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Lost: Across the Sea

Mother: "If the light goes out here, it goes out everywhere."

Yes, I got all of the mythology and symbolism and we know who Adam and Eve are now and what the stones are and where the donkey wheel came from. But did they have to give us a dozen more unanswered questions when we're so close to the finale?

They're never going to tell us what all this crap means, are they?

I was so frustrated with this episode that I went back to the statue of Taweret, looking for answers. Yes, I know everyone else did that a season ago. I guess it was just my turn. So here's what I was reduced to writing because THE WRITERS WON'T GIVE US ANSWERS TO SIMPLE QUESTIONS LIKE WHAT THE ISLAND ACTUALLY IS.


Okay, class. As we know, the statue that we finally saw in "The Incident" represents the Egyptian goddess Taweret, the goddess of childbirth, and isn't that ironic what with the episode commencing with a pregnant woman who gives birth and gets killed. Maybe "Mother" and her successor, Jacob, were the embodiments of Taweret or were channeling her power to protect the heart of the Island.

Taweret was the consort of Apep, the Egyptian god of evil. We've been told previously that evil is trapped on the Island, like a genie corked inside a bottle. The other Egyptian gods were constantly recapturing Apep and keeping him imprisoned underground. I think this suggests that the bright light under the Island is where Apep is trapped. Was he trapped by Ra the sun god? That would explain the bright light. Plus, since the sun disc was said to be the Eye of Ra, that might explain the infamous Lost eye scenes. Wow! Eureka!

Apep was also the eater of souls, which might explain the ghosts trapped on the Island. Including the twins' unfortunate biological mother, Claudia. If that was Claudia and not the evil god of evil whatever.

Mother never aged in the forty-plus years covered by this episode. Meaning that she wasn't a crazy murderer; she had a reason for what she did. Okay, she was probably crazy, too. Actually, she reminded me a bit of Eloise Hawking, who, interestingly enough, killed her own son.

When Jacob's twin brother died in the water by the Source and his body zipped down underground, the Evil Thing, or Apep, or whatever, took on his form, just as he has now with Locke. Apep is able to materialize looking like Jacob's brother, and move around and kill people in the form of smoke, which I still don't really understand. But it's interesting how similar Jacob's brother and Locke were: raised by another, convinced he was special, obsessed with knives, searching for a home, don't tell me what I can't do. (Taweret carried an ivory dagger, too. Maybe that's where Jacob's brother got it.) The big difference was that Locke wanted to stay on the Island, like Jacob, while Jacob's brother has always been desperately obsessed with leaving, like Jack used to be.

Would it have hurt to give us the man's name, for pity's sake? I'm tired of finding ways to describe him. It was obvious that Jacob's brother was supposed to be Mother's replacement, not Jacob. That might explain why Mother left the stone game on the beach for him, and why he knew how to play it, while Jacob did not.

Jacob's brother lived with the Others for thirty years, and helped them excavate the wells all over the Island. So the Others were around a long time ago; were they all from Claudia's shipwreck, or were there other Others? Did any of them survive?

This episode actually made me like Jacob's brother more than Jacob. At least he wanted to go somewhere and do something with his life, poor guy. Mother said that what happened to him was worse than dying. I feel bad for him. In fact, this episode made Jacob look like a doofus with limited imagination and absolutely no ambition. He must have acquired his wisdom and serenity over the centuries, I guess.

Jacob acquired Mother's power when she gave him some of that magical wine to drink, the bottle that Smokey later smashed. Cup, chalice, holy grail. Take this cup away from me, bring on the Christian symbolism.

What have we learned?

Actually, I think this section should be called "What haven't we learned."

What haven't we learned?

— Who was "Mother" and where did she come from? She did say she came to the Island by accident, so I assume her pterodactyl crashed there.

— Was it Mother who filled in the well and killed all of those ancient Others? Quite a feat. Did she turn into black smoke to do it?

— Where did the statue and the temple come from?

— Jacob's brother and the Others created the donkey wheel. Who installed it?

— How did Jacob leave the Island and touch the candidates?

Bits and pieces:

— Young Jacob is definitely the boy we've been seeing in the past few episodes.

— Just like the pilot episode and "Another 48 Days," the episode began with a wreck. Plane wrecks, shipwrecks and car accidents are a constant on this show.

— There were red flowers around the Source, and interestingly, I'm pretty sure that's where pregnant Claudia drank the water in the opener. The flowers indicate the presence of ... okay, help me out here. What?

— Mother helping Claudia give birth seemed to be a deliberate echo of Kate helping Claire give birth. Maybe Aaron was originally supposed to be Jacob's replacement, huh?

— What did Mother feed the twins after she offed Claudia? Were there some handy goats that were also supplying the wool?

— Jacob's brother said that thirty years had passed since he left Mother and Jacob. How did he know? Did he have a sundial that we didn't see?

— Mother and Brother had no names until Locke dubbed them Adam and Eve.

— Were the box and the stones an early form of backgammon?

— Were they speaking Latin? I assume they were. Roman times? A couple of thousand years ago?

— How come "Across the Sea" instead of "Beyond the Sea?" There was season one precedent and everything, plus a Bobby Darin song.

— Claudia: "I only picked one name." Come on, Claudia, how hard can it be?

I'm not going to rate this one because I can feel a bout of petty aggravation coming on. Please post a comment and let me know what you think about this frustrating episode,

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. Hello again Billie!

    I agree with you on multiple points. This name business is getting somewhat ridiculous...when I was watching, right after Jacob was born, I literally said out loud, they're going to ****ing say his name...then comes "I only chose one name." I almost hurled my remote through the TV!

