Hello my dear friends -
The boards were filled with nothing less than HATE this past week after the demise of our favorite bad-ass priest. I was actually quite overwhelmed... I would say at least 80% of the messages I read were some form of cursing the writers/producers at ABC, swearing off the show, or incoherent rambling and swearing. That was very annoying to me as I was simply trying to search for ideas/theories that actually mattered. How many different ways can fans say "Damn you for killing off Eko!?!?!" I will tell you - very, very many.
Anyway... while I didn't think the episode was that great, I certainly didn't think it was horrible, but I admit that I wasn't all that moved by Eko's death - call me cold. If anything I was more interested in the fact that he DIDN'T apologize or repent and then got the smack-down from Smokey, over whom he had previously emerged triumphant.
THE CORPSE (AND EVERYONE ELSE) WORE WHITE
Remember that crazy Heaven's Gate Internet cult back in the 90s where everyone wore black Nikes and purple armbands and then drank poison on purpose? I got *that* kind of vibe when Benry showed up in his white linen shirt thingy and made Jack put one on. But alas, it was only for Colleen's funeral.
And on top of the "P. Diddy's White Party" dress code, what was up with that strange song they played over the loudspeaker? It was "I Wonder" by Brenda Lee (never heard of it before), and I was assuming it was "Colleen's favorite song" or something like that, but then they never addressed why it was playing, so I thought that made it even more strange.
THE PLIGHT OF BENRY
After Jack called Benry out by mentioning that he had seen his spinal x-rays which revealed a deadly tumor, Benry decides to do a 180 and all of a sudden become all nicey-nicey and teary-eyed while trying to convince Jack to save him. On top of that, he mentions that he found out about his tumor two days before the Flight 815 crash, and had been praying for a miracle and thinks that is why Jack subsequently fell from the sky. I smell a phony.
First off, WHO told Benry he had a fatal tumor? In the past few episodes it hasn't really looked like there were any other good doctors around, much less another spinal surgeon, unless it was the now-deceased Ethan.
Secondly, if you had been praying for a miracle and then think your prayers have been answered by a doctor landing on your island, why would you then kidnap and mentally torture said Miracle Man and try to coerce him into saving you? Why wouldn't you just be nice from the get-go, offer him a house in the fairly modernized Other Village (a step up from the Hatch or the Caves or the Beach Camp) and hope he upholds his hippocratic oath? It just doesn't make any sense. If Benry hadn't started getting all pleading and weepy at the end, perhaps I would've bought it, but it was just not in line with his character, who has always, always, always been in control up until this point. Let's also not forget that he not-so-subtly mentioned that they chose Juliet to be the one to interface with Jack ON PURPOSE because she looked like his ex-wife Sarah. Once again, this all seems more like a mindgame than a real situation.
Therefore, I think that either: 1) the x-rays are NOT Benry's, but now that they know Jack thinks they are, they're playing a mindgame with him, or 2) they are Benry's and Benry is a really, really bad planner and leader and realizes he royally screwed up.
One last thing - how do they know what Sarah looks like? Was that included in Jack's dossier that they somehow got ahold of?
MEDIATE, ALLEVIATE, TRY NOT TO HATE!
Lest you thought the mindgames were over with, Juliet comes back into the picture a la INXS to mess with our heads and Jack's head even further. The video scene was the only universally applauded segment of the entire episode on the boards.
So besides proving that Juliet is either a Bob Dylan fan or had seen "Love, Actually," what did this scene do for us?
This scene made us question whether Juliet is sincere in her scheme to overthrow Benry by enlisting Jack to botch his surgery, or if she is just carrying out an evil plan hatched by Benry himself. Because let's face it, from what we know of Benry, he would just LOVE to run a little experiment to see if Jack would honor his duty as a doctor over his desire to see Benry be punished for making the Lostaways' lives hell.
We also must remember that when Benry showed Jack the BoSox video, he had these ominous words for him: "...And if you listen to me -- if you trust me -- if you do what I tell you when the time comes -- I'll take you there. I will take you home."
DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE A MAN'S DESIRE TO SEE IF HIS TEAM REALLY WON THE WORLD SERIES!!!! On the previews, we see Jack growl, "I want the hell off this island," so perhaps he is going to side with Benry no matter what, because quite honestly, what is Juliet going to do for him? He will have killed a man deliberately, broken his oath as a doctor and possibly ruined his chances of ever getting off the island... for what? To carry out an Others Mutiny? What would be his motivation to help Juliet?
Click here to see Juliet's entire poster sequence, courtesy of my boy humpy.
ARRRRR, STOP LOOKIN' AT ME!
Back on the main island, Locke proves once again that he's "not Jack" by inviting everyone and their brother to come along with him to find Eko. Perhaps he was longing for his hippie camp family again and was trying to spread the love amongst the Lostaways. Unfortunately, pretty much nobody cool took him up on his offer. We needed to suffer through more scenes with The Two New People, who were also stirring up much Hate on the boards. I have to jump on to the Bitterness Bandwagon for this issue, because it is pretty amateur how the writers just tried to force Nikki and Paulo into the forefront of Island happenings. Paulo is completely and utterly annoying, and Nikki just looks ridiculous in her skimpy tank top.
But perhaps worse than anything else was that they USED NIKKI to make my man Locke LOOK DUMB?!?! How DARE they?!?! She had to be all, "Well, there are six TVs and there are six stations so duh I mean there like must be one TV for each hatch - like DUH!" I wanted to reach through the TV and smack her. And to pour salt in the wound, they had to have Locke reply, "Well now I feel really stupid." No, Locke... nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!! It's not your fault!!! It is TPTB's fault!!!!
A few other comments about the Pearl Hatch scenes...
1) So Desmond obviously can't foresee EVERYTHING... because he didn't know Patch Man was going to appear, nor did he seem to know that Eko was going to kick the bucket and then warn that they would be next. So he is only getting selective visions from the future.
2) Patch Man rocks! He was much scarier and cooler the first time around when I probably caught three feet of air off of my recliner after seeing him in the preview the week prior. It still had a little "when-Joaquin-Phoenix-saw-the-alien-on-TV-in-'Signs'" vibe to it, though. The main theories on the boards about who Patch Man is include:
a) He is Radzinsky, Kelvin's hatchmate prior to Desmond. Even though Kelvin CLAIMED that Radzinsky went crazy and shot himself through the head, we do not know that for a fact. We do know that Radzinsky painted the hatch map so he therefore had knowledge of the other locations outside of the Swan. We were also told that it was Radzinsky who edited out certain sections of the Orientation video tape, for reasons unknown. In the same crate where Eko found the fake Bible which hid the missing videotape, he also found a glass eye. All these things make this the most prominent and logical theory.
b) He is related to Alvar Hanso.
c) He is part of a third group of Others, and that group controls Smokey.
d) He is a member of Danielle's original group.
For whatever reason, everyone seems to think that Patch Man is in The Flame station, which was "left of the Swan" in the hatch map. I'm not sure why this seems to be the conclusion... but probably because the Swan is blown up, the Arrow (Ghetto hatch) had no computers in it, they were already in The Pearl, and the girls had seen the Caduceus hatch emptied out. That doesn't leave many choices.
BAD TO THE BONE
Eko's flashbacks served to confirm that he WAS, IS and ALWAYS WILL BE one bad-ass mofo and he is not going to apologize for it. After Yemi was shot and taken into the plane o' heroin instead of Eko, Eko started his life as a faux priest, all the while scamming a way to get outta dodge as quickly as possible.
But before doing so, he had to make absolutely sure that we all knew what a "bad man" he was by killing three drug lords who were terrorizing his village (justified, in my mind) and then planning to sell desperately needed vaccines to his old drug buddies (ok... that one's bad). His plan was foiled by a village woman who told him hat they didn't want his kind around there, and proceeded to board up Yemi's church that Eko had made unholy with his killings. Hence, Eko "owed Yemi one church," which explains why he was building one on the island.
AN ANSWER, PEOPLE!!!! AN ANSWER.
Nevermind the fact that we still have no idea how the plane o' heroin with Yemi in it ALSO ended up on the Island...
