Key Points from "Everybody Loves Hugo"
Season 6, Episode 12
Episode Air Date: 04/13/10
BOOM goes Ilana!
BOOM goes the Black Rock!
I could probably stop there. I probably should stop there since it's awfully tough to outdo massive pyrotechnics. But the weird thing is that as the final seconds of the episode played out, I'd almost forgotten about those fireballs. They seemed like a distant memory ... relegated to the same part of my grey matter where Dr. Arzt and his cravat reside. I guess that's proof that as "Lost" nears its conclusion, the episodes are growing denser and denser.
Let's dive in (... or fall in, if an ancient well is handy).
I want to begin with one of the clearest answers we've ever received. And I want to appreciate that clarity, too, because many times "Lost's" answers are woven deep into the fabric of the series; almost to the point where we don't completely see them (this is a big reason why I think many folks still get frustrated at a lack of answers, even though we know far, far more than we did a few seasons ago). So let's be as overt as possible.
Question: What are the whispers?
Answer (courtesy Ghost Michael): They're the souls of the dead who are unable to move on because they did Very Bad Things while among the living. Put another way: the island is purgatory ... but it's not only purgatory.
Now, of course the usual disclaimers apply: Ghost Michael might have been lying (although I think not) and Hurley might have hallucinated the whole exchange (again, I think not).
But let's put that aside for a moment and consider the ramifications here. I'm trying to recall if previous "whisper" encounters have always been tied to some sort of event -- e.g. Does it rain after the whispers are heard? Does Smokey appear? Does the Hurley Bird descend? For the life of me, I can't remember a pattern. The whispers just sort of popped up on random occasions. (The one whispery event that really sticks out to me, though, is when one-time island therapist Harper Stanhope suddenly "appeared" to Juliet amidst a swirl of whispering.)
But even if the whispers don't signal anything, and the accompanying souls don't have any particular role to play on the island, I do have a host of questions about these things:
1. Can Hurley only see whisper souls? We know he's had encounters with Charlie, Ana Lucia, Eko, Michael, Isabella and Jacob. I can see how Charlie, Ana, Eko and Michael could be trapped -- all did things that generally run afoul of "being good." But unless Isabella had a stormy history we don't know about, I don't see how she falls into the purgatory group. And Jacob? I have no idea who or what he is (beyond a douchebag ... and I don't think that's a full-fledged sin), so let's not bother with him.
2. Why hasn't dead Libby appeared to Hurley? Did she immediately move on?
3. Can messages from the dead be trusted? This is a big one because Hurley blindly -- and perhaps stupidly -- takes orders from Ghost Michael. Think about the potentially cataclysmic chain of events set in motion here: Hurley, acting on Michael's recommendation, destroys the Black Rock. This leads to Richard, Miles and Ben forming a splinter faction to destroy Ajira 316 on their own. And, since they've got nothing else to do and nowhere else to go, Hurley, Jack, Sun and Frank decide to ignore their deep concerns about Flocke and walk right into his camp. This is precisely what Flocke was hoping and waiting for. Considering how all this played out, I think it's fair to doubt Michael's motivations. Or, at minimum, his control.
And speaking of Flocke ...
4. What's the relationship between the whispering souls and the Man in Black? I'm convinced there's a connection because everyone knows you can't have dead souls and a smoke monster occupying the same land mass without some sort of crossover. It's one of the immutable laws of the Hawking/Faraday paradigm.
Okay, that's enough whispering for now.
There are a couple other island developments I want to note:
-- Here's a handy travel tip: If you're ever vacationing in a tropical land and someone says, in direct address, "the island is done with you," use whatever energy and mental fortitude you possess to get the hell off the island. Most won't receive such a warning (to date, Michael is the only one who received that courtesy ... and his warning came while standing before a table of explosives). But if you do, take it and use it. I got the distinct sense that Ben's line -- "Makes me wonder what's going to happen when it's done with us" -- is an ominous bit of foreshadowing.
-- I think Jack is now the favorite to claim Jacob's throne. In a bit of self-reflection more commonly seen in the flash-sideways, island Jack admits that perhaps his entire journey -- his entire purpose -- is about letting go of his psychotic need to fix things. That is a HUGE shift for this guy and it would seem to fit right into Jacob's wacky mandate that candidates figure things out for themselves.
