Friday, May 14, 2010

LOST 6x15: Take the cup and drink

Jacob’s momma was so pregnant… (How pregnant was she?!) She was so pregnant that she gave birth to Jacob AND Baby In Black. Claudia opted for the hot stone massage at the tropical spa, but got stoned to death instead. Zac Effron joined the cast as Boy in Black and taunted his slightly dimwitted brother, Jacob. CJ Cregg from The West Wing tells Boy Jacob and his brother they have to protect the island’s tanning salon from the riff raff. And we visit Adam and Eve again - and they’re not even close to the people anyone even remotely guessed.

Hoping for Man in Black’s name as a consolation for not seeing the rest of the cast? You’re sh!t outta luck, my friend.

Lost 6x15: Across the Sea

I’ll admit I was worried when I heard this would be an episode with none of the main cast. I didn’t know what to expect, and was frustrated they were talking a pause from the main storyline with so few episodes to go. But this was a story that needed to be told, and this was one of the more beautiful episodes of the entire series. It was filled with mythology and religion and history – and answers. And the cinematography in this one - bananas! Few episodes have divided the fandom as much as this one. But I loved it!

So what about you – did you hit the “Like button” on this one, or did you feel like Damon and Carlton smashed in your brain with a rock? Comment below.

Before I head into the recap, I just want to call out a couple of people… My wife Katie and my brother Phil are either the sounding boards for the theories I write about or they formulate them and then bounce them off me. I couldn’t have blogged this series without them, and to them I say: Namaste.

On the island, date unclear:
A mysterious woman wakes up on the beach and stumbles into the jungle. She’s very pregnant and appears dressed in ancient clothing. She stops at a creek to drink and wigs out at a woman in strange garb who walks up to her. Speaking Latin, she asks if she’s hurt and offers to help. The island woman prepares medicine with a mortar and pestle (like Dogen?). The first woman says her name is Claudia, and then for the sake of the audience, they switch over to English.

Nerd alert: Claudia was a Roman Vestal Virgin. While not Claudia, one of the Vestal Virgins was the mother of Romulus and Remus, the twin founders of Rome.

Claudia asks how she got there, and the woman answers that she too got there by accident. In true LOST form, the woman thwarts any other questions, saying they’ll only lead to further questions, and she tells Claudia to rest. Claudia wants to find her other shipmates, but the woman says she’ll find them if there’s anyone else. Suddenly Claudia goes into labor and announces, “it’s coming.”

Nerd alert: Small call back to Jacob telling UnLocke, “they’re coming!” after Ben stabbed him.

Claudia delivers the baby, and it’s a boy she names Jacob. GASP! (The kid looked 3 months old, by the way, but I’m guessing there are child labor laws preventing newborns from working in a tropical jungle.) Surprise! She’s still in labor and delivers another boy. Claudia says, “I only picked one name.” (Baby in Black is crying and more fussy.) She asks to see the baby, and the woman says “I’m sorry” as she bashes her head in with a rock.

Nerd alert: Danielle Rousseau’s storyline, anyone?

Flash ahead about 13 years and there’s a dark-haired teenager on the beach who finds a game (Senet) in a box. A blonde-haired boy (the kid we’ve been seeing run around the jungle! I knew he was Jacob), sits down with the other boy. Boy in Black (BIB) swears Jacob to secrecy about the game, and they play.

Nerd alert: Jacob and BIB were “raised by another.”

Question: What was up with the huge turtle on the beach? Was it dead?

Nerd alert: The game was the ancient Egyptian game of Senet, but clearly is a call back to the backgammon game. From Wikipedia: “By the time of the New Kingdom in Egypt (1567–1085 BC), it had become a kind of talisman for the journey of the dead. Because of the element of luck in the game and the Egyptian belief in determinism, it was believed that a successful player was under the protection of the major gods of the national pantheon: Ra, Thoth, and sometimes Osiris. Consequently, Senet boards were often placed in the grave alongside other useful objects for the dangerous journey through the afterlife and the game is referred to in Chapter XVII of the Book of the Dead.”

Returning to the cave where they live, their “Mother” asks Jacob where his brother is and what they were doing. He tells her they were just walking on the beach. She asks Jacob if he loves her and to tell her what they were doing.

Question: Was it guilt about lying, or was there a slight distrust when Jacob paused before answering if he loved her?

“Mother” goes to the beach and confronts BIB about the Senet game, and he knows Jacob told her. She says that Jacob can’t lie because he’s not like BIB. She tells him he’s special, and she actually left him the game. (She's a liar. She wants him to believe there's no one else in the world.) He admits he’d hoped it’d come from somewhere else across the sea, but she tells BIB that there is nowhere else. Telling him how they got there and that her mother died, she says he’ll never have to worry about being dead.

Nerd alert: Nice call back to John Locke believing he was special and wanting to be told so.

