Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"Lost" recap: Dude, that's clucked up!

Spoilers on this week's episode of "Lost" are below. Don't click through if you don't want to know.

The return of two much-missed characters, two presumed deaths and one definite one, a kiss, a flaming ship and the introduction of the word "cluckateer" into the cultural vernacular -- this week's episode of "Lost" had it all.
In an episode that recalled both "Everybody Hates Hugo" and "Dave," this week's "Everybody Loves Hugo" gave us some insight into the sideways world of one Hugo "Hurley"  Reyes. In regards to the sideways story, I found "Hugo" fairly similar to last week's Desmond episode (more on that later), but there was enough forward movement that I didn't mind.
After all, both Libby and Michael came back -- the first as her sideways-world incarnation and the second as a ghost. Plus the Locke Mess Monster story this episode was truly terrifying. Though I knew no good could come of LMM taking Des to that well, I was still horrified when Locke Mess pushed our beloved Scot down into oblivion (anyone have a "Ringu" flashback? Or "The Ring," if that's your thing?). But is island Des dead? I think so -- he's impervious to electromagnetism, not gravity.
But who knows. Charles said the island isn't done with him yet and, as we know, if the island isn't done with you, it might take more than a tumble down an incredibly deep well to finish you off.
And what to make of alterna-Desmond mowing down alterna-Locke? I assume it's in keeping with his mission of setting things right. But how did he know what would would become of John? Perhaps he "saw" what Locke Mess did to his Island self and knew he had to take action? When? How? And what will he do next?
But, you know, even without the jumps ahead in story, I would have liked with episode for one very simple reason: Hurley.  Hurley is one character I almost never hate spending time with. With his big heart and laid-back manner, he's the most intrinsically likable character on the show, and Jorge Garcia delivered another hilarious, yet moving, performance this week.
You'd think I'd be tired of seeing the umpteenth variation of a story in which Hurley feigns confidence, then cracks at the last minute. But Garcia always sells these moments, and when he frantically started telling Jack how he'd lied about seeing Jacob, I couldn't help but laugh. Like Jack, Hurley always wants to help people and do the right thing. Yet he's never seen himself as a savior. He's always more than happy to put someone else in that role -- like Jack, Sawyer or even Kate. When the responsibility falls to him, he often falters. But his heart is so true that he does have successes. Whether or not the trip to see Locke Mess is such a success remains to be seen. My guess is no. Like Miles, I'm more convinced than ever that Smokenstein doesn't want to be reasoned with. But who knows?
As for Hurley's sideways life, this week we got another example of love slowly pulling up the blinders of the alterna-world and revealing someone's past. Here, it was Libby who started to unlock Hugo's memory. Like Charlie and Daniel, she died in the Island world. And, like them, she's suddenly having memories of it. This does seem to lend weight to the idea of a link between Island death and spiritual connection to the Island.
This week's episode also showed us another example of a character who should be happy in his/her alterna-world, yet isn't
Much like Desmond, Hurley is living a life that's fulfilling on one level, yet empty on another. Once the world's unluckiest man, Hurley is now the most fortunate soul on the planet. His business is booming. He's swimming in dough. And he's so generous that everyone wants to be his friend.
But, of course, he's lonely. And that's when Libby comes to him. So what will happen now that Hurley has started to see the truth? Sigh. I don't know, but I'm getting more sucked in as the series finale draws closer.
Anyway, here are some more thoughts on "Everybody Loves Hugo."
* OMG -- Ilana done got Arzt'ed! But then, I kind of thought she might, once she picked up the dynamite and started lecturing everybody. At least she was far enough away that no one got speckled with chunks of Ilana.
* OK, I appreciate lots of stuff about this episode but did we really need ANOTHER story in which a group of survivors splits into two "teams?" This is like the eighth time this has happened! Just stop it already!
* We got another appearance of the dirty, creepy boy in the jungle. This time, he appeared when Locke Mess was walking with Desmond. Like Sawyer, Des could see him. But what does it mean to see Dirty Island Boy? Desmond isn't a candidate, as Sawyer is. So why can he see the child? And who the heck is he?
* Did anyone else think that was the Smoke Monster noise we heard when Michael appeared? I'm still not entirely convinced that it was the voices of the unhappy Island dead. However, I guess Locke Mess couldn't be both Locke and Michael at once (he's mentioned several times that he's stuck in Locke's form), so maybe this is just some Island version of "Ghost Town," with Hurley as Ricky Gervais. Does that make Jacob Greg Kinnear? Who is Michael? Alan Ruck?
* In the sideways world, Hugo takes his mom to the museum gala...but his dad isn't there. Where is he? Did he never come back in this version of Hugo's life? Or is he simply not present?
* Speaking of which, I'm sure we all recognized Pierre Chang as the museum employee introducing Hugo. Is it just me, or did he still look about the same age as when worked on the Dharma initiative? Probably just me.
* So, will we ever find out why Libby was in Santa Rose in the original timeline? We know now that original Libby definitely recognized Hugo from the institution, even though she never told him that. I assumed she was spying on him, but maybe she was just a passenger on the flight who happened to have been in Santa Rosa. And also happened to have loaned Desmond her boat for the trip that brought him to the Island. Nah. Something's up. Question is, will we ever know what it is?
* OK, I'm gonna come out and say it: Off-island Des is super-sexy. Those shades. That all-knowing gaze. That confidence and determination. I need a cold shower!
* Speaking of which, when Ben questions Desmond, he asks the name of Desmond's son. Desmond correctly answers "Charlie." But does he really know? Or did the name just pop into his head after his encounter with Charlie Pace?
* And, last but not least, I loved any and all references to Mr. Cluck's in this episode, from the slide show of Mr. Cluck's restaurants at international landmarks, to Hurley's gorge on the giant bucket of chicken, to the revelation that the restaurant gives away something called a "cluckateer keychain" (want...one...NOW!). It was all awesome.
What did you think?


Bill Scurry said...

I liked a visit from pro Bruce Davison, reprising his role as the boobyhatch doc Brooks from earlier in the series run.

Y'know, just as Ilana was swinging the bag with the TNT around, I thought to myself that people were being fairly cavalier with that dynamite as of late. Why, just remember what they did to Leslie Arzt and how he BLAMMO!

The Colonel said...

I usually find Hurley episodes a little too cutesy, but this one rocked my socks off.