…and it’s back.
My guess is that the producers and writers knew that after such a long time between episodes, viewers were looking forward to slipping into Lost like a warm bath after a long day at work. A Hurley-centric episode was the perfect way to ease viewers back into the show that time forgot. They basically fleshed out the storyline from the season finale and only hinted at the new elements that are bound to crop up in season 4.
The writers were also careful to give just about every major character an important scene. After the hue and cry about not getting to see the beach enough during the first part of season 3, I’m not surprised. What they didn’t do was put any sort of big WTF moment in the episode to throw viewers a curve-ball. Nope, last night was all batting practice pitches. After a long off season, it’s just as well.
And to be fair, the season did start with a bang! Nuthin’ says “Lost is back” like exploding fruit…
No, not this kind.
Just before we get into the recap proper, I think we need to take a quick look at ABC’s hiatus bridge, the 13 “mobisodes” that they teased out over the last little while. Most of them just barely rose to the level of filler, but one or two seemed somewhat significant. For those that missed the mobisodes (worst manufactured word, ever, by the way) they are available at ABC.com although for the most part only die hard fans need to spend the time downloading and viewing them. The one with Jack and Ben playing chess is about the most interesting, highlighting a power struggle played out metaphorically on the chess board.
(*Chess geek side note – It appears that Ben cheats by castling, despite the fact that his king is sitting on its own colour which means that it has moved at some point. This makes castling an illegal move, but since Jack’s king is also on its own coloured square I would bet that the prop guys simply don’t play chess and accidentally set up the board with the kings on their respective colours rather than the queens as is proper.)
The other really interesting mobisode involves Christian Sheppard and Vincent. I won’t spoil it for those that have yet to see it, but for those who have, it raises some very interesting possibilities and questions about the island that may have a direct impact on the season premier.
As for the episode, like I said earlier, it starts with a bang! A pile of lemons and limes (a reliable source says that it’s actually a pile of papayas – I’m Canadian! What do I know from papayas?) sits in front of a tranquil ocean. Why are the lemons and limes piled like that? Was someone gathering food? Perhaps a non-combustable version of a signal fire? Did Jack once again beat Sawyer at fruity poker? Party sized margarita?
Nope. They’re piled like that, in front of a painted ocean on the side of the fruit truck, so they can provide a colourful and loud target for a familiar vintage red Camaro to plow through at the front end of a high speed chase.
Mixing a little vodka and O.J. (was it really necessary to juxtapose O.J. and a televised car chase?) for what I can only assume to be his breakfast, Jack watches the high speed chase and seems irritated by it.
The chase ends with the Camaro plowing into what looks like a roadside mirror sale. At this point veteran Lost fans have already jumped online and started googling “mirrors, through the looking glass, Alice in Wonderland, etc…. ” but I think the setting for the crash was a bit subtler than that.
When the driver is ordered out of the car, the ever so slow reveal gives us…Hurley! Obviously, Jack’s reaction was prompted by his recognition of Hurley’s car. Once we see that it is Hurley we see why. It’s the same Camaro that Hugo and his dad were working on together when Hugo was a boy.
Get off Cheech’s ass, Jack.
Despite a bunch of guns and some pretty pissed off cops, Hurley runs! Again, this has to do with that subtle set up I mentioned.
Naturally the cops have little trouble running Hurley down and pinning him to a wall. As they cuff him he starts bellowing “I’m one of the Oceanic Six!” In the first three minutes of the episode, we have been given a pretty strong indication that six people got off the island. Since we know that Jack and Kate are alive and living in the present, and Hurley obviously is too, we are left with three mystery survivors, one of whom is likely the anonymous corpse that Jack visited in the season finale.
