Lost/The Cost of Living

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The Cost of Living
Season 3, Episode 5
Airdate November 1, 2006
Production Number 305
Written by Alison Schapker
Monica Owusu-Breen
Directed by Jack Bender
← 3x04
Every Man for Himself
3x06 →
I Do
LostSeason Three

The Cost of Living is the fifth episode of the third season of Lost, and the fifty-fourth episode overall.

A delirious Eko wrestles with demons from his past, while Locke and some of the other castaways head back to The Pearl — one of the DHARMA Initiative's island stations — hoping to find a computer that they can use to locate Jack, Kate and Sawyer. Meanwhile, Jack doesn't know whom to trust when two of "The Others" seem at odds with one another.

Starring: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Mr. Eko), Naveen Andrews (Sayid), Henry Ian Cusick (Desmond), Emilie de Ravin (Claire), Michael Emerson (Ben), Matthew Fox (Jack), Jorge Garcia (Hurley), Josh Holloway (Sawyer), Daniel Dae Kim (Jin), Yunjin Kim (Sun), Evangeline Lilly (Kate), Elizabeth Mitchell (Juliet), Dominic Monaghan (Charlie), Terry O'Quinn (Locke), Kiele Sanchez (Nikki), Rodrigo Santoro (Paulo).

Guest Starring: Michael Bowen (Danny Pickett), Adetokumboh M'Cormack (Yemi), Andrew Divoff (Eye-patch man), Hakeem Kae-Kazim (Emeka), Muna Otaru (Amina), Aisha Hinds (Nigerian Nun).

Co-Starring: Jermaine "Scooter" Smith (Daniel), Lawrence Jones (Soldier), Michael Robinson (Trader), Ariston Green (Guard), Kolawole Obileye, Jr. (Young Eko), Olekan Obileye (Young Yemi).


Plot Overview

The Island

  • At the beach camp at night, Sayid, Sun and Jin have just returned. Sayid meets with Charlie and Hurley inside a shelter and learns about Eko's condition. He's been unconscious for about two days. After they leave to inform Locke about their return, a delirious Eko has a nightmare of his brother's death at the Nigerian airstrip. Eko wakes up and sees Yemi inside the shelter, using a lighter to illuminate his face. Yemi tells Eko that it is time to confess his sins and be judged, that Eko will know where to find him. As Charlie, Sayid and Hurley are walking away, Hurley smells smoke and the trio turn to discover the shelter on fire. Charlie and Hurley pull Eko out and drag him to saftey. Eko mumbles "My brother... my brother... Yemi...". Locke comes up and wants to know where Eko is. Charlie turns around, but Eko is gone.

    Stumbling through the jungle into the morning, Eko is unaware the smoke monster is following him. A man suddenly appears and throws a machete at Eko, barely missing his head. Eko takes the machete as more, bloodied men appear around him. One of the men pleads for his life but, as Eko prepares to deliver a blow with the machete, Daniel (the altar boy from his past) appears in the man's place. Daniel tells Eko to confess, and he and the men vanish. Eko eventually makes it to a stream where he notices the reflection of the smoke monster in the water. When he turns to face it, the smoke monster retreats into the jungle just as Locke and his group arrive at the opposite bank of the stream. As the group continues onward, Locke asks Eko if he's looking for Yemi. Angered, Eko pins Locke to a nearby tree, presses a knife to his throat and tells Locke never to speak his brother's name again. Locke simply asks him what he's so afraid of.

    The group eventually arrives at the plane and everyone descends into the Pearl while Locke helps Eko move rocks from the plane's doorway. Locke asks Eko what he saw when the smoke monster was at the stream, that he once saw it before as a very bright light, but Eko only tells him that he did not see that. With the stones removed, Eko climbs inside the plane and discovers that Yemi's body is missing. Locke returns Yemi's cross to Eko and invites him to join them inside the Pearl, but Eko refuses the offer. Alone, Yemi appears and walks off into the jungle with Eko in pursuit. He finds Yemi in a clearing and asks him for no forgiveness as he has not sinned. He tells him he once killed a man to save his brother's life, but he is not sorry for his actions. He did not ask for the life he was given, but, with it, he did his best. Yemi tells Eko that he speaks to him as if he's his brother and walks off as Eko demands to know who he is. Chasing after Yemi, the smoke monster appears and bludgeons Eko against the trees. Locke discovers Eko's battered body and Eko can only whisper one last sentence to Locke before he dies - "you're next".

  • Inside the Hydra, Ben comes into Jack's cell. He's wearing a white shirt and pants, and gives a duplicate white shirt to Jack, inviting him to come with him for a walk. As Ben turns to leave, Jack asks him if his neck hurts or if his extremities are going numb. Jack tells him that he saw some X-rays, and Ben has an aggressive tumor that's going to kill him. Unless he gets help, and soon, he won't be taking walks for much longer. Ben pauses a bit too long before telling Jack that he has no idea what he's talking about. Under armed guard, the two arrive at a beach where the Others send Colleen's body off in a variation of a Viking funeral. Ben asks Juliet why she showed Jack his X-rays. Juliet tells him she didn't tell Jack they were Ben's, but she guesses that Ben just did.

