Bulleted, because I haven't used it lately:
- Sic transit Eko. So sad to see Eko go, because he was a very interesting character. I loved watching the story of his "redemption" unfold. In this episode's flashback, I think he realized that no matter what he tried to do, he would never be a "good" man. The best he could do is make up for his past sins, and protect the innocent from harm. That's how I read him this time: he's the shepherd. *Insert reference to Sam Jackson's Pulp Fiction speech.*
- Totally didn't expect him to refuse to confess, though. This episode seemed to show a drastic turn in his "piety."
- Yay for the smoke monster! I know, it's goofy, but I love that this show is, at its core, about the conflict between faith and reason, between rationalism and mysticism. Even with all of the strange but almost understandable/explainable Dharma stuff, we still get smoke monsters. There's still something mysterious and untamed going on in that island. Interesting.
- So the question is: Why? I can't figure it. Did the smoke get angry because Eko would not repent? Or was it a preordained end for the man who lived by the sword for so much of his life? Funny, it seems like, as much as the writers deny it, there's still a lot of evidence for the "island as purgatory" theory. Eko was finally and brutally purged of his violent sins.
- Double-meaning, part one: Island-Yemi saying, "You speak to me as if I were your brother." So is it: 1) Yemi is no longer Eko's brother, because of what he did; or 2) Island-Yemi was never Eko's brother, and was always a manifestation of the Smoke? Crazy.
- Double-meaning, part deux: Locke telling Desmond, "Don't mistake coincidence for fate." At first, I thought he got that backwards. That he was telling Des not to write off fated events as coincidental. But the actual line implies that Des shouldn't attach the label of "fate" to coincidental things? The first meaning seems more like traditional Locke, but the second fits more of Locke's approach lately. So the question is, does Locke still believe in fate?
- Eko's last words: You're next. One Internet theorist said that it could be that the Island is punishing Eko, Locke, and Desmond for destroying the Hatch. I'm not sure if that's true, but it sounds interesting.
- Loved the Locke line, "Well, I'm not Jack." They may be setting up the power-struggle angle again, which is kinda lame, but because I love Locke's character so much, I'll buy it.
- Sad we didn't see much of Charlie or Hurley in this ep, but I loved their line about trail-finding. Perfectly written.
- Meanwhile, on "Alcatraz":
- I don't trust Juliet. I want to, cuz she's attractive. But that's the idea, isn't it? The whole video thing, I think it's a ruse. Either she and BenryGale are still in cahoots, and they're testing Jack, or she's actually more brutal and crazy than Benry, and she's using Jack to kill Ben so she can take control as the supreme Other.
- Either way, I think they're both still trying to play Jack. Henry, with the desperate-patient, "Okay-I'll-be-honest-now" routine; and Juliet, with the "sympathetic, attractive girl who cooks burgers and needs a hero to help her escape" routine.
- Sidenote: "To Kill a Mockingbird"? Interesting. Remember the line--"It's a sin to kill a mockingbird, when all they want to do is sing"? Is Ben the mockingbird? Is Jack supposed to be Atticus, "defending" the indefensible Benry? Or maybe the Others are like Boo Radley, misunderstood, feared, and shunned?
- Finally, I HATE the winter hiatus. Hopefully, the "fall finale" next week will whet our appetites for more.
Ben Folds post upcoming.