Oh, and that set up I mentioned? Behind Hurley there’s a sign for “MP3 Players”. I doubt it was accidental that they placed that right behind the guy who had the only CD player on the island. In 2004, MP3 players weren’t very common and Hurley’s Discman was just what a rich audiophile would have been carrying. Today, of course, MP3 players are the standard. It’s a minor point, but it drives home the fact that this is a future scenario, not a flashback. Well, that and the fact that Hurley is screaming at the top of his lungs that he’s one of the Oceanic Six.
Why, we oughtta drive you downtown in a hybrid using gps technology, you damned criminal in 2008!
Down at the station, Hurley is being interviewed by a detective. He wants to know what made Hurley bolt from a convenience store and lead ten squad cars on a high speed chase. The detective turns out to be Ana Lucia’s old partner from her squad car days. When the detective tells Hurley about the “funny coincidence” that he knew someone from Hurley’s apparently famous flight, Hurley lies that he never met her, an oddly out of character moment.
To give the big guy some time to watch the convenience store surveillance tape and perhaps jog his memory about what he was running from, the detective leaves Hurley alone for a moment. While he’s gone, Hurley sees the mirror in the interview room change to an underwater window and watches in horror as Charlie swims up and destroys it, allowing the water to flood into the room. Written on Charlie’s hand is “They need you.” Hurley pounds frantically on the door and the detective returns. Naturally there is no water.
My guess is he’s talking about Taco Bell. Stocks took a dive while our boy was away.
The detective threatens Hurley with a trip to the nut-house. Hurley is bizarrely pleased with the threat and gives one of his patented sweaty Hurley hugs to the cop for offering to send him to a mental hospital. My spidey-sense tells me that all is not well in Hurley-town.
Back on the island, Hurley is doing a little better than his future self. He’s got hold of Jack on the radio and the good Doctor tells him that they’ve got rescuers on the way.
The good Doctor has some problems on his end, but he doesn’t burden Hurley with the fact that Locke killed the woman who is responsible for bringing them rescue and that the (amazingly fit for someone who was shot in the chest only a few hours ago) bald guy has disappeared.
Rose comes across Sun and Claire talking about Sun having her baby back in civilization. Rose congratulates Claire on “her man”s heroism, telling her that Claire better treat him “real good” when she sees him. I don’t know what Rose’s definition of “real good” is, but judging by her reaction, I’m betting I’d really like whatever popped into Claire’s dirty little mind.
Still tied to his tree, Ben tries to convince Rousseau to take Alex as far from the group as possible, to protect her from whatever fate he thinks is in store for the survivors when the rescuers arrive. We would know what it is that he anticipates if only he hadn’t called Alex his daughter, which prompts Rousseau to interrupt him with an elbow.
Hurley is ecstatic. He’s actually so happy that he tells Bernard his lottery secret and how it was the worst thing that ever happened to him. He’s not just happy to be rescued, but he figures that since everyone thinks he’s dead, the money will be gone and his hard luck will be over. This merits celebration. A cannonball into the ocean is just what the doctor ordered. In slow motion, Hurley runs for the shore line. I think that it’s in slow motion because this is the last moment of happiness that good-time Hurley is going to have from now until the end of the series.
Or it’s a twisted homage to 10.
When he comes up for air, he sees Desmond returning to the beach in the outrigger canoe, but Charlie isn’t with him. The gang at the beach gathers around Desmond and starts peppering him with questions when he tells them that they have to stop Jack from contacting their would be rescuers. Sawyer calls Desmond “Scotty,” so I’m guessing that his no-nickname week is over…
The group doesn’t understand why they should mistrust the people on the freighter, but Hurley has a more pressing question.
That brings the conversation to a halt in a hurry as everyone realizes that Charlie has sacrificed himself for the group.
Back at the radio tower, the satellite phone rings. It’s George Menkowski, calling to get the tracking settings on the phone changed. When he asks to speak to Naomi, Jack smoothly lies that she’s gone to get firewood, but when he looks over to her body, he sees that the dead woman has indeed gone a walkin’.
