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We’re sure there will be plenty of debate about “Across the Sea.” Let’s just get to it.
While ab aterno drew me in, this episode felt like I was only watching the flashback aspect of a really great episode. I don’t know if it’s because it felt like a fan service episode or that Jacob’s and the island’s story aren’t that ineresting, but the episode left me cold. I was never a big ‘answer’ guy. I’m more interested in how the characters end up.
That said it looked like Jacob had pooped the bed, turning the island’s energy from good to bad. Resulting in him ACTIVELY searching for a replacement. Which WAS interesting.
Gotta agree with Phil, this wasn’t a very good episode. Yes, we finally have an answer to the Adam and Eve question, one more thing to cross off the list, but the absence of our regular characters made it seem like a very different show. Considering they had an hour to explore this whole Jacob/MIB relationship we learned very little, didn’t we? And a cave of light? That’s the big prize?
This was such a disappointing episode. And while this season has left a little to be desired, it was usually entertaining, until last night.
It was such an A to B connect the dots episode (which could be fine, but Lost writers don’t seem to be able to write these very well), it drove me crazy. Even the actors and actresses (minus the Jacob kid, who could actually act) seemed to be going through the motions.
And caves of light containing life, death, good, bad? Where did their “mother” come from? Why did she feel the two babies were so important to the island (and her?) More questions that won’t be answered.
It almost felt like they didn’t really have any concrete answers to questions, so instead they wrapped it all up in some earthy-crunchy mumbo jumbo talk that was JUST vague enough to make you think you were being given answers, but really weren’t.
I also (this is SUCH a picky rant, I realize) hate how easily they snap out answers to things. Nothing simmers. I mean, slap his body down into the “cave of light” and three seconds later Smokey emerges?! Could they not have taken more time, had him appear later that evening/in a couple days after some sort of supposed torture had taken place (since the mom said it was worse than death.) They don’t even have to show it, just imply. I mean, they’ve dragged the show out for six seasons. But the answers come at us in thirty second action/result moments. (The Black Rock and the statue moment still drives me crazy. That was one of my least favorite episodes of Lost of all time.)
Anyway, ranting on. But I was really disappointed last night. I actually found V to be amazingly better than Lost. And that’s saying something!
Totally frustrating episode. It’s like they went out of there way to not answer the relevant questions but still make it seem like they did.
There seem to be a couple of major logic flaws in this episode:
1) The brothers aren’t allowed to hurt each other, then Jacob kills MIB.
2) If the smoke monster inhabited deposited MIB’s body and stole his form, why is it continuing to pursue MIB’s goals?
3) If the smoke monster took the form of MIB while not actually inhabiting the body, why do the rules against harming each other still apply?
I’m sure we’ll get the answer to at least one of these questions, but still, they’re bugging me.
As for the overall quality of the episode, it was too melodramatic. All three of the primaries in the episode were way, WAY over the top.
And I thought this was funny: when Jacob drinks the wine from the pewter cup, you can see the manufacturer’s stamp on the bottom.
Sorry–strike the word “inhabited” from point #2.
Cain & Abel?
The “origin” of Jacob and MIB was interesting and I was glad to have it, but I did miss the regular characters. I thought it could’ve been half Jacob/MIB and half core cast.
The Flying Fist Ranch
So now I’m wondering if the Smoke Monster/MIB is the spirit of Jacob’s Dead Unnamed Brother given a new form of black smoke or the Smoke Monster/MIB just has access to Jacob’s Dead Unnamed Brother’s memories.
And I still think it would’ve been much better if Rose and Bernard had been revealed as the “Adam & Eve” skeletons instead.
Mr. Wesley sez:
1) I think the original (badly phrased)context of what the Unmother tells the boys is that they can’t destroy one another as the “other people” do, not that they can’t lay violent hands on one another, which Jacob to MIB both when they’re boys and when they’re men.
2) Given what MIB told Ricardo in “Ab Aeterno,” about how “the devil” stole MIB’s body, I think the essence of MIB is trapped in this smoky form, and that only occasionally can he manifest as solid entities. Perhaps there’s a time limit that MIB violates by staying in Locke’s form for too long a time, so that he lost the ability to morph into anyone else but Locke. I don’t imagine we’ll get an explanation as to why he can only morph into dead people (including himself), but maybe it has something to do with Anubis et al.
