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It has been evident for a while that John Locke is no longer the only man of faith stranded on the mysterious island that the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 have inhabited for the first two seasons of ABC’s “Lost.” With the appearance this fall of Mr. Eko, a passenger from the back of the plane who stayed silent during the first 40 days and nights after the crash, it was obvious Mr. Eko would, at some point, give Locke a run for his money in this category.

Last night’s episode may have been a turning point for these two, with Ecco eclipsing Locke in his role as the island’s spiritual locus.

Prophetic dreams and leaps of faith abounded, as Eko convinced Locke to join forces with him in a kind of island scavenger hunt, spurred on by Eko’s visionary encounter with his dead priest-brother, who urged him to follow the question mark. With Locke’s help, the dreams and visions led them back to the downed airplane that carried the body of Eko’s brother to its final resting place–the island–and to the fact that below the plane has yet another mysterious hatch.
While it’s unveiling caused quite a crisis of faith for Locke, it did the opposite for Eko–it inspired newfound religious fervor in this church-building, newly ministerial member of the survivors. Locke found himself on new ground–as someone in need of spiritual leadership, looking to Eko for guidance, rather than the other way around.

Whether or not faith leadership will stay in the hands of Eko in future episodes remains to be seen.

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