Season 2 Episode 10

The 23rd Psalm

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jan 11, 2006 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
1,577 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

When Eko finds a Virgin Mary statue, he demands that Charlie take him to where he found them at once. Elsewhere, Michael continues to communicate on the Swan computer without the other survivors knowing.

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  • Mr. Eko

    Lost's 2016 premiere brings the writers' astounding skills (back) to the forefront, making great flashback connections with Mr. Eko in a particularly powerful episode, as well as some revelations concerning the Monster.
  • Awesome.

    Charlie takes Mr. Eko to the drug smuggler's plane. Mr. Eko finds the body of his brother in the plane. Charlie takes some of the plane's statues, filled with heroin, and Claire loses trust in Charlie. In flashbacks, Mr. Eko is a drug warlord in Nigeria, and accidentally gets his brother killed and onto the plane. Wow - I love this episode, I loved Mr Eko's back story so amazing. I love Claire and Eko's scenes so amazing. I love the way Charlie is singing "The Kinks" so funny - I love him! I love yhr scene where the smoke monster is just looking at Eko while Charlie is int he tree. I love the scene where Kate is cutting Sawyer's hair. Michael is awesome too - love his storyline. The ending and when Eko and Charlie are praying together is awesome.moreless
  • We have Mr Eko getting very violent towards a statue of a virgin mary, Claire getting really upset regarding the heroin, Charlie lying about what was in there and Mr Eko having alot of flashbacks.moreless

    This episode really deals mainly with two things, Charlie and his addiction and also that of Mr Eko's history and story. We get a flashback for Charlie and how he overcame his addiction to heroin, by not having any, but also the help of Mr Locke when they discovered that the plane where Boone died, was in fact a drug smugglers plane.

    We have Mr Eko's first flashback, where he and a group of other children are playing football when they get interupted by militia, who round up the boys and get the youngest one to shoot the local priest, but he is so small that he can't pull the trigger. His brother grabs the gun and shoots the priest without hesitation, leading the head of the militia to call him Mr Eko, then rips off his chain and loads him back into the truck. His brother picks up his chain and cross.

    Then we are back on the island, Mr Eko is talking serenly to Claire, then his demeanour changes when we get to the subject of the virgin mary statues. He goes to see Charlie and demands he sees the plane where he got the statue, Charlie tries to say tomorrow, but Mr Eko insists today. Then we have another flashback of Mr Eko, older now, and two men going into a drug deal for their own benefit.

    Locke teaches Michael on how to shoot properly, whilst Charlie leads Mr Eko through the jungle to the plane, but he tries to lie to Mr Eko, who gets him to climb up a tree to get his bearings. At this point, Charlie spots a black smoke cloud heading towards Mr Eko, he shouts a warning to him but Mr Eko just stands his ground, leaving the smoke to look into Me Eko and then disappear. When quizzed, Mr Eko says he has nothing to fear.

    Another flashback sees a nigerian woman outside the church selling virgin mary statues,then we see Mr Eko going to meet his brother, who is now the priest of the same church, he goes to ask for his brothers help in using the church's place to use a plane to leave the country for his mercendise.

    Sawyer and Kate gets closer, as she gives him a haircut, thus allowing their bond to grow.

    Me Eko. and his boys go back to see his brother and this time it is to get his signature on a document, which will then make his men official priests, it is pointed out that he wouldn't do anything to him or his church but that his men would. He signs the sheet, Mr Eko gives him the money from the drug deal as payment for all 300 statues.

    Charlie and Mr Eko find the parachuting priest corpse, Mr Eko prays for him and then then go on further to the plane, where he locates his brothers corpse, retrieves the necklace and then they slow burn the plane, giving the heroin and the dead a funeral.

    Back on the beach Claire says she doesn't want Charlie around her or the baby, so she has packed his stuff and he sets off to find his own new spot on the beech, but not before we see that he has a cache of statues hidden in the nest of a tree.moreless
  • American people are better...

    Something to think about (I love Lost but I´m not happy with this):

    Characters from the United States are so good and nice:

    Jack: Our heroe.

    John: Jesus Crhist himself.

    Sawyer: Problem guy but beautiful and kinda funny.

    Michael: Nice guy, worker.

    Hurley: Funny guy.

    Walt: Nice, innocence boy.

    Libby: Cool girl.

    Boone: Beautiful guy.

    Shannon: Beautiful girl.

