The Cost of Living

Jen liked it. I didn’t. I can’t think of another episode of “LOST” where our opinions so clearly diverged. Jen felt the show was finally putting out after playing hard to get for so long, and liked that nagging questions were finally addressed. I thought the whole episode was awkwardly paced, poorly written, and amounted to an embarassing stumble in what has otherwise been a surprisingly strong season. Yes, some very big reveals were served up, and for those starved for answers, “The Cost of Living” was probably filling. I just wish it could be more filet mignon, and less Big Mac. And with the promos for next week’s half-season finale unabashedly proclaiming it the best episode ever, I’m very, very worried.

Mr. Eko died. And suddenly, he was a bad person and deserved his violent fate. Up until now, his presumed journey toward redemption was nuanced and dramatic. His drastic switch to evil tonight was jarring and rushed. There are rumors that Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje wanted off the show (or was no longer wanted on it), and perhaps Mr. Eko’s demise was neccessarily abrupt. They went down the checklist: Why was he in London? Why was he inspired to build a church? Even so, of all the character deaths so far, the end of Mr. Eko’s story arc was immensely unsatisfying. Even if the real world forced the hand of the show’s creators, I expected better.

Perhaps Mr. Eko’s backstory and death was unceremoniously shoved into an otherwise promising episode. And indeed, what transpired on the island was significant. But even those moments seemed uneven. Drastic editing, or poor writing? I’d guess the former, but what made it to the screen hints at the latter.

All right, all right, let’s start with the juicy stuff.

We see the smoke monster. There’s nothing hidden and mysterious about it now — it looms large and kicks ass. And Mr. Eko’s conversation with Locke about what each saw confirms the tantalizing doublespeak by Damon and Carlton a while back, implying that “the monster” doesn’t look the same to everyone. Locke adds a bright, white light to his previous description of something immensely beautiful. But the creature that stalked and finally executed Mr. Eko was very much the opposite.

We get a peek into yet another station, this one containing a man with an eye patch.

We learn, as suspected, that Ben is dying, that Jack has the upper hand, that Juliet’s resemblance to Sarah was no coincidence, and above all, that Juliet dislikes Ben enough to enlist a near stranger to end his reign and his life.

There were little things I liked, too. I imagine only Michael Emerson could deliver the line “shot to sunshine” and still appear menacing. Ben’s exchange with Jack about believing in god was surprisingly effective. And while the funeral scene and its white tunics was bizarre, a random oldies tune always makes things all right. And it implies our Others have some kind of spiritual bent… or Viking link.

But.

Nikki and Paolo? They truly make me want to kick over the television. Their lines are so contrived, it’s almost like they were superimposed on the episode like “Clippit,” spelling things out like we’re all idiots. That scene in The Pearl where she points out the other monitors, and Locke goes “D’oh!” was about as painful as any I’ve seen in this show.

But even some of our old friends seemed to be missing their usual grace. Hurley is used to spell out exactly why Locke isn’t like Jack in the inclusiveness department. Locke responds to the man in the eye patch with a cheesy quip (“I guess he’ll be expecting us!”) that would’ve made the late, great Jerry Orbach wince. Sayid just seemed dopey, dropped in primarily to be told, “Don’t confuse coincidence with fate.”

And the way in which Juliet got her secret message to Jack? I suppose it was clever. But I wasn’t feeling it. Along with everything else, it seemed about as subtle as a Mack truck.

True, “The Cost of Living” is the lead-in to the half-season finale, and traditionally, those episodes have been weak… basically a catch-all bin to put down some markers in advance of the big show. I guess to really appreciate next week’s episode, we basically needed to know that Juliet wants Ben dead, that there’s another station with a creepy man inside, and that the smoke monster is back. And now we know, and now we wait.

Whew. To be fair, Jen’s busy writing her NaNoWriMo novel right now, so obviously this analysis is biased quite strongly in my grumpy-ass favor. I’d earnestly love to hear from those of you who loved “The Cost of Living.” Because I’d rather think I just missed the point and got it wrong, than think “LOST” could take such a wrong turn.

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79 Responses to “The Cost of Living”

  1. debbie says:

    Well, Eko is gone, but did it seem like he was out of character today? He had been living a repentant life since Yemi died but was virtually unrepentant when asked to confess. THe smoke monster kicked his ass tonight but left him alone on their first encounter. Plus he never finished the church he was making for Yemi. I think there is more of EKo to be told, at least I hope so, but that last shot of young eko and yemi walking off into the sunset might seal the deal.

    and why are we stuck with these useless characters of niki and paulo and loose a great character like eko.

    are juliet and Ben playing Jack or are they really playing against each other.

  2. Brian says:

    I….just can’t believe Eko is dead. He was one of my favorite characters. Oh well, we always have Hurley.

  3. WHAAAA HAPPEN??????

    I was just thinking tonight, “I don’t really care that they killed Ana Lucia and Libby off the show. I don’t miss them at all really. I’m just glad we have Eko.”

    :-(……

    I really can’t stand Nikki and Paolo. I know I’m the millionth person to say that, but they’re annoying as hell and contribute zilch to the show. I know Nikki had that “epiphany” about “why don’t we try to watch The Others on the tv screens?” but, um, DUH! Did Locke really not think of that before she mentioned it? Because that’s what I was thinking all along. And where are Rose and Bernard??? I want them to go exploring with Locke! That would be much more fun!

