Ever wondered what island life would be like on “Lost” without the cast of characters viewers have come to know and love (or loathe)? Well, Tuesday night’s episode offered a peak into that very scenario as the familiar castaways took a break and made room for a whole lot of “Lost” backstory.
Oh, sure, there were a couple of oh-so-important familiar faces, but when the tale began, they hadn’t even been born.
Evidently, long before Oceanic Flight 815 crashed on the island, and ... well, long before Oceanic Airlines or strange flying machines called planes even existed, a different group of survivors shipwrecked ashore. Among them was Claudia, a pregnant woman who somehow became separated from the others.
Luckily — or very unluckily, as it would soon turn out — Claudia met the island’s sole inhabitant just before she went into labor. She had a lot of questions for her would-be midwife, but as if to directly address all those oh-so-curious fans who may not be satisfied in the info-bomb of answers they were about to receive, the midwife delivered this bon mot: “Every question I answer will simply lead to another question.”
Ha! In other words, sit back and take the answers you’re given. If they only lead to more questions, then tough noogies! And by the way, they will most certainly lead to more questions.
As for the delivery, the midwife eased Claudia through the birth of her son Jacob, as well as the unexpected arrival of a second son for whom she never picked out a name — and never would.
The midwife had her heart set on adopting the newborns, so she killed Claudia before the young woman could even hold her babes. Thus Jacob, swaddled in a light-colored cloth and the Baby in Black, swaddled in dark cloth, had a brand new, somewhat homicidal mom.
It was an appropriately dramatic start for what later turns into such dysfunctional brotherly relations. But that was still a long ways off.
As New Mom raised her sons, she treated Jacob as the good boy, the one who could never tell a lie. But it was her other son, the clever one, whom she favored. That hint meant a lot to this little family, as Mom was full of surprises.
The biggest surprise came in the form of her legacy. One day, one of her little men would have to protect the island. After the Boy in Black spied a group of men on the other side of the island, the matriarch explained the all-important role.
See, people are bad. People hurt each other. But Jacob and the Boy in Black were good and couldn’t hurt each other. Why? She made it that way. How? Don’t know. Tough noogies.
Mom did reveal why the island needed protecting in the first place, and it had nothing to do with corking in the forces of evil, as Jacob explained in an earlier episode. No, the island housed a bright glowing light and no one could ever be allowed to find it.
“Because a little bit of this very same light is inside every man, but they always want more,” Mom said.
This would appear to be the same bright spot that Locke found so many seasons ago when he exclaimed, “I looked into the eye of the island and what I saw was beautiful.” And it was.
While it would be easy to assume the Boy in Black would be Mom’s top pick for island protector, future history dictates otherwise, and soon the story revealed why.
One day, while playing one of many rounds of sticks and (black and white) stones with brother Jacob, the Boy in Black had a vision. It was Claudia. She told him she was their mother and how she died. She also explained that the others on the island came from her shipwreck — as did the boys — and that their true home was off the island.
The Boy in Black relayed it all to Jacob, who didn’t want to believe it. In fact, he attacked his brother for even suggesting it. Guess, Mom’s “can’t hurt each other” mojo doesn’t always work.
Jacob became a believer soon enough when Mom confessed all. He remained by her side, but his brother went off to live with the others.
Years passed, and Jacob continued to meet the now Man in Black for their favorite sticks and stones game, but Mom kept her distance. That is until she learned that her wayward son found a way to leave the island.
She visited the Man in Black in his underground escape pit. At some point, he and his village pals discovered the island’s wonky electromagnetism and built a bunker of sorts just on the other side of the glowing center. By utilizing a giant wheel (the one Ben and Locke both used much later) to combine the light with water, somehow he would be able to leave the island.
That crazy plan sounded like it just might work, so his mother knocked him out, filled his pit and killed everyone in his camp. She also handed over her island-protector status to Jacob, as long as he promised to never go into the glowing light. It was, after all, a fate worse than death.
Hey, for those expecting some sort of parallel to the biblical tale of Jacob and his twin, Esau, you just got it. The Man in Black’s birthright went to Jacob.
Not that it mattered to the man who just lost everything. He had some revenge to exact. So while Jacob was off being to the new No. 1, the Man in Black killed their mom. Jacob didn’t approve, and in his first act as head honcho, he threw his brother into the island’s bright light.
The smoke monster erupted from one end of the light and the Man in Black’s body came out the other. Again, that “can’t hurt each other” thing is kind of spotty.
Devastated, Jacob laid his brother’s body inside a nook within the cave they once called home. He placed their adopted mother next to Man in Black’s body, along with the black and white stones from their game.
That, of course, set the stage for the skeletons of the Adam and Eve that the Oceanic gang found in the very first season.
Ree Hines appreciates the big reveals, but she’d also appreciate it if someone would go rescue Desmond. Seriously, he’s still in a well! Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/ReeHines and tell her which plot points you’re waiting on.