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. Annietoo says:

    Had I left my comments last night, I would have been one of the ones who felt that Across The Sea was a callous waste of one of the few remaining hours of the (still unfolding) story that I have treasured so much. I wanted to have an update on the characters that I have invested 5 years of my life pondering over – and they were not even mentioned last night.
    Okay, but this morning – I realized that what the writers had pulled off was the re-examination of the character of the MIB. Last week we were 100% convinced he was evil, no? That he has no name is unimportant, it only strengthens the fact that since his death, he could be any (dead) anyone. Now we know that he was the child who saw the inconsistencies in his mother’s story – she killed his mom, and prevented him for being with ‘his people’. MIB says: I don’t care about your “Important Light” story – you imprisoned me against my will, killed the only mother I had, and forced me to accept your version of history, and tried to deny me acccess to the truth. All of which is very worrying, when you know that sad Jacob happily gave up his freedom of information, and accepted whatever his admitted murderer foster mom told him, because – he had previously perceived himself as ‘second best’ and needed to be what she wanted him to be.
    I for one, will be happy to debate the paralells in the real world, ab etaernum, because – my friends – there are no real answers to these huge questions. Its all a matter of faith.
    Viva Lost!

  2. Cue Dblu says:

    @Marmee: “Because if it’s all about Jacob’s brother desperately trying to get off the island and go to a “home” he’s never known and killing our beloved characters to do it, I’m not buying it. C’mon, guys, give us a good villain with real motives!”

    I dunno – tell a man that he can have everything but one thing and that’s what he will want (Adam & Eve and the apple). MIB can’t get off the island, but knows there is life outside of the island. He is taunted for millennia (by the same people who kept him trapped and took away his humanity) by having them bring people continuously from the outside to the island – people who he doesn’t much care for anyway. He’s essentially an eternal prisoner who is taunted continuously and wants out. I’d say that would be pretty strong motivation to do just about anything to get free.

  3. Skip Howard says:

    Great show. I’m sad for all of them in this classic Greek tragedy. Goddess mom and the two brothers each kill someone. Each torn with conflict. Jacob seemed slow on the uptake, and given a task he did not wish for. Each showed a caring heart, but driven within that did lead to killing. Can’t we just all get along like Rose and Bernard …..

  4. tvscifi says:

    # Richard H Says:
    May 12th, 2010 at 9:23 am

    The Voice Of Jacob’s and MIB’s “Mother” Was Obviously Dubbed By Katey Segal (Helen).

    I thought so too! And I swear I heard MIB talking with Locke’s voice when he was arguing with his mother by the donkey wheel. Just for a few lines, it seemed dubbed.

  5. London Eng says:

    I loved this episode.. I believe that the show will end with a lot of unanswered questions and I am perfectly fine with that…. o wait… what about the numbers??? Where did they come from? haha.. j/k

    I will miss lost when it’s over = (

  6. Bob F. @darter2002 says:

    Only Lost would dare take a twist like this so close to the end. I don’t understand when someone says they hate this episode. I don’t think there is one episode in the past 6 seasons that I could say I hated. Some I didn’t like as much as others but I like them all.

  7. Maikeru says:

    @Cue Dblu (9:47 am)

    Great minds truly think alike indeed ;D Didn’t see your comment in this wave of epic reactions on this weeks episode but it IS the only proper explanation behind the whole plot

    I just watched the episode again and there’s really no other explanation behind the light, as mother says that this light is within every person so it does resemble the soul.. As the guardian of the Well of Souls for so long, i can only imagine that she went insane having lived so long due to her ageleness or immortality and devised of a way to play both brothers against each other so she could finally find peace and let her soul enter the well of souls after having seen and experience the light herself

    Hence the gratefull thank you for MiB, but as her plot was succesfull it went awry and Jacob simply made it all fubar in the end and is left facing the consequences

  8. John says:

    @ John Fisher: If your theory is correct and smokey was “created” when MIB went into the light, how do you explain Mother taking out the ancient others? It seems pretty evident that the destruction was caused by a/the smoke monster. The only answer is that there is or can be more than one Smoke Monster and anyone who goes into the light emerges as a smoke monster. In other words, Mother was a smoke monster, too. Under that scenario you could have an island filled with smoke monsters if a number of people wandered into the light together.

