Surely Goodness Will Follow: Tribute to Mr. Eko
The LOST hero Mr. Eko was written out of the show only a season after he was introduced when actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje lost both his parents within a relatively short period of time and wished to go back home to the UK, I think, and no longer felt like staying in Hawaii to film LOST. His death, in Smokey’s trecherous maw, was truly one of the hardest losses for me ever to endure on LOST, not expecting it whatsoever.
The backstory on Eko is that as orphaned children in Africa he protected his younger brother Yemi no matter the price, even someone else’s life. As a result, Eko’s nature became corrupted by violence and as adult worked as a ruthless drug lord, while the innocent Yemi goes on to higher callings of the priesthood. When Yemi is murdered during a failed drug deal, the small airplane carrying his body was magically transported by the power of ABC onto the very same island Oceanic Flight 815 crashed, waiting to be discovered by his brother. Upon the discovery of Yemi’s remains, Eko takes up the priesthood in his honor, in the now classic Season 2 episode “The 23rd Psalm”.
One of my LOSTie friends had complained that Eko represented a stereotype of black male mystical, animalistic, hyper-sexual hoodoo that women were irresistably drawn to. That all may be true, but I can honestly say I have never had one sexual fantasy about him (or any TV character, I would hope). What I’d rather fantasize about really, is getting a hug from him, like the one he gives Ana Lucia in the following video. The brief clip glimsped in the video in which Eko holds Ana is from the Season 2 Episode “The Other 48 Days”, and represents the conclusion of his previous vow of silence since the crash, as it represents the shattering of her last defenses.
“Why did it take you 40 days to speak?” – Ana Lucia
“Why did it take you 40 days to cry?” – Mr. Eko
One can’t help but wonder what could have been, had AAA’s parents not decided to make their exit from this mortail coil so close together, or if they both could have lived a while longer, and if Eko did not have to die and be written out of the show. I’ve gotta say, on some of the biggest events of LOST, included the horrific pumelling Smokey gave Eko in The Cost of Living, nothing was spoiled and leaked, or I would have found it. AAA was perfectly cast as the drug lord turned holy man, and I hated to see him go. No telling what might have happened. But now, thanks to youtube, we can see him get slammed by mean old Smokey as many times as want, over and over again.
RIP Mr. Eko, I miss you and like having you here all over my blawgh.