NOVEMBER 11, 2010
AIRED: APRIL 5, 2006
Holy shit! Libby was in the institution with Hurley! Surely it will be one of the coolest episodes when we discover - what's that? She dies two episodes later and they never really explain this throwaway detail? Oh. Well, otherwise, "Dave" is a pretty good episode; it doesn't keep up the "revealing" pace of the previous episode, but has some of that (Ben's reveal that "the guy in the beard" isn't in charge, for example) and a good character story to boot.
Plus it has a good twist. Since we've grown accustomed to seeing people on the island that aren't really there (Christian, Walt) it's entirely plausible that Hurley would be seeing his old pal Dave there as well, especially since he's obviously the craziest person on the island in a clinical sense. But the fact that Dave was never there PERIOD was a pretty good "Whoa" moment, especially when they actually get around the whole "if you paid attention you'd realize they never talk to anyone else" problem by having Hurley's doctor (Bruce Davison!) "talk" to him in order to prove his point later. Nice move.
And who didn't cheer when Hurley went apeshit and tackled Sawyer, repeating all of his unflattering nicknames as he smacked him around (with Sawyer seemingly never getting in a punch of his own). Not only is it a great moment for anyone who was ever picked on, but it's just a hilarious scene all around. I particularly love Jin just standing there laughing and letting Hurley have his way, before almost begrudgingly pulling him off (seemingly just to appease Sun, who wasn't as amused for some reason). Again, any combination of Sawyer, Charlie, Jin, and Hurley is automatically gold, and the more the merrier (which is why the one where the four of them find the van is probably one of my 5 favorite episodes).
I also like that they were potentially explaining the entire show, or merely canceling out a popular theory, depending on how you look at it. Dave's explanation that it's all in Hurley's head totally makes sense (it also fully introduces the show's tendency to make fun of itself), and you can't help but wonder if that was always a "back of the mind" idea to use if the show suddenly lost popularity and had to be canceled abruptly.
One nitpick - Hurley wasting a ton of food doesn't make a lot of sense. I get that it was slightly cathartic for him, but wouldn't it make more sense AND help him psychologically to give it to the others? Ranch dressing is one thing, but throwing away a lot of crackers and other basic foods when you're stranded on an island with no rescue in sight doesn't seem right. Dick move, Hurley.
Back to the Libby thing, they had to have known by now that she was on her way out, so why did they throw this detail in? Obviously it couldn't really be explained in another Hurley-centric episode, or else he would have recognized her. I guess it worked as a nice sleight of hand maneuver to help shock us with her death later, but it's still a real sore spot for me. Apparently on one of their podcasts Darlton explained that her husband had died and she had a nervous breakdown, which is why she was there (or maybe this was explained when she met Desmond, I forget), but they made such a big deal out of it (note it's one of very few episodes to end on a flashback) that it seemed like there would be more to it than that.
Libby wouldn't be the only go-nowhere plot element in this episode: we also get more of the church that Eko and Charlie were building. As I re-watch these, I realize that the tailies ultimately served no purpose beyond helping Bernard and Rose reunite, since he's the only one that was still alive by the halfway point of Season 3. Guess Sam Anderson is a good driver.
Where are we?