While running deliriously through the jungle reminiscing about his big pimpin' lifestyle, Eko realizes that he doesn't really regret anything he's done... in fact, he would do it all over again if he had the chance. Because he is GLAD he saved his brother and if that meant that he had to turn into a drug-running murderer for the rest of his life, so be it. In his final face-off with Fake Yemi, Eko defiantly refuses to repent, and that doesn't make Fake Yemi very happy.
SMOKEY STRIKES AGAIN!
Extremely bad CGI effects aside, I thought the Smokey Attacks! scene was very cool. Because I LIKE the supernatural aspects of the show and the less something can be explained, the better, as far as I'm concerned.
Previously, Eko had a stare-down of sorts with Smokey, in which we saw images from his life flash within the black cloud. That scene, combined with the fact that in this episode Fake Yemi confirmed that he was not actually Eko's brother reincarnated ("You speak to me as if I am your brother...") , has led most people to the conclusion that Smokey can shape-shift into various things. People think that everything from Jack's Zombie Dad to Kate's black horse to Hurley's friend Dave was probably actually Smokey in hindsight. Some people thought that since Jack's dad's body had disappeared from the coffin and since Yemi's body had also disappeared from the plane, that Smokey could only take the form of a body it had "found." I don't buy that theory because Eko also saw the three dudes he killed in the church, yet their bodies were never on the island.
A second theory is that in their initial encounter, Smokey was downloading images from Eko's life to use against him later. We found out that when Locke saw Smokey in Season One, it only showed him a "white light," which most people took to mean that Locke is truly a "good person." So perhaps there is nothing that The Island/Smokey can use against Locke in the future.
We received another answer in Eko's death scene. "The monster" and Smokey ARE one in the same. Before, we were not sure if "the monster" (who killed the pilot of Flight 815 and was known to roar and shake trees) was the same thing as Smokey, since we could not figure out how Smokey could actually kill anyone. It has been confirmed by the producers that they are the same thing. Check that one off the list!
It is not yet understood, however, why Smokey sounds like it is making mechanical noises (to me it sounds like being cranked up a hill on a rollercoaster). We also don't understand why Danielle had previously referred to it as a "security system for the island." One theory is that Smokey was originally meant to be some sort of security system for the Dharma Initiative, keeping any random island dwellers away from the project hatches, but then something went wrong. It is widely believed that the real name for Smokey is "Cerberus," as noted on the Hatch Map, where it is also noted that there was a "Cerberus malfunction." Perhaps what we are dealing with with Smokey is the much-dreaded "the invention has taken a life of its own!" scenario. It's alllliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive!
Another thing that was confirmed by the producers is that Smokey is NOT (they repeat NOT) made up of nanobots. Thus destroying another fantasy of mine. Oh, well.
"BUT EKO, YOU COMPLETE ME!"
R.I.P. Mr. Eko... you of the very few words, you of the slobbery crying, you of the chin pigtails. Who will stare soulfully at your cross necklace? Who will be chosen to wield your mighty Jesus Stick? Who will play ying to Locke's yang?
No one will. For Mr. Eko cannot be replaced.
But let it be known that Eko died on his own terms, with a smile on his face. And he didn't pass on to the Big Island in the Sky without imparting one last disturbing warning to Locke:
The producers say that we as viewers need to decide if Locke interpreted Eko's words correctly. As in, did Eko mean that LOCKE was next, or did he mean that the collective group standing there (Desmond, Sayid, Paulo, Nikki AND Locke) was going to face the wrath of Smokey? Locke chose to pass on the message as "WE'RE next," but obviously Eko probably actually said, "You're next."
There is another way to interpret Eko's words... it doesn't have to mean "you're next... to DIE" - it could mean "You're next - to be judged."
Finally, some people think that Bernard must now be marked for death because all of the other Tailies have bit the dust. But that is not so... Cindy, the two kids and the other people the Others originally took from the Tailies' camp are still out there somewhere, and the producers promise that their whereabouts will be addressed this season. Although it IS weird that we haven't seen Bernard or Rose all season... And to that complaint, the producers promise once again that they WLIL get "back to the main characters" when the show returns in the winter. Let's just pray that means that Sayid will actually get some air time once again!
TRAFFIC VIOLATION OR DIVA BEHAVIOR?
