LOST EPISODE 6.16 – “WHAT THEY DIED FOR”

Jacob explains what they died for....

In what is dubbed the “penultimate episode” (next-to-last), Jacob passes his torch on to Jack after nearly 2,000 years of service to the island. I think we all knew it was going to be Jack, but I kept expecting them to throw us for a loop. But maybe they still will. Jack drinks from the blessed cup and his eyes nearly pop with revelation. I wonder just what island secrets were downloaded from leader-to-successor in that moment… Looked pretty intense!

Sideways Timeline (2004)

Jack wakes in his apartment, and has another mirror moment. This time the nick on his neck is much bigger than on the Oceanic flight, and it’s bleeding quite a bit. I think they are showing his “symptoms” are more pronounced… He’s getting ready to cross-over to his island self. Showing a mirror incident from the season 6 premiere is indicating we’re about to come full circle on the season.

Jack's mysterious neck wound is still there... And it's getting bigger. Thanks Sideways mirror!

David prepares breakfast (cereal), and while they eat, they discuss going to the concert later. Jack asks if David’s mom will be there, and as they’ve kept her identity a secret all along, I think this was thrown in to get us wondering who she will be… So it’s someone important. Rule out every Sideways woman we’ve seen so far, and I think we’re left with… Juliet. And I believe that’s where she and Sawyer will reconnect (Sawyer said he wasn’t going if Charlotte was, but I bet Miles talks him into it.)

Shephard family breakfast, a hearty bowl of Super-Bran.

Claire joins them for breakfast, and while a quick scene, I liked how awkward it seemed… That they are all just strangers that are thrown into a family situation and getting used to having each other around. Jack gets a call from “Oceanic Air” (aka Desmond) saying they found his father’s coffin. Why would Desmond wreak this havoc in Jack’s life just as he’s finally getting over the whole thing? Perhaps he saw Jack getting too comfortable with his life with his loving son and new sister, and was trying to irritate Jack’s natural angst and destabilize his grounding in Sideways to keep him open to dabbling in his island life.

Desmond, fresh from running down Locke, is back on the scene getting his Candidates together in Sideways. As he spots Locke and starts the car, Ben recognizes and catches him, and Desmond beats the crap out of him. Desmond appears to do this to spur Ben’s memory. The experience (though not a near-death one) flashes Ben momentarily to his post-island 2007 self, who was once in that very same situation, getting pummeled by Desmond on the dock after his attempt on Penny’s life, again referenced later this episode (“Dead is Dead”). Ben seems moved and perplexed by his vision for the rest of the episode. Calmly Desmond tells him that he is not there to hurt him but to help Locke “let go”.

"You want to know who I am?"

Ben is being treated by the school nurse (who previously played an ER nurse who treated Desmond for his gunshot wounds in 2007… Ironically, wounds Ben himself inflicted!)

ER doctor/school nurse

Ben is having his Sideways mirror moment, fresh off his island vision, when Locke comes in. He tells Locke that the man was trying to get Locke to “let go”, not to hurt him, and that for some reason Ben believed him.

Locke is sporting a Sideways head wound, like Keamy, Jin, Sun, and now Ben.

Miles and Sawyer are discussing the benefit concert that evening at his father’s museum, Miles asks Sawyer to go as his “date” (I thought Miles was seeing someone?), but Sawyer declines because Charlotte will be there. Desmond arrives and turns himself in for running down Locke and beating Ben. He smiles as he joins Kate and Sayid in the holding cells. All is going according to plan!

Alex runs up to Ben, now sporting a sling and beat up pretty bad. She compares Ben to Napoleon because he holds his arm near his stomach as a result of the sling he wears as Napoleon was reputed to do. Napoleon was referenced earlier this season in teacher Ben’s classroom in “Recon”. Shots of Ben in a sling also recall injured Ben during his Swan hunger strike.

Ben's sling. Now I know there are a TON of color references in this show, but I totally noticed at the school that everyone was wearing red, blue, and purple. Including Ben, Alex, and Rousseau.

Alex is incredulous at the prospect of anyone wanting to hurt “the nicest guy ever” (cough cough). Alex insists that her mother give him a ride home, and as Danielle greets him they both insist he stay for dinner. Danielle words it, “even if we have to kidnap you.” (“One of Them” and “Dead Is Dead“). Nice to see Rousseau with heels, a dress, and combed hair! After dinner, Danielle says Alex’s father died when she was two, and Ben is the closest thing to a father she’s ever had. Ben’s eyes start to well up (was he connecting with his island self?) He passes it off as the onions, but Danielle says NEXT TIME she won’t use so many. And I love this storyline, because getting romantic with Danielle means he gets a second chance at both love and being the father he wanted to be to Alex.

