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Posted at 10:35 AM ET, 05/12/2010

'Lost' Dueling Analysis: 'Across the Sea'

By Jen Chaney and Liz Kelly
Lost

In which Jen and Liz -- one light, one dark -- debate whether last night's mythology-rich episode provided answers or just more questions. Read along, then join them at 2 p.m. ET for the "Lost" Hour live chat. In the meantime, visit "Lost" Central to brush up on your island back story.


Jacob (Mark Pellegrino, right) shows MIB (Titus Welliver) some brotherly love. (ABC)

Jen: "Every question I answer is only going to lead to another question. You should rest, and just be grateful you're alive."

So said Allison Janney -- otherwise known as the foster mom to Jacob and MIB and the answer to the SAT analogy question: Claire is to Kate as Claudia is to [blank] -- at the beginning of tonight's episode. A bit of advice for obsessed "Lost"-ophiles, that we should stop worrying about getting answers and just enjoy the ride of these last three episodes? Maybe.

I suspect the enjoyment of last night's episode may be pretty split, as some fans will understandably have some issues with pressing pause on our central narratives so we can hear what is, essentially, a Bible story. But I actually enjoyed this episode more than I anticipated. Maybe because I've always dug the Biblical aspect of "Lost." Or because we actually got answers to some critical questions, despite Janney's aforementioned words. Or perhaps because this episode gave us the history we needed as a foundation to understand what comes next. But what about you, Liz? I have a sneaking feeling you were not as enthusiastic.

Liz: Hey, if we're meant to "just enjoy the ride", then what, I wonder, are we doing up late over-analyzing this mother-lovin' show for the gazillionth time? But you're right about my lack of enthusiasm. My expectations for this episode were mixed and after seeing it my reaction is equally conflicted. I wasn't blown away. I do recognize the service done in tonight's 40 minutes. We got some answers -- which we'll get to later. But, on balance, I came away from the evening with more questions than answers. And, by the by, I'm not alone. I posted a snarky little message on Facebook indicating my reaction and immediately received a flurry of responses from folks who feel the same way.

One had this to say: "Sick of it. I think the real reason lindecuse is going for radio silence after the finale is because they know we'll hunt them down with pitchforks and torches. It's really getting ridiculous!"

I'm not sure I'm ready to sharpen my pitchfork yet, but I am feeling a smidge of the same frustration. You liked tonight's ep for its mythology, its Biblical analogies. Many like "Lost" for the story we've spent six seasons developing ... you know, the one about people surviving a plane crash and which, until now, only touched lightly on those Biblical analogies. So it feels a bit like a bait-and-switch to have that side of things given so much heft so late in the game.

Also, I just have to say it and then I'll shut up: Allison Janney dressed in flax, weaving and speaking in Latin had a bit of a Tony Curtis in "Spartacus" vibe for me. I don't want to go so far as saying she was miscast, but I did have some trouble taking her seriously.

Much more after the jump...

Text "LOST" to 98999 to get The Post's latest "Lost" news -- and our weekly post-show dueling analysis -- sent directly to your phone.

Jen: Wow, that's interesting. I didn't have a problem with her at all. In fact, I thought she did a fine job. As far as a bait-and-switch: I hear the frustration about switching from the core story. I completely get why that bugs some viewers. But -- contrary to my attitudes toward Dogen and the temple -- I felt like this narrative choice was risky but necessary. I think the spiritual, Biblical matters always were given a certain amount of heft, so to me, this just feels like taking the show back to its central themes about parents and children, faith and the fact that history always, always repeats itself. With that said, should we talk about the beginning, and Janney's stoning of Claudia?

Liz: Let's do. Claudia, by the way, really reminded me of Rousseau when she emerged from the sea as pregnant as can be. Interestingly, someone else in tonight's episode had you thinking of Rousseau, too, if I'm not mistaken.


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Jen: You're right about Claudia having Rousseau-like tendencies. But Allison Janney's character -- who appears to be identified as "the Woman," since she never revealed a name -- also reminded me of season one Rousseau: a woman living alone on the island, avoiding other inhabitants, and anxious to get her hands on a baby as soon as she could find one. Is it possible that the Woman also landed on the island with a child and lost it? Unclear. But it's interesting that both of them gave off a Rousseau vibe. (I also got a kick out of the fact that Janney was mixing up some sort of paste in her stone jar that looked an awful lot like the trip-inducing stuff Locke slathered on Boone's noggin back in season one.)

So Claudia. Name has to be significant, right? The connection that strikes me as most pertinent is this one.

Liz: Ah yes, found that, too -- the Vestal Virgin who is sister to the mother of Romulus and Remus -- the brothers who founded Rome after being raised by a she-wolf.

Jen: Yup. The two guys who shaped a civilization, perhaps not unlike our young Jacob and little no-name. Or, as I like to call them, Lil' Matt Damon and Lil' Zac Efron. (Or maybe BIB -- "Boy in Black", instead of MIB?) Anyway, kudos to all the people who rightly called out the boyish apparitions we saw in past episodes as images of Jacob and MIB. Clearly my Aaron theory was dead wrong.

Liz: Though, if the idea was to draw parallels with Romulus and Remus, why not use the name of their mother -- Rhea Sylvia? Hmmm, or maybe LindeCuse are just big Claudia Schiffer fans and -- dismissed as coincidence -- a preggy Claudia Schiffer just posed nude on the cover of German Vogue.

But don't be so quick to dismiss your Aaron theory. I mentioned the same exact thing in the "Lost" 5 ahead of the show and was loudly shouted down by readers who are still convinced the boys we saw previously -- who appeared to MIB/FLocke -- were played by one actor. Whereas the boys in tonight's show were two different actors.

According to IMDB.com, at least, the blonde boy (our lil' Jacob) is credited as being in two previous episodes this season, whereas our young MIB is not.

Jen: Right. But whether the previous boys were both supposed to be Jacob or not, why does that disprove the notion that Aaron has some connection to Jacob? Because I like that idea. And actually, to extend that theory, Kate may have been doing Aaron a favor by getting him off the island and ending the cycle of control that Jacob's mother exerted on him and his brother. Unless of course you agree that men are corrupt and that Aaron needed to stay exactly where he was.

Liz: But back to that stoning. If Allison Janney's character is meant to have been a model for young Jacob, who eventually takes her place as guardian of the island -- well, murder is apparently justified as long as one can claim to be protecting the island. Which does call into question Jacob's relative goodness and, conversely, MIB's badness.

And, despite all of the questions that were answered, we have a new one -- where did Janney's character come from?

Jen: Liz, stop asking so many questions and just enjoy being alive. But seriously... You're right about the doubt re: Jacob as pure good and MIB as pure evil. But here's the thing: MIB the person wasn't pure evil. He had goodness in him, he was just understandably angry at his mother for lying to him and, you know, trying to beat his brains out inside a rocky cave. But the MIB we see now took over the original Jacob's brother's body. And in that form -- as in the entity that emerged from the terrible, glowing river in smoke monster form -- is evil.

Which feels to me like exactly what happened to Ben. Think about it: he was taken into the temple with Richard, where presumably the crazy glowing water source would have been. And he emerged as "something else," and did all kinds of evil things to allegedly protect the island. But his ability to assume power and control miraculously vanished once resurrected Locke showed up.

Liz: That is a very astute observation, Ms. Chaney. Richard warned Sawyer and Kate that Ben would not be the same once he was revived.

Jen: Do you see what just happened here? Do you understand what this means? It means that I was indeed right about Ben. Horrible means, but not a bad guy. It wasn't his fault, dang it! Chaney was right. I am vindicated. Good night, America!

Honestly, I just had to drag out that argument one last time, for posterity's sake.

Liz: ...

Jen: I'm just sayin'.

Liz: But back to that cave: Allison Janney tells Jacob that whoever enters the cave/light will suffer a fate worse than death. She also tells Jacob and MIB that she's made it impossible for them to hurt each other. But by knocking out MIB and pushing him into the cave, Jacob does hurt him and, in effect, kills the man who was his true brother and releases the monster.

Which for me raises another question: When Janney first mentioned how she'd made it impossible for them to harm each other I thought "Ah, the rules." But, it appears the rules were made to be broken. So, if the true MIB is dead, the rules wouldn't apply to Smokey/MIB would they?

Jen: That would seem a logical conclusion to draw, yes. But it does make me wonder why he doesn't just boogie off the island at his earliest convenience. Maybe the spirit of MIB the person is trapped on the island, and that's why Smokey MIB can't leave either. Kinda making that up, but there may be some kernel of validity in there somewhere.

Liz: Hmm. Some vestige of the real man remaining in the form of MIB would also explain Smokey/MIB/FLocke's conversation (could the guy just have a name already!?) with Kate earlier this season when he opened up about having a crazy mother.

Jen: Speaking of our twin boys, did we already do our requisite linking to the Jacob and Esau story?

Liz: I don't think we did. Why don't you do the honors since you're the Bible buff?

Jen: Buff is pushing it. Like, in a borderline blasphemous way. Anyhoo, here are the links to the story of two wacky twin brothers from the Old Testament who just couldn't get along: Jacob and Esau. (And yes, you could certainly draw Cain and Abel analogies, too. You know, if you're in the mood.)

I don't think the Jacob/Esau story fully parallels this "Lost" narrative, but I think the fact that it's a significant Bible story about two twin brothers who didn't see eye to eye -- one of them (Esau) eventually sold his birth right as the eldest to his younger brother (Jacob), essentially because he was hungry for lentils -- should tell us something. If nothing else, it, along with the other significant religious/mythological stories about dueling siblings, reminds us that the foundations of "Lost" come from narratives that are passed along -- and believed -- for generations. Essentially, what we watched last night explained the entire, for lack of a better word, "religion" of the island. Everything that everyone has believed was based on two guys with mommy issues.

Also maybe worth noting: In the "Lost" story, Jacob was born first, which is a switch on the Bible version. So actually, Jacob is technically the eldest and the one who, by birth, has first rights to inherit his mother's responsibilities and authority. Lucky him.

Liz: Although in our "Lost" story, Jacob -- according to Mother Janney -- isn't "special," like our MIB.

Up until this point -- meaning throughout the past couple of seasons -- we've also viewed Jacob as special, as this all-knowing, powerful, infallible island entity. But the Jacob we saw tonight was mostly, well, confused. He was also afraid to leave his mother (or what passed as a mother). And afraid to leave the island. Whereas MIB, no matter how much affection he may have had for Mother Janney and no matter how tough the decisions he made, seemed to be possessed of the ability to think for himself.

Jen: Right. It's that conflict that constantly rears its head on this show: should I remain faithful to the stories I've been told or should I take action based on the rational evidence in front of me? But Janney also said at the end that Jacob was the one all along, that she was wrong. So I am not sure what to think.

Here is a question: What's Momma Janney's issue with other people? Why does she want to protect the island so much, and why is she so desperate to keep her adopted sons exactly where they are? Shoot. That was three questions.

Liz: At the risk of irritating you and everyone reading, I'll answer your questions with a question. Or a question followed by a lame attempt at an explanation.

Did you catch Janney's dying words to MIB after he thrusts that dagger through her torso? She thanks him. Thanks him for killing her. Which had me wondering if she had been similarly duped into guarding the island's life force and ultimately wanted out and -- bear with me -- orchestrated the familial bloodbath that unfolded because it was the only way (within the parameters of "the rules" -- which still haven't been adequately explained) for her to find peace, or to escape. After all, she tells Jacob that he will also one day have to choose a successor to take over as guardian. Which kind of implies that she herself was chosen.

So, she's protecting the island because she herself drank the Kool-Aid wine.

Jen: Right. And I was wondering where that wine came from, too. Is there a Best Cellars on the island that I don't know about? But I also was about to ask why she or her son died when, technically, she claimed they were immune from that. Here's the thing: I don't think their spirits did die. Which is why this dynamic keeps replaying itself over and over.

Janney's spirit winds up in Rousseau, then in Claire. Some of MIB's tendencies wind up in both Locke (being "special") and Jack (desperately needing to leave the island). So in that sense, they are immortal. I have no idea if that makes sense, by the way. But it does in my head.

Liz: I'm not sure I'm with you on that theory. Because if her spirit wasn't able to die I doubt she would have thanked MIB for, as I see it, releasing her. Unless that was the real woman who was somehow possessed by that same spirit thanking MIB for allowing her to physically die, thereby finally freeing her body of that invading spirit.

Savvy?

We also need to talk about what that cave light is -- the golden glow that is the island's, the world's, life force. It seemed downright magical and dazzly -- as if unicorns and daisies would spring forth from the cave -- until MIB enters and Smokey roars out. But, I suppose in a way, that's an apt analogy for the spirit of man. We're capable of both great good and great evil and often one is mistaken for the other. Which brings us back to that whole duality thing again. One light, one dark. Two sides of a coin.

Jen: You see unicorns and daisies. I see shafts of light that are positively Spielbergian. Either way, it's something beautiful that you're not supposed to get anywhere near.

