Tonight's episode of Lost, a Man in Black and Jacob-centric adventure called "Across the Sea," is supposed to be our second (and last) mythology-heavy episode of the final season of the show. Sure, there will be more answers coming in the last three-and-a-half hours of Lost, but in terms of stories where the focus is explaining the totality of "why," this is what we've been waiting for. Before making our big "Across the Sea" predictions, however, let's re-examine what happened on "The Candidate."
Joseph Baxter, Who Sold The Kate/Sawyer Polar Bear Cage Sex Tape To TMZ:
"Locke said that he can't leave the Island without us. I think that he can't leave the Island unless we're all dead." -- Jack
There seems to be some mysterious power in Jacob and the people he makes candidates that keeps Smokey tethered to the Island. It seemed more than coincidental that Eloise sent the Losties back to the Island on the condition that all of the people who we would later learn were candidates be on board Ajira 316. Yet, we know for a fact that people have come and gone off the Island many more times than we'll ever know. It makes you wonder if Eloise may have been blowing smoke (no pun or inappropriate images intended) towards the Losties regarding what they would be doing. She previously sent her own son to the Island, knowing that it would result in his death (killed by her). We also know that her Sideways counterpart demonstrates knowledge about the nature of the dual-universe dilemma. I think we haven't even scratched the surface on the machinations that she's cooked-up. Will we ever learn about how she became so "informed?"
"Locke wants him (Desmond) dead, which means you're going to need him." -- Sayid
Desmond might just be Smokey's kryptonite. Why is mystery. However, I've been getting the feeling that with the rate of main character deaths in recent episodes, the "Real World" might be going the way of the dodo. Perhaps, nonexistence is the ultimate weapon in combating Smokey and whatever grandiose force is behind the Island. People in the Sideways are quickly remembering their other lives. While their lives are still dramatic, they are safe from the Island's grip, which seemed to pull them back, no matter how hard they resisted. If indeed the Real World is collapsing, then Desmond may be the key in helping the Losties in this unorthodox evacuation. Sideways Desmond also seems to be on just that mission, whether he's conscious of it or not.
"He (Locke) told me that he could kill any one of us whenever he wanted. So, what if he hasn't because -- he's not allowed to. What if he's trying to get us to kill each other?" -- Jack
The "rules" pertaining to the Island and Jacob have been alluded to in some form or another since we've known The Others. In all likelihood, those rules will be fully explained tonight. We already got an explanation of why Richard is ageless, but we're still rather clueless about nature of his "touch." In "Dr. Linus," Richard seemed to demonstrate familiarity with these "rules," as he knew that he could not kill himself and needed Jack to light the dynamite fuse if he was to die. However, it is clear a recipient of Jacob's touch is not beyond death's reach. Perhaps Jacob's touch is more like a gift to the Island. It ensures these people have fulfilled their roles before they experience a premature end. Sun and Jin (who were both touched by Jacob) may have already fulfilled their roles. Think of how many times Michael tried to commit suicide, only to fail in the most unlikely of ways (survived a car crash, loaded gun didn't fire, etc.) Seeing as Michael was a Candidate at one point, it seemed appropriate Smokey (in Christian Shephard guise) appeared to him in his final moment to tell him he "can go now." And as for Kate, who was also a former Candidate, Jacob took the trouble to cross her name off the list, which means she may have done whatever she needed to do. Jacob did not officially cross John Locke's name off that list. That has to mean something.
That's what happened. Here's what we hope goes down tonight:
1) "Across the Sea" is a critical juncture for Lost for a number of reasons. By telling the origins of Jacob and MIB, it risks demystifying the show's overall aura. If indeed, the role of Island "keeper" predates Jacob and MIB, then it also leaves us to wonder why their arguments about the nature of humanity (free will vs. destiny) has them so removed from humanity if they were at some point, human themselves. For the Gods of Greek myth, it would be an argument of how to implement and enforce their dominion, yet for former mortals stuck on a magic island, there's no reason it would equate to anything more than a philosophical argument that never leaves the boundaries of a college lecture hall. Why has this metaphysical argument become such a point of contention for these two that it would reach the point that it ultimately did?
