Dear Lost writers/producers/anybody else associated with this episode:
Make me care.
No, seriously, make me care. Make me give a damn about these characters--Jacob, MIB, their mom, their FMom, and their plight/story. Because right now I really don't care. My give-a-damn's as broken as the bottle of wine we saw MIB smash a couple of episodes back.
You know who I care about? The characters we've grown to know and love for six seasons now. Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Hurley, Ben. That's right--I said I actually care about Jack. I don't really like Jack, but I care about Jack. I've been invested in his story for six seasons now. I want to have a clearer understanding of how all this that you spewed at us tonight connects up to Jack and...all the main characters that I like better than him.
I was more than willing to go along with you on a Richard flashback episode. The history, the mythology--I loved it all. It was gutsy and brilliant. Ab Aeterno is, in my opinion, one of the high points of this season. Plus, we've been curious about (and have cared about) Richard's character for a long time now.
And yes, we've been curious about Jacob for a while now. Smokey, too. But here's what I don't want. I don't want this series to be all about them. When I think Lost and I think "Why?"--as in, what is this show's purpose, and why did all of this happen?--I do not want the answer to be "Jacob and MIB." I'm OK with it being about two sides--one light, one dark--and there's a conflict. But I want the "why" to be more focused on the characters we've grown to know and love. Why these people? Why these particular candidates? Why, if Jacob showed up on the Island around 23 AD, as I have read in numerous sources like this one, did it take until 2004 for Jacob to finagle a way for these people to land on his crazy-ass Island? Was there nobody, let alone a whole group of 'em, who would have been a suitable replacement prior to 2004? Why them? Why now?
I want this story to be about something big, something grandiose. I'm fine with the concept of the Island being a special place, of having this special light that needs to be protected and not trespassed on (I'm simplifying the hell out of that explanation, of course--I know it's much more significant than that). I'm fine with our candidates being special and doing special things. I am not fine with this whole mess being created because of Jacob's family drama. We all have family drama, do we not? The world doesn't teeter on the brink of destruction because of it.
You told us who Adam and Eve were. And I do mean you told us. Why the hand-holding all of a sudden? We Losties are savvy, intellectual people. We like to be shown things. We do not necessarily like to have the answers thrown in our faces. And those Jack/Kate/Locke flashbacks? Yeah, you were using them to throw the answers in our faces. (And if you really were hell-bent on making that answer so damn obvious, you could have just eliminated the Jack/Kate/Locke crap and instead had a shirtless Sawyer pop up and say, "Son of a bitch, that's Adam and Eve!" Kidding...sorta.)
You showed us how Smokey was created: By Jacob chucking his brother's body into the stream of water that flowed into the crazy glowing cave with the light. The body eventually came out, and separately, a large plume of smoke came out. The bodiless entity of Smokey was created--who would then go on to take the form of MIB as well as John Locke. (He does not seem to occupy their dead bodies--instead, he seems to replicate their forms, probably why FLocke can be hit with a shitload of bullets and be completely uninjured by this, and can only seem to replicate the likenesses of the dead bodies despite seemingly retaining some of those bodies' original personalities and memories.)
You showed us yet another example of really shitty parenting. FMom murdered Real Mom, took away the kidlets, and didn't even seem to bother giving one of them a name; FMom also played Jacob and MIB against one another, using them to carry out her wishes (one would kill her to make her no longer responsible for protecting the Island; the other would be groomed to take over her responsibilities as protector). Hmmm, a manipulative parent...shades of Christian/Eloise/Widmore/Locke's dad/etc!
You made it known that humans on the Island were curious about what I believe is the electromagnetic energy of the Island. You alluded to those crazy well-type things being created by these people. You also made it known that whatever Jacob and MIB were, they--at least according to FMom--were not people. But we know crazy FMom lies. Those kids were conceived away from the Island, yet she told them the Island was all there was, that there was nothing across the sea, that they were not from across the sea. MIB didn't believe this concept, while Jacob did. And so we discover that this man who, over several seasons, has been held up as a leader...is merely a follower. A follower of words, often of untruths. And we've seen people blindly follow Jacob just as Jacob blindly followed what FMom told him. Like Jacob not questioning FMom, Ben never questioned Jacob until the season 5 finale when he was manipulated by Smokey in the likeness of John Locke. Ben, who had dutifully followed Jacob's orders, never questioning them, had finally gotten fed up. Richard, too, had always dutifully followed Jacob's orders--although, as we saw in Ab Aeterno, he too had his moments of being fed up with blindly following and not getting exactly what he wanted in return for his efforts and devotion.
But I digress. While I liked your gutsy, wild idea of doing an episode like this--an episode rife in mythology, sans series regulars, and loaded with answers--there was more about it that I disliked (or at least questioned) than liked. For instance: You have the actresses speaking Latin, and then, all of a sudden...they know English! Look, I'll buy (sort of) Sun "forgetting" how to speak English and reverting to her native Korean, but I will not buy this. It's 23 AD. Does English even freakin' exist? Again: We Losties aren't dumb. We can read subtitles. You guys have given us subtitles before in the early Sun/Jin-centric episodes and in Ab Aeterno, among other episodes--and we dealt with them. They gave the episodes authenticity. Also: So say the bodies of MIB and his FMom were left by Jacob in the cave around about 40 AD. Do skeletons really stay intact this long...to be discovered in 2004? Do they really last in a hot jungle with wild animals like boars (and polar bears)? I'm calling bullshit on this.
You threw a lot of answers at us, but there were more--and perhaps better--answers we could have been given. Why is it only MIB who is trapped on the Island while Jacob is free to run around tapping candidates on their noses and hands? In order for MIB to be free, why do all the candidates have to die? (In tonight's ep we saw MIB wanting to be free, but it didn't seem like killing Jacob was a requirement for MIB to become un-trapped--so when did it happen that not only would MIB have to find a loophole to get off the Island, he'd also have to make sure Jacob/candidates were destroyed?) Were those humans that MIB hung out with the very first Others? Why does Smokey spare and/or save some people (Ben, Richard) and not others? Why can only MIB see dead people while Jacob cannot? Why was the glowy cave much, much easier for Jacob to find than for MIB to find (who only found it when Jacob took him to it)? We saw MIB creating the Frozen Donkey Wheel, but who finished it up after MIB died--Smokey (is he capable of that?) or someone else (and if so, who)?
You've drilled it into our heads that this season boasts a lot of mirror images. Tonight I saw a lot of Jack in Jacob (being selected to do a job, but not having a choice about it). I saw a lot of Kate (helping another person give birth and then raising that child/ren even though perhaps she was not supposed to--plus, always needing two men to give her what she needs) in FMom. I saw a lot of Locke (seeking out answers) in MIB, and also some Hurley and Ben (the ability to see dead people) in MIB. And Smokey was even a bit of a mirror image of FMom--tonight we heard her utter the "They come, they destroy, they corrupt" stuff that we heard MIB repeat in the season 5 finale.
But I'm still looking for why I should really care about this episode and its main characters. I want to understand how this all ties together. You have one episode and a finale left to make me care. One episode and a finale left to give these candidates' stories the endings they deserve. You have given us nearly six full seasons of truly awesome writing, and I want more of that. I know you are capable of blowing our minds. So go forth and do so--as you've said, it only ends once, and anything before that is just progress. Some backstory like this is necessary, but please give us more and better progress with the characters we've invested six seasons of energy into. Those characters are the reason we're still watching.
3 days ago