Alex's fated-to-be father figure.

Locke stops by Jack’s office and explains that he doesn’t understand why, but it seems he’s meant to be fixed by Jack. He observes that his encounters with Jack have been serendipitous: he and Jack were on the same flight; when he was hit by a car, of “all the doctors in Los Angeles” he happened to be treated by Jack; the same man who ran him down beat up a teacher at his school and said that he wasn’t there to hurt him but to help him “let go” – and that these were the same words Jack had used when they were last together. Jack suggests that he is mistaking coincidence with fate (nod to the “Don’t mistake coincidence for fate” line spoken by Eko in “What Kate Did”). Locke says whatever it is called he is ready to get out of his wheelchair. We get the feeling his change of heart has to do less with walking than finding out the meaning behind all these darn Oceanic 815-related incidents.

Doc Jensen:
But more than anything, it was a choice. Like Island Jack, Sideways Locke seized the opportunity life had given him: the chance to decide who and what he wanted to be. […] In the Sideways world, Jack will fix Locke’s spine and facilitate Locke’s awakening. On The Island, Guardian Jack will defeat Fake Locke and protect the spiritual circuit between the ”real Lockes” of both worlds. It’s sweet happily ever after… but I worry about the implications of what we saw in the opening moments of the season some 15 weeks or so ago, an ominous image that has been left for the last episode of Lost to explain: The Island, dead and underwater.

At the police station, the 3 criminals are being transferred. Kate makes a last ditch effort to flirt her way to freedom with Sawyer. While he looks tempted, he ultimately tells her it ain’t gonna happen. In the back of a holding van, Desmond proposes an escape plan, but in exchange for their freedom, he says he will exact a promise of each of them. They both agree skeptically. Just then, the van pulls over and Ana Lucia (still a dirty cop in this timeline as well), lets them go.

Sweet freedom!

Hurley arrives (in his Sideways yellow Hummer) with her payoff and instantly recognizes her as Ana Lucia. He asks if she’s coming too, but Desmond says she’s not ready yet. ”It was nice not knowing you,” Ana Lucia said, speaking more truth than she realized.

"Not ready yet." Not now, or not ever?

Hurley’s Camaro (that he originally got from his father) is parked nearby. Desmond hands Kate a dress. Recall this is the second time someone is handing her a dress to wear for a specific purpose, a la breakfast with Ben on the island in Alex’s dress then being held in the cages in “A Tale of Two Cities”, which coincidentally introduced us to Juliet (ahem, David’s mother). Desmond tells them they’re going to a concert. Aha, the concert is where it all goes down in The End! Desmond’s scheming Island Enlightenment on a GRAND scale, with everyone, all together at once. Perhaps a rousing rendition of ”You All Everybody’‘ will do the trick?

Kate's new cocktail dress, inset with her new dress for breakfast with Ben.

Known concert attendees:

  • Jack
  • David
  • David’s mom (who may or may not be Juliet)
  • Claire (might possibly tag along with her brother and nephew)
  • Desmond
  • Kate
  • Sayid
  • Hurley
  • Miles
  • Charlotte
  • Pierre Chang
  • Eloise (planning it)
  • Widmore (financing it)
  • Daniel (playing in it)
  • Penny (on the guest list)
  • Charlie (supposed to play as the rock act)
  • Sawyer (who I think will change his mind, despite Charlotte, and go with Miles)

So who’s missing? Sun is still in the hospital and Jin is by her side, but if she is released, they could be there. Maybe Jack mentions something to Locke about it. And maybe, just maybe, this will be Ben and Danielle’s first date (wink wink!)

Doc Jensen:
”What They Died For” gave us a scene in the Sideways narrative that could be seen as a metaphor for the Jacob/Loststance on the relationship between free will and fate. Desmond, the Jacob analog, broke Kate and Sayid out of jail — but they had no idea they had been liberated until Desmond spelled it out in the van. And even then, they didn’t really believe it. Kate and Sayid had been oblivious to Desmond’s machinations, but they were also powerless to stop the prison wagon from reaching Desmond’s destination for them. Still, during the trip, they retained total authority over their inner lives, and upon their arrival, they had the freedom to do as they wish. Their actions may have forced Desmond into a response, but at no point did anyone hold a gun to their heads. In fact, the only manipulation Desmond used was holding them to their word to do as they promised — to have integrity, to be people of their word. We can’t control our circumstances, but we can control our response to our circumstances..

On the Island (2007)

BEACH AND JUNGLE:

On the beach, Jack prepares to stitch Kate up, which is definitely a nod back to the very first episode of season 1 when Kate needs to stitch up Jack. Kate had asked which color thread he preferred and he replied “basic black”, which is the same color he used on her last night.