    I wonder what Jack’s going to do. My gut says he’ll do the surgery and do everything to save Ben, since it’s against his nature to not save a life; even an evil one.

    http://www.flipthisbody.com

  4. j5er says:

    Yeah, overall a good episode… I think I’m satisfied with Eko’s death. I mean I loved Eko, and would rather of had Charlie or Paulo die, but at least it was done in a good way. I think his character was really resolved in this episode, and not just a “quick fake resolution,” like Boone and Ana Lucia got. Plus the whole smoke monster stuff was interesting. I guess its safe to say Christian Shepherd and Kate’s horse were the smoke monster as well. How the heck can it not be nano-bots?!?
    Yeah Niki and Paulo are idiots. They just wanted us to like Niki by giving her one decent thing to do.
    LOL Julie from Chicago… I want Rose & Bernard to go trekking with Locke! We could have the 50 and over adventure club! Bernard better watch his back, he’s the only taillie to still be alive (cept Cindi)

  5. j5er says:

    oh check this out… http://www.thefuselage.com/Threaded/showthread.php?t=62719
    apparently AAA wanted off the show, and Damon and Carlton HAD to kill him off, possibly against their wishes?

  6. Arad says:

    Is Barnard the only Tailie left? How interesting. Unless of course Cindy is still alive somewhere.

  7. Connie from Alaska says:

    I think Eko pretty much stayed true to his character. Remember, he wasn’t really a priest in the sense that he was called into the ministry. What he stayed true to was his devotion for the brother he “sinned” to save and then years later “sinned” against and lost. Can we consider that the two actions cancelled each other out in a Karmic kind of way? Was the “resurrected” Yemi the smoke monster in disguise looking for a last glimmer of goodness in Eko? When Eko failed was he eliminated for not being a “good” person…wasn’t he one of the tailies marked for death by the others last season? Since the hatch is gone, perhaps whatever “restrictions” were placed on the smoke monster are gone and it is free to kill as it sees fit. Eko to repenting of his sins forces him to concede that, if he had all to do over again, he would not have murdered to save his brother nor to rid Yemi’s church of the thugs stealing their medicines. He was not willing to do that.

  8. Sam says:

    Well, oddly, I agree with both Ryan and Jen: I really liked the episode for all that came to light, but it did have a sort of herky-jerky, somewhat disjointed feel to it. Much of the dialogue from our beach dwellers seemed overly expository, as if the writers felt they needed to catch up a lot of new viewers. And they’re certainly not doing anything that will endear Nikki and Paolo to the fans (although Paolo’s visit to the Pearl station loo was a nice touch, and wonderfully consistent with his nature as revealed so far; Nikki, on the other hand, is just annoying, even as I have the feeling they want her to be likeable).

    I think that Eko’s expressed unwillingness to feel guilty about his past WAS in character – one of the few elegant lines tonight was his about not having chosen his life, but having had it handed to him he did what he needed to do to survive. Now, we might not agree with his choices, but I can see his perspective, considering the conditions of his childhood and environment; the paths we take or find ourselves on are difficult to leave under even decent circumstances. Building a church on the island wasn’t an atonement but rather an attempt to make it up to Yemi for his that got shuttered.

    Juliet’s video subterfuge was a clunky device at best, but I guess it’s about the only way she could have gotten her message to Jack due to the surveillance situation. But it also opens the question: is Ben really evil? Or is Juliet?

    There was a huge amount of action, information, and revelation in this hour, which made it exciting and in keeping with the terrific tone that’s been set this season, but unfortunately the graceful writing we’re used to from Lost suffered, and our stalwart survivors on the “big” island did suffer from personal inconsistencies. However, it was just one episode, the realities of the form dictate that not all will be superb, and in the context of the show overall and compared with much of what is on television it was, for me anyway, satisfying overall. Am eagerly awaiting the next episode – even though I know it’s will leave us with plenty of loose ends to agonize over during the long wait for February….

  9. John F. says:

    I found this to be a disappointing episode from most perspectives. They’ve now killed off all of the tailies except for Bernard who really is a minor character (not even seen this season.) This immediately makes me feel like the first episodes of season 2 were just a waste of my time. Why introduce the tailies only to kill them all?

    I really dislike the two new characters of Nikki and Paulo. They seem totally out of place. We’re really to believe that they were part of the group’s inner circle all along? Don’t waste my time with them.

    Ben’s tumor raises so many issues. First, why didn’t the island heal it? Secondly, why such an elaborate scheme to kidnap Jack just to brainwash him into operating on Ben? Why not just grab Jack early on by himself or when they had him with Locke, Kate and Sawyer earlier? Why does Julia feel the need for such an elaborate plot to kill Ben? Why not just let him die? If Ben is so ill, why did he let himself become a prisoner of the losties in season 2?

    In short, at least with the Ben plot, there seems to be so many complex and convoluted plots just to get Jack to operate on Ben.

    As much as I’d like to find something, I’m at a loss to see how Eko’s tenure on Lost did anything to advance the story. What did his story add to the overall advancement of the story?

    The Honolulu Police connection continues. Get arrested as a Lost actor or actress and get killed off the show.

  10. Dave - melbourne - aus says:

    sorry ryan and jen I liked the episode – enjoy the ride remember? here is promo for next week from Lost-Media – 3×06: I Do Promotional Trailer – http://www.lost-media.com/modules.php?name=Downloads&d_op=getit&lid=650

  11. Dave says:

    Well, I actually really liked this episode, with one huge exception: Mr Eko’s death. He was one of the few really interesting and nuanced characters, I though. Of everyone who has been killed, only he and Libby sort of upset me when they went; the others I didn’t miss much. I think part of this is they HUGE plot threads left wide open… but maybe we’ll see more of Eko in flashbacks, as we did with Libby. We already know he saw Claire’s psychic.

    I agree with all of the commeents above as well: Paola is annoying, but at least a humorous knucklehead. Nikki seems to have no redeeming qualities and a fantastic agent.

