Saturday, May 15, 2010

Across The Sea - Maybe there, we will finally find some friggen answers!

A rich mythological episode with lots of reveals, a lots of answers and yes more questions and mysteries remain! But hot damn it was good and had me rivited to my seat. We find out about Jacob and MiB's origins, we peer into the heart of the Island, we find out how MiB became merged with Smoke Monster and Jacob's motivations are unveiled. A great episode, an "A" in my book.

A stellar preformance by Allison (C.J.) Janney as Mother and Titus Welliver as The Man in Black. Some outstanding performances from characters whose names we don't even know!?! The young and teen actors did a fantastic job and the transition from birth to youth, to teen, to adult was very good.

I am fast comming to the conclusion that almost all the questions posed by Lost will NOT be answered directly and specifically in the show. But I can't say I am unhappy with the show because I feel that we have been priviledged with one of the best seasons of Lost (or any T.V. show ever) and I have been floored by the wonderful perfornances and the continued unfolding of our character's developing dimensions (in both flash sideways and on the Island).

While I have been intrigued and sometimes obsessed with the mysteries of Lost, I must acknowledge that mysteries are not meant to be solved. Sometimes they are experienced and that's how we know of them. If we are fortunate (or unfortuante) enough to experience them ourselves or else we partake of story tellers who spin yarns about others who have. We feel the power of them, the chill and suspense of their approaching, the awe of their unfolding and are left alone when they are gone, with only the feelings evoked to guide our knowledge of what we shared. Well I have nothing but joy and happiness at having experienced the mysteris of Lost and having engaged in wonderful discussions with other fans. I was blessed by enjoying Lost and even more so in discovering some other crazy Lost fans to share that experience with. I am sorry to see it end.

Anyway, I think "Across The Sea" revealed core elements of both the unfolding story on Lost but also clearly laid out the nature  and limits of the narrative plot that will follow in the last 2 episodes.

In the very first scene between Claudia and Mother, the writers words come out in a clear and direct message to Lost's fans:
MOTHER: Every question I answer will simply lead to another question. You should rest. Just be grateful you're alive. (And watching Lost)

I think the one KEY reveal in "Across The Sea" was the underlying motivation of Jacob's character as revealed in the story of Jacob's upbringing. The reveal that his birth mother was murdered by the woman he thought was his mother, his choice to stay with his known mother and his brother's choice to leave her and him and join with 'his' people and his determination to find his way 'home'. Jacob is show to be a 'momma's boy' and eventually even his mother's death can be laid to his door because he could not lie or conceal his brother's progress at manipulating the power of the Island to fashion a method to return across the sea. When Island Mother found out of MiB's plans and that his people knew of them she managed to knock him unconscious and murder the village, fill in his well and lay waste to his plans to escape. Personally I think she called the smoke monster and controlled it to do her bidding. But it is possible that she was one aspect of the smoke monster. She did talk very specifically about what it felt like to enter the cave of light which she warned her 'sons' against entering.
Jacob allowed himself to be dominated by his Island mother and he unleased all of his repressed frustration, violently against his brother. He bore a grudge against him for the 'special' love that Island mother held for him and his bitterness grew with his rebellion and choice to leave. He continued to be dominated by Island mother even as he perceived that people were capable of inate goodness and his willingness to follow Island mother's wishes culminates in his drinking the wine at the foot of the cave of light and becomming the Island's protector, just like Island mother before him.
Island mother manipulates him by sending him away to gather wood for the comming storm and walks openly to her death by her other 'son' MiB. She thanks MiB as she dies and Jacob storms in and beats MiB into submission. He then drags him to the cave of lights and knocks him senseless and floats him down the water hole. Smokey erupts violently and Jacob finds his brother's body. He lays to rest both nameless characters: his brother (MiB) and Island mother in the caves of their youth and Adam and Eve are 'born' (Discovered by the Losties in episode "House of the Rising Sun").
It is not until his freedom from his mother that he creates his own 'game' and fashions rules which are in direct opposition to her beliefs. While she felt people were bad and wished to protect the Island's light source from them, he actively brought people to the Island. Seemingly following in his brother's footsteps, and working with 'clever' people to create the lighthouse and other artifacts which he used to bring people to the Island and as part of his game testing the morality of people. I think he likewise was responsible for bringing the Dharma Initiative to the Island. He was willing to risk their investigations and experiments with the light source in order to further his morality play and test the character of the people brought to the Island, all in the name of showing that people were good, and not evil like his Island mother and brother (MiB) thought. ("It always ends the same")
This episode shows his competition with his brother, their pursuit of the game senete and give us the outlines of his motivation for the game he fashioned and engaged with MiB (or at least his smokie incarnation). He must surely blame himself to some degree for not following his brother and for clinging to his Island mother ignoring the guidance of his true mother, perhaps because his mother was able to speak to his special brother. He seems insecure and needy, glinging to his Island mother and constantly looking for her approval. With her death at his brother's hands and his own brutal murder of his brother he rebels from his Island mother's influence and has set out on his own path. I think he wishes to redeem his brother. He may even wish to help him 'leave' the Island but will only know for sure when we see the culmination of Jacob's games and the rules he has fashioned.
Much of our focus on the Losties has been to figure out who the "Candidates" were but we are not really sure what they are candidates for? We have assumed that they are candidates to replace Jacob, but did not Jacob choose Richard when he offered him the job of his proxy and give him the wine that made him like his Island mother, presumably the Island's protector. But he keeps Richard (possibly the Island's protector) even more in the dark than his Island mother kept him.
If Jacob is truely the Island's protector and had Richard in hand to replace him, he had but to inform Richard fully of his role and expected duties. But not only did he keep Richard in the dark, he took all actions that would be opposite of those that would seem to assure the Island's protection. Instead of hiding the Island he brought people constantly to it.