    Something that you didn't touch on that I found super interesting: When Jacob and "Boy in Black" were playing the game (I found out it's called Senet, check out wikipedia for more info on that...supposedly the oldest game in the world!), Jacob moved a piece and his bro in black told him it was against the rules, and that someday Jacob will have his own game to make up the rules...is this where the rules concerning killing candidates and the like comes from? I know I could be reaching, but I found it interesting.

    I also thing Mother could have been a Smokey herself...there's no way that woman could have carried MiB up the ladder out of the well, burned/killed the entire village, and filled up the well with stones/dirt in the time it took her. Something fishy going on there!

    In the beginning of the episode, they were both speaking Latin...UNTIL Claudia drank the wine I believe. I could be wrong on this :)

    I know I'm rambling...but an interesting theory to think about is this: Dharma was on the island and attempted to finish the Donkey Wheel, among other scientific experiments, and Smokey let them live. Ben and the Others purged Dharma because they knew Dharma was getting close, and would let Smokey off the Island...the only problem with this is the issue of the Sonic Fences...why would Dharma need protection if Smokey was on their side? Who knows, my roommate mentioned this theory when we were watching and I thought I'd share it with you. Can't wait to hear everyone else's thoughts!

  2. I want to give this episode a Stink. Stank! STUNK!!!

    My sister and one of my best buds loved it, but I couldn't stand it.

    This episode could have been told along with Richard's episode in 30 minutes, combined.

    There is no reason for them to be doing this to the fans. I've stuck with this show for five and a half years and I expected during this final season to be given answers to most of the questions I have. Clear answers, not this esoteric crap and especially not two episodes from the series finale.

    This episode should have opened season six or been the second episode.

    The "Adam" and "Eve" reveal was completely forced. I was content to think it was Rose and Bernard.

    The episode had potential, but it was too decompressed.


    So mad right now!!!

    Also, nothing happend!! It was literally a waste of time!

  4. The closer we get to the show end, the more it looks to me that the writers did not have a general idea for the story from the beginning. They just inserted random pieces of puzzle to make the show look clever and mysterious. But now we have almost all the pieces and it is starting to look as if those pieces came from different puzzle games.

  5. Wow, this wasn't my feeling at all. I felt like we got tons of answers. The creators of LOST have said from the beginning that we're not going to get all the answers mapped out for us like a scientific chart. In the end, this is a story, and I think the writers are telling it brilliantly. I don't think we need to know every detail; I think we got enough information on the mother and the nature of it. I have full confidence that by the end of the show, the story will be concluded well. Everybody's freaking out as if these last few episodes are just supposed to be the characters stuck in a classroom while the writers write the answers on a chalkboard.

  6. Very disappointed with this one, too. I loved last week's episode and looked forward to the rest of the show. I am much less excited now. As soon as I saw the glowing spring I felt like the show might just have jumped the shark for me. I always was hoping for some clever explanation for the island's properties and the two strange men and hoped it would be related to time travel and electromagnetism in some way. Instead the writers presented us with some esoteric "spring of life" or "fountain of youth" which conveniently doesn't have to be explained - we just have to accept that it exists. This felt like a cheap way out to me. However, the show is not over yet. I hope Lost will redeem itself in the last two episodes.

  7. I can not edit my comment so I'll add here.

    I am not disappointed because we will not get all the answers. I am disappointed by the answers we got so far.

    All this crap with sparkle of life begins to look like a fairy tale or a Transformers story.

  8. I’m of two minds about this one. The first half with little Jacob and Smokey was quite bad, not Jump the Shark bad but still pretty bad. The last half was a little better, helped greatly by the total lack of rubbish child actors, but still not really as great as it should’ve been.

    I’ll be contempt if they don’t answer every single question and leave somethings ambiguous. Most of the major questions, least the ones I care about, have already been answered. In fact the only mystery I care about at the moment is whether or not Frank is really dead.

  9. I, too, was disapppointed. As Sebastian said above, I've got no problem not getting answers. But I don't like the ones we're getting.

    Did I need to know why Jacob and MiB were immortal? No. Actually, the question didn't occur to me. But now I know that they were immortal because their mother made them that way--and suddenly I want to know why, and how, and why that matters. ("Their mother made them that way" is not an answer, by the way. It's a bigger and more useless mystery masquerading as an answer.)

    Did I need another crazy woman, or another one-note woman who comes between men who play an importantly symbolic role in the future of the world? No, I did not need that.

    Did I need a glowy cave? No. But now I have a Plato theory: we all remember the Allegory of the Cave from high school: light from the sun shines into the cave where people live, but they are too busy watching the shadows that light casts on the walls to care about the source of the light itself. One guy wakes up and decides to go hunting for answers, and leaves the cave. Hooray for humanity!

    We've got a reverse-cave effect: the light comes from inside, but all we get are the effects that it casts around the island (after all, Lost wouldn't be Lost without whatever power it is this light has--no Smokey, no electromagnatism, no time-shifting, therefore no drama, and no characters doing wacky things).

    But, just when it seems like they might address what the light is (just when we're led by the hand out of the Plato-cave), we're given blindfolds.

    Did I need to know that the source of the Island's energy is a mystical light that may or may not have been extinguished by MiB's death? No. Because that's not an answer, it's a metaphor made literal.

    Joss Whedon keeps occurring to me. Two bits of Whedony goodness: [Possible Buffy spoilers in item number one.]

    1. Does a nebulously evil entity without a name, trying to kill off candidates for the Good Person position, sound familiar to any Buffy fans? (I won't say more in case some people haven't seen all their Buffy yet.) (Billie, if this comment is too spoilery feel free to delete it.)

    2. Whedon famously said "I don't give you what you want, I give you what you need." But on Lost we're getting what the producers seem to think we want. What we're not getting is satisfaction or resoluton. Which, I'm sure, is what we need.

