Saturday, May 15, 2010

"Recon" Revisited

Starting today and going through to May 25, I'll be working from home, trying to make a dent in my Finding Lost: Season 6 guide (now available for pre-order!!) So over the next week, either the blog will be really quiet, or, more likely, I'll be procrastinating so much I'll be putting up new posts every 3 minutes.

Today I was watching some of the episodes again and making my extensive notes. I'm just watching "Recon" now and I've come to the scene where Smokey is on the beach talking to Kate. And in light of "Across the Sea," I found his comments to her even more intriguing now than I did then. Here is what he said:

“You referred to me as a dead man. I am not a dead man. I know what you’re feeling, I know what you’re going through. Because my mother was crazy. Long time ago, before I looked like this, I had a mother just like everyone, she was a very disturbed woman, and as a result of that, I had some growing pains. Problems that I’m still tyring to work my way through. Problems that could have been avoided, had things been different.”

When Kate asks Smokey why he's telling her all of this, he says, "Because now, Aaron? He has a crazy mother, too."

We now know that yes, he had a mother who was disturbed enough, in his mind, to kill his real mother, to raise two boys under a supernatural influence, to deny him a name, and to thwart every effort he made to allow him to leave the island. We saw how torn up he was when he killed his mother, and by killing her he suffered the consequences at the hand of Jacob.

But he clearly states he's not dead. We saw the Man in Black's body, and when Jacob laid it in the caves it looked quite dead, but Smokey doesn't think so. I've commented before that Smokey definitely has a lot of John's personality. And on the beach in "The Incident," he has the brother's personality. So the question is, did the Man in Black actually die? Or is his soul alive in the smoke monster, and if his soul is still alive, can he truly be dead? Is John Locke still alive?

Week after week, we flip flop on who is good, who is evil. But neither one of them is truly good or truly evil. They're both. They're like all of us -- we might have a lot of good in us, but we also make mistakes. We love people, we hurt people. Inadvertently or on purpose. Smokey has killed and he's vengeful, a much larger and more powerful version of Sawyer, but he's also hurting. He lives with the guilt of having killed his mother, and the knowledge of what his brother did to him. He feels hurt and betrayed, and here he says he wishes things had been different.

What do you make of this scene in light of what we find out in "Across the Sea"?


Daniel said...

I always go back to Locke's comment to Jack in the airport (flash sideways) where Jack was getting the bad news that his father's body was missing. Locke tried to cheer him up by distinguishing the difference between Christian's body and Christian the man/spirit, hinting that it lived on. Certainly, if any of us were to be able to live past the destruction of our physical bodies, we would be loathe to call ourselves dead. But, it seems that whenever the smoke takes on the appearance of another, it absorbs that life essence as well, including their memories. I think one of the reasons that aspects of Locke's personality are bursting through the persona of the Man in Black is because of the amount of time MIBs been using it. I think MIB is alive (in spirit) with aspects of Yemi, Alex, and whomever else but especially Locke.

Marebabe said...

It’s confusing, all right. We know that dead is dead, and yet we see evidence to the contrary. There’s a lot I don’t know, obviously, but I can at least answer two questions that you posed here.

“Did the Man is Black actually die?” Yes, his physical body died. We know this because we’ve seen his skeletal remains in the cave lying alongside the skeleton of his Island Mother.

“Is John Locke still alive?” No. At least, not the John Locke we first got to know in the earlier seasons of LOST. We saw his lifeless body hanging in that hotel room, and later saw his embalmed corpse decked out in a funeral casket. The same with Christian Shephard. We saw him zipped up in a body bag in an Australian morgue.

So, without a doubt, these men DIED. Ice cold, grave-yard dead. Yet somehow we see them alive again, doubles, imposters, out to confound and mystify all who come into contact with them. And that includes us. We’re still waiting for an explanation. We won’t have to wait much longer. How odd that this realization fills us with both eager anticipation and dread!

SenexMacdonald said...

I have to agree with what both @Daniel and @Marebabe have said. MIB is as dead as John Locke.

There is some speculation out there that he was in fact alive when Jacob pushed him into the river's water. I strongly doubt that being face down in the water and unconscious would not, in fact, drown you at that point. You cannot hold your breath in that state. No, you would be dead!

I believe that the personality/essence/soul (or whatever you want to call it) of these people, beginning with MIB, exist in this 'thing' we now call Flocke/Smokey. It talks like him/them and has looked like both. Obviously Jacob knew it was not his brother - even if he actively interacted with him.

Whatever it may look like now - the reality of the situation is it wants something really badly, will do anything to get it and is willing to ensure that people die in order for it to happen.

I have begun thinking of the title for the finale - "The End". Might be everyone and everything we know (including or excluding the Sideways world) or it could be the end for this creature bound to the Island. What would that end mean to our survivors - remaining or otherwise? What would that end mean to the Sideways world? What would that end mean to the Island and the Light?

I think these questions are becoming more important as we reach ... the end.

ninja raiden said...

I'm thinking maybe the Sideways world resides in the Source and that, for whatever reason, the Castaways need to be aware that they are all dead and passed on to the Source. Maybe Smokey is a carrier of the dead souls he/she/it posseses.

Remember all the screaming that resided in the smoke when it passed over Claire and Kate in "Sundown".

Maybe the dead surivivors need to wake up one more time from death (in particular, Jack) to pull the "corrupted" souls residing in Smokey to pull him back to the Source. Live together, die alone by the way of Jack and Locke being Constants.

And maybe Desmond is the only one to pull the dead castawys out to "save" Smokey, a.k.a "Cerebus" a.k.a "Anubus".

Farley said...

Nikki, have you read up on the Gnostic beliefs and their myth of Sophia and Demiurge? If you haven't, you should because it seems to closely parallel the story we've seen in "Across The Sea". Although maybe you've all discussed this already and I missed it.... :)

redeem147 said...

The Smoke Monster may think that he was MIB and is alive. Or he may be lying.

I think he's as much them as if he were a copy of them, downloaded like a computer or an android.

I could give an example from a recent film, but that would be spoilery.

I guess one analogy would be a cylon. Yes, Smokey is a cylon.

ninja raiden said...

I thought of something else. If you suscribe to the theory that Jacob's mother was another version of the Smoke monster, than it could be that Jacob and "Adam" were the original Candidates.

However, "Mother" used friction to divide responsibility between the two, which Jacob clearly didn't like.

What if Jacob is using the casatways as a whole to balance the equation to become protector(in some way I haven't figured yet)in opposition to to "Mother's" divisionary tactics.

Touching all those specific Castaways (including Locke) makes them all Constants (Live together, die alone) therefore proving to MIB/Cerebus/Anubis that humans can rise above "the negative cycle of corrupt, kill, destroy".

Could the fact of Locke's essence trapped away in Smokey be Jacob's ace in the hole due to the Constant factor?

The Question Mark said...

