Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Lost 6.15 "Across the Sea"

“Every question I answer will lead to another.”

“What’s dead?” “Something you will never have to worry about.”

“We are here for a reason.”

“Life... death... rebirth... it’s the source. The heart of the island.”

Whoa... uh... whoa. Um. Hm. How do I find words for that episode??

My husband and I just had a brief chat following the ep about whether an episode like this one, that reveals a lot of answers, is something I write more about or less? Or is it something where I just state the answers and say, “Cool, speculation on THAT one is over” slap hands together “looking forward to next week!”

I really enjoyed this episode. I didn’t find it to be quite the epic story that “Ab Aeterno” was, and there were actually a couple of scenes I thought dragged a wee bit, but we saw SO much of the island origins in this one... this is the one where, if you were to show a non-Lost fan, you’d pretty much ruin the entire series for them. Let’s not make this one the one we try to recruit new fans with, OK?

I’ve said it since season 1: The dominant theme of this show is black and white. And when you mix the two, you get grey. I think this episode finally showed us sympathy for the Man in Black, but also for Jacob. Neither one is good, neither is evil.

Answers:
• Jacob and “Jacob’s Brother” are... brothers.
• Smokey wasn't lying when he told Kate his mom was crazy.
• The kids we saw in the jungle really were the two boys as kids (EVERYONE told me that second one was just an older Jacob when I said it was probably the Boy in Black).
• The Frozen Donkey Wheel was somehow constructed by Smokey (since he didn’t actually make it before Brother died) as a way of getting off the island, but he couldn’t use it for some reason.
• The source of immortality seems to be in the wine that Mom gives to Jacob, the same wine that he gives to Richard Alpert. The same wine bottle that Smokey smashed.
• Smokey was created when Jacob actually killed his brother and turned him into some sort of smokey essence, forever trapped on the island and having an existence worse than death.
• Adam and Eve are Brother and Mom.
• The Man in Black has actually been dead in every scene we’ve seen him in so far... didn’t see THAT coming.

Highlights:
• “Every question I answer will lead to another.” Anyone else feel like that was Damon and Carlton addressing us directly??
• I loved Brother referring to spots on the island where “metal behaves strangely.”
• The Frozen Thawed-Out, Newly Carved Donkey Wheel!!
• Mom pulling out the two stones!! I yelled out loud, “OH MY GOD, SHE’S EVE!!” Husband: “Who’s Eve?” Me: “Sigh.”
• The birth of Smokey was pretty frakkin’ awesome.
• Adam and Eve!!! Thankyouthankyouthankyou... though it wasn’t Adam and Eve after all... more Eve and Cain.

Did You Notice?:
• Seeing a pregnant woman crawling out of the ocean immediately brought to mind Rousseau, and made me wonder about any possible connections. Just as this woman comes to the island and gives birth, Rousseau comes to the island and does the same. Smokey kills the rest of her team, but she is preserved (though driven mad by the circumstances). The baby goes over to the Others, and is ultimately killed. You’d think Smokey would do anything he could to preserve the one baby who arrived on the island – from across the sea, like him.
• The woman was wearing a red dress. Is that some old-fashioned, female version of a red ensign shirt? Same end result.
• And then CJ from The West Wing comes running out!!! I half-expected her to hold a press conference about the ship crash, carefully averting questions that might hurt her reputation in important political circles.
• When Island CJ first shows up, you can hear the whispers.
• The mother’s name is “Claudia,” which actually means lame or disabled in Latin.
• The other brother (who remains UNNAMED, like Claudia only had one name and Island CJ didn’t know what “names” were so she went with “Jacob” as the one name and “your brother” as the other) was hairy, compared to Jacob. At that moment I was convinced they were going to say his name was Esau.
• There was a subtle nod to history repeating itself. Island CJ delivers Claudia’s babies, and then takes them from her. Kate delivers Claire’s baby, and then raises him. CJ uses herbs and plants a garden the same way Sun did.
• Right from the beginning, the distinction between the brothers seems to be that Jacob is content with his lot in life, where the Bruthah in Black is the guy who believes there’s something else out there and longs to see it. He’s the ambitious one.
• Anyone else think “Two players, two sides, one white, one black” when the boys began playing their game?? It also made me wonder if my season 6 cover should be a black stone and a white stone instead...
• The "So... do you want to play or don't you, Jacob?" certainly set up the idea of the island as a colossal game between two big players. Later, the "One day you can make up your own game and everyone else will have to follow your rules" was pretty awesome, too. The number of times they showed these two playing a game certainly made our poor Oceanic survivors look like nothing more than pawns.
• The boy wants to know if there’s somewhere else across the sea. The term “Across the Sea” was repeated throughout (and not just to drive home the title) which immediately brought to mind that season 1 episode where Shannon sat on the beach and sang “La Mer,” the French version of the song “Beyond the Sea” that she always heard in Finding Nemo. The song has been referenced a couple of times, but that was the most obvious one. Did she become a target when she sang that?
• “You are special.” So the Bruthah in Black is referred to the same way as John Locke and Walt. Smokey originally looked like Bruthah, then John Locke, but Walt is also tied into both of them through Shannon (who sang “La Mer”) and appearing to John Locke.
• Anyone else have Xena flashbacks when they saw the getups of the men killing the boar?
• Island Mama says, “They come, they fight, they destroy, they corrupt, and it always ends the same,” which is what the Man in Black said in “The Incident” when sitting on the beach with Jacob. Interesting that he would quote the woman who destroyed his life, in a sense.
• Brother can see dead people... which now links him to Hurley. Is Hurley special, too? Would Miles count in that category? (He doesn’t see them, but talks to them.)
• Brother leaves Mom and Jacob chooses to stay with her. Being on the island seems to always be about choosing sides, whether, in season 1, you stayed with Sayid on the beach or went to the caves with Jack, or followed Jack in season 4 or Locke, or choose to do Jacob’s bidding or the Man in Black’s in season 6... it’s always about sides. Alpert was torn between the two sides when he first came, too. Again, it pulls in the metaphor of this show of black and white, good and evil, and the choices we make on a daily basis to do good or succumb to temptations.
• Island CJ tells Jacob, “I needed you to stay good.” She convinces him in this scene that he’s the good guy... does that make him the good guy? Contrast this scene on a log on the beach with the previous one with the Brother in Black... in that scene she tells him how special he is. Allison Janney plays the role beautifully... you can really see the contrast in the way she looks at the two boys, and can tell that she really does have a preference for the Brother.
• I often heard the whispers whenever the camera would flash by the mother.
• The dagger that Brother throws is the same one Dogen had, and the same one he asked Alpert to kill Jacob with.
• Brother seems angry after spending 30 years with the people (who are distinguished from themselves as being greedy and manipulative and selfish, as if Jacob and Brother don’t possess those faults as well) and Jacob seems to inhabit goodness, but only in his naivety.
• When I saw Brother stoking the charcoal in the fire, I was a little worried there would be a Peter Parker-type of incident where he’d be thrown in the fire and emerge a... smoke monster. (Nope, that was to come a little later!!)
• When Mama and Jacob go to the light in the cave at night, it seems much dimmer than it had been in the day, as if the light is going out because of her becoming tired.
• Jacob had used the wine bottle as the metaphor of the island... in the scene where he drinks from it, she uncorks the wine bottle, giving us the insinuation she’s actually doing something bad here, and not good, in the context of Jacob’s speech in “Ab Aeterno.”
• Jacob wants to stay on the island, and Brother wants to leave. What a strange island that the smokey essence of Brother now looks like Locke, the one person who did not want to leave the island.
• “There’s a storm coming.” “Yes there is.” And the award for Line with Most Obvious Use of Foreshadowey Symbolism goes to...
• Did anyone else think, when Brother stood among the burning huts gritting his teeth, “And THAT, kids, is how Anakin became Darth Vader!”
• I thought the dying tilt of Mom’s head was a little forced. “Thank you...” YOINK to the immediate right. It seemed like a death scene I’d watch in a high school play.
• Seeing Brother lying in the water reminded me of when Boone found Shannon in the water in “Hearts and Minds.”
• So I remember back when Jack found the bodies in the cave, he said by the state of decomposition the bodies had been dead for 50 or 60 years. Um... either he TOTALLY sucked in autopsy class or the bodies decomposed at such a slow rate because of the healing properties of the island, or because she was ageless. But HE wasn’t ageless, so...
• I think I’m kind of in love with Titus Welliver.

So Many Questions...
• Jacob only calls him “Brother,” making him sound an awful lot like a certain Scot on the island. Could that be a link to Desmond?
• At this point I’m assuming this section won’t be answered if it’s minor... but what happened to Island CJ’s mother? She said, “She’s dead” and I wonder if she killed her somehow? Does the cycle just continue? Was she ageless like CJ and Jacob?
• How did the boys possibly not notice another tribe on the island for 13 years? Not sure I buy that one.
• So what exactly is the light in the cave? It looks beautiful, she says it’s the warmest, brightest light you’ve ever seen, but no one must ever find it. She says a little bit of that light is inside every man, but they always want more. So what is it? Goodness? Evil? Testosterone? It sounds like it’s good, but then look what it does at the end? And how would it be able to get them off the island via the Frozen Donkey Wheel Express? Mom says if the light goes out here, it goes out everywhere, and they have to preserve it, which would suggest it’s a good thing...? Will it be explained, or will it be like the glow in the briefcase that Vincent Vega opens in Pulp Fiction? Or in the trunk in Repo Man?
• How old is the mother? She doesn’t age physically, but I wonder how many years? -- decades? centuries? -- she was there before the boys arrived?
• OK, gaming experts: Is that a real game that Jacob and his brother are playing? Is it a primitive form of chess? Checkers? Go?
• If being near the light does something to you worse than death, then when Brother lets the beam of light into the room, why doesn’t anything happen? How did having that light travel through Ben and Locke change them in some way when they jumped off the island via FDW Express?
• How did the donkey wheel end up frozen?
• So... did Smokey then take the form of the dead Brother and that’s what we saw in “The Incident” talking to Jacob and “Ab Aeterno” talking to Richard? If he’s dead, why is he still longing to leave the island? In what form could he do that?
• The synopsis for this episode on my PVR was, “John Locke’s motives are finally revealed.” Really? That makes it sound obvious. So... his motives for killing all those people is to get off the island and... wait, we already knew that LAST week. How did this episode clarify any of that?


Me tomorrow:
I’m on Facebook! Come and find me. I am here. :)

Tomorrow listen in to Marshall and Forbes on The Ocean 98.5 in Victoria, BC at 7:10 a.m. local time, 10:10 a.m. EST. Go here and click on the Listen Now button if you’re out of the listening area.

And tomorrow at noon I will once again be participating in the Globe and Mail Lost chat from noon to 1pm EST. Go here to ask questions and comment. See you there!

And finally, listen to KEX 1190 at 6:20 p.m. PST, 9:20 p.m. EST where I’ll be on the Mark & Dave show (and they’re big Lost fans so it’s always fun). Go here and click the Listen Now button.

Next week:
I joked when they announced “The End” would be the title of the finale, “How long before they start using the Doors’ song in previews?” Apparently... right about now. ;)

430 comments:

1 – 200 of 430   Newer›   Newest»
Kotowski said...

This episode gave many, many answers and was a very satisfying backstory to the two most mysterious characters in the series.

It was interesting to see that the two men were "separated" even at birth, with Jacob being wrapped in a white towel and MIB being wrapped in...what else...black.

Locke told Walt that backgammon was the oldest game, many years before Jesus Christ. Locke told Walt that the earliest evidence of the game was found in Tunisia, which is the exit point of the Orchid Station transfer. According to "Lost", MIB invented the game of backgammon.

MIB is carrying the same dagger that he handed to Sawyer.

Mother called MIB "special". Locke and Walt are two characters that have also been described as "special" by other people in their lives.

Is the Light in the cove the "Light of the World"? In Christianity, this Light is viewed as a physical person in Jesus Christ. Is this the same Light? Only in, well, light form?

In "LA X: Part 1", MIB told Ben that he wanted to go home. We now know that home is across the sea. He gained this knowledge of other lands from the tempting offer of joining his true people. This episode plays out much like the Garden of Eden, with the Snake tempting Eve to eat from the Forbidden Tree. MIB gives easily into his mother's offer, while Jacob remains loyal to the woman who raised him.

Speaking of their real mother, only MIB can see her, and this is because she is dead. Is the ability to see the dead a bad thing? Do Miles and Hurley have a similar "bad" quality or weakness to them?

MIB joins with his men to find the locations of electromagnetism across the Island. It is this property that enables time travel, which allowed Ben and Locke to leave the Island and arrive in 2007. We now know that MIB was the person who planned to attach the Wheel to the pocket of energy at the Orchid Station. MIB says that once the Wheel is turned, he'd be allowed to leave the Island. Locke is told by MIB (in the form of Christian) to turn the Wheel, allowing Locke to leave and fulfill a chain of events that would lead to the MIB where he is this season. Was MIB planning his loophole plan this early in the game?

Drinking from the cup gives Jacob eternal life and youth. Is the water surrounding the Cove the legendary Fountain of Youth?

Mother warns that bathing in the Light is worse than death, and it eventually transforms MIB into the Smoke Monster. The identities of Adam and Eve were revealed. I was half-right. I thought they were Jacob's and MIB's parents, but oh well. This is better because it explains why the Smoke Monster exists in the first place. After losing his physical body, MIB had to wait until (presumably) other people arrived on the Island and died.

The brief cuts to "House of the Rising Sun" in season one were nice for fans who don't remember Adam & Eve, and it does prove that Cuse & Lindelof had a story planned the whole time. It also was nice to bring the series full circle.

For those who are wondering, Kate was in a bra because her shirt was full of bees (or rather, C's as Charlie puts it).

Great episode, but one has to wonder how it will all wrap up with only three and a half hours left. Will the show end with the two realities being forever separated? Will they answer who DID insert the Wheel into the bottom of the Orchid? May 23rd can't come soon enough.

Boom. L O S T.

Benny said...

Wow.... I.... WOW!

I just can't say enough about this episode. It definitely answered A LOT of questions for me, and it definitely reinforces some of my theories. It's comforting that I have the right thinking, but at the same time, I want to be surprised!

This was so packed, most of my notes at just dialogue pieces.


1. MiB never had a name, Claudia never had one picked and the 'woman' never bothered to pick one.
Does she lack imagination or...?

2. The teenage boy Locke/MiB/Smokey keeps seeing is Jacob.

3. BiB (Boy in Black) just KNOWS the rules to the game he finds. He also tells Jacob:
"You can't do that Jacob, it's against the rules. [...] One day you can make up your own game and people will have to follow your own rules" We now see the coming together of rules...

4. No sign of the statue... The part of the beach where Jacob and Mother hang out looks like that part of the beach, but lacking the statue. Did they just forgo showing us, or was it built later?

5. BiB is being told he's special, this is confirmed when he sees the ghost of his real mother but Jacob cannot.
Was MiB really supposed to be the next in line as he sees ghosts but not Jacob? If so, then that's strong support for Hurley!

6. "They come, fight and corrupt and it always end the same" This is what Smokey/MiB tells Jacob. After Jacob took over, it seems his perspective of men has differed. What happened`?

7. "I've made it so you can never hurt each other" So they are restricted by rules. Since the teenage boy is Jacob, it stands to reason his words are a reminder that Locke cannot kill the candidates because those are the rules Jacob decided on [see point 4]

8. "It the light goes out here, it goes out everywhere" i.e. Everything ceases to exist (see Widmore) Or all Hell/malevolence escapes (see Jacob)

9. MiB/BiB had his world turned upside down at an early age (13 yrs) when his mother drops the bombs on him!

10. "Whatever you've been told, you will never be able to leave the island"
"It's not true, and one day I can prove it"


11. The light, the energy pockets, the wells, the wheel. MiB's plan to escape. This is a big chunk of gluons in the Lost theories and the nature of the island! ...at least to me.

12. MiB to Mother: "I'm special!" -- Ralph Wiggum anyone?

13. "You'd be worse than dying, much worse" Mother knew a LOT, but never really told anyone. Did Jacob gain knowledge by becoming the same with the Mother?

14. Jacob didn't want to be responsible, he was resentful it was supposed to be his brother: "You wanted it to be him. But now I'm all you have!" [see point 5]

15. The Adam and Eve reveal, the stones with the flashes back to season 1. They are, coincidently enough, characters we never had names for, MiB and the Mother.

16. "You can't kill me"
"Don't worry brother, I'm not going to kill you."
Jacob DID make him who he now is.

17. MiB's Mother was crazy, from his perspective, Just as he told Kate on the beach.


I think, in the vein that Ab Aeterno was powerful from an emotional point of view, this one was equally powerful from a mythology aspect. I can't say it was the best one, but it certainly was a strong one and delivered in terms of piecing together some of the mysteries of the island.

Marebabe said...

Have I learned nothing from six seasons of LOST? I should at least know by now the utter futility of coming to this show with expectations. But I was SO SURE that we would learn the Man in Black’s name in this episode. I fully expected Jacob to call his brother by name, probably as the last word spoken in this episode. Nope. Didn’t happen. So we’re still left to wonder about WHY Damon and Carlton are keeping his name a secret. Either his name is so loaded with cosmic significance that to reveal it would spill the big secret of LOST, or Darlton are having some fun with us, sort of like in “Malcolm in the Middle”, where for the entire run of the show, the audience never learned the last name of Malcolm’s family. Hmmm… That’s probably why my two guesses for the Man in Black’s name are a.) Lucifer, and b.) Hal.

How bad did you jump when Mom got stabbed? I ‘bout had to climb down from the ceiling! It’s good to know my reflexes are working properly. And a little jolt of adrenaline now and then never hurts. ;)

Gracie said...

Whoa! Nikki, I hope you have answers! Obviously, I haven't read anything yet, but I've been taking notes! Now I have more questions than ever! Who was she? WHAT was she? Where did she come from? How does she know the secrets of the island? Did anybody arrive with her or could she have been born there? If she was born there, to whom? Was there somebody before her who told her the story? (There has to be a beginning, doesn't there? Every story/tale has a beginning. She didn't just pop up there all by herself.) She said something to Jacob when he drank from the cup that now he was, what, equal to her or the same as her? What does that mean? (I don't remember exactly what she said and have to look again.) Just how did she wipe out an entire village, burn it down, and completely fill that hole all by her little ol' self? What special powers did SHE have? Are we supposed to infer that the Smoke Monster helped her? (Were any of those people a distant relative of Widmore's? Could that be how he came to know all that he knows? Or a distant relative of Ellie's?) Did she kill Mom and keep the boys to make them "special" or were they already "special"? (She did tell them - or one of them - that they were special.) Why did she never see fit to give the second born a name? I would feel inferior too if nobody ever gave me a name! LOL How did she grant them eternal life, which we now know to be untrue or not a complete or an accurate truth? (Will that incomplete immortality also apply to Richard somehow?) How old was Jacob when he died? Is their death death as we know it or as we believe it to be? How long was Jacob there completely alone? Is/Was he insane? How do you kill something that is already dead? Why was she so insistent that they could not leave the island? This part of the story seemed to imply she was born there and only knew of the outside world what others had told her previously, or what she learned from those who crashed there during her time. Where/When/How did she learn "suspicion"? It could also just imply extreme loneliness, beyond what even Danielle knew? Did she know before she died that this would be the way MIB would be kept on the island? Did she foresee his death? She apparently knew that whatever was in that cave was worse than death - did she foresee this as THE Life for her "sons", or did she do this knowing full well what she was setting up as the outcome? Did she know the MIB was going to become what we know of as the Smoke Monster? Was she already familiar with the Smoke Monster? If so, how? How did she know what was in the cave, was she ever in there herself? Could she have somehow created our lovely little "security system"? How DO you kill something already dead? Lovely woman, indeed. Everyone needs a mom just like that! LOL Along a different route, I can see why MIB would be upset and immediately infuriated, but I still don't understand the totality of his anger now, especially in light of the fact that he was remorseful after he killed "mom". His anger now (today) seems disproportionate for some reason IMHO. Is he angry because Jacob pushed him in the cave and ultimately killed him, or is he angry at the result of that action? Angry because he IS MIB/Smoke Monster?

Gracie said...

cont.

I was completely engrossed in this story so I hope you guys are going to answer some of this for me. It's too far along now to be adding more questions, especially regarding the beginning. To me right now, this woman is the beginning of everything, so she IS the biggest question. Everything that followed her is a result of her actions, so she has to be explained. And I'm afraid I already have all I'm going to get from the program itself. And to think I had the cave couple pegged as the original Adam and Eve!! A little off on that, and I didn't see this one coming! The addition of Jack and Kate with the stones was great, but didn't Jack say back then that the deterioration of the clothing was forty or fifty years old? That's odd or inconsistent. How long has MIB actually been dead? Cannot wait to read Nikki's post! I have to see this episode about five more times at least. Even then, I'm not expecting to understand a whole lot more than I do now! How about the rest of you? I hope you guys have a lot to tell me!

Jonah said...

Excellent review, Nikki - this step-by-step guide to the episode was better than the episode itself IMO, which I think will be one to divide fans.

The best aspect of this episode was Allison Janney's fine performance and the most interesting was the possibility that MIB is not inherently evil. I hope this is explored more. It's curious too, considering Darlton said Sun and Jin were killed last week to prove he IS evil... yet this episode once again appears to tell us he's really good/misunderstood... I assume the "evil" happens when he becomes the smoke monster.

One little thing that really annoyed me - the Adam and Eve goof again. When they found them in Season 1 the bodies were separated in two parts of cave. But Jacob places them side-by-side, which ties in with this season's "Lighthouse", but not the original episode featuring them ("House of the Rising Sun", which this episode gratuitously showed us in flashback - really overdoing the whole moment).

