Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Lost - Part 14

Granted, I should know better than to set any sort of expectations when it comes to Lost, but I found myself increasingly annoyed with last night’s episode. One would think with five or so hours left in the entire series a few more answers would have been made available. Not even a name, Lost? You couldn’t give us a name for Man In Black?

With little more than three hours left I have more questions than ever.

Which, I suppose, is exactly the point. Those Lost bastards!

Let’s get to it. I’m skimming over the summary because the questions are going to take up a lot of space. You have no idea.

What Happened

A Claire like, pregnant (read: basketball tucked under her shirt) woman washes up on a beach after what appears to be a ship wreck. She stumbles to a stream, meets a crazy looking woman who teaches her instant English, delivers her twin baby boys, then murders her. But she said sorry, so it’s all good.

Years later we see the two boys trying to learn a caveman’s game that includes light and dark pieces. Like backgammon. Like in the very first episode. I’m dizzy. The boys agree not to tell ‘Mother’, but Jacob is such a wussy momma’s boy he spills the beans within minutes of getting back to their cave.

Mother finds Man In Black…wait…Boy In Black? Seriously? A friggin’ name wasn’t possible last night? Where was I? Right. Mother confronts Black Boy (there we go!) about the game, but tells him he can keep it. ‘Why do you think I left it for you?’ she says. Black Boy seems disappointed it didn’t come from across the sea, but Mother tells him there is nothing there. The island is all there is.

She also implies that he is ‘special’ and possibly immortal. When BB asks about death, she tells him it’s not something he will ever have to worry about.

Of course, her lies quickly come undone when the boys see other people on the island and confront Mother about them. She decides it’s time for them to learn the truth at which point I get all excited until she takes them to a glowing cave. That’s right, a cave with glowing, golden light coming out of it. Or as we call it, a gold mine.

Supposedly this light is source of everything; life, death, redemption, cotton candy. Men will try to take it, Mother tells them, but they can’t. They can, however put it out and if it goes out there it goes out everywhere, which sounds silly until you remember they had no idea electricity was going to be invented someday.

Black Boy is intrigued, but his reality is about to be shattered when his real (and quite dead) mother visits him to tell him the truth. There is an entire world outside the island, the men trapped here are his people and, oh yeah, your mother is a lying, murdering, bitch. Just so you know.

I was hoping to avoid this, but I feel something needs to be addressed at this point. The Mother – who, you know doubt noticed also didn’t age – was a walking hypocrisy and seemed to be a criticism of religion in general. We’re all used to the recurring theme of faith versus fact with Lost. Seasons one and two revolved around Jack’s Man of Science clashing with Locke’s Man of Faith, but Mother took this to an entirely new level.

She spent most of her time criticizing the behavior of mankind with phrases like ‘They come, they destroy, they lie and manipulate and it always ends the same’. Yet her entire relationship with her ‘sons’ was based on a lie. She murdered an innocent woman, stole her babies, lied to those babies their entire lives and had them convinced (another word for brainwashed) that every outside person was evil and not to be trusted. While I don’t have specific numbers at my disposal, I’m fairly certain that is worse than 99.9% of what the rest of the world has done in their entire lives. And she did it in one afternoon.

I know what you’re thinking: ‘True, but she’s doing it to protect the island. She has a higher calling’. One (meaning me) could argue that the worst crimes against humanity were based on a ‘higher calling’. The Spanish Inquisition, The Crusades, The Holocaust, 9/11, The Real Housewives of New Jersey. That she is claiming to protect the island from the destructive forces of men isn’t an excuse for her manipulative and murderous behavior.

I read a book called ‘Under The Banner of Heaven’ which focused on the Mormon religion and the problems they were having keeping their children grounded in the faith because they would learn contradictory facts about the world when they departed and went to college. While their bible says the world began about 5000 years ago, the geology class is showing them rocks that are millions of years old. Only college has proof where religion has faith.