    The next day, Juliet brings Jack a cheeseburger, but Ben comes in and firmly asks to talk to Jack alone. Ben tells Jack that they had such a wonderful plan to break him and wear him down until he was convinced that the Others weren't his enemy. They were going to get Jack to trust them and make him think he was choosing to do what they wanted him to do. Then chose Juliet to be Jack's keeper because she bore a resemblance to Sarah. Jack asks why Ben was telling him this, and Ben tells him that the plan has been ruined because Jack saw the X-rays and knows he's dying. They don't have the time to break Jack. If Ben doesn't get treatment soon, it'll be too late. He wanted Jack to want to save his life, but now all he can do is ask Jack to think about saving him. Ben asks if Jack believes in God. Jack deflects it back with a "Do you?" Ben tells him that he found out about the tumor two days before a spinal surgeon fell out of the sky. If that isn't proof of God, what is?

    Later, Juliet comes into Jack's cell to show him a movie. She says it's To Kill a Mockingbird. Juliet started talking about how sorry she is for bringing Jack there and how they need him to save Ben's life, but the movie shows Juliet holding up cards telling him, "Ignore everything I'm saying." The cards go on to say that Ben is a liar and very dangerous. Some of the Others want a change, but it has to look like an accident, like a complicated surgery going just a little bit wrong. No one would ever know and she would protect him. At the end of the cards, Jack tells her to shut the movie off. Juliet asks Jack to think about what she said.

  • Locke, Sayid and Desmond meet on the beach and Locke thinks he knows a way to find Jack, Kate and Sawyer. Desmond has told him that he thinks the computer in the Swan could possibly have been used to communicate with other stations on the island. The Swan was destroyed, but there is also a computer inside the Pearl. Charlie and Hurley return after being unable to find Eko. Charlie tells Locke that Eko was mumbling about his brother. Locke remembers what Eko told him about Yemi, and realizes he's going to his brother's body. Locke announces to a group of people that he's heading for the Pearl station and invites anyone who wants to come to join him, unlike Jack who didn't usually invite people in. Nikki jumps at the chance to be included and Paulo reluctantly follows after Nikki.

    The group eventually runs across Eko at a stream and join up with him in their walk to the Pearl. When the arrive, everyone descends inside while Locke helps Eko with his task at the Nigerian plane. Once finished, Locke joins Desmond and Sayid in working on the computer while Nikki watches Dr. Mark Wickmund talk in the orientation film. Sayid informs Locke that the wiring for the computer is only one-way, but Nikki wonders if the video monitors can show video feeds from the other stations. Sayid works on the cables until a new feed appears on one of the monitors. It appears to be the inside of another DHARMA Initiative station, but the feed cuts out after a man with an eyepatch and a DHARMA suit is revealed. Contemplating what they witnessed, the group hears the howl of the monster and rush outside where Locke discovers Eko's battered body. Eko can only whisper one last sentence to Locke before he dies - "You're next," which Locke interprets as "we're next".

The Flashback

  • Flashback: Eko

Eko, as a young boy in Nigeria, uses a rock to force upon a lock to a storage shed. Inside are jars and containers of various food. Eko retrieves a basket and gives his younger brother Yemi a package of crackers, telling him to eat and that it's okay. As Yemi hungrily digs into the packaging, a nun appears and takes the two boys into the church. The nun orders Eko into a confession booth and to confess to the priest that he has stolen. Eko tells her that his brother was hungry, but the nun tells him he has sinned and that hunger does not matter; he must ask God for forgiveness.

After Yemi's death at the airstrip, the Nigerian soldiers return Eko to Yemi's church. Inside, Eko picks up a Bible and discovers a black and white picture inside of himself and his brother when they were children. A woman and her child approach Eko, asking him where Father Yemi is. Eko tells her that Yemi was called away suddenly to an emergency at a refugee camp and he is his replacement. The woman introduces herself as Amina, a worker at the clinic, and her son Daniel is an altar boy at the church. She asks Eko if Yemi is still going to London in a week to continue his studies, but Eko tells her he is replacing him for the trip, too.

Later, Eko uses holy water to wash his hands. Daniel tells him he's not supposed to do that, but Eko remarks that he's washing away his sins. The sound of gunfire is heard outside the church and Eko investigates. A warlord, Emeka, and his men appear and demand to see Father Yemi. Amina rushes up to Emeka and tells him the shipment is late. They receive shipments of vaccine from the Red Cross and give 80% to Emeka and his men in exchange for protection. Emeka hopes Eko will honor their prior arrangement, but Eko tells him he's not afraid and walks away. In response, Emeka shoots a bystander and tells Eko he'll return for the vaccine shipment.

Afterwards, Eko inquires about the vaccine shipments further. Amina tells him they come every six months — if they're lucky. The vaccines fetch a high price on the black market, but Amina warns Eko not to cross Emeka and the militia. Before Father Yemi arrived they got nothing, and now they owe what vaccine they do get to his work. Amina tells Eko that he reminds her of Yemi, and that Eko is a good man like Yemi. Eko leaves and arrives at a bar to meet with a trader. He wants to sell vaccine to the trader before he leaves the country.

