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Recap: LOST 'Across The Sea' (S6, E15)

Wednesday May 12th 2010

by Paul Armstrong

The Twins


TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;


What in The?

  • Some lady washed ashore on the island (who knows how long ago), she had babies, and was killed with a rock (aren't they all?).
  • They're twin brothers, duh.
  • Their new mother says to the twins that they're special and they're on this island to protect the it from evil men, to kepp them from finding this cave of light.
  • A cave of light. I'll say it again. A cave of light. I really honestly expected Falcor to come flying out, laughing and screaming with Atreyu on his back (how awesome would that be?)
  • Noname learns the truth about himself and his brother from his ghost mom.
  • He leaves.
  • Jacob doesn't get it — but he's stupid because he has faith.
  • 30 years pass, the brothers play a game together with white and black pieces. Jacob doesn't think people are bad, Noname thinks they are. Jacob is stupid because he has faith.
  • Noname is smart and special and finds the electro-magentic pull and know how to harness it and use it 150 years before man even figures out how to get into space. He's not smart — it's S-MART.
  • Mother kills everyone in the evil man village and buries the electro-magentic well to the light.
  • Noname kills his "mother" which causes Jacob to throw, or rather let me slowly be pulled, into the light cave.
  • The blacksmoke comes spewing from the light cave, leaving behind a dead Noname (who joins his mother in the cave tombs to be discovered later by Jack, Kate and Locke)
  • Jacob is protecting the light cave.
  • LIGHT CAVE! Is that not replete with euphisms to Lindsay Lohan and her netherregions?

So here we have it. The (proverbial) pieces are laid out on the table, and we're presented with the "it' of the island. The everything. The black and white. White is faith, goodness, innocence, naivete, blind and simple. Black is truth, earnestness, exploration and intelligent. Jacob is white faith. Noname is black truth. Not a perfect ying or yang. Not complete opposites. But this what the show is saying about faith versus science. Science wants truth, faith adheres to lies (the lie that she was their mother, the lie that they were special, the lie that there was nowhere else but the island).


And, oh yeah, people are the absolute worst.


There is nothing revelatory about this view of faith, or the world; it's predominant and certainly isn't surprising. Someone with faith just accepts what he is told as fact, as truth, and will seek to repress anyone who attempts to "prove" to them otherwise. While science must always seek the truth of the world and man, intelligently finding ways to reveal it. And then there's this tunnel of light:

  • Where is the mother come from? Is she God? A god? A mushroom?
  • Who built the wheel that allows people to travel through time?
  • Is the blacksmoke the soul of Noname? Or just evil unleashed?
  • Where did the "light" come from?
  • How is a cave of light the source of life and death?


In the end it's obvious that there will be no commitment to the show answering any questions, only half-assed attempts at being pseudo-intellectual by open-endly saying something about faith and science and the nature of man and his ability to make the polar icecaps melt by using cars and farting alot into boxes, and calling it a humanistic approach to life and how nothing is ever that easy to answer or define and it's up to you, the viewer, to make your own conclusions about the show — because we've all watched the show for 6 years just so that we can answer all the questions ourselves — heaven forbid those who have the control, insight and ability to give solid conclusions ACTUALLY do that because that would be too definitive, and the world isn't black and white, it's gray and people are the worst (you know the enviornment and war and death and cars and houses and airplanes and caves of fucking light).




Comments for "Recap: LOST 'Across The Sea' (S6, E15)"

Yeah, I've been holding on this season just hoping against hope that they'll come up with satisfactory answers to the many mysteries they've raised. And now I'm pretty sure they won't.

It came right at the beginning of this episode, when crazy-mom said to about-to-be-dead-mom, "Every answer I give will only lead to more questions." (or something to that effect) It's like the show's writers are telling fans to just shut up. Yeah, thanks.

I liked the episode, but I thought it was unnecessary. I don't really want answers. I just want to see characters transformed from point a to point b. That was the part of the episode I liked. It shows MiB and Jacob's transformation and what shaped them.

I think your analysis is a bit too black and white. I don't think Jacob is stupid because he has faith. I think he knows his brother is right, but he believes his mother has best intentions. It's like the Prodigal son. Is the good brother stupid for not enjoying his rumspringa?

Also it's interesting to see how the brothers are like and unlike their "mother." The mother distrusts all man, yet Jacob rejects this notion and doesn't follow that on faith. In many ways, MiB is more like his mother than Jacob. He ends up killing a ton of people and thinking the worst of people, where Jacob has tremendous amount of faith in their goodness.

