Wednesday, November 01, 2006

"Lost" Season 3 Episode 5 - The Cost of Living

Ok, I'm busting out the big guns for this blog.....wait for it comes...... WOW!!!!!

Yes my lost friends, I can say I finally am pleased with the direction this season is heading. My blind faith pays off once again! Sometimes everyone's patience can be tested....but we always know that the show will eventually pay off. And while this episode still seemed like a setup episode for bigger things, we got many answers, and we got our highly hyped up ISLAND EXIT for one of the characters.

The main thing I liked about this episode is that we addressed some questions that have been building over the seasons. And while we didn't get a flat out answer....we sure got a direction to move on with our theories! And we'll get to that as we discuss the episode.

You know the drill. ABC Recaps and Episode Viewing at

Let's get down to business!:

First-off, I just wanted to touch on one thing from a prior episode this season "The Glass Ballerina." There was speculation that Jae's (aka Baldy #2) death was NOT a suicide and in fact that he was pushed off the balcony (by perhaps SUN). This was not the intent of the producers, who confirmed this in a podcast. They thought it was obvious that because he was holding the pearl necklace, that he, in fact, plunged to his own death out of shame and sorrow for his failure to take Sun from Jin. Just thought I'd throw that out there to dismiss any rumors. And really, you all should be a dork like me and start listening to the Lost official Podcast! (which you can get if you have itunes, or you can probably also find on Or you can just count on me to share the information as always!

Now on toEpisode 305 - The Cost of Living. I'm going to "TRY" to be more brief with my plot summary this time around and get right into the key points! Here's my episode summary!

This episode was an Eko flashback and was a tale of Redemption (or non-redemption based on the result). Locke tries to kill 2 birds with one stone by recruiting a group to go to the Pearl Station, which just happens to be where Eko has fled to find his dead brother. Desmond believed that they would be able to communicate with the others from the Pearl station based on the alternate purpose Swan station computer. Meanwhile Jack goes head to head with Ben and Juliet in further pursuit of performing surgery on someone's spine.

Short and Sweet, right? Let's get into some questions/theories!

Jack's Assignment
  • So the big question through this whole captivity has been WHO is telling the truth and who is lying between Juliet and Ben. Are they both telling the truth, both lying? Obviously the producers WANT us to believe Juliet and not believe Ben and want us to think Juliet is trying to get out or change things and that she has true feelings for Jack. But what this show does so well, is make us 2nd guess our trust in ANYONE. Juliet has built a great rapport with Jack over the days that he's been there. They joke around...she cooks him food. (CHEESEBURGERS??), she jokes about how she cooks it (kill the cow, make the cheese somehow, etc...) Jack WANTS to believe her and he's starting to be taken by her.
    Then here comes Henry (ugh..BEN!), "you know she bears a striking resemblance to your ex-wife, don't you?" First of NO she doesn't. The actress Elizabeth Mitchell bears a striking resemblance to Ellen Pompeo and Claire Forlani and not Julie Bowen. I encourage you to click on all of those links and compare pictures. I refuse to believe Henry even thinks they look the same. So then the question is, does Henry even know what Sarah looks like? OR is he just trying to put in Jack's head that Sarah looks like Juliet to make him trust her more?

    Stuff like this makes it hard for me to buy into Juliet's INXS Music Video that she showed Jack. ( (i forget the INXS song, but anyone from the MTV generation should know what i mean!) even though I loved the scene and WANTED to believe her! Then again, Juliet may indeed want BEN out of the picture, but it could be for personal gain and not exactly to help Jack's situation. But based on Juliet's message, Ben is a Liar and some people want change. Juliet vows to protect Jack if he just performs the surgery.

    I still question whether the Tumor is even Ben's or if it's still all part of this mind game they're throwing on Jack or as Ben suggested "Trying to break Jack down so that he WANTS to do the surgery." Jack explained the symptoms of being unable to walk, and immediately I thought of Locke. But then the questions get even more crazy. Aren't we meant to believe the island has HEALING powers? Now that Locke can walk, and Rose thinks she's free of the cancer. If this is the case, then why would BEN be so determined to get the tumor removed? Is that WHY he's stuck on the island because he stays healthy there? The only thing that convinces me that the tumor IS Ben's is at the crazy WHITE OUTFIT CULT FUNERAL they all attended Benry apparently discussed the tumor with Juliet out of earshot from Jack.

