Exhaustive investigation of Across the Sea

After last night’s episode, let’s me break down what we’ve learned before to help me explain what I took from Across the Sea:

Last episode of Season 5 - Beach scene; watching a ship roll into the bay: By this point, Jacob knows that his brother (MiB) is no longer human; after pushing him into the source and later finding his dead body; before laying him to rest. Whether or not Jacob knows exactly what his brother is, I cannot be sure – as after Jacob’s brother and mother were killed, Jacob was left completely alone on the Island and therefore he could only have made his own assumptions of what his brother now is. The only way Jacob could know exactly what his brother is if the MiB, in his smoke form, explained to Jacob what happened to him after he was pushed into the source or if there was someone else/some other way for Jacob to get the information from; which at this stage does not seem apparent.

Going back to the scene where Jacob and the MiB are sitting on the beach; we know that Jacob has brought the ship to the Island, which the MiB makes reference too. The people that Jacob bring to the Island could be, and are more than likely to be, responsible for the building of the statue, the Temple and the majority of the Islands pre-Dharma structures. Think about what the MiB said to Jacob in Across the Sea: “There are very smart men among us. Men who are curious about how things work”. Is it any coincidence that the people who ended up on the Island were smart men, in an era when the world was very young and primitive and thinking was very naïve and uninventive? I fully believe that Jacob and the MiBs fake mother brought these people to the Island, in the exact way Jacob brought people to the Island, for her own reasons which no doubt incorporated a specific purpose. What that purpose was, we do not know. Whether or not the “rules” state that she must bring people to the Island but also defend the source remains unclear. Another possibility is that the ship which wrecked on the Island could have been specifically looking for the Island, in order to investigate and explore it’s unique properties but then, back in a very primitive time, how would they have known or heard about the Island or it’s unique properties?

Again coming back to the beach scene between the two brothers, we hear the following discussed between them:

MAN IN BLACK: How did they find the Island? (referring to the Ship) JACOB: You'll have to ask 'em when they get here. MAN IN BLACK: I don't have to ask. You brought them here. Still trying to prove me wrong, aren't you? JACOB: You are wrong. MAN IN BLACK: Am I? They come. They fight. They destroy. They corrupt. It always ends the same. JACOB: It only ends once. Anything that happens before that is just progress.

There are two points to highlight here:

In Across the Sea, we see Jacob and his brother playing a game; which the MiB has found on the beach. He has no concept of what the game is and therefore has made up his own rules. Jacob attempts to move one of the pieces in a specific way but his brother informs him: “…it’s against the rules” and later tells him “One day, you can make up your own game and everyone else will have to follow your rules”.

This is clearly not a throw away line and I believe has been intentionally input in reference to the brothers previous conversation: “Still trying to prove me wrong, arent you?”, which is said by the MiB, to which Jacob tells him he is wrong! I believe he’s making reference to the “game” that Jacob has created; post the death of and reappearance of the MiB. What the game is, I will go into a little later – but my belief in Jacob having created the game is further backed up the apparitions of young Jacob to Flocke/Desmond and Sawyer/Flocke, who reminded Flocke that “he wasn’t playing by the rules!” Clearly these are rules that have been set by Jacob, hence why this reminder is delivered by Jacob; albeit a young Jacob, but Jacob none-the-less.

Again, coming back to the conversation; the MiB tells Jacob that the people who come to the Island fight, destroy and corrupt and says that the outcome ends the same. Jacob informs the MiB that it only has to end once and that anything that happens before this is just progress.

In Across the Sea, we also hear the MiB tell Jacob that the people he has lived with for 30 years are bad, manipulative, greedy, untrustworthy and selfish. Clearly, he has a distaste for people with personality traits such as these but tells Jacob he is only with them as a means to an end…

Before I can discuss my theory on Jacob’s game and also discuss the meaning of the MiBs comment when he says “it always ends the same”, I need to make reference to a number of things relevant to Jacob and the MiBs fake mother, from Across the Sea:

First off, pre-shipwreck of Jacob’s real mother and her people, she seemed to be the only person on the Island. Why she was there, how she got there is not something I am concerned with – but evidently, her soul purpose on the Island was to protect the light/source. We saw and heard from the fake mother that the reason she killed Claudia (the real mother) was to prevent Jacob and the MiB from becoming “bad; like them”. Was this the reason or was it perhaps that she was desperately lonely? We can only speculate. Prior to this however, she took the boys to the light/source and gave them a brief explanation of what it was and what it did and told them that eventually one of them would have to protect it, which is her job. Seeing that Jacob and the MiB are not her natural children and she stole them from Claudia, they could not have been natural successors to her and therefore did she deliberately bring Claudia and her ship to the Island with the soul purpose of grooming a replacement?? I think so… This is further backed up by the fact that she refuses to go into any great detail with Jacob as to what his responsibilities would be, as protector. She’s unnecessarily vague to him, right before he agrees to drink the wine. Why not elaborate further? Furthermore, when the MiB eventually kills her, she says “thank you” as if showing appreciation for having been “set-free” and relieved of her duties, which could have lasted hundreds or thousands of years prior. My overall theory of the fake mother is that her upbringing and treatment of Jacob and the MiB was to fully manipulate them in every and anyway possible that would eventually lead to one of them killing her and the other assuming the responsibility of protector. This may seem far fetched, but we’ve already saw the MiB manipulate Locke, to assume his physical form – so in essence, it’s not too far fetched. Let me explain further…

