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Totally "Lost" weekend wonderings...

May 15, 2010 - Ray Eckenrode

   It’s been called landmark. It’s been called lame. It is the most polarizing and important episode of “Lost” ever and all around the Lost-verse people are still talking about “Across the Sea.”
   The back story of Jacob and the Man in Black drew strong initial fan backlash, mostly centered on the concept of “light” beneath the island and the less-than-stellar special effects involved in demonstrating that light. But then critic after critic heaped praise upon the episode, each finding a new nuance and each noting the way that nearly every detail of the episode echoed back through the previous six seasons of the show.
   We had the same experience with the episode, liking it much more after 75 minutes it took us to deconstruct it than we did when it ended. With the hindsight of a few more days, we now think “Across the Sea” is the proof we’ve been waiting for that the end of “Lost” has been planned since the beginning of “Lost.”
   More “Across the Sea” observations:
   > We don’t understand what people’s problem is with the idea of “the light.” We know there’s a giant pocket of electromagnetism beneath the island. We’ve seen it glowing before when the Frozen Donkey Wheel was turned. It seems totally logical to us that if ancient people came upon such a phenomenon they’d attribute supernatural characteristics to it. We’ve been saying since June 2007 that the island is the source of all of our world’s mythology. Now, we have to ask: Is the light the source of the world?
   > We guess the episode put the kibosh to one of our pet theories – that John Locke and the Man in Black are one and the same. We’re not yet ready to totally throw in the towel, but the fact we saw Locke born to Emily Locke in 1957 and MIB born to a woman named Claudia in Year 0 is pretty strong evidence that they’re two different people.
   > That Year 0 reference above comes from a little math we did in the wake of actor Mark Pellegrino telling People magazine that the scene where Jacob takes the cup from Mother occurred in 43 A.D. Using the “30 years later” tag in the episode we can deduce that the teen-age scenes took place in 13 A.D. and since the boys were 13 at the time we can deduce that they were born on the island at the same time Christ was born across the sea.
   > If you think it’s purely coincidental that a pregnant woman appeared alone on the island in Year 0 and never mentioned her husband or the baby’s father, well, then you’re watching a different show than us.
   > Although we figured by episode’s end that Mother was also a Smoke Monster, we missed the early clues – her skewed reflection that Claudia saw in the water and the fact that she spoke Portuguese with Claudia without an accent.
   > We still think there’s plenty to learn about what happened exactly with Mother, Jacob and the Boy in Black during their years together on the island. What is the form of the Man in Black we’ve seen in the years after he died and/or morphed into a Smoke Monster? Is it Smokey assuming MIB’s form? Or the actual ghost of the MIB? And what did he mean when he told Richard in the 1800’s that the devil had stolen his body? And the biggest question of all: If Mother was a Smoke Monster did she work a long con on Jacob, making him think he’s her successor and the island’s protector so that he would help her create her real successor and the island’s real protector? That would account for the “fakeness” of the “take this cup” ritual.
   > Speaking of ghosts, we’ve seen many of them on “Lost” and they always take the form of what the person looked like when they died. Which brings us to this: Why is there a teenage Jacob ghost on the island?

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