6.12 Everybody Loves Hugo
There’s often been an element of comedy to Hurley’s episodes. After all, the ‘unlikely millionaire’ setup is an inherently funny one as it is, and the opening of this episode adhered to that template. Increasingly, though, as Hurley gets a more prominent role in the Lost canon, he’s been getting weightier and weightier episodes, and it doesn’t get any weightier than this, his own version of my perpetually-referenced benchmark, The Constant, as he reunites with Libby, his once-and-future love interest.
It’s impossible to go any further in this review, though, without mentioning Ilana’s death. At first, I was annoyed that they seemed to have forgotten that the dynamite was supposed to be massively unstable. Then I was glad that it got mentioned, at least. Then I was even more glad that Ilana got to demonstrate it with the full Arzt treatment because, let’s face it, every time she was on screen it was just taking the focus off the cast members we actually cared about. Also, you can’t argue with comic timing that good.
Of course, Ilana’s death wasn’t totally senseless. We know that the island ‘isn’t done” with some of Lost‘s characters, and now we’ve seen what happens when it is done with you, whether you’re a sassy, gun-toting follower of Jacob or a several-hundred-year-old slave ship.
The message is clear: once you’ve fulfilled your purpose on the island, don’t book any holidays too far in advance. Any characters not on the list of candidates should probably start getting concerned about their chances of making it to their next birthday at this point.
And although this episode didn’t drop quite as much knowledge on us as Desmond’s, there was an undeniable glee to be had from the sheer, straight-talking of Hurley and Michael’s exchange regarding the whispers. Is it a satisfying explanation? That depends. But did they skirt around it? Did they drip-feed the truth? Hell, no. It might be the most direct answer Lost has ever given us, unless you’re still clinging to the notion that Hurley isn’t talking to anyone except his own subconscious, in which case I think you’re going to be very disappointed.
As for Hurley’s mental state, without the island’s effects on him, he seems to be doing quite well in the flash-sideways timeline. Shame for Desmond and Libby to go and spoil it, really. It’s interesting to note that characters who are dead in the original universe seem to have a better ability to perceive the ‘other’ timeline unaided, and as suspected, that more or less explains what Juliet was yammering on about just before she kicked the bucket back in episode 1 of this series.
As for Desmond, I have to admit that I find his new zen-state of acceptance a little irritating to watch, even if it was fun to watch Smoke-Locke be wrong-footed by his complete lack of fear. There’s absolutely no way that Desmond is gone for good. And even better, his plummet down the well suggests we might get one more chance to see the donkey wheel.
And if previous episodes this series have occasionally left me with feeling a little disappointed by the ending cliffhanger, this episode made up for it with two fantastic final scenes: Hurley, Jack and the rest turning up at Smoke-Locke’s camp, and Desmond’s Grand Theft Auto-ing of Sideways-Locke. I can’t wait to see what’s going on in both of those stories.
Presumably, Locke’s near-death experience will allow him to see the ‘other’ universe, but what will that mean? After all, his counterpart isn’t himself, it’s the Smoke Monster.
Overall, another fantastic episode. Regrettably, the Lost rule of quality states that the more good episodes you have in a row, the worse the inevitable bad one will be. And given who the episode is about, next week is either going to be really good or really, really bad. Let’s hope we’re pleasantly surprised.
Check out our review of episode 11 here.