On the beach, the gang is arguing the merits of using the walkie-talkie to contact Jack and warn him about the people on the freighter. Sayid is worried that their communications are being monitored, while Sawyer is more interested in getting the message to Jack quickly. An unusually decisive Hurley grabs the radio and flings it into the ocean. When Sawyer turns to challenge him, Hurley stares him down.
Jack rounds up Rousseau to follow Naomi into the jungle. While she’s collecting Ben, Jack and Kate share a tender moment of disagreement. Kate wants to follow a second trail that she found, assuming that Naomi left a dummy trail to throw them off. She gives Jack a long, lingering hug that raises Ben’s eyebrows as he watches.
And then Indian gaming came to the island.
Hurley rallies the group at the beach to saddle up and go find Jack to warn him. This is a very different Hurley than the one we’ve come to know over three seasons.
In the present, Hurley is playing Connect Four with a fellow patient at the mental health clinic when the nurse points out that he has a visitor. Sitting across the room, in front of a half played game of chess, sits Matthew Abaddon. He claims to be a lawyer for Oceanic Airlines. He offers Hurley an “upgrade” to a better facility than where Hurley is now, but when Hurley asks to see a business card, Abaddon is unable to produce one, raising Hurley’s suspicions. As he turns to leave, Abaddon asks Hurley “Are they still alive?” which sends Hurley into a panic.
(*Finally something to sidenote about sidenote: Abaddon. In Biblical poetry (Job 26:6; Proverbs 15:11), it usually represents a place of destruction, or the land of the dead. It can mean an underworld abode of lost souls, or Hell.)
(*Two sidenotes in one scene sidenote: Behind the two men there’s a chalkboard with a drawing of an island, water, a sail boat and what appears to be a shark. The shark seems to be jumping over the island or perhaps over the boat, but I wondered when I saw it if the writers or prop masters weren’t giving a little “we haven’t jumped the shark yet” nod to the audience.)
Night has fallen in the jungle and the group is heading for Jack by torchlight. Sawyer falls back to chat with Hurley. In an odd moment of compassion, Sawyer asks if the big guy wants to talk about Charlie’s death.
“We’ll probably get to Jack faster if we don’t talk.”
Sawyer offers to have the group slow down to let Hurley catch up, but Hurley doesn’t want any help keeping up. Is it just me or has someone medicated Sawyer?
I love you buddy. Let’s hold hands and then braid each other’s hair.
No sooner has Hurley claimed he can keep up than he falls behind far enough that his calls for the group aren’t heard. In fifteen or twenty seconds, the whole group is far enough ahead that they can’t hear him yelling. That is one soundproof jungle.
Panicking, Hurley tears off into the jungle, yelling for the group. Instead of the group, he finds Jacob’s cabin as the jungle comes alive with whispers. (Man, I missed the whispers!) In a flash of the Hurley of old, he sums up the situation nicely.
By torchlight, Danielle comes to the end of Naomi’s blood trail. It seems that Kate was right after all and despite having Rambo’s best flatware sticking out of her back, she managed to create a false trail to throw off pursuit. At last, Ben gets the last laugh after being dragged like a dog through the brush.
“Better call the boat. Tell them she’s getting a really big bundle of firewood.”
This makes Jack think of the phone, which is…gone. He asks Ben where the phone is and Ben gets another smug shot in when he tells him that he saw Kate take the phone when she hugged him.
Shouldn’t have bought an iPhone.
“She found the right trail too, but you wouldn’t listen to her, so I guess she’s taken matters into her own hands. But, look on the bright side. At least somebody around here knows what the hell they’re doing.”
Jack isn’t nearly as impressed with Ben’s statement as I was. Talk about hitting the nail squarely on the head.
In the jungle, Kate is following the real trail when the phone she lifted rings. As George starts to get more demanding about talking to Naomi, Kate hangs up on him. At the same time, she feels blood drip onto her arm and Naomi launches herself from the tree onto her, putting the knife to her throat. Kate manages to convince her that Locke acted alone and she gives George a line about a tree branch impaling her gut (which actually did happen and she healed amazingly quickly from) as she parachuted in. After resetting the tracking signal on the phone, she tells George to tell her sister that she loves her and then she dies. At least, she seems to die, but she’s died before so I am not counting her out just yet.