I wanted to like this episode but, sadly, I did not. I found the whole thing very underwhelming and overall disappointing. I'm probably alone here. But I thought it was fairly weak storytelling with grandiose pretensions, trying too hard to be epic. Perhaps my expectations were too high. I'm open to that possibility and really hoping I'll change my mind a little on a rewatch tomorrow, and a re-read of your fine points.

JS said...

!

David M. said...

Tonight's LOST gave us Chinese Food: I digested a lot, enjoyed it, but now I'm still hungry and I'm not sure what WTF I just ate.

Blam said...


Island Momma: "Every question I answer will simply lead to another question. You should rest."

Me: Tell me about it, lady.

I'm having computer and Internet trouble tonight, so I may not get to post again after reading your recap, Nikki, but I wanted to pop in while possible.

Nikki Stafford said...

David M: HAHAHA!!!

Jonah: No, I don't think you'll be alone in that. I thought it was a good episode, but certainly not among the absolute tops of the season. It felt like there could have been so much more, but it wasn't there. I liked it, don't get me wrong, but I didn't adore it.

Jessica said...

I cannot believe it! That was the best hour of television I have seen in a while! Answers upon answers... some of us were "right" when proposing that Jacop and the Man in Black were twin brothers... Adam and Eve!
Just superb! I squealed with delight and moaned every time I thought someone would reveal the Man In Black's name!
Oh My Friggin Guyliner!

Blam said...


David M.: I digested a lot, enjoyed it, but now I'm still hungry and I'm not sure what WTF I just ate.

Ha! Well said.

VW: retio — Comparison of one eyeball tissue to another.

Shari said...

I found myself going "uh what?" after the first scene with the light. At first it looked like the garden of eden but clearly it's so much more.

What really confused me is that the light is again shown near the Donkey Wheel which to me represented the electromagnetism.. Is this different light from the one Mother showed her boys? Was it the electromagnets that made Smokey Smokey or was it this "light" a metaphor for something more?

Ugh. So many new questions.

3 1/2 hours left :( WAH.

Benny said...

Great recap Nikki, it definitely addresses a lot of thoughts we've all had watching this and piecing it together. Just some thoughts (as is usual for me!)


@Nikki: The kids we saw in the jungle really were the two boys as kids (EVERYONE told me that second one was just an older Jacob when I said it was probably the Boy in Black).
-Well, I'm going with the casting call and this is the first episode that the actor playing the Boy in Black appears. It was always Jacob in the others.

The Man in Black has actually been dead in every scene we’ve seen him in so far... didn’t see THAT coming.
-My personal theory on this is that he is not dead, it's something different. He has in fact taken the essence of a smoke monster and lost his corporeal form. [theory]

Will it be explained, or will it be like the glow in the briefcase that Vincent Vega opens in Pulp Fiction? Or in the trunk in Repo Man?
-The image at the end of Lost will be a briefcase shining being closed!

OK, gaming experts: Is that a real game that Jacob and his brother are playing? Is it a primitive form of chess? Checkers? Go?
It is in fact Senet: Senet may be the oldest board game in the world. Senet boards were often placed in the grave alongside other useful objects for the dangerous journey through the afterlife.

Joe B. said...

I'm with you Jonah - I'm dissapointed in this episode. I felt there were too many points of the story that dragged on. By the end, I felt like they could have told this story in five minutes, but decided to make it an entire episode. "Across the Sea" has nothing on "Ab Aeterno."

Benny said...

EP Quality Top 5 for me, maybe Top 3! It was well written and played out and answered SO MUCH by showing less and taking a relaxed route.


@Shari: The light IS the EM energy. It is the energy channeled through the island and can be manipulated to move people/things around.

They call it 'light' because they don't have a better term.
We call it "EM' because that's the best term we have for it.
I do believe it is much more than just that and 'light' and 'EM' are characteristics of what IT is. And that IT is what transforms MiB into the smoke monster.

Dale said...

I have been thinking about Jack's comment about the clothes deteriorating for about 50 years. That was in 2004. Then I thought about the picture of the island in Eloise's office from 1954. Is it possible that soon after MIB and Mom were killed the island jumped to 1954, thus making Jack's assessment correct?

V. said...

Island CJ said "I'm so sorry" to Brother, right before she smashed his head against the rock. Isn't that what Jacob said to Locke when he touched him after he was pushed out of the window?

Is it a coincidence then that they both end up dying and having Smokey take their forms? Was Jacob setting Locke up as a pawn?

Zari said...

from the "Parallel" Media:

** However LOST ends, Lindelof and Cuse know they won’t be able to please everybody. **

“We talked at great length about not wanting to do something that felt safe,” says Damon Lindelof.

“If people say, ‘LOST had one of the worst endings in the history of television,’ and they’re still talking about it 30 years from now, personally speaking, I’d rather have that legacy than, ‘It kind of fizzled out’.” ....

“The question of the show becomes:
How does the Island illuminate this pattern [of behavior] and create an opportunity for the character to stop it? That’s what every human being is looking for: ‘I know what’s wrong with me. How do I change myself?’”

-- Damon Lindelof as quoted in
The LOST Good-Bye , Vanity Fair June 2010,
pp. 90, 93.

A great cast pic accompanies the article. The women look gorgeous; unfortunately, all the men are wearing shirts. (However, none of the World Cup soccer players on the VF cover or inside is wearing a shirt; each is barely covered with the flag of his country! Miss Joan is definitely going to need smelling salts.)

@VF.com: Blogger Mike Ryan recaps every episode of LOST.
Vanity Fair/Lost-in-Lost
http://www.vanityfair.com/archive/lost-in-lost

Word Verf: agarize : Prepare a Petri dish.

Joan Crawford said...

I was right about Jacob. He made Smokey! MiB was a pretty reasonable dude before Jake messed him all up.

Benny said...

@Dale: That's an interesting theory. But there's the remaining issue of 1867 and the statue.
It's possible that it jumped just some time after that, leading to Richard arriving...

@V. It's in there, the full line is: "Don't worry, everything's gonna be alright. I'm sorry this happened to you."
It's also what Ben says to Locke when he kills him: "I'm sorry I've made your life so miserable."

@Joan: MiB was a pretty reasonable dude before Jake messed him all up.
Wow! Didn't know you were on an abbreviated-name basis with Jacob. Pretty sweet deal you got there!

Greg S. said...

@Marebabe

What I took away from this episode is that the Man in Black has no name.

Susan said...

One of the worst things about this episode was its timing. After what happened last week, we are given a journey into the past? This episode could have been placed anywhere in the schedule this season, why now? It almost felt like a recap week for me.

Yes we got some answers, but the whole story dragged out, and many of the answers we got just led to more questions that almost certainly will not get answered with just 2 episodes left.

How much did I not like this episode? The high point for me was the scene from House of the Rising Sun with Jack and Kate. Personally I don't care enough about Jacob and MIB to watch a whole episode devoted entirely to them.

Sorry for the rant, but after last week's episode, this one brought the narrative to a screeching halt.

Joan Crawford said...

"One day you can make up your own game and everyone else will have to follow your rules"

I dunno...is this why Jacob is doing all this? Because he stayed away and thought people were good? He wasn't curious enough to actually join them...but he was curious enough to drag countless souls to him and experiment. Is it really just a pissing contest between brothers?

Joan Crawford said...

Adam and Eve...hmm, that was well, weird. As an aside, didn't they all look so young in the flashback to the cave?

RHK said...

I am so disappointed with this episode, especially since there are only 3 left. I'd actually rate Stranger in a Strange land above this one.

What got me was how predictable everything was:
Oh,a pregnant woman - i bet she's going to have 2 boys, jacob and MIB. Yep.
After the birth, she's going to be killed. Yep.
Either Mom or MIB is going to die by the donkey wheel. Not quite, but close.
Mom killed all the men. Yep.
MIB is going to kill Mom. Yep.
Jacob is going to kill MIB. Yep.
MIB is going in the light cave. Yep.
He's going to come out as smokey. Yep.

Almost nothing in this episode was surprising. Beyond that, I think I could have gone without knowing most of the reveals.

The worst of it is the identity of Adam and Eve! I've been looking forward to this for a LONG time. I expected Kate and Jack after some time travel incident, or Kate and Sawyer. Rose and Bernard? Desmond and Penny? Something as random as Aaron and Ji Yeon maybe?
MIB and mom?!? Gah! I'm soo disappointed...

Lesley C said...

Nice recap, okay episode. I felt the Cave O' Light was a bit too... pseudo-mystical? convenient? half-way explained?... for my taste.

Just one burning question:

How did Crazy Momma haul knocked unconscious Brother out of the well, fill in the hole, and slaughter a whole village of people before burning it to the ground - by herself? I just *knew* she would be an early version of the smoke monster, capable of doing all those things in the blink of an eye. And yet, she just looked older and tireder in the next scenes.

Did this bug anyone else?

cmblite said...

When I saw the lady in the water,with her belly. I thought of Claire in "Pilot" she was one of the first people Jack saved.Guess I've seen that one e'nuff.

redeem147 said...

I don't think the smoke monster was created when Jacob killed his brother. I think The Man With No Name (who I will now call 'Clint') died and the smoke monster took his identity, the way he has now taken Locke's. He (it?) can scan minds which is what we saw with Mr. Eko.

I still have more questions. What is the smoke monster? Who was that b.. I mean witch who killed Claudia and stole her children?

That game looked more like senet than backgammon to me. The pieces were a different shape, but the board and throwing sticks were the same. That could tie them back to ancient Egypt (which would pre-date the Latin they were speaking and explain why b... I meant witch had such a crappy Latin accent.

Is there a connection between Clint being able to see his dead mother, and Hurley seeing dead people? Was that his mother, or a manifestation of the smoke monster trying to get him to come to the Roman camp?

Was that light the light that Locke said he saw when he was dragged underground?

Did the wine give immortality? Is that liquid from the fountain of youth?

Can there really only be 3 1/2 hours left?

Dave Vachon said...

IMO, the writers simply couldn't answer all the questions appropriately in one season and are scrambling like crazy.

While I've enjoyed the season, it feels like they're rushing like hell to make it all work ... and that's never what's made LOST Lost.

I find it highly, highly unlikely they can reach a satisfying conclusion for longtime fans - hell, I miss Charlie, Shannon, Boone, Walt, Libby, Eko, etc...
I miss their back stories.

This season did nothing to answer any of those back stories and has left me unsatisfied about that aspect. Libby being in the mental ward in a few years ago has never been truly explained.

Now, with three and a half episodes left, they simply can't answer the hardcore fans' questions. It's impossible.

There are just so many characters who I need answers for, something three-and-a-half episodes simply can't get done.

IMO, season one of Lost was the greatest TV ever and too many questions remained unresolved on the characters themselves.

And Bernard and Rose???

Gracie said...

Nikki asked how the FDW ended up frozen. I wanted to know what happened to the bright light. What caused this, when did it dim or go out? From what mom said, how can that be anything good?

Dov Smiley said...

I think that the light is power. Thanks for all of the great posts and books!

Rainier said...

Wow. This episode was really amazing. It really does seem to paint everything in shades of gray; the good/evil dichotomy is not clear-cut and simple. I have, for a long time now, believed that Jacob is not the good guy and that MiB is not necessarily evil. This episode not only confirms that opinion, but strengthens it significantly. It also leaves me really, really wishing that there were 6 more episodes, or that the writers had cut some of the stuff from the rest of the season in order to give us more of the mythology behind the island as we know it.

MiB, as we already knew, wants to leave the island, which he has wanted for a very, very long time (although sadly, we are still left to wonder just how long it has been.) Jacob, for some reason, wants to keep him there; as yet, the dire consequences that would result if he is successful are not explained. Is it a matter of him perhaps bringing other people back to the island, where he might discover The Source? And how would that result in The Source being extinguished?

Mommy Dearest is obviously insane. And The Others' penchant for killing women and taking their children clearly goes way, way back. She tells Jacob that he is good; she also tells BiB that he is "special." Early on, she tells the boys that she has "fixed it so they will never die." This seems to indicate that they are already immortal before she gives Jacob the wine (bottled at The Source!), saying "now we are the same. It is not clear exactly what this means if he already possesses immortality. (Has she made him insane too?)

BTW, does anyone know what that incantation over the wine was?

It seems clear to me, from her actions in killing the boys' mother and MiB's "people" as well as her constant lies her constant lies to the boys, that she is not good. Shades of gray... This, then, implies that Jacob is also not good. He goes on after her death to build on the things that she has taught him, ultimately establishing a typical, authoritarian, cult-like system that is designed to keep the people who come to the island in their place.

And since Jacob is going to live forever, and it is rare for people to accidentally find the island, why does Jacob need to bring a whole lot of additional people there - it really does seem like just a game to him. Again, not the actions of a good guy; he is completely screwing up peoples' lives for the sake of his game. Notably, Jacob tries to decline the job of guarding The Source; it would seem that he isn't all that enamored of the idea of being stuck on the island forever, either. Mommy dearest tells him that he "has no choice." So is it the case that free will is not a factor in deciding who takes up Jacob's mantle?

Since Jacob can come and go as he pleases without destroying the world or seemingly even incurring any serious consequences, why did he have such a problem with MiB leaving? And what is it that makes MiB a bad guy? We have, as yet, seen no evidence that he is any worse than Jacob...

Mommy Dearest thanks MiB for killing her. Again, we are given the distinct impression that eternal life is more curse than blessing. And according to her, Jacob pitching MiB into the water that carries him into the tunnel at the mouth of The Source is consigning him to a fate worse than death. Much worse.Such a kind and thoughtful thing for him to do to his brother...

So it seems that neither Jacob nor MiB is truly "the good guy." At this point, my sympathies lie much more with MiB, who, IMO, has been truly and cosmically screwed.No grease, not even a kiss.

VW: cooder - one element of a scent with two parts

Joan Crawford said...

Anyone else have Xena flashbacks when they saw the getups of the men killing the boar?

I had Lord of the Rings flashbacks - I was quite annoyed at the damn foliage from obscuring the view of the brutish men.

"Hey, that one looks like Faramir!"

Joan Crawford said...

Mommie Dearest insists that you spell it with an 'ie'!

When I told you to call me "Mommie Dearest"...I wanted you to mean it!

Dave Vachon said...

Rainier is right. The season needs at least six episodes (or more) to explain the island's mythology.

DavidB226Morris said...

I don't know if anybody read this week's New Yorker, but one of the lead stories was on the work and art of Michael Giacchino, Lost maestro par excellence. The New Yorker has always been very favorable to the show (in their way, they only review a show once, and almost never comment on it for the rest of its run.) In the first paragraph, the writer managed to summarize what happened in Lost all the way through Season 6. Bravo.The episode that Giacchino was scoring was Sundown, and they went into detail of how Giacchino's orcehestra found the right place to work. It commented on Giacchino long collaborative process withJ.J. Abrams, and the value of music to Lost. Indeed, there is a quote taht Lost might not be the show it is without the work of Giacchino.

With the exception of 24 --- which would not exist without its music, and is coming to an end the day after Lost ends (sob)--- I can't think of a show on today that relies on music the same way. (I don't count Glee because most of its music is outsourced) House, Damages, and the Law and Order series rely on music but the scores aren't anything to write home about. The West Wing, ER and the work of David E. Kelley had great music (almost all of it from Snuffy Walden), but the show could have survived with a different composer.

In fact, the shows that have the best relationship with music are generally mythology shows. Would Twin Peaks have made the same impression that it did without Angelo Bandaminti haunting use of strings and pianos? Would Buffy the Vampire Slayer have worked as well as did without Christophe Beck's powerful melodies (particular in regard to the Buffy and Angel love theme)? I know the X-Files would have never have worked as well as it did without Mark Snow's incredibly versatile work(His protracted tendencies for Scully's theme in the shows final two seasons nonwithstanding)

In the article, Giacchino has made it clear that he is unlikely to work for another television series because of the protracted schedule that he has for every episode. Yet another reason to mourn the end of Lost. We know what he's capable of(his score for Up proves that, even if he wrote nothing else), and it's going to be those last notes of the score that will put a tear in the viewers eyes, more than anything else we see on the screen count on it.

TBC

Rainier said...

@LesleyC: How did Crazy Momma haul knocked unconscious Brother out of the well, fill in the hole, and slaughter a whole village of people before burning it to the ground - by herself? I just *knew* she would be an early version of the smoke monster, capable of doing all those things in the blink of an eye. And yet, she just looked older and tireder in the next scenes.

We saw, in the scene where she gives Jacob the wine that somehow transforms him, that she was casting a spell of some kind. Perhaps she has some sort of witchy power that allows her to channel the energies of the island in order to accomplish this. That would fit with her looking tired afterward; according to every magical system with which I am familiar (and that would be a fair few) any strong magic requires a large input of energy from the practitioner.

VW: fireys - a description of the deaths of the people in the village that Mommy Dearest burned

Benny said...

redeem147 But if I'm taking b... witch's words at face value, "You won't be dying, but something much worse" constrained by the nature of the island.

If she has been successful at protecting the source, then this may very well be the first occurrence of someone coming in contact with it!

Was that light the light that Locke said he saw when he was dragged underground?
Unfortunately, I do not remember this. In fact I don't remember him being dragged underground.

@Dave: They never had the intention to answer the FANS' questions. They always wanted to answer THEIR OWN questions. Big difference.

@Rainier: she tells the boys that she has "fixed it so they will never die."
And this might be why touching the source results in something worse than death for MiB.

why did he have such a problem with MiB leaving? And what is it that makes MiB a bad guy?
It could stand that what MiB NOW IS (Smokey) is what should be prevented from leaving.

Teebore said...

Certainly not the revelatory "answer it all" episode I was expecting (more questions indeed), but that's more my fault than the episode's. What was there was pretty good, though.

I thought Alison Janey was great.

When we first saw Jacob and MiB, we asked "where do they get their powers? Who put them in charge? Who enforces their rules?"

Now we know the answers: their mother. Of course, that just begs the question of "where did their mother get her power/purpose?" Where's she get the wine? Who taught her the incantation that presumably empowered the wine? How does she know about the light?

And I have a feeling we're not going to get an answer to any that.

How long ago, island time, was this story? Were the ruins in place yet? I assumed this would be the episode where we learned who built the ruins/temple/statute; did this story take place before that, or after that?

The light=EM energy=the spark inside us all. Extinguish the light, extinguish life. I'm on board with all that.

I wonder if the temple was built around the light source, and the spa of rebirth is directly above it.

So does the Dogen Dagger work because it killed Mother? And because she was killed without a word, that's why you can't speak before stabbing Jacob/MiB?

I'm okay with not knowing who completed the wheel; I think we got all we need to know about that (though it being frozen is curious).

Interesting that for all these many, many years, MiB has been yearning to go home to a place he's never been. Home=someplace off the island, and that's all he cares about.

The island dead seem to act on their own/within their own personalities: MiB's birth mother wanted him to know the truth about his origins, and presumably not because of any ulterior agenda.

@Nikki Right from the beginning, the distinction between the brothers seems to be that Jacob is content with his lot in life, where the Bruthah in Black is the guy who believes there’s something else out there and longs to see it. He’s the ambitious one.

I'm probably the only one who's ever heard of it, but there's a musical by Stephen Schwartz called Children of Eden that, amongst other things, embellishes the story of Cain and Abel.

In it, Abel is content to farm and live a pious life, whereas Cain, fueled by the spark of Creation passed on to him from his mother, yearns for something more. Ultimately, he discovers another tribe of people and wants to join him, and in the ensuing confrontation with Adam, Abel is killed.

The early scenes between Jacob and BiB were very reminiscent of it.

Dave Vachon said...

@Benny The fans should have been answered too.

Rainier said...

@reedeem147: I don't think the smoke monster was created when Jacob killed his brother. I think The Man With No Name (who I will now call 'Clint') died and the smoke monster took his identity, the way he has now taken Locke's. He (it?) can scan minds which is what we saw with Mr. Eko.

This occurred to me as well; I do not think it is clear whether the Smoke Monster is MiB or not.

hat could tie them back to ancient Egypt (which would pre-date the Latin they were speaking and explain why b... I meant witch had such a crappy Latin accent.

Boy, it really was bad, wasn't it??

VW: arcents - pennies belonging to us pirates

redeem147 said...

I'm still not convinced that Smokey=Clint, but I do think it's possible that the person it takes over has their consciousness trapped in it. Not the casual shapeshifts, but the forms it's stuck in for a long time. In fact, I think the smoke monster killed the Roman settlement.

Clint's body was still there to decompose, separate from Smokey's, just as Locke's is.

A Frustrated Writer said...

Where was the statue?

Did I just miss it in my state of extreme exhaustion, or was it oddly missing in this episode?

Just another question to ponder...

Rainier said...

@Joan: I had Lord of the Rings flashbacks - I was quite annoyed at the damn foliage from obscuring the view of the brutish men.

"Hey, that one looks like Faramir!"


Me, too! Damned bushes.

Mommie Dearest insists that you spell it with an 'ie'!

When I told you to call me "Mommie Dearest"...I wanted you to mean it!


Yes, Mommie...pleae put that hanger down now...please? Mommie?

Zari said...

@Rainier: It really does seem to paint everything in shades of gray; the good/evil dichotomy is not clear-cut and simple. I have, for a long time now, believed that Jacob is not the good guy and that MiB is not necessarily evil.

I agree, and also with your comments about Mother Dearest lying to the boys. She is inconsistent, and seems to set the boys against each other.

Mother says to Brother: “Jacob doesn’t know how to lie. Not like you.”

That reminds me of Apollo in Roman mythology, the god who could not tell a lie. He was the god of music, healing and truth. There was also a god in Greek mythology, Tiresias, who could see the future and could speak only the truth.

