Wednesday, May 12, 2010

LOST Episode 6.15: "Across the Sea" (Initial Thoughts & Theories)



I'm not going to lie, because like Jacob I don't do it very well. My reaction during the first 55 minutes of this episode was simply, "well, ok." I enjoyed the reveal of certain island mysteries, but was not overly excited by the episode as a whole. If I had to pinpoint my disappointment, it would be in the distracting and unusually low-quality production (set, costumes, props, etc.). 

Frankly, Across the Sea would have been better timed and suited as a companion piece to Ab Aeterno. With only a few hours left to wrap up the entire series and story, it was disruptive and odd to switch gears from three major, dramatic deaths to island mythology from one week to the next. 

From a mythology standpoint, I was satisfied. All initial criticism aside, I have plenty to say and speculate about Across the Sea. In the interest of time, I have not included many photos. 

New Name Alert!

Before we get started, I have a new name for the Man in Black; for this post and episode, he shall be referred to as SWAN (Son Without a Name). And yes, I realize the awesome connection to the Swan hatch later created over the very kind of electromagnetic energy that turned him into the Smoke Monster. 

And because Allison Janney's character was never given a name either, I will refer to her as notMom

ANSWERS

Let's review, shall we? 

1. How did notMom get to the island? "The same way you got here - by accident." We already knew that you only really land on the island via accident (boat, plane, hot air balloon, parachute, etc.) and for a reason. This was just a confirmation. 


2. The black and white stones and theme, a future inside joke between Jacob and SWAN, originated from a game that notMom provided for the boys.



3. The Adam and Eve skeletons are SWAN and notMom. (so much for Jack's assessment that the clothes were 40-50 years old) 

4. The Rules were established by notMom, "I've made it so you can you never hurt each other." And then SWAN told Jacob that "one day you can make up your own game and everyone else will have to follow your rules." Thus, his game of island recruitment. 

5. Jacob represents Good and his brother the MiB represents Bad. "If I had let her live, she would have taken you back to her people. And these people are bad, Jacob. Very bad. I couldn't let you become one of them. I needed you to stay good."



6. The electromagnetic energy beneath the island is responsible for both the creation of the Smoke Monster and for the force/source behind the frozen donkey wheel that moves the island. "We have discovered places all over this island where metal behaves strangely. When we find one of these sites, we dig - and this time, we found something."


7. The MiB created the Frozen Donkey Wheel system, although he was knocked out before he had a chance to install it. 

ALL THE BEST BROTHERS HAVE MOMMY ISSUES

Claudia only picked one name, unaware that she was having twins. She asked to hold "him." Singular. And then notMom killed her. As a young boy, notMom told Jacob that "I love you in different ways" than SWAN. If any of the island inhabitants were destined to have mommy issues, these boys were first in line. 



The MiB later refers to notMom as "insane." In Recon, he revealed to Kate (in notLocke form) that "My mother was crazy. She was a very disturbed woman. As a result of that, I had some growing pains. Problems that I'm still trying to work through. Problems that could have been avoided if things had been different."

BLATHER. RINSE. REPEAT.

notMom introduced the boys to the "they come, they fight, they destroy, they corrupt" speech, but in The Incident last season, Jacob added "it only ends once; anything that happens before that is just progress." It seems as if Jacob has finally figured out how to end the battle with his brother and for the island once and for all. The question is, must that action or responsibility fall upon the final Candidate? 

BREAKING THE FOURTH WALL

At various points throughout this episode, it felt as if specific lines of dialogue were aimed directly at the us, the audience. Some of it mirrors what fans have been saying for years:

notMom: "Every question I answer will simply lead to another question."
the boys: "What is it?" "It's a game." "How do you know?" "I just know."
notMom: "There is nowhere else. The island is all there is."
notMom: "This is the reason we're here."
notMom: "Whatever you have been told, you will never be able to leave this island."

THE CASE FOR HURLEY

When SWAN asked his ghost mother "why can't Jacob see you?" she said "because I'm dead." Hurley is the only person on the island now who can see and speak with the deceased on the island (Miles merely communicates with them one-way).  That he shares that trait with the MiB either makes him the best Candidate or a threat to notLocke in the end. Now that Sayid has died, and we all assume he is stuck on the island for being a less than stellar human being in the past, he will be extremely useful as a guide for Hurley and battling against notLocke.  

DEPARTURE GATE

We still do not know how Jacob traveled on and off the island to visit and make contact with the chosen ones from flight 815, but it seems very unlikely that he turned the donkey wheel and exited via Tunisia every time. 

One of my long-standing questions/discrepancies has been the method of quick transportation to and from the island, from Alpert to Tom Friendly to Jacob. 

HOME SWEET HOME

Young SWAN told Jacob that "I'm going to go home" and then left him and notMom to join his real mother's people in New OtherHutTown. In the S6 premiere (LA X), he (in notLocke form) told Ben that "I want the one thing that John Locke didn't; I want to go home."

Where is home for the MiB? 

I ALWAYS FEEL LIKE SOMEBODY'S WATCHING ME

Earlier this season (Lighthouse), Jack discovered that Jacob had "been watching, the whole time; all of us" and asked Hurley why. 

Look no further than Jacob's explanation for watching his brother and his people. "I watch because I want to know if Mother's right about them." notMom set the rules, established who is good and who is evil, and mama's boy Jacob put those standards to use in later recruitment efforts.

I WISH I WAS SPECIAL

notMom told Jacob that he's "special." He was the first of many:

Alpert said the same of Juliet and Locke.
Ben, Juliet and Tom Friendly said the same of Walt.
Charlie's mother told him the same thing.
Faraday said the same of Desmond.
Locke said the same of Hurley.
Locke's mother told him the same thing. 

ISLAND IRONY ALERT

A mysterious woman lands on the island, seemingly the first inhabitant. She kills the mother of Jacob and SWAN, and raises them as her own. At some point in time, someone builds a statue of Tawaret there, representing the Egyptian goddess of childbirth and fertility. The island prevents women from conceiving and delivering children (with the strange exception of Ethan Goodspeed Rom). Almost all female main characters have died there (Shannon, Ana Lucia, Libby, Nikki, Naomi, Rousseau, Alex, Charlotte, Juliet, Ilana, Sun), leaving Kate and Claire as the last women standing. The Candidate to replace Jacob is male; Hurley, Jack or Sawyer. 

I've said it before and I'll say it again - the island is oddly sexist and/or misogynist. I don't care either way, it is simply fascinating. 

JUST THE TWO OF US

We have not seen either Jacob or SWAN in the Flash Sideways. Do they only exist on the island? The island is submerged in the FS, which may indicate that SWAN was finally able to leave the island. Thus, he may be out there in this alternative world. As for Jacob, no idea.

THE KEY TO CONVERGENCE 

It seems to me that the following conversation might explain how the Flash Sideways will remain the only world in the end. 



notMom: "A little bit of this very same light is inside of every man. But they always want more." 
Jacob: "Can they take it?"
notMom: "No, but they'll try. And if they tried, they could put it out. And if the light goes out here, it goes out everywhere."

