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. MT Breeze says:

    @ Carol – thanks for sharing the link to the article in the NYT featuring Darlton. I enjoyed it very much. 🙂

  2. gene e says:

    Wow. This has bogged down into quite a quagmire. Stop struggling, it only worsens the situation.

    Try some Fan Fiction. Write your own ending. I did and I liked it.

  3. Coolpeace says:

    @ gene e : I liked your story ending 😉

    @ Carol : thanks for the link to the NYT article, I enjoyed it. If you liked the Filmmaker podcast, you should try listening to one I linked to above. It is great fun – the two writers that are interviewed are quite good at giving insigthful stories about the writers room, how they come up with storylines etc… They wrote many Hurley and Charlie episodes – ie; Dave, Tricia Tanaka is Dead, Greatest Hits and more… try it .

  4. chris says:

    nearly 600 comments.

    that must be a record guys.

    fantastic.

    any episode that garners such opinions must count for something.

    as much as i was in the camp of folks that scoffed at this episode, i DO understand that this is part of the point of the show. they have never really let you go where you wanted to go. the writers move in fragmented and sometimes seemingly disjointed beats.

    but it is in accord with LOST.

    AB Aeterno was much the same.

    Granted, this digression into the past is at the near end of the series, but imagine any other show doing this. diverging off the path to re-examine the motives of our two main protagonists, its strange and odd, and in the end, when its all over, i’m sure it will be viewed in a better light. (no pun intended)

    sure, i rolled my eyes at the light cave. sighed at the ‘smart people’ line. and kind of thought jacob was a chump. but so be it.

    i still loved being challenged by the writers, and now, as we are at the end, i still don’t know what is going to happen NEXT!

    where else can you be 3 hours from the end and still be trying to figure out what the show is all about?

    thats what i love about this show.

  5. Carol from Boston says:

    @Gene- hmm, all your stories end with you and Kate together, I sense a theme.

    @Coolpeace – I’ll be sure to listen to the podcast, sounds interesting. Thanks.

    Do you guys realize how much work I am not accomplishing by coming on this blog all the time? lol But only 1 week left so WTH.

    Off to real life.

  6. docjkm says:

    @Islandsidhe- Thank you for your well expressed post. We are living in a world population raised on television, with the manners and depth of thought simply reflective of that. They have and are finding Lost meaningless, or worse, insulting, for not trivializing their experience as they are past used to. I personally find it amazing, fascinating, and sort of mini-miraculous that out of the land of the truly lost, television, at a time when reality tv was to be the ‘new thing’, Lost comes out of the blue with major production values and mature writing, and a simply sensational acting troupe. I am quite thankful, and when you realize that now movies are the new television, produced by the pound, Lost is even more amazing. The last episode NOT withstanding, though I was not overly wow’ed by it.

    @Steve in Bathurst – Like I appreciate Lost, I appreciate this forum greatly. Lost IS worth the discussion, and the posts sometimes are real gems, actually quite a few. Yours was one such, and I thought deserved acknowledgment. We are at a critical juncture. Too many are invested in “who shot JR”, and their appreciation and enjoyment of the entity Lost in being strangled by that investment. We are here, years later, all older and the actors actually showing it, too (that flashback to the S1 caves was eye opening for that reason to me), and I fought my own perspective that was getting too tied up in ‘where are we going’. It does not MATTER! Only 3 hours are left of a masterpiece that I would HATE to see judged by its finale alone. STOP! and judge the past years, NOW, and pronounce that jusdgement for yourself and others. THEN we can join hands, turn the frozen donkey wheel, plunge down the log plume of light, look into Smokey’s eye, tolerate Kate, and generally get down to saying goodbye. You wouldn’t judge a tried and trusted friend by their ‘goodbye’, would you? Well… not me.

    @Doug – “…if it falls apart it will have been for nothing…” I very respectfully, but most thoroughly disagree! See above. I find, at the tip of my mental tongue, any number of images and scenes that touch me deeply from the past 6 years. I’ll bet, yes I will, that you have such, too. Don’t judge her by the back of her head, the heels of her shoes, as she walks away. Etc.