Word Verf: lograter : 1. Wood classifier; 2. Ground-floor shredder, first in the series of inferior quality tools emitting a soft, soothing moo.

Gracie said...

Kotowski said: "Was MIB planning his loophole plan this early in the game?"
How many people have come before our heroes that could have been the loophole but for some reason it never worked out to MIB's benefit? I'm beginning to get the feeling that it's not going to work out this time either. That in and of itself is like a game, continuously played, that will never end the way MIB wants it to. Almost like another rule or something? Maybe this is the game referred to where we play by Jacob's rules, because he leaves the island when he wants to, right?
Also, Kotowski: In some ways it does appear to be the Fountain of Youth, but MIB AND Jacob are now dead, right? Jacob who actually got to drink from the cup, is dead. The promise was only fulfilled to a point from what we've seen. He received a long life, but a loophole (and Ben) did him in. And I'm none too sure he was much better altogether than his brother. He's either a few fries short of a Happy Meal, or he's like a bully. And I'm still not sure if Jacob's original intention of keeping his brother there was born out of love, fear of loneliness, or being nutty as a fruitcake just like dear ole Mum? Although MIB's intent appears to be evil, I almost feel sorry for him.

Erin said...

So I guess when, way back in season 1, Locke looked into the "heart of this island and what I saw was beautiful", he saw the golden light?

(did I get that right, or is it the "eye" of the island?)

DavidB226Morris said...

Tonights episode: So even Jacob and the MIB had mommy issues.

Ever since Season 4, we've known that the passengers of 815 seem to be pawns in a bigger game. We just didn't know HOW big the game was,who was playing and what exactly the stakes were. We got a hint in The Incident, but in this episode we got the real thing

No doubt this will be the episode that will divide our community--- those who love it unconditionally and say "Yes! We finally got the answers we've been waiting for!" and those who say: "Well, it was great for mythology, but why couldn't we have gotten it, say, a few episodes ago? And couldn't we have learned somebody's names?!" I agree with the last part, at least.

It's always good to see Allison Janney in basically anything (any film or TV show that she appears is automatically gets a touch of class with her presence)and it was interesting that she played the woman who made the earth. I just wish I knew what frigging side she was on.

Is it possible that even though she was guarding what was probably the most important thing in the world (electromagnetic energy that heals, perhaps like was theorized in Season 2) she was herself even more flawed then everyone else? Is it possible that she possessed the capability to become the smoke monester (that villiage she destroyed looked an awful like Smoky's work)

And which one of them was special? Jacob only appeared special because he remained clothed in naievte--- Adam before the fall, perhaps. The MIB was clearly the woman's favorite. (I'm not calling her CJ) and it's clear that she loved him -- why else would she tell him as much with what was her last breath?

And even though, we are clearly being drawn along two seperate sides here, it doesn't mean either's right. Both Jacob and the MIB committ murder in this episode (there is a reason that they find MIB's body in the rubble) both do it out of the same animalistic need for vengeance, and both cry at what they have done. What exactly is the difference?

Is this perhaps where MIB gets the ability to take the form of the dead? Sure seems that way.

It's a little too late for me to prattle on about this, but a really scary though came to mind this evening. The last episode is called 'The End'.

Jacob (the incident)
It only ends once. Anything before that is progress.

Maybe that's what the title refers to. Maybe this little show about an island in the Pacific is about the Alpha and the Omega. Maybe Jacob and MIB's theory is about to be proved, one way or the other.

Pleasant dreams!

Gracie said...

What have I forgotten that forbids the following:
In all the time the army people were there, Dharma, the Others, AND the submarine was available (coming and going), why couldn't MIB have killed any one of them, taken over that body, and jumped on the sub as the person he killed? Why did he have to wait for John Locke specifically or anyone for that matter? If he wanted to leave so badly, and he could see into the mind of others, why didn't he just kill someone and go?
Help me out here?

Anonymous said...

@Jonah and @Susan - I totally agree about this episode. I normally don't get disappointed or frustrated with the Lost episodes, but for cripes sake, there's only 3.5 hours left! At 9:59 I was wishing the show had reached that point (Jacob throwing MIB into the water) at 9:37, and that the next 20 minutes could have actually given some ANSWERS. Like ... Murdering Mom's source of power. What the light actually is, instead of some vague explanation of 'something other men will try to get and thereby extinguish.' The source of the magnetic power, and whether or how that is related to the light on the island. Whether the boys had special powers when they were born, and that was why Murdering Mom killed the boys' mother, or if she just chose them to be her successor because she needed to find someone and thereafter imbued them with special powers. Why can some people see dead people? Is it innate, or does it source from the island? When dead people appear, is it actually the person's ghost we're seeing or some manipulation by some unknown power? And a big one for me, what are the rules governing Ben and Widmore and their contest? I thought for sure that would finally be addressed tonight, since they were setting up a game with rules between the brothers, and it seems likely that the contest with rules between the brothers may be the structure for the contest with rules between Ben and Widmore.

These and many other questions could have been addressed in the context of this episode, and they weren't. I'm beginning to seriously fear that there will be legions of questions not answered when Lost ends because there's TOO MUCH to address in the next 3.5 hours. First time since Season 2 that I haven't liked a Lost episode.

Virgina Katz said...

As soon as I saw that light I kept waiting to Skittles to come shooting out of it. But apparently it's the source of scary black smoke monsters and not delicious fruity candies.

Gracie said...

Fred said: "@Gracie:After having read your entire post to Spouse, he was wondering what you do for a living?

What I do now is nothing much. But I used to do anthropological genetics (basically, human population genetics). In a nut shell, anth. genetics usually involves interpreting past human migration and the origin of unique and familiar human dieases that have a genetic basis.

As to perception, you've got it right for the most part. Just that how you see something on the island isn't just in your mind, but becomes a part of the island reality. Think of it this way, for example: Suppose Ben sees the glass full, and it is. In the next scene, Locke sees it nearly empty, and it is. Since there is no single objective point of view (there is no God deciding the reality between these 2 possible views of the glass of water), then the glass is BOTH full and nearly empty. This is why sometimes on LOST we see the same scene from a different point of view, but things in the background are different. The frames in the old woman's house when Miles goes up the stairs as when he comes down the stairs, is one instance.

The philosopher George Berkley argued we need to impose God into the world to allow things not to disappear--if no one is watching, not only doesn't a tree falling in the forest not make a sound, there isn't a tree. LOST postulates Berkley's worst nightmare, a world in which there is no God. Hence everything depends on who is watching; existence itself is dependent on there being a watcher. (Could that be Jacob?).

A similar idea lies behind quantum mechanics. Without an observer, we don't know the spin or direction of an atomic particle. Science fiction writers (and some physicists) have applyed this above the atomic scale, so that the world would become a fuzzy white mass. It still exists, but hasn't resolved itself into any single reality. What might be happening on the island is that if an observer expects to see something, or even imagines it, it comes about. Remember Locke telling Walt to imagine the knife striking the target. (There was an orignal Star Trek episode where the crew landed on a planet where what they imagined was manufactured--usually with dire consequences).

Nope, don't have the level of mathematics needed to understand problems of quantum entanglement. But, hey, neither do the writers of LOST, and they're doing a great job on the story. So none of us need to be too involved in the science bit. Afterall, if it were too complicated then no one would watch the show. The solution to the island has to be relatively simple so every viewer understands, much like Faraday's time travel illustration using an LP. My expectation is I'm probably wrong, but it wuld be so cool if something like Schrodinger's Box was what was going on."


Thank you Fred. I very much agree with you especially your last paragraph. There are young teenagers watching this show. I, at times, felt the writers were stretching it a bit for them when Faraday was involved, but if the kids managed to keep up with the writers then, they are going to have to have an ending that they understand. It would be cheating to deny the younger people watching that understanding after they have devoted considerable time to this show.
Did you see my post where I asked if anyone could take their theories and put them with an island that we know to be underwater? I thought it was my last post on The Candidate, but I can no longer find it.

WV: asidn. Relative of POseidon?

Erin said...

I love seeing flashbacks to the early seasons, but I didn't think this one was at all necessary. Not for those of us who have been watching so carefully from the beginning. Seemed a bit gratuitous to show Jack and Kate with the bodies and have Locke say "our very own Adam and Eve." Like on Flashforward when they always show us stuff we've seen before. Is it just me? Am I just tired and grumpy?

Nurse Brian said...

Good episode, not great, but good nonetheless!

Glad to finally find out who were the cave skeletons. Not who I was expecting at all!

So... all that baby birthing chatting I was doing last week with Nikki, Gracie, crazyinlost, Rainier, and some others (I'm sorry, just the names that instantly came off the top of my head) was a fairly good primer for this week's episode intro?! What crazy happenstance! And what clean babies! Moms, you know babies don't come out clean like that! Also, that psycho-mom had horrible midwifery skills!

One minuscule question I have is if Brother and Jacob are fraternal or identical twins. Probably inconsequential, but I just wonder... did these two start from the same fertilized egg (gray) and then separate into two fetuses (white and black)?

Another thing that irked me was the conduct of Mother/Eve/Crazy-psychopath-lady. Why all the killing and assaulting? Who told her to do all this? Or was she just straight up crazy?

Also, I was thinking about her little conversation about how there was "light in everyone" and how if something happened to the light, "the light would disappear everywhere." Here goes another allusion... for you who watch Japanese Animation, you might have alluded (as I did) to the series Neon Genesis Evangelion, where a similar plot plays out. To make it short, it was said that each person contained what they called an "AT field". The plot surrounds "religious" fanatics attempting to eliminate these AT fields, causing a sort of biblical rapture. I'm not putting the full story out there, so if any of the initiated are reading this, go ahead and add-in or correct me as you like. If you haven't watched it and you're interested, it's definitely a good watch!

RE: MIB's cave - The scene with MIB in his cave pushing the coals very much gave me a Lucifer Morningstar/Hades of the Underworld vibe? I guess I'm more towards Lucifer with the whole being underground and trying to search for light amongst darkness, a la trying to claw his way out of Hell.

After this episode, it really seems more than ever that the story is about two brothers who are playing one big game, with our main characters as the board pieces.

I was also seeing a lot of dichotomy between MIB and Jacob. Other than the white/black garb, you saw how filthy MIB/Brother was, while Jacob kept a very clean composure. I also noted that Brother/MIB had steeped himself in the fires of industry, dabbling with metal tools, while Jacob (and psycho-mom) gathered firewood and wove blankets. Also, Jacob has a sort of "it is what it is" style of thinking, and Brother/MIB likes to analyze and ask questions.

Okay, that's all I have for tonight. I know I have more to say, but I'm super tired! Catch you guys in the morning!

Blam said...


Yay, Allison Janney!

Mom calls me up halfway through the episode to ask where she's from, naming half the TV shows from the past decade (okay, slight exaggeration) before I can say The West Wing. And Mom goes, "Right! The Secretary of State!" Love you, Mom.

I think you handled the writeup on this answers-oriented ep just fine, Nik. You picked up on lots of stuff I didn't, as usual. Here are my initial thoughts before moving on to the replies if I can keep myself and the Wi-Fi up that long (been trying to post this for hours)...

Origin story!

I mean you can't get much more "origin" than birth... but we also got Jacob's introduction to the Island's specialness and his assumption of the role of its protector, not to mention the presumed first appearance of Smokey (more on that later).

Blam's invented scene variation of the night:

Momma: "Until then... You don't have a choice."
Jacob: "I thought there was always a choice."
Momma: "You don't say that line yet, Jacob. Now drink."
Jacob: "Mmm. Wines is tasty, Momma."

Thoughts 'n' questions:

And that, folks, is why actors usually put on generic vaguely English accents if they're from another time and place, supposedly speaking another language. Your good old American voices, especially from the mouths of babes, sound weak and whiny.

I get that Jacob was supposed to be naive, but he kinda came across more as... simple.

So Esau wants to "go home" to a place he's never even seen.

Esau is "special". Is that "special" like Momma always liked him best special, or "special" like Desmond, Walt, and others are special (if not all in the same way)?

Who else thought that when Esau got all agitated seeing his people dead, and the camera started spinning around, he was gonna turn into Smokey for the first time?

I guess Smokey is (now) separate from Esau. While I expected Esau to physically transform into Smokey, we know that he takes on people's forms rather than taking over their actual bodies, so even though it would (to my mind) have been an allowable exception for Esau's body to have changed into Smokey by the light, I suppose that's not the case or Esau's body wouldn't have turned into bones in the cave.

The primary question is whether Smokey is Esau's actual essence (say that three times fast) or he's a creature indigenous to the light and/or created by Esau's entrance into the light that simply absorbed Esau's feelings and memories the way the does, to a presumably lesser extent, later bodies like John Locke's. Another big question for me is where the heck Esau's body came from since it can't be Smokey in another form. Was it inside Smokey when Smokey came barreling out of the light and got desposited in those branches? Did it just pop out randomly somewhere else on the Island, mini-FDW-style?

Of course, there are plenty of other questions. Who dug the well back out and put together the Frozen Donkey Wheel — Smokey in Esau's body, over time, maybe, or others under his direction? Where the frak did Island Momma come from? And why did the lodestone totally lose its pull as soon as Jacob wrenched the knife off of it but kept holding the knife in his hands, gingerly, mere inches away? 8^)

Hey, I just had a thought. We think that they bury bodies so that Smokey can't assume their form. Do you suppose that if they buried Adam/Esau's bones, or knew to throw them into the light or something, he would be van-qui-shed?

VW: spolis — To the vitcors beglon the...

Anonymous said...

I thought this episode was terrible. The answers were vague and provided no real explanation of the characters' motivations, or any reason to care about the characters themselves. If it weren't for the fact that the show only has a few episodes left, I wouldn't watch it again after this one.

I can confirm, however, that Benny is right to identify the game as Senet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senet.

Anonymous said...

To follow my previous post, a few more questions they could have addressed occurred to me: what are the rules? Why did they start writing people's names on the cave walls and in the lighthouse? Why is it necessary to winnow an apparently very large group of people down to one candidate when Murdering Mom just worked with two choices? I'm not saying I didn't appreciate learning the two or three answers which were provided in tonight's ep, but those answers could have been given in about 25 minutes and then some more meaty issues could have been delved into. Too much left unaddressed.

Blam said...


simply absorbed Esau's feelings and memories the way the does, to a presumably lesser extent, later bodies like John Locke's

Who dug the well back out and put together the Frozen Donkey Wheel — Smokey in Esau's body, over time, maybe, or others under his direction?

That should be "the way he does", of course (typo), and "Smokey in Esau's form" (poor phrasing). I also wanted to clarify that I'm wondering how Esau's body ended up in that tree or whatever since we only saw Smokey exit the light in smoke-monster form and the body didn't seem to be carried along by it in any way. When Jacob first found Esau's body, I assumed that it was Smokey exhausted and reverted back to bodily form, but we know from Esau's body turning to bones in the cave that Smokey is a physically separate being from Esau's original body, even when he looks like Esau, just as he's physically separate from John Locke even when he looks like Locke.

So what did Jacob think when he first saw the smoke monster? What did he think when he first saw his brother again? And did he ever think about trying to revive Momma by casting her into the light?

The last is just a neat, story-based "What if...?", but I think we kinda deserved to see the first two.

VW: rebeak — Fix up a poor, poor bird.

Gracie said...

Jonah said: "When they found them in Season 1 the bodies were separated in two parts of cave. But Jacob places them side-by-side, which ties in with this season's "Lighthouse", but not the original episode featuring them ("House of the Rising Sun", which this episode gratuitously showed us in flashback - really overdoing the whole moment)."
I don't remember this at all. Maybe I'm very wrong, but it seems to me when they were first discovered they were together with hands held or fingers entwined. I hope somebody else can clarify this.
Benny said: "1. MiB never had a name...."
As I spend more time thinking about the fact that she never named MIB, I feel even more sorry for him. He's probably just completely overwhelmed to have everyone referring to him as "John Locke" just to be called something. How sad. But it makes me wonder how he introduced himself when he moved to the other side of the island.
Benny again: "4. No sign of the statue... The part of the beach where Jacob and Mother hang out looks like that part of the beach, but lacking the statue. Did they just forgo showing us, or was it built later?"
I got the feeling during the episode that we were supposed to assume this all happened a very, very long time ago, and I also noticed the lack of the statue (and the lighthouse) from the beach. I cannot reconcile this with Jack's idea about the age of the clothing from the cave. (OR the clothing simply did not break down as one would expect because of the island properties as well as being in a cave.) But I don't know yet which is correct or if it matters.
Benny: 6. "They come, fight and corrupt and it always end the same" This is what Smokey/MiB tells Jacob. After Jacob took over, it seems his perspective of men has differed. What happened`?
I think a whole lot of people have come and gone from this island in Jacob's time. Thousands. The people have changed his perspective. And "It only ends once. The rest is progress."
8. "It the light goes out here, it goes out everywhere" i.e. Everything ceases to exist (see Widmore) Or all Hell/malevolence escapes (see Jacob)
Seems to me if that light hasn't already gone out, it sure as hell has dimmed considerably. Light produces heat. What froze the FDW?
Benny said: "Did Jacob gain knowledge by becoming the same with the Mother?"
YES, absolutely! My question (one of my many) was where did she get this knowledge from? Who passed it on to her?
14. Benny said: "Jacob didn't want to be responsible, he was resentful it was supposed to be his brother: "You wanted it to be him. But now I'm all you have!" [see point 5]"
You and I seem to agree on a lot of points, but on this one while I agree with you, I seem to be in disagreement with MYSELF. I think MIB was supposed to be next in line, but she ended up going with Jacob because she saw a darkness in MIB that was not, what? Good for the island? Good for mankind? Was it just because he didn't want to stay on the island, and she thought he'd fight to his death to leave it? I'm arguing with myself on this point because SHE was not as pure as the driven snow. What am I missing in here? They were all sort of well, Lost. None of them appear to be playing with a full deck.

Ambivalentman said...

I'm amazed at all the negative comments I've been reading about this episode on-line thus far. No doubt this episode has suffered from the disease of high expectations.

Personally, I loved it. I loved the slowness of the first half, the acting of the kids, and the way the episode beat us over the head with the black/white imagery. I loved it because this is the stuff of classic mythology. Classic myths are messy and frustrating, full of obvious symbolism. LOST has succeeded over the years because of its willingness to complicate its story, and now it succeeds by breaking the story down and simplifying it (without losing the ambiguity).

There is a lot in this episode to discuss and think about, and I bet much of it will not be addressed in the remaining run time (i.e. the origins of Mother), but that is the stuff of myths. Enough information is presented to tell the story being told, and the rest is left behind.

Seriously, though...do we need to know where Mommie Dearest came from, or how she learned the Island's secrets? We run the risk of ruining the magic trick by engaging in a "first cause" argument. All we need to know is that there have been a long line of protectors on this Island. Jacob inherited the post--reluctantly--from his crazy mother. Now he has selected candidates to replace himself. I like it because it is a simple answer to something that has seemed so complicated for so long.

Kudos to Allison Janney for being awesome as Mother. She carried the episode, and gave it a real epic feel. Some have complained that she was too recognizable and threw them off. I think that was the point -- the classic epic productions have often featured recognizable actors. They lend the subject matter importance and gravity.

Great comments out there everybody!

WV: "prest" as in, "the writers of LOST are prest for time to wrap this series up satisfactorily."

Fred said...

@Nikki: OK, gaming experts: Is that a real game that Jacob and his brother are playing? Is it a primitive form of chess? Checkers? Go?

The game is Senet, an ancient Egyptian game that precedes Backgammon. The rules are not certain, but it is thought to be a racing game (race your pieces round the board) and has something to do with symbolism of the journey of the dead.

@Nikki, Benny:Will it be explained, or will it be like the glow in the briefcase that Vincent Vega opens in Pulp Fiction?

Ironic comment from you guys, considering there was that Hilliburton case Sawyer was always trying to open. That was our first reference to Pandora's Box (the other one was among the Tailies in the episode The Other 48 Days. Each box contains something of value to people. The case contains the model airplane for Kate, as well as guns for the survivors. The box from the Arrow Station contained the missing film for the orientation video.

@Gracie:Nikki asked how the FDW ended up frozen. I wanted to know what happened to the bright light. What caused this, when did it dim or go out? From what mom said, how can that be anything good?

Actually, it doesn't have to be anything good. It just simply is what it is, a mysterious energy source that is the source of all life and death. However, to tamper with it might lead to unforeseen reprecussions. That's what Ben said about the Dharma Initiative. Locke saw in the video tape that the DI was using the energy to time travel, to which Ben disparaged their efforts, as if the DI missed the boat on what was really important. We have to take it that this mysterious light is the pure essence of Being. Nothing ever caused it, as it always was, or there would never would have been anything (all those existential references also should include Heidegger's Being and Time).

@Zari:Mother says to Brother: “Jacob doesn’t know how to lie. Not like you.”

It seems not being able to lie is not a recomendation for protecting the island. Jacob's solution to never telling a lie, is just to never tell anything; hence, his silence on what is going on.

@Nikki:Contrast this scene on a log on the beach with the previous one with the Brother in Black... in that scene she tells him how special he is.

I agree, Mother is favouring MiB, and we see why when he sees his dead mother, Claudia. It's interesting Claudia means "lame" or "disabled" since this is what Locke was before the island. This certainly sides Locke with MiB, but in a converse way to MiB. Jack sides with Jacob, even early on with his constant refrain for Locke to "tell the truth."

