Lost – ‘Everybody Loves Hugo’ – 6.12

Is it just me or are these weeks flying by with reckless abandon.

Seriously, with the 3-hour series finale looming on May 23rd, we’re only 4 episodes away removed from ‘The End’. And it seems like it’s only just begun.

I think a lot of this may have to do with the scheduling. For the first few seasons, Lost ran on Wednesdays. It made for a nice Hump Day spell – you looked forward to it all week, and when the hour was up, the weekend didn’t look that far away. Then they moved the show to Thursdays and the wait between episodes seemed interminable.

Tuesday seems to be the best spot. We get an episode and then get busy with the rest of our week. The weekend of course flies in and out in a hurry and once we’ve turned the page on that Manic Monday, we’re reminded ‘Previously on Lost’ and then it’s straight down the rabbit hole again. That being said, this seems like the swiftest moving season thus far. It’s gonna’ be a shame when it’s all done but at the same time, Fringe seems to be picking up the baton nicely, so at least I’ll have that obsession to chew on next season.

All right – enough about that. Let’s get Lost.

1.   One of the interesting aspects to this season has been the “mirror world” approach. While we’ve seen it in the alternative-sideways universe (of which I’ll spend a good chunk of parchment detailing below), this approach has also bled out to the episode titles as well. In particular, the writers have been paying homage to the first season and applying little wrinkles to familiar sights seen way back when this show was young. Hence, Season 1’s ‘What Kate Did’ became this season’s ‘What Kate Does’. The trend continues with the first season’s ‘Everybody Hates Hugo’ flipped on its head in favor of ‘Everybody Loves Hugo’.

2.   And that’s where we find ourselves in the opening moments – as Miles’ museum curator Daddy, Dr. Pierre Chang, provides a glowing retrospective of the Man of the Year, Hugo Reyes – an award backed by a glowing recap of everything that has gone right in Hugo’s world and the good will this philanthropist has generated throughout the world. An extension of good tidings that flies completely contrary to the tide of bad luck that the original Hugo felt dogged his every step like that nagging Hurley Bird that called out his name in the first season finale.

3.   And with alterna-Hurley’s positive spin on life, once again we find more conclusive proof that this alternative world may in fact be a “wish fulfillment’ extension of the true timeline that we followed from the beginning. More and more, these sideways jaunts appear to be the result of gifts granted to the castaways as part of a reboot. My personal belief is that this extension of the timeline came from the Man in Black making it off the island and recasting everyone in different variations of how their lives should have played out. They are none-the-wiser to his victory, or at least, they weren’t until Desmond woke up.

4.   This is what I touched on last week in Desmond’s episode. Think of The Matrix. Like Neo, Desmond has now had his eyes opened to a cruel deception. He and the other castaways are all living seemingly decent lives – recast towards a better end – and oblivious to their stay on the island. But – in that episode – the island Desmond was once again sent spiraling through time and space – and booted into his alternative consciousness where he influenced the other Desmond and allowed him to peek into the life he formerly had. One where he found Penny, loved her, lost her, got stranded on an island, pushed a button for 3 years straight, was reunited, was shot, was returned to the island – only to be sent on that journey. Personally, I believe both timelines are variations of each other. Everything we’ve seen since the first season, with the plane crashing and all of the deaths, etc – really happened. As did this alternative timeline stuff. I feel that the alternative timeline is the result of MiB winning. And I believe that Desmond now believes he can somehow tie the two timelines together – to keep the positive ‘happy endings’ he spied in ‘Happily Ever After’ while also making sure that MiB’s reboot works yet making sure MiB is killed in the process. Essentially, a compromise of the two timelines. Hence, his mission to show the alternative timeline castaways their ‘former lives’. More to come on that below.

5.   So, this alternative Hurley comes face-to-face with the newly enlightened Desmond who gives him the little push needed to see the light. A couple weeks back, I talked about how I thought Jack was being groomed as the new ‘Jacob’ and I still believe that. That being said, I was struck by how Desmond’s approach in this alternate timeline mimics Jacob’s MO. Think back to last season’s finale – as Jacob made the rounds at various points in each core castaways’ life and placed his touch on them – marking them for passage to the island. In a way, Desmond is on a similar journey. Instead of coming right out and telling them what he knows (which would sound nuts) – he’s pushing them towards this awakening. And his first mark is made with Hurley – whom he sends on a delayed date with Destiny.

