Articles filed under Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
“Well J, you seem to be a big fan of Mr. Eko, and today we have the episode where he’s killed off. Do we have to sit through a review that is mostly you whining about how he was abruptly-” OH YOU HAD BETTER ****ING BELIEVE IT. After twice being teased with the possibility of his death in 3.3, having it happen here anyway was without a doubt the most disappointing thing about the opening pod of Season 3. And yet, because Mr. Eko is such a great character to the end, and because he’s at the center of “The Cost of Living,” it’s also the most enjoyable episode of the opening of Season 3. That’s right, this is both the best and most disappointing episode.
Although, knowing it’s coming, I’ve accepted it. Sure, I’ll always wonder where this character may have gone if he had hung around. Would Eko have remained on the island, or would he have become one of the Oceanic 6? Would he have wound up in Dharma times? What role would he have played in the Jacob vs. Man in Black conflict? But oh well… why dwell? Mr. Eko still had a complete story, especially in retrospect, and as a standalone, this is a helluva strong episode.
To my surprise, the aftermath of last week’s stunning events are relegated to the B-Story, in favour of a revealing but strange Eko and Locke journey. This threw me a little bit at first, but all of the material is vital in terms of setting up the season’s climax. It’s diametrically opposed to the season’s protracted beginning, things are moving very quickly here at the end. And I know what kind of storytelling I prefer.
Our focus is Mr. Eko, which all but guarantees a pretty strong episode. His bizarre dream at the beginning causes him to have a total non reaction to the deaths of the people he traveled with for 40 days, and Locke is along for the ride whether he likes it or not (the quote above is the funniest thing ever). There hasn’t been much interaction between these two all season, but that serves to highlight the change Locke has undergone lately. Now Mr. Eko is the one following dreams that he doesn’t fully understand, and Locke is the sarcastic, skeptical cynic.
Libby is found to be clinging to life in the Hatch. Her impending death is never in question, the tension comes from whether or not she’ll manage to identify Michael as her murderer before it’s too late. In fact, Jack even uses the situation to gain access to Sawyer’s stash. Ana Lucia would have been proud. Libby’s death wasn’t something I was going to be too upset about, until Hurley found out what was going to happen. I don’t know if “I’m sorry I forgot the blankets” is unbearably cheesy or the most heartbreaking thing ever.
WHEN are they going to record more baby crying noises? I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve heard that same “Waah-ahhhaaa. Wah-AAAHHH-ah-AH!” noise when Aaron is being fussy. Oh well.
I would have liked to have still been into Lost when this episode aired. I can only imagine how this board must have lit up… this is one of those very rare episodes that actually expands the world of the show in a lot of ways. That we learned so much in what was probably expected to be a throwaway episode focused on a minor character must have been all the more surprising. Here’s the information that we now take for granted:
-What happened to Claire during her kidnapping.
-The fact that Ethan was also making a list while undercover.
-More information on what happened to Rousseau, as well as the sickness.
-A brand new Dharma station, complete with medical facilities.
-The first appearance of Alex.
-The revelation that The Others work for some fearsome leader.
-Most importantly, the heavy duty implications that The Others are a lot more sophisticated than their presentation may indicate. There’s still some ambiguity, but how many people connected the clean shaven man talking to Ethan with that bearded guy who talked to Jack in the jungle?
Whatever props I’ve been giving to Mr. Eko so far, they’re not enough. He has almost singlehandedly kept my interest in Season 2 afloat. His first flashback episode was always going to be a treat simply because he would have such a big role, but Darlton did one better, presenting a deeply surprising and compelling backstory. Mr. Eko had spent the first stretch of the season more as a presence than an actual character. We knew that he had some violent tendencies that didn’t quite jive with his religious leanings, but mostly he’s been just been this imposing, mysterious figure.
The character is redefined about four times in the flashback alone. There’s his childhood in which he becomes a killer to spare his brother, his next appearance as a ruthless, murderous drug lord, a scene where he visits Yemi and justifies his own violent actions, and the end, in which he we see just how he wound up becoming a priest. All of this information comes at us in a way that’s unexpected, yet it completely fits with what little we know about him. And it’s greatly acted by Triple AAA, and filmed in a setting that appears authentic. I’ve never been to Hawaii, but I know that making it look like Nigeria can’t have been easy. Maybe you just have to add an orangish tint to everything.
So if you’ve been reading this, you know that relative to Season 1, I’ve been pretty underwhelmed by Season 2 to this point. But tonight it all changes! It’s a Kate episode! And in the grand tradition of “Whatever the Case May Be” and “Born to Run,” momentum will be regained! Interesting character dynamics will begin! Mythology will be expanded! Pathos will be felt, fun will be had! Ooh la lolly, I can’t wait to dive right in and
…So ok. All of that happened. It was actually a good episode. But… but I was gonna do a whole thing with the intro, sarcastically go on about how great it would be, do a sudden turn after the paragraph break. It could have been really funny. Goddammit, Kate. YOU COULDN’T EVEN LET ME HAVE THAT.
But wait… there were still flaws? I can still talk about them? Oh good.
And J hates this episode. WOAH! It’s funny because it’s like the title.
Oh, ok. If I “hate” this episode, I only hate it relative to the better episodes of Lost. On a scale of Freddy Got Fingered to Schindler’s List (Worst Thing Ever to Best Thing Ever), “Everybody Hates Hugo” falls comfortably into mediocre territory. Not bad. But it has one of the silliest dilemmas a Lostie has ever faced, and there’s a distinct lack of outright worthwhile material to counter that. It’s definitely a shame because I’m generally a fan of Hurley episodes.
After a very strange dream in which Hurley has a vision of Jin and a man in a chicken suit, we find out that he’s been put in charge of rationing out the food in the pantry. The idea of having responsibility stresses Hurley out to no end, since he liked things the way they were and everybody is going to hate him for rationing out whatever to whomever. Charlie is already coming up to him and calling him “The Man,” and I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be a humorous scene or wounding accusation or what. In any case, Hurley takes the situation to its logical conclusion; he has to use the dynamite to blow up the pantry.
……Do I even have to… Well, alright.