Wednesday, May 12, 2010

LOST: Every question I answer will simply lead to another question.

6.15: "Across The Sea"

A pretty frickin lame episode of XENA, but a decent, not mind-blowing, episode of LOST. =)

Gonna rattle off some way late night first impressions and theory sparks from tonight's ODD COUPLE secret origins episode.

Jacob's a (crazy) mama's boy and Esau's a rebel without a cause.

ESAU: I'm shaking the dust of this crummy little Island off my feet and I'm gonna see the world.

It's not the most awesome backstory, but it's not the worst...
Jacob and Esau are brothers in the same ancient Egyptian scout troop and Christian is their scout leader. One day Esau tells Jacob that Christian touched him in his special show-us-on-this-doll place but Jacob refuses to believe it. Esau takes matters into his own hands and kills Christian, and in grief-fueled retaliation Jacob earns hit turn-your-brother-into-the-Monster badge. The Rules turn out to be ancient Egyptian scout's honor.
Hrmm... actually, I kinda like that story better than this episode's.

I'm kind of glad to find that the origin of the Island brothers doesn't involve a massive EM event or time travel. Takes SOME of the pressure off the finale. It's a little clunky, but it's also...what's the word...? Classic? Archetypal? Mythic? All of those fit I guess, but that makes sense, given that you start with two brothers, fraternal twins, and end with Adam and Eve, right? In any case, it works.

We still don't have a proper name for Jacob's brother. I shall continue to call him Esau, altho I am kinda looking forward to LOST fans discussing the newborn Jacob and B.I.B. (Baby In Black).

Allison Janney makes an excellent Crazy Mother.

I like how Esau's fate at Jacob's hands shows us that Esau was telling the truth to Ricardo when he said that Jacob stole (or was it "took?") his body from him. When we first hear that, it sounds like a disembodied Jacob took control of Esau's human body, booting his consciousness into the jungle in the process. However, knowing what we know now, we see that he was colorfully explaining how Jacob consigned him to a fate worse than death, life as the Monster.

We see that the Rules are something created by their mother. She seems to be able to commune w the Island and has a knowledge of how to manipulate its power using what appear to be spells and incantations, but of course, may be the outward trappings of some kind of science or technology.

It sounded to me like BioMom spoke Spanish, or something close to it. I didn't recognize Crazy Mother's first words to her as anything like Spanish, tho. Latin? The show seemed to activate the universal North American English translator for the audience after a minute or two. I can't put my finger on just what visual cue or cues there were, but there was SOMETHING that transpired that seemed to telegraph to me that from that moment on we'd be getting a convenient translation of dialogue. Like when the camera closes in on Connery's(?) mouth while he's speaking Russian, then pulls back out as he begins speaking English in HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER.

I wonder if Esau's people, Jacob and Esau's biological mother's people, are Atlantean explorers. The way Esau speaks of the wise and curious men of this people seems... somehow like reverence, y'know? Like scientists as sorcerers. Alchemists. I mean, how does one suss out a system for manipulating energy and energized water using a wheel. And on top of that, understanding that this manipulation will result in the teleportation of an individual to a location off the Island?

Was Crazy Mother's mother an Atlantean as well?

I loved Esau's dagger throw.

It was a nice ending, weaving Jacob laying Esau's and Crazy Mother's mortal remains to rest in the caves with Jack's discovery of the bodies in 2004.

I hafta say that I'm annoyed at the show giving us such an active deception in Jack's bogus guesswork at dating the age of the bodies of Adam and Eve in the caves. I think he estimated 30 or 40 years at rest based on the deterioration of their clothes.

The Heart of the Island. It's not super awesome, but I'll allow it. Acceptable as an elemental, McGuffiny foundation piece of the LOST puzzle pie. The source of life? All life? Of sentience? Of spirit or spirits? Of souls? A little bit of the same light is in every living person. If the source is extinguished on the Island, it's extinguished everywhere. How does one get to the Heart in 2007? I think it must be located within its own snowglobe in the snowglobe, like Jacob's Cabin, and maybe like Jacob's Lighthouse.

How does Crazy Mother know that to enter the Heart is to meet a fate worse than death? Did she visit the Heart herself? Was she a monster herself as well, wearing a dupe of her original body? As a Monster, did Island Rules dictate that she could only die under specific conditions? Like, say, at the hand of someone born on the Island and/or someone who loves her?

She tells Esau, "Thank you," when he kills her. Sad.

Did Moms actually KILL Esau when she smashed his skull into the wall? In the moment, remembering Kelvin's death, I certainly believed it. When we see him regain consciousness outside the remains of the well, I was thinking INFECTED!

How the frickin heck did Moms fill the well in and kill everyone? Witchiness? I feel like that would be the handiwork of a Monster, no? At 3am, I think I'm gonna hafta commit to the idea that Crazy Mother *did* enter the Heart of the Island, which yanked her consciousness out of her mortal coil and made her a smoke monster. She is Island Protector *AND* Monster, but without any of Esau's desire to leave the Island.

When Jacob drinks her spellbound wine, Crazy Mother tells him something like, "Now we are the same." I took that to be a reference to Protector-hood, and all the powers and obligations that come with the office, Gift-giving by Touch being one of them.

Esau is special. Momster says this in connection with his ability to lie (Jacob's no good at it). I think there's a bit more to his special-ness. He is able to understand how things work without being told, but by doing them. He learns the rules of the proto-gammon game by playing it.

