May 12, 2010

Across the Sea.

Let's talk about LOST! Across the Sea.
Because I am tied up for the next couple of days I cannot write out my detailed notes as usual, but I will as soon as I'm home. This episode was so wonderful that I needed to get some thoughts down.

Profound metaphors galore!

Coming out of this episode found me with the hope that fans would relate to the metaphors of the story and find some of their answers within the magical images set before us.  The first answer I need to put before you, even though it is out of order in relation to the episode, is the confirmation of a game.  The confirmation has been given to us many times, although many fans choose to ignore it's there.
Note that viewers are led to believe (via neighboring episodes) that the Boy in Black represents the Man in Black, the "Smoke Monster"... Locke.
Game On!

Our answer came quite simply by the boys and it will not get any clearer than this.
Jacob- "What is it?"
Boy in dark- "It's a game. You play it."
Jacob- "How do you know?"
Boy in dark- "I just know." The boy in dark assigns the pieces determining who is which color.
The boy in dark-Black and Jacob-White.
Jacob wants his brother to teach him how to play and he will, but he has to promise not to tell "mother" because she'll take it away.  Jacob wants to play.  The boy in dark has insight to things being "off" with this woman who is raising them.  The Senet game is played according the rules the boy in dark instituted.  When Jacob tries to cheat/illegal on a move in the game, the boy in dark calls him out on it explaining when he/Jacob makes up his own game everyone else will have to follow "your rules."

In current time we have MIB/Locke playing by Jacob's rules.
It's interesting "Mother Island" claims she left the game there for the intuitive boy in dark to find.
Down the Rabbit Hole

I jumped out of my chair when we saw Queens of a chess board (of sorts).  The red-orange (pregnant and limping) queen, Claudia, emerges from under the water to gaze at the beautiful "Island."
Claudia delivers two sons (twins) via the assistance of a stern and forbidding looking woman with no name who lives in the caves.  This woman claims to be there solo and also arrived there by accident.  We are in the midst of the women speaking another language {Latin?-the language of the "enlightened" and Claudia w/Spanish and an Italian mix} which they apparently understand and then automatically in an instant switch to the very comfortable modern English.  Claudia has many questions but "Mother Island" feels "Every question I answer will simply lead to another question. You should rest. Just be grateful you're alive", so enough said.  Well, other than her telling Claudia that if there's other people on the "Island" she will find them.

"It" is coming

Claudia is told she delivered two boys, but she wasn't prepared with more than one name option for her "son". {She only refers to a single "him"}
"Mother Island" kills the natural mother with a rock. {Eko kills Others with a rock.}

There must be something more

The boy in dark finds the "planted" Senet game and is excited to have something to engage his brain and entice him into dreaming about life outside of the confines of the "Island".

Eyes in the Back of my Head

While “Mother Island” weaves her new fabric Jacob enters the cave; she knows without turning around that it is Jacob who entered and not the "other" boy.  She also knows he isn't telling the truth about what they/two boys were doing.  Jacob firstly mentions his brother is down at the beach staring out at the ocean. And then mentions they we just walking.

Looking for Love in all the Wrong Places

She asks Jacob if he loves her and he obviously has reservations about her, but says yes anyway.

When "Mother Island" sits with the boy in dark it is revealed Jacob told her what he found and mommy claims that's because Jacob doesn't know how to lie.   Are you fucking kidding me?! We literally just saw Jacob do it!   “Mother Island” tells the curious boy "He's not like you... You're... special."   Mama lets the boy in dark keep the game as she claims it really came from her.  The boy in dark's imagination had hoped it came from somewhere else... from across the sea.
“Mother Island”- "There is nowhere else. The island's all there is."
But the inquisitive mind of the boy in dark wants to know where "we" came from.  Mama claims the boys came from her and she from her mother; all reproducing without the mention of a man.
* A reminder from Emily Locke- “I want to tell you that you’re special. Very special. You are part of a design. You do realize that, don’t you? That our meeting, me finding you… this is a sign of things to come. Great things.”

The boy in dark inquisitively notes the word "dead" when mother mentions her mother is dead, and he wonders what that is.  Mama touches him and confidently tells him, "Something you will never have to worry about."