In the Flash Sideways, the island is submerged. It has ended, once and for all. Because this particular group finally managed to kill MiB/Smokey. Extinguished. Lights out in the magical watering hole, lights out for the island and evil incarnate. And everyone lives their Flash Sideways life with memories of their island experiences but never having actually crashed there.  

LIGHT ON



In the clearest example of the island's black and white/good and evil theme, the magical watering hole is "the warmest, brightest light you've ever seen or felt" and yet if you take a dip in it - you transform into the darkest form possible. 


Yes, we get it...the light at the end of the tunnel is actually dark. 


I think I wrote a paper in college about The Heart of Darkness signifying the return to the womb, and this visual - combined with their mommy issues - reminds me of that. Luckily for you, I am far too tired to delve into the pscyhosexual analysis of notMom and her notBoys. 

LORD OF THE RINGS

From the outfits to the barefoot traipsing through the lush green to lack of haircuts, this episode felt like a long scene from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I half expected Dom Monaghan to pop up as his former hobbit self. 



After taking a swim down the magical watering hole, The Man in Black became Sauron - the Dark Lord of Mordor.  I could go on and on, but will leave it up to my OneRing LOTR fan geek friend to take this comparison and run with it. 

LOST BOOK CLUB

Four years ago, there was a book published called Bad Twin. It was only semi-canon to the series, and even Darlon have made fun of it publicly. I read it because I felt I had to, and wasted a few hours of my life in the process. However, tonight proves that there is indeed a bad twin on the island. 

By the way, in case you weren't aware - the author, Gary Troup, was the guy who flew into the jet engine in the Pilot. Destiny is a fickle bitch, sir. 

PARALLELS



S1, White Rabbit: Locke described his first encounter with SWAN/MiB as Smokey, "I've looked into the eye of this island, and what I saw was beautiful." In this episode, notMom introduced SWAN to it as a young boy, and he described it as "beautiful."

S1, White Rabbit: Jack chased his deceased father through the jungle. S3, The Man Behind the Curtain: Young Ben chased his deceased mother through the jungle. In this episode, SWAN chased his deceased mother through the jungle.

S3, The Man Behind the Curtain: Ghost Emily Linus warned her son "it's not time yet." In this episode, notMom told SWAN that "it's not time yet" to reveal the reason they were on the island. 

S4, Cabin Fever: After giving birth, Emily Locke insisted "name him John" before he was taken away. In this episode, after giving birth, Claudia said "his name is Jacob." [sidenote: maybe SWAN/MiB's real name is Jingleheimer Schmidt]

S5, The Little Prince: A pregnant Rousseau and her crew washed up on shore after a storm. Eventually she was the only one left after they all died/were killed. In this episode, a pregnant Claudia and her crew washed up on shore after a storm (although she was separated from them), and her sons were the only ones left when all was said and done. 

PARENTAL GUIDANCE (NOT) SUGGESTED

The MiB killed his notMom, Ben killed his father, Kate killed her father, Locke had Sawyer kills his father. Oh, and Ellie Hawking killed her son Daniel Faraday. I don't really have a point except to point out that perhaps Kate is not a Candidate because of what she did and perhaps Sawyer won't be the final Candidate in the end because of what he did. 

THE PURGE, PART 1

It seems we've witnessed our first island Purge, at the hands of notMom.

RAISED BY ANOTHER: GENERATION NEXT

It may have started with Jacob and SWAN being raised by someone other than their mother or father, but this represents what they might be referring to as Progress: 

Aaron. Mom Claire was warned by psychic Richard Malkin that Aaron must not be raised by another. After Claire was seemingly 'infected' by the Man in Black (disguised as her deceased father Christian Shepard), she left Aaron in the jungle. Kate took Aaron and raised him for three years off island as part of the Oceanic Six. When Kate returned, she left Aaron with Claire's mother, who is now raising him. 

Charlie. Although we do not know what will happen to Desmond, Grandpa Widmore took him back to the island and away from his son Charlie. Desmond's wife Penny is now raising Charlie. 

Clementine. Saywer romanced and then conned Cassidy, who he did not know about until after she was born and he was in prison. He wanted nothing to do with her, crashed on the island, and left Cassidy to raise their daughter alone. 

Ji Yeon. Mom Sun left to go back to the island for husband Jin, and both perished, leaving baby Ji Yeon to be raised by her grandmother.

Walt. Michael was not a part of his son's life for his first ten years, and Walt was raised by mother Susan and her husband Brian. 

Wildcard: David Shephard. Although he only exists in the Flash Sideways, and seems to share time with both parents, post-divorce...why else introduce him unless he plays a significant role? As I've stated in the past, they have gone out of their way to establish a long line of Shephard men: Great Grandpa Ray, Grandpa Christian, Son Jack, Grandson David, Nephew Aaron...
  
If that isn't the most likely batch of new Candidates, I don't know who is.

RED WINE OR RED HERRING?

notMom told Jacob that "it was always supposed to be you" and gave him the wine of eternity. She said "You accept the responsibility that you will protect this place for as long as you can. And then you'll have to find your replacement." [sidenote: did anyone else pick up on yet another Alice in Wonderland nod? Drink me! Follow the white rabbit (your dead mom)! Go down a rabbit hole (or an electromagnetic smoke monster producing one)!]


And yet in Ab Aeterno, Jacob offers the very same wine to the MiB. What would have happened if he took a sip rather than smashed it? Was Jacob offering the job to his brother? Would the MiB's swim in the magical watering hole and transformation into Smokey have negated the effects?

THE RULES OF THE GAME

The same rules about not being able to hurt one another apply to both Jacob and SWAN and Ben and Widmore. Given their age differences and backstories, not to mention the different continents, I am not about to suggest that Ben and Widmore are brothers. But why are they the only ones that must adhere to the same rules?

SEE YOU IN ANOTHER LIFE, BROTHA

Desmond's catchphrase and the use of the word brother take on a whole new meaning in light of this episode. 

SOUL MEETS BODY

The MiB skeleton remains, so how is it that we see him in his human form in later years? Did Smokey disregard his shell, only to reclaim it again for human use, beginning a pattern that ended with John Locke's body?

STOP AND STARE

When notMom asked where SWAN was, Jacob responded with "he's down at the beach, starring out at the ocean." Sound familiar?



WELL WELL WELL

We already know that Desmond is "uniquely and miraculously special" and that he can withstand any amount of exposure to electromagnetism, but I'm not sure that notLocke/MiB is aware of that. He tossed Desmond into a well, which we now know is over a pocket of electromagnetism. Perhaps he is still alive because of that, or perhaps it will relate to what happens next. 

WHAT IF GOD WAS ONE OF US

When the MiB said the following to Jacob, I had to laugh at the Almighty visual: "That's easy for you to say, looking down on us from above." 

WHO'S YOUR DADDY?

Is the identity of the father to Jacob and SWAN irrelevant at this point? 

WINE WITH WELLIVER

Right after he had just returned from filming this episode, I happened to run into Titus Welliver at a hotel bar in Vancouver. He was drinking wine at the time, a fact which I love now and in retrospect, in light of the infamous island wine and his character's connection to it. Welliver was very tan and quite exuberant, and although he did not really spoil me about the episode, I could tell that he had the time of his life filming it. 