Thread of choice? "Basic Black."

In the Pilot, Jack told her the story of counting to 5, which is how his father had taught him how to manage fear during crisis (“Pilot, Part 1“). Kate reflects on Ji Yeon, and remarks that Jin had never even met his own daughter. They both decide that “He” must be killed.

Jack stitches Kate.

Pieces of the destroyed sub and the red life vests wash up on shore, heartbreaking. Kate leans on Saywer’s shoulder and everyone pauses to mourn Sayid, Sun, Jin, Frank. Which was nice, because as last week was Jacob and the MIB’s story, they really didn’t give the castaways any time to deal with the loss of their friends.

Doc Jensen:
Perhaps they were also silently bidding adieu to the dream of returning to the home sweet home that lies somewhere across the sea. I think when you decide to kill the devil, you have to make peace with the prospect of not coming back alive. This isn’t a Fantastic Four story — this is a Suicide Squad mission. Did you see Kate slump against Sawyer? Was that Lost‘s way of telling us that Kate had ”made her choice”?

Reflecting on their loss.

At Jack’s urging, they set off in the jungle looking for Desmond. Because if the MIB wants him, they they’re going to need him. Sawyer, looking completely defeated, starts to take responsibility for the deaths on the sub by attempting to diffuse the bomb despite Jack’s advice. Where in the past, these two would normally settle their problems with their fists… It’s definitely different now. Jack interrupts Sawyer’s sad-sap admission, and says, hey, “I’ve made mistakes too.” They’ve come this far and finally made their peace with each other. Finally allies after all these years, just in time to team up for the final showdown.

Hurley sees a vision of boy-Jacob in the jungle, whom notably Kate cannot see. Yet. The boy demands the bag of ashes, then runs off. I think this is the first time they’ve shown a physical aspect to Hurley’s apparitions… He was able to grab an object from Hurley.

"They're mine." (PS - nice snaps on your vest, authentic Roman garbed boy Jacob!)

As Hurley chases him, he comes across adult Jacob seated at a fire. Jacob tells Hurley that the ashes are in the fire and that when the fire goes out, he will not be seen again. This is very reminiscent to the rules of The Source itself (if its light goes out, everyone will die). Good thing Ilana knew to save those ashes! And good thing Hurley found them. It was a convenient chain of events that led to a final scene with Jacob’s “essence” so he could pass the torch to his next Candidate. Jacob adds, for good measure, “We are very close to the End“.

Jacob proudly welcomes his remaining Candidates.

Hurley leads the others back to the fire, and Jacob greets each of them by first name. Hurley is surprised that they can all see him. In the Big Scene of the night, Jacob provides them (and us) with some definitive answers: He did indeed create the smoke monster, it has been trying to kill him ever since in retaliation, and since Smokey succeeded, one of them must replace him as the island’s protector. Jacob didn’t drag them all out of a happy existence — they were all flawed. He chose them because they were all like him – alone, all looking for something that they couldn’t find.

Doc Jensen:
From a timeless, spiritual perspective, the castaways are better off than they were before they crashed on the Island. Yes, they have suffered, yet their adventures together have brought them to a place where they find themselves more self-aware and liberated from ruts of self-destructive behavior. Jacob has also given them something which I’m not sure they yet fully recognize and appreciate, at least not in the Island world: a community of fellow souls deeply invested in each other’s survival, growth, and flourishing.

We find out Kate was crossed out because when she left the island, she became a mother (while the rest of the Oceanic 6 remained flawed/incomplete). But she could still have the job if she wanted it. Jacob explains that they must do the one thing he couldn’t: kill the smoke monster. Jack wonders if this is even possible, and he says he hopes so. But how does one kill a cloud a smoke, a spectral being that’s made up of one angst-ridden soul? The answer will surely be one of the series’ biggest revelations.

In closing, Jacob says he is offering them a CHOICE about assuming this role, something he never had. Jack immediately steps up, knowing that this is what he’s on the island to do.

Jack eagerly takes the job on his own free will.

Jacob leads Jack to a stream in the distance, explaining that while Jack has never seen the light before, he will be able to find it now that he has been chosen to protect it. Jacob says it’s just beyond the bamboo field where Jack landed when he fell from the sky. Jack is disbelieving, but it appears he just didn’t have the eyes to be able to see it before, just like the Lighthouse he didn’t see until he was looking for it.

Doc Jensen:
I am reminded of the C.S. Lewis novel The Pilgrim’s Regress, about a spiritual seeker who has a dream as a child of an island offering the promise of great meaning to his life, but after years and years and years of searching, he discovers that the place he’s looking for… is right back where he started. See, Jack? You had the magic inside you all along…

The Pilgrim's Regress by C.S. Lewis

Which actually makes a lot of sense… The Source, for Jack, is in the location where he first arrived on the island; just as the Source for Jacob was at the stream where Claudia delivered he and his brother. The Source can change locations depending on where it all began for its designated guardian.

