Few episodes in Lost history have fans as divided as "Across the Sea."
To some, this hour revealed the kind of island mythology that they've been craving for years. To others, it introduced yet another major, new character and didn't provide answers as much as it opened up new questions.
Where do you stand? The TV Fanatic staff has gathered below to offer up our analysis in the latest edition of the Lost Round Table...
Were you happy with the answers revealed this week?
M.L. House: Yes. Lost producers have told us for years that the show is NOT about all-encompassing, mind-blowing answers. It's a character study based on a magical island. Therefore, I'm sorry if you spent years concocting theories for who Adam and Eve were, only to be disappointed by the reveal that we had never even met one of them until last night. But you were warned throughout: sit back and enjoy the show, don't waste time analyzing its mysteries.
LJ Gibbs: I think we should realize that we're not going to get every answer the show has made us ask over the past seven years. But in life, we don't get all the answers, either. However, life would be infinitely better if these non-answers were given to us by Terry O'Quinn instead of Allison Janey and two of the Jonas Brothers (those were the Jonas Brothers, right?)
Mr. Probst: I loved that a lot of the story was filled in with Jacob and Man in Black's back story. Maybe the golden water fall/cave was a bit corny, but it helped fill in a lot of details about the island, the origin of smokey, Jacob, his mother, etc. What I didn't like was the actual episode itself. If you didn't know anything about Lost and watched last night's episode, you would have thought it was the worst show since Heroes.
Did Fake Mother plan all along to have one son murder her and the other take over the island?
M.L. House: That would have taken some seriously impressive planning. Unless we're to believe that she actually made herself into Claudia, this long con would have involved the hope that MIB would eventually learn the truth about his mother, leave to stay with his people, grow disenchanted by mankind, invent a wheel... there are too many factors Fake Mother wouldn't have been able to control under this premise.
LJ Gibbs: She seemed genuinely surprised when the second baby came out of Claudia (I was surprised at the first, too, I thought babies came from a store). But she did have both light and dark swaddling clothes ready to go, so who knows? I think that she knew that, at some point, the next protector would have to kill her to take her place, though.
Mr. Probst: Much in the way that Jacob would later (long) con Ben into killing him, CJ Cregg, er, Fake Mother crafted a 30-plus year con on one of her sons to get him to kill her. Similar to Jack and Richard, Fake Mother couldn't kill herself. She had to get someone to do it. The same would eventually be true for Jacob. Man in Black has suffered a fate worse than death, as Fake Mother warned, when Jacob threw him into the golden cave. He now can't die and thus can't escape the island.
Is there a significance to MIB's dagger?
M.L. House: Yes. Fake Mother was a smoke monster. That dagger, for whatever reason, is all that could kill her. It's the same one Ben used on Jacob, and MIB keeps it with him at all times so no one can kill him.
LJ Gibbs: If there is, I'm not sharp enough to see it.
Mr. Probst: The dagger was far too prominent displayed during the episode to be coincidence. Besides, who caries a dagger around with them anyway? It must have meaning to MIB for him to have it glued to his hip.
Does the island have its own agenda?
M.L. House: It must. Why can't women carry pregnancies to term? Because of the way the island's former protector exploited Claudia's pregnancy for her own selfish, ruthless gains. Like a vindictive God, the island punishes those that exploit its inherent goodness.
LJ Gibbs: That ghost of Claudia had to come from somewhere, but if the island created it, it makes me wonder what the island wants: to protect the light it holds, or to bring about the end of the world. After all, the ghost of Claudia set into motion MIB becoming who he is today.
Mr. Probst: No, but it's not inert, either. Much like Mother Nature does not have an agenda, but always seems to manage to do things to keep everything in nature in balance, the island reacts the same way. If something seemingly negative happens because of the island, it's likely only to correct an imbalance.
Would you want to be island protector?
M.L. House: Sure. It would give me loads of time to perfect my weaving.
LJ Gibbs: Unless I could leave any time I wanted, the only protection I want when it comes to islands is a sunscreen with a very high SPF.
Mr. Probst: Considering my intense fear of death and that those anointed to protect the island seemingly live forever, where do I sign up? Is Jacob watching my childhood home from his lighthouse?