TO END ON A FUN NOTE...

I said this on Twitter immediately following the episode, and had to provide a visual to accompany it: LOST: A Tale of Two Brothers, starring Justin Bieber and Zac Efron. Wouldn't you say I'm at least half right?


---


CONTESTS & GIVEAWAYS


As always, I am giving away a piece of Lost memorabilia with every episode post through the finale. The random winner of last week's giveaway, which is a photo of Josh Holloway, is Monique - please email me with your shipping address (jo at jopinionated dot com)! This week, I am giving away this Cafe Press Lost tee, which is a Men's XL:




To be eligible, simply leave a comment below. I love and appreciate feedback and also hearing your thoughts and theories; all I ask is that you are constructive and considerate. 


If you haven't seen it yet, I am also hosting a creative Lost contest with a grand prize of all 5 seasons on DVD. The contest ends on May 21, so enter sooner than later!


PRESS & EVENT UPDATE


Yesterday I posted an article on TVsquad (part of the AOL TV family) that I think you'll enjoy; it is  called Top 25 Lost Guest Stars: Where Are They Now? 
In addition, I have an article coming out about scientists and Lost for Popular Mechanics and I was just interviewed by a little newspaper called USA Today about my experience writing about the show. Seriously surreal. Both pieces will be published the week of the finale. 


I am headed to LA on Thursday to attend Lost Live: The Final Celebration and then the Lost Weekend fan party. My plan is to tweet about each event as much as I am allowed to, and of course you will find links to all of my press coverage about both events on my FB wall and via Twitter. At this point I am not able to reveal the names of the cast I will be speaking with or interviewing over the next few days, but I am very excited to meet some of them for the first time. 


For the actual finale, I will be flying back to LA next weekend for Jay and Jack's party and may have an exciting surprise or two to reveal about that soon.  


These next two weeks are going to be rather insane for me, but I am enjoying every second of this ride as we accelerate toward The End. In all sincerity, I want to reiterate how much your support has meant to me over the years, from comments, emails and tweets to live events and meet-ups. It is hard to talk about the end of this journey without getting a tad emotional, and it is now 3am, so I will continue my thank-you post after the last episode. 


Two episodes, 3.5 hours to go. Wow.


Good night, my friends.


-Jo 

84 comments:

Curvaceous Dee said...

Excellent post, with a few insights that had escaped me as I watched. How did I miss the brother/brotha connection?

Glad I stumbled across your blog. Time for me to read some more!

xx Dee

EmilyAnne said...

Such an exciting episode!
When it came to the magical watering hole, though, I didn't much think of good/bad. The way the notMom talked about it, it was almost like she was protecting Pandora's Box. With statements like "don't ever go in there" and "it's worse than death" (I think that was what she said), it seems logical that when Jacob threw MiB in there, that he would come out as the island's miseries (Smokey). Nothing better than some fear, hate, and death.

Tink said...

As always.. enjoyed your thoughts and comparisons! You've given me some new things to think about..and confirmed some thoughts i've obsessed about! When it's all said and done.. dont you think we should go back to day 1 and re watch..knowing what we know now?

the flour child said...

jingleheimer schmidt. i laughed out loud. and still am.

i was also of the 'well, okay' mindset after viewing. sort of like going for commercial break at gunpoint and coming back in a different scene. an important scene, sure, maybe, but seemingly out of place. i remarked to my fellow couch occupants - why wasn't this earlier? why now in the season? strange timing, in my eyes.

i did a doubletake for the first few minutes. thought it was ilana's momma for a second, then got blurry and was like... is this nadia's mom (obviously not) and then IS THAT ALLISON JANNEY??! hot dog!

also, zac efron. i was fearing for spontaneous bursts of song. they did a phenomenal job with matching young jacob to older jacob - i love when detail (even if unintentional) is maintained.

and for heavens sake, the guy needs a name. perhaps we truly never will get it, but i thought for sure it was going to be the second before the lost 'buhhh!' . Jacob saying goodbye... and i was like goodbye....WHO!!! gahhh.

also, even though it was probably the original footage, it seemed mildly humorous to see jack shirtless and kate with makeup and hair half done. i was like, waittt... was this.. hmmm...

thanks again, jo.
can't wait for your coming posts, at the same time wish they weren't coming at such a clip.

big ol' sigh. guess the tissue box will be waiting for me next week.

RJWGMU said...

I think the most interesting point you made, which I did not notice myself, is that the light is actually a bad thing... that it is a temptation for people. I would disagree however that Jacob technically killed SWAN. He was uncoscious when he floated down the stream. My theory is that the black smoke was down there, stuck, trapped, whatever... And that when it was provided with a person, it killed the person and was then able to be released.

PS: I've read this blog for a long time but am only now replying. Thanks for all your theories!

RJWGMU said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kirpaul said...

I was a little disappointed with this ep. I feel like it created even more questions than it answered, and there won't be any resolution to them.

Why was the light on the island in the first place? Who gave notMom her powers? Why can SWAN see dead people?

(to name just a few)

Bejae said...

I agree with you that this episode was very "well okay"-ish. I really did not need to know how Jacob and MIB got there. I didn't need to know the MIB crafted the Donkey Wheel. I was just kind of disappointed overall. I looooooovvvee LOST and I love Damon and Carlton for what they have given us fans but I think they are missing their mark with episodes like last nights. Especially when we are so close to the end.

RachelB said...

Totally agree with you about the low-quality production. When the show ended I was left more distracted by the bad-acting and stilted dialogue than the big reveals.

LOST has had such excellent foreign-language dialogue in the past -- Korean, French, Latin, Russian... sounding very natural, with emotion and inflection. The Latin bits in last nights episode sounded like they were being read from a 10th grade text book. Sadly, switching to English didn't improve that impression much. Every line that was spoken seemed like the first read-through. Or was that just bad writing?

Thanks for the review, though. It helped me remember that there was some interesting story-telling, despite the distractions. I've been a rabid LOST viewer since Season 1 Episode 1 and I dread it all ending soon.

BTW, is it still correct to refer to the smoke monster as "smoke" -- isn't it more like "darkness" now that we see it comes from the source of all light?

Good blogging, thanks!

--MadTown

Rhiannon said...

As for Jack saying that the clothes were only 40 - 50 years old, I had a few thoughts: A) he's not a forensic anthropologist like Brennan from Bones ;) B) even though Darlton claim that they've known how it would end from the start, maybe they still didn't know *everything* that far in advance. C) It was a red herring. Another great recap, Jo!

smacky said...

So... MIB was just straight-up MURDERED by his brother Jacob, in an act that also brought the Smoke Monster to the island (who, coincidentally, like MIB, just wants to get off the island that he didn't ask to come to). Right?

So, MIB died to release Smokey, and Locke died just to give Smokey another choice of physical forms to take.

Not sure how I feel about this.

Instead of two brothers locked in immortal battle to keep one from escaping the island, we have one brother fighting a smoke monster who is only there because HE killed his own brother and brought Smokey over the this side.

In light of this, I'm a little surprised Jacob didn't echo his notMom's words upon being stabbed and say "Thank you." He's finally being released from the task he never asked for.