Additionally, it seems Unmother didn’t bother preventing her “sons” from killing her. But since she thanks you-know-who for killing her, that might’ve been the plan all along.
Yeah, the black smoke shot out of there way too soon but…
It may be that the evil contained within the cave/light was just waiting for a chance to escape and MIB’s entrance gave it an opening. I think the evil wants the same thing MIB did, to get off the island/escape the wine bottle.
“Adam and Eve?” More like “Cain and Eve!”
I am probably one of the few on this thread thus far who found the episode interesting.
The “mother” referred to the light source as one of rebirth. With Jacob’s unnamed brother, that turned out to be true.
The interesting aspect: for six years now we’ve seen the castaways take crap from neglectful and sometimes sociopathic parents in their off-island pasts; turns out the mythology of the show is fueled by those same issues, except instead of it being a father figure, its a mother figure.
MIB was betrayed when he learned that the woman calling herself his mother murdered the real mccoy.
Jacob is Tommy Smothers, believing Mom liked MIB best.
And then there’s “Mom,” a primitive woman living in an uber-primitive time, who must have known or seen something so horrifying that she was willing to kill to keep it safe…or probably mistook it for something else entirely. Like I said, uber-primitive time: Darlton and Cuse confessed to E! and TV Guide that the setting was the year 23 AD.
Heck, were I stuck on an island for two centuries without a body and no way to get off I’d be a little bitter myself.
…where are the hell are Rose and Bernard, anyway?
Lance Roger Axt
Unlike the Richard Alpert episode, this one was anti-climatic and they could have shown it earlier in the season.
I liked it. And just because the mother told the two they couldn’t kill each other doesn’t mean that it’s true.
The one interesting thing about this episode is that it brings back the Free Will vs. Fate conflict and sets Jacob on the wrong side of it. Otherwise I think this episode had a lot of wasted potential. It would have only taken a few extra lines of dialogue to answer a lot of questions (and logical dialogue too, since Jacob’s not-mother basically tells him next to nothing about the purpose he’s going to be tied to for centuries).
Rose and Bernard were living as primitives some where in the past, and they’re both living their lives in the sideways flashes. But I’m not sure where they are a now in regular continuity.
And I’m not sure what unMother was saying while she was blessing the wine that Jacob drank, but it sounded like Hebrew to me. And she wore a head covering throughout the episode, so that might give a clue as to where she came from.
Answer to all of the above: The Smoke Monster IS Man In Black.
(Steak IS The Entrée)
Jacob didn’t kill his brother. The Light well just stripped his evil essence from his earthly shell, leaving a very pissed off column of smoke stuck on an island for two millennia.
… and that is what is “worse than death”.
Cain killed Abel, which means that MIB is in the role of Abel, and Jacob is Cain.
What are “Jacob’s brother’s” crimes anyway? Wanting to leave the island? Living with the Others? Until he killed his “mother” he hadn’t really done anything wrong.
And why can’t he leave the island? Cause his “mother” said so?? Hardly the answer we’ve been waiting for.
What is the secret of the island that must be protected – golden light! Just another question as usual. And it’s a good thing the island has such good, unselfish, non-murderous people guarding it, isn’t it.
I’m really not enjoying Lost anymore, but I’ve watched it this long, may as well finish it.
I love that there is so much to interpretation, so much that merits discussion. Questions that are answered, and new questions brought up. But, isn’t that what life is all about?
Unmother is like the old “Chicken or the Egg” question. Sure, now we know where Jacob (and Easu?) came from, but where did Unmother come from?
MIB goes to be with the people, while Jacob is “You’re always above, looking down on us” Jacob would rather watch and not interfere while MIB is curious and wants to be with other people.
On this Eden-like island, there’s food and sustenance, and a “special place of enlightenment” that must be protected but must NOT be entered. Jacob kills(?) his brother and makes him enter this place. Original Sin?
Who killed all the people and filled in the well. Could Unmother possibly do all that?