    The other option is that there is only one smoke monster. When Mother was killed by the dagger it could no longer inhabit here and took over MIB when he went into the light. It seems that there is a fundamental difference between Mother as Smoke Monster and MIB as Smoke Monster. The two characters have totally opposite motivations. Mother wants to protect the island, protect the island and keep the light safe. MIB wants to leave the island and rejects the idea that the island has to be saved. That would suggest either that there can be more than one monster or that the monster’s motivation is driven by the human personality. Interesting.

    I had always rejected the idea that Jacob could also become a smoke monster, but it seems more plausible now if one is created whenever a human enters the light. In earlier seasons the smoke monster has seemed to act to protect the island (i.e. the freighter folks). So either MIB had his own reasons for protecting the losties or there are more than one.

    One a side note, if a troop of girl scouts stumbled into the light, would you end up with a swirling vortex of writhing giggling smoke monsteresses? Oh the carnage….

  9. John Fischer says:

    @Bob F “don’t understand when someone says they hate this episode.” – Last night I said, very emphatically that I hated this episode. My immediate reaction was once of disappointment over lack of answers and what I considered to be a waste of time. However, after reading what others have said here and elsewhere, I rewatched the episode and now I kinda like it. It wasn’t the best episode ever, but it was OK. It actually did explain quite a bit and it made me much more sympathetic for the MIB/Smoke Monster. He was deceived, manipulated and his humanity was stolen. That would tend to piss me off too.

  10. eEditor says:

    There were almost 400 posts when I logged on this afternoon. I apologize if I restate things previously mentioned…I got through the first 150 posts or so.

    I saw a lot of parallels between last night’s episode and a twist on the Jacob & Esau story from the Bible. Jacob should have had the birthright [candidate], but the “Mother” character eventually wanted MiB to be the one. His desires to leave the island left her with her second choice, Jacob.

    It was good to see that Jacob isn’t always benevolent. He has moments of rage, jealousy and violence. Conversely, Jacob’s brother wasn’t totally evil when he was alive, either.

    I believe the smoke monster had been trapped on the island for a long time before it took on the form of MiB. We need to get over the idea that the smoke monster is MiB; it isn’t. Taking the form of a deceased person is simply a vehicle. Perhaps he did the same thing with their real mother when MiB saw her on the beach? I dunno.

    Another thought that occurred to me: maybe that’s why the Others were trying to steal the children from the Losties in the past? Maybe Jacob wanted to assume the role of a parental figure like his adopted mother did, and groom that child to be his replacement? Walt came with some baggage [a memory], but Aaron sure wouldn’t have & neither would JiYeon, had she been born on the island.

    I think this spells doom for Sawyer in the end. No other Lostie has tried so hard to get off “this damned island”…just like the MiB. I see the final scene on the beach with Jack and MiS [Man in Sawyer] continuing the game.

    When did the island, smokie, and “the game” all begin? We may never know. But as the past few episodes have shown me, sometimes speculation is more interesting than the real answers. It’s like wondering about when time began. There’s really no concrete answer, and you give yourself a headache thinking about it.

  11. Ben Mc says:

    Uhg, I can’t stop thinking about this episode. I didn’t care for the acting and speedy story telling, but I absolutely loved it.

    My thought was that this whole story was supposed to unfold the way the tail section survivor’s story did in season 2, but lost was cut to 6 seasons. One more season and we’d have half a season just about all of this. I’m super bummed we won’t be getting that now.

    I truly think both Jacob and the MIB can be smoke monsters. This would explain both taking the form of Christian on and off island. It also explains how “mother” destroyed the well and killed a village of people.

