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Across the Sea
Season 6
Episode 15
Air Date May 11, 2010
Writer(s) Carlton Cuse & Damon Lindelof
Director Tucker Gates
Flash-Sideways Jacob & The Man in Black

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Prev: The Candidate
Next: What They Died For

"Across the Sea" is the 15th episode of season 6 and 118th episode overall. The episode aired on May 11, 2010 in the United States. The origins of the Man in Black and Jacob are revealed as well as how they assumed the roles they have during the events of the series.


During an unspecified era, but somewhere near 1 A.D. given by clues shown near the beginning of the episode, a young woman is clinging to a piece of wood after an apparent shipwreck, and approaches the island. As she washes ashore, it becomes apparent that she is very pregnant. She is struggling to walk over the rugged terrain of the island and approaches a stream where she stops to drink the water. She is approached by another woman who asks if she is hurt and offers to help. Initially distrustful of the woman, she takes her hand and returns to her camp. The woman feeds her and she identifies herself as "Claudia". After an initial inquiry, The woman forestalls futher questions and suggests that Claudia rests up. Claudia indicates that there were other people on her ship and she wants to look for them. The woman prevents her from rising and indicates if there were any other survivors that she will find them. Claudia promptly goes into labor.

The woman helps deliver Claudia's baby, which is a boy. Claudia names him Jacob, and the woman wraps him in swaddling. Moments later, Claudia begins screaming again, and the woman tells her that there's another baby. After a few pushes, the other boy is born. Claudia indicates that she had only picked one name. The woman swaddles the younger twin and lays him next to Jacob, where the contrast of their looks is apparent, the younger being smaller and darker than Jacob, and cries loudly compared to Jacob resting contentedly. The woman looks over the babies, and Claudia asks to see the younger twin. The woman returns to Claudia and, with an apology, smashes her skull with a fist-sized rock. She adopts the boys as her own.

13 years later, a board game is discovered on the beach by the younger twin, now in adolescence. He is arranging white and black pieces along the board as he is joined by his brother. He indicates that he intuitively knows how to play the game and offers to teach Jacob how to play if he promises not to tell Mother that he has it, because she will take it away. Jacob agrees.

Returning to his camp, Jacob greets his mother who is working on an elaborate tapestry. Appearing suspicious, Mother asks what Jacob and his brother were doing, implying that if he loves her, he'll tell her what's going on. Jacob apparently tells Mother, and she approaches her other son, still on the beach, sitting on a log. He immediately knows that Jacob told her about the game despite his promise. Mother tells him that Jacob can't lie, like he can. He asks if he can keep the game and she replied that she left it for him. He tells her that he had thought it came from "somewhere else", and she replies that there is nowhere else. Probing for more information, he asks where they came from. She replies by saying that he and Jacob came from her, and she came from her mother who is now dead. The boy asks what "dead" is, and she tells him that it's something he'll never have to worry about.

Later the boys, spears in hand, are chasing a boar, presumably hunting for dinner. As the boar outruns the boys, it is killed by men who the boys had never seen before. They hide and watch the men garbed in warrior outfits destroy the boar and take it. The boys immediately run to their mother to explain what they found. They ask about the men, and mother says that they're "not like us" and the men don't belong here and "we are here for a reason". When the younger twin asks what reason, Mother indicates that it's not time to tell them yet. The boys insist and Mother puts blindfolds on the boys and takes them to a cave in the jungle. As they walk Mother tells the boys "They come, they fight, they destroy, they corrupt. And it always ends the same", which is the same speech The Man and Black gives Jacob later, as shown in the episode "The Incident", thousands of years later. Mother then tells the boys that she's made it so that they can never hurt each other. She removes the blindfolds and shows them an idyllic cave that's filled with a golden light. The boys approach the cave and Mother admonishes them not to go inside. She then points out that the reason they're on the Island is so that nobody will ever find this cave, and that the light inside can be found inside everyone, but everyone always wants more. And if men ever find the light it'll go out, and if it goes out here, it goes out everywhere. She tells them that she's been protecting this place, but she will not be able to protect it forever and that eventually the duty will fall to one of them. The younger twin appears happy with this information, while Jacob appears disturbed.

