"Across the Sea" is the fifteenth episode in Season 6 of Lost and the 118th produced hour of the series as a whole. It aired on May 11, 2010. The history of the relationship between Jacob and the Man in Black is revealed.


Classical Roman era

Claudia asks the woman who she is.

About two millennia before the crash of Oceanic Flight 815, a woman named Claudia surfaces from the ocean and clings to the remains of a ship. She looks around and sees an island. Eventually, she is washed ashore and as she struggles to her feet her billowing red dress reveals her advanced pregnancy. The beach is strewn with debris from the shipwreck. She makes her way inland and drinks from a stream. As she drinks, she is startled to see a woman reflected in the water. The woman takes Claudia to her primitive camp, feeds her, and treats her injuries.

Jacob and his twin, moments after birth.

The two have a conversation in Latin, and the woman answers Claudia's questions, telling her that she is alone and that she also arrived "by accident." Claudia begins to ask many questions to which the woman finally responds that every question Claudia asks will only lead to another question, and suggests that Claudia should just rest and be grateful she is alive. Claudia says she wants to look for other survivors from her boat but the woman firmly denies it, saying that if there are any other survivors, she will find them.

Moments later, Claudia goes into labor with the woman acting as midwife. A beautiful boy, whom Claudia names Jacob, is delivered. Then another boy is born. Claudia says that she had only picked one name. The woman cares for the babies — swaddled in light and dark material — with concern. When Claudia asks to see the second boy, the woman only says, "I'm sorry," and kills Claudia with several blows to the left side of her head with a rock.

Thirteen years later

Jacob and his twin explore a new game.

The Boy in Black finds an Egyptian game on the beach. Jacob runs up to him, and the Boy in Black tells him about what he found. He explains that it is a game and that he "just knows" how to play. He agrees to play with Jacob, but only if Jacob doesn't tell their mother because he believes she will take the game away from them.

The same day, Mother is working at her loom and she asks Jacob whether he loves her. He says he does and she says "Then tell me what happened." She joins the Boy in Black on the beach, and he immediately guesses that Jacob told her about finding the game. Mother says that Jacob doesn't know how to lie. She tells the Boy in Black that he is "special." She says that it was she that left the game for him. The Boy in Black says that he thought it may have come from "Somewhere else, across the sea." She tells him that there is nowhere else, that the island is all there is. The Boy in Black asks where they came from, to which Mother replies that the brothers came from her and she came from her mother, who is dead. The boy asks what "dead" means. His mother says that it is something that he will never have to worry about.

The woman introduces Jacob and his twin to the Heart of the Island.

The boys chase a boar, but are surprised when it is killed by three hunters. The twins run home and demand an explanation as to who these people are from Mother. She says that these men are not like them because "we are here for a reason." The Boy in Black insists on knowing what the reason is. Mother blindfolds the boys and leads them into the jungle. She tells them that the other people are dangerous because they come, they fight, they destroy, they corrupt and it always ends the same. She tells the boys that she has made it so they can never hurt each other. Mother removes their blindfolds and they turn and see a cave with a stream running into it; the cave emits a glowing golden light. She tells them that it is the reason they are on the island. She tells them they must never enter the cave. The Boy in Black says that it is beautiful, she agrees and tells them that a little bit of the same light that is in the cave is inside every man but that people always want more. Mother says that while the other people can't take the light, they might try and if the light goes out here it goes out everywhere. Mother has protected the place but when she no longer can then it will have to be one of the twins who protects it.

Claudia's apparition introduces her son to his true heritage.

Some time after, the boys are playing Senet. The Boy in Black tells Jacob that he can't make a move (sideways) because it is against the rules. He says that one day Jacob can make up his own game and then everyone will have to follow his rules. The Boy in Black notices the appearance of Claudia a short distance away, bathed in light. Jacob does not see her, and his twin excuses himself to go follow. She explains to the Boy in Black that Jacob cannot see her because she is dead. She takes him to a place on the other side of the Island and shows him a bustling settlement. She says the people came from across the sea thirteen years ago. She tells him that she is his real mother, and Jacob's mother too, and that he comes from across the sea.