The beauty of LOST is how the writers can make us see things from virtually everybody's point of view. Everybody disliked Sawyer & Shannon in Season 1 for the way they acted towards the other survivors, but we grew to love them both because we got their sides of the story.

Jacob & MIB are both mysterious, eerie characters, and we don't trust them outright (even more so because they don't appear to be 100% human). But after "Across the Sea", we can totally feel for both these guys, because now we DO know for sure that, hey, even though he can turn into a 50 foot tall pillar of smoke, he IS human in there somewhere. And he doesn't wanna leave the Island to spread evil. He wants to leave the Island because he wants to go home, just like all the survivors do.

Anonymous said...

I think what happened in the cave was basically a separation of the MIB's body and soul. Since their mom made it so that they couldn't kill each other, his soul survived as the smoke monster even though his body died. And that's why all Smokey wants is to get off the island, which as we've seen in 'Across The Sea' is the exact same thing the MIB wanted most. John on the other hand wanted nothing more than to stay on the island forever so I don't think some part of him is still alive. I think his likeness was simply a template for Smokey's latest form. The similarities, if any, could simply stem from the fact that Smokey had access to John's memories.

That's what I think but I guess we'll all know soon enough!

Fred said...

If we conclude each body has a soul which can be separated from it, then what the MiB says to Kate supports the idea that his soul exists in the form of Smokie. But do souls have "transmission lines" between bodies in different dimensions? Thinking of each body as having an indestructable soul in the Christian sense works well when you have only one universe to contend with. But if you have 2 universes, it opens up real problems.

To be devil's advocate: imagine in universe 1, Michael is a SOB and his soul is condemned to the island. Suppose in universe 2, Michael is the nicest guy, charitable and a saint. Does this second Michael share in the fate of Michael 1? Do we invoke each has a unique soul? Do we claim they share consciousnesses, but have indivdual souls?

One solution is simply to avoid the whole notion of souls, and just work with what the show gives us: "Dead is dead." We have some clues MiB may have died (I think he did) before he went into the cave/light and down the water funnel.

(1) Jack responded to Hurley that if someone is unconscious they can't hold their breath (this was when Sayid was in the pool being reborn and Hurley shouted that Dogen's men were drowning Sayid). Of course, Sayid came back, but as many fans believed Sayid was more the walking dead than the old Sayid.

Counter: MiB wasn't in the water face down long enough to have drown.

(2) We've seen many of the traits of John Locke come out in the reformed MiB, such as Locke's patent phrase, "Don't tell me what I can't do!" However, there never was any indication on the part of the writers that MiB inhabited John's body to assume his form. In fact, they went out of their way to show that John was dead as the proverbial parrot John Cleese was trying to return. Viewers were supposed to take from this some idea of how Smokie assumes the forms of the dead, a process of not only shape shifting but assuming memories and personality traits. Of late those John Locke-like traits have begun to disappear, as fans have noticed John eye scar begin to vanish on MiB. Can we then believe that MiB assumes the memories of the dead and their form, so that if Jacob's brother was dead then Smokie is merely a copy of him?

Counter: Despite the Locke personality coming through initially, MiB's own soul wins out in the end, and the Lockean traits die off.

(3) Miles Straume told us how his gift works, that he is able to "read" the last thoughts of those who have died. Since Miles' gift originated through his being born on the island, then it is not much of a leap to suspect Smokie operates in a similar fashion, that is able to read people's minds. However, Smokie is more sophisticated than Miles, and is able as we've seen to approach people and "download" their memories. This is one way he is able to acquire the information needed to shape shift. Reading both the living and the dead, Smokie could turn into Yemi and Christian. Hence, when Smokie was formed, it merely downloaded the memroies and personality traits of MiB when he was flushed down the cave's toilet into the light.

Counter: Miles is actually not just reading the last remnants of thought, but is given them from ghosts, as when he visited the house of the old lady to rid her of her grandson's ghost. Hence, MiB's soul or ghost may be the basis of forming the Smoke monster, and is not downloaded memories.

Fred said...


(4) Was the Smokie monster a byproduct of Mib's soul and the energy of the light? Let's briefly consider the ghost of Claudia which appeared to MiB. Depending on how you interpret her appearance, you could either say she is (a) a real ghost, or (b) a manifestation of Smokie. If you choose (b), then you have to postulate Smokie pre-existed everything underground (caught and trapped there below the surface) but able to manifest shapes above ground. There might be some argument for this as Claudia appears in a golden light (remember the cave has a golden light), much as Isabella did in the Black Rock (which no fans regard as a manfestation of Smokie). So if you assume Claudia was a projection from Smokie, who was living already below the earth, then his escape occured through his having acquired a human body.

Counter: Smokie did not preexist everything, but is totally formed form the fusion of the power of the light and MiB's soul, much as most super heroes are byproducts of some accidental energy pulse and their body.

(5) This may be incidental, but Smokie as MiB comments a number of times about being trapped on the island. He is very emphatic about noting that Richard is out of his chains. We've assumed given the back story of MiB and Mother, that this refers to Jacob's brother wanting to get off the island. But as with most things in LOST, this may be a misdirection. In fact, Smokie had been trapped below ground, and now he is trapped above ground but unable to leave the island as he cannot cross water in his black smoke form.

Counter: Smokie is MiB, and his desire to leave is still the same as it was when he had human form.

(6) Smokie is definetly connected with the golden light in the cave. He is not just a reformed MiB whose soul keeps living in the Smoke monster. Recall that when Smokie left, the light in the cave dimmed, and in fact it seems different. Later Daniel Faraday will comment on how the light falls on the plants around him, and says its not right. Somehow, the creation or escape of Smokie from the underground cave has also taken/altered the light that was originally there.

Counter: Since MiB is only one ingredient needed to form Smokie, the light, which is of a limited amount, was also drawn on to form Smokie.

(7) When Jacob laid out his mother and brother in the caves, his final words to his brother seemed to indicate his acceptance that his brother had died. I accept by this point that the torch (I can't believe it really did happen that way) was passed from Mother the Jacob. When Jacob drank from the cup, he may have acquired a knowledge of the island, much as when Richard drank from the cup his wish to never die was granted him. did this new knowledge allow Jacob to see that MiB really was dead, and that Smokie was a mere copy?

Counter: Jacob was merely saying goodbye to the physical form of his brother, or Jacob is naive and has no idea his brother's soul resides in Smokie.

(8) When Smokie approached Sawyer in the Dharma barracks, Sawyer noted that this wasn't Locke, because Locke was always scared. From the little we've seen in "Across the Sea" can we identify traits Jacob's brother had which are absent from Smokie? If so, we may be able to say as Sawyer did, this is not MiB.

Counter: Everything we've seen MiB as Smokie do accords with the traits of Jacob's brother.

Ambivalentman said...