So perhaps Jacob made up his own game, set his own rules, and the end point of the game is MiB can go home if he wins. But it's likely Jacob set up the game in such a way he would always win. At the same time, the game is designed to find Jacob's replacement. Jacob certainly did not want to take on the job of protecting the island (light source), so he wants to find a replacement. In a sense it is Jacob's loophole, to be true to his mother's wishes for the island, while escaping from his job.

If that's the case, then Jacob is using the survivors of Flight 815 as pawns just as much as MiB is using them.

I have one puzzle. Is Smokie the essence of MiB? Or is he the shell of MiB? If the first, then the essence (soul) of MiB resides outside his body in this vapourous form, able to assume shapes (spiders, dogs, people). If the second option, then MiB is a sort of zombie. From the tone of the finale of the episode, Jacob seems resigned to being truly alone--his treatment of the bodies implies that the souls of both are truly dead. I'm not really sure about which option is likliest.

What is Smokie looking for when he scans people? Is he looking for who is the best pawn to use? Or is he looking for the small piece of light in all humans? In other words, is he looking for a soul for himself?

Fred said...

Now we probably know where the water in the Temple got it's healing powers from, the light source. Maybe the Temple was built on it, or Jacob had the Others divert the stream to the Temple. But as we've seen the light source is changeable, since it grew dimmer. So it may also change to the blood red colour. Thus, when Sayid went into the water, it did revive him, but not as expected. It may have revived him, but taken the little bit of light (which Mother noted was in all humans) was inside Sayid. It's why Dogen talked about the darkness growing in Sayid. It's not "darkness" as something, but darkness as "absence of light", or at least the dimming of the light within.

Gracie said...

Marebabe said: "So we’re still left to wonder about WHY Damon and Carlton are keeping his name a secret."
If he was ever going to use his name, wouldn't he have used it when he laid him beside Mom and pretty much said good-bye? I'm not sure he has one, but you may be on to something.

Jonah said: "the most interesting was the possibility that MIB is not inherently evil. I hope this is explored more. It's curious too, considering Darlton said Sun and Jin were killed last week to prove he IS evil..."
This is bothering me too. I thought he was evil incarnate? Now we're supposed to believe that he's not so bad, and I'm even feeling sorry for him. Which is it?

Blam said: "Me: Tell me about it, lady."
Perfect Blam! For every answer she gave me, I had two questions!

Back to Benny who said: "OK, gaming experts: Is that a real game that Jacob and his brother are playing? Is it a primitive form of chess? Checkers? Go?
It is in fact Senet: Senet may be the oldest board game in the world. Senet boards were often placed in the grave alongside other useful objects for the dangerous journey through the afterlife."

I'm no gaming expert but being "island boys" I'm not sure this would be any game with which we would be familiar. Although I think part of it washed up on shore (right?), I would imagine that the boys couldn't read even if instructions had been included, but it was more of a "make it up as you go along" thing. If that's the case, it wouldn't necessarily be a game anybody would ever recognize. Doesn't that make sense?

kevin k. said...

so-so episode. titus welliver was awesome. jacob was at his least interesting. allison janney did an admirable job with a generic part. and titus welliver was awesome.

i expected some real island answers with this one, and an 'ab aeterno' level of greatness. i got a few vague parables.

how did these ancients know how to install a steering wheel to this mysterious energy source? and how did BROTHER know that this was his way off the island? magnetism? and how did we go through an entire hour of this show without anyone ever saying BROTHER'S name, even though we heard JACOB about a million times?

i did like that light, though.

C+

Fred said...

How did MiB get accepted by people who had lived on the island for 13 years? It sounds very much like Ethan or Goodwin inflitrating themselves into the Flight 815 survivors' camps. Also, miB agreed with Mother that humans were not good. By the time of the Others, we've come a long way. Goodwin argues for including Ana Lucia, but dismisses Nathan. Ethan has his own agenda, much like Mother did. Would he have taken Aaron and killed Claire? Seems that was the way things were heading.

What did Mother mean by saying she made it so neither brother could kill the other? Jacob killed MiB after he saw what happened to his Mother. In a very loose way, Jacob takes the Cain role, as he kills his brother.or did he just knock him out before floating his body into the cave? I'm torn about that one.

Although we are looking to our Losties for a candidate to replace Jacob, mightn't the replacement need be born on the island? The best one for that is Aaron, and if he is returned he could be raised by Claire.

Fred said...

Does MiB think there is nothing to the island, a point he makes to Sawyer, because he has been into the cave? I wonder what he saw there? And really, this is like Chekov's shotgun. Mother told us that no one is ever to go into the cave. So now we want to go in and see what the fuss is all about. As Chekov said, by the end of the play the shotgun has to go off.

Gracie said...

After reading several comments regarding this I'm just gonna toss this out there, and before you tell me why I'm wrong, just give me a minute, please. Why couldn't the light represent "hope"?

Nikki said: "So what exactly is the light in the cave? It looks beautiful, she says it’s the warmest, brightest light you’ve ever seen, but no one must ever find it. She says a little bit of that light is inside every man, but they always want more. So what is it? Goodness? Evil?"

Shari said: "The light IS the EM energy. It is the energy channeled through the island and can be manipulated to move people/things around."

Benny said: "They call it 'light' because they don't have a better term. We call it "EM' because that's the best term we have for it. I do believe it is much more than just that and 'light' and 'EM' are characteristics of what IT is. And that IT is what transforms MiB into the smoke monster.

I think "hope" is beautiful. A lot of people relate "hope" to religious beliefs, but if you can, remove everything you've ever known about "hope" as it relates to religion, just going with "hope" alone, and allowing it to stand alone. It feels warm and comfortable, doesn't it? It's sort of cozy to have like a soft blanket, right? If you had enough of it, wouldn't you just want to wrap it all around yourself? It could be described as the brightest light you've ever seen. Have you ever spent even five minutes without it? Isn't that the most dreadful, the most completely DARK feeling? Isn't the light at the end of the tunnel oftentimes "hope"? Every man, woman, and child has a little "hope", but it's not usually good in large doses. A lot of "hope" is not something to bet your rent on. You can't cling to it. It's an inanimate object, isn't it? (Incidentally I found this on-line when I was making sure I knew what an inanimate object was: "Animatism is the assignment to inanimate objects, forces, and plants of personalities and wills, but not souls." You cannot have "hope" for a soul.)

So everyone has a little bit of "hope", and everyone always wishes they had a little bit more "hope". Everyone has a "hope" for what the EM energy could do, or might do, or WILL do, but until it's a known fact what exactly it does, everyone is just "hoping". And Benny is right. It's MUCH MORE than what anybody has "hoped" for, but if "hope" were to be stored in a "place", NOBODY could ever find that place. It would have to be protected by somebody beyond reproach, because to take away all "hope" would leave you as dark as MIB, wouldn't it? Maybe that's what happened to him. His "hope" for leaving the island was gone, he'd killed his mother, his brother was furious with him, and he could no longer see his future, so he'd lost "hope". And this is what happened to him. Jacob sent his body into the cave without "hope", and what comes out is what "hopeless" looks like. Now, as far as did he become the Smoke Monster because of it, or did the Smoke Monster become MIB because of it, I'm not sure yet. But I'm really, really liking "Hope". It's as simple as Nikki's whole idea of the series as it relates to love. Simple. But many cannot see it for what it is.
I think the island light in all it's brightness, and for everything it offers mankind is simply "hope". Anybody who has ever been without it, knows why we have to have it.

Gracie said...

Lesley said: "How did Crazy Momma haul knocked unconscious Brother out of the well, fill in the hole, and slaughter a whole village of people before burning it to the ground - by herself? I just *knew* she would be an early version of the smoke monster, capable of doing all those things in the blink of an eye. And yet, she just looked older and tireder in the next scenes.
Did this bug anyone else?"


Leslie, this is driving me to distraction! Not just this in and of itself, but it implies that she has powers. Where did she get them? Who/What is she? What did she pass to Jacob when she did that little prayer thing and he drank from the cup? What powers does he have now that came directly from her? See my first two posts for this episode, and you'll see that my frustration is right up there with yours. But I'm more along the lines of HOW did she do this and WHAT did she do to them?

Gracie said...

redeem147 said: "Was that his mother, or a manifestation of the smoke monster trying to get him to come to the Roman camp?"

Excellent question! I hadn't thought of that yet. And it seems reasonable to assume Smokey has struck again. But how does the SM know that this will be the end result? What power is there that shows this SM what it CAN do, and how people will react, and how it does so correctly MOST of the time, if not always?

Gracie said...

To: Dave Vachon regarding your post at 5/12/2010 1:01:39 AM.

I never wanted to say that. I hated myself every single time I even implied it. And I cursed myself even more when I just came right out and said it! But you're right, and so was I. They needed to invest the final season in the hardcore fan. Not to answer every single question, but to at least answer enough of them, that we could feel satisfied at the end. (I don't want every little thing answered. But we have a list with ten things on it that must be answered before the show ends, and I feel those are MUSTS! If anyone is interested, I'll post it.) Now I have not seen the ending and neither have you. There may be some one big thing that ties up a lot of loose ends. There is still time for the big questions, if they quit pissing around and get to them. And there may be something we don't know about yet that will answer a lot of the smaller ones.

Ali Bags said...

I thought a lot of this episode was a little predictable but that didn't make it any less enjoyable. It is because it owed a lot to classical tragedy - all that mother killing son, son killing mother, brother killing brother stuff (thank God sex wasn't involved)

Of course, as always I agree with you, Nikki, and think Titus Welliver is yummy. 'Brother' is far more palatable than Jacob. What is it with us girls and bad boys?

I think I love Darlton for STILL not giving us MiB's name - I think they are taunting us and it's very funny.

bowlhed said...

I have to be honest I didn't enjoy this episode one bit. Although it was nice to get confirmation on Adam and Eve, even this was spoiled because I don't really care about crazy Mum and have no understanding of where she's come from.

Jacob just came across as whiny all episode.

And I agree with the comments about MiB and how all of a sudden it is yet again ambiguous whether he is truly evil or not. I'd wager that if he'd just been allowed to leave in the first place, hundreds of people would still be alive? He wasn't evil at that point as far as I could tell.

Batcabbage said...

OK, I liked the episode - it's Lost, after all. Yes, there was the origin of Jacob and Silas (I don't care what else he's from, Titus Welliver will always be Silas to me), and yes, to quote Blam, Yay, Allison Janney! I am a huge West Wing fan (and no offence to your mom, Blam, but CJ was Press Secretary and then Chief of Staff after Leo left (sniff!), not Secretary of State - sorry, my WW nerdiness coming out there). But after it was all said and done, I felt a little cheated. I actually said to Batkitty while Island CJ was explaining the 'Light' "Wow, what a great way to give an answer without giving any hard information." So, the light is something that's in all men, or something. OK, I buy that. But why? Why does this Island exist? Why is this light on this island? Why does the light exist in a physical manifestation that needs to be protected in the first place? I felt kind of cheated, and now I'm certain that we'll never learn exactly why the Island has this little 'well of light', or whatever the hell it is. Oh well.

Gracie said...

I have an addition to my theory on "hope" if anyone is following that:

There has to be something that gives MIB life after death (if you want to call that living?). Or a reason to hang around. (It doesn't appear Allison Janney is hanging around.) I think I've decided that the thing Mom says is "worse than death" IS Smokey. (I don't know how she would know that, but if I'm right, they would really need to explain how she knew that.) It is what happens when one lives without "hope". Therefore, when MIB died, he took on Smokey's form, but is able, or WAS able, to revert back to his Titus Welliver body. After he became Locke, MIB can either be Smokey or FLocke, and possibly his original self, although I doubt that. He IS locked in.

What allows him as either the Smoke Monster or Flocke to continue "life" is his tiny spark of "hope" at finding a loophole. As Welliver, when we first saw him, he wasn't nearly as sure of himself or as confident as he appears now as John Locke. The reason for that is that he has always had just enough "hope" to keep the dream alive of finding that loophole. But once he found it, and became John Locke, or Flocke, he thinks he's getting closer, and his strength, his confidence, and his "hope" are growing stronger with each passing success that he appears to have. It appears to be obvious to me then how this part of the show is going to end.

The thing that has kept everyone else going even in the worst of times is "hope" of finding a way off the island. (Jack's current "hope" is defeating this thing so that he might feel that he can leave the island and never look back.) People who don't believe in God, and maybe some who do, often say, "Through "hope" all things are possible." So the survivors still have "hope". Nikki had asked "How did having that light travel through Ben and Locke change them in some way when they jumped off the island via FDW Express?" I can't answer that specifically, but isn't it true that with "hope" you can go anywhere, do anything, move mountains? "Hope" is what gets them off the island. Having faith in that "hope" is key to it's success. How it is actually done with the FDW, I don't know yet.

Steve Shore said...

So here's something I haven't seen anyone else mention... Claudia. In Roman mythology, Claudia was mother of twins Romulus and Remus. And they were raised by someone else, away from human corruption. An interesting tie in...

Also, I suspect that they DID give MIB a name - and that for some reason TPTB don't want us to know it yet. I'm guessing that either A) we'll never find out or B) it holds so much significance that they don't want to spoil it for us yet...

SenexMacDonald said...

What a great episode. That hour went by so fast that when the credits came up - I looked at my watch and said, "No! That is not an hour!" Silly, rabbit.

@Nikki said: "OK, gaming experts: Is that a real game that Jacob and his brother are playing? Is it a primitive form of chess? Checkers? Go?"

I know that @Benny already answered this. The game is Sennet - it is from ancient Egypt. Seems to be a tie-in there somewhere.

The boys' natural mom asks after the "others" on the ship and is told they are dead. Her 'ghost' tells the younger MIB that the "Others" living on the island were there the day before his birth.

I am wondering if there was a fleet of ships and not just one. The storm hits, one is shipwrecked on our side of the island and others on the other side aka the Tailies. I thought from that statement that this group of people were survivors like our group from 815.

I had to go to bed last night before the post went up. Now I am rushing to get to work so I can find time there to really read the responses to ... everything.

I'll be back later. :)

Michele said...

I thought that this episode would divide us but not to the extent it has. Personally, I thought it was a good episode (not great but definitely on the up-side of the scale).

I think that this story of Jacob and MiB's origins was essential to the story of LOST. The questions about where they came from and where Smokey came from were too big to leave unexplained.

The only downside for me came in the middle of a big upside. As soon as Jacob picked up the black and white rocks near the end, I yelled to an empty room "OMG! Mother and MiB are Adam and Eve!"
Then I saw the flashbacks with Jack and Kate and my pleasure with that moment disappeared. For those of us who have so long been wanting to know who Adam and Eve were, the flashbacks were a bit insulting.

OMG - only 3.5 hours left!! Excuse me while I run out to buy tissues in bulk - I can feel the tears start to flow now.

Lisa(until further notice) said...

Not sure how I feel about the ep. yet. It wasn't as mind blowing as Ab Aetermo. I haven't read your recap yet, @Nikki, and I haven't read any other posts either. I think I have to re-watch first. All I know is that my husband REALLY likes Smokey now. He thinks he is completely justified in his actions and thinks that... quote "Jacob is a mama's boy chump" unquote. More later...

Sooze said...

Ambivalentman (@ 2:58 am !!!) I am with you. "Seriously, though, do we need to know where Mommie Dearest came from...All we need to know is that there have been a long line of protectors on this island." Think of LOTR. Do we know the answers to every question (well, perhaps if you have read every appendix and everything Tolkien scholars have written over the years)...but, for example, do we know Sauron's origins? Where he came from before the battle where he lost the Ring? We never do find out what happened to the Entwives...dead or still lost? The story has a starting place - we don't know everything that came before - even with all of the details Tolkien wrote, there are still unanswered questions. Does it ruin the story for us? I admit that some of the answers aren't making me fall out of my chair - but I do know that I NEVER could have written a story like this over the course of 6 years of television. Not everything was planned from the very beginning, and although there are some holes and inconsistencies, I think overall the writers have done an admirable job in finishing their story. Niki - I love your blog - and everyone else that posts here regularly - you all have wonderful theories and things to say. It is the highlight of my Wednesday mornings! Gracie (@ 4:37 am - did you sleep, girl?) HOPE. Love that!!

Gracie said...

@Rainier said, "MiB, as we already knew, wants to leave the island, which he has wanted for a very, very long time (although sadly, we are still left to wonder just how long it has been.) Jacob, for some reason, wants to keep him there; as yet, the dire consequences that would result if he is successful are not explained......."

If MIB is successful and leaves the island, all "hope" for the world is gone. We will have no "hope" for life on any level if this thing becomes free. Jacob is honor and duty bound by his "mother" to keet it there to protect "hope" for himself and everyone else. Isn't this what everyone has said all along? Ellie and Widmore and their doomsday prophecies of what will happen if this thing isn't stopped? It will be the end of life as we know it. Because there is NO "hope".

Rainier also says: "This seems to indicate that they are already immortal before she gives Jacob the wine (bottled at The Source!), saying "now we are the same. It is not clear exactly what this means if he already possesses immortality. (Has she made him insane too?)"

Whatever the power is that she has that gives her the ability to wipe out that village, kill all those men, and fill up that hole, she has just passed to her "son", Jacob in order to help him fulfil this job that he never wanted. There has always been some kind of extra power on the island that gives people amazing strength, and it started with Mom (or wherever she got it). Maybe over time, Jacob has been able to dole it out as he sees fit. Maybe Jacob DID help Ben and Richard along although they never knew it directly?

Gracie said...

cont.

Rainier said: "And since Jacob is going to live forever, and it is rare for people to accidentally find the island, why does Jacob need to bring a whole lot of additional people there - it really does seem like just a game to him. Again, not the actions of a good guy; he is completely screwing up peoples' lives for the sake of his game."

I'm beginning to think either of two things on this:
1. Jacob never seemed as certain as MIB that there was anything out there beyond the island at all if I remember correctly. Perhaps a long, long time went by before MIB ever mentioned a loophole. During that time maybe Jacob did see it as a game where only he could win, and he never even considered a loophole. Then one day MIB makes mention of a loophole, and Jacob has to allow for the possibility of it, because even though he never wanted the job, he accepted the responsibility for it because of the dire nature of the consequences. Maybe his first knowledge of a "beyond" was a shipwreck; after that he goes to see for himself. (Don't ask me how he first did that one!) So he starts bringing people to the island in the hopes of lining up a Replacement should one ever be needed. By the time we were getting close to the actual death, Jacob knew this was no longer merely a game, and he had to find a successor quickly. He brought Ilana to be his "bodyguard". (Poor choice which still makes no sense at all to me.) It turned out he was right, because MIB was much closer to that loophole than Jacob was to getting his Replacement set up. Although he is now dead, he comes back to Hurley to help guide him/them in the direction he knows they HAVE to go! As far as Jacob's concerned, he already knows who his Replacement is, but we don't and neither do they. Neither does MIB. Jacob is keeping watch over these people to whatever extent he is able and, due to the circumstances, may even be trying to keep them safe.
OR
2. Jacob can only win the game if his Replacement defeats MIB.

As to the second part of your statement, I never claimed these people were sane. Actually, they're probably crazier than batsh*t just from being alone, but they know they have something they have to do. Even Mom apparently knew that. So they're crazy, but they're getting the job done.

IMHO living out the remainder of my time (whatever Titus Welliver is doing hanging around after death that Allison Janney ISN'T) in the form of Smokey would be a fate "much worse than death". Doing it while tied to the island would be pure hell.

Gracie said...

IF (big word) I am right about anything I have posted in regards to "hope", then I know what makes Desmond "special", and what his part has to be! And I hope I'm right! LOL
I know I may be wrong about everything, bit I hope I'm right this time!

Gillian Whitfield said...

Jacob placing Mom and Brother in the caves and then placing the black and white stones made me . . . words can't even describe what my reaction was. I was so excited once I saw Jacob putting the stones into the pouch.

Smokey has been smokey since the beginning! Ack! Didn't see that coming. I also had NO IDEA how Darlton was going to explain that.

Now that stops all the theories about Adam and Eve being Rose and Bernard (speaking of which, besides the flash-sideways, we haven't seen them at ALL).

Wouldn't it be horrible to grow up without a name? I would just hate it if I didn't have a name, and my brothers had names because my mother didn't pick a name. It would be really awful: "Matthew! Brian! Daughter!"

No words to describe how much I loved this episode. It's not as good as Ab Aeterno, but it's a close second.

Lee said...

Three things about this episode:

1. If you missed it on Jimmy Kimmel last night, check out the spoof he created with the actors behind Jacob and the Man in Black. Very funny!

2. Did anyone else think, at first, that the woman who washed up on shore was Richard Alpert's wife? I certainly did.

3. I am rarely right about anything as it relates to this show, so I just want to shout to the rafters that, after six years, I was finally RIGHT ABOUT SOMETHING! Not about who Adam and Eve were, but about who they weren't. I never believed for a second that Adam and Eve would end up being Rose and Bernard. It just seemed too simple; plus, I would have hated that, personally. We all know how the writers like to throw us curveballs when we think something is glaringly obvious, so I never bought into the notion that Adam and Eve were Rose and Bernard. So...FINALLY! I was right about something! Too bad it came about six years too late, LOL!

Tim said...

Can someone explain to me how the reveal of Adam and Eve shows that the creators had the basic series plotted out from the beginning?
It just seemed like a made up answer.
I think this is another case of the writers lying to us to get us to believe this was anything but made up as they went along.

SonshineMusic i.e. Rebecca T. said...

it's not letting me post, let me try this before I spend any more time...

SonshineMusic i.e. Rebecca T. said...

Great recap as always :)

But *sigh* 87 comments (and counting). This is what happens when you get the flu and have to actually go to bed on a Tuesday night.

I'm gonna post my thoughts first and then go back and read everything so pardon any repetition.