I wonder if when whoever becomes the new island protector, it will be a willing choice, or if the person will be forced into the job as Jacob (and notMom) were.

canhamam said...

Oh, Jo - I'm really looking forward to all your insights! My Dad was a lifelong subscriber to 'Popular Mechanics' - I get a kick out of thinking how he'd have reacted to 'Lost', if he'd been alive to experience it.
I'm seeing a lot of unlove for this episode across the Internet but I kinda liked it...and expect further gratification as the series closes. And did you notice - white blanket vs. dark blanket for the two newborns? Also, I think the MIB should be named 'Claudius' after his mother, Claudia. Thanks again for all your hard work!

Rob said...

I just gotta say that you are truly a diligent LOST fan and I, for one, am very appreciative! You have managed to piece this massive puzzle together and helped me and my coworkers with our weekly LOST chat/analysis. Thanks again for all your hard work...I have truly enjoyed following your blog this season!

Can said...

I, along with you, was like, UM REALLY? These are the answers you give us right after such a climatic episode last week. It's not like they couldn't have thrown this episode in a long while back. It had absolutely nothing to do with current island time.

I LOVE the nickname SWAN.

I'm at a loss for words. Your blogs as always are insightful and I love reading but I was just a little frustrated with the show last night. I don't know, it just seems mean to carry on something for so long only to give us few answers. And really...what's up with the whole, "answers lead to more questions" stuff -- why do they purposely drive us batty while searching for answers. I guess that the end is all about what we want to make of it. We can answer our own questions to match our beliefs about what is really going on with the island. I'm afraid that the end will be disappointing but an hopeful for the last two episodes.

Wow, that was a big vent on my part...

jonathan said...

Thanks once again for your late night thoughts! I look forward to reading them when I'm "working" the following morning. I do have mixed feeling about this episode. In some ways, I really did love it. Yet in others, I feel let down. I need to rewatch and could very easily change my mind.

troykinne said...

Was so great to get home from watching Lost and read your thoughts Jo. I'm in Australia and we are now caught up o you guys so we almost get to see the episode at the same time. A freaky thing happened tonight. Friend who's studying to become yoga teacher got home and said "W've been studying quantum physics and I reckon its got to do with whats happening on the Lost Island. Evrything we see as physical in the world is made up of light, and we all have a bit of this light in us and we exist in two different worlds and chagne between them at the speed of light. whatever we're trying to avoid in one world, happens in the other..." this was pretty crazy considering she hasn't seen the last three episodes that have been on. I WILL be asking to borrow her text book. Glad you brought up Desmond. he is my favourite and I am hanging to see what his role is in all of this. anyway bedtime, thanks again xoxo

lennyg said...

99% sure the Monster is MiB because Jacob threw him in the light (the Source) and the rules state Jacob can't kill (or cause the death) of his brother. Then again, this is LOST so there is still a chance Jacob's bro died when he went into the Source and the Smoke Monster was released. "Mom" did say if one goes into the Source one will suffer a fate worse than death. So, when MiB said "the Devil betrayed me. He took my body" I guess he was talking about Jacob. Jo, interesting theory about FS but I always thought that was a place that was dangerous and can not be allowed to survive. Question: "mom" gives Jacob the wine to become like her. Does it mean anything that he called the wine "Hell" when he spoke to Richard or was that just a handy prop to explain the island being a cork?

METROCATPISS said...

this episode, in the guise of "answering" questions, has left me with more questions than i had going into it.

Also, i was a tad disappointed with the identities of Adam and Eve. I mean, it makes sense and all...but i was just hoping it would be someone we've known all along.

And your "Tale of two brothers" tweet made me laugh heartily.

Thanks for everything you do for us fans, Jo. We appreciate it.

jasonbunch said...

I agree about your initial reaction to this show. I was expecting a lot going into it because I had heard that it was about the backstories of Jacob and MIB. But I felt that it was a letdown. At least a necessary letdown. We needed to know some more about them before moving to the Finale. But I kept wanting things to be shown like:

What is MIB's real name? For some reason this bugs me a lot.
How did the rules come into play?
How can Jacob get off the island so easily while MIB has to stay on it forever?

But great post nonetheless that sort of redeemed the episode for me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts each week. It makes the show that much more enjoyable.

Frank said...

Hello Jo,
Didn't Richard drink the wine? Is that what made him not age? How will the new candidate be "confirmed"? The bottle of wine was smashed by the MiB.
Thanks, Great Job, Frank

Prius Dei Servus said...

As many questions as it answered, I too was left feeling somewhat dissatisfied. It could be the placement of the episode.

But I think that mainly, it's the fact that there was no flashing of any kind. We're used to whatever is happening in the "present" being connected in some way with a different time/line in a way that reveals some deeper meaning. And, aside from the (in my opinion, unnecessary) flashes to first-season), this is the only episode that has been purely unichronological.

Last thought: since MiB absorbed all of the light and came out, he really is made of light rather than darkness. Isn't that how John Locke saw him the first time? As a big light? I can't remember if Mr. Eko saw the same thing or not, but what could be the significance of certain people seeing the smoke-monster's "true" form?

gabo said...

I felt the same way about this episode, something like "a whole hour to explain the Adam & Eve skeletons?" but, those brother/mother issues can be intriguing at first but reassuring.

At this point I'm not sure I want it to end with

1. A candidate, does it really matter at this point? I'm guessing all these seasons have to be about a lot more than just finding the next candidate for Jacob, it seems too simple for me
2. Convergence of the realities, keep this in mind, in the flash sideways there are forms of reminiscence of island time post-incident, but not the other way around. Juliet saying "it worked" doesn't really cut it for me to confirm this.

But anyway, I really hope the final chapters surprise us all.

gabo said...

Also, is little Jacob the kid that notLocke keeps seeing in the jungle? I don't have the frames of them to compare right now, but it's really now has another meaning to what he says to notLocke.

nikkimatt said...

Fabulous recap jo! I totally agree about the Zach Efron thing.. it was kind of distracting..

Sommery said...

This episode was ok, but I did feel a bit let down when it was all said and done. Yes, we found out who Adam and Eve are... I kinda thought it was stupid that they had to show us the scene from season one, but then again - my mom kept saying "Where do you get Adam and Eve from." when I said that they must be Adam and Eve. I suppose they put that in for more casual viewers.

To SWAN "home" is anywhere but there. He knows he is not from the island and feels that he doesn't belong there. I don't get the impression that he is "bad" and Jacob is "good". What I got from this is that they are both human - neither good nor bad. As far as the candidates are concerned, SWAN is bad because he's trying to kill them. But he's no worse than Sayid. He has a valid motivation. I also don't think he CAN leave - whether our people are there, or not, dead or alive.

Also - notMother's line "It's going to be you, Jacob." exactly mirrors Sayid's last words to Jack - "It's going to be you, Jack."

I got the impression that notMother wanted SWAN to be "the one" and was disappointed that it ended up being Jacob. She very carefully seeded their rivalry. And yet, SWAN fully intended to bring Jacob with him to the camp. He did love Jacob. But knows that Jacob turned him into Smokey so can't forgive him and wants to kill him.

Amanda said...

Haha, I definitely yelled "BEIBER HAIR" when the kids showed up last night.

