Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Let's get LOST! (Episode 6:15 Across the Sea)

If you haven't seen this week's episode of LOST yet...
Don't say you weren't warned! Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's talk LOST!

Those of us who know our Bible stories, have thought all the long that Jacob and Smokey were probably brothers, and probably twins (based on Jacob's name, and the story of the twins, Jacob and Esau).  In this episode, we got confirmation of that.  We also got a lot of answers about the island, and the good vs. bad passion play that Jacob and Smokey are locked into.  We learned the Unnamed Mother (now taking suggestions for her nickname) was the protector of the island before Jacob, and that between Jacob and Smokey, she somehow knew that Jacob would be the next "candidate" to protect the island.  I have some really cool mythology insights to share, but before I do that, here are my favorite moments of the evening.

I thought this was the most shocking moment of the night:
The Adam and Eve skeletons are actually the Man in Black and the Unnamed Mother!

There were so many shocking revelations tonight about the donkey wheel, the origin of Jacob and Smokey, the first group of "Others", the magic golden light force of the island.  But I think the puzzle of the skeletons was one of those Season 1 questions I never thought would be fully answered.  Or, I was just sure the skeletons would be Rose and Bernard, or Desmond and Penny, or Kate and Jack/Sawyer, and the time travel/jumps would explain why they were there from the past, yet could discover their decomposing bodies in the future.  Well, we were all way off track, weren't we?  It was the Man In Black's original body and the body of their Unnamed Mother. 

So, if going into the light is a fate "worse than death" as Unnamed Mother said, then does that mean the Man in Black's spirit is now trapped in the Smokey thing?  We know from other flashbacks that he continues to appear as the Man in Black.  Can he do that because the Man in Black's body is now dead?  Just like how he can now take on the appearance of Locke, now that Locke's body is dead? Is the Smokey thing ultimate evil incarnate? Maybe the "Source" (i.e. the golden light) was what was keeping the evil imprisoned in the center of the island. Did giving the evil a sacrifice (Man in Black's body) somehow release it onto the island? The light seemed to die out and it looked like the water was turning dark - does that mean the light's powers, or the island's powers are now corrupted or lessened in some way? Is this the same water that they lowered Sayid into at the temple? Is this why Ben had to fiddle with a pool of water in order to "call" the Smoke monster, since Smokey is somehow connected to this previously-golden, now murky water? My answers to all those questions is - Yes - in my humble opinion.  I'm not sure the LOST writers will take the time to answer all these minute details, but I'm okay with that. It seems like we can get our answers from inference and leave it at that.

I thought this was the most heartbreaking moment of the night:
Jacob putting the Man in Black and his Unnamed Mother to rest.
tied with
Seeing the clips of Jack, Kate and Locke discovering the skeletons and the pouch with the black and white rocks in 2004.

Poor Jacob and the Man in Black and the Unnamed Mother... they had a dysfunctional family, didnt' they? I guess it's hard to grow up in a family tasked with eternally protecting the "Source" - light and goodness, the soul of the island. I was sad for Jacob, in this scene where he laid his brother and his Not-Mom to rest in the alcove of the cave. He really seemed to regret his moment of anger and revenge in killing his brother.  And even though he knew his Not-Mom was unstable, he stayed with her, and was sad at her passing. It also seemed, from Mark Pellegrino's excellent acting performance, that Jacob was genuinely confused and distressed about these turn of events and his place in this world, and that made me really sorry for him.

Both Jacob and his Not-Mom did things that were "bad" in the service of doing "good" (i.e. protecting the light) and I'm not really sure how I feel about that. I'm almost craving some characters that represent pure good and pure evil but the writers continue to blur those lines.  Fine for them to do that with the "mortals" who sin and make mistakes but I was at least hoping the "immortals" such as Jacob and Smokey would be definitively good or bad. I must admit, I am kind of sad that Jacob is just another mortal man, who has been tasked with a supernatural duty which allows him certain benefits, like immortality. It takes some of the mystique of him away.  I would have rather he'd been an angel or a god of some kind.  On the other hand, I liked this episode, and this scene specifically, because it made me feel something for Jacob and empathize with him. It gave his character more depth, instead of him being just a one-dimensional mysterious playing piece in this story.

