Tuesday, May 11, 2010

"Across the Sea" Instant Reactions!

Brian's One Word Review: Indifferent.

Yeah - I didn't see that coming either.

What a weird episode.

Before this episode, I was hoping it would be the one that finally revealed the true nature of Jacob and Anti-Jacob, where they came from, and explained the "rules" between the two of them and the Island. In my wildest dreams, I didn't expect that it would also be the episode that explained the Frozen Donkey Wheel, the light behind it, AND finally reveal the identities of Adam and Eve.

So why did this episode feel so "meh"?

Sure, there were some parts that were a little hokey (the explanation about the light - and generally the special effects about the light) and some parts that were a little slow (the first twenty minutes featuring Young Jacob and Young Anti-Jacob) - but I guess the weirdest thing about this episode is that even though I now know the answers to all the aforementioned questions - it doesn't change any of my "big picture" views about Lost. It didn't reveal anything new that makes me understand or appreciate earlier episodes anymore - or suddenly give me a bunch of new theories about the direction the show is heading in its final three and a half hours.

What did we learn?


Timeline. Apparently all of the action in this week's episode took place BEFORE the Egyptians came to the Island - so a couple of hundred (or thousand) years before JC. I say this because there was no Tawaret statue visible, and it featured the "birth" of Smokey, who we see featured in the hieroglyphics around the Island. This provides us with an understand of just how long Jacob and Anti-Jacob have been on the Island, and how hard it really was for Anti-Jacob to finally find his Loophole to murder Jacob. It literally has taken him THOUSANDS of years. Crazy.


The Woman. So who was the "Woman" who was the pre-Jacob? How long had she been there? Why did she feel the need to murder Claudia as soon as Jacob and Anti-Jacob were born? Even if she wanted Jacob and Anti-Jacob to be her two "candidates" since they were unspoiled by all the bad things that people do, couldn't she have stolen them away Benjamin Linus style and let Claudia live? It seems a little ironic that she murders a woman in cold blood, and then gives her speech about how terrible mankind is because they come, they corrupt, they MURDER. Pot, this is the kettle. You're black. (That's racist).

It's also interesting that upon being killed by Anti-Jacob, she thanks him - as she finally gets her release from the Island, and the job of protecting it. In this way, it actually makes her closer to Anti-Jacob than Jacob, which explains why she had the affinity for him all along.


The Island. All along, I've talked about the "gooey electromagnetic core" of the Island - something at the heart of it that's the center of its power - and it looks like we've finally found it, in the form of bright, "warm" light emitting from various points around the Island. The Woman told Jacob and Anti-Jacob that it represented life and death, and that there was a little bit of it in each of us. She also told them that if people tried to take too much of it, it would kill them... so does this mean that the Island is God? I'm guessing this is going to be one of the items that the writers leave open to our interpretation - and based on your religious beliefs, you'll probably find some answers more meaningful than others. But I would bet any amount of money that the journey for Desmond in the final three episodes of the series will involve traveling to this core of the Island.


The Rules. One of the biggest disappointments of the episode was the lack of a real explanation of the "rules" that conveniently pop-up here and there. The illogical thing is that although The Woman never really told anything about the Candidates or Rules to Jacob and Anti-Jacob, they've been talking like they are experts on them ever since we met them. Heck, even Ben and Widmore seem to know some of these rules. Did people just pick them up along the way when they found limitations to what they could and couldn't do? Are they written down somewhere? It's a little bit funny that the only rule that we were explicitly told was that Jacob and Anti-Jacob couldn't hurt each other... and yet we saw that Jacob did hurt Anti-Jacob - in fact, he killed him - even though he became Smokey in the process, so technically he is "living on".


Adam and Eve. We were told that Adam and Eve represented proof that the writers of Lost knew what they were doing all along, and had a master plan in place way back in Season One. Having finally found out who Adam and Eve are... I don't know that it's a fair argument. Sure, Adam and Eve ended up being characters that we didn't find out about until - well, THIS EPISODE - but it seems like the writers found a way to explain Adam and Eve (while ignoring Jack's comment about them being dead for 40-50 years... instead of a few thousand) instead of using them to drive home any sort of major plot point that was relevant to the show all along. In the end, it's nice to know who they are - but does it change how we view the skeletons from Season One at all? No. Does it make me say "Wow - they really did have this planned from the start?" Absolutely not.


The Frozen Donkey Wheel. Here's the interesting thing - The Woman was so hellbent on Anti-Jacob staying on the Island, that she attacked him and killed all his people to prevent them from installing the FDW. (PS - how exactly did she kill all of them? Could she become Smokey?) Yet, in the end, the FDW ends up being installed anyways and we know that Jacob comes and goes from the Island as he pleases in his efforts to find a worthy replacement. The Woman kinda hosed Anti-Jacob on this whole deal, don't you think? It would also be interesting to find out who truly finished the FDW and tested it out for the first time. It seemed like Anti-Jacob was the man with the plan, so it's likely he manipulated some other people who came to the Island into completing the construction.


Anti-Jacob. It's also a little bit curious about how much Anti-Jacob knew about the inner-workings of the Island in general. He knew that if they cut a slit in the rock and inserted a FDW, it would help them leave the Island. Huh? How? I think we are to assume that some of his knowledge came from the Ghost of Claudia, but could she possibly have known all this? Do spirits on the Island become all-knowing about everything? If so, sweet perk of the after-life.


In the end, I guess I just don't see anything that was so huge in this episode that it needed to be shown as the second last episode of the series. While it was a nice little story, nothing major was revealed. Wouldn't this have fit a lot better early on in the season, rather than breaking up the momentum of last week's episode? I guess it would have ruined the mystery of Young Jacob running through the Jungle and tormenting SmokeLocke - but it also would have made us better understand his motivations all along.


Okay - it's way late. That's all I've got for now. Discuss!


109 comments:

Sheebs said...

Remarkable episode...and analysis Brian…again! (Like everyone else, I can’t sleep until I read it!)

First! Cool!

Ok, so only 2 episodes left and did this episode of LOST offer us more answers or…more questions? Well we figured out a few things:

1. MiB ≠ Smokey. Smokey is an entity in and of itself.
2. Smokey inhabits whichever corpse on the island it desires & can reinhabit those bodies at will it seems.
3. We also know that MiB wasn’t always evil but leaned to the Dark Side.
4. MiB is right, his Mother was CRAZY!
5. MiB and Jacob ARE twin brothers and quite innocent at times to some of the ways of the world it seems and down deep, almost to the end, they both did love their island mother.
6. I guess we will never know where their CRAZY! island mom came from except that there is an infinite loop of people coming to the island to replace the “Jacobs”/ “island keepers” [like Desmond and the Hatch].
7. Their CRAZY! island mother seemed content or even happy to finally die… “Thank you” [must of been there a while] just like Jacob was content and did not put up a fight when he died.

Additional humdingers:

1. How did Jacob & MiB’s biological mother appear to MiB if there was no Smokey yet? Can the island itself just do that?

2. So what is MiB’s true name? Guess we will never know/not suppose/need to know…oh well.

3. What was the age/era that Jacob’s CRAZY! island mom came from …& that Jacob came from?

4. What is in that liquid/wine that Jacob drank to authenticate he is the new “island keeper” and how will Jack [the new Jacob] be the new “island keeper” if MiB broke that flask that is to be drunk by the “island keeper”?

Mumford said...

I remember the first thing I thought when I saw that flask of wine again was 'oh, dude, didn't Richard drink from that...?'

A great analysis! I feel the same- a nice episode, it was awesome to see more of Jacob and Anti-Jacob, but the ep in all didn't really have much of a punch to it, at least not what I'd have expected from a Lost episode so close to the end.

Bobb said...

This season is a letdown.

Christoph said...

Brian - how about you tackle Twin Peaks next?

By the way - I'm starting to get really scared that the end of this season is going to make me angry and ruin the show for me...