Liz: Go into the light!

Jen: I know, right? Totally reminds me of "Poltergeist": the light is something you're tempted by, but that can do bad things if you go into it when you're not supposed to. So, in summary, the scary clown in that movie is basically the same as MIB.

It's almost as if that golden spring -- which Allison Janney seemed to find with no problem, while MIB couldn't find it even if he had access to Google Maps and a compass -- is a combo of the fountain of youth and the apple of temptation. It gives you immortality. But mankind shouldn't want immortality. It's not natural. Which is why, as Janney said, it's worse than death. It's living eternity as evil incarnate.

Liz: Right. Though, even in "Poltergeist" it isn't the light itself that tempts victims, it is the spirits of the dead trapped within the light. Spirits clinging to their earthly lives. Which has me again thinking the island light raises more questions than provides answers: because Smokey emerges from that light -- what is he/it really and why was he bottled up until MIB's body entered that cave?

Jen: Good question. With that, maybe now is a good time to talk about all the answers -- yes, I said answers -- we got from tonight's episode?

Liz: Yes, please.

Jen: No. 1 -- We now know the origin of the Smoke Monster. Which may not be crucial, but whatever. It's solid information that could pay off in Lost Trivial Pursuit someday.

Liz: Well, the origin but not necessarily the whys and wherefores. But go on...

Jen: No. 2: We also know where the Others' weird costumes came from: they were the fruits of the looms of Jacob and his Mommy. I always wondered why the Others dressed like that. They were just paying homage to history, in an island-does-Colonial-Williamsburg sort of way.

Liz: No. 3 -- we know who Adam and Eve are. And it's only slightly creepy that they are mother and son when all along we assumed they were skeletons locked in a loving embrace of the kind we would covet with Sawyer's skeleton.

Jen: And yes, Adam and Eve. That was the moment I found so moving about tonight's episode. We have all speculated about Adam and Eve for years. Are they Jack and Kate? Rose and Bernard?

But it turns out they are not a "couple" at all, they're a mother and a son. Which, as I implied earlier, is so what this show is about. Yes, "Lost" has its Skater/Jater romances, its Sun and Jin stories, its Desmonds and its Pennys. But the love that may be even more central is the love and the legacy that a parent passes to his or her children. It's what made Jacob and MIB who they are, and it's what made every single Lostie who they are, for better and worse. I thought they brought all of that together in a really elegant way with those season one flashbacks at the end.

Liz: Before we get all misty eyed about the magic of parent/child relationships, I think we need to remember that Janney was not MIB's or Jacob's true mother. She killed any chance their real mother had to pass on a legacy. So, well, that makes me think the central theme being highlighted is that things are never what they seem and that the world is an unkind, inhospitable place where children -- MIB and Jacob, Aaron, Ji-Yeon, Walt, etc. -- are separated from their parents forever.

Jen: Well, hold up. I'm not suggesting the love and legacy between parent and child, as is the case with MIB and his foster mom, is always rosy, sweet and Hallmarky. I'm simply saying it's formative and significant. It can screw you up for sure. Just a bit of clarification there.

And then there's resolved issue No. 4. Or what I suggest might be resolved issue No. 4: the island fertility issue.

I'm not sure I'll be able to articulate this, but here goes. Claudia shows up on the island, gives birth to two boys and then dies. Now, obviously she dies because Allison Janney beat her in the head with a rock. But the point is she's a mother who doesn't live much beyond childbirth, which creates a narrative for the island, a story that's going to get passed on, potentially, from one island generation to the next, that bad things happen when women try to give birth. And over time, that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy until someone -- Claire? -- comes along and proves wrong.

In other words, that story is part of the religion of the island. And it keeps playing itself out over time.

Liz: Okay, let me think on that. In that case I would think children could be born -- since Jacob and MIB were. Women just wouldn't survive the ordeal. Also, we should remember that Ethan was born on island in the 1970s, before Claire gave birth to Aaron.

Jen: Oh yeah, and Rousseau proved it wrong before Claire did, too. And right, women wouldn't survive the ordeal. So maybe that's still not a fully explained subject yet. But the fact that it happened from the genesis of our story makes me think that's part of the reason why it continued to happen later. I can't put this into comprehensible words right now, but I feel like there's something there.

Liz: I agree. There is something there re: fertility. Part of me wonders if it is MIB who is kid averse. He doesn't want someone else coming along who will be a replacement for Jacob and it would make sense that he would assume that replacement would be a child. Or he could be -- in his own twisted way -- trying to keep other children from experiencing the pain he went through. Or punishing other women/children because he lost his mother to the island.

That may be a good one to open up for general discussion in comments and in the 2 p.m. chat.

Jen: I think you're right. So the fact that we explored so many meaty issues here ... that has to mean the episode had some merit, right?

Liz: True. Though another way of saying that is that the episode raised as many questions as it answered. Which is typical. And why we love this sick, twisted show in the first place.

Jen: Til 2, then?

Liz: See you there. I'll bring the wine.

By Jen Chaney and Liz Kelly  | May 12, 2010; 10:35 AM ET
Categories:  Lost  | Tags:  Lost  
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Comments

The Claudia connection that struck me was that was the name of CJ's previous character, Claudia Jane.

Posted by: HardyW | May 12, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I loved the character development last night. It was absolutely heart-breaking to watch the brothers find out their mother was murdered by a stranger posing as their real mother, before she could even name MIB, for this foster mother to kill and set fire to MIB's people and camp ... MIB killing the only mother he ever knew and at one point loved, and for Jacob to kill his twin brother and unkowingly turn him into a smoke monster. It was obvious they really loved each other up to then. Such a sad story.
Now, some warm light where you must never go that turns people into smoke monsters? meh.

Posted by: Mia13 | May 12, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

"Jen: No. 1 -- We now know the origin of the Smoke Monster. Which may not be crucial, but whatever. It's solid information that could pay off in Lost Trivial Pursuit someday."

I disagree: there is not evidence that Smokey originated at that moment, only that he existed. I think the takeaway of this episode is not "this is how this all started" but "this has been going on for AGES and Jacob and MIB are cogs just like the current Losties." Who's to say that, just as Jacob replaced his mother, MIB didn't just replace another entity who inhabited the smoke monster? Or that perhaps his "mother" herself was the smoke monster?

Posted by: PQSully | May 12, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I think MIB has simply gone mad and evil from centuries of being "trapped" on the island. And I think he mistakenly blames Jacob for being trapped, when in fact it's the island phenomenon that's responsible. And now that I'm thinking about it, I think he is probably mistaken in his thought that all the candidates must die for him to escape. I think this is yet another case of people trapped on the island interpreting events through their own belief systems and through what's been presented to them as "facts" from others, who have ALSO interpreted events through their own belief systems. If you believe this theory (and I'm beginning to), then we are back to scientific reasons for everything, and MIB and Jacob are simply regular humans who have been changed by their interactions with the island phenomema--NOT higher beings with great wisdom and insight. In this interpretation, Daniel Faraday/Widmore is once again the only one who might really know what is really going on. Also, in this interpretation there actually IS NO "ONE" because the entire concept of there being a "one" comes from an ancient interpretation of events by Mother of Jacob and Smokey, who no doubt got it from some other pre-scientifc island castaway.

MAYBE... Jacob didn't leave the island. Maybe it was Barzini all along. I mean, MIB. If he's a ghostie ghost, seems like he could "appear" anywhere he wanted. But like Michael and the other deaders, he is trapped on the island, unable to truly move on. I am now of the belief that all the "ghosts" we've seen truly were the ghosts of the dead characters and not MIB or Jacob in disguise.

Posted by: PQSully | May 12, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Count me in the frustrated camp, argh. I liked the backstory fine, but things like "I made it so you won't have to worry about death" -- umm, how? Today's Jacob seems almost god-like -- he can come and go from the island, appear/disappear, appears to know the future, touches people magically, etc. Last night's Jacob was just a regular guy. So how did he get from Point A to Point B, especially after the only person who might have been able to explain things (crazy mom) died? And how did the frozen donkey wheel get built, when crazy mom smashed in Jr. MIB's head before he had a chance to finish it?

BTW, I was assuming that Jacob did not kill his brother; after all, that would have violated the rules. And we already saw Jr. MIB come back from his mom's bashing his head against the wall. I assumed he was unconscious but still alive when he went down the stream, and that he was transformed somehow.

Posted by: laura33 | May 12, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Liz: the "answers" mostly just kicked the can down the road. We now know where Jacob got his powers, from his (foster) Mother, but we don't know where she got them in the first place. We know that MIB became Smoke by entering the cave and being transformed or taken over by the power there, but we don't know what that is or where it came from.

We found out a specific answer - about Adam and Eve - that a lot of people thought might never be resolved. For a while many viewers have feared that the big questions would be answered but a lot of little things would be left unexplained...no one seems to have considered the possibility that the reverse could occur. The next 3½ hours might be devoted to answering more trivia questions and leaving the central mysteries unexplained.

Posted by: UniqueID | May 12, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I think this might have been the first episode of lost ever that I looked at the clock to see when it would be over already.

Blah!

Posted by: smynola06 | May 12, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

MIB is not wrong in blaming Jacob for his plight. He told someone - Sawyer? - that he hates Jacob because Jacob stole his human body, which is true. Jacob did worse than murder his brother, and he knew what he was doing. He was warned by his stepmother that entering the cave would be worse than dying, and he did that to his brother anyway.

Posted by: UniqueID | May 12, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

@laura33: I think The Rules do not actually exist. Like everything else, they are simply the result of humans on the island interpreting events according to their experiences and beliefs. So too with "the one." I don't think there IS a "one" really. The only need for an island guardian is imaginary, again due to humans interpretations of events on the island. Reminds me of Harry Potter, where Dumbledore explains why the prophecy that Harry would kill Voldemort is true: It is true because Voldemort CHOOSES to believe it and takes action that sets into motion the events that actually cause Harry to be special and a threat. Later, Harry also CHOOSES to accept the role assigned him in the prophecy.

Posted by: PQSully | May 12, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

One thing I just thought of. Last night, I was confounded by the idea that the special light could bring forth something so apparently evil. I mean, if it's the source of life, of everything, that would seem to be a very good thing (that thus needs protecting), so how could something good turn Jr. MIB into something so bad as smokey?

But I think that underlying assumption is false. I don't think they're protecting the light because it is "good," per se. Maybe the light is just an energy source that is too powerful for the human brain to comprehend or control, and so it overwhelms and strips away the humanity of anyone who gets too close. In that case, Jacob has to protect people from getting too close to the light (which would sort of fit with the Whidmore theme). Or maybe the light is actually pure evil. In that case, he has to protect people from what would happen if the light got out (which would sort of fit with the MIB-escape theme).

Posted by: laura33 | May 12, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

"MIB is not wrong in blaming Jacob for his plight. He told someone - Sawyer? - that he hates Jacob because Jacob stole his human body, which is true. Jacob did worse than murder his brother, and he knew what he was doing. He was warned by his stepmother that entering the cave would be worse than dying, and he did that to his brother anyway."

Yeah, I get ya. My point was that Jacob didn't (apparently) know that the result would be his brother's soul remaining trapped forever on the island, his most dreaded fate, or about the smokey consequences. And that it is not now Jacob who keeps MIB trapped there now by his so-called guardianship. At least according to my theory, which is, like, TOTALLY supported by my dogs.

Posted by: PQSully | May 12, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Regarding the backstory not exactly fitting any of its source materials - Jacob/Esau, Romulus/Remus, etc. - that's inevitable as there are multiple sources and the writers have come up with a composite myth that kind of, but not exactly, fits many of them. The real source material is Joseph Campbell's myth theory.

One of the parallels that hasn't been drawn too much of late is to the Wheel of Time. After last night I think it's clear someone has been reading their Robert Jordan. Both the natural "Source" and MIB boring a hole by which to access it are IMO likely Jordan-inspired. Though for the parallel to be exact, MIB's Bore wouldn't be to the True Source but to the Dark One.

Posted by: UniqueID | May 12, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

No, PQSully, I agree Jacob didn't know the specifics of what would happen to his brother. Still, he knew it wouldn't be good. But in the Richard episode, Ab Aeterno, MIB and Jacob have a conversation where both seem to agree that it is now Jacob's guardianship which keeps MIB trapped on the Island, even if that trap originated with their Mother.

Posted by: UniqueID | May 12, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

How do we KNOW for sure that Claudia/false mom killed everyone with whom MIB-as-child lived? To me that camp looked like what the Temple looked like post-Smokey's visit -- death, fire, etc.

Are we sure that Smokey could not get out onto the island until after Jacob tossed his brother into the light? I am not.

Posted by: kate36 | May 12, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

The only thing I took out of that episode is that Jacob is a whiney momma's boy and not very likeable, while the MIB is acting the way most of us would act; hating the woman who killed his real mom and doing everything in his power to leave the island and see what else is out there. (over the water)
If Jacob is good and MIB is bad, I will take bad.