I couldn’t help but think about that when Black Boy heads off to learn about the world and Mother’s reaction was to simply destroy everything and everyone he was working with. Knowledge? I’ll show you what knowledge gets you!

Anyway, by this point Man in Black is fully grown, as is Jacob. MIB takes the death of his friends poorly and goes off to kill Mother. Mother must sense the end is near for her because she finally brings Jacob back to golden pond and initiates him into the Guardian role of the island. This includes drinking some wine after she murmurs some prayer or incantation before. Basically, Mother is a witch with a drinking problem.

When she arrives back at the homey cave, she’s stabbed from behind by MIB who asks why she wouldn’t let him leave the island. ‘Because I love you,’ she answers just before dying. Jacob then comes in, sees what happens and beats the snot out of brother. He then drags him to the golden well and tosses him in. There comes a rumbling sound and out barrels the smoke monster. It heads up and over the jungle.

Washing the blood off his hands, Jacob sees his brother’s body and takes it to be with his mother’s. He sets them up together and places two game pieces – one black, one white – in his hand.

Mother and brother are the Adam and Eve that Jack and Kate find.

What We Learned

- Uh, mother and brother are Adam and Eve. I kinda just said that.

- Jacob and MIB are twins and totally screwed up by their fake mother.

- Mother didn’t age, either.

- Smokey came from the golden cave.

- Jacob and MIB were tight. ‘Go behind crazy mom’s back’ tight. And they loved playing games.

- Jacob would watch the other islanders from a distance to see if they really were ‘bad’. Although how he could judge bad when his mother was the only measuring stick is a huge question.

- The boy we see in the jungle earlier this season is teenage Jacob.

- Mother ‘made it’ so the two brothers couldn’t hurt each other, although Jacob pretty much proved that wrong. Beating MIB senseless twice then hurling him into the cave. So much for rules.

- Dead people were visiting the island long before Hurley showed up.

- Mother and Jacob had an unhealthy fixation with that loom.

- MIB was Mother’s favorite.

- Mother treated her favorite questionably by lying to him about nearly everything and killing his real mother.

- MIB killed Mother (more about this in the questions section).

- There is a cave that contains ‘the warmest, brightest light’ anyone will ever see. This does not mean the sun is under the island because that would be nuts.

- MIB and his friends were some of the first to discover the island’s magnetic properties. They were the ones that dug many of the wells.

- MIB searched for that golden cave for years after he left Mother and Jacob and could never find it. So he dug through the island. Well done, MIB!! That’s showing some ingenuity.

- Jacob wasn’t thrilled about the prospect of protecting the island initially.

- Mother gives home schooling a really bad name.

New Questions

- If the Adam skeleton is actually Jacob’s brother, than who is the MIB Jacob has debates with on the beach? Has the Smokey that was released from the cave taken on many forms of the recently deceased? This leads us to…

- If the Man In Black (aka Fake Locke) isn’t really Jacob’s brother, than why do the rules Mother sets up still apply to him? Is Smokey a conglomeration of all the Jacob’s that came before him, thus he/it retains all the same restrictions and memories of those that came before?

If you recall, Jacob and MIB had a conversation on the beach, as they watched an approaching ship, that echoed what Mother said to both boys. ‘They come, they corrupt, they destroy. It always ends the same.’

Does this mean Mother’s memories and opinions have been incorporated into MIB’s persona? As well as all the other thoughts and memories from the others that watched over the island before her? Remember when Smokey attacked the Temple earlier this year and bodies or souls were visible within the smoke? Were those the spirits of all the other Island Caretakers?

- Was Mother herself a Smokey? It’s the only assumption I can make after she decimated an entire village, burned it down and filled in all the wells in a matter of hours. She was either a Smokey or highly efficient in her work.

