started out wanting to go home (leave the island). He got his wish, and then he wanted to return to the island. He currently wants to stay and fulfill his destiny. So currently he is the opposite of MiB, yet was just like him before. He transformed. So perhaps it is Jack that will go into the Source. This will either nullify MiB and release him or perhaps merge and balance him out.

    Also, I wonder how rules have applied to Ben and Widmore in the past (they couldn’t directly kill each other). Sure, it mirrors the same rules as Jacob and MiB, but how are those rules imposed on Ben and Widmore, and how were those rules revealed to them (and did this start to be when Widmore was exiled, which made them adversaries)?

    Speaking of Widmore, he seems to be just like the people that Mother warned about that would try to exploit the source. So perhaps he isn’t on Jacob or MiB’s side, but rather a third faction that created his own candidate through Desmond. I think somehow Desmond will be the (fail safe) key to the whole thing… perhaps bringing the sideways losties to the main fork.

    One thing that the flashbacks to Season 1 revealed (regarding the Adam & Eve bodies) was that Kate looked really good! 🙂 And Jack looked so much younger.

    I think the writers certainly had a high-level draft of the story, and just expounded on the details as they went along. So while in the beginning they might not have planned out Jacob and MiB, they certainly had the general concepts of two opposing sides. They just further refined the story as they went along, trying to keep things consistent as best they could. I think its normal that writers don’t have all the details filled in at the beginning, and even change things as they go to refine their original ideas.

  8. Ben Mc says:

    @John

    Brilliant. Yes, Jacob didn’t kill him. He was knocked out so that it was believable that he would just float into the cave. But then yes, his fate was sealed as he became the black smoke.

    His mother probably KNEW this because she too had become the black smoke and that was her motivation to stop others from finding the cave, and also how she destroyed the well and killed everyone in the village.

    So could it be that only black smock monsters can kill other black smoke monsters?

  9. John says:

    @ Ben ::So could it be that only black smock monsters can kill other black smoke monsters?::

    If Mother was a smoke monster, too (and I believe she was), then no. MIB killed her before he became a smoke monster.

  10. Emma in Oxford says:

    Last week I was convinced the Sun and Jin would be Adam and Eve, this week it was shown to be completely wrong. You gotta love a show that can make you fully believe something one week, yet make it seem trivial the next, right?

  11. Nadia says:

    Ok sorry if i repeat or not but with 500 comments or more i have no time to read all….but
    I liked this episode. However I feel like we are totally ignoring some of the other seasons and or characters. All my favorites….(Eko, Abedon (sp) Hawking…etc…) what were their roles in all of this.?
    And Who is Aaron???? was he MIB somehow at one point? what is the purpose on focusing on aaron and claire and kate….etc….or the kids in general.
    I have more comments and ideas but still trying to figure out how to word them.
    The light well and the lampost station are they connected? What is the point of a lot of the things?????
    Some times I think i finally understand it…and other times…..i second guess myself….two more to go……hopefully it’s not like Tintin and Flight 714 (been compared to with lost) and aliens comes down. We don’t see the aliens only whiteness on the page and the evil characters of that story on the page. They get taken away from the island and leave tintin, snowy and haddock…etc….on the island. Arrrgh.
    Again sorry i know i don’t make sense…just putting thoughts out there.

  12. Rod says:

    Hi gang. Great discussion on the episode… personally i enjoyed the episode but was hoping for more concrete info this late in the game….

    One thing that has been bugging me…In this episode, the donkey wheel is being prepared in the well, but its just about 20 feet or so down from the surface. in the episode where Ben moves the island, don’t they take a long elevator ride down to the orchid (i think it was the orchid) and then break through the chamber, then fall through the ground, then go down a ladder to get to the donkey wheel? Am I missing something? How come last night its barely below the surface, but later its far, far below the surface… i guess in 2,000 years the island can change but doesn’t this seem strange?

    I have seen others mention that in the Ben episode, its freezing cold, but i haven’t seen any comments about it being so near the surface….

    any thoughts are appreciated!

  13. tvscifi says:

    @Nadia Tintin Flight 714

    Wow, this does sound like Lost!

