Season 3 Episode 5

The Cost of Living

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Nov 01, 2006 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
1,498 votes

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Episode Summary

A delirious Eko wrestles with past demons; some of the castaways go to the Pearl station to find a computer they can use to locate Jack, Kate and Sawyer; Jack does not know who to trust when two of the Others are at odds with each other.moreless

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  • Too many deaths

    Eko's death is linked with redemption - or the suggestion of that as he reaches a point of confession shortly before his execution by the black smoke.

    This turn of events was hugely disappointing to me as now most of the tailies have been killed. And they were a strong bunch of characters.

    To make up the slack the writers are giving the usually mute extras an opportunity to shine. This is part of a mechanism allowing Locke to showcase a very different and more inclusive style of leadership to Jacks. Hence a pair of relative unknowns - some blond woman - who is allowed to contribute a moment of insight - and some dude , is that Scott or Steve? Frankly, who cares.

    I am still missing, Ana Lucia and Libby and the depth and tapestry that was being created through them. Now Eko joins them in the hereafter? Sheesh, I'm totally bummed.

    Elsewhere on the island, or on another island... We take a break from the adventures of KAte and Sawyer and the momentum is served again to Jack. Who is presented with an ethical dilemma. Issues of who to trust and why, how to use his privileged position as surgeon for the greater good? Lots of moral relativism for him to wrestle with in his dank holding cell. And a great episode ending for us. I am warming to Juliet too, she seems warmer and less prissy now.

    Hey, ho, what's next? Please lets keep all the main characters intact for a while longer!moreless
  • why do they let alias writer write LOST episodes? Especially if they wrote for season 5! S***s

    Can someone please tell me why they killed of EKO. And pleas dont let monica breen and alison schapker write an episode for LOST! It will go downhill like alias season 5...

    they even have have drew goddard who wrote the series finale for alias which was very bad and now he wrotes for LOST! OMG Can someone please tell me why they killed of EKO. And pleas dont let monica breen and alison schapker write an episode for LOST! It will go downhill like alias season 5...

    they even have have drew goddard who wrote the series finale for alias which was very bad and now he wrotes for LOST! OMGmoreless
  • Yes, that\'s what\'s happening with this show. We expect something new but instead they bring forgotten issues and kill future possibilities.

    With this, we can pretty much see how will the show work from here on, you get bad press, you don\'t get a character. It\'s simple, it\'s harsh, it\'s Lost. So what was Eko doing in Australia anyway? We will never know, they killed him. What was the deal with Libby in the psych ward? We don\'t know, they killed her. And isn\'t it a surprise that when the producers just say that they won\'t tell anymore when someone is gettin killed they kill someone? Unoriginal indeed....

    The only intriguing thing was seeing the whole discussion about Ben\'s operation... what will Jack do?

    One week for the \'Fall Finale\'...

  • Awesome.

    Eko follows what appears to be his brother into the jungle. It turns out to be the smoke monster, which proceeds to kill Eko. Jack finds out that the reason he was captured was to operate on Ben's spinal tumor. Juliet conspires with Jack against Ben, telling him to kill Ben during surgery but to make it look like an accident. In flashbacks, Eko becomes a priest after Yemi is killed and Eko kills a few men to protect his town. We learn about Eko but sadly Mr Eko dies he was awesome and I cried when he died because he was in my top five favourite character. However, awesome storyline, I love his dreamsYummy Jack, I love him, I love the way he is with Ben. I really don't like the two random people - Nikki and Pabalo. I love the Jack and Juliet scenes - especially the "movie" scene oh and the Ben and Jack scene I also love the scene in the other hatch.moreless
  • Black and white morality vs. shades of gray.


    This was a really underrated episode, in my opinion, because we begin to see for the first time how a complex life like Mr. Eco's cannot be understood (or stood for) by the binary morality of The Smoke Monster. Mr. Eco is the classic example of an in-between space -- he is a killer and a holy man, a drug dealer and an ascetic, a man of action and of thought. And because of these traits, he breaks down the simple black and white moral struggle of the good vs the bad. The Smoke Monster/Man in Black, as we will see later in the series, believes that people are inherently bad, so when they do not repent of their sins, they are punished, or pummeled as is Mr. Eco's case.

    This binary thinking is shown to be ultimately infantile, childish, as the altar boy asks Eco after he kills three drug dealers, "Are you a bad man?"

    As though killing is always wrong, no matter the context -- Mr. Eco proves that all meaning, moral or otherwise, is about context.

