Lost Round Table “Across the Sea”

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In this heartwarming, post-Mother’s Day episode of Lost, the secrets of Craphole Island unfold before our very eyes, all questions are answered, and everything finally makes perfect, beautiful sense…

Oh, c’mon—where would be in the fun in that? Join us below the fold for another exciting, spoiler-filled installment of “What. The Hell. Is Going On?” with bloggers Rajan Khanna, Theresa DeLucci and Bridget McGovern.

Raj: I’m having a hard time knowing what to think about this episode. I was looking forward to finding out the whole Jacob/Silas thing (might as well continue to call him the Deadwood name since he still doesn’t have one), but by the end of that episode, there’s not much new that we know about them. I was happy to see Allison Janney show up—think she’s generally great—though I did think she was an odd fit for someone who would be speaking Latin natively. She seemed awfully modern to me. Here at last we see the crazy mother that Smocke was referring to. A crazy mother who also served the island, though we still don’t know why or who put her there to do so.

Then we have the interesting role reversal of Jacob and Silas. Jacob came off like young Anakin Skywalker—whiny and dull. And NOT gifted at all. We see it’s Silas who is the special one. The one who, like Hurley, can talk to dead people. Silas also comes off as more sympathetic, at least to me. He’s lied to and manipulated and wants to fight back against that. Jacob just takes it out of a desire to be loved, though obviously he’s been manipulated as well.

I was happy to see the origin of the donkey wheel, though I don’t know how they were able to figure out how to use that to manipulate the energy. I was hoping that they would show later scenes from Jacob and Silas’ lives (or non-life, depending) and I was really surprised when the episode came to a close.

I was thoroughly disappointed with the Adam and Eve reveal. It does tie things together and references the pieces, but for some reason it doesn’t seem as epic as two dead lovers. I think that this is one thing that people had been speculating about for years now and it turns out one of them is a character that only pops up in the second to last episode.

Then there’s the energy thing. Obviously we’ve seen this throughout and this seems to be what Widmore is after as well. But is it more than electromagnetism? Is there a moral component? And why did sending Silas down into it release the smoke monster? That seemed really odd to me.

This wouldn’t be a Lost Round Table without me having a problem with the episode. It’s not that I mean to be negative, but again I think they could have covered a lot more in the time that they had. Let rip about the smoke monster. Show us who put the Donkey Wheel together. How and why did Jacob leave the island? I’m started to get a really bad feeling. We have only one more episode to go, then the finale. Yes, it’s two and a half hours, but there’s still a lot to cover and I think that a lot is going to get glossed over. At the very least they have to have the final confrontation with Smocke, end up with a new Jacob, and tie up the Earth-1/Earth-2 thing. And we need to at least see what Ben and Richard have been up to with Miles. It doesn’t seem like there’s enough time in there to do too much else. I don’t think that we’re going to get BSG-level craziness, but I’m preparing myself for the end being underwhelming. I hope I’m proved wrong.

Theresa: I’m giving up on hoping for a satisfying ending to the mythology. Pretty much everything sounds trite when you boil it down to its most basic part. Golden heavenly light: Meh. It is pretty frustrating that in an episode filled with some big chunks of exposition, we still don’t know a whole lot. Okay, so Allison Janney was crazy. But she was the protector of the cheesy golden light that is the heart of the Island and the source of its power. So how did she get there? Who told her all of that? Or she was nuts and just making it up? (Well, clearly not since something turned Silas into the smoke monster.) I just wasn’t feeling a lot of emotion and connection between her and her kids. Maybe it’s because the kid actors weren’t that great. I know that sounds a little mean; they’re just kids. But why use kids for half of the episode when they grow up to be the fantastic Titus Welliver and Mark Pellegrino? So Lil’ MiB can say foreshadowy things like “Maybe one day you’ll make up your own game with rules, Jacob?”

Back to the the golden light for a second, though. Remember when Locke spoke to Mr. Eko (moment of silence please) back in season 2? Eko asked John what he saw when he looked into the heart of the island. John said a beautiful light. I guess, as is the case with a lot of things, I don’t necessarily want to see the light. I just want to know what heavenly light means to the character. And I think there is definitely a moral component to it: Mr. Eko said he did not see light when he was first confronted with the smoke monster. And look where he is now.