I’ve spent six years enjoying this well written, at times jaw-dropping show. I’m sure all questions won’t be answered and perhaps the ones that will, won’t be answered to my liking, but you know, that’s what life is all about.
If I wanted to invest time for my entertainment, to spend watching or reading easy to figure out/ pat answered stories, there are PLENTY of other choices out there.
Hell, my only complaint with last night’s show might be, why not have the entire episode spoken in it’s native tongue, with subtitles throughout? I mean, it’s not like long time viewers are going to turn it off because they’d “have to read” and it’s not like you’re going to get new viewers with just 2 episodes left.
Because his “mother” said so may not be the answer we wanted, but I’m betting its the only answer that exists.
Oh, and I, uh, meant to say “millenia” instead of “centuries.”
Lance Roger Axt
Mostly I just want to know what the twins were eating as babies, what with their mum dead and formula not to be invented for a good long time to come…
It’s pretty obvious that this episode is actually Darlton’s meta-commentary on the Star Wars prequels and the dangers of using child actors to flesh out iconic screen villains. Note Jacob’s uncanny resemblance to an older/grumpier Jake Lloyd (Jacob/Jake — coincidence?), the parallel imagery of MIB’s returning to the proto-others village and the burned out husks of the Tusken village in AotC, and I’m pretty sure that the beads of the game MIB receives from Eve/Rachel.Shmi were carved from a pore shnippet. What’s most impressive about this episode is that Darlton pull off their ballsy critique of Lucas’ later works without falling into the same traps.
It’s either that, or I think Jacob is now the bearer of some sort of leprechaun curse, as magical pots o’ gold are what came to mind when the magical well was revealed.
The island is a Pandora’s Box of human essences. Evil was closest to the ‘door’ when Jacob tossed his brother down the golden stream. Evil, in the form of a smoke monster and the dead, has been unleashed, but is still contained on the island. With Jacob dead, and all his Candidates almost gone, Evil (now in Locke’s form) is free to turn the wheel, and escape. But that world is gone. It was gone the moment Juliet detonated the hydrogen bomb, creating the sideways universe.
I believe there is a way for Jacob and his brother to ‘seep’ into the sideways universe. We’ll see.
Man, last night’s episode was disappointing and frustrating. But then I woke up this morning with all the answers. The problem is they are only MY answers, and Lost still has to deliver ITS answers. I can’t wait!
I have to disagree with the majority here. I loved this episode. We got a necessary pause from the action before we jump into the madness of the finale. I wanted to know more about Jacob and MiB. I love how it mirrored the entire series.
Also, we now have the mythology of our show (and the island) set in place. The Source of all life and creation comes from this island. That explains the random weirdness, the dead coming to life, strange healing properties of the island, and why the island is so darn important. We needed this episode.
Next week, we’ll return to more stuff blowing up and Jack crying.
I found this episode dreadfully prosaic for a story that was dealing with the source of all good, evil, life and death. The glowing cave looked incredibly cheesy for TSOAGAE — but that could have been saved by good writing that engaged the imagination instead of just tamping it down.
And while Darlton are excellent plotting and action scene setter uppers, this dialog in this episode was leaden — how many times did someone answer “Of course you are?” in reply to some question? Repetition or repetitious?
A lot of the acting and directing this season has been flat and, well….tv-show like. I dunno if it’s just knowing the end is near — with the companion knowledge that We The Fans Will Never Be Happy — or what.
I kind of liked the swerve on Adam and Eve being Eve and Cain, but it was also fan servicey in that it busted every theory that anyone has ever had about the identity of the corpses.
“We got a necessary pause from the action before we jump into the madness of the finale.”
I will say this: In the official podcast and all the other interviews I’ve seen or read with the producers, they have gone out of their way to explain that the final two episodes are to be taken together as The Finale. That implies that this episode was a breather to explain some things and help set up the pieces for the final gambit starting next week.
I still don’t think it was very good, though.