    @Carol – I am judged, daily, by many. That ‘Will’ took offense is nothing, or less, given the immature and ridiculous tone of his entree. It does trouble me that too many are invested in the finale, as if all that has preceded is JUST for this. Or, that Lost (and company) owe us satisfaction. I see they have already provided it in spades. And, yes, I am an Orthopaedic Surgeon. So… DURAL SAC = a thickish layer of tissue covering the central nervous system (spinal cord and brain). It has assumed a ‘holy grail’ of importance on Lost (thru Jack). I won’t spoil it in detailed ‘dissection’ but suffice it to say, it, like so much on Lost, has stood in for more realistic, yet medically complicated, structures, processes, and procedures. I can assure you though, that Christian’s count to 5 process for dealing with the sometimes overwhelming pressure encountered as surgeon in an operating suite, is sound advice. Young Jackster should have been more appreciative, yet he embodied the supreme sensitivity of a young surgeon to being ‘guided’… perfectly. (But, the story of a lacerated dural sac with nerve roots spilling out willy-nilly… not medically accurate. But it worked, no?) WTH, indeed.

    Enjoy the podcast. Might as well.

  7. docjkm says:

    @gene e – Please! DO!! Help yourself to Kate, but do not wait for the final scene. Would you, could you, please advantage yourself of the lady sooner? I’m quite sure she’s ready, as prior to the island she was an Aaron slave, and since returning has had no real attention, as Jack has been all man of destiny, and Sawyer is (thankfully) in deep mourning as regards dear Katie. So, the time is right for the plucking. And, Kate’s ‘mission’ to the island has gone well amuck as well. Ah, but I forget sideways Kate… take her, too. Then a jolly threesome you’ll make.

  8. Carol from Boston says:

    Right now for a limited time they are selling the Lost Live Posters on damoncarltonandapolarbear.com There are only 300 of each available. I got the hurley/dharma van. It’ll look nice in my home office. The other ones were always sold out when I tried to get them. It is 3:00 est and there are still some left, there is Hurley, Jack and I can’t quite figure out who is in the other one.

  9. Carol from Boston says:

    okay the third poster is Sawyer reading his famous letter.

  10. DonatusfromNJ says:

    I said earlier that this ep. was average. Watched it again. I’m taking that back. It was actually a pretty good ep filling in the back ground and showing us the all important “light”. Good point from the poster who said Desmond was filled w/ the LIGHT source when the hatch blew – giving Desmond his abilities. I think that observation is spot on.

    The final two episodes will be island based & are going to be really good. You can take that to the bank. What made this show so compelling was the action on the island — that’s what’s coming in heavy doses.

    I think that Jack will die doing something heroic (maybe taking out Widmore) living up to his destiny. Hurley becomes island protector. Sawyer leaves w/ Kate. Miles leaves. Claire — she probably makes it too. Richard finally dies. Ben — wildcard. Something interesting is coming next week for the Benster. He’s been downplayed this year w/ a relatively small role. Claire’s role has actually been larger. That’s about to change. Wouldn’t be surprised if Ben stays on as Hurley’s advisor deputy.

    In about 3 years — Lost the movie. A continuation that picks up the Hugo era. Don’t for a minute believe that Disney isn’t going to milk this lost franchise for all its worth.

    Prediction: No one will ever see Lily Evangilica again in a non lost role. This gal will never make it as an actress. Although she improved this year due to her shrunken presence, she was the weak link in the saga. A poor actress that was annoying as hell. Best actor in series – hands down Terry O’Quinn. Second best – Michael Emerson. Third best – Josh Holloway. This guy developed the role in a very believable fashion and did a fantastic job during season 5. Expect to see him in the future.

  11. Ryan F says:

    @ Gene …and other interested in Lost fan fic:

    I just started reading some good Lost fan fic at
    http://www.spoilertv.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=147&t=18737
    People are writing “missing pieces” scenes that are consistent with the rest of the story. Some of them are quite good!

  12. aaron r says:

    @Leah- i like that about mother being the smoke monster and passing it on to MIB. makes sense, doesn’t it? how else did she kill all the others and fill the well? good one.

  13. Embie says:

    @ Carol – the dharma van and Hurley – I would have picked that too. I’m assuming they’re all gone. I wish they (whoever?) would make a mini dharma van as a collectible. I’d buy it in heartbeat. Truly makes me smile.

  14. Carol from Boston says:

    @Embrie – there are still some left and they are adding new ones, there is a print called “not penny’s boat”. I love the idea of a little dharma van. Have you heard about Jack and Jay’s video contest? The winner gets a real dharma van. I would be too scared to drive it anywhere because it would get stolen.

