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TV Review: Lost – “The Cost of Living”

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The action is getting fast and furious as Lost aired its next to last episode until winter. What is the cost of living? Well, it seems death is the cost of living, at least on the island.

Oh, and I really think there's only one island, despite what we saw last week. I believe Ben showed Sawyer some sort of illusion. Had there been another island so close, how could they have not seen it?

Back to the island and the latest about those kooky fun-loving castaways and their demons.

This episode mainly centered around Eko, in flashbacks and on the island in the present. Last season, we saw a bit of Eko's backstory. Remember, his brother Yemi apparently died in a plane crash of some drug smugglers. When he found the plane on the island, Eko kept the cross that caused the smugglers to think Yemi had been Eko. Oh, perhaps you had to be there. Anyway, the flashbacks told more of the story of Yemi, Eko, a bit of their childhood, and the violence which ultimately would be the cost of living.

EkoThe show opened with an Eko/Yemi childhood bit in which Eko stole food and was admonished to apologize. "You have sinned." He thought he did what he had to do; he was hungry, he ate something.

Cut back to the "now" on the island, Eko's still in grave condition from the hatch blast, and Charlie, Hurley, and Sayid are concerned about him. Drifting in and out of consciousness, he has his own flashbacks to the drug running and his brother Yemi appears onto him. Yemi tells him it's time to confess, time to be judged. Uh-oh. That doesn't sound so good and I don't think a Jesus stick is going to help him.

Eko came to only briefly enough to mention his brother to Charlie, then he vanished without a trace from the camp. Locke, meanwhile, wanted to gather a group to head to the Pearl Station (hatch) in hopes of finding a clue to help them find Jack, Sawyer, and Kate, who are still in the clutches of the Others. Desmond thought the computers there could communicate with other computers. While others (not The Others) wanted to find Eko, Locke said he'd be going to the same place. Locke knew Eko would head to where the drug plane crashed right near the Pearl Station. So, two birds, one stone, and all that. "Don't mistake coincidence for fate," warned Locke.

In Eko's Flashback Sequences
After the initial childhood sequence, they focused on Eko after he "took over" for Yemi at his village. Yes, as the "new priest." An altar boy saw him washing his hands in the holy water and Eko told him he was "washing away his sins." Right then and there, the kid had to know he wasn't the real deal.

The armed militia men with whom Yemi had a deal to give most of the vaccine supplies in return for protection came around and Eko refused to deal with them. To prove their seriousness (and ruthlessness), they shot a village woman just to make their point.

When the militia thugs returned after the vaccine shipment arrived, Eko still refused to deal with them. Lead Thug said he was superstitious and couldn't kill a man of God. Thus, he was going to cut off his hands instead. Eko fought back and (seemingly) killed the men. "You do not know who I am," he said.

The last flashback sequence was Eko preparing to go to London as Yemi was set to do. The locals were boarding up the church. The altar boy's mother warned Eko to repent and to start making his peace now.

On the Island With Jack and the Others
Jack got a personal invite from Ben to Colleen's funeral (the woman Sun shot). He wasn't told he was going to a funeral, but he did get a nifty gauzy-white flowing shirt. He started asking Ben questions about his health and the tumor in the x-ray he had seen. Ben played dumb and said he felt fine, and didn't know what Jack was talking about. Sure, Ben.

The funeral itself was different from your basic funeral. Colleen's body was on a raft set out to sea, then set afire. And, all the while, tinny loudspeakers played a song, which I know that I know, but can't place. It's an older jazz/blues tune about an aching heart and holding someone tight. I guess I'll have to wait for the website with Lost Music to reveal it. (It's driving me crazy!)

At the funeral, we found out the spine tumor x-ray is indeed Ben's. He told Juliet she wasn't supposed to tell Jack about it.

Jack superimposed over Juliet After returning to the dry dolphin tank he's called home since being captured by the Others, Jack was visited by Juliet, who was bearing a cheeseburger. Ben arrived and wanted to speak alone with Jack, citing doctor-patient confidentiality. He told Jack about some plan they had to "break" him, get him to want to do the surgery, and so on. He mentioned how Juliet resembles Jack's ex-wife. Then he claimed he wanted Jack to want to save his life. He asked, "Do you believe in God? I do. Two days after the tumor was found, a spinal surgeon falls out of the sky."

