Lost: The Flashbackiest Flashback Ever

I've gone on the record as saying that one thing Lost does well is deliver what I call "special episodes." You know, the ones where the typical storytelling is interrupted by a flashback from a long time ago (Richard Alpert's "Ab Aeterno"), a change in narrative structure ("The Other 48 Days"), master trickery ("Through the Looking Glass"), or some other concept. They're episodes that breaks things up, and they are generally my favorite episodes.

That's exactly what happened last night with "Across the Sea," but without the favorite episode part. As a standalone episode, it gave us completely new insight that will no doubt come back with relevance, it wrapped up its self-contained story just fine, and gave us more of both Jacob and the Man in Black, who I can never get enough of. But did it have to happen now? With just two episodes left?

Let's start with Titus Welliver and Mark Pellegrino, the actors who plays the Man in Black and Jacob. They're awesome, even though the whole time they shared scenes all I could think was "Wow it's Lucifer and one of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse just chilling out!" (that's a nod to one of TV's other finest shows). Pellegrino plays flashback Jacob as an inquisitive simpleton who seems stunted in his development, while Welliver delivers a sneaky, less-trusting MIB who is no Momma's boy. And in the end we find that Jacob may not be the angelic figure we thought he was and that MIB has a very understandable reason to get off the island. Even in the timeline we're familiar with, we now realize they are just centuries-old bickering children.

We learn that it's not so much the island that Jacob is protecting as it is some weird honeycomb-hideout that leads to the island's source of... well everything. A little bit of the light in the cave-hole "is in everyone" and apparently we all want more of it. Is it the "good" in all men? Is it some sort of tangible "life force"? Is it fried chicken? I love fried chicken! And it was Jacob, in a fit of rage, who cast his brother into the bowels of the island, permanently sealing his fate as a pissed-off smoke monster.

And honestly, that's about as much as we learned in the episode, so I won't blame you if you think it sucked. We could have learned all this in much less time, maybe through 10 minutes of clumsy exposition, but Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof (who wrote the episode) decided to give us the info over 60 minutes.

If you're the type of fan who is antsy for answers and progression, this probably didn't jibe with you. After all, there are only three-and-a-half hours left in the series and for all intents and purposes, "Across the Sea" felt pretty standalone. Was this an hour of Lost that we needed to see? Maybe not. Could you skip this episode and still understand what was going on? Probably so.

However, if you're still watching Lost for good storytelling, then "Across the Sea" was pretty satisfying in one of those "additional reading" or fan-fiction type of ways. As long as you can swallow the several questions which are simply answered, "because it's that way."

Next: Pass the wine! >>

There's still a chance that those questions will get answered (What is the light? How the heck does a donkey wheel in the side of an underground room make an exit? How did Mother make it impossible for the two kids to hurt each other?), and we have three-and-a-half hours to see if that happens. On its own, it's almost impossible to judge "Across the Sea" as it relates to the series as a whole. It's my belief that we won't be able to fully understand the importance (or irrelevance) of the episode until the series ends, and it could go down as one of Lost's greatest triumphs or worst missteps. Does that make sense?

I hope you understand that this isn't a cop-out on my part. "Across the Sea" is the most interesting episode of Lost's final season—whether it will be once the series ends remains to be seen.

Phew, got that part out of the way. As for the other questions that got answered, Rose and Bernard are NOT Adam and Eve (it's the body of MIB and Mum), and the key to Richard Alpert and Jacob's "immortality" is a sip from Mother Nature's magic wine.

Before the season started I came up with five pressing questions that Lost doesn't need to answer, and the Adam and Eve thing was on it (I assumed it was Rose and Bernard, but prior to last night's episode there really wasn't a way of knowing who it could be). With the Adam and Eve question answered, are you satisfied? At this point, could it have been anyone and you would react, "Oh, okay"? Because really, who cares? Did we really need this mystery gnawing at our brains to begin with? And weren't we led to believe that because of the state of composition of the bodies and their clothes that the skeletons couldn't be hundreds of years old (or even older) as they actually are? Something smells fishy here.

And with the wine thing, does drinking it make you impervious to aging but not to death? Richard drank it, so he doesn't age. But can he die? The Mother clearly didn't age, but she was killed by MIB. Do you have to "pass on" the power by giving someone else a sip before you can actually be killed? I'm a bit confused. Post theories below.

