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After “Across the Sea” Is LOST Doomed?

By docarzt,

  Filed under: Lost
  Comments: 220

Here we are, almost to the end, and as predicted fans are already beginning to jump ship – or threatening to at least, I know you’ll all be there on the 23rd – based on their satisfaction level with specific answers and episodes. Yes, I’m talking about the hot topic of the moment: Across The Sea – or as some call it “The Worst Episode of LOST Ever.”

First let me say, I’ve been holding off on saying whether I liked “Across the Seao” or not – or even why.  Yes, I’ve shared my feelings with a few folks privately, and my grade on ODI’s Lostometer will probably shock or delight you depending on which side of the isle you are on, but this episode, more than any before, demands a pause.  It demands a reflection.  The more I speak to people about it and examine my own feelings on it, the more I think a better question here is “What was your expectation of the episode?”, because it seems that in most of the griping going around the conflict is between that quantity and what Damon and Carlton set out to accomplish.

“I Saw The Light, and it was Ridiculous” OR “Expect Too Much, Get Too Little… Guaranteed”

If you expected the island to be explained, and therefore put the magic cave of light in the category of ‘explanation,’ I can see why you are disappointed.  Did Damon and Carlton put the cave of light in the category of ‘explanation’ themselves?  Maybe a little, but I doubt it.  They have promised not to go midichlorian on us, which means they aren’t going to diffuse the magic.  I love the Star Wars analogies because, well, I love Star Wars, but if the midichlorian thing doesn’t work for you, try this:  how was God created?  Put your theology and new age permutations of the almighty on hold for a second – and I don’t even want to hear from the atheists – and consider what a ridiculous question that is.  You are talking about a question that if answered, or even taken seriously, would vaporize the foundation of religious faith.

I understand that based on personal belief the analogy might not work for you, so let me reign it in a little.  LOST is similar in this regard:  we all had faith that there was something magical about the island, it wasn’t until we took a peek down that cave and listened to Mother wax on Très vague about how important it was that anybody started to consider the magic of the island to be ‘ridiculous.’

The fact is, “Across The Sea” did not explain the magic of the island – it demonstrated how people on the island explained the island. It showed how people coveted the magic of the island, and what bad could come from said coveting.   We shouldn’t like Mother’s explanation any more than we do ManInBlack’s meddling with the unknown, or Jacob’s interpretation of the island’s power as the ultimate evil.  None of them understand it, and it wasn’t the intent of the episode that we would either.  So if the presentation of the island’s magic fell short of your expectations, GOOD!  It’s a mystery that is not meant to be explained.  The magical essence of the island is to LOST as God is to The Bible.  To understand would be to diffuse.  Or to return to the Star Wars analogies, it would have been to pull a Phantom Menace.  (This didn’t stop me from being just a little smug for having long postulated that the island’s magic was ‘pure potentiality’ or ‘left over creation energy.’  Which still doesn’t make me want to believe Mother.)

“Wasting Precious Story Time”

The story is what Damon and Carlton say it is.  The Season Five finale told us that our characters have been unwittingly participating in Jacob and ManInBlack’s games since… forever.  Taking an hour to tell why that game is going on to begin with is not a waste of time, it’s required.  In the face of the various minor mysteries that will never be answered, knowing ‘why’ these two characters did what they did  is not optional.

The struggle between Jacob and ManInBlack is, regardless of how satisfied you are with the telling, consistent with the themes of the show and very appropriate at this juncture in the story.  It resonates one of the more important social messages of LOST, the responsibility of parents;  and explores the tenuous nature of good and evil.

Even if it was bad, it’s still okay…

LOST has had bad episodes before.  “Stranger in a Strange Land” anyone?  Perfection may be the aim of any craftsman, but it is not the nature of any craft.  Story is examination.  Story, in other words, is science.  It is a chemistry experiment where the results sometimes resemble the magic of life.  It is also the product of craft and craftsmen.  Use the wrong tool, or lose focus, and you risk creating a disappointing piece – it doesn’t mean you can’t move on to create another masterpiece.

“Across the Sea” fails as an episode because it does not meet the expectations of the viewers.  Those who loved it, obviously, will disagree.  What is important to realize for those who are channeling their disappointment into dread about the three and a half hours that lay ahead is that it was your expectation that was let down, and because you were disappointed does not mean that LOST is doomed or that the story, which is much larger than this one hour by the way,  has somehow lost a pint of vital dramatic blood and is about to wither just short of the finish-slash-greatness line.

Can LOST Still Have a Great Ending?

People have been asking me why I’ve pulled back so much on this season of LOST.  I can answer that now.  Because, it is over.  In the words of Rose Nadler, I can let go now.   I find the fever pitch of speculation and hyper vigilance to be… well… annoying at this phase of the game.  I love the creative exercise of speculation, but from episode one of this season we’ve been receiving measured doses of LOST’s final beats.  It’s okay not to speculate anymore, all will soon be known.  I’m not being critical of those who still speculate, but at this stage in the game the exercise should be one of contextualizing what we learn instead of imagining what it may ‘really’ mean.  In most instances, the answers we get ARE the answers.  When there was no end in site, we could speculate without impunity.  Now we can go through the wonderful process of ‘getting’ the shows essential themes, and figuring out where they fit in over the last five years of characterization.

From the beginning, the mass of LOST’s mysteries have been driven by the creative force of this fandom.  We have made LOST much more of an intellectual exercise than it really is.  The diverse intelligence that ponders LOST from day to day has erected an exoskeleton of mythology, fueled by the show but none-the-less composed of foreign creativity.  LOST has always been the story of these people and their quest to find peace and purpose with themselves – and to struggle against their darker natures.  The magic and mystery was always part of the entertainment of LOST, but it is the character’s that make up the story.

I too bristle at the notion that the mysteries are of less importance, because I have – like many of you – spent a lot of time trying to figure out how the mysteries of LOST sub textually intertwine with the dramatic lives of these characters.  They don’t.   And that makes perfect sense because if our characters make decisions based on indefinable magic caves, then they cease being human beings I can relate with.

If there is a moment of crystallization where suddenly everything makes sense in a single stroke of story logic, I’ll be one of the happiest people on the planet – but really, at this point for LOST to go down in history as a great story it only needs to finish what it started with these characters and the themes of humanity and self-examination that  have been there from the beginning.   There is plenty of time to do that.  Oh, and a final scene that acts as one last puzzle for the fans would be fantastic as well.  Please?

From TVFrenzy:

  • jemron

    Well said. It’s the grander scheme that I think Lost is trying to make us ponder that makes this show great to me. The truth is that we (nor the Lost creators) have all the answers to life’s greatest questions, but the stories and mysteries and characters of this great show make us questions those grander questions, and that is okay for me. I, like many fans, wasn’t at first totally happy with “Across the Sea” but as I’ve had time to discuss it with other friends/fans and ponder the themes behind it, rather than the episode at face value, I’ve come to like it more and more for not giving me all the answers. I think this was a preparation for us to “let go” as you said, and I think that the finale will very likely make many of us feel the same. It will take weeks or even months or years of pondering and re-considering to truly feel satisfied with how it will end, IMO. I’m preparing myself for that, and I already feel better about however the show ends because of it. But I, like you, also wouldn’t mind if there were one or two super revelatory scenes in the finale that put many of the mysteries into perspective. I’m just not holding my breath that that will actually happen.

    • docarzt

      Right in a sense of fable… the island is earth, and the magic of earth is god. it’s symbolism. the ‘society’ of the castaways has always been the ‘societies’ of the world, and the ‘others’ are our sense of alienation from other countries… etc… to delve into the magic would be tantamount to asking “who made god?”.

      • drfitz44

        I agree… I was disappointed with the episode but that is my own fault because I was asking the wrong questions of my own curiosity about what I wanted to see and wanted answered. But to let the story just happen as it happens is something I am finally learning.

  • jemron

    “neither we (nor the writers)*

  • Newbie

    Right-on!

  • RichPundit

    WOW, my “Buddy” DocArzt …

    hasn’t Darlton for years repeatedly hyped a pile of LOST mysteries/mythology with their promised satisfying answers? Clearly, Darlton repeatedly created and amplified our expectations, and so Darlton and the PTBs are directly responsible and should be held accountable for the mass disappointment of unsatisfying answers as they repeatedly don’t deliver as they repeatedly promised.

    They scammed us, eh? Why the free pass after six years of your, mine and many others dedication and commitment to LOST. Yes we all enjoyed the ride, but we were clearly scammed! How many words and posts have you personally contributed over 6 years that enabled this LOST scam?

    A little integrity for we little guys please.

    • JDR22

      I would watch to the end before making such accusations.

      • OtherJacob

        Agreed.

    • docarzt

      Some would argue that much of that payoff came along the way. Mysteries such as what is in the hatch, who is dharma, who are the others, how did Ben rise to power, etc… all answered along the way.

      It’s always been a world full of speculators and theorizers against ONE writers room. Even there, that room has shifted over the years – the only consistent story-telling force is two people.

      What I’m saying is that the pitch for answers is fueled by speculation. Much of LOST has developed on the other side of the fourth-wall, outside of their universe. Look at the anticipation over “What is in the hatch?”, without question one of LOST’s best played mysteries. The amount of speculation, theory, and project over how those theories would impact the future course of the show is absolutely staggering.

      • Slimchicken

        I agree that the demand for answers is a bit overwrought, but in many cases it is not unwarranted given the plot that was laid before us. I don’t want answers so much as I wanted resolution. For example, you mention that we were told who Dharma was. True, but who cares? What I want to know is why they even matter. For two or three years we were led to believe Dharma (or the Others for that matter) was a central to the greater narrative and somehow significant in understanding the Island. Turns out it’s not important at all. This is true of a number of pretty major narrative elements (e.g. pregnancy problems).

        To build interest in these elements only to ignore and replace them in the final chapter by some mythological battle between supernatural beings is a major storytelling failure. Nothing that came before matters. At this point, the main characters don’t even matter. They’re absolutely secondary to MIB and whatever happens to him. Their fates are directly tied to his. He didn’t even exist until this season.

        • JDR22

          Good points.

          I would argue that the MiB has been there all along…he’s the Smoke Monster. I know what you mean, though.

          That said, you hit the nail on the head when you say that we need resolution, not just answers.

          I’m still holding out for an eleventh-hour revelation that will address these issues, but maybe it’s just wishful thinking.

          • Slimchicken

            I don’t expect resolution on much of anything but I do hope that the narrative focus will shift back onto the main characters and that we get an ending that serves them well. Admittedly, I’m not holding my breath.

