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'Lost' - 'Across the Sea' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted May 12th 2010 1:15AM
Titus Welliver, 'Lost' - 'Across the Sea'(S06E15) "And now for something completely different." -- 'Monty Python's Flying Circus'

Here's an idea. Say you've got four-and-a-half hours to go before you're all done with a story that's been six years in the telling. How about you take the first of those hours and throw out all the rules you've established for the season as far as storytelling techniques go.

Skip all the main characters of the series, we don't need to see them. Instead, tell your story with only three main characters -- and one peripheral, but important, one.

Creators Lindelof and Cuse have always made bold strokes when it comes to how they've chosen to reveal the mysteries of 'Lost.' This week, it was time to unravel the secrets of Jacob and the Man in Black. And in respect to their importance, we'll devote the entire hour to their story.

I have to think the Man in Black has a name. Yes, it was clever that his mother had a name prepared for Jacob but, not anticipating a twin, hadn't come up with another one. Does that mean his "other mother" never named him? Would not he and Jacob have thought that strange as they were growing up. It's more likely just a clever little plot device that has no real meaning, but has turned out to be a bit of fun for the writers.

"How can we have this prominent character featured, and yet never have anyone say his name, or ask what it is."

So what exactly is the "other mother?" Is she the precursor to the Smoke Monster? Interestingly, she was the predecessor to the role Jacob now is inhabiting, and yet it would be pretty damned easy to stick that "evil" label on her. Those labels of "good" and "evil" have been a hot topic of debate in the comments the past few weeks, and I expect this week will only add fuel to the fire.

Jacob was the one who had multiple outbursts of rage against the Man in Black, and yet it was MiB who killed the "other mother." In typical martyr fashion, she was fully prepared to die, having said goodbye to Jacob already in anticipation of the killing blow. Jacob, in turn, killed the Man in Black, though I'm not sure he knew what would happen to his brother when he pushed him into the cave of light and warmth.

Certainly he couldn't have anticipated the creation of the Smoke Monster, who would become a thorn in his side for lord knows how long. Speaking of which, it kind of makes you wonder about those "rules" they've been living by. What did the "other mother" do to them that they couldn't hurt one another? Obviously there were limitations to that particular rule, as Jacob bashed MiB's face in pretty good on more than one occasion, and he did successfully kill his body. So why couldn't the Man in Black have harmed him in return? Is it because by then Jacob was the guardian?

The Man in Black told Jacob that some day he could make his own game and then make his own rules, which perhaps is what he's done with our castaways -- though it's a game where the prize is to replace him as the island protector.

It was nice of them to give us some answers, even if the characters aren't likely to ever find out. I don't think any of us would have guessed that the two skeletons in the cave were the Man in Black and the woman who bashed in his mother's brains shortly after delivering him and Jacob and subsequently raised the two boys as her own. I don't know why I didn't see that one coming. Man, I feel stupid!

It was fun seeing that old footage from the second season of 'Lost,' showing us Jack and Kate discovering the "Adam and Eve" skeletons, along with the bag of white and black stones, and then Locke walking up. Evangeline Lilly, Matthew Fox and Terry O'Quinn look so much younger! Has it really been so long? Is it really over so soon?

Other lingering questions:

--If the "other mother" killed all the Others, then were did our Others come from? Was it a different group of castaways altogether, or just a slow converging of the various people marooned on the island over the years?

--What was the "other mother," and how did she come to be on the island?

--Did the black smoke exist before it became the Man in Black, or was it created by the convergence of his body and the light in the cave? If it did exist, was the cave a prison for it, like the island now appears to be? Who put it there, then?

--Is it because he now is the Smoke Monster that it is so wrong for the Man in Black to leave the island? The "other mother" told him he could never leave, back when he was just a regular person.

--Were Jacob and the Man in Black anything other than normal human beings until their respective transformations (Jacob into the island's guardian via the wine, and MiB into the Smoke Monster via the cave of warmth and light)? If they were, in what way were they special?