    Can Lost satisfy us in just the 3 1/2 hours left?

  10. I agree with most commenters. This was a total waste of precious 45 minutes.

    And now I'm even more worried about the upcoming episodes.

    If the finale is another total disaster after all these years, I really hope for the writer's sake that they don't ever visit my country. I'll egg them or something.

  11. Hi all. Was disappointed with this episode, it felt like the first of a two-parter, and only half the story has been told. Its also produced as many questions as answers. Frankly this episode would have been perfect towards the start of season 6, or near the end of season 5, but not with three episodes to go (Although if they fill in the missing parts this can be redeemed – but is there enough time?)
    I could go into all the new questions and the ‘How’ some of these things actually work, such as the light cave, the drinking of the wine and the donkey wheel. However id be here all day. Personally ill go along with what you suggest that Flocke is not MIB - Looks like the Smoke monster took over the MIB’s presence, in the same way it has now taken over Lockes presence. Although what the smoke monster initially is and how it came about I guess will be unanswered. And as you say I actually preferred MIB over Jacob in this episode, Jacob just seems like a very dull guy to be around!
    The answer that MIB and his ‘Mum’ were Adam and Eve all along felt so forced. The producers have been saying this proves that they knew where they were going with the story all along; HoweveriIm in doubt that this was not their plan all along, its A) Easy to stick a couple of bodies in an earlier episode, knowing they can be revisited later (When the story is more developed) and B) For those of you who have watched "House of the Rising Sun" recently, you would probably remember the rest of the scene; Where Jack says the bodies look about 50-60 years old – NOT 1000 or so years old)
    I think the show has got to such a point where the shows biggest strength (Its mysteries, complex backstories etc) is turning into its biggest weakness, where any ‘Answer’ is going to look flimsy, and have many contradictions. Anyway, im trying to stay positive for the final few episodes 

  12. Billie said: "What did Mother feed the twins after she offed Claudia? Were there some handy goats that were also supplying the wool?"

    As a mother and a spinner of wool, both of these questions have been on my mind and bugged me throughout the series. My babies needed to eat every two hours, so I constantly wonder how folks on the island can wander around the island without the nursing mother present and no Similac in sight. Secondly, having spun many fibers over the years to make yarn, I can tell you that boar's hair would not make for good yarn, so where are the sheep? :)

    Awesome review as usual, Billie. I love the way you put a lot of the puzzle pieces together with your mythology lesson.

  13. I also have strong reserves about this one. Part of the problem is that it's extremely dfficult to tell a story in any compelling way with chidren actors. Lost was always about strong characters, and half an hour of kids strolling around isn't worth a raise of Locke's eyebrows.

    But that's just part of the problem. The other part was the story, plain and simple. Lost's storyline should remain *clever* -- and glowing fountains clever are not.

  14. Well I must admit that, this is the first time I posting a comment but I have been reading your reviews for a very long time. Great reviews Billie!!

    Well just wanted to know, did anyone think that the temple might have been built over the "source of light"?? This might explain the spring water that exists in the temple and how people are "Re-born" and they also turn out to be evil or not their self. Just a guess, I thought I'll share it with all of you.

    After nearly six years of watching this show, I do hope it ends in a good way!! Just 3.5 hours left, obviosuly quite less compared to the number of unanswered questions that we all fans have!! Let's hope for a cracking episode next week! :)

  15. The usually smart commentators at the billie doux blogspot seem to have lost it, so to speak. If you approached most other TV shows with the intensity that you apply to LOST, then there would be thousands of red-faced emotional explosions all over the internet minute-by-minute . . . just like most of the reactions at this site to "Across the Sea." Posting emotional reactions to the dramatic imperfections of a typical episode of, say, "Desperate Housewives" would have most viewers sputtering their disdain every week. Why don't we see more of this? Probably because nobody really cares too much about what the producers of "DH" are trying to do (other than keep people watching for an hour so they can sell commercial products). LOST is different - its artistic integrity reaches for a much higher level - and most viewers appreciate this, even though they tend to get a bit rebellious about it. Moreover, its superior methods and procedures can baffle the average viewer. And apparently make them furious. By some strange quirk of the zeitgeist, millions have accepted LOST's artistic aspirations (v. the usual pandering to the audience), yet as the story comes to a close, the millions seem to be in open revolt. Smells to me much like a lynch mob. No wonder the writers have said they're "going into hiding" after the show ends. My advice, commentators - recognize that you are watching a superior drama; understand that the intentions of the writers (unique) are vastly more important than the expectations (cliche) of the audience; if you seek to "understand," analyze the structure and outcomes and character choices and symbolism of the episode; if you do this, rather than lifting your "expectations" into prominence, then you might learn something. That's the point. LOST is taking you somewhere, and as with all great art, if you follow, then you will change. The message of great art to its audience ---- you must change.

  16. Billie,
    Love your reviews, as always! And, I have to say -- I don't mind the light in the cave so much, but I don't like that they didn't explain the light in the right way, like if they had linked it to the Egyptian God .... much like you did. If they had tied it in to some type of mythology, it wouldn't have felt so cheap. I don't mind a bit of fantasy mixed in, Lost has always had that -- but I want it to be tied in.

    So they replaced the mystery of where Jacob and MIB came from, and replaced it with the mystery of where the Mom and the Cave Light comes from ... sorry, but I do feel cheated.

    Lastly, I wish that the whole episode hadn't been about this ... maybe they could have come up with some tie to Cave Light to Eqyptian, heck even Greek Gods, and then continued with the other story lines ....

  17. I agree totally with Anonymous, but disagree completely with the other Anonymous and the previous Anonymous -- while the other other Anonymous is definitely on to something! (Sorry -- sometimes like Xander I am a bad influence on myself...)