In the jungle, Jacob and BIB are chasing a boar, when three men pounce on it. They run back to “Mother” and tell her about the three men that looked like them. She tells them they’re “not like us”…they don’t belong there. She and the boys, however, are there for a reason. They force her to explain, and she takes them – blindfolded – to see the answer. As they walk, she tells them that the hunters are like all men... “The come, they flight, they destroy, they corrupt - and it always ends the same.” She tells them they came from another part of the island and they’d hurt them if they went looking for them. Jacob and BIB can never hurt one another, she says. She takes off their blindfolds to reveal a beautiful, golden, glowing cave. In the cave is the warmest, brightest light, and they need to protect it from the hunters and anyone else, because the light – the goodness – will go out everywhere if it goes out on the island. One of them will need to become the protector.

Nerd alert: “They come, they flight, they destroy, they corrupt - and it always ends the same” was the same speech MIB gave to Jacob on the beach before the Black Rock arrived.

Nerd alert: So this cave is much like the Garden of Eden and the apple. The only thing they weren't allowed to touch is what Even and Adam were drawn to - as is the nature of man.

Question: Random aside... Just me, or did the light in the cave remind you of the briefcase in Pulp Fiction that was believed to contain Marsellus Wallace's soul?

Back on the beach, they’re playing BIB’s game. Jacob’s frustrated that BIB made up the rules, but he tells Jacob that one day he’ll make up his own game and people will have to play by his rules. BIB looks into the jungle and sees Claudia, who takes him to see the village that her shipmates have built in what looks like the spot of the New Otherton village. Claudia tells them she’s his mother, that they’ve been there since the day she was born and that like the others, they also came from across the sea.

In the cave, BIB wakes up Jacob to go with him to go live with the people in the village, but Jacob refuses and gives BIB a walloping. “Mother” breaks up the fight, and BIB unsuccessfully tries to recruit him to go along with them. She tells BIB that he’ll never be able to leave the island, but he storms off.

Jacob joins “Mother” down on the beach, who admits that she did kill Claudia. She tells them that she did it to keep him from becoming one of ‘them’. Jacob asks if he is good, and she says he is. He follows up asking why she loves BIB more than him. Her reply is a confused and cold, “I love you in different ways.” He agrees to stay with her.

Flash ahead 30 years, and Jacob is weaving the tapestry. He goes to spy on MIB, and the two of them meet to play the Senet game they played together as boys. MIB asks if she knows he’s there and why he watches them. Jacob asks if they are evil and corrupt. MIB answers that they are greedy, manipulative and selfish, but they’re a means to an end. MIB tells Jacob he’s found a way off the island, and throws a dagger at a well wall, and it magnetically sticks to it. MIB tells him they’ve found places all over the island where there are magnetic properties and they’ve dug at all the sites – and at this one, they’ve found something. He asks Jacob to come with him, but he refuses again.

Question: Was this Dogen’s dagger?

Back in the cave, Jacob tells “Mother” that MIB has found a way to leave the island. She goes to see for herself. In the well, MIB is stoking a fire in a pit like the one in Jacob’s statue. He tells her that he’s found a way to the light, despite not being able to find the golden cave all these years. He pulls out a brick and shows her the light behind the wall. It illuminates a large wheel – the frozen donkey wheel Ben turned – which they’re going to use to channel the water and the light to leave the island. She asks how he knows it’ll work, and he answers, “I’m special, ‘Mother’”. She begs him not to do it, but he says he doesn’t belong there. She hugs him goodbye, but knowing she has to keep him there and the island safe, she smashes his head against the wall.

“Mother” wakes Jacob and takes him to the golden cave again, saying she can’t stop him MIB. He asks what’s down in the cave. “Life. Death. Rebirth. It’s the source. The heart of the island. Just promise me, no matter what you do, you won’t ever go down there.” Going into the cave would be much worse than dying. She opens a bottle of wine, says some words in Latin, pours him a cup and tells him to drink it. By doing so, he will protect the place for as long as he can and then find his replacement. Jacob whines that she always wanted it to be MIB, but he’s all she has now. She somewhat convincingly tells him that it’s not true – it was always supposed to be him, and he’ll see so one day. She begs him to take the cup and drink. He does so, and she proclaims, “Now you and I are the same.”

Nerd alert: Didn’t the beam of light from the cave look like the beam of light shining up from the Swan hatch?

Nerd alert: The process of pouring the wine, speaking in Latin over it, the declarations, “Take the cup and drink” and “Now you and I are the same” is virtually identical to the Transubstantiation ritual in the Catholic church where wine is turned into the blood of Christ and shared with the congregation.

MIB wakes up with a headache and sees the well has somehow been filled in. He rushes to the camp to find all of his people dead and someone has laid waste to the village. (“Mother” is the smoke monster!) He finds the Senet game she left for him in the ashes, and looks like he’s about to explode.

Thunder claps, and “Mother” tells Jacob to get some firewood before it storms – she knows what’s about to come. MIB has wrecked the cave, and destroyed the tapestry. She finds the Senet game and pulls out the black rock. Suddenly, she is stabbed from behind. He asks why she wouldn’t let him leave, and she answers that she loves him. She says “thank you” and she dies.

