Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Across the Sea- Episode 6.15

He we are, caught up to the current episode now, “Across the Sea.” Personally, this goes down as one of my favorite episodes. Earlier this year I was not sure how I was going to feel about an episode that would show the origins of Jacob or the MIB, but they did it very well I feel like. You have to be careful when you go back and explain too much, you risk losing some of the mystique, wonder and mystery. I felt that this episode did a superb job explaining a lot, but still leaving and creating more mystery. Lost is a mystery show, you would not want everything answered, that would not go with the nature of the show. This episode received reviews that ran the gamut. What did you think?

Let’s list some of the things we learned or that I thought were interesting.

· Jacob and MIB are twin brothers! Very interesting. Notice they were swaddled in their respective colors, white and black, as soon as they were born. Even as they aged they always wore their color. Also, when they were first laid out in their blankets Jacob was very peaceful while MIB was fussy, crying and flailing around.

· We see MIB’s crazy mom that he referenced a while back. Was she crazy, or just taking some extreme measures to ensure things worked out?

· We learn more about the point of the Island. We see the cave of Light, what I will call, the Source. (It was called that one time by Mother.) On the podcast the producers said this was meant to be a further explanation of what was meant when Jacob compared the Island to a cork to Richard in the episode Ab Aeterno. They even said we might get more of an explanation of it as the series draws to a close.

· Interestingly enough, MIB created the Donkey Wheel, assuming that is the same Donkey Wheel that Ben and Locke pushed.

· Since we saw Jacob as a child we see that they mysterious boy that has been following Smoke-Locke is in fact Jacob in some capacity.

· Mother also tells MIB that Jacob cannot lie. Later on in the episode he does, but I think she is implying that does not like to lie and is honest more often than not, or that he is not good at lying. I think Jacob just does not like to lie.

· We saw the “birth” of the Smoke Monster (possibly) and what MIB meant when he said Jacob stole his body and his humanity.

· Alas, the identity of the Adam and Eve skeletons were revealed. I really thought it was going to be Rose and Bernard or possibly even Desmond and Penny or Sun and Jin. I really thought it would be my first or last guess because the writers said that was a mystery put at the beginning to prove that they knew what they were doing from the start. Yes, I see how it is proof but at the same time I don’t think it is proof. They basically just made up these characters just now. We did not know the Smoke Monster was going to be a person until the end of season five, but I guess that is what they meant by it was all planned.

A few questions that are brought up from the episode

· We still never learned MIB’s name. Did he ever get a name? His real mother did not have a name for him, did Mother ever name him? Is he going to be the equivalent of the Janitor from Scrubs?

· What is the nature of the Source? Why could the MIB never find the Source again? Was there some sort of “magic” that hid it from him? Is the Temple built over the Source? I think so. I think that was what was meant when they noticed that the water was “dark” when they brought Sayid in there earlier this season. The Light is growing dim, MIB is growing stronger. Possibly.

· What did Mother mean by saying MIB was special? Why did Mother love him more than Jacob?

· How did Claudia, the real mother, appear to MIB? Was that what they meant by him being special? Does he have Hurley’s power too? Was she an Island apparition or was there another Smoke Monster out there?

· When did this take place? 2,000 years ago? Who knows. I got a theory for this. Keep reading.

· Was that really the birth of the Smoke Monster or had he been around earlier? I liked this so I thought I’d put it in here.

Let’s go through the episode real quick. Well, as quickly as we can. The episode starts with Claudia, a pregnant shipwrecked woman coming onto the Island and meeting who we will soon learn is just called Mother. They converse in Latin for a few moments before changing languages for audience convenience. Mother claims that Claudia, like her, got to the Island by accident and that she will find her people, if any survived.

Claudia soon gives birth to the twins, Jacob first and then MIB. She did not know she was having twins and only had one name picked out. Mother kills Claudia and raises Jacob and the MIB as her own children.

