Season 2, Episode 4
Episode Air Date: 10/12/05
After three weeks of fast and furious hatch revelations, "Lost"
downshifted this week into a far more reasonable gear. Don't get me
wrong, I love the big developments as much as anyone, but there's no way the
series could have continued at that break-neck pace (nor could I have
continued -- deconstructing that Dharma movie nearly killed me last
The downshifting brings a return to characters, and there's no better representation of character than the island's Character In Chief: Hurley.
Much of this episode focuses on our hefty friend, who is uncharacteristically flustered by all this hatch business. See, Jack has given Hurley an important task -- Hurley must inventory the hatch's pantry -- and Hurley is none-to-pleased with the job. It's not that Hurley doesn't like being around food (clearly, he does), rather, it's the responsibility attached to the food that gives Hurley the shakes.
He's nervous and anxious and he's sweating more than usual. The hatch pantry has even invaded his subconscious. The episode begins with a "Twin-Peaks-esque" dream sequence wherein Hurley imagines himself devouring the hatch's food supply (in his dream the hatch is full of candy and milk and fully-cooked steak dinners, and he eats them all). But in the dream, his edible reverie is interrupted by the appearance of Jin, who now mysteriously speaks English (putting to rest all that Jin-is-faking-it conjecture that popped up in the wake of last week's teaser). But hold on just a minute there! Jin, in perfect English, tells Hurley that he's not speaking English. Oh no! Hurley is speaking Korean. And it's at this exact moment that a man in a chicken suit suddenly appears next to Jin (really). "Everything is going to change," Jin says. "Have a cluckity cluck cluck day, Hugo." And with that, Hurley is startled awake by the dual sounds of Kate calling his name and the hatch alarm counting down (the countdown has crossed the four-minute mark). Hurley groggily pulls his head up and proceeds to type the all-important code (4 8 15 16 23 42) into the Hatch computer.
Have a cluckity cluck cluck day indeed.
Sidenote: If you watch this dream sequence carefully, you'll see that Walt's face appears below a "missing" notice on the side of Hurley's milk carton. Very crafty.
Now, you're going to have to stick with me here because I'm changing the format a bit this week. In the past I've broken up island events and flashbacks for the sake of clarity (and because it's a hell of a lot easier to organize). But I can't get away with that in this episode because the flashbacks and the present events are closely entwined -- even more so than usual.
And so we flash back to Hurley's previous life ...
This first backstory sequence begins in the living room of Hurley's mother's house. Hurley, clad in his Mr. Cluck's fast-food uniform, clutches a lottery ticket as he watches the lotto numbers flash on the television (4, 8, 15, 16 ... do I really need to finish?). This is the same scene that unfolded in the vital first-season episode "Numbers." The winning numbers appear ... Hurley passes out ... a great tremble is felt across the western hemisphere ... you remember. But unlike the "Numbers" scene, this segment continues with Hurley's mother pestering/berating her copious son as he slowly comes to on her carpet. Hurley seems oddly distant considering what's just happened (remember, he just won the lottery). He neglects to inform his mother of his newfound wealth. It's too bad, because he could have saved himself from an onslaught of maternal abuse. You see, Senora Reyes has clearly had enough of her lazy son's Life of Leisurely Limbo. "You have to change your life Hugo," she says. "You think someone else will change it for you? Maybe if you pray every day Jesus Christ will come down from Heaven, take 200 pounds and bring you a decent woman ... and a new car."
Oh, he'll have a new car soon enough Mrs. Reyes ... just you wait. It'll be a shiny yellow Hummer and you'll have a bitch of a time getting in and out of it.
Back to the present day ...
Hurley has a brief run-in with Charlie on the beach. Charlie wants to know what's in the hatch (as yet, only a select few have entered the metal bunker), but Hurley is evasive, dodging Charlie's questions with half-assed answers and darting looks. Charlie gets all high and mighty and accuses Hurley of lying to him again (in "Numbers," Hurley revealed his $156 million fortune to Charlie, but Charlie didn't believe it -- apparently, he still doesn't). Charlie huffs off and Hurley is left to wallow in his rising misery.
