Joe’s Lengthy, Humorous, LOST deal.
Could That Shirt Be Any Redder?
That was some red shirt that pregnant shipwrecked lady was wearing, huh?
At first glance the latest episode seemed to answer a good amount of questions, but just as Jacob and MIB’s “mother” informed the twin-bearer ever so cleverly, “Every question I answer will only lead to another question.” Then Mother told Claudia to just be glad to be alive, in the most non-threatening threatening way I’ve ever witnessed.
Ahhhhhhhnnn! The pregnant woman moaned, “It’s coming!” Reminiscent of Jacob’s assertion to MIB “They’re coming,” the exclamation could have also been in reference to the oncoming labor pains, or, the “it” in “it’s coming” could have been a direct response to the arrival of the man who would one day dress in dark robes. A man who has been constantly referred it as “it” in the past so many episodes.
Those damned sharp writers did it to us again. Claudia names Jacob immediately as he pops from the womb, and we’re all waiting for the name of the mysterious one, the new mother almost apologetically mentions she didn’t have another name in mind. I have to believe the kid was named, but we were never allowed to hear it. Then again, there are some religions that maintain the devil does not have a name.
So what was it about the birth of the second, hairier baby? (A hint out there to all who wanted his name to be Esau — though biblical Esau was the first born.) Did anyone get the feeling if this shipwrecked ancient mariner only had Jacob, her Mother’s Day present may not have been a rock through her skull?
“Mother” certainly seemed more interested in the second child — that’s for sure.
Flash forward a dozen years and the two kids are playing an ancient version of backgammon, called Senet. For some reason, the BIB (Boy in Black) has an innate knowledge of the game, while his twin brother has no such special understanding.
So they did indeed answer one question there. The blond boy who’s been running around the jungle, visible to only certain people is indeed Jacob. But the next question raised is how the hell does anyone automatically know how to play ancient board games when he’s likely never even had his feet wet in a game of Chutes and Ladders.
We do find out the BIB is special, because his “mother” tells us so, and we believe that’s not some murderous pseudo-maternal pride, because she doesn’t seem to extend that same sort of inspiration to her fairer-haired child.
No One Guilts Like Momma.
Mother is pretty special herself. She knows when Jacob is lying about just walking on the beach, and she knows how to guilt the young lad into telling her the truth. “Jacob, you love your mother, don’t you? Tell mama the truth.” Geez. And I thought my mom had a patent on that kind of guilt trip. I guess all moms are “special” too.
I am curious why Mother didn’t just give the board game to the two of them. Instead she chose to allow BIB specifically to find it. BIB for his part was afraid the old lady would take it away if she did find it, because he suspected it came from a world beyond the sea. A world his mother forbade him to believe in, in spite of his intelligent and curious nature. Mother also seemed to take more pride in the fact that her little dark-haired man was capable of deceit than the fact that Jacob was absolutely incapable of such guile.
Form of a Special Kid, Shape of an Ordinary One
After a mirroring of seasons one and two, this time it’s the Wonder Twins who find themselves crouching behind the island’s vegetation while strange and violent “Others” intrude upon their soil. The boys run home to Mother, informing her of the presence of men. When pressed for answers of these other people, she blindfolds her charges immediately, and marches them to the opening of the Cave of Warm Beautiful Light. All the while, impressing on the children that these beings are not to be trusted. Word for word she delivers the phrase uttered by MIB to her kids for the first time. “They come they fight, they destroy, they corrupt and it always ends the same.”
What is in the tunnel the inquisitive BIB wants to know. A little bit of that light is inside every man, Mother informs him. She then beams with pride when he admits to being taken by its beauty.
Warm Light = Forbidden Fruit?
They didn’t come right out and say it, but if the explanation is solely religious, then I’d be placing my wagers that the light was the island version of the tree of knowledge. Mother is fiercely protective of this light. She worries that men will ruin the inherent goodness with their greed. She’s probably got a fair point there, and lets the kids know that one of them will need to protect that light some day. I do expect a scientific answer to all of the island mysticism as well, and I’m curious how this light will be explained under the antiseptic glare of pure reason.
It’s worth noting that between the two boys, BIB is easily the more charismatic, bright and intuitive of the two, and as such, he becomes a much more compassionate and newly nuanced character.
So Was this Ghost Claudia the Smoke Monster?
He is special. He, like Hurley can see dead people. Does that mean Hurley will also turn bad one day, or does that mean the vision BIB saw, and only BIB saw of his real mother, Claudia, was the smoke monster? And what of the ghosts Hurley spoke to off the island? Was that the Smoke Monster too? Doesn’t seem likely, because then he’d already have his wish.
Whether it was the actual ghost of Claudia, or the Smoke Monster playing more of his trickery, this vision did speak the truth. The woman the young boy believes to be his mother is not — Claudia is. The woman he believed to be his mother his real mother, and the woman he believed to be his mother lied to him about there not being anything beyond the sea. This kid now has some serious trust issues.
His Brother’s Keeper
Being a good and loving brother, BIB needs to inform Jacob of this horrendous news. He wakes him up to inform him they’re leaving home, and oh yeah, mother is a bat shit crazy lady who somehow manages to keep her hair tidier than Claire. Jacob finds the whole thing hard to swallow. He wasn’t ever very special, and he never felt as loved, but he feels a connection to the island, and can’t bring himself to abandon the only parent he ever knew — even if she does admit to him later that she did kill his biological mom.
