On ''Lost,'' Mr. Eko forces Charlie to help him find the drug plane, then goes eye to eye with the smoke monster

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Credit: Lost: Mario Perez

”Lost”: The great heroin hunt

Hello, Losters! Your sky captain Scott Brown is off in London becoming an international superstar, so for the next few episodes, you’re stuck with me, Whitney, the girl who never met a math-based conspiracy theory she wasn’t prepared to ignore. Thankfully, tonight featured nary a one — unless you count Locke changing the combination on the gun closet to involve 25 and 29, and if you can make something out of that, you are either way smarter than me, or you are Jeff Jensen.

Anyhoo. Previously on Lost…Charlie’s a drug addict! And the actor playing Mr. Eko has too many letters in his name. I tried to write it down and only came up with Aaaaaaaa Aaaaaa-Aaaaaaa. I hope he’ll forgive me for that and doesn’t come beat me with his Scripture Stick. Because what we learned tonight, kittens, is that Mr. Eko will beat you. He is not afraid. In fact, he is a bold killer! Or a bald killer — not sure which. The Nigerian accents in this episode made it hard to tell; plus, the first dude Mr. Eko ever killed — when he was a teenager and some guerrilla soldiers came into his village — was bald. So. Could be either. But Mr. Eko is not afraid of you, or Charlie, or the black smoke roller-coaster monster. He will stare you down, and then he’ll smack you with Jesus. Don’t make him tell you twice.

What? Oh, did I breeze too quickly through that whole black smoke roller-coaster monster staring-contest thing? Sorry.

So when Mr. Eko was just a boy back in the dusty soccer fields of Nigeria, some guerrilla soldiers came into his village and tried to make his little brother shoot a bald dude. Eko, feeling just a smidge of sociopathy, grabbed the gun and shot the guy himself, then got hauled off by the guerrillas and turned into a drug runner. And — get this — the drugs he smuggled out of Nigeria way back when were hidden — get out — inside plaster Virgin Mary statues.

For those just joining us: Charlie is currently toting around a plaster Virgin Mary statue filled with heroin that he found in the plane that fell out of the tree and made Boone go all bedtime for bonzo.

I know right it’s so crayzeeee!

So Mr. Eko sees the Virgin Mary statue and goes all postal, demanding that Charlie take him to where he found it, and we learn through the Flashbacks du Jour not only how the heroin came to be inside Our Lady of Perpetual Withdrawal but why Mr. Eko’s so damn upset about it: Turns out that after Eko shot Baldy, his thankful little brother became a priest. And the only people allowed to fly planes out of Nigeria until like 1999 or something (I attempted research) were the U.N. and priests. So Mr. Eko needed his brother, the priest, to give him a plane. To run drugs. But there was some sort of military shootout on the runway, and the brother got shot and shoved inside the plane just before it took off, and Mr. Eko was left on the tarmac, but he was wearing a priest outfit at the time, and so the soldiers, who’d already shot one priest, decided not to shoot him, and I guess that changed his life or something, and now he’s Mr. Eko.

And so when Mr. Eko gets to the plane in the jungle, it — duh — contains the body of his dead brother. And this discovery confirms for all of us playing at home that the plane that killed Boone is also in fact a Nigerian priest plane flown by drug-running associates of Mr. Eko, and so what the hell is it doing on the island? What the hell is he doing on the island? And how does this fit into the redemption web of all the survivors? And am I the only one who thought it was just a tad bit contrived?

Meanwhile: Sun and Jin brought food to Angry Michelle Rodriguez. Hurley (who Sawyer dubbed Pillsbury) helped Michelle’s alleged DUI buddy Libby build her shelter. Kate cut Sawyer’s hair and then got all torn when Jack walked up because OMG who does she love more? And Michael took some alone time with Walt on the instant messenger and — focus, kids, ’cause I bet this comes up again — learned how to shoot a gun.

But the most important moment came when Mr. Eko stared down the black smoke monster thing — a monster we saw clearly for the first time. Bang! it went in the forest, when Charlie was up a tree and Mr. Eko was all alone on the ground. ”Run!” yelled Charlie, but our priestly drug runner and his Scripture Stick stood firm, and when the black smoke appeared — looking basically like a combination of the black oil from The X-Files and the water alien from The Abyss — it blinked, almost literally turned tail, and ran away.

Why was the smoke monster scared? Mr. Eko, frankly, scares the crap out of me — but I haven’t killed, you know, several people including Greg Grunberg, so I’m not a good judge of character. Was it Mr. Eko’s formidable physical presence? Or — wait for it — was he protected by God because he has some higher purpose on this island? Time will tell, kittens. What, you wanted it all tonight?

Oh. And Claire kicked Charlie out of the house for being a druggie, so Charlie went off into the jungle to sulk by his…giant pile of Heroin Mary statues. Yeah — even though he and Mr. Eko burned the plane and we thought we’d seen the last of the smack, it turns out that wily little hobbit had some extra goodies hidden away for later. So, you know, that might lead to something. Just sayin’.

What do you think? Is Mr. Eko back from the dark side? Will Charlie relapse? Will Michael kill someone? And did you pick up any clues from the clip show? (For more theorizing, check out EW’s new monthly Lost conspiracy watch, by Jeff Jensen.)

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