Hope you don't mind, Nikki, but as we're spending all this time looking back on the show, I've been posting one Top 10 LOST-themed list per day since May 13th at my blog. Ten days of Top 10 LOST lists...I'd love for all the commenters out there to celebrate LOST and leave their lists. So far, I've shared my favorite quotes, sets and scenes. You can find my blog at

As for Locke's comments to Kate, I too think he is considering himself spiritually alive. As I rewatched the scene of his physical death in "Across the Sea," I flashed back to this moment, too, and felt that Man-in-Black really wasn't dead in a spiritual sense. For me, this was a plan devised by Mother to keep him on the Island. She knew he wouldn't die when Jacob sent him into the Source. She somehow knew that his spirit would be claimed by the black smoke and he would be trapped. How she knew? We'll never find out, I'm sure, which is fine by me.

Fred said...

Just to confuse matters somewhat, here are some reasons countering the previous ones. Here I argue MiB's soul is in Smokie.

(1) The hieroglyphic in the Temple that Ben saw shows Smokie being prayed to by an Egyptian figure. Since we've assumed the Egyptians were there before Claudia arrived, Smokie pre-existed Jacob's brother. In the Egyptian mythology, Smokie may be a judgement figure who swallows the souls of those unworthy to pass through the land of the dead. We would have to surmise MiB's soul is swallowed into Smokie, and when we see Smokie as MiB, it's the soul of Jacob's brother that appears. (This also suggests many other souls would co-exist with MiB in Smokie). This may have something to do with all the talk about "claiming".

Counter: Richard is told by MiB to tell Locke he must die. It seems a limitation of Smokie is he can only assume bodies of the dead (i.e. those without a soul). Thus, he cannot appear as anyone unless that person is dead. However, he can "claim" someone who is still alive, which is akin to being a zombie.

(2) Smokie is called Cerberus, the three headed dog. Reading this as a sort of negative Trinity, we would have father, son and Spirit. The father is the male spirit in Smokie that was known by Mother (if she could call Smokie, as Ben did, perhaps she was also able to control him and get him to do things, like kill off the Roman people on the island and re-bury the well). The son would obviously be MiB. Who the Spirit is, I don't know, unless we imagine it's Vincent.

Counter: We would need to have some information on how Smokie can separate into 3 enteties rather than remain as one. All three seem close in proximity to one another, and there has been no indication of three individuals appearing at the same time (unless one counts Vincent as being part of Smokie).

(3) Jacob's body was burned, but Hurley has seen his soul wandering round the island. If MiB had been dead before Smokie took over his form, we would have expected to see MiB's soul wandering round the island. Because we have not seen him, we can assume his soul is in Smokie.

Counter: Explaining what souls/ghosts are on this island is difficult at best. Not everyone's soul has appeared, and the same may apply to Jacob's brother. Further as Jacob does not see ghosts, he has never had any opportunity to see his lost brother.

(3) The theme of LOST has been the salvation of souls, and Hell may just be the inability of a soul to let go of this world, something Christian tells Jack. Jacob's brother simply could not let go of his desire to leave the island, and with his indifference to humanity and seeing all mankind as corrupt, he is transformed by the light into a living Hell. In other words his soul, his living being , IS Hell.

Counter: This is just too complicated for most of the audience.

It's late now.

TM Lawrence said...

John Locke, the little boy lost in our hateful little world that dared to drag him down, our little boy courageous who chose his words from mouths of babes, got lost. He passed through carstruck precipitous maternity yet arose the miracle baby. He passed through nonchalant fosterings and orphanages, and locker incarceration yet arose an academic powerhouse beginning to deny his inner strength. He was caught in an elaborate and cruel mousetrap of bioparental organ stealing, and emerged cosmically angry but erect and still an honorable man who yearned to bring Helen home, to unite the family on the farm, and to spare the broader world from his father's charismatic charades.

What tear-stained shock of the world broke him? He broke ineffably before passing through highrise glass and saw his fractured self reflected in his father's eyes. He broke structurally on impact with terra firma, and should have been blessed by his soul's shearing from his corrupted coil in that moment, except that he was tagged by Jacob's healing touch into a new round of the same game of Mousetrap. He broke mentally and finally in walkabout rejection. On island, amid the flames and plane carnage, he arose a dead man walking, already not Locke: arrogant, faithful, deceitful, a hunter. Locke lost in the woods.

We sainted the inverse of Locke early in the show, and caught only glimpses of questioning, hobbled true Locke in his crises of faith and resolve. Our sympathy locked on pre-crash John, while island John spiraled out of control.

Twin cuckoo fosterlings separated by two millenia may certainly be melding. Both had crazy mothers, but is Flocke referencing Emily or Mother here? My guess--both. There is perhaps only one solid clue in the dialogue. John Locke, the cradle-maker and protective spirit from the beach days would think more kindly of Claire. MIB in Flocke clothing, responsible for Claire's insanity and baby abandonment, would speak this way.

In my opinion, Locke has never been truly alive on the island. The Locke whose redemption I hope to witness is still wheelchair bound in LA. I hope the show does not end without saying
saying goodbye...

Fred said...

When Ben, MiB (as Locke) and Jacob meet in the broken Tarewet statue, MiB says, "You don't know what I've gone through to get here."

Listen to the line as if Jacob's brother's soul is in Smokie, and you get the idea of a player in a large game set up by Jacob.

Hear the line as if it were only Smokie (no soul of Jacob's brother in Smokie), and you get a spirit that had been planning all of this even before he emerged from the cave. The ultimate longest con!

The second version is more dramatic, and since LOST is going for the dramatic, I'd book that Jacob's brother's soul is not present in Smokie.

Fred said...

Oh, and don't omit in your book some readings of the mythology being based on Gnostic mythologies. The reference by Ben to the Apostle Thomas, may also be a reference to the Book of Thomas, an apocryphal book.

The light is the divine light, existent in all of us, according to Gnostic mythology. And the Demiurge may equate with the smoke monster, while Mother is Sophia. Lots on Wikipedia.

ninja raiden said...

I don't know if this means anything but I just remember in "The Man in Tallahassee' that Locke came from the submarine wet just as it was about to explode.

But in "The Candidate", Jack knocs "Locke" into the water and he comes out wet near the sub. Is this observation pointless or meaningful?

Kevie said...

I like Ambivalentman's idea that the transformation of Brother into Smokey was Mother's plan all along. It makes me think of Danielle's description of the Smoke Monster way back when: "a security system".

What if Mother maneuvered Brother into being killed by Jacob and thus taking on the mantle of Smokey? What if Smokey is the true guardian of the island?

The two brothers seem to be representative of duality. The simple read is that Jacob is good and Brother is bad. But I'm starting to sense a more complex thing going on: The simple white and black represents how Jacob sees things, while MiB's outlook is more... complicated.