Things certainly are shaping up for a dense finale, aren't they? It's no wonder they had to extend it half an hour. And yes, I'm getting pretty excited about it.

Stray observation: Damon Lindelof is an unabashed Star Wars nerd, and there was a lot of George Lucas' classic in "Across the Sea." From the obvious shot of Jacob sitting on the beach near sunset a total doppleganger for young Luke on Tattoine to kid Jacob looking like young Annikan and the Kid in Black a stand-in for mini-Vader, "Across the Sea" borrowed from Star Wars and its good-versus-evil mythos whenever it could. But where Star Wars is about choosing good over evil or vice versa, "Across the Sea" showed us two sides of the same coin.

User Contribution News

First of all, apologies for not getting to a Supernatural write up. Got overloaded with things and it fell by the wayside (it was rad, did you see that intro for Death?). I will write the $*@# out of it for the finale... promise! I did get to writing about Breaking Bad though, check it out if you'r a fan of the show.

A few of you asked what other shows I watch, as I said Lost is one of my top five shows. In terms of serialized dramas, along with Lost I'm a huge fan of both Breaking Bad and Supernatural—both of the shows' current seasons are fantastic. When I need a laugh, Modern Family does the trick but Community is becoming the go-to show... that program gets better and better.

There were some great comments about Sayid's death in the comments section from last week. I especially liked caddington's note, which was the opposite of my take: "I thought Sayids death was actually much better because it 'just happened'. We've already seen him slowly die and lament the things he did.. then he came back to life and got all zombified. So to see him make that final breakthrough to the person he wanted to be and literally run with it was as poignant a scene as any drawn out death would have been for him." Point, caddington! I like that, but I still would have preferred something, especially since Jin and Sun got 3 hours to die (<--exaggeration).

LessParentheses asked: "Please stop using so many parentheses in your posts. At first, they made reading your blog endearing and relatively amusing. But you have gone from overusing this punctuation, to abusing it in almost every paragraph you write." You're absolutely right. These posts get to be a bit of stream-of-consciousness, and with all the voices in my head it's hard not to use parentheses. I will look into it for next week's column. But until then, ()()()()()()()()()()()()()()(). That should drive you nuts. Bonus points for creating a TV.com user name specifically to make that comment.

Here's fair warning for my column following the finale: I will be flying back from Las Vegas and from one of my best bud's bachelor parties that day. If the article makes no sense or reeks of booze and is covered in stripper glitter, I apologize.

The Lost Season 6 Episode Power Rankings

(I'll be keeping tabs on each episode, ranking them in terms of quality each week, right here. Your opinions will differ from mine.)

"Across the Sea": Boy oh boy, these rankings are getting hard to place. And let's be honest here, my list is a bit of a mess. An episode like "Across the Sea" makes this even more difficult because, depending on the next few weeks, it could become more important in hindsight. So I'm left with little choice but to plop this somewhere in the upper half, but I reserve the right to move it later. As an episode on its own it was pretty cool, and I'm a sucker for Pellegrino and Welliver. Screw it, I'm throwing it in the fifth spot. But if we find out it was irrelevant, I'm throwing it out the window.

1. "The Substitute" Ep. 4
2. "Ab Aeterno" Ep. 9
3. "The Candidate" Ep. 14
4. "Happily Ever After" Ep. 11
5. "Across the Sea" Ep. 15
6. "Everybody Loves Hugo" Ep. 12
7. "Recon" Ep. 8
8. "LA X (2)" Ep. 2
9. "The Lighthouse" Ep. 5
10. "The Last Recruit" Ep. 13
11. "Sundown" Ep. 6
12. "LA X (1)" Ep. 1
13. "Dr. Linus Ep. 7
14. "The Package" Ep. 10
15. "What Kate Does" Ep. 3

Your Homework:

I assume a lot of you will be fighting with each other over this episode, with half of you liking it and half not liking it. So have at it, and keep everything above the belt please.