Alone in the church, Emeka and his men barge in on Eko. He tells Eko that he learned of the vaccine that Eko is trying to sell, but will only cut off his hands instead of taking his life. As Emeka swings with his machete, Eko breaks free from his binds and uses the machete to cut down his attackers. Emeka begs for his life, but Eko kills him. Soaked in the blood of Emeka and his men, Eko exits the church while brandishing the machete and a gun.

Leaving the church for his trip to London, Daniel asks Eko if Eko's a bad man since his mother says he is. Eko tells him that only God knows. Outside the vaccine shipment arrives, but Amina tells Eko that the men he killed will only be replaced by other men like them. The villagers board up Yemi's church as they can no longer use it due to Eko's killing. Amina tells Eko that he'll be judged one day for what he did, that he owes God for every life he's taken, that he owes Yemi a church.



  • Who is the man with the eyepatch?
  • What station is the man with the eyepatch in?
  • Why did the smoke monster kill Eko?
  • Who is the real "bad" Other: Ben or Juliet?
  • Why do some of the Others want Ben dead?


  • The monster never attacked Locke. The monster looked to be made of smoke. (1x04 - Walkabout)
  • A "very bright light" is what Locke saw that was so beautiful to him.
  • Eko was building a church because he owed one to his brother.
  • Jack is there to save Ben's life. (3x04 - Every Man for Himself)

The Cursed Numbers

  • The smoke monster hits Eko 4 times.


  • Sayid says that the wiring for the computer is one way, allowing information in, but not sending it out. That does not seem possible in the case of a computer.
    • It's quite possible with the correct software. How do you think a TV-tuner card works or any other input device?
  • Locke interprets Eko's "you're next" as "we're next", but it could of course also mean that he, Locke, is next.

Arc Advancement


  • Locke and company see a video feed from another occupied DHARMA station, with a man wearing an eyepatch and a DHARMA overall inside.


  • Eko is killed by the smoke monster.
  • Juliet asks Jack to assassinate Ben during surgery.


  • 1x05 - White Rabbit: Eko seeing his brother and then discovering that the body is missing is an echo of the scene where Jack first sees his father, only to discover later that his father's coffin is empty.
  • 2x06 - Abandoned: When Walt appears to Shannon for the second time, he puts an index finger to his mouth and makes a "ssshh" sound. Daniel does the same thing here when he appears to Eko. Both Shannon and Eko die soon afterwards.
  • 2x09 - What Kate Did: Desmond remarks to Locke about the coincidence in Eko going to the same place they're heading to. Locke tells him to not mistake coincidence for fate. This is the same line that Eko gave Locke.
  • 2x10 - The 23rd Psalm: Locke refers to Eko burning the plane with his brother in it.
  • 2x20 - ?: Locke leads a team back to the Pearl Station.
  • 3x03 - Further Instructions: While talking to Sayid about Eko's condition, Charlie mentions saving Eko from the polar bear cave. Locke returns Yemi's cross to Eko that he found while looking for him.


The Show

  • Missing in Action: Claire, Sun, Jin, Sawyer and Kate do not appear in this episode.

Behind the Scenes

  • Emeka: In this episode, Emeka is the name of a Nigerian warlord who took vaccine shipments from Yemi's church to sell on the black market. "Emeka" was the original name for Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje's character, Eko.
  • Location, Location, Location: Eko's village in Nigeria is the Waialua Sugar Mill in Waialua, HI. The interior shots of Eko's church were filmed at Keali'iokamalu Church in Hale'iwa, HI.

Allusions and References

  • I Wonder: The song played at Colleen's funeral is "I Wonder" from the 1964 album "By Request" by Brenda Lee. "I Wonder" was originally written by Cecil Grant and Raymond Leveen in 1944.
  • Plane Burial: When Locke and Eko remove the stones from the plane's doorway, they discover that Yemi's body is missing. In the Bible, Jesus Christ's followers returned to his tomb to discover the stone that covered its entrance to be rolled away and Christ's body missing.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird: Juliet shows To Kill a Mockingbird to Jack in his cell, but rather it's her own tape with a hidden message. To Kill a Mockingbird is a 1962 film based on the 1960 novel of the same name by Harper Lee.

Memorable Moments


  • Ben: Good evening, Jack.
    Jack: Good evening, Ben.
    Ben: I was hoping you might join me for a walk. [Jack smirks] What?
    Jack: Well, you say that like you're not just going to throw a bag over my head and drag me out of here if I say no.
    Ben: [smiling] Then don't say no.
  • Locke: 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.
  • Locke: Do not mistake coincidence for fate.
  • Juliet: You want to guess what's for lunch?
    Jack: I'm not- I'm not big on mysteries.
    Juliet: Of course you're not. [reveals a cheeseburger for Jack]
    Jack: You people have cheeseburgers?
    Juliet: 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?
  • Paulo: [Leaving the toilet room] The toilet still works.
  • Sayid: What did [Eko] say?
    Locke: He said... we're next.


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