Jacob represents dualism--the tendency to classify phenomena into "good" and "bad". Exemplified by the frantic impulse in monotheistic religions to categorize everything in the world either as holy/good/Godlike, and unholy/evil/Demonic. MiB represents non-dualism, the idea found more often in Eastern religions that everything in the world exists on an axis between the sacred and the profane, but all originating from the same source.

MiB sees everything in shades of grey. He chooses to be with his Roman people, but he's not blind to the flaws in their character. He believes his "mother" to be hopelessly insane, but when she's right, she's right. Mother appreciates the mix of light and dark that burns so strong in MiB; it makes him special. It makes him the ideal candidate to stand astride this twilight realm between heaven and hell, taking on the souls of those who can't let go of this life, adding them to his strength to protect the source of all life.

Jacob--poor, simple Jacob--played his part because accepted and continues to accept his mother's cover story. He sees himself as the good one and MiB as the bad one because he is incapable of seeing complexity. I guess he plays his part still in some way, as he endlessly scours the human race for "good" candidates. Meanwhile MiB rages helplessly, just fucking stop it. He's enraged at Jacob and enraged at himself for having unwittingly played into his mother's scheme.

Think of what Flocke told Jack about John Locke: "He was stupid enough to believe that he'd been brought here for a reason. He pursued that belief until it got him killed." MiB isn't only talking about John Locke here. He's talking about himself.

NanX said...

MIB sure did not look dead to me and he did not go inside the cave by his choice - his free will. That's why he can blame Jacob for taking his humanity. He said he was once a man. What he had in his heart was anger and hate and vengeance. To me it seemed the light spit him out in the darkness that he was. The life as he knew it was gone in the shell that was left behind but MIB went on, alive.

It seems logical from what we have seen and why the Temple episodes were so needed is to show us how to kill Smokey. When he is in his human form and using the knife we saw Dogen give Sayid and you must plunge the knife into him before he speaks. That is exactly how MIB killed his fake Mother.

She spoke with knowledge when she warned Jacob never to go into the cave. Did she manipulate both boys/men? Yes indeed. She took as much advantage of Jacob's love for her as she did MIB's eventual hate for her.

I don't think it was MIB's real mothers ghost that appeared to him. I think it was fake mother who was also a smokie. She wanted and needed MIB to hate her to the point of killing her and she nourished that hate.

Jacob was not trying to kill his brother; he was sending him to a fate worse than death.

Think back to The Incident and their conversation, "Do you know how much I want to kill you?"

This is not another entity who has packed on souls, this is Jacob's brother. And he wants what he always wanted, to leave the island.

Kevie said...

@NanX: Oh yeah, I forgot about that loophole that you can kill smokey as long as he doesn't talk to you. Now it makes perfect sense that Mother was one too, hence the massacre of the Romans. And of course MiB couldn't have survived it unless she allowed him to.

@TM Lawrence: Beautifully written.

Fred said...

@Kevie:Think of what Flocke told Jack about John Locke: "He was stupid enough to believe that he'd been brought here for a reason. He pursued that belief until it got him killed." MiB isn't only talking about John Locke here. He's talking about himself.

Or MiB is warning or informing each of his listeners to nudge them into the right position or frame of mind.

He told Ben, that Locke was devoted to the island apart from all the rest of the survivors. Was this to nudge Ben into re-believing in the power of the island, and perhaps his place there?

He told Kate, that Aaron now has a crazy mother. Was this to re-instill Kate's emotional attachment once more concerning Aaron's welfare?

He told Jack, that Locke was a sucker and his belief got him killed. Was this a warning on Jack's own belief in the island (Jack being a thorn in MiB's plan)?

If we listen to what MiB says to everyone (Sawyer, Richard, Sayid, Claire, Widmore), it seems he is playing on their fears, hopes and desires. Is what MiB says really insight into his soul, or is it just (as Sawyer would say) what people want to hear, so MiB can nudge them in the "right" direction?

However, you interpret these conversations goes a long way to how you interpret MiB's motives, or even whether Jacob's brother is there in Smokie.

Fred said...

@keavie: Now it makes perfect sense that Mother was one too, hence the massacre of the Romans.

Quite possible, or Mother could control the original Smokie. We've seen Ben pull the plug in the water to summon Smokie. We've also seen the hieroglyph in the Temple with a Priest praying before Smokie. Smokie may have existed independently before, and Mother may have had the knowledge to summon and command its presence and power. So was Mother a Smokie? It's really either way.

When she was stabbed by Jacob's brother she was thankful as this released her from the servitude she had endured for millenia. Before this she had literally passed the torch and the cup to Jacob to protect the island. Thus, her role was finished, and she needed a convenient exit.

Kiki said...

Nikki said - So the question is, did the Man in Black actually die? Or is his soul alive in the smoke monster, and if his soul is still alive, can he truly be dead? Is John Locke still alive?

I'm in the camp that Smokey is MiB. To me it just doesn't make a whole lot of sense for him NOT to be. I think they are going for classic themes of good vs. evil (even though there is both in all of us, well maybe except Mother Theresa)and brother vs. brother. For Smokey not to be Jacob's brother would be a huge disconnect for me.

I think Across the Sea helped to challenge our sense of black (evil) vs. white (good.) Like others have said here, we have now entered into shades of gray. So is anyone really dead? Do spirits/souls live on?

Kiki said...

SenexMacdonald talked about The End and raised several questions (posted at May @ 9:06).

That started me thinking about Revelations and the end of the world according to the Bible. An Apocalypse. Since I am not a Biblical scholar, here is what I found quickly on Wikipedia:

Most of the interpretations fall into one or more of the following categories: the Historicist, which sees in Revelation a broad view of history; the Preterist, in which Revelation mostly refers to the events of the apostolic era (first century); the Futurist, which believes that Revelation describes future events; and the Idealist, or Symbolic, which holds that Revelation is purely symbolic, an allegory of the spiritual path and the ongoing struggle between good and evil. These approaches are by no means mutually exclusive, and can be (and usually are) used in combination with each other.

Could there be some clues in Revelation for us? Does anyone have more/better information on the Book of Revelations?

Kiki said...

ninja raiden said...
Maybe Smokey is a carrier of the dead souls he/she/it posseses.

Remember all the screaming that resided in the smoke when it passed over Claire and Kate in "Sundown".

Oh! I like this idea. The smoke is the collector of souls. Hmm, just the bad ones, or good ones too?

Kiki said...

Fred said . . We've seen many of the traits of John Locke come out in the reformed MiB, such as Locke's patent phrase, "Don't tell me what I can't do!"

Could it be thta MiB just uses what he can in order to get people to follow him? In this case, he is trying to get the Losties to trust him and what better way to do that than take on a form that they already have a relationship with. I think any Locke-like traits are used to help Smokey manipulate the Losties. He could have appeared to this group as Christian but didn't because Locke would be a more powerful connection with them.

TM Lawrence said...