            As for the Smoke Monster, yes, I think you get my meaning. It’s been there since the beginning, sure, but I don’t think there was any foreshadowing to speak of that would indicate that it was the show’s primary villain. And it certainly wasn’t implied in any way that it could take on human form, particularly the form of a character we wouldn’t know existed until the finale of the penultimate season.

        • Chad Geri

          I disagree that it’s a storytelling failure. It’s simply layers of mystery being pulled back to reveal a deeper struggle with greater stakes underlying what we originally thought was so important. I consider it genius storytelling.

          • Baldi

            I agree. In the Wizard of Oz,remember how late in the story that we find out the Wizard is actually Prof. Marvel.

      • imfromthefuture

        Yes doc ur right on here.. and bottom line is from my perspective is we have all watch the last five years of lost enjoying the ride, anticipating what will come next, and just loving what they show us. This season people have to decided to watch with their check list of what must be answered, and if it is not answered they are going apeshit. I for one of have watched the show with zero expectations and have really enjoyed this season.. I am def hoping for a big payoff.. but after six years of not being let down by lost i dont automatically expect to be now.. Too many pessimists in this world man.

        • grayslostgirl

          Imfromthefuture, that has been my philosophy from the beginning. I go for the ride. All the mysteries and lore makes it great. Besides, we don’t have the end of the book yet, but it’s been a great book so far. Who cares about half of the “mysteries” anyways? Why does that have to be so important? I like that Jack is a better man now. I hate that Kate hasn’t changed a bit. I feel the agony of Sawyer losing someone he had grown to love for three years…I could go on and on with each character. Does good always win? NO. Even in the Stand, Randall Flagg is reborn to start his evil and chaos all over, and even though I wanted him obliterated to nothing, the story was great and I suspect Lost will be as well. I dread 3.5 hours left because then it will be the end.

      • drfitz44

        In this episode the mother said something very smart which is true concerning the fans and wanting answers. She said, ‘the more answers I give you, the more questions you’ll have’ (or something along those lines).. And that is true. I will no doubt have more questions after the finale, and some things that have bothered me for seasons will not be answered, and I am fine with that. It’s the nature of the show.

        • RichPundit

          Yeah, “the nature of the show” … a 6-year and counting commercial scam!

    • allen

      Please do not defend the writers unconditionally, they led us to believe they had all the answers all along, and now we see they were writing it from season to season.

      • ian

        dude, you obviously have NO IDEA how a writer’s process works. Every story you’ve ever heard, from Harry Potter to the Dark Tower to Haroun and the Sea of Stories was “made up as they went along”. The writers have stayed true to what the show’s about since Day One. Also, how many freakin’ “answers” do you greedy-ass people need? It’s a god damn story, not a history lesson. From the first episode I have been enjoying the story that THE WRITERS are telling. It’s not my story. It’s not going to happen the way I would write it. If you want a story that goes exactly the way you want it, you should get off your ass and write one. Ingrates.

        • Slimchicken

          It’s true that the writing process involves letting the story evolve. The problem, however, is that the most important part of writing is editing. It’s the second, third, and fourth draft of a novel that ensure the story is well told. The Lost creators didn’t have the luxury of editing a finished draft, and, in my opinion, their storytelling has suffered for it. I am not greedy for answers, but I did hope that central plot elements would reach a conclusion. Very few, if any, have. It’s just one idea and on to the next without much concern with what came before.

          • ian

            i’m curious, and not attacking at all, here. what plot elements did you think were brought to a poor conclusion? I know people have complained about the whispers answer, but i personally think that was underplayed because the whispers have a big role to play in this final act, and their actions will help us to understand their true nature.

            Also, when I went back and rewatched season 1, it seemed to me like they were definitely setting up the idea that their were two battling brothers who brought these people to the island for a purpose.

            I don’t know, I just think that people had expectations that weren’t too high, they were too specific. So when Across the Sea didn’t tell the story of Jacob and MIB exactly the way THEY envisioned it, they say it was a terrible episode and that the writers are a bunch of idiots.

            Finally, I think that TPTB are going to use these last 3 1/2 hours as a way to deepen our understanding of the island’s mysteries through example, rather than didacticly having someone “tell” someone the answer. I think people should wait until the 24th to decide whether or not the writers made good on their promises.

          • Slimchicken

            Thanks for the question, Ian. I agree, if this late in the game you just now start having problems, it’s a little hard to understand. Trust me. My frustration did not begin recently, and it’s not a result of the answers we’ve recently been given. While I thought the “Across the Sea” episode was pretty poorly executed and badly timed, I don’t have any particular problem with it.

            My frustrations go back much farther and probably began as early as season three. To me there were a number of key threads that were not satisfactorily resolved based on their seeming importance. First and foremost in my mind is the entire Dharma Initiative. For as much time as was spent on the mystery of Dharma, to discover that the entire project was of so little consequence to the greater narrative was a major disappointment, and I think a failure in the storytelling. In retrospect it’s hard to ascertain what value Dharma provided the story other than allowing for some cool sets and a little 70s throwback. I think the entire birth problem storyline, the seeming importance of Aaron, and the specialness of Walt fall into this category as well. Each was positioned as having major significance only to be entirely ignored.

            Ultimately, what has frustrated me most is the constant addition of new characters and radical plot devices (e.g. time travel) – the effect of which has been to move the story so far off its foundation that it’s hard to recognize as Lost anymore. The addition of MIB to me was too much of a deus ex machina, and unfortunately I feel like at this point his story is presented as far more important than even our main characters. I have no idea what is at stake for them. I’ve no sense of their goal. At this point in the story, I believe that should be clear.

            That of course is only my opinion. And since I’m still here posting comments, I do acknowledge that the writers have done much to keep me intrigued and ultimately well by me. Perhaps if the first two seasons hadn’t been so outstanding, I wouldn’t have held such high expectations and been so disappointed. They’re damned by their own success, I guess.

          • sabrina

            I clearly remember an interview with Darlton from a few years ago in which they said that the whole segment about the Dharma Initiative was expendable basically. That it was an idea that they fleshed out and used to fill out the series because it had been picked up by ABC for more seasons and they needed more material. They said that the DI never even needed to be included in the series and Lost would still have been complete. If you think back, it’s true. It’s an interesting add-on but essentially of little worth to the over-all story.

          • Slimchicken

            Really, Sabrina? Wow. That’s disheartening, although I guess refreshingly honest. But what a curious way to approach expanding the scope of the show. Why add an element like Dharma and present it as absolutely fundamental to the plot if you know in advance it’s not? Seems extremely disingenuous. Makes me wonder what ultimately the writers think from the early seasons WAS important.

          • Henry Holland

            Great posts, I agree with all you’ve written. I get it, stuff happens: they had big plans for Mr. Eko but AAA finally got the go ahead for a project he’d been working on for years and wanted to leave, for example.

            And to find out that the DI was essentially filler is really disheartening, because it’s what hooked me on the show! I was ready to abandon ship in season 2 but seeing that blast door map and having it decoded hooked me bad.

            For me, most of the show has turned out to be filler! I guarantee that if they’d set up the story as Jacob v. MIB over who guards the Island from the beginning, they’d have never made it to 3 seasons, nobody would have cared. It was tropical polar bears and hatches and dead people talking to the living that got people coming back, not quasi-profound theological debates. So, to now spend the last season basically saying “Hey, all those 815ers, whatever, HERE is the main story” feels like a cheat.

      • andrejs

        Bob Dylan sez : What looks large from a distance, close up is never that big.

    • Chad Geri

      Dude, how could you honestly say that when you haven’t seen the whole thing play out yet? There’s still plenty of time for some game-changing revelations. I’m reserving judgment.

      • ian

        exactly. TPTB are saving a few big game-changing “answers” for the finale. I don’t understand why people who have enjoyed being confused by a show for six years are suddenly pissed because they’re still confused. That’s what I like about LOST! I would be royally pissed if all the important answers were given before the finale. Then the finale would just be like some stupid action movie or an episode of 24. I personally am psyched that I still have a ton of questions, that’s what I enjoy about LOST in the first place. Not to mention, any questions that TPTB don’t explicitly answer, I’ve come up with awesome answers in my own mind that are consistent with what we’ve been shown. I think that’s the great part of this show. It allows different people to maintain different opinions about what’s really going on on the island.

        • The Black Rock

          Ultimately you’re correct, but you don’t have to be so condescendingly arrogant about it.

          What’s bothering MANY of us is that we’ve endured vague conversations, characters’ questions that were interrupted by phone calls or other plot devices, so much pointless murdering, and just a few episodes from the end we’re still getting more of the same with newly introduced characters to boot.

          Yes, it’s Cuse and Lindelof’s story to tell but we do NOT have to like it how they’re choosing to end it. We are entitled to our expectations and we’re entitled to be either thrilled by the ending or disappointed by it. But given these past few episodes it’s looking to being a disappointing ending. Look, it’s the Star Wars problem: everyone loved the first set in the 70s/80s, but despised the recent ones. In both cases you could say that it’s the writers’ perogative but the popular vote is undeniable.

          • jimmyzer00

            I don’t think you were being condescending at all, ian. And I think Dharma had a huge part to play in this show, especially last season, and the war between brothers has been forshadowed since the whole Bad Twin thing, which is the only part of the Lost Experience that was considered canon.

      • Henry Holland

        the whole Bad Twin thing, which is the only part of the Lost Experience that was considered canon

        Not true (from Lostpedia’s Lost Experience section):

        Damon Lindelof: I would say in terms of all the… background that we did, in terms of the Valenzetti equation and explaining the formation of the Hanso Foundation and doing the other films…we’d consider that stuff canon to the show.

        So, all that stuff was canon and they just pissed it away.

        What’s bothering MANY of us is that we’ve endured vague conversations, characters’ questions that were interrupted by phone calls or other plot devices, so much pointless murdering, and just a few episodes from the end we’re still getting more of the same with newly introduced characters to boot

        That’s exactly how I feel. They can make jokey references to it like Mother saying “questions only lead to more questions” but f**k that, even after they were given the final number of episodes, so much of it feels like padding, time-wasting stuff.

    • Jason

      That has to be the silliest sentiment I’ve read yet, and I fear a lot of other poeple feel the same way. I believe they promised “answers”–your mileage may vary in the degree of satisfaction you gain from them. They have also stated many times (even in the most recent podcast) that not everything would be answered, and not every answer would be as thorough as some people might like.

      After six years of this show, why do you feel like they’d suddenly change thier M.O. just because it’s ending? What, exactly, would have satisfied you with this episode? Perhaps if they’d been from space? or time-travelers protecting pockets of electro-magnetic energy from people that they know at some point are doomed to exploit it? That’s the problem of building people’s expectations…eventually you hit a point where some of them will not be satisfied with anything.

  • Ceartly

    Well done, Doc.