    What the heck is the smoke? And does it strike anyone else as odd that every person we’ve seen via hallucination/apparation on the island is dead EXCEPT for Dave (who was imaginary) and Walt? Yemi, Boone, Christian Shepherd…

    In response to a few of the comments above:
    – Eko does what he has to do. He does feel remorse at times; he clearly was not proud of (most of) the killings in Nigeria, and he wasn’t happy about killing the Others (hence the 40 days of silence). But he’s not a BAD person; his actions are never without justification. But perhaps the smoke doesn’t see things in shades of gray; just, “if you kill someone, you’re bad.”
    – I am not sure if Juliet and Ben are screwing with Jack. This all seems highly coincidental. On the one hand, very little of the show is coincidence, and, as they say, we wouldn’t want to confuse coincidence with fate. On the other hand, Jack did drop out of the sky throught no action of Ben. Either way, it’s clear that Juliet and Ben don’t see eye to eye, and I suspect she is out to do him in (with support of some of the others, like Tom and Bea).
    – As for the spinal tumor… maybe Ben has been healed somewhat by the island… if it’s as aggressive as Jack claims maybe that’s how he’s stayed alivw this long and why he hasn’t tried to leave the island despite apparently knowing how to get off it. I for one am amazed that Jack could look at an X-ray of a man’s lumbar spine (low back) and know he had a tumor on his cervical spine (neck) from across the room, especially when most neurosurgeons deal with MRIs, not x-rays.

  12. Deborah from South Florida says:

    Hi, everyone:
    I SO agree with all of you who intensely dislike the addition of Nikki and Paolo. I think the only reason they were added was for their looks. I felt like their characters say the stupidest things and make pointless observations. I was so upset that they killed off Ecko and kept these two characters. I also think that if the actors on Lost want to kept their jobs, don’t get arrested by the Hawaii police. Coincidence?

  13. Blondie says:

    I think Juliet is lying to Jack. I think this is all part of Benry’s master plan to gain Jack’s trust. I’m not so sure the tumor is even real. Smells like a con to me.

    About the smoke monster: I don’t think the monster is generating ALL of the visions–Kate’s horse, etc. The monster makes a clicking sound every time it appears and the horse didn’t have the clicks. But I might be thinking too hard about it.

  14. parissa says:

    What about the glare on the glass. when Juliet showed the movie to him…
    the glass may show a glare and give her message away to the camera.

  15. I Miss Boone! says:

    The episode BORED me! I think back to the Episode where Libby & AnaLucia died and this doesn’t come even halfway close. I liked Eko — but didn’t get upset at all about his passing.
    On another note, I still cannot get over feeling cheated this season. I want to know how Locke, Eko & Desmond survived the destruction of the Hatch. I waited all summer to find that out — and never get a resolution? We should have gotten that already. Showing Locke, Eko & Desmond after they were safe was a total copout.

  16. Aitor says:

    I agree with Ryan. There was some interesting information on the episode, but the way it was presented was pretty lame. The Pearl station scene was particularly dumb, but so was the one on the beach when they were on what looks more and more like the Lostie Tiki bar! I mean, since when is “the more the merrier”? Locke et al. have sistematically ignored the other losties when it came to adventurous missions.

    It was also a sad episode. I knew someone was going to die on this episode and I had the feeling it could be Eko. I really liked him so it’s sad to see him leave the show. If that’s what he wanted then fair enough. But his departure was pretty poorly scripted. He spends the whole episode looking for his brother, for the place where he can confess his sins, and all of a sudden he turns to the dark side?

    I’m also sad that it’s Benry the one with the tumor. As much as there are reasons to dislike him, I’d really miss him if something happened to him. I’m a bit surprised at how directly it was confirmed that it was his tumor, especially since the Others had been using such a convoluted method to make Jack “cooperate”. Why didn’t they simply ask for his help? Why does Benry want Jack want to help him? Funnily enough, Cuse and Lindelof made fun of Jack’s surgical skills on this week’s official podcast, at least considering his poor record (at least on the show). Maybe they were more serious than I first thought?

    I found Juliet’s secret message pretty cute. although I’m not sure it’s not a trick. Can’t think why they’d want to trick Jack, though.

    The tunics? Creepy.

  17. Fuber says:

    So, we are still left with a biggest question yet… what is the deal with Ben’s people? (I henceforth remove the title of “Others” from them).

    Two days before the planes crashes, Ben finds out that he has a spinal tumor. The plane crashes, if this is just some normal group, why wouldn’t they just befriend any survivors? Had they befriended any survivors, I’m sure Jack would have gladly performed surgery on Ben. However, since Ben’s people have been sneaky and threatening, they had to come up with this whole plan to “break” Jack. Of all the questions to be answered, this is the biggest.

    A few questions and comments…

    -Why hasn’t Jack asked what happened to the kidnapped people the other’s took right after the plan wrecked?

    – I believe Juliet is being honest. Remember how she was crying at the beginning of the season listening to “Downtown”? Her “slide show” statements lend more credibility to my theory that she’s miserable. The only conflict is her williness to kill Kate when Mr. Ford attempted escape.

    – Nikki and Paolo – “kick over the television” – Amen, “my brother”. I’m still hoping there is a very good reason they’re around.

    – Eko – worst week ever. His attempt to blow up the hatch doors knocks him out, the hatch implodes, a polar bear tries to eat him and then the black smoke kills him.

  18. Josh says:

    Ryan, I completely agree with you. Insanely contrived, and if AAA wanted off the show, they should have used his last episode more effectively. It’s not that he died that bothers me so much, it’s that it did nothing to move the plot along.

