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Lost: The 23rd Psalm

Drug dealer: "Is it true what they say about you?"
Eko: "And what is that?"
Drug dealer: "You have no soul."

Eko's backstory is as powerful as he is. This was an amazing episode.

Like so many others on the Island, Eko is seeking redemption for his past. And like the others, his sins are complex; Eko began his life of crime in order to save his brother Yemi's life. As a criminal, Eko had a strong need to corrupt Yemi's faith; he wanted to bring Yemi down. But in the end, the exact opposite happened. Yemi's death gave Eko back his soul.

For me, this episode had an emotional impact like that of "Walkabout." It was exceptionally moving, and I couldn't stop thinking about it when it was over. There was something so perfect about Eko becoming a priest in his brother's place. His recitation of the twenty-third psalm made me cry. And when Eko told Charlie he was indeed a priest, I felt chills go down my spine. It was that good.

Nearly all of the scenes here were strong. Eko's confrontation with the Monster was a jaw-dropper. There were faces in the Monster smoke – I think they were from the flashbacks in this episode. Eko wasn't afraid of it. He faced down his past, if you want to take it literally, and accepted it.

Charlie, Charlie, Charlie. This episode made him look soooo bad. And then it made him look even worse. He lied to everybody. He had something good with Claire, and he blew it. I don't think he was using, but he had a large stash of Virgin Mary heroin. And I think the chances of him using at some point, especially now that Claire has thrown him out of their tent, are virtually a hundred percent. It's really unfair that Charlie just stumbled over wads and wads of free heroin right after he kicked the habit. Most addicts don't have to overcome that sort of temptation.

That final scene with the integration of the Fusies and the Tailies was just lovely: Jin and Sun welcoming Ana Lucia with a fish, Hurley helping Libby build a shelter, Jack giving Sawyer his antibiotics. I like the three new characters, and I've enjoyed their version of season one, but I'm glad we're finally back with our core group of characters. I've missed them.

Character bits:

No eye opener for Eko.

Michael is keeping his "communication" with Walt a secret. This is not good. I mean, that soooo wasn't Walt. "Are you alone?" Why would Michael need to be alone? "You need to con..." Con what?

Locke training Michael to shoot the bad jar of ranch dressing must be a set-up for the next episode.

Kate and Sawyer were all couple-y, what with the hair cutting and all. Was Jack jealous?

Everyone on the Island loves Sawyer now, which is just hilarious. His reaction to it was even funnier. And it's very similar to how many fans who once hated him have grown to love him. Like, for instance, me.

Charlie's best scene was when he was singing the Kinks to Jin.

Sawyer called Kate "Freckles" and Hurley "Pillsbury."

Bits and pieces:

— It is a coincidence beyond the possibility of coincidence that Eko and the plane with his brother's body in it crashed on the same island. Was he looking for it? We don't know why Eko was on Flight 815, after all.

— This week's Most Obvious Symbolism was the cross. Eko lost it when he gave up his faith. Yemi picked it up, and became a priest. Eko acknowledged that he was a priest when he got it back again.

— Eko told Claire that Moses had difficulty speaking, and Aaron spoke for him. And Charlie mentioned that his addiction was his brother's fault. Both of these sets of brothers paralleled Eko and Yemi.

— Another fuselage containing bodies was burned.

— The Nigerian drug plane was introduced in the episode "Deus ex Machina", which means, appropriately enough, "God from the machine." They must have decided to cast Eko way back then. Locke mentioned hunting birds with his father to Michael; that was even in the same episode.

— A lot of early Lost episode titles were also song titles. This one is, too, since "psalm" means "song." And nearly all of the words applied to the Island, didn't they? I noticed that they transposed a couple of words, though (shadow of the valley of death) which must have been on purpose.

— The fascinating encounter Eko had with the Monster was a lot like a scene in the movie The Abyss, but with smoke instead of water.

— How come the computer screen went blank before Jack saw it? This model was made long before screen savers.

— Gold acting stars to Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. He should get an Emmy. The actor who played Eko's brother Yemi, Adetokumboh M'Cormack, was also terrific.


Charlie: "What if I don't? You going to beat me with your Jesus stick?"

Kate: "You know, you don't have to be belligerent just for belligerency's sake. Everyone loves you now."
Sawyer: "Bullpucky."

Charlie: "Most people, when they see a creature made of whirling black smoke, they run." (Charlie did have the best lines in this episode, which kind of made up for the character assassination.)

This was such a four,

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. Exceptional episode. I think it’s wonderful that a psalm as beautiful as the 23rd would fit so well into the mythology of a show like this. The scene with the burning plane and the recitation of the psalm was just amazing and I completely understand why you got chills. The other little beats that I thought were incredible were Eko looking at his own bloody handprint and then cradling Yemi’s corpse. Incredibly moving after the flashbacks.

    This episode reminded me so much of “Deus ex Machina.” In both, we see men struggling with their faith; Locke’s faith in the Island and Eko’s faith in God. I think these two men are going to be very interesting to watch together as the story continues.

    We also now know that the anonymous corpse that Boone was struggling with in the plane was Yemi’s. Interesting, as they are both the “good” sibling.

  2. Another week, another backstory murder. I like Eko's more, though, because it appeals to the older sibling in me.

    For all my complaining about JJ Abrahms' shows being obsessed with parent/child relationships, Lost really digs the sibling drama, doesn't it? I like that. Although "death of sibling" seems to be code for "rite of passage," which is a pity.

    I love Jin and Sun with the Welcome Wagon fish. They couldn't rustle up a casserole?

  3. Eko was such a fascinating character. Now that we have learned about his backstory, we realize that this “priest” is also an incredibly dangerous person. From here on out, every interaction with him is tinged with the reality that you cross this man at your own risk. I absolutely loved Eko the first time I watched this, and nothing has changed in the years since.


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