Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Accross the Sea - Community Call

Black Rock LOST Podcast: Season 6 episode 15 of ABC's TV show, LOST. Curt, Dan, Nancy Drew, Lost Lindsey and our friends from the Smoke Hatch along with James. We get to meet the original protector of the island and see the first passing of that responsibility.


We see this canonical tale as not only the first, but the template by which it will play out, forever. Lots to chew on here. Some bonus material at the end of the recording as well.

Re-published original Talkshoe file for comparison.

Interesting discovery! The Ubercaster file is just barely larger since it ended up at 48Kbs (VBR), but was sampled at 44Khz and used a higher quality encoding mode in LAME. In my opinion, the ability to *normalize* the audio for the final audio with an RMS Normalizer should help with the overall listen-ability too since it should pull the audio levels together some.

You can play right on the feedburner page.


Casper said...

There seems to be a problem with the audio file - great start to the conversation for 6-7 minutes, then two more hours of delightful dramatic pause that would make Beckett blush. Too bad. If a full version exists, I'd love to hear it.

warningtrax said...

The audio quality, although brief, did sound much improved over earlier podcasts.

Man, I hope a complete audio file exists....

Dr Hoopla said...


Robert R said...

“‘Weeping as if I were a woman I roam
the paths and shores of unknown places saying:
“Must I die too? Must Gilgamesh be like that?”’
Then veiled Siduri replied to Gilgamesh:
‘Who is the mortal who can live forever?
The life of man is short. Only the gods
can live forever.’”
—Gilgamesh: A New Rendering in English Verse, David Ferry ”

So now we know what Widmore is after, and why it must be protected. A little bit of the island’s light lives in the heart of every man. And Charles wants more than his share. Were he to succeed in exploiting the island’s bounty, it would be extinguished, like the Passenger Pigeon or any other natural resource man has destroyed through thoughtless greed.

There were two trees in the biblical Garden of Eden, and the one that doesn’t get so much pub is the Tree of Eternal life. Its more famous sibling, the Tree of Knowledge (of Good & Evil) features more prominently in the story of the Fall of Man. Here the island serves as the garden and the devil, providing both trees and proffering their respective fruits. Until the lies of the adoptive mother are laid bare, both boys are innocent, even though we see the cunning and guile in BiB that makes him “more like his mother”. But it is not until the island provides him with the vision of his true mother that BiB becomes Eve and obtains knowledge of Good & Evil. He then offers that knowledge to Jacob, who reacts with violent resistance. This is the bloody fisted Jacob that fLocke saw while in the jungle with Richard.

Obeying mother’s rules is more important to Jacob, and it is important to her that he “stay good”. But just as the island once revealed its pool of light to her, she must reveal her secrets to her loyal son. She did kill his mother, and he’s not her favorite. Jacob is crushed, yet somehow not tainted. Here endeth Part the First . . .

mentalfog said...

Agree - I did enjoy all the "you're wrong" comments and can't wait to hear the back-and-forth when/if we get the full audio online.

Robert R said...

Part the Secondeth – Before I fire this up again, let me make a suggestion: CAN WE JUST PRETEND WE DIDN’T SEE JACK AND KATE IN THIS EPISODE? I want to believe more than anything that this embarrassing stupidity was something the Network Suits demanded for the LCD viewer, and not the idea of the producers. A horrible scar on an otherwise beautiful episode.

Once Jacob and BiB are separate, their perceptions of the island’s “others” begin to diverge. “Looking down from above” (the perch afforded through obeyance), Jacob sees the potential for goodness. Down in the trenches, BiB sees how selfish and manipulative they are. When MiB forces the issue by revealing his exit strategy, his mother knows she must act. She passes the protector’s torch to Jacob, warns him that to enter the cave is worse than death, and then goes off to thwart the bad son.