We see a very important scene next. A roughly 13 year old Jacob and MIB play a game that MIB finds. It resembles Senet, an ancient Egyptian game that claims that luck and determinism is the key component of winning. Could we make a connection that luck is possibly equivalent to fate? After all, fate is a major component of Lost. The one who wins was said to be in the good favor of the gods. Also, the pieces that Jacob and MIB played with were black and white stones. Also, when Jacob tries to make a move in the game MIB says he can’t do that because it is against the rules. MIB says one day you can decide the rules and everyone will have to follow them (Jacob). Eerie, foreshadowing…possibly. I took this to mean more than rules for Senet. Is that why Smoke-Locke cannot kill the candidates and child-Jacob has told him that he knows the rules and that he cannot kill Sawyer? Or was this a rule created by the Mother?

The boys are told that they will never have to worry about experiencing death because the mother has made it where they can’t kill each other (why would she do that? Is that a common concern with twins? That they will grow up and want to kill each other? Does this rule apply to what I was talking about in the last few sentences of the paragraph above?). They did not even know what dead is (very interesting. How sheltered were they?!). She also feeds the boys the line that all men are evil. She says exactly what we saw MIB said to Jacob the first time we ever saw him in the Incident Pt. 1.

“They come. They fight. They destroy. They corrupt. It always ends the same,” MIB said, quoting his Mother from years earlier.

Mother then takes the boys and shows them the Source. It is the reason they are on the Island. The Source is a cave that emits Light with water flowing into it. That same Light that exists in the cave is in every man, according to Mother. If it goes out there, on the Island, it goes out everywhere. Due to man’s greedy nature they will try to get more but they cannot, it is impossible to and if they mess with it, it might go out. It is her job to protect it and soon it will be either Jacob or MIB’s job to protect it.

Later, a dead Claudia, the real mother of the twins, presents herself to MIB, but Jacob cannot see her. She shows him who his people are, the ones she came with to the Island 13 years earlier. She tells him that he is not from the Island and that he is from across the sea and that many things are across the sea, contrary to what Mother has raised him and Jacob to believe.

MIB leaves to go to the men on the Island. He has always wanted to know what is across the sea, and now that he knows the truth about his parentage, he hopes to finally leave the Island. Before he ultimately leaves Jacob and Mother, she tells him that no matter what he hears, he will never be able to leave the Island. (Is this true, NEVER?) Jacob agrees to stay with Mother for at least a while, but it is obvious that he is contemplating eventually going to the men. He never does though.

Thirty years later we see the two as we normally see them, grown up, however Mother looks the same as when we first saw her. This should not be a surprise since she is “the Jacob” or protector and I guess that comes with prolonged life. This makes me wonder, why do they even need a replacement? They plan for a replacement, why don’t they plan to live forever? Do they know that someone will kill them? After all she thinks men are corrupt. Jacob never inherits that philosophy. Jacob and MIB espouse the Nature vs. Nurture debate, to some degree at least.

Jacob visits with MIB who is working with the men on the Island. While visiting they play a game of Senet again, for old time’s sake. Based on what he has seen, Jacob says he does not think that men are bad. MIB basically says he is wrong and that their Mother was right. They are “greedy, manipulative, untrustworthy and selfish,” but they are “means to an end.”

MIB explains that the men are smart and think they have found a way off the Island. He pulls out a his dagger, the same one he gave Richard to kill Jacob with, and the same one Dogen gave Sayid to kill MIB with, and throws it into the open when magnetism pulls it to a well they are digging. Let’s address these two points separately. Can this dagger help us date this episode?

Swhoosh…(That’s my flashback sound; this is from a post I wrote back about Ab Aeterno, Richard’s episode from this season.)

Other interesting things, the knife. Is the knife only able to kill people before they speak? One could easily think that because both times it has been seen it was given the same “don’t let your target talk or it is too late” speech. The knife is said to be a Pugio, a dagger used by ancient soldiers of Rome. I have read that the sheath of the one in Lost has depictions of Romulus and Remus on it. Click here to see a picture of it. What are we to learn from this? Who knows? Maybe just more insight into how old the Island is, or how long it has been drawing people to it. Maybe Jacob and MIB were from Rome? However, assuming the Egyptian hieroglyphics show the Smoke Monster talking to Anubis, the Egyptian god of mummification and afterlife I must assume the Smoke Monster has been around even longer than ancient Rome. Although maybe I do not have my timelines down about when Romulus and Remus found Rome.

Swhoosh…(Back to this blog post.)