Stephen said...

this IS a huge letdown...I can't understand how anyone can be excited anymore about this show. I have no faith in the writers at all after this episode. I had high hopes too. Oh well I guess.

Adam said...

Totally agree with you Brian. I'm hoping this episode was merely a setup for something big later on.

Vidya said...

Brian - great analysis. I couldn't agree more...the episode didn't offer any new information. It almost seemed like they wrote it to answer some of the questions that people had been asking aka Adam & Eve, Smokey & Jacob's origin etc.
Having said that...here's my 2 cents...
Seems like when Jacob pushed MIB down the "light hole", the light seized to exist and Smokey (evil incarnate) was formed. So now Jacob's role has changed...instead of protecting the light, he has to keep the dark from escaping. So MIB was right in saying that there is nothing to project. That also brings in the metaphor of the island being the cork that keeps smokey (aka...evil, darkness) from getting to every man out there.
Additional questions that come to my mind are
1. It seems like Jacob does not have any special powers like his brother did, So how does he get on an off the island at will to pick his candidates?

2. Since Jacob gave the magic potion to MIB and he destroyed it, was his intention ever to find a replacement to himself or something else. Are the candidates really to replace Jacob or to destroy the Island?

3. Since the light is gone and only darkness (smokey) prevails, is Jacob trying to find the good (light) in people to restore the light to the Island and thereby destroy Smokey.

noemailformeadows said...

I agree with the people that are let down. Super MEH episode. Real high expectations for this episode and expected some real answers. I have a whole lot more.

Since MIB could see dead people and so does Hugo, does that make him alike? Is Hugo bound for a swim in that water?

If "Woman" killed all those people and Jacob doesn't ever, I'm having a hard time believe she was the same role Jacob has now. Or was Jacob just more creative and tried to find a different way to get a replacement without kidnapping, killing and raising a replacement? How's he gonna seal the deal without the ceremonial wine drinking? Or was Richard's scene an unknowing way to pass it on? Seems kinda sketchy to appoint him as a successor without telling him.... but better than killing his mom at birth and raising him with lies. I guess Jacob and "Woman" could have known that they was bound to get killed sooner or later and needed to go ahead and give someone everlasting life (within the rules). Just Jacob made the choice and drank willingly. Ricardo just thought he was getting an "assistant jacob" job, and everlasting life.

Also curious as to how "Woman" killed all those people without becoming the smoke monster.

Salvar said...

There's hardly a single way in which this episode didn't disappoint. Even the birth of Smokey felt tacked-on and incomplete--they could have at least showed the light for a second more, to show whether it came back or went out for good! It's... sigh.
And I was totally expecting MiB's name there, at the very end. Now I fear that, like so many other things, they've just decided to skip it. :(

Stephen said...

I'm just glad there are people that are just as disillusioned as I am with this episode.

Rob Patterson said...

i think everyone is feeling let down because the episode didn't have any of those unexpected moments that we didn't see coming like the sayid move last week. I don't think the writers are going to abandon storytelling just for the sake of weaving together the storyline. This has always been a strength of lost, but now were getting a little angry with it.

I am frustrated that we didn't get any explanation on the rules. There were so many moments. I thought for sure that the scene where they cut to her right after we know MIB is going to want to kill her, that she was going to spill her guts to Jacob about how it all works. but no dice. This episode did exactly what the description said, it let us know the motivation for smokey, and we got to see their origins. What is crazy, is that it seems the real story of the island goes back even further!

Brian, you are right on with your desmond comments. It seems the "electromagnetic event" is desmond being exposed to the heart of the island, except he won't become the smoke monster. not sure what he is suppose to do there, but it is clearly important.

In response to a poster, i think smokey is jacob's brother. If it is just a being that was released coincidentally at the same moment MIB went in there, he seems to carry a lot of the the same beef, attitudes, motivation, and just about everything else as jacob's brother. I wonder if somehow the smokemonster is filled with the "light" and preventing his departure is the protecting the light like "woman" was talking about. She warned about people taking it would extinguish it.

It seems more and more that the island is going to end up sunk, which some how might be out sideways tie in, but i have no clue how that works still.

last comment: gotta love the doors music for the preview for next week. Lost is done in 12 days. Don't stop believin...

stephenf44 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
stephenf44 said...

I'd like to congratulate the ancient scholar who figured out you could manipulate electromagnetic energy with a wooden wheel and some water. Job well done, sir.

They really could have left the FDW alone. The moment you try to explain it, it's going to sound ridiculous.

stephenf44 said...

Based on this episode, I guess you can speculate on why kids and babies were so important to the Others in the initial seasons of Lost.

It was one way Jacob was looking for his possible replacement, sort of duplicating the way Woman found her replacement through baby Jacob and MIB (actually, I think it's OK to call him Larry now).

So, is MIB the reason women can't conceive on the island? He's trying to prevent Jacob from finding his replacement?

This may be another example of what Brian wrote several weeks ago: the Lost writers had a way to wrap up their story early if the ratings tanked. So was Walt important as a possible replacement for Jacob?

See, this episode's not a total waste. After the initial disappointment, I can still speculate like a crazy person.

Sba said...

We were sold a bill of goods for this episode. All the build-up, hype, etc didn't live up to its promises.

When did the writers stop caring? Every time there is the possibility that a question may get answered or mystery explained, you get the same "you're not ready", "its too soon", "every question will lead to more questions", "its a little bit of life and death" dialogue between characters. WTF??

Is as if the writers through these characters are telling the viewing audience that we're not ready to get answers. with 3 1/2 hours left, I can assure you we are ready....its the writers who are not ready (or have no clue how to end this thing).

dsack said...

My feeling is that they have an ending in mind and pretty much did this whole season and possibly most of last just to fill time until the last few scenes for their final few moments. The way the series has gone I think it will be a mildly shocking finale that doesn't really hold up or make sense. I think they could have probably done whatever they are going to do by cutting the series into one good season after season 3.

Desiree said...

Long time lurker here. This is my first time commenting.

First let me say that I love your blog, Brian, and only wish someone had told me about it sooner.

I wasn't really feeling this episode either.

The one thing that struck me, however, was that Jacob didn't really seem all that "good" to me. And likewise, MIB didn't strike me as all that "evil".

This makes me start to doubt the whole "good vs. evil" paradigm that's been repeated constantly.

The conflict between the two brothers, and also between Jack and Locke in all their incarnations seems less of a conflict between good and evil and more like a conflict of science and religion.

We've seen this throughout the seasons between Locke and Jack, and that conflict is still at the root of their interaction even now, although their roles are reversed.

Religion doesn't want to explain and wants you to accept things on faith (Jacob). Science looks for concrete answers (MIB).

Not good and evil per se. Just two brothers with different beliefs and subsequently very conflicting aims.

Steve said...

Jacob made the rules. Anti-jacob said 'one day you can invent your own game and make your own rules.

pot caling kettle black is not racist. The pot was black in. Color, the kettle was was shiny.. ithe pot ses it's own reflection. Or maybe they were black but it's nothing racist at all in it's meaning.

I think we knoew why jacob let himself be killed.. He wanted to die... He was king of rooting foe smokey. What it doesn't explain is why he is evil. While 'woman' killed... He welcoming death was not mib like... He wants to live. And maybe she was smokey too how she knew what would happen if you wenr ro the light.

the egyption thing may be an anachronism. Somewhere I read that this was 54ad.. And if so..egypt was long past building statues like that. Their monarchy had become greek hundreds of years before.. Etc.(cleopatra was greek)

btw was she speaking latin? Or grek? I would guess katin based upon the others speaking latin.

I do agree thata adam and eve showed the writers had ideas that changed over time. They say themselves that they knew where they were going but did not have the whole story planned.. It evolved and chanhed amdcreated these answers with gaping holes.

I would wager that desmond will have something to do with the light whether it's to save or sink the island.. If there is a protector.. It's probably Jack.. If there is a bee smokey.. I saw awyer because he lies well (kike mib) and he can see young jacob.