    Also, the black smoke Locke looked into in the first season, where he saw the light – I think we’ll find that was Jacob in smokey form.

  12. Mark in Omaha says:

    Okay, decent episode but lots of questions…

    If neither Jacob nor MIB could leave the island, then how was Jacob able to leave the island in season 5?

    Also in season five we now know that, during the beach scene between Jacob and MIB, MIB was quoting his Mother (“It always ends the same. Man comes. They destroy, blah blah blah”), and it was Jacob who countered/altered that claim. How odd, considering it was MIB who wanted off the island so badly and it was Jacob who was always willing to follow Mother.

    How does MIB “know” that mixing the light/energy with water via turning the wheel would allow him to leave the island? He says “because I’m special.” That is NOT an explanation.

    How did Mother know that the consequences of going into the Source cave would be “worse than death?” Had she gone in at one time herself, thus experiencing whatever unspeakable horrors were down there? Perhaps she became a prisoner to Smokie, or even the monster herself? Was that how she was able to wipe out that entire village? Or maybe, like Ben, she sent Smokie forth to do her bidding. And where did Mother come from exactly? Her back story is way too vague for my liking. She seemed to know she was going to die after her series of events with MIB, hence the passing of the torch to Jacob, but why? And then “thank you.” Huh? More questions that I’m betting will sadly never be answered.

    Finally, has anyone figured out what Mother said, presumably in Latin, as she was preparing to give Jacob the wine(?) from the bottle?

  13. docjkm says:

    Really? Really? Really.

    Team Dark. Climb aboard, or get left behind.

    I will take time, to think, ponder, and see if I have anything else to add.

  14. docjkm says:

    Oh. Knives, Nuckin, you are welcome! I kept the faith, and you may still be redeemed. All the rest… judge, and ye will be judged.

  15. Ryan F says:

    Now that we know more of Jacob’s brother’s intense desire to get off the island back to his people, what do we make of Jacob apparently showing up off island visiting people whenever he likes? Jacob wants to stay but can leave anytime. Brother wants to leave but can’t. Pretty rough deal for man in black.

  16. Few other points:

    Jacob can’t lie (at least not well… like sideways Sawyer)
    NotMom is a liar
    Nameless thinks the ends justify the means

    I do agree with @Vincent that we were given a clue with the whole Locke/Jack – Body vs Father discussion. This late in the game, I think we can say the smoke monster is the spirit, soul, whatever of the nameless man.

    Of course the smoke monster could also be the golden light… he’s just in a bad mood most of the time.

  17. lost in brooklyn says:

    @Marmee, you say: “..but how does this explain MIB/Smoky/Locke’s motivation for the cold-blooded killings in “The Candidate?””

    I felt perfectly satisfied with the explanation of unLocke’s motivations (and with the episode as a whole, but more on that in a sec.) in “Across the Sea”. The Mother says “it is a fate worse than death” referring to anyone who goes down into The Light. So, if having your Mom murdered and being raised by a crazy lady, being lied to and prevented from ever leaving the Island and having all your friends (and only other known humans on the Island) murdered by your crazy lady mom isn’t enough to bring you to the dark side, certainly being killed by your goody-goody brother (who you were only ever trying to help) and then being shoved into The Light to face a “fate worse than death” would probably do the trick.

  18. lost in brooklyn says:

    Unlike Jen and Ryan (and probably a good majority of other die hard Losties), I really liked this episode. I think it was a great answer to last week’s powerhouse episode. As Lost approaches the end I have a feeling things are going to speed up significantly, and honestly this whole season has felt just a little forced (pat answers and overly neat resolutions flying left and right), and though this was sort of an “answer episode” I loved that it created more questions (that is Lost at it’s best afterall) and I loved, loved, loved that it threw into question the very foundation of this whole season: good vs. evil.