Follow TV.com writer and promise breaker Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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@augcast: Heck yeah! The Island "light" totally reminded me of the Pulp Fiction briefcase, too. But I'm not sure if all the souls are in the "light itself" though they might be.
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Far from being episodic filler, "Across the Sea" (Ep. 6x15) was one of the most crucial episodes of the entire series. It was also an excellent episode in its own right, and packed the emotional punch that the last season of Lost had (generally) been lacking up to this point. This is largely due to the strong performances of the entire cast. I think young Jacob (Kenton Duty) and Smokey (Ryan Bradford) deserve special recognition for their excellent performances. Those two kids not only looked the part, but also convincingly portrayed the younger versions of these two pivotal characters despite the fact that their characters had changed significantly over the countless years leading up to the series' present time period. This combination of factors, along with the elegant and understated manner in which this episode addressed several long-standing mysteries, make this one of best Lost episodes, as well as one of the best "special" Lost episodes, ever. To those who might regard this installment as tepid filler, here's a list of some of the questions this episode addressed. ~ It explained the means by which the Dharma Initiative powered their Stations, Dharmaville, et al.

~ It addressed who built the frozen wheel and why, and also provided further insight into the nature of the wheel and the Island. ~ It explained the origin of the Smokey as well as his connection to Jacob.

~ It expounded upon the Island "malevolence" that the show has been hinting at for, what feels like, forever.

~ It explained how (sort of) and WHY Jacob never aged.

~ It FINALLY revealed the origin and significance of Adam and Eve, and the meaning of the stones that were found with their bodies. I know you and some others considered this a minor plot point, but from season 1, but I had always believed that Adam and Eve were important, and this episode validated this conviction in spades.

~ Viewers finally learned more about the "insane mother" Non-Locke mentioned to Kate earlier this season.

~ Most surprisingly of all was the revelation that the complicated sequence of events that led up to the current point in BOTH timelines has basically been the result of Jacob's attempts to "clean up his own mess." The unearthing of this sole fact puts Jacob, Smokey, and the entire series in a very different light.

~ We learned more about where Jacob was coming from as a person (which has generally been Lost's strong suit) and why he placed he such a premium - often recklessly (in my opinion) - on personal choice.

~ Lastly, viewers ALSO learned more about where Smokey was coming from and that were shown that despite his well-earned role as the show's Big Bad, he, like most of the other characters (including Jacob) was also a tragic figure.

This list isn't comprehensive, and I'm well aware that this episode raised many new question and only partially addressed some of Lost's numerous long-standing mysteries, but it did a spectacular job of setting up the end game.

In addition to all this, "Across The Sea" also echoed several major themes that have recurred throughout the course of the series. Here are some off the top of my head.

~ Taking children away from their natural mothers. E.g., Alex/Rousseau, Walt/Michael, Claire/Aaron.
~ Parental issues. Nearly every major character has this problem.
~ Frustrated ambitions. E.g., Locke/Smokey.
~ Ambiguous threats. E.g., the shipwrecked survivors, Widmore's boat people.
~ Cruelty and murder as a result of selfishness and lack of understanding. E.g. the mass slaughter of an entire population; Smokey's people, the Dharma Initiative, the Others from the Temple, the Ajira passengers, etc.

All in all, "Across the Sea" is a return to form for Lost, and is exactly the type of episode that made me fall in love with this series in the first place.
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Lost is about to end but the show still creates questions:I truly believe the writers' strong side is to make questions - unfourtunately they totally suck when the time for the answers arrive.How far in time do we need to go to fully understand the nature of the island?How did Jacob's (not so real) mom end up in the island at the first place?And if the island is sunk and MIB is freed in the alternate universe then how come MIB does not let his existence be known to the whole world by - I dunno creating massacres maybe? - Guess the finale will not answer many of my questions.The writers claim they knew the end when they started writing the whole story but I do not believe them at all.And the latest proof was Adam and Eve.The writers have a special team of people who read all the blogs on Lost and then they make a report on what the viewers are expecting.And the writers find something no one has guessed and the show keeps its mystery.That's Lost's formula!
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it was for sire the best episode of this season after ab aeterno till now and the black smoke is MiB.its his soul or mind getting corrupted by the light an it can get into dead bodys including his very own.

