During the long and tortuous 8 month hiatus I spent many hours envisioning what season 6 episodes may be like. ‘Everybody Loves Hugo’ was exactly what I had imagined. This episode matched the heights of this season’s previous installments in every area; plot development; character growth; mythological answers; emotional satisfaction. It was gripping stuff. And it is getting harder and harder to choose favourite episodes from season six.
It has often been said that Hurley is the heart of the show. The one character that is universally loved and appreciated. He is often the voice of the audience; the voice of sane questions and comedic insight. Certainly from a fan perspective it is true that ‘Everybody Loves Hugo’. Though this season has been different for Hurley. He is no longer just the character with the audience’s perspective, in both the Sideways and the Island realities he is a protagonist; a leader; a hero.
“People are listening to you now Hurley”
Hurley is getting a taste of what it’s like to be a leader. We’ve seen many others struggle with the burdens of leadership and decision making – most notably Jack & Locke – and now it is Hurley’s turn to carry the load. Lives will be saved or lost on the decisions he makes and the advice he heeds or dismisses. So which voices will he listen to? Ilana? Richard? The ghost of Jacob? The ghost of Michael?
Ilana and Richard’s mission is to destroy the plane. The ghost that appears to be Michael – I don’t think we can be certain that any ghostly appearance is what it claims to be – doesn’t want the plane to blow up because people will die. A choice then for Hurley – let Locke leave on the plane and people will die or stop Richard and Ilana because people will die. It is the proverbial rock and hard place. Hurley’s view of whom to trust becomes clearer throughout the episode – “dead people are more reliable than alive people”.
“Dude, you’ve got some Ilana on you”
What exactly will happen if Locke leaves the island? Ilana was just about to tell us and then KABOOM. No room in season 6 for passengers (let’s hope Zoe is next). Meanwhile Locke is making a spear or a very big Jesus stick to remind himself of Eko or a curtain rail. We will find out I’m sure. Another thing I hope we find out is why Hurley took the diamonds; will it be a bribe or a tool further down line? He sure doesn’t need the money. I was also glad to see a Dosetoevsky book lying around – lending credence to my ‘Brothers Karamazov/Jacob & MIB’ similarities. I am convinced there will be a murdered father somewhere in their story line.
So Hurley hatches a plan of the ‘Locke-blowing-the-sub’ variety. He agrees to go with Richard only to sneak ahead and blow the Black Rock to smithereens. Once again we have a scene where the group splits itself. Two opposing leaders taking their troops on different courses. I don’t think this is the last time we will see this happening; the pieces are still moving before the end of the game is played out. Team Jacob is now just Richard, Ben & Miles and the new Team Hurley is The ‘Non-MIB’ Candidates plus Frank. Before they arrived at the Black Rock, Ben questioned what will happen to them once the Island’s intentions are sated. I was surprised when Ben chose to go with Richard and I am wondering if he has some other motive, most likely killing Widmore. Ben has forgiven himself but he won’t let Chuck Widmore off the hook so easily.
The Sideways reality followed the pattern begun in ‘Happily Ever After’ – enlightenment via love. Through Libby, a woman who has “issues with reality”, we have confirmation that it is not only the Island character’s stories that have been altered. She knows something is up. That there is, or was, “another life” (or a ‘bizzarro alternate universe”). Something is different and it needs putting right. Cue Desmond who, in a very Jacob like way, gives Hurley a little nudge.
“Do you believe that two people can be connected? Like soulmates?”
My understanding of the relationship between the realities changed again during this episode. After ‘Happily Ever After’ I thought that they were set to be fused – that they would continue to bleed together until the Sideways gave way to the Island reality. But now I am left wondering how these realities will end. Hurley has been enlightened and captivated, not by the revelation of the Island, but by the revelation of love. There is no way he will swap the Sideways for the Island now. Libby is only alive in one reality and that is the only one where the soulmates can be connected. Hurley has been awakened to the truth but I think he will be happy with his current reality being different rather than swapping it for an alternative universe – the Island world. Could this be the future that awaits Sayid & Nadia and Sawyer & Juliet? Could the Sideways end up being the ‘Happily Ever After’ after all? I have been convinced that Lost will not have a happy ending, and I still think it won’t on the Island, but this universe may offer a place for happiness without negating the Island experiences. In fact this reality will be happy because of the Island story.
