“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.
• 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.
• “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.”
• 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?
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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.
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. ;)