    I won’t go into anything else too much, as I agree with most of the comments above, especially regarding the newbies, but the one thing I did like and found intriguing was Juliet’s message to Jack. It worked for me, and I can’t wait to see what she’s got up her sleeve.

    One last thing…when Locke said “Don’t I feel stupid now?” it was the first time I ever harbored the idea Lost had lost its touch. Sad.

  19. Brian says:

    Yeah I know it was not very subtle but what does anyone make of the allusion to Christ’s resurrection when Locke and Eko push aside the large boulder from Yemi’s “tomb” and find that he is not there? Also, why couldn’t Desmond foresee the smoke monster’s attack? Do his visions come and go?

  20. Bryan says:

    I’ve been a defender of the direction of this show but his is one of the first episodes I didn’t like. I think the dialogue was poorly written and very unLost-like. Killing off Eko isn’t sitting well with me either. I think there was way too much he had to offer to just write him off like that. It seemed too sudden, too abrupt.

    I dont understand why people don’t like Paolo and Nikki, but i think their addition to the story has been treated in a very forced manner and I agree that the show was looking for more eye candy and not substance.

    Eko’s revelation to Locke at the end that they ‘are next’ was very anti-climactic. No kidding they are next, everyone is next on this show. That was a great opportunity for a great reveal, or even an opportunity for Locke to keep it to himself as a secret as a cliffhanger.

    I’m getting bored with the show, not because there aren’t enough answers, but because the production values and the dialogue has gotten flat.

    I think they are milking this story to extend the series, but simple fact is if future episodes are as flat as last night’s there isn’t going to be an audience watching season 4.

  21. frank says:

    When Ben first came out, I thought that he was wearing old-timey pajamas, like Ebenezer Scrooge wears. All that was missing was the nightcap…

  22. jergenson says:

    Has anyone noticed how all the emphasis is going toward the beautiful, soap opera style characters? The addition of Paolo and Nikki just piles it on. And as far as Juliet’s taped message: I thought it was something out of an absurdist play. Why couldn’t she have just slipped him a note in his food? It’s depressing to watch a show fall off like this.

  23. Avery says:

    I thought Ben and Juliet knew everything about Jack already? So why is so ‘miraculous’ that a spinal surgeon fell out of the sky? This makes no sense at all.
    Killing off Eko stinks! He was one of my favorite characters.

  24. peacefrogi says:

    first off? i agree with all the previous posts – especially Josh, Fuber and Dave. (and you too Ryan!) i really WANTED to like last night’s episode and yet, it was lacking. the writing, the directing, the newbies … it all just seemed so … amatuerish.

    if the rumors are true and AAA wanted off the show then fine. done. let him go. i don’t really care that they kill of characters we like b/c that is what i always found to be so bold about LOST – they never really stuck to conventional tv formula in that regard. but why not have the polar bear kill him two epis ago? for that matter, why not kill Ekko off back at the hatch implosion so that we could have focused on one of the MANY other storylines that keep popping up? watching Ekko get flung around like a paper doll after a year and a half of building up his individual strength and perserverence was the biggest ‘huh?’ moment i’ve ever had watching this show. we’d already established that Ekko stood his ground when physically confronted by the smoke moster. that was one of the coolest moments of last season. and so … what? Ekko is ‘afraid’ of the monster now? why now? cuz he’s physically weak? or did the smoke monster change its mind and now wants to kill Ekko? the magnetic force relieved its shackles and now it kills at will? then how do you explain it killing the pilot back at the start of the show? none of it makes any sense. but even more than not making any sense … it was a cop-out and a crappy way to send off a BAD ASS character we’ve grown to love.

    as opposed to the new characters, who we all agree are tremendously annoying. they don’t fit in to the group – they seem like they just got off the plane from LA and landed on the set LOL. actually i was over them BEFORE they got to the new hatch — as they were approaching the clearing and Paolo asks “what’s Ekko doing?” and Niki replies “that’s the plane where his brother died” or some such other trite dialogue. WTF??? are you kidding me?? it was as if the Network leaned over to Damon/Lindeloff and said “you know, american audiences are far too stupid to remember what happened LAST season. have the new girl say something about his brother being in the plane ….”

    was anyone else as insulted as i was????

    ugh … i used to stand firm that LOST was the best show on tv. but i’m sad to say that i’m just not feeling it anymore. not much was resolved this week and we are once again given more questions than answers and now they go on hiatus vacation until february? next week better be good …

    thank god we still have Battlestar Gallactica.

  25. Jon says:

    The purpose of Nikki and Paolo is clear. As soon as one hot character dies on the show they have to be replaced.

    Granted Nikki popped in a bit late after Libby died (or did Nikki replace Ana Lucia) but do a tally. It’s actually pretty sad. The first season you have a character die and it really meant something. Now they remove characters left and right and just slide in some new eye candy.

    For the show I give a resounding…meh. Depending on how you view the seasons is how you can view the show. Compared to the first season the show was terrible. Compared to this season the show was par for the course. Let me explain.

    The first season you had a real mystery going on. People crashed on an island and they are trying to figure a way off while trying to understand the crazy crap that was going on around them. You also had real character development. There was heart to the show and that is one of the things that made it so successful.

    The second season you still had mystery with the hatch and plenty of conflict with the others and the tailies. There was still some good character development and plenty of mysteries. Unfortunately many more questions popped up than answers but the second season was still quite good.

    The third season doesn’t really have any of what made the first two seasons so successful. One of the big reasons Lost was so successful seems to be seriously lacking: heart. We know just about all there is to know about the main characters which makes the back-stories just boring. Echo killed some guys and went to London? Big deal. Locke grew pot? Yawn.