At the cabin, Hurley approaches with caution. Creepy music. A figure in the rocking chair. An eye at the window. Hurley’s gonna need some of those leaves he doesn’t use for eating.
Maybe she’s born with it...
Once again, he’s off at a run, only this time, despite running away from the cabin, he winds up with it right in front of him. He closes his eyes and repeats the same phrase while backing away.
“There’s nothing here.”
“There’s nothing here.”
“There’s nothing here.”
“There’s nothing here.”
On what would be the fifth repetition, he opens his eyes and the cabin is gone. His next backward step misses and he falls flat on his back with his eyes closed. When he opens them, what he sees startles him into yelling again, but it’s only Locke.
(*Psyched out side note: This repetitive mantra reminded me of Jack’s five seconds of fear speech from the first season, where he explains to Kate that when he was afraid he would let the fear have its way for five seconds and then banished it. Kate used it in a similar situation, which I think involved the smoke monster in season 3.)
The two men sit by the light of Locke’s torch and talk. Locke uses a phrase I don’t ever recall hearing during the show.
“You got yourself good and lost out here.”
I don’t think that the writers have ever had anyone else get “lost” during the show, even when Walt has wandered off or when characters have gotten turned around in the jungle. I have to wonder if it’s significant that they actually had a character use the word. Of course, it’s just a single word so I might have missed it being used once or twice in three seasons.
When they discuss Charlie and what his final message to their group might have meant, Locke clearly manipulates Hurley further to his side by invoking his dead friend’s last deed saying that if they can’t convince Jack that the impending “rescue” is a danger to the survivors then Charlie died for nothing.
Hurley and Locke find the group in the jungle, waiting by a large piece of the fuselage. When Sawyer asks where he’s been, Hurley too uses the “L” word. I still feel this is significant.
But I’m kind of a perv that way.
Sayid wants to know what Locke is doing rejoining the group. He wants to know why Locke destroyed the submarine, but before Locke can answer, the rest of the survivors show up and join the party.
Tearful reunions all around, but none for Claire as Hurley gives her the news about Charlie.
Cut to Hurley on the hospital grounds, sitting under a tree painting an Inuit figure in front of an igloo.
Yeah, that’s not a clue.
As he paints, another patient points out someone who’s staring at Hurley from across the lawn. When he looks to see who it is, he gets a serious shock.
It seems that Charlie was who Hurley saw in the convenience store “Over by the Ho-Ho’s” and that was what led to his whig-out on the freeway.
“I may be in a mental hospital, but I know you’re dead and I’m not having an imaginary conversation with you.
“I am dead. But I’m also here.”
“Okay, prove it.”
So Charlie slaps him.
The two men, one crazy, one dead, sit down to have a nice chat.
Hurley asks if Charlie knew he was going to die, which we know he did. Charlie tells him, yes, he knew and he didn’t tell Hurley to spare him “All the drama.” Then comes the interesting part.
“But now you have to do something. But you’re hiding from it. That’s the real reason you ran when you saw me in the store. You knew I was here to tell you…
“I’m not listening to this. No, ‘cuz you’re not here.”
“I am here. You’re being a baby.”
“I’m gonna close my eyes and count to five and when I open ‘em you’ll be gone.”
“I am here.”
“Don’t do this.”
“They need you.”
“They need you, Hugo.”
“You know they need you.”
And he’s gone. Another five count. No, that’s not a clue.
Vote for Hillary.
Back in the jungle, Claire wants to know how, but all Hurley can tell her is that Charlie died trying to help them.