    The question is really, how many mind games can the producers throw in the storyline before they just leave their audience totally confused? If you go with that mindset, then we should just believe Juliet! So, I love the storyline, but those are some things to be thinking about as we move into the FALL SEASON FINALE as Jack prepares to kill Ben "Accidentally" on the operating table.

Locke's Rescue Mission/Leadership Role
  • So Locke's in charge now. Apparently, we learn that people were not happy with Jack's dictatorship. This could cause a rift whenever the crew is reunited down the road. Will Locke be the man in charge now? And if Locke remains in charge with his "people can do whatever they want" attitude, will people's lives be in danger? We already know one person died on Locke's watch, but was that really his fault? more on that in a bit!
  • Apparently Sayid is back. No sign of Sun or Jin. I guess we just assume they walked all the way back from the other side of the island with no issues? Kinda hard to swallow without some explanation. But hey, Hurley (sporting his new bushy beard) made mention that they're back....also when acknowledging that Locke is the man in charge now.
  • No more reference to Desmond's Foresight in this episode. Except, how did he know the computer in the original hatch (swan) could be used for communication? Only Eko and Locke watched that FULL video. And only MICHAEL used it for communication with "Walt." But was it really WALT?
  • Before we get to that, let me just say how much I loved the comedy in the Pearl station. I was skeptical of the additions of Nikki and Paulo to the bunch, but now I see what they're doing. Since Locke is in charge now, all of these other survivors are allowed to get involved now in these little quests. And what we found out is that Nikki had something to bring to the table as she figured out that maybe we should see what's on the other TV's! DUH! (didn't we say that in the blog last season???) 6 stations, 6 TV's? Something like that. Just loved Locke's reaction "Suddenly, I'm feeling very stupid" followed by a toilet flush and another outstanding revelation by Paulo "The Toilet works too" LOVE IT!
  • So once Sayid did his MacGyver work, what did we see on the TV? Well, we saw another computer in another ROOM and a panning camera that then showed a man with an eye patch in a dharma outfit

    Niiice. So, remember when the Tailies found the ARROW Hatch last season and found a treasure chest with the Bible, the extra film, and......yes...A GLASS EYE!!!?? I'm gonna guess that comes into play. So then the other question is...when Michael was talking on the computer to "Walt" was he talking to A.) This Station, B.) THIS GUY??
  • There's also a bigger overlying question. It's already been confirmed by the producers that there are 2 factions of the OTHERS. We know there's BEN and CREW, then we know there are these mysterious barefooted people that can surround you and are incredibly fast and silent. And they killed some of the tailies. Are they different from the BEN others? What about this Eyepatch guy? is HE from a different group? Remember, Ben told Michael at the end of Season 2 "We're the Good Guys. " We may have thought he meant that they're GOOD in comparison to the Survivors of Flight 815. But it could be based on another faction on the island. A war that's been going on prior to the crash perhaps? Maybe even between 2 ISLANDS??? hmmm now i'm just getting crazy. Of course this goes back to how much can we trust ol' Benny and crew?
Eko's Redemption
  • So we pretty much follow Eko through his life to see the bad things he has done but based on circumstances outside of his control and all based on protecting his brother Yemi. He has stolen and killed for his brother and it turned him into the man he became years later. We see him kill thugs running a black market operation through Yemi's church in Nigeria. We also learn Eko was going to sell the vaccine himself to start a clean slate in London. The running theme that Eko must confess for his sins runs through the flashback and on the island.
  • Eko continues to see visions on the islands of his brother and his past demons and....the Black Smoke monster loomed in the background following him. Last time Eko encountered the black smoke he stood in it and we saw pictures from Eko's past within the smoke. Last season I had a theory that the smoke monster may be playing a part in the visions/dreams that people are having on the island...and why Locke was able to see Eko's brother as well. In fact, let me go drag that up because I think I may have been proven right with this episode!

    "6/2/2006 Season 2 Finale Blog Comments - Okay, sometimes my mind wanders at work and I start putting pieces of Lost puzzles together. I think I may have just pieced together Locke dreaming about people in Eko's past. THE BLACK SMOKE MONSTER! The smoke was able to collect images/memories from Eko's of those memories..I'm pretty sure was his brother. Who are the two characters that have interacted with the Monster? Yep....Locke and Eko.....maybe somehow they were able to collect these images and somehow get them into Locke's dreams. Sure I can't explain how they are inducing the dreams..... But I don't think it's a coincidence that both John and Eko have come in contact with the monster and that Locke is dreaming of Eko's brother whom he's never met. "

