Season 2 Episode 21


Aired Sunday 9:00 PM May 10, 2006 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
1,321 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

As Eko experiences unusual dreams, he asks John to take him to the "?" from the blast door map he saw. At the Hatch, the rest of the survivors must come to terms with the death of Ana Lucia and Libby clinging to life.

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  • ? (Question Mark)

    This episode, which features one of the show's best characters, delves deeper into the thematic undertones that have been present since the beginning than ever before, and provides a sentimental setup for the final two episodes of the season.
  • Michael Dawson: one of the two most contemptible characters in the entire Lost saga

    Lost contains many characters, who are admirable, contemptible, or somewhere in between.

    Michael Dawson considers it acceptable to murder innocents, merely because he is impatient to be reunited with his son Walt.

    True, Walt has been abducted by "The But that hardly justifies Michael betraying and even murdering one's own friends and allies. Especially when the only threat "The Others" issued was that Michael would be kept from seeing Walt again, not that they would kill Walt.

    Michael must be considered one of the two most contemptible characters in the entire Lost saga.

    Michael: "I'm going after my son, and nobody is going to stop me. Okay? Okay? That is my right. That is a father's right!"

    Going after one's son is a father's right. Murdering innocents is not anybody's right.

    Michael's elevator doesn't go to the top floor.

    The other of course, is Locke's father, Anthony Cooper, a cold blooded sociopath who cons his own son out of a kidney, then pushes him out the window of a high rise condo to cover up a murder he committed.moreless
  • Awesome.

    Mr. Eko and Locke find another Dharma station, which is monitoring the other stations via video surveillance. Meanwhile, Jack and the other survivors struggle with the shooting victims in the hatch. In flashbacks, Eko investigates a miracle as a priest in Australia. What a awesome episode. I loved Me Eko's dreams. I love the scene where Jack, Sawyer, Kate, John, Eko and Michael walk into the hatch and find Anan Lucia and Libby dead or shot. Amazing scene, and then Libby wakes up. I love John and Eko scenes - they are both awesome. I love the hatch scenes so amazing and sad. I feel sorry for Hurley about Libby. I cry when it's Hurley and Libby's scene - so sad and then the scene after that when Libby actually dies. I love what John and Eko find. I love where Sawyer's stash is.moreless
  • I saw this before, it\'s just another unoriginal episode Like this series is, crappy! Why i give it 10, joyful to watch yet unoriginal. A character with no back story dies, huh how predictable.moreless

    Joyful 2 watch yet crappy. You agree with text back, Livey Didnt die, you cant die in the island with out having a backstory, i can tell a year worth of plotline, livey is a other, she had too die because michael had to get the mission in which getting \"henry\" out of the hatch, a fifth hatch is discovered, and now america is clueless in whether to agree with ecko or linby crip locke,moreless
  • The big question is what loss is the greatest?

    We haven't seen much of Eko since his confrontation with Henry Gale in 'Maternity Leave', but we got a pretty good sign that the island was sending him a message before he got there. In '?", the island talks both to him, and the island's original disciple, Locke, only the message that they both get will put their faith in opposite directions.

    Eko has a revelatory dream where the dead (including Ana, who has just crossed over) tell him to find 'the question mark'. Eko returns to the hatch and finds that one of the people on the island he was closest too is dead, and another has been mortally wounded. Yet rather than mourn, he takes Locke with him on part of a search to about the only thing that Locke knows for certain was on the blast door map. Reluctantly, he leads him to where he thinks it is, only to find the plane that both he and Eko found for different reason early in their searches, Then (in one of the episode high points) Locke has a dream in which he is Eko, and gives them the nudge he needs to figure out where the island has been leading them. What they discovering is a bigger surprise---- another hatch, which leads to the third Dharma station we've seen---- the Pearl.

    What we see in the station is an even bigger shock--- televisions and monitoring equipment as well as a series of pneumatic tubes. Searching, Eko discovers another Orientation film, this time on a videotape. This time the footage in even more mysterious. The doctor who called himself Marvin Candle, now calls himself Mark Wickman (neither of which is his real name, by the way) and reveals that the Pearl is monitoring the Swan while its participants perform an experiment.