    • jimmyzer00

      Agree, you’re the man, Doc!

  • Rams

    That was a very well written and astute article. I enjoyed it a lot. Thanks!

  • William

    I removed Lost from my To Record list on my Tivo. I have no problem with the fact 99% of the people who didn’t like this episode will still tune into the finale.

    The thing is, as someone said earlier on another thread, D and C are almost peerless in creating the questions and the mystery. I don’t know of a show in history that has done such a good job of that. Kudos to them for sure.

    However, they have been the worst in answering the questions they themselves bring forth in their own show. Their interview after Across The Sea pretty much solidified my opinion.

    I have enjoyed watching the mysteries and questions crop up during the show’s first five years. I went into the final season fully understanding some of the more minor polot points would not be addressed. Some mysteries always remain unsolved sure. But here we are, less than 4 hours left, and they really have not answered much of anything of importance.

    Take some time and write down the 10 most important questions you would like them to address before the series ends. Its ok I’ll wait. Ok. I bet you could have written double that easily right? Here are 10 of mine just off the top of my head:

    Why can’t women have children on the island?
    Why can Hurley see dead people?
    What is Jacob’s cabin?
    Why was Walt so special?
    Why did the Others were disguises on their own island?
    Who built the statue and the temple?
    Why is the Light the source of life yet is worse than death?
    What is the smoke monster?
    Why are the dead trapped on the island?
    Why could Ben and Widmore not kill each other in Widmore’s bedroom?

    With so little time left, I would wager that no more than two of these get addressed. Look at your list. How many do you think will get answered?

    There are those of you who could care less if they answer anything. If the show ends showing the island as the dream of Vincent you will cheer and cry and make May 23 Darlton Day. Cool. I’m glad.

    But I have given up my last hopes that the great mysteries and questions Damon and Carlton have introduced to us over the years will be resolved in any meaningful way. So yes with less than 4 hours left I am done.

    Some of you say that the imagination is the best way to answer the questions posed by Lost. Well I am going to do just that.

    • Rishi Mehta

      It is funny how people say they are done with LOST, but still keep watching. Hey William why do you keep comming on this site you post your comments if you are done with LOST ?

      • Ben’s Glasses

        It’s funny how the Darlton defenders can’t just let other people have a differing opinion without sniping.

        • Nick Stevens

          Possibly because many are not just voicing their concerns, they are also attacking those who are still enjoying the show like above: “If the show ends showing the island as the dream of Vincent you will cheer and cry and make May 23 Darlton Day. Cool. I’m glad”

          So really who is taking shots at who, here? Frankly it seems like the fanbase is going to war on ITSELF over whether or not the show SHOULD be enjoyed… ridiculous much?

          Everybody just needs to clam down if person A now hates the show there’s no need for him to bash B for still enjoying it and, importantly, vice versa.

          • Nick Stevens

            And, obviously, I meant to say “calm down”… Although “clam down” does present some intriguing possible interpretations.

        • docarzt

          To be clear, I’m not bashing anybody… I find the behavior of people who are judging the show based on these finite criteria to be puzzling. I’m sure plenty of people will hate the ending. The point is, it isn’t over… and how satisfying the answer to any single mystery is is not the criteria for judging the ‘story.’

          • jimmyzer00

            Not to mention that most of those questions were more or less answered through context and inferral, but I guess some people are really expecting the last episode to be 2 hours of Pierre Chang with a slideshow explaining exactly how people on a fictional fantasy show can talk to ghosts and stuff.

            MAGIC ISLAND IS MAGIC

          • drfitz44

            Agreed… If this show ends with Jack waking up next to his wife and everything was a dream, I wouldn’t care. Like I said, things will be answered, and things will not be answered. The show is about the characters, not the magic/other stuff. It’s like arguing that the writers of Star Trek failed cause they did not fully explain how exactly the enterprise really flew through space, or on a lighter note why captain Kirk didn’t get space herpes from all the alien women he was with. Bottom line for me, I love the show, and the whole ending is not what will break the show for me.

          • Jason

            “Magic Island is Magic” made my day 🙂

          • sebastian81

            I politely disagree with your position. If I tell you to come with me to watch a great scifi movie, but I lied and it turns out to be an excellent chick flick movie, maybe the best in its genre. Would you be happy? I’m sure you could appreciate the quality but you would be disappointed. That’s the way some fans feel. They sold us a show during the first 3 seasons that has nothing to do with what we are experiencing. Also, Lost built his fan base by introducing mysteries, maybe not you, but a lot of people including myself watched the show for answers. People say it’s all about the characters… well, only 4 live and we don’t know what the hell they returned to the island in the first place. It’s not an “answer to a single mystery”, it’s the narrative and how the writers engage attention by posing irrelevant mysteries with no resolution which has some fans jaded.

    • hahaha

      Then the joke’s on you, friend.

      Your reasons for giving up now are only serving as an attempt to justify your stupidity. I know that some of the questions you have will be answered, but will you find out? No, because you’re too busy pouting and writing articles about how you won’t watch TWO more episodes of a show you’ve followed for SIX seasons.

      If you follow through with it, you don’t deserve to see the remaining hours.

      Please.

      • Rishi Mehta

        Yeah, exactly I mean if he quit watching after season 3, or some other season then fine. I think William is afraid to watch the last 2 episodes because he is afraid how LOST is going to end, and like some people who is just going to say I am done watching.

        • jimmyzer00

          Of course he’s gonna watch.

      • Jason

        Yep–I have friends that quit during season 2 and I completely understood their reasoning. To quit now seems utterly ridiculous. To quote “Gladiator:”

        Were you not entertained?

    • docarzt

      Well, for starters… the show isn’t over yet. So lining up a bunch of questions that are unanswered really doesn’t make much sense. That said, I think some of them have been answered – or will be.

      Why can’t women have children on the island?

      The incident was responsible for this. I believe the others knew in their history that the incident was caused by the oceanic 815 people who traveled back in time. Richard acknowledged thinking that he had seen them die.

      Why can Hurley see dead people?

      Why does any psychic have powers? We don’t know. Why does Carrie have powers in Stephen King’s book? It doesn’t matter, because it is a story about what happens with that character when she develops them… not why she developed them.

      What is Jacob’s cabin?

      I’d love to know myself, but it clearly wasn’t Jacob’s cabin. Ben was lying to John when he brought him there. Maybe the ‘cabin’ was merely erected on one of the island’s energy spots. Maybe it was what Jacob used to get off the island?

      Why was Walt so special?

      Again, that’s asking for midichlorians. Why do people have psychic abilities? I think it has something to do with the pineal gland, right?


      Why did the Others were disguises on their own island?

      In case they ran into new-comers. They were trying to hide the fact that the dharma stuff still existed. In Ben’s era of the others, they moved from the jungles to dharmaville.

      Who built the statue and the temple?

      Again, no over yet… but it appears there has been a constant stream of unexpected settlers to the island who always wind up fighting over the island’s power and wiping themselves out. So obviously, some egyptians wound up there at some point.

      Why is the Light the source of life yet is worse than death?

      See above. We aren’t supposed to buy any character’s interpretation of the island’s power. It could be waste water from a crashed UFO for all we know. The character’s tell us what it is from their experience.

      What is the smoke monster?

      Super evolved consciousness?

      Why are the dead trapped on the island?

      Something tells me they will answer this one.

      Why could Ben and Widmore not kill each other in Widmore’s bedroom?

      Didn’t we learn that Jacob and MIB’s belief that they couldn’t kill one another was founded in them falling for their mother’s lie? Jacob could have killed MIB. She totally made that up. This belief system though filtered out into the others via jacob and richard. Ben and widmore simply believe they can’t kill each other. It’s faith.

      • Nick Stevens

        Nice one, Doc! I say this because you answered the ‘Hurley’s Powers’ question with the exact same reference I was considering. I guess you beat me to it.

      • Josh

        I had a feeling the light was a cage, like an electromagnetic one which kept somkey in and when Jacob threw his brother in it got destoryed.

        But I see little point in getting annoyed, we might end up enjoying this episode more once we get more answers in the next few eps (Mark Peg has said alot of this gets answered, that he knows anyway). But not matter how Lost ends, whatever happened happened.

      • lostinnashville

        Great article Doc!

        On a talk show this week Evangeline Lilly was asked if she knew how Lost ends. She said, in effect, I know how my character perceives the end, but I haven’t read anyone else’s script.” I want to believe that will be the experience for viewers and will encourage more chatter and arguing at docarzt.com.

      • DeSelby

        The black smoke I think is the Yin to the Light’s Yang.

        The only real problem I have with Walt isn’t that we didn’t get a reductionist explanation of his powers, but that we didn’t really see what his powers are (except “appearing where he isn’t supposed to be,” which seemed to have little purpose or reason).

        I like the interpretation of not being able to kill as a self-fulfilling propechy.

        • Nick Stevens

          Walt could also seemingly ‘summon’ creatures to his location. It was an odd power set. lol

          • jimmyzer00

            Lets not forget that he also can seemingly throw knives perfectly

      • Slimchicken

        Thanks for taking the time to provide your assessment, Doc. I believe answers to some of these questions are unnecessary (like who built the statue, for example). But I do think a couple of the answers are insufficient because they did not resolve what were key elements of the plot as presented. If the answer to the question “Why can’t women bear children on the island?” is because the Incident was responsible, then that was understood at the moment the question was asked. It’s just plot in the round. What wasn’t resolved is why that was important enough to spend a couple of seasons exploring, how Claire and, particularly, Sun were able to defy this, or the implied significance of these births. In all sincerity, it was a storyline I never really cared about, but it was a major one and I can understand completely why many feel that particular subplot was ignored or abandoned.

        • Rams

          Claire conceived off-Island, and Sun gave birth off-Island. I don’t see any inconsistency in that as explained by Juliet. The minute Richard Alpert told Locke that Ben had been distracting them with novelties like fertility problems, I knew we were never going to get a proper answer to that. Does it justify all the time they spent on it- probably not, but it sure made for good drama.

          • Slimchicken

            Good points. I admittedly had forgotten exactly how the births played out. I concede that as presented this at least makes logical sense. I still feel it wasn’t adequately resolved and served, like you said, as a distraction and basically a red herring. That would be fine if everything else presented as hugely important wasn’t pretty much a red herring as well.

          • jon

            So you can conceive and be fine
            or you can birth and be fine
            but doing both kills you
            The incident isn’t a real explanation. They might as well have flashed “MAGIC” on the screen as an explanation.

      • briguyx

        I think we got an answer as to why both the Others and the Dharma Initiative were looking for “special” children. Dharma because they wanted to advance the human condition through science and the Others I think because we learned this week MIB has extra sensory powers as a child and they were looking for another child like that so he could be a candidate.

