Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Pompatus of Lost: 2.10--Eko and the Druggieman

[NOTE: If this recap seems a little strange to you, ask the Information Leafblower and he can explain it to you.]

So did everyone catch Lost: Revelation? Snooze. And it was a little galling just how much prominence they gave the Tailies. As if. But one awesome thing about it: the very first words were "Tequila and tonic." This means: total shout out to me!

Previouslies. Charlie, he loves him some smack. He and smack join the mile high club. But then he comes to La Isla Encanta and he has to give it all up. Good for Charlie! But like Kate in the previous episode--its recap now legendarily lost to posterity--Charlie found some horse. Lots and lots and lots of horse. It's all sealed inside statues of the Virgin Mary. Charlie decides to keep a heroin statue, you know, in case at some point he wants to get Cobain in the membrane. Meanwhile, Michael gets to know the hatch, and discovers that the computer, which must never be used to communicate with anyone, can be used to communicate with his kidnapped son! The display on the CRT reads a retina-burning "Dad?" as we cut to show.

Lights up on the African nation of Flashbackistan. The scene: a dusty encampment. Children are running around "playing" soccer, and I say "playing" because the scene is obviously shot be someone who doesn't know or doesn't like soccer. You can tell by the way the game looks like a structureless, pointless exercise in running around without a sense of purpose. Don't they realize? Soccer explains the effing world, dude! Just ask my dawg Franklin Foer, repping the District of Columbia! The earth is a world, and the world is a ball, but the ball in this game has no rules at all.

Lack of soccer sense aside, the scene seems innocent enough. But things are wrong. Things are going wrong. Can you tell that in a recap? Just then, a truck appears in the distance and on board are a motley crew of gun-wielding mercenary thug types, rolling into view like they just came from shooting those awful episodes of ER where Noah Wyle freaked on Thandie Newton's bones. This random gang of gun wielders descend from their Truck of Malicious Intent, and start threatening the people gathered together trying to make sense of the non-soccer being played, asking for the children. They grab an older man and force him to his knees, and, seizing a young, beatific looking child by the scruff of his neck, place a pistol in his hand and orders the tyke to shoot the man.

The kid points the gun, and balks. The mean gun-wielders mock and threaten further, but the boy won't shoot. It's clear that something very bad will happen to this poor kid if he doesn't plug the old man. The little kid isn't bitter and malignous, but the death is well overdue. Just then another kid--the little guy's older brother--steps up, grabs the gun and shoots the man. Portrait of the Eko as a young man, obvs. The gang of gunbuddies laugh it up and grab Eko's crucifix pendant and pull it from his neck, saying he won't be needing it anymore. They take Eko with them and roll out, leaving little brother behind.

Back at the Isla, Claire sidles up to Eko to make some smallish talk. Eko brings up Claire's baby, Aaron, and asks how he got that name. Claire's all: it sounds pretty. Eko's like: I'm a total Bible nerd. Claire, stumbling headlong over an awful segue, suggests that Eko chat up Charlie, because he's into Jesus and stuff and even carries around a statue of the Virgin Mary. Just then, Eko goes freaky, and asks to see the statue.

Jumping back to Charlie's lean-to, Claire shows Eko the statue. Eko goes and takes it, then proceeds to break it till it falls apart. And inside, voila, is the heroin. Claire stares at the smack, incredulously, stammering. Oh, Claire. Spare us the stutter. It couldn't cut the mustard. Eko wants to know where Charlie is.

Meanwhile at the Hatch, Locke is spinning the combination of the gun locker when Michael walks up. They chit some chat about safecracking and silent movies, and then Locke gets his island grok on, sussing correctly that ol' Mike is itching to reach for some black steel in his hour of chaos. Correct, Locke. But what you missed, oh island sage, is that Michael is about two shakes of a salt mill away from a mental freakout.