Posted by: Iowahoosier | May 12, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Last night, I hadn’t decided how much I liked this one. After sleeping on it, I like it just fine.

What I didn’t like: the swelling music when they showed the light in the cave was corny. The flashes of Jack and Kate finding Adam and Eve were clumsy and gratuitous to longtime viewers, but I accept that they thought newer viewers needed the explanation.

Unlike some viewers, I thought the child actors were very good. Jacob was played just right – boring and unworldly, plus he looked like the adult Jacob. Child in Black was perfect – I knew from the start that his not-mom loved him best.

Despite the glowing light stuff, this episode didn’t really push the mythology any further from a scientific explanation. The island covers an energy source with amazing with extraordinary powers and extreme electromagnetic properties. If you take away the music and the soft glow, it’s not so different from prior seasons.

Jacob couldn’t kill his brother, but apparently he could cause his soul to be ripped from his body. Voila! Smokie is born.

The real mother speaking from the dead appears consistent with what Michael was telling Hurley a few episodes ago – dead people linger and some people can see and speak with them. (We had already learned that not all visitations by dead people were MIB.)

Adam and Eve are revealed, and for those who complain that every answer is predictable this season, I dare you to find someone who predicted this one!

The dysfunctional parent and Cain and Abel angles were quite poignant, I thought. The writers are definitely playing with our minds on the issue of how to feel about MIB:

+He’s totally evil!
+He was an interesting kid who got screwed by the nutcase who murdered his mom and raised him with lies and then screwed again by his twin brother whom he loved!

I’m liking it better with each hour.

Posted by: MeriJ | May 12, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

It seemed to me that Crazy Foster Mom didn't decide to bash Claudia's head in until she had seen Baby MIB. Because he's "special?"

Posted by: csteiger | May 12, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

laura, I thought the description that his Mother gave to Jacob of the power of the Island was oddly contradicted by what Jacob later told Richard. Jacob seems to feel that the power is evil that needs to be contained whereas his Mother seemed to depict it more as a kind of elan vital that needs to be protected. Clearly in ~2,000 years Jacob has come to his own conclusions about the power.

The contradiction reminded me a little of the differing accounts of Pandora's Box - in one version of the myth, the box restrained the world's possible evils until Pandora loosed them on the world (plus hope). In another version, the box held gifts which were reserved for humanity's use until Pandora opened the box and let them all escape, except for hope. The second version has usually made more sense to most readers as the first requires hope to be included among the world's evils.

Posted by: UniqueID | May 12, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

WORST EPISODE EVER. This felt like a made-for-middle-school mini-series. Just terrible. I'm praying for the sweet release of May 23.

Posted by: GoPens | May 12, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

I kind of agree that the Mother was the original Smoke Monster. How else did she manage to fill in a well and destroy an entire village in a few hours?

I suspect that the Spring separates the good and evil in a soul, taking the good into the light and expelling the concious evil.

Posted by: chrisp339 | May 12, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

after last night i have one point to state.......ALIENS!

LOL

kinda split, ready for it to be over but still want answers.

Posted by: nall92 | May 12, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

kate36, that's true, but what if the Smoke Monster WAS the (step) mother? I'm going to post more on that soon, but note that when she warned Jacob that entering the cave that would be worse than dying, it sounded more like she knew that for a fact than was just guessing.

BTW, we know have a crazy stepmother to go with a crazy Stepfather in the person of Terry O'Quinn...which I regard only as coincidence though I do see Locke as the Mother's true successor (more soon).

Posted by: UniqueID | May 12, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I was extremely disappointed with this episode. The pacing was slow, the dialogue was terrible, the actress who played the mother completely lacked charisma as well as chemistry with the other actors, and the "good guy" we're supposed to be rooting for turned out to be a weak and not-very-bright mama's Boy. But the most disappointing thing was that they chose to show this boring, snoozefest after the most action-packed episode of the entire show. They could have easily aired this as the first episode of the season and not have spoiled anything else that has happened in season 6. Why they chose to air it RIGHT NOW when the audience is still reeling from the deaths of major characters was a poor decision. It completely disrupted the momentum of this season's "main plot" and honestly felt like filler after last week's major cliffhanger.

If this aired at an earlier point in the season, I wouldn't be as critical and I'd even be somewhat pleased that we got some answers. But as the third-to-last episode and following one that killed off three major characters, it sucked.

Posted by: Tirade1 | May 12, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I think i'm in the camp that is doing my best to quell the annoyance that the answers only lead to more questions, and enjoy this ride that you will look back on and say "despite its issues, it was a great show and I wish I could go back and do it over again."

The donkey wheel - I felt like they tried to explain it but it seemed a bit lame. The light is captured and somehow transports people through time and space when the wheel is turned. Just doesn't make a lot of sense. And all the quantom physics of Farraday and such, I mean, it just isn't quite tying all together.

I'm glad they at least pulled Adam and Eve back in to try and and salvage some notion that the first 5 seasons relate to season 6. Which at this point, season 6 almost stands on its own.

Posted by: mwbmwc99 | May 12, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone have a theory about why the writers worked so hard to never mention the name of the MIB? About 5 min. into the episode I turned to my daughter and said "they are never going to tell us what his name is". But I can't figure out why.

Posted by: domino630 | May 12, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Tirade1, that's exactly how I felt about it. Thanks for putting it eloquently.

Posted by: smynola06 | May 12, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Questions. Laws yes, I gots questions.

So why was Jacob allowed to leave the island? Was he forced somehow to return by drinking the wine? Or did he just feel obligated after making smokey? Were they able to leave any time they wanted/could only crazy mamma just didn’t want them to because she thought (or was told) that they couldn’t? Who told her that. And how DID he get off? He wasn’t pushing the Donkey Wheel, that’s for sure! Is there another way off the island we haven’t yet been told about?

If Jacob could leave, does that mean that his replacement would also get to leave for short periods?

Is smokey Jacob’s brother, or did it just absorb him in some way so that he could have a human appearance? MIB did not seem evil, even though in his anger and grief he did an evil thing in murdering his crazy mamma.

Will someone else have to find that hole and go down in it to set things right somehow?

Who was Jacob’s and MIB’s daddy? And what the frell is MIB’s name, for crying out loud!!!!

I think my wife may be right, and that all these "RULES" are just mis-interpretations of the truth passed on over oceans of time, where every telling is further and further from the truth.

Posted by: louiesully | May 12, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

After 1977, at least, women who CONCEIVED on the island died. I forget who told us that, probably Juliet, but the bad thing supposedly happened during conception, not the final stages of birth.

Posted by: MeriJ | May 12, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

"It seemed to me that Crazy Foster Mom didn't decide to bash Claudia's head in until she had seen Baby MIB. Because he's "special?"

Posted by: csteiger"

I sort of agree with this. It seemed to be the second boy's birth specifically that prompted her to kill Claudia. My thought was that when she saw him, she recognized him as her successor.

Though here's an idea from left field - I don't actually believe this as it would complicate things too much, but we have no way of being sure that the 13 year-old and so on called Jacob is the first-born that Claudia named Jacob. The Mother is clearly crazy and a liar, so for all we know she could swap their names and steal the elder's birth right that way.

Posted by: UniqueID | May 12, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Clarification: the women died later in their pregnancy, but due to something that occured at conception.
.
.
Where did the wine come from?

Maybe it was created from the paste that Janney was preparing in the mortar and pestle? She never said it was wine.

Posted by: MeriJ | May 12, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

After watching last night, I came to the conclusion that the writers are just laughing at us - throwing all this stuff around and waiting for the audience to make sense of it. I'm sticking b/c I hate to have wasted so much time watching, but season 6 is right up there with season 3 on the ridiculous scale. So - herewith my ideal "ending".Island reality collides with Sideways reality, setting up a confrontation between the two Lockes, leaving sideways Locke behind with his alter ego to be the two sides of the good/evil coin on the Island. Locke dies in sideways world but everyone else merges back into sideways world, or better yet, into a third reality where they can be rewarded for all the crap they had to endure. My last scene would be a shot of Eloise Hawking, sitting in a cave, weaving or spinning on an old loom - a reference to the mythological fates who spin or weave the lives of man, and a repeat of the image of the crazy mom from last night. In fact, i like this so much, that I think I will ignore any actual ending to the series.

Posted by: jumpshot | May 12, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

I think Jacob could leave the Island because he's human. A very old human, but his existence doesn't depend on the power of the Island sustaining him. Because his brother no longer has his original body, he is trapped on the Island.

I don't necessarily buy the idea that it was the Mother who constrained them to the Island. First of all, she clearly didn't constrain Jacob so. Then too, if she really could have done so, she wouldn't have had to lie to them about there being nothing across the sea. She wouldn't have had to kill MIB's people and destroy his project if she had already in fact trapped him there.

Posted by: UniqueID | May 12, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

"No, PQSully, I agree Jacob didn't know the specifics of what would happen to his brother. Still, he knew it wouldn't be good. But in the Richard episode, Ab Aeterno, MIB and Jacob have a conversation where both seem to agree that it is now Jacob's guardianship which keeps MIB trapped on the Island, even if that trap originated with their Mother."

Yes, I agree that Jacob and MIB agree that it is the guardianship that traps MIB, but my point is that they are just as wrong as everyone else. Remember that they were both raised to believe in the theory and "facts" that their "mom" presented to them. I still maintain that their belief, however long-held, does not make the theory true except in the sense that they have made choices based on their belief in that theory. For example, we've not seen MIB even TRY to kill Jacob, have we? And Jacob never tried to kill MIB either, assuming that it was simply not possible. But he COULD hurt him and did. I think those beliefs have carried on in one form or another until the present Losties, where for instance Ben is absolutely certain that Alex could not be killed becaue of The Rules. Yet she was.

I'm tellin' ya, the island itself has some sort of power, whether it's explained strictly by science or faith. Either way, I believe that's the one answer we will not get.

Posted by: PQSully | May 12, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

For the first five seasons, it seems like the show really focused on Daddy issues (Jack in the shadow of his father, Kate killing her father, Locke being cruelly tricked by his father, Sawyer losing his parents, Sun/Jin domineered by her father, Hurley and his absent father, Ben and his uncaring father, etc.). And now Jacob/MIB have a Mommy issue underlying their story. Interesting.

I really liked this episode, but I was hoping for a little more explanation about the magic; how does she "make it" so they can't hurt each other, be immortal, etc.? How does she know how to do all this? And I don't have a sense of when in time this is. Are we talking 5,000 BC? 1500 AD? Who (and when) ultimately built that statue?

Posted by: Dr_Bob | May 12, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Jacob told Richard that the island was a cork designed to hold back evil, as represented by the MIB/Smoke Monster. But his mother had told him the power of the island was life, death, rebirth, the source - and that it needed to be protected because men would covet it. So in 2,000 years Jacob has formed his own differing and more limited opinion of the power. Jacob may be right, of course. But it does seem like he (like MIB) only sees part of the story.

Some on lostpedia think the mother was the smoke monster before the MIB was - which seems plausible. Though ordinary-looking, she somehow killed a village full of people and filled in that well with dirt - in a short period of time. Also, she earnestly warned Jacob not to go into the cave and that doing so would be worse than dying. Sounded more like the voice of experience than just a lesson she herself dutifully learned the theory of. But she is also clearly Jacob's predecessor. The light/dark, Jacob/MIB, and original timeline/SWT splits may be consequences of the fact that the power that was once unified in her has now been divided between Jacob('s successor) and the MIB. The show's resolution will come when the split is healed. Not when one branch wins out over the other, but when they are reunited.

Many have thought that regarding the timelines specifically, but it may be true as well for the Mother's power. We are not just waiting for Jacob's heir to be revealed, but for the MIB or its heir to be that same person. That is why there are two lists, and why Kate's name was crossed off on the cave wall but not in the Lighthouse: not because the MIB got Jacob's Lighthouse list wrong, but because the lists are different though overlapping.

The Mother's true successor won't be Jack. He could succeed Jacob, but Jacob's was only a half-job which won't exist once the split is healed. And neither original nor sideways Jack is a good fit to inherit the dark half as well. The solution will come from a blend of the two timelines (why else have two?) The most obvious answer is (F)Locke. Sideways Locke, the only true Locke left, will somehow merge with the Smoke Monster who is partially OT Locke.

Posted by: UniqueID | May 12, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I agree that MIB/lil bro in this episode just seemed to be less evil and more irritated. So maybe the whole dumping him in the river of dreams made this man who wasn't 'all bad' into a "demon" possessed smoke monster who can inhabit dead people's bodies.

The only problem is, when Jack opens his dad's casket, Christian's body is gone. Which means that when MIB takes over a body, the body disappears. Which then means that Adam and Eve skeletons would not be locked in a hand embrace because apparently MIB returns to Jacob's brother's form eventually to have all those talks on the beach.

Does that make sense?

Posted by: smynola06 | May 12, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Wow! What a poorly written, poorly acted episode. The sets were terrible. And a glowing cave of water is a big reveal? Did I see Fonzie on water skis in there?