    There really isn’t any more mystery either. At least nothing that seems all that interesting. The others? I looks like they are just a bunch of Dharma people who decided to stay on the island. They know how to leave and they also know about what happens outside. So why do they stay and why do they not help the other castaways? Those are about the only questions left and I’m not sure the answers will be anything better than, “They’re crazy and a bunch of jerks.”

    Even though this post is pretty negative I’m still going to watch the show. I really loved Lost even though I think that they may have gotten a bit off track. I think that the show just hast to return some of the mystery and heart back and things will be fine. After all, if Heroes can do it then Lost should be able to.

  26. HeyBrah says:

    I see the the 13 week hiatus of Lost, as “Jigsaw” would say in “Saw 3” as the show’s final test. How Lost does in the first couple of episodes in February will force ABC management’s hands into whether or not they’ll approve a fourth season.

  27. Kimster says:

    Last night everytime they went to Eko’s flashback it felt forced. I didn’t care about his flashback. I just wanted to know more about what was happening on the island. I’m not sure what his flashback added, except to make the true nature of his character somewhat more dubious and to make us possibly like him a little less as a person before killing him off. I was glad that he wasn’t repetent in the way we all expected him to be, as they built up the plot of the show to his big “confession”.

    This is the first time that I can remember that the smoke monster identified itself as being other than what it appeared. For instance, if we believe that Christian Shephard was also the smoke monster, he never said to Jack, “You talk to me as if I am really your father.”

    I thought that was a really interesting aspect to the show. Maybe the smoke monster likes to play it like that before it does you in.

    The Losties dialogue was absolutely contrived. Probably some of the worst yet on the show and Nikki and Paolo really did not help that at all. I am hoping they are just there to be killed off, blown up, shot, drowned, whatever, because if these are the replacements for Ana Lucia, Libby, Eko it is a sad day in the evolution of Lost.

    This show is notorious for leaving the obvious unsaid which can be so frustrating that when they finally do say the obvious it sounds so stupid. The first time they went to the Pearl I thought they should think more about the other cameras. I know these things are left unspoken so they can be revisited as future plots and I think this was a perfect case in point. But don’t make it so contrived when you finally do get around to exploring that idea since we’ve all been thinking it since day one!

    Also, why doesn’t Jack just explode in a rant and say to Benry:

    I will save your life, if you will just tell me:

    Who are you people? Why are you here on this island? Where are we? How did you get here? What are you doing here? What is your purpose? If you claim to be good, tell me who you are and how you are good?

    — and that would be peppered with a lot of expletives —

    I know that if Benry answered all that it would take all the fun out of the story arc… but I have to say that is the most realistic thing that Jack could say or do, instead of what he has been saying or doing. I know he asked it to Juliet but he didn’t really freak out on it or stress it. If I was crashed on an island and these people took me captive, I would definitely be asking Where in god’s name are we? Who the hell are you people? They want something from Jack. If I were Jack, I would want those answers.

    Jack killing Benry isn’t in his nature. Jack saves people. That’s what he does (or tries to do). But maybe, they want to do something out of character for Jack so they can have a Jack flashback that leaves us dubious about his nature too. But if he does kill Benry, believe me, he is going to regret it. He is going to find out that he was set up and that Benry really was one of the good guys and that Juliet is just out for some revenge because Benry burned her by not wanting to be part of her Stephen King book club… ok it’s probably deeper than that, like scorned her in love…

  28. Ken says:

    Finally we learn why Eko was building a church – ’cause he owed his brother one for defiling his brother’s church. Eko good? Who the heck ever thought that? This guy was pure, unadulterated evil from day one. He was the consumated wolf in sheep’s clothing. Masquerading as a priest and everyone thinks he was good – come on everyone – open your eyes to who this guy really was. The black smoke monster was probably there to take him directly to outer darkness. Too bad he wouldn’t repent, it would have saved his soul.

    The reference to the resurrection was a nice touch and does Juliet really think “he” doesn’t know what she did?

  29. writerboy says:

    I have to say, like so many of you have already voiced, I was disappointed in last night’s episode. Not really because my favorite character died, because just like in real life, no one is safe and any one can go at any time. No, I was disappointed because the show took one of its best characters and gave him an unworthy exit. When will the makers of this show realize that viewers have an invested interest in most if not all the Losties? So what if Adewale wanted off the show? You would think the creative team of the show would come up with a better plan. Why not shoot scenes with him in it now and have them play over several episodes, concluding with his death? And why introduce the tailies at all if all of them were going to die? Was the plan all along for them to be red shirts, albeit developed red shirts?

    If the plot calls for the character to die, so be it, but Eko’s death seemed pointless and his resolution rushed in the same fashion that Ana-Lucia’s did. My biggest problem is now who is left to be Locke’s foil? First it seemed it was going to be Walt, and then he left. Then it was Eko, and now he’s gone. Could it be Desmond?

    In regards to the new Losties, Nikki and Paolo – I’m leaving judgement until we get to know and see a little more about them. I do think thus far their inclusion has been worthless. Why not have Sun and Jin tag along with Locke, Sayid and Desmond? Or Charlie and Hurley for that matter. There are already established characters on this show that we don’t need more. One of the best qualities of this show was that it never lowed itself to what other shows do to grab viewers – showcase talentless eye-candy. But again I’m going to wait to see how these characters develop before completely writing them off.

