LOST has put itself in a pretty precarious position at this point; after last night’s episode, I’m fully expecting each of the remaining episodes to be as dramatic, action-packed, revelatory, and downright awesome as this one, or I’m going to be sorely disappointed. I always like a Hurley episode, but that’s usually due to them being goofy departures from the norm. Last night’s episode caught me unprepared and got me excited for the rest of the season the way nothing has since the season premiere. I nearly transcribed the show word for word in my excitement, so let’s see if I can get a coherent review out of my notes.
For purely sentimental reasons, this episode might be my favorite episode ever, and it all comes down to seeing Cynthia Watros’ name in the opening credits. As intriguing as Mr. Eko was, Libby was my favorite Tailie, and her blossoming romance with Hurley in Season 2 was a welcome, gentle aside on a show that is often preoccupied with weightier concerns. The reveal of Libby at the end of the Season 2 episode “Dave” was a great stinger, and it seemed like there was a back story worth exploring there – certainly one more interesting than say, Jack’s tattoos, Charlie’s piano, or Kate’s short-lived marriage to Captain Mal Reynolds.
Then Michael went and shot Libby and that plot thread was cut off, seemingly forever. For years, Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof insisted that Libby’s story was over and they wouldn’t return to it. Thankfully, the LOST brain trust has proven susceptible to fan pressure (see the case of Nikki and Paulo) and those of us who have been crushed by Libby’s death years ago were finally rewarded.
The episode gave me chills right off the bat with Dr. Pierre Chang’s sonorous introduction of Hugo Reyes, businessman and philanthropist. It didn’t take long for me to get a lump in my throat when Libby (not Rosalita) approached him at the restaurant where he was awaiting a blind date.
At this point, the show is committed to blending the two realities, as Libby tells Hurley that she knows him from somewhere, that they have a connection, and that – oh wait, she’s crazy ‘cuz here comes Dr. Senator Kelly to take her back to the crazy place.
My least favorite moment of the episode came when Hugo made for one of his chicken restaurants, ordered a family-size bucket of chicken, and chowed down because fatty-sad-eats-a-lot. Fortunately, the moment was short-lived, as Desmond showed up, struck up a conversation, and steered Hurley back towards Libby.
Hurley goes to the mental hospital to see Libby (greasing the wheels with a generous donation) and then the two finally go on their beach date (thankfully, she was not shot while fetching blankets this time). There’s something of a re-hash of their why-would-you-like-me conversation from Season 2, and this time when they kiss…Hurley starts remembering things. Island things.
As they kiss, Desmond watches from a distance, which isn’t that creepy. Then he goes to the school where Ben and Locke work and just hangs out, which Ben thinks is pretty creepy. Then he straight RUNS LOCKE OVER, which I guess will at the very least have the effect of bringing AlternaLocke and Bizzaro Jack together, right?
Speaking of which…
Michael almost always spoke in this kinda irritating, scolding manner – especially when he just wanted to get his boy back. Ghost Michael isn’t much different, and makes a point of telling Hurley that if he doesn’t change Richard and Ilana’s crazy ways, everyone is going to die and it’s going to be his fault.
Richard’s purpose right now is to blow up Ajira 316 to keep Faux-Locke from getting off the Island. Fortunately, his ride to the Island is still full of dynamite, so Ilana heads to the Black Rock to get some. Hurley tries to dissuade everyone else from this course of action, and Ilana makes a big speech before going all Dr. Arzt and exploding everywhere.
Hurley apparently has a change of heart and heads over to the Black Rock to get more dynamite. Hugo somehow manages to get ahead of the group and blows up the Black Rock and all the dynamite on it before anyone else can get there.
Then, the breaking of the fellowship. Miles and Ben go with Richard to the old Dharma barracks for heavy artillery. Hurley takes Jack, Frank, and Sun with him to talk to Faux-Locke. Hugo lies to try and convince everyone to come with him, saying that Jacob is telling him what to do, but Richard points out that Jacob never tells anyone what to do and goes off to do that whole find-a-bunch-of-guns-and-grenades thing.
As they get closer to Locke’s camp, it becomes clear that Hurley is thinking for himself – he doesn’t know exactly what he’s doing, but he feels like it’s a good idea and is going with it. When he confesses to Jack, the good doctor surprises him by saying that he knew Hurley was lying but that he trusts Hurley and needs to learn to let go. Jack seems to be happily tripping along on the notion of going with the flow of destiny until he goes all “Jack face” at the sight of Faux-Locke near the episode’s conclusion.
Of course, Faux-Locke was doing more than just waiting for these guys to show up. He had to have a heart-to-heart with Desmond first, talking about the energy on the Island, asking him about his lack of fear, and then straight throwing him down a well. This makes Desmond’s decision to run Locke over in the flash-sideways a lot more reasonable, huh?
My guess is that the Island still isn’t done with Desmond, and even though he’s at the bottom of a very deep well, we’ll be seeing more of him on the Island, and not just in the flash-sideways universe. It was a moment that seemed certain to happen, but was still a little shocking to see.
A friend of mine suggested that Hurley is the candidate most likely to replace Jacob, especially given his caretaker role in the flash-sideways world. I liked the theory when I heard it a couple of months ago, and it’s grown on me even more since then. The way he was positioned last night – becoming aware of the parallel reality in 2004 and taking a leadership role in 2007 – makes me like that theory even more. If the next four episodes (plus the finale) are like last night’s episode, we’re in for a fun ride.
- So the whispers in the jungle were finally explained. Like Michael, they’re ghosts of the Island who can’t move on because of what they’ve done. So I guess the Island is kinda purgatory, right? Considering the whispers haven’t been important since (maybe) Season 3, it kinda feels like the LOST writers have a punch list of mysteries they need to wrap up and this was one of them. It wasn’t a bad explanation, it’s just that the whisper mystery has been eclipsed by so many other factors it’s hard to care about now. Of course, I guess this means if I go back and re-watch LOST from beginning to end, I won’t be able to be all, “Hey! They never explained what was up with those whispers!”
- So we know Ilana had trained her whole life to protect the candidates, but I don’t reckon we’re getting her origin story now.
- As with Desmond at the well, they kind of telegraphed the dynamite explosion, but it was like a split-second before it happened, so I’m not knocking it.
- Ben on Ilana, “The Island was done with her. Makes me wonder what will happen when it’s done with us.”
- What was the bag Hurley found before he appeared to change his mind on the dynamite plan? Was it the diamond bag, or is there some larger significance to it? Black and white rocks? Backgammon pieces?
- Miles brings up an interesting point – should Hurley really be doing what every dead person tells him to do?
- Locke apparently needs everyone who came together to leave together. Conveniently, his missing pieces walked into his camp. Now we’ll see some free will versus destiny business, right?
- Desmond tells alternate Ben that his son’s name is Charlie so fast that he has to be sharing consciousness with himself across realities, right?
- Locke is once again followed by a mystery boy in the woods. This one looked different to me than the one we saw before, but I’m sure the Internet will tell me if I’m wrong.
- Another “Son of a bitch!” by Sawyer for the YouTube compilation.