6.   That date is the one Michael so rudely interrupted when he capped Ana-Lucia and Libby in the Hatch to buy Ben’s freedom way back in Season 2. Libby had been on a run to find blankets for their picnic, when Michael blew it. But, as we’ve seen all season long, this alternative world has a way of making the impossible; real. And it’s here, that Libby is alive – albeit still enrolled in the Santa Rosa Mental Health Hospital – the same facility where she first locked eyes on Hurley, way back when. Also, the same hospital where a Connect-4 playing nut job first implanted those cursed numbers in Hurley’s consciousness.

7.   And while this happy-go-lucky Hurley has never been in this hospital (to the best of his knowledge), Libby is already vexed by visions of the other side, seeing through this time to a previous time, where Hurley was a resident there. And as we learned last week, the key to breaking these bonds is “true love”. Charlie talked about seeing his beloved in the last moments of his life on Oceanic Flight 815 – a death that was then delayed by the crusading Dr. Shepherd. Desmond, of course, was touched by Penny and immediately “got it”. And as Hurley shared a long-awaited kiss, he suddenly saw it all. A love cruelly ripped from him and a life he had indeed lived before he, and the others, had the curtain pulled over their eyes.

8.   Which is why I believe MiB is behind all of this. It’s simplistic to say but it makes sense. If he is pure evil incarnate then it makes symbolic sense that true love would reveal the chink in the armor – the great weakness. And in the last two weeks, expressions of true love have rendered the walls between alternate timelines thin and transparent. And malleable? Love will conquer all.

9.   Back to the island, there were some major revelations and questions answered. For starters – the whispers. Way back, when the series first began, all sorts of crazy theories popped up about the true nature of the island. Many people thought the survivors were all dead and this was purgatory – an idea that the writers tipped their cap to a few weeks back in the Richard Alpert episode. Well, they are not all dead but the dead do walk the place, and in a way, some of these souls are kept from leaving the island – held captive by the ever-escalating war between Jacob and MiB. And with the reappearance of Michael, who joins a long, sad litany of people who have died in service of the island’s whims – we learn the whispers are the restless rustling of those souls who can’t seem to break on through to the other side.

10.   Michael appears to be paying penance for his past misdeeds. As we saw when he returned a couple seasons back. the island isn’t done with him yet. It wouldn’t let him kill himself off island – as there was still work to be done – only to have him blown sky high aboard the freighter as a sacrifice to save his fellow survivors. And even in death, he is not free – being sent on another errand to warn Hurley off of the doomsday plot to blow up the plane. Now, it remains to be seen if Hurley is being manipulated by MiB, who we know just loves walking around as the living dead.

11.   Despite Hurley’s warning, Iliana goes the way of Dr. Arzt and blows herself to smithereens. (I’ve always wanted to write that). Ben, of course, intuits it perfectly – she had completed her mission, meaning the island was done with her – thus removing her form the tale. And again, it casts the true nature of the island – and Jacob – in a darkened light. Here was a woman who we have seen had a pretty torturous life. She was brought back to life by Jacob to serve him. And for her devotion and servitude, she gets blown sky high. Makes you wonder.

12.   This leads Hurley on another desperate search-and-destroy mission. In Season 1, he wanted nothing to do with the Hatch – am edifice that he felt was responsible for all the bad things in his life. His curse. And now, with Michael’s marching orders, he aims to dash the Black Rock (and its never-ending supply of dynamite) in order to prevent a catastrophic attack on the Ajira Airlines plane parked on Hydra Island. At the very least, we’re assured nobody else will accidentally blow themselves up over the remaining few episodes. OSHA would have a field day on this island.

13.   In an episode brimming with mirror image variants on prior themes and scenes, we come to yet another – with Locke brought to meet “The Package” – Desmond. Locke is intrigued by Desmond’s appearance and even more so by his complete willingness to spill every detail that Charles Widemore provided him. Of course, like Sayid, Desmond says he doesn’t have fear – although he is not the mindless zombie that Sayid has become. This Desmond now feels he has a purpose and has embraced his destiny – knowing full well how special he truly is. Which calls to mind John Locke’s complete willingness to buy into his belief that the island, and Jacob, had chosen him.

14.   It’s that belief that prompted a jealous Ben to show Locke a pit full of bodies (the remnants of the DHARMA Initiative) before leveling John with a gutt-shot and tossing him in the pit. And in this episode, the wonder ball goes round and round, with John Locke (aka MiB) showing Desmond yet another island secret, before tossing him in a “pit” – or down a well.

15.   A well that once upon a time vexed many an islander with its tendency to play havoc with instrumentation – signs of a massive electromagnetic pocket. Now, knowing what MiB Locke now knows, did he toss Desmond into that well to kill him or because he feels it will have a beneficial effect on his plans?