1. I pretty much started freaking out from the moment I saw the woman coming out of the ocean and didn't stop.

2. So we've had 3 pregnant women - Real Mother, Rousseau and Claire. Claire is the only one still in the picture. I just have a feeling she's going to be really important and it grows with every episode.

3. And I totally called that she was carrying twins! Crazy. But seriously, we're never going to know what his name is, are we? *sigh*

4. When Jacob asked how Brother knew how to play the game his answer was VERY Locke-like - "I just know"

5. Could some remnants of the Brother's "people" become the Temple Others?

6. And, yes, Nikki, I was totally thinking, two sides, one dark, one light. GAH! the game imagery was SO prevalent.

7. Naomi and I want to know why only Brother could see Real Mother. It made me think about Ben and how he saw Emily and how she led him to the Others who would eventually become his "people."

8. And what was Real Mother's purpose in pulling Brother away? If Smokey wasn't released until later, then I'm assuming it really was her. So why was it important for him to leave Crazy Mother and Jacob? It seems like there are even bigger forces dividing things here.

9. More twisted logic: I killed your mother in order to keep you good.

10. Jacob really annoyed me as a little kid. Brother comes off as more intelligent and independent and Jacob seems like a whiny mama's boy. (which again makes me think of the Jacob/Esau story in the Bible)

tbc...

VW: squormon - what I was doing all through this episode - squormon with excitement!

SonshineMusic i.e. Rebecca T. said...

cont. (sorry, Blogger kept eating my comments)

11. Jacob and Brother sound like little kids, even after they've grown. There was nothing to help them mature and Crazy Mother certainly wasn't any help there.

12. When we saw Brother building the FDW my sister went, "Wheeeeeeeeeeeeellllll oooooff FFoooooorrrtuuuuune!" and I added "Where you can win an all-expense paid trip to Tunisia!"

13. When Jacob brings Brother to the cave of magical glowing honey (TM by Naomi) there is a beam that comes straight up out of the top that was reminiscent of the beam out of the hatch.

14. When Crazy Mother gives Jacob the wine it had a very Last Supper kind of feel to it - "take and drink" - and some denominations believe that drinking of the cup is one of the things that saves you (brings eternal life)

15. The pillaging of Brother's village looked Smokey-esque.

16. Crazy Mother is actually grateful that Brother kills her! She's tired of being trapped on the Island too, it would seem.

17. I'm pretty much just totally confused after that ending. MiB does not = Smokey. Ummm what?!

Gracie said...

Kotowski said: "In "LA X: Part 1", MIB told Ben that he wanted to go home. We now know that home is across the sea. He gained this knowledge of other lands from the tempting offer of joining his true people."

Could this whole part of the story be a lie, or better yet, a con? Their original mother, Claudia, came from "Across The Sea", but the boys were island born. He gained knowledge of other places by joining his true people, that part is true, and he undoubtedly gained more information as more people came to the island. But where is it that MIB wants everyone to think he wants to go? As far as we know, if the story follows, he's never actually BEEN anywhere. Where does he think HOME is other than the island? Specifically? I have a working theory now that most things are lining up with, but this makes no sense at all anywhere.

Methinks FLocke is running a con of his own.

Cameron said...

Tim, I don't think it proves they were lying, but at the same time I don't think it proves they had it all planned out either.

My current theory is that the flash sideways is happening in the cave of light. The island "read" Jack's desire and voila.

Oh, and I thought those child actors were rather weak to carry so much episode.

Kiki said...

Grr -- just had a long rambling response to Nikki's post -- boy did she inspire me today! But "lost" it. Too disheartening to try again.

One thing I'm wondering about is when "mother" told Jacob she had been wrong about who was suppose to protect the source and island. I'm wondering if we are being led in one direction only to find out that we were "wrong" too and that the candidate who suceeds is not the most "logical". I'm thinking Hurley is the most Jacob-esque after this episode. Good, kind, looking for the best in people, and maybe a little naive to the "true" nature of man.

Kiki said...

Benny said -- 10. "Whatever you've been told, you will never be able to leave the island"
"It's not true, and one day I can prove it"


I'm think poor MiB is stuck on the island, no matter if he does have wonderlust and an adventurous spirit. His leaving would not be the cause of everything ceasing to exist. It is the destruction of the source of all that is good that would cause the 'end of the world'. I think he will be needed to protect the source. And the island isn't done with him yet!

Kiki said...

Benny said -- 12. MiB to Mother: "I'm special!" -- Ralph Wiggum anyone?

Hahahaha!

"My cat's breath smells like cat food."

Gracie said...

Zari said: "A great cast pic accompanies the article. The women look gorgeous; unfortunately, all the men are wearing shirts."

Zari, I have seen three different shots of Jack, Kate, and Sawyer, and one picture of 10 of the stars together in the shot. Is there more than one of the bunch of them?

Kiki said...

One thing that I will retype from my "lost" comment -- Have we talked about belonging vs. "otherness" as a theme? Brother did not feel he belonged on the island? He felt different -- He wanted to learn about others. And Nikki mentioned about choosing sides -- which leads me to think about how characters picked the groups that they felt most comfortable with - -where they belonged.

SonshineMusic i.e. Rebecca T. said...

Is this why that dagger has been used over and over? Is there some thought that it has special properties to kill immortals? (since it killed Crazy Mother?) (Oh, I see Teebore already addressed this. I concur.)

@Joan: didn't they all look so young in the flashback to the cave? Totally. Like little behbehs :)

@Teebore: I wonder if the temple was built around the light source, and the spa of rebirth is directly above it.

Ooh, I like that thought.

As much as I enjoyed this episode, I felt almost ... cheated? ... by the end reveal - we've spent all this time on the MiB as Smokey, clues, outright information - and now there's still the question of what on earth Smokey actually is. MiB is nothing except, apparently, a vessel for Smokey to take human form. We don't even know if it was actually first released here!

@Gracie: why didn't he just kill someone and go?

Simple answer(theory) - Jacob was still keeping him there.
More complex answer (theory) that this question prompted me to think about - Crazy Mother did something to keep the brothers from hurting each other. It therefore seems logical that this is one of the things that is keeping Brother on the Island. (If he actually is some aspect of Brother and not completely another entity). If MiB leaves, then it would hurt Jacob and therefore he cannot leave. Now there are candidates to take Jacob's place and they are acting as Jacob surrogates and that is why MiB cannot hurt them or leave - because leaving would hurt them. I don't know, just throwing some thoughts out there.

@Erin: Is it just me? Am I just tired and grumpy?

I felt exactly the same way and I asked myself exactly the same question. My sister liked the flash um... back? (or is it technically a flash forward?) but I thought it was unnecessary and beat me over the head with hello, here's an answer-ish.

@Blam: Who else thought that when Esau got all agitated seeing his people dead, and the camera started spinning around, he was gonna turn into Smokey for the first time?

*waving hand wildly in the air* me, me! I noted down "And then he gets angry and... turns into ... black...smoke?"

But alas, it couldn't be that easy.
Of course, only on Lost would that be considered the "simple" explanation :P

@Jonah/Gracie: I too remember the skeletons being right next to each other. I looked it up on Lostpedia and there is a picture that shows the skeletons together you can go here to see it :)

@Gracie: I like the idea of the light being hope. I'll have to chew on that for a while :)

I still love this show, but I feel like they've spent way too much time on certain things - things that could have been explained in a much shorter period of time - and not enough time getting us to where we actually need to go. Or maybe I'm just depressed to think there are only a couple episodes left.

VW: dousin - when you throw a bucket of water over something

SonshineMusic i.e. Rebecca T. said...

@Cameron: I thought those child actors were rather weak to carry so much episode.

huh. I thought that they were pretty superbly cast. jmo.

JenniferS said...

For all the answers we got, and all the ones we were denied, the best for me was I now know what John Locke saw in the jungle -- the Light! No wonder he never wanted to leave!

I think Island CJ may have taken a dip in the well and come out as Smokey as well, and that's why she thanks Brother (is it possible that IS his name?) for killing her. Maybe that's the only way she could die.

So, we saw the light when John and
Ben left the island. Did John need to pass through the light before Smokey could take his form? Else why all the convolution? (I know, stupid question)

I am now more convinced than ever that John (the real one) and Ben and brothers, the same as Jacob and Smokey. There are so many parallels in their relationships.

Joan Crawford said...

Fantastically hilarious recap Nikki - I was reading some of your super old posts (as creeps are wont to do) and lol'd at your airport security story - man, who hasn't been there?

Nikki - “Thank you...” YOINK to the immediate right.

Ha! The only thing missing was her tongue hanging out. I die now!

Yeah, NoName is pretty sexy. Especially next to Jacob who is, as Blam noticed, slow. Both feet on the train now, Jake, keep up!

So...we have found out Jacob is the denier of Truth while MiB seeks it. Jacob also punches a lot - and tries to drown people. Has since he was just a wee tyke.

Jacob has the Mother of all Mother issues.

Who is their father I wonder?

Also, I don't think I buy this whole "Adam and Eve have always been planned" thing. Didn't they say before (through some sort of word jumble or what-have-you) that Rose and Bernard were Adam and Eve? And black and white sides don't really apply to MiB and Mom. More like Grey and Darker Grey. When MiB died, he wasn't even "black" yet, Jacob made him Black. Or if Jacob was artfully saying MiB was "white" and Mom was "black" then he should have realized what he had just stated and done something about it. Like not follow the dark one? I am glad I have never like Jacob. He's a wiener. It had to be said.

SonshineMusic i.e. Rebecca T. said...

@JenniferS. I am now more convinced than ever that John (the real one) and Ben and brothers, the same as Jacob and Smokey. There are so many parallels in their relationships.
Yes, yes and YES!

This has been my pet theory for a long time :)

humanebean said...

Well, I have to say that I was rather nonplussed by the elements of the episode. After sleeping on it, I give it slightly higher marks as a whole - 6.5 out of 10 overall, which feels more disappointing that it should, under the circumstances. Truly, this sort of episode was bound to highlight the fault lines in the hardcore fan base, dividing those who are most attracted to the mythological/allegorical elements of the story vs. the character and fact-based elements. I did not think that either was best-served by this installment but I did manage to enjoy it in an old-skool Clash of the Titans sort of way.

A few Things That Jumped Out At Me:

1) I'll echo M. Chou Chauve-Souris (Batcabbage to the sane among us) in my admiration of Allison Janney's characterization of Mother. She brings heft and gravitas to any dramatic role and I thought she underplayed nicely here.

2) From a story standpoint, it was appropriate and yet maddening that Mother never attempted to fill in the gaps in the boys' knowledge of ANYthing, Island mysteries included. She ultimately told them the bare minimum that was necessary ... but like so many characters we've seen in six seasons, never 'splained it all for JOO.

3) My chief criticism of this episode is that it was lacking in the kind of rich detail that other period illustrations provided so marvelously for us. Think Dharma 70's and "Ab Aeterno" for instance. If only this period could have been fleshed out more. Not at the expense of shrouding this Island time in mystery, but showing us more of The People and Brother's interactions with them - perhaps a brief montage of their well explorations. Or even more of Jacob and Brother exploring the Island and trying to understand it's idiosyncrasies - even if they didn't directly contact The People before Brother saw their dead mother. I suppose that I am just sad to realize that we aren't likely to get any more background on the various civilization/religious iconography on the Island. Me=greedy.

4) I thought that this episode was so very well shot to make the Island look almost like a completely different island throughout. There were extremely few angles/backgrounds that automatically reminded us of the more recent events. The well looked differently situated, most of the beach scenes looked different to me and even the cave was not immediately recognizable. Or, is that just me, Mr. Willing Suspension of Disbelief?

5) So, what are we to make of Brother's 'specialness'? He could see the dead but Jacob couldn't? He 'knew things'. This had to play a role in how and why he was transformed into Smokey, no?
... to be cont'd ...

humanebean said...

(cont'd)

6) As to why the Donkey Wheel later became 'frozen', I caught Brother referring to combining the light with the water in his conversation with Mother at the bottom of the well. I think that it could be some combination of this alchemy with the Island's constant movement. Just a (half-baked, er half-frozen) theory.

7) I enjoyed Jacob's ... naiveté and inner struggle. It made him seem so much more 'human' to me - and so much more relatable to our Losties in their on-Island predicaments. When Mother initiated him into Island Protectorhood, he seemed genuinely grieved about not having a choice - perhaps the genesis of his insistence on not putting others in the same position in future. Yes, he subsequently 'made his own rules' as Brother pointed out. And, yes, he certainly maneuvered the Candidates to the Island and into their decisive moments. BUT - he was determined to allow the ultimate choices to be theirs. By comparison, from the beginning of his actions with The People, we are meant to infer that Brother saw them as inherently weak and subject to his manipulations. He spoke of them to Jacob as intelligent and skilled - but his anger and selfish drive to leave the Island colored all of his interactions with them, I felt.

8) As I watched Jacob find Brother's body downstream, I immediately thought of MIB's words to Richard, "The Devil betrayed me. Took my humanity." Ah, yes, yes he did - but you sorta stabbed his 'mother' to death, dude. You mighta had it comin'.

9) "I Am Smokey - Hear Me ROAR". Awesome.

10) Good catch by Steve Shore on Claudia being the name of the mother to Romulus & Remus, twin founders of Rome. Nice tie-in there.

Bonus) I agree with Sooze to a point about our not needing to know ALL the backstory in order to fully appreciate the events of the story as related. However - as I said above in #3, the inability of this particular episode to more fully detail this time period is an example of the reverse; when the main story doesn't provide enough satisfying 'pseudo-reality', we long for more explanation.

Great writeup, Nik - as always - and great comments by everyone. Interesting that the Doors' song "The End" used over the preview references a character who wants to kill his father and sleep with his mother, ala Oedipus. Mommy & Daddy issues much?

TM Lawrence said...

Bad sign: Nik feeling ambivalent.

Worse sign: Blam in question not witty, incisive answer mode.

Guys, where are we? Strange Signposts in a Strange Land...

Should it really perplex any of us that Lost, in weaving edenic, arkadic, and atlantean tapestries on an island with absolutely no discernible source for wool, has failed to satisfy our unquenchable thirst for answers to mankind's oldest questions? Did we come to the cave of light expecting aught but the chance to bathe in mystery? How fierce should Darlton's torchlight need to be, how many lumens to illucidate our collective unconscious, our origins, the fall of man, why are we here, and what comes after? Which of us Argonauts is empowered to declare the voyage over, the fleece in safe custody, and to sow the dragon's teeth as to reap answers most fair in legion?

Shall we permit Roman midwifery to invoke Romulus and Remus and she-wolf alone, or hearken back further to Castor and Pollux and a Calydonean boar hunt, yet recognizing the linguistic and cultural corruption therein, arrive at Kastor and Polydeukes already iron age legends 2,500 years ago? Do we expect better clarity of vision than blind Homer? Or shall we transcend our Western heritage as did our Indo-Aryan forbears and find the mononymous twins of the Vedas, and yet crave an older answer still?

The game is Myst, it is backgammon, it is Senet, it is Go, it is birthright stealing, it is break Job's faith. It starts with "island news", a message in a bottle of uncertain provenance, is transformed by boyish discovery and invention, and is corrupted by the well-intentioned lies of a murderous but well-meaning mother. The game precedes us, has been played before and goes ever on, and gamekeeper makes the rules: do we still want to play?

Jonah said...

Really enjoying reading everyone's comments today and going to rewatch the episode tonight.

@Gracie and @Sunshine: The picture of the skeletons on Lostpedia together is from this Season's "Lighthouse". If you rewatch "House of the Rising Sun", you'll see they are indeed separated. I think the continuity error arose in "Lighthouse" and was carried into "Across the Sea". People are saying maybe someone moved them but I think it's unlikely if we look at the chronology - together when placed by Jacob, separate when discovered by Losties in 2004, together again when rediscovered by Jack & Hurley in 2007/8.

It's a shame a continuity error like this was made with such a big mythological storypoint! I've never been annoyed by a "Lost" continuity error before this. Maybe it's just because I expected so much more ...

Judging by comments all over the net, this episode has definitely divided fans. Let's hope we all reunite and rejoice for - hopefully - a wonderful Finale!

Benny said...

Ditto on Ambivalentman for a good take on it.
I think a lot of people are not liking this episode (and will definitely HATE the end of the show) because they are EXPECTING answers they will not get. I think that is the big problem right now. Fans/viewers are just expecting things to happen, to be told in a certain way; expecting answers to everything - that is NOT going to happen.

@Anonymous: I'm beginning to seriously fear that there will be legions of questions not answered when Lost ends
We've been told that would be the case, that they would not answer every question the fans have.

@Erin: It was indeed 'eye' and not 'heart'. But that would have been killer!

@Gracie: But it is in fact a Senet box

@Nurse Brian: Good point on the twins. Blond and Black haired kids...

Kiki said...

One point that maybe someone can help me with -- there is a lot of talk of immortality, but it seems that these characters are mortal since they die. Mom, MiB, Jacob. It seems that Richard is the only one that can "live forever". Am I missing something? Their spirits/souls, at least Jacob and MiB's, seem to still be around, but I just can't bring myself to call them immortal.

Gracie said...

Joan Crawford said: I was right about Jacob. He made Smokey! MiB was a pretty reasonable dude before Jake messed him all up."

I got the impression from the look on Jacob's face just after he shoved MIB in the water and MIB floated away, that Jacob wasn't sure what he'd done. There was a hesitation about him and then a look of fear, before he starts to hear it come roaring out. When Jacob falls over backwards, it doesn't appear that he actually knew in advance exactly what was gonna come out of there. He'd just sent his brother to a fate worse than death without ever quite knowing what that fate was. I don't think Jacob created Smokey. MIB just completely flipped after he found what his mom had done.

Benny (quoting Nikki I believe: "The Man in Black has actually been dead in every scene we’ve seen him in so far... didn’t see THAT coming."
Benny replied: My personal theory on this is that he is not dead, it's something different. He has in fact taken the essence of a smoke monster and lost his corporeal form. [theory]:


Question to Benny: He carried MIB back to the cave and laid him to rest with their "mother". He even said goodbye to him as you would if you'd lost your brother. If you do not believe that MIB is dead (as WE know dead), can you elaborate on that a little more beyond losing "his corporeal form" and a "theory" that you have? If you're not ready to give voice to your theory just yet, I understand. But I'm wondering if that theory also gives rise to the idea that Jacob himself is not dead (as we know it) either?

humanebean said...

Forgot to say that it occurs to me that we ALL are missing something vital and unique by not being able to watch this show in the same room with Sonshine Music and Aching Hope et al. "Wheeeeel ... ooofffffff ... FORTUNE!" *priceless*

@TM Lawrence - well said as ever, sir. And, given your last point, I must summon the Hatch computer/WOPR from War Games to ask, "Do .. you ... want ... to ... play ... a ... game?" You betcha.

Lisa(until further notice) said...

Ok...I'm going to try and sound more intelligent than my last entry where I quoted my husband calling Jacob a "mama's boy chump." But will I be able to???

Let me start by stating that I did not like the placement of this episode. When it opened on the ocean and wreckage and we saw that someone was coming up from under the water, I yelled, "Frank's alive." And then I said, "UGH, this is that Jacob/MIB episode." I was not a happy camper.

On to the episode. I'm not sure that Smokey "is" boy with no name. I think "he" died. Jacob killed "him" and the smoke monster was released and took over his "shell." The smoke monster keeps memories, feelings, and beliefs of those he manifests, but I think Smokey is a separate entity.

Jacob was warned by his mother to never go into the light. She knew what would/might happen. Was Smokey down there all along waiting for someone to be sent down there and then he could be released and start his reign of terror? Did notMother set Jacob up? I think his (Jacob's) role changed from protecting the EMsource (light) to protecting the "world" from what he inadvertently released (evil and malevolence) with his own angry, impetuous, revenge-seeking act.

Original boy with no name just wanted to go home. He understood that perhaps his notMother was right about "people", but that didn't matter. She was a murderer and she played the boys against eachother from the beginning. He only wanted to know the truth and wanted to go Across the Sea. He wanted to know who he really was and he knew that there was more out there for him. notMother could not believe that the son she had always favored had turned against her. She needed to have things to continue to go "her" way.

Jacob seemed to just be along for the ride. He ended up with a job he didn't want and he turned it into a game to pass the centuries.

In Ab Aeterno, MIB said something to Ricardo that is interesting. He said "The Devil betrayed me. He took my body, my humanity." This is perhaps true. Smokey is the devil, and Jacob sent his brother right to him. The bits and pieces that are still Jacob's brother are still in there somewhere and he blames Jacob. They are playing a game...but when it ends, IT WILL END.

Over the years, Smokey could take the forms of many and any dead souls left unburried, but once Jacob was dead, he became locked in Locke.

Jacob needs to keep Smokey on the island. Smokey wants to leave. But where will he go?

Confusing, to be sure. Not my favorite episode, but not my least favorite episode either. Just not happy with the placement and pacing. Everyone is certainly divided by this episode, so I hope, hope, hope that the last two fill the divide.

Gracie said...

Joan, Rainier, and anyone else who thought Jacob did this because he didn't see anything for himself and believed people to be good.

Why would he believe that? The only two people he had ever known and spoken to had told him that people were bad. I tend to think that he did some of the things he did because he believed people were mostly bad anyway. And how did Jacob define "bad". What did that mean to him at any given point beyond what his brother and his mother had told him?

redeem147 said...

RE: MIB's cave - The scene with MIB in his cave pushing the coals very much gave me a Lucifer Morningstar/Hades of the Underworld vibe?

More like Vulcan.

It really bothers me that people are calling that woman 'mother.' She murdered their mother and stole them. (And yes, I also have residual Wesley issues.)