We catch up with Charlie Clown, who's got no way home, shittily singing some Kinks lyrics at a dumbfounded Jin, who's just trying to work his fish mojo. Eko approaches with a purpose, strides up to Charlie, and starts giving him the third degree over the Mary statue and where he found it. Charlie, taken aback by Eko's aggressive questioning, quells and kvetches, and finally agrees to show Eko where he found the statue, and do so right now.

We shoot back to Flashbackistan. Eko is all growed up now, and he's clearly become some sort of Nigerian thievin' wheeler dealer in the healing zone giving motherfuckers fever fever fever fever down to their bones. He's in some clapboard building, chatting up some obvious drugrunners. The drugrunners are clearly depicted as Middle Eastern al Qaeda types, reminding us all that when we blaze up after work, we're supporting terrorists. In the next room, waiting to meet with Eko, are no doubt a trio of illegal music downloading Saddamists and, alone in the corner, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, clutching a dead fetus. Syriana, yo. It's all connected. Core-up-shun is how we weeeeeen, bitch!

Eko does the standard Miami Vice taste-the-drugs-with-the-knife schtick and agrees to do them a favor by buying their drugs and using a Catholic missionary flight to get it out of the country. That's all good with Al and Qaeda, but they object to the lowball price Eko's willing to pay. Tough titties, Eko replies. This causes one of them to remark that "It's true what they say, you have no soul." Eko responds by using his knife as if he were Morimoto and the Chairman Kaga just declaimed that the secret ingredient was Islamofascists, killing two of them with one stroke of his blade. And he does it clean, yeah, you know what I mean. Their third companion he let's go, instructing him to tell his fellows that "Mr. Eko let him live." And that he would be there all week. And to try the veal.

Back at the beach, Charlie drops by the lean-to he sorta shares with Claire, expecting to just have to explain that he's running off with Eko for a jaunt in the woods. But Claire confronts him big time, with the broken statue and the heroin. For a minute, we can't remember if the heroin addiction was a disclosure Charlie made prior to or after Claire getting her memory wiped by Ethan Rom, but no matter, he's screwed with his pretend girlfriend. Just when you think she's yours, she's flown to other shores. Shores where it looks like you're saving a relapse for a lazy Sunday. Because pretend-peanut butter and brown rhine is crazy delicious.

Meanwhile, Locke is out in the jungle, teaching Michael how to shoot a rifle. Not-so-hot idea, I'm afraid. And the matter is only compounded when they waste a perfectly good jar of Miracle Whip for no reason.

Charlie and Eko are off in the jungle, when suddenly Charlie decides to try to bluff Eko by telling him that he found the statue by some random tree. But Eko is hating all the faking. He throws Charlie up against a tree, demanding, "Take me to de plane!" Straight up shout out to Herve Villechaize. They argue, but then something catches Eko's eyes--it's the Black Smoke Stompy Monster!

We shoot back to Flashbackistan. Eko is walking through a village when he comes upon a woman who is selling the Virgin Mary statues. She explains, helpfully, that the proceeds of the sale buy them some medicine or some shit--I forget. Anyhoo, he goes to the local church, Our Lady of the Swiftly Falling Anvil, and we discover to a chorus of Duhs that his little brother, through the awesome power to the discarded crucifix has become a local priest. He's learnt to preach and he's professing a need to get Eko in confession because he can see on close inspection true imperfection. Eko ain't having none of it, saying: "I've done what I've done to survive. How is that a sin?" Huh. Paging George Bush!

It was all done, in fact, to save little brother's life, Eko adds as he proceeds to explain his drug run, framing it as if it were a positive and moral thing to do. But little brother isn't having none of it, basically saying, "Show some respect, hey, baby: genuflect." This is going to end badly.

But back at the beach, something else is ending quite happily: the reign of terror wreaked by Sawyer's Danger Hair, now being tended to by the loving hands of Kate. Skaters in the house are going nuts! Mike wanders up, drenched in the flop-sweat of obvious ulterior motives and asks kate if he can take her shift at the Hatch. Mike's weird behavior goes unnoticed by Kate as she agrees to swap, freeing up more time to canoodle with Sawyer and his tamed mane.