I think we look at the nature of Jacob and if he is to find a replacement, it looks more and more like Hugo.

You have a more rosy outlook on the overall intent than I do. I agree, the characters did transform (though only through revelation, not because they actually changed — that was a look at their past, not their present). We saw that No-name brother isn't as bad as we think, he's just "misunderstood". Jacob isn't stupid, but they sure did make him seem that way.

I think the show has set itself up for failure by engaging in mythologies it had no idea which to settle on. I don't expect answers to everything, but an explanation or purpose — a mission statement if you will — is almost necessary, otherwise the writers created a universe and mythology that has no reason for it's on existence, essentially saying "Fuck you watchers, you figure it out because we can't"

I thought they did a good job of showing that Jacob has advanced beyond his "blind acceptance" childhood. He's obviously interested in getting past "men are bad," and he's been spending eternity engineering a redemption for the people he brings to the island.

I disagree with Jim, though -- I think Hugo is going to be our new MIB. It's Jack and Hugo -- Jack protecting the heart of the island and Hugo there as his antecedent, balancing out the Ying. MIB is the one who can see dead people, like Hugo. MIB is the one with the balanced outlook on things and stuff, like Hugo. Maybe Hugo will be a *good* MIB, not a terrorist angry MIB, but I think it's him and Jack, on the island, forever.

And everyone else dies.

I wonder if the writers are trying to piss people off. This particular episode seemed a bit storybook-like. Oversimplified, trite themes... it all seems out of character. It's like more and more they're building contrast between reality and the island. The island is a bit fairytale-like, even if it's in a Grimm's sort of way. I sort of feel like it has to be something other than what is obvious.

What is ironic (or appropos, depending on how you look at it) is that the writers are in a godlike position, determining the past and present of all of the characters. This is not unusual in any story. What is unusual is that they are inspiring us to question our faith in their godlike position by making what they are writing seem ridiculous. At the same time, the story they are writing implies that blind faith is dumb. This, I think, supports my theory that the overly simple, trite message they seem to be presenting is either tongue-in-cheek, or else it's a red herring, and it's not at all what they're saying. There is some other point waiting to be made.

I hope they intend to make another point — and they have in times past. This entire season has been nothing if not predictable; aside from the deaths. We knew there was a battle coming, because it said there was (though, at the time it could have been misinformation, it has turned out not to be). We've repeatedly heard about faith and science (and it's typically been played quite well, with John and Jack; and now reversed). The faith and science between Jacob and Noname seems much more flaccid, whereas John showed many "Thomas" like doubting moments, Jacob seemed to just believe he was meant to protect the island because his not-a-mom said so (even though there was plenty of evidence available to him to prove she isn't trust worthy).

I guess in a way there story was the story — as you say Mike — of the writers and the audience. The mom is the writers; telling people what they want to hear, while doing something or meaning something else. We are either Jacob or Noname. Accepting what we're told, or believing that there is a "bait and switch" or more to come ...

One can hope there's more to come ...

What's with the "wine" that Jacob had to drink? Didn't he later try to get his brother to drink it as well?

Jacob's brother continually said how much he wanted to get off the island and find where he came from... that makes me think that the smoke monster is somehow his reincarnation. Or the smoke monster was always inside Jacob's brother?

Their real mother was only expecting one child - so she never names the second one!? I think it was poor writing how they always emphasized saying Jacob's name but never Jacob's brother. Has to have significance, right? Probably not.

The only way this show has kept people watching has been the questions it's raised. I expect nothing less, up until the end. No answers, only more questions.,

The wine? Was probably nothing more than wine. Though, I guess, their "mother" had some sort of super-nature gifts (immortality not being one of them).

They will probably reveal the name at the very last second of the last show "Me? I'm Silas, I'm going to be on a TV show called Deadwood - see ya suckers".

I do like the questions, but after awhile nothing but questions just means you don't know what you're doing — not that you don't want to answer, but you can't. I guess I don't mind it having no meaning, but this isn't Seinfeld, they're questions have always been imbibed with the subtext that there are answers.

I don't think Jack is staying on the island. If anyone stays on the island it's either Hugo or Desmond.

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Paul, which bag are you going to pick? The suspense is killing me.

It's such a tough choice! I'm just impressed that Louis came from the grave as a zombie-spammer to comment on my blog! I'm so honored that I might buy a man-purse for myself! Exclamation points!

The only way this show has kept people watching has been the questions it's raised.

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