Moving down the beach, Hurley encounters a character we haven't seen in a loooong time: Rose. Remember her? She's the deeply spiritual woman who told Jack early on that her husband, Bernard, survived the plane crash. It's a lovely sentiment, but as yet, Bernard is no where to be found, and there's a reason for that -- he was in the back of the plane when Oceanic 815 snapped into bits at 30,000 feet. Nonetheless, Rose was -- and is -- completely positive that her beloved Bernard is alive.
And so Hurley runs into Rose, which is a stunningly prescient development since Rose is the perfect person to turn to during times of intense self doubt (she helped Charlie through his post-traumatic Evil Ethan disorder in "Whatever the Case May Be"). It's also very convenient that Rose reappears in this episode since another group of Oceanic survivors will soon be found on the ... well, I'm getting ahead of myself.
Hurley, overwhelmed by Rose's exceptional goodness, brings her to the hatch. That's right. A marginal character who hasn't been seen for months has been granted exclusive access to the mysterious hatch. It just doesn't seem right. But that's what happens and Rose soaks it all in with wide-eyed wonder. Alas, the aura of mystery comes to an abrupt halt when Hurley puts Rose to work as his pantry inventory assistant.
As Rose and Hurley count cans of tuna and sort through piles of chocolate Apollo Bars, Hurley's nervousness increases. He tells Rose that everyone on the island will soon hate him. Rose tosses this comment aside, noting that Hurley is the only person everyone loves. Just then, Kate waltzes into the pantry looking for shampoo. Rose points the way to a bottle, but Hurley puts up a half-hearted fight, telling Kate she can't use the supplies. Disregarding Hurley's protest, Kate grabs the bottle, flashes her "I get everything I want because I'm pretty" smile and walks out with a big ol' bottle of suds. Hurley's face drops lower.
The remainder of the episode draws a correlation between Hurley's current nervousness and the immediate days before his lottery win was revealed to his friends and family. Flashbacks show him leaving his job at Mr. Cluck's after being caught with his hands in the merchandise (a security video catches him gnawing on a contraband Mr. Cluck drumstick), then joyriding with his best friend (played by DJ Qualls from "Road Trip"), then getting the courage to ask out a cute record store clerk named Starla, and finally, achieving chicken retribution by using a platoon of stolen garden gnomes to spell out "Cluck You" on his former boss' front lawn. The flashbacks trace the last "normal" moments of Hurley's life. Throughout each scene he clutches the winning lottery ticket, never revealing his winnings to anyone around him, nor showing any real signs that he'll cash it in. But, at the same time, he has an air of inevitability about him -- it's as though the numbers themselves will eventually come to light, and their curse will soon descend upon Hurley's curly-haired head.
And so it comes to be. In a final flashback segment, Hurley's friend notices a news crew perched outside a local convenience store. The friend wheels his van into the parking lot for a closer look, and that's when it becomes clear that the crew has descended on the store because this particular outlet sold the winning lottery ticket in a massive payout. Hurley watches from afar, shrouded in shadows. But the store clerk (he's also the guy wearing the chicken suit in Hurley's dream) spots him and points wildly toward the van, recognizing Hurley as the winner. And with that, reporters and camera crews rush forward. Hurley's face is dour. He looks at his friend and is met with a stare of disbelief and betrayal -- his friend clearly can't comprehend why Hurley wouldn't have told him about the lotto win. The curse has officially begun.
Back in the present day, Hurley is haunted by the fall-out from his lottery success. That look of betrayal on his old friend's face, and the ensuing catastrophes that followed (his Series of Unfortunate Events is well chronicled in "Numbers") convince Hurley to be proactive about the current hatch situation. He believes that his position as Keeper of the Pantry will lead to the same disappointment -- eventually, all of the castaways hate him. And so Hurley decides to blow the pantry up.
That's right! Hurley is going to blow up the pantry. Even better, he has the means to do it! In the season one finale ("Exodus, Part 2") there's a brief and seemingly offhand moment where Hurley is ordered to stash the remaining sticks of volatile Black Rock dynamite in a safe location. Soon thereafter, the hatch was finally cracked open and everyone forgot about those last few sticks of TNT ... everyone except Hurley, that is. And so Hurley retrieves the sticks from a hollowed out tree and brings them back to the pantry.