        As to the cabin, I think there was nothing special about it. Ben brought Locke there to try to pull the wool over his eyes and con him that he was actually talking to Jacob and MIB used the opportunity to get John on the road to leaving the island by appearing and saying “Help me.” It’s possible MIB wasn’t a prisoner in the cabin at all.

        I thought this season would be one long version of “Expose” where we saw the earlier seasons through the prism of MIB’s long con, but Darlton left it up to us to figure out how it all fits together.

    • Newbie

      but — it still kind’a sucks that we don’t get those answers

    • hulu

      well, you don’t need to tivo it because it comes on hulu.com within 3-4 hours of its PST airing, so your posturing is just a non-statement.

    • Burley Hurley

      Come on, dude. Let’s not get melodramatic here. I thought it sucked, too, and that every one of your points is valid. But we all know every one of us, you included, will be watching the next two episodes.

  • bribrim

    enjoyed the article. after the episode ended, i was left with a feeling as if i had missed a few episodes. i’m not saying it’s a bad thing at all. in fact, i plan to go back and re-watch some episodes just for reference. i think the shocking thing for most people (which will fade with time), is that “across the sea” came out of left field so to speak. but let’s face it… a really great show always creates controversy. as you said, ALL of us will be there for the final.

  • Ben’s Glasses

    A lot of people will give the series thumbs up after the finale regardless of quality simply because when you’ve invested so much time and energy into a fandom you will spin like mad to see it in a good light when it goes bad. Otherwise you feel like a fool.

    I’m not accusing anyone here, especially not Doc. Just saying in general.

    • RichPundit

      Behaviour 101: “Cognitive Dissonance” (Festinger, 1957).

      btw if interested, you can quickly bing, wiki or google it for more detail.

    • Chad Geri

      That might be true if I had a sick feeling in my stomach while watching but later talked myself into liking it. But instead I sit there thrilled the entire time, thinking to myself, “Man, every second of this show is amazing. Wish every show could be like this.” That’s not cognitive dissonance, it’s genuine enjoyment.

      • Nick Turner

        Agreed

      • jimmyzer00

        😀

    • Jason

      Some of us might actually believe that, even if the ending isn’t entirely satisfying (and really, how can it be at this point?), it doesn’t take away from the 5 and a half great seasons the show’s given us. It’s more foolish to me to judge a 100+ episode show on the quality of how well it’s “answers” met your expectations. If that’s what you’ve been counting on this entire time you were pretty much doomed from the beginning.

  • Ben’s Glasses

    I’d like to add that I think the mysteries being not addressed a lot would have gone down better this season if they had spent more time on relationships – fully developed and resolved the dreaded K/J/S triangle for starters. But if they withhold romantic drama and then also withhold answers, what do they expect?

  • lennyg

    A hasty judgment is a first step to recantation.
    Publilius Syrus

    Relax until after May 23, Wait for it, wait for it…

  • heydoc

    hey doc,

    i have no problem with not judging the reveals (and non-reveals) of Across the Sea until after the finale. my problem with AtS is the poor scripting, acting, and storytelling. LOST is usually masterful at visual storytelling, tangential dialogues, and character arcs. this episode, however, was written like an outline – the characters might as well have been talking directly to the camera, at us, delineating their reveals one by one. reminded me of an episode-long version of the whispers reveal btwn hurley & michael. it was clear that the actors could not get into the characters, what with such broad dialogue. just wanna remind the LOST writers and producers that just cuz this series is almost over doesn’t mean they aren’t held to the same standard of excellence that they always were. (ok i’ll get off my soapbox now!)

    • Burley Hurley

      Okay, sure, the episode was subpar. But poor acting? On whose part? For me, the acting was the one thing about the show I enjoyed–right across the board. This was a bad, idiotic script, badly and idiotically directed, but portrayed by some seriously amazing actors.

      • JDR22

        I felt that the script, editing, and effects were the main culprits.

        The director and actors did what they could with the material.

        • I totally agree with you, heydoc. I feel like LOST feels that I am stupid or something when I watch stuff like Across the Sea and Michael’s explanation of the Whispers. I don’t need these things told to me like I am watching Sesame Street. There is no passion or emotion from the actors when they are having to deliver reveals like many of the ones we’ve seen this season.

        • Slimchicken

          2 out of 5 ain’t bad!

          • JDR22

            Indeed!

            I could have listed the score as one good aspect, but I still can’t get over the fairy music during the Magical Mystery Cave reveal.

      • Matt

        “This was a bad, idiotic script, badly and idiotically directed, but portrayed by some seriously amazing actors.”

        The idea that the person who wrote this insipid sentence intends to insult a writer is a contextual and conceptual affront to the English language

  • mike

    Well written

    People, not only does Lost still have a hour next week, but the a 2 and 1/2 hour finale!!! That’s almost 4 episodes to wrap this amazing show up

    You can complain about one episode (I personally liked it) but don’t knock the show for not solving your questions till 11:30 on May 23rd

  • Adam

    Its funny Doc all of us LOST fans are going through the 5 stages of grief in a way.
    Step 1 – Denial: “They aren’t going to answer our questions” or “there’s no way they can wrap it up in 4 hours.”
    Step 2 – Anger: “This is just ridiculous!” or “I’m not watching this show anymore even though there’s only 2 episodes left!”
    Step 3 – Bargaining: “OK maybe I’ll watch it because they said they were going to answer the questions. They HAVE to because they said they would!”
    Step 4 – Depression: We all know we are going to be sad all summer because there will be no more LOST.
    Step 5 – Acceptance: Optimists and pessimists alike will tune in for the finale. People will see the end, Rave about it or b*tch and moan all summer. Then the optimists will never forget the best show on TV, and the pessimists and over-thinkers will move on to another show that they can whine about because it doesn’t cater to them personally in the end.

    I love LOST and will always love LOST. It has to end sometime. You don’t think that people would complain if they carried it on 3 more seasons and it got so ridiculous with random new characters and crazy storylines. Or even a whole new plane full of new survivors and more backstories and super powers. Anyway I know it will be disappointing to some and great for others. Regardless I will enjoy it because it is the best show on TV!!

    • Nick Stevens

      Dude, you have to realise they have a right to complain. There’s no need to attack ’em for it.

      • Adam

        Im not attacking. Just making an observation. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion.

        • Adam

          And I guess you didn’t get the humor in what I was saying. My friend gets all mad about it and it’s understandable but I still love the show.

          • Nick Stevens

            If you were trying to be humorous then you’re right, I didn’t see it. But then in the face of I don’t know how many other posts which say similar things to yours WITHOUT trying to be funny, it’s not that surprising.

            Also I don’t mean to come across as a dick (I follow Wheaton’s Law) I’m just trying – almost certainly in vain – to stop the fan base from attacking itself over a ridiculous issue: whether it’s okay or not to enjoy a TV show.

          • Adam

            That’s cool man I understand what your saying. I didn’t mean to come across as an ass either. Like I said I was just making an observation. But man the more and more you try to stop millions of people from attacking each other over a TV show, you’re just going to get more and more frustrated. That’s why I haven’t said anything on this site in months because regardless of what I say there will ALWAYS be a difference in opinion.

          • Adam

            And obviously it was more sarcasm than humor. It wasn’t a gut-buster by any means.

          • Nick Stevens

            Yeah, too true. It IS frustrating and also totally baffling. I personally love the show, but I feel no need whatsoever to shove it down the throats of fans who are losing faith in it. On the flip side I don’t know why the fact that those still enjoying the show should be such an affront to those that don’t that they have to bash them for it.

            Or, to quote myself from above, we all need to clam down. Typo intentional.

          • Adam

            Agreed!

        • Casey

          I thought it was pretty funny. And true.

          • meems

            I got the humor. I thought it was very funny!

          • Nick Stevens

            Seems I was alone, Adam. 😀

  • popokigirl

    Getting a weeensy bit tired of people saying that the reason some of us didn’t like this episode is because we had “too many expectations,” the “wrong expectations,” blah blah blah.

    For better or for worse, “Lost” has made a great deal of hay with its allusions, both to pop culture and mythology/religion. Well, sometimes those allusions can bite you in the a**, so when you show a cheesy log flume ride with a dopey glowing gold light, you gotta expect that some people are going to crack up saying…

    “Go into the light, my children. Cross over…”

    OR

    “Hey, look, it’s the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.”

    OR

    “Follow the yellow brick road.”

    OR

    “Look, it’s the Wood Between The Worlds” OR “it’s that stable with the golden light coming out of it”, both from The Chronicles of Narnia.

    Leave it as the bright light MIB sees through the cavern, or the one we saw through all those flashes, etc. Stop with the cheesy dialogue. If you can’t do the big reveal well, please just leave it as mysterious.

    Hey, just thought of this: wonder if the reason reformers in England during the schism believed that it was just wrong to provide visual representations of religious/mythological (tomato/tomahto, all dependent upon your POV) figures/ideas was because those visual representations are effable descriptions of the ineffable…thereby depriving the ineffable of its ineffableness (is that even a word?)?

    This is not the first time I’ve been disappointed this season, and I am certain it won’t be the last. My expectations, such as they are, were that the story would continue to focus on the characters we have invested so much time in over the last 5 years, and not reduce them to pawns in a game between two character-come-latelys.

    • DeSelby

      If you’re certain you’ll be disappointed, is it even possible to actually be disappointed? Disappointment implies expectations not met. So, if the finale turns out awesome, maybe *then* you’ll be disappointed.

  • Casey

    Doc wrote: “Put your theology and new age permutations of the almighty on hold for a second – and I don’t even want to hear from the atheists – and consider what a ridiculous question that is.”

    All due respect, but is there a bias on this site? Is it a believers only site or something? Atheist opinions aren’t welcome? Not cool. Just imagine what would happen if you said “I don’t even want to hear from the Jews (or the Christians, or the Muslims, what have you).”

    Not cool Doc.

    • haha go ahead Casey, ignore the context. ;). My point was if you are an atheist, my entire analogy falls on its face. 😉

      • dharmalchemist

        I’m agnostic and have no problem with what Doc said at all.

        • Nick Stevens

          Hey me too. 🙂

          • jimmyzer00

            Me toooooooooooo

      • Casey

        Okay. I get what you are saying. Sorry for the knee-jerk reaction. When you live in a place where you are pretty much the only atheist around, you can get a little defensive.

        But no, your analogy doesn’t fall flat on its face for me. You talk about the futility of wondering who created God, and I feel the same way when trying to contemplate the size of the Universe. Ask yourself this: Is there something bigger than the Universe? I think you find the same futility there as in your example.

        See, we can all find common ground.

