Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Jacob's Foot: 'Across The Sea'...there's a certain dramatic irony attached to all this.

Adam Adam and Eve revealed, and not so much Adam and Eve as mother and son who had a very dysfunctional relationship. But it got dusty in The Foot. The story of Jacob, his twin brother and their "mother." An effective hour of storytelling.

"Across The Sea" is a story about brothers trapped by fate essentially. They had no choice in what they eventually became. They grew up together and loved one another. They looked out for each other. MIB was very hurt when Jacob refused to accompany him to the place where their mother's people were. Did not Jacob understand he and MIB did not belong his brother seemed to wonder. Their mother spoke with hatred about mankind and how they behaved. MIB echoed those sentiments in this episode when he described them as manipulative and selfish; however, she was just as manipulative. She took away their freedom. As she and Jacob walked to the cave that light emanated from (the source of the Island: life, death, rebirth), she told Jacob that she couldn't stop his brother. But MIB wasn't free. He was knocked out. The well he spent years digging because he knew he would be able to find the light underneath the ground was covered up when he awoke with a nasty gash on the back of his head. The camp where he had been living for thirty years was destroyed and the people killed. His mother took away his freedom yet again.

Jacob and his brother were once human. They were born to a woman who crashed on a boat with other people who created a village. They wanted to know what was across the sea. In fact, going across the sea was a major theme throughout the episode. Jacob and his brother didn't know a world existed outside of their Island. I really should've written that Finnegan's Wake/LOST essay. I digress. We met the crazy mother and boy did she have a screw loose. What she did was take away the free-will of her two children. She did not want her two boys (they of course only became hers after she murdered their mother) to be like men. She told them that it always ends the same. They come. They corrupt. Her son echoed those words in "The Incident" as Jacob enjoyed some fish before MIB rhetorically asked his bro, "do you know how much I wanna kill you?" "I do," Jacob responded. Well, now we ALL know. It's because he turned his brother into a pillar of black smoke. I'd be mad too. The war sort of began because of Jacob. He felt unwanted and unloved by his mother. He believed his mother loved his brother more than she loved him. She didn't deny it. She told him: "I love you both in different ways." In fact, Jacob believed his mother wanted his brother to become the protector of the Island. Maybe she did. She told him that it was always going to be Jacob; however, before those words, she said "it has to be you." I interpreted those words to mean "I wanted your brother but now it has to be you. I've lost him." I think Jacob felt it too. The ever-present sadness in his eyes and his demeanor were finally made clear. I felt a level of sympathy for both of the brothers. I felt tremendous amounts of sympathy for Jacob as he became emotional when reminded his brother that the Island is their home. He can't leave. I felt sympathy for Jacob when thinking about all of the years he spent alone on the Island, protecting it. Like his mother, he seemed to invite the knife into his chest that night in The Foot. His mother thanked MIB for killing her, freeing her from this responsibility. Does Jack really want this job? I digress.

I mostly came away from this episode with a newfound sympathy for Jacob and his brother. Answers have never been very important to me with LOST. I appreciated the character development in this episode and the focus on telling this story about a loony woman and the two boys she raised. We were finally allowed the opportunity to understand why MIB is doing what he is doing. It's almost a microcosm of the show: people brought to the Island by circumstances beyond their control. Jacob believed in staying. His brother wanted to leave. They were other people that they feared at first. We learned that not even Jacob totally understands what this Island is. His mother either didn't understand or didn't want to truly explain the significance of the light. Should it go out, the universe (she claims) will cease to exist, as she implied by saying all lights go out if this light goes out. But I like the mystery that is the Island and that will remain a mystery. I like that it is a place of healing and renewal and rebirth. LOST has always been a show rooted in spirituality. The first season is the most spiritual of the six. It's a season about rebirth and renewal. Damon and Carlton spoke about how season six is mirroring elements of season six but, perhaps, the most fundamental mirror is the revival of rebirth and renewal. The Sideways seems to be a manifestation of that idea. After all, those who have died live in the Sideways. I digress.