I'll sit back and enjoy but I'm somewhat disapointed that it's looking like they created too many questions thay will have inconsistant answers.

Steve said...

twin oeaks would be bad for anyones mental health. When lynch is a crazy man and there is no logic or consistancy. Don't wish those things on brian. I do think that he should watch the original stat wars trilogy though.

Magistra Wilkey said...

I am not sure that MiB and Jacob arrived THOUSANDS of years ago. I think the smoke could have existed before them, and it was just released when Jacob threw his brother in. My reason is that if their real Mom was speaking in Latin to the crazy island mother, the earliest it could possibly be is very late 8th c B.C., and I think that is pushing it even.

Lee said...

aaron is going to come back in a big way soon, there will have to be something about being born on the island, only 'special' people can be

it was a letdown of an episode

Erin Blair Gobin said...

I've been a huge fan since season 1, and this J/AJ storyline is so borring to me that I'm no even interested in theorizing on it. Lost writers really screwed up when they went on this silly tangent. Shoulda just kept the mystery about Dharma/Others.

Sam said...

I agree on this being a VERY disappointing episode. I think we all expected Ab Aeterno again, and it didn't even come close. That episode had a clear beginning, middle and end. This one was all middle.

I think the woman kind of represented both Jacob and MIB, and then she split into the two boys. Jacob seemed much more like a rube than he appeared later in life - I guess 2000+ years of living will give you some wisdom and knowledge.

So, my take-away was that the light represents life & death - the balance of good and evil (like the scales). And whenever someone wants to take more, it disrupts the balance (in either way), and bad things happen. So, are the current plotlines (and/or sideways stories) based on a balance or imbalance?

I agree with Brian that they should have done this episode earlier in the season, and maybe broken it out over a couple of episodes to give more detail, and trim the fat. We could have sacrificed some temple story for more depth into this story. I don't need/want answers to everything (like someone said about the FDW - better left unanswered, now we want to know who actually did put it together and dig all those wells again). I can accept some things as just being the product of a weird island, but when it comes to characters and motivations, I'd like more.

LWhitt58 said...

Brian, you said "She also told them that if people tried to take too much of it, it would kill them... so does this mean that the Island is God?"

I see it as: Island = Hope

If one or more people take too much hope from others, it kills them. Yes? No? Mebbe not. :-)

I was also very disappointed overall in this episode. Mo MIB's name? Is that necessary to know? Don't know, but I was really hoping for more. But didn't the producers say to go into this ep without much anticipation - it was better to watch it without all of the back knowledge we have? Yeah, I guess so, since the episode just seemed to be "meh" all around!

But I do have to give a shout-out to Vidya - like the three potentials in his/her comment!

I do hope it wraps up well. We've got 3-1/2 more hours to see if they can do it! (And I know not everything will be wrapped up - there will be a LOT of things left hanging, I'm sure!)

LWhitt58 said...

Arrrggghhh...not enough coffee. I meant "Light = Hope." Take the light, you take away hope from people.

jack said...

To some of us long term fans of the show, we have an emotional investment whereby we may find ourselves putting a positive spin on this past episode...and ultimately to the entire saga. I think the writters dug themselves way too deep a whole with too many questions to ever be thoughtfully resolved. Clearly, they could monetize our many questions by offering a post LOST book or something....but that is a ploy Darlton vowed they would NOT do.

Snafzg said...

Congratz Darlton... In the span of two episodes you turned Flocke from a serious villain to someone I hope ends up winning in the end.

Seriously, I hope MIB finally does escape and wreak unholy havok for all the crap he had to go through.

Strange since last week they told everyone they needed to make Flocke show his true colours and finally set to rest the "is he good or evil" question. They obviously made him "evil," but one episode later they write him as a character that has been totally screwed over and actually has some justification in his actions.

And honestly, how many bloody times can the writers use the same lame plot device? "Any question you ask will only lead to more questions."

That quote right there is the theme of this entire bloody series. Don't even bother asking questions because the writers are just like the secretive characters they write: a) clueless or b) cryptic beyond reason.

This episode simply pissed me off about the entire series...

davedave said...

Smokey doesn't "inhabit" the corpses as much as he assumes their form. Remember Locke was still in the coffin after FLocke had tricked Ben into killing Jacob, and Adam's corpse was preumably in the cave when we first met MIB on the beach. But SmokeLocke isn't a ghost, he has definite physical substance.

I was a little disappointed with the episode as well. The Light in the Tunnel storyline is too close to the lame "heart of the universe" storylines of the Matrix and Avatar. But the fact is, I'll probably be disappointed no matter what. The series is contracting from infinite possiblitiy to finite conclusion which, by its nature, is disappointing. Love the show. Love the blog.

smacky said...

So... MIB was just straight-up MURDERED by his brother Jacob, in an act that also brought the Smoke Monster to the island (who, coincidentally, like MIB, just wants to get off the island that he didn't ask to come to). Right?

So, MIB died to release Smokey, and Locke died just to give Smokey another choice of physical forms to take.

Not sure how I feel about this. Instead of two brothers locked in immortal battle to keep one from escaping the island, we have one brother fighting a smoke monster who is only there because he killed his own brother and brought Smokey over the this side.

Sam said...

I think Smokey was born in this episode. B/c FLocke says he was a human and had a mother, etc. And since FLocke = Smokey, then is MIB who has taken on a new form. If Smokey had taken on MIBs form, then Flocke wouldn't have said that he had a mother.

I am sure this episode requires multiple viewings to get everything.

I am still looking forward to our original characters, and what happens to them in the end. I think that is when the show really shines.

Andrew C. Thompson said...

A few comments...

First, I've got to disagree that this episode was disappointing. It revealed a great deal ... so it is really fair to be disappointed that it didn't reveal exactly what we hoped it would, in the way we hoped it would?

Second, to Steve's comment above, yes, the language the Woman spoke to the 'real' mother at the beginning was Latin. And the way she switched into English was intended, I think, to show that they continued speaking Latin to one another. So the audience should understand that they were all speaking Latin to one another the whole time; they just rendered it in English for our benefit.

Add to that Man in Black's (MiB's) dagger - it was a Roman military dagger. No doubt about it. You'll notice also MiB's comments that "these people are curious about the way things work." That is clearly a reference to Roman engineering skill, which was one of the Romans' chief talents. All the donkey wheel stuff only adds to it; MiB was going to rig up a mechanism that sounded a lot like an aqueduct of some kind - again, a Roman specialty.

Conclusion: These were Romans of the classical period, meaning that this part of the island's history must be dated from, say, 100 BC to 300 AD.

Third, I don't think Jacob killed MiB. He was alive when he threw him into the cave. I think Smokey did it, and I think Smokey is definitely a different entity than MiB. (He's just as different from MiB as he is from the real John Locke).

Just my two cents' worth. I guess it would be asking a bit too much for them to explain how Romans, who pretty much stuck to the Mediterranean Sea, would have ended up in the South Pacific.

J-Bos! said...

I'm with you, Brian, while I enjoyed the episodes, and enjoyed getting some answers, I expected a lot more of an explanation around the rules.

I also thought the woman wasn't very trustworthy believable and her little "Every question will just lead to more questions" sort of summed up our Lost experience thus far.

I also thought that Jacob felt like he got the short end of the stick and when she said (paraphrasing) that "He'd one day find out why he was the choice to protect the Island all along", I wanted to see that moment...

Lastly, I think the knowledge to how the FDW worked came from Anti-Jacob. When he said earlier in the episode that "he just knew" the rules to the game he found and when the woman said he was special, I think that knowledge just came to him.

Here's the one problem about the finale Lost, they've done such a masterful job of storytelling and keeping us intrigued for so many years that it might be impossible to come up with answers that satisfy us, given that we've already theorized to our wildest imaginations.

hi cbones1979 said...

Decent episode. We now have a backstory on MIB and Jacob.

