Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Review: Lost 2.10: The 23rd Psalm

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Eko stares down The Monster.
From Wikia
Lost - Season Two, Episode Ten - The 23rd Psalm
Written 12/8/13

Eko is my Shephard; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in good episodes: he leadeth me to enjoy good character development. Yes, finally, this is our Eko centric episode, and while it does progress along Charlie's misguided storyline, it finally shows what Eko has been through to get to this point and what a brilliant character he is. At least to me. Throw in some explanations about some strange things found on the Island and some prep for next week's Event episode, and you got yourself yet another entry on my favourite episodes list.
     In our flashbacks, we find two young brothers in a Nigerian village attacked by a local militia. The older brother is forced to kill a man to save his brother, and is taken off to become a child soldier. He grows up to be Mr. Eko, a drug-lord who intercepts some heroin that needs to be smuggled out of Nigeria. He goes to his younger brother Yemi, now a priest ashamed of his brother's path, and at first asks, and then forces him to let them dress up as priests in order to smuggle the heroin inside some virgin mary statues. Yemi calls the military to their landing strip but is killed in the process, his body bunged aboard the Beechcraft while Eko was forced out, with the authorities now believing him to be a real priest.
     Claire tries to consult Eko about Charlie's "secret religiousness", leading to him finding and revealing the heroin-filled virgin mary statue that Charlie kept from the Beechcraft. Claire feeling betrayed, Eko demands for reasons then unknown to take him to the plane. On their journey to it, they find a corpse that Eko recognises, and Eko has a run-in with the Monster where it just seems to look at him and then run away. When they reach the plane, Eko looks at the body within and it is Yemi. He burns the plane using its own fuel and they head back to camp, where Claire has packed up Charlie's stuff. Elsewhere, Michael communicates summore with Walt on the Swan computer and displays an unhealthy interest in the contents of the gun room.
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Eko is sent away to become a Guerilla as a child.
From Wikia
     In my eyes, Eko's is not a story of faith but one of guilt. For the vast majority of Eko's life, he lives in the real world - one in which black and white mixed readily and in which the way to get by was to not make much distinction between them. Hence Eko has never really felt guilty for anything in his life - that is, until, his brother's death, after which his newfound guilt, something he's never had to deal with before, sends him into the guilt-enabling world of Religion and the church. I don't think we ever hear him acknowledge any idea of God moving his actions - it's the spirituality that appeals to him, and the sense of purpose in a life which, while fine for him before that point, had seen his brother killed without a proper burial.
      Mr. Eko is one of my favourite characters in the whole show, and that's a mixture of the love I have for his character arc (in which he slowly learns to forgive himself for his brother's death and accepts that the majority of his original philosophy was right all along) and for the sheer ability of the actor who plays him, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. This episode had all of that, and while it also had Charlie, who is increasingly becoming a pain in the backside, there's nothing that can mask the awesomeness of Mr. Eko - washed up junkies or no.

Thanks.

NEXT WEEK: We find out how Jack's life got fucked up as we get to meet the Others en masse.

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