        That being said, it’s nice to read something by you Doc. It’s been a while. It really is a well-written piece that I pretty much agree with down the line (though I’m okay with not knowing who built the statue).

        I’m wondering where you come down on the whole MIB has no name thing. Personally, I think it’s brilliant. His escape threatens all of existence. The enemy of existence is non-existence. What better name for such an enemy than nothing?

        • Oh I’m not offended, just don’t want to offend anybody else. lol.

          I hadn’t thought of MIB in that way, but it totally works for me. I’m beginning to think he doesn’t have a name because he is not the same man that was thrown into the magical cave.

        • Wanda

          You’re far from the only atheist around, and I didn’t appreciate being baited either.

          Fortunately it looks like this will not simply end with a Christian shepherd as its savior, or Jacob as its paternalistic god.

      • heythereyourself

        I’m an Atheist, i got what doc was talking about. Silly to make him a biggot.

    • Handsome Smitty

      Hey, this question came up at work couple days ago: Can an atheist be a Jew? My argument is no, but ’cause Judaism is a religion. If you denounce God you cannot be a Jew. There’s no real difference genetically from the rest of the human race other than inbred traits from eons of limited breeding choices. It was funny that a fundamentalist argued it wasn’t possible for an atheist to not be a Jew because it’s a race – “there God’s people.”

      • Kate’s Perfect Butt

        Er…what?

      • Jackisjack

        Man you threw that in there like they threw “Expose” in S3….no relevance, yet intriguing.

      • Newbie

        A person can be ethnically Jew but still not believe “GOD” and be considered an atheist. An Atheist doesn’t subscribe to anything or any deity and rejects all notions of such. An ethnic Jew practicing Judaism however is not atheist because he believe in a “God”

        Depends on how you view the definition of “Atheist”

    • Burley Hurley

      Casey, did you PURPOSELY misperceive Doc’s comments? He was NOT knocking athiests. I’m an athiest, and I still understood that. For crying out loud.

  • dougkelleher

    Question for you Doc,
    When I was watching Across The Sea, I noticed something only one other person has noticed and it makes me think I imagined it. Just after MIB stabs “mother”, she is lying on her back and whispers, “Jose”. He then comes closer to her and asks her why should wouldn’t let him leave. She responds with something like because I love you….Thanks. So, didn’t we just get a reveal as to MIB’s name? I have watched this four times and the Jose is very plain to me. Please advise as to your opinion.
    Thanks,
    Doug in Tampa

    • The Dharma & Greg Initiative

      My mate and I also heard “Jose,” but we blamed it on the beer. I’m glad to hear we’re not alone (or crazy)!

    • Rams

      I thought she said “Nothing”.

      • Casey

        Yes Rams! That’s what I’ve been saying. His name is “Nothing.” Smokey threatens existence. The opposite of existence is nothing. Nothing is the perfect name for an entity that threatens all of existence.

        • The Dharma & Greg Initiative

          If my mom named me Nothing, I’d probably stab her, too. Just saying.

          • Leachpunk

            Nothing Records produced some pretty good stuff back in the day 🙂

          • Nick Stevens

            Hell yes they did. 😀

        • jimmyzer00

          Good thing Hurley possesses the Auron

        • Rams

          Good point! 🙂

    • Kate’s Perfect Butt

      LOL! No, she did NOT say “Jose.” Come on, folks. Seriously?

    • Jackisjack

      John Locke named him “Adam”, so in my opinion MIB is “Adam”.

      • Bakedbob

        Amen

  • The Dharma & Greg Initiative

    This is, by far, the best review and commentary I have seen regarding “Across the Sea.” Intelligent, unbiased, and classy. Well done, Doc.

  • dharmalchemist

    I personally was just let down because the whole cast and everyone was raving about episode 15 all damn season long, so I had my expectations super high. It just did not deliver half of the hype from castmembers, now it’s making me wonder if the castmembers are overhyping the finale. But I still have faith that damon and carlton will make sure the finale is shocking and satisfying

    • DeSelby

      Exactly. I think they would have been very well served to have kept the nature of this episode under wraps. Yes, some would have been pissed about the lack of main characters, but that happened anyway. Nothing was going to live up to that hype, just like Ab Aeterno couldn’t (even though I thought that was a great episode) when everyone decided it was the best ever before seeing one frame. “Across the Sea” was necessary, but with everyone knowing for most of the season that a Jacob/MIB was coming, it felt as though *this* was the episode we’d been waiting for and building up to, rather than the finale.

      Honestly though, what bummed me out more was the interview after the episode where Darlton said they were bailing on the other side of the outrigger shootout. They may well have been lying, but if not that is probably the most concrete example of deliberately introducing a mystery, and one relevant to the plot, then no paying it off. You can say it was minor, but they made a point of putting that in there, and they made clear in the interview that the person who was shot was never just a redshirt. I defend them a lot, but *if* that happens it is pretty much the definition of lazy storytelling.

      But I am waiting for the finale before making any real conclusion or judgement.

      • Neville

        Hi. Which interview are you referring to ? Can you provide me a link please ? Thanks!

        • Shaun

          Neville, here it is…

          http://www.hitfix.com/blogs/whats-alan-watching/posts/exclusive-interview-lost-producers-damon-lindelof-and-carlton-cuse-talk-across-the-sea

          As someone who really hated “Across the Sea” (don’t worry folks, I’m sticking around for the final two episodes) I found this interview even more infuriating. Darlton comes off, to me at least, as as downright hostile towards those who would like more answers/resolution to six years of dense mysteries that THEY created — and then teased us with.

          And really, just dropping the outrigger shootout (but also not bothering to tell us about who it was) is a great example of how lazy that I feel D&C have become over the past two seasons. I still love the show, but it’s been a trying ride at times.

          • The Magician

            They came across as being quite hostile in that interview.

          • Adam

            It’s funny how two sides can see the same thing two different ways… I’ve read the interview several times now, and each time felt they were being anything BUT hostile. I thought they came off as gracious, aware, and full of integrity.

            But what do I know 🙂

          • Nick Stevens

            I for one am still 100% behind the show, but I have to agree that the tone of that interview seemed a tad hostile. Perhaps they were just feeling a little deflated by the fan reaction (despite their assertions to the contrary) which would be understandable.

            It does annoy me that they set up the outrigger scene last season knowing how long they had left in the show and yet they still didn’t resolve it… Not because I think it’s central to the point, more because it seems weird just leaving it hanging.

        • DeSelby

          http://www.hitfix.com/blogs/whats-alan-watching/posts/exclusive-interview-lost-producers-damon-lindelof-and-carlton-cuse-talk-across-the-sea

          At one point Damon says “Are there any readers who actually like the show?” so that’s kind of how the interview goes. The outrigger thing it at the very end.

          • Ament

            The interview was them getting fed up in trying to defend themselves by claiming it’s our show and we will not be dicatated by fanbase opinions of what YOU might like it to be.

            I just didn’t get how they want us to know they had this planned out from the very beginning. They called it faith, ironically. They had bumps in the road with the real life issues with Michael, Ana Lucia, Libby, Eko and Walt’s growth spurt. How can you not do episode by episode which so many bumps leading to the end?

            Here’s a scary thought, they appreciated and liked the artistic ending that David Chase did to “The Sopranos”.

      • Mark

        agreed. ive supported them non-stop, even after across the sea (which i thought was fine). but this interview made them seem so rude to the fanbase. they were completely out of character. and to say they arent going to answer the outrigger chase is one thing, but to say they know who is in the boat and that they didnt want to add it in the show b/c it was too complex to put together is infuriating. at least friggin tell us who it is even if u wont show it. we better find out after the show is done.

        • dd

          I don’t think it’s rude at all. They are frustrated with being assaulted by really stupid criticism by people who do not understand the process of writing. Everything they say is pretty obvious if you are involved in any kind of production of art.

          I think it’s a great interview.

  • I mostly agree with you. I was not disappointed in the episode because it didn’t give me the answers I wanted but because I was shown some of these answers at all!! LOST viewers, I feel, are smart people. We don’t need everything laid out and explained for us like we are children. I think leaving some things to the imagination can be great. I would have been just fine never seeing many of the things we were shown (ie, how the donkey wheel came about).
    Also, I was disappointed in knowing I only have 4 1/2 hours of decent television left and I was given a story about characters that I only met for the first time last year and who I don’t care enough about to see an entire episode with only them….especially after 4 major characters were killed off last week!! My opinion: This episode would have been very cool had it been cut up, put out of order, and placed throughout episodes of Season 5. Then we could have driven ourselves crazy trying to figure it out instead of having it all handed to us in one hour!
    In no way am I jumping ship. I trust Darlton completely and no matter what happens in the end I will be happy because the journey was more than worth it.
    I do share your feelings on how this season has changed the way I live as a Lostie. I don’t dissect or blog even half as much as I used to. I’m in the “acceptance” stage of grief I think and I’m just taking it all in. Great blog. Thanks.

  • Ross
  • minnie swirl

    I agree with just about everything you said. Truth be told, I didn’t have any problem at all with “Across the Sea,” but I also have been thoroughly enjoying this season–which seems to make me a member of the minority.

    LOST is totally doomed though, because I feel there is a fundamental difference between what the writers see as the focus of the narrative and what a large portion of their audience does. The writers are writing about characters against the backdrop of sci-fi, adventure, mythology, etc. and too many of the fans the mythology is the end all be all. They just want answers–to EVERYTHING. They are not going to get answers to everything, and from the response to “Across the Sea,” even when they get answers, they will be disappointed in them. This equals an epic sense of impending doom for the finale in my opinion.

  • John Burger

    I have come convinced that people are just not smart enough to comprehend the writing in most Lost episodes. Even reviewer that do this for every episode seem to have no understanding of the craft.

    The Light explanation by Mother was obviously debunked at the end when just about the evilest darkest creature emerged from it–yet no one gets that? No one gets that Jacob eventually comes to know his mother is liar and murderer? No one gets Jacob thought his mothers description of the light and of mankind were completely wrong?

    I think it is mandatory, if one has problems comprehending the script to watch the epi at least 3 times–even with captions on so they can read the script. The problem is your reading something that is far beyond the craft used in movies. These guys are too smart for their audience–yet no one wants to admit they were wrong at just about everything they fixated on in 6 years. This episode was not setup to answer much–in fact it was setup to spin the head in preparation from the finale. Its sad people dont see it.

    • DeSelby

      Yep, the mother was full of it, clearly I thought. And Jacob explicitly takes an opposing view of mankind to his mother’s. But it’s the first time in a while on Lost that I’ve had to really think about what happened and work it all out afterward, which is a good thing.

      Some people’s major criticisms may turn out to be, in retrospect, legitimate. But this episode is being treated like it was supposed to be the end all be all of Lost, when I think next week’s ending is going to be crucial for context on the revelations of this episodes.