Jacob says an incantation and takes some water into Jack’s cup and offers it to him. Before he drinks, Jack asks about the duration of the job – “as long as you can.” Jack drinks, Jacob embraces him and says “Now you are like me.” Interesting that it doesn’t have to be wine, the same cup, or even in front of the light of the Source to make this protector-deeming ceremony official. The other 3 watch from fire, and Hurley says ”I’m just glad it’s not me.” Famous last words… I’m now highly suspicious that Hurley might end up with the guardian-gig by the end.

Doc Jensen:
The Island needs The Source — but does The Source really need The Island? We’ve been told that a little bit of the light exists in everyone. Well, why not take a cue from Hurley’s Parable of the Hatch Pantry and just divide the rest of The Source equally among all people? Why not make humanity itself the exclusive dwelling place of The Source? It’s time to decentralize! It’s time for Mystic Reformation! That’s my theory of Desmond. I think super-Buddha is going to get dropped into the Holy Wormhole and will absorb all the energy into himself and then redistribute it throughout all of mankind. The Source needs a guardian. But what it needs even more is for all of us to guard it. And as I finish the preceding parenthetical, another one hit me. What if once upon a time, The Source did reside within all of humanity? What if we stopped believing in The Source, or we convinced ourselves that The Source stopped believing in us, so much so that now The Source exists as an anomaly that’s hidden away from us — as something lost that must be found. The Truth Is Out There — but once, The Truth Was In Here.

AT THE BARRACKS:

We finally see Richard, Ben, and Miles’ group again after a 3-episode absence. They are taking Ben’s shortcut to the Barracks to pick up some C4 to blow up the plane. In a big nod to the Sideways story, Miles senses Alex’s resting place, and Richard admits to burying her. Ben looks stricken for just a moment, and after only saying a quick “thank you”, offhandedly continues on to his secret room. He opens the safe and takes all 6 bricks of C4 (to “blow the plane to hell”), and when Miles asks about this other, secreter room, he said he thought he could summon the monster from here, although he later realized that the monster was summoning him.

Doc Jensen:
This is interesting to think about. If Ben has always been wrong about being Jacob’s chosen one for a period of time, then that means his tenure as the leader of the Others was fraudulent and invalid — which means that Charles Widmore was probably quite sincere in his persecution of Ben. Megabucks Chuck never wanted to get back to The Island to exploit it. He wanted to get back to The Island to save it from Ben’s corrupt administration.

Collecting the C4. I'm guessing this will come in handy for the MIB (or Team Jack?) in their final mission.

They hear a noise in the kitchen and discover the world’s most awful actress, Zoe. Charles immediately appears and holds them at gunpoint while Zoe goes to check on the outrigger. She sees the MIB approaching and runs back. Charles, upon learning of their plan to rig the plane with C4, tells Ben he’s “three steps ahead”, as usual. He reveals Jacob visited him shortly after Ben destroyed the freighter and told him all he needed to know “for this exact purpose.”

As the MIB approaches, they all scramble about what to do. Miles runs, Charles and Zoe hide, and Ben says he will do neither because it’s no use. Richard decides to try talking to Smokey, but he overestimates Smokey’s desire for Richard’s help anymore and is immediately pummeled by the creature.

Well, I guess he didn't need Richard anymore after all!

Ben turns, wide-eyed, and very deliberately sits on the porch. The MIB comes around the corner as Locke to speak with Ben, “just the man he was looking for.” And he cuts right to the chase: He needs Ben to kill some people, and in return, the whole island could be his. Ben agrees, and the first order of business was to give up Widmore’s hiding spot. When MIB suggests he wait outside, Ben says he wants to see this.

"You can have the whole island to yourself." I'm wondering if Ben is genuinely joining him...or if he realizes he's being played, and merely playing along with hopes of conning the MIB back in the near future. Ben saw that he was needed... MIB was coming to him out of weakness, not strength. I hope Ben is playing upon that. Because I'd like to think his Sideways arc as "the nicest guy ever" proves his apparent island redemption in recent weeks wasn't all for naught.

Ben sarcastically apologizes to Charles for giving him up. MIB asks who Zoe is, and before she says anything, Widmore tells her not to speak (rendering her pointless). MIB reacts by cutting her throat. Bad-ass, and thoroughly awesome (hated her!!)

She even looked terrible dying... Good riddance!

