Monday, April 12, 2010

Lost - "Everybody Loves Hugo"

Episode Title: “Everybody Loves Hugo”


Brian’s Deeper Meaning Guess: Earlier this season, we had “What Kate Does”, an episode title that paid homage to the Season Two episode “What Kate Did”. This week, the writers are back to similar hijinx with “Everybody Loves Hugo”, an obvious reference to the Season Two episode “Everybody Hates Hugo”.


For those who don’t remember the specifics of that episode (read: me, before I want back and read the Lostpedia entry on it), this was the episode where Hurley was put in charge of the food stash inside the Swan Hatch, and people were mad at him for not sharing it / keeping it secret. The flashbacks featured Hurley quitting his job at Mr. Cluck’s right before being revealed as the big lottery winner. The episode ended with Hurley throwing a big feast on the Island where everyone ate all the food from the Swan – and in fact, everyone did love Hugo at the end of the episode for it.


In the Flash Sideways of this season, it doesn’t seem like Hurley has much to worry about. He’s rich, he’s well-known, and seems to be a pretty nice guy (see: his conversation with Arzt on Oceanic 815, offering to hook Locke up with a job, telling Desmond where his bags would be). I’m sure in the Flash Sideways, “everybody loves Hugo”. Keeping in line with most the Flash Sideways for our previous characters, this appears to offer more ammunition to my latest theory that the Flash Sideways are Anti-Jacob’s attempts to trick our Survivors into thinking this happy life is the one they should be living, rather than having them interfering with the real action On-Island. Yet just like Desmond being well-liked by Widmore, but not having Penny, I think Anti-Jacob missed the same ingredient for Hurley’s “perfect” life… and that is love.


Granted, it’s not like Hurley has some profound, space-time-conquering love like Desmond that he’s missing out on. Over the course of the first five seasons, the closest thing Hurley ever had to a lady friend was Libby – and that relationship lasted exactly two weeks on the Island before Michael shot and killed her. The two never even really went on a date together. But it still seems like the title will be a little bit bittersweet. Everybody “loves” Hugo – but no one person is actually “in love” with him. Hurley needs a little lovin’ too!


What about on the Island? I’m guessing the episode title will take more of an ironic twist – but we’re getting ahead of ourselves. First the Guest Stars!


Guest Stars: Henry Ian Cusick as Desmond, Harold Perrineau as Michael, Cynthia Watros as Libby, Francois Chau as Pierre Chang, Lillian Hurst as Carmen Reyes, Bruce Davison as Dr. Douglas Brooks, Kenton Duty as teenage boy, Samm Levine as clerk, Jesse Smith as waiter and Archie Ahuna as Tito.


Guest Star Breakdown: Speak of the devil… and by “the devil”, I mean the return of two more dead characters this week! Last week brought us the return of Charlie and Faraday in the Flash Sideways, both with knowledge that things weren’t “right” in that reality. This week brings us the return of Michael and Libby – although given that Hurley can see dead people on the Island, the odds are just as likely that the two characters appear in Reality #1 as Reality #2. Either way, their appearances should have some substance behind them. On the Island, they could help “guide” Hurley similar to his visions of Charlie in the mental institution. Off the Island, they could provide two more characters who know that the Flash Sideways aren’t “real”.

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The important thing is – just like Charlie and Faraday to Desmond, both characters have a lot of history with Hurley. If it weren’t for Michael, Hurley and Libby might have had a nice little romance on the Island. So regardless of if the action takes place in Reality #1 or Reality #2, everything these two characters say and do should make an impact on Hurley.


On the other hand (pun intended), Pierre Chang’s could very easily be a throwaway guest appearance in the Flash Sideways. Based on Miles’ comments a few weeks back, he seems to be working at the museum in LA X along with Charlotte. Initially I was also thinking that he might be another example of a dead character speaking “the truth” Off-Island… when I realized that we really don’t know what happened to Pierre Chang in Reality #1. When we last saw him, he was fleeing the Incident, albeit one hand short. But what happened to him from there? Did he die in the Purge? Did he leave the Island? Miles’ mother claims that he had been dead for a long time in “Some Like It Hoth”, but if Pierre stayed on the Island, how would she know? Chang is an example of one of those dangling storylines I never thought about – and maybe isn’t all that important, but it would be nice to find out what happened to him after the Jughead. He’s one of the few characters within Dharma that we, as the audience, bonded with over the years. I think he’s deserving of a happy ending – or at least some ending.