You are ever so right. OT Christian is DEAD--massive coronary induced by ethanol binge, organs removed en bloc at Australian morgue, coffined, and never playing tennis again regardless of his footwear, DEAD. And OT Locke is DEAD, internally, externally, infernally (see my post) DEAD. And MIB is DEAD, his essence ripped from his dying body in the golden cave of the guf, lying in state, decomposed, DEAD.

@ninja raiden:
Jewish mysticism holds that there is a source for all souls and that souls are recycled through it, the Guf, and that the eschatological conditions will be brought about when the Guf is empty. Rather than thinking about the Sideways world as residing in the Source, I am inclined to equate the Source with the hall of souls. There are no aboriginal inhabitants of the island, all have been immigrants, brought there to prot
ect the island because ALL timelines emanate from the source, and when that spring eternal runs dry, time and existence comes to "The End."

@ Keavie:
Wholeheartedly agree with almost all within your several posts. But dualism and greyscale are still a little tough on the island as it is in our real world. Nice and Mean are opposites but Nice is not necessarily Good, and sometimes Bad is not Evil, and sometimes Evil wears White, but Evil is always Bad even if some Good comes from it. We all contain a divine spark from which both good and bad deeds emanate, and must use our free will to subjugate the bad within us to the good. Does evil emanate from man's actions or does it precede and corrupt man? The Universalist answer which is the only one we can expect from Lost, is, "Yes." Pre-flush, MiB exhibits the complex thinking you ascribe, though as Smokey, if I had to pick two defining characteristics, he is judgmental and wrathful. Both seem to have changed over time. Still, one gives bombs and the other gives ankhs as departing gifts. Surely therein lies some form of good/evil absolutism?

JS said...

Idea 1: I think the MiB's soul was separated from his body, and since the body cannot live without a soul, his body is dead. Since two souls cannot (usually) inhabit the same body, the Smoke-Monster-infested-MiB-soul can inhabit unused bodies on the island, as long as they are not buried or otherwise unavailable (burned to ashes, exploded...). SM/MiB began using John Locke's identity when his body was brought back to the island. Though many believe he became stuck when Jacob was killed, I think he became stuck when Locke's body was buried.

JS said...

Idea 2 - I agree with Mr. Ninja on several counts - SMother was a Smoke Monster manifestation. Her soul was previously merged with the smoke monster and when the body she was using was killed (without a word from her) she was killed, her soul was released.

wf - fiblater - a confabulating fibber, constitutionally incapable of telling the truth.

Kevie said...

@TM Lawrence: What about all the people the Others killed in the name of Jacob?

Teebore said...

I dunno...I'm still thinking that Smokey=MiB, and that MiB wasn't killed by Smokey but rather was transformed into Smokey, and his body is just a shell he no longer needs (like a butterfly discarding its cocoon).

As compelling as the arguments for Smokey being a separate, previously-existing entity operating with MiB's form and memories are, it just seems like "MiB became Smokey" is the simplest explanation at a time when the show should be simplifying things instead of complicating them.

TM Lawrence said...

Kevie said...
What about all the people the Others killed in the name of Jacob?

This is a question of the unreliable narrator and misattribution. We know that Ben had never met Jacob but claimed His authority in commanding the Others to carry out His will. We also have seen Richard use Jacob's name to justify certain misdeeds, but there is no reason to believe they were actually attributable to Jacob's will. Our world is too replete with man's usurping of divine justification for atrocity against some particular segment of humanity to enumerate.

Fred said...

@Teebore:As compelling as the arguments for Smokey being a separate, previously-existing entity operating with MiB's form and memories are, it just seems like "MiB became Smokey" is the simplest explanation at a time when the show should be simplifying things instead of complicating them.

It seems the simplest, but then this is LOST, whose writers introduced new characters in the final season, and then bumped them off without so much as a dramatic fulfillment to their activities on the island. Simplify things at this point! True to form I've never expected the writers to simplify things. Of course, there is always a first time.

Going back to the gnostic view, there is a being called the Swallower of souls. This fits ninja raiden's observation of screams being heard when Smokie plowed through the Temple.

So Teebore, while I've suggested arguments for either side in this MiB's soul equals or doesn't equal Smokie, I'm also of the opinion ther writers of the show are not going to resolve the mysteries into simple solutions. Some of these mysteries, such as this one, may not be resolved by show's end. (However, I do have some hope for a resolution, if only from the last scene in Eko's life where we saw a young Eko and Yemi going off from playing soccer--might we something like this for Jacob and his brother, as two young boys running around the island, freed from their obligations?) I am just waiting in anticipation for the next twist in the plot/mysteries.

ninja raiden said...

@TM Lawerence: Jacob cradling his brother reminded me of when Eko cradled Yemi. I really think we should be treating "Across the Sea" as the ultimate Lost Monomyth.

All of the characters have had parental issues and you can see reverberations of pretty much every characters' realationship with parents, faith, science, and community within the tale of Jacob and "Adam".

Maybe Jacob and "Adam" will redeem their parental issues through the Castaways by proxy. Macro being influenced by the micro, so to speak.

Teebore said...

@Fred: It seems the simplest, but then this is LOST, whose writers introduced new characters in the final season, and then bumped them off without so much as a dramatic fulfillment to their activities on the island.

Fair point.

My arguments for the simplest explanation being the best one at this point stem from a sense of "what makes the most universal narrative sense?" but it's become very clear of late that Darlton have never been very concerned with following basic narrative conventions, what with their introducing of mysteries they never intended to answer, new characters killed off without any resolution and the general sense of narrative deconstruction that has always permeated the show.

Some of these mysteries, such as this one, may not be resolved by show's end.

Oh, I wholeheartedly agree that the question of whether Jacob released Smokey, who then took the form of MiB, or Jacob created Smokey by tossing his brother into the cave will most likely not be resolved, a premise that is both exciting and maddening at the same time.

ninja raiden said...

I never got the "every new character have to have a purpose' perspective. Like life, not everything has a payoff or grand pronouncements of theme. You have to have main characters interact with different people to keep things fresh. Lost has the kind of narrative that becomes richer with hindsight.

Which is why I don't understand why people have a problem with the placement with "Across the Sea". Non linear storytelling and stop-start pacing have always been Lost's modus operandi. Time is relative to a show like this. If we wanted traditional storytelling, we could watch the other 98% straightfoward narrative structure oriented television.

Teebore said...

@ninja raiden: Which is why I don't understand why people have a problem with the placement with "Across the Sea"

The only problem I have with the placement of "Across the Sea" in the grand narrative of Lost is the fact that Darlton explicitly said that one of the goals of "The Candidate" was to establish, once and for all, that FLocke is out-and-out EVIL.

Then they follow that episode with an episode which muddies that conclusion.

Maybe he's not so much evil as a product of his upbringing. Maybe he has a point. Maybe all the people he's killed would still be alive if Mother had just let him leave. Etc.

