[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="800" caption="Michael gives Hurley some advice."][/caption]
The last thing I needed to see was Sideways John Locke being run over by a car as he simply was wheeling himself to his car but I suppose it's a case of the end justifying the means. Why do I have a feeling I'm going to write more about John Locke than Hurley when it was a Hurley-centric episode? I can tell you one thing: I'm going back to the old way I wrote recaps STARTING NOW.
Hurley is a beloved individual. Both in the fictional world(s) in which he lives and in the fan community that celebrates his character. He's been the heart of the show since episode one and, now, he is the leader. With Sayid the BFF of Smokey and Jack deciding that it's time to let it go and to stop fixing things and with John Locke dead, it's time for Hugo Reyes to take on the role of leader. If I'm any of them, I would trust Hugo with my life. This arc began when he first met Jacob in a cab outside of the prison. After his encounter with Jacob, he no longer felt like he was crazy because Jacob provided him with some perspective. What if he wasn't crazy? What if the deceased people who visited him and talked with him was a gift? What if he wasn't curse? Jacob left with a guitar case with an ankh in it that would get him into the Temple where he would take the next step. He stood up to Dogen, with some helpful 'you can do it!' from Jacob. He was tasked with a mission: to bring Jack with him to the lighthouse where Jack himself would be given some perspective. Jack realized quickly, after the death of Juliet and the own weight of responsibility he carried with him about her death, that he needed to let it go. He needed to let go of his anger, let go of his need to fix things he even though he sitting back and letting others tell him what to do kills him. I digress though. Hurley has assumed the responsibility for people now. Sun, Frank and Jack trust him with their lives.
Hurley never actively desired the leadership. It's just in him. It comes naturally to him. For the first few seasons, Hurley was the man who wanted everyone to forget about how terrible a situation they were in. He wanted to provide them with pleasure and fun every once in awhile, just to relieve the depression they felt. There was the golf course in "Solitary." There was the 'let's fix the van!" from season three's "Tricia Tanaka Is Dead." He had the idea for a census so that everyone would know eachother. Sure Boone had a problem with it but he was way liberal. I digress. Hurley also wanted to help. He volunteered for the trek to the Black Rock in "Exodus." He witnessed the explosion of Dr. Arzt. I digress again. Hurley is nice to everybody. The Others used him to frighten the rest of the Losties or The Others loved him so much that they let him go and spared him from the good time in the cages and the Hydra station. He never wanted to hurt anybody. He would offer to carry Aaron for Claire. He wanted to comfort Sayid and suggested fixing a radio after Sayid lost Shannon. He didn't want to lie when he and the rest of the Oceanic 6 left the Island. The lie killed him. He sought the comfort of his mother when burdened and tortured with the lie. He wanted to go with Charlie when Charlie volunteered to swim to the Looking Glass. After Ilana died suddenly from not being careful enough with the dynamite, he decided he was done with that. He destroyed the rest of the dynamite along with The Black Rock. No one else would blow themselves up. Of course Richard was on a mission to blow up that plane so he, Ben and Miles began their journey to New Otheron to get grenades and other explosives. But I digress. Hurley's ultimate act of leadership was deciding to not use violence. The old leaders have used violence. Not Hurley. He went the Leo Tolsoty/Ghandi route: resitance through non-violence. He suggested talking with NotLocke. That's why everyone loves Hugo.
In the Sideways, he was the same man only he didn't feel cursed as he did for much of his post-lottery life. In fact, the episode opened with a speech given by good ol' Dr. Pierre Chang at an event that celebrated Hurley's donation to the Museum. As we learned earlier this season, he went to Australia for business reasons. He didn't go to see Sam Toomey's wife about the numbers he used in the lottery. Presumably, his grandfather Tito did not die of a heart attack shortly after he won the lottery. Presumably, his friend Johnny did not run off with the girl of his dreams Starla. No, Hurley was afraid of even saying hello to a girl. Hurley still possessed the altruistic and good-natured, caring and loving personality we've loved since episode one. He hooked Locke up with a job when he learned Randy Nations had fired Locke after seeing an angry Locke yell at Hurley's car. When his mother set him up on a blind date, he went and was approached by Libby, the love of his Island life. She swore she knew him from somewhere but she couldn't quite place it. Soon, Hurley's old doctor from the Island took her away and apologized for the intrusion. The thing is, Hurley thought for a moment she was Rosalita, the woman Hurley's mother arranged for Hurley to meet. He remarked that she was so pretty. He was so taken aback by her beauty. He didn't react freaked or anything. He watched her wistfully as she was taken into the Santa Rosa Mental Hospital van. He became depressed and went to Mr. Cluck's to eat a family size bucket of chicken. One wonders if his father returned in the Sideways. Probably. I assume he still left the family for awhile which is where Hugo's depressive eating habits begun. At least that's how it began in the Island timeline.