but the most intresting part was his similarity with hugo which was communicating with the dead and maybe hugo which is a good person like mib was is going to be mibs replacement and another candidate is going to replace jacob.
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fyi: Darth Vader's name is not Annikan but Anakin!
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I was thinking the same thing about Lucifer/Death with the Jacob and MiB scenes, loved that you mentioned it:D But about Lost now, I though it was a great episode it's just too bad that with a show like Lost every episode has to be placed at exactly the right time and has to reveal things or ask new questions or a lot of people don't like it. I liked that we just got to sit back and enjoy watching the writers give two of the most interesting characters on the show a back story and learn more about their motivations and who they are. I'm not saying this episode didn't do anything with the whole mythology stuff, I mean we did find out who Adam and Eve were and what could be one of the biggest reasons for people to look for the island(the light) but in the end it seemed like that stuff just took a back seat to the story of two inmensely powerful creatures growing up to become what they are today. Which is something a lot of people might not like that much but come I the only one who loved the foreshadowing of this episode, with MiB's "One day you get to make up your own game and then everyone will have to follow your rules" That was great. I did wish we'd gotten a little more info about the light though and especially it's relation to the electromagnetism on the island but I'm okay with what they've done with it til now. This episode did leave me wondering what all the paralels mean. Up until now I was fairly certain that Jack and Sawyer were going to be the new Jacob and MiB but with all the backgamon in this episode I wouldn't be too surprised if Walt might play a bigger role than I first thought or even Hurley and what does it mean that Kate was the one who helped deliver Aaron and later on raised him just like Jacob and MiB's fake mother did. I really hope Lost doesn't just let it turn out that all these paralels mean nothing in the end.
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Maybe i'm wrong but i actually thought that Jacobs Brother died at the end of the episode, and that the smokemonster just took his appearance. Couple episodes ago we learned that the smokemonster can only take ppls apearance once they're dead. Then again if that turns out t be true, i wonder why MIB can't kill Jacob, as it is only impossible to the 2 brothers to kill eachother, and then why can't Locke kill the survivors?? The episode didnt answer those questions, which, in my opinion, are waaaayyyy more interessting..
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i think the only way to destroy MIB is to throw him back into that microwave!
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surely by seeing the dead bodies of MiB and his mother and knowing that both dead bodies were still there when oceanic crashed, means that Mib is not the original smokey, and that smokey just used MiB's body like he is using Lockes'.
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LOL! I was fangirling over Lucifer and War too! ;)
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I only just realized this, but this episode basically gave us the answer to what Widmore's true intentions probably are, what Dharma's biggest goal was, and why the US army may have been sent to the island: to search for the light that the mother showed Jacob and Adam.
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As far as mother dying, remember that MIB killed her with the knife, without saying anything. As we recall, those were the instructions to Sayid for killing MIB: stab him before he says anything. The dagger made an appearance, but not why the silent treatment is required. Hopefully that will be answered too.
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I actually really liked the episode!
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and finally... lol @toulari. "across the sea was the best lost webisode never made" ftw!
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what a waste of welliver and pellegrino's screen time (lucifer and horseman of war are now officially more bad *ss than jacob and mib). i thought, finally, we were going to be treated to a whole episode of their awesomeness/epicness. instead, we get a version of them that is, i'm sorry to say, kind of retarded (i had to say it! i'm sorry!). i know, i know. there's more to it than that. i just didn't get it, right? it's good vs evil! it's science vs faith! it's white vs black! it's the unbearable lightness of being! whatever. tv is a sea of vapid reality shows and soaps/dramas/sitcoms with the same tired old plots. is it any wonder that lost comes up golden?
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i hated this episode with the fire of a thousand island cores. i don't know what the writers thought we would feel upon seeing that "magical cave of light". i know i wasn't thinking, "OMG, BRILLIANT!" i get what they were trying to do. they were going for the whole myth/legend thing but it just really fell flat. it reminded me of this B movie i once saw about a group of people who get lost in the bermuda triangle and end up in atlantis. it had that kind of feel to it. even if this whole episode is revealed to be extremely relevant in the last 2 episodes, i don't think i'm going to hate it any less.
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Seanon 2, Locke says that he saw a bright light, and Mr. Ecko says that's not what he saw.
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once again, funny article, and i like the parenthese. It's where the funny comes from. So LOST, kinda borning episode, but one thing that caught my attention rather than annoyed me was MIB can interact with dead people and we all know Hurley can do the same. I kinda doubt it's gonna be some weird coincidence, so they're like related in some way. Or the loveable Hurley is more important than anyone else on the show. All for it. I love my big teddy bear.
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I enjoy your Lost writeups, Tim. I didn't like this episode. I think the Jacob/MIB characters work as enigmas and would have been quite happy not knowing their back-story. With three episodes left, to see none of the characters that I have spent 5 seasons getting to know in this episode was an infuriating let-down. A lot could have been explained in what could have been a cool "Lost moment":
Hurley: "Dude, he's your enemy right? Why didn't you just, y'know, kill him?"
Jacob: "I can't. Our mother made it so I can't."
Hurley: "Your...mother?"
Jacob: "Yes. He's my brother."