I think SWAN has the ability to take the form of any deceased person (whose corpse is on the Island). So Christian, Locke, and, I suppose, himself. He's probably been tormenting Jacob for the past few centuries, appearing as their dead mom, their other dead mom...

Richard also drank some of Jacob's wine - do you think this helped to make him "closer to equal" to Jacob? Or does the lack of an incantation remove any power.

Speaking of which, do we know what Allison Janney was saying there?

Awesome recap, as always! Thanks Jo!

Aaron said...

Hi all. Great episode. Wanted to make a few observtions:

I think home for MiB is simply accross the sea. Almost like he is hanging on to his boyhood memory. He has no idea what across the sea is, but he knows he is from there and wants to go.

I like the idea of Jacob's replacement being a woman. (I know it seems completely unlikely) It would bring things around full circle. Are we sure it can't be Kate or Claire...?

About Purge #1: How did notMom do that? She single handedly filled in that entire dig site with dirt then burned the village and killed eveyone that lived there? Hmmm... Could she be smoke also? Explaining how she knew going into the tunnel was worse than death and also why she thanked SWAN for killing her. (On second

I'm also left wondering about Widmore's motives. Isn't he doing exactly what MiB and his people were doing? Digging in the places where the energy is present? Makes him look like we always thought. Someone who wants to exploit the island for his own gain.

Floyd said...

"In the Flash Sideways, the island is submerged. It has ended, once and for all. Because this particular group finally managed to kill MiB/Smokey. Extinguished. Lights out in the magical watering hole, lights out for the island and evil incarnate. And everyone lives...I have a slight issue with this...especially the everyone lives part...because of this: "A little bit of this very same light is inside of every man... if the light goes out here, it goes out everywhere.

Dharma said...

Jo, enjoyed your insightfulness this morning as I am still trying to make heads or tails of this episode...

I have to wonder if when MIB floated down into the Light tunnel... and smokey was unleashed, if that truly was the first time smokey emerged.

I couldn't help but wonder if the boys actual mother, Claudia appearing to SWAN was smokey. I wonder if that was just another attempt to sway him and make him work against "notMOM" by her original nemesis, Smokey. It could be Smokey killed all those villagers as a way to make SWAN think his notMOM did it.

I wouldn't be surprised but wonder if we will ever really find that out for sure.

Also, a few people in the circles I chat LOST with say that they thought "NOTmom" used the name "Jose" when she had just been stabbed. I played it back several times and it's possible. Looked up the name, The Spanish name Jose means: Derived from the Hebrew name Joseph, which means "he will multiply." I'm sure if this is the case, we'll hear a little comment from Darlton saying that they did give us his name... otherwise I will just assume we weren't really told his name... Which I can't say I'm too surprised about. :)

Pavement Runner said...

This episode kind of turned the good v. evil a little bit for me. I always viewed it as good/bad, black/white, light/dark, Jacob/MiB, etc... through help of visuals and stones. But after this episode, i dont view SWAN/MiB as pure evil. I actually view him in a better light (no pun intended).

MiB knows he doesnt belong on the island and is looking for answers off the island. Yea, he was with BAD people and saw evil, but recognizing evil in others can imply good in the viewer, no? He doesnt seem to be a bad guy. If INSANE notMom wanted SWAN to be the one, and settled for Jacob... doesnt that provide a stance for him not 100% evil?

I dont know. We'll talk. As I re-read what I wrote, I confused mysef. (nice shirt).

Aaron said...

@Sommery You made me think about what I said earilier about notMom having a smoke form. If she did, it could have been her appearing as real mom to SWAN and leading him to see his people and thus seeding the rivalry you mentioned. The point of all that I haven't quite worked out yet.

@gabo That is definitely young Jacob that notLocke was seeing in the jungle. What was up with Sawyer seeing him that one time?

Oh, and is the box for the game that they played the same box that holds "the" knife that Dogen gave Sayid to kill notLocke with?

My wife mentioned something interesting also at the point where SWAN killed notMom with "the" knife. She said that he killed her before she had a chance to talk. If she did have a smoke form then perhaps that whole "kill them before they have a chance to talk to you" thing really does work.

Slice said...

Jo - I said the same thing about SWAN looking like Zac Efron...my daughter's made me watch HSM about 50 times...And Young Jake (Jacob) looks like a teenage Matt Damon.

What are we to make of the Young Jacob that is appearing to notLocke in the 2007ish timeline? Hurley has been communicating with the dead Jacob, so is Jacob's ghost just taking on another form for his brother? As we saw last night, SWAN also has the 6th sense...

-Slice

Intrinsically Inclined said...

I loved this episode. First, because I love Allison Janney! Second, because of the answers it offered about the Jacob/SWAN relationship and how smokey came to be and that those 'following' Jacob, weren't completely duped, even if they didn't know exactly why he was so important. (Continuing the pattern of lack of communication on the show!).

I've wondered if the production was less-than stellar because of the time period? Someone thought it should look different because it happened so long ago? Just a guess. It took away from it feeling like a LOST ep, but I didn't notice it until afterwards.

lol@Bieber. I totallysaid the same thing when I saw that stupid backwards hair.

Hmmm....so does the island have to be submerged in order for the flash sideways world to even exist? The "light" is associated with water, so would being submerged even effect it?

I appreciated that MIB saw that the first "others" were indeed all of the things nonMom said, but cared more about getting off the island than being with them. It seems that even for 30 years he wasn't "bad" like them - still spending time with his brother and obviously sad to say goodbye to his notMom, but being turned into smokey is what changed him.

I can't believe the end is so near... :-/

- Hillary

Rafael said...

Great post! It's always fun to read your thoughts, which btw are very insightful. Unlike most fans, I was not let down by the episode. I loved they finally explained who Adam/Eve were, although I was hoping that would've been one of the last scenes of the last episode.

Re Soul meets body, I doubt Smokey used MiB's body as a shell, since MiB's bones were exactly where Jack/Co. found them on the caves. I believe whenever we've seen MiB before, he wasn't in a shell. That's why he couldn't drink wine or eat fish.

Keep up the great work. Looking forward to reading your review on the episodes to come!

bianconiglio said...

Great post! I only disagree with the "killer=notcandidate", as Jacob is a killer himself, cause he killed his brother. Plus we still don't know if Kate really killed her father. This "candidate" stuff makes me crazy. Only that? oO

Valerie said...

Yet another great post!

I agree with you regarding this episode and its timing. It would have been a wonderful companion to Ab Aeterno.

I'm almost a bit "meh" about the episode but I think it was a great way to just wind down from last week's crazy and epic ride. It was a welcome lull, for me, to delve into Jacob and SWAN (love that, btw) and their notMom. The episode just zipped by for me. lol!

SF said...

THEORY:

I do NOT think that Smokey was created when Jacob threw MIB down the tunnel of light. I think Smokey already existed and that game has gone on for years. Before Jacob/MIB, the game was being played by Mother and Smokey, hence why lil' MIB could see his dead mom and jacob couldn't. dead mom was just smokey manipulating lil MIB (trying to get him to abandon fake mom, who was the jacob-esque protector, and leave the island, the same thing current smokey (flocke) wants to do)

hmmmmm

Hardy said...