Jacob argues with his twin over his plan and views about Mother.

The Boy in Black wakes Jacob up in the middle of the night and urges Jacob to come with him to join the people in the village. He tries to explain to Jacob that the people in the village are their people and that Mother lies about everything, that she doesn't love them and that "She is not even our Mother." Jacob flies into a rage and punches the Boy in Black repeatedly in the face. Mother separates them as Jacob cries out that his brother is leaving and going to the other people. The Boy in Black says he is going to go "home" across the sea and that she killed his real Mother and that they don't belong here. He pleads with Jacob to come with him. Jacob chooses to stay with Mother. Mother tells the Boy in Black that, whatever he has been told, he will never be able to leave the island. He says that one day he will prove that that is not true.

Jacob joins Mother on the beach. She admits to killing his real mother and explains that had she lived she would have taken the boys back to the bad people and that she needed Jacob to stay good. Jacob asks why she loved his brother more and she says that she loved each of them in different ways. Jacob agrees to stay with her, for now.

Thirty years later

Mother inquires about her son's giant wheel.

Jacob has finished a piece of cloth on the loom. Mother claims tiredness as she grinds herbs. Jacob goes to the other side of the island and observes his brother working at a project with the other people. He goes down to the Man in Black and they talk over a game of Senet. The Man in Black tells Jacob that Mother may be insane but she is right about his people being bad. He says they are greedy, manipulative, untrustworthy and selfish. He explains he stays with them as a means to an end, that is, to leave. The Man in Black reveals to Jacob that he has found a way off the Island. He throws his dagger wildly and it is attracted to and adheres to stone blocks of a well. He talks about the way metal behaves strangely at certain sites around the island and this has suggested a way off the Island. The Man in Black asks Jacob to join him. but Jacob says that the Island is his home and that he doesn't want to leave. The Man in Black says that it is not his home.

Mother embraces the Man in Black before attacking him and destroying his village and work.

Jacob tells Mother that his brother has found a way to leave. Mother goes to see him and sees that the other people have dug a well. After they leave she enters the well and finds him working. The Man in Black welcomes her coolly and complains how he has searched the Island and has not once come close to finding the cave. He tells her that he then thought about another way to get to the light. He tells Mother that the people have some very interesting ideas about what to do with the light. She gives a look of alarm at the knowledge these people now have. He shows her that he has found a way to dig into the light that exists beneath parts of the Island. He dislodges a stone, allowing the light to stream into the cavern. The Man in Black has constructed a wheel and he plans to dig a large hole into the wall of the well and use it and water to construct a mechanism which will allow him to leave the Island. Mother asks how he knows these things, and with hatred and sarcasm he replies that he knows all of this because he is "special." Mother feigns a goodbye hug and while saying that she is sorry she cracks his head against the brick wall beneath the fissure.

"Accept the responsibility of protecting this place for as long as you can."

Mother returns to Jacob and takes him to the glowing cave. She tells Jacob that he is going to protect it now. Jacob asks what is inside the cave and Mother says: "Life, death, rebirth; it's the source, the heart of the island." She asks him to promise that he will never go down there because to do so would be much worse than dying. She pours some wine from a flask into a silver cup, making an incantation as she does so. She says that in drinking the wine he accepts the responsibility of protecting this place for as long as he can and then to find a replacement. He is unwilling and is saddened at becoming her successor by default, as she had always favored his brother. She admits she was wrong and that it should have been him all along. Jacob drinks. Mother tells him, "Now you and I are the same."

The Man in Black wakes. His well is wrecked and filled in and he sees smoke afar. He finds the village destroyed and all his people dead. Examining the rubble, he finds and takes his Senet game, now charred from the fire. He staggers around in frustration and anger.