  15. Bonita in Atlanta says:

    @Docjkm wrote way back up there a spell:

    When I started this trip, I thought ‘Gilligan’s Island meets Survivor’,
    omigosh that was my exact thoughts then, too.

    ;-P

  16. @DonatusfromNJ: YES! Desmond was “bathed in light” and what happens through all season3? He KNOWS about the future! Just like mib and Jacob seemed to… And maybe that is how Eloise knows about the timelines and what is supposed to happen!

  17. gene e says:

    I’d watch Evangeline Lilly watch paint dry.

  18. paulb, Brooklyn says:

    Looking forward to more Desmond, in SW and on the Island. He’s not cooked by powerful electromagnetic fields. Is it just me, or does anyone else think his chemistry with Penny has been one of the most positive, warm, and successful things in the show? I so enjoy seeing those two together. Does Jack really have deep feelings for Kate? I never thought that, dramatically, Kate and Sawyer worked as well as Kate and Jack. I was thinking Jack for the protector of the Island, but now, hmmmm. Switcheroo at the last moment? Jack recognizing that his destiny is with Kate, and Sawyer staying behind. After all, isn’t Sawyer’s backstory that he murdered an innocent guy in Australia? If it’s all about redemption, as stated in the NYT interview, then Sawyer is as yet unredeemed.

  19. paulb, Brooklyn says:

    Wanted to say one more thing. MIB’s ambition to leave the Island, at first, there was nothing sinister about it. With his transmutation into the smoke monster, the result of an act of murder, his goal becomes wicked and destructive. Simple stuff of mythology: murder in general, in this case fratricide in particular, freeing into the world some great evil.

  20. Amaia says:

    @DonatusfromNJ- Yeah, Desmond got his habilities from the light, that’s why he is supposed to be the only one who can end with the MIB. Hopefully we’ll see Richard dying, I think the man deserves it.

    And I agree wit you that both Terry and Michael are the best actors in the series, with Elizabeth Mitchell. I like how Josh Holloway has improved his performance from season one and I really like Jeremy Davies and Nestor Carbonell, although we haven’t seen really too much of them. I don’t think Evangeline Lilly is bad, she does a good job portraying her character but well, she’s fne and that’s all.

  21. tvscifi says:

    DonatusfromNJ Says:
    May 15th, 2010 at 9:35 am

    ::Prediction: No one will ever see Lily Evangilica again in a non lost role.::

    She’s shooting a movie with Hugh Jackman right now.

  22. Carol from Boston says:

    @TVscifi- Evangaline has said she wants to take up writing and do some charity work. She just doesn’t have a passion for acting. After seeing her in several interviews, she seems a bit spoiled to me, she complains a lot about living in Hawaii, granted she has a physcial role in the show but she never says she enjoys working on it. Lost is her first role, so maybe she doesn’t realize how lucky she was to get this great job.

    I have to say Michael Emerson and Jorge Garcia are very interesting in interviews and I always make a point to watch when they are on.

  23. @Carol: Jorge seems to be as cool as Hurley… I wish him the best future possible!

  24. i was thinking about mother and how she is also made of smoke. i wonder if she tried to escape the island and in the end found there was no way to leave…and in the end became the caretaker of the island. she had to end up in the glowing water somehow and i can imagine it happening when she was finding a way to leave.

    one thing i am still wondering about is was the statue, was it there by the time jacob and mib were born?

  25. Scott B. ( Junior) says:

    I thought it was an episode that could have been better, but I still liked it. I am convinced that step-mom was black smoke and the protector of the island. Both black and white in one person. When she delivered Jacob, she was seeing her replacement and she could now see the end of her time on the island. Once the second child came, she did not know which one would be able to take over the smoke and which one would control it. once known, she took the form of their mother and informed MIB of the truth. She knew this would drive a wedge between the brothers and begin he final voyage off the island. The only thing able to devastate the people in the camp and fill in the well would be the black smoke, which would have had to have been Step-Mom. She knew this would push MIB to kill her and that is what she wanted. Notice that MIB said nothing to her prior to stabbing her with the dagger, which is the rule for using that dagger on the MIB.
    So now we know that Jacob doesnt control the MIB, but the MIB knows he cannot hurt Jacob.
    We know that we are looking at the replacement for Jacob or the MIB or both. Could it be that Jack is the combined replacement? is Kate the hidden candidate that the others and MIB have decided plays no role and will blind side them all in the end? Jack already does not want to leave the island and Kate sees that people are good (Claire) and will do about anything to prove it?
    Tuesday will be a day that the kids, pets and phones are all placed on SILENT as I sink even furhter into LOST!!!!!
    I LOVE THIS SHOW!!