An unspecified amount of time later, the two boys are playing with the game, and Jacob expresses irritation at the rules which prevented him from making a desired move. His brother dismisses his irritation when he sees an apparition of Claudia nearby. Noticing his brother staring at something, but unable to see anything himself Jacob asks what wrong with him. The younger twin ends their game saying that he wants to walk on the beach for a while. He catches up to Claudia who tells him that she's dead, and she wants to show him where he came from. After a brief hesistation he follows her. She shows him a small village of people who came from across the sea. Then she identifies herself as his mother.

Later that night as Mother and Jacob are sleeping in their camp, he returns and awakens Jacob and tells him to follow. Jacob follows and his brother tells him that they're leaving Mother for the other people and not coming back. When his brother reveals that Mother is not their mother, Jacob attacks his brother, jumping on top of him and punching him repeatedly in the face. Mother appears behind the boys and pulls Jacob off his brother. The younger twin confronts Mother about the other people and her lies about how nothing was across the sea and how she killed his real mother. She doesn't deny this, and the boy invites Jacob to join him again. Jacob refuses and his brother expresses his desire to leave the Island. Jacob and Mother watch as he goes into the jungle.

Later, mother is sitting on the log at the beach. Jacob asks her if his brother will come back, and she says no. He asks why she killed his mother, and she tells him that she would have taken him back to those other people and they're very bad people, and had to prevent the boys from becoming like them. Jacob asks why Mother loves his brother more than him. She replies that she loves them "in different ways". She asks if Jacob will stay with her, and he says that he will. For a while.

Now an adult, Jacob is shown working on an elaborate tapestry. He asks for his mother's approval, which she half-heartedly gives, expressing that she's very tired.

Jacob is shown watching the other island inhabitants, including his brother, working on a project elsewhere on the island. His brother spots him, and the two engage in a game of senet. As they play the younger twin asks why Jacob watches them. He says that he watches to find out of Mother is right about them being "bad". The Man in Black indicates that although mother may be insane, she's right about the people. When Jacob asks why he stays with them if they're so bad, his brother responds that they're also smart, and he believes that they've found a way off the Island. Demonstrating the Island's electromagnetic properties, The Man in Black throws a dagger which changes direction in the air and clatters against the side of a well. He tells Jacob that there are places all over the island where metal behaves strangely and whenever they find one of these places they dig, and they've recently discovered something big. Once again The Man in Black invites Jacob to join him and again Jacob refuses, calling the island his home. Jacob returns to his camp where he tells Mother that his brother has found a way to leae the island. She reacts to this news with an unsettled expression.

At some point later, Mother is approaching one of the well projects that her adopted son is working on. She waits until the group leaves, and descends into the well where he is continuing his work. He rounds on her brandishing a knife. Recognizing her, he replaces the knife and allows her to join him. He then explains that over the course of the past 30 years, he's searched the island from end-to-end and was unsuccessful in finding the cave. As the men began digging their wells, he came up with the idea of finding the light using an alternate route, and that the men he's with have interesting ideas with what to do with the light. When she tells him that he doesn't know what he's dealing with he blames her for never telling him. He then removes a stone from the wall leaving a hole through which streams the familiar golden light which illuminates a huge wheel. Then he tells her that he plans to attach that wheel to a system which channels the light and water which will provide him with a means to escape the island. She asks him to stay and he refuses. Feigning a mother's desire to say goodbye she hugs her son, and then apologizes as she cracks his head against the wall.

She returns to Jacob and takes him to the cave again, telling him that he's going to protect it now. He asks her what's inside and she tells him that inside is "Life, Death, Rebirth", and then identifies it as "The Source" and "the heart of the island". She elicits a promise from Jacob that he never go inside, because what happens would be much worse than dying. She then produces a carafe of wine from which she pours a glass for Jacob, chanting in Latin as she pours, which implies that some form of ritual is in progress. She instructs Jacob to drink which will seal him as the protector for as long as possible, and then he should find another. He hesitates and implies that his mother is simply stuck with him, although she wanted it to be his brother. She then tells him that she was wrong, it was always supposed to be Jacob, and he doesn't have a choice. After another moment, Jacob drinks the wine, and she says that she and Jacob are now the same.