--I felt for sure we were going to see the three-toed statue. That's not a question, but I still wanted an answer. I think that may have been my last shot to get one, and it's not going to happen.

In typical 'Lost' fashion, the writers answered a lot of questions, while opening up even more. Still, I think I could live without knowing all the answers to my questions, so long as the character stories reach some sort of satisfying conclusion.

Next week, it's all over. We have our regular episode on Tuesday, and then the two-and-a-half hour conclusion on Sunday. It's like the Super Bowl of scripted television! I predict huge ratings for this one, followed by millions of people wandering the streets of the United States in dazed confusion long into the night.

Want more 'Lost'? Watch Instant Dharma

[Get ready for the finale with clips and full episodes of 'Lost' over at SlashControl.]

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Sometimes reading the comments from some make me feel like a "lost ball in high weeds". Speaking of high, maybe a little gonga will help the final episode make sense.

May 18 2010 at 12:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Simpression, I'm with you, and appreciate your clearing up some things for others who perhaps haven't paid attention as closely. People should thank you for the info instead of hurling insults at you - everything you stated was correct, as seen in the episodes.
Initially I was disappointed with 'Across the Sea', but I reserve judgement until after the finale - and I think alot of people have posted already that there's more to this episode than we think...but I didn't really need to see the clip from Season One in which our Losties found the Adam and Eve skeletons - that felt like pandering - a wee bit, anyway.
Lost is like a great big intricate novel in which every 'chapter' (episode) plays a vital part...remember the Bai Ling episode from Season 3, "Stranger in a Strange Land"? It's pretty much considered one of the worst ever, yet it still revealed some important stuff about the Others and about Jack's destiny, perhaps...
Will miss LOST soooo much when it's over...Namaste, everyone.

May 13 2010 at 10:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is actually getting kind of intresting. So maybe the light isn't really light, it's actually darkness. The crazy woman who thinks mankind = evil, said "every person has a little bit of it inside of him, but they always want more". And Dogen's test of Sayid was of balance between good and evil inside of him. So the sickness is probably just someone getting more of what he already has - evil. Only Jacob refused to accept that. The smoke monster, taking the form of his brother, and his memories if not his entire persona, believes crazy woman is right. Jacob brings people to prove him wrong. Then the smoke monster has enough and wants to escape, which will then cause every man out there to be infected, meaning turn truly evil.

Maybe the reason Elosie told Desmond that he must go to the island and push the button for three years is because if he didn't, the energy / light would escape, emploding the entire island and romaing free in the world. That's why Desmond was hit with a big bright light when he turned the failsafe key. But as Wildmore stated "he's special and the only person to have lived extreme exposure to electro magnetic energy". Which is why it effected him differently and why he's so special to the island.

I'm willing to bet that the last act of the show will be down that cave, to the source of the light.

May 13 2010 at 8:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

No one else noticed just how much Catholic imagery was in this episode? At one point "other mother" was even dressed like Mary.

MiB kept talking about living among the people for "30 years" (like Jesus) while Jacob watched from above.

The whole "drink of this cup to be like me" bit.

I felt like I was back in Sunday school.

May 13 2010 at 4:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

For what its worth:

(1) I couldn't take all the comments, but after reading about 60% of them, I didn't hear "witch" used to describe the "other mother," but that's what I think of when I hear someone who does incantations and claims to have "made it so" this or that can't happen. But I have a different theory altogther now. What I see coming is that whoever the "originator" of the island is, be it "other mother" or someone before her, I think it is clearly heading in the direction of the ancient astronauts theory. "Other Mother" was an alien. (She was against men and people who were bad, who always come and make a mess of things.) Mark it down.