We (the viewers) are expecting too much from the writers me thinks.

Just let them tell their story and if you don't like it...O well, there's always dumber shows to watch (like V and Flashforward etc etc etc) that will disappoint you more.

I'm along for THEIR ride, not the ride I AM EXPECTING (or theorizing)

Kirk said...

Love the blog... my only regret is I've only been reading since the beginning of this season.



Many of us are detail people -- we like a 'tight story line' -/ we love *ANSWERS* - but I think Brian has touched on the fact that Lost represents overall themes and it's about the characters... not going to get every answer (which I would like).

I think the light in the tunnel represented evil -- the more you get the more you want... kinda like the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Once Adam & Eve ate of the tree they were kicked out of the garden.

In this case -- MIB took on the light not really by his own choice -- a big twist -- and became Smokey. I still think he's more the evil side of things (accepting face value vs big plot twist).

Essentially, the light in the tunnel is now animated in Smokey... and instead of guarding the tunnel... Jacobs job now is to keep Smokey on the island (which involved finding a new candidate).

Choices -- there's a saying in our family -- "You always have a choice, and it always makes a difference" -- seems to apply to this show big time, we care about the choices the characters are making... and we want them to choose well (Sayid with the bomb, Jin not leaving Sun).



and thanks again Brian for this Blog.

Peter said...

After watching last night's episode, I can honestly say that LOST has gone from being one of the most original drama's on television to a ridiculous sci-fi show with absolutely no point. People call it an "intelligent drama" - not really. Its just a bunch of convoluted ideas and theories without an end game (If you want to watch an intelligent drama check out The Wire). The mythology, connections, and ideas does not make the show intelligent, it makes it incoherent. The show should have gone 3 seasons, not 6. Time jumping, donkey wheels, magic lights, and smoke monsters ruined one of the best series of all time. The only reason I'm saying any of this is because I've gotten so many people hooked on the series and I honestly thought it would get better with age. I was wrong. I doubt the final 3 1/2 hours of the series will conclude on a note that will change my perceptions up to this point.

Dean said...

I'm thinking that Woman was Smokey too (or a previous incarnation of it). First off, I don't see any way she could have killed all the Romans without weapons (although I suppose she also could have summoned Smokey).

But notice that she was killed with that dagger, without an opportunity for her to speak?

hi cbones1979 said...

To Peter

Good. Don't watch then


THE END

noemailformeadows said...

@Andrew Thompson. Good points. On that last question about Romans to South Pacific - Eloise said the Island is constantly moving around the world.

Mike said...

Brian, you said in the analysis that Jacob Killed AJ at the lighthole. Do you think he killed him before he sent him floating into it? Because the mother says that going into the light would be "much worse" than death. I guess that means turning into smokey? Also, if smokey is trapped by the ashes in the house, how does he run around in the forest to confront Locke, and pull others into the ground and kill them? He also makes some noise in the bushes in one of the first episodes when the losties first get there, so it doesnt seem like he can ever really be locked up...

cortneyyycort said...

isn't the dagger/knife mib used to kill his mother the same one that sayid was sent to kill smokelocke with?

i think that maybe when mib killed his mother he relieved her as being the smoke monster (i.e., her saying "thank you") and when jacob threw him into the light, maybe he realized what he could turn into when he died. possibly after this he inhabited his own body when he died, and maybe thats why he couldn't kill jacob (against the rules for a dead person to kill an alive person?). i think that whoever ends up killing smokelocke/mib (if they do) will turn into the next smokey... just like the right candidate will replace jacob, to keep the balance right on the island.

& a side note:
maybe mib doesn't have a name because his mother didn't have a chance to name him before she was killed? could this somehow tie into what the psychic told claire, "you have to raise your child yourself," maybe there is some sort of rule that says you can't change the babys name or something... and in this case if it doesn't have a name you can't give it one? ...another reason why mib was "special" ?

BC said...

I finally am glad to find someone thinking along the same wavelength as I do in regards to "LOST ... gone forever". The show should have stopped at season 5 (and that's stretching it)! It keeps on going around and around with lots of violence but without meanings.

jack said...

In part, I agree with Peter...sorry to say. However, the storytelling....using flashbacks/fwd, etc were brilliant and the overall arc very ambitious and entertaining. In the end though, too many questions will remain unresolved.

timcourtois said...

I think we did get an explanation for the rules - in the conversation between the kids:

"Some day, you can make up your own game, and then you can make up the rules."

I think it's all Jacob's "game", and since he "drank the wine", he gets to make up rules according to his whims.

The Observer said...

I was also disappointed, and I'm terrified that the take away is supposed to be don't ask questions because it just leads to more questions.

Part of me is wondering if these guys are just some of the best practical jokers of all time. Is this really the end game? It's hard to imagine a satisfying conclusion with just 3.5 hours left (more like 2.5 when you take out commercials).

Maybe this thing will get turned around, but it seems to me like the show derailed when the island moved and people started time traveling.

Dusan said...

Hey Brian, going back to you parallel about S1 and S6, could it be that the light we saw in this episode was supposed to be represented by the hatch light in S1?

Are they gonna find in in finale and debate whether to go down or not, just like they did with the hatch? And Desmond needs to survive some electromagnetism, so this is a perfect opportunity for that.

Seems very plausible to me.

Rachel said...

Hi Brian – first time commenting – I love your blog, but only found it at the beginning of this season – wish I had found it sooner.

I also agree that this episode would have been more appropriate in the beginning or middle of the season. It was a good story but there are still so many questions to answer. Who built the statue? Who built the Temple? Why were these things built? Who figured out how to make the FDW work? How were the Rules created? Why are women on the island infertile? How did this whole protecting the light on the island thing start?

The Adam and Eve scene felt sort of forced and awkward with the flashbacks to Season 1.

I really have no clue how they plan to tie in the flash-sideways. Since the island is under water, are we to assume that the “light” is completely gone? Does “love” bring the light back?

I am just hoping that this all makes sense and comes together by the end. I have faith in the writers and in the show.

Thanks for a great blog!

Mike said...

I've thought recently that women on the island were infertile because that way, people couldn't live, procreate, and flourish on the island. anyone new to the island would have to come from the outside, and every generation would be new and far more impressionable than someone who had knowledge about the island passed down to them their whole life. this seems to have changed though with Sun..

Sawyer5665 said...

This episode would have been better suited to have aired earlier in the season. I would have been a lot more satisfied if they had aired Ab Aeterno and Across the Sea back to back. Across the Sea definitely should not have aired right before the finale. I was expecting a lot more from this episode simply because it's right before the finale. I really hope the next 2 episodes are truly awesome so that I can forget about this little hiccup.

timcourtois said...

Was MIB's knife in this episode the same "special" knife that Dogen gave to Sayid?

Theory:

1. The twins' mom was the protector of the island, but was also the original smoke monster (that's how she killed all those people).

2. MIB was able to kill her because he didn't let her speak before plunging it into her.

3. That knife is still the only thing that can kill Flocke now...?


It also makes sense that Jacob, as protector of the yellow-light-stuff has power over life, and so can grant eternal life to Richard.

I think there was actually some good info in this ep.

Mike said...

I'm still undecided as to whether the yellow light is evil, or life. all mom says is "there's a little bit of it in each of us." It's also interesting that the light is not bright white, but rather a deep gold, which we'd mostly associate with uncontrollable greed/evil. Reminds me of the old ducktales episode where the old man who'd been searching for the lost city of gold all his life, jumps into a melting volcano of gold because he just can't help himself from being drawn to it. kinda, lord-of-the-rings ish too. Sorry, I digress.

falcon said...

Brian, thanks as always for the thoughtful comments and summary.

However, I have to vote with the minority opinion on this episode and say I actually enjoyed it quite a bit - I thought we got a lot of backstory and "reveals". My main gripe is that the "discovering Adam and Eve" flashback to Jack, Kate and Locke seemed unnecessary - any hardcore fan (and is anyone else watching the show at this point?) would have known that Jacob was laying out the bodies that would become "A&E" - although Jack's "date of death" estimate now seems to make no sense.