Heck, that would given Lindelof a nice Star Wars moment as well...
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A side note:
Mother didn't got the chance to speak a word before she was killed with the same dagger that both Sayid and Alpert was told to use against Jacob/MiB, but if they spoke to them, it would be too late to kill them.
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@augcast
Ha, that is just a brilliant thought and it actually makes perfect sense, except for the part that people want more of it, but I still think you’re on to something.
I also think it’s great that we don’t hear MiB's name, cause that just makes him more mystical, like the bride from Kill Bill and the Man in Black from The Dark Tower-Series.
But something was just off with this episode, it was like they tried too hard to fit all of the ancient mysteries into this creation myth-episode and not everything seems to fit that well. Like the wheel in the well; so MiB just knows that turning an old wheel inside a mix of water and "light" will result in him leaving the island...? So if he mixes water with salt he gets…Fire? Also, why should something beautiful that everyone wants more of, turn you into a killer smoke monster with super powers, who judges other people? More simply; why would an extreme exposure to light turn you into dark smoke? Did they really use 6 years to come up with that, or did they just make up a lot of the stuff along the way and are now trying to make sense of it? Don’t get me wrong I’m a huge fan and no matter how it ends it’s still my absolute favorite TV-show, I’m simply being critical because I care!
What I liked about the episode was learning how the insider rock-game of Jacob and MiB began, and as the true fan I am, I liked how the answered questions gave us new questions. Like what’s up with Mother and what does she do?
It was far from one of my favorite episodes, but I’m looking forward to next episode where we’ll properly go further back in time to the creation of the universe. What do you guys think? Is it just a regular big bang-theory or did mother’s great great great grandmother take a golden crap on a desert island which for some weird reason began all life on our planet?
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Have you also noticed the smoke monster only inhabits the bodies of those with shiny noggins? First MIB; receding hairline. Then Jack's pa; another one with a hairline nearer his ass than head. Then with Locke it's shine city; the no barnet! Also think of those he battles. MIB's ma; long flowing locks. Then Jacob; nice farmboy thatch. And now Jack; the Sassoon king! Mark my words; hair equals good and no hair equals bad in the Lost universe...
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I find it funny how this is the episode where they reveal the identity of the "Adam and Eve" skeletons, because, while there are obvious differences, this is basically Lost's version of the Adam and Eve story. There's the light which, based on how it's described, seems remarkably similar to the tree of knowledge. Jacob is like Adam, satisfied with the life he has, and not tempted by the light. MIB is like Eve, being tempted by the knowledge that the light could bring. Their fake mother, despite her craziness and killing, played a similar role to God, telling them not to go into the light because bad things would happen. The ghost of their real mother is like the serpent. She didn't lead MIB directly to the light, but instead brought him to their people, where he could study the light, and try to use its powers. And once Jacob pushed MIB into the cave with the light that's when the smoke monster came out. The smoke monster, of course, representing sin, which was unleashed upon the world because Eve ate an apple (in this case, MIB went into the cave, with the "help" of Jacob). I've seen others stating that they made a connection between this episode and the story of Adam and Eve, but didn't quite get it until I started thinking about it earlier today. Obviously some people may not really care for this interpretation, because for whatever personal reasons they have, they don't really care for fiction basically retelling stories from the Bible. For me personally, I don't really mind, as long as they don't use it to much in the upcoming episodes (I don't mind a spiritual kind of ending to the series, but I don't really want it to be too much like the Bible that it takes away from the non-religious aspects of the show). After thinking of these connections, I've started to see things a bit differently. There are still things that I think could have been handled better, but some things, like the way the fake mother described the light, and the fact that it didn't go into their story beyond the creation of the smoke monster, doesn't really bother me as much as it did. It will definitely give me more to think about when I rewatch this episode this weekend, and hopefully I'll enjoy it more this time around.
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I think they didn't give MIB a name because in current time they're still calling Locke by his name and to have it be something else would just confuse people. Also explaining to some who is just watching the finale for closure and missed a few seasons why their favourite character John Locke is now called Gary.
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did it occur to anyone that if MIB's body died the day Jacob "buried" it with Mother, why is he (as MIB in that body) in all the flashbacks with Richard and Jacob that seem to be after his death? i thought he couldn't re-inhabit his own body that's why he took the bodies of Jack's dad and Locke? Maybe I'm just missing something obvious, but that whole scheme has me totally confused
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Did anybody else get the feeling when the cave of light was shown it was a throw back to Pulp Fictions Marsellus Wallace "soul" being the thing in the briefcase??? Made me think that the cave is the guff, where all souls are kept... :)
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At least give MIB a name. How cold is that?
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@blairafon Remember this is around 0-50AD. It is not as easy as calling a travel agent and saying, hey get me the first flight/cruise off the island. Crossing the Pacific Ocean is no easy feat. The Chinese did it first, read about the Super-Junk ships buried in Oregon. This took an armada of giant ships manned by hundreds to cross successfully. Kinda hard to do that with a handful of Romans. Also, remember there is only one bearing that leads off the island, every other direction returns you back to the island. Re: Michael/Walt's first escape attempt.
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I liked the episode a lot and it camein the best moment. We' want answers and we got. About what you ask, maybe drinking that wine stopped they aging but not inmortal. Richard can't kill himself as the mother couldn't and tha's why she said thank you to the MIB when he killed her. By the way, Allison Janney was great but the kids are very talented and both Titus Weiliver and Mark Pellegrino are amazing actors.
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Why cudnt the MIB leave the island before he became smokey? Jacob obviously has the ability to leave whenever he wanted.
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I worry that Lost will go the way of Battlestar Galactica. They definitely have set themselves up for it at this point. I liked this episode enough, and appreciate that the show isn't trying to create easy answers for us. We will probably never know exactly what that light is at the core of the island. Its power. Its science. Its good. Its God. Its evil. Its Satan. Its that intangible that we all crave. We aren't going to get a clear answer.