(2) The Island is clearly not a real island, but I'm pretty sure it is going to end up being a spaceship that rises up out of the ocean at the conclusion of the series and flies off back into space, in the process restoring everything to the beta timeline in some sort of space-time conundrum explanation. Think about it--everything is pointing to the island being something more than it is--a spaceship. "Other mother" warns Jacob not to go down into the tunnel of light becuase then he would see the true mechanism of the spaceship/island. (I foresee the cave of light as an engine vent of sorts, with the light energy pulsing through other parts of the island to other engines or thrusters if you will).

(3) The advanced alien technology of this spaceship disguised as an island explains an extraordinary amount of things--Desmond had to push a button to prevent "something" from happening and later to prevent "something" meanwhile causing the plane crash, Ben "moves" the Island (which starts Season 6 at the bottom of the ocean). And it explains how there are people that track its existence in the space-time continuum (Eloise Hawking), seek out its special properties, figure out how to approach it in only certain directions, notice it has time-dilation properties. THE ISLAND ON LOST IS A SPACESHIP! Mark it down.

(4) I think the finale is going to borrow heavily from ideas already seen in "The Abyss" and "Stargate Atlantis," "Escape to Witch Mountain" and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," not to mention countless other science fiction novels, novellas, shows and tales that have gone before it. And I think that when you look at the creators of LOST and see how they were young when movies like this made an impression on them (and perhaps in some ways left something to be desired), then it is clearer to me that this is the direction they are going to go in.

(5) I am so sure about this "Spaceship Lost" ending now, that I am just waiting to see the scope of it. That is to say, did all the egyptian and mayan ruins on the island have something to do with our history here on earth (did life and culture originate with the ancient astronauts and the island), how long has it been there, is it the source of the Atlantis legend, etc., etc., etc.

May 13 2010 at 3:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why are the recaps of the shows not tagged (file under) with the show name? Since changing to AOL (which is terrible) they just add one or no tags, that other the "celebrity names". Do you not know how search and tagging work. TVsquad, I really don't like you any more...as Simon would say...sorry.

'Lost' - 'Across the Sea' Recap
by Jason Hughes, posted May 12th 2010 1:15AM

* Filed under:
* Recaps

May 13 2010 at 12:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If the beta universe is the extended epilogue, the result of what they're about to do on the island in the alpha, then it's very likely that MIB is telling the truth and has done NOTHING bad. Previously in the season he talked about how, upon leaving, everything will be changed. Even Sayid's wife wouldn't die how she did... sounding an awful lot like the beta. So, what if his plan is to reset the timeline such that Claudia, his mother, never landed on the island or some other similar thing? What if that all results in the beta? Seems to me that MIB becomes the hero.

But what has he done that's evil, exactly, otherwise? The people he's killing now, who cares? If he resets the timeline, all those people are fine, and in every instance, better off.

And we know the island is under water in the beta, presumably unprotected. Seems the world hasn't ended.

So, whatever eggs he cracks to make the omlete of the beta are worth it, aren't they?

All Jacob ever did was be instructed by a loon, betray and murder his brother, and then go about playing God with peoples lives... Just look at poor Ilana. Really think he cared about her? He brought her back to the island to do what? Get blown up at the exact right time to convince the group to do one thing over another...... that's it... that's what her life was worth to Jacob. And Jacob had Dharma slaughtered, just like his mother slaughtered those castaways. It was Jacob that demanded the death of Alex. What has Jacob done for the good, other than to do what that nutcase told him to do without explanation?

And if his goal is a timeline reset, erasing his actions and forging a new reality, what evil is MIB wreaking?

Because he seems scary and like a bad guy while doing all of these things is irrelevant, if success means none of this ever happened and a better timeline... and isn't that what's happening?

Jacob is fine killing or sacrificing anyone and everyone to meet a goal he doesn't and has never understood. MIB is fine doing whatever he needs to do as well, but there's one big difference... at the end of the day, if Jacob wins, all these people are still dead or miserable as a result of ever having known Jacob. At the end of the day, if MIB wins, the beta universe is formed and everyone goes about their business, in every instance we've seen, better off.

