Monday, April 19, 2010

Lost 6.12: "Everybody Loves Hugo"

“Dead people are more reliable than alive people.”


Although I wouldn’t rank “Everybody Loves Hugo” among this season’s very best episodes, it certainly was entertaining. It contained a multitude of shocking twists and explosions. And some explosions that were also shocking twists. Surprises are one of the things I love best about watching an episode of “Lost” for the first time, and I’ve got to say for the past few weeks, I’ve been on a bit of a “Lost” high from Tuesday night right on through Wednesday. After an off and on start, the show is really firing on all cylinders coming in for the home stretch. It’s really a wonderful time to be a “Lost” fan. As is fairly obvious from the episode’s title, this was a Hurley-centric outing, and although I’ve never disliked Hurley episodes, they mostly (with one exception) aren’t among my favorites. This one worked for me more than most, probably because the events in “Happily Ever After” so raised the stakes for all the episodes that come after.

The episode opens in the sideways-verse where none other than everybody’s favorite creepy Dharma video narrator, Pierre Chang, is narrating a video about Hurley. The occasion is an awards gala in Hurley’s honor at a local paleontology museum. Hurley, who is quite the philanthropist in the sideways-verse, had given the museum a generous donation. At the end of the evening, it is revealed that Hurley’s date was his mom. Mama Reyes doesn’t really seem to care that her son is beloved around the world as a philanthropist. She pretty much just cares that he doesn’t have a girlfriend. She’s set him up on a blind date for the next day.

The blind date, however, doesn’t go so well. Hurley gets stood up. As he’s eating tortilla chips at Spanish Johnny’s, a woman approaches him. At first he thinks it’s his date, but it’s not. It’s Libby. Hurley is pretty stoked that a good looking woman is hitting on him, but of course there’s a catch. Libby starts talking about how they’re soulmates and when she saw his picture in a TV commercial for Mr. Cluck’s Chicken the other day, she just knew. She remembered him from somewhere. At that moment, Libby’s doctor comes over and takes her away from the table. Hurley sees her get into a Santa Rosa Mental Health Institution van.

Hurley’s depressed that the one woman who seemed interested in him turned out to be crazy, so he goes for a family size bucket of chicken at the nearest Mr. Clucks. Who should run into him there but one Desmond Hume! “Showing them something” seems to have turned Des into sideways-verse matchmaker, which amuses me greatly. Let’s face it, with the possible exception of “Jughead,” any episode where Des plays a significant part amuses me greatly- I’m quite biased on the subject. Anyway, while waiting for his own order, Desmond chats with Hurley and encourages Hurley to give Libby another chance and find out just why she thinks she knows him from somewhere.

Hurley takes Desmond’s advice and heads to Santa Rosa. After making a generous donation, he’s allowed to see Libby. Libby explains that when she saw that TV commercial, she suddenly flashed to a whole other life that she lived. One that involved an island and both she and Hurley being at Santa Rosa. Hurley thinks she’s most definitely crazy now, but that doesn’t stop him from asking her out. They end up having a picnic date on the beach, and it’s like the date that never was from late Season 2. Hurley remembered the blanket this time, thank goodness. The date is going well, and Hurley and Libby kiss. Atthat moment, his memories of Libby from the Island come flooding back. Libby isn’t crazy after all. A satisfied Desmond, who had been watching from afar in his car, drives off.

On the Island, Hurley kneels by Libby’s grave, wondering why Libby doesn’t talk to him like other dead people do. Ilana sees Hurley there and gives him a chance to deliver some exposition about what happened to Libby back in season 2, then Ilana heads off to the Black Rock to get some dynamite. She thinks it’s the best way to implement Richard’s “destroy the plane” plan. When he’s again alone, Hurley does indeed get a visit from a ghost, but not Libby. It’s Michael. You’d think Hurley would be kind of pissed to see Michael, since Michael killed Libby in the first place, but Hurley is cordial. Michael tells Hurley that using dynamite to blow up the plane is a mistake, and people are going to die because of it.

