Lost Rule: “Every question I answer will simply lead to another question.”
‘Across the Sea’ will likely go down as the most polarizing episode of the six seasons of ‘Lost.’ You all know I’m a ‘Lost’ loyalist, but let me tell you, My Dear Losties, this episode made me want to bang my head against a rock. Damn you, Lost!
Sure we learned a few things about island mythology, like ‘The Source’ of the Smoke Monster, why the island needs protection and the identity of ‘Adam and Eve.’ We met the Original Island Baby-napper and we learned that Jake and What’s-His-Name are in fact twin brothers and come from the most dysfunctional family ever.
Some questions were answered, some were answered half-assed–and some led to 42 new questions. Just 11 days to go until ‘The End’ and this is what they give us? This intriguing-but-unconventional outing was a jarring departure from last week’s emotional Lostie massacre, that’s for sure.
Much like the Richard-centric ‘Ab Aeterno,’ this one traveled to Way Back Times, giving us the long-awaited origin story of Jacob and the Man in Black. The time frame was not specified other than it was a long, long time ago and across the sea, but we don’t know if it’s Biblical times (no confirmation on Jacob and Esau–their mother was Rebecca, but here the twins’ mother is Claudia). There was no four-toed Egyptian Tarawet statue built yet either.
The Reveals: Jacob and the Man in Black are twins; the identity of the Mystery Jungle Boy (Jacob); why the Man in Black has no name; why the island needs a protector (because it’s the light at the end of the rainbow or something); how the smoke monster was created (uh, still not sure); who made the frozen donkey wheel (the Man in Black); where the black and white rocks came from and who are Adam and Eve (the Man in Black and the Other Mother).
But did all of the ‘answers’ satisfy? Not exactly. Jacob smacked his little brother around and sent him up a stream into a cave of magical light and then Puff! A Magical Dragon Trail of Smoke comes spitting back out and the Man in Black’s body is found lifeless on branch a few feet away. That is NOT actually telling me how the Smoke Monster was born. How does light + dude + water = a roller coaster plume of smoke that ‘scans’ people’s minds, acquires their memories and then murders them? Oh, and remember, it was once referred to as the island’s ‘security system.’ So in our island wingman scenario, Jacob is the gatekeeper and Smokey is the enforcer?
But ‘Lost’ has always been so good at giving us those jaw-dropping ‘What the hell just happened?‘ moments, and last night was no exception. OMG, DID SHE JUST BASH HER HEAD IN WITH A ROCK???
Mirrors or Deja-Vu or ‘Groundhog Day’?
The episode opens with a young women adrift in the ocean after a shipwreck. She swims ashore and we see that she is pregnant–and wearing a RED dress, therefore we know right away she is not long for this island. While getting some fresh water in a stream she comes across C.J.from the ‘West Wing.’
They speak Latin to each other, but seconds later shift seamlessly to English. Juliet told us The Others spoke Latin, so I’m going to go ahead and christen this Island Matriarch, who is primal and Danielle Rousseau-like, our Very First Other. Alison Janney portrays her creepy-good, so much so we don’t know if her nameless character is good or evil or just plain crazy.
Understandably traumatized, Claudia goes into labor. The Midwife from Hell delivers the baby and totally gets that ‘Hand That Rocks the Cradle’ look on her face, and then we really know Claudia is not long for this island. She names her baby boy Jacob, then shrieks in pain because this is double jeopardy, y’all, and we’ve got TWINS!
And there we have it: Jacob and the Man in Black are twin brothers (as many of us Losties guessed, score!). It’s as if it was the newborns’ destiny to be light and dark, good and evil, right from the start. Jacob was wrapped in a light colored cloth, the Man in Black was wrapped in a dark cloth. Jacob was quiet and MIB was a screamer. Jacob was a mama’s boy, who thought of the island as home and never wanted to leave. MIB was a curious child, who wondered what else there was ‘across the sea.’ He said more than once that they ‘don’t belong there’ and he wanted to go home.
P.S. Why doesn’t the Man in Black have a name? Because mommy wasn’t expecting two babies and only picked out one name, but the Crazy Lady killed her before she gives #2 a name. Then the baby-napper, who shall be known as Not the Mama! (who remembers that ‘Dinosaurs’ show?) from here on out, steals the little candidates, I mean, babies.