Escaping the island for a few minutes... of course it was a huge joke that AAA, the actor who plays Eko, got kicked off the show shortly after receiving a traffic violation in Hawaii (it was NOT for drunk driving a la Libby and Ana Lucia, and he actually was cleared of the charges). However, it actually had nothing to do with that... the producers insist that AAA, similarly to Michelle Rodriguez (Ana Lucia), had only wanted a year-long contract. They thought it would be too much to kill Eko off at the same time as Ana and Libby, so they strung it out to the third season.
More gossipy sources have a different take... from TV Guide: "It's no secret that Adewale wasn’t the most beloved cast member. Per multiple sources, the 39-year-old actor had become an increasingly difficult presence on set, refusing to film scenes as scripted, insisting on rewrites and even "demanding" several times to be released from his contract."
I think there may be something to the rumor above. From this article, you can tell that AAA is A-OK with leaving the show.
Here is an article covering a few interesting fan theories.
FROM THE BOARDS
- Finally someone (albeit Benry) commented on Juliet’s resemblance to ex-wife Sarah. Now I am just wondering whether Juliet is testing Jack to see whether he is a “good person”. She is a great addition.
- Eyepatch Guy gave me the biggest case of the heebie jeebies since BOB on Twin Peaks. I'll have nightmares for weeks.
- And what was the point of tail section? A season later and all the characters are dead (or MIA in Bernard’s case). I know that the producers keep killing characters so that we don’t get complacent and to instill a real sense of danger. But all its done is shown me not to get too invested in the characters because there is a good chance that they won’t last. I have an inkling that’s not what was intended.
- ABC really hates those who get arrested.
- Are we supposed to believe that, in this case, Lostzilla is really the Hand of God executing its judgment?
- Who was the brother, if it wasn't the brother? What happened to his body?
- R.I.P. Eko. Badass to the end.
- Why do I watch this crap? No really, why?All I want is Charlie dead and I think he will be the last fool standing.
- Two important facts about the Monster -- it appeared to Locke as bright light, and it can apparently shapeshift into human form (Yemi, the guys Eko cut up in the church, etc.). Does this mean that the other apparitions on the island, like Kate's horse, Jack's dad, various flashback characters, have all been the Monster jerking people around?
- Yemi -- the real one -- they were doing an obvious Christ allusion with him (rolling a stone away from an empty tomb) but it's not really obvious why Yemi has to be a 'type of Christ', yet. I think we can guess that the smoky monstery thing can take the form of corpses it finds -- Jack's dad, Yemi -- and then turns into a vengeful Old Testament Jehovah thing.
- Anyway...I thought that was a damned good episode. It seems the writers finally figured out that all of the "OOH THE ISLAND IS ALL ABOUT SCIENCE!" stuff was absolutely worthless bollocks and have started moving back to the Big Island of Terrifying Shit. Amen. I'm surprised they killed off Eko. He was a great character. That smoke monster owned the f-ck out of that guy. "RAWWWRR SMOKE FIST SMASH. SMOKE FIST DESTROY!" Speaking of Smokey the Murderous Puff...are we all in agreement that it takes on human form now too? Yemi was really YemiWithSmokeFlavoring, right? It actually explains a lot in my eyes.The Clorox Blacklight map says that "Cerberus"(Smokey) has been malfunctioning for some time. So my theory is that while it used to be a security system, it went wacko somehow and now thinks that it's The Punisher/Judge Dredd. It scans people to see if they have done bad things (dunno how) and if they are "guilty"...well...it punishes their ass. Harshly.
- Locke=awesome, Desmond=hot and awesome, flashback=awesome. I'm glad Eko stood up for himself and his decisions. He was totally right. His death was dignified and suitable for his character. Not to mention his last words, which were kind of chilling. I was pleasantly suprised because I was expecting something forced and sentimental.
- This occurred to me as well. Could it even be that Ol' Smokey is masquerading as one of the main characters (Bernard, for example)?
- When Yemi and Eko walked off together in the "afterlife" it reminded me forcibly of the end of Gladiator when Russell Crowe is finally reunited with his son and wife in the Elysian Fields. Yeah, I admit I got a bit choked up, both times.
- I would have loved it if Juliet had included a few shots of herself holding signs reading, "Jack's in the basement/ mixing up the medicine..."