I've been a pretty vocal fan for the last 5+ years. That said, I thought the Jacob/MIB conflict might mess up this season and ultimately the finale. All of the stuff in the temple certainly seemed to prove my fears, but I thought things had started to flow pretty well since that plot line was abandoned.

Then comes 'Across the Sea'. Well played, Lindecuse! You've lowered the bar so for the finale that you can't possibly fail. Or can you?

Posted by: Skeeterrific | May 12, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Disappointing moments last night: The Water Slide of Something Worse Than Death, Allison Janney's tunic, The Light That Causes Time Travel (huh?), the horrible writing and worse acting of everyone involved... and the most disappointing thing is that it feels like the first 5 seasons don't even matter anymore. This contrived drivel comprised of incredibly sophomoric black/white imagery makes me long for The Temple. And that's saying something. We get that the island is science-magic, I just wish we had a better explanation than a made-for-Lifetime Easter special that the show felt like last night.

Posted by: GoPens | May 12, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

"Which means that when MIB takes over a body, the body disappears."

Granted, we don't know where Christian's body ended up, but Locke's body was right there in Ilana's crate, then dumped out on the beach, while FLocke was walking around.

Posted by: Janine1 | May 12, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I'm sorry to be a hater, because I have loved this show for years, but I hated last night's episode. Worst episode ever. Worse than Nikki and Paolo, worse than Jack's Tatoo With Bai Ling.

Every line spoken was like the language a third-grader would use. The whole thing felt like it was written in 15 minutes. And the outfits, it was like watching the Flintstones, only done more boring.

For me, I am invested in the "main" characters -- Jack, Sawyer, Hurley, Kate, Sayid, Aaron, Ben, Desmond -- and this show introduced another "new" character (totally wasting the talents of Alison Janney with that dumb mono-syllabic script) and burnt an hour to solve the mystery of Adam and Eve in the cave, which is one of the Island mysteries that I care least about. There's only 3 hours left. And that's on top of burning hours of time on the Temple, which, as far as I can tell, didn't have much to do with where we are now in the story.

I just feel like this season is off its game, and last night's episode just felt, well, I felt like my loyalty to this show was about to snap. Hated it that much.

Sorry. :(

Posted by: NW_Washington | May 12, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

I am guessing that Mother had elements of both Jacob and MIB/Smoke Monster. (Her having Smoke Monster capabilities would explain how she killed all the OG others, and how she filled up the well with dirt and rocks so quickly while MIB was passed out.) When she was killed those elements were split between Jacob and MIB.

Posted by: joe_hill | May 12, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

After last night I think it's clear someone has been reading their Robert Jordan. Both the natural "Source" and MIB boring a hole by which to access it are IMO likely Jordan-inspired. Though for the parallel to be exact, MIB's Bore wouldn't be to the True Source but to the Dark One.

Posted by: UniqueID

And of course the parallel of that "bore" being covered up over and over again as the wheel of time turns. Just as Allison Janey's character seems to have done last night. It wouldn't surprise me if in the end Smokey had to be sealed back up down there somehow.

Posted by: louiesully | May 12, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Good point Janine. I had forgotten about Flocke/Locke's body.

Posted by: smynola06 | May 12, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: UniqueID | May 12, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Excellent, excellent, excellent ideas!

Posted by: laura33 | May 12, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Are we sure MIB is dead?

Posted by: dablues1 | May 12, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

First, I agree with laura33. I do not think that MIB was dead yet when Jacob pushed him down the stream into the cave with the light. Alison Janney said that she made it so that death was "something they never have to worry about". I also didn't think that an already-existing smoke monster was released. Like Liz and Jen mention, Janney said that if anybody went into the light they would suffer a fate worse than death. I think that fate was MIB's "soul" or "essence" separating from his body and becoming the smoke monster - a force of evil that now has to be contained on the island for all eternity.

I keep going back to the temple episode where Dogen says that men all have a scale and some lean closer to the dark side, some closer to the light side. I think that from the beginning it was clear what side of the scale Jacob leaned towards and conversley, MIB leaned towards. They symbolized that by swaddling them in the white and black blankets. Jacob was born in a calm, peaceful state and MIB, the unexpected twin whose mother hadn't given him a name, was born crying and defiant.

Also, Janney said the same thing about men that the MIB said in the beginning of the season finale of season 5 ("they come, they fight, they corrupt, it all ends the same.") Maybe the light is pure goodness, uncorrupted by man and the source in the cave needs to remain uncorrupted in order to keep everyone all over the world "in balance" (the scale reference). Every man has a little of that same "light" inside them. MIB had been living amongst "flawed/corrupted" human outsiders who seemed to be devoted to mining the light (the origin of the wheel mechanism - another solved mystery), and his internal scale always seemed to lean towards the dark side. Maybe this darkness/corruption inside of MIB caused him to become a malevolent force once he came in contact with the light. The cave went dark when MIB floated inside it (similar to when the spring turned muddy brown before Sayid was "resurrected" by MIB).

I wonder if Jacob had hypothetically floated into the light cave, would the same thing would have happened to him, accept it would be a white smoke entity. And I think this confirms that the boy in the earlier episodes is Jacob. It would make sense given Janney's death comment I referenced. And, the presence of Jacob would be the only thing that would freak out fake Locke. Maybe Jacob's body died, but his soul endures, like MIB's...only difference being that he wasn't "mutated" by entering the light source. I found it tragic that the MIB, while certainly flawed, was not the evil being he is now until Jacob inadvertently made him that way by sending him down the stream.

Posted by: linswilliams | May 12, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I was a little disapointed in the show as well. I just want to know where the island originated, what the "light" is, and who makes the rules. Let's get these big questions answered so we can enjoy the rest of the characters' story we have been keeping up with for years! I have to say I am starting to see the finale as a relief as well. I'm getting tired of getting no where with this show.

On another note, I wonder if Jacob being good, not being able to lie(etc.)growing up, that when he does something bad (hurts MIB)this has something to do with smokie? As in once the pure is no longer pure something happens...?

Posted by: armous | May 12, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

First, I agree with laura33. I do not think that MIB was dead yet when Jacob pushed him down the stream into the cave with the light. Alison Janney said that she made it so that death was "something they never have to worry about". I also didn't think that an already-existing smoke monster was released. Like Liz and Jen mention, Janney said that if anybody went into the light they would suffer a fate worse than death. I think that fate was MIB's "soul" or "essence" separating from his body and becoming the smoke monster - a force of evil that now has to be contained on the island for all eternity.

I keep going back to the temple episode where Dogen says that men all have a scale and some lean closer to the dark side, some closer to the light side. I think that from the beginning it was clear what side of the scale Jacob leaned towards and conversley, MIB leaned towards. They symbolized that by swaddling them in the white and black blankets. Jacob was born in a calm, peaceful state and MIB, the unexpected twin whose mother hadn't given him a name, was born crying and defiant.

Also, Janney said the same thing about men that the MIB said in the beginning of the season finale of season 5 ("they come, they fight, they corrupt, it all ends the same.") Maybe the light is pure goodness, uncorrupted by man and the source in the cave needs to remain uncorrupted in order to keep everyone all over the world "in balance" (the scale reference). Every man has a little of that same "light" inside them. MIB had been living amongst "flawed/corrupted" human outsiders who seemed to be devoted to mining the light (the origin of the wheel mechanism - another solved mystery), and his internal scale always seemed to lean towards the dark side. Maybe this darkness/corruption inside of MIB caused him to become a malevolent force once he came in contact with the light. The cave went dark when MIB floated inside it (similar to when the spring turned muddy brown before Sayid was "resurrected" by MIB).

I wonder if Jacob had hypothetically floated into the light cave, would the same thing would have happened to him, accept it would be a white smoke entity. And I think this confirms that the boy in the earlier episodes is Jacob. It would make sense given Janney's death comment I referenced. And, the presence of Jacob would be the only thing that would freak out fake Locke. Maybe Jacob's body died, but his soul endures, like MIB's...only difference being that he wasn't "mutated" by entering the light source. I found it tragic that the MIB, while certainly flawed, was not the evil being he is now until Jacob inadvertently made him that way by sending him down the stream.

Posted by: linswilliams | May 12, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

With just less than two weeks to go, there are still so many questions we have for this show that we love so much. "Across the Sea" gave some good answers – I thought the Adam & Eve and creation of the monster were interesting and good, but as a whole, the episodes this season have failed to tie everything together. Last night was no exception. There is so much left to explain, and so many loose ends to tie up- how are they going to give us all these answers in just 2 episodes? I’m starting to get very, very nervous- http://thesmogger.com/2010/05/11/looking-at-lost-summarizing-the-mysteries/

Posted by: mksmogger | May 12, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I found last night's episode very good and enjoyable and all that but I am a little worried/disappointed that the mythology is not being held to a consistent standard.

I am worried b/c as we segue back into the Oceanic character's story arcs that some of the details of the mythology will necessarily have to be overlooked and seemingly (at this point) glaring inconsistencies in the "rules" will be left unexplained.

I am fine with not every little mystery being solved, even some of the "bigger" mysteries not being solved but what I don't like is seemingly sloppy storytelling, for instance:

Step mom says I have made it so you can't hurt each other and later I believe she says you can't kill each other. This is later borne out by "the rules" that intertwine thru-out various story lines concerning MIB and Jacob and the candidates. Yet Jacob beats his brother severely twice, step mom knocks him out, and Jacob smashes his brother's head on a rock before he goes down the golden hole. (insert bad joke here) Nemo (bro w/ no name) then stabs and kills his step mom. Yet he can't stab and kill Jacob centuries later?

Clearly that is Nemo's dead body placed next to his step mom's body in the cave, so he is dead - right? Or his earthly vessel is no longer functioning.

Also Darlton tweeted last week that MIB was purely evil and that there should be no ambiguity among the fan's feelings about MIB's intentions. Yet last night's whole episode painted a picture of Nemo as a fairly sympathetic character.

Obviously then one would surmise that Smokey/MIB and Nemo are not really the same entity b/c one is the transformation of the other; yet time and time again MIB/Smokey has told various characters on the island stories about his mom and upbringing that are Nemo's life stories.

It just seems all so unnecessarily sloppy.

Posted by: LMichael1 | May 12, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the double post - I double clicked by accident (I hate it when I do that!).

Posted by: linswilliams | May 12, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm a huge fan, but this was the worst episode ever, with acting and special effects straight out of the old Land of the Lost series. I kept waiting for the Sleestacks to appear.

Clearly, the writers have been messing with us, and there never was a point the yarn they were spinning. This explanation is far too lame to have been carefully planned.

Posted by: Labradorian | May 12, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

@MeriJ: Yes, Juliet told Sun that she'd live if she conceived the baby off island; die if she conceived it on-island. Hence, Sun was happy to know it was Jin's child; sad to know she was going to die. So, conception is where life/death of mother is decided.

Posted by: RedinAlexandria | May 12, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

A unifying theme in the show has been the tension between religion and science--between that which is 'revealed', for example rules or mythology that is passed along (whether true or not) versus scientific knowledge which is experiential. In last night's episode we saw MIB as man of science who builds the donkey wheel in attempt to harness the power of the cosmos and we saw Jacob as the keeper of the mythology, keeping mankind away from the power of creation/destruction. Jacob comes across as ignorant as the rest of mankind--yet he is the one who continues the mythology told to him by his murderous surrogate mother.
I am very interested to see how LOST attempts to reconcile science and religion in the final episodes.

Posted by: Philo2 | May 12, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

@MeriJ: Yes, Juliet told Sun before the ultrasound that Sun'd live if she conceived the baby off island; die if she conceived it on-island. Hence, Sun was happy to know it was Jin's child; sad to know she was going to die. So, it's at conception where life/death of mother is determined.

Posted by: RedinAlexandria | May 12, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I think this means that MIB and Widmore are working together. Widmore wants the power that is at the center of the island. MIB wants to escape the island. I think these things would happen together if they happened at all. To release the power at the center of the island you also release MIB.

Posted by: Roxie1 | May 12, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

When Jacob told Alpert he could help him live forever, did he give him wine to drink? Am I misremembering this? Why isn't Alpert his replacement?

Posted by: Roxie1 | May 12, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

We know Jacob was allowed to leave the island.

We know all Lil' MiB wanted to do was leave the island.

If PsychoMom wanted Lil' MiB to have Jacob's role all along, why didn't she just tell him "hey, if you stick with me, you'll be able to leave the island whenever you want."

Posted by: paujwill | May 12, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I FELL ASLEEP DURING LAST NIGHTS EPISODE! That's how bleepin' frustrating it was. Why couldn't this mythology have been twined into the last few episodes? It would have been more effective. As it was, I drifted off thinking, I'll just read the Dueling Analysis tomrrow....

Posted by: kbockl | May 12, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I liked the episode, except it didn't go far enough in explaining the whys of the island. I think they could have took a few minutes of the filler and described the evolution of Jacob.

I want to know about the names on the cave walls and things like that.