Fabulous episode and great post. That being said…I hate how they insulted us and marred what was otherwise an EPIC reveal of Adam and Eve by inserting that little clip from season 1 where the skeletons were discovered. Hardcore Lost fans didn’t need it…and is there anyone else watching?

Ed said...

I gotta say I'm a little disappointed that Adam & Eve turned out to be notMom and notLocke. I thought for SURE it was going to turn out to be Bernard and Rose. We haven't seen them on the island since 1977 and I assumed they didn't time jump with the rest because they weren't near the bomb. So where the HECK are they then?

D4D said...

really appreciate your combination of insight with just a little humor. (john-jacob-jingleheimer-schmidt is hilarious...i never would've picked up on that) also, your parallels are great. i would miss many of them if not for various blogs.

Jerry said...

Jo- Jerry here- VP alum! Love checking out your theories here. Regarding the childbirth question- maybe it's only a post-jughead incident problem, which would explain why Ethan could be conceived and born on-island... What do you think?

SF said...

I also think that des is going to play a huge role - i think they will find des in the next episode and then in the finale hurley will fulfill his tourguide purpose by leading jack and des to the magic light source and then jack will become the new jacob and instruct des to crawl into the light tunnel. des is able to to do this bc he is special and can with stand the electromagnetism. also of note is that widmore prob knows about this light source somehow which is why he brought des back to the island along with the team of super scientests to try to find it - remember when eloise said to des "the island isnt thru with you yet" - will des will fulfill his purpose in the finale when he crawls into the tunnel of light and some freaky deeky stuff goes down

Kmorris. iCoach said...

Great post, as usual. As I'm reading all my Lost blogs for the day, I'm surprised that no posts are addressing the time travel / multiple dimension aspect of the show and how that will play out in the upcoming episodes. Time, action, and manipulation of both is a major theme / plot. It is quite possible even way back then, someone, or something is manipulating the actions of NotMom and the kids. It isn't far fetched that this could be Widmore. We know for a fact he has sent Desmond into another deminsion/time knowingly. Yes, "whatever happened, happened", but Widmore/Ellie/Dharma may think otherwise.

My biggest take-away from the episode is our assumption all along that Smokey and Jacob were the "all knowing" beings. That their knowledge is what the island was all about, that it was the two of them calling the shots. In fact, we're dead wrong. We're actually looking at two "broken children". Two children, unworldly, unknowing, and really making decisions based on blind faith. Jacob is essentially doing what his mother told him, and Smokey is motivated by a dead chick that told him he didn't belong.

Before this episode, we've really never thought about Jacob's actions or Smokey's actions being "wrong". Now, we have no idea. This is going to play out big when it comes down to "making choices".

Pete said...

A parallel I saw that I haven't seen mentioned elsewhere is the similarities between the MIB killing his mother and Ben killing Jacob. The difference now of course is that Ben has been redeemed despite committing the ultimate transgression. Something tells me that because of this Ben is going to play a very large part in finally proving what Jacob has been trying to say all along.

L. A. said...

Agree with quality of the episode - it did not feel like Darlton writing at all. I thought less than 'well, ok', i thought 'meh'. First time in a long time I've had that reaction.

I personally had next to no interest in this part of the mythology (which is strange, because I did originally). I get that things appear looped on the island (parent issues etc), so I would have liked to fill in the past myself. I'm not sure we needed any of this episode. But never mind...

Thought the 'light tunnel' looked really bad too. And, unless notMom was some form of deity, or the Smoke Monster, her ability to collapse a well, remove MIB from it, and kill a village is somewhat hard to believe.

The cutaway to series 1 - painful.

Finally, I remembered something the other day that confused me - Jacob watches people, doesn't get involved and appears 'good', yet we are led to believe he ordered the purge on Dharmaville. Had the MIB been manipulating Alpert and Ben for a long time? Maybe from the cabin?

Young Jacob was an excellent match for Old Jacob, and the casting have been spot on before as well (young Kate and middle-aged Charles Widmore were perfect).

Okay, just read this through, and I do appear grumpy! I blame the fact the previous episode was one of the most intense 40 minutes of TV I've ever seen. I think when i re-watch on boxset, i might just skip this one!

Baldwin said...

Great post. I too wasn't in love with this episode. I agree with the props. Anyways, 2 things.

1. I was thinking... What if Jack had died in the Season 5 finale, and Jacob had really taken over his body, much like MiB did to Locke. Just a thought. Anyways.
2. I was also thinking maybe Claire and Jack would somehow be the new good vs. bad on the island. I hadn't thought about Widmore and Ben being brothers.

Great Post!

Marcus

jaboman said...

The writers are leaving a lot of answers up for interpretation/imagination. We may never know the origin of the FDW. I may have missed something but I did not interpret that the MIB made the wheel. We sure don’t know who connected it. Also how did Jacob, Richard, & Mr. Friendly travel off Island. What about Eloise Hawking, how did she leave while pregnant? How did “Mother” kill and destroy the village, was she a smoke monster? Every answer asks another question.

mark.robinson said...

Always love your PARALLELS section.

I'm hoping they get back to the changes in Ben that occurred when he was cured after being shot by Sayid... did that somehow make him covered by the rules... he and Widmore end up rivals for affection/choice of the island, a little like the brothers last night.

Brian said...

Jo, with your enthusiasm for Lost, I was surprised to read about your ho-hum reception of this episode. But, I would agree with you.

It's a rather bold choice to spend a whole episode on this back story with so little time left. And this type of story takes so much time - as opposed to a little dialogue in the present on the island, explaining what happened in the past. It seems to have raised more questions.

Here are new questions:

1. How did notMom get her role as protector? Why her? (And, speaking of her, is she not a hybrid between Rousseau/Crazy Claire and Eloise Hawking?)

2. Why are these twins special? Why them?

3. SWAN seems to have died, but Smokie comes out of the water. Is SWAN really dead, with Smokie being a force from the magic light who needed a boy to be released? Or did SWAN simply ditch his physical body to become a cloud of smoke that could inhabit dead bodies on the island? That's a rather confusing question, but it's a confusing situation. We have SWAN's body, which is still on island when Jack and company found it. And we have Smokie, who can inhabit bodies that arrive to the island dead (Christian, Yemi, and Locke, for example). The easiest solution is that Smokie is SWAN's soul. Still, it's confusing, and it seems like some clarification is needed.

4. What is the time frame of this episode? How old is Jacob?

5. What about Tawaret? When was that built?

6. Is Aaron special because, like the twins, he was born on the island shortly after his prego mom arrived?

7. How the hell can Smokie die? Does he need to go back into the light? Will Hurley stab him with his own knife?

I think those are my questions.

I would have to disagree with your analysis of the FS world. If the light goes out, according the mom, there is no light anywhere. In other words, it would seem that the if the light goes out, that's the end of the world. We really need to know more about the nature of this light.

There are far too many questions left to be answered in such little time. I guess we'll be left guessing about a lot of things.

Jason said...

Thanks for so much amazing analysis! I love the way you tie the episode to specific past episodes. I haven't paid quite enough attention to think about it in such a systematic fashion.