Fortunately, he runs into Rose (what are the chances?!). She uses her eerily calm demeanor to talk Hurley back from the ledge. Her exact words aren't revealed (their conversation happens off-screen), but whatever she said did the trick because the next scene shows Hurley on the beach with Jack. "Dude, there's enough food in there to feed one guy three meals a day for another three months," Hurley announces (more on this in a bit). "We have 40 people. It's just not gonna work!" Jack pauses, looks at Hurley and says "Okay."
And in that moment, all of Hurley's nervousness melts away. The hatred he was so concerned about will not come to pass because the limited supply of food isn't worth rationing. In fact, it's high time these famished castaways got their hands on some treats! So Hurley loads up and in the closing sequence he joyfully distributes potato chips, cookies, peanut butter (to Charlie) and a slew of goodies to the survivors ... and they all love him for it.
Now, that's the end of the Hurley story, but there's one point that bears repeating. Hurley tells Jack that the pantry only held a three-month supply of food for one person. Three months? Previous episodes suggested that Desmond had been holed up in that hatch for a very, very long time, but perhaps that's not the case at all. It's certainly possible that Desmond was nearing the end of his supplies, or perhaps Desmond had a secondary food source ("Man of Science, Man of Faith" did show Desmond adding fresh fruit to a blended smoothie concoction), but I think it's far more likely that Hurley's off-hand comment will lead to a bigger revelation as the season progresses. Or maybe I'm getting waaaay too into this show.
The second season hasn't been kind to the Raftaways. A group of crazy
"Others" nabbed Walt and blew up their raft. Then, Michael and
Sawyer floated amidst debris and Dharma sharks. Then they
finally made it to shore, only to be met by a tribe of stick-carrying
angry folk who pummeled the Raftaways and chucked them into a pit. Good times!
And the good times continue in this episode. Early on, the hulking man with big stick (seen in "Orientation") tosses a rope into the pit and Ana-Lucia -- who's revealing a heretofore unseen anger management problem -- orders Jin and Michael to shimmy up the twine. She makes her point by threatening to pop them all full of bullets. Sawyer, because he can't keep his damn mouth shut, is left in the pit, which is probably for the best since the bullet wound in his shoulder is starting to fester and he could really use the rest.
Sometime later, the hulking man returns and tosses the rope down to Sawyer. Sawyer says he won't be going anywhere until he knows his friends are okay. This comment is duly noted by Michael, who suddenly appears above and says "So we're friends now, huh?" (I'm rushing/paraphrasing, but it does seem to be an important relationship moment). With that, Sawyer is hauled to the surface where he's promptly met by Ana-Lucia's fist. Once again, his sass mouth gets him in trouble. Fortunately, Michael and Jin have -- off-screen -- convinced their captors that they are, in fact, Oceanic 815 survivors. Now that the Raftaways' credentials have been proven, their captors have morphed into uneasy allies, and this newly formed Tribe of Oceanic Passengers marches off to rejoin additional tail-section castaways.
During the journey, Michael strikes up a conversation with a blonde woman named Libby who tells him that 23 people in her group survived. That's "survived." Keep that in mind ...
Ana-Lucia leads the group through the jungle, all the while reminding Sawyer to keep his trap shut while reinforcing her status as the group leader (her penchant for violence has rocketed her straight to the top of this group's food chain). Eventually, Ana-Lucia stops near a nondescript area of dense foliage. She pushes aside thick vines and leaves ... and right before her appears a thick metal door with a round wheel -- it's the same type of door seen on the back entrance of the other hatch. Ana-Lucia raps a coded knock on the door and from within the wheel turns. A harried and worm man in his late-50s/early-60s cracks the door open.
The Raftaways are led inside this second hatch, which appears to be in far worse shape than the hatch we've come to know and love. The walls bear the Dharma insignia, but the rooms are bare -- no outdated electronic equipment, no power source, certainly no computer that needs a code inputted every 108 minutes. Whoever lived in this hatch hasn't been around in a very long time.
The group moves deeper inside, then stops in what appears to be a final room. Something doesn't sit right. There are only five or six survivors in this group, which is significantly less than the 23 Libby mentioned. "I thought you said there were 23 of you," Michael says to Libby. "There were," Libby says with apprehension.