Now, those are interpretive questions that we all can spend years sussing out and debating, but if the ENTIRE STATED POINT of one episode is to show one thing, don't follow that episode up with something that completely undercuts it.

It's be like having an episode where Darlton says "what we wanted to do here was show, once and for all, that Jack has become a man of faith, Locke's successor as Island Believer" and then in the next episode, there's a bunch of business in which Jack is shown to still be a man of science who doesn't share Locke's faith.

It just seems me. Hence, out of place.

ninja raiden said...

@Teebore Yeah,that's a fair point. I guess it would have been better if they used the word "antagonist" instead of evil. Or maybe they were saying he was evil in relation to the castaways.

I'm not completely defending Darlton with what I'm about to say but they are in a damned if you do, damned if you don't sitch (thanks for the word, Faith).
They are reknowned for keeping in touch with their fans in a way not even Joss Whedon does. But like every human sometimes they don't articulate their artistic statements well enough.

Unfortunately, they also have to "sell" the show to a fickle audience using reductive statements to give the illusion of "definitive" answers.

Like in "whatever Happened, Happened", they said Cassidy was speaking the truth to Kate about her needing Aaron because of Sawyer. I personally thought that she was lonely in general and she wanted a child(see "I Do")

I think that's the danger of authors speaking too much about their works, it takes away from the viewer's analysis. That's why I enjoy their personalities, as they are, and don't let their words impede my analysis of the show.

Which is the reason why I loved "Across the Sea". The mythical/biblical parable/fairy tale-esque quality let you make your own interpretation of the themes of Lost.

Is Mother the smoke monster?

Is Jacob responsible for the Purge like his "Mother"?

Do the Others unknowingly serve Smokey (who uses the concept of Jacob of a false god to be worshipped-thanks Eko-in place of his namelessness)with Jacob only influencing them through Richard?

Is the amalgamation of influences that Jacob and Smokey impose on the castaways,others, hostiles,Dharma,military and freighties simliar to the disparate influences "Mother" had on the both of them both negative and positive?(Every body has a "black rock", "white rock" in them, even the Brothers)

If your a "Man of Science", you can deduce "Mother's" explanation of the "Light" to be nothing more than a place of concentrated electomagnetism surrounded by water. In other words, she's just teling "Santa Claus" stories.

If you're a "Man of Faith", then you take Mother at her word.

If you are impartial, than you believe its a little bit of both or the truth is somewhere inbetween.

Whetever your disposition, it's up to your interpretation, just like real life.

Fred said...

@Teebore & Benny: We seem to be having the same conversation ebtween this thread and the thread for the episode "Across the Seas," namely what does plot mean to Cuse and Lindelhof. Is there something we can all agree on as plot, as Benny noted we should be able to agree that Macbeth killed Duncan, or three ghosts appeared to Scrooge. These things should not be undecidable--they should be as firm and solid as the clues Sherlock Holmes follows to find out the solution to the mystery.

The question I raise is do Cuse and Lindelhof believe in the decidability of plots? If plot proves unstable, then on what can we hang any understanding of what has transpired? It would be as if we had just watched The Usual Suspects but walked out at different moments in the film. Walk out too early, and everything makes sense according to the "plot" narrated by Verbal Kint. Walk out a little later, and everything is up in the air--Kint's narration is indeterminant. Walk out at the end, and the indeterminancy is resolved into an alternative reading. LOST belongs to this genre of what David Bordwell calls "puzzle films."

Now it is my belief that Cuse and Lindelhof are steeped in Barthes S/Z codes. In particular, the proairetic (code of actions) and the hermenutic (code of enigmas and answers). Peter Brooks in chapter 11 of Reading for the Plot gives a nice summary of how these two codes operate in Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom!--and I contend, operate also in LOST.

How are we to take the placement of "Across the Sea" in the sequnece of episodes. Its position interputs the logical flow of actions from the previous episode, things do not progress in an orderly fashion. Brooks writes: "It is as if the characters in the novel [read LOST] often turned to the interogation of a proairetic sequence for its revelatory meaning before we, as reader [viewers], have been allowed to see how the sequence runs." In many ways I believe we can see that the show's writers have been toying with the very structure of plot, and it may come about that some elements of it may be undecidable.

There is yet another possibility of how LOST uses plot, and that is found in Borges' The Garden of Forking Paths, which represents not a single plot, but all possible plots; Locke can both be dead and alive, the narrative of one ends, while the narrative of the other continues. How much of a metafiction is LOST and how much of a traditional fiction it is remains to be seen in the final episode. I am ready to believe in the incoherence of plotlines if examined too closely, but I am also accepting that aduiences are wishing for a satisfying resolution to the show, and that means a well plotted show. Certainly resolving the question of Smokie one way or the other with regard to Jacob's brother would go a long way in this. So will we be satisifed in the end? Or will we be watching LOST in film studies while reading Robbe-Grillet?

Teebore said...

@ninja raiden: I think that's the danger of authors speaking too much about their works, it takes away from the viewer's analysis.

It's funny that you mention this because I have a friend and fellow blogmate, a very well read and intelligent person, who is also a Lost fan, and he staunchly believes that leaving a story "open to interpretation" is just lazy writing.

He believes the job of a storyteller is to tell a story completely, making it clear to the audience what happened, how the characters felt about it, what it all meant to the author, etc. He doesn't care what you or I or even himself thinks the story means; he's just interested in what the author intended for the story to mean.

Now, I certainly don't prescribe to his outlook (I've often joked that I would have loved to have him in some of my English classes in college, just to be in the proper forum to argue that kind of stuff with him) but we do agree when it comes to the clarity and definition of plot in stories.

For me, of all the question you listed, two standout to me as being questions of plot and not theme/motivation/meaning:

Is Jacob responsible for the Purge like his "Mother"?

Do the Others unknowingly serve Smokey

The Purge and the Others played such a significant role in shaping the show's plot and the characters that I feel like they can't be left dangling for interpretation.

I mean, for several seasons, the actions of the Others drove the plot of the show, and the characters along with it. Whether intentionally or not, the basic format of narrative fiction implied that the motivations of the Others for the actions they performed would be

A. Important to the overall narrative of the show.
B. Made clear at some point.

As the end draws near, it seems both A and B were untrue. And after hearing for years from Darlton that "we have a plan" and "we know where we're going" and "it'll be explained" they are now trying to tell us that explanations matter less than interpretations, and we were wrong to ever assume the plot would be made clear.

And that kinda rubs me the wrong way.

Teebore said...

@Fred: Certainly resolving the question of Smokie one way or the other with regard to Jacob's brother would go a long way in this. So will we be satisifed in the end? Or will we be watching LOST in film studies while reading Robbe-Grillet?

That's the big question, isn't it? And I suppose we'll get something on an answer in less than a week.

The question I raise is do Cuse and Lindelhof believe in the decidability of plots?