I got choked up when they intercut to the scene of Kate and Jack finding the skeletons and the black and white rocks. I'm not sure why. I guess because, in a way, the viewers feel like we've been on this long journey with these individuals (and we have - six years of dedicated TV viewing), so seeing where we came from, all those seasons ago, was in stark contrast to how close we are to the end. I mean, we now know who the skeletons are.  How wild is that? One of the questions that's been with us since season 1 has finally been answered.  The end is near...

And finally, here is the funny moment of the night:
There wasn't one.  But several of us in our viewing party simultaneously thought the ratted tangle of yarn hanging from a stick in the cave was the back of Crazy Claire's head.

Speaking of Claire, this is the third time a baby was taken from its mother and raised by another (Alex, Aaron and now the twins). I wonder if there's any deeper meaning to that reoccurring theme?  Another pattern seems to be emerging - it looks like the protectors of the island are immortal and cannot kill themselves but have to be killed by someone else - and it appears - this can only happen after they have passed the protection mantle on to someone else.

I also wanted to share some Roman mythology with you. In last night's show, the twins' birth mom was named Claudia. I don't think this was by accident.  In Roman mythology Claudia was a Vestal Virgin, who conceived the twins Romulus and Remus, the fathers of Rome. Vestal Virgins guarded the sacred fire of Vesta (similarities with Not-Mom guarding the golden light/water?). They originally numbered two, but were later increased to four and eventually six (recognize some of those numbers).  They were selected by lot and served for thirty years (did you notice last night the mention of thirty years?) tending the fire and performing rituals. By analogy, they also tended the life and soul of the city through this sacred fire. The Goddess Vesta was the virgin goddess of the hearth, home and family.

What interesting theories have you heard?  Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.  We only have one show left, then the two and half hour finale! 


Laura said...

I don't think the group of "Others" last night was the first, I think there have been several groups who have come to the island over time. I think The Woman came with an even earlier group (how would she have gotten there otherwise?) and either she killed her group or the Smoke Monster did because that's what happened last night to MIB's camp of people.

Maybe the Smoke Monster is involved in choosing the replacement or knows about it? And then kills off everyone else? I don't know... grasping at straws...

Laurie B said...

I never really wondered who the skeletons were. It didn't seem important to me. It only showed there had been other people living on the island at one time.

I never saw Jacob pass the mantel on to anyone else before he was killed. So far there there are only candidates. So I don' think this fits your theory, Davina.

We've seen seen a young Jacob on the island. I think other people have seen him besides Hurley which tells me he's real and not just a ghost. Just as the MIB was real until he took Locke's body. The flashbacks we've seen of Jacob and MIB were many years after Jacob pushed MIB into the light. It was after the temple and statue were built and when the Black Rock came so MIB is reincarnated somehow.

More questions, didn't Not Mom say "Thank you" to MIB when he stabbed her? I think she had lived a very long time and was ready to rest, much like Jacob now. Poor MIB has just always looked to the sea and wanted to leave the island. He always knew there was more to the world than the Island.

I need to rewatch the episode tonight. So much to take in.

Laura said...

Also, I just realized that if The Woman was the previous guardian of "the light" then she was the cause for the shipwreck that brought Claudia to the island just like Jacob brought everyone after that. Who knows how many other people she brought as candidates and then killed because they were "bad".

I'm liking her less the more I think about it.

D.L. White said...

"I never saw Jacob pass the mantel on to anyone else before he was killed."

We actually talked about this last night - maybe that's why Jacob's trapped as a ghost on the island, because he has unfinished business, and he's still trying to pass the torch on to the next candidate to replace him, even though he's dead now.

Originally I was hoping there was some type of Phoenix mythology going on with him, since he was burned and there was all that to-do about the protective ash. I was hoping the little boy we were seeing was Jacob regenerating. I guess that's not the case now.