Eko and Charlie break for some water and one-sided conversation. Charlie, rifling through his short stack of dysfunctional defense mechanisms, goes the whole "Don't judge me" route, telling Eko that he got addicted to heroin because his brother was addicted to it first as if to ask, "If I said I lost my way, could you sympathize? Would you sympathize?" Eko thinks to himself, "Feh." Or whatever Nigerians say when they mean, "Feh." Whoopdedoo. We got daddy issues, mommy-hate, and now brother-to-brother character parallels on this show. Just then Eko sees a parachute in the tree above. Exploring the area beneath, he finds one of the corpses from the plane. It's dressed as a priest, and, as anvilly as he can, Eko opens up his robe to reveal that the body is not wearing the crucifix. "This is the man who saved my life." The corpse has a gold tooth, so we know this is not his little brother.

Back in Flashbackistan, Eko storms into little brother's church, where he's right in the middle of imploring a parishoner to start confessing, start confessing, and that all his evils would be blessed if to God he did confess. Eko breaks up the service and tells his brother that he just needs him to sign some paperwork that would allow he and his drugrunning buddies to perpetrate like they were priests. Good God, little brother thinks, is that the only thing you care about? Splitting up the money and share it out? He won't go along with it.

But Eko won't take no for an answer, telling little brother that if he doesn't comply, he won't do anything, but his thug colleagues will burn his church down. Hey, kids! This is what's called a Hobson's Choice! A choice that's really no choice at all. Little brother signs the paper, and Eko forks over mad green to buy the rest of those Virgin Mary statues. "We're both sinners now," Eko says. "Yes." his little brother replies, shivering and saying the word of every lie he's heard, "But God will forgive me."

Back in the jungle, Eko and Charlie have looked here. They've looked there. They've looked here, there, everywhere. Here, there, nowhere. Itzy bitzy witzy witzy everywhere. Still no sign of de plane. It makes you wonder, really, how these people go on these long forays into the wilderness, with each step looking like every other step, and not get lost all the damn time. They make such a big deal about how a few people are good at tracking back and fro, and how dangerous the island interior is, with The Others and Black Smoke Stompy and Mademoiselle Crazy Ass and the Evil Stevedores lurking about, then they just go willy nilly off in search of shit.

Well, they are lost now. Lost within Lost. Meta-lost. Postmodernly lost. So Eko makes Charlie shimmy up a tree to get a fix on their location. Higher and higher, higher and higher, higher and higher, until he's kissing the spires, were there spires, which there aren't. But as Charlie climbs, Eko, back on the ground, notices something in the air. He looks around, trying to get a fix on it.

And that's when the trees start shaking and breaking, heralding the coming of the Black Smoke Stompy Monster. Stompy emerges into the clearing, and the camera eye passes through it, revealing it to be all electromagneticky sparky and shit. It comes face to billowy mass of smoke with Eko, weirdly crouching in a way that calls to mind that wack-ass flying creature from The Neverending Story, which, as movies go, was most merciful in the way it didn't live up to its title. It's a tense moment as Eko stares it down. You figure that so soon, Stompy will take Eko up in its smokiness, too late to beg it or cancel it though he knows it must be the killing time, unwillingly his. But surprisingly, like Locke before him, Stompy floats for a minute and then recedes, sparing Eko a gruesome death.

Back at the Hatch, Michael is wandering around, pensive, looking to see if he's by himself. He sits down at the computer and demonstrates his keen computer awareness by banging on random keys and imploring it to work. Lucky for him, "Dad?" pops up on the screen again. It's Walt (maybe anyway...did you ever stop to consider that this might be an elaborate ruse?) and he is okay and he is alone and he doesn't have much time because "they" might return at any moment. We see "Walt" start to write, "You need to come--" but just then, Jack walks in. Jack sits down and tells Michael that when everything gets sorted out with the Desert Island Dicks, he'll help him find Walt. Jack shows off those diagnostic skills by seeing that Michael is acting weird. He walks around to the facing side of the computer screen, but it is blank.

