Wow…this was quite an episode. Might go down as the most talked about in the series history. So, I might as well talk about it here too. 🙂
( If you want to hear more thoughts, stop by the Lost Revisited Now podcast Episode 107 for the Initial Reaction show for ” Across the Sea”. )
Two Babies, Two Sides: Mother seemed to want to hold the BIB. Claudia only asked for “him” , first born Jacob , not “them”. “Are you ‘him’?” = Desmond’s question to who he thought was to be his “replacement”, John Locke. Mother looking for a “replacement”. It turned out to be Jacob. Jacob is looking for his “replacement” in the candidate. Or (as Wray suggested in “comments” last week) could the candidate be for something else entirely?
What’s in a Name?: In some traditions, like Judaism, there is a spiritual connotation to naming a child- that it would be telling of who they are , “their essence”, and would grow to be by the significance of the names chosen for them. In Hopi legend, it is several years and many names given to a child until what seems to best suit who he/she is , personality-wise, that a final name is selected. In Rome, where Claudia was most likely from, the father, not the mother, would decide the name, about eight days later after birth…and that’s if he decided the child would live or not! Where in ancient Egypt, of where we have seen a lot of reference to that culture on the show, the parents would waste not time in naming the baby after their birth, often siting a physical characteristic of the infant. But here…we have no name still for Man in Black. Is he the powerful but not forgiving Henry Gale’s boss “Him”, much like the pure evil figure from The PowerPuff Girls? Will a name be insufficient, at this point? At this point, I don’t mind it remaining a mystery.
Bad Twin! Baaaad! : There are so many stories of twin sagas gone wrong: Jacob and Esau of the Old Testament, Osiris and Set from Egyptian lore, Apollo and Artemis from Greek mythology, Romulus and Remus from Roman mythology ( who’s mother was a princess and father the god of war, Mars, who were raised by a she wolf and only one of them could be king, ending in Romulus killing Remus) .So, what’s one more! 😉
One set of twin from where we get the Gemini constellation, are Castor and Pollux, of Greek/Roman mythology. According to Wiki…
“In the myth the twins shared the same mother but had different fathers which meant that Pollux was immortal and Castor was mortal. When Castor died, Pollux asked Zeus to let him share his own immortality with his twin to keep them together and they were transformed into the Gemini constellation. The pair were regarded as the patrons of sailors, to whom they appeared as St. Elmo’s fire.”
(Well, there have been a few vessels that tend to drop by…or on, the Island.)
Is this what happens with Mother/Jacob, Jacob/Richard MIB/Locke and Sayid, exchanges…even possibly what happens, to some extent, when you become an Other, like Ben- the sharing of immortality? But the “rules” may somehow make immortality…flexible?
Oh, Grow Up!: It’s curious that MIB “saw” his birth mother ( or was it the image “Mother” wanted him to see?) when he was 13 years old. According to Jewish tradition, this is the age of Bar Mitzvah, when a boy becomes a man and becomes responsible for his own understanding of the law, tradition, as well as becoming accountable to morals and ethics. Among the Aborigines of Australia… they send them on … a Walkabout. In some Native American tradition, the rite of passage called Smudge that involves… a sweat lodge. No wonder John Locke was a “custom fit” for the MIB.
Bring Out Your Dead!: So, MIB could see “Claudia”? Hurley can see the deceased too. And apparently Sawyer…and Desmond, at least as far as mini Jacob is concerned. Is this tied into being “Special”? Mother said that Jacob couldn’t lie and that MIB could because he was “special”… or at least, inferred as such. Hurley is a horrible liar. Sawyer excels at it and is one of the reasons MIB wanted him on his side. So, just because Mother said Jacob couldn’t “see” Claudia” because she was dead…doesn’t mean it was true. Jacob just happened not to be there.
I Wanna Big Wheel, Mom!: We get to at least see the starting of the Donkey Wheel’s presence on the Island. Even if MIB actually got it to work, would he have been able to have left? Would it have shifted time, like it did before? And maybe this is why the Egyptian statue and hieroglyphics show up “later” in the show? MIB taking it for a test run?
Wake Up , Sleepyhead!: Mother disturbs Jacob’s slumber to tell him ” It’s time.” This is where she takes him to the cave, has him drink the wine as the initiation of becoming ” Protector” of the whatever is emanating from it. “You and I are the same now”. Will we see something very similar between Desmond and Ms. Hawking/Mrs.Widmore or even Charles, when he finally “ready” ?
Now You See Me… Now You Don’t: MIB has been looking for that cavern of light for 30 years. Mother can show her “sons” at a moment’s notice. Is it like Jack finally seeing the Lighthouse? It might be that you need to have a certain level of “faith”? And interestingly, in the same way, how was Hurley the only one to find Jacob’s Cabin, despite it moving locations… and he wasn’t looking for it at all?
Tunnel Vision: Looking at that glowing cave, I had to figure there were some kind of references to caves in literary and other “sources”. There are many. I found a fantastic compilation of them here at the studyworld.com site It was quite an interesting and enlightening read …and, for me, made the reveal more “accessible”.
See-ms Like Old Times: The way that MIB was left at the end of the river was very reminiscent of Boone’s vision of Shannon’s death by Smokey in the Season One Episode “Hearts and Minds” . In this episode, there is also a talk between Locke and Jack that is similar to Jacob and MIB in Season Five finale ” The Incident”. MIB ‘s body was entangled in the tree, like how we saw the pilot in The Pilot, after the Smoke Monster actually killed him. Also, his body was tossed aside by the black smoke but we’ve seen Brother since then, just like John Locke is now. In “Hearts and Minds” Locke said to Boone ” What did it make you see?”. Is it the Island? The Smokey Monster? The wacky paste John put on Boone’s head? We still don’t know! Is seeing here like the concept of seeing/showing that Charlie and now Desmond have been utilizing? And is seeing going to be what bridges the gap between what’s real, what’s an illusion and both of Lost’s “worlds?
” You Haven’t Aged a Bit!” : Now, I figure that we are just supposed to chalk up Jack thinking Adam and Eve were only there 40 to 50 years, instead of a couple millennium, because he’s not exactly an expert ( as I know that I talk about stuff I don’t know about all the time…so I can empathize..lol) . But what came to mind was the story of Moses and the Israelites wandering the desert for 40 years and God preserving their clothes so they never fell apart.
Hey, Locke said the Island was a place where miracles happened…so it could work?! 🙂
And lastly, I think I may have solved a major mystery. The cave that contains life, death, rebirth… Mother called ” The Heart of the Island” . The MIB , as far as we know, is a man without a name. In the southernmost part of the United States in Boerne TX, there is a National Park that features The Cave Without a Name. So, does this mean ” The stars at night are big and bright *clap clap clap clap* DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS!
Sorry… I couldn’t resist. 🙂
Now, time to set sail across the sea… to land on Episode 16.