    Thanks R&J you two are awesome!!

  26. Chasemore in Auckland says:

    @docjkm

    Unanswered mysteries may be life, but they aren’t storytelling. Setting up a mystery with no answer is the definition of pointless. Name me one film, book or TV show that you have enjoyed that has set up a mystery with no intention of explaining it?

    The other thing that I would use to back up my argument is the very fact that Lost is an episodic TV programme. It is desgined with story arc in mind (as opposed to one off episodes, such as, say, Law and Order). To not finish the arc would be to ‘keep the mystery intact’ but would be pointless.

    Are you really saying that you beleive that D&C simply told the story of a load of random things happening, without any of it being explained or tying together at all? That we were meant just to wonder about what the island was, or who smokey was, or what Bens rules were – when in fact we were never going to find out? The end of a story will, by its definition, end the story. It will give some closure. I thought that was the whole point about Lost actually having an end date, rather than getting cancelled in season 20? All the peices need to be in place for a story to conclude – at the moment, I don’t even know what the peices are, or what we are heading towards. I was hoping to have that figured out by now.

    Again, I refer you to the Blonde joke above.

    As for the end – I WANT it to end. I love that it is ending. I am itching to find out whodunnit, what is going on, if the theories were right, and how the whole story unfolds. I identify with our Losties, and like them. I want them to achieve their goals. Its just that we’re this far in the game, and we still don’t really know what the goal is. I mean, what, exactly do we hope Hurley achieves.

    I really don’t get the analogy of the Lost experience as a vacation. I go on vacation to relax – Lost is if anything going out of its way not un-relax us, by throwing up all these questions and twist!

    Listen, I am not a hater at all – I’m not declaring that Lost is ruined or anything like that. I just feel that the last episode was somewhat of a cop out.

    I too care about the characters rather than the mythology, but they are inextricably linked. I will follow with interest what Jack and Hurley have in store for them, but without understanding the stakes, or what is going on, or how everything fits together, I really don’t know what it is that I am striving for. What I really want Jack to achieve, or what goals I hope they attain. Do we want MIB to stay on the island? What about the light?

    Urgh – I’m rambling. I don’t want to come across as a hater at all. I am just trying to explain (rationally, unlike a lot of people who didn’t like it) why exactly I was disappointed. Steven in Bathurst and docjkm, you are cool with not getting answers. You are fine watching the show, and letting it wash over you. Me, I have enjoyed the nysteries of the show – it has been what has kept me tuning in – to find out what was in the Hatch, to find out what the deal with Desmond was, to find out who the mysterious Jacob was, to find out who Jeremy Bentham was. I’m just disappointed that when it gets the the big mysery that I was looking forward to being explored, it wasn’t really answered, just deferred.

    Maybe this is like life (although even Douglas Adams gave us an answer – 42!!) but I was disappointed to find out that the puzzle didn’t actually fit together in the end – maybe it’s just a box of random puzzle peices. If you’re fine with that, more power to you. I’m just trying to explain my disappointment.

  27. Michael says:

    All of this debate about mythology vs character is a ruse. Both are important. These guys strung us all along with promises of “it will all make sense in the end” “your questions will be answered but not right now” and then as the series winds down and they can’t answer the questions, they start with all the “Well….its really more about the characters anyways…”
    Bullshit!!!!!
    I WANT ANSWERS

    I was promised a gourmet meal, then at the last minute someone swapped it out for SpagettiO’s and told me that I should learn to appreciate the bowl it is in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  28. Chasemore in Auckland says:

    Post number 465 by me trying to articulate my frustration coming up……..

    If the show is about mysteries that will be solved, then ‘Across the sea’ was sub par, and didn’t really answer enough

    If the show is about the Characters and the journey, and the mysteries don’t have to be answered, what’s the point in ‘across the sea’?