It seems pretty certain that this episode takes place somewhere around when B.C. becomes A.D. The people that land on the Island speak Latin, the boys’ true mother was named was Claudia, a name often seen in classic Roman times (i.e. emperor Claudius). Also, the Roman Empire stretched so far could we have assumed that they could have been sailing in the Pacific? Maybe, I don’t know that much Roman history. However, Mother told Claudia that they each got their by accident. So regardless if they were in the Pacific or chillin’ in the Mediterranean, Claudia and her people could have easily gotten to the Island via a window that we have heard about before from Eloise Hawking at the Lamp Post.

I like how MIB did not specifically say magnetism. He said that metal behaves strangely at some places on the Island. I think this helps us possibly date when this took place…a really long time ago. That’s the best I can do. Aristotle possibly mentioned some about magnetism.

Mother learns of MIB’s possible ability to leave and so she goes to confront him. He is in the well, presumably the same one Locke and Ben used to turn the wheel. Something I saw and read others talk about was that in the well Mother was standing in light while MIB was fiddling in the dark. A neat contrast between light and dark that they do so often. Although that could just be how things happened. Even if it is reading too much into it, it is still cool and has power behind it. MIB tells Mother that he never found the Source again since he was first shown it by her years ago. He has searched for it for years and never came close to finding it. Then they came up with the idea of finding the Light underground. As he speaks he digs into the wall and pulls out a rock to show that the Light is behind it. We also see the Donkey Wheel that will be used with a system to manipulate the water and Light to provide a way off the Island. Mother smashes his head against the wall to stop him.

Mother takes Jacob back to the Source and tells him he must be the new protector. We learn that in the cave is “Life, death, rebirth; it’s the Source, the heart of the Island.” He is also commanded to never go down into the cave because it would be much worse than dying. She gives him something to drink (presumably wine) out of what looks like the same wine bottle he used to explain the Island to Richard and later gave MIB to “pass the time.” She recites some incantation and if he drinks the wine that he is accepting the job as her replacement. He must guard the Source and then find his replacement. Someone thinks that the translation of Mother’s incantation reads like this, “For we do not accept this just as a common drink, but as if that (he?) should be one with me. I don’t know if this is true or not, so take it as you will.

Jacob is sad because he knows that Mother always favored MIB over him. He says that he is only her replacement because she is all he has now. She tries to comfort him by telling him that she had been wrong, he was always meant to be the one and now she understands that. Jacob takes the drink and Mother tells him, “Now you and I are the same.” The next morning she tells Jacob to go look for firewood and that she will meet him back in the caves. She looked concerned, like she knew she was going to die. Then again she should know that MIB is going to be ticked that she torched everything he loved and his way off the Island.

MIB awakens to find he is outside of the well. It is filled in, all his people are dead and his village is burned. He storms back to the caves that (ironically the same caves that the survivors used for a while) and stabs Mother in the back without even letting her speak. Is there significance to that? When Richard was given the dagger to kill Jacob, MIB told him not to let him speak; if he does then it is too late. Same for when Dogen gave Sayid the dagger to kill Smoke-Locke. Both times they let the other one speak and were unsuccessful. Though we have to ask would that have mattered. Sayid plunged the dagger into MIB, it didn’t matter. No effect. However, was this because he had already spoken to him? Also, when Jack told Claire he wasn’t sure about coming with them (Smoke-Locke’s crew) she said that he had already made the decision when they let him (Smoke-Locke) speak to him. So I must ask this question again: Is there power in some of these mythical character’s words? Was MIB only able to kill Mother because she did not talk to him? Jacob could not convince Ben not to stab him though. Maybe I am reading too much into the whole speaking thing but I think it is worth pointing out because the characters have pointed it out a few times.

