JANUARY 30, 2011
AIRED: APRIL 13, 2010
One of the final (maybe even THE) final traditional “centric” episodes of Lost, “Everybody Loves Hugo” is also one of the more depressing ones to re-watch once you know (spoiler – I forget if I need to point that out) that none of the flash sideways stuff ever actually happened. The opening scene depicts Hugo Reyes as an extraordinarily generous man, opening schools and hospitals and related facilities and generally being an enormous benefit to society and possibly the world. And none of it’s true. Hugo’s just a rich dude who likes chicken.
But he’s also (again, spoiler) the future protector of the island, and again we see him really stepping up in this episode, dictating their next moves and even getting Jack to open up about his failures as a leader. I mentioned before that the first time Hurley got involved with this sort of stuff it felt awkward, and it still kind of does – he spent so much of the series just being a comic relief sort of “B” character, it’s a bit odd to see him barking orders and such. Some have suggested that by making Hurley the protector, it was the writers’ way of saying that the show now completely belongs to us (as Hurley was often our voicebox, saying aloud the things that the writers got in fan feedback), and perhaps that’s true, but if it was part of their plan all along I think they were afraid of tipping their hat too early or something, because his stepped up role really does come abruptly.
Luckily, it’s Hurley, who everyone loves, and thus it’s OK. If Claire had suddenly become the leader, it would be atrocious – she’s a dull, largely pointless character. But Hurley? We can get behind that. His goodwill even extends to those he has to share scenes with; if anyone else had delivered the “I feel like we’re on the date we never had” line besides Libby, I think folks would be throwing their remotes through their TV screens. But you feel for the big lug, and so it’s easier to let such glaringly on-the-nose writing pass. To be fair, there are some good lines in this one – I particularly like “How do you break the ice with a smoke monster?”, as well as his description of the way ghosts communicate with him (“the people who come back and yell at me after they die”).
One thing I noticed – Flash Sideways Hurley doesn’t seem to care about the numbers as much. Not only did he never mention the “coincidence” of it being flight 815, or baggage carousel 4, or Desmond’s chicken number being 42, these things didn’t even seem to register on him. I guess he was just as sick of them forcing them down our throats all the time too.
And I like that this episode opens up the idea of Desmond being some sort of puppet master for them to all get back together. He goes into a greasy chicken place while dressed in a nice suit just to convince Hurley to find Libby, and then he apparently follows them to make sure their date occurs. And from there he drives to a school and runs over Locke (AWESOME scene by the way), because he knows somehow that it will bring him together with Jack. Good way to make up for basically leaving the guy out of the show for the past season and a half.
I had forgotten about Ilana’s Arzt-like death in this one. Again I’m not sure if this was an actor availability thing or what, because two episodes prior they had introduced the idea that she was badly injured at some point – why bother working that in if they planned to kill her off two episodes later? But it’s a good shock death all the same, raising the stakes a little and evening the sides out a bit (Ilana was pretty much the only badass on Team Jacob; Team MIB boasts Sayid, Sawyer, (possibly) Kate, axe-wielding Claire, and the goddamn smoke monster). Also, I don’t think I’ve mentioned it – Zuleikha Robinson is quite lovely to look at, particularly her stunning eyes. Someone get her on another show.
Five episodes to go! So many deaths and afterlife reunions that would have made me cry the first time around if I knew what the hell was going on...
Where are we?