We then see Jacob and his brother chase a boar through the jungle. The boy in dark says "Hurry up! He's getting away!"  The boys lose the boar but in the distance hear it squeal out in pain.  Quietly they sneak a peek to find men with their kill. The boys hide.

The human doesn't see things as they are, but as he is.

The upset duo informs “Mother Island” that they saw people who looked like "us", and want to know where they came from. Mother insists "They're not like us. They don't belong here. We are here for a reason."   By the way she says that line while looking directly at the boy in dark/John Locke.  The boy in dark takes full advantage of asking questions, "What reason?"  Her only answer is "It's not time yet..."
She blindfolds the boys and leads them on a trek through the jungle while admitting she knew about the people and didn't tell them because they're dangerous and she didn't want to frighten “you.” "Mother Island" explains the thing that makes all men dangerous, "They come, they fight, they destroy, they corrupt and it always ends the same", yet she was every bit of that as well.  Again the boy in dark/Lock the "thinker" wants to know where they came from.  Mother only says "another part of the island. And you're never to go looking for them. If they found you they would hurt you." {Apparently that's not true because he ends up living with them for 30 years. But I understand the sentiment- as people will be people, with big egos and selfish behavior, etc.}  The boy in dark knows "We’re people. Does that mean we can hurt each other?"   Mom conveniently made it so they could never hurt each other.   But evidently that's not true either.  She feels that's just what people do.   It is apparent that this woman has no faith in "men"/people.  That's why Hurley/Hugo even feels he can trust the dead more than the living because living people can hurt you.

"Mother Island" brings them to the place, the reason they're here ... The light.  They are at a flowing stream that flows right down into a tunnel with the warmest most beautiful bright light anyone has ever seen or felt.

Trust Issues x 10

"Mother Island"  warns them not to go in there and to make sure no one ever finds it.  "A little bit of this very same light is inside of every man. But they always want more."
Jacob- "Can they take it?"
"Mother Island"- "No, but they'll try. And if they tried, they could put it out. And if the light goes out here, it goes out everywhere."
She claims to be the protector of the light, but can't protect forever.  One of the boys will have to carry on.  It sounds like "Mother Island" is keeping the light trapped in an effort to thwart people from having it, and breaking hearts. She really is protecting her own broken heart.

Dream within a Dream

The boy in dark can see the image of his dead birth mother, while Jacob cannot.   She wants to show the boy where he came from. "It’s across the island a place you've never seen."   He learns that 13 years ago the day before he was born their ship wrecked.   Dead Mama enlightens him to their being many things across the sea. "You come from across the sea too."  {Dead mama-manifestation of the smoke monster- "Mother Island". Hmmmm...}

“I've looked into the eye of this island, and what I saw was beautiful.” 

The boy in dark won't live a lie so he gathers his and Jacob’s things and wants to leave and never come back.  He reveals "Mother" lied about EVERYTHING including her loving them. This infuriates Jacob and he beats him up.  But the boy in dark confronts "Mother Island" sharing that he now knows the truth and he's going to go home; the boys don't belong there.   Mama tells the boy in dark that no matter what he's been told he could never leave this island, but the boy knows that's not true; one day he will prove it.   He walks away from the two.  When the boy in dark looked at the light he saw the "truth" and wanted to live his life according to the truth, not the crap "Mother Island" was feeding him.  His thoughts were to be formed on the basis of fact, science, logic, reason, "gut feeling/clarity", and freedom, and he wasn't going to be influenced by this woman, her "Island" traditions or any other dogma.
The boy in dark/MIB/Locke is an enlightened "freethinker".
“The fear of loss is a path to the Dark Side” 

"Mother Island" admits to Jacob she killed their birth mother because she would have taken them back to her "bad people" and she couldn't let that happen, as she needed him to stay good.
Jacob-"Am I mother?"
"Mother Island" says yes.  Jacob feels she loves "him/Boy in Dark" more than him. Clever mom claims to love them in different ways.  Jacob will stay with this insane murdering baby napper of a woman and this makes her happy.
Big Boys Play Games Too

