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Lost

Lost is a drama about a group of plane crash survivors. They land on an unknown Pacific island and have to learn to live together. ABC 2004-2010

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Episode 21 - ?

4 May 2017

Present: Eko has a dream. In it Yemi tells him that the work being done in the hatch is important. He also tells him to make John take him to the question mark and that John has lost his way. Eko rushes to the hatch where Kate, Sawyer, Jack and Locke also arrive to find Ana dead, Libby dying and Michael wounded. They fail to save Libby much to Hurley’s sadness. Eko volunteers himself and Locke to go in search of Henry. Instead though Eko demands that Locke take him to the question mark. They reach the beach craft and make camp. Locke has a dream where Eko follows Yemi to the top of the cliff. Eko promptly climbs it and sees a mark on the ground visible from above. They uncover a hatch beneath the plane. Once inside they find a Dharma observation station where people would observe the residents of the Swan station. Another Orientation video which explains all this. John sees it as confirmation that the button is useless while Eko believes the opposite.

Flashback: Eko is now a priest in Australia. He buys a fake passport and plans to head to America. But his monsignor intervenes and asks him to investigate a miracle. Richard Malkin’s (from 110) daughter died and has now come back to life. A disturbing recording from the coroner seems to confirm this. But Richard tells Eko of his fraudulent psychic work and convinces him that it was no miracle. But at the airport before boarding flight 815 Malkin’s daughter approaches Eko. She tells him that while dead Yemi came to her and asked her to tell Eko that he was a good man and that he would see him soon.

The Good: This is a tremendous episode and it feels like one of the very few from season two which can stand up to the characterisation and story development of season one. One of the reasons this is so is the similarity between this episode and Deus Ex Machina (119). In that episode Locke had a dream which he believed would help him open the hatch. He found the beachcraft and Boone died. While Boone was lost though, Locke went to the hatch and the light came on confirming that he was on the right path. Here Eko gets the confirmation he was looking for and Locke loses his faith. Again the scene is the beachcraft, an item which intimately links these two men to the mysteries of the island.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of this episode is the characterisation of Locke and Eko. Locke has now come to the end of his tether. He has serious doubts already about whether pushing the button is his destiny. Meanwhile his other skill, being able to help others on the island has gone completely missing. Instead of imparting island given wisdom, Locke has been fooled by Charlie, Sawyer and Michael. Now Henry has fooled him completely and escaped because he misjudged Ana Lucia. She and Libby are dead because of him. Under this hostile sea of guilt and misery Locke is in no mood to help Eko. At each step of the journey Eko has to push Locke forward, even when a dream comes which seems to confirm that the island still has plans for him. You can see his faith flicker like a candle when he asks Eko if he can open the hatch door. He wants to believe again. But the orientation film finally blows that candle out. The implication that the Swan station is simply a psychological test is too much for Locke. It’s as if the island has become a bitter letdown, like all the time and faith he invested in his father (119) or his walkabout tour (104).

Meanwhile Eko has been waiting for this moment to come. The flashbacks are very effective at showing us why Eko has become such a diligent priest after being such a brutal criminal. We see that despite taking on Yemi’s work, Eko doesn’t really believe in it. But Yemi’s message from the grave is enough to shake Eko and make him change his ways. We now know that when he saw Charlie’s statue (210) he had an even greater motivation to find the plane because he now believed that Yemi would be somewhere on the island. Eko is now where Locke was in Deus Ex Machina, he believes wholeheartedly in what he is doing. He looks so enthusiastic when coaxing the dream details from John. And he echoes Locke (from 203) when he asks if they should watch the Orientation film again. Eko’s tremendous speech to Locke (see Best Moment) sums up his character’s journey. Eko now believes, as Locke once did, that his whole life is being guided by destiny toward a greater purpose.

Within the story there are some very nice moments. Eko’s dream is an intriguing way to start the episode and essentially confirms (if confirmation were necessary) of the supernatural nature of the dream, because there was no way Eko could have known that Ana had died. The autopsy recording is effectively recorded and the coroner plays his shock very well. Richard Malkin’s appearance is yet another cross over between the lives of the survivors (see The Unknown) and the message from beyond the grave is certainly a big deal in the magical or spiritual nature of the island mysteries. The orientation film raises yet more questions while also filling in certain details (see The Unknown). We now know that the “Incident” (as mentioned in 103) must have taken place after 1980 because in this film “Marvin Candle” has both arms. In Locke’s dream, it would seem that he is Eko, he even limps as Eko which is a strange but clever piece of writing. Eko is amusingly and refreshingly blunt with Locke. He head butts him and when John asks why he says “Because you were being difficult.”