- What if the smoke thing is (or was) actually the caretaker of the island? What if when Mother dies, Smokey needed to reemerge from the cave and take the form of the next candidate? Only Jacob screwed that up by throwing his brother into the cave and corrupting Smokey with MIB’s doubts and rage and anger about his mother and not being able to leave the island? What if Jacob created the very thing he had to fight to keep on the island? Or did throwing MIB into the golden cave somehow create or release the monster?

- Are Mother’s rules hard set? Or are they just rules that the brothers are taught to think are unbreakable? For example, she tells the boys that she made it so they can’t hurt each other, only Jacob wails on his brother twice.

- Does the island require a crazy, unwashed, homicidal woman on it at all times? First Mother, then Rousseau, then Claire. Is there some quota needed?

- Does drinking the wine stop the aging process? You’ll recall Jacob had Richard drink from that same jug when he asked to never die.

- Since MIB smashed that jug, how will that trait be carried down to the next candidate? Will beer suffice?

- Once Jacob drank the wine was he able to set the rules of one of them not being able to kill the other? Or that Smokey wasn’t allowed to kill any of the candidates?

- If Mother really wanted to protect the golden cave, then wouldn’t it be in her best interest to let people that crashed on the island leave? Seems to me there would be no better protection then getting people off nearly as soon as they got on. How about this? A bunch of people crash on the island and, instead of killing them all, you help them off and just make it seem like it was just a regular island. ‘Nothing to see here. Just a stupid island. Hey, found a newly built boat for you all. Here, take it and I’ll get the next one. Thanks for stopping by and don’t come again!’ Maybe throw some leis around their necks on their way home?

- Did Mother really leave that game for Black Boy to find or – as I suspect – was she covering up that there was more to the world than just the island?

- What was with the stupid loom and where did all the wool come from? Was it delivered along with the magic wine?

- How did the caretakers pass the time on this island? Other than weaving? Could they get books? Satellite TV? Shuffleboard? You’d think they’d at least learn how to surf.

- When MIB killed his mother I noticed he did it without saying a word to her, nor her to him. Did this somehow follow the rule of not letting the person speak before killing them? Does that mean a certain amount of time could pass before that rule is set back into place? Like 24 hours must pass before you have another chance?

- How long was Mother there before she handed her spot to Jacob?

- And who did she follow?

- Did Mother have magical powers that made her rules unbreakable? And did those same powers make everyone around her speak English?

- How did Jacob and his brother get their hair styled? And how did Jacob keep his beard looking like a four day growth at all times? Does this fall under Mother’s magical powers section?

- Why is boar such a valued food source? Does it taste like pork? Bacon? Can you make cheeseburgers out of it?

- Was one of the other men on the island Jacob’s father?

- How could their mother not come up with a second boy’s name off the cuff? David? Michael? Father’s name? Her father’s name? What if Jacob turned out to be a girl? What then? Talk about failing in the clutch.

- What was Jacob’s brother’s name? And why couldn’t we know it? Is his name the punch line for the entire Lost series? Is it Jack? Is it Locke? Ben? Richard? Claire? Sally? Lucifer? Did he not have a name?

- Is that crappy cave the best shelter Mother could find for her boys? How did one of them not die from malaria or something?

- And since we’re here, how did killing the mother make any sense? How did Mother feed the infants with no breast milk? Did she feed them golden light to keep them alive? Did she crack coconuts against her thick skull and use that milk?

- Should we all be concerned that Lost is straining credibility more than ever the closer it gets to the finish line?

- Should we all be concerned that Lost is now raising millions of new questions when we’re three hours away from the ending?

Today's distraction: How 'Home Alone' and 'Die Hard' are the exact same movie. I love Cracked.


A Tribute: deer a train and basketball said...

Yeah the whole not giving MIB a name really pissed me off. More and more questions... If I still have questions after this show wraps up I'm going to lose my shit.

BeachBum said...

My guess, since this has been Lost's MO from the beginning, is that they may not explicitly give us all the answers but leave the clues around for us to figure out.

I just hope it's entertaining while they tell the story. Thought this episode was clumsy.