Also, for those concerned that we have only 2.5 hours left (factoring out commercials), I'm still hopeful that we will be at least sanguine about the "ending" (even if far less than "everything" is explained). After all, most movies these days are 2 hours or less, and the good ones manage to tell an entire story from beginning to end in that amount of time. Or maybe I'm just a wild-eyed optimist....

PIP said...

Jacob cannot kill MIB, remember? She made it so that they can never hurt each other.

B/c of that rule, when MIB is tossed into the light, instead of being killed, his soul is transformed into Smokey. Remember, he appears the same when Ricardo arrives on the island.

I'm not as disappointed as most, I think this is the perfect setup to resolve a lot of questions in the last 3.5 hours. Nothing was ground breaking, but it explained the past and it explained that Jacob and Smokey are brothers. MIB's name is irrelevant b/c he is always someone else. The only time he has maintained a single form for so long is with Locke's body, a candidates body.

Have faith in the writers people. I can't believe they would limit the series if they were going to sell it out to a lame ending. Its LOST, this is the typical informative setup episode

Rebecca said...

Disappointed? Really? We have been asking questions for so long, finally get some answers and now everyone's upset. I don't get it. We know the light didn't disappear because we saw it when Ben & Locke each turned the FDW. Now we know why MIB wanted to kill Jacob - he turned him into smokey, the crazy mom said it was worse than death. MIB lost his identity as a man and his chance to go live with his people. The frustrating part for me is now I'm sympathetic towards him. Jacob for being so 'good' was quick to beat MIB's face in a few times... We don't know just how crazy mom killed everyone, probably won't but that's not important. What is important is it was the driving force behind smokey trying to kill Jacob and get off the island. That's his home. He WAS a man once and knows the feelings of disappointment, betrayal, etc.

I think it's interesting that we've had 3 pregnant women 'wash up' on the shores of the island and (so far) none of them raised their own children.

I kept waiting to hear MIB's name and was disappointed that we didn't. I wonder if the writers are messing with us and never named him or if we'll find out in the next 3.5 hours. Maybe he never had a name and his name doesn't mean anything. Or maybe it does, a lot of people have speculated Esau for the biblical reference. You could relate the two stories - MIB was supposed to be the one to protect the island but Jacob ended up with the job. But he didn't trick anyone to get the job (blessing).

stephenf44 said...

@timcourtois

Not a bad theory, but MIB grew up with the Woman, so he spoke to her plenty of times before plunging the knife in her back. I don't know how she killed all the villagers, unless she's a trained ninja warrior.

Does anyone have a theory about little boy Jacob's appearances to Flocke, post Jacob's death? He's not a ghost and he's not a hallucination, because both Desmond and Sawyer saw him too.

Christoph said...

It's not that it wasn't a good episode - it just wasn't a good episode to show this late in the game.. like someone else said - it should have been shown perhaps earlier in the season - maybe even as episode one of this final season.. nothing of any major importance was revealed and would have given us a good starting point and not completely killed the momentum this late in the series.

My last hope is that something is revealed in these last few hours of LOST that puts this and other ho-hum episodes in a completely different perspective.

And Twin Peaks actually has a lot of parallels to LOST (hallucinations/dreams, Jacob's Cabin/Black Lodge, MIB/BOB, unexplained phenomena, great storytelling, biblical references, more questions than answers at times...)

Here's a quote from one of the creators of LOST:

From Damon Lindelof & Carlton Cuse — Writers Discuss “Lost” Season 4 DVD & the Show’s Future : Slice of SciFi

"Q: What television series imprinted you as kids the most growing up-that perhaps influenced your decision to make a career in small screen?

Damon Lindelof: Thanks for asking that question, April… because I was a TV JUNKIE growing up. Other than watching endless hours of cartoons (THUNDERCATS, VOLTRON and yes, SMURFS), I loved watching “grownup shows” with my folks… like DALLAS. Perhaps that’s where I got my love for melodrama! The show that REALLY affected me, however, was TWIN PEAKS, which I’d watch every week with my dad. He’d tape the show on his VCR (remember those?) and we’d watch the episode AGAIN right after it aired in our quest to pull every last clue out of the show. The idea of a TV Show being a mystery and a game that spawned hundreds of theories obviously was a major precedent (that’s a fancy way of saying we ripped it off) for LOST."

star_ranger said...

I can see why this episode is so polarizing, but... I loved it! I was even more moved by this episode than Ab Ateterno, which is saying a lot. I loved the mythic quality of the whole story, and I feel like this establishes how people should view Lost mysteries. Like Doc Jensen said in his recap over at Entertainment Weekly, there were no easy, cut-and-dry answers. We got hints at a lot of things, but not exactly spelled out in exact, scientific detail. Lost is a character show wrapped up in myth and mystery, not an whodunit mystery where everything gets explained. I know that's hard for the conspiracy theorists to accept, but that's the show the producers wanted to tell.

Look at it this way: Lost is probably going to end with a good mix of answers and ambiguity that'll leave room for viewers to theorize and draw their own conclusions about certain things. Episodes like this, though they don't spell things out, give us a better vantage point to look at everything that's gone on the past six seasons and go, "Oh, maybe *that's* why that happened!"

Steve said...

I loved this episode, but did not like the candidate.

brian.. Is it time to revisit 'bad twin'?

kevin said...

i'm with star_ranger and falcon.

i loved this episode up until the flashback at the end.

what the hell were they thinking with that?? my friend thinks it was a network call, but really, anyone who's still interested would get what that was. it was obvious enough without the flashback. and even if they didn't get it, the "aha!" moment when re-watching would be much much better without the flashback.

terrible decision.

the theories about the stabbing and talking to mom before killing her are interesting, but not terribly convincing. if she was indeed smokey before AJ, then now we are to believe that desmond, jack, or anyone else can kill flocke as long as they don't speak to him within the temporal locality of seeing him? seems farfetched...

the horseshoe looking garb on the boar hunters leads me to believe that these travelers built the statue.

one big question for me is, if smokey's been all of the dead people so far, then how did AJ see his real mom? can the light let dead people appear of their own will without smokey's help?

curbsideprophecies said...

Based on the way the Woman was dressed, I really thought we were going to find out that this all goes back to the Greek and Roman gods (which would go a little way in explaining why she looks human but has some kind of superhuman powers).

When she said she had to guard the light I though, "Ooh! She's Pandora, and her "box" is actually a cave that she has to keep Hope in!"

And that might be what I tell myself to fall asleep at night if I don't get a better answer to how she was able to make rules and then pass on her power with a swig of wine.

Not a bad episode, but I was waiting for the kind of "No way!" moment we got when Locke's body fell out of the casket on the beach. Instead it was a lot of, "Yeah, and...?" moments. I'd rather have an hour with Desmond and his creepy mother.

And Brian, you rock.

hi cbones1979 said...

I am satisfied with LOST so far this season. I can't imagine there isn't some twist we aren't ready for coming up.

You rarely get anything the lives up to your own expectations in life. Learn to be happy with what you do get...life will be better for you that way.

The flashbacks to season 1 were for the morons that just jumped in on LOST this season.

Allissa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Allissa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike said...

I don't think Smokey is independent of AJ. Who we now know as Smokey is exactly the same as AJ, same motivations, same attitude, it doesn't seem like Smokey just needed a body to escape. I think it would be cool if Sawyer ends up replacing AJ and Jack takes over for Jacob. Only because they seem to have been setting up their motives: Sawyer wants nothing more than to leave the island at any cost, and Jack wants nothing more than to stay on the Island and figure it out, or figure out his place in it.

Allissa said...

So is the current Smokey actually Jacob's brother? Or was he just using his body just like he's using Locke's now? Is smokey an entity of himself and could only be realeased if someone went into the "heart of the island"?