I would argue that, up until the beginning of season six at the earliest and their latest round of post-Across the Sea interviews at the latest, Darlton gave no indication they DIDN'T believe in the decidability of plot.

Even putting aside that decidability of plot is the default form for narrative fiction (certainly, modern American network television fiction) and that, if a show were to break from that form, some direct indication thereof would be warranted, most of Darlton's statements and interviews previous to season six would suggest they did believe in the decidability of plot.

As I mentioned above in my response to ninja raiden, they oftened touted "having a plan", the implication therein being that plot elements we were watching unfold had a conclusion known to and important to the writers. Only now, as the show draws to a close with numerous plot-related question unanswered/unclear, do we begin to question Darlton's philosophy regarding the decidability of plot.

Here's an example. During last summer's San Diego Comicon, Darlton was asked about the Dharma food drops from season two, and said that would be addressed before the show ended. Obviously, it has not been (and that's fine; it's really not a big deal, plot-wise. I'm just using it as an example).

If they were asked that same question today, their answer would likely be something along the lines of "that question doesn't matter because the characters no longer care about it" or "the show speaks for itself".

Well, if that's true, then why not give that answer last summer? If Darlton doesn't believe in the decidability of plot, why, so late in the game, continue to make the audience think they do?

(Obviously, Fred, I don't expect you or anyone else to answer that; I'm just trying to make a point about plot).

Fred said...

@Teebore:If Darlton doesn't believe in the decidability of plot, why, so late in the game, continue to make the audience think they do?

When LOST is over, anyone writing a book on the show will have to address this question. It might never be answered as Darlton would remain silent. However, if (un)decidability of plot is an issue in this show, then it has to be addressed in some way. Otherwise any such books on LOST will only focus on meaning.

We have less than a week to wait to find out.

@Teebore:He believes the job of a storyteller is to tell a story completely, making it clear to the audience what happened, how the characters felt about it, what it all meant to the author, etc. He doesn't care what you or I or even himself thinks the story means; he's just interested in what the author intended for the story to mean.

Your firend sounds like a disciple of E.D. Hirsch. A literary work may mean different things to different people at different times, but this is its "significance". The intention of awork is absolute, and is what the author intended. The author wills the work to mean X.

@ninja raidan & Teebore:Is Jacob responsible for the Purge like his "Mother"?

The answer is, Yes. Rewind and watch when MiB meets with his Mother in the well. MiB tells her about his quest to find the light, and how the people helped him.

Mother: "The people with you, they saw this, too?" (her head turns away in a mournful look)

MiB: "Yes, they have some interesting ideas about what to do with it."

Already when MiB told Mother that the people had seen the light, her turning head indicates they are doomed. MiB's further comment only confirms for her the need to exterminate (or purge) the Romans on the island. Before Mother learnt about this, she had allowed the Romans to live on the island for 13 years, unmolested. For Mother, it was the realization that the Romans had seen the light that led her to purge them from the island.

We know Dharma had been drilling down in the island for some time, and had for the most part gone unmolested. But the last straw was the building of the Orchid and the Swan. Especially, the Orchid allowed them direct access to the wheel and hence the light. Jacob may have delayed in his actions, but he would have known what his Mother did to the Romans, and that this was the only recourse.

@ninja raidan & Teebore:Do the Others unknowingly serve Smokey

I can only guess that the Others have been manipulated from time to time between Jacob and MiB. Before Richard arrived, MiB probably manipulated the hell out of the castaways Jacob brought to the island. But once Richard was there, the chances were less so, for two reasons:

(1) Mib when he emerged from the statue said he was very disappointed in them (the Others). This disappointment suggests they had not been following him (MiB) but Jacob.

(2) When Ben said he was taking Locke to see Jacob, Richard was at first perturbed. But as it became clear they went to the shack, Richard was not bothered by it. In fact he went out of his way to help Locke. This suggests some oversight by Richard as to where Ben or any leader was getting their knowledge from.

Now on the whole this doesn't serve as an airtight argument, but in the scheme of things LOST, it ain't bad.

Teebore said...

Your firend sounds like a disciple of E.D. Hirsch.

You know, I hadn't made the connection before, but you're right; his approach to fiction is very Hirschian.

Regarding Jacob and the Purge, I definitely drew a line from Mother killing MiB's people to the Dharma purge after this last episode. My hangup was simply in the timing of it: the Incident, in which Dharma got too close to the island's energy (aka it's golden light source) would have seemed like the ideal time for a "they've gone too far, now even the relatively benevolent Jacob has to order their deaths" moment, yet the Purge doesn't occur for at least a decade after the Incident, if not longer.

I feel like there needs to be another catalyst. Maybe your suggestion of the FDW is the answer. Maybe, after the Incident, it took Dharma another 10+ years to complete the Orchid and start up their experiements there, at which point Jacob said "enough is enough."

Bottom line, even if Across the Sea established a precedent that accounts for Jacob's actions, I wouldn't have minded if the show had told us explicitly what triggered Jacob's decision to wipe them out.

As far as the Others and Smokey go, I'd just like more concrete info on the Others in general, though that's just a personal preference. There's definitely enough fodder to reach some nearly-definitive conclusions about their relationship with Jacob and Smokey. I just wouldn't mind if the show clarified some of that, again, telling us what the answer is for DARLTON, not just us.

ninja raiden said...

@Teebore Those were another round of well thought out points. But to me , before I get into the specifics of the Purge, "the Lack of Clarity" is an important theme to Lost on both the narrative and meta-narrative level.

Whether the writers consciously intended to promote this theme or not(I'm a folloewer of the Reader-Response style of analysis) is irrelevant to me, to qualify my perception of Lost. The idea that people follow ideas, beliefs, and ideologies without substantive understanding of why they follow these concepts are consistant within Lost.

John Locke, Benjamin Linus, Richard Alpert, and even Jacob are all charcters who follow their respective paths without fully understanding what it is that they are doing or even what the endgame is (MAYBE Jacob does, to some extent).

In the same way for six years, we have been doing the same thing, following a plotline that we have no idea where its going and what the endgame is. Even now, none of us have any real clue how its gonna end(I have a burgeoning theory that because we are mostly used to telegraphing in storytelling, people are especially antsy in the "Lost Miasma").

We/Jacob and Smokey are following an unreliable but well meaning storyteller Darlton/Mother who mixes truth with lies in order to reach a specific endgame.

As far as what is considered clarity on Lost, to use a cliche, your miliage may vary. For me, with the clues presented to me(after all this is a mystery show among other things)Jacob is primarily hands off except for Richard and ,more recently, the castaways. And it is stated onscreen, in Ab Aeterno, that he is containing Smokey/the Source on the Island. Smokey needs technology to get off the Island, so Jacob, like Mother has to shut down attempts at Smokey getting off and has to "purge" the attempt at escape.