2) I get the feeling the origin of the Island's "keeper" position will parallel what we've seen with "The Incident." People may somehow attempt to tap into an unimaginably powerful force, causing an irreversible destructive effect that must be kept at bay by someone sacrificing his/her life to take on the job of watching over the Island and perpetually abating that powerful force. I think that the Swan Hatch's "button" continues to be the fundamental metaphor for the forces behind the struggles on the show. It's a test of faith and character, which falls in line with the premise that in order for evil to be stopped and contained, a faith of some kind must be wielded. We've seen time and time again what disasters occur on this show when characters lose that faith.
3) Jacob's metaphor with the wine and cork in "Ab Aeterno" turned out to be the most poignant explanation of the Island's nature thus far. We know for certain that the Island contains evil or malevolence. However, are we still sure about exactly who or what that wine actually represents? Given the events of that episode, involving Man in Black's caper to get Jacob killed, it might be easy to assume the shoe fits on him. We know MIB was once human and remembers a life he once lived with a "crazy mother." Regardless of how he became the infamous Smoke Monster or how much of a douche he's been since, to pin the title of pure evil on him may still be a bit of a stretch. The identity of the "wine" could very well lead to the nature of the Island's electromagnetic properties, which has been a source of conflict to any group of people who's walked on the Island since the very beginning. Hopefully, we will get a look at the label on that metaphorical bottle.
4) Uh, guys...are we 100% sure that Frank is dead? He might have gotten rocked by the door, but it didn't look like a fatal hit. He may have gathered his wits at the last minute and swam back out. Right?
Patrick Klepek, Secretly Hoping The Island Is Actually A Spaceship:
1) I'm still not convinced Smokey was telling Jack the truth with the Christian possession confession. I also don't think Smokey was lying, either. It was a half-truth, one that rung true enough -- and pulled enough emotional heartstrings -- to get Jack on board with Smokey's plans to con the Candidates. Man in Black wants to get off the Island, right? We've seen no evidence that he can manifest himself off the Island in any capacity, unlike Jacob. If Man in Black says he was Christian, then he must have been showing up in Jack's off-Island visions, right? That assumes Man in Black was always assuming Christian's role. We have no evidence that Jacob can inhabit the visions of others (when Hurley encounters Charlie off-Island, we're lead to assume that's because Hurley has a bizarre connection with the afterlife), or Jack was imagining things (he was pretty messed up at the time), something's off.
2) Even though "The Candidate" has established Man in Black as a plain ol' villain, something tells me "Across the Sea" is going to make a valiant attempt to establish more of a grey area again -- at least, from his perspective. It's not like Lost to paint people as good or evil. Lost much prefers somewhere in the middle, as evidenced by Sayid's sudden turn towards enlightenment in the moments before he went boom. There didn't appear to be much reason for Man in Black to be lying about his past when sitting on the beach with Kate, mulling over a troubled past with his mother. Whether the the Losties believe Man in Black is right, however, is another matter. It'd be too easy for Lost to end with defeating some bad guy. If Lost is about the redemption of humanity, who better to underscore that than the ultimate con man (being?) himself?
3) If "Across the Sea" is going to chronicle the origins of both Jacob and Man in Black, I'm guessing we're going to see some cameos from some other time travelling characters. Specifically, I'm hoping Lost is going to provide some additional clarity about Eloise Hawking, someone who apparently knows a whole lot more about what's going on with the connection between reality and the Island, how two parallel worlds can exist in preparation for the players there "being ready" to understand the other side and, well, all this time travel nonsense we've been trying to understand since "Flashes Before Your Eyes" and "The Constant." She's the key.
2) Frank isn't dead. BELIEVE.