Apr 15 2010 4:51pm

Lost Round Table: “Everybody Loves Hugo”

Bloggers Bridget McGovern, Rajan Khanna, and Theresa DeLucci are back once again for this week’s Lost round table discussion. Everybody loves Hurley and everybody likes cheese. Important lessons to learn.  Spoilers and links ahead.

Bridget: Maybe it’s a little unfair to say this episode felt like a letdown after last week, but it didn’t deliver on quite the same level. Then again, there’s plenty to talk about, and now that we have a reason to be invested equally in both realities, flashing sideways doesn’t feel like a lame distraction anymore. Also, it was nice to see Jorge Garcia get to show off his dramatic chops a bit—as likeable as Hurley is, being the show’s down-to-earth voice of the audience requires a certain mellow, and a certain amount of distance. This episode was all about Hurley engaging with more complicated emotions, becoming a leader rather than an observer, and taking an active part in his own destiny.

In that sense, control (and lack/surrender of control) seemed to be the major theme of the episode: Smocke’s just hanging out at base camp, whittling a spear, or spike, or giant pool cue or something, sitting back and letting the other candidates come to him (which they eventually do). Ilana, the obvious authority figure for the other group, gets blown all to hell (perhaps because the Island was “done with her,” as Ben suggests?). Since he can’t go back and make up for what happened to Juliet, Jack has gotten all Zen—he is a leaf on Hurley’s wind...or something. Meanwhile, Richard is obsessed with destroying the plane, and takes Bitter Ben and Miles the Sexy Snark Machine with him, leaving Hurley in charge of everyone else. We went straight from “Everybody Loves Hugo” to Who’s the Boss? at some point.

Then there are the two Desmonds (the best part of the episode, for my money). On the Island, Des is eerily calm—as if he’s achieved enlightenment, or has some special knowledge of how events are going to play out. L.A. Desmond has become an agent of change, on a mission to make the other 815 passengers see through the fabric of their current reality. Island Des and Smocke don’t hit it off, and he gets throw down Ye Olde Electromagnetic Adventure Well. L.A. Des and Substitute Teacher Locke totally hit it off, at about 80 miles an hour. BAM.

So, what’s going on? Why does Desmond identify Smocke as John Locke? Is he wrong, is he lying…or does he know something? What’s with Locke’s obsession with people looking for answers? And why does Desmond’s lack of fear set him off? Was Desmond actually trying to kill Locke in the sideways reality? My gut feeling is that he wasn’t…besides, we all know there’s no one harder to kill than John Locke. That guy is like Michael Myers—he just keeps coming. Finally: now that we know what the voices are, can someone please tell me what’s going on with the random boys in the jungle? The smirky kid from last night was clearly different than the other ones we’ve seen, and his presence definitely unsettled Smocke. Then again, I guess I’d be pretty distracted too, if the entire cast of Lord of the Flies II: Piggy’s Revenge kept traipsing through my backyard…

Rajan: I actually didn’t feel like this was a letdown. Yes, it wasn’t quite a Desmond episode, but it had enough of Desmond in it to keep me happy and we got some answers, at least in regard to the whispers and a kind of hint of sorts with regard to the well. I was just waiting for Smocke to dump Desmond into it, of course, but I think all that happened is that Desmond got tossed a little closer to one of these electromagnetic pockets that we keep hearing about. Compasses spinning wildly and all that.

I see this season as being largely about Hugo’s journey. He went from being the down to earth comic relief to being, as of this episode, a leader. Someone willing to stand on his own and stick by his decisions. People have been theorizing that if Jack is destined to be the new Jacob, then Hurley is destined to be the new Richard, and I think this episode went a long way to supporting that idea, both in Hurley dissenting with Richard’s course (to the point of blowing up the Black Rock) and asking for, and getting, Jack’s trust.

Speaking of blowing up, that’s how Ilana goes out? I have to say that the show didn’t seem to know what to do with her. What was so special about her that Jacob had to go to her in the hospital? To get Sayid to the island? To tell the candidates that’s what they were? I never really took to her, but that still seemed a punk ass way to go out.