There is a gamme of checkmate going down, but it seems to me that Jacob is pulling the ultimate Long Con to make this battle irrelevant(It only ends once).

But we do have three hours left.

As much FUN as it is to type thoughts out, I wish we all could conversate and have a richer and more fluid conversation about Lost, but to you Teebore and the rest, this is on of the things I'll miss when Lost is over...

JS said...

I have been thinking lately about whether or not the Others have been under the influence of Smokey all this time, instead of Jacob, and glad to see this question come up here.

As I've written elsewhere, if we are to believe Jacob's hand's off policy, then we can believe that only way Jacob has interacted with the others has been to provide lists to Richard. It doesn't seem he has given them any directives, at all. He was not given a choice about his protector role, and has made the rule that people need to do things because they chose to, not because he told them to. Even with Dogen and Richard, he gave them choices. We could argue about the quality of the choices, but he made deals with them, and lets them decide what they want to do. It seems the only two people he interacted with on the island were the two he made deals with – Richard and Dogen, both protectors of the light.

Did Jacob order the purge? I find it hard to believe that he would not give any directions about anything, then tell the others to purge the Dharma folks. That sound more like something Dogen or Richard would decide, because they thought it was in keeping with their jobs.

Off-island, Jacob has interacted with the candidates. He hasn’t made any deals with them, or given them any directions. The closest he comes is suggesting Hurley go back to the island, and made sure to emphasize he had a choice. But there was no deal, just a request. Now, the remaining question for me is if did he influenced the Lostie’s? He may have hand picked them, watched them their entire lives, brought them to the island without actually interfering with their free will, but has he actually done anything to make them chose one way or another? That would be violating his own rules. Unless he changed them.

Teebore said...

@ninja raiden: Great points on lack of clarity working on a meta-fictional level, and the relationship between island believers and the audience. Those sort of connections are what I love about Lost.

Though never as devoutly as my aforementioned friend, I've always been more of an Authorial Intent guy; I lack the self-confidence to truly embrace Reader Response. :)

Jacob is primarily hands off except for Richard and ,more recently, the castaways. And it is stated onscreen, in Ab Aeterno, that he is containing Smokey/the Source on the Island. Smokey needs technology to get off the Island, so Jacob, like Mother has to shut down attempts at Smokey getting off and has to "purge" the attempt at escape.

Here is where our mileage varies. I agree with, and am satisfied by, everything you mapped out there.

What I want, and what I find Lost lacking as it comes to a close, are the details of the plot, the little things glossed over by those broad strokes.

Jacob is containing Smokey/the Source: ARE Smokey and the source one and the same? Is Jacob keeping people away from the Source while also keeping Smokey on the island? Or did his job change once Smokey emerged, and now it's just one of containment?

If the Purge was a move by Jacob to cut Smokey off from Dharma's resources, further keeping him on the island, why did Jacob wait almost 20 years to purge them?

If it's so important that Smokey stay on the island, why does Jacob keep bringing people to the island, people that could help Smokey escape? To prove his point that people aren't all that bad? Is proving a point worth the risk of Smokey getting out and destroying existence? If so, why is it worth the risk? If not, why is Jacob so cavalier about it?

Granted, these ARE relatively minor points, and otherwise covered by the broad strokes you outlined, and I can certainly come to some conclusions myself based on the material we've been given.

But again, varied mileage and all, I KNOW my conclusions; now I want to know the SHOW'S conclusions.

As much FUN as it is to type thoughts out, I wish we all could conversate and have a richer and more fluid conversation about Lost, but to you Teebore and the rest, this is on of the things I'll miss when Lost is over...

Most definitely agreed on both counts, though I think in the end Lost will give us plenty to think and talk about for quite some time.

JS said...

@ninja raiden - ditto on the conversing. It seems I was typing while you were posting similar thoughts

ninja raiden said...

@Teebore: Thanks. I do take my analysis with the caveat that there are three hours left and that there is more info to consume. That being said for me I have faith that Darlton will wrap up the story with the resoluion that is reqired with a healthy amount of speculation. After all, their careers and reputation are on the line with the finale. I find it hard to believe that they are not taking this seriously.

@JS: The deal with Dogan and the knife are what makes me believe that he was making a deal with Smokey not realizing that it wasn't Jacob. Even Ben,the leader of the Others, has never seen Jacob. And like you said, other than Richard(his start to his Long Con(note the realization on Jacob's face before he asks Richard to be his avatar).

I think he's fooling Smokey into thinking he's got the advantage and has a ace in his sleeves. Just like when they were playing games as kids, "Adam" thinks he knows the rules (or even thinks he's found a loophole )while Jacob lulls him into a sense of surety and blindsides him(my theory:see KATE),

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

@Ninja Raiden - I thought Dogen's deal must have been made with Smokey as well, except, 1. The deal was made off island (I think), and 2. Dogen kept Smokey out of the temple. The idea that Jacob made this deal has never sat right with me - it is an outlier, but it would have been difficult for Smokey to have made it. Though, if Jacob had made it, what did he do, bring Dogen back with him in a boat? This I think will have to be part of an explanation as well.

Jessica said...

I have to say, that I haven't been able to get on here much lately (wedding planning ugh! 33 days to go!) But as I have been reading through the comments on "Across the Sea" and this post from you Nikki, I'm confused!

Until I read others' comments, stating/guessing that Brother is truly dead and that Smokey was an entity prior to his death in the Light, I never thought of it! Upon initial viewing and a review of the episode, I totally came away from it believing that the soul/life essence of Brother was transformed into the smoke monster! When Nutty Mummy stated that the result of going into the Light was worse than death, it seems to me that she is talking to/about a person... as in "what will happen to YOU will be worse than death" It did not seem to me that she was referring to what the world would suffer from the release of an evil smoke monster. I also wanted to comment on the questions that have popped up over whether or not Jacob was truly not allowed to kill his Brother. Some comments have made it seem like Jacob really did KILL Brother. IMHO it seems like Jacob knocked out his Brother and the stream carried his unconscious body into the Light...

Am I totally off base here? Did I miss something?

alltim7 said...

Unrelated to the topic, I just want to say that LOST message boards are the best on the internet. This one is, of course, the best of the best. These posts, like the show itself, are thoughtful and well written. Well done, folks. I will miss these discussions almost as much as the show.

Teebore said...

@Jessica: Am I totally off base here? Did I miss something?

Nah, you're not missing anything. My "reading" of the events of the episode was very similar to yours. Other people saw the same events, with no additional information, and came to different conclusions.

No one's missing anything, they're just interpreting the events as presented in different ways.

That's Lost! ;)

Jessica said...

@Teebore...Nah, you're not missing anything.

Thanks pal! I'm sooo mad at missing all of the back and forth due to work, wedding planning, life in general... so I took Monday off so I can spend the day with you awesome folks! We'll laugh, we'll cry, we'll hypothesize, we'll cry... you get the point!