    Characters foreigners are bad people:

    Sayid: The torturer.

    Jin: Maffia guy.

    Ana Lucía: Bad police, killer.

    Mr. Eko: Drug traffic, killer.

    Kate: Trouble girl, killer, although she is beautiful and nice (she´s Canadian).

    Is it because the Americans are the best? Does it have to be with American Politics? I´m not happy with this at all. Just think about this for a second, please.moreless
  • We are led into one path of one of the great moments of this series

    Much like Locke before we learned the truth about him in his first flashbacks, Eko has been a mysterious character. We have seen him act out in violent rages, and we have also seen him times of religious introspection. He's a bit scary at times, but he also seems very gentle. In 'The 23rd Psalm, we finally learn who he is, what has he become, and in the process we solve at least one island mystery.

    Eko grew up in Nigeria, apparently alone save for his younger brother Yemi. At an early age, soldiers invaded his village to gather children for their army. In order to keep Yemi from become one of them, he sacrificed his soul to keep his brother pure. From then on, their lives were radically divergent--- Yemi became a priest and cared for the people in the village, while Mr. Eko--- a name that was given the moment he committed his first murder--- became a murderous criminal with no soul. Furthermore, his brother, rather hypocritically, never offered forgiveness for what he had been forced to become. In an effort to get heroin out of the country, he arranged for his men and he to impersonate priests, using his brothers name. His brother tried to save him from the authorities, but as an indirect result of his actions, Yemi was killed.

    This is a compelling enough flashback on its own. What makes it vital to this episode is that Eko was going to used statues of the Virgin Mary to smuggle the drugs. When he learns that Charlie has one of those statues, he makes the connection, and forces Charlie to take him to the plane--- for it was the Beechcraft that eventually led to Boone's death in season 1. The smugglers were Eko's compatriots, and his brother's body is still on the plane.

    Of course the minute Claire finds out about this, she gets angry . Charlie tries to do damage control but is forced on to the journey by Eko. Even though Charlie has known Eko for all of two days, he still tries to defend his actions with all the denial that junkies always do. He is feeling alone, and isolated from the rest of the survivors. Jack and Sayid don't take him seriously enough to use him for the important tasks. Locke was helpful to him, but it's becoming clear that he's starting to have doubts, Hurley is Charlie's friend, but it's clear he thinks that he doesn't believe Hurley's story about being a millionaire, which facilitates distrust. He was a good man, but now he's seems to be falling, and the statues on the plane offer solace from this..

    On the other extreme, Eko uses the plane to find redemption. He has been impersonating a priest for now, and he clearly knows scripture (various Bible verses are carved on the stick he has been carrying since we met him), but it has just been an act. By placing the cross from his brothers body back around his neck, he has reclaimed the good ness that was once part of him, and become a disciple of the island. From now on, his actions will be that of a holy man (though it will turn out, he can't leave his past behind)

    But by far the most shocking part of the episode comes when we get our first full look at the monster--- or at least one form of it. It does seem to take the form of a giant cloud of smoke that brings destruction. But this time, it gets right in Eko's face--- and he doesn't blink. A series of images flash, and if you watch this episode on tape, and freeze frame at the appropriate times, you can see segments of Eko's life flashing before him. The monster would seem to embody fear, and he makes it very clear to Charlie that he was not afraid. Perhaps this faith is what makes him and Lock different than the survivors. Though the majority of the episode is centered around Eko and Charlie, we do get glimpses of a couple of characters. Michael, for one, is still trying to utilize the computer to get in touch with Walt. We understand the man's desperation; what we don't get is why he hasn't yet reached the point where he can trust anyone else with. Both Jack and Locke make offers to lend assistance-- Locke's is more practical, showing him how to shoot, but he doesn't tell either of them about what he saw on the computer. I'm still not sure why. He always had issues trusting Locke, so maybe that's not a fair example, but Jack's been nothing but supportive to him the whole time they've been on the island. Nevertheless, he plunges ahead, on a collision course that will eventually lead to his own destruction.

    And Sawyer appears to have recovered enough from the infection for Kate to cut his hair on the beach (something that we saw Claire do to Charlie. During that time, he continues to act belligerent, but it's clear now that the other survivors seem to have a little more fond of him than they were before he sailed off. I believe that the fact that Sawyer was starting to feel appreciated and respected that will cause him to do some pretty rotten things in just a few days.