    • Kate’s Perfect Butt

      Holy cow, John Burger, you are one condescending person.

      • jimmyzer00

        He did make some good points about how people seem to be perceiving this episode.

    • dd

      A+

  • Handsome Smitty

    “Story, in other words, is science. It is a chemistry experiment where the results sometimes resemble the magic of life. It is also the product of craft and craftsmen. Use the wrong tool, or lose focus, and you risk creating a disappointing piece…”

    Yep, that’s why some writers come up with “To Kill a Mockingbird” and nothing else their whole life, intimidated by expectations.

    But, after years of practice and working towards this point, you’d think our Lost craftsmen could avoid the mess that happened last night. Unfortunately, expectations aren’t the only beast in a television writing room; you have a mess of people, writers, actors, producers, and sadly the ghosts of fans.

    I think, though, what doomed this season was that The Darlton chose not myth but rather humanism. Yes, probably Jack will still be a hero. But really, looking back on it, Lost has been all about debunking myth. Myth, however, inspires us. Humanism is, well, it’s just depressing.

    Still, there are three-and-a-half hours left. Maybe all is not what it seems.

    NO matter what, though, last night is what it seemed, a disaster.

    • I suspect their biggest problem with last night’s episode WAS focusing on people’s expectations. That’s just me. I think they are feeling the pressure to provide answers, and as a result they’ve lost their natural rhythm of story telling. Just a thought…

      • ninjaraiden2k

        I don’t know if I would say they lost their natural rhythm of storytelling. Like Desmond getting his first flashback at the end of season 2 and Ben getting his near the end of season 3, I have a feeling that Jacob’s and “Adam’s” macro conflict will intertwine with the castaways’ micro conflict(s).

        It was probably important to put these two stories(the “beginning” and the “end”) in relative distance to each other for the ultimate compare and contrast. I have a feeling the “Source” and not the “Hatch” is where “all roads lead”.

        Metaphorically speaking, if the Hatch is the top layer of the subconscious (faith vs science in concert with human flaw) then the Source is the root of the subconscious (balance of faith and reason in concert with redemption). The castaways can not balance the Source( kinda rhymes with Force, interesting) without acknowledging their respective flaws and then making a “course correction”. “Life, Death,Rebirth:All roads lead here.”

    • Jacob’s Revenge

      “Myth, however, inspires us. Humanism is, well, it’s just depressing.”

      Your opinion only, though it’s stated as a proverb. Myth is imaginary whereas humanism is reality unveiled. Some prefer one, some the other, try not to be so judgmental or condescending about it.

    • Ament

      Disaster? Seems harsh. I thought it was a good background of whats going on with Jacob and MIB now and a great interpretation to Jack and John’s battle season after season. Man of Science, Man of Faith.

    • imfromthefuture

      NO matter what handsome smitty you are you have been and always will be a total tool box

    • Chip

      “The Darlton chose not myth but rather humanism. . . . looking back on it, Lost has been all about debunking myth.”

      But the Darlton say in the new EW that season 6 shows that they come down solidly on the side of faith, not science or reason. It’s certainly not a faith that can be identified with any single religion, but it doesn’t seem like a humanistic faith to me, either. It’s complex and we won’t ever get a complete exposition of it, so it’s always going to be open to some debate.

  • OtherJacob

    Very well written article. I’m liking the posts above too. There are just two things that surprise me in general about the general fan reaction right now.

    1) Just how passionate people are being about their opinions. I personally enjoyed Across The Sea, but didn’t feel that passionate about it until I started reading these message boards and seeing how aggressively people were attacking the show, its creators, and the people who are still enjoying it. I’ve already been accused once by somebody for supposedly being on Darlton’s payroll simply for writing messages saying that we can’t make any judgements until the series is over.

    2) Why people are being this critical when the story’s not over. There’s still 3.5 hours of story telling to go. That’s longer than any one of the LOTR movies – that’s a LOT of story telling to go.

    • The Black Rock

      In response to #2, because this has the smell of “Phantom Menace” all over it. If you’re on an airplane at 30,000 feet and it loses its power are you going to say “We’ve got 30,000 feet left people, what are you worried about?” Nope, there’s no reason to believe “The End” is going to be written any better than the episodes we’re cruising through presently.

      • OtherJacob

        I have to disagree – Phantom Menace stink is what you get when they do explain everything and destroy all sense of mystery as a result.

      • jimmyzer00

        This season has had me on the edge of my seat.

    • RichPundit

      U r mostly correct OtherJacob … my bad and I apologize for being an “American Idiot” (Green Day, 2004). I crave & need redemption!

  • Pookiebrutha

    Nice Article Doc.

    It feels like the fans are being divided and put through exactly what the candidates are going through.

    There’s the fans that have “faith” the show will end awesome, will have meaning and are enjoying the ride
    Then there’s the Others who are losing their faith in the show and are giving up and don’t even want to watch the last 3 and half hours!

    I wonder if it’s all part of the plan. . .

    We needed an episode like across the sea to clean everyone’s pipes out so the finale can hit so much harder. . .

    I agree Doc that a majority of what Mother said in Across the Sea were lies to manipulate Jacob and Nothing.

  • RubberSpy

    For all those holding out for the finale before passing jusdgement you should know in a recent interview with TPTB they lauded and congratulated David Chase for how “great” his ending to The Sopranos was.. They mention him and the “great” ending several times…well….95% of Sopranos fans will tell you quite vocally how they felt about that! It was a cop out…pure and simple…There was no artistic integrity whatsoever in that.
    Left me feeling we are in for a big fat slap in the face with a wet darlton fish….

    • OtherJacob

      In another interview with Lindelof though, where he still laudes the Sopranos ending, he mentions that they could never get away with that ending and that he would fully expect to be tarred and feathered if they were to try it. On an interesting note, he did mention that the only explanation that he feels he owes the audience is the connection between the island world and the sideways world.

      Taking that into consideration with something Michael Emerson said a little while back as a hint about season six – “what if you were seeing what everything meant, but didn’t realize it” (or something like that). It sounds more and more like there is one central piece of the puzzle that we have not been told about yet that could bring it all together.

    • jimmyzer00

      The Sopranos’ ending WAS great.

      • Pookiebrutha

        OtherJacob is right. What Darlton said that he could never get away with a “Sopranos” ending with Lost cutting to black – but that he liked the Sopranos ending and it stayed with him for months. He said Lost will end in a “Lost way”. Meaning more mystery/questions but the character’s stories we’ve spent 6 years with will have resolution. We’ve already seen one half of it with the characters Sun Jin and Sayid. . . The biggest reveal will be the connection between the Lost world and the sideways world.

        • s.w.a.c.

          I think it’ll end with Ed Harris in a big control room in the sky directing everything.

          • Dharma Chameleon

            Truman. Love it

  • i dunno why a lot of peeps complained about this episode, i for one loved it. it was needed, i was very curious as to where Jacob came from. although the rest of the cast sat this one out it gave a lot of answers. havent see Ben, Miles, Ricardas in a few weeks already. Michael Emmerson needs to play Ben out to the bitter end!

    Mark Pellegrino was superb as Jacob, as with the rest of this cast of LOST that contains the best actors ever.

    I havce no doubt the creators with this show will give us a kick ass and satisfying ending!

  • Chris

    I wasn’t disappointed from a “didn’t answer my questions” standpoint, but from a poor writing, poor acting, poor special effects standpoint. It’s as simple as that. The characters seemed so labored with their acting responsibilities as if they were just going through the motions and the special effects, please.

  • Thank you for this article, Doc. You are “a warm and gentle voice of reason in a time of great madness.”

  • Mtoslmear

    I am glad I am able to let myself enjoy these episodes. Special effects and acting? Anyone who still likes to watch an episode of the original star trek knows you’ll be so much happier when you let yourself appreciate the show instead of nitpicking everything.

  • dougkelleher

    Jose

  • Eural Joiner

    Greeat article Doc – and some actually good comment responses here. It does seem like we, the viewers, are going through a wild/emotional response to the ending of the series that’s severaly impacting our viewing and discussions. Now that’s a TV phenomenom.

    BTW, I rewatched “Across the Sea” again (third time) and I still don’t get it: it laid out the uber-myth for the entire series, “answered” numerous questions and – as always on LOST – veiled everything in mystery and hidden meaning. And I really looked hard at the acting from all the complaints and found it…perfectly fine. As a result of this episode I have much greater interest in the characters of Jacob/MIB because they were layered to a greater depth like all the successful characters of the show. And, as pointed out above, all of the Mother’s answers and description of the Light mean nothing….unreliable narrators/characters are a ubiquitous component of the show and have been since “The Pilot.” Final note: as someone pointed out as well the viewers of the show seem to be dividing like our castaways – some really bought the “science” description of the island (a la Dharma Initiative) and others are more atuned to the “spiritual” one (a la Jacob). But neither seems to really understand or know what’s really going on!

    • OtherJacob

      The only thing that I had noticed from the acting was the Mark Pellegrino and Titus Welliver were taking a more child-like approach to their characters. But given that Jacob and MiB were suppose to be in their early 20s and having lived a fair sheltered existence up to that point, this just made sense. It was a definite departure from their previous takes of these characters so I while I did notice a difference, I took it to be intentional.

      • Nick Stevens

        MiB was seemingly around 13 when he left to go and live with ‘his people’ and when he speaks to Jacob as an adult he says he has lived among them for 30 years. That would actually put them in their 40s (much like the actors portraying them).

        However I for one have long noticed certain child-like tendencies in the portrayal of MiB both by Titus Welliver and Terry O’Quinn. Less so in Jacob, but some might argue that it’s just more subtle. Perhaps their mothers smothering influence held over them long after she was gone?

  • Jackisjack

    Good read Doc, it’s like a long term financial investment. You will have your ups and downs, sit tight until the payoff at the end and hopefully we can retire happy.

  • Beena

    Not even quite five minutes into the episode of “Across The Sea”, the pseudo mother says something to the effect to Claudia that “Questions will only lead to more questions”. You can bet that line was aimed and intended for the portion of the audience who seems only invested in LOST’s mysteries and not its characters. Because their questions will only lead to other questions, and it really is like a neurotic dog chasing his tail trying to get to the bottom of things, and never satisfied.

    I think it is a blatant insult and disregard to the writers of this show for a viewer to so easily dismiss the absolute genius of the well crafted characters and their lives on this show, only concerning themselves with the mysteries. Those mysteries, while fascinating and adding to the rich landscape of LOST, are NOT at the heart of this show, nor have they ever been. Yet, the writers have still answered many of those mysteries anyway, and took you along on a nice ride.