I too wasn't all that impressed by this episode but it does illuminate the mythology a bit, and in the context of the entire series, it will fit in well, depending what the last 3 1/2 hours consist of. It's sort of like reading "Magician's Nephew" in the Narnia series. Kinda boring, somewhat illuminating.

Also, that T-shirt is in my size. Just saying. :)

JimOnAWhim said...

I have only recently started to read your column. You do a terrific job; reminding me of the ironies, interesting connections, thought provoking analysis. Thanks for being you!

V. said...

I had wondered about Jacob traveling off island and why he was set against MIB leaving. Is it just because notMom said they couldn't? Then I decided, maybe it's because he's got all of the light inside of him and that is what can't leave the island. Probably crazy and way off, but I can't believe they are still introducing new stuff, without many answers!

I agree that the timing for this episode isn't great- last week's episode was building toward the finale and then boom, totally off topic story- this seemed so out of place.

Jason said...

@Brian's questions above are pretty much exactly my questions.

Now that I read all of the above comments, I do think it's quite possible that Smokey was posing as Claudia to manipulate SWAN. (Good thinking by @Dharma.)

And then Smokey killed SWAN and took on his form after SWAN went down into Smokey's lair. I wouldn't be surprised if it were Smokey that did the first island purge -- it seemed like his style.

So the MiB that we saw when the Black Rock was approaching the island was actually Smokey, not Jacob's brother.

Wow. So little time to figure out what the heck is going on. Maybe the ending will be so great that I won't miss the show at all. Somehow I doubt that, though.

(And I still want a James and Miles cop show...)

ch0s3n0n3 said...

Fantastic review Jo. I think the reason that SWAN took his original form after he had passed is because Jacob never actually buried it by laying to rest with notMom in the cave. I think Richard had layed out to the Dharma Initiative a rule that sayed dead bodies must be buried under so much soil otherwise the truce has been violated. I would have to say that SWAN's essence is the Black Smoke and when he appears corporeally he chooses which unburied body to appear as, most commonly using the body of someone not buried that is familiar to whomever he is appearing to. Love your posts :)

valerie said...

I don't remember Locke telling Hurley he was special. I love how you pull up this connections I haven't thought of.
I will say, I felt like even the adult Jacob we met in this eppie was vastly different from the current jacob. Did drinking the wine and killing his brother result in that change?

RowanRaven said...

Jo,

Fantastic write-up! Thank you.
I laughed so hard at this:
" [sidenote: maybe SWAN/MiB's real name is Jingleheimer Schmidt]" !

I wasn't sure what to make of this episode. I appreciate the LOST writers giving us this glimpse of "deep history" but parts of it didn't gel well for me. I think, though, it will grow on me over time, especially within the context of the greater story (once it ends).

Have a great week.
Namaste!
--Kimberly

Alayna and Elie said...

I'm obviously in the minority because I really enjoyed this episode. I do agree with you that it would have been better to place it after "Ab Aeterno" instead of after the emotional upheaval of the previous episode.

Great write up as usual. I will be sad when I don't get to read your LOST blogs anymore! :-(

Ben said...

Jo, great post yet again. And thank you for the Lost Trading Cards! They arrived yesterday safe and sound. :-)

I wanted to chime in on a few topics. First, I really liked this episode because it developed the central conflict btwn SWAN and Jacob in a solid and organic way rather than a heavy handed good/evil divide. I think we should be thankful the Darlton didn't write SWAN as a kid who liked to kill animals for sport.

Second, I'm in the camp that believes that the smoke monster is SWAN's soul after discarding his body. To show so much of his character development so close to the end of the series and NOT have the soul relevant to the main plot would be criminally bad writing. Whaever corruption existed in SWAN's soul probably became amplified when converted into Smokie form.

Third, @SF, I had the same theory aobut Desmond and the "source" of the light. Things to consider; the source is the most important thing ont he island, the source allows for life on the whole planet, the source is likely where the strange electromagnetic pockets that appear throughout the island come from, the smoke monster was formed (or imprisioned until) a man entered the source, but Desmond is uniquely and miraculously special enough to be immune to those electromagnetic forces. I really think that Desmond must enter the source (i'll bet its under the temple) and do something there which will negate/kill/imprison the smoke monster.

I also think that whatever Desmond does there will result in his death and Jack will know that. What Jack must do (as Jacob has foreshadowed) is forcibly get Desmond into the source. This is a twist on the self-sacrifice story arc. Instead Jack's fate is to murder Desmond to finally kill SWAN and end the game.

Who's with me on this one? :-)

Kimberly said...

agree with your um...okay, at the end of the ep. I really feel like they should have put this episode earlier in the season and not interrupted the flow of the last few episodes so abruptly. I too am a bit disappointed about the Adam and Eve skeletons being SWAN and notMom (haha, fun name), but I guess that hardly matters at this point. A few things this ep made me wonder:
why were they first speaking in Latin, but then switched to English?

if I understand what you (or was it a commenter?) were saying, the magical pool is so beautiful to tempt people to try to capture it, and when they enter, they turn evil?

I thought it was odd that SWAN should embody all evil for no good reason. Jacob was the biggest wuss ever in this episode and SWAN was the one I sympathized with...oh those tricky producers...

Marygail said...

I'm happy this episode had some answers but wish this came sooner. But I suppose this sets up for the final hours of Lost. Very good recap! Thanks!

jsfox said...

I'm really surprised that there hasn't been more said about the fact that SWAN (love!) saw his dead mother, indicating that, since the Smoke Monster takes the form of dead people (often close to the person seeing the manifestation), the Smoke Monster predated SWAN. So, is it possible that just as notMom passed down the "protector" role, the Smoke Monster entity passes down the "destroyer" role, when someone is shoved down the bright light hole?

That was my interpretation, anyway. That SWAN inherited the monster mantle, and displaced the pre-existing entity.

Monique said...

Like Alayna and Elie I'm in the minority and loved this episode! I was so sad at the end when Jacob laid notMom and SWAN to rest-thinking that he was all alone on the island. Ha, ha-nope your brotha's spirit is right there with ya and it doesn't matter how he appears to others, you will always see him for what he is!

Yes the answers dished out weren't totally earth shattering-but knowing this whole thing is about family is somehow very comforting to me. The fact that they suggest that notMom isn't the first to protect the island is-to me-a total hoot! Who knows how long this has been going on?

As for David or Desmond-SWAN found his loophole-who is to say that Jacob didn't find his! After all they have been playing this game for quite some time.

Thanks again for your great insights.

Pirate said...

I think the whole dad thing is irrelevant. Great blog, as always. Picked up on a lot of things I had skimmed over.

Just Thinking said...

About Jacob giving MIB the wine-I think there are hints that Smokey can't eat or drink until he takes Locke's form for some reason. It seems to have been a taunt when Jacob offered him the fish, and then the wine- because when Smokey becomes Flocke he eats the mango as though he had not eaten in forever. He says that Jacob took his humanity-I think maybe eating and tasting was part of what he lost.

I've decided just to enjoy however it comes out- so if it's silly I'll laugh and if it's sad I'll cry- but I'm not going to get mad about it.