    'The 23rd Psalm' is one of the high points of season 2.Eko is such a fascinating character, and his arrival manages to solve at least one mystery (though it still doesn't explain how a single engine plane could make it all the way to an island in the Pacific) Eko seems to have walked through the valley of the shadow of death, and has become the good man he had the potential of being. However, we will learn, that the islands takes away as much as it gives

    My score:10moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (21)

    • Goof: The DHARMA Ranch Composite shows the word "DHARAMA" on the label, instead of "DHARMA"

    • Mr. Eko's mini-airplane reads "5Z-GWN6".

    • In Eko's second flashback, the man who played the Moroccan, (Moumen El Hajji) is the caterer for the Lost crew. Also, his son plays the servant boy.

    • In the Region 2 DVD Commentary the writers reveal that several elements of Eko's character were actually Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje's original ideas.
      His "Jesus Stick" was totally Adewale's idea which he suggested to the writers as well as his characters name and the adding of the "Mr".

    • On the DVD Commentary for this episode on the Region 2 set, the writers reveal the "sound effect" for the black smoke monster is that of a printing receipt roll inside a taxi cab specifically in New York.

    • Island events in this episode take place on November 10th 2004.

    • All of Eko's African flashbacks are shot with a yellow tinted lense, to give an odd third-world look.

    • Even though the line is supposed to be "the valley of the shadow of death," in Psalm 23; both Charlie and Eko clearly say, "the shadow of the valley of death." When the writers created this scene, they made that mistake, but upon reflection believed that the error was appropriate as Eko was never a proper priest.

    • Among several other things, Mr. Eko carves the word "Revelations" on his staff. As well as being the last book of the Bible, "Lost: Revelations" was a recap episode of Lost that debuted on the same night right before this one.

      Goof: In their attempt to make Mr. Eko look like a priest carving Bible references into his staff, they made the mistake of putting the word "Revelations" on it, rather than the correct title "Revelation." There is no "s" on the end of the title of the last book of the Bible.

    • Continuity: Mr. Eko has a quite large silver teardrop-shaped earring in his right ear. Between shots, it changes location to his left ear and back again later to his right one.

    • Continuity: When Eko returns to his brother's church for the last time, he has an earring in his right ear. Once he enters the church the earring is gone.

    • Numbers:
      -The title of the episode is "Psalm 23".
      -At one point, we hear Psalm 14:1. 14+1=15.

    • The scriptures Mr. Eko had carved into his "Jesus stick" were not clear, but here are some possibilities. Psalm 14:1 says "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.' They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good." Verse 4 "Will evildoers never learn...?" Titus 3 begins, "Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men." It's not clear which passage in Colossians he has carved. Revelation 3 is letters to churches from Jesus, but how it relates to Mr. Eko is unknown.

    • Mr. Eko is the second person facing "the monster" without fear. The other one was John Locke in "Walkabout" from season one. Both seem to be people that have a lot of faith and no fear of the "monster."

    • When Mr Eko faces the smoke-monster, it appears like the sound is a slow motion of a voice. It actually is, but the voice only says "Wah-Wah-Wah", so it's not a secret hidden in there but just special effect.

    • A parallel is demonstrated between the African men who come to take children (Eko) away in Nigeria and the "others" who come to take children away on the island.

    • In order to leave the country disguised as a Roman Catholic priest, Eko tries to get his brother to sign "ordination papers." Catholic priesthood is conferred in a ceremony officated by a Bishop only, and his brother's signature, as a simple parish priest, would be worthless. Since they were fakes anybody's signature could have been on them. It is not like his brother's would have made them any more legit.

    • The first dealer expresses his opinion regarding Eko's proposition by exclaiming to the second dealer, "utla haram" which means "son of a bitch." The second dealer concurs with him though it is a bit unclear what word he says-- perhaps "in sha'ah Alla", meaning "God willing." Then, the first dealer says, "sayidna" which means "he will help us".

    • This episode reveals a couple of parallels between Mr. Eko and Charlie. Both characters attribute the mistakes of their past (Charlie and his drug habit, Mr. Eko and his joining the African gang) to circumstances due to their brothers, rather than their internal motivations. Additionally, both reveal they were religious children.

    • While Eko remained still, facing the "Monster," You could hear whispers.