    Okay, so let's take that and think about what we saw tonight
  • Eko follows Yemi around the island and actually has a conversation with him. Eko decides NOT to confess and said he did everything to protect his brother. This angers "YEMI" who then states that he is NOT Eko's brother. "Yemi" then runs away and then we see the smoke monster.....who claims yet another life from the island. RIP Mr. Eko :-(
  • Well we finally get to see the smoke in action. And boy does it do a number on Eko. It manhandles him and pretty much can move him in any direction. The Smoke has been referred to by Rousseau as a SECURITY SYSTEM. Well who's security system is it? Is Eyepatch guy in control of this thing? In the season 1 Finale we saw the smoke and also heard the sound of gears or a moving track that was pulling Locke into the ground. There was a faint sound of gears and tracks here again too.
  • I know, I'm all over the place, but bear with me. So the Visions, the dreams, every weird thing we've been seeing on this island ALL seems to be related to the Smoke monster. We have to assume that somehow the smoke took the form of Yemi of was able to talk to Eko. We have to assume that the visions of Christian on the island for Jack was similar, the horse for Kate. The difference with Jack and Kate is that they never encountered the smoke. They ran from it in the pilot episode, but the smoke monster killed the PILOT of flight 815 (who's now the mind reader on Heroes and friend of J.J. Abrams). There's also the questionable Hurley seeing imaginary friend "DAVE" on the island. Let's not forget the visions of WALT too! Locke also has seen visions on the island of his Mother and obviously all of the crazy dreams he has. He HAS encountered the monster. But he confirmed tonight what he saw was a WHITE LIGHT. (Which he called in previous episodes, "BEAUTIFUL") Could this be because he is a GOOD person? When you look into the smoke do you see different things based on if you have killed or not killed?

    This is why I liked this episode. It gives us more to chew on. Things are starting to tie together from season 1, 2 and 3. But there's still a bunch of questions out there. Do you HAVE to be in contact with the monster to have visions? is it really the smoke that is taking these forms on the island? But they gave us SOMETHING! And of course, the biggest is this TECHNICALLY even possible? And can we really continue to expect that all answers will have a realistic conclusion? I'm going to go with the 24 theory on Realistic Conclusion. If Jack's (Bauer not Shepard) in a bind, there's always a gizmo on his cell phone that will get him out of the situation, whether it exists in real life or not. And I continue to love 24! So, as long as something is technically feasible in the world of LOST, I am willing to accept that it's only a TV show! Plus, I think the producers have stated that everything will have a non-SUPERNATURAL conclusion. We already know that the Dharma Initiative was doing some crazy experiments, so who knows what kind of military technology they have on that island?
  • To close up this section we must note that apparently Eko's last words were "You're Next" to Locke and crew. So one by one, this security system is Judging everyone and determining if they should be sent to their death. They just can't get rid of this Purgatory stuff can they?!!

Alright, I know, I got really carried away with this blog. But I really liked this episode. Lots to discuss. And I'm sure a lot of people have their own theories! Well let's hear them! There's a nice little comments section at the end of this blog! USE IT!

Only 1 more episode for the Fall. And ABC is hyping it up as the BEST of the season. Of course they are! They need to carry-over the audience into February when Lost will return against American Idol, which will have started 2 or 3 weeks before! Hopefully it doesn't hurt them! Well, I'm looking forward to seeing how they cap off this mini-series....and if we even hear mention of Penny's quest to find Desmond and the island.

(hmmm you forgot about that didn't you?)

See you next week!


Unknown said...

So, I may be way off base with this, but here goes anyway! lol I don't think we ever knew for sure that the tailies who were taken were all killed. We know that Nathan was killed by Goodwyn, but the rest could still be alive and just being held captive by the OTHER set of Others. IF there are, in fact, 2 factions of Others. I'm guessing they have the children who were taken too. But who knows? I just want more answers! lol

Mike V. said...

I'm pretty sure ALL of the children were taken not killed. And of course, CINDY is still missing. I thought people were killed the first night the tailies were there, but I'd have to watch the episode again to make sure. They were like targeting the STRONG people first and taking them or killing them. Man i just forget now! But I DO know Eko killed 2 of them! So maybe I was off-base by saying that these "OTHER" others killed people.

Mike V. said...

Missed a few things:

Fire in the Tent - Yemi had a lighter and the tent ended up on fire....another sign that the black smoke CAN take physical shape.