Either way, it looks like someone else has to kill the Protector. They can't take their own life for some reason. (As was also the case with Richard.) I agree with your assessment of Not-Mom, that she was welcoming death after a probably long life.

I hope Shawn posts on here. He had a good explanation about Not-Mom being conniving and planning her escape from the minute she saw those babies, to the very end. He thinks she killed MIB's people on purpose, knowing it would make MIB mad, then she intentionally went to his cave and waited for him, knowing he'd be angry and probably kill her. It was all a set-up so she could be released/killed. Twisted...

D.L. White said...

Random fact - the game that MIB and Jacob play is an ancient Egyptian game called Senet.

From Lostpedia: "Senet is a game from predynastic and ancient Egypt. The oldest hieroglyph representing a Senet game dates to circa 3100 BC. The full name of the game in Egyptian means "game of passing." By the time of the New Kingdom in Egypt (1567–1085 BC), it had become a kind of talisman for the journey of the dead. Because of the element of luck in the game and the Egyptian belief in determinism, it was believed that a successful player was under the protection of the major gods."

I actually own a Senet board. Maybe we should play a few rounds before the finale? ;-)

Laura said...

More stuff I'm speculating based on info from Lostpedia:

Based on Claudia's style of dress, the date of her shipwreck is between 200 BC and 300 AD. I think this puts the birth of Jacob and MIB during the hight of the Roman Empire but considerably after ancient Egyptian pharaohs.

Because The Woman claims the Senet game was hers, I think she came to the island during ancient Egyptian times (as early as 3100 BC) and may have something to do with the four-toed statue of an ancient Egyptian goddess.

Laura said...

So, when Locke was confronted with the Smoke Monster he said he looked into the heart of the island and what he saw was beautiful. Do you think he saw into that golden tunnel? Was he able to do that because he was a candidate? Have any other candidate's besides Locke been confronted face to face by Smokey?

Did the Smoke Monster look into Eko and see he wasn't a candidate so that's why he could kill him? That explains Jack's idea in the sub and how they could only kill each other.

D.L. White said...

I like your Roman/Egyptian timeline theory. It seems to make sense. I was thinking Not-Mom was Egyptian when we found out the senet game was hers.

Good catch about Locke seeing the heart of the island when he looked at Smokey. The only other candidate I can remember Smokey doing that to was Kate when she was handcuffed to Juliet. It made that noise that sounded like the click of pictures being taken.

Laura said...

But, remember Widmore said Kate's not a candidate. I think she was saved from being killed because she closed her eyes, the window to the soul.

I'm still not sure what the sonic fence has to do with it though.

chandy said...

Pierre Chang has chrisented the 'mom' as Knotty Mommy Hair. Seems a fitting name to me ;)

D.L. White said...

@Laura - But she was a candidate and her name was crossed off. I thought having your name on the cave wall made you a candidate? But she was eliminated as not worthy for some reason?

@Chandra - LOL at Knotty Mommy Hair!

D.L. White said...

I know they moved the finale of LOST to Sunday so that it wouldn't have to compete with the American Idol finale on Tuesday...but...

May "23", 2010

23 - Shephard

That's Jack's number from the wall of the cave...Ooo... I've never been someone prone to conspiracy theories or reading something into everything, but this show totally brings that out in me!!

Laurie B said...

I thought of something else. Not Mom gave Jacob a drink out of the bottle that is later broken, I forget by who, when Jacob and MIB were talking. This drink was part of her passing the mantle on. What was the drink and where does it come from?

Ron said...

OK all you Jacob sympathizers...

MIB has done nothing that does not progress toward leaving the island. Does that make him bad?
It appears that he has the light within him. Does that mean that when he does leave the island, so does the light?
Jacob is protecting what, exactly? Because he was tasked with protecting the light. It appears that the light is no longer there. So has his 'attempt' to protect the island been a sham for all these years?
I'm with smokey - let him leave, maybe he can spread the light among the rest of the world... (or star in his own sitcom).

So - while you all will be rooting for Widmore, I will be rooting for not-Locke.

Laurie B said...

I agree with Ron on this one. We may be proven wrong. I guess we'll find out in the next two episodes.