    Certainly we can feel for the nameless Brother (pre-belly-flop into the Light abyss, that is). We can relate to his wanderlust, his sense that he doesn’t belong on the Island and that there must be more out there “across the sea”. And who but a heartless monster could not feel for a child who finds out his real mother has been murdered and his adoptive mother has been lying to him his whole life? And sure, he killed his mother, but let’s be fair, that mother killed his real mother, raised him on lies and killed his only other human friends on the Island, so, meh, who’s counting? Even I felt a horrible pang when our sweet Jacob pushed his Brother into the Light abyss.

    Ryan makes comparisons to Biblical stories, but I felt there were many more parallels to Greek/Roman mythology. The Godess Athena was patroness of weavers (and a weaver herself) and she protected heroes, was a keeper of peace and justice, though a warrior for just causes (or causes she felt were just). She even raised an adoptive son. Hmmmm. All the mother/brother killing was very greek mythology too.

    Not sure if it’s been mentioned yet, but did anyone else wonder about the appearance of The Nameless Brother’s murdered mother? I immediately felt it was a trap, that it was not really his mother. She was a little too matter of fact (hii’myourdeadmomyoudon’tbelonghereyouhavebeenliedtoallthistime) but maybe that was just weak writing? More importantly, didn’t Smokey/unLocke admit to being all those dead people who appear at opportune times to provide important information? Could it have been another Smokey (or someone else who “found The Light”)? Because basically the appearance of the dead mother sets off the chain of events that results in both the Mother and Nameless Brother’s demise (granted it took 30 years, but what’s 30 years on Lost?)

  19. John says:

    @ lost in Brooklyn :: More importantly, didn’t Smokey/unLocke admit to being all those dead people who appear at opportune times to provide important information? Could it have been another Smokey (or someone else who “found The Light”)? ::

    No. He admitted to being Jack’s Dad that time in the jungle. D and C have said that there are real dead people on the island and that not all “ghosts” are MIB

  20. Carol from Boston says:

    @Johnfisher – well John if you can be swayed after hating the episode last night, I think I’ll give the episode a rewatch and see if I like it more and get more out of it.

    I think the problems that the writers might have sometimes is that even through everything is clear to them, their explanations might not be clear to us. Season 5 totally confused me, but after watching it again, I am not confused at all. I get the time travel now. I am sure that to them the smoke monster is easy stuff, but to us, not so much.

    I am with the people that believe that Mom was the original smokey.

  21. ricksuckchez says:

    I think when Jacob/MiB false mom told Claudia ‘your questions will only lead to more questions’ was the writers way of poking at unhappy fans who want every minute detail answered
    I think I watched Lost the best way after reading the comments, I’ve only watched Episodes once from day one and didn’t read blogs on it up until now. To be honest when they mentioned Adam and Eve again this season I had totally forgotten about it. I think the casuel vewier take the show for what it is and just enjoys the ride, I notice on the jayandjack podcast they were debating about why the actors started speaking English, which I found ridiculous to me it was obvious the producers didn’t want the entire episode to be subtitled and I’m sure Latin is not easy for everyone to learn and speak, but they were making it out to be more than it was.

  22. Marmee says:

    @Lost in Brooklyn: I do agree that Smokey/MIB is justified in “going to the dark side” after the betrayal by his mother and being sent into the light by his brother. It’s motivation to kill his mother and Jacob, which he has now done.

    But the motivation to get off island, and to kill everyone who stands in his way of that goal – why? I have yet to see the motivation there. I like my villains to have motivation, and I thought Cuse & Lindelof would deliver in “Across the Sea.” I’m hoping they still will.

  23. Ann_Louise says:

    It just seems strange that after Darlton state that a major reason Jin/Sun/Sayid died was to show how “evil” MIB is, the following episode paints him rather sympathetically, with Jacob coming across as a weak-willed mamma’s boy. If MIB is at one end of the spectrum, as the PTB have said outright, it doesn’t make sense to me that Jacob isn’t coming across as a clear example of the other extreme.