    The more I see Juliette, the more and more I get the feeling that she may be the darker one compared to Ben. There is something very sinister and cold about her smile and her eyes. Sure on the surface she appears sweet and sincere, but I can’t help feeling she is like a trapped animal and is willing to do whatever it takes to get out. One thing that is striking to me is her obvious skills at manipulation. She has Jack pretty much trained that she is fully comfortable/confident to come into his side of the room and sit cross-legged on the table while talking to him. For a fertility doctor, she seems more like a well-trained psychologist. Oh..and I’m sorry, but she looks nothing like Sarah (Julie Bowen). The only similarities I see is that they are both white women.

    Some other things that I am hoping the show will go back to are:

    – Michael and Walt. Did they or didn’t they make it out safe and alive? It would just be nice to know what happened to close that loose end.

    – What exactly happened to Eko, Locke and Desmond when the hatch imploded?

    – What is up with the guys in the Arctic scene in last season’s finale? To have last season end with that, and here we are on episode 5 and it hasn’t been revisited is strange to me. If you had missed that scene, would it even matter? I have to honestly say that when Episode 1 of this seaon aired, I thought Juliette was Penelope. They look more alike than she and Sarah.

    – Where the heck is Vincent? Did he finally get eaten by a polar bear? Maybe he’s with eye-patch guy?

    – Where the heck is Danielle?

    That’s it for now. Next week’s episode has a lot to make up for.

  30. Dan says:

    Well, that just about does it for me. This episode characterizes what was unique to season 1–mystery, suspense and wonder. It seems to me that that forces beyond control of the writers have made this season so tedious to watch. This program is not a 5 year series; it should be wrapping up major plot points.

    The inclusion of the 2 new characters feel so contrived, oh sure they’re young and sexy, but they do not move the plot forward. By the way, what happened to the middle-aged couple from last season? Did they retire and relocate to another part of the island? ABC should have commissioned this program as a limited series, instead it is on the verge of turning into Twin Peaks, Alias, or worse The X-Files. Too many plot diversions will lead to viewer apathy.

    Sorry to see Ecko go, I’ll miss the air of menace and melancholy he brought to the series. However I do like the evolution of Jack’s character as revealed lately, he is more patient and devious as a captive.

    I will watch the next installment before considering LOST a waste of time which is lamentable–this show had me hooked.

    That’s not to say I won’t return to the Transmission. I love the commentary and insight. Take care.

  31. Dan says:

    Sorry in my second line, I meant to say this episode characterizes what is missing since season 1 and a chunk of season 2…

  32. Frank says:

    I will comment later on about the show, you guys have some very good points, but . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

  33. Connie from Alaska says:

    I think most of you who are upset with Eko’s demise are having a hard time wrapping your head around the fact that he wasn’t the “murdering drug dealer with a heart of gold” that you all hoped he would be.

    What is hard about accepting Nikki and Paolo is that we are being asked to instantly bond with and accept people we do not know, have not invested any time in and have no interest in doing so. It’s like your divorced mom announcing she’s remarrying and her new dude has three kids and now we’re instantly going to be one big happy family of love. That hardly ever happens!

    I have a feeling that Benry’s tumor is another ruse to tame Jack. They couldn’t do it by breaking him down mentally, so now they are going to appeal to his ego (only you, Jack, Super Spinal Surgeon Man, can do this job) and his need to atone for the deaths of all the patients he lost on the operating table by saving Benry. Why they need to obtain Jack’s cooperation through his own free will is still a mystery. It seems like each of the Other captives are being led to the same outcome although through very different means.

    Hope things even out during the Episode fest beginning 2/7.

  34. Pete says:

    Did we ever figure out why Eko was going to America???????
    I think the writers had bigger plans for Eko that had to be cut short unfortunately.

  35. Jose says:

    Kimster had clearly summed it up for me. What I am really getting tired of is the lack of “realism” in the show. I know, I know.. LOST is supposed to be a si-fi show, but, c’mon, why can’t Jack ask all the questions any human being in his position would ask? Why didn’t he (and Sawyer and Locke) ask those questions to Tom the first time they met in Season 2 while trying to reach Michael? Why has Benry gone through all these bizarre, creepy (and ultimately stupid) strategies to get Jack to operate on him?….
    We all agree, the show is not as satisfying anymore. That makes me sad. But I decided to watch AT LEAST until the end of this season. If things do not get better (or at least as good as they used to be), I will be one more among the thousands who will not come back to LOST.

  36. Gretchen says:

    Well, now I have one more reason not to like this “pod” of shows. I hate the storyline and they killed off Eko. And, as Ryan rightly points out, there’s a lot about him we still don’t know. Why the church? Why was he in London?

    And the smoke monster picking up Eko and throwing him was just stupid. Sorry.

    And Rodrigo Santoro is gorgeous, but I don’t need to see him coming out of the potty, just so the writers can make the point that he’s a jerk. Yuk.

  37. johanngut says:

    Being a die-hard, and an ARG-er…and a Nikki and Paulo hater too…I can’t bring myself to going off on a rant about how good or bad the show was. The bottom line for me is that I was thoroughly entertained and on the edge of my seat to see what was going to happen next. In reality, isn’t this what brings us back to this show, time and time again? Yes the dialogue could’ve been better, yes Nikki and Paulo just need to shut their mole-holes and die, yes I too am disappointed that my favorite character is now gone.

    Given all that the creative team has given us, and what they are trying to sustain, I am grateful for the world they have given us. No other show on TV, except for maybe Heroes, brings me back to the TV wanting to know what’s going to happen next. Even if I’m a little disappointed or underwhelmed, I still invest my time in the world of the show. It’s funny how we’ve come to expect so much as fans. All the “they should haves” and “could haves” are a testament to just how much this show makes us think! Honestly, what other drama on TV takes us to a whole other world every week, right on our own planet…quite the way that Lost does? And yes, we as fans have some fantastic ideas about how things should play out, and we preconceive more stuff than the writers could ever come up with. Unfortunately, it’s our own imaginations that get in the way sometimes.

