"Across The Sea": Lost

I don’t write about it often–mostly because I’m afraid I’ll spiral into endless nerdy analysis–but I’m a fiend for Lost.  I’ve watched it from the first episode and I’ve been confused, fascinated, and excited by the story and the path it’s taking to its conclusion. The final season has offered viewers the answers they crave–but, in traditional Lost fashion, these last episodes have placed more questions in front of us. And tonight’s episode, “Across The Sea,” was maddening.

Let me say this now: here be spoilers. If you haven’t watched tonight’s episode, skip this post until you have. That way, you can come back and tell me if you came away with the same answers–and questions–I did. Also, I’m writing this for folks who are up to speed on what’s happening this season. Honestly, if you’re walking into things now, you’ll never catch up. Get the first five seasons from Netflix, take a weekend off and watch them in a marathon, then come back here.

Quick episode rundown: a pregnant woman washes up on The Island’s shore. A woman finds her, nurses her wounds, midwifes her twin babies…then kills her. Newborn Jacob and his nameless brother, the Man in Black (their mother only chose one name, and apparently never named her dark haired son), are raised by The Woman–played with creepy maternal majesty by Allison Janney–in complete isolation. She does show the boys what looks like a tunnel full of light, and tells them while they must protect the tunnel, they must never go in themselves. When he gets a little older, the Man in Black (MIB) is led into the jungle by the spirit of his dead mother, discovers other people living on the island and–just like a certain kid who caused lots of trouble on the island years later–runs away to live among the strangers. When MIB becomes a man, The Woman thwarts his escape and keeps him from building what must be the donkey wheel we saw Ben turn at the end of season four. Then, she seriously wounds MIB and wipes out his village. MIB survives his mother’s attack; he’s a little upset when he discovers his village is nothing but ashes and dead bodies, and he kills the woman who raised him. Jacob discovers MIB’s matricide and carries out his own type of justice: he forces his brother into the tunnel of light, something his adoptive mother told him was a “fate worse than death.” The tunnel goes dark and Clicky Smoke Devil flies from the mouth of the tunnel, which appears to frighten Jacob. Later, Jacob finds the body of his brother and, grieving, lays him next to the body of his dead mother. Jacob places a black stone and a white stone (pieces from a game The Woman made for her sons) in her hand.

The answers: we finally know who Jacob and MIB are! Kinda. And, with so few hours left in the series, I wonder if the identity and origin of the men’s mother will ever be revealed. Throughout the season, “Locke” (the Man in Black, posing as Locke) has talked about going home. But it appears as if he never knew where “home” is, and might not know now. Perhaps that’s another mystery we’ll be left with (like how an olive skinned woman bore such a Nordic looking child. Seriously, how does Jacob’s pale ass get by without sunscreen?).

And we know who “Adam and Eve” are: the Man in Black and The Woman. Way back in season one, the skeletons were a curiosity to Jack and Kate. Finally, we have an answer that, for the most part, makes sense.

We also know what–or, more accurately, who–created the Smoke Monster. It was Jacob! Have to admit that I did not see that coming. How does Jacob feel knowing he created a monster–and that the monster is his brother? And was that their mother’s intention all along? Did she know that one of her sons would eventually give in to temptation and crawl into the light-filled tunnel?

Which brings me to my new questions: Who is The Woman? How did she get to the island? Who was there before her? And why did she kill the twins’ biological mother–and why is it that MIB saw he ghostr, but Jacob couldn’t? How did the wine ritual ensure that Jacob would live for so long? And did the way The Woman raised the boys influence their future paths? The blonde hair and dark hair are pretty blatant symbols, but both brothers gave in to their dark sides as they grew to become men. Can we still call Jacob good and MIB evil after seeing how they came to become what they are now?

And, finally, the biggest question of all: How did I come away from this episode still asking more questions?

I won’t indulge my crackpot theories here–maybe I’ll nerd all the way out over in my other blog. But, if any of you folks are Lost junkies, tell me if you think you have answers to some of my questions. Share some of your own questions. Give me your wild theories.

We’re down to the wire, and Lost is still giving us puzzles to solve. I wonder if we’ll have time to find all the pieces. But even if we don’t, the search has been a blast.