Nerd alert: He stabbed her before she could speak, just like the orders Dogen and Widmore gave.

Jacob walks in and pummels him, just like that day in the jungle when they were thirteen. Jacob drags him to the golden cave, and throws him into the stream, and he floats away into the cave. No sooner does he do so then a column of smoke barrels out of it and over him. He goes down the hill to the back side of the cave and finds MIB’s body there, dead. He carries MIB’s body back to the cave and lays him next to “Mother”, putting the two game pieces – a black and a white – into a satchel and into her hand.

We see flashes of Jack and Kate in the same cave, and Locke coming in to declare they are the island’s Adam and Eve.

Gripe: Anyone who’s watched the show knew they were Adam and Eve. We didn’t need the over exposition, did we?

Among the many stories of fueding brothers - Romulus & Remus, Cane & Abel, etc., the ones that still stand out to me on this are the Egyptian Horus and Set. Horus and Set feuded over control of Egypt, and Lower and Upper Egypt were separated and given to them to oversee.

So as we wrap up the series, was this a story you needed to know, or could have lived without. Drop a comment below.

-Sean Salo


Phil said...

I just wanted to leave a quick message to my big brother, who has pumped out this blog weekly....time be damned. I tried helping out on the blog for one week this year. It is a daunting task. His blog followers(i'm talking about you!) have enjoyed this show.....while still anticipating his blogplanations(made that up)to take the show to a different level. I might be there after the show to bounce ideas off....but he also has to weed through my scattered theories every tuesday night. He has made this show one of the most enjoyable....lets be honest, the most enjoyable show I've ever watched. And I appreciate everything hes done.And thats all the love he is getting from me.... now i guess i have to punch him or something.

Sean said...

Punch away. We'll have to find a new show to talk about every week. Fringe? ;)

(m)Jaye said...

I personally believe you both could rock the hell out of a Fringe blog. I think it's truly needed. As for "Across The Sea", I thought it was an excelent episode. Maybe a tad tardy, but great nonetheless. :begin rant: :People upset with it, and complaining about the continuity should take a moment and realize that the writers are probably quite aware of the "errors". They probably did it on purpose. I also stand by my assertion that some people who've watched this show are wanting that over-exposition and a spoon-fed explanation of EVERY FREAKING MYSTERY PUT FORTH. They don't want to use their imagination :end rant:. That being said, I think the whole concept of keeping MIB on the island and the method with which people are brought to the island and how they are "chosen", is a sort-of extention of the Senet game they played before.

Christian said...

I hit LIKE...actually the LOVE button.

Sean said...

@(m)Jaye - Not sure I get where you're going with: "I think the whole concept of keeping MIB on the island and the method with which people are brought to the island and how they are "chosen", is a sort-of extention of the Senet game they played before." I think you're saying that the process of getting people to the island is a game and the people they attract are just pawns in the game? Am I getting you right?

@Christian - ;)

Katie said...

From your posts I'm hearing the "Can you feel the love tonight" song from Lion King in my head. Great job to my hubby and his right hand Phil.

I actually really felt we needed the episode. I would have liked to see if earlier and it did answer some questions for me. But the thing that frustrates me most is what has frustrated me about many good stories for years - if people just trusted others and were truthful outcomes could change. If mother had just laid it on the line for MIB and Jacob, the world of all would have had a very different outcome. The source of all this death and destruction is a family fight that escalated out of control.

I did not like the over explanation, but always wonder if there's a twist on LOST. It felt like the for the first time they were feeding us the answer and I feel like there may be a twist - although with 2 weeks left I can't imagine it.

I would have loved another actress that sounded like she had been around for the ages - liked Allison Janney, but could have thought of other actresses that fit that bill a bit better.

I still feel like at the end it will be Locke and Jack sitting on the island. And if they kill Hurley I'm going to be so pissed...

Joe B said...

Thanks Sean (and everyone else) for making this show more entertaining than it already is.

Now...did I miss something? Didn't Jacob kill MIB? Even though he lives on as Smokey, it was his skeletal remains in the cave. He's dead at the hands of Jacob. I thought CJ Craig made it impossible for them to kill each other?

I also wonder if the only appearance of current Losties in this episode (Jack, Kate and Locke) has any significance. Perhaps the three of them will be the only ones left (especially since they made a point of saying that Kate's name was crossed off), and she and Jack will need to procreate to continue the cycle of insanity.

CootieGirl said...

yes thanks for this blog I really enjoy finding out about all the stuff I missed. and YES please do a Fringe one - it is needed.

my question is did the light go out when MIB floated into it? I was thinking that MIB is now the light and Jacob is really protecting him and not the Island anymore. or are they one in the same?

(m)Jaye said...

@Sean, yeah that's what I was getting at. When it comes to Lost sometimes my fingers can't decipher what my brain puts forth.