This is a Recap of Lost Season 6, Episode 15, entitled “Across The Sea”, originally airing May 11, 2010. It is full of spoilers about things I did not understand and spoiled explanations about why I did not understand them. So don’t read on if you DVRed me being confused, cause it’ll be ruined.
MOMICIDE: LIFE ON THE ISLAND STREET
We open on a shipwreck. Quickly, a survivor comes to the surface — Frank?? Ahh, crap, it’s just some ancient woman who probably didn’t deliver a calm one-liner when her ship exploded. She stumbles to the island, all kinds of super pregnant, and is briefly startled but soon taken in by the island’s lone resident, veteran character actress Allison “Juno’s Mom” Janney.
Turns out they’re speaking Latin, so we are flashing WAY the hell back, and the woman immediately goes into laborus majorus (the Latin phrase for “to kill grain”) and with the help of mysterious island mom, delivers her one and only baby, Jacob. But wait! Turns out, she wasn’t pregnant with one baby and also fat, but she was pregnant with twins! Who’s the other kid? Hurley? It’s Hurley, right? She delivers the mysterious afterthought and is like, “I don’t have a name for this dude, you want him? Actually wait, no, lemmie see him real quick.” Island woman glares at the two babies, and whoaboy, she’s feelin’ something (memories of Penny? Or something EEEEEVIILLLLLL???)
The island woman realizes that the opening titler is coming up, so she hurries up and smashes the mother with a rock, because cool! Shipwreck woman just learned Island Rule #1: Finders keepers, losers weepers! Island Rule #2: THERE ARE NO RULES!!! Island Rule #3: Ignore Rule #2, there are actually so many rules on the island, and you must impart them to the twins you just stole.
Also, the kids are symbolic as all hell:
After the jump, Jacob and Bro play a round of Rocks: The Game, the family breaks up, and the origin of the smoke monster is totally, clearly explained:
Jacob and his unnamed brother are hanging out on the beach when unnamed bro — SIDENOTE: I realize it’s cool to keep the Man In Black’s name ambiguous, instead of coming out and calling him “Esau” or “The Devil” or “Blackula”, but that’s also sacrificing a bit of practical realism with the scene; clearly, the new mom would’ve named him at some point, and it’s a bit plotholey to just never have the name uttered in the scenes we’re allowed to see. But I digress — anyway, Blackula finds a board game where you move black and white stones around, and convinces Jacob to play even though they’re afraid their mom would take it from them because she hates games that are too symbolic to be enjoyable.
Jacob returns to his New Mom, spills the truth about the game, and she tells Man In Black he not only can keep it, but that he’s special and she intentionally left the game for him to find (sure beats their other favorite game, Throw The Sand). Jacob and Bro grow up living a normal happy childhood of chasing boars and being told the island is all that is, until they encounter other boar-hunting humans one day and demand that their mother tell them what their purpose on the island is. The Mom responds, “Ahhhh, geez, can I tell you 58 minutes into the episode?” Jacob’s brother’s like, “No, NOW”, and their Mom begrudgingly shows them something very special:
The Mom kinda rambles about how the light is the light inside all humans, but they must protect the light from humans at all costs, because they’d use it to build a theme park or something. The Boy In Black proclaims, “It’s beautiful.” Tim Roth isn’t quite sure:
More island days pass uneventfully, until the minor event of the twins’ murdered mother appearing to Man In Black Junior and telling him that she’s his real mother, she was murdered, and that he belongs with the people on the other side of the island if he wants to leave. Jacob’s brother is understandably skeptical, saying “I thought there weren’t other people, only us three, that one other dude, and boars.” His mom replies, “Oh were that so, but across the sea [titular!], there are MANY boars. Great golden ones, that put your island boars to shame!” Man In Black Junior is intrigued. His New Mom’s not gonna be happy about this…Or is she the smoke monster appearing to him as his former mother to manipulate him? Seems prettay likely.
Jacob’s brother tells Jacob the big news about the people — They have tents, Jacob! TENTS! — and Jacob reacts by beating the crap out of him (whoahoa, who’s the good brother now, dawg?). Their mom appears out of frickin’ nowhere (Smoke Monster? Or a really weird cut? A MAGIC cut??) and breaks up the fight, but Jacob’s brother has had enough and declares “I’m leaving you, mom!” and runs up into his room to listen to Egyptian Nirvana. Jacob stays by his mother’s side, because he’s a little lame.
First the mom leaves the board game for Jacob’s bro, then a ghost appears to him and convinces him to leave? Looks like the mother might be weaving more than just thread! She’s weaving LIVES.
MOMICIDE, PART TWO
The years pass and Jacob & Man In Black grow into their regular actors, and while meeting up for their weekly game of Rockmoverz, Man In Black declares that he’s discovered a way to leave the island by digging to the pocket of light and turning a wheel near it. Jacob is surprised, saying “Mom told us there was no way to leave, but that plan sounds airtight.”
