Early island flashback, birth of Jacob and his brother….”brother”, and their mother, “Mother” Lost has named its characters this week, the way I use to name my stuffed animals, meet bunny, and bunny-bunny.This episode was entirely back story, and had none of our normal characters besides Jacob and the Man in black, who must be named brother, since they never addressed him by name.
A long long time ago in a galaxy either here or far away, jury is still out
A very pregnant woman named Claudia, who appeared to be in Roman or Greek dress came washing up on the shore from a shipwreck that she was separated from. While she is drinking from a stream in the valley on the island a mysterious woman comes to help her get cleaned up, deliver her babies and then kill her. Well she did apologize first. Claudia did not expect the two babies, she was only expecting one baby who she named Jacob, and the other baby may have been named, however the whole episode they only refer to him as Brother or love.
Thirteen years pass with the boys and their mother on the island, they believe this is all there is, nothing is across the sea only this island. “Brother” has a more inquisitive mind than Jacob, he has intuition, he is deemed special by his mother. He finds a game in the sand that likely washed up on shore (though their mother said she put it there) and knows how to play it, he just knows in the same way Locke always knew things. Jacob is a definite mommy’s boy, can’t tell a lie, and has only one fighting move, throw your opponent down and wail on his face.
Mommy issues, and no baby’s daddy to be seen
The mother seems to have a different fondness, sense of pride in the boy in black or “brother”. She smiles warmly while talking to him and states how he is special and is not like Jacob who doesn’t even know how to tell a good lie. At the end of her chat she gives him a motherly smooch. All of her interactions are warmer, and more emotional then hers with Jacob, whom she has a much more drier uninterested tone.
Walt materializes a bird in "Special"
Before she comes up to him there is a sea turtle on the beach, then it is gone. When they were talking about the game could of only come from here since, that is all there is, I thought about Walt, how he was special, how the birds appeared, maybe even the polar bears. Who knows maybe this kid brought the senet game, maybe he is the magic box.
We are here for a reason, what reason, we can’t tell you because we don’t actually know
The boys discover there are other people on the island, and they are not alone. Their mother tells them the others are not like them; they fight, destroy and corrupt. She has kept the babies away from these people and all people I imagine, because she believes she was able to keep the boys good. This is similar to the way we look at extreme homeschoolers.
She blind folds them and takes them on a little walk through the valley where the caves have been and they come upon a stream that goes under ground, beneath it has a glorious light that is illuminating the cavern. She warns them they cannot go down there; it is a fate worse than death. But down there is life, death and re birth, it is what exists in everyone, and if it went out on the island it would go out everywhere. She also mentioned this is the source, and the heart of the island. She has made it her job to protect it, who knows if anyone told her it needed protecting. But it is her job never-the-less, and it will one day be one of the two boy’s job. Jacob doesn’t seem that interested, and his brother finds it beautiful and is intrigued.
At least in her mind, she believes she is there to protect the island, and she believes they are different then regular people. She could be telling the truth or she could be crazy, probably a little of both, because she didn’t seem to age a day in forty-three years. This is not normal so she is different from the others, and made Jacob the same way. This could be a mystery that will be up to the viewer to decide.
The Grass is always Greener
All of this was still fine with both brothers until the ghost of Claudia shows up and tells “brother” where he is truly from, and how who they are calling “mother” is not only not their mother, this same woman killed their real mother, who is her by the way. This is not exactly good news for any person or child to receive. Is it really her, or the island?
Jacob can’t see her ( just like Hurley, and Sawyer could see Jacobs ghost talk to FLocke) this encounter is what led “brother” to go live with these other people, he didn’t belong on the island, and just like Ben Linus trying to escape Dharma for the others..”Brother” wants to escape his fate with his Mother and Jacob and what sounds like what becomes the others, to join, other others.
It also forces some ugliness out of Jacob, who seems to sense that he lives in his brother’s shadow and his mother loves his brother more. He is angry and jealous and chooses to stay with his mother despite the fact she killed his biological mother because he loves her and needs her approval. Jacob has had his own issues of letting go, so it seems. “Brother is angry also with his mother for lying to him, and since he has this intuition and probably has known he belongs somewhere else.
Jacob and his brother keep in touch over a thirty year period, still playing the same Egyptian game Senet, the oldest game in the world. “Brother tells Jacob their mother maybe crazy but she was right about these people, they were in his opinion, untrustworthy, selfish, manipulative, and greedy. But he realizes they are a means to end, to getting off the island. Jacob is content living on the island, it is his home, it is all he knows and all he cares to know. If Jacob has one better quality then his brother it is his ability to be grateful. Not that there is anything wrong with his brothers quest for knowledge, just to the extreme he seems to be going to, to obtain it.
“I have no idea because you wouldn’t tell me”
Their mom shows up while “brother” is working in the cavern where the wheel is eventually built and tries to convince him to let go of what he is after, she doesn’t want him to leave. He shows her they found the light source another way and are making this contraption that will move water and the light and somehow he knows this will get him off the island. She is not happy because they will be using the light, which is her job (real or imagined) to protect. So she does what anyone would do, knocks him unconscious and somehow has the super human powers to get him out of the well, fill it in, and murder and burn the village. Could she be a smoke monster also?