Jacob... He seems to like learning from observation, at a distance.

Hey, no whispers! We do get a ghost, tho, BioMom, who appears only to Esau. Could this have been Crazy Mother using her Monster abilities to nudge Esau into rebelling and leaving and ultimately pushing her to assault him, destroy his people, and drive him to kill her, just as she planned...?

Or is this a genuine ghost, and Esau, as a son of the Island, has the same gift that Hurley gets millennia later? Perhaps all the gifts we've seen manifested in our 21st century Losties are gifts that Esau and Jacob possess. Like when the Kymellian dude gives the Power kids their individual Power Pack powers...?

If you know what I'm talking about in that last sentence, and you're a girl who plays volleyball, please leave a comment and let me know how I can contact your parents to get their blessing. =)

Right. Well, I think that about does it for tonight, wouldn't you agree? Ayep.


Keep on keepin on~


zorknapp said...

Watching the show with a native Spanish speaker, the language at the start was most definitely not Spanish. I would assume Latin, but it may have been a mix of some different language.

I didn't go with Atlantean, but I did go with Greek/Roman for the people who are curious. More Greek than Roman, but at the end of the day, I don't know if they'll be the important ones.

I was actually very pleased at this episode, I was glad that the origin of Jacob and his brother was a bit more mundane than the "They're Norse Gods" thought that I had had before.

Like you, I also thought that Mom might be part smoke monster herself. She did destroy the village pretty quick, if she didn't have *some* sort of power.

But, she does have power of a sort. She's able to see at a distance...

Florence, on Facebook, suggested that perhaps the Temple was built on the site of the cave/light, and that the stream in the Temple was the stream leading to the cave. That does ring true for me, so we'll see if it pans out.

I thought that Jacob's bro had Hurley dead talking powers, although it could have been Mom in smoke monster guise as real Mom. But, the Hurley-power seems more right to me.

And, while "the Rules" say that Jacob and bro can't 'hurt' each other, maybe Mom *had* to be killed by a son/someone who loved her...

And, was Mom the original, or did someone give her the job of Island Guardian? Jacob was *her* candidate...

I have to say, I had forgotten the stones that Jack found on the bodies. I didn't mind him being a bit off about the decay of the clothes, as we already know that time is a bit funky on the Island. ;) And, back then, Jack was an arrogant blowhard know-it-all anyway, what does he know about decay of clothes! He's a spinal surgeon, not a pathologist!

Okay, that's my thoughts for now. I think I liked this episode a bit more than you, and I do feel that it gives the right perspective as we move towards the end.

cabinboy said...

That line from the Momster—Every question I answer will simply lead to another question—is totally the creators speaking to the audience. Where LOST, and a lot of life, is concerned, that's the truth.

I'm totally ready to go with Latin or Greek as Crazy Mother's native tongue. Given the modern Others' ways, I'm feeling Latin. I really did think that BioMom said something like "Gracias, levantame," tho. Which I thought was Spanish, or at least Spanishish, for "Thanks, please help me up/give me a hand."

The application of stone age tech to lifeforcey energized water seemed a bit beyond Greco-Roman philosophy or science to me, so my geek-fantastic grey matter jumped to Atlantean/Lemurian culture. Who knows? Maybe the Island was the cradle of their civilization.

I still like my story about the Island beginning as an oasis in Tunisia (hence, the location of the exit), and Jacob and Esau being the last of an indigenous people that can no longer successfully reproduce. I shall cling in a fanfictional way to parts of my story that can be reconciled with what we've seen.

I think that Crazy Mother has firsthand experience with the Heart of the Island. She's made the same trip that Esau makes, into the Heart, so when we and Claudia meet her, she's already been monster-fied by the light. The way her reflection in the stream surprises BioMom makes for an entrance with a nice spooky and supernatural flavor. She's a smoke monster, but she's not a monster of a monster, the way we and the Losties have come to think of Esau. She's a Protector who happens to be a monster is what I mean.

If you'll roll with that, it's interesting that Momster's doppelganger body dies and decays just like a human one. Biologically, physically, it is a human body.

The notion that the Temple draws its spring water from the Heart of the Island sounds nice, but a little iffy to me for a couple of reasons.

1. I believed that the spring water was "charged" somehow by Jacob's life force, because it loses its healing power once he dies. That alone doesn't mean that the water isn't from the Heart, but...

2. The current of the water in front of the cavern flows INTO the Heart, and the water becomes a subterranean waterfall.

So, if the spring water is charged by the Heart, it must be part of the subterranean flow. Still, the fact that the Temple spring water no longer heals tells me it's probably not.

And in general, I don't know about anything being built ON the site of the Heart. Like I said, I think that the Heart is only accessible under specific conditions, preserved in a snowglobe of its own inside the Island snowglobe, like the "moving" Cabin. I do not think that you're average Joe Other should have access to the Heart anyhow.

BioMom's appearance reminded me of other special apparitions, like Isabella and Ben's mom, and even jungle boy Jacob in a way. All of which seem like they could be created by a not-quite-defined ability of a monster or the Island itself, for its own "reasons."

Crazy Mother does tell the Jacob and the BIB (Boy In Black) that they can't "hurt" each other, but I'm pretty sure that later, when Jacob's dragging Esau off to the Heart, Esau tells Jacob that Momster made it so that they can't "kill" each other. An important distinction and clarification, and given everything we've seen, I'd say a correct one.

That's all I can rattle off just now...