    So, in a nutshell for a review this week is:
    Awesome show, it’s stimulated my imagination yet again to go away and theorize more about lots of things that may or may not come to pass. I may not like how some things turn out, but that’s ok!

  38. frank says:

    Connie–

    Maybe ‘drug dealer with a heart of gold’ would be overstating it a bit!!! 🙂 But don’t you think that they set up his character as someone who had this life-altering event (his brother’s death due to his actions), and who was trying to in some way repent for those actions? You expect him to have ‘relapses’ and all, but the way it ended last night made it seem as if he was just the same guy all along. This was a guy who took a 40-day vow of silence after he killed someone who was attacking him … suddenly, he thinks that he’s done nothing that needs forgiving?

  39. Frank says:

    Allright guys, I am back and ready to comment:

    Like what I said before, all of you have very good comments and I really do not understand why sooooooooooooo many people do not like this episode. Push aside the small stuff like that you guys mentioned and look at the whats going on in the show. I think this episode, “The 23rd Psalm” and “?” were the best Mr Eko episodes from his character. I will explain myself, first off (with reguards to this show and in general) that EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON. I will start off to say that there is another force that could make the Losties see things like the island for example. It does not allways have to the “black smoke monster”. Maybe the island and “smokie” are working togeather in deciding the Losties next course on the island. Think about it. Let me start in trems of people who died then I will go wider. Think about How, WHEN, and WHY some of the characters died. The first person to die and many of you may not see this as being important but believe he is. The first person to die was Marshall Mars. Imagine if he did not die or even get hurt, how would have things turned out for Kate and even the other Losties. Or even think what would have happened if he died immediately during the crash and never got a chance to have full conservations with Jack and showing him the mug shots. Then how would have things again turned out for Kate and possibly the other Losties. Marshall Ed Mars played a big role in determining Kate’s fate on the island. Her episodes and other episodes that she played a big role in prove this. Think about it. Next in line I would say has to be Boone who’s death had a big affect on EVERYBODY’S LIVES’. This is where I would say I HAVE to comment the most on. First lets start with Locke’s vision in “Deus Ex Machina”. What if the island never gave him this vision, then what would have happened. Next in line would be what would of haved happened if the island did not take away Locke’s legs when they had just reached the plane. Who would of haved climbed into the plane, Locke himself?
    Sorry guys but urgent maters are at hand and I have to go. I will finish explaining myself sometime this weekend. In the mean time read my comments so far and tell me what you think so far. You will probly be confused but think about it. No I am not thinking to hard about it. Most of this stuff is in plain sight if you have the mind to think this way. SO please read and reply. I need to know if this makes sence to any one so I can explain in sinple terms. I have to go now, comment later.

  40. heather says:

    Actually, Gretchen, the Church was explained. The woman from the Clinic (who told her son, the altar boy, that Eko was a “bad man”) told Eko, before he left for London, that he owed Yemi a church. He was in London because he had essentially assumed Yemi’s life as a priest and Yemi was to leave for London, to continue his studies.

    Anyway, yeah, not the strongest episode I have seen, but I didn’t hate it. I was disappointed to see Eko die, not becuase I was so attached to his character (in fact his quirky actions and over-wrought spirituality annoyed me most of the time), but because his character seemed so undeveloped and therefore had so much potential. I was intrigued to see where they were going to go with Eko, especially regarding his relationship with Locke.

    I also don’t think Eko as a “bad man” was at all out of character. He was a drug-running warlord, turned fake priest. That is pretty bad, but he was the kind of bad guy that you feel for (thanks to poignant flashbacks of his childhood).

    Totally agreed that the smoke monster bashing him up against the tree was lame. Come on, it is a smoke monster, not King Kong, but whatever. R.I.P. Eko.

    Hmmm. The white tunics, the funeral and the creepy, somewhat inappropriate music piped through the speakers was interesting. Definitely plays into the idea of a cult and mind control. Would the Jack we know really wear a white tunic and follow Ben anywhere though? I thought that was out of character for Jack. Is Jack softening or is he gaining some control?

    I think Juliet is for real based on our introduction to her in this season’s first episode: trying not to lose it, staring into the mirror and burning the muffins and later ranting about free will…which comes up again in her speech to Jack. To kill a Mocking Bird…Why that specific movie? Any ideas?

    Nikki and Paolo seemed like the “Lost for Idiots” guides in this episode. They were there just to dumb things down enough for new viewers possibly (i.e. when they are on their way to the plane and the hatch they conveniently drop the info that Eko’s brother is in the plane).

    I can’t wait to find out what is going on in the hatch with the eye patch guy. That was a great moment in an otherwise not so great episode. Oh and I want more Desmond! Anyone else curious about desmond and his interesting new ability to see the future (which just got brushed under the rug in this episode). Now if Desmond get’s bashed against a tree by a big smoke monster I will really be mad.

  41. tinach says:

    Ryan, I agree with you completely.

    Suddenly Sayid is back on the beach, and there is no mention of what happened to Sun or Jin. What’s up with that?

  42. Nancy says:

    So Sayid is back but where are Sun and Jin? Didn’t Sun get hurt in the boat? And where’s the boat or the pieces of it? I feel like in this season, the writers are skipping over days on the island. Like what happened after the hatch exploded? Every episode makes me think I’m missing something. Maybe we’re suppose to think that way?

    I’m sad about Eko on many levels. I’m disappointed that he killed in the church. He had the option of sparing that man’s life and didn’t. And I’m sad that he’s dead because he was a multi-dimentional charater, unlike our new “friends” who seem to have wandered off a photo shoot.

