LOST Recap: Season 6, Episode 11: “Everybody Loves Hugo”

15 04 2010

Hey everyone, thanks again for stopping by!  For those of you that read my blog consistently, I’m happy to say that I enjoyed this past episode much more than the previous one.  It had everything a LOST fan could hope for: a scene that came completely out of left field, a major reveal of a mystery that had been in question since all the way back in Season 1, and little clues that point to a bigger mystery that likely involves LOST’s endgame.  (It almost has to, doesn’t it?  I mean, there are only 5 episodes left!  Anything that’s still a mystery has to be a part of the endgame by default, right?)

In any event, I quite enjoyed the show, even some of the flash-sideways bits.  In fact, I have a pretty big theory about the flash-sideways that I’ve hinted on a few times, but that I’ll now put out there in plain sight for all of the world to laugh at.  So let’s get to it, shall we?  There’s much to discuss!

“Everybody Loves Hugo!”

How many of you recognized Dr. Chang’s voice right off the bat when the opening montage of Hurley came on screen?  I picked it up pretty quick, and also made an association of his dialog with that of the award presentation scene for Tony Stark in “Iron Man”.  I didn’t take the time to go through and see if it matched up, but it certainly reminded me of that.  Regardless, a fun little scene with what happened to Hurley in the sideways timeline.

One of the interesting things to think about from this opening scene is the appearance of Dr. Chang, semingly with both arms intact (you can see him clapping in the background several times).  What makes this so interesting is that Chang was at the site of “The Incident” at the Swan Station, which most of us had been assuming was the fork in the timelines.  But the thought is that the bomb never went off in the main timeline (which is how he survived to make the Dharma videos), but that the bomb DID go off in the sideways timeline, which caused the island’s demise.  If Jughead did indeed detonate in the sideways timeline, Chang would have been obliterated.  It begs the question: what really did happen at the Swan station, both in the main and sideways timelines?  I’m not holding my breath that we’ll get the answer for either, but I certainly had hoped that it would be explained sometime this season.

I guess the reason why I’m not too hopeful is because I’m not sure how relevant it is to the overall story at this point.  It seems as though much of the end of LOST can be told without going back of some of the minutia too much.  I guess it’s up to the writers to determine what they think is big enough to answer, and what isn’t.  In fact, I guess they’ve already made that decision, since the finale is already written and in the process of being filmed.  That’s something else interesting to think about, isn’t it?

“I’m here to stop you from gettin’ everyone killed!”

Michael appears to Hurley

Not sure about the rest of you, but I was happy to see Michael back one last time.  I really never liked the way the writers basically turned him into an evil guy, and then cast the whole Michael/Walt storyline aside like yesterday’s news.  Even Michael’s return and subsequent “redemption” seemed hollow, especially since he was never reunited with Walt, and the poor kid thinks his Dad is still alive somewhere on the island.  So any chance for Michael to get even the slimmest pieces of addition redemption is OK in my book.  I’ll touch on that a bit more later when I discuss his second appearance in the episode.

It’s Libby!

Libby catches up with Hurley in the flash-sideways

Great to see Libby back as well, as her time was cut way too short in the show too.  While we all know what she’s referring to in her conversation with Hurley in the restaurant, it’s interesting how the writers try to tie back her brief scene in the mental hospital from Hurley’s flashback in Season 2 to the flash-sideways in Season 6.  I would imagine that there are some folks out there that are trying to make some type of an association between the original flashbacks and the new flashsideways, but I’m hesitant to do so.  As much as I’m on record for not really liking the flash-sideways in a general sense, I think they completely lose their validity if somehow they are already mixed with the main timeline and our LOSTies’ past.  While reviewing some scenes again in the light of some answers will be fun (more on that later), I don’t think deciphering between real and alternate in the original flashbacks would be one of them.  It’d be too much like revisionist history.  What do you all think?