After Ben left, Juliet went back in to the dolphin tank, this time bearing a video she claimed was To Kill a Mockingbird. But, it definitely wasn't. Jack said he didn't want to watch, yet she insisted, putting it on and leaving the volume off. Hidden from the closed-circuit monitors and microphones, the video itself was a series of messages to Jack. Juliet held up a series of signs, which said that Ben was evil, a liar, very dangerous, and that some on the island want a change. They want Jack to do the surgery and for Ben to unfortunately die. After all, it's a serious surgery with complications. No one would know. She told him it was up to him. He didn't commit.

The Pearl Station Hatch and Eko on the Island
As Eko headed to the hatch and drug plane crash site, we got glimpses of the black smoke wisps. Oh, no! When he saw a huge smoke more-than-a-wisp, all of a sudden it went away and there was Locke, new dude Paulo, Sayid, and the rest of the party heading to the Pearl Station. Later, Eko would ask Locke what he saw. Locke saw a beautiful bright light. "That's not what I saw," said Eko. Me, neither!

While the rest of the party headed down the hatch, Eko remained above. Down in the hatch, new gal Nikki gave them the idea to try to get the other monitors in the bank going. Nothing was on them until… eep! A man with an eye-patch looked into a camera, then blocked it. Yay, a new mystery! (I say this with sarcasm.)

Yemi once again appeared to Eko. Yemi told him he's ready to hear his confession. Eko followed him to a stunningly gorgeous spot, where he showed Yemi the cross necklace. When Yemi asked him if he was ready, Eko told him he asked for no forgiveness. He didn't sin. He did what he had to do to survive. "When I was a young boy, I killed a man to save my brother. I didn't not ask for this life. It was given to me and I've done the best I can."

Yemi just turned to him and said, "As if I were your brother."
Black Smoke Steals Eko
Eko shouted, "Who are you?" Then the smoke monster grew, snagged and dragged him (in photo on right). The folks in the hatch heard a ruckus and found Eko dying in the woods. He whispered something to John Locke, then died.

What did he say? Well, John said he said, "You're next." Yikes!

Answers? Questions?

  • An answer: We now know the tumor x-ray subject is indeed Ben's.
  • A question: Yemi indicated he wasn't Eko's brother. So I have to ask, is he not really Yemi?
  • A question: Why did the smoke monster look like an elephant snagging Eko? Was that just my impression or did others see the resemblance?
  • A question: Wasn't there a glass eye found in one of the hatches at one point? Is it Patch-Eyed Man's eye?
  • A question: I don't think Jack will botch a surgery to appease Juliet, but what if Juliet gains control of the Others?
  • A question: What if the whole scene with Juliet asking Jack (secretly) to off Ben is part of Ben's plan to "test" Jack?
  • A question: Why did one of my digital shots taken during the episode superimpose Jack over Juliet (see above)? Was it coincidence or fate? It wasn't on the screen. Oh, don't tell me it was just shutter lag!

As usual, there are more questions than there are answers. They think just because they're Lost, we should be, too.

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  • I wasn’t a big fan of the Mr. Eko character. He seemed a tad too one-dimensional to me. Everything with him seems to be about using his brute force to get his way.

    What made Jack initially suspect the x-rays were of Ben in the first place? They could have been of any of the Others, so why guess that they were of Ben?

    I think Juliet has a crush on Jack and she really wants to help him. Of course, help has to come at some terrible cost. She doesn’t seem to like Ben as much as you would expect.

    Overall, this was a more exciting episode than the previous one.