It took a lot of comments before I realized that CJ was a character on The West Wing. I was trying to figure out if it meant contrary jacob or something. The woman looked vaguely familiar to me, but I don't really know Alison Janney. Didn't watch that show (US politics, ho hum.) I did give it a try once, but I didn't remember her.

I thought it was a bold move to do a show so late in the game completely with guest and recurring characters. Whether it was successful - no so sure. I figured the flashback at the end was just to give our usual cast some screen time.

AchingHope said...

Being sick is not conducive to being able to comment properly and on time. Gah!

I loved, loved, loved this episode, mostly beccause it was all mythology-like, and I like mythology more than Christmas so...

Anyway. I thought it interesting how many quotes were reminiscent of the Bible. Rebecca pointed out the whole, "Take and drink," and there was a point where the psycho-mum (I think) asked "Do you love me?" which reminded me of Jesus asking Peter that three times. I think there was something else too, but I can't think of it right now.

And did anyone else think it was gross when psycho-mum was rubbing that stuff on her leg??

And yes, the psycho-mum uses perfect logic, "Jacob, those people are bad, so I killed them, because I'm not bad."

Riiiiiiight.

And I thought is was kinda' funny that so many peeps hating the whole flashback, because we people have every ep memorized but I have friends who need the flashbacks for something that long ago. I know, I know. We have to love them anyway.

Awhile back I was reading through comments (like ages ago) and was confused that everyone kept calling MiB Smokey, because that was something we had never been expressly told, and in Lost you can't assume anything. Ugh. But that's why I love Lost, I s'pose. So it didn't really surprise me that Smokey might not be MiB, though what he is, or when he came into being would be something nice to know.

Oh. I hope I don't sound like a know it all. I'm just hyped up on Ibuprofen, so I don't know half of what I'm saying.

@Reddem147: Was that light the light that Locke said he saw when he was dragged underground?

Oh, you mean when the smoke monster had grabbed onto Locke and Jack saved him?? And Locke was all "It's beautiful" And Jack was like "You're a crazy knife man." Huh... Maybe.

@Teebore: I wonder if the temple was built around the light source, and the spa of rebirth is directly above it.

I was wonderin’ the same thing!

@Virgina Katz: As soon as I saw that light I kept waiting to Skittles to come shooting out of it. But apparently it's the source of scary black smoke monsters and not delicious fruity candies.

Ahahahahaha… I was calling it the “Cave of Magical Honey” but I think I like yours better.

Kiki said...

@reedeem147: I don't think the smoke monster was created when Jacob killed his brother. I think The Man With No Name (who I will now call 'Clint') died and the smoke monster took his identity, the way he has now taken Locke's. He (it?) can scan minds which is what we saw with Mr. Eko.

Ranier said -- This occurred to me as well; I do not think it is clear whether the Smoke Monster is MiB or not.


I think it is MiB. My reasoning would be that Jacob seems to think so as we have seen them get back together as their game continues. I'm thinking specifically of the one scene with Jacob handing off the wine bottle and MiB still wanting to get off he island.

Teebore said...

@Rainier: This occurred to me as well; I do not think it is clear whether the Smoke Monster is MiB or not.

I'm thinking Smokey IS MiB, because Mother said Jacob and MiB couldn't harm one another. If Jacob throwing MiB into the light caused him to be killed by Smokey, then that would violate the protection Mother gave them from each other.

Instead, I think, the light took MiB's humanity, transforming him into Smokey, leaving behind his human "shell" in the process.

@A Frustrated Writer: Did I just miss it in my state of extreme exhaustion, or was it oddly missing in this episode?

Yes, the statute was oddly missing from the episode. Not sure if that's because it wasn't built yet or because they weren't near it (honestly, as Humanebean mentioned, the lack of a definitive time/details pertaining to such was probably the most frustrating thing about the episode).

@Erin: So I guess when, way back in season 1, Locke looked into the "heart of this island and what I saw was beautiful", he saw the golden light?

(did I get that right, or is it the "eye" of the island?)


It was the eye, I believe, and great catch! I'm crossing that one off the "questions to be answered" list. :)

@Erin: Like on Flashforward when they always show us stuff we've seen before. Is it just me? Am I just tired and grumpy?

No, I agree; I thought it was clunky and unnecessary, but likely a necessary evil for a network show with an audience comprised of SOME people that aren't as diehard as we.

@Blam: Who else thought that when Esau got all agitated seeing his people dead, and the camera started spinning around, he was gonna turn into Smokey for the first time?

*raises hand*

@Ambivalentman: No doubt this episode has suffered from the disease of high expectations.

Absolutely; the more I think about it (and the further away from my expectations I get, the more I like it).

Seriously, though...do we need to know where Mommie Dearest came from, or how she learned the Island's secrets? We run the risk of ruining the magic trick by engaging in a "first cause" argument. All we need to know is that there have been a long line of protectors on this Island. Jacob inherited the post--reluctantly--from his crazy mother. Now he has selected candidates to replace himself. I like it because it is a simple answer to something that has seemed so complicated for so long.

Agreed. When I left the episode, I wanted to know more about Mother; now, I think I'm okay chalking her up to one link in a long chain, and leaving it at that.

I will say, one question that I do think needs to be answered, is what power enforces the rules?

FLocke is constrained by the rules. People follow rules for two reasons:

1. Fear of punishment for breaking them

2. A moral belief that breaking them is wrong.

We've come to know FLocke as someone who is not likely to be concerned with the morality of rule breaking or cheating, so then the only thing keeping him from breaking the rules (killing Candidates himself, say) must be a fear of punishment for breaking them. So then who would dole out that punishment? What punishment could be worse than how he's stuck now?

Or is it just a matter of "he can't break the rules." If he tries, he'll fail, just like Michael couldn't kill himself: he just couldn't.

Teebore said...

cont...

@Fred: It seems not being able to lie is not a recomendation for protecting the island. Jacob's solution to never telling a lie, is just to never tell anything; hence, his silence on what is going on.

Great point! It really explains a lot about Jacob: I can't lie, but I can't tell you the truth, so I'm just going to stay away from you, and tell you nothing.

@kevin k. how did these ancients know how to install a steering wheel to this mysterious energy source? and how did BROTHER know that this was his way off the island? magnetism?

I have a feeling that's stuff we won't get answers to, and I'm okay with it. It's really not THAT important to the story; they just knew. They figured it out.

@Steve Shore: Also, I suspect that they DID give MIB a name - and that for some reason TPTB don't want us to know it yet. I'm guessing that either A) we'll never find out or B) it holds so much significance that they don't want to spoil it for us yet...

Personally, I'm hoping for (A). Because I don't think there's any name that could match the hype, and then we'll get a bunch people complaining "THAT'S his name? That was the big secret?", kinda like how some people are reacting to the Adam and Eve reveal.

@Tim: Can someone explain to me how the reveal of Adam and Eve shows that the creators had the basic series plotted out from the beginning?
It just seemed like a made up answer.
I think this is another case of the writers lying to us to get us to believe this was anything but made up as they went along.


From the moment they announced that Adam and Even would "prove" that, my buddy and I agreed there was NO answer they could give that would do such a thing, and were foolish to even say it.

As for whether or not they made it up as they went along, isn't all fiction made up as it goes along? The producers have never been shy about admitting that they've always had a general framework for the story planned out (a start, a destination, with a few stop offs on the road) but have always taken deviations and sideroads on their way to the end.

@kiki His leaving would not be the cause of everything ceasing to exist. It is the destruction of the source of all that is good that would cause the 'end of the world'. I think he will be needed to protect the source.

Remember also that Smokey has been described as a security system. I'm not sure how that ties in, but there's a connection there somewhere.

@Humanebean: I suppose that I am just sad to realize that we aren't likely to get any more background on the various civilization/religious iconography on the Island. Me=greedy.

Yeah, I was hoping we'd get some sense of who built the temple/various island ruins/Tawaret in this episode, but alas, it looks that's one of those things we'll have to suss out ourselves.

When Mother initiated him into Island Protectorhood, he seemed genuinely grieved about not having a choice - perhaps the genesis of his insistence on not putting others in the same position in future. Yes, he subsequently 'made his own rules' as Brother pointed out. And, yes, he certainly maneuvered the Candidates to the Island and into their decisive moments. BUT - he was determined to allow the ultimate choices to be theirs.

Great point about Jacob's motivations and his desire for choice.

AchingHope said...

Oh, and it was probably just me, but MiB reminded me a whole lot of John Locke, and when Jacob and psych-mum were sitting outside of the Cave of Magical Honey Jacob sounded a lot like Ben to me.

Benny said...

On the game of Senet: I think the nod is to show that this is taking place A LONG TIME AGO.

@Jonah/Gracie/Sonshine: Adam and Eve - I just rewatched the House of the Rising Sun segment when they find the body and they are separated, in two different alcoves. One is near ground level the other is at shoulder height.

@Fred: Jacob killed MiB after he saw what happened to his Mother.
Technically, he didn't kill him. He threw him in the light, which is something worse than death, but not death. That didn't break the rule Mother put on them.

@Steve Shore: Actually, the Mother of Romulus and Remus is Rhea Silvia, one of the Vestral Virgins (along with Claudia). Though forced to be a virgin, she still bears children, Romulus and Remus.

@Kiki: I think MiB, now in the form of smokey, is connected to the island. By removing the protector, he can leave and, as such destroys the source.
"My polar bear's breath smells like Mr Eko"

Lisa(until further notice) said...

Something else...did anyone else notice that it seemed like notMother's tired and aged look disappeared when MIB killed her? She seemed to appear younger and more youthful up until the time her head plopped over-and I'm dead now.

Mike_D said...

The Man in Black lives among them but is not one of them...

Sound familiar?

Rad said...

I have mixed feelings about the episode but overall it was OK, nothing great.

I had a lot to say but work is getting in the way (damn day job, when is my Dharma application finally gonna make it Horace's desk). My 1 question is:

-Desmond is the only 1 of the Losties to come in contact with "The Light" when the Swan Hatch exploded and his cloths were stripped off and it has had a profound effect on his life (time travel, resistance to electromagnetism, drips awesomeness,etc). He is possibly the first to touch it since MiB was just a little puff of smoke.

Is this what makes Desmond so special?? Is this why Widmore needs him?? Will Desmond's inner smoke monster be released in the finale and we'll have a huge white smoke vs. black smoke showdown with the winner getting a boarding pass on Oceanic 815?

Would it be weird if Obi-Wan Kenobi appeared to Desmond and gave him instructions on how to beat MiB?

Teebore said...

Oh, something else I thought of: Mother (presumably) 'purged' Man in Black's people, because they were getting too close to the light.

Perhaps this is where Jacob got his proclivity for purging from, and why he ordered the Dharma purge: sometime after the Incident, shortly before the Purge, Dharma got too close to the light, so Jacob ordered the Others to get rid of them, as his mother had done to other outsiders all those years ago.

Kiki said...

DavidB226Morris said...

and it was interesting that she played the woman who made the earth. I just wish I knew what frigging side she was on.


I didn't see her as creating the earth, jsut a protector of the light of the earth. And while she had some unsavory methods, I see her on the side of "Good". She is trying to protect the light source that is in all of mankind, which if it ceased to exist, man would not cease to exist. I don't see the writers trying to "trick" us at this point with only 3.5 hours to go.

Lisa(until further notice) said...

@Joan Crawford: "I am glad I have never like Jacob. He's a wiener. It had to be said."

HAHAHAHAHA. I'm not sure whether or not I've ever liked Jacob. I have always thought of him as "MEH."

Kiki said...

Gracie said...
What have I forgotten that forbids the following:
In all the time the army people were there, Dharma, the Others, AND the submarine was available (coming and going), why couldn't MIB have killed any one of them, taken over that body, and jumped on the sub as the person he killed?


I think because mother was right. MiB can never leave the island. Sorry MiB.

bowlhed said...

@Benny - for me its not that we're not getting answers. Indeed we got a definitive answer to one major mystery in this episode (A+E). Its more that I just don't think the story telling is up to the level of season 4/5. Why has one of the most compelling characters of recent years (Ben) been completely sidelined this season for example. Especially considering he started this most recent wave of madness by killing Jacob.

For me that is the most disappointing thing. Further examples I could cite:
1. The incredibly hammy handling of the 'whispers' reveal
2. The pacing of story telling generally and in particular placing this MiB/Jacob ep here
3. The constant flip flopping of the writers in respect of whether UnLocke is truly evil (esp. given recent Darlton comment)

Anyway, I continue to have faith we will get a brilliant finale. Particularly as Jack Bender is (I hope!) directing

Benny said...

@Gracie: My theory stems from past dialogue from Locke and taking Mother's words at face value that going to the light will be something worse than dying. For all intents and purposes MiB's body is dead. But his spirit, soul, essence is not and he has taken a different form, Smokey.

Locke's dialogues so far this season have strongly hinted at the same wishes that MiB had prior to his 'death/transformation'. So maybe MiB and Smokey have always had the same intentions of 'leaving and going home' and also 'having a crazy mother', but Occam's razor says they are the same.

I couple that with the conclusion we (Kiki and I) reached on Nikki's The Candidate post a bout how the WIRED picture lists Across the Sea as a Smokey-centric episode. Since we only saw the actual Smokey in one shot, it stands to reason that MiB and smokey are the same entity with different physical forms.

That's my reasoning behind the MiB=Smokey assumption. This assumpton is the basis for an overarching theory that has not been worded completely yet, though I have hinted at segments throughout the comments. Perhaps I'll elaborate later!

AchingHope said...

@Kiki: there is a lot of talk of immortality, but it seems that these characters are mortal since they die.

I'm not positive, but I think being immortal means you can live forever as long as no one kills you. So they could be immortal, they'll just stop once someone kills them. I know that's how it worked for Tolkien's Elves, and I think that's how it worked for Greek gods, but I'm just guessing.

redeem147 said...

I think that Clint's desire (to go back to the Roman world where he was conceived or at least his mother lived) makes Smokey want to go there. But I think he's not really Clint, just a memory of him, and he can't leave.

I think he's a 'security system' protecting the light, that was activated when Jacob threw Clint into it.

I also wouldn't assume that anything the woman said to them was necessarily the truth.

John Dee Fair said...

Am I the only one who thought the haircut on "The Boy In Black" was a little too Justin Bieber?

Pat said...

Hey Nikki...maybe Jacob is the "man of(blind,naive)faith" and Nameless is the "man of science" (since he hung out with folks who discovered the unusual magnetic properties of the island & constantly questioned their not-biological Mother)

Jeremy said...

From Lisa:
"I'm not sure that Smokey "is" boy with no name. I think "he" died. Jacob killed "him" and the smoke monster was released and took over his "shell." The smoke monster keeps memories, feelings, and beliefs of those he manifests, but I think Smokey is a separate entity."

That was my interpretation as well.

TM Lawrence said...

For busy Nik (a brash lure):

J: What happens if I drink it?
CJ: Drink this wine - it is my blood.
J: What?
CJ: I said, drink this wine it is my blood. I'm trying to make it a ceremony.
J: But that's vampirism! Vampiric thing, drink my blood.
CJ: Oh, sorry.
J: Why didn't you say, drink this wine it's a Merlot? I don't want it... and what is that nose? Piquant sulfurous undernotes and a trace of brimstone. Where's it from?
CJ: California somewhere, label said Sunnydale something or another.
J: It smells like The First. Take this cup from my hand.
CJ: Come on, drink, and we'll be as one.

Benny said...

@Lisa:
[note to Gracie]
When MiB tells Richard that the Devil took his body, took his humanity. In that scene, he refers to Jacob as the Devil.
I use this as suggesting that, by throwing MiB into the light, Jacob removed him from his body/shell and removed him as a true 'human'

@bowlhed: Fair comments too. I know what expectations can lead to and since I really don't have any control and don't want to be disappointed, I just take it in stride and there are things I will be disappointed with, but I'll just take it as it is given to me!

Kiki said...

Nurse Brian -- Also, Jacob has a sort of "it is what it is" style of thinking, and Brother/MIB likes to analyze and ask questions.

That is what I felt too. Jacob is accepting of the situation and is content to let it be. MiB is more of an adventurer and questions what is. Jacob reminds me of those who do not need the world to "progress" in new directions and MiB is like the academics that want to push the boundaries of what we know and find out if there is more out there.

Anonymous said...

Prediction - In sideways world Jack's ex-wife is... THE MOTHER!!!!!

Just don't ask me how or why.

The episode was meh. So did she bring the Romans there so she could find her replacement and be free to die just as Jacob brought 815? He didn't really defend himseld when Ben stabbed him.

-Tim Alan

Teebore said...

@Tim Alan: So did she bring the Romans there so she could find her replacement and be free to die just as Jacob brought 815?

I don't know if she brought the Romans there or not (I'm guessing not, but it probably doesn't matter) but I think she was definitely looking for replacements.

Zari said...

@Grace: Zari, I have seen three different shots of Jack, Kate, and Sawyer, and one picture of 10 of the stars together in the shot. Is there more than one of the bunch of them?

I’m referring to the photo in this month’s Vanity Fair magazine which accompanies the article “The LOST Good-Bye”, pp. 90, 93, June 2010. (See my comment above at about #19.)

Gracie said...

Rainier said: "She tells Jacob that he is good; she also tells BiB that he is "special."

There's a difference between being "good" and being "special", and I think that difference might be very important in how we are to perceive these two brothers (Who originally said that perception is everything? Was that Fred? I'm sorry, but I'm not sure who to credit with that.)

Did we ever know what exactly was special about Walt? All I remember with any degree of certainty was that if he didn't get the attention that he wanted, he killed birds by driving them into the windows. And this made him special? I wouldn't say that's necessarily good. Does anybody? Walt definitely had an "ability" to do something, but they never explored that far enough to make a determination on whether it was good as well as special.

Also, Locke was supposed to be special. What is there about Locke that is actually special? (The original John Locke.) I don't recall anything that makes him particularly special other than I believe he was born very prematurely, and had several complications following birth. (I suppose you might think falling from an eighth floor building window, landing on your back, and surviving is special, but I think Jacob literally had a hand in that. Pun intended.) But all of the problems with his birth he did survive. The nurse said he was special. In that sense I guess he was, but is that the same as good? Even when Richard came to visit Young Locke (with the island stuff he laid out on the table), Richard could not find anything particularly special about Young Locke, even though I assume Richard knew what he was looking for, and knew that he was supposed to find something!!
My point is that it seems Mom had wanted MIB to succeed her, based on his specialness, but in the end she had to forego that plan because he had something else going on with him which made him special but not good. In her eyes, I think Jacob was good but he wasn't special.

Does anybody remember another time they've used the word "Special" to describe a person that we actually were given a reason to believe that person was, in fact, special?
Desmond would NOT fit into this category though, IMHO. Desmond is not only Special, but he's the only one capable of living to tell what he has been able to tell. There are many things that keep Desmond out of this Special category to me (including his nice backside), so unless somebody has a reason why he should be in this group, I'm not including him here.

Anybody have anything? Does anyone have the perception of anyone else who appeared to be "special"? Or anyone else who was said to be special. If so, let's hear it!
Fred I hope you're reading this since you and I talked a bit about perception recently!

SonshineMusic i.e. Rebecca T. said...

@humanebean: When Mother initiated him into Island Protectorhood, he seemed genuinely grieved about not having a choice - perhaps the genesis of his insistence on not putting others in the same position in future

I hadn't looked at it that way, I was more caught up in the fact that he just didn't want to be there anymore than MiB does. Interesting...

@Teebore: Instead, I think, the light took MiB's humanity, transforming him into Smokey, leaving behind his human "shell" in the process.

I like that explanation. It makes more things make sense to me :)

@TM Lawrence: California somewhere, label said Sunnydale something or another.

ah hahahahahahahahaha!

Teebore said...

A thought. Nikki said:

Brother can see dead people... which now links him to Hurley. Is Hurley special, too?

But now we know Hurley isn't the only person who can see non-Smokey dead people on the island (he just sees them more often, and off the island-maybe he's the most special?): Sawyer saw young Jacob, as did Desmond (and, I'm willing to bet, a few of the Christian's Jack has seen through the years weren't Smokey).

Since Sawyer and Jack (as well as Hurley) are all candidates, perhaps seeing dead people is a sign of specialness, and being special makes you a candidate for island protector (maybe because, for whatever reason, you're more in tune with the island).

And we've been told Desmond is uniquely special as well. Perhaps getting bombarded with all that energy gave him "specialness" akin to the candidates despite not being one?

SonshineMusic i.e. Rebecca T. said...

Re: seeing dead people.

I brought this up in my longer post, but it fits in the conversation here - don't forget that Ben saw his dead mother and she's the one that ultimately led him to the Others.

(can you tell that I desperately want Ben to have some sort of importance!)

VW: crojectr - a tool to get rid of those pesky black birds in your garden

Zari said...

Mother says:
“The Light: it’s the reason we’re here. It is the brightest, warmest (thing) inside every man.”

and

“The Light is The Source of Life, Death, Rebirth.”

and

“We must protect it from men who want to use for their own greedy, selfish ends. If the Light goes out here, it goes out everywhere.”

and

“Never go down there (where the Light is). It is much worse than death.”

This is so contradictory. If the Light is the best thing in everyone, wouldn’t we want to nourish it and make it grow? Don’t we want to go toward the Light, into the Light, to reach the higher, more perfect form of Life?

Word Verf: sessemi : So, open already!

Teebore said...

@SonshineMusic: don't forget that Ben saw his dead mother and she's the one that ultimately led him to the Others.

Ah, good point. At Richard (who, more than anyone, was the most likely to know SOMETHING about Jacob) was intrigued by the idea that Ben saw her.

frecklesnpt said...

