Live Chat: LOST, s06e16, "What They Died For"

Freud visits the Island

Turns out, the cheap thrill of seeing C.J. "The Jackal" Cregg bludgeon Jacob's mom to death with a rock wasn't enough to keep legions of Lost fans from moaning about how much last week's episode sucked. But for me, "Across the Sea" -- which explored the relationship between Jacob and the (still-unnamed) Man In Black/Smokey -- was one of the high points of the season so far -- which is saying something, considering that we're only one episode away from Sunday's hugenormous two-part finale.

A brief, obviously spoiler-laden recap: "Across the Sea" kicks off with the traumatic birth of twin boys, who are ripped from their Latin-speaking castaway mom by a strange weaver woman (played by the West Wing's Allison Janney), and grow up to be Jacob and Smokey. And it is Smokey's "crazy mom" who sets in motion the conflict pits the two brothers against each other -- Jacob wants to protect the Source -- the heart of the Island -- from Smokey.

From what I can tell, the main complaint was that the episode represented six years of insanely complicated mythology with Big Questions boiled down to "Because ... magic!" (Or to be more specific, "Because, a magical light-filled cave!") To anyone who finds themselves groaning in exasperation over that, I'd like to suggest: The show that sucked you in is not a show about electromagnets and theorems and mystical numerology. It's a show about tragically flawed people with crappy parents, and the patterns of dysfunction that they must reckon with. (Also, for what it's worth, Noel Murray of the Onion's AV Club -- another "Across the Sea" booster -- has a nice analysis here.)

As for tonight's installment: After an entire blissful 60 minutes away from Kate, it looks like we're going to snap back to reality tonight with "What They Died For." Which is a matter that sure bears some Answers, considering that the show basically murdered half the cast last week. We're no Eloise Hawking, but we foresee an episode that provokes plenty of WTF-induced outbursts -- and instead of just shouting at your television, why don't you shout along with us? Our penultimate chatjam starts at 9; be there.

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