Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Review: Lost 2.21: ?

Maaaalkiiiin! From Wikia
Lost - Season Two, Episode Twenty-One - ?
Written between 16th and 17th November 2013

Now we reach the middle of a trilogy of Eko-centric episodes, began in the amazing "The 23rd Psalm" and to be followed up next season with "The Cost of Living." Despite Eko's centricity and the heavyness of his involvement, the development this week clings more closely to Locke, whose loss of faith, begun with the arrival of Henry Gale, nears its explosive (or should I say implosive) climax in a few weeks. Apart from a few moments here or there, it was nothing special, even for an episode whose name is, depending on your outlook, a work of genius or a work of utter sloth.
     Libby got shot, but Libby ain't dead, leading Sawyer to have to reveal the hiding place of his stash to allow Jack to give her heroin, which is the only powerful painkiller they have left. Eko has a dream telling him to help Locke find "the question mark", and as such he pretends to be employing Locke to help track the escaped Henry Gale, while in fact they end up going to the Beechcraft, where it turns out there's a secret entrance to a second Hatch - the Pearl. Within the Pearl they find a video claiming the Swan to be a psychological experiment, which pushes Locke's doubt over the edge and for some reason gets Eko all excited because he now sees pushing the button as a matter of absolute faith.
     In the past, we see Eko as a priest in Auss, ready to go to the US, but postponed by a local "miracle" in which a young girl (Charlotte Malkin, the daughter of Claire's fraudulent psychic Richard Malkin) drowned and then rose from the dead. Eko is skeptical, but both her mother and the coroner's audio recording seem conclusive. Eko is persuaded to turn down the case by Richard, who tells him that he is a fraud and that his wife claimed his daughter's resurrection in order to punish him for his lies. However, the daughter catches up with Eko at Sydney Airport just before he boards 815 and tells him that his brother forgives him.
The Pearl station presents Locke's button as a fake.
From Wikia
       There was a dream in this episode that summed things up quite well - Eko's story being seen through Locke's eyes. This was an Eko-centric episode and he formed its fabric, but it was Locke that really got the most juicy moments, with his bitter recollections of all the times that his blind faith had led to death and destruction. Terry O'Quinn's quiet despair as he laconically accounts for why the Beechcraft with, "Boone. Boone made it fall. And then he died." make me shiver with glee, as well as his final grand proclamation that reminds me somewhat of The Man In Black's opinion of his host. (Don't follow that link if you don't want spoilers.) It's an awesome moment in which Locke's self-pity, the same sort we saw rise in his flashbacks from this season, came to a fore in the present in a way which was fantastic.
     Which makes me wonder if this season wasn't crying out for a Locke episode. While it's nice to see Eko get a good showing, this episode does very little to develop his awesome character and his flashbacks are ridiculously throwaway - especially strange, since the flashbacks in the next Eko episode, The Cost of Living, pick up from those in The 23rd Psalm. He's such a strong character, and a centric this close to the season finale should have a little more potency and drive to it. Instead, this episode fits exactly to its title, making me wonder why the hell the stakes are so low when there's so much action to come.


NEXT WEEK: We mess around once again with the format and get an awesome set of flashbacks in an episode confusingly called Three Minutes.

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