Before tonight’s episode began, I jotted down a few things that I was hoping to maybe learn a little more about. My notes included the island’s origin, Egyptians and Tawaret (statue), brothers and bad twin, rules of the game, Adam and Eve, and corruption versus goodness of humanity. Well, in true LOST fashion, they left a lot open for interpretation, gave us new questions that I don’t think will ever be answered, and only answered a couple of questions. Did I like it? Yes. Could it have been a hell of a lot better? I’m undecided right now. This show is more a sum of its parts to me and this episode was a means to an end.
BIB (Baby in Black)
The episode started pretty strong with a young pregnant woman named Claudia making her way to shore and into the jungle after a shipwreck. We’re not made aware of the year, but it feels like a VERY long time ago. A mysterious unnamed woman I’ll call “Mother” finds her and helps her to her camp to treat her wounds and tells her that she got to the island by accident just like Claudia did. Claudia then goes into labor and Jacob is born and swaddled in a white blanket. Moments later, she delivers a second child, but hadn’t selected a second name so didn’t know what to call him. I’ll call him Baby in Black (BIB) because he is conveniently swaddled in a black blanket. As Claudia is recovering, she asks to see the children and Mother takes a rock and kills her by crushing her skull. I have a feeling these kids are going to have quite the interesting life ahead of them.
KIB Finds A Game
For the record, KIB means Kid in Black. Why can’t they just give him a name? Frustrating! Anyway, KIB finds a game on the beach. The game is called Senet and it may be the oldest board game known to man. It dates back to ancient Egyptian times and due to the elements of luck combined with the Egyptian belief in determinism (fate), it was believed that a successful player was under the protection of the gods. As a result, Senet boards or game pieces were often placed in graves along with other objects for the dangerous journey through the afterlife. I thought this was pretty interesting seeing as how Jacob eventually buries the bodies of Mother and MIB along with the white and black pieces (stones) from the game, which Jack still has (as far as we know).
I have to admit that the MIB didn’t seem to be all that evil as a kid. Sure, he kept secrets from the woman he thought was his mother (finding the game) and he often dreamed that there was something more than what was on the island, but wasn’t his imagination being stifled by his mother and wasn’t she lying to him? Also, the ghost of his real mother appeared to him for a reason. She showed him the truth and helped him understand where he originally came from. He believed there was something “across the sea” and he was right. Shouldn’t he have been allowed to go if he wanted to? Perhaps if we had been given some solid or reasonable explanation by Mother, her actions would make more sense. She is as “evil” as the MIB is based on her actions in this episode.
If The Light Goes Out Here, It’ll Go Out Everywhere
We’ve all seen stories and real-life examples of how man’s quest for power (and winning) can destroy things as big as entire civilizations and as small as a “friendly” board game. The light in the cave of water symbolized power and when it is obtained for the wrong reasons, it can only create negativity. As we witnessed, MIB was killed in the light and darkness was unleashed in the form of the smoke monster that retained his form and his memories. Now the only thing keeping that darkness from leaving the Island and shutting out the light in the rest of the world is Jacob’s replacement.
Redemption or Revenge?
Mother attacks MIB in the well with the (unfrozen) donkey wheel after he explains to her how he’s going to leave the island with the assistance of the greedy, selfish, untrustworthy villagers. She deceives him, yet again, by embracing him and allowing him to cry on her shoulders as if they are resolving years of friction, and then she shoves him against the wall knocking him out. After that, she carries him out, buries the well beneath dirt and rocks, and somehow kills all the villagers while burning their town. So…when MIB wakes up and sees all of this, he becomes enraged, destroys her camp, and waits for her to return so he can sneak up behind her and stab her with the now infamous dagger. She killed his mother, lied to him all those years and now destroyed his dream of going across the sea, but he still wept while she lay there dying. All that and in her last words after he asks why she wouldn’t let him leave, she says, “Because I love you. Thank you.” It was almost as if she wanted him to kill her.
Even when Jacob sees him standing over Mother, MIB tries to explain his actions by saying that she was crazy and “burned them all”. He’s trying to rationalize and justify his actions and some of us viewers are left struggling with why what he did was so bad. When it looks like Jacob is going to kill MIB next, he makes a choice to not kill him and instead sends MIB into the glowing water cave and here’s Smokey! Mother had explained earlier when she passed her protector duties on to Jacob with a drink of wine that he should never go in there because it would be worse than death. Well MIBs body died, but now he is trapped on the Island forever, unless he can find a loophole.
Adam and Eve
I’m still wondering if Jack still has those stones. I have mentioned them in many previous blogs and I don’t think they’ll be brought to light again, but I’m satisfied with the identities of the skeletons, even though we don’t know what their friggin’ names are.
The Young Boy In The Jungle
We now know for sure that the boy we’ve seen a few times running around the jungle taunting unLocke is young Jacob. I have to say that I’m really not sure what to make of Jacob. He’s actually very simple-minded and naïve. It’s almost as if Mother’s manipulation of him as a child formed his lifelong beliefs of protecting the Island. He doesn’t share her belief in the corruption of humanity though. He believes that there is good in everyone and it was actually MIB who shared her belief that “They come. They fight. They destroy. They corrupt. It always ends the same.”
Why No Definitive Answers
I know I probably sound like I think I know it all or something, but I actually think I understand why the writers are portraying things the way they are and not answering everything definitively. We (as viewers) are in the same position as the characters on the island have always been. What do we believe? Can we really make our own choices or are we destined to some pre-determined fate? Can we blindly believe in something we don’t understand simply because we have faith that we’re doing it for the greater good? What if we’re wrong? The writers really can’t give us the answers anymore than Jacob can tell people what they should or shouldn’t do. If they end the series with a definitive answer to life’s basic question of fate versus free will, they would be accused of establishing a new cult or religion. I think they are going to leave that and other questions a bit open-ended while focusing on the changes within each individual character. Isn’t that really why most of us fell in love with this show in the first place? We, as fans, will have to demonstrate a bit of Negative Capability in order to fully embrace the conclusion of this brilliant series.
Next week’s episode is titled “What They Died For”. This title makes a lot more sense after the recent deaths of Sayid, Jin, and Sun. It’s the penultimate episode before LOST weekend begins.