Saturday, April 17, 2010

Season 6, Episode 11: "Everybody Loves Hugo"

The hits keep on coming in this raucous final season and "Everybody Loves Hugo" was no exception. We had a little bit of everything this week; dead cameos, boy ghosts, hit and runs, solved mysteries, odd couples, and of course, human explosions. There's certainly never a dull moment in the world of Lost these days. While exciting, "Everybody Loves Hugo" was a little bit more straightforward than last week's mind bender, but of course that doesn't mean there isn't plenty to discuss.

So even though this week technically focused on Hugo, the Desmond storyline carried a heavy load as well. Armed with a fresh passenger list from his trusty driver George, Desmond is setting out to show our Sideways Losties to the truth, much like how Charlie and Daniel helped open his eyes to the existence of another world, or more specifically, another life last week. His first target is Hugo himself, and in their meeting over a bucket of chicken, Desmond pushes Hugo to explore is his initial feelings for Libby. He knows that if he is united with his Island love, Hugo will suddenly become aware of a life that has been shielded from him thus far.

So far it seems that while familiar faces or traumatic events have helped trigger quick moments of clarity for our characters (Jack in the airplane bathroom after turbulence, Kate seeing Jack in a cab while running from the police, Sun looking into the mirror after Keamy knocks at the door, Claire yelling out Aaron's name after her false labor, etc), it's the encounter of true love that busts open the floodgate of memories from their other lives. While Hugo didn't encounter those thoughts at first, the kiss he shared with Libby granted him access to scenes of their courtship and happiness on the Island. Desmond had a similar experience after finally meeting Penny, and after becoming aware to the truth, he has assumed the role as newest Time Coach/Guidance Counselor in the Lost world. These characters are meeting their Constants, and with those meetings comes the connection that bridges both worlds. But what happens when love isn't the answer for all?

Locke is Desmond's next target, and as we've seen so far love is the one thing that is not missing in his Sideways world. He and Helen are as happy as ever, and even have plans to marry in the near future. Instead, the one thing missing for Locke is his ability to walk. So while at first I thought that Desmond ran over Locke in response to learning of his apparent evilness in the Island world (even though Flocke is obviously not Locke), co-worker and fellow Lost aficionado Andrew pointed out the obvious: Desmond ran over Locke so that he would be rushed to the hospital and be reunited with the ultimate Mr. Fix-It; Dr. Jack Shepard. Jack had already teased Locke with the possibility of walking again when they met in the baggage claim office in LAX, and now that possibility could become a reality. Furthermore, I'd be willing to bet that Jack and Locke are each others Constants. They've been linked as yin and yang for the whole series and the look they shared at the end of this episode was especially poignant. Many are talking about how the show will end with Jack being the new Jacob and Locke remaining as MIB, and if we assume that Jacob and MIB are each others Constants, why would Locke and Jack's relationship be any different? Regardless, if Locke is rushed to the hospital we should believe that he will be healed by Jack in the Sideways. Will this healing give Locke access to his memories on the Island? I think so. But more importantly, does he even want them? After all, in the Island world John lived a life of continuous disappointment, ending with his own murder. Are those memories that he really wants? Furthermore, what happens to Sideways characters that have already died on the Island? Are their fates sealed to an early death in this life as well? If course correction holds true, we'd have to say yes, right?

As you can see, I'm still struggling with what happens to our characters after they have these revelations. Will they simply use them to live a fuller, happier life in the Sideways? Meaning, if Hurley sees himself with Libby in another life, does that prove to him that he needs to be with her in the Sideways? Or are these two dimensions going to be physically connected in some way at the end? Your guess is as good as mine...but for now, I'm leaning with the former. I think that our characters will use this information to live the life that they were supposed to. And be as happy as they can while they have the chance. We'll see...

A quick note on the Desmond/Flocke conversation at the well: I think it had two meanings. First the obvious: Flocke learns that Des is not afraid of him, which concerns him greatly. Flocke's biggest weapon is his ability to prey on his followers' emotions, most notably fear. Claire fears that she'll never see Aaron again, Sayid fears he's lost Nadia forever, Sawyer fears that he'll never get off the Island, etc. When Desmond questions the "point of being afraid," Flocke knows that he can't manipulate him. Therefore, he needs him out of the picture for the time being. He knows he can't kill him (as proved by Boy Ghost Jacob's appearance...reminding Flocke of the "rules" just as he did when he was walking Sawyer out to the cave in the Substitute), so he does the next best thing; he throws him down a well. And Desmond, well Desmond's not afraid because he knows everything. He has access to knowledge that even Flocke doesn't have. And that, ironically, scares the shit out of Flocke.

The second meaning of the conversation might be a stretch, but it's worth exploring. I think Locke's little monologue about how the well was built long ago was really a note from the writers describing their approach to this whole series. A metaphor for sure, but read the below dialogue from the perspective of the writers and let me know if you agree.

LOCKE: We're here.

DESMOND: What is it?

LOCKE: It's a well.

[Desmond approaches the well and looks down.]