    I have to say, I really enjoyed this episode, and feel good with what I'm seeing. Ok, I will be the first to suggest that I could in general be one "too easily amused" and would you put the crayons between my toes, please, this jacket is on a little strait... But in some respects maybe that's the (or an) issue here? I am still sitting down completely open-headed and drinking it all in -- and pleased as punch when I spot things that resolve or tie to stuff I know about history or legend etc. I'm still not expecting a wrap-up at this point -- there's one ep and then a big ole finale to go. I could be in for a major world of disappointment here, and if it ends up that Jacob is a Robot from Outer Space or the like then, well, demmit. But I don't feel like I WUZ ROBBED! Yet.

    Not that I want anyone to think I'm saying you shouldn't feel or think as you do -- YOU DO. But I wonder if there's a narrative or structural expectation here that is also in play? That we've been trained or trained ourselves to be Sherlock Holmes for so-o long we can't turn it off, and it's intertwined with Finalizing to such an extent, there's no way folk can avoid a major crush at the end?

    Some impressions. Billie, I read your comment about 'mom' flying in on her pterodactyl, at the exact wrong moment and HAVE to remember not to drink when on the Internet! You SO funny! But the image does goes well with her not knowing what a wheel is... though I think maybe she's more Homeric Greek or something, with the currentEp Others being Roman or Etruscan, and of course an earlier guardian before 'mom' must have existed, back to Egyptian times if not Neanderthal...

    BTW I love that you are tying in Egyptian 'stuff' (sorry for the technical term) as I think that makes brilliant sense. I also like the way Jacob was the one who would lash out with fists while MIB took it -- till he couldn't takes no more, and then REALLY blew. All along, this lack of being open about things and to others has hurt characters, hasn't it. And the fact that MIB was most angry about 'mom' not letting him in on the BIG secret -- when he had felt their bond was based at least part on his specialness, as with their in-joking about Jacob's inability to lie -- was a keen piece of complexity in motivation and not at all a straightforward "reveal". He is indeed a richer character than just Villain, and I agree with your idea that on the other hand Jacob's rich wisdom was time- and strife-acquired.

    I am honestly sorry this is feeling so mirror-cracked for so many -- you don't deserve a painful ending (other than in saying goodbye). I do think that if the finale junks it up, then DEFINITELY someone should be fired and the series not be allowed a seventh season! :-) But here's hoping the major issue is that this isn't the end, and won't be till that long Sunday night -- and you all ache afterwards, but in the good sense. I'm with it -- and you -- till then, either way!

  18. I totally agree with GreenHornet, who agreed with Anonymous but not with the other Anonymous or the Anonymous before the latter Anonymous.

    I, for one, loved the episode, and I'm a bit surprised at how angry people are about it. For me, it was completely consistent with the story the writers have been telling since the beginning.

    It's all about faith: in season 1, Locke had it, Jack didn't; after the hatch thing, Locke lost his while Echo gained it back; then Ben lost his faith, so he killed Jacob; and now we learn that Jacob had faith but his brother didn't, and that's the source of their conflict.

    So we learnt two things in this episode, which are crucial to the story and the nature of the conflict:

    1. It's not good vs evil as Jacob kept insisting. Both children showed equal measures of good will and cruelty. In fact, it seems to me Jacob's brother came off more sympathetic. It's about those who believe and those who don't. That's why Jacob's brother showed such disdain for Locke when he explained why he took his shape: he sees Locke as a pathetic sap, who represents everything he's come to stand against.

    2. Jacob and his brother are NOT gods, as we were previously led to believe. They're in the same boat as all the other characters on the show. That's important to the show's message because if they were gods, then the characters who don't have faith would be undeniably wrong. Now there's room for ambiguity.

    Which leads to my final point: get ready to be really miffed, people, because I stronly suspect we, in fact, will never learn what Jacob's mother was protecting. Faith is the act of believing without knowing, so to make us experience the same dilemma as the characters, it's possible the writers will deliberately leave the heat of it all, the thing that some heroes will believe in and other won't, completely undefined.

    And frankly I wouldn't have it any other way.

  19. I have to agree with those who liked this episode. The beauty of Lost is, it draws from multiple mythologies/sources, but never fully adheres to any of them. Throughout the show's run we've been wondering whether gods are involved... is it a time-travel drama... is something supernatural going on... is everyone dead... etc? The truth is, it all of those things... and none of those things. It dips into various mythologies and takes just enough to make the story weird, yet compelling. In my opinion, we shouldn't be focusing on any single aspect of the show to find answers, because it's a mish-mash of multiple ideas. That's why it's unique.

    In the same way that various Vampire movies/series' of late have rewritten the vampire mythology – thus injecting uncertainty back into the genre -- so Lost has rewritten the rules of multiple mythologies, in order to confuse and misdirect. I'll be honest, if it turned out that Lost was based on some actual gods story... and the MIB was such-and-such a god, and Jacob another god guy, I'd be totally pissed off. I want a unique story. And that is what they've given us.

    And I have to agree with Mark. From my perspective, all of the major questions have been answered to my satisfaction. All I'm interested in now is seeing who gets off the island, and which reality prevails. With regards who Mother is... or how she got there, I'm not really bothered. In fact, I suspect she got there the same way Claudia did; from the outside. And the question would then be: where did the woman/man who met Mother come from? And the question would circle on forever. The point is, the Island's always had its protector... and I suspect it always will.