Threatening Penny’s life, MIB gets Charles to talk. He whispers just what he needed to know (about Desmond’s usefulness) before Ben fires multiple bullets at Widmore. His reasoning? Widmore doesn’t deserve the chance to protect his daughter. Payback’s a bitch! MIB says that Ben never ceases to amaze him but luckily Widmore had already told him what he needed to know. Ben then asks whether there are some “other people to kill” (awesome, classic Ben). Locke gives a gloating look.

Ben finally takes his revenge on Widmore.

AT THE WELL:

MIB takes Ben to the well where he threw Desmond. Ben wonders why MIB chooses to walk, when he could just fly as the smoke, but MIB likes to feel the ground under his feet… It makes him feel human again. One wonders if his desire to feel human, or reignite his feeling of humanity, will be his downfall (the key to killing him). They arrive and surmise Sayid helped Desmond escape instead of killing him. MIB reveals Widmore’s secret: Desmond was a fail safe. That if he killed the “beloved candidates” he was one final way for Jacob to be sure that he would never leave this place. In 2004, Desmond turned the failsafe key and destroyed the Swan hatch. In 2007, the MIB believes Desmond is the Island’s failsafe that can destroy the island.

Ben wonders why he is happy that Desmond is still free, and he replies when he finds Desmond he will get him to do the one thing he could never do himself: “Destroy the Island.” (dum, dum, dummmm…) So now we know he’s not only trying to leave it, but also destroy it. By the way, nice blow to Ben: The MIB offers Ben the job of leader of the island, yet not long after reveals that he intends to destroy the island instead. Nice con, MIB.

Desmond is one in-demand guy right now!

—-
Needless to say, I am beyond excited for the 2.5 hour finale, aptly titled “The End”, now just 4 days away. I’m also, like so many others, completely unprepared for the entire series to be over! It’s both rewarding, and bittersweet. I was thinking earlier back to the first time I saw “Pilot: Part 1” back in 2004… I was about 3 weeks late jumping on the LOST bandwagon, but quickly got into it and caught up, thanks to the insistence of my stepbrother John, who was telling us about the premiere weeks before it aired! It’s hard to believe that 6 years ago, this all began… And so much has happened in life since then: Three houses, a dog, and a husband later, I’m just as intrigued with the show as I was from Day One. And I think that’s really something special.

Now, off to decide which character I’m going to dress up as for the finale party! Suggestions?

Happy FINALE-watching… *sniffle*

Jen / desmondismyconstant

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LOST EPISODE 6.15 – “ACROSS THE SEA”

"For an episode that many fans allegedly disliked, “Across The Sea” has inspired some of the most spirited and thought-provoking commentary I’ve ever seen from Lost fandom." --Doc Jensen (And I couldn't agree more!)

Well, we finally got the history between Jacob and his twin brother, “He Who Shall Remain Nameless!” The story played out in one continuous narrative, à la the “Ricardos” episode earlier this season. The story was both mystical and intriguing, as it painted the forces of “good” (Jacob and his mother) as somewhat malevolent and prone to dabbling in the dark side from time to time… See Mother killing Claudia with a rock as soon as the twins were born, bashing MIB’s head against the cave wall, killing his people and burning their camp to the ground, as well as Jacob killing the MIB (sending him downstream to a fate he knew only as worse than death), and thus he himself creating the island’s resident killing machine, the Smoke Monster. The side that has long been associated with good, white, lightness, God, benevolence, etc. has had its image tarnished. And I thought that point of view was intriguing.

Doc Jensen:
”Across The Sea” promised oodles of noodle-cooking Island mythology, and we got just that — which is to say, a yarn that played like myth, albeit with a mean deconstructive streak. You got the sense that the drama that unfolded in this hour left some indelible grooves on the psychography of the living Island, laying track for all future drama to follow. Did the Mother/Jacob/Man In Black drama curse this world like the Biblical fall of man? Did this tragic trio doom future Island visitors to suffer through adaptations of their same sad story? So many shared elements. Shipwrecked castaways. A deadly first encounter with a supernatural Island entity. ”Special” children and child abduction. Ghosts. Suspicion and conflict with Others. Mystery boxes and games. The war between faith and reason. Betrayal and murder. Does the current iteration of this repeating myth involving Jack, Kate, Sawyer, and the rest of the surviving Oceanic 815 lot represent one more manifestation of the cycle that will continue forever and ever, Amen? Or is the great twist of the entire Lost saga is that everyone, friend or foe — from the castaways to Fake Locke to Dead Jacob — are actually striving toward the same end from different angles: reversing the curse; breaking the chain; cleaning the slate; reboot. We shall see.

