Huh?! What the hell just happened?
According to the Carlton Cuse and the other big-wigs at LOST, we were promised two straight-up mythology episodes this season to help explain the back story of the island. The first, “Ab Aeterno,” was the fantastic Richard-centric episode. Last night we saw the latter of the two, “Across the Sea.” And if I had only one word to characterize the episode, it would be this one: lame. I didn’t take notes, mainly because I expected to be so engrossed that I didn’t want to bother. In retrospect, I’m particularly glad I didn’t, as it was, perhaps, the greatest letdown on LOST to date. Granted, it had its moments, but that first 30 minutes (save the opening sequence, that is) was dreadful. I did, however, totally call what was going to happen the minute I saw the woman floating in the water. So there. [Note: the best part of “Across the Sea” was that it reminded me of this.]
One of the cardinal rules of writing is “Show, don’t tell.” Unfortunately, the majority of season 6 has been “tell.” I’ve touched on it numerous times, but I’ll say it once again: the pacing this season has been horseshit. Once the writers and ABC determined the show’s endpoint (i.e., a six-season run), they didn’t immediately go into hurry-up mode, which was great. That is, they allowed for character development and story to unfold at a fantastic pace. But then, all of season, the final season was upon them and suddenly they let out a collective, “Oh, fuck!” It was as though, there and then, they realized that there was entirely too much to address, so let’s start feeding the audience answers to the things they cared about most. Don’t believe me? See Hurley and Michael with the whispers, Jack and FLocke with Christian, and last night’s episode with Adam and Eve. (Granted, I kind of liked that scene, as I had become more and more convinced it wasn’t Rose and Bernard in the cave.)
After thinking about last night’s episode, I came up with a wacky idea: what if it had been the season premiere? That is, what if “Across the Sea” was the first hour of season 6, followed by part 1 of “LA X“? By inserting “Across the Sea” so late into the game, it felt, well, misplaced. Had they opened the season with it, I think the impact would have been far greater, as it would have prepared us for more of an “anything goes” type of season. Instead, by going “back to the beginning,” so to speak, with only one more episode and the finale remaining, it felt out of place. It felt forced. It felt, again, like the pacing was completely fucked. And by the way, did we really need to introduce not only a new character, but one as well known as Allison Janney to play the part of their “crazy” mother?
With that, I’ve decided to do something different this week. I want you, the readers, to essentially write the recap. That is, let’s turn this into a Q&A as opposed to a straight-up retelling of the episode. What points from last night did you want to discuss? What did you like and dislike? What did we learn? Seriously, you’ve been listening to me go on and on in my LOST blog since the start of season 4. Well, here’s your opportunity to comment not only on “Across the Sea,” but about this season, and the show, in general.
The floor is yours, readers. Hit me up in the comments section below and let’s get this discussion started. Until next time, have at it, you vultures!
UPDATE: A thought before I get back to your comments. I was just talking to a co-worker about “Across the Sea” when a crazy thought dawned on me:
Any chance NotMom was also a Smoke Monster?
Hear me out. I forget exactly when it happened, but I just remembered a scene early on in the episode when you could hear the familiar clickety-clack of Smokey. In fact, my brother noticed it first and rewound it on TiVo. Next, NotMom is very specific on Jacob never entering the cave of light, even though she says it the source of all power and essentially good. Well, as we know, MiB is floated down and emerges as Smokey. Well, what if NotMom actually took a similar trip downstream and was herself converted to a Smoke Monster? After all, she was eventually killed at the end of the episode by the “special” dagger. (And by the way, she didn’t speak to MiB first! See, it matters!) Finally, remember how MiB’s people looked when he awoke? They were slaughtered and laid out, with everything burned to the ground. You mean to tell me NotMom did that? I don’t think so.