When Locke and Eko rolled the stone back to get into the plane, they find it empty (no Yemi)....symbolic of the Rising of Jesus from the tomb.

Locke reiterates something Eko said in season 2 to Charlie or Hurley (i forget) "Don't mistake coincidence for Fate" Eko just happened to say that to Locke. Of course, Locke was probably thinking it WAS fate more than coincidence...

just thought i'd share these tidbits!

Anonymous said...

Eko said it to Locke is Season 2 I think, when they were fixing the Orientation tape together...the Locke turned it on him in this episode...For some reason I got so excited at that point! :p

Really happy with this episode though!

dbrewer said...

LOL..yes, I stalked you over to here too. Just thought I would drop a little tidbit that is pointless. The pilot and mindreader from Heroes...he was on Alias as well.
P.S. What do you think about Heroes? I think it borders on a bit over the top, but yet, I find myself hooked.

Marcos said...

Locke repeated Eko's fate/coincidence line to Desmond, not Charlie or Hurley, but good stuff from yuo Mike, as usual.

Mike V. said...

Nice Marcus..thanks. I definitely knew Eko said that to Locke....I think i meant locke said it to Hurley or Charlie in season 3....just got my words all mixed up! I see you're doing a initial run through the episodes...i'll comment on your next post as well...enjoy the have a great bunch of episodes ahead. Wait until you see how many comments you'll stumble upon in the future recaps!

Miles Balzard said...

First thing that hit me with this ep is that Ben is nowhere near the top of the food chain. He actually believes that Jack the Spine Surgeon dropping out of the sky was entirely due to God's plan for healing with Ben's tumor! Hey, Megalomaniac Dude: it's not all about you, mkay?

Not only do I believe that the eye patch man with the misplaced glass eyeball has more power than Ben, but the eye patch man is probably still two or three steps below the ultimate power in this bizarre universe.

Who controls the black smoke monster? Is it a weapon, a divine monster, or a God? Is Jack actually the second coming of Jesus (the Miracle Healer)? Is Locke Satan or Judas? Is Walt actually Moses? Is Claire the Virgin Mary? Is Desmond the King of Existence?

.......white smoke slowly seeps from the ground

See, Mike, I can go off on these wild theories as well!

But let me make a few pragmatic comments first. First, a continuity bitch: The hatch doors that Eko and Locke had to join together and dedicate every fiber of muscle in their muscular bodies to barely open two weeks ago was easily flipped open by Desmond and Sayid in this ep. Give that a Gong Show gong!

Okay, Eko kicks the bucket, but at least we got one last flashback of Eko badassery before he did.

When binge-watching, the deaths and funerals on this show really add up. On the same topic, I personally feel that the Others' funeral ceremony with the floating corpse of fire was quite a beautiful ceremony.

We should be grateful for the producers' podcast and Mike's monitoring of said podcast. Because if the producers didn't dispell the insane rumors and absurd theories growing like wildfire and destroying the intentions of the show, we would be all manner of f'd up and Lost would've turned into Twin Peaks.

Hey Mike, it seems like you doubt that Juliet's INXS video was sincere because everything must have a double-switched-back-flipped-over meaning because otherwise it would be too obvious. Just like last week you thought the x-rays couldn't be Ben's because that would be too obvious...but you was wrong, brother. Sometimes the obvious ends up being a small-but-true step in something that will become a lot less obvious down the road.

Now watch me get proved wrong by the next ep.

By the way, NO WAY Jack is going to kill Ben on the operating table. Not in his nature. He's freakin' Jesus, yo.

Mike V. said...

Definitely some interesting speculation there, Miles! I wish I could tell you how right or wrong you are. :)

Ahh all good questions on the smoke monster. My lips are sealed.

And yes, I like the wild theories. lol That was part of the fun of LOST. It triggered so many discussions about pretty much EVERYTHING. Nothing was off limits. I remember just getting into conversations at bars with other LOST fans, and people who didn't watch the show would think we were ridiculous. Seriously, if you ever try to explain the plot of this show to a non-watcher you will sound insane. lol But, we would be so much into the show and our discussion we didn't care how crazy we sounded. Good times.

Never realized that continuity issue with the Pearl Hatch. That's pretty funny. I always thought it was funny that they spent so much time trying to open the Swan hatch in season 1, and in the season 2 premiere, Desmond told them where the front door was. lol

There is a backstory behind Adewale getting written off the show. Apparently, the actor was homesick and didn't want to film in Hawaii anymore. They had more plans for his character but instead focused more on Juliet and Ben in season 3. Which turned out to be a really good thing!