That said, this episode tries to sweep some major questions that need to be answered under the rug, and creates some new questions:

Unanswered Questions:
- What is that monster statute with six toes? Did Jacob create it, because I think its clear it wasn't there before. - Are we left to believe there are many visitors to the island over time ... some build statues, some build temples, but they all ultimately get swallowed up by the island and the Jacob/MIB conflict?
- Why do dead people get stuck on the island? Jacob and MIB's real mother is stuck there too. This is something related to the island's light. Am I really expected by the writers to give this serious contemplation? Again, we are heading into Battlestar Galactica territory. "Its God." Or in this case, "Its the light."

New Questions:
- Is the MIB still the MIB at his core, or is he evil incarnate. Their "mother" tells Jacob that you don't die by going into the cave. Its worse than dead. So we see MIB's dead body, but we also see the smoke monster. So ... is he dead, or is he the smoke monster? Maybe this will be at the core of the Jacob/MIB resolution.
- How does their "mother" know what happens when you go in the cave, and how did she destroy the villagers that the MIB had been living in at the end of the episode? It makes me think that the mother was also 'possessed' or some how also had 'smoke monster' powers. Was she both the guardian of the island (Jacob) and the evil monster (MIB)? Did she die and assign her two roles separately to each of her sons?
- Is Jacob a guardian of the island or an immature little boy whose just lived a long time? I suspect we'll get this answer in the next two episodes. I question the shows ability to answer all of the questions still outstanding within the last 2.5 to 3 hours of the series.
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There were subtle clues in this episode. "Mother" knew MiB was going to kill her the entire time. We know the "Candidate" somehow becomes enlightened and understands the island and it's needs. She knew he was "special" and that he would end her reign as guardian of the island. It is almost like cruel sentence to be picked. She could've been protector of the island for centuries before they arrived. This is why she thanked MiB for ending her immortal suffering. He was special because only Candidates can kill each other. When the "light" in man enters the "warmest light" on the island, it seems to extinguish that light and release pure darkness. MiB is dead, we all know this. The light killed him not Jacob. It seems that the candidate can converse or feel the island's needs. What if we step back for a second and not think like modern religions. Think of Gods as objects or beings we cannot see. They do not have to be the likeness of Man. This is just a nice fairytale we tell ourselves to make understanding religion easier...if that is even possible, but that is another argument for another day. What if we think like the ancient Greeks and think of the island as Mother Gaia. The lifebringer of everything in the world. She doesn't need to be physically alive. The Mother is just one of many candidates before her. We can tell this because Taweret was part of the old dynasty in Ancient Egypt and they would predate Christ and the Roman empire. Jacob/MiB come from the Roman empire, their mother spoke Latin and wore Roman sandals. The Greeks predated the Romans as well. The Egyptian(s) who protected the island before "woman" would have erected the statue and temples, viewing the island as the Goddess Taweret herself, remember it is narrow-minded to think Gods have to have a human form. Taweret is holding two Ankh Crosses which are the Egyptian symbols for life. Taweret is the Goddess of Light and Fertility. It makes sense to think the island is fertile and bringer of life after the explanation that all "light" in the world comes from the island. The "light" is a metaphor for "life" in general. Back to MiB. His light was extinguished because he entered the "light", becomming pure darkness. He is no longer human. He has no right to leave the island, EVER! He is the extinguisher of the "light". Read between the lines Tim. Geez. You have been covering LOST for 6 seasons and you still take each episode at face-value. Not very good. This is a very deep and convoluted story that has to be analyzed carefully to get all information.
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Heres what i think..... our unnamed friend absorbed all of the glowing light thing...thats why he shouldn't leave the island.......but whats unclear to me is why did he changed into Smokey
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well, if the UNnamed kid used to see the dead then hurly does too, what will be his fate?