As protector of the light/source, clearly a replacement is required in order for someone to be relieved of his/her duties. There are also a number of rules which govern the position of protector. One of those is undoubtedly how he/she can be killed. Suicide, as we’ve seen, doesn’t seem to be an option e.g. Alpert, Jack, MiB etc so therefore a loophole has to be sought. I believe that from the day she assumed guardianship of Jacob and the MiB, she manipulated the boys; treating and raising them differently (even dressing them differently; in different colours), playing them against each other (forcing Jacob to tell her what the MiB has been doing/saying) and thus shaping their personalities differently (telling the MiB he was special and not Jacob, and leaving him little games and not revealing where they came from; thus forcing his mind to wonder and think that there maybe a world out there other than the Island). I believe her reason for manipulating them was to create this loophole for her to be killed and thus have one of the boys assume the role of protector. Going back to Across the Sea, right after the mother takes the boys to see the light/source, we then see Claudia appear only to the MiB; who takes him to the village where her people live, where she then reveals herself to be his real mother and tells him that they came from across the sea… Is this just a coincidence? Is the MiB special? No he is not. He came from a human mother. He is not special and it is NOT the ghost of his real mother - instead it is his fake mother, posing as his real mother Claudia to further manipulate him; thus leading him to kill her. This is the part where you think that my theory has gone crazy; off at a tangent, right? Well what do we know about apparitions of dead people on the Island? We know that they can be trapped souls e.g. Michael but we also know they can be manifestations of the smoke-monster e.g. Christian, Yemi etc. Yep; the fake mother herself is a smoke monster! Of course she is… How else could she wipe out an entire village of men and women by herself? How else could she fill in the huge well? How else could Claudia magically appear to the MiB and reveal all of this to him; thus resulting in him abandoning his fake mother and Jacob and thus taking up home with his “people from across the sea”. Because this is all part of the fake mothers/smoke monsters plan… How does she know that going into the light/source is a “fate worse than death?” Answer: because she’s done it, and the fate worse than death is ever-lasting life and thus the protection of the Island… Her plan comes together perfectly. Her barely teenage child turns against her and she casually allows him to leave, with no fight at all – allowing him to join the others, tell them of the light and thus spend 30 years looking for it as a way to get off the island… Then when he’s potentially found the way off the island she foils his plans, kills his people, leaving him with nothing and no-one and he avenges his own personal heartbreak by killing her; thus setting her free. But not before she has “forced” Jacob into taking over from her as protector… How convenient eh? What I’m not sure of though is if she knew that after being killed by the MiB that Jacob would then take him to the source and push him in, thus turning out the light and thus turning out the light everywhere.

Still following?? Ok…

Jacob is now left alone on the Island. His fake mother is dead and “someone” has wiped out the entire village and by pushing his brother into the source/light this has caused him to drown/die and thus he carries his brothers body back to the caves and lays him to rest with his mother. Sometime after this, the MiB makes a reappearance… Jacob is stunned. They conversate. Whether or not the MiB understands what has happened to him, we cannot be sure of – but what we do is that he is unhappy about Jacob having taken his human form. Jacob’s fake mother has made it so that they cannot hurt each other and therefore the MiB cannot avenge the taking of his body. Jacob as protector of the Island, thus lays down new rules which the MiB must conform to; what-with Jacob being protector of the light…

Jacob and the MiB debate. Jacob tells him that their fake mother never wanted him to be the protector and that in fact, she had always wanted it to be the MiB – but later admitted that she was wrong and that should have always been Jacob. The MiB is resentful that Jacob stayed with his fake mother, despite learning that she killed their real mother and Jacob argues that they are both victims of their upbringing. Jacob has been brought up to believe that his mother protected him from becoming bad and that people are all the same; “they have light in them – but they always want more!” Now we don’t know whether or not the light is good or bad or whether it is just something that magnifies individual personality traits. Anyway…