@ Benney: No sign of the statue... The part of the beach where Jacob and Mother hang out looks like that part of the beach, but lacking the statue. Did they just forgo showing us, or was it built later.
I thought of that, too, however, I believe the statute was built later, when Jacob starting bringing people to the island "to prove a point " to Brother. as seen in the first ever scene with Jacob and Brother.

Altho there is only 2 eps. left, I do recall creators saying much will not be answered, nor will any of it have a happy ending for Lost fan(atic)s. I have to buy a new tee shirt for the finale.
Nik: I do agree he is hot, but Boy in Black is gorgeous, too. Not to sound inappropriate, but all of you watch his name, and in 10 years he will be the new heart throb.

I believe Mother gave him a name, but the writers just don't want us to know his name. If I recall, Jacob and Esau mother in bible was Rebekkah, and writers don't want to really call him that, b/c that is a different story with some similarities

Gracie said...

DavidB226Morris said in referrence to Michael Giacchino: "We know what he's capable of(his score for Up proves that, even if he wrote nothing else), and it's going to be those last notes of the score that will put a tear in the viewers eyes, more than anything else we see on the screen count on it."

Boy, have you said a mouthful! And although it hasn't even happened yet, I can just about tear up at the very thought of what you are saying!

Erin said...

I wonder if notMother killing the real mother of Jacob and "Brother" started the whole issue of women not being able to survive pregnancy and birth on the island? That is a question I definitely want answered!

Lisa(until further notice) said...

This is a fun watch from last night's Jimmy Kimmel:

http://www.youtube.com/user/jimmykimmellive?blend=1&ob=4#p/u/0/_8JBYlNTf-Q

Benny said...

@Erin: But Amy survived her pregnancy and delivered. It's possible Miles was also born on the island (not told). Claire and Rousseau, though significantly past their second term, did survive delivery on the island.

Jen said...

great stuff Nikki!

Do you think that way back in Season 2 when Locke said "I've looked into the eye of the Island, and what I saw was beautiful" that he wasn't looking into Smokey but the Bright Light??

hmmmm...

Fred said...

Now we know why MiB calls the Others his people. Jacob brings them to the island, but leaves them alone. This affords MiB to influence their actions. Although Mother reburied the well, it's likely with the next batch of survivors that MiB tricked them into uncovering the well and installing the wheel (in their spare time they built the Tarewet statue which Jacob uses). This pattern would have continued, with MiB building all the pieces on the island using whatever group Jacob brings to the island--much like Mouse Trap, MiB is laying out the trap for Jacob and his escape on the island. Jacob is countering by using "special" people, who will not easily fall under MiB's influence.

Finally, we get Richard, who becomes Jacob's envoy. But MiB is still an influence, which is why Richard was at first so alarmed when Ben told him that he and Locke were going to see Jacob. Of course, when he mentioned the shack, Richard was more cool about it. So the Others have been for a long time tricked by MiB, and Richard has been dropping hints that maybe they should consider alternate actions to the ones their leader thinks is right.

That dynamic of the story seems pretty straight forward.

But what about Ms Hawking? Eloise seems more knowledgable than just an ordinary Ben or Widmore. She seems more in the line of Mother. We can postulate reincarnation of Mother in Eloise, or we can postulate karma. The light that is described as being in every human being may also retain their characteristics. Eloise may be drawn form the same sort of spirit that Mother was. In other words, this is not a long line of biological lineages (Ray to Christian to Jack and Claire to Aaron), but a spiritual lineage which appears form time to time in "special" people.

Is Smokie MiB, or just a zombie like figure of MiB (the real MiB having died at his brother's hands). Then consider that when Smokie scans people they see not just their past but the nature of the light within them. John Locke being such a believer in the island is closest to the light of the island. So when Smokie scans him, John sees reflected back his own little portion of the light, and it shines brightly. This is why John said what he saw was the eye of the island and it was beautiful. Eko's light has grown dim, or is nearly out, and so he sees darkness and the horrors of his past life.

Concerning the Jacob Game, I think it ends not just with finding a replacement (maybe Aaron, although Jack is as likely), but also resolves the condition of Smokie. maybe Smokie goes back into the island cave/light, or is finally freed. I think back to the final image we had of Eko and Yemi as young boys walking from the football pitch. Perhaps our last image of LOST is Jacob and MiB as young boys once more running over the island.

Teebore said...

@Erin: I wonder if notMother killing the real mother of Jacob and "Brother" started the whole issue of women not being able to survive pregnancy and birth on the island? That is a question I definitely want answered!

Theoretically, it shouldn't, since the fertility problem started after 1977 (when Juliet helped deliver Ethan in the DI).

But you brought up the birth issue, which is cue enough for me to start a rant.

One of the criticisms of this final season is that the focus on Jacob and MiB's struggle is coming at the cost of the show's early narratives: The Dharma Initiative, the Others, Widmore and the pregnancy issue seem to have taken a back seat to this mythic tale of brothers, candidates and evil wine.

Well, this episode managed to connect that narrative to Dharma (they were drawn to the island because of its unique properties brought on by the "light" Jacob is protecting; presumably the energy tapped into during the incident is the same energy Jacob dunked MiB into), while Ab Aeterno at least suggested an origin for the Others (through Richard, Jacob gathered followers to help him in his mission to safeguard the island and locate a replacement for him, though I wouldn't mind seeing more on the Others) and, presumably, Widmore's presence on the island once more will help connect his storyline to this one in the next three and half hours.

But the pregnancy issue, what was once a HUGE narrative element on the show, and the primary motivation behind Juliet's presence, seems to have been forgotten, and I'm having a hard time connecting anything new we've learned of the island's mythology to that particular plot point.

With only three and half hours left and the issue of the Sideways world, Jacob's replacement, and the final MiB showdown (as well as, hopefully, a bit more on the Others and Widmore) left to cover, I'm very worried that the pregnancy issue, once one of the show's driving narratives, will end up stranded on its own, without even a minor thread back to the show's main narrative to allow us to come to some conclusions on our own (as we've done with some of the Dharma stuff).

As a result, the show as one, six season narrative, will suffer in the end. Whenever we watch season three again, we'll be wondering "oh yeah, what was all that business about pregnancy on the island about?"

And, I'm afraid the only answer we'll have for ourselves will be "murmur murmur...Jacob...something or other...?"

Stacy said...

Ok- this is the 3rd time trying to post- quit eating my post!!
Ok- I haven't had time yet to sit and read through all of your posts so please forgive if I repeat, but I only have one thing. Did anyone notice a correlation between the way Jacob felt toward his mother and the way Ben felt to Jacob- kind of like they were the 2nd choice. Ben did everything for Jacob with jacob not recognizing him as the leader. Like Jacob tried to please his mom only to be known as 2nd choice to protect the island. I wonder if Ben will ultimately be the protector?

Benny said...

@Teebore: Agreed that the pregnancy issue was a big part of the narrative. But do we NEED to know what caused it. Also, remember that this happened in the infamous season 3, when they didn't know how long they would have to drag it on for.

What I'm getting from it is: Ben gets focused on pregnancy issues because his mother died in childbirth and recruits Juliet in the process but his focus gets taken from the Others' true purpose and leads to a conflict with Richard.

We also know that the issue started post-1977, the conclusion I make itthat the detonation/incident (EM energy + nuclear) created a condition that prevents full term development in pregnancies.

Personally I don't need more.

Teebore said...

We also know that the issue started post-1977, the conclusion I make itthat the detonation/incident (EM energy + nuclear) created a condition that prevents full term development in pregnancies.

See, Benny, I was hoping you could settle me down. :)

That makes sense: it connects the issue with the Jacob narrative, and even makes sense given the details of the pregnancy issue (recall how the wombs of pregnant women on the island looked older; presumably the EM energy, with its time travel properties, was aging those wombs to a point that pregnancies couldn't come to full term).

Benny said...

Just listening to the GJB podcast. There's a lot of interesting information/discussions on there but the one that I wanted to share is a line from the script read by Jorge:

"You may recognize the dagger as the same one Dogen will give to Sayid two millenia form now."

So I guess we have a timeframe.

asiancolossus said...

I liked the episode, didn't love it, but one of my friends who hasn't even watched the show in 4 years is latching onto the negative reviews of this show and asking me, "How come it was so bad" and "Why have the producers let their fans down". I totally tore into him, he has this habit of attacking shows he personally doesn't watch and it pisses me off! Why do I let these things get to me so much??? Ugh...he is like a backseat driver, tons of opinions, but none of them relevant to the situation.

Lost has a habit of following up intensely emotional shows where characters die with a light hearted show or in this case a more philosophical show dealing with the overreaching mythology of the show. I am actually very surprised that this show has gotten such backlash. Grant it, it wasn't the most shocking show but still had its share of OMG moments. The only thing I would have preferred is if they had this show earlier in the season instead of right near the end, it does seem to slow down the momentum.

I do have one major question, forgive me if it has been asked. When Jacob sailed MIB into the light, did he BECOME smoky? Or did smoky live in ther and kill MIB? I think it was the latter as you see MIB's body on the tree. Why would smoky live in a cave of light that represents all that is supposedly good in the world?

Kiki said...

Gracie said -- I think MIB was supposed to be next in line, but she ended up going with Jacob because she saw a darkness in MIB that was not, what? Good for the island?


I disagree. I think was always suppose to be Jacob. I think Mother just made an assupmtion early on and couldn't let go of a preconceived notion. She said, I see now that it was always suppose to be you. I think that sets us up for gettin our assuptions of who should be the successor on turned upside down.

Fred said...

An aspect of Jacob's Game is to correct the wrong he did when he floated his brother into the cave-light and released Smokie. (I still don't believe Smokie is the real brother of Jacob, but has taken on his form).

So far the only one to survive the EM of the light is Desmond. Perhaps the game will involve getting Smokie/Locke to the cave and Desmond pushing him in along with himself. Desmond could then either sacrifice himself (as Widmore said) and possibly survive (or that's the end of poor Desmond). In a sense jacob's Game is putting the genie back into the bottle (putting the gifts from the gods back into Pandora's Box).

Benny said...

Question to the MiB not= Smokey camp:
If the light does not equal dying, then how/why did MiB die?



@asiancolossus: Just keep tearing into your friend. If he doesn't watch, he has no right to criticize the show. This episode divided the fans and call him out on everything.

As for your question, that's another two-sided thing. Some believe it created Smokey, some believed it killed MiB and released Smokey. My thought is of the former and I've listed several arguments as to why in earlier comments.

@Teebore: There you go, you got yourself an answer without being told. And let me tell you, you are both right AND wrong... we'll likely never know and you're free to fill in the blanks as you please!

@Kiki/Gracie: I think that's an interesting discussion. Who decides who is SUPPOSED to be next.
I think we all agree that Mother had that preconceived notion that it was going to be the Brother.

If she is the once deciding, then what would have happened to the island had he not left and so on...?
Possibly in terms of 'destiny' it was alway suposed to be Jacob, but the Mother never realized it until the last minute.

Fred said...

@asiancolosuss:I do have one major question, forgive me if it has been asked. When Jacob sailed MIB into the light, did he BECOME smoky? Or did smoky live in ther and kill MIB? I think it was the latter as you see MIB's body on the tree. Why would smoky live in a cave of light that represents all that is supposedly good in the world?

I think MiB died before he went into the light. Smokie is some form of the power of the light, but it can only assume a form pre-existent in the world. It was given the form of Jacob's brother and assumed it (but it seems to need dead bodies or memories of the dead for some reason--it can't duplicate living ones).

Fits well with Mile's skill, when he reads the last thoughts of the dead. Smokie would have read Jacob's brother's last thoughts: get off island, mom is insane, and I am so angry, also Jacob did this to me. So like Miles, Smokie reads the dying thoughts of MiB and takes on not only his form but his personality.

The final goodbye of Jacob for his brother, when he lays the bodies out in the cave, seemed to indicate Jacob regarded his brother as gone. And that the Smoke monster is something else despite its appearance of his brother.

Teebore said...

@Benny And let me tell you, you are both right AND wrong... we'll likely never know and you're free to fill in the blanks as you please!

And can I just say, I've always been an "authorial intent" kind of guy; my interpretation of a story is second to the author's, in my opinion. I want to know the author's intent, not the conclusions I draw myself.

As a result, it's been a bit of a struggle these last few episodes of Lost, to wrap my head around the notion that a lot of things are going to be left to "our" interpretations (but I want to know what DARLTON meant! Not what I think it means!).

Thankfully, the struggle seems to be getting easier, and with tempered expectations, I'll hopefully enjoy the finale all the more as a result.

SenexMacDonald said...

Again a great episode. Don't have time now to read all the comments now. Just want to get this off my chest, so any of this has been mentioned before - please forgive me. :)

@Nikki said:
"The Frozen Donkey Wheel was somehow constructed by Smokey (since he didn’t actually make it before Brother died) as a way of getting off the island, but he couldn’t use it for some reason."

If Jacob's brother did not construct it himself, then the "Others" helped as we saw them labouring at the site. I believe that he can not use it because he is no longer human. We have seen Ben and Locke use the wheel. But Flocke seems to be looking for a different way off the island.

As for who put the wheel into the wall to feed off the LIGHT? I believe that was Jacob. There is no other explanation as to how he was able to be in touch with our castaways if he did not use it.

Jacob's "mother" seemed to indicate that the LIGHT was both good and bad. Maybe by using the wheel, some part of Jacob changed ... mutated so to speak from what he was after the deaths of his "mother" and his brother. This, and time, have produced the person we know today. The one who observes those who find themselves on the Island. The one who was searching for someone to take his place. It must have been a heavy burden guarding the LIGHT. I can imagine that like his "mother" - over time Jacob has become ... 'crazy' himself.

and... @Nikki also said:
"Smokey was created when Jacob actually killed his brother and turned him into some sort of smokey essence, forever trapped on the island and having an existence worse than death."

I have been thinking about this all morning. Flocke, as he exists now and even as 'Jacob's brother' after he died, came from the LIGHT after his death. This gives some credence to speculation that this new entity was able to take on those bodies of those who were dead at the time of arriving on the Island. And not just the appearance of the body but the essence of the person who had lived - as we can see and hear Locke in Flocke, but also the essence of the original body - being Jacob's brother.

This would explain MIB's (and now Flocke's) desire to "go home". This is a part of who Jacob's brother was that has remained in the new entity, and over time has built up to an obsession. Probably egged on by the fact that Jacob can leave, which I am sure this entity is aware of, and it cannot.

I still believe that the Christian that we saw sometimes was NOT MIB.

@Nikki also wrote:
"I loved Brother referring to spots on the island where “metal behaves strangely.”

My husband, Justin, and his favourite word from season 2 until now - MAGNETS!!!!

I loved the interaction between those two actors as we saw their lives unfold on the Island. There was a sweetness about them and, even if different in their demeanor, they seemed to care for each other. It was such a shame that things fell apart as they did. Of course, if they hadn't, we would not have the story we know now.

I completely fell apart when the flashbacks started to be intermixed with the episode re. our castaways, the cave and the bodies. I think I squeeeed so hard. Then as I said earlier, when the logo appeared, I had to look at my watch and I yelled out, "Wait! It can't be an hour already!". LOL

Yup, it was and what an hour. So looking forward to next week's Tuesday episode and yet dreading that will mean only one more night to enjoy the ride. :(

Gracie said...

@Benny I have been trying to properly word a question to you for well over an hour with frequent interruptions. No matter how hard I dug, I just could not find the wording! I finally figured it might be a good idea, a wise thing, not to mention time-saving, to check to see if you'd said anything more than you had when I originally found what I wanted to ask about. Alas, your explanation is right there! So much for time well spent. And that was posted by you at 11-something this morning, I think. Geesh!

Imagine my utter shock to find that you have said EXACTLY what I was trying to find words to put together!?! They share a soul, spirit, something, maybe even a destiny (?) but each has a physicality of their own? The only place I cannot agree is where I do not know, and that is Occam's Razor. I am not 100% certain that I know what this is. Therefore, I will not guess at it. (I think I should know though, because I think it was covered in one of Nikki's books. I just do not recall it.)
Along the way, I also found that you knew it was a Senet box, whereas I thought originally you were guessing it to be. AND that you have rewatched and they were separate? NO! What? Not that I don't believe you, but man, do I have to see that episode again! I have a distinct, but apparently wrong, picture in my mind of Jack separating their enjoined hands. Don't ask where that came from. I don't know. But it's clear as day.

Thanks for the clarification Benny! Let me know as you update or discard it.

JoanieG said...

I've only been able to read comments up to Dave at 1:17 a.m., so forgive me if my comment echoes any posted in the last 12 hours. (I will catch up on reading comments tonight).

I believe that "the light" is not only the electromagnetic energy but is also knowledge, which is power and light. The quest for knowledge led to the Fall, but on the other hand, without knowledge, the whole world would go dark.

And the "mother's" explanation of what is in the light: "life, death, reincarnation," leads me to think that our Losties are reincarnations of previous people--maybe MIB, "mother" (Rousseau), Ben/Widmore? et al

I would also like to find out if this whole scenario took place before the Egyptian influence, since there was no statue, and if the conversation between Jacob and MIB that we saw in The Incident took place after BIB turned into smokey and took MIB's body. (In those scenes, and after, Jacob always called him "my friend.")

@Teebore: I bever heard of Stephen Schwartz's musical Children of Eden, but I recently read a book called "Eve," which is a novelized version of Genesis that embellishes the story just as you described it. I wonder if one is based on the other.

On the whole, I liked the episode, but I am really starting to worry that a lot of the IMPORTANT questions (such as time travel, Island moving, Ben/Widmore), will go unanswered.

WV: twormid-- what happened to MIB/Mother before they became "Adam and Eve."

Anonymous said...

Any body else notice that in the Adam and Eve scene, Kate and Jack initially appear to be naked. When we next see them they are partially clothed. The third time they appear to be fully clothed?

Benny said...

@Gracie: Occam's razor is basically a principle saying the the simplest explanation is most likely the correct one.

While this was never really the case in Lost, as we are gearing to the end of the show, we just can't afford to keep asking new questions and therefore the simpler conclusion is probably the right one.

In the case of MiB/Smokey, assuming that MiB not= Smokey then this leads to:
-How could Jacob kill MiB? What is the smoke monster? Was it imprisoned in the source? Why does it want the same things MiB wanted? and more questions...
IF, on the other hand, we assume MiB=Smokey, then what questions are we left with? Not a lot, and it answers a few that we already had. In fact, it answers more than the previous assumption.

Therefore MiB=Smokey is the simpler conclusion and, using Occam's razor in the late stage of Lost, I say MiB=Smokey.


@JoannieG: The script apparently lists this as about two millienia ago. The first MiB/Jacob scene was 1867, so it stand to reason the Egyptians built the statue during that period.

@Anonymous: Jack and Kate (and Charlie) were running from a bee attack. They were in the process of putting back their clothes while examining the skeletons.

Gracie said...

FYI: If somebody is waiting for me to comment, please know that Child is out of college for the term now, and has been home all day. (whine!)I am further behind after staying up all night than I have ever been before due to the interruptions!

Benny, you said something (I think you did!) about a comment you liked that was mine and Kiki's? Did I see that? I cannot find it, so I do not know to what you refer. Can you time stamp it for me?

For anything else, just wait until I catch up, I guess. This is horrible. By the time I actually get something posted, I've changed my mind! LOL Now I know what Fred meant about arguing with oneself over Lost! LOL

Benny said...

@Gracie: You had left a comment [May 12, 2010 2:54 AM] - in reply to one of my items - and Kiki replied to your comment [May 12, 2010 2:03 PM].

Fred said...

@Gracie:Anybody have anything? Does anyone have the perception of anyone else who appeared to be "special"?

The writers are very careful with the use of words. Notice how often they tell us as viewers to be careful in the way we define any word. Eko tells Locke to distinguish between "destiny" and "coincidence." You may believe a turning point in your life was "destiny", but in fact it might have been "coincidence." You interpret it as "destiny" because at the time you were already prepared for a change in your life. Had the event occured earlier, it would have been "coincidence" and probably not amounted to much.

Consider another occassion where the writers are very careful with the meaing of words. The scene this season where Locke explains to Jack that the airline "misplaced" his father's body, but Jack "lost" his father. This isn't just semantics. Mis-use of the meaning of words can lead to erroneous conclusions on the show. Interpreting "black" and "white" in terms of "evil" and "good" leads viewers to one perception of what is going on. Seeing "black" and "white" as merely converses of sides, leads to another perception of what is going on in the show.

So when Mother tells Jacob's brother he is "special" we have to be careful in what way this is meant. Does "special" mean in terms of his birth--just like Locke who survived a difficult birth he might have died, Jacob's brother is an unexpected twin. Or is he "special" because he can see ghosts? As Nikki noted, Hurley has this talent as well, as does Desmond, Sawyer, Kate, Locke, and a number of others. With such a widely placed talent are all of these people "special"? Or does Mother mean "special" in some sense MiB is not even aware of, much as Desmond has to be shown he can survive an EM surge. I am sure you can think of a numbe rof other instances in which the term "special" is used and could be applied to MiB.

So which one is it? And now that MiB is dead, and Smokie has arisen, is the whole point of "special" no longer applicable? There have been a lot of promises made by characters on the show, and a lot of those promises have been broken. It may be this notion of "special" applied to Jacob's brother has fallen on the wayside with his death. Indeed, is the island "special"? In what way? It really depends on how you interpret that word, and from that then how you perceive what is going on in the show. The way you first interpret these words in the show, almost compels you to perceive the show from a particular point of view. Nice, for a show that is so focused on point of view (beginning with those eye openings providing the focalisation for episodes in the first few seasons).

Gracie said...