  24. lost in brooklyn says:

    @John- “No. He admitted to being Jack’s Dad that time in the jungle. D and C have said that there are real dead people on the island and that not all “ghosts” are MIB”

    Oh. Ok. It still felt a little fake to me, like a bit of a set up. I’ll buy that there are other dead people on the Island (that aren’t Smokey) and I’ll buy that Nameless Brother can see dead people (after all, he’s special) but somehow his murdered mother’s appearance just seemed very opportunistic and not at all emotional.

    I like the theory that UnMom was Smokey prior to Nameless Brother. If so, then was it UnMom/Smokey appearing as the Murdered Mom? UnMom left the game for Nameless Brother knowing he’d play it without permission and UnMom thanked Nameless Brother when he killed her…was she setting it all into motion?

  25. John Fischer says:

    @Marmee – I think it all has to do with Jacob’s brother’s real life experiences. When he was alive he lived among a group of humans who he concluded were all bad, liars, cheaters, deceivers etc. He learned that his “mother” really was someone who murdered his real mother. Then his brother throws him into the light and he becomes a smoke monster. He sees no good in any human being and therefore he has no problem with killing people left and right to attain his goal of going home. My only question then is why if he has concluded that every human being he has met is bad, why would he want to go home and live among more of these evil people. Still, when all is said and done, I think he has plenty of motive to do what he does.

  26. Ryan F says:

    @ lost in brooklyn
    I definitely think this is a possibility. And I think it would be great!
    While it seems impossible there will be any more flashbacks as long as this episode’s, and while I do not think we will get all our questions answered, I do think we are going to learn more about the smoke monster before the finale is over.

  27. gene e says:

    One has to make the assumption that the candidate/recruit will CHOOSE the role. While Jack or Desmond seem willing to consider the role of Jacob, I don’t see Sawyer saying, “I stay and try and get off!” It’s got to make sense. It has to be in keeping with the character as we’ve come to know them. Who is stupid enough to say, “Hey, I’ll stay and try to…”. TO DO WHAT! Sawyer will tell Jacob’s Replacement AND MIB to shove it. ‘Stupid’, remember, if you are looking for someone to replace MIB, you’re looking for ‘stupid’. So I’m going Jack vs MIL, or Desmond vs Widmore/Eloise.

  28. John says:

    @Ann Louise. I don’t think there is anything inconsistent in MIB being evil and the fact that we can understand and sympathize with the things that turned him evil. Maybe it has to do with the definition of “evil”. If evil is simply malevolence for the sake of malevolence–killing out of joy or some twisted psychological compulsion– then MIB isn’t evil. But those characters are kind of boring. They make for good horror flicks, but not very interesting character studies. MIB is evil because his ACTIONS are evil. He is willing to lie, manipulate and commit mass murder for his own selfish purposes. He may have been driven to that point by external forces, but none of his victims are to blame. Hence, I think he fits the definition of “evil” and there isn’t any inconsistency between last week and what we saw yesterday.

    As to Jacob, he is also a complex figure. It appears that he has very human emotions and angers. But, if his underlying motivation is “saving” the world he is probably “good” even if he has had to hurt people who were unwittingly threatening the stability of the island and, thus, the world. He may be responsible for the dead Dharma folks but still be “good”.

  29. lost in brooklyn says:

    @Marmee says- “But the motivation to get off island, and to kill everyone who stands in his way of that goal – why? I have yet to see the motivation there. I like my villains to have motivation, and I thought Cuse & Lindelof would deliver in “Across the Sea.” I’m hoping they still will.”

    You are assuming that Nameless Brother/Smokey/UnLocke is a villian. The Season hasn’t ended yet. If Lost is good at anything it is good at giving us well-rounded characters who defy pat catagorizations of “good” or “bad”. And it is good at defying our expectations. Even the bad guys are fleshed out in all their humanity, rather than being 2D comic book characters (no offense to comic book characters).Well, I’m pretty sure that if you are capable of killing the woman who that never rise above being “villians” or “heroes”.