    I think the problem a lot of people are having is that of unfulfilled expectation. Many have created theories so complex that nothing short of a complex answer will suffice. I haven't had a clue what's been going on from episode one, and I still don't know now. Yet I still think Lost is one of the best shows I've ever seen. I didn't fully understand Donnie Darko, yet, I loved it. I didn't fully understand Solaris, yet, I loved it. It's not a bad thing to leave an audience with things to ponder. And I'll be pondering this crazy crap for years to come, I suspect.

  20. Finally! Out of all the reviews out there that I pour over each week - this review is the closest I've seen so far for plain English speaking with a reasonable possible answer.

    Your review is just sensible enough to have plausible answers.

    It is frustrating though - did we need this at this late stage of the story - maybe they could have cut one of the temple shows out and put this in there. This late though............ I don't care who Adam and Eve are anymore!

    And yes, Jacob was just whiney.

  21. Hello, I've been reading your reviews for awhile. I don't wanna come off as mean or rude, so if I do, I apologize. I just wanna try to clear up a few things.

    The light is also supposed to show the electromagnetic energy. I'm 99.9% sure. The FDW can turn with the help of electromagnetic energy, turns him into smoke, and Desmond is the only one who can resist it, leading me to believe that it's where the finale is heading. So, there's science and faith in this explanation, at least IMO.

    "-- Who was "Mother" and where did she come from? She did say she came to the Island by accident, so I assume her pterodactyl crashed there."

    As you said, she crashed there. The point was that she was the Protector of the island, just as Jacob is. Her answers show that this cycle is on a loop, a never-ending cycle. They come, new protector, people are bad, etc. It doesn't matter where she came from, cause that would lead to who came before them. It's like trying to explain where the universe came from. There's no point in answering that.

    "-- Was it Mother who filled in the well and killed all of those ancient Others? Quite a feat. Did she turn into black smoke to do it?"

    No, but we can assume that as the Protector, she has some sort of powers.

    "-- Where did the statue and the temple come from?"

    The Egyptians, obviously. They may not have stumbled on the island yet, or maybe they did, we don't know. The important thing is that they came to the island and made these things, just as other civilizations have most likely crashed on the island.

    "-- Jacob's brother and the Others created the donkey wheel. Who installed it?"

    I think we can safely assume MIB finished the well and realized that he was still stuck on the island after completing it.

    "-- How did Jacob leave the Island and touch the candidates?"

    Yeah, I don't know. I'd like an answer to this.


    You want a simple answer to what the island is? That would just be...insulting, to me.

    "When Jacob's twin brother died in the water by the Source and his body zipped down underground, the Evil Thing, or Apep, or whatever, took on his form, just as he has now with Locke. Apep is able to materialize looking like Jacob's brother, and move around and kill people in the form of smoke, which I still don't really understand."

    I'm pretty sure it's still MIB, just he can materialize into smoke. It's not some other being, hence their same arguments and brotherly like speech in later episodes. It's not another entity, I believe.

    I liked the episode. I hated it at first, calmed down, rewatched it, and got it a little bit more, saw it again, and now I'm liking these answers much more and am starting to fill in the blanks. I like this. I didn't LOVE this episode like "Ab Aeterno" (the acting by the boys ruined many scenes for me) but I did really enjoy it.

  22. The episode description was actually "The motives of "Locke" are revealed" yet we didn't learn frickin' anything!! We found out he wants off the Island... ser'sly, who didn't know that!?

    It was just more questions with ONE answer! (Who adam and eve are.. which was forced, and had major continuity errors btw (the bodies weren't next to each other in S1, and they said based on clothing decay the were 50-ish years old. Bodies from like BC exposed like that would be nothing.)

    We didn't even learn Smokey's name! We STILL don't know who put that wheel in, why he can turn into a pillar of black smoke, how he turns into dead people (with their memories even), why Jacob can leave, who built the statue etc. And now we wanna know how those other people got to the Island and who the hell "mother" is!

    What annoys me the most is that if Jacob was just the god of the Island it would'a been fine - INSTEAD there was already a god of the island who killed his mom and had crazy powers. But we don't know what they were, how she got them, what her name was, what her motives were, why she didn't age etc.

    They added nonsensical complexity for no reason instead of the answers we were promised.

    I would have rather know wtf Claire's been up to, why she left Aaron, and what the sickness really is. Instead we were given a waste of time!!!

    Not even the great acting saved this episode from being an hour of "what the hell was THAT?!"

    - Jay Soulless

  23. I rather liked this episode. What I love about Lost, is the characters with so many dimensions, and the mystery.

    This episode told us so much about Jacob and his brother. Jacob the momma's boy who can't lie. who grows up to be the calm, almost serene ruler of the island. His brother (I was angry we never got a name, I mean how hard it can be). Is curious about what is "across the sea" the people, and the secrets of the island. he doesn't trust his mother and tries to leave. This Episode made me actually like the guy we know as the monster.
    For me half the fun of Lost is guessing about what is going on, I'm never right but it's still fun. I enjoy debating theories with friends. This episode gave us much to talk about from "what is the light?" to "what time did they arrive"

  24. I think the worse aspect of the series was when the MiB mama crushed their real mother's skull in with a rock just after she's given birth. And Jacob when he found out - was like "oh well, life goes on". On another note, I think MiB mama deliberately planned to setup MiB so that Jacob would get angry and throw him into the shining light hole. She obvious has prescient abilities so that theory is not so far fetched as it seems. And she seemed to "know" that MiB would come to kill her in the cave.

  25. I feel your frustration, as it somewhat mirrors my own, but I have to admit I really liked this episode. They did explain a lot, although their explanations were vague as usual. However, I find that a mystery loses its power if you explicitly give it a name. That is why I think the Man in Black remains unnamed. That is why Mother was unnamed, and why the island was not given an identity. Still, that cave with the light really made me feel like it was the doorway to Hades, the underworld in which no living being should ever tread. Jacob's brother paid the 'price', and has in turn unsealed the cork that held the dead where they were supposed to be, or something or other. And, of the island I am thinking as an Interstice, a place where the realm of the living and the dead overlaps, but maybe my explanations are too fantasian.

