Mister Eko's in flashbacks this week, and we watch him as a young lad making a violent decision to save his brother. Naturally, as the two grow up, they become polar opposites: Eko's a murderous drug lord, and his brother, Yemi, becomes a priest. Eko tries to extort some assistance from Father Yemi -- it involves Eko and his crew posing as priests and smuggling heroin in statues of the Virgin Mary (wonder what that has to do with the island). Yemi brings in the military in an ultimately fatal attempt to save his brother (Yemi, good Catholic that he is, carries some guilt from his brother's sacrifice all those years ago). Yemi gets shot and winds up on the plane with Eko's crew, who hightail it, leaving Eko sprawled on the tarmac. When the military mistakes Eko for Yemi, Eko smoothly begins his life of piety (maybe -- he quotes the 23rd Psalm, but big deal. Even Coolio knows that, and he doesn't preach much beyond getting your woman on the floor).
On the island, Eko discovers Charlie's Lady of Perpetual Tied-Off Arms, and forces Charlie to take him to the plane, where Eko finds his brother's long dead and desiccated corpse. Eko also manages to stare down Lostzilla, which is that black cloud, more fully defined than we've seen it to date, with holograms or hallucinations or something, barely visible inside it. Oh, and Claire knows about Charlie's heroin now, and she ain't happy. And she didn't even see him whining and making excuses for his behaviour all throughout the episode. She'd be even less pleased to know that Charlie has a whole stash of backup Virgin Marys.
Michael gets some rifle-training from Locke, in between chat sessions with his son, which could yet turn out to be hallucinations of his addled brain.
Looking forward to episodes referencing the 4th, 8th, 15th, 16th, and 42nd Psalms, that's for sure.
So anyway, the episode finally starts, and it's the first new content in what, six months? I want to say six months.
So we're in Africa, which you can tell because it's brown and dusty, and the show goes for the stereotypical bongo drum music that signifies Africa. It's Nigeria, specifically, and a bunch of kids are playing football, or, as it's called over in Europe, "American soccer." And there is a marketplace, and goats, and women carrying things on their heads, and a Coke bottle dropping from the sky.
Suddenly a truck full of gun-toting thugs comes roaring into the village. Replace the kids playing soccer with kids playing hockey and you have a normal small-town Alberta Saturday night, really. One of the boys, who turns out to be Young Eko, is wearing a cross around his neck. He looks concerned, as well he might, because now the ne'er-do-wells are hopping out of the truck and herding the children together. Shrieks and cries from the villagers earn a "be quiet" as the men run them out of the market.
A priest comes running out of the church, yelling for them not to take any more of the children, and he earns a rifle butt to the back of his head. One of the thugs yells, "Grab the old man," and said old man (not the priest) is dragged forward and forced to his knees. "Get the little one," says one of the thugs. "The little one" is the younger boy Young Eko is clutching to his chest. The leader of the gang steps forward, unholstering his gun, and rips the boy from Young Eko's arms. The leader puts the gun in the boy's hands, and helps him point it at the quivering old man. "Kill him," says the leader, stepping aside. "Shoot him now." I get it: the old man represents the viewers! The boy's terrified but doesn't pull the trigger, so he gets cuffed in the head by the leader, who orders him again to shoot the old man. Just as it looks like the boy is about the pull the trigger, Young Eko runs forward, grabs the gun, and shoots the old man himself, looking sick at what he's done. It's too bad he didn't grow up playing Grand Theft Auto, because then he'd be desensitized.