    Locke faith has been diminishing all season--- Charlie's supposed lapse, Sawyer stealing the guns from him, Henry Gale's playing with his head--- but what he sees here completely destroys him. This can be seen by many way, but the clearest demonstration occurs by two actions. When Locke and Eko first unearth the hatch, he stops Eko from going first, saying 'May I?' But when he gets a glimpse of what the Pearl is doing, he takes the map he's been slaving over for the past three episodes, sticks it in one of the tubes, and launches it to parts unknown. He doesn't need to see the orientation video to be shattered, he believes he's been tricked, and becomes the man who got on the plane in Sydney, the angry man with nothing left to live for.

    Eko, on the other hand, has been rejuvenated with the faith that Locke had in Season 1. When he found the footage from the orientation film in the Bible, he dismissed it more or less as coincidence. But after what the island has shown him--- the plane that his brother landed that took him halfway around the world, it's original location leading to Locke, it's ending up in a position that illustrates the question mark that Locke found on the map, and that under it was yet another Dharma station--- all this convinces him that the island has been guiding him all along, and that this is a destiny guiding him. He knows that Locke has lost his faith, and that he must recover it in order to do 'the work that the island wanted'.

    With all this, we wouldn't expect much of a flashback, but we get a couple of kickers in this one. Eko continued his impersonation of a priest while he was in Australia (we never do find out how he got there) when he was called into investigate a miracle-- a young girl who drowned, and then somehow managed to come back to life. The father of the girl prevents Eko from ever talking to her by saying that this was an act of defiance by his wife because of his belief (I'll get back to him), and Eko seems more than willing to dismiss what he has learned. But when he is about to board Oceanic 815, the girl comes up to Eko with a message from Yemi, encouraging him for what he's done, and that he will see him again. The biggest shock of all comes when the father is revealed to be Richard Malkin, the same psychic who told Claire that she couldn't give her baby up for adoption, then put her on the same flight that Eko ended up on. Clearly, the psychic knew the plane was going to crash, and that Claire and Eko had to be on it. I can guess at Eko's reason; I can't see Claire's--- yet. (Eko also runs into Libby while getting on the plane, but that's only minimally interest)

    Eko may have regained his fait, but everyone else in the hatch is shattered. All Jack can do is make her comfortable, so he tells Sawyer that he needs the heroin to make her passing peaceful. While doing so, Hurley learns what has happened to Libby, and is even more shattered than we can expect. This is another blow that he will never really get over, and you can tell that just by seeing how shattered he is.

    Two people die in this episode, but the biggest casualty is Locke's faith. All season he has been engaged in a power struggle with Jack over the hatch, and now it seems that Jack was right about it all along, which must be the bitterest pill of all. He tells Eko early on that it's not his hatch anymore, Henry Gale's deception has led to more death, and now it seems this island has been playing with him. Eko may have regained his faith, but Locke's cynicism is no less dangerous, and will cause the castaways to face their greatest threat to date.

    My score:9moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (17)

    • There are whispers hidden in Charlotte Malkin's autopsy-tape which decode as:

      Doctor: This is a Caucasian female. She's 161 cm, 51.3 kilos, body prepped and washed by the very lovely Valerie McTavish
      Assistant: Ian, stop it
      Doctor: Commencing with the post
      "That's her" (or) "That's enough"
      Doctor: This is a clear case of drowning. I'll begin with a thoracic...
      Charlotte Malkin: John! (screaming)
      "She's alive!"
      "How will we know"
      Assistant: Oh my God!
      Doctor: Valerie!
      Assistant: She's Alive!
      Doctor: I think she's trying...
      Charlotte Malkin: Let John Locke go (on)!
      "She's not dead"
      "I found it"
      Doctor: Try and calm down
      (Assistant screaming stop, stop)
      Doctor: Valerie get... she's crying, don't just stand there do something!
      "We're sending them in" (or) "Let's hear what she says"

    • In the orientation film, Dr. Mark Wickman said that the ones working in the Pearl must take 8 hours shifts. 8 is one of "The Numbers".

    • The father of the girl Eko visited, Richard Malkin, also makes an appearance in the episode "Raised by Another" as Claire's psychic.

    • Island events in this episode take place on November 24th and November 25th. November 25th is Thanksgiving Day in the USA.

    • In one scene in the Pearl, where Locke is flicking the light switch, there is a shot of his hand but this hand actually belongs to Damon Lindelof.