Here is where I would rather keep my theory purely factual, rather than speculate on the rules created by Jacob. What we do know is that the MiB was forced to find a loophole in Jacobs rules, in order to kill Jacob and thus leave the Island and this took him hundreds, if not thousands of years. So, from the last scene in Across the Sea until Ben is killed by Jacob, that has been the process the MiB has followed in order to find his loophole. He tried unsuccessfully to use Alpert and probably many, many others e.g. Hanso etc. Whether or not the MiB becomes aware of the rules in full upon becoming the smoke monster is unclear, but what we do know is that he is aware of the fact that Jacob must be killed with the dagger without being allowed to speak; in the same vein as the MiB killed his fake mother. What we also know from the rules laid down by Jacob is that Jacob is trying to prove something to the MiB. He’s trying to prove something about people and their make-up; their character, it seems. It may be that Jacob disagrees with his mother and thinks that man can come or be brought to the Island and not only be interested in obtaining the light/source and it’s power. Perhaps he believes, unlike his brother, that not all people are bad, greedy, selfish and thinks that he can somehow change or remove that trait within them with some gentle guidance; I don’t know and for the purpose of making me theory more sound and factual, I don’t want to speculate too much. What I do believe though, from what the MiB says on the beach, when sat with Jacob, is that up until that point, every time Jacob has attempted to prove the MiB wrong, he has been unsuccesful and things have ended the same. When he says “ended the same” I believe the MiB is referring to the systematic destruction and killing of those who get too close to finding the light/source and thus using its power… I believe that Jacob is the one who carries out this killing, in his role as protector and feels no remorse for it as it is done within the interests of the Island – just like his mother done with the MiBs people, before she filled in the well. She did this because they came too close to harnessing the light for their own use and thus getting themselves off the island. She couldn’t allow that and nor can Jacob; just as he says “everything else is just progress”.

This, however, has not stopped Jacob bringing people to the Island over time – to try and prove to the MiB and probably himself, that not all people are the same/bad. Jacob’s upbringing via his mother didn’t teach him much about the world. He was very sheltered. His mother told him that it was only them on the island and that there was nothing across the sea. Only via his chats with the MiB did he know anything otherwise and therefore after his fake mother was killed, he then brought people to the island to learn from them – to learn about the world – to learn what’s across the sea.

How things developed after the conversation between the Mib and Jacob on the beach is still unclear to me e.g. how did Jacob become involved with Ben and The Others? How did Jacob manage to leave the Island to visit Ilana, the Kwons at their wedding, Sawyer as a child, Jack and so on and so forth! How was he trapped in that cabin, and was he in-fact trapped in the cabin, or was there something else going on there? What’s the significance of the ash? Is that part of Jacob’s rules?

I then read an interview with Darlton on, carried out 12 hours after Across the Sea aired where Damian Lindleoff said something very interesting:

(Discussing why they decided to show the clip from House of the Rise Sun) “We wanted to illustrate that by, at the very end of the show saying, "Oh, right, Jack and Kate and Locke are affected by the fact that Mother decided to raise her kids this way, and Jacob ended up bringing these people to the island." The idea was to say that this chapter of the series is significant to the story we've been telling you…”

This struck a serious chord with me and I focused on this specific line: “Jack and Kate and Locke are affected by the fact that Mother decided to raise her kids this way, and Jacob ended up bringing these people to the island.”

So… think about our main Losties and what we know about their lives, and how they’ve been shaped/affected by their parents:

Sayid – his brother couldn’t kill a chicken and his father gave him grief for it and therefore to protect his brother, Sayid rung the chickens neck. In essence, this was the start of Sayid’s brutality. Jack – father never showed him any appreciation, despite him being a top student and fantastic doctor; always made him feel second best and therefore Jack has always strode to be the very best he can be and over-excel in everything he does. Kate – mother and father seperated and her mother chose her abusive step-father over her; hence why she is aggressive and cant hold down a relationship. Sun – over-bearing father, with too much of an influence in her life – doesn’t let her make her own decisions. Jin – brought up by a fisherman in humble surroundings; became ashamed of his father and therefore aspired to be something better than his father. Charlie – sibling rivalry with his brother, who was always the more important one. This is something he probably felt from an early age due to the way his parents treated him… Hurley – his father abbandoned him and then came back into his life when he won the lottery. Turned to food as a comfort… Sawyer – his mother and father were killed at an early age and this resulted in him growing up vengeful. Locke – he was orphaned, raised in a foster home, had no confidence; was bullyed at school and grew up letting people walk all over him.

Did Jacob simply get too mixed up with people who have family issues, like himself and his brother? Was he trying to prove something to his brother about the way you are brought up and how you don’t have to let it affect you/make you angry and that you still have a choice? Was he basically saying to his brother “listen, I know that wasn’t our real mother and that she killed our maternal mother, but she raised us and she raised us to stop us from becoming bad and although what she did wasn’t right I forgave her and decided to stay with her!”. Whereas his brother is resentful and is saying “how could you stay with this women who killed our mother? How could you disown me to stay with her? How can you now protect this island and stay here despite the fact that you don’t belong here?”

Perhaps Jacob was always trying to prove the MiB wrong about his feelings towards their fake mother; basically trying to prove to him that you don’t have to be the person that your parents/parental situation has created e.g. Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Hurley, Locke! They have choices. They can let go. They can change. They can accept their circumstances!

Again this is only me theory, but for me it still doesn’t explain a lot of things about Jacob – but I’ve always bought into Lost and have enjoyed it from the start and can therefore just accept that some things are the way the are and I don’t question them too much anymore. But if I’m honest, I would like to know how Jacob became involved with Ben and the Others…

(Aldo25983 19:37, May 13, 2010 (UTC))

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