Monday, May 17, 2010

LOST: Across the Sea thoughts (and spoilers)

We're heading into the last week of LOST as a going concern, so you'll soon be rid of both my drawings and obsessing over it. Last week's episode was a major look into the origin's of the show's overarching mythology, and I've been struggling to decide how I feel about it ever since (not, you know, not-stop. I have taken breaks for snacks and sleeping and such).

Some spoiler-containing thoughts: I'm really glad that, after all the rampant fan theorizing about just what characters from religion or mythology Jacob, hir nemesis, and the previously only alluded-to "crazy mother" really were, it turns out that LOST has chosen to build its own mythology (albeit one with echoes and resonance with many existing religions and myths). It's a stronger story that way, and the writers don't need to worry about offending anyone with their take on existing religions.

I'll admit that in some ways my faith was a little shaken by this episode, particularly the moment when the Nameless Brother explained the origin of the time-shifting donkey wheel: we're going to turn this wheel to harness the light with water and that will get me off the island. Oh. What? It just felt like a half-baked answer cooked up after a mystery was introduced, and that makes me worry for the bigger questions. However, there was a line about "smart men" being in the camp coming up with this idea. Further elaboration on this could help a little.

The origin of the cave skeletons, on the other hand, was pretty satisfying to me.

Then there was the big reveal of the magical cave of glowing light and life. I had long ago stopped worrying just what made the island special, heal people, etc. and just accepted the island itself as a magical and precious commodity. This answer - and I think any answer would've - felt like a reveal that just wasn't needed.

As to the story as a whole, I’m feeling better about it by thinking of it as an ecological fable rather than a religious parable (though obviously there are some strong religious elements involved – “take this cup, drink from it, and become like me”). The light/water being a sacred life force that man could destroy if they try to use it? Smokey’s lines about digging into the ground and how there are some smart men who have ideas about how to harness it? These lines gain a little extra resonance with all that oil currently bleeding into the Gulf of Mexico.

I'm hesitant to come to to solid of a conclusion about how I feel about this episode yet. I have a feeling in the few remaining hours LOST has left, we may be getting further revelations that will color our perceptions of what we learned in "Across the Sea" (was mother always telling the truth? I kind of think not). Honestly, I'm kind of hoping we do anyway.

Oh, and Allison Janney is always great.

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