Tuesday, April 27, 2021

LOST: It Wasn't Purgatory, Season 2, Episode 21, ?

On-Island Events: Ana Lucia comes to Eko in a dream in a bloodied condition and tells Eko he needs to help Locke. Eko goes to the hatch and finds his brother Yemi, who tells him he must make Locke take him to "the question mark." 

Michael bursts out of the hatch and tells Locke, Jack, Kate, Sawyer, and Eko a story about being shot by a man who escaped from the armory. As they look around the hatch and find Ana Lucia and Libby's lifeless bodies, Libby suddenly coughs out blood. Eko and Locke set out to track "Henry." Locke confronts Eko in the jungle, accusing him of tracking something other than "Henry;" Eko responds by knocking Locke out. When he awakens, Eko discusses the question mark with Locke and Locke shows Eko the map he made during the lockdown. 

Kate and Sawyer retrieve heroin from Sawyer's tent but run into Hugo, who is looking for Libby. Jack prepares to administer heroin to Libby while Hugo talks with Michael in the hatch about the picnic he had planned. 

Locke and Eko eventually find the cliff where Boone was injured in the falling plane and Locke dreams that Eko, like Boone, falls from the cliff. Locke tells Eko about the dream and Eko climbs to the top of the cliff. Looking down, Eko sees an area on the ground where a large circle has worn away from the grass. The two discover that the ground has been salted, so nothing will grow, and that the area underneath the fallen airplane is hiding another hatch. Inside this hatch is a small room filled with television monitors; when Locke switches them on he sees Jack inside the other hatch. A printed log of the numbers entered and accepted lies next to a pneumatic tube; Locke folds the map he made and thrusts it inside the tube, disgusted. Eko finds a VHS tape labeled "Orientation" with the same octagonal logo from the first hatch for this, the Pearl Station. The same scientist from the other hatch training video appears as Mark Wickmund, and explains the Pearl was created for observation and monitoring of other stations for a secret psychological experiment. Eko asks Locke if he'd like to watch the video a second time; Locke says he's seen enough.

Eko states the button-pushing work is now more important than ever but Locke becomes angry, comparing his life to the useless act of pushing the button. Eko shares the story of Yemi with Locke and insists the work in the hatch has meaning and must continue. 

Hugo talks with Libby and apologizes for forgetting the blankets. Libby awakens, says only, "Michael," and dies. 

Flashbacks: Eko, dressed as a priest, meets with a man who gives him a forged Australian passport needed for a trip to America. Eko's plans are postponed when the church needs to investigate a miracle: a girl who was believed to be drowned came back to life again. Eko tries to meet with the girl but her father insists his wife has made up the story of the drowning. 

The day Eko is scheduled to fly out of Australia on Oceanic flight 815, the girl tracks him down and tells him Yemi thought he was a good priest. She assures him that Yemi has faith in him and that Eko will see his brother again soon. 

Greater Meaning: The question mark in the title refers to the middle section of Locke's map from the blast door that identifies the hidden hatch in the ground but also reflects Locke's confused state over what his role on the island should be. The episode is focused upon Eko and his faith, but Locke is very much a part of it, too. In a way, Locke and Eko switch roles: Locke, who has always had an unwavering faith in the island, is thrown for a loop when he realizes the hatches were created to be psychological experiments by the Dharma Initiative, and Eko, who lived a life of violence before assuming his departed brother's role as a priest, finds faith for the first time after his dreams lead him to the hatch. Locke feels he has been made a fool of; Eko trusts the words and guidance of Yemi, who has come not only to him in dreams but spoke to the girl whose death and alleged resurrection was thought a miracle even before Oceanic 815 crashed onto the island. It's more than a little coincidental that the entrance to the new hatch lay directly beneath the plane that brought Yemi to the island and resulted in the eventual death of Boone, both events that tested the faiths of Eko and Locke.

Many of the survivors have seen things on the island that may or may not have really been there: Jack saw his father Christian, who led him to water; Shannon saw a soaking-wet Walt before anyone knew that the raft had been destroyed; Charlie saw various visions of Aaron in danger; and Hugo saw his imaginary friend Dave, who slapped him and struck him with a slipper. Knowing that the island has the ability to cure maladies such as paralysis and cancer, it's really not a stretch to accept that it may also allow the dead to communicate with the living or its inhabitants to have visions, but are these events motivated, somehow? Does the island have an agenda? If it does, Locke's crisis of faith is significant. We've already seen "Henry" try to manipulate Locke in playing him against Jack, in adding the bit about coming to get him before getting caught Henry seems to have marked Locke for his own, calling him "one of the good ones." Is Locke's goodness tied up in his faith? Is Jack not good because of his absence of faith and devotion to science? How will Eko proceed as the new island faithful? Locke's legs are still not fully healed, which, if we believe that the island takes and gives at will based on Locke being on the right track, seems important. 

Further Questions

1. Will Locke get his faith back?

2. Will Eko be in charge of the hatch now?

3. Are there ghosts on the island? 

4. Is the island messing with Locke? 

5. Were Boone's death and the discovery of the new hatch meant to test Locke's faith?

6. What was The Dharma Initiative and why does the scientist use different names in the videos?

7. Is The Dharma Initiative still on the island?

8. Is "Henry" part of The Dharma Initiative?