This episode features two big developments in the alternate universe:
First: Hurley and Libby finally get their picnic. It's a sweet little scene and it's nice to see these two get a moment in the sun (it's also nice to see Libby without a bullet in her gut). But the important part of their alternate-universe meeting -- and subsequent date -- is that each is now aware of their island existence. It looks like the same love-based bond that awoke Charlie and Desmond has also zapped Hurley and Libby.
Second: Desmond for most of this episode appears to be playing cupid. He cleverly directs Hurley toward Libby and then lets their attraction do the rest. But in the final moments, Des pays a visit to the high school where John Locke and Dr. Benjamin Linus teach. And this is when Cupid turns oddly homicidal. Des rams Locke with his car, and it's unclear if this is all part of his master plan or if it's in response to Flocke's on-island actions (more on that in Key Point 3).
I'm sure Desmond's motivations will be revealed, but in the meantime let's take a look at the characters still on his "to-awaken" list:
There's the original 815ers: Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Claire, Sun, Jin, Sayid, Boone, Shannon, and Locke (and Nikki and Paulo and Arzt and Rose if you want to get technical ... but c'mon now).
There's the tailies: Ana Lucia and Eko (wouldn't count on either of these).
And if Desmond decides to expand his list beyond the Oceanic manifest, there's also the freighter folk: Miles and Frank most notably, but Charlotte and Daniel still need to get together. And I'm assuming Des will find a way to convince Minkowski, but I guess he's still unconfirmed, too.
Am I missing anyone?
So after telling Desmond that Charles Widmore isn't to be trusted, and then noticing that Des really isn't afraid of anything or anyone, Flocke chucks our happy Scot into an ancient well. It's a deep hole, but not insanely deep, so I'm guessing Des is still alive.
And that begs the questions: Who's being played here? Did Desmond actually think he was talking to John Locke? Or, was he working an angle on Flocke all along?
Desmond has always been one of my favorite characters, so I'm certainly biased, but I get the impression that he isn't actually working for anyone. He's communing with the island, or maybe even the power that guides the island. And that's got to be much more of a threat to Flocke than Widmore will ever be.
And while we're talking about threats ... Flocke and Desmond both see a dark-haired boy in the jungle. He appears to be the same age as the blond boy we saw previously (i.e. "unconfirmed young Jacob"), so I think it's safe to assume this is "unconfirmed young MIB." And Flocke was none too pleased to see him. Can "unconfirmed crazy mother" be far behind?
A few closing questions and observations:
- Best Line: "You need a woman in your life. Especially one who hasn't nursed you." -- Mrs. Reyes to Hurley.
- Second Best Line: "How do you break the ice with a smoke monster?" -- Hurley to Jack.
- Third Best Line: "If that's not the best argument against captivity I've ever heard, I don't know what is." -- Flocke to Desmond, after Des says he's got nowhere to run.
- I'm enjoying the unintentional hilarity of Jack asking Hurley who he's talking to. It happened with Jacob. It happened with Isabella. And in this episode, it happens with Michael. This is Jack we're talking about. Mr. Science! And now, he casually asks which dead person Hurley might be speaking with. ("Hey ... tell Ana she looked good in them jeans! And tell Eko I loved that beard! And oh! Let me know when Tupac shows up!")
- I've invested an unhealthy number of hours watching "Seinfeld," which is why I loved the subtle shout-out to George Costanza's favorite charity, The Human Fund.
- We now know of three characters who share a direct connection to a museum in the flash sideways world: Pierre Chang and Charlotte both work there and Hurley funded the new paleontology wing. Miles and Sawyer are both one degree away from it, too. Perhaps the museum will act as a locus of flash-sidewaysness; the Kevin Bacon in the Losties' alternate reality (can you tell I'm getting punchy?).
That's all I've got!
"The Last Recruit" -- Looks like this is a Jack episode. Maybe. I don't know if "character-centric" still applies. Airs Tuesday, April 20, 2010 at 9 p.m. on ABC.
All photos and episode descriptions © ABC Inc.