    Looks like an English translation of a French article, because the syntax is a bit off, but some very interesting Lost connections.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flight_714

  14. After last week’s action-packed and highly emotional episode. I think “Across the Sea” was the most boring episode since the one about Jack’s tattoo. It introduced a whole new story that just didn’t deserve so much time. I kept hoping that the show would switch back to Hurley, Kate, Jack and Sawyer on the beach, or at least Ben or Richard, wherever they are!

    I agree with your post, maybe some of the back story is better left unexplained. I still have hope for a satisfying close to Lost, but I’ll be so sorry when its all over.

  15. Bonita in Atlanta says:

    @Michael – cool idea re: Desmond and Jack – Brotha’s? Heck, let’s make them twins and Jack’s mom was his adopted mom, Christian left Desmond with it’s birth mom and it’s this decision that led to his drinking?

  16. Bonita in Atlanta says:

    @Rod, maybe there is more than one wheel? just as there are more than one well, multiple Dharma stations, etc

  17. Michael says:

    I’m convinced that Jacob and MIB are just playing a game with rules that they can break but they’d lose the game. They’ve been playing games alone together for 2000 years. Now they bring new game pieces to the island (people) and play out their game. MIB has to get everyone to kill each other and thus remove those pieces from the board, but Jacob wins if someone refuses to give in to greed/hate/temptation and sacrifices himself to save the world. MIB can leave the island just like Jacob to set up his pieces but the people must believe that releasing him will destroy the world. So will they destroy for their gain or sacrifice to save others?
    So a candidate is basically just like a king in checkers. It’s a piece that can’t be removed as easily as the others.
    And when Jacob is killed he must start over as a youngster, kinda like a penalty box in hockey, he’ll return again later.
    Maybe sooner if he plays his “get out of purgatory free” card.
    That is if MIB doesn’t take a mulligan and try to blow everyone up again.

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!

  18. Martin says:

    I feel «Across The Sea» resonates within me on a subtle and much deeper or archetypical level than the action-driven or drama-centered episodes. The same is true for «Ab Aeterno».

    The mythological episodes touch me on my own mythological level which simply feel different than my psychological levels. It is a feeling that needs longer to be felt, and it can only be felt by receiving the story rather than fighting it with my own prejudices and expectations. I have to relax into it. Then the two mythological episodes become stillpoints wisely placed within the greater frame, stillpoints which allow the already aired episodes to deepen and prepare a deeper ground for the inevitable load of gross action in the finale.

  19. Michael says:

    @Bonita
    I like the way you think, I wanted them to be twins but not sure how to swing it. Your idea works though.

  20. Kristy from L.A. says:

    I’ve read only about half of the comments here, so forgive me if this has already been theorized…it seems that Jacob took over Mother’s role and became “one” with her when he drank some of that magic wine that she poured for him. Didn’t Jacob also pour a glass of wine for Richard in Ab Aeterno and promise to make him live forever? Wouldn’t that mean that Richard has already been selected as Jacob’s replacement, but Richard just doesn’t know it (yet)?

  21. Again I have to point Geronimo Jack’s Beard…
    Sidekick22 is NOT happy and Jorge think the cast member are like Richard “I spend all those years following this man because I thought he had a plan… and now he is dead and there is no plan” LOL!
    What is the Glowing light if all the show is based on that?

    When you blow out a flam you get a lot of smoke!!! I think it makes sense! lol

  22. Ann_Louise says:

    “Maybe I’m just used to enjoying the ride while dealing with disappointment because I’m a Seattle Mariners fan.” 🙂

    Hey, maybe that’s why I’m just slightly disappointed in AtS, instead of incredibly ticked off. I’m a Milwaukee Brewers fan – When your team throws in the towl one month into the season, you just roll with the punches.

  23. NuckinFuts says:

    HFC – 500+ comments. Many of them are great! This episode required more thinking and theorizing than most. I learned my lessons on any knee-jerk reactions earlier this season. I say, don’t knock it till you’ve tried it…two or more times.

    Yes Dockjm, Knives, Popoki, we on Team Dark got some redemption, I’ll say.

    RE: Peg Says:
    May 12th, 2010 at 2:07 am
    “is there something meaningful in Desmond’s calling everyone “brother”?”

    My answer:

    Hello Peg & welcome to Wonka’s Chocolate Factory! Eat anything you want, but do not drink from the glowing river source!