      Mr. Eko & the Smoke Monster
      From 'The 23 rd Psalm'

      (Facing off with Mr. Eko)
      Who are you and why are you here?
      Report, report!
      Saw Charlie with him
      There's Charlie
      Go to hell
      (Within the smoke)
      He's trying here
      Nothing yet
      Now try him from here, okay
      Those are the roles (or rules) you accept
      Go to hell
      (said with Eko's accent)
      He's hiding something
      He's hiding from me

    • Inside the smoke monster, there seems to be an electromagnetic storm. When examined more closely, you can see pictures of Eko's past within the flashes of light. In order, the pictures are: Yemi's church; Eko's face as a boy; one of the two women who were sitting in the pew when Eko walked in to the church; Yemi; the old man Eko shot and the gun he used to shoot him; a young Eko holding on to Yemi; the woman whose confession Eko interrupted; the man who named him Mr. Eko; Eko holding a dying Yemi; Eko watching the plane; Eko on the beach after the Oceanic crash; the crucifix from Yemi's church.

  • QUOTES (28)

    • Hurley: Yo, Sawyer, glad you're back man.
      Sawyer:(quietly so Hurley won't hear) Yo, yourself. Pillsbury

    • Charlie: (singing) He's got wit. He's got charm, but when he gets rough he'll break your arm. He's got taste in manners and grace, but when he gets rough he'll slit your face. He'll buy you jewels, expensive shoes, uh.....Hey Jin, do you like the Kinks?
      Jin: Kings?
      Charlie: No, Kinks. With a 'k' at the end.

    • Claire: (to Eko) So you're religious, huh? You should speak to Charlie. He doesn't want to admit he's religious, but he carries around a statue of the Virgin Mary.

    • Mr. Eko:(Praying) The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name' sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: For thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; Thou annointest my head with oil; My cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever.

    • Charlie: (looking for the Nigerian plane) Uh, I'm lost. It was dark. I was following Sayid. Right afterwards a big bag of rocks fell on my head so I'm sorry if I'm a bit spotty with the geography.

    • Kate: You know, you don't have to be belligerent just for belligerent's sake. Everyone loves you now.
      Sawyer: Bull puckey.

    • Charlie: (to Eko) How'd you know about the plane? It's old, you know. It's been out in the jungle for years. Of course, you would know that, you know everything.

    • Charlie: Hi, Claire. What happened to the statue?
      Claire: Don't play stupid, Charlie.
      Charlie: What?
      Claire (pulling baggies of heroin out of her pocket): What's this? Because this was in your little statue. And, unless I'm mistaken I seem to remember you saying you're a drug addict.
      Charlie: I didn't know. Look, it's sealed up inside a statue, how would I know? Claire, I'm not using. (Charlie starts breaking open the baggies and dumping the heroin in the sand) Look, you believe me now? I don't care.

    • Charlie: (Charlie is singing, Jin says something in Korean) Oh, thank you very much, Jin. I do have a beautiful voice, don't I?

    • Locke: (Locke is changing the combination) With the new folks joining us I figure we better limit people's access to the guns. Can't have just anyone who wants one walk in and help themselves, which I'm guessing is why you're here, Michael.

    • Eko: Why did you choose it - Aaron?
      Claire: I just liked it.
      Eko: Aaron was a great man. Moses had great difficulty speaking so it was Aaron who spoke for him.

    • (on the beach, Kate is cutting Sawyer's hair)
      Kate: Would you please turn your head?
      Sawyer: Why, you ain't got a clean enough shot at my neck?

    • Gangster: Look at Mr. Eko, no hesitation. A born killer. Come...(puts arm around Eko and rips off his necklace of the cross) You won't need that anymore.

    • (Yemi signs the ordination documents)
      Yemi: My signature does not make you a priest, Eko. You could never be a priest.

    • Mr Eko: I have some merchandise that I need to get out of the country. I would like to use one of your church relief flights to transport it.
      Yemi: Merchandise? You mean drugs.
      Mr Eko: It is not my normal business, Yemi. We are moving the drugs out of Nigeria so that they cannot be used by our people. And the money you'll have all the money to buy your vaccine. God has given us this opportunity; we should not turn our back on it.
      Yemi: God did not bring you here, Eko. Your own greed did.