Back in the jungle, Eko and Charlie finally come upon the plane. This sends us back to Flashbackistan. Eko and his drug running pals are loading up and shipping out. Just then, they see a car approaching. It's little brother and he's come on down to Eko's rescue. He runs up to Eko and begs him not to get on the plane. He's heard what the good Lord said. "Beware," he said, and if Eko doesn't he might end up dead. That's when the Nigerian po-po roll into view, and start shooting up the place. They cap one of the drug runners, but then they shoot little brother. Eko freaks. The Drug Runner that Saved Eko's Life grabs little brother, hoists him on the plane and pushes Eko to the ground. He then seals the door and takes off. So, back on the Isla de Encanta, the dead body in the plane is Eko's little brother. Back in FBstan, the po-po mistake Eko for the priest that tipped them off.

Some random thoughts on the commercials during tonight's Lost.
1. PK and I discussed this last Saturday during the Redskins game. The new Verizon commercials depict "the network" as a mass of people walking around, some hauling gear and some in helicopters and shit. Here's my question: what's with the guys dangling from the ropes? It seems to me to be awfully primitive work, given the high-tech nature of cellular technology. I don't think the guys on the ropes are adding much value to the service. They seem superfluous, and I'm not sure I'd invest in a cellular provider that insists on keeping this old-school, man-on-ropes shit around just for the sake of it.

2. The actress who played Zoey Bartlet is doing Excedrin commercials now, and she's so earnest that I worry the dog catcher might capture her and have her euthanized if she's not careful.

3. I'm probably going to skip the third second Underworld flick just like I skipped the previous two, but, memo to Kate Beckinsale: the goth look on you makes me go pitter-pitter-pat. I'm buying what you are selling, and I hope you'll start selling that door-to-door.

We're back. Eko's got his cross back. He and Charlie stand under clear blue skies in a forest burning ashes on the bonfires of Eko's little brother's life. Eko starts to recite a psalm, and guess what numerologists? It's Psalm 23! As he recites it, we see a montage of people interacting back at the beach. Jin offers Tequila some freshly caught fish. Hurley helps Tonic construct a shelter. Kate continues the continuum of canoodle with the shorn Sawyer, making Jack hella jealous, furthering the notion that he might be driven into the arms of Tequila.

Such happy scenes. But not for Charlie. Charlie returns to the space he shares with his pretend girlfriend Claire to find her removing his belongings from the area. She's bent out of shape over discovering him carrying smack. Charlie did promise her that something would change. They were all dressed up, somewhere to go, no sign of rain. But Charlie would change, he promised. But Claire feels she's been taken advantage of, and that Charlie ended up breaking the back of love.

Charlie walks away wounded, no doubt wondering if he's maybe jumbled up. Maybe he's losing his touch. But later that night, we discover that Charlie's done something even more shocking--he's been hiding and stockpiling the Virgin Marys with their secret insides and their lips like sugar.

Looks like ol' Driveshaft may be preparing to bring on the dancing horses.

8 comments:

jolene said...

SO glad the show's back, SO glad you're back, SO glad I'm marryin' me some Adewale Akkinuoye-Agbaje.

Dude, he's hot.

Anonymous said...

I once saw a very drunk Ian McCollough do a solo show at Maxwell's in Hoboken, the man could barely stand...but still great.

anyway, when eko was staring down the black cloud and the camera did its little spinning thing, i think there were images of people in it.

len

Blogs t r e t c h said...

I played it back slo-mo, and it was images from his flash backs -- villagers, the church, etc. Lots of faces.

jordan said...

there was disappointment and regret...oh, how there was regret!

pu pu head said...

What will do about Mikkos Cassadine and his evil weather machine?

Anonymous said...

Hello. Are you "single_guy" who posts these same reviews at the abc board?
http://forums.go.com/abc/primetime/lost/thread?start=0&threadID=768012&forumStart=0
just checking. please respond here.

The Deceiver said...

No. I am not "single guy."

Anonymous said...

Up against your will through the thick and thin eko will wait until you give yourself to him