    Desmond calls people ‘brotha’ since his time as being a monk where all initiated were called ‘brother’. However, as a few have postulated, perhaps there is more significance or ultimate irony as his lineage is not known yet.

    To Embie, Carol from Boston, Tori, & many others, I think you are all on track…

    Theory of the week goes to Jesse…more specifically here:
    Jesse Says:
    May 12th, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    This lies in what I have been thinking as well. I want to add more, but have to keep formulating it for now. Maybe I’ll come back around 3542 comments…

  24. John says:

    @Kristy. That’s an interesting theory, but it leaves a big question as to why Jacob is searching for candidates. I think that the wine is simply a delivery device for the magic that emanates from the light, but different magic can be delivered in the wine.

    Mother says early on that MIB will never have to die and that the boys can’t kill each other. My guess is that she conferred some type of immortality on them when they were young using the power that comes from the light. Jacob did essentially the same thing to Richard. He could grant immortality, but he couldn’t bring back the dead. That seemed arbitrary at the time, but it makes sense if the light is the essence of life, as Mother claims. If you get an extra dose (and perhaps some magic words) you get greater life and protection from death. If you are washed in it, it will cure you and if you have a dead body, it can bring it back to life. Richard didn’t have his wife’s body.

    I think what Mom gave Jacob is a different concoction that does more than simply confer immortality but gives one the powers of the protector, whatever that may be.

  25. mcliam says:

    what if MIB was and still is the chosen protector of the island? The definition of the Smoke Monster, per Rousseau, was that of a security system. It seems to me that Jacob’s role in bringing people to the island has only brought potential harm to it, so how would that be protecting it? I believe that somehow, someway, Mother knew the outcome of MIB and Jacob and that MIB would alwasy kill her and that Jacob would always drag MIB to the toilet of light….because this is exactly what she wanted…a successor to herself; an heir apparent Smoke Monster.

  26. mcliam says:

    Aloha again….

    Going with what I said above, the game Jacob is playing is the game of humanity, which is to say, the game of greed. It is his ego that is bringing the people to the island, his need to be right and to feel vindicated for his belief of his adopted, murderous smoke monster mother (assuming she is the SM) and their projected betrayal. The irony of all this, of course, is that Jacob is one who betrayed his brother not once, but twice (first by not believe him about their mother; the second by killing him). Maybe bringing candidates to the island as his replacement signifies his not understanding the power of the island and it’s need to be protected from humanity whereas MIB does understand the power and is doing everything he can as smokey to keep it from being corrupted.

    Anyway, that said…I’ve surely thought more about this episode than I thought I would…I didn’t enjoy it while watching it (sans for the psychotic mom bashing head scene) and felt it was very contrived. But the more I think of it, the more I enjoy it…which is how it seems to go with this show with episodes I don’t enjoy off the bat. I am looking forward to a rewatch. Namaste and Mahalo!

  27. Kotnirid says:

    So how does the Man in Black get his body back? Can he take it over now because he is the smoke monster and can take over dead bodies? So when he said that the Devil (Jacob) took my body from me, is that because he could not physically keep a body until Jacob was dead?

  28. Chasemore says:

    After a rewatch I am a bit more reasoned about the episode.. 😉

    I actually enjoyed it – it was a bit heavy dialogue wise, but it certainly was a grand experiment, and I think its great that D&C are still taking risks this late into the game.

    I guess I am just frustrated that with only 2 episodes to go, they are introducing yet another mysterious character without explaining who or what she is (the fake mother I mean). Maybe it will all be made more clear in the remaining couple of hours, but it seems as if they have just transplanted the “who is Jacob” mystery with the “who is Alison Janney mystery”.

  29. Stubble says:

    Here is how the writers of Lost chose to solve mysteries:

    Why doesn’t Richard Alpert age?
    Because Jacob made him so
    Why doesn’t Jacob age?
    Because his Mother made him so
    Why doesn’t Jacob’s mother age?

    Mother: “questions lead to more questions”

  30. Ben Mc says:

    I think I have this figured out now.

    Smokey is the “protector” of the island.

    Jacob is keeping Smokey on the island because he’s supposed to protect it.