After waking up and discovering the carnage (much in the way Luke Skywalker came home to Tatooine in Star Wars) “brother’ goes back to his original home in the caves, trashes the place and stabs his own mom in the back. She thanks him, and tells him she didn’t want him to leave because she loved him, laid on the guilt pretty thick there, but can’t say I blame her.
Jacob comes in and beats the crap out of his brother and decides to throw him down stream to the magic light so he can have a fate worse than death, since their mother made it (somehow) that they can’t kill each other, or at least she has them believe this. This is the first time Jacob has shown any balls, and I think he regretted it right afterwards but we can understand his rage, since his brother killed the only other person he ever loved. And in minutes he lost them both, and was alone on the island for who knows how long.
Jacobs brothers body is sucked down the stream into the light, the light goes out and out comes what we know as the smoke monster. Accompany this to what the man in black has already told us, that Jacob stole his body and his humanity that trip down stream seemed to remove his soul and energy and added it to some column of smoke. Or his body released the smoke monster, and it just has Jacobs’s brother’s memories, and it’s not the same guy at all. Jacob later finds his brothers body downstream.
Adam and Eve, in 2004
The Tragedy continues…. Adam & Eve
Jacob later lays his mother and brother to rest in the caves with two of the senet rocks. We are treated to a viewer flashback (House of the Rising Sun 1.04), which would be a flash forward from the islands point of view. I am guessing at this point the 40 or 50 years comment on how long they have been dead from Jack was incorrect and irrelevant. Perhaps at the time of writing that episode they didn’t decide how old the island was, they didn’t have identities for Adam and eve and just planned on having identities. Or it was just because Jack is a doctor not an archeologist, perhaps if Charlotte said it, it would be different. Either way, the time always seemed to be a useful clue, but it turned out to mean nothing.
This episode filled in some of the blanks, and as Mother said in the beginning, with each questions answered there were more questions to ask. The wheel is not built still and no idea if any of the other ancient structures are there besides the wells. The only disappointment is this seemed to be the last episode that would answer any mythology questions and it did not, but it did answer more important questions on how Jacob came to be there and what type of people he and his brother are.
The Truth is out There…Just not in here
In the end, I get the feeling LOST will be more a show of how there really is no truth, that it is all subjective. Everything is grey, there is no black and white, good and evil. This episode clearly shows how one person can be all things. Their mother is allegedly protecting the island, and still killed their mother and a whole village of people, probably with good intentions or is just crazy. Jacob kicks the crap out of his brother twice, once because he just doesn’t like what he is saying, and the other more justifiable…though if we say that then we can say so was his brothers actions with killing his mother. (vicious circle) In the end, Jacob decided to give his brother a fate worse than death, not exactly the actions of someone who is “good”. Whereas this other guy, sure he killed this woman who raised him for 13 years because she killed a whole bunch of people, but if we say he is evil for doing that, then we must say Jacob and his mom are also evil and all people who execute others who commit murders are also evil. And that may not be something anyone can say.
This episode in a way did answer many questions. The story of good versus evil on this show has been told all along that it is not so black and white. The mystery of the donkey wheel has been explained besides it just being something that was discovered by Dharma, but it was created by these people that crashed there who brought Jacob and his brother. They may not have completed building it, but someone else does, and it doesn’t really matter who does, we know Dharma uses it at some point by sending polar bears out into the desert. We know this because Charlotte excavated one with a Dharma collar in “Confirmed Dead” Season 4. We only need to know any more about it, if it has to do with the main plot, if it was turned at some point where it affected many things that have happened or seem to not make sense.
We are the Cause of our own suffering
In the end this episode awesomeness can be found in the fact that the smoke monster/ man in black/ brother entity were just another victim of the island. He wasn’t a bad guy, he just wanted to leave, find knowledge and answers. But now however many years later, he has become everything he said he didn’t like, he became manipulative, untrustworthy and selfish where he is putting his own desire to leave over everyone else’s lives. He criticized Jacob for wasting so many lives, but over the past several hundred years so has he.
Across the Sea also showed Jacob to not be this omnipotent deity, he was a regular mamma’s boy, living in his brothers shadow, with no male role model, who one day had no choice but to take on this job to protect his home. He is like any other working stiff in a role or job that they never asked for and didn't really want but stay in anyway. He lost everyone he loved, which was only two people and the fact that he has spent however many many years playing some game makes a bit of sense, even if it doesn’t seem “good”.
• Jacob was born on the island, has a brother, and was conceived elsewhere
• The woman who raised him became a protector of the island, seemed to not age, and passed this on to Jacob
• The island has a powerful light
• Jacobs mom believes it contains, life, death, re birth, something that exists in everyone and it must be protected for if it went out it would go out everywhere
• The smoke Monster came out of the magic tunnel
• Was she crazy, where did she come from?
• Is the brother dead and the smoke monster something that was released by Jacob that has his brother’s memories?
• Still don’t know when the wheel was put in and who used it first.
• How did she get them to not kill each other, or was that just a lie she hoped they never test? Or was it some witch-craft since she appeared to not age as well?