David Gaynes has offered up his thoughts on “Across the Sea,” the Lost episode that contextualized the contest between Jacob and the Man in Black (and finally revealed what those freaking skeletons were). David’s reactions to Alison Janney’s bad parenting and a REALLY off-color caption about Walt Whitman after the jump!
Season 6, Episode 15 – METADEATH
Metadeath. It could be a great name for a band. A metal band with an intellectually-snobbish twist. I dare you reader/musician to do it. Metadeath; like death, but with more meaning. Brought to you by Lost.
Family betrayals, the return of the black, cloudy spirit-thingy and more biblical metaphors than I thought could be rammed down my McDonald’s-stuffed gullet. I just finished watching the parable titled “Across the Sea” and I am left wondering if watching this series backwards allows me greater flexibility in interpretation or if I am as truly LOST as those who viewed the series in the conventional order. The island, as a concept, has always been full of wonder for us humans, long
before all that “every man is an island” horseshit (Is Walt Whitman finally out of the closet or not?). As if the concept of island-as-metaphor wasn’t blatant enough, with “Across the Sea” we have a sort of island-within-an-island. I can only imagine how confounding this bible-story might be for those watching in order, eagerly awaiting the conclusion of the series, desperately seeking meaning within all those hours spent watching tide commercials (sidebar: I’m watching most of these episodes via surly websites that repost them without commercials. I don’t know where to find them because I made a new year’s resolution to Google less. But Rick can help you with that if you want to join me in my TSOL escapade, commercial-free).
For me, the story of Jacob, his brother, his true-believing mother and the murderous mayhem that ensues is surely a warning against blind faith for all of us watching in sequence. But what about the lonely lost soul who watches Lost backwards? The TSOL? (Note to Rick and readers: TSOL makes a fantastic noun). The TSOL encounters an episode like this and is armed with a greater sense of meaning for the series as a whole. Seeing something like this early on gives me a sense that Rick’s crazy experiment might just be worthy of replication. Who knows, maybe in a few years they’ll have TSOL DVDs for sale–the entire series of Lost but in reverse. I will be proud of have been the lab rat. That is, if Rick doesn’t euthanize me at the end of this experiment. Rick, you’re not going to euthanize me at the end of this experiment are you? Not that you’d warn me. You’d just bash me over the head with a rock like the stern mother hen that you are. All in the name of protecting your island. Fuck this, I’m going back to watching The Wire, in the order that God and David Simon intended.