    Smokey doesn’t think there’s anything to protect so he wants to leave. Afterall, he’s never had love in his life. I’ll come back to this.

    Widmore wants the “light” on the island so he’s trying to kill Smokey to get control of it.

    This brings us to love. The light is love, and that’s why love connects our losties with the island. That’s what lives in all people, and why all people want more of it.

    So, Jacob keeps bringing people to the island to show Smokey how important love is, so that he’ll stay.

    I think in the end, MiB will find love, but just before he does, Sawyer will kill MiB with a knife, and will then be killed himself, only to become Smokey and assume the body of Sawyer.

    Jack will become the new Jacob and will forever be trying to keep Sawyer from leaving.

    One other factor is Kate. If Kate decides she loves Jack and not Sawyer, then Sawyer will have no more love left in him, and Jack will have killed or taken anyone he’s ever loved. There’s your future rivalry.

  31. Marcus says:

    #1 — @Coolpeace (and others wondering about Kate’s Candidacy):

    I think we’ll learn that Kate IS a Candidate (and maybe the twist will be that she will replace Jacob, not Jack). I recall in an OLP that Damon said that the discrepancy between the cave and lighthouse lists was perhaps due to Jacob trying to “…throw the monster off his scent.” So, Jacob crossed her name off so that MIB wouldn’t bother with her. Lostpedia doesn’t have the full transcript up for that podcast, but JoshMeister has the quote up at his blog:
    http://j.mp/cG7an9 — (search for the word “misdirection” and that’ll take you right to the transcript).

    ———————-
    Quote (from first comment):
    Can’t wait for tonight’s epi… looks epic.

    One thought has been bugging me about Kate being or not crossed off as a candidate:

    Kate (51) – crossed off on the cave, the cave was known to MIB and we saw him cross off Locke’s name.

    Kate (51) – not crossed off at the lighthouse, the lighthouse was known to Jacob, and we saw Jacob at the lighthouse with Hurley and Jacob….
    ————————–
    #2 — MIB CAN be in water (as we saw when Jack pushed him in). The whole water-as-kryptonite idea has been misinterpreted. UnLocke told Sawyer that he couldn’t fly from island to island. He didn’t say he was averse to water. The water has nothing to do with it. Smokey has to be in contact with the ground at all times. Damon pretty much spelled this out after “Left Behind” when he answered a question about why didn’t Smokey just fly over the sonar fence when it was after Kate and Juliet.
    Here’s the transcript: http://j.mp/95lP7Z (search for “Black smoke jumping the fence,” to get to the quote).

    #3 — Stop crying over TV deaths. These characters aren’t real and they’re not your friends.

    That is all.

  32. aaron r says:

    it’s a small thing, but did anyone notice the knife? it seems to be the same one that Dogen gave to Sayid to kill UnLocke. oddly, it’s not the one that Ben used on Jacob… that would have tied in pretty well.
    the rest of the episode was pretty slow. some answers, yeah. but it seemed to be stalling when there is so little time left to even try to clear some of this up.and yeah, where did Mom come from? how did SHE get there?

  33. Brian from San Jose says:

    That’s good, Ben Mc.

  34. Lostie Chic says:

    So what we are seeing here then..really isn’t Jacob’s brother, because Jacob killed him. It’s just the smoke monster that took over his physical appearance?

  35. Chasemore says:

    Love it Ben Mc

  36. Coolpeace says:

    Dear fan ♥ antic ♥ tastic Lost community

    I wish to address those of you who have been feeling ‘nervous’, or worse, disenchanted with Lost and its direction.

    I believe that we are blinded by May 23rd. We fear May 23rd. We are angry that this show and its delicious mix of mystery, story, characters and, yes, the ambiguousness of it all, will be no longer.

    This fear and anger we feel, we are projecting it back onto the show, onto Damon and Carlton and the writers – these same people and this same show that we eagerly awaited to watch, discuss and theorize about week after week and whose months of hiatuses were an agony to bear.