16.   The jury is out on that but the act may have colored the final scene – where we now find Desmond parked outside Locke’s school. After fending off Ben’s inquisition, Desmond takes aim at Locke and runs the helpless man down in the street. While Locke has a long, sad life brimming with these cruel twists of fate, this has all the earmarks of a targeted assassination. Desmond may be aiming to show his fellow survivors the other side, but I’m not sure that was his intent here. It’s not like we saw him presiding over the marriage of John and Helen and ushering in another example of true love. Instead, this makes me think that Desmond has returned to this body with some new memories – memories of an evil Locke tossing him down a well – and now has a new wrinkle on time. Not only must he show the survivors the light, he also needs to eradicate the darkness in order to set things right. And I believe, that he believes, MiB does indeed succeed and continues to reside in the off-island frail body of John Locke. The ultimate Twilight Zone ending. MiB makes it off of his island prison – creates this alternate timeline – yet he himself remains imprisoned in John Locke’s frail body. But not for long. Not if Desmond has anything to say about it.

That’s all for this week. See you next week for Episode 6.13, ‘The Last Recruit’. 

[tv 4.5]

Comments now closed (18)

  • Poor Ilana 🙁 Artz had that coming, but I think she deserved better.

    That and Desmond running down Locke were pretty good surprises. The Michael revelation that he is stuck there, in combination with Richard’s wife appearing, makes you think that the island is Limbo. Particularly since she didn’t die on/near the island like Michael did. I know that has long been posited that was what the island was, but this nudges it more in that direction. For my money, I don’t think that is exactly it though.

    You didn’t address the teaser for next week, but the suggestions there that Locke survives, yet again, and that Sayid goes to the well and shoots Desmond have me anticipating next week more than any episode so far this year. I agree that Desmond and Sayid share something in the way they are acting. Seems like they want you to think Sayid is becoming MiB and Desmond is becoming Jacob, or something like that. It isn’t that simple. I still think Jack is the new Jacob, but maybe it will be Sayid, and not Sawyer, as the new MiB.

    That said, I am thinking too much on this stuff and that isn’t what I want to do anymore. Pretty much why I haven’t commented here lately. I am just waiting for it to end and see what they have for us. I no longer have the desire to try and figure it out because, as great as it might be, I don’t think it will be what I want. And, what I want, I don’t know.

  • Sean, I agree that next weeks episode looks great. I can’t wait for that. Also, I agree that poor IIana gets blown up out of the blue although you could see it coming as she was warned it was unstable and she was jamming water into the bag she had it stored in. I must admit though, I know she was there to protect them, but other than getting them into the temple and then right back out when smokey showed, I am not sure what she actually did to protect them? She got there too late with body of Locke to prove that MIB was using his likeness. Then after Locke left the foot of the statue, when Richard really saved everyone by telling not shoot him, she just led them to the temple and then to beach. I think they would have went to the beach anyway like Jack and Hurley did.

    Ed, I agree that it was interesting how Desmond gently pushed Hurley where he needed to go in the way that Jacob has done in the past. You can see where the two worlds are starting to meld together more and more. No coincidence that Desmond runs Locke over after he gets pushed into the well on the Island. Which is funny as he Desmond has started pushing people toward their true love, by hitting Locke and trying to kill him, he is pushing him away from his true love of Helen. As you said he must have gained that recent memory of MIB Locke.

  • I think Desmond was aiming to give Locke flashes or another life via a brush with death – the point of mowing him over. The shot of Locke’s face as he was lying on the road was very Walkabout-esque when he wakes up after the plane crash, so I’m leaning that way… But what will sideways Locke think of his island self? Will he have MiB memories too?

  • Emily – I would normally agree with that thought but mowing down a guy in a wheelchair is a pretty good way to kill him. (Believe me – I know. Kidding!!!)

    There’s no guarantee he’d make it out of that alive. If he wanted to get him to the brink of death, just to show him something, he could have suffocated him or almost drowned him or something like that. Mowing him down is just too risky. So – I take it as a targeted assassination.

  • Chris – Ben said that Iliana essentially gave them their mission – or got them from Point A to Point B. I think by losing her security team to Smokey she was pretty much useless in terms of protection at that point. I take that as Jacob underestimating MiBs power as all of those he sent to the island to protect his candidates died pretty quickly.

  • @Sean – I assume Locke survives and perhaps we see the ‘connection’ between him and MiB off island. We’ll see.