BTW, since “Santa Rosa Mental Health Institute” was so prominently displayed on the side of the van Libby left in, I decided to do a little anagram search on it…just to be sure.  Nothing worth mentioning came up.

“You have to trust me.  I’ve been training my whole life for this.”

Ilana underestimates the instability of her dynamite

Wow.  Did any of you see that coming?  I mean, in retrospect, sure, Ilana could be considered “expendable” in relation to the story that’s left to be told.  But that was shocking to see on screen.  Of course, immediately after she blew herself to bits, I was already thinking exactly what Ben later vocalized.  She was hand-picked by Jacob.  He specifically asked her to come back to the island and help him.  But he seemed to offer zero protection for her when she needed it.  In fact, that seems to be very much Jacob’s M.O.: ask for help, get it, and then discard with prejudice.  Not only did he leave Ilana to her demise, but Dogen, Lennon, and Bram (Ilana’s counterpart that was killed by Smokey in the Season 6 opener) were all followers of Jacob that he seemed to have no concern for as they stared into the face of death.  While I’m not suggesting that Jacob is at all evil, I’m not sure that I’d be the first to join his squad.  He clearly has a non-interference policy (othet than bringing people to the island), and he’s sticking to it regardless of who lives or dies.  Bram once said that he’s playing for the team that was “gonna win”.  That may very well still turn out to be true…but he surely won’t be around to see if he was right.

One interesting corollary of this scene is the subsequent invasion of Ilana’s stash, including Hurley finding a small bag.  While at first I thought that this might be Jacob’s remains, you can hear a sort of clanking noise as he inspects the contents, giving us the impression that it contains rocks or stones.  Perhaps they’re the white and black stones that Adam and Eve from the caves have on them?  I doubt that we’ve seen the last of that bag, that’s for sure…

“It was nice bumping into you.”

Desmond convinces Hurley to give Libby another shot

Ah yes, Desmond continues his alternate reality farewell tour in the sideways universe.  I’m actually enjoying the way this is playing out, even if the trigger for getting there still seems highly unbelievable to me.  In any event, I wanted to point out that I believe that Desmond is not flashing between the worlds as he did in the previous episode.  I still hold to the idea that the lack of a whoosh sound between the flashes in the previous episode speaks to him consciously making the transition.  The fact that there are now whoosh sounds in this episode tells me that he’s not going along for the ride in a conscious sense.  The Desmond in the alternate timeline is acting completely on his own, based solely on what he experienced in the last episode.  I could certainly be wrong (is there anyone out there that analyzes this show that hasn’t been wrong?), but that’s what I’m taking out of it.

“I’m protecting us.”

What's left of the Black Rock

Now this one wasn’t too far out in left field for me.  Hurley’s clearly in a different mindset now, and is welcoming the leadership position.  And as such, he’s taking action to make sure his wishes are carried out, even if they’re not what the group believes, and he has to do it himself.  Blowing up the Black Rock was a ballsy move, but it really was the only way he could slow down Richard’s headstrong ways.  If he’s angling to take control of the group, it was the best move he could make.

“I said ignore him!”

The boy getting a chuckle from Smokey's frustration

Happy to see the little antagonizing boy in the jungle again, although he appears to have grown up a bit.  Some of you may be thinking that it’s a different boy, seeing as how he now has dark hair as opposed to blond, and is definitely older, but my money is on the idea that it’s the same kid.  And I’ve got a really strange, off-the-wall theory as to who it is.  Many of you have guessed a young Jacob, or even a young Sawyer (at least originally).  But my guess is not either of them.  I’ll share it with you at the end of this post.  For now, note that the boy seems quite pleased that the Locke Monster is frustrated by his appearance.  Oh, and by the way, I’m sure that his appearance as Smokey takes Desmond out into the jungle is for exactly the same reason he showed up last time: to remind Smokey of what he can’t do…namely, kill Desmond.  Only this time, he doesn’t even have to vocalize it.  Smokey knows that it’s against the rules.