    Many of the negative comments I heard and read about, in this final season, revolved around the fact that the fans were worried that the writers were wasting our time with filler fare : first, it was the Juliet’s death scene, “again” we said, why do we need to relive the agonizing scene? Then came the Kate episode, then it was about the flash sideways – “go back to the Island”, we said, there is only 14 hours left. Then we thought the Temple storyline was taking too long, “why are we wasting time with these people”, we said, there are only 13 hours left, we moaned. Then the fear of wasted time became more specific, we could do without this scene, or that character, or this particular reveal…. On and on it went, but the connecting thread that runs through all the negativity is the feeling that given the little time left we did not want to waste it. This anxious feeling of time drawing near is coloring our reactions.

    Let me posit this question : Had the network kept silent about the final date and we were watching these past 15 episodes without knowing that on May 23rd the final “LOST” would thud, how would you feel about season 6? I think you would feel quite differently.

    Remember when Flashes Before Your Eyes first aired? We were all confused initially, what did it all mean, we asked? Who’s this Mrs. Hawking person? How come she seems to know Desmond and she also knows about the button? Is it a dream? And if we thought we were confused about FBYE then come the Constant – if it were not for the fantastic emotional phone call scene between Desmond and Penny – I bet we were not quite sure what to make of it. But we never once worried about a deadline and time being wasted, instead we marveled at a new mystery, new intriguing characters and the payoff which we knew would ultimately arrive. Now these episodes are most beloved.

    Don’t let May 23rd rob you of the pleasure of these final hours of the best show on television.

    Prescription for May 23rd anxiety stress disorder …

    1. take a step back, relax, breath and let the story unfold as the writers wish it to. Then we will be better equipped to quibble about time.

    2. read the interviews that are linked to on this blog where Damon and Carlton are giving some insight about their process. Don’t belittle their efforts and their storytelling capabilities at this stage of the game. They have given us a great creative and entertaining story and they also gave us their time, podcasts anyone? No other showrunners have given back so much to the fan base. I say thank you Damon and Carlton and to the staff, and the production team and all involved.

    3. read Steven in Bathurst (May 13th, 2010 at 3:29 am) post. @ docjkm you are absolutely right to spread his post around. @ Steven, you have nicely captured my thoughts and laid them out clearly in your entry – thank you.

  37. Islandsidhe says:

    I just felt the need to make this point, though someone may have made it already (and forgive me if so):

    Many people’s complaints about this episode revolve around the “cave of light”, and are absolutely beside themselves because this “magical cave” or “magical light” has been introduced into the series…

    It’s not a “magical cave” or a “magical light” – it’s the same thing we’ve been dealing with from the beginning of the series – the “pocket of negatively charged exotic matter” that Pierre Chang referenced in the Orchid Station video. The same electromagnetism that crashed 815. But, of course, people in 23 AD wouldn’t have been able to identify it as such. To them it would likely have been “magic”, a “god”, a “sacred well”, or something along that line.

    I personally wouldn’t be disappointed by a spiritual ending to this series. But for those of you who would prefer a scientific ending – don’t give up! We’re ARE still dealing with science here!!

  38. Coolpeace says:

    @ Carol from Boston : Ahhhhh Ben – he is quite the intriguing character. The more we get about Ben the more we realize that others were messing with him and therefore he is hard to make out. I think there will be additional reveals as to his motives and his actions in the remaining hours.

    As to your question : has he killed any candidates… well, of course there is Locke. Otherwise, he certainly manipulated others to do his killing, think Sayid, one could also argue that Ben inevitably had Alex, Goodwin and Ethan killed by his actions.

  39. steve says:

    Funny tweet from Lindelof – something like:

    “I didn’t know polarizing was bad!”

  40. Embie says:

    Just noticed this @ 00.59 into the episode (rewatching on my iPad on the abc app) – there’s a piece of debris flotsam whatever on the beach that looks to be a green plastic bottle. It is clearly deformed around the mouth of the bottle in the manner of plastic rather than materials of 23 AD (glass, ceramic, metal). So, what if the episode is crisscrossed in time with the timelines our original Losties have visited or come from?

    @ Corvee – I read somewhere that native American myths call the earth ‘turtle island’ as it came to be from the back of a giant sea turtle. Also connects with giant sea turtle and stirring the elixir of life in Hindu myth, I think involving Durga but I’m not perhaps recalling it exactly.

