Jorge Garcia as <EM>Lost</EM>'s Hurley Jorge Garcia as Lost's Hurley
Our favorite castaways thus far have been on the island a few months, but for Lost fans, it's been more than 260 days since Jack's super-freaky flash-forward. As the Jan. 31 season premiere (finally) draws closer, is offering daily profiles — "refreshers," if you will — of the key players in ABC's island-based odyssey. 

Hurley, by the "Numbers": Of all the characters on the island, Hugo "Hurley" Reyes (played by Jorge Garcia) is perhaps most connected to — and wary of — the numbers, the code that had to be input every 108 minutes at the Swan station (and which appeared on the outside of the hatch). Hurley first encountered them when he was committed to the Santa Rosa Mental Health Institute after being involved in an accident; he was with 23 other people on a deck whose capacity was 8 people (keeping track?). While at Santa Rosa, Hurley played games of Connect Four with another patient, Leonard, who kept repeating the same numbers: 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42. When Hurley got out, he played the lottery using Leonard's numbers and won big — he was the first winner in 16 weeks. He soon decided that his $156 million lottery fortune was cursed because of the numbers, though, after a string of freakishly bad luck (his grandfather had a heart attack, the house he got for his mother burned down, the Mr. Cluck's Chicken Shack chain he used to work at and had subsequently bought was hit by a meteorite, killing the TV news reporter who was interviewing him, etc.). He traveled to Australia to find Leonard's friend Sam, with whom he had discovered the numbers at a South Pacific listening station, but learned from Sam's widow that he had committed suicide. Hurley was on his way back home for his mother's birthday when the plane crashed.

Things Got Interesting When....: From the beginning, Hurley was a calming influence on the rest of the survivors, offering occasional comic relief and a reliable source of good cheer to all. But we started to get a glimpse of the darker side of Hurley back in Season 1's "Numbers," when, through flashbacks, we discovered how Hurley came to win the lottery and why he started to become obsessed with the idea of the numbers being evil. In the episode "Dave," in Season 2, Hurley had hallucinations of his "best friend" at Santa Rosa, Dave, and we learned about his mental-illness history.

'Tis Better to Have Loved and Gotten Lost?: Hurley's life on the island changed dramatically after the tail-section survivors joined Jack and the rest of the middle-sectioners. He was immediately drawn to the pretty blonde Libby, helping her build a shelter and finding ways to spend time with her. Their friendship evolved into a romance and led to a kiss that convinced Hurley not to throw himself off a cliff after Dave.

Six Degrees of Serialization: Hurley's path has crossed in one way or another with several of the key players on the island. After winning the lottery, Hurley bought a box company and hired his former boss at Mr. Cluck's to work there — where one of his employees was Locke. Jin saw a news story about Hurley's big lottery win while he was doing his dirty work for Sun's father in Korea. Before ever getting on to the plane, Hurley had encounters with two now-deceased passengers: Artz, whom Hurley cut in line to make sure he didn't miss getting onboard, and Charlie, who was staying at the same hotel as Hurley the night before the flight. And then of course there's Libby: Not only was Hurley immediately attracted to her, he had a strong sense that he knew her from somewhere... which it turns out he did, though he couldn't place where: She was a patient at Santa Rosa at the same time he was.

Hurley's Season 3 Story: After being released by the Others, who had captured him along with Jack, Sawyer and Kate at the end of Season 2, Hurley returned to the camp to tell the survivors what had happened. He later discovered an old Volkswagen in the jungle — and managed to get it running, which gave him hope that perhaps the curse of the numbers had been finally been dissipated. In the final episode, Hurley came to the rescue of Sayid, Jin and Bernard by running over one of the Others at the beach during their attempt to kidnap some of the survivors.

How Hurley Has Us Puzzled: How deep does Hurley's connection to the mysterious numbers run? Despite his efforts and hopes to the contrary, there's no indication that his "curse" has been lifted. And where does the nickname Hurley come from, anyway?

Our Wild Prediction: Having lost his two closest friends on the island — Libby and Charlie — Hurley will start to also lose his grip on reality and will do some awfully odd things. Plus, his fear of the numbers will come back to haunt him, and he'll join Locke's spiritual quest in order to cleanse himself of the curse.

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