The Man in Black is then shown lying prone on the ground near the well, which has been filled in with dirt and rocks. The Man in Black is visibly distraught at the destruction of his work. He turns around to see a plume of smoke rising above the trees behind him. He runs toward the smoke to find his village burned to the ground and all the people murdered. He finds his senet board among the fires and retrieves it. Then surveys the ruins of his village in furious anger.

Returning to camp, Mother sends Jacob to get firewood, as she knew his brother would be waiting in ambush. She enters the camp, noting a fire that is burning and her tapestry and loom have been destroyed. She then finds the senet board amongst and overturned basket and picks it up. As she examines the board, which now only has a single white piece and a single black piece inside, a blade appears out of her midsection as her younger son has stabbed her through the back. As she dies, she thanks her murderer. He cries for a moment over his victim when Jacob returns with the firewood. Refusing to listen to an explanation, Jacob knocks his brother down and begins punching his face repeatedly in a manner reminiscent of the fight they had when they were 13. Jacob drags his brother toward the source. His brother reminds him that Mother made it so they can't kill each other. Jacob responds that he's not going to "kill" him. Dragging him in front of the cave he throws him down into the stream. As his falls, Jacobs brother hits his head on a rock and is rendered unconscious. The stream then carries his form into the cave as Jacob watches. After entering the cave, Jacob's brother disappears from sight, going over an apparent waterfall inside the cave.

After a moment a huge cloud of black smoke, which the viewer knows is Jacob's brother now separate from his body - issuing noises recognizable to the viewer as the smoke monster noises, mixed with screams - erupts from the mouth of the cave and disappears over some nearby trees. On his way home, Jacob stops by a stream to wash his face, and spots his brother's lifeless body on an outcropping of rock. Jacob hugs his brother's body and returns it to Jacob's camp. Jacob retrieves the white and black senet stones near his mother's hand, and places them in a small pouch.

The scene cuts away to a moment from Season 1 when Jack Shephard opens the pouch as Kate Austen watches.

The scene cuts back to Jacob laying his mother's body next to his brother's body in the rock shelf Jacob had been using as a bed.

In the future, Kate asks Jack who the skeletons are and where they came from. Jack reminds her about the unexplainable Polar Bear asking where that came from.

Jacob clasps his mother and brother's hands together, and places the pouch in his brother's other hand.

John Locke enters the cave looking for Jack and Kate and asks who the bodies belonged to. Then he dubs them "our very own Adam and Eve".

Then Jacob says goodbye to his brother.

Memorable QuotesEdit

It's coming 
- Claudia
There is nowhere else. The Island is all there is.
- Mother
They come. They fight. They destroy. They corrupt. And it always ends the same.
- Mother
They are greedy, manipulative, untrustworthy and selfish. 
- The Man in Black

Background InformationEdit

  • This episode is set entirely in a flashback with no scenes from the current original timeline story arc. There is a brief flash-forward within the flashback in which Jack and Kate discover skeletons in The Caves, to be nicknamed Adam and Eve by John Locke, which is archive footage from Season 1 episode "House of the Rising Sun".
    • Also Charlie Pace was edited out the archive footage.
  • The Man in Black's name is never revealed. His mother is killed before she can name him, and throughout the episode he is referred to as "Brother" or "My Love" and other such nicknames.
  • Jacob and The Man in Black's Mother's name is also not revealed. She is called only "Mother" by the boys.
  • Titus Welliver, the actor portraying the adult Man in Black, broke two of his toes while filming the sequence where Jacob was dragging him toward The Source.
  • This is the second consecutive episode where there was no "Previously on LOST" segment.
  • This is the second episode of Season 6 which features a flashback rather than a "flash-sideways". The other was "Ab Aeterno".

Dramatis PersonaeEdit

Guest StarringEdit



Needs Citations:

The episode has been heavily criticized for it's plot and story revelations which asks more questions than it really answers. Fans complain that so late in the series and only 2 episodes left, Lost has no need for ambiguous mysteries as this would be a disservice to long-time devoted fans who want answers.

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