Jacob Needs Help and The Candidates Are Way Across The Sea

Can you keep them in the dark for life?
Can you hide them from the waiting world?
Oh, Mother

Around this time last year, I was all but ready to declare Eloise Hawking the worst mother ever.  But after seeing the third-to-last episode of Lost, Across the Sea, I’m not so sure.

Tonight, we met the mysterious mother of Jacob and fLocke/the Man in Black.  Of course, she wasn’t their real mother.  She killed their real mother and raised them as her own children.  Strike one.  She played mind games with them to the point of denying the existence of life off the Island.  Strike two.  And after the birth mother was unprepared to give a name to her second child, mother let the poor kid live his whole life without giving him a name.  Strike three.

No wonder Smokey is so pissed.

I have to admit I have mixed feelings about Across the Sea.  I thought it was a fascinating episode that shared some insight into the Island and the background of Jacob and his brother.  At the same time, it could have been so much more, given us so many more answers to questions about the Island and the differences between Jacob and the brother.

For what it was (ignoring all those other questions), it was a good story.  There’s been a mysterious woman on the Island for who knows how long, protecting the Island.  She rescues a pregnant woman, helps the woman gives birth and then kills her and raises the children on her own.  While there are other people on the Island (not to mention a whole world Across the Sea), she tells the children the Island is it.  What’s more, she clearly has favorites and subliminally pits them against each other. She shows them the secret she must protect- a source of light/life below the Island.

The son that is not Jacob soon finds out the truth and wants out.  He goes to live with the Others other people on the Island and somehow these primitives figure out the forces below and start to dig.  Jacob decides to stay with his mother, even though he was clearly her second favorite child.  Meanwhile, the other son, who takes a liking to black garments, figures out some way to manipulate these forces using a familiar-looking contraption..  Mother figures out and tries to kill her nameless son.

That’s when all hell breaks loose.  Mother convinces Jacob to be the new guardian of the Island, but tells him he must never go into the light.  Either mother or Jacob wipes out the primitive’s village.  The Man in Black kills his mother.  Jacob beats up his brother and throws his body into the light, unleashing the smoke monster.  Jacob leaves his brother’s body in the caves along with his mother and two interesting stones, finally answering the question from early in Season 1: who are Adam and Eve?

Now that’s a great start to the story of Jacob and the Man in Black.  Unfortunately, that’s all we got.  And it doesn’t look like we’ll get more, unless they find a way to tell more in the series’ final three and a half hours.  There are many more questions out there related to the Island and Jacob/MiB that are relevant to the Lost story.  Some off the top of my head:

  • Where did mother come from?
  • How can the light be manipulated?
  • Does Smokey have all the light?
  • Does Jacob have to make sure Smokey can’t leave the Island, or that the light can’t be extinguished?
  • How did MiB know he could manipulate the light to leave the Island?
  • Is the Man in Black’s spirit now part of the smoke monster, or is the smoke monster just using his memories/form?
  • Who built the statue/lighthouse/temple?
  • Why does Jacob live in the statue?
  • How does the ring of ash stop the smoke monster?
  • How can Ben control the monster through a drain below his house?
  • Why does the monster ‘live’ below the temple?

Like I said, just a few questions related to Jacob and his brother that can still be answered.  And while I’m glad we got what we got tonight, I would have liked more.  I have a feeling that the Lost producers are prepared to use a line from mother: “every question I answer will simply lead to another question.”  But now is the time to answer.

Last week, we seemingly got an answer to which one of the brothers was good and which was evil.  Because of all the deaths in the submarine, it’s clear that fLocke is evil and Jacob is good.  But tonight’s episode wasn’t so clear.  Jacob was actually a clueless kid who hung on his mothers every word (despite knowing she was paying mindgames with him).  His brother simply wanted his freedom.  The brothers did disagree on something: the boy/Man in Black shared his mother’s dim view of human potential, while Jacob believed in the inherent good of humanity.

Despite the frustrations, there were some positives about Across the Sea.  There were a lot of thematic callbacks to other plot points in the Lost saga.  Mother was looking for her replacement, similar to how Kelvin (and later Desmond) was looking for someone to take over the task of pushing the button at the Swan station.  Additionally, Mother told Jacob and his brother that they could not harm each other.  We’ve heard Ben and Widmore hint at a similar restriction binding their actions.

This was a good episode (although not great) with a lot of information (although nearly enough).  But there are only three and a half hours left of Lost.  Hopefully Jacob’s candidates can get their stuff together and stop Smokey/MiB/fLocke.

By the way, the titular line of tonight’s post is a reference to this song.

What did you think?

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10 thoughts on “Jacob Needs Help and The Candidates Are Way Across The Sea

  1. Sorry, Tom…this just confirmed for me that it is all bullshit. These writers never knew where this was headed and now they are trying to tie it all together. Bravo to them for dragging us all along for the ride, but I am now more convinced than ever that this has been the best wild goose chase that ABC has ever pulled off. I watched every episode for the last five years and this is what it comes to? Wow. I, like you, was with it and now feel like the zealot who found the false god…

  2. Or the guy who found the man behind the curtain? 🙂
    I don’t mind what we got- I thought it was well done. I just would have liked to have gotten some additional answers, maybe some more related to what we know so far.

  3. I mentioned this whilee fillng in, on a podcast Chuck Klosterman made the point about getting upset about not getting all the answers. His thought was it was a good show that brought a lot of enjoyment. Would he like answers, yes but why get made over something that has entertained us for 5 plus years.

    I wasn’t a huge fan of this episode, it did feel a little bit thrown together.

  4. I also had someoe mention to me that Allison Janney’s character on West Wing was named CJ or Claudia Jean. Maybe I need to watch all of the old episodes of West Wing to get more answers.

  5. I don’t know that I need answers, necessarily, so much as a solid resolution. There are so many things that will nag me and remain unanswered that I won’t begin to list here, but I really get the feeling that the writers just got in over their head. Thus the consistency and cohesion of the narrative got LOST.

  6. You see mom, I’m a good little boy
    It’s all your fault, momma.

    It’s all your fault

    Goddamn, this business is really lame
    I gotta live on an island to find the juice
    So you send me
    your love
    from all around the world
    As if I could live on words and dreams and a million screams
    oh, how I need a hand in mine to feel.

  7. J-Dog- they’ve been saying for a while what you’ve said, that we wouldn’t get all the answers. And while I’d like all the answers, I’m slowly coming to accept that there are things we may not find out. Doesn’t mean I’m happy about it.
    On the other hand, I’ve never watched more than 20 minutes of the West Wing (although it’s one of The Civee’s favorite shows). I’ll be disappointed if I have to watch another show to understand all the Lost mysteries!
    Rich- I think for the most part, we’re in the same boat. But I’m willing to wait, oh, say, three and a half more hours to decide for good whether or not the writers succeeded.
    And Screams, all I can say is well put.

  8. Oh, and one other thing- it was a bit distracting that the actress who played Mother sounded just like Katey Segal (John’s Helen, Peg Bundy).

  9. I don’t know that I need answers, necessarily, so much as a solid resolution. There are so many things that will nag me and remain unanswered that I won’t begin to list here, but I really get the feeling that the writers just got in over their head. Thus the consistency and cohesion of the narrative got LOST.

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