The Man in Black stabs Mother.

Jacob and Mother are returning home. Jacob says that a storm is coming. Mother agrees and sends Jacob off for firewood. She asks him to be careful but does not reply when he says that he will see her back home. At Mother's camp the loom is wrecked and the camp in disarray. Mother finds the game she had left for the Boy in Black thirty years before laying on the ground. As she raises the black playing piece she is run through from behind by the Man in Black's dagger. With tears in his eyes the Man in Black addresses her as "Mother" and asks why she wouldn't let him leave. As she dies she says: "Because I love you... Thank you."

Jacob is knocked over by the Smoke Monster as it rushes out from the heart.

Jacob returns and sees what his brother has done and attacks him as he did as a thirteen-year-old. He drags his brother through the jungle. The Man in Black reminds him that Jacob cannot kill him. Jacob replies that he has no intention of killing him. He brings him to the glowing cave and throws him down the stream towards the mouth of the cave. The Man in Black hits his head on a rock and goes limp, then is sucked in. Moments later the Smoke Monster bursts from the cave and disappears into the jungle. Jacob washes himself at a stream and sees his brother's broken body draped over branches nearby. He hugs him tearfully. Jacob carries his body back home and finds the two jewels and places them in a pouch. He lays Mother and the Man in Black's bodies side by side with the pouch in the Man in Black's hand.

John Locke names the remains "Adam and Eve".

September 28, 2004

Centuries later, seven days after the crash of Oceanic Flight 815, Jack Shephard and Kate Austen discover the corpses inside the cave, as well as the black and white stones. John Locke calls the pair "our very own Adam and Eve."


  • When the Man in Black is born, his mother does not name him, saying "I only picked one name." During the episode, both Mother and Jacob always refer to him with pet names ("My Love", "Brother") and personal pronouns.
  • Claudia is the third woman that we know of who came to the Island pregnant and near term, delivered her baby and then had the baby taken and raised by another; the others were Claire and Danielle Rousseau.
  • The Man in Black's dagger is the one he gives to Richard to kill Jacob in "Ab Aeterno", and is later given by Dogen to Sayid (to kill the Man in Black).
  • This episode is set in the earliest time of the series, reaching back about two millennia, and has the largest passage of time between scenes.
  • A likely translation of the Latin incantation Mother makes, when offering the wine to Jacob as his initiation, is: "For we do not accept this just as a common drink, but as if that (he?) should be one with me." (Nam non accipimus hoc quasi vulgarem potionem, sed ut ille sit quasi unus mecum.)
  • The title of this episode may refer to the song Beyond the Sea, which Shannon sings in French in "Whatever the Case May Be".