    I like my villians a little good and I like my good guys a little bad. Lost has always delivered on that. Still, unlike you, I felt that the writers gave us plenty of insight into Smokey/UnLocke’s recent bad behavior. Also, wouldn’t you want off an Island if you’de been stuck there for centuries. Our Losties were starting to lose it and they were only stuck there for….um, how long was it now?

  30. patrick (connecticut) says:

    after watching the episode i thought-

    the mom “eve” is the smoke monster…
    and UnLocke is the ManInBlack…
    and Jacob is all the dead people running around.

    (…and the same person responsible for the subtitled episodes had to be responsible for those -absolutely ridiculous (and mildly embarrassing)- flashes to season 1 episode in the adam & eve scene.)

    and by subtitled episodes i mean those dumb 8pm “lost for dummies” replay episodes… not the use of subtitles in the actual eps… which i love.

  31. John says:

    @gene. If anyone who goes into the special light becomes a smoke monster, it is possible that Sawyer will end up with that fate unwittingly. He certainly wouldn’t decide to become a malevolent force of evil and BE MIB. But, he may accidentally become a smoke monster who wants to get off the island and now can’t without damaging or destroying the world. If he comes across the light (as did MIB) and believes it is the route home (as did MIB), he may end up in the light and emerge a smoke monster. Oops! It seems that a smoke monster takes on the personality of the person that is taken over or transformed, so he wouldn’t be MIB. He would be a pissed off Sawyer with the ability to create mass destruction and crack wise

  32. lost in brooklyn says:

    Oh, sorry for the typo in my last post. This is what I wrote: “…rather than being 2D comic book characters (no offense to comic book characters).Well, I’m pretty sure that if you are capable of killing the woman who that never rise above being “villians” or “heroes”. ”

    But this is what I meant:

    ”’rather than being 2D comic book characters (no offense to comic book characters) that never rise above being “villians” or “heroes”.”

    The other sentence fragment was supposed to be deleted, but it was about how if Nameless Brother can kill the woman who raised him, I don’t see why he’d have qualms about killing, say..Jin or anyone else that seems to stand in the way of his ultimate goal. Maybe not motivation, but definitely a glimpse into his personality?

  33. Zhami says:

    Read what @Islandsidhe said on May 12th, 2010 at 8:22 am — very well articulated.

    I am troubled by how many people think this episode wasn’t important. The entire story of Lost is about the Battles that are waged on or over the Island. Our Losties are victims of the Battle, not causes, and whether they become instrumental in its outcome is yet to be seen. The greater story arc has always been about “what lies beneath”, and this episode *finally* reveals a larger (but not full) context for the Battle we all have known is coming.

    In watching Lost we are watching a game played by two players for ultimate stakes. To consider jacob and His Brother inessential to the show is to not know what the show is about. In a very perhaps unsatisfying way, the show is not about the Losties, though there antics on island and off have been great story, and because they are flushed-out characters, we love-em and hate-em or love-hate-em. Still, they are ancillary to the real action, and have always been “out of the loop” of what’s really going on.

    I do wonder though how much Widmore and Hawkings know, in a deep way, and we (the audience) have for long been shown that they are Players/Movers. The question I ponder is whether they too are manipulated, or they are on par with Jacob and His Brother, or perhaps even connected to the yet-larget force(s) that have ensnared Jacob and His Brother in their tragic game.

    Anyway… pardon my vigor here, and excuse any offense. After all, I’m just moving some pawns on a board.

  34. popokigirl says:

    “Go into the light, my children. Cross over…”

    The Wood Between The Worlds…

    Or, as I said when I watched it, “oh, super, it’s all been about a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow?”

    Does that make MIB Dorothy? “If happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow, why oh why can’t I?”

