Eko treks to the beechcraft when his dead brother Yemi appears to him and tells him it’s time to be judged. Locke comes up with an idea that might help the survivors locate Jack, Kate, and Sawyer.
|Written by Alison Schapker & Monica Breen
Directed by Jack Bender
Before he was taken by the guerilla fighters, young Eko once broke into a supply shed at the local church so he could get something to eat for his brother Yemi, who was hungry. A nun working at the church caught them in the act and demanded that Eko enter confession to ask forgiveness for stealing, but Eko struggled hard with the act of confessing.
Immediately after his brother was shot on the runway and the beechcraft took off, military soldiers returned Eko to the church where Yemi served, assuming it was Eko’s church. Eko was met there by a woman named Amina and her young son Daniel, who informed him that Yemi was planning to leave for London at the end of the week to “continue his studies.” Eko said that he would be taking his brother’s place.
The next day, Eko’s work was interrupted by the arrival of a warlord named Emeka, whom he learned offered his “protection” to the people of this village in exchange for 80% of a vaccine shipment that was sent to the local clinic every six months. When Eko threatened to discontinue this arrangement, Emeka shot and killed one of the villagers on the spot. Emeka promised to return later in the week for his part of the shipment, and left the decision up to Eko.
Eko was later warned by Amina not to cross Emeka and his men, but Eko ignored her, putting out the word that he wanted to sell the vaccine himself. When Emeka found out about Eko’s “plans”, he showed up at the church to retaliate, but Eko handily killed him and both of his men. When the townspeople found out what he’d done, they boarded up the church, saying that it had been desecrated by Eko’s actions. Amina condemned him, warning him that one day he would be judged for what he’d done, and that he owed Yemi one church to replace the one he’d defiled.
Sayid, Sun, and Jin return to camp after their adventures on Desmond’s sailboat, and Hurley and Charlie take Sayid to see Eko, who’s still unconscious after his polar bear attack. After they’ve gone, Eko is awakened by the presence of his dead brother, Yemi, who informs him that it’s time for him to be judged. Yemi says that he’ll be waiting for his brother at the place where the beechcraft crashed. Yemi then sets fire to Eko’s tent, forcing the other survivors to rescue him. But Eko soon disappears from where they leave him, delirious and unrelenting in his intent to reach Yemi.
That same night, Jack is visited in his cell by Ben, who’s dressed in a white tunic. He leaves a similar garment for Jack to change into and asks that Jack join him for a walk when he’s dressed. But before Ben can leave, Jack reveals that he knows Ben has a tumor on his spine. Jack scares Ben with explanations of the symptoms he’ll soon be experiencing, but Ben claims that Jack has the wrong guy. Ben takes Jack down to the beach, where about a dozen Others, all dressed in the same white tunics, are waiting with torches. It’s a funeral for Colleen. Ben descends to the shoreline, asking Jack to hold back. The Others light Colleen aflame in a funeral pyre, and send her body out to sea. Soon Juliet shows up for the funeral as well, and Ben privately asks why Juliet showed Jack his x-rays. Juliet points out that she didn’t tell Jack that the x-rays are Ben’s.
The next morning, Locke formulates a plan to find and rescue Jack, Kate, and Sawyer. After Desmond tells him that the Swan station’s computer could be used to communicate with other Dharma stations on the island, Locke suggests to Sayid that they use the computer in another Dharma station to try and communicate with the Others. When Charlie explains that Eko was mumbling about his brother before he disappeared, Locke realizes that Eko is heading to the same place he wants to go: the beechcraft’s crash site, which is also the location of the Pearl station. Locke tells the survivors that anyone who wants to come along with himself, Desmond, and Sayid is welcome to do so, so Nikki and Paolo volunteer to go.
In the jungle alone, Eko is trailed closely by the smoke monster. When the monster disappears, Nigerian men from Eko’s past appear, men who’ve been brutally injured. But they’re gone almost as fast, leaving Eko to wonder if he’s hallucinating. Later, he stops at a creek to drink, but he sees the smoke monster’s reflection in the water. When he turns to confront it, the creature quickly retreats. Locke appears just then on the other side of the creek, and they join up with him. It isn’t long before all six of them arrive at the Pearl station site, and while Sayid takes the rest of them down into the station, Locke waits with Eko for Yemi to reappear. Locke tells Eko in private that he saw the smoke monster once (all the way back in 1.04 “Walkabout”), but it appeared to him as a beautiful bright light. Eko says that he saw no light, only black smoke. Eko enters the beechcraft and finds that his brother’s body is not there.
Juliet brings Jack lunch in his cell, and the two of them seem to strengthen their budding friendship. Ben enters and asks to speak to Jack alone. After Juliet leaves, Ben says that all of his plans for Jack have been disrupted by Jack seeing his x-rays. He explains that they were working slowly at getting Jack to trust them, so that when they asked him to operate on Ben, he would want to. He even says that Juliet was chosen to be the one to get close to Jack because she bears a resemblance to Jack’s ex-wife Sarah. Jack assesses that this is the reason the Others kidnapped him and Kate and Sawyer, because Ben wanted to manipulate Jack into saving his life. Ben affirms that this is the truth, and then asks if Jack believes in God, saying that a spinal surgeon falling out of the sky two days after he learned he had a tumor on his spine is proof enough for him that God is real.