    I agree that the reveal of Adam and Eve came a little late, but if they delayed that up till now, that means I am absolutely certain it will play a very large role in the series' resolution. If the Man in Black was created by Jacob's brother shedding his mortal coil, then perhaps his physical remains play a part in unmaking him or resealing the 'evil'.

    Regardless, I am exhilarated to see the end to this. So close, yet so far... I hope it will be as spectacular as the series' frantic buildup has been promising.

  26. Oh ye of little faith. :-( I am astounded by all the negative comments that this episode of Lost generated, not only on this site but all over the blogosphere - come on, guys! You're like a bunch of spoiled children whingeing on and on about how you didn't like the party - when it isn't even over yet!!!

    One of the biggest things about Lost is that whenever a character tells us something, you have to remember that the comment or thought emerges from their personal worldview - and so many assumptions have been made based on what a single character has said. For example: it was SUN who said that the candidates were there to be Jacob's replacement - how did she know? Similarly, the faux mom in this episode said lots of things - but what do we know about her past, or her worldview?

    I vote for patience and trust. LOST has delivered soooooo many awesome episodes and has proven itself time and time again - I for one am not about to give up on it now. So what if this episode offered us more questions along with (maybe) some answers? Isn't that what LOST has always done? And in all good storytelling, isn't it always, always, ALWAYS darkest just before the dawn??

  27. IH, just a suggestion to "-- How did Jacob leave the Island and touch the candidates?"

    Maybe one could only leave the island if they never had the intent to leave it for good, but rather only with the intent to protect it. (such as Ben did once)

  28. Wow. What a negative reaction to the negative reactions. Didnt realize that disliking a TV episode was such a crime!

    For me it was a good episode, however it feels like this aspect of the story has only been half-covered. But for what it was, it was a decent background story.

    However if people didnt like it I can fully understand. Im not going to be patronising towards them like some of the comments on here thats for sure!

  29. I'm really surprised so many disliked this episode! I MUCH preferred it to Richard's episode, which i found completely pointless and mostly uninteresting. How can you complain about how they aren't answering questions NOW? wait til the series finishes, then if you're not satisfied, complain about this episode then, don't pre-emt the writers with negativity! Maybe I would view this episode differently if I was the type to analyse every single little detail, as I know so many do, my meager few brain cells can only cope with sitting and letting it wash over me, if i started thinking about the many complexities of Lost i think my brain would explode.
    Speaking of, I watched the film Triangle the other day and would thoroughly recommend it to any Lost fan. If you want to watch something that seems simple at first and the more and more you analyze it the more complex it gets, my mind boggles at it but i thought it was great! So go watch it people, and maybe someone on my favourite website can review it :)


    P.S. the Glee review need to hurry up! My episode viewing is not complete without a billiedoux review, ooh that rhymes! now i'm off to write a song about it...

  30. We need patience as Lost is one long episode. We should not fully judge the ending or the "answers" until the finale.

    I think the ultimate ending will be one that may not answer all the questions. For those who are familiar with The Prisoner from the 60s will know what I mean. Who is number 1? Where is The Village? Who runs The Village? Those were the big questions everyone wanted to answer. In fact, Patrick McGoohan (actor and writer of the show)had to leave London for a time as people were so angry he did not give them the "answers."

    In the end some questions were answered and some were just a plain mystery. However, that ending and what it means is still debated to this day more than 40 years later. I think that made the difference between the show being a minor blip in TV history to one that people still watch.

    I hope the same happens for Lost. If I am not mistaken the writers have cited The Prisoner as one of their influences and perhaps how that ended might be a model for them.

  31. ok, i watched this ep directly after the penultimate episode of Ashes to Ashes, which is suffering similar 'chuck random stuff at screen and see what sticks' problems on a less ambitious scale and now my brain hurts...

    Lost really did break new ground for dramas to amp the wtf-ery up to 11 and step back to let the audience figure it out, and that's always been a major strength for me. But it has to be the characters that keep you hooked beyond that - the familiar things keeping the audience tethered amongst all the weirdness.

    And honestly, these far-past flashbacks feel like they're being weighted far too heavily, using up an entire ep when we're missing any of our viewpoint characters from the picture and therefore lots of the emotional resonance for me. It was perfectly watchable, but I really still don't care about jacob and MiB, mostly because they're just cyphers narratively. Giving them more backstory doesn't automatically equate to building character sadly, and this ep really lost the momentum building after Darlton just got done massacring half the cast, surely? I can think of other things i'd rather they spent a quiet flashback ep on- Danielle or Claire going gaga for instance.

    The thing thats bugging me most of all though: why on earth were they speaking American-accented English?! Lost has no probs subtitling everyone else, so... I'm guessing Mama didn't crash her pterodactyl so much as timetravel from modern(ish) day USA?

  32. I just want to pop back in and say how much I enjoy people's comments, even when we see it differently. And JennCatt, your great phrase about one strong Lost attribute being their ability to "amp the wtf-ery up to 11" is so funny! Also: your image of (Danielle and) Claire going gaga -- or is it GaGa, with THE HAIR?

    Thank you for the laughs and the ponderings!

