Oh, how I love the mythic episodes! Which may also be why these posts tend to show up after episodes like Ab Aeterno ( #Lost: Since the Beginning of Time ) and last year’s The Incident ( #Lost: Lines in the Sand ). I’m not going to bother with a recap, since if you didn’t watch the episode you shouldn’t be reading this.
@DamonLindelof: Wait. “Polarizing” is a BAD thing?
Beats the hell (pun intended) out of saccharine ‘explain everything’ endings.
Across The Sea [episode 6.15] was ‘polarizing’ in the way it separated those seeking simple answers to complex questions, and those who use said information as a means to an end; oddly shaped pieces of the puzzle. Providing analagous backstories to the Island’s two oldest & most mysterious characters, making it resemble classic greek & egyptian mythology; from Castor & Pollux, to Romulus & Remus, to Osiris & Set. We got a fair amount of answers & even more questions (in typical, and fitting, Lost fashion) in the form of a modern-day parable. Though I get the distinct feeling that last night’s episode will be the last to deal with ‘Pre-Losty’ timelines (especially since there’s only a couple hours left).
How would one tell myth & folklore in today’s skeptical day & information age? Symbolism is Lost on most. Clearly represented by the amount of hate dished out on the interwebs amounted to an unsurprisingly negative reception to the episode.
A is representative of B, so we see A. People freak because it’s not B, C, or D. When they show B, people freak because it’s only B.
“Every question I answer will simply lead to another question.” Mother Wolf
A clear message on secrecy, divulging info, & unwanted answers.
“But what is the light in the cave?” I ponder.
The light is life, it is knowledge. It is what ties together the entire human race (and those things beyond it). It is powerful, and it is dangerous… especially when it falls onto those who are not ready, who are ill-prepared. Or worse, when sought by those who would wish to exploit & steal it for their own ulterior motives (see Alvar Hanso, and later Charles Widmore).
Surely there must be some reason to test & gauge someone’s preparedness as well as their good intentions? Perhaps some way of listing them as prospective candidates? Some way to prepare & lead them to enlightenment?
It must be protected at all costs. The serpent in Eden thought it was a great idea to eat the apple, Prometheus brought fire to the cold and huddled masses, and Pandora just had to look in that box. Each time there were major repercussions & upheaval from above. Knowledge must be learned, wisdom must be earned. Shortcuts lead to certain doom. That would most certainly be letting the cork out of the bottle.
The smoke monster is that which defies shape & reason. The corruption of information personified in sound & fury. Smokey was special indeed, bequeathed with knowledge from board games like Senet (think Go meets Backgammon) to ways of exploiting the power of the Island. A ‘fate worse than death’ is one of eternal strife; of your only corporeal form being that of copied dead people. Smokey is death and the cessation of life & knowledge, and he is beyond death with a profound connection to it. He is as important to the Island as the cave of light itself and its protector.
When that balance is thrown out of whack, who knows what kind of major reality shifts may occur. Even alternate ‘sideways’ universes where things seem better but are not quite right.
It was never about good vs evil (as I’ve said before), but opposing sides in an eternal battle. Jacob is ‘good’ by way of endowment & naïveté, whereas Smokey is ‘good’ by knowledge & choice.
Fate vs Free Will, Order vs Chaos, and Black vs White. We end up with a parable about Secrets vs Information and the very battle between Life & Death. In perhaps the show’s most direct meta message: You may be willing to do terrible things to derive the information you seek, but chances are you’re not going to like the answers you stumble upon.