Sorry about this being late folks. Cox is going to fix up my net access today (supposedly) and I’ll be back online for good. (Or until it breaks again.)
Another great episode - unfortunately the last we will see of Eco (unless he returns as other dead castaways have). In this episode we get to see what happened to Eco after his brother flew away in the plane with the drug dealers. He returns to his brother’s church and helps stop a gang of thieves from stealing drugs from the village. In doing so though he desecrates the church and the villages close it up. The local doctor tells Eco he now “owes” his brother a new church. (And now we know why he was building a church.)
Back in real time, Eco is visited by the ghost of his brother. He goes off into the forest to find the plane where his brother’s body was. During his trek we see the black smoke. (Woohoo! I loved the black smoke monster.) Locke (and friends) figure this out, and since they wanted to go to Pearl station anyway, they follow Eco.
At Pearl, they play with the TVs a bit and end up finding a new location and a new person. The person wears an eye patch. Is he an Other? If so - I don’t think we have seen him before. He looked more like another castaway perhaps.
Eco is outside the hatch when the ghost of his brother approaches. Eco follows him. His brother tells Eco that he has to confess his sins. Eco however says he did what he had to do to survive and protect his brother. This upsets his brother - and he goes away. Eco follows him and what was once his brother is now the black smoke monster. Oh, and it’s pissed. The monster picks him up and slams him against the trees - and then finally against the ground.
Locke (and friends) leave the hatch to find Eco just about to die. As he passes, he whispers to Locke that they are next.
So - back to the Others and Jack. Ben tells Jack that their original plan was to break him, gain his trust, and make Jack feel for them so they they could use him. Now Ben says this is out the window since Jack knows about the cancer. Ben says he wants Jack to perform the surgery but won’t force him to. He then asks him to attend the funeral of the girl who died. The funeral is pretty weird. They burn the body on the water while playing some pretty freaky music.
Later on - blonde Other girl (yes, I forgot her name again) plays a video while talking to Jack. The video is a secret message saying that some of the Others want to change things, and that Jack should let Ben die on the operating table.
Personally - I think Blonde Other Girl is doing exactly what Ben said they would try to do - gain his trust. I’d be willing to bet she is the one in charge - or at least orchestrating all of this to gain Jack’s trust.