  33. Hi Billie, great comments and fantastic info about TAweret and Apep. I agree about the name thing - how hard was that to name the other baby? But I didn't find the episode frustrating, I found it very rich, explaining who Jacob and the MIB are and where they came from. When it was over I said, wow, it went by so fast and that's how I feel about LOst. iT's been 6 years and it all went by so fast. And all this anticipation about the series and the high standards it created, it has made us very demanding, lol, and no matter how wonderful the end is, I'm sure some will feel frustrated. I liked it, and at the same time I want the next one to come, I know the end is near and I'll surely miss it. I love the real MIB, he's a wonderful actor. Oh, gosh, I felt moved and touched, found it so sad but now I need to know about our favorite losties. Please. Oh, and I lost 10 bucks on my bet that Rose and Bernard were Adam and Eve. I was sure it was them, but I found it touching it was mother and brother. Can we, then, get to know what happened to them, please?

  34. I posted a few eps ago and said i hear the gears of a Deux ex Machina cranking, well.......Magical glowing spring? Gutted! I expected so much more.

  35. It's occurred to me that the Lost finale is almost certainly going to disappoint most people because we've all been waiting for answers for so long, and are so passionate about the show that nothing will be good enough. And that just makes me sad. I'd always had the impression that the writers knew where they were going with the story from pretty early on but now i'm not so sure. This episode just seemed a bit like the writers suddenly realised how close they are to the end and hurriedly cobbled together a story that kinda fit.

    While i didn't have the negative reaction to this episode that some did, i did really miss Jack, Kate, Sawyer et al. And i think that the writers waited too late to spring all this on us. Please prove me wrong, writers.

    P.s Like jenncatt, i watched Lost immediately after Ashes to Ashes. And if both series end with me being disappointed i will very annoyed.

  36. Everybody's freaking out as if these last few episodes are just supposed to be the characters stuck in a classroom while the writers write the answers on a chalkboard.

    Everyone is "freaking" out because we're expecting them to tell us what the point of all this has been and not to give us episodes that are, in effect, people rambling on about nothing.

    This episode was like the drunk who sits at the end of the bar and forces everyone who sits near him to listen to his ponderous soliloquies as if he's some fallen messiah.

  37. Is the point to get to the end of the show just to know "what happened" versus "what does this mean?

  38. The series and all of its major dangling plots should be wrapped up before the final episode and that doesn't look like it's going to be happening.

    It's not as if the show has been abruptly cancelled.

    The writers/producers have had about three years (at least) to work out a kick-a$$ end for the story and it seems to me that they haven't done that.

    I suspect that the end they've cooked up won't be satisfying, so they're throwing in MacGuffins and red herrings to compensate.

    There are too many unanswered questions, so unless the final episode is compressed like a dwarf star, I think it will rank among the worst series finales of all time.

  39. Quote from Carlton Cuse (on http://au.eonline.com/uberblog/watch_with_kristin/b181027_lost_stars_give_scoop_on_emotional.html ):

    "We're not going to tell you what you will and won't know in the finale. The finale is much less about the mythology of the show and much more about the character resolutions. How do these character stories end and what happens to the people? That's what Lost is about."

  40. I agree with a lot of these comments. This episode only raised more questions then answers. I am so much more confused now as to who Jacob and the MIB really are. I liked it better when they were just two immortal entities fighting over control of the island. I didn't need to know all their backstory because now I'm just wondering who Mother is, how did she know Jacob and MIB would come, what did she want them for and a billion other questions.

    And as for Carlson Cuse's quote: "The finale is much less about the mythology of the show and much more about the character resolutions. How do these character storeis end and what happens to the people? That's what Lost is about?" Pardon my french, but I think that quote is complete bullshit and an excuse for the lack of answers we are going to get. Lost started out as a character driven-show, but somewhere around seasons 2 and 3 they pushed back the characters for the mythology. And now they want to say the mythology never really mattered? Baloney.

  41. Well, Billie, it had to happen sooner or later. We are all reluctant to admit it, but Lost lost its credibility a long while ago. Still a great story, but more and more disappointing. Time travelling was the first crap we had to swallow. And now the authors are frantically trying to tie up all the loose ends they left. There is no answer to such a fantastic series of cliffhangers, coupes de theatre, surprises. It's been fun. The only acceptable answer would be the meaning of life, which neither we know, nor the authors. It is going to end and I will certainly be disappointed, like many others. But, as Jacob and Mother would say, it only ends once. Anything that happens before that is just progress.

  42. Wow i have never seen so many comments on this site. Further proof it is growing. :)

    I'm just going to post another review i read every week after Lost. The attempts made to tie what was shown in Across the Sea to the entirety of Lost are fairly good and the review made me ponder many aspects of the ep.


  43. S'a very well written article Patryk... It's only argument for the episode is really that it lays the groud work for the next two episodes though... If everything he said is true it might be worth. I hope he's right!

    - Jay

  44. I too found this underwhelming and a bit half-baked, much like the Richard back-story. But I guess we need to wait and see...

    One thing that bothers me though, is that the island in the present time is in the Pacific, but these Greek/Roman/Egyptian visitors can't possibly be getting washed up there, unless re-writing world history is one more disbelief we are being asked to suspend...

    So, I have long thought about the Island having some Atlantis-like quality - it used to be in the Adriatic, but it was 'moved' (like Ben moved it with the wheel) and 'lost' to Ancient civilisation.

    I'm also a bit confused as to why Claudia (who seemed Hellenic Greek by her dress) would choose a Semitic name like Jacob. Doesn't quite seem to fit to me. But Jacob's twin in Genesis was Esau. If you check out the story (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacob) you will see some parallels... Should we trust Jacob? Just because he seemed 'wise'..?

    I'm wondering if we are being set up for a big switch in where our sympathies should lie?

  45. I actually really liked the episode, even though "Lost" seems to be suffering from Battlestar-Galactica-itis, otherwise known as, "we've built up so much mythology, the only way to answer most of the questions is to have exposition only episodes."

    Anyone else here know the Bible? I went to Catholic school, so the name Esau was just screaming out at me as MIB.