Just like many of our Losties, the boys were ‘Raised by Another.’ Just like Kate delivered Claire’s baby Aaron and became the Other Mother off the island. Danielle’s baby Alex was kidnapped by The Others and raised by Ben. We’ve seen castaways Claudia, Claire and Danielle Rousseau give birth on the island and lose their children. History repeats, but like Not the Mama says, ‘It always ends the same.’
*Didn’t Jacob say though that it only ends once and “anything that happens before that is just progress” …?
P.S. Still waiting for the Aaron bombshell to drop…’it’s coming,’ I just know it.
Apparently, Not the Mama is the island protector and she needs a new recruit! She once told the Boy in Black he was ‘special’ but later tells Jacob he was ‘the one’ all along. The Boy in Black saw a vision of his Ghost Mom who tells him The Truth, so he goes off to the live with the other others–the hunters–and this is how the boys first became divided. Jacob was a wuss and wouldn’t go with his brother. But it’s kind of cute that Jake still visits MIB regularly to play games.
*I found the conversation between Jacob and What’s-His-Name to be curious when Jacob visited him and they were playing the game as adults. It seemed such a juvenile conversation, almost as if they were still their 13-year-old selves in 40-year-old bodies. There was a shout-out there too about Jacob being a ‘watcher’…He said he watches people because he wants to know if Mother was right, if the people are bad. Between Jacob’s bizarre dedication to ‘Mother’ even after she admitted she killed his real mama, and her spider web hair net and burlap housedress, I couldn’t help thinking of Norman Bates and ‘Psycho’ mom.
Was it weird the way Not the Mama said to the blindfolded boys, while dragging them to the Glowing Orb of Light, about people being corrupt–”Because they’re PEOPLE,” she said. Almost as if the three of them weren’t people. Just sayin.’
There was also a strange emphasis made by the Man in Black about Jacob ‘looking down from above’…almost as like an angel? And MIB is very much like a fallen angel, and the most famous fallen angel is Lucifer. MIB has an evil streak, this we know, even though this week they made us sympathize with his character. Confusing! Anyhoo, I’ve talked before about the Losties possibly being Fallen Angels, as there have been other parallels. Just sayin.’
Crazy Theory Tangent
Because it wouldn’t be a ‘Lost’ post without a crazy a theory, let’s all take a Rorschach test, shall we, My Dear Losties? Take a look at the photo below. It’s a shot from the episode of the Secret Light Cave. Do you see THE ALIEN FACE in this image like I do??? See the oval yellow head, and the two slanted black eyes in the water? Zombies. Ghosts. Aliens. They’re the next logical step, really. Oh, Come on! haha…
Jacob Wasn’t the First ‘Jacob’
Not the Mama was ‘tired’ of being the Island Guardian–it’s a lonely, endless job (and what’s the reward?) so the minute she saw fresh blood on the island, she pounced on Claudia. She groomed her little recruits and then chose one of them to be the new Gatekeeper of The Light. Jake lands the ‘honor’ kind of by default, when she randomly decides ‘It’s Time.’ Then she takes him to the secret spot, does some ritual, chants a voodoo priestess spell, makes Jacob drink a potion (I hope that was not her blood) from the Evil Wine Bottle, and says, ‘Now we are the same.’ Ruh Roh.
So in summary: The island is ‘the source’ of a special ‘light,’ and the island is containing all the evil of the world like a cork. The Light and the Darkness, Jacob and the Man in Black. By the way, it’s just like they warned Carol Anne, you can not go into the light! If you do, you become a Smoke Monster! Something tells me Not the Mama has dipped a toe or two into the pool of Light.
It also seems to me Ghost Mom was actually Not the Mama taking her form, tricking the Boy in Black. She knew he had spunk, and would grow up to be the kind of person who’d want revenge, and I think she wanted him to kill her since she couldn’t kill herself (she even said Thank You), so she could ‘resign.’ Also note: Little Ben saw a vision of his dead mother in the jungle before he ‘turned’ to the Others; Richard saw a vision of his dead wife Isabella just as he decided to ‘turn’ to Team Man in Black when he asked if the offer still stands.
*It was sadsies when Jacob says goodbye to his family, and places Not the Mama and his brother What’s-His-Name in the caves, along with the white and black rocks from their game. This is our ‘Adam and Eve’…sorry Rose and Bernard lovers. But did you notice he clasped their hands together? Last week we talked about hands, especially after the touching final scene of Sun and Jin’s hands drifting apart in the sea.