    • Goof: During the flashback sequence where Mr Eko is investigating the miracle at the girl's house, just as the girl is led back inside the house by the mother there is a shot of Mr. Eko which is reversed. Eko has a mole on the left side of his face, but for just this shot, the mole appears on the right side of his face, and the shadows, previously on the right are now on the left. In the next shot of Eko where he is addressing the girl's father things return to normal.

    • Crew/Equipment visible: As Locke and Eko descend down the Pearl hatch a safety wire can be seen supporting Locke.

    • The passport (number 223652) given to Mr. Eko in his flashback gives him the fake identity of a Mr. Ulu Oduduwa, born in Sydney, Australia on the 23rd August 1968. 23 is one of the numbers. The passport is valid from 16th April 2004 to 16th April 2014. 16 is another one of the numbers. April is also the 4th month, which is also one of the numbers.

    • In this episode the man in the orientation video from The Pearl tells us "the people in the other stations believe what they are doing is of the upmost importance". In the orientation video for The Swan he tells us that pressing the button is "of the upmost importance".

    • When Locke is dreaming that he is Eko, and he climbs the cliff, just as he's running around the wing; you can see Eko running with a limp as John would have done.

    • In this episode, after finding the Orientation video for the Pearl, Eko asks if Locke wants to watch it again. Locke refuses in very much the same way that Jack did in the episode "Orientation", showing that he is finally starting to lose faith like Jack.

    • After Libby's death, one can see her still breathing with a huddled Hurley over her.

    • Dr. Wickman's parting comment, "Namaste" is a Sanskrit/Hindi word meaning roughly "I salute the god/goddess within you".

    • Libby's death makes her the first main character to die without a centric episode, though she is given one short flashback of herself at the end of the episode entitled Dave. The camera zooms in on Libby before going to the flashback, implying that it was Libby's flashback and not merely another flashback of Hurley's.

    • During the original airing of this episode a commercial for www.sublymonal.com airs as part of the Lost Experience. The site itself lets users click on six tvs similar to the station Eko and Locke found. Each TV is clicked on a certain number of times before allowing you to move on to the next tv (4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42). At the end, a password is given (Heir Apparent) that is to be used elsewhere.

    • DHARMA Initiative Film Guy was known as Dr. Candle in the Swan Station 3 film, but in the Pearl Station 5 film, he's known as Dr. Mark Wickman. In the Pearl Station 5 film Dr. Wickman has two arms, while in the Swan Station 3 film he only appears to have one. You can assume the station 5 film was made before the Swan one, since the copyright was a year earlier. The Dr. looks younger in the Pearl one and has less white hair.

    • Claire's psychic (who was featured in "Raised by Another") , told Eko that he has been faking his psychic abilities.

  • QUOTES (26)

    • Eko: We are being tested.
      Locke: Tested?
      Eko: The reason to do it, push the button is not because we are told to do so in a film.
      Locke: Oh. well, then what is the reason, Mr. Eko?
      Eko: We do it because we believe we are meant to. Isn't that the reason you pushed it, John?

    • Eko: And I believe the work you have been doing is more important now than ever.
      Locke: What work?
      Eko: Pushing the button.
      Locke: That's not work. That's a joke, rats in a maze with no cheese.
      Eko: It is work, John.

    • Eko: I'm taking this back with us.
      Locke: Why?
      Eko: Because they may be important.
      Locke: Important? I'm sorry, weren't you just watching the same thing I was?

    • Kate: You kept the guns here, all this time, right under you?
      Sawyer: Fooled you, didn't I?

    • Kate: I'm curious about something.
      Sawyer: Yeah, what's that?
      Kate: How did Ana-Lucia get your gun?
      Sawyer: I don't know, she must've lifted it off me.
      Kate: She pick-pocketed your gun? How'd she do that?
      Sawyer: Well, if I knew how she did it, she wouldn't be able to do it, now would she?

    • Locke: So, what's next?
      Eko: We make camp. Get some sleep, and wait for further instruction.

    • Locke: We shouldn't even be out here. Ana-Lucia would still be alive if I just told Jack that Henry attacked her.
      Eko: Now, she wants us to go here, John, together. She said this in my dream.
      Locke: Of course, a dream.
      Eko: Tell me, John, haven't you ever followed a dream?

    • Locke: You don't even know what you're talking about, do you?
      Eko: No, but you know what I am talking about, John, and that is all that matters.