Ancient Roman (?) Times

Claudia washed ashore approximately 2,000 years before the crash of Flight 815. She is immediately shown with a billowing RED dress, and heavily pregnant. She is now the 3rd woman to arrive on the island with an advanced pregnancy (Claire and Rousseau are the other two). She immediately finds a stream to have a drink of water, and in the reflection (how very Sideways world) of the water she sees a woman. They first converse in Latin, then switch to English, but as Claudia’s questions get too numerous, the woman tells her to get some rest. ”Every question I answer will simply lead to another question.’‘ I’m sure a lot of us would agree that’s the overarching theme of LOST, a source of much intrigue and frustration over the last 6 years… Probably the reason I’m writing and you’re reading this blog in the first place! (wink wink)

But Claudia quickly goes into labor. Jacob is born first, quiet and swaddled in a WHITE cloth. Claudia has chosen his name, and decides on it definitively. And then came the unexpected twin, the Baby in Black! Born agitated and restless, he is is swaddled in a BLACK cloth while his mother, stumped, says she has only chosen one name. But she doesn’t have time to decide on one, as the woman says “I’m sorry” and kills Claudia with a rock. Brutal!

Content Jacob, restless Baby in Black.

It is unclear as the story unfolds if the Baby in Black was ever given a name, as he is always referred to with pet names (“My Love”, “Brother”) and personal pronouns. Previously, Ben stated that “[they] don’t even have a word” for the Smoke Monster. Now we learn that he is literally nameless.

Doc Jensen:
We’ve been told repeatedly that names mean something on Lost. So what does a mean for a life to be denied a name? It suggests to me a life without meaning or challenged by meaninglessness — fitting, given the life in question was destined to lose his humanity and decohere into polymorphic smoke. Still, I’m going to say that Mother did give the Babe In Black a name and Lost decided to keep it from us to keep the character something of a blank slate for us to project ideas upon.

Thirteen Years Later

The Boy in Black (here on out, known as BIB!) finds an ancient Egyptian game on the beach called Senet, which is the oldest known board game in the world. Senet boards were often placed in the grave alongside other useful objects for the dangerous journey through the afterlife. For the BIB, the Senet box was exciting and exotic — proof of the “something more” from across the sea that Mother said did not exist.

Senet. Note that this is the same black beaded bracelet that Sideways Sawyer wears in his desk at the police station.

The BIB says he “just knows” how to play, and makes Jacob promise not to tell Mother they found it. However Jacob immediately tells Mother about the game, because as she says, Jacob “doesn’t know how to lie.”

I think this was a really important line for the show because it confirms that everything Jacob has ever said has been the TRUTH. And as she was comparing the two boys, one would assume that she mentioned this because the BIB does tell lies. She refers to his qualities as “special.” Besides being deceitful, he exhibits special insight such as intuitively knowing the rules to Senet, predicting the weather, and knowing that the wheel mechanism will help him leave the island. She tells the BIB she left the game for him to find, which I am not buying. It washed ashore, and saying it was her doing was damage control to keep him from thinking there was somewhere else to go.

He questions what is out across the sea (she says nothing), he asks what dead means (she says something he’ll never have to worry about). Interesting. At this point, she was hoping the BIB would take her place as island guardian. But as she herself AND Jacob can attest to… The island’s guardian is a mortal that may have stopped aging naturally, but can be killed. She knew her own death was imminent… So why wouldn’t he have to worry about death?

The boys chase a boar, but it is killed by three unknown hunters. They demand an explanation of the Others from Mother, and she says they’re not like them, “we are here for a reason.” (Sounds a lot like the original John Locke.) She tells them the Others are dangerous because “they come, they fight, they destroy, they corrupt and it always ends the same.” (Sounds a lot like the MIB on the beach.) She tells the boys that she has made it so they can never hurt each other. So SHE is the reason they can’t kill each other, but they can urge others to kill them on their own free will.

The boys being led blindfolded...

They arrive blindfolded at the cave of light, The Source. The BIB says that it is beautiful, she agrees and tells them that a little bit of the same light that is in the cave is inside every man but that people always want more. Mother says that while the other people can’t take the light, they might try and if the light goes out here it goes out everywhere. I think this is exactly what will (or will attempt to) happen in the final act of the series… Widmore and others have come to take more of the light. They can try to possess it, but attempting to do so will put it out. If it goes out here, Sideways world (where the inactive island lies at the bottom of the ocean), will be the consequence: putting out the light of the world. But the Sideways characters are connecting with their island world counterparts… Does this mean the light can be put out, but not for good? She has protected the place but when she no longer can then it will have to be one of the twins who protects it.

The Source, bathed in light. But the light also harbors the darkness of the world, aka Smokey.

