Thursday, November 02, 2006

Lost Ep 5: "The Cost of Living"
As with Eko’s other episodes (and a lot of season 2), “The Cost of Living” was about religion and faith, and where that gets a person. We see flashes of the original flashback from “The 23rd Psalm,” and a new flashback that told us what happened to him in Nigeria before he headed off for London (he mentioned in “?” that he had spent time in London, so this one explains why).

Just as he sacrificed his soul for Yemi as a child when he shot a man, now we see him stealing for him, and again committing murder for the good of Yemi’s parish. But in the end, he’ll always be seen as the bad guy – the murderer, traitor, and devil.

The Others commit Colleen’s body to the ocean in a religious ceremony, complete with white robes and country music (there are 16 Others at the ceremony). They burn the body while it floats on the water, evoking the “Fire + Water” motif from Charlie’s religious season 2 episode. Ben makes a comment to Jack that he believed in God when a spinal surgeon dropped from the sky.

Locke, Sayid, Eko, Desmond, Paolo (bleah), and Nikki (bleah) all go to the Pearl station, bringing back the memories of “?” again.

The black smoke is back, and it is NASTY. Wow. Locke tells Eko that in “Walkabout” he saw a bright light: That’s the first time we actually heard WHAT he saw; up to now we simply saw him looking at something, and then he came out of the jungle looking all solemn and enlightened. But in “Exodus,” he saw something bad, and it changed him throughout season 2. Now he seems to be more of a believer again. Eko, in “23rd Psalm,” saw the smoke in the jungle, and it strengthened him because he could stand up to it.

Unfortunately, I’d heard so much speculation and spoilers and even had someone email directly to spoil me further, and so Eko’s death didn’t come as a surprise, sadly.

Eko and Yemi’s relationship is a complicated one, and Yemi seems so hard-hearted to Eko in the previous two flashbacks, yet in this one he’s worse than ever. Was Yemi really like that to Eko (we see he kept a photo of the two of them in a bible) or does Eko’s subconscious make Yemi seem that way, as if Eko cannot forgive himself, and therefore Yemi won’t forgive him, either? The woman who works at the clinic seems to act as more of a conscience for Eko, telling him that he needs to atone for his sins (which is why he goes to London and Australia) and that he owes his brother one church (which explains why he was building one with Charlie).

-The references to the Gospels in the plane discovery. According to the New Testament, Jesus was buried in a tomb. Yemi was put in a plane that was burned. On the third day, an angel rolled a stone away from the entrance to the tomb. Eko rolls stones away from the entrance to the plane. Mary Magdelene entered the tomb and found that Jesus was gone. When Eko enters the plane, there’s a Virgin Mary statue in there (different Mary, but they’re often conflated). Mary saw Christ’s shroud lying on a slab. Eko finds a bunch of sheets lying in the plane, and Yemi is gone. Mary finds Jesus in a nearby garden, and Eko talks to Yemi in a lush green area with flowers all around him.
-the Bob Dylanesque movie that Juliet shows, with her flipping the flashcards to Jack (though she seemed to hold each card for about 15 seconds, like he’s not much of a reader). It was a scary and intriguing scene.
-that final scene of Eko and Yemi walking away as boys. I loved that image, and thinking that’s the last thing Eko’s going to see in his head.

Did You Notice?
-when Eko’s walking through the jungle and he’s met with the spectre of the 3 bloody guys, they’re the ones we later see him slaughter, complete with the one guy missing an arm. **By the way, did anyone hear what the little altar boy says to Eko in the jungle? It sounds like “Go fish” which would be a Christ reference… but also seems a little trite. Am I hearing it wrong?
-every time someone asks Charlie about the hatch explosion, he evades the topic by asking another question. What is WITH that?? In this episode someone asked him what happened, and he jokes, “Before or after we found Eko in the polar bear cave.” BEFORE, you idiot, BEFORE. Cripes.

Annoyed by:
-Nikki and Paolo. Still. They’re coming off as an annoying addition by the writers and are completely contrived. It’s like they’re the narrators for the new viewers who didn’t see the previous two seasons. “Oh, see, this plane here, Paolo, THIS is the plane that had Eko’s brother in it, see? And he BURNED it, so that’s why it’s all black and stuff. Icky.” (Oh, yeah, and they’re also there to make the toilet jokes.) And right, Nikki would come up with the idea that the TVs are all patched in to different hatches, and yet Locke would NEVER have figured that one out. Duh. Go back and watch that scene again if you can, and watch the look on Terry O’Quinn’s face as he says the words, “Well I’m certainly feeling very stupid” and the monotone, unconvincing way he says it. Even he realizes how awful that line is. Damn, why is my namesake so annoying? Why couldn’t she have been more like Kate? Sigh. Are you telling me an awesome character like Eko has to die so the show can accommodate the likes of Paolo?? Help. It’s like that cousin that came to live with the Brady Bunch. A weird and unnecessary addition to a cast that didn’t need it, and people used that you-know-what term to comment on it. I just don’t want to hear the words “jump” and “shark” associated with this show yet.
-Hurley. What’s with him saying to Locke, “You know, JACK would have done it like THIS, so, uh, let’s just sit back and wait until Jack comes back, k?”
-the death of Eko. It seemed about as necessary as the death of Shannon. Did they really need to do it?
-Hurley to Eko: “Stay alive, dude. OK?” Nikki to writers: “Stay away from the bad foreshadowing, OK?”

