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Season 2, Episode 21
Airdate May 10, 2006
Production Number 221
Written by Damon Lindelof &
Carlton Cuse
Directed by Deran Sarafian
← 2x20
Two for the Road
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Three Minutes
LostSeason Two

? is the twenty-first episode of the second season of Lost, and the forty-sixth episode overall.

Mr. Eko enlists Locke to help find a secret location he believes houses answers to the island's mysteries. Meanwhile, Jack and the other survivors struggle to cope with the horrific situation in the hatch.

Starring: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Mr. Eko), Naveen Andrews (Sayid), Emilie de Ravin (Claire), Matthew Fox (Jack), Jorge Garcia (Hurley), Josh Holloway (Sawyer), Daniel Dae Kim (Jin), Yunjin Kim (Sun), Evangeline Lilly (Kate), Dominic Monaghan (Charlie), Terry O'Quinn (John), Harold Perrineau, Jr. (Michael), Michelle Rodriguez (Ana-Lucia), Cynthia Watros (Libby)

Guest Starring: Nick Jameson (Richard Malkin), Adetokumboh M'Cormack (Yemi), Oliver Muirhead (Monsignor), Melissa Bickerton (Joyce Malkin)

Co-Starring: Brooke Mikey Anderson (Charlotte Malkin), Peter Lavin (Caldwell), Felix Williamson (Dr. Ian McVay)

Uncredited: François Chau (Mark Wickmund)


Plot Overview

The Island

  • At night by the shell of his church, Eko has a dream in which Ana-Lucia appears. As they talk, the gunshot wound appears on Ana-Lucia's body and she tells Eko that he has to help John. Eko then finds himself, axe in hand, inside the Swan's geodesic dome with Yemi at the computer. Yemi tells Eko that the work done in that place is more important than anything and that Eko must help John as he has lost his way. He tells Eko that he must make Locke take him to the question mark. Waking up from the dream, Eko grabs the axe and proceeds to the Swan to find Locke. After the aftermath inside the Swan is revealed, Eko volunteers to track down fake Henry Gale and asks Locke to join him. Eko leads Locke through the jungle, but stops and asks Eko what he's following as they haven't seen any sign of a trail since leaving. Eko asks Locke where the question mark is, but Locke plays dumb and refuses to answer, so Eko knocks him out by head-butting him. When Locke comes to, Eko informs Locke that Ana-Lucia wants him to help Locke find the question mark. Locke finally gives in and hands Eko a drawing of the blast door map. Eko attempts to follow the imprecise map, but the two discover that they have arrived at the site of the Nigerian plane. Eko decides that should make camp and await further instruction. In a dream, Locke, as Eko, sees Yemi in the jungle. Yemi beckons him to follow and Eko limps after him, climbing up the cliff. Reaching the top, Eko sees Yemi in a wheelchair and Yemi tells Eko, "Wake up, John." Locke wakes up and, after prodding by Eko, tells him that Yemi wanted him to climb to the top of the cliff. Eko climbs to the top and sees what appears to be a giant circular shape similar to a question mark in the clearing below. Once back down, Eko discovers that the earth has been salted in the shape of a circle. Prodding the ground with his axe, Eko hits a metallic object in the ground underneath the tail of the Beechcraft. Eko and Locke move the plane out of the way and uncover a hatch. Using the axe to open it, the two descend inside and discover another station - the Pearl. Inside they find a bank of monitors with one monitor showing a real-time feed from inside the Swan. Eko finds an orientation video and on it Marvin Candle, who calls himself "Mark Wickmund" in the video, explains the duties associated with the Pearl. Wickmund claims the team members assigned to the Pearl are to write down observations of a psychological experiment that is running inside another station, presumably the Swan. With the revelations from the orientation video, Locke has become disenchanted with the button. But Eko believes the work being done inside the Swan is more important now than ever. He tells Locke that, if Locke will no longer push the button, then he will. Eko grabs a bunch of papers from the Pearl and the two leave.
  • Outside at the Swan's main entrance, Jack, Locke, Kate, and Sawyer find Michael who claims Henry shot him. Inside the group discovers Ana-Lucia, dead, and Libby, who is critically injured. Libby is placed in the Swan's bunks, Michael's wound is treated, and Ana-Lucia's body is placed in the armory. Michael inquires about Libby's condition, but Jack tells everyone that he can only make her comfortable. He tells Sawyer that he needs the heroin in his stash and sends Kate with him so she'll know the location of the guns. When they return (with Hurley), Jack breaks open the Virgin Mary statute and injects the heroin in Libby. With Hurley at her bedside, Libby wakes up and can only utter "Michael" before dying.
  • On the beach, Sawyer and Kate head to Sawyer's shelter. Kate asks him how Ana-Lucia managed to get his gun, but Sawyer dodges the question. Inside his shelter, Sawyer reveals that his stash - the guns - were hidden underneath it the entire time. As they prepare to head back to the Swan, they run into Hurley and Kate tells him what happened to Libby. Hurley blames himself for Libby's condition because he forgot the blankets for the picnic.