    • Mr Eko: I come to visit you for the first time in three years and you won't hear my confession? You know, Monsignor would have said he failed to raise a proper Catholic boy.
      Yemi: Well, why waste your time confessing. It won't help you.
      Mr Eko: It won't?
      Yemi: No, for confession to mean something you must have a penitent heart.
      Mr Eko: You and your guilt, Yemi. I've only done what I needed to do to survive. How is that a sin?
      Yemi: You may live far from here, but that doesn't mean I haven't heard of who you are and what you have done.

    • Charlie: (to Mr Eko) Well done with Claire, mate. You got me in a lot of trouble there, so thanks for that. Hope you're happy. Oh, that's right, you don't do happy.

    • Micheal: I know people are talking, thinking I'm going to go running off after Walt again.
      Locke: If people are talking I'm not hearing it. But if I was, I'd say it's not a very smart plan.
      Micheal: Yeah, it's not.

    • Locke: I used to love those old silent movies where the robbers would crack a combination lock with their ear pressed up against the safe, and the money they stole was always in a white bag with a big dollar sign on it.
      Micheal: Silent movies, huh? You're not that old, man.
      Locke: I'm old enough.

    • Claire: So you're Eko, huh?
      Mr Eko: Yes.
      Claire: Claire; and this is Aaron.
      Mr Eko: Aaron? The brother of Moses?
      Claire: Yeah, that must have been tough to live up to, right? The pressure of everyone saying, why can't you be more like your brother, Moses?
      Mr Eko: Yes, I'm sure it was.

    • Eko: Did you see it?
      Charlie: Yeah, I saw it. What the bloody hell did you do?
      Eko: I did nothing.
      Charlie: Most people, when they see a creature made of swirling black smoke, they run.
      Eko: I was not afraid of it.

    • Charlie: (to Eko, who is touching one of the corpses) What do you think you're doing? (Eko doesn't reply) You know this guy?
      Eko: This man...saved my life.

    • Michael: Where did you learn all this stuff?
      Locke: My dad used to take me hunting.
      Michael: Hunting for what?
      Locke: Birds.
      Michael: Birds?
      Locke: Yeah! Only, birds don't shoot back.

    • Yemi: (to Eko) I will always love you, but I will not help you.

    • Mr Eko: We are both sinners now.
      Yemi: Perhaps we are, but God will forgive me, Eko.

    • Mr Eko: Climb that tree, maybe you might get your bearings or see the plane.
      Charlie: What if I don't? You're gonna beat me with your Jesus stick?

    • Claire: What are you writing?
      Mr. Eko: Things I need to remember.

    • Drug dealer: (to Eko) It is true what they say about you.
      Eko: And what is that?
      Drug dealer: You have no soul.

  • NOTES (7)

    • Music:
      "He's Evil" by the The Kinks (Charlie sings this song).

    • Deleted scenes:
      -Kate asks Jack for scissors and Jack tells her that if she sees Sawyer she needs to remind him that he has to get his bandages changed. Jack leaves while Kate looks on after him.

      -Claire asks Sayid, who's on the rocks at the shores edge, if Charlie knew that the drugs were in the Virgin Mary statue before he "found it". Sayid asks why Claire is asking and Claire states that she has to know because Charlie is taking care of her baby and could be a danger.

      -Michael asks Locke whether he thinks the computer in the Hatch could be connected to other stations around the island or a main power source. Michael points out that the amount of machinery in the Hatch couldn't just be for the computer. Locke agrees to the possibility but reminds Michael that the computer is just for the button and not for communication.

    • International Airdates:
      - Denmark: March 22, 2006 on Kanal 5

    • This episode was nominated for the 2006 Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series.

    • Although credited, Naveen Andrews ("Sayid") didn't appear in this episode, except for a deleted scene.

    • The Polish premiere was on October 12, 2006 on TVP1.

    • This is the first Mr. Eko-centric episode.


    • Sawyer: (mutters) Yo yourself, Pillsbury.

      The Pillsbury Doughboy is the advertising icon and mascot for the Pillsbury Company. Created in 1965 to pop out the crescent roll can in television advertising, he appears to be living dough, is always cheery, blushes when kissed and giggles when poked in the stomach.

    • The episode's title alludes to the 23rd Psalm found in the Old Testament of the Bible. It describes depending on God through the struggle with death. In a direct reference to Eko, it mentions a "rod" and "staff" which provides comfort; Eko's staff has been his constant companion on the island.

      "The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want...
      Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
      ...I will fear no evil: For thou art with me;
      ...Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me."

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