The mom approaches Man In Black in his island-leaving area, gets him to explain his plan to leave, and suspiciously admits “I guess this means goodbye…” and hugs him. Having watched Lost for six seasons, we know that “I guess this means goodbye…” [HUG] doesn’t actually mean “I guess this means goodbye…” [HUG]. What it actually means is, I’m pushing you into the wall, knocking you unconscious, murdering all the people you were living with (presumably as the smoke monster, not just by, like, punching them), and scuttling the escape well you worked so hard to dig. Parents just don’t understand. OR MAYBE THEY SUPER UNDERSTAND!
We are beginning to finally understand the Man In Black’s motives, just as my tv’s passive aggressive viewing guide predicted:
The mom takes Jacob back to the island light and tells him that he has to pound a shot to become the new immortal light guardy person. Jacob responds by whining that he doesn’t want the responsibility because the mom loved his brother more and is only asking him to take over because the brother won’t — maybe Jack will make a great Jacob after all — but the mom answers that “It was always you, I see that now.” She also tells him never to go into the light, because it’s “worse than death.” Jacob answers, “What is it, the dialogue in V? That joke’ll make sense in a million years.”
When Man In Black returns to his people, he sees the dead bodies and reacts in horror, “OH MY GOD, my board game was kind of knocked over! THAT’S IT, I’m stabbing my fake mom in the back.” He proceeds to stab his fake mom in the back, and before her final breath, she manages to tell Man In Black that she can’t let him leave because she loves him, and thanks him. But for what? Perhaps for unknowingly accepting the real island-guarding responsibility, as the smoke monster? Or for releasing her from her responsibility, because she can’t die or kill herself? Knowing how Lost works, it’s a pretty safe bet that the mom saw this coming from 90 trillion B.C. away and made it all happen.
Jacob then angrily gets revenge on his brother, smashing his face into rocks and floating him into the “worse than death” light. Then, finally, the origin of the Smoke Monster is explained:
So THAT’s it! Figures.
The episode concludes with Jacob burying his brother and pseudo-mother side by side, along with the white and black rocks from the board game, and the show cuts back to Season 1 footage of Jack discovering the “Adam and Eve” skeletons so the producers can prove to us they knew where the show was headed from day one. Then the show flashes back to the Season 1 part where the Smoke Monster reflects peoples’ theoretical lives instead of being a physical column of smoke that grabs people and throws them around, and totally explains that too. Or maybe it doesn’t do that at all. Nice try, Lost — I can accept the fact that you’re never gonna tie up all your loose ends, but not if you’re gonna pompously rub our faces in it the one time you actually do answer one thing.
Next week, Lost explains where that paralyzing spider venom came from, followed by ten minutes of the producers high-fiving and dancing to this.
LOSTDS AND ENDS
– So, the light. It’s not necessarily “goodness”. Perhaps it’s a Pandora’s Box sort of deal, encompassing all of evil and the desires of mankind, but appearing as a nice-looking light to tempt the brothers. How’d it turn Bro in Black into the smoke monster? I guess it’s a little like the chaos from Pandora’s Box being released? There was a smoke monster in that story, right? I thumbed it.
– I’m guessing (and could be hyper-wrong) that the mother was the smoke monster the whole time, using her smoke monster powers to appear as the twins’ natural mother then again to kill the mortals on the island, and that was the true responsibility she passed down, going to the more worthy son who she loved more all along. Not sure where this leaves Jacob’s responsibility, or how it impacts the orders Richard and the Others were receiving from who they believed was Jacob. Is Man In Black the island’s real guardian? He’s motivated by a lot more than just blind evil, but can he actually leave the island? Something about immortal smoke monster boarding a physical vehicle and flying to, like, Cabo seems like it won’t happen.
– It was interesting that the mother kept talking about how humans are selfish and manipulative and must be kept from the light, and yet, she only managed to protect the light through murder and manipulation. If the immortal islanders are indeed gods in some way, they’re acting a lot like selfish Greek/Roman gods rather than all-knowing, can’t understand their motives Abrahamic gods. Though granted, we still don’t really understand their motives. But I could see Jacob’s mom banging a mortal then changing her into a cow to hide her.
– I’m sure we all caught the mother’s line in the opening scene, “Every question I answer will only lead to another question.” The producers nodded so hard to the audience there, they’re all in neck braces this morning.
– Also, while “Across The Sea” wasn’t the most exciting episode in the world and it actually took me until my post-Lost conversations this morning to really come around on it about, can we credit the show’s ambition to have the third to last episode in the entire series include NONE of the show’s main characters? What other series would attempt this? So crazy, it just might LOST.
– Next week on Lost, “The End” by The Doors plays. So, it’ll be an iconic and well-regarded episode that goes on forever until your high school self finally gains the courage to skip it and listen to the “Break On Through” episode again.
“Across The Sea” episode thoughts? Smoke Monster / crazy light theories? Mom theories? Questions? Problems? Like the episode? Only TWO EPISODES LEFT, so you’re running out of time to declare “I’m done with this show.” Leave ‘em all in the comments.