LOCKE: Let me guess. You're wondering how deep it is?

DESMOND: You read my mind.

[Locke drops a torch down the well, it falls some distance and lands with a splash.]

LOCKE: You have any idea how old this well is, Desmond?

DESMOND: Very old?

LOCKE: That's exactly right, very old. So old in fact, that the people who dug this well did it completely by hand. God knows how long it took 'em.

DESMOND: That seems like a lot of work just to get some water.

LOCKE: Oh, they weren't looking for water. They were looking for answers. A long time ago places like the one we're standing at right now made compass needles spin. And the people holding the compasses needed to know why, so they dug.

DESMOND: Did they find what they were looking for?

LOCKE: No, they didn't.

There are some questions that will never be answered. Or more specifically, there are some questions that will never have ONE answer. Lost's conclusion will not offer one answer that we all agree upon. We dig deep, we discuss, we analyze, but we tend to come to different solutions. The compass refuses any one specific direction. What is love...happiness...good...evil? These simple questions have spawned countless answers since as long as we can remember....and I think this answers offered by the shows writers will be no different. Or maybe I'm just digging too deep myself ;)

Alright, no tid bits this week as this is already late. Well, one quick one, I wasn't impressed by the retro-fitted "Whispers" solution. There are plenty of characters that have shown up after the Whispers that are clearly not dead and trapped on the Island, but I'll give them a pass.

It's been a long week, but looking forward to relaxing with a new episode tonight...enjoy!


Blogger JB said...

What was your take on the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory voiceover during the previews? I am scratching my head at the meaning, but I loved the use of that part of the movie when Wonka is getting crazy...Thoughts?

11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe the rule you are referring to from young Jacob's ghost was that MIB cannot kill candidates. MIB offs people all the time as smokie. And we've never see Desmond's name on the wall or lighthouse, so we don't know if he's a candidate. I have a theory, similar to your thoughts on fear that MIB plays on, that is that smokie cannot kill anyone who is not already afraid of it. Clearly Desmond is not afraid of anything, so unless MIB convinces someone else to off Des, his only way to get him out of the way is to lock him up somewhere (down the well). - G Brown

12:28 PM  
Blogger thomas said...

but he killed Echo in season 2. i dont remember Echo being afraid of the Smokie. i dont think Echo has ever been afraid of anything, in the land of Lost or in the real world.

1:28 PM  
Blogger Chuck said...

G Brown - I figured someone would call me out on that one, good job ;) I like your theory, and also have thoughts of my has seemed that in the past Smokey kills people that deserve to die...people like Keamy and the Mercenaries, or even Eko because Eko refused to repent for his sins. In some way, the people that Smokey kills have gone past a line, and cannot be redeemed (they fight, they corrupt, they kill..), and because of that Smokey takes them down. But this theory isn't clean either, since I find it hard to believe that all the Temple folks were deservedly killed...same for Bram and company. I like your idea though. Regardless, I think there are more "rules" that maybe we don't know yet..

JB - not sure if I caught the scenes, I usually try not too...but I'll see if I can catch them on DVR from last week and let you know. Sounds cool though.

1:30 PM  
Blogger Chuck said...

ha, good call Thomas...Eko certainly wasn't afraid of shit!

1:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just re-watched the Mr. Eko "bites the dust" scene and it's hard to tell if he was a afraid or not. I think he was afraid. He realized the person he was talking to wasn't his real brother (obviously MIB inhabiting the body of Eko's brother since the brother's body was on the island- listen to the brother's words: "you speak to me as if I were your brother"- Eko clearly in shock at these words). Eko then chases the "brother", only to hear the spooky rattling sound, then see smokie rearing up for an attack. Eko starts saying the "The Lord is my Shepard" Prayer, but doesn't get very far. Traditionally that prayer is said in movies/TV when someone really is afraid and is TRYING to be brave because of their faith, but likely isn't. It's usually the characters that look at an impending foe and start yelling/swearing at it that aren't really afraid. Who knows. BUt it's fun to speculate. :-) G.Brown

7:48 PM  
Blogger CrazyDiamond said...

Hey Chuck...

Great analysis as always...I was glad to see that you were not the only one disappointed with the "whispers" explanation b/c it raises something that has bothering me throughout this season, the "answers". Not to be Debby Downer, but I have not been impressed by certain answers such as Richard's immortality or the numbers. I think its probably a matter of the producers/writers feeling as if they needed to appease the masses (which I get) and coming up with these solutions. Anyways, I have enjoyed this season regardless, just wanted to bitch a little and this is my only Lost home ;)

9:14 PM  
Blogger Chuck said...

Josh - agreed on the whispers, and I do think it's just the writers succumbing to some pressure to answer what they can. Personally, I'm fine with leaving some mysteries open ended. However, I was totally ok with Richard's backstory/explanation. The numbers explanation was fine too, again, with so much mystery built up on some of these things, it's almost impossible to come up with a nicely wrapped up "answer" to anything...which is why the end game will be quite a challenge for the writers...

10:20 AM  

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