Jacob and his brother have been having secret covert sessions to play the game.  Jacob says mother never asks about Man in Black, but that's a lie.  Jacob "watches" the little villagers and their behavior to see if they are really bad.  He doesn't think they're so bad.
MIB-"It may be easy for you to say... Looking down at us from above. Trust me I've lived among them for 30 years, they're greedy, manipulative, untrustworthy, and selfish."  But he puts up with their ways because they're a means to an end.  He tells his brother, "I'm leaving, Jacob."  He proves the magnetic field of the island to Jacob by throwing his dagger at the well.  He explains he and the smart men discovered that metal behaves strangely.  They dig, explore and invent.  MIB begs Jacob to go with him but Jacob declines.  Jacob is loyal, I'll give him that.  But is his loyalty based in ignorance and fear?   "Island Mother" kept him close at hand seemingly because in my opinion he was the one amendable for coercion.  That is a concept we only thought pertained to Castaway John Locke.  Her sheltered mind was limited by her ignorance, pain and fear.
To everything there is a season

Everything dies! 
Jacob is the one that doesn't want to leave this island, "It's my home." (He's comfortable there- used to the way things are.)
"Mother Island" approaches the work site and appears down in the well where MIB is heating coals. He shares with her his time with the villagers learning and exploring a way to find the light that she didn't want him to have and share.  He explored the idea of "What if I can get to it from someplace else?"   He removes a small piece of stone to let in a bit of the beautiful light that shines on the wheel.  The special man knows how to do all this. They even invented a wheel that will help him on his quest to get back to where he belongs.
MIB/Locke says goodbye to his mother. She bids him goodbye; but smashes his head against the stone wall; knocking him out.
There is no Choice...You Must Believe in Free Will

Mom wakes sleeping Jacob, "It's time."   She's letting MIB/Locke go.
In the night she leads Jacob to the tunnel that houses the light.  When asked what's down there she replies, life, death, rebirth... it the source, the heart of the island. {Hmmm...Enlightenment!} She wants Jacob to promise her he'll never go down there because it would be worse than dying. She gives him some wine as some sort of promissory communion to accept the responsibly of protecting the light, and finding his replacement when the time comes.  Jacob doesn't want the responsibility but knows he's got the gig by default.  When he drinks the liquid she poured she claims, "Now you and I are the same."   Well, now that Mother and Jacob are the same... the evil, flawed shoe must fit.

Free will is the purported ability of agents to make choices free from constraints. 

MIB/Locke regains consciousness outside of the well in the daylight and not inside the well where he was knocked out by the "mother".   Mother has destroyed the well.  He sees black smoke rising in the distance and discovers the village is burned and his people are killed.

The Game Continues

Jacob notes that a storm is coming and will see "Mother Island" back home.  Mom sets off to the caves where she finds her stuff is destroyed and the Senet game is there.  {Locke destroyed a few things while on the "island" too. His reason was to keep the people/Jack who needed to be there, to stay until they are ready to go home.}

MIB/Locke Slays the Monster!  (He let go of the metaphoric monster that caused part of his life long suffering)

He plunged the knife into "Mother Island" before she could speak a word, all in retribution for her terrible act of killing the other "Island" residents, trying to kill him, stopping him from leaving and to stop her from continuing her bad ways.   "Mother Island" thanks him.   Jacob walks in seeing the aftermath and not understanding beats up MIB/Locke.  MIB/Locke doesn't fight back with Jacob.

Jacob brings/pulls MIB/Locke to the beautiful light and throws him face down into the stream that floats him unconscious into the light.   It is important to note that Jacob actually tells MIB/Locke "Don't worry brother, I'm not going to kill you" before he throws him down onto the rocks.  Black smoke is released.   Jacob is sad and confused.  He finds his brother dead on some rocks at a stream.  Jacob cries.

Jacob lays the dead woman and the man with the white/black stones to rest in the caves- together.   "Goodbye brother."  Jacob only bids his brother goodbye- not the woman who raised him.

They are all guilty of everything "Mother Island" told the young boys.

All aboard the Crazy Train 

Mental Health and issues with reality!
"Mother Island" was indeed insane and evil. Don't try to tell me she wasn't!  She stole two newborns and killed their birth mother so she could keep them and mold them to her own distorted beliefs. She lied, manipulated, controlled and sheltered them from the truth.  She destroyed, burned and killed the village and its residents.   She also felt that the other "Island" people would want the "Island" light so "she" kept the light hidden, claiming to be its protector and hoping it would never be found.   In this episode I saw a woman who lost faith in a man/men, people and herself.  She seems to be trapping her own "light" in an effort not to get hurt again.  But in her stealing the boys and trying to make her own little emotional safe haven, "MIB/John Locke the Curious" was going to expose her for what she really was.  Unfortunately the scars of this entire mothering experience left MIB/John Locke with pain and confusion and even more motivation to finally close that unhappy chapter of his past and finally leave this place.