I can only think (well feel really, this is all based on intuition) that Jacob wants to reconnect with his brother. That he wants his brother redeemed and must hope for his own redemption for 'killing' his brother and shaping MiB/Smoke Monster.
Well I'm not sure what other insight I'll have so I think I will indulge myself and focus this and my next several posts on episode observations and fill the blog with lots of great screen captures of some of the wonderful moments of these next and final episodes.

Across The Sea
Opens with Claudia emerging from the sea, clinging to the wreckage of her destroyed ship.
The beautiful and pregnant Claudia washes ashore and stumbles into the heart of the Island til she finds water, beautiful red flowers and a surprise.
A stern, latin/greek looking woman, who has a spooky detached (bat sh!t crazy) look in her eye, but she offers Claudia help.

The nameless woman takes Claudia back to the shelter of her cave, feeds her and tends to her wounds. But her bed side manner needs some improving, she looks like she is coldly calculating how long Claudia has to live.
Claudia seems innocent and trusting and questions her nameless 'friend' about how she came to the Island.
But her nameless benefactor cuts her off.
Every question I answer will simply lead to another question. You should rest. Just be grateful you're alive (for now).
But Claudia's search for answers (and ours) is cut off as more immediate forces take control and her baby makes it clear that now is the time it wishes to be born.
While nameless, she proves an adept mid wife and It's a boy! Claudia names him Jacob!!! And this episode's bone fides as a rich mythological episode is established. We have Jacob's origins, let's get going with the ansewers!
But the answers will have to wait! There's another baby comming! Nameless woman seems surprised!
It's another boy! But Claudia doesn't have another name prepared. Guess she'll need some time to think of one. Jacob get's dressed in white and his brother in black, a fashion choice that will follow them for the rest of their lives. Nameless woman seems to be bonding with the boys.
Claudia calls to hold her children.
And nameless woman has dark thoughts as she looks at the boys.
Her calculations do not include Claudia, who has fulfilled her role and has no place in nameless woman's plans.
Time passes and the story shifts to the beach and a young dark haired boy finds a treasure washed up upon the shore.
He looks out across the sea and wonders where it came from?
He shares his new found treasure, a game which he intuits the rules, with his brother Jacob, but even as his brother warns him to conceal their treasure from their mother, Jacob can not lie, or at least not to his Island mother.
(I thought it was particularly fitting that the credits for creating Lost ran as Jacob and his brother set up their game-which has been the heart of the story of Lost, well at least the heart of the plot, the pieces have had their own lives and discovering them was a pleasure in it's own right)
And as Jacob' brother stares at a turtle who has come out from the sea his Island mother comes upon him and his treasure.
But to his surprise, she doesn't take away his game, she says (lies) that she left it for him because where else could it have come from? He says it came from across the sea but Island mother says there is nothing else but the Island. When pressed where she came from, she says her mother who died. When he asks what death is, she says it's something you will never have to worry about.
Her lies begin to fall apart when Jacob and his brother find men hunting boar.
Having failed to quench her son's curiosity with her poor lies, she secretly takes both him and Jacob to a mysterious spot to show him what their purpose is on the Island.

She says that this light is the heart of the Island and that within the cave is life and death and rebirth. That they are here on the Island to protect it. That this light is part of all people but that people are bad and if they try and possess more of the light they could extinguish it and if they did it would go out everywhere.
Island mother says that one of them will have to protect it when she can no longer. And it appears clear that she favors Jacob's brother for the job.