How does she do this? By raining hellfire down on his village, and by filling in the well with the Donkey Wheel. How did she do that? Well, when she told Jacob “Now you and I are the same,” she wasn’t being entirely truthful. Fate and the island (with her help) effectively “split” her nature between the two boys, Jacob remaining unstained (another way of saying “white”). Jacob would obey the rule his mother had broken, causing her to be cursed. Mother had already suffered the fate that awaited her dark son, and knew to warn Jacob against. She had eaten the fruit of the Tree of Eternal Life, and in doing so, found her own fate worse than death (and the ability to wipe out villages and do large scale demolitions). I daresay she was Smokette.

She is finally freed of her curse by the rage of her dark son, and that is why her last words are to thank him. The circle becomes complete when, in his own rage, Jacob consigns his murderous brother to the fate his mother warned him about, and Smokey emerges. The mother/protector/death-dealer was able to divide herself, and is survived by Jacob the Protector, and Man in Black the Death-Dealer.

The board is set. The pieces are in place. Let The Game begin.

Anybody have any thoughts on “channeling water and light”? I’m very curious about that.

Curt said...

Oh boy, this isn't good. When I get home I can take a look and see if it can be recovered.

Mairuzu said...

I personally think they HAD to in include the Jack/Kate/Locke scene to make it UNAMBIGUOUS that the resting place for MiB and crezzy mom was, in fact, the cave and that they were in fact the "Adam and Eve". Otherwise, people will argue over whether that was the same cave and whether they are really the same bodies and so on. Sure--you didn't like it, but the producers KNEW the Lost fandom well enough to leave that detail unambiguous--hell, even WITH that scene, there were people still debating whether that was still the same cave, so I can completely understand why they included those references.

By the by...I really dig Robert_R's last posting.

Nancy Drew said...

Ok, show of hands.........who stayed up WAY too late last night and feels like complete doo doo today because of it?


Dan, I'm looking forward to our podcast ping pong match on Sunday :)

Robert R said...

Thank you, sir. I see your point about Jack and Kate, still I thought it was a horrible aesthetic choice.

Eric Weissen said...

Wow, what an incredible episode, felt like a film. Good pacing and reveals.

Eschatonic said...

Neeeeeeeed your podcast!!! This episode left me feeling ambivalent - I either loved it or hated it and I need to chew on stuff with the aid of your insightful podcast to determine which! Here's to hoping that the audio is not "LOST"...

warningtrax said...

OK, this Smokie thing really has the wheels turning.

Did a Mother-version of Smokie destory the camp and fill the well with the donkey wheel? Along with Robert R., I’m thinking yes.

If so, can we assume that Mother is the only Smokie on the island during this time period? Again, yes.

If true, are we to then assume that she transferred this power to Jacob upon the drinking of the magical wine? Hmmm...maybe?

So, when Jacob’s brother took the face down Golden Swirlie of Light, would that not make two Smokies? For some reason, I don’t think this is right. We’ve never been led to believe that two pillars of smoke exist, have we?

Possibly Rousseau was right. Smokie is a security system. When the pillar of smoke inhabits the “right candidate”, like Mother Channing, it proves to be an effective security system. When it inhabits a poor choice for an island protector, we have MiB who uses the destructive power for his own selfish desires.

Still, there’s something not quite right here. I think we need a few more scene from this time period...

warningtrax said...

@ Robert R.

I'm with you on the jarring Season 1 caves cut-to. There has to be a better way to gently underscore the Adam and Eve reveal to those less obsessed with the show.

If you ever wanted show footage to feel like a network promo, you simply do what they did.

Miguel said...

This episode was good but not great. That story could have been told in flash back cutting it down to half the time. I cant believe we went through a whole episode that focused on MIB's past and we still don't know his name! His name better be awesome and not just JR.

Trollonymous said...

Robert R,

you are the ghost of Joseph Campbell and I claim my 10 dollar reward.

Robert R said...

@Troll. I consider that high praise. I have Campbell's entire "Power of Myth" series on VHS and DVD. Now all I have to do is get my 16-year-old to watch it, so he may realize that his life might have a spiritual component.

Miguel said...