In all seriousness, I think the greatest disappointment of last night’s episode is that it failed on an emotional level. The explanation holds up well enough, I think. So Eve/Rachel/Unmother has been protecting this secret for gods know how long and chooses these “orphans” to carry on her duty. She doesn’t want MIB to leave the island because she needs him to protect the Lifeforce/MacGuffin. When MIB shows an interest in the Lifeforce, all he wants is to use it to leave (how he figures out that glowy energy + wheel = teleporter is a bit fuzzy…). Flashforward a few hours, Jacob throws him down the well in a fit of rage, and MIB’s body washes up and Smokey is born. I’m guessing that the implication is that MIB’s soul is somehow fused with the island Lifeforce in such a way that the Jacob’s duty’s to protect the Lifeforce now extend to keeping MIB on the island.
So to recap, what does MIB want? To leave. What does Jacob want? To protect the Lifeforce. So MIB is a tragic victim and Jacob’s job is doubly hard because he literally created a monster. It was Jacob’s fall — his attempt to kill his brother — that gave birth to “evil.”
On paper this backstory could work, but the execution was a mess. Every past scene with Jacob/MIB has been great because they are larger-than life figures. Last night, presented as actual human beings, there just wasn’t enough time to pack in the epic themes in an emotionally convincing way. For a couple seasons now, there’s been the metaphor of the game — black and white pieces on a board — but despite showing the “origins” of this game, nothing in last night’s episode sold me on the idea of those two being worthy adversaries, or even adversaries at all — just two tangential and slightly opposing forces.
On a purely intellectual level, this backstory reminded me a lot of Mike Carey’s Lucifer, and the Morningstar’s relationship with Michael. But what we actually got — midichlorians.
Ack! It’s not as bad as midichlorians! But I’m afraid that they’ve run out of time so that they have to tell instead of show in order to get some things out of the way… though I don’t think they had to. Showing the wheel being lowered into the hole in the ground and a chink of the light showing through would have been enough to demonstrate that the Ancient Others were messing around with the Source, which we’ve established is bad. We don’t really need to know precisely how they’re messing around with it any more than we needed the details of the Dharma Initiative’s experiments.
And I agree the acting and direction was pretty weak in this one. Jacob and MiB have been decent together in the past but they weren’t hitting the emotional marks this time–either too soon or too late. Fake Mother was pretty flat.
But crap, I just realized that if The Island is the source of Life, The Universe and Everything, then the answer is 42. (and 4 8 15 16 23)
Yes, who was the 42nd Candidate? :)
The first five or so posts in this thread sum up my complaints about the episdoe pretty well. It certainly was underwhelming, at best. For all Darlton’s talk about how they will only be answering the questions “that the characters care about”, they sure seem to be spending a lot of time answering things like “who are the skeletons?”, “what is the origin of the donkey wheel?”, and “where did the black and white stones come from?”.
Also – couldn’t this episode have been presented earlier in the season? I understand they feel a “breather” was in order but after the last episode, where so much happened, this one seemed like an awkward pause that just broke the considerable momentum the show had gathered.
I found this curious bit of information online today. Not sure what I think of it, but it could sort of mesh?
“Fake Mom was a smoky too I believe… She quoted man in black word for word (they come, they destroy…), she ripped through the site setting fire to everything, she thanked son for killing her, and he killed her by stabbing her through the heart ‘before she spoke to him’ just like Dogen told Sayid he had to if you are to kill a smoke monster.”
“Also – couldn’t this episode have been presented earlier in the season? I understand they feel a “breather” was in order but after the last episode, where so much happened, this one seemed like an awkward pause that just broke the considerable momentum the show had gathered.”
My guess is they didn’t want to reveal the motivations of Jacob and MIB too early, to keep them more ambiguous.
Not that I’m sure this ambiguous episode would have really hurt that.
@Nathan: that was Doc Jensen’s (EW) theory as well, that Mama was both Smoke Monster and Island Protector. Seems to make sense – especially since she also seemed to know what would happen if Jacob/Brother were directly exposed to the Island Lifeforce or whatever.
Adding to all above: UGH.
So the Island’s mysterious ‘heart’ is some sort of Fountain of Youth/Pool of Radiance/Sacred Secret Spa for Jacob to protect? And evil-CJ as cause for all
the Jacob vs. MIB/Smoke Monster conflict? (Take that, you LOSTies with Father-Issues!)