I just want more character intrigue. And this episode did have at least some of that. I agree, Raj—I liked the way my sympathies changed after watching this episode. Mostly. When did the MiB become so bad exactly? He has a legitimate reason for wanting to leave the Island. Why is Jacob so sure his mother was right? Would the ending have been a little more satisfying if we saw Jacob saying goodbye to his dead brother only to turn around and see the monster using his brother’s body and then realize the terrible consequence of his misdeed? I liked the cuts to Jack, Kate, and John (all looking much younger!) wondering who the skeletons were. But yeah, I think I would’ve liked a different, more romantic explanation.

Yes, I’ve been pretty grumpy with Lost this season. It isn’t my favorite season. But maybe some Miles snark will fix me up again.

Bridget: It appears as if most people are having seriously polarized reactions to this episode—a few people here and there seem to love it, while everyone else I’ve heard from seems utterly disappointed. I thought there were plenty of strong points: I also really like Allison Janney, and I’m always happy when Titus Welliver has a chance to shine. As much as I enjoy Mark Pelligrino as an actor, this version of Jacob was kind of a dullard, stuck playing the lame, obedient Gallant to the MiB’s far more interesting, rebellious Goofus (he’s special!).

In spite of the Olde Timey settings and the heavy mythic/mystic overtones, a fair amount of the episode boiled down to sibling rivalry and questionable parenting (though to be fair, so do most great myths and legends in every culture, from Greek tragedy or the Mahabharata to the Bible and Mommy Dearest). I appreciated the backstory here, but thought it could have been tighter—I agree, Theresa, that we didn’t need to spend quite so much time with the Kid in Black and mini-Jacob. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that many people (including Raj) felt compelled to draw comparisons with the Star Wars prequels, although I still think Jacob could take Anakin any day; we should set up a cage match.

In any case, what I took away from this episode was the sense that there aren’t going to be any fundamental answers in the end, no bedrock foundation of Absolute Truth to rely on. Jacob and the MiB started out just as confused as everyone else who ended up on the Island—the woman who raised them may have been crazy, and lied to their faces like Ben Linus in funky handwoven drag. The Mother of All Unreliable Narrators, she clearly had the power to establish certain rules (not to be confused with The Rules, although I bet she gave crappy dating advice, too)—but having power on Lost is never a sign that someone is morally, or even factually, correct. There’s always another perspective, another interpretation…

I’m starting to think that that’s the line the show is toeing to the bitter end: rules are arbitrary, interpretations are infinite, every question answered will simply lead to another question, and the climax will be one kind of faith conflicting with another. My guess is that whoever ultimately triumphs (or survives, at least), the matter of the truth will remain open and uncertain—whether it will come off as the most brilliant thing ever or a total crap-out remains to be seen, but I’m still dying to know how it will all play out.

Please join us with your thoughts in the comments below, and enjoy this week’s goofy links:

• All kinds of crazy Lost props are up for auction (via io9)

• Graphs always help, right? I Think We’re LOST (via Priya Ravishankar)

• Yikes…I know we talk some smack, but some people really, really hate Kate

• The Soup presents Lost versus V, winds up with déjà vu all over again

• Lost Slapdown: in which Damon and Carlton tangle with some pretty pushy Muppets.

• And speaking of manic puppets: Dr. Pierre Chang breaks down “The Candidate

Theresa DeLucci is a graduate of the 2008 Clarion West Writers Workshop. Her fiction has appeared in Chizine.

Rajan Khanna is a graduate of the 2008 Clarion West Writers Workshop and his fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Shimmer, GUD, and Steampunk Tales. He lives in Brooklyn with his two cats, Chloe and Muppet.

Bridget McGovern is a lit nerd, a film geek, and a complete pop culture junkie. She still misses The West Wing sometimes, and had some issues with Highlights magazine as a kid, in case you couldn’t tell.


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