Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Lost: Blame it on Mom

Mothers...they're such a pain! They're always forcing us to do chores, making us eat our vegetables, checking if we've done our homework and worrying constantly.

They always turn out be impostors who bashed our real mother's skull in so they could dress us in matching black and white outfits, and keep us trapped on a magical island by lying to us about the rest of the world. Or wait...was that just Jacob and "the dark one's" mom?

The final season of Lost has been unfolding very disappointingly in my opinion. For 5 seasons we’ve watched complex characters struggle with their own natures; exploring issues of morality, hope, forgiveness and redemption. But this year the plot has devolved into a simplistic age old tale of good vs. evil, complete with overused dark and light imagery.

And this week's origin tale of Jacob and his evil brother revealed an even worse cliché....mommy issues! Poor dark one was just a regular child with who liked to hang out on the beach, hunt boar and play games with his brother. It's not his fault that the crazy woman who raised him lied about life beyond the island. He was so injured by her betrayal that he ran off to join a bunch of shipwrecked humans and swore to find a way to get off the island, just to spite her.

And what of Brother Jacob, who has thus far been portrayed as an all knowing God like figure of ultimate good and serenity? Turns out he's kind of a dimwit who is supposedly a sweet honest soul, but is really just too slow to question anything. He knows Mommy never loved him the way she loved dark one, but he still plays the loyal son.

Both boys grow up and still meet occasionally for a nice chat and a game of...oh let's call it 'stones'. Jacob is content to live in the caves and help his mother weave a tapestry. But dark one is still searching for an escape route, finally finding one by digging a well and discovering the elusive light that his mother once showed him as a child. She told him some heavy handed nonsense about how it represented all the good in the world and that no humans must ever find it because they’re greedy bastards who would try to suck it all up. The light was in a tunnel on the riverbank, but dark one has never been able to find his way back there. Instead, he discovers how to reach it underground and constructs a wheel that he believes will get him off the island (it's never clear exactly how he comes to this conclusion). When his mother learns of his plans, she ambushes him, knocks him out, fills up his well and torches all his friends. I can see why he's ticked off! He retaliates by wrecking her precious tapestry (which she appears to have been working on since he was a child...so either it is very difficult tapestry or she's just not very good at weaving) and staking her through the heart. As she's dying, she croaks that she just couldn't let him leave because she loves him too much and thanks him for killing her.

Jacob returns home to find mommy dearest dead and dark one kneeling over her body. He flies into a rage and attacks him, dragging dark one off to the entrance of the magical light riverbank, which his mother has since entrusted to him. Jacob throws him into the tunnel, because once told him it would be a fate worse than death. I was REALLY hoping dark one wouldn't suddenly turn into a smoke monster because that explanation carries about as much weight as saying ‘a wizard did it’. But unfortunately the all too familiar cranking and rumbling started and black smoke shot out from the hill. Interestingly the dark one's body washed up on shore and Jacob took him back to the caves to lay him to rest. So is the smoke monster merely a shadow of his brother?

My biggest pet peeve? The big reveal of the Adam and Eve skeleton's as mom's and the dark one's, complete with a flashback to the Season 1 episode where Jack and Kate discovered the bodies. Are you kidding me? Did this really warrant the Sixth Sense treatment??? There is no universe in which anyone who cares enough about Lost to be impressed by this connection didn't already know what was happening. There was no need to insult them by walking them through it. These are people who analyze every literary allusion and scientific theory ever associated with the Lostverse. I'm pretty certain they can be trusted to remember what actually took place on screen! I'm not one tenth as involved as those people, but even I could see that reveal coming a mile away.

Side note: I always thought Allison Janney was a good enough actress to rise above any material. Apparently I was wrong.

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