Imo, unnecessarily overamps the Mystical nature of the Island— and makes the mistake of attempting to EXPLAIN it. As much a misstep as bringing on the concept of “midichlorians” to explain the Force in the STAR WARS mythos… but at least we can check off the “Adam and Eve” skeletons from the checklist of Unexplained Mysteries, right?
Could you just wait until the finale before you criticize the solutions they decided to take with the plot?
@Flavia – speaking for myself, yes I probably could but I choose not to. I have watched over 100 hours of this show and I do not see a problem posting my opinions on a show-by-show basis. However, if after watching the finale I see these past few episodes and/or the season as a whole in a new light I will concede they knew what they were doing all along. As it is I feel the criticisms of this episode (and the last) are certainly justified.
I kind of liked this episode. While there were some logic flaws and some silly explainaways (the wheel comes to mind), it was pretty interesting and it had to be done eventually.
I must say though a lot of this season has a bit of a Star Wars Prequel feel to it.
This was the worst episode of this show to date. Absolutely atrocious.
Who gives a red shit about any of these characters? Not me, that’s for sure. And who the hell are these guys? Why is Jacob so goddamned content to stay on a boring ass island, not talking to anyone but his mom, for the rest of his life? “This is my home!” What a lifeless, stupid character. And why can’t they hurt each other again? Dumber than a bag of hammers.
And who do we have to blame for this schlock? I’m pointing my finger squarely at all of you, the nerds who want answers, demanding the writers reveal the magical secret to Lost so it’ll open their third eyes and they’ll come to some greater understanding of their sad little universe, failing to grasp that all this show is really about is sexy people shooting each other on a beautiful backdrop. Stop asking for answers – they will only disappoint you.
Oh, you want to know why the plane crashed? Giant magnets. Merry christmas
Ok, here’s some things that have popped in my head:
It’s water that’s the lifeforce of the island, so what is the electromagnetic energy? Are they two separate energies, or one and the same?
Brilliant thinking whoever found out that Unmother was a smoke monster too (I can already see UnLocke being stabbed through the heart from behind).
I think the smoke monster is an evil force that is contained by water. I’m sure the alternate reality will play a big role in destroying the evil lifeforce forever. If you recall from the first episode of this season, the alternate reality island is totally underwater…
I also tend to agree that this episode seemed to work too hard at providing answers in too short a span of time. It feels like ABC had a meeting and said, if you don’t answer some of this stuff, the fans will crucify you and we’ll lose on DVD sales or something. However, it was not as horrible as many here are making it out to be.
I’m not going to say the show is ruined by how it ends. It’s been a lot of fun watching these episodes, something very unique for television, and it’ll always have me as a fan, warts and all.
I don’t really understand what all the hate for this episode is all about. I agree, it wasn’t the best Lost episode, but I still felt it was pretty good. It seems like people are upset that this episode raised so many more questions than answers. Why are people reacting like this is a new thing for Lost to do?
When it was revealed a man lived in the Hatch, questions were raised. Who was this man? Where did he come from?
When it was revealed that Jack was off the Island in season 3, questions were raised. How did he leave? Why does he want to go back?
When we finally meet the reclusive Jacob, after 3 seasons of them talking about him, we also meet the Man In Black. Again, questions were raised. What’s his name? Where did he come? Oh, he’s the smoke monster? How did he become the Smoke Monster?
For me, the show has always been about the speculation, the debate of what’s going on with the show. I guess that frustrates a lot of people, but I think is has what has made this show so unique. Plus, we’ve been given an incredible cast of diverse characters and I’m completely invested and seeing where they are all going to end up.
Also, Darlton did come off as defensive, but wouldn’t you if you had the internet community attacking you for not delivering on people’s expectations with only 3 episodes left? They’ve stated since the beginning of Season 6 that this is the story they want to tell. I’m not saying anyone’s opinion is wrong but I’ve just come to the understanding that not everything is going to be answered or answered in the way that I’m expecting. I’m excited for the final 3 1/2 hours and will be sad the show go.
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