I heard a podcast and they were saying that Jack said that the Adam and Eve were 40 years old. I had just rewatched that episode 2 weeks ago and Jack didn't say that. He said that the bodies had been there a long time and that it takes 40 to 50 years old for clothes to start to decay. Doctors don.t know everything :)

Vrictor said...

Is it just me or is %90 of the podcast seems to be missing

Miguel said...

Was it the wine or the drink that gave Richard long life? I remember that Jacob served him a drink from that bottle when he offered Richard a job. You guys might have already talked about it in your podcast but since I cant listen to it yet, ill ask.

Miguel said...

Was it the wine or Jacobs touch that gave Richard long life?

Trollonymous said...

@Robert R,

you'll probably have to come up with a fable to explain to your 16 year old what a VHS is.

Anonymous said...

@Robert R - I think you're right. I think mamma Channing was Smokey, and when MIB went into the light, he replaced her. Remember, she thanked him when he killed her.

Curt said...

Axel had the original TS audio somehow so I've put it in dropbox and updated the link so people could compare the audio.

Robert R said...

Don't know where to post now. Back to facebook.

Robert R said...

@Warningtrax - thank you for your acknowledgment. I know you to be a LOST scholar, and know your opinion is well-respected here. I do not think there were two, concurrent Smokies. I think that Mom was one, until MiB "liberated" her with the dagger, and that he became one shortly after, when enraged Jacob consigned him to the cave.

warningtrax said...

@ Robert R.
Thanks. I’m just trying to keep my head above water in your vast sea of literary connections. Very good stuff.

@ Black Rock
Outstanding podcast, both in content and sound quality. I think the second posted podcast is marginally better than the first. : )

I like the notion that Mother, as the protector of the island, was also Smokie.

As we saw in this episode, it indicates that the powers (as displayed by Jacob) were transferred to her via the Wine Ritual AND she then took a trip down the Waterslide of Light, killing her mortal body while her soul remained in a pillar of smoke. I think this is how it is meant to be. This is the entire ritual (well, maybe sticking a knife in the former protector is sandwiched in there.) The Wine is possibly the gift, the Waterslide is the sacrifice. Maybe the Wine provides wisdom to the candidate and the Waterslide provides the strength to see the responsibility through.

So, the brother that wants to protect the island has the half the power and the brother that wants to go home has the other half. This is the struggle that has continued from this episode up to and beyond the crash of flight 815.

Quick thoughts:

The one who drinks the wine is the only one who can find the light. Others must be led there by this anointed protector.

Both the wine and waterslide renders the candidate as ageless as Richard.

Jacob’s brother was alive upon his descent into the light. His body likely died when the pillar of smoke emerged, and the body later got hung up down stream somewhere.

Frozen donkey wheel? Frozen? How did this water become frozen and what effects did that have on this water-light confluence?

I have a feeling that Mother had the job of protector for a very long time and possibly was repeatedly unsuccessful in obtaining a replacement,. So, Mother resorted to raising her own candidates (in isolation) and was able to use her second choice...well, and her first choice as well, but that may purely have been accidental.

I find it a little odd that the brother who wants to go home has absolutely no idea where home is or what it is like.

Robert R said...

Comments on a couple of warningtrax' points

The one who drinks the wine is the only one who can find the light. Others must be led there by this anointed protector. I love this idea. It would explain why node of The Others or their leaders have ever stumbled across it. *Except maybe Widmore?

Frozen donkey wheel? Frozen? How did this water become frozen and what effects did that have on this water-light confluence?
I'm thinking about that "channelling of water and light" quip from MiB. and Ben's comment that use of the FDW to move the island was "unpredictable". Solid water would be a lot more "predictable" than liquid water when channelling light, so I'm thinking our "laboratory" culture (Dharma) froze it up to increase predictability. But that assumes Dharma even knew about the FDW. This is an answer I bet we'll be handed.