The Flashback

  • Flashback: Eko

Inside a confessional at a church in Sydney, Australia, a rather uninterested Eko listens to the confessions of a man. The man eventually tells Eko that he forged papers for a man pretending to be a priest, which piques Eko’s interest. Outside the confessional, Eko gets the forged Australian passport from the man in exchange for money. The man tells Eko that he has some friends in Los Angeles who he could introduce to Eko to do "stuff", but is interrupted by the church's Monsignor. The Monsignor tells Eko that he'll have to postpone his trip to the United States as it appears a miracle has occured. He takes Eko to see a woman named Joyce Malkin, and she tells him that her daughter drowned and died but came back to life the next day. She's adamant that they must tell the Vatican and the world what has happened, but the Monsignor informs her that the church must conduct an investigation first and that Eko will lead the investigation. Alone with the Monsignor, Eko tells him that he cannot do what he asked as he does not believe the woman. But the Monsignor tells Eko that is precisely why he chose him.

At Dr. Ian McVay's office, Eko interviews him regarding what happened with the girl. He tells Eko that he was called in at 1am to look at the dead girl who had been in the water for two hours. Asking if he's experienced with that kind of death, McVay tells Eko that of course he is, as he's an undertaker but qualified as a coroner. He discovered the girl was still alive during the autopsy and plays an audio tape of the autopsy for Eko. On the recording, McVay can be heard describing the girl and proceeds to begin cutting her open when the girl can be heard screaming wildly. McVay stops the tape, ejects it, and asks Eko to take it as he never wants to hear it again.

Arriving at the Malkin residence, Eko sees the girl who supposedly came back to life - Charlotte Malkin. Joyce rushes out and tells Eko it's not a good time, but Richard Malkin appears and orders Joyce and Charlotte back inside the house. Alone with Eko, Malkin tells him that what happened was not a miracle and that McVay was trying to cover up his own negligence when he tried to cut Charlotte open. Malkin claims that his daughter fell into a mountain river, her body shut down and she went into hypothermia, appearing to be dead. Asking why his wife appears to believe it was a miracle; Malkin tells Eko that Joyce is a zealot and is doing everything is to spite him. Malkin claims that Joyce knows he's a fraud as he makes his living as a psychic, that he gathers intelligence on people and exploits it. Eko tells Malkin that he'll report back to his Monsignor that no miracle happened. As he gets back into his car, Eko sees Charlotte watching him from a window.

At Sydney airport, Eko is confirmed for his flight on Oceanic 815. As he leaves the ticket counter, he's approached by Charlotte who has been waiting for him. Charlotte tells him that her father doesn't want her speaking to him and he probably thinks she's crazy, but she has a message for him and promised to deliver it. The message is from Yemi and he wanted Eko to know that he's a good priest. Charlotte claims that she saw Yemi when she was "between places" and he said that Eko would come and see her, and that, even though Eko was pretending, he was a good man. Yemi wanted Eko to know that he'll see him soon and that, even though he doesn't have faith in himself, he has faith in Eko. Upset and angered, Eko demands to know why Charlotte is doing this to him. But Libby steps in, asking if everything is alright, and Charlotte nods. With Libby gone, Charlotte tells Eko that he’ll believe her one day and leaves.



  • What exactly was Eko going to Los Angeles for?
  • Is Malkin a fraud? Or was he lying to Eko?
  • Is the Swan really a psychological experiment? Or is it the Pearl?
  • Where does the pneumatic tube lead to?
  • Dr. Wickmund mentions a barracks to which the staff of the Pearl are supposed to return to after their 8-hour shifts. Where is that barracks, and where/what is the "ferry" that is supposed to take them there?
  • Why does Dr. Candle call himself "Dr. Wickmund" in the new orientation video?
  • Have Eko and Locke really found the question mark that Yemi told Eko to find, or have they found something else?


  • If the Swan is really just a psychological experiment, then there may not have been any "incident" at all. (2x3 - Orientation)
  • Eko was in Sydney as a priest in a Catholic church. He was "taking a trip" to Los Angeles. (2x10 - The 23rd Psalm)

The Cursed Numbers

  • The gate that flight 815 was departing from was gate 23.
  • Eko's fake passport says he was born 8/23, 1968. The date of issue is 4/16/04 and the date of expiration is 4/15/2014.
  • The crew of The Pearl work in 8 hour shifts.
  • The numbers on the log that Locke prints out in the Pearl all start with 416.