For reference, the boy's first appearance

“You can either come with me, or you can keep trying to blow stuff up.  Your call dude.”

A couple of interesting things happen in this scene.  First, Hurley flat-out lies about his contact with Jacob.  I guess it’s not completely uncommon if you stop to think about it, but I was taken aback by it.  I didn’t expect him to take such tactics, especially as he’s trying to take a leadership position.

Richard, not buying what Hurley's selling

The other thing to notice is that he’s not forcing anyone to do anything.  For someone that’s Jacob’s potential replacement, he’s certainly on the right track there.  It’s certainly more than what Jack’s currently doing…

Team Ilana (minus Ilana) splits up

So yeah, what’s the new name for these teams anyway?  I guess I could call Hurley’s group either Team Jacob or Team Hurley (now that he’s assumed the leadership position), and the other group Team Richard.  I don’t know, I’m not too good at coming up with clever names for these people, like “The Smoking Club”.  In any event, the team breaks up, with Richard, Ben, and Miles going for explosives that they think they can find at the Barracks.  Meanwhile, Hurley, Jack, Sun, and Lapidus all head for Smokey’s camp.  Frankly, I’d be concerned about the safety of both groups.  But I’m definitely interested in how the story develops for the both of them…

“Yeah, we’re the ones who can’t move on.”

Michael gives up the ghost on the secret of the whispers

So…after 5 years of the whispers, we’re given the answer as to what they are.  Although the mthod in which the answer was given was somewhat anti-climactic, it was still an awesome moment of revelation.  I’d venture to guess that the answer wasn’t overly surprising to any of you (maybe you wished that you had thought of that yourself…or maybe you did!), but to me, the answer was still highly satisfying.  And if nothing else, it gives us at least one reason to go back and re-watch all of those old episodes.  My first inclination is that we saw Walt in Season 2 right after the whispers, and he wasn’t dead, so I’m curious to go back and see how well everything fits together.  But the bottom line for me is that I’m thrilled that they answered this one.

One last thing to comment on with this scene: I’m also very happy with Michael’s last appearance.  In his final request, he wasn’t just asking for forgiveness from Libby, he was asking it of Hurley as well.  Hurley’s response leads me to believe that he has indeed forgiven Michael for what he did…giving that story at least some measure of closure.

“You like me because you’re delusional.”

Libby helps Hurley remember

Yeah, that’s a great way to get someone to like you Hurley…you should use that one again!  Libby kisses Hurley anyway, and he experiences the same flashes that Charlie, Desmond, and Libby had previously.  Not surprisingly, Desmond is looking on, but seems content enough with the outcome to drive off to his next destination after seeing their interaction.  The question I have after that is, why doesn’t Desmond recruit them for his cause?  Isn’t there some larger plan in play than just simply trying to get everyone from Flight 815 to experience the flash?  Of course, I’m still hung up on how good ol’ Des figured out that the flight was the commonality, but I won’t head down that path again.  I suppose it’s enough to know that he simply wants to trigger the effect.  That in itself seems to make for a successful interaction.

Smokey shows Desmond the well

Smokey and Desmond approach the well

A bunch of things to discuss here.  First, I think that Smokey is dead-on when he mentions that Widmore is in it for himself.  I know that in the past, I’ve pretty much dismissed anything that Smokey’s said out-of-hand.  I regret doing so, because I now believe that he’s at least got a nugget of truth in what he says.  He’s an accomplished liar, but unlike Ben, he seems to use it only when he has something he’s trying to achieve.  In this particular case with Desmond, he needs nothing from him, and has no fear of losing the upper hand, so he’s fully comfortable sharing information without a filter.