  41. gene e says:

    As me and Kate wave goodbye, everyone, and I mean everyone, boards the plane. Smokie, with his scans and memories, is an excellent pilot. We watch as the plane takes off and disappears into the clouds. She turns to me with a smouldering ‘come hither’ look. Alone at last. We kiss. The ground shakes. We kiss again. The island begins to sink. Those damn Losties! She looks frightened. Since she took MIB’s place I can easily see that her fear is real. That music starts playing. It’s then that I remember the sailboat. And THUD.

  42. LR Anderson says:

    Side note from “Across the Sea” – I was wondering if anyone heard and understood what Mother said after being stabbed. It is at approximately 55:49 – as Mother is laying on the ground – she mumbles something. To me, it sounded like “Ausee” which is the direct opposite pronunciation of “Easau”. Maybe Ausee is MIB’s name. I don’t know – what do you guys think?

  43. Embie says:

    so, not Durga, but still a turtle and the elixir of life (amrita) in Hindu myth. see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elixir_of_life

    Just following up on what is the light and why is there a turtle on the beach…

  44. Bonita in Atlanta says:

    @ Stubble: very succinct explanation = good to me

  45. Cathy says:

    I’ve been thinking about fake mom, with her strange spiderweb-like hair adornment. I was trying to link it to a weaver myth, but not too many similarities. Today, as I watched again, I noticed the shells in her hairpiece. We think she may be Calypso, who was the daughter of a Titan and lives on an island. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ogygia

  46. If Jacob was supposed to protect the “light” but it became the Smoke monster with his brother’s body… Wouldn’t it make sense that what they really need to protect is the Smoke monster?
    They need to keep him on Island because if the “light” is not there anymore all life in the world will stop… mib probably knows because his “gift” seems to “understand” everything and thus the rules, but he is ready to sacrifice anything because he already lost his life because of Jacob.

  47. @Cathy: And Jacob wrote Odysseus quotes on his Tapestry… I think you’re onto something there!

  48. Bonita in Atlanta says:

    @ Ben Mc writes: I think in the end, MiB will find love, but just before he does, Sawyer will kill MiB with a knife, and will then be killed himself, only to become Smokey and assume the body of Sawyer.

    Jack will become the new Jacob and will forever be trying to keep Sawyer from leaving.

    One other factor is Kate. If Kate decides she loves Jack and not Sawyer, then Sawyer will have no more love left in him, and Jack will have killed or taken anyone he’s ever loved. There’s your future rivalry.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    In the spirit of friendly discourse:

    I liked the first part of what you said but this last part I wish to discuss further:

    How does MiB “find love” but is killed just “before” finding it?
    Why does Sawyer kill MiB?’
    Who then Kills Sawyer and why?

    I feel that although Sawyer is drawn to Kate and cares for her,his real love and possible redemption came through his love of Juliet.

    I agree MiB may not have really felt “Love” Except in a toxic way, through both Mother (I like to call her Eve) and Brother Jacob.

    Also, How does Jack become the New Jacob (this is addressed to YAE)?
    previously it would seem the Protector Mantel was handed off before the Old Protector died. Jacob is already dead and we never saw him hand off anything.

    So how about this: he’s already handed off to Richard but had to Mentor him a bit before dying. (I forget which previous poster suggested this already but it is worth placing here, too because it ties into what I said in the paragraph above)

  49. Dave in AL says:

    @Steven in Bathurst – thanks so much for your wonderful words in your “May 13th, 2010 at 3:29 am” post. Even though I tried to voice the same idea in my “May 11th, 2010 at 5:04 pm” post, seeing people voice similar ideas with much more thoroughness and eloquence than I is what I love about this forum.

    The fact is, Lost is not a simple show. It is a complex story with many intertwining and intricate plot lines and themes (akin to Frank Herbert’s book “Dune”). And we are naturally drawn to certain ones based upon our own experiences. But, don’t let that be a detraction, they are all dependent on and influence each other. Without those other pieces, you don’t have the story.

    Ryan and Jen, good luck with assembling this podcast! I would not be surprised if it passes the 2-hour mark given the nature of the comments presented here.

  50. Rey from Olywa says:

    The rules…

    I think we are dealing with two sets of rules. The rules that bind MIB and Jacob and the rules that Jacob sets for the others. The rules that Jacob sets for the others are possible to break or change (example – Alex), while the rules that bind MIB and Jacob cannot broken (but obviously loopholes work).

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