    Having said that – it was only one bad episode. All the noise coming out of those people who saw the next episode is that it is awesome, so I for one am still certain that I’ll be satisfied once all is said and done.

  29. John says:

    Hold the complaints about lack of answers until we get the next 3.5 hours. The show isn’t over yet. A lot of people seem to be assuming that the next 3.5 hours won’t answer the key fundamental questions. I suspect they will. Some minor mysteries may not be answered, but the big ones surely will be.

  30. Rickey says:

    Just wanted to put 2 last cents in before the finales begin this week.
    Yes this episode had little to do with the characters we all know and love, but it was filled with information that I’m SURE we’re going to need to know in the finale(s). So now we’ll have some information that will mean NOT having to stop and explain things as the action unfolds. I’m sure in retrospect, as frustrating as this episode may seem, it will be very important to the “end game.”
    Still, the glowing cave was ridiculous, I hope Ryan’s right and it’s where they built the Temple, at least explains why no one saw it at night.

  31. greenberry says:

    Hi! Back from holidaying… wonderful posts above ~ such a privilege to be part of this forum ~ have not caught all yet, but did enjoy the D/C interview (thanx Carol)

    My vague prediction for the ending of this show (re: redemption) is that there will be a metaphorical rebirth for our Losties (water = symbolic baptism). Each will be able to awaken to their truth and be found.

    This show (and this board) has been such an enriching part of my life ~ Thanx Ryan and Jen and YAE

  32. Stewie says:

    It will be Desmond. He will be the new Jacob. He is “the only person in the world” who can survive exposure to the electromagnetic force, and has had time/space traveling experiences the others do not have. He also spent three years in the hatch pushing the button to keep the world from ending- a preview of his role as the island’s protector when he takes over.

    It may always have been Mother’s intent to have one boy become the guardian of the light and the other become Smoky- both seem to be needed in some way. The never ending tension between the opposites, dark and light, is part of the eternal cycles that are being represented. They must always be in balance.

  33. My mind is blown away with all the theories. It took me a while, but finally made it all the way through the comments. Thank god for internet at work 😀

  34. Rosie says:

    This episode wasn’t as bad as many believe it to be. It answered a good deal of questions for me. And I’m also grateful that it didn’t portray Jacob and MIB as one-dimensional good and evil, as I feared they would.

    [“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.”]

    What’s wrong with melodrama? I never understood the critics’ aversion to melodrama.

  35. Rosie says:

    [Prediction: No one will ever see Lily Evangilica again in a non lost role. This gal will never make it as an actress. Although she improved this year due to her shrunken presence, she was the weak link in the saga. A poor actress that was annoying as hell. Best actor in series – hands down Terry O’Quinn. Second best – Michael Emerson. Third best – Josh Holloway. This guy developed the role in a very believable fashion and did a fantastic job during season 5. Expect to see him in the future.]

    Considering that Evangeline Lilly has no interest in continuing her acting career, it’s a good chance that she will never have such a big role again. As for the best actors on the show, here are my choices (in no particular order):

    Matthew Fox
    Harold Perrineau
    Terry O’Quinn
    Michael Emerson
    Daniel Dae Kim

    For me, the best actresses were:

    Yunjin Kim
    Elizabeth Emerson
    Mira Furlan
    Emilie de Ravin

    I have to give an honorable mention to Michelle Rodriguez for doing such a marvelous job with the Ana-Lucia Cortez role. It was because of her performance that drew me to the series.

  36. greenberry says:

    @ Rosie ~ I thought Evangeline Lilly did an amazing job in Season One, especially considering her inexperience as an actress ~ I loved every episode she was in and really found her believable ~ In Season 5 & 6 her lines have not been worthy of her ~ And as much as I love to ogle Josh Holloway, I thought his acting fell far short of all the others in the early seasons (Harold Perrineau was weak too)… Yet Holloway HAS improved a lot in recent seasons, and his comic timing is superb ~ he would be great in a comedy

    I agree that Lilly seems bored lately and a lot more detached ~ too bad, because the talent is there

  37. gene e says:

    I wouldn’t wish the jobs of Jacob or MIB on any of our Losties. Do any of you hear what you’re saying? Hurley would make a good Jacob because he would love leading people to the island to DIE!!!! Who wouldn’t gladly accept the centuries of frustration of trying to leave the island as MIB’s replacement? Hell, sign me up for that. These two – Jacob and MIB – have done nothing but torture our poor Losties and my precious Kate! DEATH TO THE TWINS!!! SINK THE ISLAND!!!!