So.... who is evil?

May 13 2010 at 11:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Mike's comment

And you're so quick to assume the obvious is the right answer why? It's so easy that the beta-timeline is the epilogue, only... why then would Desmond get a flash of the alpha? why would he try to bring people to remember? To maybe go back? That's not really much of an epilogue.

Besides, you can't say Sayid's wife is dead. In the alpha she died in October of 2005. You're barely at October of 2004 in the beta.

Now here's something for EVERYONE to ponder over - Jacob does bad things according to our morals and that marks him bad-er?! Well, open a bible and read what god does. and yet so many people are convinced he's not only helping them, but he's so damn good. well, if he's damn good, how can he allow horrible things to happen? people going on killing sprees because it's "god's will"? Also, think about it - the bible explains what god did, not how he himslef came to be. yet, no one has a problem with that!

May 13 2010 at 8:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought it was a fantastic episode, and brings the entire show into one cohesive narrative. Sure, there are some unanswered questions, most of which haven't been answered because to do so would be to reveal a plot-hole. But, for a show that's been on for six years, it's nice to see that the producers are trying to bring everything into line with one main story about good and evil.

Or is it?

When Smokey was created, he took on the persona of the other-brother. This is consistent with how Smokey took on aspects of Locke's persona after he took his body. One question would be whether anyone else but Jacob ever saw Smokey in his Titus Welliveresque form. Is Locke the first time Smokey has ever been able to form a corporeal body?

Who knows? Is it really important? Probably not.

What's next is that this episode sets up the real stakes for the next 3.5 hours of the show.

Remaining questions that I hope will be answered include:
-Who will become the next protector of the island?
-Is the island even worth protecting once Smokey was created, or is that just what Jacob told people because it's what he was told?
-Is the smoke monster really evil, or is that just the line we've been given the whole time? After all, he didn't kill those people.

I feel honored to have had the chance to watch this great mystery unfold. For the next three and a half hours, we have a lot of ground to cover, but many of the red herrings are also out of the way. Adam and Eve? Check. Fate of Jin and Sun in the alpha-verse? Check. What is the Smoke Monster? Check. Why is the island important? Half check, because I'm not so sure it really is.

To those who don't like it, I can only suggest stepping back a few feet and taking a look at things again. This show is a big puzzle that's come without a box. Each of us gets to draw our conclusions, and I suspect at least half the audience is not going to be satisfied, and I respect that. As with BSG, I'll be happy with whatever story the creators want to tell.


May 12 2010 at 7:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to adhonus's comment

I loved this episode. I was really glad that they explained some stuff about Jacob and MiB, even if it did have some holes. I was also smacking myself in the face when Adam and Eve was revealed to be MiB's body and his fake mom. Didn't see that coming!

I can hardly wrap my head around all the mysteries they are putting out, epecially this late in the game. No that I'm complaining; this is how Lost has always been.

BUT, the light is still confusing me. Why is it such a bad thing if the light is taken away? Will the island implode? Or will an access of light kill humanity?

We finally know why the Dharma Stations (or at least the Swan) were built where they were; that's where the light was. It's what makes the island so special.

Also, this explains the conversation Jacob and MiB were having at the beginning of the season finale of last season. MiB says the same thing their fake mom said about men. Jacob wants to think the best of them because he didn't live among them, and MiB wants them as far away from him as possible because he lived with them.

Ever since MiB was a little kid, he wanted to leave the island, to see what was out there. He's been used, lied to, betrayed, and killed. I almost feel sorry for the guy. Almost.

Can't wait till next episode!!!

P.S.- Did they not match little Jacob with big Jacob perfectly?

May 12 2010 at 6:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

check out kate's interview last night - http://www.roflcentral.com/jimmy-fallon-talks-to-losts-evangeline-lilly/

May 12 2010 at 5:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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