Follow along! The episode guide for “The 23rd Psalm” is in Finding Lost, pp. 230-233.
The first major flashback for Mistah Eko is truly amazing. This is one of my favourite episodes of season 2. From the yellow filter they use on the camera lens to make Hawaii look convincingly like Africa (I say that having never been to Africa… my only knowledge of Africa is through TV and movies) to the scene of Eko finding the plane with his brother inside, this episode was jaw-dropping the first time, and beautiful every time after that.
Fun things I noticed:
• I really enjoyed seeing Claire chatting with Eko and how kind he is to her. (Well, until she mentions the statues. Then he turns all badass.)
• It is such an amazing scene when Eko cradles his brother’s head so gently. What an amazing actor Akinnuoye-Agbaje is.
• The man who sells Eko the drugs says that Eko has no soul. At the end of the episode, he repeats Psalm 23, and the line, “He restoreth my soul” takes on a greater resonance.
Things that have new meaning:
• Seeing Eko playing ball with his brother always puts a lump in my throat, because what SHOULD have happened after that game was for the two of them to go home to dinner, with Eko putting his arm around Yemi’s neck while bouncing the ball up and down in his other hand. That’s not what happened – but when Eko dies in S3, the last image he has in his head is of that moment… a moment that was never allowed to happen, and as such changed and destroyed both their lives.
• The man in the guerrilla army refers to Eko as a “born killer,” and Eko became the very thing he accused him of. Later, in “He’s Our You,” Ben will say to Sayid, “It’s in your nature. It’s what you are. You’re a killer, Sayid.” Even though his comment comes after the fact, his words draw Sayid back into the world he thought he’d left behind, when he returns to Santa Rosa and kills a man to get Hurley out.
• Locke doesn’t say how old he is, and instead says, “I’m old enough.” It’s interesting that he’s as elusive about his age as Alpert is about his.
• I was wondering if the symbols on the back of Eko’s coat could be some sort of hieroglyphics? Before I just took them to be a design, but now after having seen many etchings like that, it could be something more. Or not.
• Locke essentially taught Michael how to kill Ana Lucia and Libby.
• Interesting that the pictures that Eko sees in the smoke are hidden to us unless you slow the scene down and watch it frame by frame, but the Ben ones in “Dead Is Dead” are obvious.
• I think Psalm 23 is immensely important in the framework of Lost… The island is the valley of death; there is evil lurking; people are protected by rods and staffs; they are led to still waters; their souls are restored; there are several green pastures.