See how the viewer can assume certain things and yet when the truth is revealed it really means something else.  How about that!  There's a plethora of this in our story.  You can assume who the "monster" is in this episode, who is the next Jacob, who is the next MIB, what the “Island” is, who is on what side, who is really Jacob, which baby was whom, and all those wonderful fantastical things, but we were shown under no uncertain terms not to assume anything!   With the reveal that Adam and Eve where really “Mother Island” and her stolen child was one of the greatest bits of information we've ever gotten.

Things to note...Questions to Ask...

* Mental Health issues.
* Push
* Children
* MIB/Locke owns the dagger.
* In House of the Rising Sun, "Adam and Eve" are laid to rest in two separate alcoves.
* Boy in Dark/MIB/John Locke is an enlightened free thinker, independent and wants to live in truth, while Jacob doesn't seem very bright and is fine to live under the unhealthy thumb of "Mother Island"
* Jacob does illustrate anger and vengeance. He is more of a follower than a leader.
* Jacob is a liar.
* Wine.
* Do you think that we'll find that John Locke was an alcoholic too?
* Am I the only one who finds it weird that the "boys" aged and then stopped aging at a certain point? * "Mother Island" is evil.  Mom burned the village and its people. {Fire- Smoke- we've seen this  relate to Kate. But fire is a form of cleansing.}
* Children without "fathers".
* People who look the same but are different. Where did we come from?  Do I entertain the "alien" word again or do we chalk it up to created images within the experience?
* Magic healing paste.
* Different languages.
* Ship.  Wheel.
* Are we to believe there is only a finite amount of "light"?
* Imagination. Make believe. Create. The mind creates positive and negative thoughts and beliefs.

* In addition to us already being aware that Locke's mother was crazy, John Locke tells Eko in The Cost of Living, that he saw a bright light and it was beautiful.  And in Deus Ex Machina we learn about Locke's love of playing games with his brother.

Vocabulary and Research...

* Across the Sea is the fifth song from Weezer's second album, Pinkerton. The song appears on Come On and Kick Me!: The String Quartet Tribute to Weezer and Only in Dreams: Classical Music Inspired by Weezer.  The song was written by Rivers Cuomo at the same time I was very depressed and very lonely, thoughts of becoming a monk and mommy issues.

* The Other is a 1972 psychological horror film about twin brothers who have fun with their shenanigans but the end reveal is that one of the twins has really been dead the entire time.

* Senet, a board game a from pre-dynastic and ancient Egypt. The oldest hieroglyph representing a Senet game dates to circa 3100 BC.  The full name of the game in Egyptian meaning the "game of passing."  The Senet game board is a grid of thirty squares, arranged in three rows of ten .  A Senet game has two sets of pawns (at least five of each and, in some sets, more).

* Claudia: was a Vestal Virgin, who conceived Romulus and Remus.  In Roman mythology Vesta pertains to a Roman goddess, the Sacred fire of Vesta, and the Temple of Vesta.  The College of the Vestals and its well-being was regarded as fundamental to the continuance and security of Rome. They cultivated the sacred fire that was not allowed to go out. The goddess of the hearth and home, collecting water from a sacred spring, preparation of food used in rituals and caring for sacred objects in the temple's sanctuary.  By maintaining Vesta's sacred fire, from which anyone could receive fire for household use, they functioned as "surrogate housekeepers", in a religious sense, for all of Rome. They were also put in charge of keeping safe the wills and testaments of various people such as Caesar and Mark Antony, and guarded sacred objects. The Vestals were freed of the usual social obligations to marry and bear children, and took a vow of chastity in order to devote themselves to the study and correct observance of state rituals that were off-limits to the male colleges of priests.

“Enlightenment is imagining figures of light, but making the darkness conscious.”  
You know that for me this story of struggle with deep, deep emotional pain, confusion and the need to be free of it, is happening under the guise of a game. It is about Dharma, walking your path, finding what you lost and enlightenment.  Clues to all of these things, including truth, balance and enlightenment were right in our faces.