Posted by: cashink2003 | May 12, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

This episode needed to be aired much earlier. It seems like the writers are running out of time and are just cludging everything together. We didn't even know who Jacob really was, or about MIB until the end of Season 5. This episode should have aired before the whole Temple fiasco.

I think it was originally set to be 7 seasons at 22 episodes apiece until LindeCuse signed the deal a few years back, so that might be why they are rushing so much.

So many more questions asked then answered. Yes, we know who Adam and Eve were, but we still don't know how the "Frozen Donkey Wheel" was created if it was deystroyed before it was completed. Who built the temple and when? Why wasn't Richard a candidate? Who really are the Others and how did they all get there? What is up with the Dharma Initiative - will we ever understand how they learned of/found the island? What's up with the dagger that killed "Mother" and Jacob? Why did Dogen think it would work on MIB? Who was Dogen? All these, and plenty of others that were posted.

I have invested too much time over the 6 seasons of the show to "just enjoy the ride." I don't need everything answered, I just wished they were wrapping things up in a more coherent way. Or maybe they are saving it for "LOST: The Movie."

Posted by: mo7290 | May 12, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I can't help but wonder if the Jacob/MIB skirmish is a parallel of Ben/Widmore. "*I* am protecting this island." "*I* decide who stays and leaves." And maybe the island really isn't worth protecting, that's what the final episode will reveal, Jack (along with the rest of the Losties) is going to get rid of it all, change the entire timeline, and all's well that ends well.

Posted by: Dr_Bob | May 12, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Bwaahahaha,

Slate has a link to this:

http://i.imgur.com/QHdWo.jpg

This image and Tirade1's comments pretty much sum it up for me.

Posted by: NW_Washington | May 12, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I think Crazy Foster Mom was also a smoke monster; she drank the wine tricked by somebody previous to her, making her stay “protecting” the island. Probably that same person made her go into the light cave that gave her the ability to become smoke monster mom. That’s the only way Crazy Foster Mom could have killed all the villagers that MIB was living with while in exile. At the same time this would explain why she was crazy and evil.

Posted by: MysticIsland | May 12, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Will someone else have to find that hole and go down in it to set things right somehow?
Posted by: louiesully

My money's on Desmond. He has already demonstrated he can survive high energy fields, so I think that's going to be his "Purpose."

Posted by: Donderro | May 12, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

This whole time we assumed / hoped that LindeCuse knew what they were doing and had some sort of story arc they were following. This episode just illustrated how duped we have been.

All the names, side narratives, books, attention to detail they used, which we hoped were breadcrumbs leading us forward to a glorious denouement, turned out to just be capitalist ploys to get fans to rush to amazon.com.

Posted by: jmhii | May 12, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

There's a lot of evidence to suggest that "Mother" was the previous body inhabited by the Smoke. Just one in a (who-knows-how-long) line. The entire village was destroyed very very quickly (people were burned), she was stabbed with the dagger before she spoke (which propogates that myth that we've heard many times since), she knew that the light was "worse than death."

This makes the episode much more interesting, because, according to her, she thought it was the MIB who was special and who would "take her place", but decided it was ultimately Jacob. This can be seen as the beginning of the end - because now - the person protecting the island has "good" (arguable) motives and is interested in finding the candidates (our characters) who will put an end to this for good.

Finally - so the discussion at the beginning of "The Incident" - is between Jacob - and the smoke monster in the form of his dead brother. Not actually his brother, right? Explains why Jacob was so uninterested about the whole conversation - and threat to kill him. Ditto for their conversation in "Ab Aeterno" ??

Posted by: 11aa11 | May 12, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Soft mythology vs. hard sci-fi:

The jury's till out to my mind. Natural mysteries look like science once you understand them. They look mystical or religious if you have no basis even to construct a plausible hypothesis to explain them naturally.

When we see Janney and Jacob discussing the "light," they are essentially showing us how it appeared to a highly shielded boy/young man: soft glowwy light and swelling chords.

He wouldn't even have known what a magnet was.

I think this also explains the simple way they spoke to one another. All the nuances we take for granted in modern discourse evolved from centuries of civil society -- and from last week's Internet offerings.

These kids grew up on an island with almost no exposure to other people or sophisticated ideas or speech. So I think the writers got that part accurately.

Posted by: MeriJ | May 12, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

The donkey wheel:

Whenever it was turned, an extremely bright light filled the chamber and, indeed the entire island. Check.

Dr. Chang initially described the light source as "negatively charged exotic matter" associated with "volatile electromagnetic energy." That was when Dharma first saw the sonic image of the donkey wheel while digging the Orchid station. In other words, he perceived it scientifically.

Jury's still out.

Posted by: MeriJ | May 12, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

11aa11 said: "This makes the episode much more interesting, because, according to her, she thought it was the MIB who was special and who would "take her place", but decided it was ultimately Jacob."

Yeah, that's why I thought she decided to kill the real mom the instant she laid eyes on MIB.

For the first time, I am willing to consider the possibility that MIB (with a healthy infusion of LA X Locke) might end up taking Jacob's place. I wouldn't bet on it, by any means, but in the past when that idea came up I was not attracted to it. Now it seems at least plausible.

Posted by: MeriJ | May 12, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

But if crazy mom was original smokey ("the mom formerly known as smokey"?), and one of the boys was her replacment, then why would she have warned them away from going down there? I can see it when they were kids (as per her "it's not time yet" line), but why not when Jacob was full-grown? If she had decided he was "the one," then wouldn't she have sent him down the hole, instead of telling him never to go in and that it was a fate worse than death, and having him drink the wine instead? And why would she have decided that MIB Jr. was NOT the one, since he apparently was the one who became Smokey?

I agree that she had some personal experience or knowledge of what would happen to anyone who went down there. But it seemed to me like she was trying to protect her kids from that, vs. seeing them as her replacement as smokey. I think she is more protector/jailer of what was down that hole -- and that's the role Jacob inherited.

Posted by: laura33 | May 12, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

For those of you who hated this episode (or how things are being wrapped up)...I think you are victims of your own over-thinking the entire series. I believe the writers just set out to tell a story that would capture our imagination and keep us coming back season to season (ratings.) They more than accomplished that goal. The idea that the writers somehow "owe" us solid, this-totally-makes-sense answers is our own expectation. What Losties have consistently done throughout the series is dissected every detail and nuance far beyond what the writers ever imagined. We are holding ourselves hostage to our imaginations and desire to make sense of a never ending story: good vs evil. Everyone just take a chill pill and enjoy the story for what it is - warts and all. It was a fine ride and a great diversion from our everyday life. I, for one, applaud the entire writing staff for the entertainment and enjoyment they have provided us all.

Posted by: tm34 | May 12, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

So Jack had the bag with stones in Season 1. I can't remember, does he STILL have the bag, or did it get passed on to someone else?

Posted by: Dr_Bob | May 12, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I'll back read all the comments later, right now I just wanna say that I feel like Lloyd Dobler, I gave this show my life & they gave me a "light."

**lesigh**

Posted by: wadejg | May 12, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

"Everyone just take a chill pill and enjoy the story for what it is - warts and all. It was a fine ride and a great diversion from our everyday life."

Well said, tm34!

Posted by: MeriJ | May 12, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

"MIB is not wrong in blaming Jacob for his plight. He told someone - Sawyer? - that he hates Jacob because Jacob stole his human body, which is true. Jacob did worse than murder his brother, and he knew what he was doing. He was warned by his stepmother that entering the cave would be worse than dying, and he did that to his brother anyway" - posted by uniqueID

I agree with this. The episode turned the Jacob = good; MIB = pure evil interpretation on its head. Jacob was revealed as a follower who was fine spending his life alone with a murderer, and his brother was the more intelligent, critical thinker and sympathetic character. MIB had few illusions about the Others or about his family. With some justification, he just wanted to get away from the place he was never meant to be.

Posted by: PortlandMaine | May 12, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

ACK! I meant to say "I gave this show my HEART & it gave me a light."

Actually, now that I think about it, I do give it my life 2 days a week at the very least.

Posted by: wadejg | May 12, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I've always tried to have a good attitude about the shows/writing/characters etc. Because ultimately, you're right, tm34, we're just the viewers not the writers.

BUT, last night's episode was just an all around bad episode in my opinion. First of all, it was TERRIBLE casting for the role of the "mother" and Janney was pretty awful from the beginning. The dialogue was cheesy. The movement was way too slow. I kept thinking, we could have done all of this in a 15 minute "flash back" and have real island stuff going on meanwhile.

I don't even care about what answers they gave us or what was revealed... it was just a bad show. Simply put. If I were a new viewer and that was one of the first episodes I watched, I would not be interested in the series at all.

I don't think that's me being "held hostage to my over-thinking the nuances," it's just me liking good television and being able to spot bad television when it's right in front of me.

Posted by: smynola06 | May 12, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone catch the line that MIB said to Jacob when they were playing with the stones game? They were talking about rules and MIB said "One day, you will find your own game and then YOU can make all the rules"...
I instantly thought about his bringing people to the island and the numerous conversations about proving man is still good and can overcome evil tendancies, etc.
Jacob seems to be leading all of the Losties and back when the Others were around, not to mention Richard, etc...creating rules for them to follow...
Did anyone else catch that or am I reading too much into it?

Posted by: Ohyouknow | May 12, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

So we stuck with this show for all these years for THIS? This episode provided absolutely ZERO answers. We already knew there was something special on the island, and now we know it glows. Whoop-de-doo. We have no explanation for why humans came to the island -- we only kicked it back another generation. And no explanation for the rules of the game -- which seem to have been violated anyway when Jacob killed his brother. Unless there is some gigantic upcoming twist which makes us see this episode in a whole new light, we learned NOTHING. This episode was a complete waste of time. Oh, and by the way, Allison Janney was ridiculously out of place in those rags. I laughed every time she appeared on screen. Why did the show break its "no-stars" rule at the last minute?

Episode grade: F

Posted by: jerkhoff | May 12, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

11aa11: There's a lot of evidence to suggest that "Mother" was the previous body inhabited by the Smoke. Just one in a (who-knows-how-long) line. The entire village was destroyed very very quickly (people were burned), she was stabbed with the dagger before she spoke (which propogates that myth that we've heard many times since), she knew that the light was "worse than death."

Wow! And she thanked him (her son, before he was MIB/Smokey, for putting her out of her misery. I think you nailed it.

Posted by: PortlandMaine | May 12, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

tm34, you may be old enough to remember a show called Twin Peaks, which started out as one of the greatest TV shows of all time and fizzled out into a mishmash of bizarre occult cross-plots. Lindelhof and Cuse specifically assured us that Lost would NOT cheat us that way. Particularly three years ago when they announced that the series would have a definite end date. And now they're wasting one of their final episodes with a lame story which could come right out of third-grade Bible class and answered NOT A SINGLE QUESTION, and not one of the characters we actually CARE about got an instant of screen time. Last week they killed off Sayid and Lapidas like you would squash an ant. They could have used some of the time they wasted on this week's ridiculous episode to bring some meaning to these scenes. I haven't been so mad since the episode where they plugged Rousseau and Carl.

We are OWED a clean resolution, or this show is going to end up as the biggest scam of all time...

Posted by: jerkhoff | May 12, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

This will be my last rant of the day... this episode may have ruined both Lost and West Wing for me. Way to ruin two awesome TV shows in one hour, LindeCuse. Now go sleep on your giant pile of money with many beautiful women.

Posted by: GoPens | May 12, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

What I took from this episode is that this has probably been an eternal struggle. Crazy Mom was not the first to come up with the idea that the islan had to be protected, and MIB was not the first to become smokey. There are no beginnings or endings to the turning of the wheel of time, but this was A beginning. The beginning of the war we are now about to see the end of next week.

I enjoyed the episode for what it was, understanding that we will never SEE how it all began, because it has been going on as long as man has existed, in all probability. Do I want more answers? Sure. Do I have to have ALL the answers. Nope. I think we'll get more though. Maybe not as much as many of us might hope for, but enough to give us a satisfying ending.

Although it looks to me that this season could have been extended into another fullyear of stories. It does feel a bit rushed at times.

Posted by: louiesully | May 12, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

"this episode may have ruined both Lost and West Wing for me."

Whoa, let's not get carried away here! *Nothing* that Lost does -- not even flagrant misuse of Allison Janney -- could destroy West Wing! (Though, let's be honest, WW damaged itself with that last shark-jumped season, but not quite badly enough to wipe out all those years of awesomeness.)

Posted by: Janine1 | May 12, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Agree with Ohyouknow. Jacob does appear to have created his version of the black/white stones game--complete with his own rules...hopefully the final 2 episodes will shed light on whether Jacob is a legitmate prophet in a cosmic game (religion/mythology wins out) or that he has invented the silliness in a misguided attempt to validate/bring meaning to his existence (science wins out when it shows 'the light source' as simply an exotic energy form that can be scientifically explained).