So now the brothers have something other than their 'mother's' love and senete to compete for.
While playing a game of senete, Boy in Black (BiB) spots a beautiful stranger and follows her when it appears his brother can not see her.
She says his brother Jacob can't see her because she is dead and leads him across the Island.
She shows BiB his 'people' who crashed upon the Island the day before he was born.
She tells him he came from across the sea and that the woman he thinks is his mom, in fact, murdered her. She says that he can, one day return across the sea.
Boy in Black determines to leave Island mother and take Jacob with him.

But Jacob doesn't react well to the news that Island mother lied to them and murdered their real mom. He viciously attacks his brother.

Island mother shows up to break up the fight but brother is determined to leave, but Jacob clings to his Island mother even in the face of his brother's accusation of murder most foul.
Island mother mourns the loss of her 'son' and receives comfrot from Jacob who stays true (at least for awhile).
Island mother admits to Jacob that she murdered his mother.
But claims that she did it to keep him good. That if he had gone to the others they would have turned him like them, bad. Jacob asks his Island mother if he is good. Insecure and clinging, even to the bloody hem of his mother's murderer if she will make him feel secure.
Jacob agrees to stay with her (at least for awhile).
The story moves forward 30 years and finds Jacob still searching for his Island mother's approval. She appears not to have aged at all but is tired none the less. Jacob watches his brother work with the other people. Jacob wants to know if they are good and his brother shares their Island mother's opinion. They are greedy, manipulative and violent. But they are a means to his brother's goal...Getting of this damned Island.
Jacob and his brother still compete at Senet and they've added some dice.
Jacob's brother says he found a way off this Island.
He's found another way of accessing the light from the cave and he will use it to return across the sea and leave.

His brother pleads with him to come with him but Jacob refuses to leave Island mother.
Jacob still can't keep a secret but this time his mother is very disturbed at the news that her other 'son' has discovered a way to access the light. She heads out to confron him and finds him hard at work down the well shaft working on a forge.

Man in Black says that he is leaving this Island. That he searched the Island high and low looking for the cave of light she showed him but never found it. But then he started looking elsewhere. His mother says he has no idea of what he is doing. And he angrily agrees, because she never shared anything about the light. But that now he is discovering things and working them out for himself. When she asks how he knows these things, he says it's because he's special.
He plans to use the wheel as part of a machine to mainpulate the light to get him off the Island.
His mother pleads with him to do it, don't leave. But he is adament. He doesn't belong here.

She comes close to wish him farewell.
Mother appologies, but for what?
Son is perplexed but not for long as his 'mother' drives his head into the stone wall. (she seems quite an expert with rocks)
Mother hurridly takes Jacob back to the cave of light and pleads to him to take over as protector of the Island. She also warns him never to go down there, that it would be worse than death if he did. 

She offers him wine to seal the deal and make him like her.
He resists, he says the only reason she wants him to be protector is because his brother left. Jacob is all she has left.
Island mother sees that he was destined to be protector and that one day he will see it to. But now, he must drink and that he doesn't really have a choice
Jacob relents and drinks and becomes like her.
Meanwhile Jacob's brother awakens outside the well to find his plan in ruins, and all the people of the village dead. His mother has thwarted his plans and he is angry indeed.
Island mother sends Jacob to gather wood before the coming storm and returns alone to their cave home to find her belongins destroyed. She picks up MiB's Senete game and is stabbed by her son.
MiB asks why she wouldn't let him leave and listens to his mother's last words as she says "Because I…I love you…Thank you.".
Jacob returns then and violently attacks and subdues his brother. He drags him off to the cave of lights, attacks him again knocking him unconscious and pushes him into the stream and into the cave and down the water hole.
Jacob watches as his brother floats down to the light. But Jacob watches in horror as the light from the cave dims.
And with an explosion, the Smoke Monster emerges!
Jacob watches in horror as the dark monster flees into the jungle.
Jacob retreats only to find the lifeless body of his brother. He carries it back to his cave home.
He lays his dead mother and brother together and places the treasured game pieces in his brother's hands.
The story moves 'forward' approximately 2,000 years with the discovery of the mumified corpses by Jack and Kate.
John dubs them "our own Adam and Eve".
and Jacob wishes his mother and brother goodbye.
Soon we will be wishing Lost goodbye, I doubt if I'll take it half as well as Jacob, but until then...
take it easy it ain't all half-bad
mr badd
p.s. leave me a comment or e-mail me at -- I guarantee you'll get a response, just can't guarantee it will make sense

p.p.s. stay away from the Evil Twin "Bad Lost Theories" Site. There is only 1 'd' in Bad, so how could it be any good?

No comments:

Post a Comment