The Wheel
The Light = the Truth. LOVE and HOPE

I find it disgusting that this woman took away every aspect of innocence and hope with the child/children.  She was not nurturing, caring and both boys knew she did not know how to love.  She was selfish (because she lived in fear)... The Fucking End!

Again we seem to get hints to the concept of two halves really being parts of the whole and then again two completely independent people.  I can see traits that seem exclusive to the Jacob we already know, yet here we get a clearer picture of him, and traits that what were thought to be exclusive to Boy in Dark/MIB {Locke} are not, but are shared by both.  The reference to there being "two" boys seems to come predominantly from "Mother Island."  If you re-watch you can see the natural mom, even though was told there are two, only refers to one- "him."  There are other times within the episode they are really referred to in a singular manor.

"A little bit of this very same light is inside of every man. But they always want more." 

Nowhere does "Mother Island" say the light is evil incarnate!  She only mentions if the light goes out here, it goes out everywhere.  When Jacob asks "mother" about what's down there, she tells him it's life, death, rebirth... it the source, the heart of the island.  That my friends, is some more enlightenment talk for ya!   Light is the good part of man and this Queen Bitch is keeping it from them. I feel like I'm leaning toward someone having to do this all over again, hence we need another plane to crash.

"Only when you are ready to open your eyes, ears, mind and heart, in the LIGHT you will find TRUTH." -Karen Mauro

 Love to all who are "LOST"™

Disclaimer: I never claim to know everything about the show and my thoughts by no means make me right! The things I share here are my views and/or opinions. I don't claim to catch every single detail either! You all know I hate spoilers! And I stand clear of reading certain sites as to not take me off my own course of research. The one thing I don't need to do here is rehash all of the obvious clues from an episode; we all know what they are. Understood? Let the fun begin! I'll only note things that I know come up as clues later, but need to be noted when they first show up and things I find that will be of importance.


  1. Awesome notes! It makes sense that the boy in black is Locke. After all, Locke's mom told him he was "immaculately conceived." And it seems that the boy in black was too...since she only had one name picked out.

  2. Another insight-filled recap, Karen. You never fail to notice things that completely fly over my head.

    So while we're on the subject, I was listening to the ODI Podcast this afternoon while I was gardening, and someone made the comment that maybe there is only one consciousness experiencing the lives of each of these characters (28:20).

    Well, that may in fact be exactly right.

    Here comes some speculation on my part, but I thought you and the rest of the amazing ODI team might be interested in this. So here goes...

    Now that we've met "Mother" in addition to Jacob and the MIB, I'm really starting to get the impression that there may be only one Immortal Consciousness experiencing him/herself inside a sort of a game-simulation AS THE CHARACTERS we've come to love. (Thus the importance of the Mother mythology with young Jacob and the MIB that seemed to some so "out of place." Personally, I loved it.)

    And then I remembered VALIS by Philip K. Dick -- and the fact that John Locke gave Ben a copy of the book in "Eggtown" and that we then see Ben reading it in "The Other Woman." (So that's at least two references to VALIS in LOST.)

    As Ben accepts the book, he says, "I've already read it." Locke retorts, "You might catch something you missed the second time around."

    In the edition of VALIS that John Locke gave Ben, there is a quote from Pascal on page 120: "All history is one immortal man who continually learns." And if you page to "The End" of the book (p. 241), the very last line is this: "But underneath all the names there is one Immortal Man; and we are that man."


  3. Quick note - although I enjoy your recaps immensely, I just wanted to mention that I don't think Claudia was speaking spanish. I'm a fluent spanish-speaker - it's my first language - and it's very clear to my ear that she is not speaking spanish. I'm not as familiar with Latin, but I think both women speak latin in the early parts of the episode. Probably irrelevant, but there it is. Thanks for all your hard work and dedication - you're always thoughtful and provocative... namaste!

  4. Thank you mrsfoggy!
    I only watched this episode once (a rare thing for me to do. lol) and I appreciate your insight to the languages :)
    I actually thought I even heard a word I recognized (I'm Italian) but I need to go back and re-watch.
    Thanks again for that important info!


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