Posted by: Philo2 | May 12, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I loved the episode and think UniqueID's ideas are really compelling. The only part of it I thought sucked was the birth scene. I mean, most birth scenes on TV are pretty bad, but this one was even more ridiculous than usual.

Otherwise, I think all you whiners are, well, a bunch of whiners. I'm thoroughly enjoying the ride, myself.

Posted by: LizaBean | May 12, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

LizaBean, we have EARNED the right to whine about this show. THIS EPISODE SUCKED...

Posted by: jerkhoff | May 12, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Notice the similarities between MIB and Hurley? Both can see dead people.

I think the way the show will end (sadly), is that Hurley will die, something will happen to MIB, and MIB will take over Hurley’s body as the new MIB. In the meantime, Hurley will be reunited (happily), in death with his friend Charlie and the love of his life, Libby.

The final scene of the show will be the new MIB (Hurley), and the new chosen candidate (either Sawyer or Jack) playing that same board game on the beach with MIB (Hurley) saying, “Dude, do you know how much I want to kill you?, and the new chosen candidate saying, “Yes, I do.”

Posted by: xarn33 | May 12, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

"The only thing I took out of that episode is that Jacob is a whiney momma's boy and not very likeable, while the MIB is acting the way most of us would act; hating the woman who killed his real mom and doing everything in his power to leave the island and see what else is out there. (over the water) If Jacob is good and MIB is bad, I will take bad." Posted by: Iowahoosier

Ooyah. Booyah. Just funning with Ooyah who proclaimed that MIB was pure evil. It appears that, instead, MIB wasn't pure evil but was rather quite human. Until killed or drowned or clobbered something short of death by his brother. We now know MIB is dead and that the Smoke Monster merely took over his form, much as he has taken over Locke's form. Smokie, though, is pure evil and, to that extent, Ooyah had it right. Where Smokie came from we still don't know and, I suspect, we will never know. That is left for us to think about ab eterno.

Posted by: dojemc | May 12, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

I've always thought a boy's best friend is his mother.

Posted by: LarvellBlanks | May 12, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

over in the chat jen and liz were talking about the connections between MIB and ben (ben saw his dead mother too). i like the claudia connection they made above, but another claudia is one from the bible. she was apparently a roman christian (the claudia on the show was wearing a toga and speaking latin) who gave birth to a son named "linus" who eventually became bishop of rome.

you guys like it? ben as pope? :-) how does that work out for jen's "ben is good" campaign?


http://www.bible-history.com/isbe/C/CLAUDIA/

Posted by: plathman | May 12, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

OK, so we got an answer to where Jacob and MIB came from, but that just leads to the question of where the Allison Janney character came from. It sort of seems obvious to me: she's the Dread Pirate Roberts.

Posted by: charodon | May 12, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Haven't had time to read all the comments, so maybe this has already been said, but here goes...

I am having a strong memory of the island's fertility issues being a recent thing. It was always my understanding that it began when Ben became leader of the Others and that was why he was so obsessed with it.

As we witnessed, Dharma people had babies on the island (Ethan) and Eloise was pregnant with Daniel in the 70s on the island. Although we don't know if Daniel was born on the island, it would have been irresponsible for Eloise, as leader of the Others, to get pregnant on the island if she knew it would most likely kill her. And knowing her dedication to the island, I really don't think that would have been a risk she was willing to take.

Regardless, since this issue was so core to several seasons of the show and some of our most beloved and hated characters, I would really like an answer to this question in the next 3 1/2 hours of the show!! Ahhhhh!

Posted by: y1776 | May 12, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

The only problem is, when Jack opens his dad's casket, Christian's body is gone. Which means that when MIB takes over a body, the body disappears. Which then means that Adam and Eve skeletons would not be locked in a hand embrace because apparently MIB returns to Jacob's brother's form eventually to have all those talks on the beach.
****
i thought this too....but in thinking about it weren't all those flashbacks when MIB was in wearing his original face, in the past and not during this groups current life on the island

Posted by: nall92 | May 12, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone explain Liz's last answer in the chat: "I'm all for the mythology as long as it makes sense and fits in with our larger Lostie story. I just think last night's episode went pretty far afield from that story."

How was last night's episode "far afield" from the "larger Lostie story"? The smoke monster has been with us since episode 1; Jacob since season 2 (I think...). The questions of what the island is, what it's strange power is, whether it's a place of good or evil or some sort of purgatory or what have been the central themes of the mythology aspect of the show, I think; to me they are the larger story. It seems to me that the whiners (whether or not they have "earned the right,") are simultaneously complaining that the show didn't do enough to explain all these questions and that it spent time on them at all. I really don't get what it is that would make Liz happy (and I generally love Liz, I just really don't get where she's coming from on this).

Posted by: LizaBean | May 12, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

After doing quite a bit of reading about last night's episodes, I've seen a lot of names thrown around for Allison Janney's character (Mother Earth, unMom, Hairnet, etc.).

I think Jacob and MIB would agree that she is Nacho Momma. Thank you.

Posted by: beisbol | May 12, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

After doing quite a bit of internet reading about last night's episode, I've seen a lot of names thrown around for Allison Janney's character (Mother Earth, unMom, Hairnet, etc.).

I think Jacob and MIB would agree that she is Nacho Momma. Thank you.

Posted by: beisbol | May 12, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

After 1977, at least, women who CONCEIVED on the island died. I forget who told us that, probably Juliet, but the bad thing supposedly happened during conception, not the final stages of birth.

Posted by: MeriJ | May 12, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

If 1977 is accurate, could Jughead be a possible cause? Back in Dharmaville, Ethan most likely was conceived and delivered when the Losties were living there prior to the "Incident" in 1977.

And I also agree with you MeriJ for the kid actors last night! I loved the "Zac Efron/Justin Beiber haired" young MIB and young Jacob's innocence. These kids were born in a time that has always had internet and cell phones so talking like "Mother...blah blah" without other human interaction was a stretch for them, but I liked it.

When would Jacob get to make the rules is what I want to know. I think that's why young Jacob taunted FLOCKE with "You can't kill him" because young MIB made up the rules for other stones game.

But Allison Janney's hairnet distracted me towards the end of the show...they could've left that out for me.

Posted by: grapeeape | May 12, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Who finished the donkey wheel:

Almost 2000 years passed between what we saw last night and the first time (in the chronological timeline) we saw the finished donkey wheel. I assume there were many cycles of people coming to the island and that MIB instructed some of them to redig the well and finish the apparatus.

By the time Locke first saw it, the well had been filled in again but the chamber was still intact below. One gets the sense that this cycle has occurred many times - dig the well, fill in the well, dig the well...

That MIB was given a vision of how the apparatus would work is a more worthy mystery to ponder...

Posted by: MeriJ | May 12, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

y1776:

I've always thought the original Swan incident was the alleged cause of whatever happened to woman and their babies at conception. Jughead occurred on the same day as the original incident, which I find hard to grasp, but I guess it started a new timeline.

When Ben was trying to solve the problem, there had been no Jughead explosion, just the original EM incident. And as you said, it didn't seem like the Others or the Dharma folk had trouble conceiving before that.

Posted by: MeriJ | May 12, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

And in the end, does it really matter if children can be conceived and brought to term on the island? I mean, it's not as if anyone ever lives to a ripe old age there. Except for Jacob and Richard that is.

Posted by: louiesully | May 12, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

TM34- AMEN! and totally agreed!

this show caters to a lot of genres, and fans of those genres. there's romance (jack/kate/sawyer/juliet etc), there's science (a majority of season 5 revolving around white flashes in the the sky "moving the island in space and time), there's religion/mthyology (temple, jacob, smoke monster, ash ring, dagger, bright light), and action (keamy and crew, gunfights, fist fights, etc)...

the writers have a lot on their plates, and a lot going on. they always have. there's questions we probably wanted answers to in S1 that we just most likely forgot about cuz we've been taken on one hell of an awesome journey. and while i can care less about certain aspects or genres that the show participates in, as a whole - this is above and beyong anything i've ever seen on television. and it has people who claim to not even like it still posting here and analyzing. it does it's job.

bottom line is that some people will like certain parts or directions they take, others will not. and this can change on a day to day basis. Jack's tattoo episode? juliet gets branded? NIKKI AND PAULO? who cares!!! they were bad eps in an AMAZING SHOW.

Posted by: Jere1570 | May 12, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

also, remember when locke told Eko that he "looked into the eye of the island and what he saw was a beautiful white light?" i wonder if smokey (and i'm totally on board that jacob's brother and smokey are NOT one in the same) was coercing Locke into being on his side from day 1. locke knew it wasn't "going to hurt him". locke alwasy had a "communion" with the island. smokey knew he needed locke and manipulated him into following hime without even knowing it.

Posted by: Jere1570 | May 12, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

If this has already been brought up, sorry...can't read all the posts right now!

Did anyone else notice that when MIB showed Mother the "light" he found, he was taking a rock out of an already made wall? The rest of the pit was dug out.

So who made the wall surrounding the light?

Also, what if Smokey is the embodiedment of Jacob's anger/rage? That's exactly how he felt before Smokey came out.

Finally, before Jacob threw MIB in the stream to the light, he told MIB that he was the protector of it now. Since the light became Smokey, does that mean that Jacob is the protector of Smokey?

Posted by: monkeywrench2 | May 12, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I overstated my assumptions: We don't know whether any of the Dharma children were conceived on the island. They were bringing in new recruits on a regular basis. And I don't remember any children of The Others who weren't originally castaways or DI kids.

But I still suspect the Swan incident as the start of the problem.

Either way, it would be connected to the exotic matter/light. That's one mystery I do hope they explain.

Posted by: MeriJ | May 12, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

"Adam and Eve are revealed, and for those who complain that every answer is predictable this season, I dare you to find someone who predicted this one!" Posted by Merij

Agree, Merij. In fact, this reveal demonstrates that Lindecruse did have a rough outline of the plot as early as the show where they found the skeletons (when was that?). This is demonstrated by the black and white stone. Without the stones, it would simply have been two more unexplained bodies being found. Now we know that Lindecruse had an explanation for the bodies and would bring us back to who they were and that they tied in with the mythology of the Island and the story.

Posted by: dojemc | May 12, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

"this reveal demonstrates that Lindecruse did have a rough outline of the plot as early as the show where they found the skeletons"

I wonder, dojemc. I know "Darlton" said that at the time -- that the eventual reveal on the skeletons would prove they knew where they would end up. But I do wonder.

It may turn out that the black and white stones were the only part they planned out. Or that they changed whatever the original plan was for Adam and Eve. The 50-year old bodies thing makes me suspect the latter.

Posted by: MeriJ | May 12, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

But who built that big damn statue with the three toes!!!!!!!???????

Posted by: bethesdaguy | May 12, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Jerkhoff...I sure do and I totally agree about Twin Peaks (watched the entire series). And you make a good point about the writers not wanting that to happen which I suspect is why they decided to end it before they jumped the shark. But still, when you consider how Sopranos ended (another great TV story), I still stand by my reasoning that satisfying answers and conclusions are a product of our desire to tidy up loose ends. How the writer choses to end a story doesn't make the story a scam, it just makes it more mysterious and open to intrepretation (like Sopranos). We can then imagine our own ending or subscribe to one of the hundreds of theories put forth by Losties. That's why I say just sit back and enjoy the ride.

Posted by: tm34 | May 12, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Boy In Black "just knows" things:

He told Jacob he "just knows" how to play Senet -- the Egyptian gameboard that he found on the beach.

He just knew how to construct the donkey wheel apparatus. Although he credits the leaps in his thinking to the ideas of the off-island castaways, there's no way those 2000 years-ago yahoos would have known how to build a time/space travel device.
.
.
Speaking of 2000 years ago, how official is it that this episode took place in 23 AD? Is that just an Internet rumor? Because if true, that would place it around the time Jesus Christ started his public ministry.

Posted by: MeriJ | May 12, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

tm34: Have you been posting all along and I never noticed? I feel like you're taking the words right out of my head. (Which great, considering that typing is much duller than reading!)

Perhaps we are dividing into two camps here, those of Faith vs. the Doubting Thomases. Jack has already proved that even figureheads can switch camps.

So there is hope for you yet, smynola06 and jerkhoff! (Another great name, there, btw.)

Posted by: MeriJ | May 12, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Ok. I've finally read all the posts up to 4:30 on Wednesday. Obviously mixed feeleings about the show by the folks on this blog. For my part, I was overall pleased but there were some disconnects. Unfortunately, I too do think Allison Janney was miscast. And one thing that really annoyed me was her inability to walk barefoot on the island : - ) It looked like simply walking was killing her. Shoulda taught her to tan leather into shoes as well as weave, I suppose.

However, I did like the interaction between the two brothers. I thought Boy MIB was well-developed and all of his actions were completely understandable. As I posted above, I do think the being we call MIB is nothing more than Smokey inhabiting MIB's form. Smokey is evil. We don't know why or what it is and I'm not sure we'll ever know.

