Six seasons in the jungle; zero weight loss.
“Do I look like Hurley?” Erin asked during last night’s Hugo-centric episode. This was as Ben massaged her feet. He’d been told pregnant women like that.
“You do not look like Hurley,” Ben responded.
“Why can’t he lose weight?” Erin said. There was real concern in her voice.
“I don’t know, hon,” Ben said. “This will probably be one of ‘Lost’s’ many unsolved mysteries.”
Another unsolved mystery: Why do Hurley episodes always feel vaguely unsatisfying — or, in last night’s case, crash and burn (not to mention spontaneously explode)? They had been improving since seasons 1-3, when Hurley was little but comic relief, a chance to indulge in escapist whimsy. (Season 3’s “Tricia Tanaka is Dead” remains, in Ben’s estimation, “Lost’s” worst hour.) But they still fail to deliver a real jolt — and, as was the case last night, Hurley was upstaged in the final act by Man in Black/Locke and the best thing going for the show right now: Desmond. Just give him the ball and let him run, please.
Thoughts and observations:
The show’s most ridiculous deaths usually occur in Hurley episodes. Whether it was Ilana blowing up last night (Seriously, writers? You introduced us to this character — this dry, humorless, thoroughly uninteresting character — at the eleventh hour, and gave her nearly as much screen time this season as Sawyer, only to blow her up like Arzt just because, what, you could? Do you think this is funny?? Do you know how much time we’ve invested in this show??? AAAAARRRRRRRRGGGHH!!), or Tricia Tanaka being hit by a meteorite, or Frogurt being speared by flaming arrows, Hurley episodes seem to be vehicles for cartoonish mass death. Maybe there’s something in Jorge Garcia’s contract that stipulates his episodes must feature as many explosions as a Jerry Bruckheimer film.
Cynthia Watros (Libby) sure looked old. Or maybe the producers were just going for “mental hospital frazzled.” One of last night’s only successful moments: the kiss on the beach, and the silent snapshots of island memories flooding Hurley’s brain.
Harold Perrineau (Michael) sure isn’t missed. It’s been nice to see everyone back for the final season (we’re still waiting for Mr. Eko, Ana Lucia, Nikki & Paulo, Rousseau, Shannon, Walt, Vincent … and, of course, Karl), but last night reminded us that we sure haven’t missed Michael, yet another humorless, one-note character. (“WALLLLLLLLLLLLT!”) Though his appearance did answer the question of what the whispers are. (He tells Hurley they are the voices of “those that can’t move on”; he says he is trapped on the island because of what he did, i.e., kill Ana Lucia and Libby.)
We need more Jack. Love him or hate him, Jack is one of the show’s best, most complex characters … and unlike others, he has changed and evolved as fully as anyone else on the show. His speech to Hurley last night — “You have no idea how hard it is for me to sit back and listen to other people tell me what I should do. But I think maybe that’s the point. Maybe I’m supposed to let go” — was unimaginable coming from the Jack Shephard who first crash-landed on the island. As the episode’s final face-off between MIB/Locke and Jack suggested (we forgot that this was the first time those two have laid eyes on each other), Jack will be central to the show’s ending. But not as central as …
DESMOND! He’s the new off-island Jacob (and maybe the new one on it too?), steering Hurley to his fateful beach date with Libby and then steering his car over Locke in the school parking lot … revenge for letting Island Locke/MIB throw him down a well (though next week’s preview assures us that no, Des is not dead). The well scene was great if only for the moment that MIB/Locke realized he does not have the same power over Desmond that he does everyone else. “Why aren’t you afraid?” he asked. “What’s the point in being afraid?” Des responds. Snap, son! MIB/Locke has met his match.
The ridiculous Ilana death aside, we’re also left to wonder what the point of all the on-island chess maneuvering has been this season. Our castaways went from a blown-up hatch to a mysterious temple, which was destroyed a third of the way into the season … then split into two camps, both of which definitely do not want to meet because then it will be on like Donkey Kong … and then, last night, in a display of machismo that turned out to be a total fraud, Hurley claimed that Jacob told him to go find MIB/Locke, only he confesses to Jack that Jacob said no such thing, but then they go ahead with it anyway … because?
The only logical answer, regrettably, is that there are six more hours to go, and we’ve got to get a move on. Plot expediency trumps reason.
Sawyer complained to MIB/Locke that they were sitting around in Camp Smokey “twiddling our damn thumbs.” “There’s a difference between ‘doing nothing’ and ‘waiting,'” Locke tells him. They sure looked the same last night.