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Lost – The Cost of Living

November 2nd, 2006

First – Called it!

Second, I’m going against some of the usual suspects, and saying that I thought this episode gets us back into the old school Lost mode. The rest is mostly commentary/speculation, but contains spoilers, so click to read on.
The storyline for Eko’s demise wasn’t at all like I thought it would be, it was much better.

The return of the smoke monster (aka Smokezilla) was a welcome twist, even though Smokey was the killer of Eko.  The questions surrounding Smokey take us back to the beginning of the series, and Locke’s first encounter with the monster.

Eko’s revisitation of his dead brother Yemi also harken back to early lost days.  Does the smoke monster change shape?  Is it controlled by someone, the others we know (Benry’s) or the others we don’t know (eye-patch).  Can it take human form (Jack’s Dad, Walt, Yemi) other forms (Kate’s Horse) or also communicate (the voices in the jungle)?

Locke saw it as a ‘bright beautiful light’, while for Eko it formed into a dark lingering cloud.  He faced the monster earlier, and was confronted with the images in the smoke.  I haven’t done the math if the faces from that earlier episode match up with some characters from this last episodes flashbacks.

If Eko’s final words were, ‘you’re next’ does that mean that the monster is protecting its turf (the area around the plane crash, the pearl station?) since that is where Eko has confronted it twice now.  Does it patrol the area at the bidding of the eye-patch man, that realized he was being watched, and then sent out the monster.  Eko’s own mind creating the ‘image’ of his brother.  Yemi’s disdain for being talked to like he was Eko’s brother has me leaning to some kind of  ‘other’ controlling faction.  I don’t think it is Benry’s faction, but some other entity.
Eko’s story arc is gone though, and also leaves only Bernard as the last surviving Tailie.  Hey, has anyone seen Bernard.. or Rose for that matter?  Did they get their one shot and now will be replaced with Nikki and Paulo?  (I’m with the others, that see the introduction of these two as a potential Jump The Shark moment.  There are so many other ways they could have introduced two more cast member, but to have them act like they’ve been there all along, and give them some really bad lines.  So far they’ve been more of a Greek Chorus, ala Charlie and Hurley, than anything neat or cool or story driven.)

Eko’s end wasn’t wonderful, but it falls inline with his backstory character.  Looking out for number one, and having some regrets, but also able to rationalize his choices.  I was surprised he didn’t ask for repetance at the end, because his whole story so far pointed to a repentant faith.  I guess until he started button-pushing.  Then his ‘faith’ went off the rails, and he stopped building Yemi’s church.
Benry and Juliet… they go the other way, both are played so very well.  Benry is the creepiest, yet also believable character.  You hate his guts, but at the same time you want to believe him, and think that he has a higher purpose than his devious schemes.  Juliet is also mysterious, at one time wanting to gain Jack’s trust, and the next totally blowing his mind, and making him question her, and make him more suspicious of his surroundings and captivity.

I think that they are playing this straight, though.  Benry has terminal cancer (which given Rose’s and Locke’s island experience is somewhat at odds with the nature of the island.. hmmm.. have to think more on that…) and needs Jack to save him.  Juliet is trapped on the island (the very first scene of this year totally sells that to me) and wants to get out from Benry’s control, and sees Jack as a way to gain the upper hand.  I think that the four people that were on Michael’s list were chosen because they had emotional ties to Jack (Jack and Sawyer is a bit tenuous, but Jack has continuously healed the guy) that Benry could use as leverage.  Frankly he still can use Kate and Sawyer as leverage, but I think Benry really wants this to be Jack’s choice.

The eye-path hatch dweller is intriguing.  Is he a Benry other, or some other other.  That will be another storyline that will bring us to the bulk of the season, when it restarts in January/February.  The cliffhanger next week will kinda tie up the others we know, and start walking down the line to the others we don’t know.  Damon admitted in the opening podcast that there were factions of others… it might not just be the utopian Benry others that exist, but another faction of ex-Dharmites

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