On the Island, Locke has a acquired Widmore’s secret weapon who has “nowhere to run to”. Experience has told Desmond that he was blasted with a massive amount of electromagnetism and he tells Locke as much. I would have thought that this would be the piece of information that would most trouble Locke but he seems more concerned by Desmond’s view of his identity. To Desmond he is not the Man in Black or the Smoke Monster, he is “John Locke”. This is why Desmond is unafraid and this is also why he is thrown down the well. It’s unlikely that the fall into the well would have killed Desmond but Locke certainly wants him out of the way to meddle. I don’t think that Desmond’s unique relationship with electromagnetism is what makes him special and dangerous – as he says “the Island has it in for everyone” – but it is his enlightened state, his ability to see the truth that makes him dangerous to Locke, dangerous to the Island and dangerous to everyone who has an agenda of their own to peddle.
“We’re the ones who can’t move on”
The depth of transformation that has occurred in Jack is beginning to come through. He was the one of the original Losties who found it hardest to let go and get over his past. But now he has surrendered his fixing obsession and has begun to listen to Rose’s advice from the premiere; he is truly letting go. He shares his feelings of guilt, remorse and deep responsibility over Juliet’s death and, worse of all him, he can’t ever fix it. Right after his confession we hear the whispers and Hurley, who has cracked that mystery, takes charge and goes to into the jungle. There he finds Michael again who tells him that he is there because he can’t move on because of what he did. He can’t fix things either. Some fans will be disappointed with this mythological reveal – the whispers are souls that have not moved on and they are stuck in a kind of purgatory. I have two thoughts on this reveal. The first is that I’ve realised that I don’t really care. As much as I wanted mythological reveals that made sense I am far more interested in the characters – the show’s myths are very much secondary to my enjoyment of LOST and I actually find the spiritual and supernatural elements of the show very satisfying to the story. The second thing is that I am still not convinced Hurley is seeing dead people. He may well be seeing the projections of the Island or the MiB or Jacob. Or someone else. Perhaps it is connected to a dirty boy that is haunting Locke and has now been seen by both Desmond and Sawyer. Another thing to remember is that we are yet to see Christian Shepherd this season. His body is still missing in the Sideways and he has been absent from the Island too. I think he will be the key to solving the mystery of the dead people’s appearances.
“How do you break the ice with a smoke monster?”
The two camps of original Losties (plus Frank) are reunited. Locke promises not to kill anyone (yet). We are now on the verge of getting a showdown of ideas and agendas; the forces at work will collide; the leaders will clash. Who will be on which side after Locke has shared his point of view? I could not be more excited about next week’s episode.
And just when I though we were going to get the LOST logo we were treated to a fascinating coda. Desmond plows down John Locke. This throws up a number of crucial questions as to why? It could be that Desmond’s realities are indeed bleeding together – that he is becoming fully aware of both realities at once – and is attacking John because of what the Island’s Locke has just done to him by throwing him down the well. It could also be that Desmond suspects that the John Locke of the Sideways reality is not John Locke at all, or at least not entirely. The MIB said that Jacob stole his body and his humanity. Perhaps in this reality the MIB has stolen Locke’s body and humanity. The Sideways John Locke could play host to the MIB in the same way his Island counterpart does. Alternatively it could be that this is part of John’s enlightenment journey that Desmond is inciting – in the same way that Charlie careered his car in to the dock to begin Desmond’s awakening. Or perhaps it is a reordering to reality; John has love in this reality – a love he shouldn’t have.
As the castaways have been reunited on the Island I think they may be about to be reunited in the Sideways. We know that Locke and Jin & Sun are on their way to the hospital where Jack works. Sayid’s brother is already there. Claire is about to have a baby. Sawyer and Kate have just been in a car accident. There is one thing we know for sure: Everything happens for a reason.
As a little extra to the recaps I’m going to start a new chart – “Characters most likely to die in the next episode” – these are my guesses – I don’t do spoilers (apart from titles and promos) – so no spoilers in the comments please!
Characters most likely to die in the next episode:
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