  • soooooooooooo good!

    and i literally got chills when libby kissed hurley and he had the flashbacks. i was so happy he remembered!

    i don’t think jack is going to be the new jacob. it’s too obvious. and by the look on jack’s face when he met MiB Locke last night at the end of the episode, i bet he is thinking that he made a HUGE mistake by letting go! or maybe we’re all wrong, and MiB isn’t the bad guy, and jacob is????

    des getting tossed into the well – just mean! and sayid – gah! i hate this new sayid! get me the old one back! i’m hoping that b/c of the electromagnetism of the well when sayid tries to shoot him, the bullet won’t go where it’s meant to go, and des will be saved. and is widemore going to look for desmond?? would he risk facing MiB to get des back??

    the preview for next week was great – creepy w/ the charlie and the chocolate factory song – but good! we watched it again in slow-mo b/c we were too distracted by the song the first time we saw it! what’s up with creepy claire? and why am i saying creepy so much??

    oooh, this is GOOOOD!

  • I should be working…

    I have a different idea about the motive to mow down Locke. Recall that Jacob waited expectantly for Locke’s free-fall out the window, implying that he allowed Locke’s initial paralyzing injury to occur so as to further nudge Locke toward the island in the first place. “I’m sorry this happened to you….”

    Recall, too, that Locke now has a fine relationship with his father in the mirror world. However he became paralyzed in this world, one has to think it wasn’t by way of base-jumping without a chute. Is Locke’s latest injury the event that will alter his life? Helen hopes for a miracle cure for his paralysis – Locke believes no miracle is coming. Will he begin to have hope? Or is Desmond simply providing the “nudge” Locke needs to “see it all” as well – a life on the back, helpless and downtrodden. Granted, Locke’s nudge is a bit more harsh than the other’s.

  • @Tim (and thus, Emily as well) – That’s a good point. Perhaps this is the way to “push” Locke to that meeting with Jack Shepherd, Miracle Working Spinal Surgeon M.D. (That and the Sawyer-Miles buddy cop show will probably find their way on ABC’s sched next season).

  • Sarah, good call on the song from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. That has always been a creepy song and it was perfect for the clips. BTW why remake that movie. That along with Nightmare on Elm Street.. Why… Does anyone in Hollywood have any orginality left or will everything that comes out be remakes of movies and TV shows made in the past 40 years and old 70’s TV shows (hello Hawaii 5-0) When is the Punky Brewster remake coming?

  • Chris, I’m writing the Punky Brewster movie just as soon as I get finished with my loose-adaptation of a classic board game – with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck as buddy cops, Carl Chutes & Horatio Ladders.

  • If the alternate timeline was granted by MiB, is there supposed to be evil all over the world if MiB made it off island?

    Very nicely done- the gentle push Desmond gave Hurley but if you think about it, what’s next? And the gentle touches are difficult. He’s got a tough road ahead of him.

    I buy the seemingly immediate decision to have to kill Locke but in this way? It’s not very sure at all, and if he plans to continue his mission, pretty silly to run someone down at a school. The guys’s going to get caught.
    Tania’s theory on Desmond hitting Locke, it will reunite him with Jack, and somehow, their meeting, or touch, will cause something positive as well. I like that theory.

    Agreed on the surprises with Iliana blowing up and Locke getting run down. I was shocked when she blew up but was ok with it.

    With your theory, the final statement you said, will killing Locke eliminate MiB on alterna-timeline?

    @Sean- nice to have you commenting. I think Sayid is toast, but I think Desmond is just completely fearless, and convinced with hope that all will be well. Causing confidence…although not to confident as he fell down the well..

    With next week’s scene, just a thought to not get your hopes up, it doesn’t always seem like the scenes are all for next week’s episode but even for some to follow.

  • oops, sorry, didn’t see the Locke meeting miracle spine guy Jack theory already posted.

  • I still think that running down a guy in a wheel chair at top speed just to get the guy to a spinal surgeon is VERY RISKY. That’s a good way to kill a man. I’m sticking with my theory – he was aiming to kill Locke.

    I agree with Carlos that its unlikely all of those scenes will pop up next week. The marketing weasels are just cramming as much in those ads, including that creepy-ass Wonka song – to keep us all watching. As if we wouldn’t.

  • So my moment of Jaw-dropping goodness was the brief shining exchange between Jack and Hurley where he finally “gets it”! I’ve always Jack and in his need to always solve/save everything, he became his own worst enemy. Seriously I was so fricken happy to see hit that moment of zen. 🙂

  • Marika – You nailed it. Finally, Jack realizes he doesn’t (or can’t) fix everything!!!

    And Happy Birthday!!!