”I suddenly realized that in the language, or at any rate in the spirit of the Glass Bead Game, everything actually was all-meaningful, that every symbol and combination of symbols led not hither and yon, not to single examples, experiments, and proofs, but into the center, the mystery and innermost heart of the world, into primal knowledge. Every transition from major to minor in a sonata, every transformation of a myth or a religious cult, every classical or artistic formulation was, I realized in that flashing moment, if seen with truly a meditative mind, nothing but a direct route into the interior of the cosmic mystery, where in the alternation between inhaling and exhaling, between heaven and earth, between Yin and Yang, holiness is forever being created.” — Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game

Some time later, the boys are again playing Senet, and the BIB tells Jacob that he can’t make a move because it is against the rules. He says that one day Jacob can make up his own game and then everyone will have to follow his rules.

Doc Jensen:
BIB took delight in his power… but in that moment, I was reminded of the scene in ”The Substitute,” when Ghost Jacob stood over Fake Locke and reminded him of the rules of his game, and Fake Locke raged: ”Don’t tell me what I can’t do!” Turnabout’s a bitch, ain’t it, Nameless? The bottom line is that there is no bottom line when it comes ”the rules.” ”The rules” are, for the most part, pure whimsy — an expression of the unique interests and will of The Island’s guardian. They are arbitrary inventions of The Island’s custodian. And I suspect he or she can reinvent them any time he or she wants. I am reminded of the scene in season 4, when Keamy assassinated Alex and Ben said, ”He changed the rules.” I always thought Ben was referring to Charles Widmore. But after ”Across The Sea,” I’m thinking that Ben was talking about Jacob.

The game is interrupted by the BIB’s vision of Claudia in the jungle. Notably, Jacob can’t see her. BIB abruptly leaves to follow her. She reveals she is his real mother, and she was killed by Mother. Enraged, he wakes Jacob in the middle of the night and tries to persuade him to go to the Others’ camp. The boys fight, and the BIB leaves while Jacob stays behind with Mother.

Thirty Years Later

Jacob's weaving, in Candidate BLUE.

Jacob finishes a piece of cloth, and leaves for the other side of the island to visit his brother for a game of Senet. The MIB says Jacob is mistaken about his people seeming to be good since he is “looking down from above”, and crazy Mother was right — these people are BAD (the irony of his own greedy-manipulative-untrustworthy-selfishness went unacknowledged) — but he needs them to leave the island, they are merely a means to an end. He wildly throws his dagger at a well they’ve been working on, and it is magnetically pulled to the wall. This illustrates his method of leaving. Jacob insists on staying, as the island is his home. The dagger is the same one the MIB gave Richard to kill Jacob, Dogan gave Sayid to kill the MIB, and the MIB used to kill Mother.

Electromagnetism.

Doc Jensen:
”She’s never going to die!” MIB: ”Jacob! Everything dies!” This was a provocative exchange, and it made me wonder how much of this conflict is relevant to the castaway drama. Smokey’s conspiracy to kill the candidates is also a means to an end. But I wonder if the villain uses Jacob’s unhealthy denial of death to rationalize his evil. This could be Smokey’s defense: Jacob’s touchy-feeling tampering and his idealistic redemption schemes have undermined castaway free will and kept them alive longer than what is right and proper. Seen from this point of view, MIB’s assassinations are more like mercy killings and affirmations of the natural order of things. I’m not excusing MIB’s actions. But if my assessment of Jacob is correct, I think MIB’s critique is valid.

Jacob tattles to Mother about the MIB’s intentions, so she pays him a visit while he’s working down in the well. When she first arrives, she is bathed in light but he is tinkering in the darkness. She wonders how he knows that constructing a wheel mechanism will work (and does not deny that it WILL work), and he says he knows because he’s “special”. She feigns a goodbye hug, knocks his head against the wall, then kills the rest of the Others and burns their camp to the ground. The well is filled in, and the MIB is enraged. We know that the wheel chamber does eventually get built… So I’m thinking Smokey finished the job after taking the MIB’s body.

Early stages of the donkey wheel.

A very upset MIB with his hopes dashed, his livelihood in flames around him. A tragic aftermath of epic Smokey proportions, in fact! Just what WAS Mother... something of a smoke monster herself, perhaps?

Sure now that the MIB is not the chosen one, she takes Jacob to the cave of light and as she says, “You’re going to protect it now,” she symbolically passes her torch to him. Although she first asks Jacob to choose to protect the Source, Mother finally tells him he really doesn’t “have a choice.” She adds that she realizes “it was always” meant to be Jacob who would replace her (therefore cementing his fate regardless of his free will). In a ceremonial display, she makes him the island’s guardian. Drinking wine from the chalice and her incantation were almost exactly like the Catholic Holy Communion. With that, they were “the same”. Jacob asks what is in the cave, and she replies: Life, death, rebirth; it’s the source, the heart of the island.” To go down there would “be so much worse than dying.” (umm, yeah…you get Smokified! i.e. forever bound to the island, your immortal soul gets severed from your mortal body, and you are held captive for all eternity.) She tells him “It’s going to be you,” sensing that her death is approaching; Sayid says the same thing to Jack after telling him to rescue Desmond just before the C4 explodes. Hint, hint.