Yes...the OTHERS funeral was a very beautiful ceremony. Agreed.

Oh man, I miss the LOST podcast so much. Damon and Carlton had some great comic timing and chemistry. And I didn't care that they weren't answering anything substantial, just listening to them talk was hysterical. But yes, they did debunk some crazy rumors which was part of the reason of the podcast's existence.

I think we all had theories proven wrong throughout the course of LOST, but thanks for calling me out on that! lol There were a few theories that I absolutely nailed!

Looks like this is where you ended last night. I'm sure I'll have more comments to read tomorrow morning! lol

Rob UK said...

Wow, it certainly is hotting up now. The comment about binge watching made me wonder what a different experience that is to actually watching an episode a week... I watched the first 3 seasons of the Walking Dead on a 2 week binge and found the tension utterly unbearable at times, but find it easier when there's only 40 minutes a week. Finding it the same with Lost so forcing myself to take breaks to preserve my sanity, as the deaths certainly do seem to come fast one after the other so dreading who might be next at times :(

Rob UK said...

PS I keep wanting to type a different set of numbers in the "prove you're not a robot" box and hit execute :-)

Mike V. said...

Hi Rob. Yeah, binge watching certainly has it's pros and cons. The Pros are that you remember most of the content from previous episodes and you have less time to ask questions and come up with theories that will never pan out (thus making the odds of being satisfied at the end even higher).

That said, I would never trade in the LOST experience that I had week to week and through all of those hiatuses. There were some great discussions had across the fandom (many eventually on this site). It really was the first show that took the internet by storm. Of course, there was inevitable backlash to that in that there was no ending that could please the masses (I was!! But, there was little chance I was going to be disappointed in the end due to the ride being so satisfying).

Breaks along the way is a good strategy though. It'll only get tougher to do so though! Good luck in however you decide to tackle it! My blog will be here whenever you're ready! :-)

Mike V. said...

OH yeah...the robot "box" wouldn't believe the amount of spam comments I was getting back when LOST was on the air. I had no choice but to add that box on there. lol The funny thing is, I still get lots of spam but Google/Blogger does a good job of filtering it out into a spam folder. :)

Unknown said...

Thanks - have even made a blogger account now, need to catch up on Catch 22 recap before I go any further!

Lori said...

I just started watching, after years of family insisting that I needed to see the series. I like to find a good recap to go along with, as I watch a show. It's my favorite part of the American Horror Story experience. I'm so glad I've found your blog, and know that even if I don't comment, I'll be reading after each episode.

Mike V. said...

Awesome Lori! Thanks for letting me know you're reading either way! There's lots of great discussion ahead. If you ever feel the need to comment, you can be sure I'll respond eventually. :) And your family is very smart for recommending the show!

I watch AHS as well and we discuss it on my newer blog when it's on the air. No recaps though. Don't have as much time these days to take on every show! :)

Bill H said...

Hi Mike, I also want to thank you for this blog which you started 15 years ago. My wife and I have been watching 1 episode of lost every night since the first of the year. And based upon our new circumstance of needing to "socially distance" ourselves while this crazy corona virus runs its course, what could be better than watching this phenomenally inventive series each and every day.

I appreciate your blog as it really helps me fill in some plot points that I didn't quite understand when I was viewing the series. Also, if there is no answer, it's good to find out by reading your blog that there is no answer instead of thinking that I missed the point.

Thanks again, I read it every night, and you did a very thorough job of putting it together. Bill H.

Mike V. said...

Hi Bill! Thanks for your comments. I’m glad the blog is helping you manage this crazy time in the world. Definitely a good time to catch up on some classic shows. (Been rewatching The Office personally. I’m powering through the later Post-Michael years now. :)). I had just done a LOST rewatch last summer though. Still holds up as one of the best TV dramas of all time for me. Don’t really care about plot holes too much on a rewatch either and I think I’ve filled them in for myself over time anyway. Hang in there...when you get to the end of season 3, that’s when other people started finding the blog and the post recap discussions got to be really fun. Enjoy the ride! And if you have any thoughts along the way I’ll try to chime in with non-spoilery thoughts!

Chris said...

Rewatching in 2024! Haven’t watched the series through since its original heyday so the blog is really adding some extra special sauce. Thanks Mike

Mike V. said...

Awesome! Good to hear. Thanks Chris. I’m getting the itch for another rewatch. It’s been a good while since my last one. Maybe soon!