  • Dr. Wickmund says the DHARMA personnel inside the Pearl are to observe and record a psychological experiment taking place inside another station. However, there is a CCTV camera inside the Pearl. Why would the watchers need watching?
  • Eko said the earth in the clearing was salted in the shape of a circle, not a question mark. Coupled with Eko's comments of Locke's map being "imprecise" (Locke's map had the Arrow in the wrong place), the Pearl may not be located at the question mark on the blast door's map.
  • The numbers on the log that Locke prints out in the Pearl seems to follow a certain pattern: each entry starts with the number 416 (significance unknown), then follows what seem to be month and day, then a time stamp with each entry following approximately 108 minutes after the previous one (4:59, 6:41, 8:29 and so on). It is therefore likely that the computer is logging every time someone is entering the code in the Swan.

Arc Advancement


  • With Locke's map of the blast door map, Eko and Locke try to find the question mark and discover the Pearl.
  • Kate discovers the location of the guns Sawyer stole from the Swan's armory.


  • Libby succumbs to her injuries and dies.



The Show

  • All Cleaned Up: During Dr. Wickmund's orientation, a video feed can be seen over his shoulder at one point. It shows the interior of the Swan's geodesic dome with a man in a jumpsuit at the computer with another man in a jumpsuit entering the frame. The interior is all clean; a much drastic change from the current conditions inside the Swan.
  • The Computer: The computer inside the Pearl is the same computer as the one inside the Swan, literally. It bears the Swan logo on the monitor.

Behind the Scenes

  • Missing Director: Darren Aronofsky, director of Pi and Requiem for a Dream, was slated to direct this episode but had to bow out due to scheduling conflicts.
  • The Hand: The close-up of Locke's hand turning the lighting dial inside the Pearl is actually executive producer Damon Lindelof's hand. Terry O'Quinn was busy shooting elsewhere.
  • Missing in Action: Although credited, Sayid, Claire, Jin, and Sun do not appear in this episode.
  • Nielsen Ratings: On its original airing this episode scored 15.7 million viewers for ABC with a 6.6 rating in adults 18-49.

Allusions and References

  • Episode Title: ? is in reference to the large question mark seen on the blast door in Lockdown.

Memorable Moments

  • Eko knocks out Locke with a head-butt because he "was being difficult."


  • Ana-Lucia: What are you building?
Eko: Hello, Ana.
Ana-Lucia: Well, "hello", yourself. So are you gonna tell me? What is it?
Eko: I'm building a church.
Ana-Lucia: Now why the hell would you wanna do that?
Eko: Because I was told to.
Ana-Lucia: Told to by who?
Eko: I was just told. I think it was in a dream.
Ana-Lucia: A dream like this one? You need to help John.
(Eko finds himself inside the Swan)
Eko: Yemi?
Yemi: Hello, brother.
Eko: Yemi... Forgive me. I should have listened to you. You were right. I didn't mean to do it.
Yemi: Shhh... The work being done in this place is important, Eko. It is more important than anything. And it is in danger. You must help John. He has lost his way. You must make him take you to the question mark. John will not want to show you. So you must make him. Eko! There are many distractions, brother. But you must move past them. What is done is done. Do you understand?
Eko: Yes, Yemi.
Yemi: And, Eko? Bring the axe.
  • Locke: You hit me... Why did you...?
Eko: Because you were being difficult.
Locke: Are you insane?
Eko: No.
  • Locke: What are you doing?
Eko: I'm taking this back with us.
Locke: Why?
Eko: Because they may be important.
Locke: Important? I'm- I'm sorry. Weren't you just watching the same thing I was?
Eko: Yes, John. 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- That's a... A joke. Rats in a maze. With no cheese.
Eko: It is work, John. 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... Then what is the reason... Mister Eko?
Eko: We do it because we believe we are meant to. Isn't that the reason you pushed it, John?
Locke: I was never... meant... to do ANYTHING. Every single second of my pathetic little life is as useless as THAT BUTTON! You think it's important? You think it's necessary? It's nothing, it's nothing. It's meaningless. And who are you to tell me it's not?
Eko: This cross was worn by my brother, Yemi. Yemi was a great man. A priest. A man of God. And because I betrayed him he was shot and died. He was placed on a plane... which took off from an airstrip in Nigeria, half a world from here. Then the plane I was on crashed on this island. And somehow... here... I found my brother again. I found him in the same plane that took off from Nigeria. In the same plane that lies above us now. That has concealed this place. And I took this cross from around Yemi's neck and put it back on mine. Just as it was on the day I first took another man's life. So let me ask you... How can you say this is meaningless? I believe the work being done in the hatch is more important than anything. If you will not continue to push the button, John... I will.