Lost: Everybody Loves Hugo

Lost is hurtling quickly towards its conclusion now and the tension is really beginning to build. In tonight’s explosive episode we saw some more old faces, got a conclusive answer to one of the show’s oldest questions and witnessed a touching moment we thought we’d never see.

The title is a reference to the season two episode Everybody Hates Hugo, where Hurley wanted to blow up the food in the Swan station because he was having so much difficulty rationing it out, but in the end gave the food out to everyone on the beach.

The episode began with a slideshow of Hurley’s life in the flashsideways universe, where he won the lottery but considered himself to be lucky rather than cursed, running a global fried chicken empire but also donating to many charitable causes. The slideshow is narrated by a familiar voice, which we soon see belongs to Pierre Chang (Dr Marvin Edgar Hallowax-Candle-Wickmund to you and I) who, a few episodes back we learned from his son Miles, works in the natural history museum with Charlotte. Hurley has donated a new wing to the museum, but as he leaves, his mother tells him that the one thing he doesn’t have in the world is a woman. She has set him up on a date with a neighbour’s daughter named Rosalita.

In the other universe, on the island, Hurley is standing at Libby’s grave, wondering why she never comes to talk to him like the other dead people do. Suddenly he hears the whispers and sees someone standing in front of him. It’s Michael! I was nearly knocked off my seat when I saw him, despite many old faces from the past already appearing this season. It’s one of the reasons I’m so glad that I’ve kept away from spoilers, I really wasn’t expecting to see him return to the show. It was quite chilling to see him standing close to Libby’s grave (and Ana Lucia’s, of course) as he told Hurley not to allow Richard to carry out his plan to blow up the Ajira plane.

Richard and Ilana were less than impressed with this, as they believed that their plan is the only way to stop the Man in Black from leaving the island, saying that if he does, everything would cease to exist. Unfortunately, Ilana was a little too forceful with her arguments, dropping her backpack full of dynamite from the Black Rock to the floor as she made the point that she had been training her whole life to protect the candidates, promptly exploding, bringing back memories of the season one finale. Sadly, Hurley didn’t say “Dude, you’ve got some Ilana on you.”

Unbowed, Richard decided to go back to the Black Rock to get some more dynamite. Ben worriedly noted on the way that she had just finished her job of telling the candidates what to do, the island was done with her and blew her up. He wondered what would happen to the rest of them when the island was done with them. They got to the Black Rock, when they saw Hurley fleeing the boat, yelling at everyone to run. In a huge fireball, Magnus Hanso’s old ship exploded. Richard was furious, but Hurley pretended to be talking to Jacob, saying that they had to go and speak to “Locke”. The group divided, with Ben and Miles (who had recently seen the smoke monster in action) going with Richard, while Jack put his faith in Hurley, along with Sun and Frank.

Back in the flashsideways world, Hurley is waiting for his blind date in a Mexican restaurant, when someone sat down in front of him. Time for me to be blown away a second time, because if there was one person I wasn’t expecting to see again on the show, it was Libby. But she wasn’t his blind date. She simply had to come and speak with him, because she knew who he was. She remembered everything about their lives on the island, everything that had happened to them in the original timeline. Hurley didn’t quite remember, but did seem to sense some kind of connection, before realising that she was in a field trip from the Santa Rosa mental hospital. Ah, that explains it, he thought. Fed up, he goes to Mr Clucks for a bucket of chicken, where Desmond comes to talk to him, introducing himself as a fellow passenger on Oceanic 815. Hurley explains what happened to him and Des prompts him not to give up quite yet on the woman he met, gently pushing him towards her. Hurley goes to see her at the hospital, where he still doesn’t remember her and is surprised to hear that she thinks they were both in the hospital together before, when he had never been there in this timeline. Nonetheless, he has enough of an interest in her to ask Dr Brooks (another face from the past, but one only those of us continuously watching the show on DVD will recognise) if he can take her out of the hospital for a day trip. He refuses, until Hurley offers a donation of $100,000.

What follows is a lovely, lovely scene. Before this final season began, many viewers were thinking and talking about the loose ends they’d like to see tied up before the end of the show, but I don’t think anyone thought that we’d finally get to see Hurley and Libby finally get to have that picnic on the beach. It wasn’t the same beach we were thinking of, but they had it all the same. They kiss, and suddenly all of the memories of life on the island came back. He realised that they had known each other, she realised that she wasn’t crazy. As I said last week, maybe it does all come down to love. Desmond looked on from a car, with the look of a man whose work was done.

Desmond’s life wasn’t so easy back on the island, though. Tied to a tree by Sayid, he is visited by the Man in Black who asks if he knows who he is. “Yes,” replies Des, calmly, “John Locke.” They both go for a walk together in the jungle, with the Man in Black asking Desmond about his time in the Swan station, when they suddenly see the boy again. This time he has dark hair instead of blonde. The Man in Black seems alarmed, telling Desmond to ignore him. Later at night, they come to a well. The Man in Black explains that it’s one of many built a very, very long time ago by people on the island looking for answers as to why their compass needles were spinning, as opposed to Widmore, who he claimed was never looking for answers, only power. He then looks Desmond in the eye, asking him why he isn’t afraid, almost looking alarmed by his confidence. When Desmond explains that there’s no point in being afraid, the Man in Black does the only thing he could when faced with such an unmanipulatable person – he pushes Desmond down the well.

As Hurley guides his small group through the jungle without really knowing where he’s going, he hears those whispers again. He sees Michael, who points the way to the Man in Black’s camp. Hurley says that he knows what the whispers are, they are the dead who are stuck on the island, just like Micheal, who agrees, saying that they are the ones who can’t move on. In what might be his final moment on the show, he gives a heartfelt apology for his actions, asking him to tell Libby he is sorry, if he ever sees her. Hurley, Jack, Sun and Frank arrive at the camp of the Man in Black, who looks very satisfied. He needs all of the candidates to be with him when he leaves the island, and now they are all together with the exception of possible candidate Jin, who is still with Widmore. As Sun looked around for her husband who wasn’t there, the most exciting moment came when Jack came face to face with the Man in Black for the first time. Sure, he might only be using John Locke’s appearance, but given the thread of Jack vs Locke that gone throughout the series, it’ll be very interesting next week. The writers have always deliberately kept scenes between Matthew Fox and Terry O’Quinn to a minimum over the six seasons, to ensure that when they do have screen time together, it’s very special.

Back to the flashsideways universe, finally, where Desmond is sitting in his car outside a school. He gets a knock on the window from a concerned Dr Linus. Des says that he’s thinking of choosing a school for his son, Charlie, who of course doesn’t exist yet. What he’s really doing, is looking at John Locke, the substitute teacher who is making his way across the school car park in his wheelchair. Is Des here to help Locke see into his other life on the island? Perhaps not. He puts his foot on the accelerator and ploughs through Locke, who is left lying seriously injured on the floor.

What an episode. I was expecting a slight lull after last week’s Desmond-fest, but this was just as good, if not better. The stuff on the island was solid gold, from Ilana’s Dr Arzt moment, to Locke’s little chat with Des. But it was the stuff in the flashsideways that was really special. I really can’t wait for next week’s episode, now, for the last few weeks the series has been building up to its climax, and it seems like every episode is excellent now.

One quick note – after next week’s episode the show will have a one week break in America, which will have a knock-on effect here. So, there will be no Lost on Sky1 the week after next, on Friday 30th April. After next week’s episode, we’ll have to wait an excruciating two weeks until the following episode on Friday 7th May.

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