In Mr. Cluck's, he met Desmond. Desmond was awaiting his order when he recognized Hurley from Oceanic 815. He sat down and they began talking. Hurley told him about Libby and what she told him. Desmond asked whether he had any memory of Libby. Hurley said he sort of did but didn't quite believe himself. Desmond suggested looking for her so that he could talk to her. Hurley went to Santa Rosa, spoke with the Doctor who informed him that Libby's mental illness involved confusion about realities. Hurley donated generously to the hospital so that he could speak to her. Libby told her about what she remembered, that there was a plane crash and that they liked eachother. Hurley couldn't remember but he asked Libby out anyway. Those writers in Room 23 are pretty crafty and sneaky, too. Hurley recognized Libby but couldn't quite place her in his head. She told him that he knew her because he stepped on her toe; that wasn't true since Hurley remembered her from the mental hospital. We finally got confirmation on that matter when Libby told him, in the Sideways, that she remembers him being in Santa Rosa.
The relationship between Hurley and Libby produced one of the saddest moments in the show when Hurley sat beside her dead body and apologized tearfully for forgetting the blankets. She saved him from doing something very stupid when Dave tried to convince him that the Island was just part of his "crazyness." It ended before it began when Libby ran into a desperate Michael who had just shot Ana-Lucia in the gut. Libby was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The two finally were able to have their picnic in the Sideways. Hurley even remembered Libby after a kiss as a satisifed Desmond drove off to rundown poor wheel chair bound Locke. The episode opened with Hurley speaking to Libby's grave. The first act of of Act I in 'Tricia Tanaka Is Dead" is Hurley talking to Libby. He explained that crazy things were happening but he mostly wondered why she hadn't spoke to him like the others do. Ilana came by for some exposition and then left. Soon, Michael showed up to tell Hurley that they would all die. He was there to warn Hurley. It's quite interesting that Michael was the guy to show up. I don't mean interesting in regards to Island craziness. I just mean interesting in regards to the narrative they were telling. I was anticipating Hurley telling Michael that he forgives him in their last scene together but I think he did without saying after Michael told Hurley to apologize for murdering her.
Hurley, Jack, Sun and Frank arrived at NotLocke's camp. Before Jack, Sun and Frank showed themselves, Hurley wanted to make sure no one would get hurt or die. NotLocke told Hurley that he would not harm anyone. And then the three came in. Kate smiled widely when she saw Jack. Sawyer looked sort of relieved. And then we got to the end of the episode when Sideways Locke was rundown by Desmond.
Time for more thoughts:
--As I'm returning to my recapping roots by focusing on the central character of the episode and NOT spending so much time trying to recap every iota of the episode, I devoted about 5 sentences to the end. I didn't devote any words to the Desmond/NotLocke subplot. I will because that's what this section's all about: the subplots. NotLocke was rather offended by Desmond's non-fear about everything. NotLocke could not get to Desmond. It was very, very interesting when NotLocke explained the origins of the wells. People dug for answers to the wonky compass issues. And there are multiple wells on the Island. Yes, I think there's going to be a major electromagnetic event in the series finale. Desmond was eventually pushed into the well because NotLocke grew frustrated. Did Desmond get pay back in the Sideways? I'm not so sure. I'll wait and see like I've been doing for the last six seasons. Could Locke be making his heroic return? Could he somehow from another world thwart the Man in Black? One can hope. Also, the final shot of the episode was of Locke lying on his back, bloody. Yes, it indeed mirrored the shot of Locke after he fell 8 stories. Perhaps Desmond just wanted to trigger some memories. He is a man on a mission after all. Also, how about Ben rushing to save John Locke's life when, in Island timeline, he's the man who ended Locke's life.
--Loved Jack's scene with Hurley when he explained why he trusted Hurley and went with him. It was a moment six seasons in the making. Matthew Fox was outstanding during that. Bravo, Mr, Fox.
--When I saw the shot of the dynamite in Ilana's bag, I had a brief thought about how long it's been since the unstable dynamite did anything. Well, I guess the writers did as well. Ilana got Arzted. Ben wondered what the Island has in store for them once It's done with them all. Ilana, who trained for years and years to protect the candidates, dies as a result of handling the dynamite too casually. I think, like Hurley thinks, it was a case of not handing the dynamite carefully enough.