    But if in spite of that, should anyone out there still find themselves unsatisfied, simply turn your direction back to the characters, and your focus will be where it ought to be! And maybe you will have gotten the point of it all!

  • Rosie

    [Or to return to the Star Wars analogies, it would have been to pull a Phantom Menace.]

    Pull a THE PHANTOM MENACE? What do you mean? Are you referring to the midi-chlorians in the movie? Because I’m getting tired of this erroneous crap. Let me make it clear. Lucas was NOT trying to say that the midichlorians are the Force. The Force is still a mystery. The midichlorians were merely life organisms in all living beings that allowed the latter to connect to the Force. Do you understand NOW?

    Trust me. After THE PHANTOM MENACE, the Force still remains as a mystery, just as much as the Cave of Light or the Island in LOST. Jesus!

  • clawgrabber

    Regardless of what you thought of this episode, if you jump ship with only two episodes left, the joke’s on you. Its like ALMOST making it through Stephen King’s THE STAND (or pick whatever 1100 page book you want) and getting to the second to last chapter and saying “Meh, I don’t think this book will end will. I think I’ll move on”

    REALLY? At least find out what happens at the end, sheesh.

    • Beena

      There are people who want to accept their answers about the island coming from that crazy half-baked pseudo mom of Jacob and MIB’s, rather than wait for the end of this series! It makes no sense! The woman lied as easily as most people breathe, killed Jacob and MIB’s real mother, and polluted their young minds. And you heard what MIB said to Jacob: that she was crazy and killed all those people! So why exactly anyone in the viewing audience would trust her, and blindly accept the explanation she gave about the light coming from the cave, is beyond (and not across) the sea.

      I laughed my head off when Jacob was kicking the snot out of his brother! Tragic, but still funny. Especially when MIB kept trying to tell Jacob that she was crazy, and just speaking the truth. Here’s a new theory…the island and the light makes some people nuts!

      • Eural Joiner

        “the island and the light makes some people nuts!”

        …including us!

      • Ament

        I firmly believe when they say nothing is as it seems, that is the greatest truth. If killing mom silently is what set her free, WHY WHY WHY wouldn’t MIB just kept his mouth shut and let Sayid do his business? So HE could be set free?

  • Bakedbob

    I have to vent something here..

    I am so fkin tired of “fans” complaining about “oh they wasted a hole episode showing us ppl we dont even know (Jacob and MIB) and they didnt show us our fav characters…” boohoo”. –What a bunch of gay-douche fans is that? i mean really..

    You didnt like an episode that is the backbone of every fkin Lost episode you have been watching for six years and how everything started..but oh no you wanted to see Jack Kate Sawyer e.t.c. running through the jungle or at a hospital.

    You are seriously LAME…. just that..
    Stop watching the final season and just “Trek” through the previous seasons until jughead explodes and when it fades to white… drop dead.

    • Beena

      Six years of flashing backwards, forwards, and sideways into the lives of these characters, and you can actually criticize anyone for being invested in these characters? Do you actually watch this show?

      • Bakedbob

        You are the proof of the point i am trying to make.. “thank you”.

        Invested in the characters?? uuhhm…
        No i’m not a 15 year old girl or a boy for that matter that is in love with Jack – Sawyer etc.

        So.. I AM invested in the story of Lost. The characters are just story-telling “devices” just as the flash-back-forward-sideways are.

        Now go back to your Sawyer poster and cry..

        • Beena

          Locke is actually closer in age to me than Jack or Sawyer, dear. You seem to think the only way to relate to humanity is by being a starry eyed teenager smitten with some movie star. And your desperation to make your point, no matter who you have to insult, tell to drop dead, or cry…that just makes me feel sorry for you.

          PS___If you don’t think the characters in this story are essential, read Time Magazine’s interview with the writers. You’ll be the one crying when you don’t get all your answers after spending 6 years without a clue.

  • Bakedbob

    P.S

    MIB’s name is ADAM…Not Flocke Not UNlocke not MIB not NOTHING.
    Nobody really caught that ha? well i did.

    BLACK ADAM

    Locke “baptized” them for us since the caves.
    Adam and Eve started everything in the bible.
    So did “Our own ADAM and EVE” in LOST.

    • The Magician

      Haha, well noticed. If they didn’t have names before, they do now 🙂

  • Kevin

    “I find the fever pitch of speculation and hyper vigilance to be… well… annoying at this phase of the game.”

    – This is a total cop-out, and shocking for someone who runs an entire website dedicated to LOST. There is more reason for fever-pitch speculation and hyper vigilance at this stage of the game. The reason why we’re all here is that Darlton’s excellent work in the past brought us here. If they can accept the accolades for that, they must also be criticized when they fall short, and that’s what’s going on now. It’s totally legitimate for fans to be greatly disappointed at this stage.

    I don’t need all the answers, nor do I want them. But I was hoping for things to come together in some clever way in Season 6 that would at least permit fans to explain things that have happened on the show in some metaphorical way, and we simply aren’t getting that. In large part, we’re getting the losties running around the island, switching sides between Widmore and Locke five times an episode, spinning their wheels.

    • ejoiner

      Wow. I (politely) disagree with your analysis on many levels.

      I, and many other fans, are not greatly disappointed at this point. I, and many other fans, are excited to see that LOST has not turned into a predictable, cliched wrap-up. In fact, even as they provide the answers and context to the entire series run, the writers have continued to expand the mysteries and possibilities in new and unforeseen and entertaining ways. Things are coming together in a much, much cleverer way than I – nor, I suspect, most people – could have predicted.

      Explaining things in a metaphorical way? Did you not watch the last 6 seasons? That’s one of the backbones of the show and it has continued right up until this last episode (and will be there when the final credits fad as well).

      And your last sentence sums up the shows plot since…season 1.

      It is totally legitimate for fans to be disappointed. It is, after all, a TV show and opinions will vary 🙂 But it is also legitimate for fans to be greately excited by what could have been a plain vanilla unremarkable end run (not that there’s anything wrong with vanilla). Instead we are getting a send off that will engender years/decades of discussion, debate and conversations! Enjoy! 🙂

    • Slimchicken

      Couldn’t agree more with your last sentence explanation of what’s been going on on the island. While there have been plenty of things to be frustrated about, my primary frustration has been the utter lack of any meaningful direction in the Island story. Despite all the “action,” absolutely nothing has happened; there’s been no advancement of the plot or character. They’re just going around in circles. This problem has been cleverly disguised by the alternate timeline, which we’re led to believe has some connection to the main timeline and probably will in the end, but seems to me to function at this point mostly as a smoke screen to make us assume something meaningful is taking place. But if you’re to separate the island story from the alternate story, in pure terms we’re no further along in the island timeline than when the season started.

  • OtherJacob

    Just a thought…

    Back in Season 1, Hurley finds a manuscript called “Bad Twin”. Was this foreshadowing Jacob and MiB??? Thoughts??

  • AC

    Sorry if any or all of this has been said (I haven’t had time to read all the comments), I’m just throwing some of my thoughts out there:
    1.Jacob buries his brother with his mother. I think that Smokey isn’t his brother but rather something evil that was unleashed when his brother’s body entered the cave of light, and that he takes on his brother’s form much like he takes on Locke’s form in the current timeline.

    2.If Smokey is “evil incarnate” and came from the light that was referred to as “hell”…how does this come together? Remember that the name of a certain fallen angel was Lucifer. Here’s what I got from Wikipedia on the name:
    Lucifer is a Latin word (from the words lucem ferre), literally meaning “light-bearer”.
    This could set up a battle between Jack SHEPARD, (son of CHRISTIAN SHEPARD) and Lucifer (who’s not necessarily THE Devil).
    3. Another thing that has been bothering me is that MOTHER kills people by bashing their heads with rocks….but then is able to wipe out an entire village. What the hell (pun intended)? Clearly Mother has far more power than her stone age tendencies would lead us to believe. She also has Jacob drink from the chalice that she “blesses” and states that he is now just like her. Perhaps, this is how Jacob gains his “powers” and explains why he is able to be killed with THE dagger just like Mother. This also is further supports that Smokey might not be Jacob’s brother. Smokey cannot be killed by bullets nor THE knife. Jacob had to be killed by someone other than Smokey…if Jacob is just like Mother, and Brother kills Mother, then it can be argued that Brother is NOT Smokey.
    Maybe Mother’s name was Pandora?
    What does everyone think?

    • s.w.a.c.

      Except this “Pandora” was trying to keep the box closed, not open it up. But Pandora’s Box analogies have been made before throughout the series, for obvious reasons.

    • OtherJacob

      I still need to rewatch Across The Sea, but I do think your on to something concerning the identity of Smokey. Initially I figured it was the soul of MiB or something when Smokey emerged.

      Now that I’ve had a chance to reflect on it a bit, I’m starting to think that Smokey may not MiB. That may have just been the form he took for a while. Remember, he told Jack that he can’t take someone’s form unless their dead. We were explicity shown the dead body of MiB (Adam).

    • Beena

      We (myself included) assume, that pseudo mom killed that village as easily as she killed Claudia. But they never actually showed her kill the villagers, and MIB didn’t confront her and ask if she did it. He just assumed and walked up behind her, knifing her. It’s possible she wiped out the village…but it remains to be seen.

  • Slimchicken

    Not to get entirely off topic, but I’ve noticed a lot of Star Wars Phantom Menace references that seem to imply that the main problem with the prequels was that they destroyed a sense of mystery in the Force – particularly as related to the midichlorian thing or whatever. I was under the impression that what the prequels suffered from was bad storytelling (of which the midichlorian was but a small part). They were poorly plotted and constructed, lacked internal consistency (as related to 4-6) and, worst, often laughable and always boring. The midichlorians aspect was roll your eyes bad, but easily forgotten. What wasn’t so easily dismissed was how generally terrible the actual story was.

    Whatever you think of the “light,” it has about as much significance as the midichlorians, which is to say, little. Where I struggle is that I personally don’t think the storytelling the last couple of seasons has been very good. Others obviously disagree, and that’s fine. But my problem is not that mysteries have been solved unsatisfactorily, but that the entire focus of the narrative has shifted from the characters we know and love to MIB, a character created out of thin air in the final season (and one whose introduction required this particularly divisive episode to try to make sense of). Our Losties have been relegated to bumbling bystanders, moving forward and backward, upward and downward and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards… I don’t know. It’s still unclear.

    Don’t get me wrong; I’m not suggesting that recent Lost is as bad as the prequels, but if I am to extend the Star Wars metaphor further, what I think has happened would be the equivalent of making the protagonist of Return of the Jedi the Emperor’s heretofore unknown brother.