The rules are there are no rules on ‘Lost,’ apparently. The Boy in Black made up his own rules to the Egyptian game he found, and told Jacob, “One day you can make up your own game and everyone else will have to follow your rules.” I was expecting there to be some ‘higher power’ or something that was running the show, not a couple of kids making stuff up. As far as I’m concerned, that’s a huge violation! Does Eloise know about this???
“We have discovered places all over this island where metal behaves strangely,” observes the Man in Black and his Dharma-esque band of ‘smart people.’ He throws his super cool knife (presumably the same weapon used to try to kill each other in the future) against the well and it sticks. Jacob is impressed, but still a wuss. They found the electromagnetic pockets of energy and MIB thinks he can channel it to leave the island. Not the Mama says, whatever you’ve been told, you will never leave this island!
“Every question I answer will simply lead to another question.”
“A little bit of this very same light is inside every man, but they always want more. They can’t take it but they would try. And if they tried, they could put it out. And if the light goes out here, it goes out everywhere.”
“Where are the rest of your people?”
“There’s only me.”
“How did you get here?”
“The same way you got here. By accident.”
“Jacob doesn’t know how to lie. He’s not like you. You’re … special.”
“Who will protect it? It will have to be one of you.”
“I needed you to stay good.”
~The Midwife from Hell delivers the twins in the caves—and promptly bashes Jacob and what’s his name’s birth mother with a rock and kills her. At least she apologized first.
~Watching the young boys running wild and free across the island in ‘Lord of the Flies’ mode–and stumbling upon The Hunters. Who Are They?
~The Ghost Mom appearing to the Boy in Black, leading him to ‘her people’ and setting up his defection from Camp Crazy
~The Head Banger does it again when the Man in Black yearns to leave the island and thinks he’s found a way via a silly wheel and a glowing hole in the wall, so Not the Mama slams his head against a rock and destroys his wells and smoked his camp, in what is essentially a ‘Purge.’
~Getting a cameo of Jack, Kate and Locke in the caves during the first days after the crash, when they discovered the skeletons, christened ‘Our very own Adam and Eve’ by John Locke
~What is ‘The Light’? Is it the Life Force of the World? Is that why there’s a Lighthouse? Is the light connected to the magical waters of the Temple Jacuzzi? Is the secret glowing cave harboring the ‘Pulp Fiction’ briefcase? The Arc of the Covenant? The Fountain of Youth??? (The ones who protect it are immortal.)
~If the light is so special, why did it transform the Man in Black into an evil entity? Can there be more than one Smoke Monster at a time?
~Why does ‘Lost’ think it’s okay not to give the Man in Black a name? I’m guessing this will never be revealed, and while I’m a huge fan of Clint Eastwood and the Man with No Name, I find the namelessness of this character to be infuriating.
~If the Man in Black is deader than dead, and his skeleton is in the caves, how does he appear in his body in all those scenes with Jacob? And why is Little Jacob running around the island spooking the Man in Black in Not-Locke form?
~‘Adam and Eve’ were said to have been there only 40 or 50 years (determined by the deterioration of the clothing) but MIB and Not the Mama are from Ancient Times. What’s up with that? Continuity issue?
~The Boy in Black looks into the light source and says, “It’s beautiful.” John Locke got a glimpse of the ‘eye of the island’ and said, “It was beautiful.” Was this the same thing? Can the light move? I don’t know if Locke was near this special waterfall when that happened.
~Is this waterfall, where the Secret Light Cave is hidden, the same waterfall where Jack, Hurley and Kate landed after they disappeared from the Ajira jet’s magical flight to Guam?
~What’s the deal with the tapestry? Jacob continued the family loom tradition, and when Not-Locke had Ben kill Jacob, he cut off a piece of the tapestry, wiped Jacob’s blood on it and put it in his pocket. Klepto Ilana, who stole Jake’s ashes, also absconded with a torn piece of tapestry she found in Jacob’s cabin.
~How come Ghost Mom only showed herself to the Boy in Black? Why couldn’t Jacob see her?
~Was Not the Mama lying when she said Blackie was special? Or was she lying when she told Jacob he was always the one?
~How did Not the Mama make it so the boys could never hurt each other? And why did it fail—Jacob pretty much killed his brother.