So we’re finally starting to see the two Earths bleed into one another. And yet again it’s love that bridges the gap. The Desmond of Earth-2 reminded me of Michael Landon in Highway to Heaven trying to guide Hurley to the right path without necessarily coming out and telling him what was up. But then he went all Kurt Russell in Death Proof on Locke in the end and I didn’t know what to make of it. I liked the mirror to what was happening in Earth-1. But I found myself wondering if the idea wasn’t to kill Locke, but somehow to jar him into remembering Earth-1. He didn’t have a love connection there, remember, so maybe the trauma would connect somehow? Maybe something to do with his injury? It looked like he might be remembering something there at the end.

And not to dwell on it, but I hereby declare this season to be Lost’s most cleavagey season ever.

Theresa: I liked this episode a bit more the first time I watched it, true. Maybe my Hurley-episode anticipation was too high and it wasn’t a great episode, just... decent. Ditto to a lot of what you said, Bridget. I wish the Desmond episode happened earlier in the season because the flash-sideways have more suspense now. Jorge Garcia was great and it’s always good to see Hugo’s mother. Some people never bought Libby being into Hurley, but I always did. Hurley is just an inherently likable and sympathetic character.

But I don’t buy that Jack has changed much. He’s still pretty much a self-absorbed egomaniac with a savior complex. Just tuned down a notched or two. I don’t think Hurley will be a leader for long. It was a bit dumb to go talk to Locke without much of a plan. When he finds out Locke wanted exactly those people there to complete his candidate collection, I bet Hurley will step down. And Jack will have a rousing speech at the ready and possibly cry some manly tears of self-righteousness.

I still don’t understand how they plan on flying off the Island anyway. That’s not a Cessna on the beach, it’s a commercial jetliner. My guess it will be an escape by submarine. But then that also means Lapidus is doomed since, to date, the only reason I can see him being on this Island is because the show needs someone to fly them off the Island since the first pilot died in the... pilot. The poor guy seems to speak once every two episodes. It’s a terrible under-use of Jeff Fahey.

I think the kids in the jungle are the young Jacob and young MIB. Why they are little ghost children though, I have no idea.

Finally, I’ve been watching Lost live this season and whoever picks the music for the promos is really great. First Leonard Cohen’s “Bird on a Wire” and now last night’s creepy song from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory? Nicely done.

Lost-related links:

Graham Annable’s Lost/Star Wars comics

Next week’s trailer uses our favorite creepy childhood memories of Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka to even creepier effect

Claire Littleton’s official Bobblehead Doll comes with crazy squirrel-baby!!!  (also, Jacob and the Man in Black action figures)

A musical tribute to Libby and Hurley’s love: “I’m in Love with Mr. Cluck

Minkowski. Hume. Pace: Driving Miss Desy

Somebody’s trying to put the moves on Richard Alpert

Theresa DeLucci is a graduate of the 2008 Clarion West Writers Workshop. Her fiction has appeared in Chizine. She’s eagerly awaiting the return of True Blood. Well, not so much the whole show, but at least Alexander Skarsgård in a tank top.

Rajan Khanna is a graduate of the 2008 Clarion West Writers Workshop and his fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Shimmer, GUD, and Steampunk Tales. He lives in Brooklyn with his two cats, Chloe and Muppet.

Bridget McGovern is a lit nerd, a film geek, and a complete pop culture junkie. She enjoys David Bowie, roller coasters, and joyriding on the Wonkatania more than anyone probably should.

1. rogerothornhill
A lot of fans have been jonesing for a resurrection of the "real" John Locke. I've never bought it, but damn if killing sideways John L doesn't seem like a cockeyed good way to reboot the island Locke's resurrected consciousness. Maybe I'm just flashing back on the QL episode that followed "Shock Theatre."

Is it possible the two kids in the jungle are Jacob at different ages, that he's getting older? Maybe there's a timeclock on MiB's escape.

"Miles the Sexy Snark" :)
Jordan Hamessley
2. Jordache
Sideways Locke is going to end up in the one hospital that LA has in this universe and end up on Jack's table.