Don't have a "candidate" for the shirt-so thanks but you can leave me out of that temple pool! ;)

Christos said...

Great post as always! Love your thoughts and theories! Greetings from Greece!

Sherylm said...

Very insightful post, Jo, and like lots of other readers, I burst out laughing at the Jingleheimer Schidmt remark (did you remember the next line in the song is : "His name is my name, too"?)

notMom told young SWAN that he was special, not Jacob. With her being crazy and all and admiring his ability to lie, I had my doubts as to whether that kind of special would be good. And I wondered if the ghost trueMom was really the Smoke Monster in disguise. But at this point I can't even begin to figure it all out.

Oh, and I doubt you only have one reader who is a LOTR fan :-) And over at LongLiveLocke, e also caught the Middle Earth similarities.

Looks like you are going to be one busy person over the next couple of weeks. Enjoy yourself and think of all of us who would have loved to be there with you.

Can said...

@Aaron -- what a great observation by your wife (i.e. SWAN killing mom with the knife)! I hadn't even thought about. I kind of had a feeling that she went knowing she was going to die and almost expected it. I wonder if Jacob also was ready to die when Ben stabbed him.

@SF I like the way you think! I can understand the reasoning for the episode (in the place it was) with that sort of explanation. We need to know that there is a source of light and we need to know that "normal" people go down and come out as smoke (well...you get my point) before we can see Des save the day by going down.

Jay said...

Top notch recap and review, Jo!

Eric said...

Great article... First Time here. Excellent recap, and insight I had not thought of. Keep it up (for only 3.5 more hours...) :(

gabo said...

@SF I'm wondering the same thing, I'm not too sure that notLocke is really SWAN, since I'm not sure that SWAN was converted into Smokey when he was thrown to the light.

@Kmorris. iCoach it's true, Jacob and SWAN now seem to me like regular people under powerful circumstances, much like the passengers of flight 815

irolina said...

Jo - some people were commenting on the turtle we saw on the beach in other reviews and podcasts and I decided to do some research and I found one article and this is my favorite part of it:
"Turtles are also symbols of immortality and are considered temporary dwelling places for souls making their way through a series of lives on the path to Nirvana"
So I think that the turtle is a symbol of the island and the many lives are the flashforwads, backwards, sideways, etc...

Leeann said...

I wish I had found you sooner then down to the wire, but I'm enjoying your blog!

Mike B. said...

You said that you didn't know why the MiB appeared as himself even though the skeleton was still there. I think MiB just takes on the appearance of a dead person. For instance when he looked like Locke even though Ilanan had Locke's body in the box the whole time.

Bubbles said...

SO....do you think the well Desmond was thrown down was one that was dug by SWAN and "his people"?

Also I'm unsure how much of SWAN is in Smokey....do you think it's still intrinsically SWAN at heart, or Smokey is just the island "essence" using his form?

I agree with you, most of this episode was revealing, but not super exciting. It killed me trying to remember where I knew notMom from (Juno!)

Vikas said...

I loved the mythology part of the episode and I like that there is a degree of vagueness and mysticism about the show

Mel said...

Great recap! I was thinking that once SWAN became the Smoke Monster, his body was no longer his. That's why it was thrown out of the hole, and that's why he takes other deceased persons bodies. Therefore, I believe that all the SWAM/Jacob interaction takes place in the 30 years since SWAM defected to the Other Others. Perhaps thats when Jacob started getting his list of candidates together and leaving to line them up? Which would also mean that any scenes showing SWAN in his original form are in fact flash backs. I think my brain just exploded! Anyway, chew on that and let me know what you think;-)

Melanie

Brian said...

A few thoughts and questions:
1. Instead of notMom or preMIB smoke monster destroying the village, could SWAN removing that stone in the well have caused an incident like what happened to the hatch? That's what demolished the well and destroyed the village? Which means, since SWAN was fine afterwards, that SWAN and Desmond are similarly "special"? So, if Desmond goes in the cave, might he become a white, fluffy cloud ... thing?

2. Why is the donkey wheel room freezing cold in present day? It wasn't in MIB's well.

3. Does the name of the ship that brought Richard, the "Black Rock", give us a clue what roll he'll have at the end?

4. Assuming the bomb at the end of "The Candidate" only blew up because Sawyer pulled the leads, why would it blow up? Shouldn't it have just stopped - like Jack and Richard on the Black Rock w/ the dynamite? Or is Sawyer somehow allowed to kill himself, while Jack & Richard aren't?

L. A. said...

@ Brian

I think Sawyer interfering and pulling the wires was the 'free-will' that allowed the bomb to explode, as he had stepped in - and was then responsible for killing those left on the sub. It's possible that he couldn't have died, because that would have been suicide (or maybe the submarine sinking could have killed him, and not the explosion itself?) It's a bit ambiguous.

Annoyingly (for me anyway), I'm still smarting from that episode, maybe more so now! I wanted to fill these gaps in myself, and didn't need yet more parent-child issues. One thing it may set up however, is the fact that this 'game' is indefinite.I don't think it'll ever end - the title of the finale is ironic - and someone will take Jacob's place, and the rivalry will continue. In the same way human kind will continue in a flawed way.

I hope that notLocke is somehow trapped in Widmore's generator and Locke's soul is returned to his own body (or form) somehow. After all, Locke in the sideways flash remembers pushing the button, even though he is currently 'dead' on island.

Maybe he's the candidate, and the final scene will be Locke and notLocke sat on the beach, offering each other fish!

Oh, and the comment above about notLocke being unable to eat or drink is, I think, spot on.

Tani said...

notMom lied about the source of the board game--it didn't come from her. She told the boys that there was no where else and no one else. SWAN looked out to sea and all around him for the source of the game. notMom was staring at a black game piece, as if she had never seen it, when she was killed by SWAN, before she could utter a word.

Andrea said...

Great recap!

I still want to know how Richard/Jacob/etc can leave the island...

lost4evr said...

Great recap Jo. Such insight. BTW, SWAN=BRILLIANT :)

Nurby said...

I actually was enjoying this episode, up until the end. The adding the flashback to Jack and Kate in the cave finding the skeletons, was so insulting to all the Lost fans that have spent years looking for every little mystery and rewatching every single episode. Not to mention that is ruined the flow of the episode. I hope they are not planning on doing that all through the finale. That would be the only thing that would ruin the finale for me.

Juanita's Journal said...

[In Recon, we learned that Sawyer is a detective rather than a criminal. In What They Died For, we learned that Ana Lucia is still a cop, but a corrupt one who takes financial bribes to aid escaped prisoners. Perhaps that is why, as Desmond pointed out, she is "not ready" to go with the group to the concert (see Make Your Own Kind of Music below).]


Ana Lucia is "not ready"?? How did this happen? Because she's not popular with the fans? This is such bullshit writing that I'm disgusted. And oh yes, I'm also a little pissed. As if I'm supposed to consider the likes of Sideways Kate and Sayid "ready". Bullshit!

reindeergirl said...

"That Jack is the final Candidate on the island and four generations of Shephard men would be in the same location is beyond coincidence: Christian, Jack, David and Aaron."

Actually, three generations. David and Aaron are first cousins via their parents. So: Christian; Jack; David and Aaron.