    A very powerful, and sad, episode.moreless
Hakeem Kae-Kazim

Hakeem Kae-Kazim


Guest Star

Adetokumboh M'Cormack

Adetokumboh M'Cormack


Guest Star

Muna Otaru

Muna Otaru


Guest Star

Michael Bowen

Michael Bowen

Danny Pickett

Recurring Role

Andrew Divoff

Andrew Divoff

Mikhail Bakunin

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (10)

    • Mr. Eko was originally supposed to be named Emeka, but Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje suggested they name him Eko. Instead they used that name for the warlord that appears in Eko's flashbacks.

    • Number 4: The youth picture of Eko and Yemi was found in a Bible book on chapter 4.

    • After the Monster throws Eko on the ground, whispers can be heard which decode as:

      "It's over "
      "The black man" (?)
      "Right now / Right here"
      "What happened"
      "What's happening"
      "Now we got his… / I don't want to kill him"
      "What just happened"
      "What'd he say"
      "Help me up"
      "Is he following?"

    • In this episode, Ben claims that two days after he found he had a tumour, a spinal surgeon dropped out of the sky (in reference to the crash). However, in "One of Us" Juliet tells Ben he has a tumour one day before the crash.

    • The gesture the altar boy made to Eko when he appeared in the middle of the jungle is exactly the same Walt made several times to Shannon while appearing to her also in the early Season 2.

    • Island events in this episode take place on December 1st and December 2nd 2004.

    • Jack asks Ben if he is having symptoms of numbness and tingling to his fingers and toes, yet the tumor on his X-ray is assessed to be over the L4 vertebra and is clearly lumbar. Ben would only have paraesthesis in upper extremities if it was a cervical tumor.

    • The Number 23: Before the Smoke Monster grabs and kills him, Mr. Eko said the first verses of the 23rd Psalm. This would also be a reference to the episode of the same title in season 2.

    • In Juliet's tape, she is wearing the same outfit she was wearing in the flashback in "A Tale of Two Cities". She is also standing in her house in Otherville.

    • This episode takes place on Day 71 on the island--a Thursday.

  • QUOTES (24)

    • Yemi: You speak to me as if I were your brother!

    • Daniel: Are you a bad man? My mum said you're a bad man.
      Eko: Only God knows.

    • Juliet: You want to guess what's for lunch?
      Jack: I'm not... I'm not big on mysteries.

    • Desmond: Would you mind if I asked you a question, Brother?
      Locke: Shoot.
      Desmond: Are we off to poke at a computer, or are we going after your man Eko?
      Locke: Two birds, one stone.

    • Locke: When you pulled him out of the tent, did he say anything?
      Charlie: Nothing coherent. Just mumbling 'My brother, my brother.'
      Locke: Sayid, pack your gear. We're going to that computer.
      Charlie: Wait! What about Eko?
      Locke: We'll catch up to him. We're all going to the same place.

    • Ben: (Speaking quietly about Jack) Why did you show him my x-rays?
      Juliet: I didn't tell him they were yours. But I guess you did!

    • Ben: I'm telling you this, Jack, because my wonderful plan got shot to sunshine when you saw my damned x-rays and figured out I was dying.
      Jack: All of this, you brought me here to operate on you. You, you want me to save your life.
      Ben: No, I want you to want to save my life. But we're beyond that now, so, all I can ask is that you think about it.

    • Locke: Everybody, we're heading out to the Pearl station. There's a computer there that might help us find our people. Anybody want to come along?
      Hurley: What do you mean, 'Anybody want to come along?'
      Locke: I mean, if you'd like to join us, it's a free island.
      Hurley: Yeah, see, Jack would go and do stuff alone. Or he'd take Sayid or Kate.
      Locke: Yeah, well. I'm not Jack. The more the merrier.

    • Desmond: The computer in the hatch wasn't only for pushing the button. I'm pretty sure it could be used to communicate with other stations.
      Sayid: This is fascinating. But you just told me the hatch exploded!

    • Jack: Does it hurt?
      Ben: Sorry?
      Jack: Your neck, does it hurt? Any numbness in your fingers and toes, like pins and needles when your foot falls asleep, but permanent.
      Jack: Why are you asking me these questions, Jack?
      Jack: Because, Ben, you have a tumor on your spine. An aggressive tumor that ... is going to kill you. I don't know when those x-rays were taken that I saw, but unless they were very recent ... you're not going to be taking walks much longer.
      Ben: I have no idea what you're talking about.
      Jack: Ok. My mistake then.

    • Locke: Oh, Eko.
      Eko: (Whispering)
      Sayid: What did he say, John?
      Locke: He said... we're next.