If so... I agree that Desmond's "calling" is to go into the center of the island, so does this mean that he is "immune" to Smokey?

Oh, and I don't think the MIB has a name at all. I don't think the writter "skipped" it to toy with us. I think he is a nameless being.

Lastly, while the flashback at the end was a little annoying and seemed to insult our intelligence I think (I hope) there was a little something deeper at play there. Did you notice the three who were standing there? Jack (Seemingly our best bet for the new "protector of the island"), Locke (the new Smokey), and Kate (while not really a candidate anymore, do you really think the writters are going to get rid of one of the last females on the show? I think not.) Maybe the flashback was to give us a slightly ironic view of the three who would be the replacements.

Rusty said...

I thought it was a fantastic episode.

T.D. said...

The actual wine did not cause Jacob to become the new holder of the island. It was the prayer or incantation she blessed it with that then allowed him to become that.

Just like the wine bottle shattered in the Alpert episode, I hope the finale blows us all away in ways we never saw coming. I thought it was a great episode. We were answered so many crucial questions. Everyone becomes so detailed in all of their questions. You need to look at the big picture: This island seems to have been around since the beginning. It is the source of all life, energy, death. It is what created us. Over time, people discovered this and wanted to find answers to lifes mysteries. But like life, humans sometimes can not have all the answers. They might turn it the wrong way. Therefore there has always been a person (CJ, Jacob, maybe others before them?) that has protected it. The dharma were a group that came to the island to find these secrets. Like the people of the ancient ship this past episode, they were stopped (killed). And just like life, the show has been the same. Us as an audience, all we have been searching for is answers to this show. The writers are smart. I do not think they will let us down in the end. The stuff of the past seasons we integral to where the characters are now. Most of it, through tangents, has been answered. It was great storyline, and now it has lead here. I am ok with that, and Brian you're blog has captured it perfectly over the years. All in all, I am ready for the end, and am looking forward to it and going into it happy. Come on LOST fans!

Rob Patterson said...

ok, so since everyone else here is into rampant speculation, here is some of mine. :-)

While watching the episode i was thinking, i wonder what happened to the pool of light water? then i thought, i wonder if that is what the water from the temple is from? This gives the temple some significance to this season. (im not saying that the temple pool is the exact same, but it's fed from it, hence its powers to give life and other pools don't.)

then the question remains, why did the temple water change and not save Sayid? I guess if the protector of the heart of the island is dead (jacob) it looses its power temporarily. because the woman passed her role on to jacob before she died, the light didn't go out. when jacob died, it did, and needs to be replaced.

Seeing that MIB was changed into smokey because of exposure to the light, i am wondering if that means he is permanently linked to the island. So that is why he cannot be allowed to escape. To do that, is to remove the light, which means it will be extinguished, and since it is linked to all people, it would kill everyone.

I feel stupid typing that, but it makes the most sense to me right now. This speculation gives a bit of purpose to Dogen and the temple... they were keeping people from the direct source of the light. Maybe Jacob had given that part of his job to Dogen?

the more i think about it, the more i think there was A LOT with this episode. I didn't say it in my first post, but i liked the episode.

Rob Patterson said...

oh, and a big question for everyone...
does this episode mean we can't call it the frozen donkey wheel anymore and have to call it the light donkey wheel? LDW?

Isak said...

First time poster, but I've read the blog for a while. I wrote my theory on my own blog, but I'll just summarize it quickly here:

Basically, based on some theories that contend that consciousness = electromagnetic fields around our brains, I think the cave of light is the source and hub of all human consciousness. This is why it needs to be protected.

As far as the Smoke Monster, I'm thinking that the cave of light has to remain "pure," which is why there are many "EM fields," or consciousnesses, that are in "purgatory" because they carry too much negative or "evil" energy, like Michael. They have to wander around the island until they rid themselves of that. However, since MIB was a physical dude who floated in, he got in fine. Unfortunately, since the cave does not accept tainted energy, his bad energy got spit out... and we get the smoke monster.

That makes sense if we are to believe that the smoke monster is "pure evil" as the show has indicated. It is MIB's bad stuff that was rejected, so now he is an embodiment of "bad" EM energy. This is why he can read minds, project images, etc. In this state, he is a real danger because he can "claim" other EM fields that are sufficiently corrupted, which prevents them from returning to the cave of light. If this continues for the whole human race, all consciousness will eventually be consumed by him because they do not return to the cave of light for "rebirth." In other words, as Widmore says, everyone "ceases to exist."

That's it in a nutshell. I flesh out more what this theory could mean in my blog, but I think that's enough for Brian (if he reads this) and others to extrapolate on, if I'm right.

Rebecca said...

After reading some comments I've got to clarify something. MIB = Smokey. The crazy mom said that something worse than death would happen to whoever went into the light. I think turning into Smokey was awful for MIB, his goal since 13 was to find his identity and becoming Smokey that was completely lost. He then took the form of his dead body - just as he did with Christian & Locke.

knee_scrape911 said...

At first I thought people were high for thinking that the Smoke Monster was a DIFFERENT entity than MiB, but then I stumbled on to something. The game MiB and Jacob are playing as children is Senet, an ancient EGYPTIAN game.

Does this mean the hieroglyph of Anubis and the Smoke Monster predates MiB? If so then it's possible that his mother was a smoke monster (She knew what would happen when you entered the light, and also presumably couldn't give birth to children of her own -- probably because she was dead). She also took out the entire village, maybe she did it by going Smokey on their asses.

One thing's for sure, I really hope she was lying about the magic soul lights in that cave, I'd much rather it just be straight up electromagnetic energy rather than some magic light. If the mother WAS the smoke monster, then she was probably an average person before hand, potentially giving her a Richard-esque period belief in the supernatural godlike explanation.

I was super disappointed in this episode, but I'm rebuilding my faith in Lost bit by bit.

Oh, and about the outrigger scene, Carlton and Damon just said that they will NOT show it:

"L: When we wrote that scene and somebody started shooting at them, we knew exactly who was shooting at them. That is not a dangling thread that we don't know the answer to. That being said, as we started talking about paying that off this season, it felt like the episode was at the service of closing the time loop, as opposed to what the characters might actually be doing in that scenario. It never felt organic. We decided we would rather take our lumps from the people who couldn't scratch that itch than to produce an episode that was in service of putting people in an outrigger and getting shot at."

Dean said...

Well hopefully they let us know who it was supposed to be in the outriggers.

Also, AJ's ability to see the dead kinda puts a new spin on Hurley doesn't it?

Nicoletta said...

Ok, I know this might be a super LOST let down to ask this, but what is this outrigger scene everyone is talking about again? I'm sure I've seen it...

The Observer said...

Assuming that's true about the outriggers, I expect a book to come out of a sealed vault when 50 years had passed and I'm a great grandpa that explains all that %$&*.

The Observer said...

The book can even be titled The Long Con for all I care.

bv82 said...

Well I was thinking that the "Mother" was the smoke monster the whole time. Yeah thats right pure evil.

* She was the first person the real mother saw and she tried to "help" her, like Christian did to Jack, and MIB did to Ricardo.

* Also she was killed by that knife deal without being able to speak.

* She lied about all kinds of stuff

* She acted like the smoke monster (manipulative as all get out)

* She killed people with no remorse including an entire village.

* I think MIB and Jacob were candidates like the current ones which is why she couldn't kill them and manipulated one of them into killing the other.

* I also think that smokey wanted to be able to turn into the MIB because it would be a figure that Jacob would respect and he could manipulate him easier. Since smokey likes turning into people that others trust (mother, brother, father , and Locke)

* Oh yeah and Jacob told Ricardo that he doesnt interact with the candidates, they just have to find out for themselves like he did.....I dont think the wine was really important, I think Pre-Jacob (whoever that was), was not shown because like Jacob, he doesnt intervene, Jacob was a good person from the start and had to find out for himself.

