Thoughts on ‘Lost’ Episode 15 “Across the Sea”

Something tells me viewers either hated or loved the latest episode of “Lost” entitled “Across the Sea.” Why? Well, it was mythology-heavy and had virtually nothing to do with our cast of main characters that we’ve following from the beginning. I found myself in the middle. I enjoyed getting answers, but found the explanation as to what exactly is going on the island, a bit muddled.

It played out as a history lesson of our two island entities. The Man in Black (who still doesn’t have a name) and Jacob. Turns out…they’re twin brothers! Break out your copies of “Bad Twin” for clues!

It started with a bang. Their mother gave birth to the pair after her ship wrecked on the island. Another woman (played by Allison Janney, I thought this was a strange choice for Lost) helps this mystery woman deliver the babies, only to kill her minutes later. Why? To protect the island of course! Seems that our sunbathed Gods can justify murder to save and watch over this heaven or hell on earth.

Jacob and Boy in Black are young naives on the island who seem to know nothing about the outside world or “Across the Sea” as it were. Jacob cannot tell a lie, while Boy in Black has been deemed “special” by this adoptive mother. Similar to how Walt was called “special” back in Season 1. However, I’m not really sure there’s a connection there.

Side note…Did anybody else think that actor playing Boy in Black looked a lot like a Zac Efron clone or at the very least this 80’s cartoon from “The Littles.”

Our twins are startled to find other people on the island. People that the island mother calls “evil.” Apparently because all they seek is power and she fears they are after the source of the island’s power.

What is this island power you ask? A cave filled with light. “The warmest, brightest light you’ve ever seen or felt.” Island mother shows her two boys this tunnel of twilight. She says “there is a little bit of this light inside every man, but they always want more.” Can man take it island mother? “No, but they will try. And if the light goes out here. It will go out everywhere.”

Here is where I am confused. I feel like the producers are trying to say the island serves as a protector of humanity. If it is destroyed, then all will be “lost.” But the island also comes across as a sort of Garden of Eden, with the light serving as its tree of knowledge of good and evil. I guess I am looking for something a bit more direct, instead of a number of references being thrown ambiguously together.

Soon after learning the other people are on the island, Boy in Black is visited by the ghost of his actual mother. Claudia. She informs him that his island mother killed her and that she is his real mom. This sets BIB on a course to get off the island. He leaves his brother Jacob and joins the other men and women.

Fast forward thirty years later and the now Man in Black is working very hard on getting the heck off the island, including creating the time traveling/getting off the island/island-moving donkey wheel. He has discovered the pocket of electromagnetic energy on the island and is going to harness it, so he can leave. How does he know how to do this? Unclear.

Another question I have, are we as an audience being asked to view these electromagnetic pockets as a world protecting power or something more science based? Perhaps that’s the debate we are meant to have since this entire show’s origins have been Science vs. Faith.

Island mother is not ready to let MIB go, so she knocks him out, wrecks his donkey wheel pit and wipes out the people on the island. Didn’t it seem this was a very Smokie-type massacre? Although, it’s never shown, it struck me that island mother could be another smoke monster. But that’s probably not the case since she can be killed.

Before that happens, island mother takes Jacob to the cave of light. Telling him that he must be the new caretaker of the island. She rattles off some mumbled Latin and says “drink this.” A cup of wine akin to Jesus telling his disciples “drink this cup, it is my blood.” Jacob does indeed drink and becomes ageless, but not immortal. This scene almost serves as a sort of last supper for our island mother. She seems to know full well that MIB will come and murder her the next day. Similar to Jesus dying on the cross. Again, the problem I have with this allegory is that island mother does not seem to be all that righteous, so giving her a Jesus story line seems like a bit of a stretch. Almost as if the producers are just kind of throwing religious themes here and there.

Man in Black has mommy issues instead of daddy issues like the rest of Losties. He stabs the island mother as she’s looking at a black rock from his backgammon game. I found it interesting that he stabs her before she can speak with a knife that’s the same or possibly similar to the one Jacob and MIB use against each other earlier in the season

Jacob comes back to find the murder scene and he is none too pleased. Jacob, now more powerful than his brother, beats him, takes him to the tunnel of light and chucks him in. It doesn’t kill him, but takes away his body and turns him into our favorite black pillar of smoke.

Jacob finds his brother’s body and buries it, along with the island mother’s corpse in their cave dwelling. Putting one white rock and one black rock in a sack. This explains our Adam and Eve from Season 1. The producers even inter-cut this scene together to reinforce their point, which I thought was kind of unnecessary since this is one of the show’s most talked about mysteries and most fans would recognize. One thing they left out from that scene though, I believe Jack mentions how their clothes are about fifty years old. So, that wouldn’t really fit the time line. But, it’s always possible Jack’s just not very good at dating his fabrics.

So, that’s that. I’ll admit, I was expecting a bit more. Maybe more of a battle between these two brothers instead family troubles and matricide. But I guess that would certainly be a good reason for two brothers to hate each other.

A few quick hits and observations…

1. If the light/electromagnetism is the “heart” of the island why does it turn MIB into Smokey? It seems odd that something so sacred would turn a man into a body-less, soul that cannot be destroyed.

2. Is Smokey still the MIB? He seems to have his drive to get off the island, but since his brother is technically dead, does Smokey still have a shot at redemption? Or has he just become a dark angel?

3. As much as last week’s episode made you hate Smokey, this one kind of made you feel for him. Basically, he was lied to all his life by this woman who killed his real mom. Then he just wanted to get away from her, but she wouldn’t let him. It’s that type of history that makes you look at murders in real life and think just what they went through in their younger years that made them that way.

4. I find it a bit ironic that in the middle of this series, it centered around this belief that Jacob was this all-powerful island God with Ben, et al squabbling over trying to please him. When in reality, he’s just an island steward who was thrown into the position by his whack job mother.

5. Clearly, much like Jacob has done with the “Candidates”, island mother brought the ship to the island knowing that Claudia would have babies that she would make her own and groom to be her replacement. Because it’s apparent that no one really wants the job. Island mother was happy to finally be killed, saying “thank you” to the MIB, much like Jacob, who didn’t seem overly put out when Ben killed him back in Season 5.

6. Island mother and MIB share the same stance on men, “They come, they fight, they destroy, they corrupt. It all ends the same.”

7. Was the game they were playing a primitive backgammon? That’s what I took it as.

I guess that’s it for this week. Not a ton to analyze since this episode had a fairly straight forward story line. So, where does this leave us heading into the last episode before the series finale? Do you think of the show any differently now? Are you rooting for Smokey or Jacob? And do you think Jack is a sucker if he takes over as island steward? Or does humanity really hang in the balance of this island?

Until next time “Lost” fans…

posted by Seth Szilagyi in uncategorized and have Comments (3)

3 Responses to “Thoughts on ‘Lost’ Episode 15 “Across the Sea””

  1. janice says:

    first off…”the Littles” reference made me laugh out loud…….second…I agree with your frustration with the biblical references in the show….sometimes they seem so obvious and other times..they are muddled with other themes….making it soooo hard to figure out who’s good and who’s bad..but I guess that plays into the mysteries of the show…I’m also hoping Jack reconsiders his Candidacy for the Island….it seems like a thankless…job…that no one wants
    I think he would better serve humanity…”fixing” people…OFF island…

  2. jim says:

    i do have to say – i was thankful for the adam & eve flashback, because i had completely forgotten about them. but that also furthered my frustration – one of the few answers i got was to a question i forgot i had

  3. Seth Szilagyi says:

    I hope you find the answers you’re looking for Jim. Still 3.5 hours to get a few in anyway!

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