I have a feeling that Mother had the job of protector for a very long time and possibly was repeatedly unsuccessful in obtaining a replacement,. So, Mother resorted to raising her own candidates (in isolation) and was able to use her second choice...well, and her first choice as well, but that may purely have been accidental. I tend to think there are very few true accidents on this show.

I find it a little odd that the brother who wants to go home has absolutely no idea where home is or what it is like. Ghost Mom got him started, plus all the time he spent in the village, he would have learned plenty about home.

Good thoughts. Engaging.

Bob said...

Have to mention a couple of sources that will give insight
GeronimoJacksbeard - Jorge's podcast using the script for talking points and places scene 200 years in past.
Darlton interview about episode on that talk about the fact we will never know MIB's name so get over it and other things.

Bob said...

I also posted picture on Facebook of silhouette in clouds that looks either like Jesus or the mother as she says the words "drink this cup"

goldbeadz said...

I think the mother said "thank you" since MIB had released her and now she could die. But why? Is it because MIB is special? I know several people at work who were upset that they did not find out a name for MIB -- but I think that any name we were given would be too much of a spoiler or would be disappointing as well. For example, I was all set for MIB to be called "Esau" after the Jacob/Esau story in the bible. Kinda fits with Esau giving up his birthright and Jacob taking over for him.
I thought that there was no smoke monster before Jacob pushed MIB into the cave of light and by doing that facilitated the creation of the dark -- now there is the light (Jacob) and dark (smoke monster) on the island. I think smoke monster takes on MIB's form when he comes to Jacob on the beach.

If the mom could have been the smoke monster, why didn't she smoke monster out those men (the Vikings) when they first came to the island to protect the island?

Really wonderful to see C.J. again -- I love her as an actress!

Nancy Drew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kunal said...

Amazing episode, the one I've been waiting for. We got answers galore, some partial, some complete. Like the origins of Jacob and MIB, the Wheel backstory, Adam and Eve, the Rules, the source of the electromagnetism, the island's importance, and ofcourse, the origin of the smoke monster! I always thought that Smokey had something to with electromagnetism, the way he scans ppl with flashes, the sounds he makes and the lightning visible inside him and the way he can't go through a sonic/EM field barrier.

Very ballsy of the writers to leave MIB nameless! Makes me sympathize with him even more now. I'm so tempted to go over to MIB's side now. I always knew he wasn't evil and darkness that Jacob lied abt. And even if he is that now due to being the smoke monster, it was Jacob himself who made MIB that way. Yes, MIB did kill the "crazy mother" but she had it coming after what she did to the twins' real mother and after slaughtering an entire village of ppl.

I feel pity for MIB. He's been trapped on that island against his will for almost 2000 years. I highly doubt he's gonna spread evil into the world or anything like that when he leaves. He just wants to go home, across the sea. His methods may be diabolical but his goal is pure. My theory - Jacob doesn't want MIB to leave not because darkness will leave the island, but because the Light will leave! MIB's soul fused with the Light and has a part of it in Smokey.

I love how they took the scientific concept of Electromagnetism and told it in the context of the time period (the Source, the heart of the island and all that). EM is basically at the heart of everything. Every natural phenomena and force (except gravity) depends on it. Without EM there can't be Life or any sort of matter at all. Without EM, everything will "simple cease to exist". And it seems the Island is the origin point/nexus of all EM.

That is exactly what the Mother told us but in mystical terms: A source of Light that's a part of everyone, and "if the Light goes out here, it goes out everywhere".

Robert R said...

(reposted from facebook)

All through season 6, we have seen over and over again, a very simple ceremony, a ritual if you will. This ceremony consists of an offer – either an outstretched hand, a poured drink, or a proposition with conditions - that is either accepted or rejected by the object character. Most often these exchanges signify either trust or distrust between the characters involved, but there were at least two very important such exchanges in “Across the Sea” that not only were more portentous, but the significance of which goes beyond mere trust to the issue of choice versus fate.