The other thing to discuss is the location itself.  Note that they’re nowhere near anything that looks like the Orchid station, or any remnant thereof.  Couple that with Smokey’s statement that this is not the only well, and you can conclude that this is not the well that leads to the frozen donkey wheel.  That was my first thought, but I’m convinced otherwise after some re-watches.  Smokey’s not trying to get him down to the donkey wheel, he’s just trying to remove him from the equation.

Of course, that leads to the third thing to notice, and that is that he didn’t kill Desmond straight up.  You might be asking why that is.  Of course, I gave you my answer earlier: the young boy made an appearance just to remind Smokey that he can’t kill Desmond, at least not directly.  I guess he figures that the next best thing is to chuck him into a well that he can’t get out of.  That would at least stop Widmore from using him the way he wants to.

Look what just showed up on your doorstep!

You have to admit, if you’re Smokey, and the series of events that come to pass at the end of the episode happens to you, you’ve got to feel like it’s your lucky day.  Not only is Widmore’s secret weapon dispatched with, but the three people you needed to get off the island…Jack, Hurley, and Sun…all come walking right up to your camp.  And if that’s not enough, the guy who flew the plane shows up along with them!  After years and years and years of waiting, absolutely everything is coming together in a way that even Smokey couldn’t have anticipated.  He’s got to feel as though his trip off the island is imminent.

Alternate Desmond runs down Locke

Locke in bad shape after Desmond's handiwork

I think the immediate association most people would have with this scene is that somehow alternate Desmond is aware of what’s happening back on the island, and that he’s looking for some type of revenge.  However, as I stated earlier, I don’t think that Desmond’s consciousness is making the trip anymore.  Instead, I think that alternate Desmond had a very specific task in mind: get Locke to have a near-death experience, so that he will see the flash, just like Charlie did when he alomst choked to death on Oceanic 815.

And really, there’s no better segue to my off-the-wall theory than the way the episode ends.  I’m sharing this with you even though it feels only slightly above fan fiction, for two reasons.  First, there are only 5 episodes left.  At some point I’m going to have to go out on a limb about who I think Jacob’s replacement is, despite not seeing any overt clues that point to anyone in particular.  Second, after some of the things we’ve seen this season, it’s hard to classify anything as too off-the-wall for what could happen to end the show.

So here it is: I think that alternate Locke is going to somehow transfer his consciousness from the alternate timeline to the main timeline, be reincarnated as the young boy that is tormenting Smokey, and eventually become Jacob’s replacement.  I know, I know, totally off the wall.  But here’s some backup evidence, for what it’s worth:

1. Locke’s coversation with Jack in the alternate timeline in the first episode of the season: Locke – “My condition is irreversible.”  Jack – “Nothing is irreversible.”

2. “Canton-Rainier” (which is an anagram of reincarnation) on the side of the van that Locke’s body was transported in last season.  You could argue that Locke was already “reincarnated” as Smokey, but that’s not exactly how I interpret reincarnation.  Reincarnation is typically thought of as the consciousness of an individual that dies coming back in another’s body or form.  Coming back as the young boy would qualify.

3. Walt’s dream of Locke on the island in his suit with everyone trying to kill him.  So far, no one’s tried to kill Locke’s form except Sayid, and Smokey posing as Locke is not wearing a suit.  This dream of Walt’s is yet to come.

4. The young boy is clearly pleased with Smokey’s misfortune.  Who would be more pleased with Smokey’s pain than the guy whose body he stole?

5. Locke’s story in the alternate timeline is still to be told.  We’ve clearly been left with a cliffhanger that entails Locke’s fate, and should get more information on it in next week’s episode, or in the episodes to come.  We’re not yet done with Locke.

6. No one is a better candidate to replace Jacob than Locke.  Despite what Hurley and Jack are trying to accomplish, they do not fit as Jacob’s successor.  Hurley certainly seems to be making that transition somewhat, but he still doesn’t seem to be ready.  If Locke came back as the Locke we knew, I don’t think that there would be any doubt that he could be the one.  In fact, the idea of Locke’s death may be the writers’ way of throwing us off the scent.  If Locke was alive, wouldn’t you think he would be the overwhelming choice to replace Jacob?  The only way to quell that is to kill him, and have Smokey scratch him off the list.