Production notes

  • For the only time in the show's run, no main cast members appear in original footage. Matthew Fox (Jack), Evangeline Lilly (Kate) and Terry O'Quinn (Locke) appear in archive footage only.
    • Episodes without any of the regular cast are a very rare occurrence in television, though Lost is not the first series to have one. Earlier examples include the 1965 Doctor Who story "Mission to the Unknown".
    • On Jimmy Kimmel Live after this episode aired, Kimmel briefly talked about this episode and joked, "It would be like if the third-to-last episode of Seinfeld had starred only the Soup Nazi."
  • This is the second episode (after "The Other 48 Days") to present the story in chronological order (except for brief flash-forwards interlaced into the final scene).
  • This is the second and final episode of the season to feature a flashback instead of a flash sideways, after "Ab Aeterno".
    • Hence, this is the final episode of the series to feature a flashback.
  • Like Sayid's flashback in "Solitary", the episode starts in another language before switching to English (which the characters are not actually speaking) for the rest of the episode.
  • Kenton Duty (young Jacob) appears as a guest star, whereas in all other appearances he was credited as a co-star.
  • This is the ninth episode to take place entirely on the Island, after "The Other 48 Days", "Maternity Leave", "Three Minutes", "The Brig", "The Other Woman", "LaFleur", "Namaste" and "Follow the Leader".
  • Dominic Monaghan (Charlie Pace) was edited out of the clip at the caves originally from "House of the Rising Sun".
    • The colors of the scene have been adjusted.
  • This episode has no "Previously on Lost" segment.
  • A joke title among the producers, according to Damon and Carlton on the official podcast, was "I'll Just Sit Here in the Dark".
  • This is the third of only three episodes of the series not to have a secondary storyline. The first two were Season 2's "The Other 48 Days" and Season 5's "316".
  • Titus Welliver (The Man in Black) broke two of his toes while filming the scene where Jacob is forcefully taking him to the Heart of the Island. [1]
  • This is the only flashback episode where the centric characters are dead at the beginning of the episode. The producers had previously had a rule that there would not be a flashback episode for dead characters. (Exposé audio commentary) "Exposé" gave the appearance that Nikki and Paulo were dead at the beginning, but they were only paralyzed at the time. "The Substitute" and "The Candidate" are the only other episodes where the centric character (Locke) is dead at the beginning.
  • In the first draft of the script, the first act of this episode featured Jacob and his brother as four-year-olds. (Across the Sea audio commentary)
  • An audio commentary by producers/writers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse is available for this episode on the Season 6 DVD.

Bloopers and continuity errors

  • When the young Man in Black is talking to his mother about the game he found on the beach, someone can be seen reflected in his eye.
  • When the Man in Black is throwing sticks for the Senet game with Jacob, the sticks shift position throughout the shots.
  • When the skeletons were first discovered in "House of the Rising Sun" (which this episode shows us in flash-forward) they were separated and not lying side-by-side, as we see Jacob placing the bodies in this episode. This continuity error first appeared in "Lighthouse" and was carried over into this episode.
  • When Jacob is about to accept the responsibility of protecting the light, he is standing while his mother is seated. There is a tight cut-away shot of him seated, responding to something she says. The next shot is from behind, of him taking his seat next to her.


The Last Episodes soundtrack includes the following tracks from this episode:


Recurring themes

  • Claudia arrives to the Island pregnant and gives birth to Jacob and his twin. (Pregnancies)
  • The newly born Jacob and his twin are swaddled in light and dark cloth, respectively. (Black and white)
  • After giving birth to Jacob and the Man in Black, Claudia is murdered by Mother. (Life and death)  (Deceptions and Cons)
  • Mother strikes Claudia 4 times. (Numbers)
  • Mother raises the twins as her own. (Children)  (Secrets)
  • The Man in Black and Jacob play against one another with the Senet board and pieces "found" by the young Man in Black on the beach. (Black and white)  (Games)
  • The Boy in Black and his mother both predict it will rain. (Rain)
  • The Boy in Black seems to have special insight such as knowing the rules to Senet and predicting the weather. (Parapsychology)
  • Mother convinces Jacob and the Boy in Black that there is nothing outside of the Island and nowhere to go across the sea. She further states the other people are from another part of the Island. (Deceptions and cons)  (Secrets)
  • The mother has been raising the boys in a cave and has not told them there were other people on the Island. (Isolation)  (Secrets)
  • Jacob and the Man in Black hunt a boar, which is taken down by men whom Mother tells them are "bad people." Thirty years later the Man in Black readily confirms this to his brother, having lived among them. (Animals)  (Good and bad people)
  • The Boy in Black tells Jacob he doesn't want to go to the other people by himself. (Isolation)
  • Mother blindfolds the boys before leading them to the Heart. (Secrets)
  • Jacob and the Boy in Black are shown the Heart of the Island by Mother and it is impressed upon them that they must protect it. (Leadership)  (Secrets)
  • Jacob won't admit to his brother that Mother knows he visits him. (Deceptions and cons)
  • When Jacob asks his mother what lies within the light in the cave she replies: "Life, death, rebirth." (Life and Death)  (Rebirth).
  • The Man in Black shows Jacob the well has magnetic properties by throwing his dagger, which gets attracted by the well. (Electromagnetism)
  • When the Man in Black is initially confronted by his mother in the well, she is bathed in light but he is tinkering in the darkness. (Black and white)
  • Although she first asks Jacob to choose to protect the Heart, Mother finally tells him he really doesn't "have a choice." She adds that she realizes "it was always" meant to be Jacob who would replace her. (Fate versus free will)
  • After being prevented from leaving, the Man in Black murders Mother by stabbing her with his dagger. (Death)  (Revenge)  (Parent issues)
  • Jack, Kate and Locke are shown discovering the remains of Mother and the Man in Black. (Character connections)
  • The Man in Black tells Mother he intends to attach the donkey wheel to a "system" that combines water and the light, and will go home when he turns it. Mother does not deny this will work, instead asking how he knows this. (Science)  (Secrets)
  • Jacob throws his brother into the Heart of the Island after he kills Mother. (Revenge)
  • Jacob closes the eyes of his dead mother. (Eyes)