    Okay. Moving on. You are so right, Ryan and Jen. When did this show decide to move away from the characters we have loved for 5 seasons and reduce them to pawns in a game? How was that a good idea? This drivel about “the light” and “the Source” was…well, drivel. Let’s go to the mythology and religion supermarket and pick up a few things in each aisle…the sale items maybe, something cheap. Just so we can prove we had the idea from the beginning. (Now why would you want to prove that you had this bad idea from the beginning and never thought about changing it?)

    Are we supposed to trust murdering crazy B’s story that the light is the source and needs protecting? (They can call her whatever they want, but there’s no way I’M calling that character “Mother”.)

    Lame. Again.

  35. Paulo from Portugal says:

    Worst episode of the season.
    Didn’t really explained anything. The only surprise was… that there were no surprises.

  36. Ryan F says:

    @John

    Now that would be funny to have Sawyer as the new comedy-style monster who continues on the legacy but gives a wisecrack nickname to everyone he kills right before their death.

  37. Jesse says:

    Thanks everyone for your awesome comments about my many theories….

    so I’ve been thinking things through, rewatched the episode 3 times and I think this is what I’ve come up with:

    1. “Mother” either THE original smoke monster or another version of it.
    The episode is filled with hints.
    – just like smokey appeared to echo as a reflection in a river as he went to drink, so did “mother” to claudia in this episode.
    – the entire village and well were destroyed by what… a freak monsoon?…with fire in it?
    – She told them never to go into the light, it was worse than death. Well how else would she know unless she did it.

    2. “mother” set everything up from the beginning. It was never about finding a protector replacement, but a smokey replacement.
    – she raised the boys, one completely trusting and loving and one always wanting more.
    – the reason why she says “I love you in different ways” is becuase she really does love Jacob and his innocence… but loves MiB becuase he is going to take her spot.
    -MiB was always going to be the heir, but after he left she had to alter her plans somewhat.
    – mother makes Jacob “immortal” and more importantly shows him the light stream again…….and then sets her plan into motion
    -She beats up MiB and destroys the town and well and leaves the game box
    – MiB outraged finds her and kills her with “THE DAGGER”.
    – Jacob returns and sees his brother with the knife and beats the crap out of him.
    – As predicted, Jacob drags MiB to a fate worse than death at the light river.
    -So her plan works after all and Jacob who she loves dearly is spared becoming the being that is forced to suffer forever and MiB becomes the new smokey.

    …OR DID IT…

    Smokey/MiB still has the desire to leave the island… he has his memories and hatred of men…
    Mother saw this as well..
    and that is why Jacob was given power and why both can’t directly kill eachother…
    becuase Jacob’s job was to “check and balance” MiB…who even though he wanted to leave HAS to stay on the island.

    So basically, “mother” planned everything and made it so her powers were split between the two…
    MiB who was going to be the replacement all along and Jacob was tasked with stopping his brother from distrupting their purpose…

    what that is…. no clue…

    but that’s what I think happened in this episode.

  38. Ryan F says:

    Damon and Carlton have responded to some of the “polarization” in the fan reactions to this episodes. Very good interview but it does contain slight SPOILERS so read at your own risk.

    http://www.hitfix.com/blogs/whats-alan-watching/posts/exclusive-interview-lost-producers-damon-lindelof-and-carlton-cuse-talk-across-the-sea

  39. Michael says:

    Just reviewed richards episode. He drinks wine out of the cup that Jacob’s mother gave him.
    It’s the Grail
    and inside the well of souls resides the Ark of the Covenant

    DaVinci code anyone?

  40. popokigirl says:

    Lots of talk about the “Thank you”, but I haven’t yet seen any reference to another unexplained “Thank you.” I have not yet read through all 423 posts, so I apologize in advance if this is a repeat.

    How about our non-English speaking Jin saying “Thank you” to Keamy as Keamy talks about killing him (if I’m remembering that scene correctly)?