At that moment, Rousseau and Ben emerge from the jungle. Locke looks around but doesn’t see Jack with them until the Doctor knocks him on his ass with a solid right. A brief struggle ensues and Jack comes up holding the gun. He points it at Locke’s head. Locke tries the old “You’re not going to shoot me, Jack,” on him, but amazingly, the Doc pulls the trigger!
Fortunately for Locke, the gun wasn’t loaded. That actually makes sense, considering he threw a knife at Naomi rather than shooting her. I suppose Locke went for the gun in hopes of holding Jack off with it, rather than using it on him, but we’ll never know.
Once the struggle is over and Jack is restrained, Locke has his moment to explain.
“All I did, all I have ever done has been in the best interests of all of us.”
Jack voices a perfectly reasonable question here.
“Are you insane?”
Really, that’s a fair question. He has blown up two chances of rescue and knifed one in the back. Dude’s a menace.
“All you ever did was blow up every chance we had of getting off this island. You killed Naomi…”
“Well, technically, he didn’t kill her…yet,” comes Ben’s voice from the darkness.
As Kate emerges from the jungle, she informs the group that Naomi has actually died (I’m still not giving up on her. It’s just a knife wound. Locke was shot in the chest for cryin’ out loud.) but didn’t rat John out to her people.
Locke’s not impressed though. He figures that she wanted “rescuers” to get to the island for whatever reason and he figures that they’re dangerous enough to avoid at all costs. He plans to go to the abandoned barracks where the Others were living when they first met them and he wants to take anyone who wants to live with him.
Hurley speaks up for Locke. He figures that Charile’s sacrifice should be honoured and that they should listen to his last words and not trust Naomi’s people. Locke’s manipulation works flawlessly, although to be fair, Hurley was already pretty much convinced to begin with. Hurley’s words move several of the group to go with Locke, including Ben who asks Jack’s permission to follow John away from the would be rescuers, taking Rousseau, Alex and her boyfriend Karl with him. Bernard worries about Rose leaving the island and having her illness return, so he suggests that if it’s her choice, he will follow her to the barracks.
“I’m not going anywhere with that man.” I guess seeing Locke put a knife in someone’s back overrides the sense of shared destiny that she felt when the island healed them both. Can’t say I can blame her.
Even Sawyer is convinced, but Sawyer is the man most likely to save his own skin, so that’s not a big surprise either.
Connect the sunspots for a hidden clue.
As the group gets ready to separate, it starts to rain. Veteran Lost fans will recognize that with the rain (or the Vincent) comes the bad things. Nothing good ever happens in the rain on Lost.
At the hospital, Jack drops in to see Hurley and the two men start a game of HORSE.
Hurley makes his first shot as they talk about Jack returning to surgical practice.
Jack misses. That’s “H”. “H” happens to be the 8th letter of the alphabet.
Hurley makes his next shot as they talk about Jack having to sign autographs when he goes out for coffee. Apparently being one of the Oceanic Six has some celebrity to it after all. Jack’s thinking about growing a beard. Everyone watching knows that’s not a good idea.
Even Hurley recognizes the ugly that will be a Jack beard. Jack misses his shot.
“You’d look weird with a beard, dude. That’s ‘HO’.” “O” happens to be the 15th letter of the alphabet. Could it be? The ever so season two numbers?
At this point, Hurley asks what Jack is really doing checking on him. Hurley wonders if Jack is there to see if Hurley was going to tell. Of course, he doesn’t elaborate. This is Lost! We don’t elaborate around here.
As Jack leaves, Hurley calls out that he’s sorry that he went with Locke instead of Jack. Jack doesn’t seem too worried about that. He does seem worried when Hurley says “I don’t think we did the right thing, Jack. I think it wants us to come back. It’s going to do everything it can…”
“We’re never going back!”
“Never say never, dude.”
Back on the island, in the evil, evil rain, Jack and Kate are talking about Charlie when they hear the helicopter overhead. It drops a parachute and the two survivors run to meet it.
It’s a man. “Are you Jack?.”
No one told me how handsome you were.