Anyway, that’s my wacky theory.  I’d love for all of you to pick it apart for me.  Oh, and for those of you that can actually see this happening, think about this: what if Ben was Locke’s new Richard?  How fun of a concept would that be?  Alright, enough of my crazy ranting, let’s wrap this up…

Post-episode questions

1. How the heck is Desmond going to be able to do what Widmore wants now that he’s in the well?

2. Who is Jacob’s replacement?  Does Hurley fit the bill?   With only 5 episodes left, it’s time to start putting together a theory…

3. What really happened at the Swan station during the Incident?  Will we ever find out?

4. Does the question of why or how the sideways timeline exists even matter anymore?  Is it all now about how it converges with the main timeline?

5. If the alternate timeline “won out” (was the timeline that remained and the main timeline got wiped out), would you feel at all cheated?  Would you like that better because it seems as though the characters are mostly getting what they want over there?

That’s all I’ve got for this week!  I really want to encourage all of you long-time readers that may be lurkers to come out of the shadows and post!  We only have 5 episodes left to chat about the show and then it’s gone forever.  I’d love nothing more than getting some serious theorizing going on in the comments as everything comes to a head and gets wrapped up.  I’d love to know what all of you think!

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3 responses

15 04 2010
Robert Bonamico

Something came to mind this week when I noticed how everyone is capable of feeling the Island timeline from the sideways timeline. When everyone showed up at Camp Smokey, I started to think that maybe they strike a deal with him. After all, Smokey doesn’t want to kill them, he just wants to get off the Island. Perhaps the Sideways Timeline is a product of whatever deal they strike up to let him off the Island. That they are somehow in a state of bliss, artificially manufactured by Smokey, as he promises them that they can all go back to their lives. Seiously, I have no idea? Anyway, I read another blog yesterday, and a wikipedia reference was made to that Russian Book that Illana was reading-it could maybe shed some light on a few things, but for me, there are so many details floating around, I don’t know what to think. Here is the link to the book: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Notes_from_Underground

15 04 2010
hablodepablo

Hey Robert, thanks again for checking in with your thoughts. The strike-a-deal thing sounds pretty relevant, and falls in line with the “epilogue” theory that some people have regarding the flash-sideways. And really, the further we get into the story, the more it seems like multiple theories are somehow all correct: the epilogue theory, the consciousness transferrance theory, and the “what if Smokey escapes” theory all seem to still be valid in the current storyline. (Click here if you’re unfamiliar with the theories: https://interlost.wordpress.com/2010/03/27/lost-discussion-what-the-heck-is-up-with-the-flash-sideways/)

Ultimately, I still think the flash-sideways will still be the “consequence” of losing the battle with MIB, except that now that consequence isn’t much of a consequence at all. As you stated, the LOSTies are mostly in a state of uninformed bliss over there, carrying out their lives and getting things they didn’t have in the main timeline. Wouldn’t it be just like LOST to have us ask ourselves whether or not we want our characters to end up in the main timeline or the alternate timeline?

The one thing to keep in mind with this theory is that not everyone is having a good time over there. Sayid’s a cold-blooded killer that never got to be with Nadia, Sun’s been shot by Jin and we’re unsure if she’ll be able to keep her baby, and Sawyer looks as though he’ll never get to confront his namesake.

It’s hard to believe that we’re going to get answers to everything in the last 6 hours of the show, but regardless of how it all turns out, I’m happy that I’ve been along for the ride.

15 04 2010
MikeP

Paul,

How much effort would it be to put together a “LOST Glossary” for all the terms that we’ve grown to use that anyone not familiar with LOST would be clueless about, and also when we put the final wrap-up together this might be useful in dredging up old memories of scenes from sooo long ago…

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