  41. Matio in Denver says:

    @ Craig
    If the smoke monster only takes on the thoughts/memories of the person it is duplicating, then why does the current version of the smoke monster (Locke) want to leave the island? Real Locke wanted to stay and keep people on the island. MIB is the one that wanted to leave. So your theory would require the smoke monster to now be more similar to Locke. I say smoke monster = MIB and just looks like Locke, but did get some of his memories.

  42. Embie says:

    Re: the beach location where Mother talks to the boy in black – when you see the boy first there is a large tortoise (probably a sea turtle but the size of a Galapagos tortoise) at the shoreline. At first I thought it was maybe a rock but I’m sure it’s a turtle. Anything in that? It wasn’t edited out so I wonder if it ‘means anything.’

    Also, since so many seem bothered by inconcistencies, I’ll mention what bothered me – fake Mother kills real mother – how does she feed two infants when the only lactating female around is dead? Does she find a boar mama to serve as wet nurse?

  43. Embie says:

    Re: the beach location where Mother talks to the boy in black – when you see the boy first there is a large tortoise (probably a sea turtle but the size of a Galapagos tortoise) at the shoreline. At first I thought it was maybe a rock but I’m sure it’s a turtle. Anything in that? It wasn’t edited out so I wonder if it ‘means anything.’

    Also, since so many seem bothered by inconcistencies, I’ll mention what bothered me – fake Mother kills real mother – how does she feed two infants when the only lactating female around is dead? Does she find a boar mama to serve as wet nurse?

  44. Jo from New York says:

    I have a headache! What a passionate response this episode has brought on! I don’t think there has ever been or ever will be again a show on television that will cause such theories and discussion. Honestly I was just a bit disappointed in this one I’m sorry to say. I expected more answers at this point in time, but I love the show a lot and I have to have faith that the writers will give it an exciting ending. Will we get all our answers? I don’t think so. I believe we’ll all be talking about Lost for many years to come. When it’s all over I think I will have to watch all the seasons again. What I got out of this episode was that noone is all good or all evil, Jacob or MIB. You all everybody are fantastic – thanks for your insightful and brilliant thoughts!

  45. I’ve seen a few posts about the “inconsistency” related to the boys’ not knowing of death while hunting. My thoughts is that they didn’t view hunting boar as killing. It was only when put into a frame of reference involving other humans (remember, as far as they were concerned Jacob, Brother, and Mother were the only humans in the world) that death had meaning. They had never encountered death involving another human.

  46. Laura in NY says:

    I haven’t read the posts yet. I pretty nearly hated the episode and am now curious to see whether YAE can help me appreciate it. You have your work cut out for you.

  47. John says:

    I agree with Ryan F. That interview is very instructive and addresses a lot of the complaints and comments here over the last 24 hours. I must have missed the spoilers. If they are there, they are very subtle. I encourage everyone to read it.

  48. John says:

    @ Matio. Locke never went into the light. Our Smoke Monster is still MIB, as you note. That doesn’t mean that when someone goes into the light and is reborn as a smoke monster that they don’t take on the characteristics of that person.

  49. popokigirl says:

    @ Matt:
    May 12th, 2010 at 5:42 am

    I’m with you. Wonder if that’s why I’m also on MIB’s side? “I know what it’s like to feel betrayal.” 🙂

  50. Carol from Boston says:

    @RyanF and John – I agree a great article and I didn’t feel there were any spoilers except for what they aren’t going to include. The article did help me understand the episode a bit.

    I haven’t read all of the posts I am still in the 300’s. Has anybody discussed when Locke was seeing young Jacob this season, why he had dark hair at one point? That wasn’t young MIB? Also what is he seeing? A ghost? a regenerating Jacob? We have all speculated plus we have to take into account Sawyer saw young Jacob and so did Desmond didn’t he?

    I love how MIB was talking about the wells to Desmond and why they were built and now we know that he is the one that built them.

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