    I’m curious to know if we should trust Juliet. And why doesn’t Jack ask “where’d you get the xray machine and all the equipment”? Juliet recording her own 3/4″ video? Why couldn’t she just spell something out in french fries?

  43. Connie from Alaska says:

    I think Eko all along, from the time he shot that guy to save his brother’s life, was going to come to terms with his actions in his own way and was not going to let the Church or organized religion tell him what he had to do. The Church was the center of village life, yet it didn’t keep his brother from being threatened as a child or killed as an adult, nor did it protect the village from being extorted by drug dealers and in fact kept the people from rising up and taking matters into their own hands. We all know that Eko is all about taking matters into his own hands. That said, I do think he had a profound spiritual side and believed in God and that God would not condemn him for rejecting the teaching of the Church, but would honor his genuine faith, love for his brother and efforts to atone for his sins on his own terms.

  44. jim says:

    Well, Ryan, you finally showed your grumpy side. (Not to worry; it’s kind of charming.) While not one of the best episodes ever, last night’s episode had its moments. It really is a shame to say good-bye to AAA, a great actor who created a great character. And Nikki and Paolo are indeed a disaster; kind of like dropping two characters from “Friends” into “Seinfeld”!
    But the possibilities of Jack’s situation vis-a-vis Ben’s surgery are fascinating. Does the Hippocratic Oath come into play? And surely your skin crawled just a tad when the eye-patch guy appeared.
    Keep the faith, everybody.

  45. I’m guessing Nikki and Paolo are Red Shirts. Introduced to be eatten by the monster next week.

    Jack is being played… don’t know exactly how… but then again maybe it’s Juliet being manipulated. All I know is there’s a lot more to be seen.

    With the glimpse of the eye-patch guy, we’re being shown there’s more factions on the island. Remember the french lady, her daughter, the missing kids with dirty feet and teddy bears, etc… I think the next season or two should get really crazy with conflicts with groups we haven’t even encountered yet. I mean why would the Others be hiding on the small island?

    I liked the episode, sad to see Eko leave, it was a little uneven (way too many plotlines in one episode), hope we find out more about the monster (or that there is more than one), and what the heck did the pilot do to deserve getting eatten in the first episode!?!

  46. David says:

    I have to agree with Ryan on the disappointing points of this episode. Nikki and Paolo are destined for demise which is infuriating because it seems like the producers are willing to bring peripheral characters into the mix only to get rid of them abruptly. It is only a matter of time for someone (if it hasn’t been done yet) to edit the entire LOST series to separate the flashbacks from the present (2004). I would be interested to see how long the show would be without the background flashbacks and just concentrating on what’s happening in the now. The one thing that really bothers me is that we know Jack is a confrontational sort and when Ben reveals his foiled intentions, wouldn’t Jack just ask him why they would go through all this deception? I scream these questions at the television screen when these moments arrive. Couldn’t Jack say, “Ben, why couldn’t you just introduce yourself when we crashed instead of hunt and study us?” I’m stealing this idea from Jay and Jack but I agree with them. The Fall Season Finale better not be cheesy or a needless cliffhanger. If I see Ben on the operating table being opened up by Jack and then the ‘Others’ drag in a near-dead Sawyer and have the LOST logo appear on screen with that noise, I’ll just stop watching the show.

  47. Adam S says:

    As far as the show is concerned, we are moving along way to slow. At this rate we will be done with season 5 in a month on the island. We have to many new things without old answers. And what is the deal with killing off a character as soon as they get pulled over by HPD?

  48. Brent says:

    I don’t see what all the fuss is about over Paulo and Nikki. How could you be opposed to the idea of new characters, which brings with it the promise of intriguing back stories and drama? I’ll agree that right now they seem like clichéd, superficial people, but if Lost has taught us one lesson it’s never to judge a book by its cover. And it’s not as if they’re being shoved down our throats – their presence this season has increased gradually and they have just started to develop as characters. Damon and Carlton even said in their podcast that Paulo, Nikki, and the rest background characters would get a flashback episode where it shows exactly what they do when the Adventurer Club is out and about. I think that would be an interesting episode in the vein of “The Other 48 Days”. Give them a chance and I’m sure the new characters will grow on us; they always do. I am willing to bet that in a few months time, everyone will be looking back and saying “Remember when we all Paulo and Nikki?”

  49. Brent says:

    *hated Paulo and Nikki

  50. Paul says:

    I don’t know, I think everyone is starting to get over analysis fatigue. I don’t like Paulo and Nikki so far, but they’ve had what…. 4 minutes of air time each tops? Give them a chance to settle in!

    The producers won’t please all of the people all of the time, but I overall really enjoyed yesterday’s episode, minus the clunky multi screens thing between Nikki and Locke.

    People are far too busy moaning about it not being like Season 1… Well, we’re two years down the line. Is your life exactly the same as it was 2 year ago? We get complaints from people saying its not Season 1, yet people complain the show isn’t moving fast enough… You guys put the producers in a no win situation. How can it be like Season 1, and yet need to move faster?

    We’ve moved far quicker than ever before in the last 5 episodes. I don’t want everything ruined within 6 episodes that they’ve built up. I want the big reveal at the end. I don’t want to ruin it with big reveals half way through the series. This is a sci-fi suspense drama for lords sake!

    If you don’t want to watch the show anymore people. Don’t. It won’t effect the 2nd biggest TV show in the world (1st if you divide CSI into its constituent parts) to the point where it will get cancelled before Season 4 anyway. Sky One have effectively paid for Season 4, so it will happen no matter what.

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