  38. overvision says:

    I disagree with Ryan and Jen’s opinion that Across the Sea brought the series to a screeching halt. What I LIKE about LOST is the fact that from the beginning it has spawned unexpected rhythms of story-telling. Some episodes are fast-paced, some slow and they WILL usurp YOUR idea of proper pacing. Get over it already!!
    One thing I never need to hear again on “any” podcast is “Did you like this episode or where you disappointed?” It’s like asking “Did you like that Picasso painting or where you confused?” “Which Picasso is better, the Blue Period or Analytic Cubism?”

    The question itself is absurd! Picasso created his own lexicon, which ignited a whole new world for art and culture. Just as LOST has initiated a completely different paradigm for prime-time TV storytelling.

    If you don’t like the story that LOST is telling and can’t except it as it is, for crying out loud DON’T WATCH IT. There’s plenty of other crap on the tube that you could be investing your time in.
    And until you produce a flawless podcast for heaven’s sake, please cease and desist pointing out perceived flaws in LOST.

  39. paulb, Brooklyn says:

    Across the Sea still seems a bit stiff to me, but now I’m thinking it did the job, and really, thanks to Ryan and Jen and the other posters and callers for helping me to understand it.

    What we were watching in ATS, I now think, is the Island’s history taking a disastrously wrong turn. Whether Big Mother is the smoke monster or she invokes it when necessary, I don’t know. But Smokie is the Island’s security system and it protects the Island from exploitation. Ruthless, yes. But not evil. It’s not trying to leave the Island and destroy the universe.

    Then Jacob figures out a loophole, and kills his brother. This is sin, writ large. What does sin do, in mythology? It lets evil loose into the world. Somehow, MIB and Smokie merge, and the living MIB’s understandable (if unallowable) ambition to leave the island becomes psychopathic and worse, a supernatural possibility. (Perhaps Big Mother’s cruel murder of the innocent Claudia is where the wrong turn really began.) I’m with gene e now: What we’ve been watching isn’t strictly the endless cycle, it’s been a 2000-year grave hiccup in the cycle. MIB and Jacob: both have been the problem, and both must to go. The Island, though, has to stay, with Smokie and a new protector in their correct roles.

    Now another idle question: Widmore’s big electromagnet toy. Was it just there to test Desmond, or is it necessary to make happen whatever has to happen?

    @ greenberry: I’ve been interpreting Kate’s passivity as confusion and discouragement. (Not the actress’s boredom.) Though I wouldn’t blame Lilly for being ticked off. I can’t quite believe the writers again played the “drop your guns or I’ll shoot Kate” card. How many times? This is like “They’ve killed Kenny!” on South Park.

    I know where’s I’ll be tonight.

  40. Andy says:

    can someone tell me why Ben was able to summon smokey?

  41. Ryan says:

    @overvision: Apart from rehashing plot points, all we can really discuss is, “How did you like this episode?” If that’s a pointless question, this is definitely a pointless podcast. No one’s forcing you to listen to The Transmission, either.

    If you think art — be it Picasso or “LOST” — cannot be discussed critically, you’ve been hanging out in a different universe than us. I can’t imagine a world where anything is flawless. What the heck would we talk about?

  42. Coolpeace says:

    @ overvision : you have the right to disagree, but on this board we encourage constructive dialogue and encourage civility.

  43. Coolpeace says:

    @ Ryan : well said.

  44. Can’t wait till the next episode, I’m finally all caught up = )

  45. paulb, Brooklyn says:

    I just read the New York magazine interview. This remark baffles me: “There might, possibly, be some questions that we, as storytellers, will answer in the body of the show that might not be appearing in the finale.” Maybe someone out there understands what this means?

  46. overvision says:

    @Ryan said: >>Apart from rehashing plot points, all we can really discuss is, “How did you like this episode?” If that’s a pointless question, this is definitely a pointless podcast. No one’s forcing you to listen to The Transmission, either.<<

    I hear ya' Ryan, and I apologize to @Coolpeace and the board if the passion of my rant came off too harsh or uncivil. Please don't get me wrong, your podcast is so thorough, engaging and well rounded, it couldn't possibly be pointless.
    But you're actually demonstrating my point. If someone listens to your podcast it's assumed they are fans of the show. As you say, no one is forcing anyone to listen. So "logically" feedback would most likely wax poetically about what they "got out" of the podcast, not critiquing perceived miss-steps (like I did).

