>My thoughts on “Across the Sea”, the second episode left until the two and a half hour series finale. The episode took a break from the main storyline of season 6, where in the previous episode three main characters died a very emotional death: Sun, Jin, and Sayid. Jacob’s team is breaking up and only Jack, Hurley, and Sawyer are left of his candidates.
“Across the Sea,” the 15th episode of the final season of Lost, took a detour from the main storyline to give the back story of Jacob and the Man in Black on Tuesday.
This episode, given mixed reviews by critics, was meant to be polarizing, said executive producer Damon Lindeloff. It took place exclusively in the past and is the second to last episode before the series finale on May 23rd.
“Across the Sea” starts out with a pregnant woman shipwrecked on an island. Soon another woman finds her and helps her deliver her twin babies, before killing her. The first baby, clothed in white, is named Jacob and the second baby, clothed in dark, is not named. Fans of Lost call him the Man in Black or Flocke, as he has assumed the identity of Locke throughout the season.
The episode continues with the early lives of the two brothers and their mother, as the woman adopts them. She later shows them the secret of the Island, a cave from which seemingly limitless light is pouring. She said that one of the two brothers must protect the Island so that no other man can extinguish the light.
The Man in Black afterwards sees a ghost of his real mother, who tells him that he is from “across the sea.” Through a series of events, he leaves Jacob and his adopted mother and joins the other people on the Island, who are the rest of the survivors of the ship their mother was shipwrecked on.
Flash forward 30 years and Jacob and the Man in Black are all grown up and looking like they’ve always been shown in the show. The Man in Black has joined those men and has helped them try to figure out the secrets of the Island. It turns out the frozen wheel that Benjamin Linus and John Locke turned (in season four and five respectively) started construction at this time, as the wheel was the steering wheel from the ship.
Their mother, after Jacob went to his brother and then told her what his brother was doing, came to the Man in Black and knocked him unconscious just as he was near finishing construction. She afterwards apparently wiped out the entire band of peoples as well, although how is unknown.
The Man in Black sometime afterward comes back for his revenge and leaves his game in sight so that she can see it, then stabs her in the back. “Thank you,” she said, perhaps meaning thank you for ending the eternal life she had. Jacob then comes back and beats up his brother, who does seem sorry for what he did. Remembering his mother’s words that the cave from which the light flows can bring more than death, he takes his brother and flushes him in.
The light goes out for a second, then the familiar sound of the Black Smoke is heard as it lunges off into the jungle. So does this mean that the Black Smoke, which is seen as the security measure for the Island and Flocke’s alternate form in the present season 6 timeline, originated with the Man in Black being pushed into the Island’s limitless source of energy? Or was it there the entire time, and needed someone’s body to consume? This is something Lindeloff and co-executive producer Carlton Cuse said viewers will find out in the upcoming episode.
Another giant question viewers saw answered Tuesday was the identities of “Adam and Eve”, two skeletons found in the caves in season 1. Jack Shepherd and Kate Austen found two skeletons, one male and the other female, along with a bag of two rocks, early in the show, leaving a big mystery for the viewers. It turns out the pair was Jacob’s mother and brother, whom he buried together.
In a surprising twist to thousands of viewers, “Across the Sea” said that the Man in Black is dead. Jacob killed him by throwing him into the white cave, the energy source of the Island, then found his body washed ashore in another part of the river. Apparently the other times the Man in Black has been shown, it has been the Smoke Monster under the form of him.
This is something that twisted the notions of the man many viewers hated into a more likeable character. When he was alive, he was just honestly trying to get home, to get back across the sea. He did focus on the means and was ruthless, but he was not evil. The Smoke Monster form of him may be, but him as a person was not.
And this is one of the ways how Lost is ingenious in capturing their audience; what they thought for the entire season is somewhat flipped. Although there are still many questions, they might be answered in the next few hours, maybe flipping what is known once more.
For an episode that spent its entirely without the Losties (named by fans as the Oceanic 815 passengers) except in a brilliant archival showing of who Adam and Eve were and how they got there, the episode didn’t disappoint. It added to the mythology of the show and gave more character development to two characters who, although added in the show fairly recently, are of extreme importance. For it is by Jacob that Oceanic Flight 815 landed on the Island, as he selected the passengers in an attempt to prove that they will be able to overcome the odds.
And it is necessary to know just why he would choose to bring 40-something people to the Island, and why he would choose to purge the Dharma Initiative (a scientific organization that came to the Island in the 1970s because of its electromagnetism). After watching this episode, it was probably because the Dharma Initiative knew too much and was too close to uncovering the secrets of the Island via the white light, just like what his mother did to the shipwrecked people hundreds of years before. Because he felt he had to protect the Island from people trying to extinguish the light, as well as to prove that there are some who will not choose to do this, who will choose to help.
“Across the Sea” was a very satisfying episode. It provides insight into the so-called “endgame” of Lost, which is Jacob and his people and ideas versus the Man in Black and his people and ideas. And although one is light and one is dark, are they just shades of color or different perspectives on the same issue, or more? There are only three and a half hours of Lost left until the series concludes and all the character developments are finished, all the loose ends are tied up and all the mysteries that need solving solved. At least on screen, but not in my imagination.