Monday, March 9, 2009

Mr. Eko (Desperado, Glenn Frey / Don Henley)

I started writing this back in December during my family's Christmas travels. I had Ryan Kelly's rendition of Desperado firmly lodged in my head, and I thought I should try to take advantage of it. A couple years back, I saw a YouTube video in which somebody had set a series of Sawyer clips to the Eagles' version of the song, and ever since I'm always thought of Sawyer when I've heard it. So to avoid being a copycat, I consciously avoided writing about him and instead began to think about what other LOST characters the song could describe. I started my search by trying to come up with a character whose name or nickname had four syllables, and when I stumbled on Mr. Eko, I knew I'd found a winner.

I ended up setting the song aside for a couple of months, only picking it up again a few days into Lent, at which time it felt particularly meaningful. The Cost of Living is still one of my least favorite LOST episodes; it's befuddling and tragic, but I think it has some interesting things to say about the value of repentance. Eko seemed to turn over a new leaf when he came to the Island, but he couldn't bring himself to express any regret for the evil deeds that marked his previous life, instead claiming that he had no choice. A bit odd that Smokey singled him out like that; maybe we just have to chalk some of it up to needing to get Eko off the show, since Adewale wanted out. But I wish that confrontation had gone differently...

Mr. Eko

Mr. Eko, why don't you drop your defenses?
Confess the offenses that weigh you down.
You've had a hard life, but you must listen to Yemi,
Who drives you to demonstrate humility now.

You were never a repentant boy.
A Robin Hood, a rebel,
You stooped to ugly means to reach your noble ends.
But you can't go on pretending
That your plank is just a pebble.
True forgiveness comes to those who make amends.

Mr. Eko, don't you discern any danger?
Surrounded by strangers, your sins seem long gone.
But evil, oh evil has a habit of haunting.
The terror that's taunting you won't die with the dawn.

Have you kept a count of your heinous crimes?
You've seemed so full of remorse sometimes,
With silence stretching on for forty days.
Oh, but why deny you had free will
When you killed before you changed your wicked ways?

Mr. Eko, why don't you drop your defenses?
Expunge your expenses. Strengthen your state.
It may be painful, but you can paint a new morning.
But if you disregard the warning...
But if you disregard the warning, you've sealed your own fate.
Your own fate...

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