  46. Great review as always, Billie. The only comment I have to contribute is that I have a Senet game myself (the British Museum sells them) and they were playing it wrong! Maybe MIB isn't as smart as Mother thought after all:).


  47. Argghh!!

    Just posted a long comment that is now LOST! Blogger ate it!

    But to summarise:

    1) Was this episode Jacob's creation myth?

    2) Is the MIB without name because his name is actually Jacob? Jacob & MIB are actually two sides of the same person - Ego and Id, black pebble and white, bright light and black smoke?

  48. I thought of Jacob and Esau too. But Esau was born first. Jacob is good ans Esau is evil. Romans 9 says God loved Jacob and hated Esau. That is allegorical for the children of Jacob being righteous and the children of Esau being evil. But Calvinist especially don't read it that way. They feel Jacob was loved and Esau was hated by God as an arbitrary act on God's part.

    I like the story. Like any story of how a person got to be like he is. The answer is his parents were like they were. Then you ask how did the parents get that way? On and on we go. History is like that. You keep pulling the string and you get the whole sweater. But the sweater is too big.

    The question I have after this is whether MiB really should leave the island. His mother didn't want him to. I get that. But mothers often would rather their kids not take certain risks. They are often wrong. Mother instilled this idea on Jacob. Jacob instilled it in Richard and later in Hurley. But was Mother right?

    The idea that came to me was celibacy. Some people are happy with it. Some are not. Jacob was at peace as a single man contemplating the mysteries of the island. MiB wants to meet someone, to marry, to have his own family. That is legit as well. He is being told he can't.

  49. Very interesting comments about this episode. I would guess that this was the most polarising of any in the entire series, and for good reason.

    As I have commented before, I gave up on the story a long, long time ago. I, personally, could not care less about Jacob and his brother's origin story, how the black smoke came into being, who the original Others were, etc. And, unfortunately, this show was all about the mythology.

    I can appreciate this episode for its acting, which I thought was simply wonderful, and I can appreciate it for taking the story and trying to turn it a bit. But, like I said, I don't care.

    What I do care about is the characters and how they interact with each other -- why, I think, I have enjoyed the flash sideways so much. So, while I could appreciate this episode from a detached, intellectual place, what I really wanted was another show about our few remaining characters, not to have new ones added and the mythology just made more obscure. The whole thing seemed (sorry Damon and Carlton) a bit self-indulgent to me.

  50. Killer mom is also sweet, put-upon wife of crazy neighbor in American Beauty. Also, Claudia? CJ (Claudia Jean) Cregg from the West Wing. Just thought I'd throw that in there.

    Really enjoyed reading this blog, Billie...I love LOST like no other show. Very, very satisfied with all of it!

  51. SO MUCH to unpack, but I’ll keep it brief. Billie, was cackled at your pterodactyl line. I enjoyed the origin story and there were many more questions added to my list of questions. However, we have oft been reminded that we will not be receiving all the answers, and I don’t believe that equates to poor writing or a lack of planning on the writers’ behalf. Part of the Lost experience is the mystery and what may feel, in the moment, extraneous will prove meaningful within the bigger picture, or as subsequent episodes unravel. I got very strong Birdbox vibes when Mother blindfolded the brothers. I wonder if Claudia wasn’t aware she was carrying twins? That was my assumption when she seemed done labouring after Jacob was born and then said she only picked one name. My mind immediately went to Esau, although as someone above commented that doesn’t quite fit with what happened in this episode.

    I’m curious to see what comes next. I’m big on details and have done my fair share of analysis, however I am willing to trust that what comes next will be enlightening. If the final episodes subvert our expectations, well isn’t that Lost?! ;)

    For the record, I would be very happy to get a Vincent appearance!! Maybe even a polar bear??

  52. Others have mentioned the Jacob/Esau connection. I could say a ton about that but (largely because I'm not convinced it's even relevant) I'll limit it to just the two little points that I think are the most likely to be relevant.

    1. I think it's been fairly obvious for a long time that Jacob and the MIB are somehow two sides of the same coin. Warring gods, a dual personality, or, you know... twins. That's been my theory ever since we started learning a little bit about them. The trope of the "evil twin" has been around for a very long time, after all. The only question is which one is the evil one. That seemed obvious too for a while but I think this episode went a long way toward making it much more nuanced.

    2. Having said that, the name Jacob literally means one who follows (like being the second twin, for example), but that doesn't seem to be relevant here. What might be relevant is its more common interpretation, which is "usurper", often extended to imply a trickster or a cheater. So... is that what he is?? (The one in the Bible certainly was, if that means anything at all.) I honestly have no idea at this point, but I guess I'm about to find out soon.

  53. Jacob, John, Benjamin...

    The characters who have the shown the most interest in uncovering the islands secrets (Well, maybe not Jacob. He's the damn secret himself, haha) all distinctly have biblical names. Hell, even Jack (Assuming it's short for John). I'm not really religious myself, but biblical stories are incredibly fascinating to me. I'm not really bothered by the "fair tale" explanation of the island. Back in seasons 1 and 2, I thought that the black smoke was disguising a mechanical system, given all the metallic sounds it made. But after we saw the same smoke freely move around and kill people, I sort of accepted that there was a magical or godly element to it. So honestly, I liked this episode. I'm glad Jacob and his brother were just some kids who stumbled on weird powers, instead of him just being a god that was always godly. It makes me sympathize for the man. God knows how many years went by where all he was able to do was speak to the very same beast trying to kill him. Maybe it's because I'm watching the show over a decade after it's release, but I really am not disappointed.

    Sort of unrelated, but I miss Eko. I think he would have been really fun to see him interact with Ben, Jacob, and Richard.


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