--I think it's wonderful that everyone is pretty much together now. Hopefully every character is involved now. I hope I've seen the last episode that focuses on one group of characters and ignores another group. I long for the early season one episodes when everyone was invovled. We've still got Jin (Poor Sun) on Hydra Island, hanging out with Widmore's crew, but this is as close as we've come to everyone being together since "The Beginning of The End." Of course Richard, Ben and Miles are off to blow up the plane but they weren't part of the season 1 magic anyway.
--NotLocke saw another kid in the jungle, smiling demonically at him. Desmond saw him too and NotLocke told Desmond to IGNORE HIM. This kid has dark hair instead of blond hair. It seemed like the same kid NotLocke saw in "The Substitute." Who knows. NotLocke wasn't too pleased. It certainly didn't help when he made the decision to throw Desmond down a well. Am I fearful that Desmond is dead? No. The previews solved that problem. Plus, the well didn't seem too deep when NotLocke dropped the torch.
--I was very disappointed in Sayid. Perhaps the most disappointed I've ever been in the character. Tying up Desmond to a tree? Do you not remember Ana-Lucia doing the SAME thing to you in "Collision"? Probably not since he is a ZOMBIE and BFFs with NotLocke. Of course Sayid probably thinks NotLocke can actually bring Nadia back to him and back to life. Bad times for Sayid fans.
--Sawyer continues to grow impatient with NotLocke. He wondered why NotLocke was carving himself a spear. NotLocke told him to sod off. Not in those words of course. NotLocke claims everyone needs to leave together just as the Oceanic 6 needed to be together to return. What if it turns out that NotLocke was telling the truth all of this time? I'm not sure he is telling the truth. I think he mixes truth and lies as he sees fit. I think NotLocke is like the Hatch. The Hatch was destroyed to prevent the end of human existence. NotLocke needs to be destroyed to prevent the End of All Things. I wondered internally about whether or not the Island's Volcano would come into play at all this season since DL and CC said the volcano introduced in 'The Man Behind The Curtain" would be important but I'm thinking there's going to be a major electromagnetic event to destroy The Smokeness NotLocke.
--The mystery and intrigue of Libby wasn't there in this episode. We'll never know the backstory of Libby. Does it really matter though? I don't think so. I was glad to see the Sideways Libby the way she was. Cynthia Watros looked beautiful.
--How about the answer to the whispers? They've been a favorite of mine since "Solitary." The Island does have Purgatory qualities to it. I wondered who else is lingering on the Island. I also think Hurley's line about dead people being more reliable than alive people is heavy foreshadowing.
--My face is going to be all kinds of red if Man in Black turns out to be a good guy. I also really enjoyed Hurley's nervousness when thinking about his upcoming disucssion with Smokey.
--I want to see a 6'7" Walt return and DUNK on The Smoke Monster.
--Lostpedia reports that this was the first episode directed by Daniel Attias since Hurley's first flashback episode 'Numbers.' How fitting that he returns to direct the final Hurley episode. Eddie Kitsis and Adam Horowtiz wrote this one. I really enjoyed this episode. It's never a bad hour when Hurley's at the forefront. Jorge Garcia was terrific. It was great seeing Harold Perrineau again and the beautiful Cynthia Watros. Kudos to see Terry O'Quinn and Henry Ian Cusick as well. It was great seeing Francois Chau again too.
--Damon Lindelof had a great tweet about not switching over to Glee because LOST would feature copious amounts of Madonna songs in the second half. By songs, he meant EXPLOSIONS. There was a lot of that in "Everybody Loves Hugo." Also, just because I feel like it: season two's Hurley episode title was "Everybody Hates Hugo."
TO THE RANKINGS!
After a week of no changes, my rankings have gone wild. I've moved people all over the place. I'm not too happy that Richard, Ben and Miles went off their own and ignored Hurley. Ben remains in the top 5 but he's at 5. Richard's down to 14 and Miles is now 10. Sayid, after his actions, is no. 11. I moved Sawyer to 8 and Kate to 9 because they've been solid and loyal all season. Jin moved into the top 5. Claire is on the cusp of the top 5-dom. Will she make it before the rankings take their final bow? Also, I'd like to announce there's a very special rankings me and STEVE will do once the series finale is over. Anywho, STEVE's rankings are the same for the most part. There's the usual switcharoo he does for the lower ranked characters. Also, we removed Ilana and Zoe. I made the mistake of wanting to rank Zoe. In the past, we usually gave a character who died one more week and we still might. Who knows. But the series is coming to a close quickly and we've got to rank the characters who really matter. CHECK 'EM OUT:
AFTER EPISODE 12
16. Man in Black
2. Man in Black