- What? No! You can't kill Eko! HE WAS SUPPOSED TO PRESIDE OVER SAWYER AND KATE'S WEDDING! Or maybe I'm just imagining things. Rest in peace, Eko. You were the most badass priest out there.
- The Others sure know how to throw a classy funeral. That's how I wanna go.
- Re: Smoke Monster as Elephant - I actually thought it looked a bit more like a wooly mammoth, but that's just being nitpicky. If you go back and watch, it is clearly taking the form of some kind of pachyderm, so the "fist" that slams Eko would actually be a trunk. Fine distinction, but maybe one worth discussing - remember that the Smoke Monster also functioned as a snake when it grabbed Locke.
- I can't believe that after 2.5 seasons we're still having this discussion. I thought it was obvious that the Smoke Monster was a hologram with physical energy and substance, designed on the concept of Room 101 of 1984 (George Orwell) where it's different for each individual based in this case on what haunts them the most. So to me that means it is probably the horse from "What Kate Did" [I think]. I don't think that the monster is necessarily the "worst thing in the world" but more accurately is sort of like in the movie "Solaris" in that it reads your mind and "feeds" off your thoughts to create the embodiment of something that may be real, may be imagined, may be from your past, or may be allegorical, but that generally represents something that haunts you, even if subconsciously.
- A Cheeseburger in Paradise?
- I don't think Eko said, "You're next," to Locke. I think he told him, "Whatever you do, don't get arrested..."
- Does anyone think that Eko's death would have been about ten times better if we hadn't seen the ridiculous smoke monster CGI? Imagine, Eko runs into the forest after his refusal to repent scene, we then cut back to Locke and company, who hear the smoke monster, and then come up to a dying Eko. The stupid CGI ruined what should have been an incredibly meaningful moment. - Quite the opposite, I loved the scene. As someone mentioned way-back, I'm not sure how people can slate the CGI on the smoke-monster because, having never seen one, for all I know that's exactly how a shape-changing, mechanical-sounding, judgement-giving smoke-monster would kill its prey! I also like that we're seeing more and more of the monster - in the pilot, we saw little, just heard it. Then when Locke was taken, we saw the smoke. Then with Eko first time round, we saw the smoke AND the imagery. Now, we see the smoke AND its physical qualities, and get implications that it can either 'morph' into other shapes, or at least convince others that another shape is present. Maybe next time we see the smoke monster, we'll actually see it morphing into the hallucination (in fact, this time, with all the close-ups on Yemi after the "you speak to me as if..." speech, I was expecting him to 'poof!' into the black smoke. But hey!).
- On a shallow note, Jack's workout scene was a thing of beauty, as was the shirtlessness that followed. Both proved that Matthew Fox isn't nicknamed "Foxy" for nothing.
- I wonder if Charlie gets custody of the Jesus stick. Heroin + Jesus stick = one badass hobbit. Desmond better watch out.
- I missed Sawyer but at least he didn't get the crap beat out of him this episode. No Kate. YAY! My hatred of her burns like the fire of a thousand suns.
ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS...
NO BEST LINES THIS TIME...
I depend on two different sites that typically post episode transcripts each week on Sunday... and neither posted the transcript for "The Cost of Living" this week for some reason. Hence, I cannot provide the "Best Lines of the Episode" as I normally do because I do not have time to rewatch the episode and take funny lines down. However, I remember when I was watching it live that I thought it was absolutely hilarious when Benry started telling Jack his tale of woe and all Jack could do was respond, "Uh, do you mind if I eat this cheeseburger??"
ONE IS THE LONELIEST NUMBER
So we are down to the "fall finale." I saw two full minutes of it (don't ask, I fell off the Spoiler Wagon) and if nothing else, those two minutes were awesome, so I have high expectations...
11/8/06 - I Do - U.S. preview, and Canadian preview (they show different scenes)
2/07/06 - Not in Portland
That's right, February 7th is when our beloved show will return to us. I have been surprised by how many people I've been talking to who did NOT know about the hiatus. Hello!?!?! Have you not been paying attention to this blog?
So, next week's will be the last write-up for a while. Although I realize that every week so far we've been saying "Next episode looks GOOD" and it hasn't necessarily been, I really do think the "mini-finale" will leave us with a lot to talk about.