Unfortunately, The Case of the Missing Castaways is temporarily put on hold so the writers can orchestrate a super-emotional scene (I'll admit it, I got a little misty). Later that night, the middle-aged man who first cracked open the hatch door approaches Michael, Jin and Sawyer. He stammers a question: "Back where you guys came from ... is there a woman named Rose there?"
And suddenly it all becomes clear ... Bernard lives!
Michael reveals the good news -- Rose is just fine -- and Bernard, God love him, is absolutely overwhelmed with relief. He grips Michael's hand. "Oh, thank you!" he exclaims.
Sayid's metamorphosis into The Professor is nearly complete. In this
episode, he attempts to break through one of the hatch's thick concrete walls. And why
would he do that? So he can get to the electromagnetic power source,
of course! It makes perfect sense. You're stuck on an island in the
middle of nowhere. Monsters and wacky French chicks and wigged out
Scots are all about. Seems like a perfect time to unearth a
potentially harmful power source!
But Sayid's excavation doesn't get very far. In fact, the entire process is little more than a set-up for a Jack-Kate moment. All you Jack-Kate shippers are gonna love this one ...
So Jack and Sayid manage to pop open a grate on the hatch's floor. They start crawling through a duct/underground foundation system, hoping to find an entrance or a less-fortified structure surrounding the power source. As they're weaving through, they hear a rushing noise. Jack moves toward the sound, emerging into an entry way. He sees light coming from beneath a door, so he turns the knob and finds ...
Kate wearing nothing but a towel. Jack has inadvertently walked in on Kate as she finishes up a shower (thus explaining why she needed shampoo). She's completely covered, but she fumbles to pick up her clothing. Jack isn't in any hurry -- he doesn't close the door, nor does he move out of the doorway. Kate doesn't seem to mind his presence. She tells him he could use a shower (their flirting is so overt it hurts). He says "maybe later." She moves through the doorway and he very, very clearly checks her out as she walks away.
Meanwhile, Sayid is still hunched in a crawlspace, wondering why that getting-busy-with-Shannon storyline petered out so quickly ....
Speaking of Shannon ... she plays virtually no role in this episode.
In fact, she's played virtually no role this season, save for that
Walt-talking-in-reverse vision (watch your back Shannon -- irrelevance is the first sign of eradication!).
Nonetheless, Shannon appears briefly in a scene that sets up a future episode. To backtrack a bit, at the beginning of this episode, Claire goes for a walk by herself down the beach (Charlie is watching Aaron/Turniphead). She spots a bottle floating in the surf, so she wades out and plucks it from the water. Her expression drops. The bottle is the same one the castaways filled with notes before the raft departed at the end of last season. The bottle's reappearance -- sans Raftaways and sans raft -- doesn't bode well.
Later, Claire and Shannon approach Sun, who continues to tend to her Magic Garden of Herbs. Claire has previously revealed the bottle to Shannon (Why? When? It's not clear), and the two decided that Sun should be the one to determine the bottle's fate since her husband -- sorry, estranged husband -- was on the raft. When Sun first sees the bottle, she's heartbroken.
At the very end of the episode, while Hurley prances around camp distributing food like a Supermarket Santa Claus, Sun sits away from the group. She digs a semi-deep hole in the sand and places the bottle at the bottom. As she hurriedly fills in the hole, she's overcome with sadness. I feel a Sun episode coming on ...
The Charlie-Claire "thing" picked up a bit of steam this week, and
it's all because of peanut butter.
Back in "Confidence Man," Charlie calmed Claire's nerves by sharing a delicious jar of imaginary peanut butter. This moment -- as quirky as it sounds -- cracked open the relationship possibilities for these two. Now, in this episode, Charlie is able to take it a step further with the introduction of real peanut butter, which was taken from the hatch. When Charlie presents the jar, Claire's face lights up.
Hopefully she'll remember this moment when Charlie falls off the wagon ...
That's it for now. Be sure to drop by our "Lost" Forum for stimulating conversation and conjecture.
"... And Found" -- Michael goes off on a solo Walt-finding expedition.
Meanwhile, the second group of survivors demands to see the main camp.
Airs: Wednesday, Oct. 19, 9 p.m., ABC.
Review by Mac Slocum. All photos and episode descriptions © ABC Inc.