Episode Description: Hurley agonizes over what the group should do next, and Locke is curious about the new arrival to his camp.


Episode Breakdown: We already established that “everybody loves Hugo” in the Flash Sideways – but I’m guessing his newfound leadership role on the Island is going to lead to some people hating him in Reality #1. Think about it – to resolve the situation with the food in the episode “Everybody Hates Hugo”, his solution was to give it to everyone, effectively removing himself from a position of power on the Island. Hurley’s not comfortable being the leader – he’d much rather be the follower, doing his own thing and being damn happy in doing it. But now that he is the only person who can communicate with Jacob on the Island, he’s been forced into a leadership role, and it’s one that he has slowly been growing into it. He’s slowly learning to stand up to other traditional leaders on the Island (Jack) and doing what he knows he must do, regardless of if it makes him popular or not.


So it’s not surprising that Hurley will be “agonizing over what the group should do next”, as I’m guessing the instructions that Jacob provides him are going to be unpopular ones amongst Team Jacob. When we last left Team Jacob, they were planning on traveling to Hydra Island to destroy the Ajira 316 plane in an effort to stop SmokeLocke’s plans for escape – so it would reason that Hurley’s decision this episode will revolve around this plan. My initial thought is that Jacob reveals to Hurley that someone will die in carrying out this mission (finally giving us the other side to Juliet shooting the back Outrigger storyline, perhaps?) and Hurley is debating whether or not to try and save that person or not – but it could be anything along those lines. Hurley’s going to need to decide if it’s more important to carry out the mission or keep his friends out of danger. Being a leader isn’t always easy.

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Meanwhile, over at Team SmokeLocke, there’s a new member of his camp – Desmond. The curious thing is that the episode title says that Locke is “curious” about his arrival at camp… but didn’t he send Sayid to Hydra Island to retrieve Desmond? Shouldn’t this be totally expected? Maybe he’s surprised at how easily Desmond came along with Sayid – or maybe he was expecting Sayid to kill Desmond on the spot? It seems as though Desmond knows exactly what is going on – some have even gone so far as to say he seems “possessed”, so it will be curious to see how Desmond interacts with the other members of Team SmokeLocke. Will he be good ol’ normal Desmond, full of smiles and “brothas”? Will he reveal his plan to them? Will he tell them the secret to his enlightenment?


Lots of questions.


Here’s the reason why I’m excited for this week’s episode. I’ve made a bunch of comparisons between Season One and Season Six this year, and I’m going to continue doing it here. Remember back in Season One, how Hurley was the very last character to get a centric episode? Some characters got two flashbacks before Hurley got his first one – and once we finally got the Hurley backstory, it was huge because it introduced the Numbers to the Lost mythology. Remember my post a few weeks ago where I said Season One Numbers = Season Six Jacob?


Bingo.


I don’t think it’s coincidence that Hurley is the final Flash Sideways in Season Six, just like it was intentional that he was the final flashback in Season One. The real question is – will Flash Sideways Hurley encounter Jacob (or some Jacob-equivalent) in Reality #2? Something that will open his eyes and reveal to the audience the whole purpose behind the Flash Sideways? Or will that reveal simply be shown on the Island in one of his ghost whispering conversations with Jacob?


After this week, we may be saying goodbye to our Survivor-centric episodes in favor of “everyone-centric” episodes to wrap up the series… which means this might be the final character-centric episode of Lost ever. Here’s hoping the writers saved the best for last.


Happy Losting!



9 comments:

Sba said...

No mention of Mark Pellegrino in the guest star breakdown so I'm guessing that Hurley will not be directly communicating with Jacob in this episode.

I suppose we may get a shot of Hurley talking to "no one" and them him saying he was speaking with Jacob, but that would be out of sorts with all other conversations between Jacob and Hurley this season, where Jacob was present for the viewers.

Brendan said...

Yes! The Hurley-as-new-Jacob theory is gaining momentum!