@Oh well, Benny, if this is the case, I'm with you all the way! Benny said: @Gracie: Occam's razor is basically a principle saying the the simplest explanation is most likely the correct one.

While this was never really the case in Lost, as we are gearing to the end of the show, we just can't afford to keep asking new questions and therefore the simpler conclusion is probably the right one.


I assume you read it, but earlier I posted a theory on hope? Maybe since you seem to read everything I can assume you read that? If what you say about Occams razor is correct, and I assume it is, then I'm going to stand by my theory for it's lovely simplicity. K.I.S.S. = "Keep It Simple, Stupid". I learned that from shooting pool for so many years, and it hasn't failed me yet. I also have a simple list of ten things which I sincerely think should be answered, no, not necessarily answered, but things I want to BE or not BE, and maybe a couple I'd like to have answered. Spouse and I put this together maybe four or five weeks ago? Clear as a bell is Number Five. It says, quite simply:

Hope endures.

Kiki said...

Reading through all the comments, and I'm not done yet, it stikes me that we have two camps here of our own! Some of us want answers to everything, we keep questioning and it seems to never be enough. We just have a great curiosity for every detail. Some of us are content with just going with the flow of the story and are happy with the answers we get and don't need all the information to enjoy the action.

Hmmmmm. Does this sound familiar?

Teebore said...

@Kiki Hmmmmm. Does this sound familiar?

Ah! I'm the Man in Black!

:)

Kiki said...

Gracie said -- But we have a list with ten things on it that must be answered before the show ends, and I feel those are MUSTS! If anyone is interested, I'll post it.)

I think it would be a great thing to debate here! I'd love to see it

thefrenchmaid said...

I haven't read through all of the comments, but upon re-watching the scene where woman in red reveals that she is MiB and Jacob's mother, my first thought was that she is another incarnation of Smokey in disguise - and is manipulating MiB by exposing him to the village and all it represents the same as FLocke does when he takes that incarnation.

Joan Crawford said...

@Thefrenchmaid - Hot damn! I hadn't thought of that. That's a very interesting idea.

Kiki said...

Gracie said -- IMHO living out the remainder of my time (whatever Titus Welliver is doing hanging around after death that Allison Janney ISN'T) in the form of Smokey would be a fate "much worse than death". Doing it while tied to the island would be pure hell.

For MiB, I'm sure it would be Hell to be chained to the island. All he has ever wanted was to go Across the Sea. He never would get his hearts desire. As in ever!

Gracie said...

@Benny: You made that easier than pie, Benny. Thank you much, as always!
Kiki said...
Gracie said -- I think MIB was supposed to be next in line, but she ended up going with Jacob because she saw a darkness in MIB that was not, what? Good for the island?

I disagree. I think was always suppose to be Jacob. I think Mother just made an assupmtion early on and couldn't let go of a preconceived notion. She said, I see now that it was always suppose to be you. I think that sets us up for gettin our assuptions of who should be the successor on turned upside down."


I have probably tried no less than five times today to pull the phrase "preconceived notion" from my brain, and just couldn't see it in the dark. Thanks for salvaging that last brain cell....I may need it later for something.
I agree with this and I don't. This is the one I'm arguing with myself over.
1. Mom had a p. notion of what she thought was going to work the best, and she held onto it for a long time. That was the choice of MIB.
2. However, for anyone arguing the other side, when she says, "I see now that it was always suppose to be you" to JACOB, she could just as well be massaging his ego because he's the only option she has left.
I also said earlier that "I think MIB was supposed to be next in line, but she ended up going with Jacob because she saw a darkness in MIB that was not, what? Good for the island? Good for mankind? Was it just because he didn't want to stay on the island, and she thought he'd fight to his death to leave it?"
Can anyone else see what I think I saw in this? She saw that something with MIB just wasn't right, and I'm not sure what it is that I'm picking up on. Just something that stood out as a little odd or off? If anyone else does, please enlighten me! I don't NEED to continue this argument with myself! :)
But, it could actually work either way.
And as for the successor, I assume Kiki is referring to the Candidate? I've had mine now as you know for a long time, since right after they showed the episode THIS Season where they re-showed Jacob as he touched everyone (don't know which one it was, sorry). And I'm sticking with that because:
1. Jack is the obvious one to succeed Jacob, and has been since Season One, Episode One. Absolutely no surprise there.
2. Mine actually makes sense. To other people besides me, I mean. LOL And,
3. It wasn't Jin, Sun, Frank, or Sayid, so he/she is still alive.
So, I may be wrong, but I'm in for a penny, in for a pound, as they say. And again, I hope I am wrong.

Benny said...

@Gracie: I have perused it, but not a detailed examination. The idea of hope is indeed fitting, especially since it fits the Pandora imagery. Since you bring it up again, I'll try to find some time to go over it more carefully and perhaps jolt a few things down.

@Kiki: It does sound familiar. I used to be so curious and want answers to everything and tried as best I could to piece it together, but this last season I've just learned to take what I'm given and stopped asking as much. I'm putting my faith in the writers and will go with what I know... does that make me anyone?

SonshineMusic i.e. Rebecca T. said...

@thefrenchmaid: she is another incarnation of Smokey in disguise.

I was playing with this idea myself. I guess it comes down to whether Smokey is an entity in and of itself or whether it was created when MiB was pushed into the Magical Honey Cave (TM Naomi).

Both have credence and both have some evidence. hmmmm

VW: SubAnger - what I had after last week's episode

LT McDi said...

so I finished watching this episode then did a little spin through the websites and found that it appears we only want answers we agree with..and if we don't ...well "the writers are just hacks,aren't they

I think this episode was OK but I wonder if that's partly because a number of cherished theories went down last night.

I would have bet money that Adam and Eve were Rose and Bernard..nope. There seem to some disgusted about the explanation of the island energy source although I'm thinking "pre industrial people were highly unlikely to be thinking along the line of thermodynamics so ...source light, dark, rebirth...what's the problem"
This isn't the final.

I think this episode rises or falls on how wedded on is to their own interpretation and "worldview" of Lost.

I liked this one...didn't love it but now we know origin of Jacob/MIB and that's more than we knew Monday..

Blam said...


Ego check and other brief remarks...

Gracie: For every answer she gave me, I had two questions!

I guess we can't say she didn't warn us. 8^)


Batcabbage: and no offence to your mom, Blam, but CJ was Press Secretary and then Chief of Staff after Leo left

That was essentially the punch line of the story, but apparently I underplayed it.

SMIERT, Teebore: Glad I'm not the only one who thought Esau was gonna "Hulk out" for the first time at camp (and in such great company)!

TM Lawrence: Blam in question not witty, incisive answer mode.

I'm flattered that you think I have a witty, incisive answer mode. At least some of my questions were kind-of incisive, although based on a quick scroll down the comments others are asking the same.


Y'know, I just got that Esau-as-Locke is probably seeing his and Jacob's younger selves purely because they died and not because Jacob is regrowing Spock-on-Genesis-Planet-style. There's an answer — at least, one from me to myself; you-all probably figured that out already. Now it's clear that only one of the Candidates will replace Jacob, not Jacob himself. Will Hurley have to translate Dead Jacob's instructions to Jack or Kate, like the incantation over Wine o' Immortality and all that? Hurley is the best choice as Jacob's replacement if you want to make sure the knowledge is preserved exactly.

I'm sorry for my perhaps confusing final remarks late last night / early this morning, by the way, but I was fading fast. Obviously Jacob saw the smoke monster as it emerged from the Cave o' Light, but we didn't see him see it again after finding Esau's body and, more to the point, we didn't see him see Smokey in Esau's form after laying Esau to rest. What I thought were big events not to address was him really confronting Smokey in smoke form for the first time, if he did at all, and especially discovering or being confronted by Smokey as Esau for the first time. The ending in the cave with Jacob saying "Goodbye, Brother" to Esau's body would've been just as effective, if not more so — and in fact had greater meaning — if he'd known at the time that the essence of his brother had been preserved and transformed or absorbed into Smokey.

I liked quite a bit about this episode and until the end figured that the biggest hurdles for most people would be the outright "fantasy" feeling of the whole flashback and the Cave o' Light in particular. Most folks still watching Lost are probably prepared for almost anything, but I can see some viewers wincing at the stilted speech, Renaissance Faire vibe, and glowing tunnel by the stream with swelling strings. Then at the end itself I got distracted by the lack of what I described in my previous paragraph, and was rather frustrated that we didn't get one more jump in time to bridge the birth of Smokey and the present day; I think the episode suffered from not having any connection to the current Island escapades the way "Ab Aeterno" did save for the quick, um, flashforwardbacks to Jack and Kate's discovery of Adam and Eve. Once I realized that we were getting quite a few revelations there was something of a big fat grin on my face during at certain moments, but I also felt like the episode as it was unfolding promised to give certain us things that we didn't ultimately get.

VW: civerse — One letter's worth less multifaceted than diverse.

Benny said...

@Blam: I just got that Esau-as-Locke is probably seeing his and Jacob's younger selves purely because they died...

But Locke never saw the younger MiB (BiB)... could we interpret from this that he, in fact, did not die?

Marebabe said...

I’ve still got lots of reading to do in the comments, but I want to get a few replies out while I’m thinking of them.

@Zari: I’m very interested in the Darlton interview in Vanity Fair. I tried to find a link to it, but all I found was the title of the article listed in the contents for the June issue. So, it’s only in the print issue of Vanity Fair, right? Looks like I’ll be going home from work by way of a bookstore this evening.

@Greg S.: I had never really considered that maybe MiB doesn’t have a name! That’s harsh, to say the least. But maybe that’s the case here.

@Kiki: My profound sympathies for having a long, carefully worded post up and vanish! Maybe this will help. Since I learned the hard way how frequently that can happen with Blogger, I now compose whatever I want to say in Word, and then cut and paste the entire text into the comment field. The advantages are clear: in Word, I can make the font size BIG, so I can see it easily (an important consideration), and there’s spell-check, which is wonderful. One thing, though. It seems that it’s necessary to actually type something fresh in the comment field for Blogger to “take” it. So if I ended my comment with a smiley face emoticon, I backspace to delete it, and then type it in again. It makes Blogger happy. But the coolest thing is, if your comment vanishes, you can just try the cut and paste again.

(And this is hilarious, and ironic, but I’m having to make more than one attempt to get this comment to show up. Maybe THIS time!)

Farley said...

There's so much HATE for this episode out there on the blogs... it's pretty intense.... I loved the episode myself and am dismayed by the amount of total hostility out there. I know that they haven't answered everyone's questions but it seems like most of the anger comes from bloggers thinking that Darlton should have written the ending that they had come up with in their fanboy fantasies.

Marebabe said...

This is interesting. I followed the advice of many of you and read about Senet (the game) just now on Wikipedia. I love games, and have a large collection of them, ranging from well-known to obscure. One thing I’ve noticed, it seems that, as a rule, the older a game is, the more regional versions there are. This is certainly true of Senet (which I’m now looking forward to adding to my collection!). One of the ancient games I have is called Mancala, and it came with about 5 different sets of rules (Egyptian, Ethiopian, etc.). And Mah-jong is crazy! There are so many regional variations on set-up, game play and scoring, that my family didn’t feel the least bit bad about modifying (simplifying) a lot of the rules to suit us. If you join us for a round of Mah-jong, you’ll be learning the “Evans rules”. (And yes, I’ve just revealed my last name! Shocking, I know.)

Kiki said...

Marebabe said...

@Kiki: My profound sympathies for having a long, carefully worded post up and vanish! .....I now compose whatever I want to say in Word, and then cut and paste the entire text into the comment field.


Thanks -- I had that thought after it happened. Good old hind sight! I will have to follow the wisdom of those wiser than I!

LT McDi said...

Farley I think you've hit the nail on the head. We are now at the point in the series where large numbers of posters and bloggers theories will be "wrong" and how they "feel" Lost ought to end..won't be how it ends because those bloggers aren't the ones writing Lost.

I think there is also a smattering of posters who ...now that they've got some answers...just don't like what they've been told.

Gracie said...

Blam said: "Gracie: For every answer she gave me, I had two questions!
I guess we can't say she didn't warn us. 8^)"

I happened to catch this while jumping down the page real quick, and decided I was just going to sit here long enough to think it through and figure something out for myself. I have learned a LOT today just from reading what everyone else is saying. Wow, have I ever! I haven't re-watched this all day long because I have been completely intrigued by what everyone else has been saying, so I wanted to hold off. I'm glad I did.
When I finished watching it last night, it was like five new answers to my 500 new questions, with less than four hours remaining! THAT was a horrible, sinking ship feeling.
But as I've read through the comments, I keep finding myself saying, "No, I really don't have to have that information." "I don't need an answer to this." "That shouldn't be as important as it appears" because "It just IS what it is." And I've managed throughout the day to whittle my list of a gazillion questions down to about eight or nine on this episode. And I'm sure I'm not going to get an answer to most of those. If any. Maybe by the time we get a new episode next week, I won't be looking for answers to this week's episode at all.
Someone referred to something earlier today that they said didn't actually have a beginning? Do I remember correctly that I saw that? Was that LOTR? Which I also didn't see. I think what I wish to know is simply this: There was a reason somebody wanted to write this show, whether it was to tell a story, or to teach a lesson, or to ignite the imagination. Something. "What did the writers, producers, and directors want me to have learned when I turn off the TV after the last show? What did they want me to learn, or achieve, or imagine, or maybe face up to, or be enlightened by, or frightened of, when they were writing Lost?" And why did they want me to know whatever that is? Is it a lesson or an education? That's what I want to know. Those big questions: What is the bottom line of Lost? If there has been a purpose to this island, this magical, mysterious island, may I please know it's purpose in whole? If it's purpose has been served to completion, as some suspect it will be, what will become of the island? They made sure within the very first episode of Season Six and within the first fifteen minutes to make sure that I knew that this island was now under water. Then they continued on with Six as if they'd never shown that. Was there a point? If there was, may I know it please? These are some of the BIG questions on this show. The obvious ones. I would like to know some of the answers when I turn off the tube on May 23rd, and I'm sure each one of you has your own list just like mine. With regards to last night, something began or was continued with the woman who said she was Mom. Whatever it is, I perceive it to be very powerful, and very necessary, and it has affected the lives of more people than I will ever know. In order to fully appreciate it when the show ends, you have to understand how it began, don't you? Can you fully appreciate the ending of anything that you don't know the beginnings of? If you guys tell me that it is so, then I'll just blindly jump on the bandwagon with the rest of you, but it seems important to know what started all of this. Lost plucked a plane out of the sky. Why?
Anyone who would like to comment is always welcome to do so!
(I would also like to know if I'm the only one who ALWAYS types Balm, and then has to retype it the correct way to avoid embarrassment?) :)

WV: undic. Lorena Bobbitt felt a need to undic him?

Batcabbage said...

@Blam: That was essentially the punch line of the story, but apparently I underplayed it.

Oh. No you didn't, I'm just a nerdy idiot tool. Forgive me, sir Blam.

Gracie said...

@Benny said: "@Gracie: I have perused it, but not a detailed examination. The idea of hope is indeed fitting, especially since it fits the Pandora imagery. Since you bring it up again, I'll try to find some time to go over it more carefully and perhaps jolt a few things down."

Please do Benny. I would appreciate the feedback. I have often loved how Nikki has used "Love" to summarize so many things so simply. I wonder if "hope" can travel any distance on it's own in this story?

TiaSabita said...

Reading all your comments just makes my Wednesday! Such smart folkes you are!

For all the things this ep wasn't and all the extra questions it left unanswered it still was an ep of LOST and tv just doesn't get much better!

Anyone know what Mother & Birth Mother were saying to each other in Latin? I thought I picked out a 'gracias'. Then to switch to American English accents was a little weird.

I have do many of the same questions as so many of u. How did Bro know that he could harness space & time with the wheel? Did he just know, like he just knew how to play the game? How did the 'others' not know about the little family living along side them for 13 years and even more how did they not know about Jacob & Mother after Brother came to live with them? Why did Mother (supposedly) bring Brother's body out of the well, why not leave him there when it seemed her intention was to kill him?

Yes, showing Jack & Kate with A&E was a bit cheeseball, however, the three people I work with who are non-obsessed viewers said they never in a million years would have made the connection! Unfortunately this type of reveal is gonna keep happening! Darn it!

Again, very much in agreement that Jacob seemed 'simple', 'a mama's boy chump'! My first thought was dim-witted, a total follower. But maybe it was his pure unquestioning faith in Mother that made him the perfect guardian.

Love the rebirth idea, the three pregnant women crawling out of the sea. The Lostiies' babies have to be important to some sort of island rule or prophecy. I need that explained among a gazillion other things! But I'll just take what I can get at this point!

Evan said...

Not sure if this has been mentioned at all, probably not, but I just realized that the running time of the finale when watched as a single episode could very well come to 108 minutes!

Usually I think an episode runs for 42 minutes. So in a 2.5 hour episode we should expect 42+42=84 then the half hour would be 21 minutes 84+21=105. Now if they were getting THAT close to 108 you would think they might have worked in 3 extra minutes.

I know, very nerdy of me to think of this but I must admit it would be very cool to work 108 into the finale episode length!

Gracie said...

Benny, I have a question or two regarding your theory, if I may: When MIB is down in the hole stirring his charcoal, and Mom suddenly "appears" behind him, IYHO, is that Mom or Smokey? If you believe that it's Smokey, was it EVER Mom?

Zari said...

@Marebabe: The Vanity Fair article, The LOST Good-Bye, is not available online, only a brief paragraph about it in the Table of Contents section.

However, the VF blogger Mike Ryan has just posted his comments about this episode:
Lost-in-Lost A Baffling Mother’s Day Episode

Word Verf: unsatwi : and stood up from our chairs for The Star Spangled Banner.

Gracie said...

Zari and Maribeth: The pictures are available on-line. Some of them anyway. I'm not sure how many there are. I've seen four. Google search "Vanity Fair Lost Pics."

Gracie said...

Sorry Marebabe, Not Maribeth!

Jennifer said...

"The kids we saw in the jungle really were the two boys as kids (EVERYONE told me that second one was just an older Jacob when I said it was probably the Boy in Black)." THAT'S WHAT I SAID!

"...more Eve and Cain." WOULDN'T THAT BE ABEL SINCE JACOB KILLED HIS BROTHER (AND OF COURSE WE DIDN'T GET HIS NAME.)

redeem147 said...

IF, on the other hand, we assume MiB=Smokey, then what questions are we left with? Not a lot, and it answers a few that we already had. In fact, it answers more than the previous assumption.

Therefore MiB=Smokey is the simpler conclusion and, using Occam's razor in the late stage of Lost, I say MiB=Smokey.


And I would maintain that since Jacob's body is available, as is Locke's and since there is evidence (the dead camp) that Smokey may have been active before MIB was thrown into the light, that Occam's Razor would suggest that MIB does not equal Smokey.

Though really, if there's one place Occam's Razor doesn't apply, I'd say it's the Island. ;)

Sagacious Penguin said...

Sooo... I'm just going to post my whole blog entry for the episode here since this is by far the most thoughtul and interesting LOST community on the web :)

LOST - Where Are We?
6.15 - Across The Sea

With "Across the Sea," the humanization of Jacob and the Man In Black is now complete. Some viewers might prefer them to have been demigods with all the answers, but this viewer is very happy that LOST will ultimately remain a tale of human beings and their interactions with a mysterious Island's supernatural properties.

The Island:
We've known for quite a while that the Island has some incredible powers (healing, the inducing of visions, travel through time and space, the retention of ghosts, the granting of special powers, etc.). For almost as long, we've known that the show's representatives of modern science (Dharma, Widmore) have found that these supernatural properties emanate from Electromagnetic energy pockets deep within the Island. So it wasn't too surprising to find that the mother of all energy pockets is located at the "heart" of the Island, and is at the very core of the Island's need for protection. Human beings have apparently been drawn to the Island since before Jacob, and probably even since before the Mother character. We don't know who the first person to encounter the Island and channel its properties was, but like most mysteries of the universe, this is not likely something we will ever know. But we did learn a little bit more about the energy stored beneath the Island: there's a little in every person. I've previously stated that electromagnetic energy (or the Island's comparable variety) functions as a blanket source for all things supernatural on this show, we've seen the supernatural found off-Island in places such as the faith-healing grounds of Uluru (2.19 [S.O.S.]) and we've seen it in people such as Walt. So these revelations on the nature of the Island's energy aren't so much revelations as they are confirmations, further information, and further ways of looking at the Island's powers (since, obviously Mother isn't going to pull out modern technobabble to describe it).

Special People:
So if there's a bit of the Island's energy in each person, it stands to reason there may be more in some than others. After all, Walt isn't the only character to be considered Special on the show. Desmond has been describes as such; Hurley and Miles have been imbued with significant abilities from their time on the Island; and this week Mother refered to the Boy In Black as Special. What this boils down to is that certain people are able to tap into the Island's powers more than others. The possibility that Walt may have had this power ably explains the Others' interest in him. For the Man In Black, it meant seeing his dead (real) mother, possessing an intuitive knowledge of the Island's properties, and harnessing that knowledge to control the Island's powers: his creation of the donkey wheel device is a clear precursor to the Dharma Initiative's attempts to manipulate the Island's powers with more modern technology. But the most Special person of all in this story is clearly Mother herself -- able to set The Rules in motion by preventing Jacob and MIB from killing each other, able to destroy an entire village and fill up the well on her own in a matter of hours, and (most significantly) able to pass on her powers on to Jacob, even after he was shown to be the less-special son. When Jacob became "one" with Mother, he inherited the "most Special character" title, and had been making The Rules ever since. But we now know him to be just a man -- a man entrusted with both incredible powers and incredible responsibility.

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