Doc Jensen:
Jacob tried to fight her on it. He called her out on preferring MIB over him. ”You wanted it to be him,” Jacob barked. ”But now I’m all you have!” Mother tried to convince him otherwise. She said if she had been grooming MIB for the job, she had come to realize she was wrong and that Jacob was always supposed to have the job. I don’t know if I believed her. I think at best, she was pulling an Obi Wan and telling the truth ”from a certain point of view.” I think she always saw her boys as a means to an end; she just didn’t know which one was going to play which part. I truly believe she wanted one of them to become The Island’s guardian — but I also think she wanted one of them to put her out of her misery. That misery? Loneliness. Madness. The endless dead end job of being Island guardian. Or maybe, just maybe, the fate-worse-than-death damnation of being a smoke monster. (!)

"It's going to be you."

When they arrive back, Mother finds the camp wrecked, says a “storm is coming”, and sends Jacob off for firewood. She finds the Senet pieces, and as she lifts the black piece, she is stabbed through the chest with the MIB’s ancient dagger. With tears in his eyes, he asks why he is not aloud to leave, and she says, “Because I love you… Thank you.” Sooo… Was he able to physically leave, but she just wanted to keep him there? And by killing her, and incurring Jacob’s revengeful wrath, did he cement his own unwanted fate of being forever bound to the island as Smokey? Very interesting… Mother was also killed per the same instructions we’ve heard given before — “Kill [the Monster] before [he] has a chance to speak… [He] can be very persuasive.”

Doc Jensen:
With her dying breath, she thanked the son she loved the most, the one that was most like her, the ”special” one with the angry spirit — the dreamer; the gamer; the liar; the cynic — for stabbing her in the back and through the heart. Were the boys nothing but an escape plan? Did she raise one to take her job and the other to take her life? Is this the way The Island works?

Backstabbed, and grateful.

Jacob discovers the MIB hovering over Mother’s dead body, and in a rage drags the MIB through the jungle to the cave of light. Production note: Titus Welliver (the MIB) broke 2 fingers in this scene because of Mark Pellegrino (Jacob)’s rough dragging. Jacob says he has no intention of killing him. Nope, worse than death in fact! The MIB is thrown into the stream, hitting his head on a rock…as he enters, the light goes out, and Smokey emerges. As does the MIB’s dead body. Makes me think that Smokey wouldn’t have been able to take the MIB’s form if he was alive when he entered the cave. That little unintended accident had very unfortunate consequences for both of them…

Smokey is born. And after Mother's peculiar and Smokey-esque story, we're left to wonder, does anyone who go down the chute to the Source emerge as a smoke monster? Are we dealing with multiples?

And just as Room 23’s brainwashing slideshow predicted, Jacob’s actions produced a major cause of his own suffering for many years to come.

That fateful day, Jacob (avenging his Mother's death), tossed the MIB down to the Source, and Smokey emerged to haunt the island's protector for more than a century.

As the MIB is laid to rest by his regretful brother, we get a big answer! The Adam + Eve skeletons were actually the MIB and Mother. The black and white rocks were their Senet game pieces. Jacob placed them next to each other and had them hold hands. On September 28, 2004, Jack and Kate discover the bodies at the caves, hides the rocks in his pocket (is this important?), and Locke comments that they’re our “very own Adam and Eve.” In the original scene, Jack says that judging by their clothing, they’re about 40 or 50 years old. But the likelihood of any clothes surviving unprotected in a tropical environment for 1500 years is nil. Details, details!

Admittedly, I was slightly let down by this revelation… I was hoping that either (A) it was Rose and Bernard, or (B) Hurley was right when he speculated that it was them, and they died here while time traveling. Though, upon further consideration, I suppose the fact that it was NEITHER of the options I was expecting, I’m glad the show can still keep me on my toes, haha…

The original Adam + Eve skeletons discovery.

Overall, we learned in this episode that the MIB seems to subscribe to a scientific worldview, associating with men who want to use technology to harness the power of the Source. Jacob faithfully follows his mother’s teachings. This makes the MIB the “man of science” and Jacob the “man of faith.” However, in a twist of irony, the MIB eventually assumes the form of John Locke, the “man of faith.”

I’m still in shock that the finale is less than a week away!!! Excited, sad, nervous, etc… Up next, the 2nd-to-last episode, the setup for the story’s endgame: “What They Died For.”

Thanks for reading!

Jen / desmondismyconstant

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