Cultural references

  • Senet: The Man in Black finds a board and pieces of this old Egyptian game on the beach and claims to know how to play without ever having played it before. Senet may be the oldest board game in the world. Senet boards were often placed in the grave for the dangerous journey through the afterlife. Senet is also known as the "Game of Passing", and is said to represent the souls of the dead moving through the netherworld. (History)  (Games)
  • Stephen King: In the final Official Lost Podcast (dated 05/14/10), Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof confirm that the turtle seen in this episode was partially a reference to the works of Stephen King. (Turtles are prominent in King's The Dark Tower series, as well as in his novel "IT".) (Literary works)

Literary techniques

  • After helping Claudia give birth, the midwife kills her and steals her babies. (Plot twist)
  • Young Jacob dislikes relying on his twin to provide rules of Senet, and his brother says one day they will play a game where he makes the rules. (Foreshadowing)
  • When Jacob asks the Boy in Black how he knows how to play the game he found, the Boy in Black replies, "I just know." (Regularly spoken phrases)
  • The Boy in Black is told by his adopted mother that he is "special". (Regularly spoken phrases)
  • The other people on the Island were killed off in order to stop their knowledge of the Heart from spreading. (Redshirts)
  • The Man in Black seems to subscribe to a scientific worldview, associating with men who want to use technology to harness the power of the Heart. Jacob faithfully follows his mother's teachings. This makes the Man in Black the "man of science" and Jacob the "man of faith." However, the Man in Black eventually assumes the form of John Locke, the "man of faith", with Jack (formerly a man of science) replacing Jacob. (Irony)  (Juxtaposition)
  • Mother tells Jacob she killed Claudia and raised him because she couldn't let him become "one of them." (Regularly spoken phrases)
  • The Man in Black tells Jacob he's mistaken about his people seeming to be good since he is "looking down from above", revealing his firsthand experience among them. In "Ab Aeterno" Ricardo reminds Jacob of the Man in Black's involvement when Jacob states he wishes to remain aloof and observe the people he brings to the Island. (Juxtaposition)
  • As Mother tells Jacob, "You're going to protect it now." she passes her torch to him. (Symbolism)
  • Mother explains to Jacob his future role as protector of the Light and what he has to do and tells him "It's going to be you," sensing that her death is approaching; Sayid says the same thing to Jack after telling him to rescue Desmond and before sacrificing his life. (Juxtaposition)  (Regularly spoken phrases)
  • Jacob has light hair, his twin has dark hair. (Symbolism)
  • Jacob is wrapped in a light cloth, and his twin is wrapped in a dark cloth. (Symbolism)
  • As babies, Jacob is quiet, while MiB is crying. Jacob is content to have things remain as they are. MiB is always unhappy with the way things are. (Symbolism)
  • Mother is examining the black stone from the game box just before she is stabbed by the Man in Black. (Symbolism)  (Foreshadowing)
  • The Man in Black shreds the tapestry Mother was weaving with Jacob, but the Smoke Monster does not harm Jacob's tapestry while rampaging in the statue's plinth. (Juxtaposition)
  • The Man in Black rejected his mother, and called her a liar, but later came to believe the same way as her about people coming to the Island. (Irony)
  • The game of Senet is said to represent the soul moving through the afterlife. (Symbolism)  (Foreshadowing)