And so momma’s boy Jacob literally looms large in the background of the island home he grew up. Mother never talks about BIB – who by this time has become a full-fledged MIB, but Jacob still hangs out with him from time to time for a rollicking game of move the black and white stones. Seriously, these two missed out on Candyland, Hungry, Hungry Hippos, and Mousetrap. No Operation, or Etch-a-Sketch, or that thing where you grab your magnet and move the metal shavings around to draw beards and hair on Willy. Just moving stones around.
Magnets and Jesus, Science and Faith
Speaking of magnets though, MIB shows Jacob a pretty cool trick with his death dagger. He throws and it sticks to the surface of a rock. MIB’s not sure what causes it, and while he agrees with Mother’s assessment of humans being bad, he does give them credit for their ingenuity, and decides to use them as an end to his means. His end being what he has dreamed about since he was a wee BIB; getting off the island, and going home. Wherever that may be.
Jacob for his part doesn’t see the people his mother warned them about as bad, but in a fancy bit of obvious God/Jesus allusion, Jacob reports, it’s easy to not get the whole story when you’re “looking down at us from above.”
Upon arriving home, Mother asks Jacob what he did that day, and like the kid who is sick and tired of his mother asking him questions she already knows the answer to, Jacob rolls his eyes, and says to her she already knows.
Sympathy for this Devil
Mother knows quite a bit, but she decides to go in for a closer look, and finds MIB and the mortals have been digging wells. Mother descends to the fiery furnace and witnesses her son, his face glowing red, stoking the flames. If Jacob was meant to appear as if he dwelled in the heavens, MIB was definitely depicted as a sympathetic Satan figure.
It is easy to see why MIB would assume his “mother” was bad, but as we are starting to see, not everything in Blackandwhiteland is black and white. There are many shades of degreed grey. This of course leads me to once again assert that good and evil depends on perspective, and those of you who have (and probably still will) cast Benjamin Linus and Charles Widmore into the “evil” camp should probably take another look at what lead them down their roads. Not long ago it seemed that MIB was just evil incarnate, but I think it’s justifiable to see a reasonable and good man who just wants the freedom to pick up and move if he’d like. All of our island-bound LOSTies (except Hurley) have committed murder in the hope of getting off that island. Why would this tortured soul be judged differently? Especially considering the years of anguish he’s had to deal with.
While the amount of ancient wells on the island is no longer a mystery to us, and the frozen donkey wheel was partially explained — though why it was so cold when Ben went to turn the wheel I can only surmise that the island had moved to more frigid region by then, as promised, we were presented with another question. Who filled in the well? That looks like a lot of work for just one middle-aged crazy lady. Not only that; who killed the entire village? Smoke Momma?
Mom Always Liked You Best
Mother and Jacob return to the Cave of the Warm Beautiful Light, and Jacob once again complains to his mother that he felt second best in a race of two. Mother says stop your whining and drink your wine, right after she literally passes him the torch. As the fluid passed down Jacob’s throat, he seemed to receive an unspoken clarity he never had before. Mother announced they were now one, which kind of creeped me out to be honest. No guy wants to hear that phrase from his mom. Jacob is going to suffer from performance anxiety in the bedroom. That’s my boldest prediction to date.
… And that Your Honor is Why I Killed My Mother.
The whole killing everybody he lived with for the past 30 years really tore it for MIB. He was going to get his vengeance and it was going to be swift. Coming up behind his mother, not allowing her to say a word (which is probably important) he shoved his death dagger in her back, and as he teared up, suddenly not knowing if he did the right thing, she thanked him. This lead me to believe Mother knew all along that one of her stolen children would one day protect the Cave of Warm and Beautiful Light, and the other would one day shiv her prison-style. She just had the kids mixed up for 40 some years.
Jacob has always been the physically stronger of the two, and he had no problem pummeling MIB when he saw the body of his dead mother lying on the ground, and his brother holding the bloody weapon. Off he marches him down to the Cave, and sends him to a fate, his mother warned was worse than death.
Floating not so merrily down the stream, we are lead to surmise the unconscious MIB either becomes, or becomes a part of the Smoke Monster we have all come to know and loathe. Jacob hadn’t killed his brother like Cain did to Abel. He did something far worse. He took away his brother’s humanity and created a monster. (Some would make the same analogy of Widmore and Ben.)
Another question pops up. Did Mother plan all of this from the moment she saw IIB? (Infant in Black) Another is answered, and no one wins the Adam and Eve pool. I guess I’ll just hold on to all that money. Shoot I forgot to collect it. OK, everyone just send your 10 dollars into me; Joe Oesterle, Sunny Southern California. I’ll invest it in something nice. Like next month’s rent.
I Was So Sure I Had it All Figured Out
Overall I’m feeling more confused than when I went into this episode, and I would not have assume that to be possible this late in the game. Give these guys credit. They did manage to give us a full 60 minutes of entertainment AND without the support of a single main character (although it can be argued there have only ever been these two main characters.)
This is an episode that will take another viewing, some discussion, and some more research before I come down on it’s true grade, but for now, I’ll give it a B and expect people to hit me from both sides.
With only 3 and a half hours of story left, I can’t imagine we’re going to get every question answered even if Mathew Fox pulled up a stool and did a Q&A for the entire finale. Part of me is wavering, but most of me still has the faith. This episode was not at all what I expected, and I’m still not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing. Get it. Not sure if “it” is a good thing or a bad thing. Pretty clever button on the story there, Joe.
Joe Oesterle just created a new piece of animation. If you’re a comic book fan, you may enjoy this.