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this episode just left me with more questions that need to be answered in the last three. 1) how did the mother get there. 2) why does the light turn the unnamed man into smokey. 3) what are the rules (still) 4) how did smokey know that creating a wheel would harniess the light. 5) is jacob really a baddie- and smokey misunderstood... cause all he wanted to do was leave. etc
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I really liked this ep Allison Janey was a really good creepy mother
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So this is with out a doubt the best episode of this season. it is in the top of the series for me as well. I am not sure what episode the author of this article was writing but this episode answered just about every question I have had since the pilot. This is more of a Cane and Abel story then anything else. Everything about this was just plain brilliant. And the ending I couldn't think of a more perfect ending to it. The flash back to the first season when we first see "Adam and Eve" and the smoke monster being revealed it was the most amazing set up to a series finale week I have seen ever. It was %100 nessesary to put this episode where it was all due to the fact that the show is ending. If you saw this episode in season 1 would you have stayed with it? all the wonder and mystery would be gone. Lost never would have been the show it was had all the question and answers been answered simply and easily. no flash back, forwards, sideways, all would not have any significance. it would have been cancelled years ago by season 2 had all this happened. I was waiting and waiting to hear what the deal with this show is. how the hell did the island get a soul, and who the people in the cave were, the deal with the rocks, all of it and now that I know the answers I can go back and watch it all with some sort of purpose and knowledge of what the whole hoopla is about. Sorry to everyone for the rant but this article just really upset me. I have been upset by many of the Lost articles and some on other shows as well and now I have to break my silence on this.
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I liked this episode very very much. It was pure Lost essence. Really good perfomances: Pellegrino and Welliver were absolutely great, and so were both the kids (and, Tim, yes, you're right: I couldn't stop thinking I was watching Lucifer and War, the Horseman!!!). We got some questions answered (smoke monster's motivations to leave the island, where he came from, Jacob's role...),but it also kept us trying to figure out some things by giving us some clues. I'd like to add something: did anyone else see a "connection" between Jacob and his brother, and Jack and Sawyer? I think Jack and James are the real antagonist of this show, not Jack and Locke, as we were lead to think from the beginning. Jacob does what he is supposed to do, as Jack does. His brother is all "guts", just like Sawyer. I surely am wrong, it's Lost we are talking about here, but... I just got that feeling...
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Hellllo Tim, I am surprise by this review I really thought this episode would fall higher than #5 on your Episode guide chart but number #5 is cool with me.

I must say this is like the first time we actually agree when it comes to Lost, I did liked this episode I dint think it was the best of the season but it was worth watching it.
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I was one of the few people that liked it.
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Well, it's just how much you WANT to get out of it. Prior to the episode, I couldn't have cared less if the Adam/Eve thing was cleared up, but now that it has, it's satisfying. I'm not going in the series finale expecting any answers, any we get is well enough for me. I think that we should accept the donkey wheel, the mother's way of making the brothers not being able to kill each other and just be happy with the fact that those subject came back for further detail.
As far as the wine goes, it does indeed make you stop your aging, but just like every other creature that has the ability to live forever, it's a whole other power to not being able to die. Richard doesn't age, but still wanted to kill himself. He knows he can die. So did Jacob, and eventually he did. As did his adoptive mother. The wine makes you not age anymore, thereby stopping your natural process and preserving it for eternity. It doesn't take away your ability to die by other factors than natural death.
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What I got from it, post my other review of the episode is that a duality didn't exist before. Thus the Island wasn't governed by 2 kind of powerful beings that we learned later in the series.