    Imagine if you will, every other line of feedback absurdly pointing out everything that "doesn't work" about your podcast, "Ryan stumbled over a word, Jen sneezed" etc… The question would then be (as you pointed out) "Why the heck are you listening??"

    BTW, make no mistake, "yours" is the "only" podcast that I take seriously and look forward to, because I feel you're simply the VERY BEST that's out there. It's clean, straight-forward with absolutely no distracting bickering or "jokey" filler.
    In fact my criticism ironically only served to demonstrate how fruitless it is to critique something that you LOVE so much.

    Ultimately, I suppose you're right. Apparently I do dwell in some alternative universe, where I CAN imagine a world in which a work of art could be interpreted as pretty close to "flawless". It's a world where one can possess such mastery of their craft that they create a unique language all their own, generating new paradigms based on their own rules.
    Think Lewis Carol, Magritte, Dali or Harlan Ellison.

    Is it possible to critically discuss these types? Of course it is. Does it matter if I'm "disappointed" that chapter 3 of Alice in Wonderland seemed to drag? I think not. It's ALICE! Either I like it or I don't. Critiquing Alice would only serve to downplay Carol's genius, so I accept Alice "AS-IS". Exactly the way she "is" and exactly the way she "isn't".

    But look, I "DO" get your point. You didn't create a podcast that merely explores what "works" about LOST. Your show investigates the good, the bad and the ugly, and I suppose I should except the show "AS-IS", the same way I'm suggesting that you except LOST "AS-IS".
    Besides, at this point I'm sure everyone expects to stick to the format.

    But after the series is over, how intriguing would it be to broadcast a LOST "AS-IS" show? One entire episode dedicated to critique free, fan-boy inspired reviews, where we unabashedly "take on" LOST from the point of view of the producers?
    Instead of pointing out what we "disagree" with, imagine discussing the "possibility" that perhaps they were brilliant enough to deliver the precise experience that they wanted us to have (whether we liked it or not). Bazaar narrative, erratic pacing and all.

    Of course this depends on the final episode not being so disappointing that we all commit Hari-Kari! ; )

  47. greenberry says:

    Hi All ~ While I tend to take a positive (and less critical) spin on most aspects of LOST, I certainly love some episodes and some characters more than others. Yet, I purposely and joyfully come to this blogsite to read all the critical thinking and analysis. It is cool if people ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ an episode of LOST, especially when they are able to articulate the reasons. I have learned SO MUCH here, and consider it a privilege to be a part of the scene. A MILLION THANKS RYAN and JEN and YAE!!!!!!!!!!!

    As usual for me, I really liked this last episode and the explained mythology. I loved the young actor who played Jacob’s younger twin, as well as when he got older – his story reminded me a bit of the biblically-based “East of Eden” and the Cal character, who was annoyed with Aaron (Jacob) for being naive, uncurious, afraid of the ‘truth,’ and a ‘pleaser’

  48. overvision says:

    I agree with you @greenberry , it is indeed a privilege to be a part of the scene. And we’re actually very fortunate that the Transmission came along to upgrade the level of LOST podcasting. I believe Ryan and Jen deserve some sort of award for being the only podcast to successfully coin MIB with the unsurpassable nickname: “UNLock”!
    Again my apologies if my rant offended anyone. It didn’t intentionally mean to SmokeMonster anybody.

  49. Long time… First time… I just had to post. I’ve been a silent reader of these comment boards every week. The respected opinions and intelligent debates here are pretty much second to none. Thx to everyone here for that… and big thanks to Ryan and Jen for thee best LOST podcast.

    I watched Across the Sea and I thought it was an amazing episode of LOST. I can’t believe so many fans are hating on it. I had my theory that Adam and Eve were two of our losties, that Jacob and MIB were actually the same person, that Richard was an ancient egyptian Ra etc etc… Now I actually love this show even more. Just about every theory I’ve had has been blown out of the window and I’m really enjoying the ride.

    I think more people would be disappointed if Darlton just tried to shoehorn favourite fan theory of the week into the show. Kudos to them.

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