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Across the Sea: Show, don't tell

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I didn't like "Across the Sea" because it felt like just a series of answers trotting out, but it needn't have felt that way. The problem was that so much of the dialogue came out as informative speeches that bore no resemblance to how the characters should speak. Take this scene:

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JACOB: No, it’s impossible. There is no way off the island.

[Man In Black hurls a dagger, which adheres like a magnet to a stone block wall - Astounded, Jacob pulls it off the wall, which stops a magnetic humming noise]

MAN IN BLACK: There are very smart men among us. Men who are curious about how things work. Together we have discovered places all over this island where metal behaves strangely. When we find one of these sites, we dig. And this time we found something. Come with me, Jacob.

... MOTHER: I’m worried.

MAN IN BLACK: Well, Mother, you should be. I spent 30 years searching for that place you brought me as a child--that…waterfall with that beautiful light. I’ve walked this island from end to end, not once coming close to finding it. But, then I began to think--what if the light underneath the island--what if I could get to it from someplace else? Figuring out how to reach it took a very long time.

MOTHER: What is that?

MAN IN BLACK: It’s a wheel…We’re going to make an opening…one much bigger than this one; and, then I’m going to attach that wheel to a system we’re building. A system that channels the water and the light. And then I’m gonna turn it. And when I do…I’ll finally be able to leave this place.

MOTHER: How do you know all this? How do you know it will work?

MAN IN BLACK: I’m special, Mother.

MOTHER: Please don’t do this…Don’t go.

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Why not, instead:

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JACOB: No, it’s impossible. There is no way off the island.

[Man In Black hurls a dagger, which adheres like a magnet to a stone block wall - Astounded, Jacob pulls it off the wall, which stops a magnetic humming noise]

MAN IN BLACK: I have a few ideas.

Cut to:

The MAN IN BLACK is carving a wheel.

MOTHER: Please don’t do this. Don’t go.

MAN IN BLACK: I have to. I don't belong here.

MOTHER: How do you even know this will work?

MAN IN BLACK: I just do. Because I've finally found a way to somewhere I've been searching for for years.

Beyond nearby rocks, through cracks, we see a glowing light.

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It's not as though the gibberish about light and water actually explained anything. And any real conversation about the wheel would have taken much longer than made sense to film. So why include it? Also, we already knew men had found EM pockets and dug toward them. Seeing them discover magnetism for the first time would have been great, but barring that, why repeat the explanation.

Or take this exchange:

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MAN IN BLACK: Then, I’m sorry I asked about her…Why do you watch us, Jacob?

JACOB [mutters]: I watch because I wanna know if Mother’s right.

MAN IN BLACK: Right about what?

JACOB: About them

MAN IN BLACK: Oh, you mean my people. You wanna know if they’re bad. That woman may be insane, but she’s most definitely right about that.

JACOB: I don’t know. They don’t seem so bad to me,

MAN IN BLACK: That’s easy for you to say. Looking down on us from above. Trust me, I’ve lived among them for 30 years. They’re greedy, manipulative, untrustworthy, and selfish.

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Why not instead:

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The MAN IN BLACK is eating a fish. A little away, a MAN is polishing a necklace. Two other MEN approach. One holds him down as the other takes the necklace.

Later -

MAN IN BLACK: Why do you watch us, Jacob?

JACOB [mutters]: I wanna know if Mother’s right. About them.

MAN IN BLACK: You want to see if they're corrupt?

JACOB: Yeah.

MAN IN BLACK: They are. The woman may be mad, but she's right about that.

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Yeah, that would have taken another minute or so of filming. But they spent like ten minutes filming Richard starving in the Black Rock. What changed beteen "Ab Aeterno" and now?

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