    • Eko: The question mark, John. Where is it?
      Locke: You know what, you keep chasing after your own shadow. I'm going back.

    • Jack: What were you thinking, John?
      Kate: Jack, leave him alone.
      Sawyer: No, Jack, don't leave him alone.
      Jack: Shut it, Sawyer. If Ana hadn't lifted your gun we wouldn't ...
      Sawyer: Well, ain't that swell, Gimpy McCrutch over here covers up that the Artist formally known as Henry Gale tried to strangle your little amiga, and suddenly it's on me when she goes vigilante.

    • Jack: I don't have what I need.
      Sawyer: Why are you looking at me? I gave ya all the damn meds two days ago.
      Jack: The heroin, Sawyer.
      Sawyer: (sigh) Gimme twenty minutes.
      Jack: Kate's gonna go with you.
      Sawyer: It doesn't take two people to carry a...
      Jack: Kate is going with you!
      Kate: What are you talking about? Why would he need me to go with him?
      Sawyer: Jack-o here knows his heroin's in my stash, with the guns. So I can either show you where it's at or let poor Libby suffer. That pretty much it, doc?
      Jack: Yeah. Yeah, that's pretty much it.

    • Libby: (as she dies) M...Michael.
      Jack: Michael made it, he's all right.

    • Yemi (to Eko): You must help John, he has lost his way. You must make him take you to the question mark.

    • Locke: You're lost already?
      Eko: Your map is inexact.
      Locke: No kidding.

    • Eko: Do you want to watch that again?
      Locke: No...No, I've seen enough.

    • (Eko chopping wood)
      Ana: What are you building?
      Eko: Well, hello Ana.
      Ana: Hello yourself. So are you going to tell me? What is it?
      Eko: I'm building a church.
      Ana: (folds arms) Now why in the hell would you wanna do that?
      Eko: 'Cuz I was told to.
      Ana: Told to by who?
      Eko: I was just told. I think it was in a dream.
      Ana: A dream like this one? (Shown bloody from when Michael shot her. Eko looks scared/upset) You need to help John.

    • Hurley (to an unconscious Libby): I'm sorry I forgot the blanket.

    • Eko: Where was the plane?
      Locke: Up there.
      Eko: How did it fall?
      Locke: Boone ... Boone made it fall ... Then he died. - A sacrifice that the island demanded.

    • Hurley: We were gonna have our first date.
      Michael: Date?
      Hurley: Yeah, a picnic, on the beach. I'm glad you're okay man.

    • Kate: I thought you were taking me to your stash.
      Sawyer: Do you have to make everything so damn difficult?

    • John: You hit me! Why did you...?
      Eko: Because you were being difficult.

    • John: Are you seeing something I'm not? Hey! I haven't seen a single track or piece of sign since we left the hatch. What the hell are you following?
      Eko: Where is the question mark?

    • Eko: Monseigneur, with all due respect, I cannot do what you asked.
      Monseigneur: Why not?
      Eko: Because I do not believe what this woman says.
      Monseigneur: Why do you think I chose you?

    • Locke: Every single second of my pathetic little life is as useless as that button!

    • Eko: If you will not continue to push the button John, I will.

    • Sawyer: Who's going to take care of Libby while you're off playing Daniel Boone?

  • NOTES (5)

    • Naveen Andrews, Emilie de Ravin, Daniel Dae Kim and Yunjin Kim do not appear in this episode.

    • This is Michelle Rodriguez's last appearance on the show. She'll still be credited for the remaining episodes of the season, even though she won't be seen.

    • The Title "?" is alluding to the Mural that Locke saw in the Episode "Lockdown". In their podcast, creators Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse said that another reason they chose this for the title is this was the episode they intended for writer/director Darren Arnofsky and the title "?" was a sly reference to Arnofsky's first film, "Pi".

    • International air dates:
      Poland: November 16, 2006 (TVP1)
      Germany: January 29, 2007 (PRO7)
      Switzerland: January 29, 2007 (SF2)
      Denmark: June 14, 2006 (Kanal 5)

    • An Eko-centric episode.


    • Prince: Sawyer calls Ben "The Artist Formerly Known As Henry Gale", a variation on one the many nicknames of the famous musician.

    • Sawyer: Who's going to watch over Libby while you're out playing Daniel Boone?

      This is a reference to the 1960's series Daniel Boone about a hero of the same name.