Locke joins his friends down in the Pearl station while Eko remains topside to wait on them. Inside, Nikki watches the Orientation video while the others work at accessing the computer. Sayid notes that the computer’s wiring is a “closed system” — it isn’t networked to any other computers, anywhere. Nikki asks about the other monitors in the Pearl and what they might be for, pointing out that Marvin Candle says in his video that there are six Dharma stations in all. Locke likes what she’s thinking, and Sayid attempts to patch into some of the other stations’ video feeds, if they exist. Sayid manages to get one feed to work — a station filled with old computers similar to those that were used in the Swan. Suddenly the camera pans to the side, where a man wearing a patch over one eye appears, and he seems to be looking back at everyone in the Pearl. Locke happily points out that whoever that man was, he’ll probably be expecting to meet them soon.
Juliet visits Jack in the adjoining room to his cell, and offers to put on a movie for him. Jack isn’t interested, but she does it anyway as an apology for bringing him and his friends here. While she pleads with him to save Ben’s life, the video begins to play, and Jack is surprised to see that it’s not a movie at all — it’s a recording of Juliet holding a series of handwritten signs. They read:
Ignore everything I’m saying.
Ben is a liar.
And he is very dangerous.
Some of us want a change.
But it has to look like an accident.
It has to look like we tried to save him.
And that’s up to you, Jack.
It’s a complicated surgery. No one would ever know.
And I would protect you.
Now tell me to turn off the movie.
Juliet turns off her movie and leaves right on cue after asking Jack to think about what she told him.
- The x-rays belong to Ben, who has an aggressive tumor growing on his spine.
Question: Whose x-rays did Jack spy outside the Others’ operating room? [3.04]
- Jack was abducted so that the Others could con him into saving Ben’s life from the tumor growing on his spine. Kate and Sawyer were presumably brought along as insurance.
Question: Why did the Others take Jack, Kate, and Sawyer captive? [2.24]
- It was all part of the manipulative plot cooked up by Ben to convince Jack to operate on him. Sawyer and Kate were brought along as collateral for Jack, to be manipulated and used against him if needed. Kate’s dress was undoubtedly part of this manipulation, meant to instill certain psychological connotations about Kate within Sawyer.
Question: Why did the Others have Kate shower and change into a dress? [3.01]
- This was more of Ben’s manipulation of Jack, his way of eventually convincing Jack that Kate loved Sawyer more than she loved him.
Question: How was Jack able to hear Sawyer’s yells through the com system in the Hydra, when Juliet claimed that that system hasn’t worked in years? Is this more manipulation from Ben? [3.04]
- Ben is hoping that Jack will agree to operate on his spine, to remove the malignant tumor that’s growing there.
Question: What does Ben need Jack’s cooperation with? [3.02]
- Why did Locke see the monster as a “beautiful bright light” (in 1.04 “Walkabout”) when every other time it’s seen, it appears as black smoke?
- What station did the survivors in the Pearl catch a glimpse of in the video monitor?
- Who was the man with the patch over one eye?
- Who was the Yemi that Eko confessed to? Was he, as it appeared, the smoke monster taken human form?
- Why did the smoke monster kill Eko?
- What did Eko mean when he told Locke that the rest of them were “next”? Next at what? The next to die at the smoke monster’s hands?
“The Cost of Living” is the third and final Eko-centric episode of the series.
With the death of Mr. Eko, the remaining survivors total 45.
So much has already been said and written about the unexpected departure of actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje that I’m not going to rehash it here, except to say that Eko was the first character on the show I was deeply saddened to see die. And I hope the producers can find a way to bury the hatchet with him and resurrect Eko in Season 6.
Yemi telling Eko that he needed to be judged was a shock to me this go ’round; I had forgotten that this same phrase Ben would later use in Season 5 to describe his submission to the smoke monster, was earlier used by what was very likely the smoke monster in human form. Speaking of the smoke monster…
We now have compelling evidence that the smoke monster has taken the shape of dead people many times. Yemi, Alex, and very possibly Christian Shephard. The fact that their bodies always disappear when the creature is taking on their form gives this notion further credibility. We’ve also seen Jacob’s nemesis take on the form of a dead person: John Locke. Though in Locke’s case, his body remained intact. Regardless, the similarity has led many a fan to guess that the smoke monster and Jacob’s nemesis might just be one and the same. The theory makes a certain kind of sense; the monster has certainly demonstrated intelligence and intent on many occasions. And its unique ability to access images from the past of anyone it encounters shows that it’s probably a supernatural creature, much like Jacob. What isn’t clear is how the smoke monster’s agenda — which seems to revolve around judgment — ties in with that of Jacob’s nemesis. We watched him comment about the various people Jacob brings to the island, and the endless pattern of their behavior, but he seemed rather disinterested in the whole business himself. The one thing we know for certain that he wants is to kill Jacob. But there has to be a reason that he wants Jacob dead. How do you suppose the smoke monster’s obsession with judgment connects to a desire to kill Jacob? I’m reminded once again of the biblical story of Jacob and Esau, where Jacob schemed to steal his brother’s birthright/inheritance — a scenario that would certainly cause Esau to want his brother to be judged for his wrongdoing. The Bible records that the two of them reconciled their differences later in life, but the parallel to the island’s Jacob and his enemy seems too coincidental to ignore.