Lost: Season 3, Episode 5

The Cost of Living (1 Nov. 2006)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 2,330 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 2 critic

After Mr. Eko has a vision of his dead brother, he sets out to return to the site of his plane crash.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Claire Littleton (credit only)
James 'Sawyer' Ford (credit only)
Jin Kwon (credit only)
Sun Kwon (credit only)
Kate Austen (credit only)


A delirious Eko wrestles with demons from his past, while Locke, Sayid, Desmond, and two other castaways, Nikki and Paolo, 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" (Ben and Juliet) seem at odds with one another when Ben wants Jack to perform surgery on him to remove a potentially dangerous tumor whereas Juliet does not want Jack to do it. Written by patstar84

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Release Date:

1 November 2006 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


In a flashback, when Mr. Ecko has his hands tied in the church, at about 29 minutes 10 seconds, he pulls the knife out of the the table twice. The first time he uses the knife to hit the main "bad guy". The second time it is pulled Mr. Ecko uses the knife to strike one of the supporting "bad guys". See more »


Mr. Eko: I did not ask for the life that I was given, but it was given nonetheless, and with it I did my best.
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Crazy Credits

The producers gratefully acknowledge the cooperation of the people of Hawaii and their Aloha spirit. See more »


References To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) See more »


Main Title
Written by J.J. Abrams
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User Reviews

Superb character examination, appropriately climactic
2 December 2008 | by (prejudicemadeplausible.wordpress.com) – See all my reviews

In the wasteland of mediocrity that is the mini-season which opened season three of "Lost", "The Cost of Living" shines as a perfect example of what makes "Lost" the superb show it is and always has been. Monica Owusu-Breen and Alison Schapker's debut script (and to date their only script for the show, although Owusu-Breen has been announced as a staff writer for season five) is a stunning character piece and a beautiful and fitting climax to Eko's emotional journey on the show.

The flashback is not as iconic as "The 23rd Psalm" but is actually quite a bit more substantial in character development- Eko is no longer an enigma, and it's not held back by the burden of having to introduce us to his past, it merely expands on the strength of that episode and "?" also and delivers a flashback which says pretty much everything about Eko's character arc. Similarly the island scenes are packed with intrigue and mythology but are always meaningful to the characters. Eko's confrontation with the smoke monster has bizarrely been criticized by some, but it's a stunningly well-executed scene brimming with intensity and a lingering sadness. It is possibly the best send-off for any character on "Lost".

What I like so much about "The Cost of Living" is that it proves that you can both achieve goals plot-wise AND write a multi-faceted character-driven story at the same time, something that "Lost" occasionally forgets to do, focusing on one or the other to varying success. The general reception for this episode is positive, I suppose, but it deserves more recognition and when "Lost" is discussed many years from now like other genre greats are this one should and probably will end up being more appreciated. A really great episode this.

Plus, it's got Eko brutally getting rid of several bad guys in the space of around ten seconds.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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