Back in the Swan poor Hurley gets all our sympathy as he blames himself for Libby’s demise. As we are now used to Jack is desperate to do something about the attack while Michael’s true motives remain unknown which leads us nicely toward the next episode.

The Bad: Eko choosing Locke to go with him after Henry looks ridiculous. Henry has a twenty minute head start and it’s night time. Yet Eko chooses the guy on crutches to chase after him.

Richard Malkin’s extremely honest admission to Eko seems really stupid. The admission that he is a fake psychic seems designed more to raise doubts about Claire’s story than be a necessary part of this one. If you are a fake psychic then you ought to protect that fact with great secrecy. Yet Malkin blurts it out the second Eko arrives. For all he knows Eko might report him to the police for admitting this deception. It seems a very odd thing to say at all, especially when his explanation for his daughter’s death seems convincing enough.

Libby’s sudden ability to let out the word “Michael” just before dying is very clichéd. She didn’t need to say that for her death to be any sadder. Jack is clever to trap Sawyer into revealing his stash and Sawyer is clever for hiding them where he could guard them.

The Unknown: What happened to “Marvin Candle” to make him lose his arm? Why does he use pseudonyms for different stations and why do they have a candle connection to them (Candle and Wickman)? Did Yemi really communicate with Eko or was it some other force?

Richard Malkin went to extreme lengths to get Claire onto flight 815 (in 110). It seemed like then that he had had a genuine vision. Here he admits to being a fake. However it seems to me that the point is not to throw doubt on whether he really had a vision about Claire, but to confirm it. His daughter died so that Eko could do important work on the island. And it would seem he had a shocking vision in order to protect Aaron.

Best Moment: It has been very frustrating watching characters (throughout season two) not sharing the amazing and unbelievable things they have seen with the one another. But here Eko lets John have it with both barrels as he explains why he believes in the button and destiny: “This cross was warn by my brother Yemi. Yemi was a great man, a priest, a man of God. And because I betrayed him, he was shot and died. He was placed on a plane which took off from an airstrip in Nigeria, half a world from here. Then the plane that I was on crashed on this island. And somehow, here, I found my brother again. I found him in the same plane that took off from Nigeria, in the same plane that lies above us now. That has concealed this place. And I took this cross from around Yemi’s neck and put it back on mine. Just as it was on the day I first took another man’s life. So let me ask you, how can you say this is meaningless?”

The Bottom Line: Lost isn’t like other television shows. It’s mythology has grown to the point that an episode can no longer solely be judged on how entertaining it was for fourty two minutes. It must now be judged on how it contributes to the overall story. What kind of jigsaw piece is it and how much of the whole puzzle can we now see.

This episode is so strong because not only is it an entertaining, detailed and clever story but because it confirms and forwards so many of the main themes and questions. There can be no doubt anymore, if any existed, that supernatural forces are guiding the people on the island. We now know that the island still needs John to be its disciple because Eko was not asked to do this alone.

So as a piece of the jigsaw this is an important one. The characters of Locke and Eko are entertainingly explored while we move one step closer to unravelling the mystery of Michael, Henry, the hatch, the button and the Dharma Initiative.

('DiggThis)

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Comments

  • This episode was great on re-watch but there were a couple problems that I noticed for the series as a whole.

    Eko choosing to press the button led nowhere. The only thing it accomplished was give Locke an obstacle to overcome when he decides to not press the button.

    The answer for the psychic was vague and not much of an answer at all. So he was fake? Then why did he call Claire so much and even give her money? Come on that was really a nothing answer and remained a big plot hole for the show.

    Interesting observations about Marvin Candle's arm. I never noticed that in my first couple watches of the show.

    I have many withstanding questions with the Pearl. So the people in the Pearl were the ones being observed? I wish this was made more clear later because there needed to be a little more clarity in the details. Wouldn't the Dharma Initiative want the notebooks? Why was the station made as a question mark while other stations didn't have anything like that? What happened to the people in that station? If the Others captured it like it's implied, surely they would have found Desmond or Kelvin inside the Swan and taken them out. It's very hard to believe that they never found that station.

    This episode had awesome storytelling but looking back on it there are way too many unanswered questions raised by this episode.

    Viewer score: 82 / 100

    Posted by Aaronic, 02/05/2017 6:21pm (4 months ago)

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