"Every question I answer will lead to another question."
In the last few episodes of Lost, maybe ever since "The Constant," it seemed as if romantic love would be salvation for Lost’s lost couples. Now, in “Across the Sea,” the series turns its attention to familial love. Good old-fashioned, dysfunctional, and oedipal familial relationships including the prerequisite matricide and fratricide. This version of Lost is beginning to look like a Greek tragedy, a tragedy with a quasi-mystical and cheesy golden wormhole and Jacob taking on a variant deus ex machina role, intervening in the Oceanic 815 passengers’ lives apparently for a game. Perhaps this all will require a true deus ex machina to solve Lost’s conflicts.
Allison Janney (right) is a terrific actress as evidenced by The West Wing and Juno, but even she couldn’t keep "Across the Sea" afloat. No matter how much crochet she might pile on her head, her flat Ohio accent and the clunky dialogue made this episode an enigma — as in what were they thinking?
They may have been thinking of the Greek goddess Hecate, patroness of crossroads and gates, a helper in childbirth and in the raising of young men. In Roman times, the time of Claudia, mother of Jacob and Man in Black, the goddess Hecate was known as Trivia — as in Lost viewers wallow in trivia. Hecate the goddess morphed into Hecate the witch, and that is certainly what Janney’s character suggests. With only a few episodes left, ladies and gentlemen, Lost brings you a witch. You weren't expecting that, were you?
"Across the Sea" is the back story of Jacob and the Man in Black, an episode that only fleetingly contained the survivors of 815. Some answers were offered up such as where the the donkey wheel came from, who Adam and Eve were, and the exact relationship of Jacob and the Man in Black (who continues to be nameless as does his foster mother), but in the category of “every question I answer will lead to another question,” more questions are then unearthed. This is Lost’s m.o. (Latin), but were these answers enough to atone for the grievous sin of “Across the Sea” e.g. (more Latin!) this six year season is all due to a brothers' quarrel? Lost’s “Mother Loved You Best!” episode gives sibling rivalries all over history a bad name.