So, the game, the rules etc are subsequent and maybe superfluous unless the last 2 episodes suggest differently. It was clearish that the 2 brothers were candidates for the island. However, the candidates were sought out by Jacob. It'd be cool to see the last episode with lots of different names written in the cave, perhaps in a side passage in different languages going back to Sumerian for example with names crossed out. That'll be a cool touch.

It's a bit lame, but maybe the MIB has no name as the smoke itself is nameless. Still, a name could have been given to the MIB and it'd make no difference. Like the smoke taking locke's form it is still the entity born without a name. But we're told that the smoke was human once, so it can only be the MIB :-(
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I totally agree with you, we won't be able to judge the episode's relevance ( or lack of ) until the end. Personnaly, I don't mind the "because it is so" kind of answer, as long as we are in myth, tale, territory, which was the case in this episode. I prefer to know that the Force IS than to have a convoluted explanation about midichlorians ...
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Been readin\' your review from the start of this season, Tim, and I like \'em. It\'s the first time I leave such a comment (and the fact that I\'m Rusiian and my english may suck...) so I apologize if it may seem strange... That being sad let\'s get down to it. I liked this episode very much. And it\'s main problem for many people is placing, I think. Cause all the people are expecting right now as a series draws to its glorious 2,5 hour finale is answers and action. Lots and lots of both. So not getting what they wanted pisses everyone off. For me it was great episode as it finally showed (as promised) MIB\'s motivations. And we get to see Pellegrino and Welliver (those dudes \'re awesome!) again. Also the episode served as a kind of breather IMO for all of us to mourn the death of our #2 Couple-We-Root-For (#1 being, of course, Penny and Desmond), Sayid\'s anti-zombification and sacrifice; and to guess whether Lapidus died or not. I hope he didn\'t, but that\'s just me. For those **** about the way the reveals and dialogue were executed I think Darlton gave the best answer in one of their recent podcasts. There was something along the lines of: don\'t expect our characters to just sit down and someone would say \"alright, let me break it down for you\" \"this is really importatnt\". Of course, we don\'t always get what we want and have our own theories. And the main problem Lost is facing is high expectations of its fans. Also the episode is a great way not only to mourn and stuff but to also prepare for the s#@*load of events that\'s about to happen as next week is our last week with lost on TV.
Even though it\'s not a review per se, but that\'s just how I feel. And even if it won\'t get any attention from you, Tim, I won\'t mind. Then I just say hi on the behalf of Lost fans from Russia and wish you to keep up the good work you do. Just know at least one (I dunno maybe there\'s more) of your readers is Russian.
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Hi Tim, Your last line hit it perfectly,"fan-fiction" is exactly what it felt like to me, a-little-too-late ad-nauseum. This is not the episode I was hoping for, this should have been resolved at the beginning of this season as "The Beginning of the End" and not what it felt like to me as "an explanation fan-fic". Disappointing.
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a poor episode considering how close we are to the end. a let down after the dramatic events of the last few.
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As if Justin Bieber and his bro Zac Efron.. Although if I do not like them both.
Yellow light comes as a black smoke. So what color will appear if Jacob had entered? White?
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I tolerated a lot of things in this episode. A lot of plot points just seemed tacked on lacking inspiration as did some of the revelations which was equally underwhelming. Granted the overall storyline was somewhat adequate but I was expecting more.
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across the sea was the best lost webisode never made
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A bad Lost episode is far better than a good episode of most other shows but I agree the placing of this episode was a dangerous move. If this wasn't Lost it would have pretty much felt like a 'filler' episode but hopefully 'Across the sea' will work far better having viewed the finale. For me the only real standout moment of this episode was that the MIB was dead (in theory) and the smoke monster was something else entirely. However that reveal would have worked many episodes ago and this breather show seemed too out of place this near the end. Also they could have seriously cut this long winded story by half and given us some side-universe plot or main island story surely? I have faith that the end of Lost will deliver but this episode has got me a tad worried they could royally f*ck things up if not careful. Still too late to change it now...
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