Anyway thats my 2 cents. I liked the episode as I do all of them for the most part. Dont get your expectations so high people, its just a TV show. IF you feel its a waste of time, then stop wasting more time by watching it and bashing the people who worked hard writing it in the first place

awharward said...

I've been enjoying the blog for the last couple seasons, but this is my first comment.

I don't think anyone has brought this up, but something the Woman said sounded very familiar. When she has both kids blindfolded, on the way to the light, she explains why the other people on the island are dangerous: "The same thing that makes all men dangerous. They come, they fight, they destroy, they corrupt, and it always ends the same."

I rewatched "The Incident", and this is, word for word, what the man in black tells Jacob while they watch the ship from the beach. MiB seems very familiar with these words. Initially, I assumed that he had witnessed these cycles of destruction and corruption so many times that they were predictable. Now, it seems likely that MiB was quoting their "mother." So in trying to prove MiB wrong, Jacob would also be proving his "mother" wrong.

I'm curious how Jacob, who seemed to be kind of a momma's boy, came to disagree with his "mother" about human nature. And how his brother comes to agree with her. Some commenters have suggested that she was smokey; if so, perhaps this fatalistic view of humanity is characteristic of the smoke monster.

James said...

people here are confusing me

they are talking as if MIB and smokey are 2 different people

they are the same

Jacobs brother died - gone

we still have no clue to who smokey actually is

Stewart said...

Bo i think smokey is MIB he wants to get off the island and says about his mother being mad, im guessing locke was his candidate so he could finally leave the island

VFT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
VFT said...

Brian, thanks for the blog, really enjoy it, and love reading everyone's comments.
Just want to add my two cents. I really enjoyed the episode but it made me worried that we will be left with a lot of unresolved issues. I actually picture that in the very last episode Jack stumbles across some ancient book where everything is written down and then narrates the story for about half an hour (he knows Latin, he is a doctor, right ?). Unlikely, of course. I also think that based on this episode it becomes clear why they wanted babies born on the island - replicate the appearance of Jacob. I was a bit disappointed with Jacob, he didn't seem terribly bright, did he ? AJ seems to be the one with the brains.
Maybe the answers were given in the episode but they were just too simple so that people refused to accept them ? AJ doesn't have a name because his mother only picked one name - for Jacob, and the crazy woman wasn't in the position to name babies herself. "The worst that could happen" that crazy woman was talking about was releasing the Smokey: letting a human into the light allowed the Smokey (Evil) to take over that person, in a way opened that Pandora box. Smokey can "claim" people - like he claimed Christian, Sayid, Claire ? To be claimed, people have to be dead first, and when they are claimed they resurrect. Did he claim AJ as well ? This will explain why AJ still can't kill Jacob but it doesn't explain the sceleton (Adam). Once claimed, the person must be resurrected. Unless we see later that AJ gets up and walks away as soon as Jacob leaves. Locke wasn't claimed as such, Smokey just used his body, this explains why real Locke's body is still in existence. Not at all happy with the A&E story - could Jack get it wrong by a couple of thousands years or the bodies he had found were not the same bodies we saw in the last episode ?
My big question now is if Dharma worked so hard on getting babies born on the island to become next keeper then what is the story with those candidates ? How the external people fit into this whole keeper picture. If someone who wasn't born on the island can become a keeper, why didn't Jacob chose from thousands of people that have been hanging around the island all this time ?
And yes, how the hell do they know all the rules if no one taught them - there must be some ancient book.

VFT said...

And could it be that Widmore was claimed by the Smokey too before he was extradicted from the island by Linus ? Because once claimed Widmore was no longer able to stay in Jacob's camp, that is why him and Linus are enemies.

Peter said...

After watching "Across the Sea", I can honestly say that LOST has gone from being one of the most original drama's on television to a ridiculous sci-fi show with absolutely no point. People call it an "intelligent drama" - not really. Its just a bunch of convoluted ideas and theories without an end game (If you want to watch an intelligent drama check out The Wire). The mythology, connections, and ideas does not make the show intelligent, it makes it incoherent. The show should have gone 3 seasons, not 6. Time jumping, donkey wheels, magic lights, and smoke monsters ruined one of the best series of all time. The only reason I'm saying any of this is because I've gotten so many people hooked on the series and I honestly thought it would get better with age. I was wrong. I doubt the final 3 1/2 hours of the series will conclude on a note that will change my perceptions up to this point.

Brendan said...

I didn't hate this episode, but the all-around piss poor acting was a major distraction. Allison Janney said every line with such over-the-top seriousness, I couldn't take it.

My main problem is that we haven't learned why Jacob is so dead set on proving MiB wrong about humanity. We got MiB/Smoke Monster's motivations loud and clear, but what about Jacob's motivations? As someone else pointed out, Jacob's point of view is actually the opposite of his mother's, re: humans. How did this come to be? That actually has much more bearing on what has happened to the 815'ers, and yet we're left hanging. Frustrating.

A few things are definitely settled though:

There is no clear good/evil dichotomy. Jacob/MiB/Mother are as flawed as humans are.

MiB = Smoke Monster. Smoke Monster = MiB. I don't think this can be made any clearer, just as it's clear now that Jack is THE Candidate. A line in this episode: "It's always been you," spoken by Mother to Jacob. Could've just as easily been spoken about Jack.

The rules are Jacob's creation.

The Smoke Monster is bound to the Island. His escape is the "Dogma," scenario - the loophole that ends it all. Further evidence that the Sideways timeline will be eliminated. It's a false purgatory-style world the 815'ers are trapped in (if Smokey succeeds).

No answers will be good enough everyone. Just let them come as they may and enjoy the ride...

Sven said...

Hi,

after that episode I was disspointed like a lot here and in other discussions.

After reading this weeks recap by Vozzek ( http://darkufo.blogspot.com/2010/05/things-i-noticed-across-sea-by-vozzek69.html ) I changed my attitude from "now what" to "great episode". His theories make absolutely sense for me and I would like to know what you think about those Brian.

Cliffs:

- "Mother" is Smokey
- "Mother" really loves both
- "Mother" manipulated Jacob and MIB to get what she wanted (Wise and honest guardian of the island, intelligent MIB who can do the ugly work to save the island)
- Rules are not real rules, only in the process of believing in something really strong, they get rules. Lots of examples (can't hurt each other, you manipulate space and time with the donkey wheel, you get what you really need on the island etc).

franky said...

At this point Daniel Faraday is gonna have to sit down with a smoking jacket in a library and talk to the audience for 2 hours straight to get all the answers. I am definitely getting a Stephen King's IT feeling from this.

Desiree said...

I'm not understanding how there is still confusion over the whole MIB/Smokey thing.

MIB said it himself in Ab Aeterno. Richard thought that the devil was the black smoke. MIB looks him square in the eye and said "No, I am". Clear as day.

Also when we see Smokey again after Jacob is killed, Locke says to Ben once he reappears, "I'm sorry you had to see me like that".

Same person folks.

Laurie said...

New interview with Lindelof and Cruse talking about the episode:

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

They address the outrigger problem...and it's an annoying answer.

Cathy said...

Did you know that next Thursday, May 20, there is a one time only event with Damon and Carlton discussing the finale? Here's the link.
http://www.cinemark.com/lost.asp
Should be very interesting for us LOST addicts.

Randy said...

I want to know what happened between Ethan's birth in 1977 and the present that made it impossible for a woman to conceive/deliver a baby on the island.

kevin said...

watched this episode again last night, and it was even better than the first time.

there are a lot of really subtle answers here.

the rules seem particularly important. what's done is done. keamy killing alex ("changing the rules").

and dead is dead.. that one's interesting, because rebirth seemed like a big deal (that was surprisingly underplayed by all of the responses i've read).

that the brother saw their real mom is a big deal. she is dead, but appeared to him in the same way that jacob does later (after he dies). that the brother sees the body of jacob after he's already turned into smokey suggests that dead souls on the island can reappear as themselves in their own bodies. perhaps the brother is just very good at convincing those souls to appear for people (rather than embodying them directly).

also, most importantly, i'm REALLY hoping that wretched flashback is foreshadowing and that we're going to find out why there was a polar bear on the island.