The most emotional scene of the episode took place at the end when realization swept over me. The skeletons were the mother and Jacob's brother. Jacob lost control of his temper and emotions when he saw that his brother killed the woman who raised them. He dragged him to the Cave of Light. He set him free by sending him down the tree. Their mother warned to never go in. MIB's body floated in and soon The Smoke Monster emerged. Awhile later, Jacob found his brother's dead body. He brought him to the Caves where his mother's dead body lay and he put them together with the bag containing one white stone and one black stone. There was circularity in that moment. To quote Giles from "Buffy," 'There's a certain dramatic irony attached to all this. A synchronicity that borders on predestination, one might say." I couldn't have said it better myself.

More Thoughts:

--MIB created the donkey wheel which would eventually become the frozen Donkey wheel. That scene was fantastic. Titus Welliver was outstanding especially when he hugged his mother and cried.

--Contrary to negative nancys on LOST message boards, there were a plethora of answers yet again tonight. Don't like them? Oh well. Stop watching for the answers. It's always going to be about the characters in the end. Damon said it himself: it's about lost people on a lost island. I'd like to think Monday's entry was the last of my "stop hating EVERYTHING, fans" rant but maybe this is the last rant. There are now just 2 episodes left. 3.5 hours. If you're not happy, write a LOST fanfic that answers every question you want. LOST has never been about answers. I think this is the final rant about fans.

--This episode was a nice break from the intensity and darkness of last week's episode. But you know? I think next week's episode is going to be very, very dark and intense. Damon said that it's a dark time on LOST. I'll believe him.

--Carlton Cuse & Damon Lindelof wrote this episode! I've always wanted to ask them about the order of their names in the credits. Sometimes, it's Damon's name first. Other times it is Carlton. Do they just switch it up evenly? I'd also like to ask them why writing teams have dominated the writing staff since season three. The last episode written by a single person was season two. Interesting. Also, with just two episodes left, I've now just realized Stephen Williams left the show. He was an awesome director. Oh well.

--Tucker Gates, the man who helmed "Ab Aeterno," directed this one. Mark Pellegrino, Titus Welliver and Allison Janney did a some nice work. And I loved seeing the skeleton scene from "House of the Rising Sun" again.

--Overall, a solid episode of LOST. I became more and more invested as the hour went by. Next week: the penultimate episode of the series. We're almost there.

TO THE RANKINGS!

THE OFFICIAL LOST RANKINGS

No real decision has been made about the four deaths last week since this episode featured no one from the main cast and it would be unfair to rank archived footage from "House of the Rising Sun." STEVE suggested doing no rankings for the episode but I had some changes to make so we ranked. MIB moved up to 13 for me and Jacob to 14. Richard's all the way down at 15 which I'm not a fan of but it's a numbers game. STEVE switched around Jacob, Locke and Sun. But again, no concrete decisions have been made about the four characters who died last week because of the Sideways. Assume they all stay since we've been ranking Locke all season and he's been dead since the end of season three technically. Anywho, ENJOY!

AFTER EPISODE 15

RANKED: 5/11/2010

CHRIS

1. Jack

2. Desmond

3. Hurley

4. Jin

5. Claire

6. Kate

7. Ben

8. Sayid

9. Locke

10. Sawyer

11. Miles

12. Frank

13. Man in Black

14. Jacob

15. Richard

16. Sun

17. Widmore

STEVE

1. Desmond

2. Jack

3. Man in Black

4. Jin

5. Richard

6. Ben

7. Kate

8. Sayid

9. Frank

10. Sawyer

11. Miles

12. Locke

13. Jacob

14. Sun

15. Claire

16. Widmore

17. Hurley

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About The Foot

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Originally, I titled the blog Jacob's Foot after the giant foot that Jacob inhabited in LOST. That ended. It became TV With The Foot in 2010. I wrote about a lot of TV.