Although Michael’s a pretty shady character, I think he was on the right track with his advice to Hurley. Ilana is callously tossing water bottles into her bag of dynamite when the bag (and Ilana) suddenly explodes. The death was so sudden I thought I was watching a Joss Whedon show (not really a criticism). It was most definitely shocking. My only critique of it is that we never really got to know much about Ilana. It was almost like she was just a device to articulate some Island mythology, and there was nothing more to her. More a prop than an actual character. I would have enjoyed seeing what sort of relationship (platonic) she and Ben could have developed following their understanding in “Dr. Linus.”

Richard’s answer to this development is, kind of stupidly, “More dynamite!” He wants to go back to the Black Rock and replenish their supply. There are general protests all around, considering Ilana, you know, just died in the first attempt at implementing this plan, but Hurley, after searching Ilana’s tent and finding the bag of Jacob’s ashes, says they should go ahead and give it a try. When the group arrives at the Black Rock, Hurley is no longer with them. They then see him tearing through the jungle telling them to run. Soon enough, there’s explosion number two of the episode. Hurley set off all the dynamite in the Black Rock so there wouldn’t be any more to use on the plane. He claims Jacob told him to do it.

The group is rightfully skeptical of this, and it results in a split of Team Jacob. Richard takes Ben and Miles to the Barracks to get grenades and other explosives. Hurley’s got a new plan for everyone still left- they’re going to go try to talk to Locke. Jack tells Hurley that he knows Hurley wasn’t just speaking to Jacob, but considering how his most recent attempt to lead went (Juliet’s death), he’s going to try to sit back and let someone lead for a while. This is a level of self-awareness we don’t usually see in Jack, and I must say I was pleased by it. On their way to Camp Locke, the Whispers start up. Hurley’s not afraid this time. He thinks he knows what the Whispers are. He calls out to Michael, and Michal appears. And we’ve got another mystery answered to check off our list. The Whispers are the voices of the dead who have not been able to move on from the Island for one reason or another. For Michael, it’s because he still feels such guilt over what he did to Libby and Ana Lucia.

Meanwhile, over at Camp Locke, Sawyer and Kate are getting restless, especially when they see Locke just sitting there. Locke tells them there’s a difference between doing nothing and waiting, and just on cue, Sayid shows up. He takes Locke into the jungle and shows him where he’s got Desmond tied up. Locke seems both fascinated by and afraid of Desmond, which is definitely intriguing. My favorite bit of their exchange is when Locke asks Desmond how Desmond knew Widmore exposed him to electromagnetism. Desmond’s answer is a slightly smug “Experience.” That definitely made me chuckle.

Locke tells Sayid that he should go back to the camp- Locke and Desmond are going to take a little walk. Locke takes Desmond to a well, much like the well that we saw in the early Season 5 time traveling episodes. According to Locke, people who lived on the Island long ago built these wells because they were trying to figure out why their compasses were going all wonky. Desmond is wondering why the heck Locke thought this was important information for him to know. I saw what happens next coming from a mile away- when Desmond says he’s not afraid of Locke, Locke pushes him down the well. Overall, it seems to be a good day for Locke. Not only did he seemingly get rid of the wild card that is Desmond, Hurley shows up with his crew, giving Locke three more of the Candidates he needs to finally get off the Island.

Things aren’t so great for Locke over in the sideways-verse, though. Since leaving Hurley’s beachside date, Desmond has parked his car by the school where Ben, Arzt, and Locke work, and he’s watching Locke maneuver his wheelchair through the parking lot. Ben is a bit suspicious and confronts Des, who says that he’s just checking out area schools because he needs to choose one for his son. It made me smile when Ben asked Des for his son’s name, and Des instantly answered “Charlie.” Satisfied, Ben turns away. Desmond takes that opportunity to speed away from the school, running into Locke and throwing him over the windshield. Ben rushes towards the injured Locke, directing a student to call an ambulance. Locke is badly injured but still alive, and a close-up shot seems to show a look of recognition in his eyes. Both Sarah (of occasional guest blogging fame) and I cheered and laughed at that scene, I believe. It was just so sudden, and it’s so rare for Desmond to just take control like that. It also seemed fitting, considering what Locke just did to Desmond in the original timeline. I do believe that Desmond running over Locke will be one of the show’s iconic moments when all is said and done.

No comments:

Post a Comment