Comments on a couple other posts:

"I really liked this episode, but I was hoping for a little more explanation about the magic; how does she "make it" so they can't hurt each other, be immortal, etc.? How does she know how to do all this? And I don't have a sense of when in time this is. Are we talking 5,000 BC? 1500 AD? Who (and when) ultimately built that statue?"
Posted by: Dr_Bob |

Yeah, my theory last week that we might see who built the statute and when is shot to he**. Based on last night's story, I'm assuming that MIB and Jacob's mother was Roman or some other nationality that used Latin so it was likely set in the 200 BC til sometime early AD when Latin was used in daily talk. That begs the question though and raises another question that we will never get an answer to. If, indeed, the others seen in this show were Romans or Latin speakers, then how were they able to sail into the South Pacific, if that is where the island was at the time they were on it? I know of no historical evidence indicating that Romans ever were able to sail from the Mediterranean to the Pacific. So, how the heck did they get there? I suppose this can be answered by some of the discussions we had last year that the island might have once been located in the Mediterranean in the time of the Ancient Egyptians/early Greeks (Atlantis anyone?) and then moved. No clue.

"I agree with this. The episode turned the Jacob = good; MIB = pure evil interpretation on its head. Jacob was revealed as a follower who was fine spending his life alone with a murderer, and his brother was the more intelligent, critical thinker and sympathetic character. MIB had few illusions about the Others or about his family. With some justification, he just wanted to get away from the place he was never meant to be."
Posted by: PortlandMaine

Completely agree.

Posted by: dojemc | May 12, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Great recap from Fishbiscuitland:

I don't go anywhere but here to discuss Lost. I do go to Lostpedia to remember things. I do go to DarkUfo each Tuesday night to get annoyed with people who hate every episode and need an outlet for their disappointment.

And I go to Fishbiscuitland for value-added recaps. Each one is built around thought provoking and often hilarious visuals. I forget the name for those java doohickies that cycle images, but Fishbiscuit is a master of them, using six seasons worth of classic screenshots from the show. (Jack is a frequent victim of ridicule, the medium being ideally suited to displaying jackfaces.)

Anyhow, watch this one if you are disappointed with how the series seems to be ending. I think you'll find that it expresses your views quite effectively:

http://fishbiscuitlandblog.blogspot.com/2010/05/see-you-soon-see-you-all-after-finale.html


Posted by: MeriJ | May 12, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Sorry! Wrong link. Go here instead:

http://fishbiscuitlandblog.blogspot.com/2010_04_01_archive.html

Posted by: MeriJ | May 12, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Maybe someone already mentioned this (I didn't have time to read all of these postings) but I don't think the dark son was turned into smokie. I think smokie killed the dark son. Smokie was always there and killed MIB if he was not already dead when he floated into the glowing hole. The dark son is dead, period.

The mother also was not smokie since the dark son was able to stab her. You can't stab smokie. I also don't think the mother killed the villagers. I think smokie did, maybe at her request, but it was smokie that did the killing, not mommy.

Since smokie can take the form of dead people he will take the form of the dead dark son. That is why we know smokie as MIB today. Also, like with Locke, smokie takes on attributes of the person he takes the form of. MIB considered all people corruptible, and so does smokie in the form of the dark son. Someone tells smokie while in the form of Locke that he can't do something and smokie yells back "Don't tell me what I cannot do", just as Locke used to do.

So I think smokie was always in the hole with the bright light, and the woman, jacob and the dark son were just people, but the woman knew about smokie and it possibly had a relationship with her like smokie had with Ben. Why she had to kill the mother after she gave birth I don't understand, except what she said, that the mother would take the kids back to civilization, something she seems to not like much, and passed that onto the dark son. I agree she could be corrupted by smokie, like Rousseau and Claire. What that's all about I'm not sure and don't know if it will ever be explained.

I agree with the frustrated posters. It seemed like a filler episode where 5 minutes could have given us all the info we were given. And the lame explanation the dark sons says to mom, about how they were going to hook up the donkey wheel to regulate the water into the light and travel across the sea. I mean, REALLY! Where did people 2000 years ago come up with that? And notice that no one had a compass that spun making people dig to fnid out why, as FLocke explained. I'm thinking the writers are getting lazy, having underlings do the writing and editing. Sloppy, but I still love it. The big question is whether we will be frustrated after the finale. I'm guessing yes, in some ways.

Posted by: Fate1 | May 12, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

That begs the question though and raises another question that we will never get an answer to. If, indeed, the others seen in this show were Romans or Latin speakers, then how were they able to sail into the South Pacific, if that is where the island was at the time they were on it? I know of no historical evidence indicating that Romans ever were able to sail from the Mediterranean to the Pacific. So, how the heck did they get there? I suppose this can be answered by some of the discussions we had last year that the island might have once been located in the Mediterranean in the time of the Ancient Egyptians/early Greeks (Atlantis anyone?) and then moved. No clue.
Posted by: dojemc

I've looked for a screenshot but can't find one, but I clearly remember when Eloise was in the lighthouse "explaining" why the Lostees had to return to the island, the map on the floor had crosshairs for the island's locations in time, and the southern Mediterranean was one location, so I'm guessing that is where it is in this episode, not far from egypt. So I think we'll see visitors from egypt arrive to build the statue, and of course, be torn to shreds mercilessly by smokie. Seems there is an endless number of redshirts in Lost, from all civilizations and time periods. The island is just one big killing machine!

Posted by: Fate1 | May 12, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

This episode would have been much better a couple of seasons ago, with the mythology better threaded through the series as a whole.

Does anyone know where the dark twin got the dagger?

Posted by: aes4 | May 12, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

A few randomish thoughts: I keep thinking about all the Lost kids who were/are being raised by someone who isn’t their mother. We have Jacob & Boyinblack, Locke, Jin, Alex, and now Aaron (at least recently) and Ji Yeon. Sawyer would have been too, though he was older when his mother was killed. Jacob, Boyinblack and Alex were forcibly taken from their mothers. I agree with those who think that Alison Janney had some personal experience with that light/water), and Ben was brought back to life by the spring (which I assume has some connection to the light/water) – so all three of those kids were raised by someone who had been seriously touched by the island. Of course, now that I’ve said this, I don’t know what to do with it….

Several people wondered about how Jacob got off the island. I wonder if it was linked to the donkey wheel. Ben told Locke that once you turned it, you couldn’t come back, but then Ben did – maybe Jacob was able to come and go at will.

I was disturbed at first too about Jacob seeming so bland next to the charismatic Boyinblack. Then I had to laugh at myself. From another perspective, doing things like lying and being bossy and running away to live with people you know nothing about seems pretty rebellious and not necessarily all that smart. (And now that I think about it, he reminds me of a boy I had a terrible crush on when I was about that age.) If Jacob was indeed a fairly innocent by the time he was in his, what, late 30’s, he’s had another couple thousand years to gain experience and wisdom since then. I had been thinking of Jacob and MIB as demigods of some sort, but I much perfer the idea of Jacob being a person who made a choice to guard the island (though he probably didn’t know what he was getting into).

Finally (whew), I think it’s really interesting how we so often automatically try to fit things into good and evil categories. I don’t remember Mother Janney’s exact quote about the light being life death, rebirth, the source (as UniqueId put it) but that makes it sound well beyond the binary and more into the pure power/big bang arena.

Posted by: leaf29 | May 12, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

MIB can't leave the island because MIB (post-transformation) IS the island. If he leaves, he'll take all that life force with him, essentially ending all human existence.

Posted by: charodon | May 12, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Just because Christian's body was gone after the plane crash, doesn't mean smokie actually uses the body. We never see him actually take the body. But we do know smokie looked like Lock while in the foot and Locks body was outside the foot.

Posted by: armous | May 13, 2010 6:59 AM | Report abuse

Jen and Liz, why did you censor the comment I wrote last night?

Posted by: jerkhoff | May 13, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

jerkhoff:

Last week something like that happened to me too. It was an innocuous post about why I think so many people dislike Kate. When I tried to submit it I got a message saying my post was being diverted for review by the blog owner. But it never showed up again.

Later I remembered that I had used a word that rhymes with witch in the text. So maybe they have installed filters now screen for inflammatory words?

Posted by: MeriJ | May 13, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Fate1 at 10:11pm nailed it. In my opinion

Posted by: Jere1570 | May 13, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Bingo. I just attempted a post with that word again -- rhymes with witch, starts with the letter B -- and I got this in response:

"Thank you for commenting.
Your comment has been received and held for approval by the blog owner."

Posted by: MeriJ | May 13, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

I thought the episode cleared up many issues – and leads us to the answer of Jacob’s assertion that in the end, people will choose good over evil.

It appears to me Jack is being setup as the character that will decide the island’s fate. MIB has decided he must eliminate all candidates in order to stop history from repeating itself and leave no one to replace Jacob as caretaker of the life force revealed in the cave.

My guess is Jack will replace Jacob; choose “good” at the pivotal moment despite his choice meaning he and remaining characters will become trapped; and doom MIB on the island forever.

History will simply repeat itself – and all these years of watching Lost will end in frustration for devoted fans. In fact, I feel as if I have become Lost and trapped on an island for wasting so many brain cells on a TV show.

Posted by: clandestinetomcat | May 13, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

For such an epic series, Lost has managed to keep so much suspense over 6 years. In addition to the obvious mysteries and storylines, it’s also done an incredible job at throwing small clues and hints at its viewers to pick up on. Many of these have gone missed, and many have been spotted. I think that a big part of the show is putting the pieces together like a puzzle – the answers aren’t going to be explicitly stated ever on the show. It’s wrong to expect that. For a show that’s kept us guessing so long, who wants a simple answer. Here’s what I’m talking about regarding the hidden clues/hints along the past 6 seasons: http://thesmogger.com/2010/05/13/looking-at-lost-the-things-you-may-have-missed/

Posted by: mksmogger | May 13, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Objectively, the episode wasn't bad. Not good, but not bad.

However, after the "That there's the light of the world, and there's a little of that light in all of us" conversation (complete with swelling sapping music) it was hard to move on and take the rest of the show seriously.

For the first time ever I told me wife "This is really corny" and she agreed.

Posted by: MDSCP | May 13, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

> "However, after the "That there's the light of the world, and there's a little of that light in all of us" conversation (complete with swelling sapping music) it was hard to move on and take the rest of the show seriously."

That was my reaction too, while watching it. Yuch! But I've come to think maybe they were showing us how it all seemed to Jacob, who was a sweet but highly sheltered boy/young man. Hence the soft light and swelling chords.

Or maybe that episode's director is a hack. I hope not.

Posted by: MeriJ | May 13, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

"I thought the episode cleared up many issues – and leads us to the answer of Jacob’s assertion that in the end, people will choose good over evil." --clandestinetomcat

I dunno, did Jacob actually ever say that? If so, where did he get those ideas? Not from the woman who raised him, certainly.

Posted by: PortlandMaine | May 13, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

> "However, after the "That there's the light of the world, and there's a little of that light in all of us" conversation (complete with swelling sapping music) it was hard to move on and take the rest of the show seriously."

See, I interpreted this as "These ancient-timey people are interpreting this scientific phenomemon based on their religious beliefs because they don't have modern science to offer a different view. Thus, Jacob believes that what Dharma learns is an electromagnetic force is some supernatural source of all life in the universe." I really reall really really don't think the writers meant for us to believe Crazy Allison Janney, but just realize that this is why Jacob thinks that he's the guardian of all good and evil on the planet.

Posted by: PQSully | May 13, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, PQ, that's pretty much what I was thinking too. I was stumbling in that direction with two posts around 1:30 PM yesterday, but you said it better.

It certainly beats the "director was a hack" scenario. But sometimes I wonder if I'm just choosing to see things in whatever light most satisfies me.

When listen to music I add grace notes, vary the rythymn of the melody, and hear nuances in the singing that I know aren't really there. And I'm totally uninterested in what the writer intended in the lyrics. It's rarely as meaningful as the personal interpetation I came up with.

Posted by: MeriJ | May 13, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Meant to say "It's rarely as meaningful TO ME."

Posted by: MeriJ | May 13, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Rather than some sort of Biblical story or epic it's more in the genre of a Greek tragedy. However everything is based on disinformation, lies, deception, murder (esp. murder) and using people for unstated ends. The dominant feature tying the story together is the massive lack of information available to people - even now, as we learn, on the part of people we thought had answers - which limits peoples' ability to decide on correct responses. Maybe the Janey character didn't even have adequate information but it looks like we'll never know. Unfortunately the whole show is just one long exercise in domination and bashing people's heads in in one form or another: a kind of nihilism.

Posted by: kirtu | May 13, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

haven't read the comments yet. But Mission Accomplished. They caused a lot of people to speak up/out about this episode. So whether you liked it or not (me not so much) it accomplished something.
A lot of buzz. So when do we see Lost books and games on the store selves and a feature Lost movie? Then there will be "Lost conventions" of Lostees who dress up like Lost characters all over the U.S. Look out Trekies. There is a lot to expand on with regards to the history of the island, so I expect a lot of books/games.
Good job writers/directors!
I don't think the episode accomplished much else. The next episode should explain the Hurley Bird. That would be about as exciting.