Ryan said...

I've been reading the blog for years now but two things from the discussion I had with my mother last night compel me to post for the first time.

First off, this episode took place thousands of years ago (so we believe). Science barely existed then. Think about how MiB tells Jacob that metal "acts strangely" in certain areas. Any kid today would know that as a magnet acting on it, but back when this episode took place, they had no idea what that could possibly be. Why this is important is because I think we were actually told a lot more than we think. The problem is, those characters litteraly didn't have the words to explain it in a way that would satisfy us. None of us will be happy until we get a good "step-by-step" scientific explination of everything, and that wasn't something this episode could do.

Although that did lead me into my second thought of the night. Anyone who has a free moment should do a little research on the "akashic field." It's a fairly obscure reference, but it's esentially a current pseudo-science. More common is the concept of the "akashic records," which are said to be the cosmic library of sorts that hold all the info that has been and every will be. The field theory is like imagining the concept as a field of energy. Ervin Laszlo is the guy I've seen connected to this theory the most. This post is getting long so I'll paraphrase the rest. Desmond gets hit with lots o' EM, experiences the akashic records, now seems like he knows everything. Every instance with knowing the future can be explained by this. It's a part of every living thing, so if you kill the source, you kill it all. The recently cancelled "John Doe" was actually based on the records concept, so it is something that people have looked into before. Again, I'm rambling, so if you check it out hopefully you'll make more of the same connections that I did.

Aub said...

I don't understand why people are still wanting answers about the polar bears. Isn't it enough to know that DHARMA was doing experiments involving the bears = bears on the island?

Allissa said...

For everyone who keeps insisting that the man in black = smokey:

In the present day with all of our survivors, yes, MIB=Smokey=Locke. But in this episode we saw that the MIB is (or at least WAS) an actually person. The question remaining is: did he die before (or on)his way into "the light" and the smoke monster (which had already existed) was able to take his form as we already know it can do?
OR did he actually BECOME the smoke monster?
There is a difference, a pretty big one actually. With the former, the male skeleton still fits (MIB's body is still "dead" like Locke's)and Smokey/evil existed before Jacob killed his brother. With the latter option, the fact that Jacob found the MIB's body no longer makes sense and it also supposes there was no evil until this event which is obviously not true (as proven by everyone's actions)

timcourtois said...

Dude, in that interview w/ Damon & Carlton, they sound really upset and really defensive about the show right now.

I'm one who actually *liked* Accross the Sea, but they were so defensive!

And their explanation for the outrigger thing was really annoying. I at least wish they could say, "We effed up; our mistake, sorry", rather than putting it off on viewers who "couldn't scratch that itch".

Greg C. said...

Huzzah! Chuck has been renewed!

http://tv.ign.com/articles/108/1089599p1.html

Brendan said...

@Allisa - well, in a pre-episode spoiler I read that Across the Sea would show "the creation of the Smoke Monster." I take that to mean that MiB became the Smoke Monster (or at least his soul, or essence did, leaving the body behind as a husk), and they are one and the same.

Now, some people have theorized that Mother was actually the Smoke Monster, and there is a case to be made for that, i.e. how did she kill that whole village and fill in the well before MiB woke up from his blow to the head.

To my mind, the Smoke Monster is what you become when you enter the light - your soul disembodies and takes that form. I just don't think that the Smoke Monster was a separate entity lurking in that cave, waiting to take over the MiB. This fits even if Mother was also a Smoke Monster - it is what happens to someone who can't resist walking into the light. But someone has to go into the light for it to happen, Smokey isn't just lurking there in waiting.

Judging by the Team Darlton interviews circulating, this is as much of an explanation as we're ever going to get, so I guess the debate will rage one.

Sawyer's Optician said...

Brian, for the last few seasons, I have mostly avoided thecomments section of the blog and mainly focused on the known posters on the message boards. This week kept me wanting more so I ventured over here. I'm sure you will agree that this is one of the most controversial Lost episodes. I haven't seen so much vitriol since Nikki & Paoulo! Which just ads fuel to the argument that Lost is the greatest Tv show ever. Personally, I loved it. (I have posted my detailed opinions on the message board) To make people so vehement in their opinions for and against means the writers have to be doing something right.

Dave Harty said...

I'm less concerned about getting all the answers and more concerned about the consistency of the story.

I've enjoyed Lost because to presented itself as a puzzle that, if you paid attention to the clues, you might be able to solve. Maybe that was a wrong assumption on my part.

But if the ultimate "resolution" of the show reveals information that was never hinted at for the past 5 seasons, I think it will feel cheap.

Seddik said...

Cool 100th comment

All that needs to be said, is many of feel robbed. this episode has generated many comments most of them disillusioned with Darlton!

Rob Patterson said...

How dare a show that has spanned 6 years, been interfered with by the network executives, had contract disputes with the actors, changed when it would end, play with storytelling techniques like flash backs, flash forwards, time travel, alternate-universes, magic, and crazy science not be consistent 100%! Shame on those writers! I want a refund!

Honestly, appreciate it for what it is. My suspision is that the reason why everyone is on this blog is because you are hooked on the show. I don't go to blogs about "Parks & Rec"... it just isn't that type of show. Cut them some slack. It is truly amazing what they have been able to do with a pretty darn amount of consistency. This show has developed characters unlike any TV show i have ever seen before. There are no stereotypes, they are all conplex characters with shifting motivations and they for the most part act consistently with what that person would have done.

It seems like the writers have too big of a task these last 3 1/2 hours, but remember that that is a long movie, and a lot happens in a movie... it can happen. Were down to 9 days till the show is over for good. I already get crap from my friends for loving the show this much, im just going to go down with the ship if that's the case. Consider me Sayid, Charlie, or some extra that died from the smokemonster.

Peter said...

The Man in Black's name is Esau. It's written in the synopsis of next weeks episode on the comcast guide :)

Desiree said...

Funny that all the mystery of the show boils down to just two brothers working out their mommy issues. Seriously, what's this shows deal with mothers anyway? I'm starting to think Darlton must have some serious mommy issues themselves.

Brendan said...

If anything, LOST is obsessed with fathers, not mothers, Desiree. See: Jack, Kate, Locke, Ben, Walt, etc. The mother thing is a pretty recent addition.

Desiree said...

I agree about the father thing as well Brendan.

But don't discount the mothers. We know that somehow the island was not allowing women to conceive or carry their children to term. We know that every woman who did give birth (Rousseau, Claire, Sun,and now Claudia) did not get to raise her own child. And we know that all the off island mother's we were introduced to (Locke's mom, Sawyers mom, Kate's mom) all either had serious flaws or made really big mistakes that caused devastation in their childrens lives.

Overall there really are no positive parental figures on the show. The exception maybe being Hurley's parents.

Brendan said...

You're right, the parents of LOST in general are just plain awful.

I'm wondering if the inability to conceive/carry to term is somehow related to the wickedness of Allison Janney's character...

mikemaks said...

much of the show has been about the art of conning. We ignore the fact that John Locke has the blood of one of the best conman running in his veins. I think flocke is actually reallocke timetraveling before his death. In exchange for gifts, like walking and being immune to bullets, he is in alliance with smokie, posing as smokie to further smokie's agenda. BUT he's conning smokie. at the right moment he'll turn on smokie and save the day. He'll say to his fellow losties, "sorry I had to fool you guys, but it was necessary" and Sawyer will tip his hat to him.

Justin McIver & Ryan Kuhnlein said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ryan71 said...

There's always the possibility that the mother actually had a group of others to do her dirty work by taking out the village and filling in the well.

We never actually saw the others interacting with Jacob visually.. so why would the others interact with the mother while shes the protector of the island? So maybe she wasn't the smoke monster.