  • spacebender

    I found “Across the Sea” to be profoundly tragic and almost as horrifying as “Sundown” and “He’s Our You” in terms of the character trajectories depicted. Because of this, it has taken me a while to pause and reflect upon it. In terms of my personal curiosities (“what do the rules mean”, “who is the original candidate”, “what sort of Being is the Island”) I was looking less for concrete answers than for internal consistency, and in that sense this episode was satisfying for me in that it illuminated the ambiguous character traits of both Jacob and the MIB. And given the glimpses of “What They Died For”, I am very much looking forward to seeing what happens next.

  • taco

    Even Stephen King doesn’t give you all the answers in his books. Great books often leave things open for the reader to think about.

  • Adam

    As has been reiterated several times, the primary criticism with this episode seems to be due to expectations. Sure, some folks disliked the writing, directing, acting, etc…. but for the most part, it’s expectation.

    In the interview with Darlton referenced above, they clearly state several times that (1) they have no regrets and have told the story they wanted to tell, (2) they are aware of fan reaction and division (and often expect it), and (3) are aware of the consequences of the choices they make in giving/not giving answers. I highly respect them for these things… this was one of my favorite interviews with the two ever. Some fans have chosen to see this interview as hostile and rude, and that’s your right. I saw it differently. I personally felt this was a fantastic episode that brought humanity and feeling to these two mysterious characters.

    Just my opinion, though. I think it’s important to remember that, no matter your opinion, those who take the other stance are thoughtful, well-meaning individuals whose opinions deserve respect. I have been blasted on other web sites (even some personal attacks) MANY times over the course of this show for defending an episode and respectfully stating why I felt the episode was of good quality. I choose, in turn, to respectfully talk with those on the other side, because I know the “episode lovers” can be just as hostile sometimes.

    • Nick Stevens

      Well said, sir. 🙂

  • Jackisjack

    Hate is a strong word for this episode. I enjoyed it as a prologue to the mythical story we’ve been watching week after week for 6 years. “Lost” has always been a show of myth from the very beginning when they showed us trees being knocked down on the first night they crashed on the island. When we discovered it as black smoke that knocked down trees, a friggin’ polar bear on a tropical island, a slave ship inland miles from water, and Walt’s apparent special ability that allowed him to see what Locke was going to do, set the tone for the whole series being a myth or fable. Season One offered no scientific explanation to anything, just amazing moments of curiosities that kept us going and begging for more. Seasons 2-5 was science, science, science. Here we are as they said, Season 6 will feel more like Season 1. Now I see why, back to basics..character stories and the myth which is the island. Thank you Darlton for remembering the one ultimate scientific fact about this show and your story…it’s fiction, bring on the aliens!

    • RichPundit

      Well Jack-is-Jack, at least aliens would trump the developing promised set of [now only] “some” answers that are pathetically based solely on: “Do you believe in Magic” (Lovin’ Spoonful, 1965). Yes, we’ve all been scammed thru a looong con for personal fame and fortune.

      btw, heard the PTBs have sore shoulders from patting themselves on their backs and sore jaws from their wide grins, but no tears needed, their now lavish lifestyles provide great personal comfort and therapy. For we the betrayed, six freakin’ LOST years and counting …

      • OtherJacob

        The rough timeline estimate for “Across The Sea” is that it took place roughly two thousand years ago. I would be stunned if they did come up with proper scientific explanations. Remember – this is a time frame where some diseases were considered to be demonic possession and that there was a literal “edge of the earth”.

        • OtherJacob

          I’m taking this timeline from Lostpedia should anyone be curious.

  • Bakedbob

    You people are missing something big about the light in the cave when you make assumptions that The Black Smoke is not ADAM (MIB).

    EVE (fakemom) said exactly this about the light in the cave:

    “It is life, death, rebirth”….

    Did you not hear or catch the word “REBIRTH” ???

    So it was REBIRTH for ADAM…

    Also ADAM as LOCKE said : “I am the Smoke Monster”
    …yes he could be lying but it doesnt fit to the clues we are given.

  • John Burger

    I find it absurd that clue-heads, the one who only watch to dissect clues and find answers, think that everyone agrees with them. There is only a small percentage of people who didnt like the episode as Polls on various forums show. Yet the clueheads seem to think THEY are EVERYONE.

    I said this a long time ago–the clueheads lack of depth in thought will doom THEM in the end–the show isnt doomed–they are. They are devoid of craft and even though they claim to be wise–they are fools when it comes to recognizing art.

    TV shows and movies are about individual scenes. They are not about answers. If you want answers–buy a book and skip to the end. If you cant recognize the performance given by Titus welliver in ATS then you are about nothing more than about hearing the “answers” that YOU wanted to hear. Your not the writer and you just dont get that.

    NOW we’re at the time where are the cluheads theories turn to mud and that makes them mad. Mad they dont decide how the shows end. If it just so happens that the answers fit with theirs–you’d thnk they’d be whining? They will lie about this truth but its quite obvious what their psychological hangups are.

    I knew the time would come when these short-sighted people, who couldnt have any real depth to their knowledge of cinema, would realize that every ending has already been done. Its a dream, they’re all dead, aliens are behind it, God, angels, its a virtual world—you name it..its been done. Its not about answers..its about acting from scene to scene, banter, communication between characters and their emotions. People who understand this loved this episode and still love the series. No halfway decent answer would upset a normal person. If your upset..you need to examine yourself..not this show.

    The dweebs who enlarge screencaps and slowmotion revealing scenes are never ever going to be happy with the end of this series. We tried to tell them –but their just too lame to be helped. These great writers have put emotion in front of the screen and executed the artform to a level that TV hasnt seen in a long time and to suggest that a few dense clueheads get to make a proclamation that the show ultimately sucked is not only laughable but sad. But it demonstrates, perfectly, that its THEM that have the problem.

    • RichPundit

      The HUGE difference is 6 years of excessively hyped mystery/mythology with the repeated promise of answers … that is the betrayal.

      • Henry Holland

        Hmmmm….”repeated promises of answers”, could those be the ABC promos that LOUDLY told us “Your questions will be answered” and then we have an episode where Jack is in cage on Hydra busting a vein yelling at Cindy and the kids? 🙂

        • RichPundit

          as well as frequent, numerous Darlton interviews around the world … no doubt a HUGE commercial success and continuing!

    • ErasedSlate

      As one who dissects the show, makes screencaps, follows anagrams, played the “game” within the show, played the rpg’s during the hiatus, translated whispers, wrote essays on psychological and philosophical subtext, and even commited to contribute on occasion to a blog about a tv show, I embrace the term dweeb but take exception with your conclusion.

      The majority of us, just crave a good story. And, we are getting just that. Most of us recognized and appreciate the art that is at hand. A great story is in the details. All we have ever done is bring the details that we catch under the light of the microscope to appreciate its beauty.

      Most “clueheads” do not find fault with the story or with the unfolding of it. But just because a few are disgruntled, you pass judgement on an experience that you personally do not like. How great it must feel to be so superior in intellect and nuance?

      There will be plenty of people who have delved into the details and will be satisfied by the whole. There will be plenty of of people who appreciate the craft that will hate the end. Art, especially good art, elicits extreme reaction. It polarizes people. And those who become invested in the art will struggle with it. And, it’s fine.

      Now, back to my screencaps…

  • John Burger

    About the Phantom Menace suffering from bad storytelling….

    Man this is exactly the problem with shallow viewers who really know nothing about the craft.

    It had NOTHING to do with the storytelling. Its was the EXECUTION from scene to scene. The story doesnt really drive the entertainment for the audience. The individual scenes do. One scene makes you laugh–the next introdues intrigue–we like the way the characters delivered their lines–the camera made the actor and scene look cool–and so on. Thats the artform. You carry that to the end and the “answers” dont matter. If you think answers matter…you know nothing about writing or cinema.

    Look, every one went to Titanic to watch that ship sink. But half way through–you wished it didnt sink. WHY? Because the story was so compelling? NO..because from scene to scene you grew to care about the characters and didnt want that banter to end.

    It wouldn’t matter if the Force in Phantom Menace was formed out of a chocolate Popsicle if they could have executed it scene by scene. But if you dont execute a few scenes in a row, regardless of story, your mind starts to say…oh this isnt that good, and sometimes that can good feeling can never be recovered and affects firther scenes(even if they are good).

    So my point is, the majority of comments I hear poorly thought out and lack the real psychological answers as to why people enjoy certain things. Maybe deliberate a little longer and stop making snap judgments people.

    • Nick Stevens

      Chill. The. FRIK. Out!

    • William

      “You carry that to the end and the “answers” dont matter. If you think answers matter…you know nothing about writing or cinema.”

      This may be the single-most ignorant post I have ever read on this board…and that’s saying something.

  • neofunk

    I have always been a big Lost fan and have always defended it but I am really feeling short changed this season.I love the characterisation but if being honest it is the mythology which hooked me.I was not looking for everything to be wrapped up in a bow but the writers seem to be totally side stepping major plot mysteries that they have being building up for six seasons.This show’s that they have being making it up from season to season.Darlton said the Adam and Eve reveal would prove that they had planned this from season 1 bullshit.MIB and “mommy” really was
    an after thought stemming from the deus ex machina that was the introduction of Jacob in season 3.The story telling this season has been mainly filler with little answers that were given were mainly flat “The Whispers” what a joke.I have always said that Lost as a whole hinged on the last season and so far the pay off is lacking.It is the fan’s that have made Lost what it is with theories and research making it a very interactive experience which I love and will miss but we are being hoodwinked I just hope what remains prove me wrong I really do.There is just so much that can’t be answered to give
    a satisfactory resolution.As the Dude said ” I just wanted the rug that tied the room together”.Anyways hi all from here in Ireland

  • William

    Evolution of the Lost fanboy: 1.) This show Lost is awesome! What is the hatch? How did all of these people survive the plane crash? OMG what is that black smoke??? 2.) What are the numbers? What happened the Dharma Initiative? Who are these Others? 3.) Who is Ben? Who is Richard? Who is Alvar Hanso? Who is this ghost in this cabin asking Help me? 4.) Why does the island move from place to place? Why can’t Ben and Widmore kill each other? Wait a minute. who is this Widmore guy? 5.) Why did they have to go back? Why did all of the original castaways time-travel off the plane except for Sun? 6.) What is this dark water in the temple? How does it bring people back to life? Wait, its dark water now…so it didn’t work on Sayid? Wait, it did? 7.) So Adam and Eve were not 50-year old skeletons..they were 2000-year old skeletons? 8.) I don’t care about the answers, I’m just enjoying the ride! Go Dartlon!

    • RichPundit

      HMmmmm William, seems very few care anymore cuz the dirty deed is done … not fanboy, not Darlton and certainly not me!

      Am *shocked, betrayed, outraged, …*

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