How was Mother able to destroy a whole village and why did she let the people live there for decades before killing them? Did she wait to kill them when they became a threat? I guess. Could she have Smoke Monster powers to massacre a village? Smoke Monsters tend to be able to massacre things. Jacob finds Mother dead and takes it out on MIB. He takes him to the Source, beats him up, and lets the current carry him into the cave. Suddenly, the Smoke Monster emerges. It was dark as he emerged. I don’t think he put out the Light, otherwise I do not think we would need the candidates in the present day. I think he was merely in the way of the Light. Or did Smokey take the Light with him. When Locke first saw the Monster in season one he said, “I looked into the eye of the Island, and what I saw was beautiful.” When comparing stories with Eko about their encounters with the Monster, Locke compared him to “a bright light.” Did the Light kill MIB and “rebirth” him as a Smoke Monster? Was the Smoke Monster down there and absorbed his “life,” memories and identity into him? After all, the Smoke Monster was called Cerberus by the DI. Cerberus was the guardian of the entrance into the underworld in Greek Mythology. This still applies, with all the reference to this place being like the cork to pure evil. But, and I made this point in an earlier post, I think in the one about Ab Aeterno, Cerberus had three heads. Could MIB be one of three identities that make up the Smoke Monster? Perhaps. But I got a better theory that I’m sticking with until proven otherwise.

Jacob and MIB cannot kill each other. Did Jacob kill him though? He beat him up and let nature, i.e. the water, take its course and pull him down into the cave and kill him. So did Jacob really kill him? I guess not according to the rules. Or did he break the rules and that is why he was “reborn” as the Smoke Monster? Is that why we see a little kid Jacob running around now? MIB broke the rules and Jacob is back in some capacity? Maybe some of that is correct but what I’m going with is that MIB basically had his soul ripped from his body. That is why he said Jacob stole his body and humanity form him. I would like to have seen the first time Smokey took shape before Jacob. Do you think Jacob knew that was his brother when he billowed out of the cave? I really don’t know.

Clearly Jacob was upset his brother died. He was angry at him but did not probably mean to kill him, even though he knew it would be bad if he went down in the cave. Jacob then takes Mother and MIB and lays them to rest in the cave. Why was his body spit out so far away anyways? If viewers couldn’t pick it up enough on their own, they show old clips form season one which reminds the reader, “These are the Adam and Eve skeletons!”

A few last minute questions we must ask before we close this out. Who put the Donkey Wheel into place after the well was filled up? And my personal favorite, where is the source now? My hypothesis for these two will be answered in one theory. I really think it is why the temple was built, over the Source, as I already stated at the beginning. If so, did Egyptians come to the Island next? Remember when Ben was judged by Smokey (part of his con over Ben to kill Jacob) we saw Anubis and the Smoke Monster carved on a stone together. If this episode really showed the first time Smokey was “born” or ever even existed, and he is the only one in existence, then when and who built this. I guess this would help my Temple building theory. Egyptians soon came to the Island, built the Temple under Jacob’s orders to cover the Source (or built it of their own accord), finished the well (maybe under Jacob’s orders as well. Is that how he got off the Island) and also built the Taweret Statue, of which Jacob would take residence in. It’s kind of funny and said that MIB always wanted to leave the Island, still does, and Jacob has left it numerous times that we know of. Ironic isn’t it. If MIB would have done what was expected of him maybe he could have been protector and able to leave the Island from time to time.

It’s funny, everyone has always speculated about Ancient Egyptians on the Island and this episode gives us Ancient Romans. We always want and expect something with Lost and we get something else. I could have talked about this episode for much longer. Let me know what you think. I’d love to hear your input, theories, comments on what I’ve said or overlooked. I will write again in a few days about tonight’s episode and then again after the finale when the show ends.

In the words of Smoke-Locke “You are so close; it would be such a shame to turn back now.”

“Can’t change the past. Can’t do it. Whatever happened, happened. All right? But then I finally realized…I had been spending so much time focused on the constants, I forgot about the variables…We’re the variable. People. We think. We reason. We make choices. We have free will. We can change our destiny.”- Daniel Faraday, “The Variable,” episode 5.14

Here are the sneak peeks ABC has put out for tonight’s episode. Watch at your own risk.

Until Sunday when we have seen the last bit of Lost, Namaste.



  1. Great episode review as usual. I must say that there was so much in this episode and yet they maintained the mystery of it all. I like the temple building theory.

    Weren't we told that the MIB has an important name? What do you think the reason is for withholding that info in this episode?

    What is little ghost Jacob gonna do with those ashes?

  2. Idk for sure, but I could see it as a Biblical reference: Jacob and Esau.
    -April Keith