When mother takes Jacob to the cave a second time, she does an incantation, pours the cup of wine, and offers it to Jacob, telling him he doesn’t really have a choice. As Jesus said in the Garden of Gethsemane, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will." (Matt 26:39). Luke said it this way: “Father, if it is your will, take this cup away from me; nevertheless not my will, but yours, be done." (Luke 22:42).

Here is where we get into religious dogma, so either indulge me my beliefs or don’t, but as a Christian, I believe that Christ had to choose to die on the cross for his sacrifice to have any meaning. Just doing it because it was God’s will (Mother: “You really don’t have a choice”.) would be like a German soldier who “was just following orders.” The absence of choice limits both commitment and blame for one’s actions. It had to be Jacob’s choice, just as it had to be Jesus’.

The episode’s other meaningful enactment of the ceremony of offer is when Jacob asks BiB if he can play his game with him. BiB says “yes, if you don’t tell Mom”. After Jacob agrees to the condition, BiB pointedly and very formally asks: “So. Jacob. Do you want to play?” What I want to point out here is that Jacob knew, based on the condition of secrecy, that things here were not entirely on the up and up, and that he had the choice not to play under BiB’s conditions.

Anybody who’s seen the 1983 film War Games will know where I’m going from here. In that movie Matthew Broderick saves the world from global thermonuclear war by teaching a learning computer that the only winning move is not to play. This is done by having the computer play itself in tic-tac-toe over and over until the computer realizes that it always ends the same.

Is it kosher to mix these sources and references? I don’t know, I feel kinda grimy doing it. I wonder if our candidates will be afforded Jacob’s choice, and this time choose the winning move.

Trollonymous said...

@Robert R.,

You're right, deals and occasions sealed in such a way come up often throughout season six.

From Sawyer giving a drink to MiB to Desmond's tipples with Charlie, Widmore and Minkowski.

When you bring up Christ in Gethsemane(sp?) I can't help but think of the writers' template (there's that word again) for telling a long sprawling narrative and that is of course, Stephen King's 'The Stand' where Mother Abigail asks the same favour of God with the same words, 'take this cup from my lips'.

I've noticed many people being dismissive of LOST's use of the Mother's ritual investiture but I suppose that just adds to Science versus Faith debate. I don't consider myself a spiritual person but I'm not about to cast aspersions on an ancient character's belief system just because I wanted Science to prevail in the Lost theme-off.
Even some of the people who want scientific reason to explain this show's mysteries are picking apart the plotline by questioning the MiB's technological method. So donkey wheels and aqueducts diverting a flow of energy to suit the devices of the ancients are rediculous but the D.I. just has to dig an underground room, install a couple of cabinets covered in knobs and dials and voila, they can time-travel, no questions asked.

Stupid old timey people.

Robert R said...

@Troll - You remember The Stand better than I do - I had forgotten that scene with Mother Abagail.

Don't get me wrong - I want the science to make sense also. There's room enough in life for faith and science. I probably wouldn't know the first thing about Christ and Gethsemane, were it not for Jesus Christ Superstar.

(if there is a way
take this cup away from me
for I don't want to taste its poison
Feel it burn me,
I have changed.
I'm not as sure, as when we started.
Then, I was inspired.
Now, I'm sad and tired
Why then am I scared to finish what I started,
What you started - I didn't start it.
God, thy will is hard,
But you hold every card.
I will drink your cup of poison.
Nail me to your cross and break me,
Bleed me, beat me,
Kill me.
Take me, now!
Before I change my mind.)

Even there, singing rock-star Jesus knew the choice had to be his.

Robert R said...

The Mother, "the Source" for the formative Jacob and MiB, is obviously corrupt. What is the message? What does one's life mean, if "the source" of that life is corrupt? Is this an opportunity for redemption from the sins of the
fathers (or mothers)? Is "The Source" of the island also corrupt? If so, I'm reminded of The Maltese Falcon.

Everyone who was after it thought it was gold. It turned out to be lead, and only "the stuff that Dreams are made of." It took a lot of gun-dead victims in TMF to finally come to that conclusion.