Jay said...

"the Flash Sideways are Anti-Jacob’s attempts to trick our Survivors into thinking this happy life is the one they should be living, rather than having them interfering with the real action On-Island"

But here's a Season 1 to Season 6 comparison... remember how obsessed we all were with who these "Others" were? Or the smoke monster, polar bear, etc? Some things have yet to be explained, but their presence on the island and in the plot becomes comfortable, particularly as larger antagonists emerge? "The enemy of my enemy is my friend."

I think your theory lends too much power to Anti-Jacob. I think he will be revealed to be only a more powerful pawn in the same way that all our characters have been pawns at some point. We are looking for someone to be pulling the strings, but that is antithetical to the Lost world we've known for 6 years, where everything lies in the grey area between determinism and free-will.

Jay said...

The fitting end for Lost is that the flash-sideways can be seen as a possible alternate reality, and not the only alternate, with the island either serving as the plug that keeps consciousness from sloshing between them, or as the accidental cause of all this sloshing.

Brendan said...

Jay may be onto something with this idea of the Island preventing/causing the sloshing between parallel realities.

Desmond's consciousness-tripping began after he turned the fail-safe key in the Hatch, becoming exposed to the "mysterious electromagnetic properties" of the Island. Last episode, Widmore and his cronies recreated Desmond's mind-tripping under more controlled means.

Jacob called the Island a cork that keeps Evil at bay. Jacob clearly comes from a far earlier time, a faith-based time. His version of Evil, of the Apocalypse, if you will, would be the Devil escaping Hell. This is the same thing Richard believed.

But the 815'ers are in the modern age, the post-Enlightenment age. And it's no coincidence that so many of them have names referencing Enlightenment-era philosophers - Hume, Locke, Bentham, Rousseau, hell even Sawyer. Their version of Apocalypse is the catastrophic breaking down of the barrier between multiple realities (this is getting very last season of Buffy).

It isn't that one version is right and one is wrong. As has been mentioned before, it's about the necessity of dualities coexisting in the proper balance - the white and black stones on the scale keeping it from tipping. The characters all have varying motivations for their actions - faith-based, love-based, science-based, whatever - but the central realization they all need to come to, and what I believe will tie the whole series together, is that there is a singular purpose they must all work towards; keeping realities separate and intact, i.e. Saving The World.

In that sense, Ben, the Others, the Radzynski/Desmond/Kelvin Inman Hatch crew, Widmore, et al. have always been correct - the Island is what holds it all together.

It has to be, or else the stakes of this show will be seriously lowered.

Steve said...

Just thinking... I think our earliest 'near death' encounter with the other side bleeding through was in LAX when Juliet said asked Sawyer for Coffee and alter said through Miles "it Worked". In short, we've been bleeding through all along, and not just in mirrors. If I'm right, that would mean we're destined to see Sawyer and Juliet bleed through.
Could Juliet of let her self go rather than fighting, similar to what Charlie wanted to do on the plane(another example of bleed over.. that was just revealed)).
I can think of a lot of little things(appendix scar/cuts/looks into mirrors), and and Sun not speaking english. But what does it mean? Just a few more weeks to find out! And I do think it's about Love. As much as I agree that the Love helping merge the two realities theory is a cheap cop out on the first 5 seasons, and not much better than 'it was all a dream'.. I hope i'm wrong, but I've got a feeling I'm not far from it.

Steve said...

and I think it was Jughead and not anti-jacob. As much as I hate this idea as it screws with the Ben and Dr Chang being off island... The fact that Daniel said he already set off a nuke kind of leans towards this. And who knew of this 'nuke?' Eloise? She was part of the plan as well.... Perhaps it was the loss of her son in reality 1 that helps her see between realities.

Sawyer5665 said...

The reason that MIB/Locke is curious about the new arrival is because he didn't actually know that Desmond was on the island until he shows up at his camp. Locke had no idea what was in that locked room aboard the sub. Remember, he told Sawyer that he sent Sayid to Widmore's camp because, "He doesn't like surprises". He's curious probably because he has no idea why Widmore would need Desmond.

Sawyer5665 said...

Oh, and there is at least one more character-centric left this season...for the two power players...