Hopefully, Juliet will be in the next room over saving Sun and her baby.

3. ChuckEye
Regarding the Willy Wonka promo...

5 golden tickets == 5 candidates left...

Augustus Gloop = Hurley
Mike Teevee = Sawyer
Varuca Salt = Sayid
Violet = Sun
Charlie = Jack
with, of course, Willy Wonka = Jacob???
Bridget McGovern
4. BMcGovern
Oooooh, nice one, Jordan...for some reason the Juliet/baby doctor connection hadn't occurred to me at all so far. Out of sight, out of mind, I guess :)

@3 ChuckEye: I think you just blew my mind. So is the Man in Black Arthur Slugworth?!!! Now I won't be happy until someone snaps, "GOOD DAY, SIR!" at some point...
5. Caddy
The boys in the jungle are played by the same actor- Kenton Duty, according to imdb.
6. Alfvaen
I thought that Kid 1 was blonde, and this episode's Kid 2 was dark-haired. So, yeah, one Jacob, one not-Jacob. Though it would be weird for Smocke to see another version of himself...perhaps more of an indication that Smocke is more Locke than he lets on?

I wasn't sure about Libby's amount of free rein at the asylum. First the doctor is dragging her away and trying to keep Hurley from seeing her, and then she's self-committed so she can leave whenever she wants? Not adding up. But for all I know real mental hospitals work that way too.

Did Earth-2 Hurley win the lottery too? I wasn't clear on that, somehow, but I suppose he must have, or else where would he have gotten all that money from? Did he use the same numbers?
Bridget McGovern
7. BMcGovern
About the Boy(s)--I guess the dark hair threw me off; I also thought the first boy was conspicuously younger than the one in this episode, but @Caddy is right, according to Lostpedia, which also provides an interesting casting description for the character.

@Alfvaen I believe Hurley said he won the lottery in the very first sideways flash, when he was on the plane (in a conversation with Arzt). I don't think the numbers have been mentioned, though.
8. Makeda42
I am still liking the mystery.

I am troubled that all the darker members of the cast are dying, disappearing, making the wrong choice. Sayidd, my favorite hunk, seems to be a violent man in each reality. Michael is consigned to be a permanent ghost. Ilana blows up. If we lose Hurly, I will be upset. Hurley seems to be a better Jacob-candidate than Jack, imho. He has a more inquisitive and peaceful disposition. And a better sense of humor--which I also think that Jacob had. Unfortunately, Jack has the hero body type that television loves. sigh!

Now Desmond, I love. The poor guy seems to have accepted his unstuck-in-time role with a sense of humor. Why Locke thought tossing him down the rabbit hole would take him out of the equation, I will never know.
9. Makeda42
By the way, I liked the way the numbers showed up as order numbers in the chicken joint. Sly!
10. Lily of the Valley
Did anyone else see the connection between Desmond being 42 at Mr. Clucky's and 42 being "the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything"?

....well, -I- thought it was funny.

I've also found that, so far, the people to actually -make- the connections to the Earth-2 Flight 815 passengers have been those that died in Earth-1. Charlie, Daniel, Libby; they're the "crazy" people who have felt something and gone on to set the ball rolling with the others.
Andrew Gray
11. madogvelkor
Interesting that love and death seem to be the two things that connect the worlds.
Richard Fife
12. R.Fife
I really don't have much to say on this one. Ilana blew up in true "done with you" fashion, just like Libby died right when we thought she was starting to be important. At least I didn't get any "killed for romantic drama" vibe from her (like almost every other female death on the Island).

I am curious, though, what did Hugo find in the bag that suddenly made him become "I'm the leader, trust me"?
Bridget McGovern
13. BMcGovern
@Makeda: Agreed on all counts!

@Lily of the Valley and madogvelkor: I was curious about whether or not the characters that died in the Earth-1 reality have some special ability to see through the sideways reality. Libby seems to confirm this--I wonder about Alex Rousseau, and even Helen and Nadia (although those two died off-Island). I wonder if Shannon and Juliet are going to show up to repeat the pattern? How many resurrected blondes does the show have time for, at this point?