    • Locke: I saw a very bright light...it was beautiful.
      Eko: That is not what I saw.

    • Ben: We had such a wonderful plan to break you, Jack.
      Jack: Break me?
      Ben: Wear you down till you were convinced we weren't your enemies. Get you to trust us. And then of course we'd lead you to believe that you were choosing to do whatever we asked you to do. All of this of course as soon that you would get invested.
      Jack: Invested in what?
      Ben: Has it not occurred to you that Juliet bears a striking resemblance to your ex-wife?

    • Hurley: No luck, dudes. We've looked everywhere. Eko's gone.
      Charlie: There's no trail.
      Hurley: Not like we know what a trail looks like.

    • Ben: Good evening, Jack.
      Jack: Good evening, Ben.
      Ben: I was hoping you wouldn't mind joining me for a walk.
      (Jack laughs.)
      Ben: What?
      Jack: Well, you say that like you're not just gonna throw a bag over my head and drag me outta here if I say no.
      Ben: (smiles) Then don't say no.

    • Eko: I ask for no forgiveness father, for I have not sinned. I only did what I had to do to survive. A small boy asked me once if I was a bad man. If I could answer him now, I would tell him that when I was his age, I killed a man to save my brother. I am not sorry for this... I am proud of this. I was not asked for the life that I was given, bit it was given none-the-less... and with it, I did my best.

    • Jack: I'm fine with her being here.
      Ben: And I'm thrilled that you're fine Jack, but it's private. Doctor-Patient confidentiality.

    • Desmond: That's quite a coincidence.
      Locke: Don't mistake coincidence for fate.

    • Juliet: He let you out?
      Jack: Gave me a new shirt too.

    • Locke: I think I know how to find Jack, Kate, and Sawyer.
      Sayid: (about Desmond) Can I ask why he is being included in the conversation?
      Desmond: Is that supposed to hurt my feelings?

    • Jack: You people have cheeseburgers?
      Juliette: You have no idea what I went through to make this for you. I killed the cow, processed the meat, baked the bun, and the fries... Try rendering animal fat.
      Jack: No ketchup?

    • Sayid: (about Eko) What happened to him?
      Charlie: Before or after we saved him from the polar bear cave?

    • Nikki: Projects. Maybe some of these TVs are connected to the other hatches.
      Locke: Well, suddenly I feel very stupid.

    • Ben: Do you believe in God, Jack?
      Jack: Do you?
      Ben: Two days after I find out I have a tumor on my spine that will kill me, a spinal surgeon falls out of the sky. If that's not proof of God, I don't know what is.

  • NOTES (5)

    • The song that is played when Eko goes to the disco bar is called "Eko Lagos" by Femi Kuti. This song is from the album Fight to Win.

    • Emilie de Ravin, Josh Holloway, Daniel Dae Kim, Yunjin Kim and Evangeline Lilly do not appear in this episode.

    • International Air Dates:
      The Netherlands: March 30, 2007 on Net 5
      Finland: September 13, 2007 on Nelonen
      The Czech Republic: September 30, 2007 on TV Nova
      Spain: Monday September 17, 2007 on FOX TV Spain
      Germany: Monday November 13, 2007 on Pro7
      Macedonia: Thursday October 18, 2007 on A1
      Denmark: January 3, 2007 on Kanal 5

    • The song that is played at Colleen's funeral is 'I Wonder' by Brenda Lee.

    • An Eko-centric episode.


    • In Neil Gaiman comic book series, "The Sandman" the image of red flowers, always meant a death was near. Before Eko's death, he stands in a field of red flowers.

    • Pushing a dead body out to sea on a wooden raft, then setting the raft alight is a Viking burial custom.

    • Mr. Eko's tent is set alight straight after having a vision of Yemi; this could have been an allusion to Moses and the burning bush...

    • Locke and Eko pushing the large rock off of the entrance of the crashed plane to find that Eko's brother's body is missing, is a religious Christian allusion to the large rock removed from the tomb at Calvary to see that Jesus' body was missing.

    • Juliet: Is To Kill a Mockingbird.
      She's referring to the Robert Mulligan film from 1962. Based on the Pulitzer-Prize-winning novel by Harper Lee, it starred Gregory Peck, Mary Badham and Phillip Alford. It received several Oscar Nominations, including Best Picture (although it lost to Lawrence of Arabia), it is considered the 34th best film of all time by the American Film Institute (AFI) and Peck's character, Atticus Finch is considered the "Greatest Hero of American Film", also by the AFI.

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