Storyline analysis

  • The Mother kills a shipwrecked pregnant woman to steal her babies. (Crimes)
  • The Man in Black is visited by the ghost of his birth mother, showing distrust and a desire to go 'home'. Despite joining the survivors he remains close to Jacob for a long time. (Relationships)
  • The Man in Black joins his birth mother's people to find the sources of the Island's energy so he can try to leave. (O-Missions)
  • The mother stops the Man in Black from leaving and kills the remaining survivors. (Crimes)
  • The Man in Black murders his adoptive mother. (Crimes)
  • Jacob throws his brother into the Heart in an act of revenge, a fate worse than death according to his adoptive mother. (Crimes)  (Relationships)
  • Jacob assumes the role of protector of the Light after drinking the wine from his adoptive mother. (Leadership)
  • Jacob places his brother and mother's dead body together and has them hold hands. (Relationships)
  • The origin of the feud between Jacob and the Man in Black is revealed. (Rivalries)

Episode connections

Episode references

Episode allusions

  • The Boy in Black finds a Senet game on the beach. The Senet game is believed to be the oldest game in history. Locke tells Walt that backgammon is the oldest game in history. ("Pilot, Part 2")
  • Mother predicts it is going to rain. John Locke also had this ability. ("All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues")  ("The Beginning of the End")  ("Confirmed Dead")
  • When attempting to access the Swan's core, Sayid tells Jack "We're not going to get in up here. Perhaps we can go under it." Likewise, the Man in Black realizes he can't get to the Heart above, so he must get to it from underneath. ("Everybody Hates Hugo")
  • The Man in Black throws his dagger at the well to show that it's magnetic, just like Mr. Eko threw Charlie's belt at the Swan wall. ("Live Together, Die Alone, Part 2")
  • Claudia pauses at a stream to drink, and is startled by an unexpected reflection in the water, just as Eko is startled by the reflection of the smoke monster when he looks in the stream. ("The Cost of Living")
  • Similar to Ben, the Man in Black talks to his dead mother whom he never met, leading him astray from his people. ("The Man Behind the Curtain")
  • The Man in Black stumbles upon a site of unexplained mass death. ("The Man Behind the Curtain")  ("Dr. Linus")  ("Recon")
  • The construction of the wheel is shown. ("There's No Place Like Home, Part 3")
  • Jacob is seen learning the art of tapestry weaving from his mother. ("The Incident, Part 1")
  • Mother says, "They come, they fight, they destroy, they corrupt. It always ends the same" which was repeated in a previous episode by the Man in Black. ("The Incident, Part 1")
  • Mother says, "This is the reason why we're here," mirroring the Man in Black's statement as he reveals the names of the candidates on the cliffside cave wall to Sawyer. ("The Substitute")
  • Jacob drinks from the bottle of wine. ("Ab Aeterno")

Unanswered questions

Unanswered questions
  1. Do not answer the questions here.
  2. Keep the questions open-ended and neutral: do not suggest an answer.
For fan theories about these unanswered questions, see: Across the Sea/Theories
  • What is the nature of the Heart?
  • How did Mother come to the island and to be the Heart's protector?
  • How did Mother destroy the village and the well?
  • How did the Latin-speaking people come to the Island?
  • Before Jacob threw his brother down into the heart of the Island he hadn't become the "smoke monster" yet, so what was "The Mother's" problem with him and all his people leaving the island?

External links