-who’s the creepy pirate guy with a patch over one eye in another hatch? Is he also watching them?
-can we trust Juliet? I’d like to think so; she’s the only person we’ve seen crying in front of a mirror when she didn’t think anyone was looking. Or was she acting? Was she testing her face to see if she was convincing enough? I tend not to think so. I think Juliet can be trusted, and she really does hate Ben.
-will Jack kill Ben? It will go against his Hippocratic Oath, can he live with that?
-Is Eko a bad man? He doesn’t find his salvation on the island, and never takes responsibility for what he did. He killed a man to save Yemi’s life, and is not sorry for it. In fact, he says he’s proud. He says his life was given to him, and he did his best. Yet, we saw him working as a drug dealer and killing people without a second thought. Is he really a good man, or a man making excuses. Does he really see a vision of Yemi on the island, or is it a manifestation of the smoke?
-what the hell IS that black smoke? How did it do that? Why did it have the cranking noise, and the howl, etc. Is this smoke monster somehow responsible for the destruction of the Dharma Initiative’s research on the island?
-how did Jack know that the x-ray was Ben's? Why was Ben going to trick and cajole Jack into operating on him? Why not invite the new castaways over to your camp in peace and have him operate in good faith? Why wait over 2 months to get him there when the tumour is so serious? And if it IS that serious, how was Ben able to withstand such intense torture when he was locked in the armory?

Still don’t get: The continuity problem with the hatch explosion. Back in “Live Together, Die Alone,” Eko was thrown backward by Locke after Locke tricked him, had his Jesus stick stolen, had his eardrums blown out by the dynamite he was using to try to save everyone on the island, and then the electromagnetic pulse seems to have blown everyone sky-high, and blew Desmond’s clothing off. Eko is unconscious. So, from Eko’s point of view, Locke betrays him, attempts to kill everyone on the island, locks him out, forces him into desperate measures, and then… blackness. Then Eko wakes up, and there’s Locke going, “Hey, ol’ buddy ol’ pal, how’s it hanging?” and wants to ask him questions about what he saw in the jungle and how he feels. Why doesn’t Eko react differently? And why isn’t Locke more shell-shocked? He just made the most serious error of his life a few days earlier, a mistake that led to Eko being seriously injured, Charlie suffering from hearing loss, and Desmond… naked. (OK, so there was one good thing that happened from it.) Why isn’t he more devastated by it?

Overall, a great ep, and a sad one. Some of the dialogue was stilted, but I can live with it. And it ends with a cliffhanger that will not only affect next week, but hold us until the final part of the season begins in February.
Sayid: What did he say, John?
Locke: We're next.
Paolo: I play golf. And use the toilet.


The Chapati Kid said...

I cried at the end of this ep. Was SO sad Eko died. I still can't trust Juliet. And I totally agree with you about why Ben couldn't just invite them over and make it all nice-like. Unless they're afraid of that something on the island too.
RE: the funeral. Some insight. They're all made to wear Kurta-Pyjamas (white loose-flowing tunics and pants traditionally of cotton) at the funeral. In India, white is the traditional colour of mourning, and all men (be they Hindu or Muslim) will wear this colour at a funeral. The women wear white saris. Here, the men and women are wearing kurtas, and performing what looked to me like a Hindu funereal rite: burning the dead body. Generally, they burn the body until it's totally turned to ashes before they throw the ashes in the Ganges river, but it looks here like they're sending the body out and have lit the pyre at the same time.

Oh god, Eko died. I am so sad. It was heartbreaking. Now I have to finish writing my essay on the Brontë sisters.

The Chapati Kid said...

Um -- forgot to say -- the wearing of Indian-ish clothes and the Indian-ish funeral rite -- do you think it has anything to do with the Dharma Initiative? (Dharma being a Hindu philosophy and all.) Which was the point of that anecdote.

Anonymous said...

The little boy said "confess".
I had to rewind and read the closed captioning- love my TV- when I have it on mute, the words just ticker by...
I was shocked that Eko died, though, I should have paid more attention to Hurley's "stay alive dude"
Kathy T

Anonymous said...

Did you notice the way Eko was thrown around by the smoke? To the left into a tree... then to the right, into another tree. Then, straight up into the sky, then straight down to the grown.

Maybe it's the lapsed Catholic in me, but that seems to be very cross-like in nature. And the serene look on his face as he died, with the image of him walking with his brother, could that have been his moment of forgiveness? Symbolically crucified?

Or am I just reading waaayyy too much into this... I didn't go back on my PVR to check..

And I'll see you on Saturday! The conquering hero returns home!!!!


Anonymous said...

Yeah, I think the little boy said "confess" but it totally sounded like "go fish."

I complained about this on my blog, but I hate the lighting in Season 3. Makes the episodes less believable.

Hate Nikki and Paulo, too. Groan.

I didn't see the garden as Jesus-like until you pointed it out. Good catch!! But Jesus was burned in his tomb? I don't think so...huh?

I felt bad for you when Nikki was talking...sigh. I wanted her to be way cooler so I could tell you how cool you are. But you are cool anyway, even if she's not!

I don't trust Juliet at all. I think her little cards were Benry's idea...

Robert Thompson said...

My Nikki is far cooler than this pathetic Doppelganger on the show -- that's for sure.