  • cedre

    Initially I couldn’t believe there are two islands either…my main complain was that Rousseau would have known about it. But the more I thought about it, I kept coming up with reasons why there should be another island mainly because how could Sayid and Jin miss the ‘others’ trying to get on their boat, especially if they were keeping a close eye for the ‘others’. The only way they could have slipped by them would have been to get to the boat from another island (of course it could also be said that they came from another side of the island by boat)….but now t-a has set me totally straight 😉

    Now…would it be faster to get to the crash sites by foot from somewhere on the island, or by boat from another island? Because Goodwin and Ethan got to the front and tail end of the crash sites pretty fast after they witnessed it. In fact Ben says to Goodwin “You run, you can make that shore in an hour”…so what does that prove?

  • buzmeg

    I believe the superimposed Juliet/Jack image is caused by a reflection from the glass/plexi-glass partition separating them.

  • t-a

    I hate the argument everyone is using about 2 islands: “how could they have not seen it?” There are at least 5 major LOGICAL reasons they wouldn’t have seen it. 1)Most of our Losties have not left the beach area, or explored the island. And when they have been exploring the island (the cave, hatch, etc), they have been surrounded by jungleand mountains. No Lostie except Sayid has explored the coastline (or sailed completely around it), and he didn’t get very far before being captured by Rousseau. 2)Rousseau’s map, further evidence, shows 2 small islands off the main coast and she’s been there 16 years supposedly. I know she’s kinda gone crazy, but I don’t think she’s making these up. She even marked one “Alex,” whom we’ve seen on the Hydra island. 3)Colleen, when telling Ben about Sayid, Jin, & Sun sailiing the Elizabeth around, exclaimed “they could find us!” why would she worry when the Hydra station is clearly surrounded by jungle? stands to reason she’d be worried about them seeing a 2nd island 4)The main island is HUGE. Michael said it would take them well over a full day to walk from the Swan hatch to the Other’s camp. I don’t know anyone that can see that distance, let alone through the miles of mountains & jungle. 5)The Hydra station was not on Radzinsky’s invisible map! Makes sense if it’s not on the main island w/ the other hatches. (and don’t say how’d the polar bears get over, because they can swim many, many miles at a time)

    I don’t know for sure there are 2 islands (although i’m very willing to bet so), none of us will until the writers clue us in more, but you can’t argue “how could they not know??” when logic says it’s far more likely that they would NOT have seen a 2nd island.

    closing note: amazing episode. we’re definitely back to the high level of season 1.

  • Also, I think the bit with Eko at the end revealed a bit of mixed-up religious weirdness. We’ve been told previously that Eko was studying to be a priest before taking on a life of crime, and a flashback of him justifying stealing doesn’t seem like it would be enough to prompt Eko’s bizarre theology.

    Then again, who knows? Most people have really odd ideas about Roman Catholic Church theology, so it’s not all that surprising that Eko would.

  • I thought that Yemi was clearly “Smokey,” which is what I’ve been calling the cloud of black smoke. The question for me is then this: Have mysterious figured *always* been Smokey? With the exception of Hurley’s psych-buddy, it sure seems possible. Jack’s Dad, Kate’s horse, Walt — could they all have been Smokey? ‘Cause Yemi definitely was.

  • cedre

    Is there a god? Fate or coincidence?

    All through-out the show Eko seems to be resistent to confessing to his sins….and as we see at the end he doesn’t even believe that he has sinned and claims he’s done the best he could. So then why is he washing away his sins in holy water???

    As for getting answers from this show…I don’t think we ever will! Looking back at past shows like this, it’s almost better if they don’t answer anything because it’s always a let down.
    Remember Laura Palmer…as soon as we found out who really killed her the show went downhill and became just weird for the sake of being weird.
    X-files never did answer the whole conspiracy thing, and left us hanging.
    Why do we watch showes like this? because our brain craves exercise…it yearns for a mistery to solve…that’s why CSI is such a hit too.

  • I was truly saddened by Eko’s death and more than a little suspicious of Paulo in the Pearl hatch — the bathroom bit. Seemed he was pretty damn comfortable there, don’t you think?

    I don’t know what to make of Juliet. On one hand, I think she’s going to be the key to Jack’s release. On the other, she could be the key to his undoing.

    By the way, I thought the Black Smoke creature was a bit reminiscent of a gorilla once it solidified a bit.

    I love the suspense, but wish I could get more answers!

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