But I do expect Widmore to explain the island phenomena in scientific terms next episode, so that we are re-balanced with regards to faith and science. Choose faith and mythology if you will, but there will be a pseudo-scientific explanation as well to choose. (people's energy [dead or alive] and electromagnetic energy interact.)

Also I predict one of the big reveals on the finale will be MIB's name. We'll find it out as he dies or wins the game. last episode was to keep us in suspense.

Speaking of the game, Jacob and MIB are still playing the board game only they are using people as game pieces. Jacob seems to have a better strategy at this point.

We saw Jacob on the island with Richard in mid-19th century then again when Ben killed him. Other than that we have no roof Jacob was on the island. Ben did not see or talk to him. We don't know if anyone else did, since MIB was pretending to be Jacob at times. So Jacob could have spent most of his time off the island creating the Hanso foundation and the Dharma Initiative, bankrolling Widmore, etc. All as part of playing the game with MIB.

Posted by: KevinAF | May 13, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

"So Jacob could have spent most of his time off the island creating the Hanso foundation and the Dharma Initiative, bankrolling Widmore, etc. All as part of playing the game with MIB."
Posted by: KevinAF

A very neat idea! I had thought Widmore was creating Dharma behind Ben's back, and making a baby off-island in the process, but I never considered Jacob behind that effort. Yes, it adds up, Jacob was directing Widmore while MIB was directing Ben, who thought it was Jacob he was taking direction from. I'll also bet MIB had the Others rebuild the donkey wheel, because as we saw, Jacob never knew about the cave or the wheel, only the mother.

I'm also guessing that smokie was not always so up tight and nasty. But it seems smokie takes the attribute of the person whose form he takes. I am now thinking that the importance of bringing Locke's body back was to have MIB take its form, with Locke's attributes and no longer Jacob's brother's attributes of wanting off the island or thinking all people are corruptable. This may make for a different smokie, one who thinks differently and can be trapped by using Locke's personality. For example, maybe FLocke can be maneuvered by telling him that he cannot do something (Don't tell me what I can't do!). Maybe ... "Hey Locke, I bet you cannot fit into this wine bottle!" And after he gets in, put in the cork! ;-)

Posted by: Fate1 | May 13, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm quite sure that the cave light is an energy source of great power that is fundamental to the island and maybe the world. We know the island's energy has magnetic properties and effects relating to time and consciousness. Lost treats consciousness (your spirit) as something that can be studied and manipulated (thinking of Daniel and Desmond here). The presence of ghosts in the world is a manifestation of consciousness that goes on after the body is gone. The spiritual and physical worlds aren't really separate in Lost.

Anyway, the energy is so powerful that if you literally bathe in it, as Jacob's brother did, it strips your consciousness clean away from your body. When the hatch blew up, Desmond didn't experience the power so directly, so it merely "dislocated" his consciousness, pushing into his past or into his future (giving him premonitions of Charlie's death). But for the man in black, it took his spirit (consciousness) away from his body, leaving it obliged to fly around or inhabit human forms of dead people whose bodies happened to be available (including his own).

It's clear that the boy in black and the smoke monster and the Man in Black and Fake Locke are one and the same person (and one consciousness). (I don't like calling him MIB because that describes just one form of him. So I call him Esau). If he gets off the island, maybe he carries some of the energy within him and it would have devastating impacts on space-time. Maybe it would change the past. Charles Widmore and Eloise seem to know, but I don't.

Posted by: webg | May 14, 2010 1:28 AM | Report abuse

I am kinda tired of people saying "just enjoy the ride" I didn't get interested in the show for the love storys or the characters' plot. I started getting interested in the show because I wanted to find out what was going on with the island. This WHOLE series is ending up to be about who the chosen one is to guard the island. We can't even get the answer to what the island is or where it started, why would we care who has to guard it? This show came across to me as a mystery with different clues showing up along the way (the numbers, big statue, the black rock) when actually these aren't "clues", they have nothing to do with what the island is or what is going on. it's like reading a 1000 page book, but once your 950 pages in, you realize it ain't as interesting as you hoped, but you're so close to the end, might as well finish it, hoping something will happen to make it all worth while.

Posted by: armous | May 14, 2010 7:25 AM | Report abuse

Dharma on Team Jacob?

But why would Jacob want scientists digging/drilling directly into the energy source?

It seems more plausible that they were purged because they were a threat to the energy source.
.
.
I like webg's thoughts (just above at 1:28 AM). I may need a day to digest them, but they are suggestive.

Posted by: MeriJ | May 14, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

MIB is not dead, but now he really cannot leave the island because he doesn't have a body. He, like his adoptive mother, is "special." I think "special" means you can turn into the smoke monster (and you don't get to have a name). Clearly she, as the smoke monster, killed the community MIB had been living with and filled in the donkey-wheel-hole. And clearly, MIB knew she had killed his community as the smoke monster. Finally, why do we have to believe ANY of her non-answers? "I made it so you can't hurt each other...". Really? That was a lie because we were deliberately shown the two boys fighting viciously -- and bloody noses hurt!

Ultimately, I really don't want to live in a universe where the conclusion to LOST turns out to be a cave full of light. I just got home from Lowe's. They are having a sale on pitchforks. Just sayin'.

Posted by: a68comeback | May 14, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

armous said: "I am kinda tired of people saying 'just enjoy the ride.' I didn't get interested in the show for the love storys or the characters' plot. I started getting interested in the show because I wanted to find out what was going on with the island."
.
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But isn't that exactly what they're explaining right now? The island harbors a extraordinary source of EM energy that bends time and space. It confers certain powers to the person chosen to protect it as well as to certain other people -- special people in particular. It also created smokie, by design or by accident. This is what is going on with the island.

The side-story 'shipper/romances, the character development, the sardonic sidecracks and the action-focussed episodes are what some people like about the show.

But the mythology regarding the competing teams seeking to protect or abandon (?) the energy source are also a major part of "what's going on with the island." For a short while this season, it was looking like a good vs. evil story, but I think we're waaay beyond that now.

They have 3+ hours of playing time left in which to wrap things up. But we are making huge strides in getting the particulars answers you seek. It seems to to me that it's the 'shippers and character development fans who will get short changed in these last episodes.

Are you sure the real problem isn't that you don't want to know what is really going on with the island? The old "mysteries are more intriguing than answers" angle?

Posted by: MeriJ | May 14, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Island vs. people relationship

I believe this is the primary 'ship: How this extraordinary energy source changes people and how different people respond to it. How each of them perceives it. How they fight and murder one another over it.

Is it a soft glowwy light accompanied by schmaltzy Indiana Jones music? A scientific discovery of mindblowing proportions?

Is it the source of all goodness and light in the universe? Or is that just how people choose to see it because it's so powerful? Maybe it's a totally impersonal natural phenomena that Allison Jenney and Jacob interpeted as "good."

Or maybe, as Evangeline Lilly told Letterman, it was just a dream...

Posted by: MeriJ | May 14, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

MeriJ said "Is it the source of all goodness and light in the universe? Or is that just how people choose to see it because it's so powerful? Maybe it's a totally impersonal natural phenomena that Allison Jenney and Jacob interpeted as 'good.'"

YES! Exactly! This is what I came away with this week. The island itself is an impersonal natural phenomena, neither good nor evil, and each person who encounters it interprets it through their own personal lens. It is no more good or evil than, say, a flood. There may be good (enriching the soil on a flood plain, which makes rich farmland) or bad repercussions (people's homes are destroyed), but the flood itself is morally neutral. It is we humans that may or may not assign greater meaning to the flood (and of course I chose a flood as my example because many faiths have a flood myth).

Posted by: PQSully | May 14, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I think that what makes Aaron so special is he is the only baby that has been born on the island after Jacob/ MIB....or so I think. Thoughts?

Posted by: espressoyourself1971 | May 14, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I think at this point we are all going to have to "go along for the ride" since I think the "powers that be" behind Lost ran out of time for the series. Though they have stated they had enough time to wrap things up, it would seem obvious that with all the issues that have been brought up by posters in the past few days there is no way to address them, even cursorily, in the few hours that are left in the series. I think we will be lucky if they address Liz and Jen's five major questions.

Posted by: AlfromAlexandria | May 14, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, it is funny how long it takes them to tell a story. Maybe this is true of all TV shows, but I don’t understand why. Are they overly accustomed to a pace that stretches material to cover 50 minutes?

Think of what The Twilight Zone covered each week in only a ½ hour. Or, as I mentioned a few weeks ago, how happy a movie director would be if told he or she had “only” three more hours in which to tie up the loose ends.

Admittedly, this is a very complex story with many characters whose fate must be addressed. But still...

Posted by: MeriJ | May 14, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

MeriJ: "But why would Jacob want scientists digging/drilling directly into the energy source?

It seems more plausible that they were purged because they were a threat to the energy source."

Remember Radinsky! Dr. Chang didn't like what he was doing. He was also breaking the agreement between the Others and Dharma. He was probably not doing what Jacob wanted but someone else...someone who was on the island... MIB! Also Radinsky didn't get purged and went freely around the island a lot to make that map. I'm just saying.

Posted by: KevinAF | May 14, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

expressoyourself1971: "... what makes Aaron so special is he is the only baby that has been born on the island after Jacob/ MIB....or so I think. Thoughts?"

Except Ethan and Alex. Daniel would seem to have been conceived on the island. Charlotte and others are possible.

Posted by: KevinAF | May 14, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

MeriJ said: "Maybe it's a totally impersonal natural phenomena that Allison Jenney and Jacob interpeted as 'good."

Allison Jenny told the boys it was good. She wanted someone to protect the good island from the outside world. Jacob does not believe her. He states his purpose as protecting the outside world from the evil island. She killed people/outsiders who came to the island, Jacob brought people/outsiders to the island. He chose to believe the opposite of her. Because she was crazy. It's ironic that she was crazy, evil, killing outsiders and now MIB who hated her, is just like her. I didn't see anything good in what she did. Jacob didn't either, and decided she lied to him. Is the island good or bad, or "it depends"? We have yet to find out.

Posted by: KevinAF | May 14, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

I think the Mother summoned the smoke monster, not sure she was it. Further showing her craziness in thinking that the habitat of the smoke monster would be "good".

Also she was stabbed to death before she could say anything, by the same knife Sayyid tried to kill MIB and Richard tried to kill Jacob. So maybe that's how that belief started.

Posted by: KevinAF | May 14, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

We can debate whether Allyson Janey knew what was right and wrong, or whether Jacob and MIB know everything. The answer is we really don't know. The real question is what is this energy the island has inside it? It glows so its got to be powerful (1st year film school). I'm convinced smokey has always existed, not born when the dark son died. Yet we know nothing about that either. That fact is, with only a few hours left, we still know little more than we knew a few years ago.

This is why this episode was so disappointing. What did we learn? That Jacob and MIB were once kids, brothers? Not that surprising. That they has mommy issues? So? That MIB killed mommy and Jacob killed MIB? Again, so? And as MIB goes into the hole, smokie comes out, telling us little. No explanation of how Janey protected the kids from each other, how the villagers were killed (I'm convinced smokie did it but no evidence...). At some point this story must be explained or more than a few people are going to be upset. And, as I suspect, we get to the finale and we learn little more, and are told there will be an upcoming movie, I will be at Lowes buying pitchforks for everyone!

Posted by: Fate1 | May 14, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

"I will be at Lowes buying pitchforks for everyone!"

Surely they are already sold out by now.

Posted by: MeriJ | May 14, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Well then thank goodness for Home Depot. :)

Fate, I agree. I feel like I learned basically nothing from the episode.

Fingers crossed that the episode tomorrow is amazing and just makes me forget what happened last week.

Posted by: smynola06 | May 17, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

I ignored “Lost” for three years. Like a fool, I purchased the first three seasons on DVD . I was the dumb fish that hooked himself and now feel like I’m about to be filleted and thrown on a hot skillet.

What makes MIB special? What is the life force? What are The Rules? What powers do Jacob and MIB really possess? Why the need for candidates? What is the purpose of The Others? Why does Desmond need to coexist between timelines? Is Jack going to save the world in the end by making an impossible choice? Is this going to end up like Stargate SG-1 which was forced to produce two awful movies to explain all the loose ends (and fail at it!)

I have a feeling there are going to be millions of angry fans on May 23.

Posted by: clandestinetomcat | May 18, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

"I have a feeling there are going to be millions of angry fans on May 23."
Posted by: clandestinetomcat

It's starting to look that way. There will have to be at least two movies.

Posted by: KevinAF | May 18, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

i just read the first two comments by Sully. I agree, Plus I was getting lots of "evolution" vibes from this last episode - claudia crawling out from sea to land, etc, then all that mixing with stories and legends and superstitions and beliefs and lies. so.... now i hope to read the rest of the comments before tonight.

Posted by: camis | May 18, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

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