@R. Fife I'm pretty sure the bag was Ilana's stash of Jacob's ashes. I'm assuming they have some mysterious, possibly strategic purpose (although I also had a vision of Hurley's botched attempt to scatter them, Big Lebowski style. But unless there's a secret Dharma bowling alley somewhere, that probably won't happen :)
14. dmg
By the way, I liked the way the numbers showed up as order numbers in the chicken joint. Sly!

Sharp ears and eyes, Makeda42!

In fact, the creative team litters each episode with references, some more sly than most. For example, when Smocke explained the well's history to Desmond to be the result of a long-ago people digging digging digging to discover why their compasses would spin spin spin on the island. Meanwhile, Smocke, while telling this story, walked circles around the well (spin spin spin; well, one revolution) while Desmond rooted himself to one spot, a constant. Or THE CONSTANT, as another Desmond-centric episode was entitled. I think we all can figure out the intended meaning from this bit of meta-story.

There are many examples of this sly creativity, one reason I enjoy LOST as much as I do. The show fills the screen from edge to edge, top to bottom, with all manner of clues and surprises. The show engages your mind, as well as your visceral responses; no lazy watching here!

As an aside, I sure wish J Wood had not become catastrophically ill. I really miss his brilliant analyses of the show.
15. sofrina
locke's love connection could be that woman helen, or it could be with walt. they had a certain kinship from early on.

the 815 pilot died later. they found him in the cockpit hung up in the trees, inland, and the black smoke came and dragged him out through the windshield.
16. asotir
I admit I also thought dark kid = young MiB, and was starting to get a 'Lord of the Flies' vibe about Jacob and MiB's backstory. It confounds me to think it's the same kid playing both!

As to why Desmond rammed into Locke, that's not the question. Charlie and Desmond both had their 'real' memories sparked in near-death experiences, so it's logical to put Locke through the same process. The question is, why did Desmond think sitting down next to Hugo and talking to him would make any difference? And then, why did not being bound, taped up in a refrigerator and threatened with torture not spark memories in Jin (or did they, and we will see that later)? I can believe however that war veteran Sayid wouldn't be too stressed about taken at gunpoint; he's a bad mofo and would be assured he could get out of it.

The ending here really made me want to watch on. Since Desmond apparently got some of his flash-sideways enlightenment communicated to his Island-bound self, could the real John Locke, having awakened in sideways-LA, now engage in a battle with MiB for the body-semblance of John Locke? Could Sayid also, after Desmond awakens him in flash-sideways, start to struggle with his conscience on the Island? That would give Naveen something more to do.

I love the idea that Locke ends up being operated on by Jack. Remember Jack the miracle worker has promised he can do something about Locke's spine. And Jack is never wrong!

Also interesting is that MiB said he didn't know who dug that well -- at least he said he didn't know how long it took them, which suggests he was not around to see it, which implies he and Jacob were not the first men on the Island.

I was also a bit disappointed with the way Ilana went. Shock, yes, and I'm not sorry to see the end of her (as I was sorry to see Dogen go). I suppose she represents a choice of violence for our good survivors, and Hugo leads them away from being one of the two war parties into a sect calling for peace.

What was in the little bag of Ilana's Hugo found? I was assuming it had to do with his decision to blow the Black Rock, so the little clicking things were likely blasting caps. But maybe something else to appear later on, and thus better justify Ilana's role?
Richard Fife
17. R.Fife
@16 Asotir and @13 BMcGovern

Yeah, I thought the bag clicked, like it had small stones or something in it. Perhaps it is the bag of ashes, but there is something else in there now too.
a a-p
18. lostinshadow
I wish Jack had been the one who was blown up. I can barely watch the show because of him. Bleh!

and don't really mean to be paranoid but what's up with making the former Iraqi soldier turn into soldier of evil anyway? political agenda much?
Jennifer B
19. JennB
I agree. I can't stand Jack and Sayid was my favorite character. I like that Jack is not as prominent this season, but I wouldn't mind if he disappeared alltogether. But even more so, every episode I keep thinking "I want good Sayid back."

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