On Tuesday's episode of Lost, Hurley has a job to do — what exactly is unclear. It's hard not to trust that he's in the right though, because as the episode title says, everybody loves Hugo. Let us watch, then, as Hurley, with the help of a dead Michael and a sideways Libby, sets his course, answers one of the island's biggest mysteries, confronts UnLocke and generally gets his groove back.
Why is Michael back?
Harold Perrineau hinted to us that Michael's appearance was about his redemption, and that there'd be an apology for sure. He materializes during one of Hurley's talk-to-dead-people hazes with a sense of urgency. "I'm here to stop you from getting everyone killed," Michael says ominously, but isn't much more specific than that.
Here's a thought: When Jack enters the clearing and sees Hurley mumbling to himself, why doesn't he press the issue and ask Hurley to which dead person is he currently speaking? He knows he talks to the dead, doesn't he?
Anyhow, Perrineau gets one last scene in this episode, but I think that's best covered under another question.
Who's telling the truth?
UnLocke wants to leave the island via the Ajira aircraft, and in this episode, he reveals that — in the same way that Mrs. Hawking advised when they returned to the island — everyone needs to accompany him in order for it to work. For now, Kate, Sawyer, Claire and Sayid are on board.
Ilana and Richard, Jacob's avatars, seem convinced that this is the worst possible idea, and want to destroy the Ajira jet to prevent such an escape from happening, as it would surely be like uncorking a wine bottle full of evil or something. Nevertheless, for now, Ben, Miles, Lapidus, Sun, Jack and Hurley are sort of convinced that Ilana and Richard are telling the truth. They're even more convinced that Locke as UnLocke has killed a lot of people with his smokey ways and should thus not be trusted.
Meanwhile, Jin's still hanging out with Charles Widmore reading maps, which robs us of the chance to see Sun and Jin reunited yet again. But since the show has taken a turn for the decidedly lovey-dovey of late, I can't help but think that such a scene is inevitable — if not short-lived.
But since this is Hurley's episode, he stands in for the audience and considers both sides of the issue. I'm not sure it's any clearer in my mind by the hour's end, but a lot of stuff blew up, so that was cool.
Well, except when Ilana blew up; that wasn't cool. While feverishly packing a rucksack full of what the old-timey cartoons called TNT, she makes yet another impassioned plea with the castaways for stopping UnLocke. "God help us if it ever leaves this island," she says, pointedly dehumanizing the pronoun of that sentence. And then — kaboom! — and Ilana is nothing more than pink mist. "The island was done with her," says Ben. "It makes me wonder what's going to happen when it's done with us." Indeed, Dr. Linus!
Richard picks up where Ilana left off, insisting they set off for the Black Rock to get more explosives. Hurley thinks Richard is right, that they aren't destined to leave the island. But he doesn't think that dynamiting the plane is the right move. So he does what any normal person (on this show) would do. He closes the dynamite store that is the Black Rock in a most dramatic fashion: He blows the mother up.
"I'm protecting us," he says. "Michael told me to." Why should we trust Michael — if it even was Michael? Well, because: "Dead people are more reliable than alive people," he says. Sometimes I can't tell if Hurley is incredibly intuitive or incredibly naïve. Either way, I'm very curious to see his next move. "We have to go talk to Locke," he says, claiming that these are Jacob's orders. (Another dead person!)
So we're at a crossroads. Ben and Miles decide to go with Richard to destroy the plane; Jack, Hurley, Sun and Lapidus go to talk to Locke. Jack explains that he needs to fix things since he got Juliet killed. "You have no idea it is for me to sit back and listen to other people tell me what I do," he tells Hurley. "Maybe that's the point; maybe I'm supposed to let go." I doubt it, Jack, but fine, have your moment of character development.
Why is Libby back?
In the alternate timeline, Hugo is a chicken entrepreneur and a generous benefactor of good causes. (Yes, that was Dr. Chang dedicating the museum wing.) But there's something missing from Hugo's life, says his overprotective mother. So she sets him up on a blind date. Sadly, Rosalita doesn't show up, but inexplicably, Libby does.
She sits down with Hurley for some chips and salsa as we register a flicker of recognition between the pair. It's nice to see Cynthia Watros again, all dewy-eyed and full of hope, and this scene in particular really hammers home why Hurley is so hung up on her. "Do you believe that two people can be connected — like soulmates?" she asks, which is like catnip to a sensitive lug like Hurley. Just as the music is about to swell romantically, though, Dr. Brooks (Bruce Davison), who we recognize from the Santa Rosa Mental Health Institute, shows up, apologizing for Libby's erratic behavior as he carts her off to the loony-bin van. Buzzkill, dude.
But we know that Hurley (at least in his other timeline) is no stranger to padded walls, so he heads over to Santa Rosa and bribes the not-so-good doctor so he can see Libby. She explains that she's not sure where she knows him from, but says she has "memories" of a plane crash and being on an island, which means nothing to Hurley. But, you know, crazy or not, she's totally hot, dude, so he asks her out and she says yes.
What are the whispers?
Here's a quick answer for everybody. The creepy whispers we've often heard out in the jungle are the voices of those who have died on the island and can't move on. Like Michael, whose actions condemned him to this miserable fate. He's stuck there. But he's sorry for killing Libby!
What is Desmond's endgame?
Apparently, alternate-timeline Desmond has obtained the manifest from Oceanic 815 and is starting with Hurley. His mission has shades of "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham," in that he has to convince his fellow passengers of something not entirely plausible. A "chance" meeting with Hurley allows him to encourage him to go out with Libby, since love conquers all, even smoke monsters and electromagnetic events.
Hurley takes Libby to the beach for a picnic. "It's like a date we never had," Libby says. They flirt over cheese, but Hurley is uneasy about falling in love with a delusional girl. But then she kisses him, which triggers a flood of island-based memories of their time together. "Whoa, dude," he says. "So I'm not crazy," she says. Ah, young lovers. Creepy voyeur Desmond is there too, and he drives away with a satisfied smile.
Next on Desmond's bucket list is John Locke. But instead of setting him up on a date, he runs over him with his car for some reason. Theory: You either have to fall in love or have a near-death experience to sense/see the other side, so this is how Desmond is facilitating it for Locke, since he's already got a ball-and-chain.
On the other hand, his hit-and-run might be some kind of karmic revenge for what UnLocke does to him on the island — that is, he throws him down a well shaft. Is it the same well where the frozen donkey wheel resides? And if so, might Desmond avail himself of its services?
What does Willy Wonka have to do with it?
Did anyone notice the brilliant, chilling use of Gene Wilder's dialogue from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory in the preview for next week's episode? For your entertainment, here's the full text that accompanied a few choppy, dire-looking scenes and that dizzying swirling graphic. I felt like I was in Room 23.
There's no earthly way of knowing/Which direction we are going.
Not a speck of light is showing/So the danger must be growing.
Are the fires of hell a-glowing?/Is the grisly reaper mowing?
Yes, the danger must be growing/And they're certainly not showing/Any signs that they are slowing!
What did you think of "Everybody Loves Hugo"? Would you rather fall in love with a delusional girl or get hit by a car? Do you feel the danger growing, for there are no signs that they are slowing? It's going to be a wild ride!