The mythology fans are probably howling at the moon, but as character-focused episodes go, we liked it a lot. Probably more than we should. We actually didn’t learn too much new about Hurley, or the island, and the whole Dave plot was one big ruse (practically a direct poke in the eye for the “it’s all someone’s dream” conspiracy theorists). Obviously there are a lot of clues and revelations in store as the season wraps up, so despite the fact that this week’s episode wasn’t particularly enlightening, it was a fun ride. Even if you spoiled yourself silly.
So we learn what led Hurley to be institutionalized, and exactly why his food addiction and weight issues are so deeply ingrained. On one hand, it’s clear he’s not quite cured, but on the other… hey, he got the girl. So what if she’s also loony toons? And we liked the Dave bits, too you might have suspected he wasn’t real as soon as you saw him snubbed on the basketball court, but the slipper and coconut still kept us guessing. And the conversation where Dave explains how everything since Santa Rosa is all in Hurley’s head? He made a pretty damn good case. I mean, those numbers? The lottery, and the button? Really.
I suspect more than a few viewers were on the verge of exploding.
So you had a dash of “The Sixth Sense” (but we were spared the melodramatic “gotcha” montage), “Identity” (Dave has got to be modeled after Malcom Rivers), and finally, “Vanilla Sky” (but with a cliff instead of a high rise). And it all adds up to squat, we know, but c’mon. Hurley kicked Sawyer’s ass.
Sayid nearly killed Henry (which would’ve prompted some fans to riot, after Ethan also took answers to his grave), but Ana Lucia deflected the shot. Echoes of the moment Sayid saved Locke from Shannon’s rage. And Mr. Eko is infuriatingly silent about what he’s building (though it’s not a Starbucks). Not sure what he was doing with the water, but Jen the Catholic insists it was not the Sign of the Cross.
For the clue-hunters, there were still a few good nuggets to chew on. First and foremost, Henry’s reference to a “he,” which Sayid caught, and the confirmation that Zeke is not the man in charge (something Zeke himself implied when scolding Ethan). Weirdly enough, I’m now actually open to the possibility that Henry wasn’t originally an Other… but that he’s definitely linked with them now, willingly or unwillingly.
Secondly, Henry asserts that God can’t see the island any better than anyone else. Why can’t anyone else see the island?
Finally, you have Henry’s assertion that the bunker is a “joke,” and that nothing happens when the timer runs down. Of course, lots of folks doubted the button did anything. But now that Henry’s saying that, we’ve got to doubt that doubt.
Notes and Notions:
- What does Libby’s presence in the institution mean? Evidence that she’s up to something, either stalking Hurley or even tracking Lenny for the Hanso Foundation? Or was it just another survivor flashback “crossover,” like the dozens that have come before, except for once someone had an inkling of recognition? The fact that this reveal closed the episode, rather than the truth about Dave, makes me suspect the former.
- Hurley went to Sawyer for medication. Jen noted that Sawyer should have surrendered all the drugs to Jack. Then again, it would be just like Sawyer to neglect to mention it, meanwhile prying for more information.
- In a moment of panic, fearing Sayid would shoot him, Henry blurts out that he can’t be killed because he’s not a bad person. Not only does this continue the “good person”/”bad person” distinction, but it shows that Henry deeply believes that no harm should or could actually come to a “good person” like him.
- Sometimes, the writers throw in dialogue to prove some semblance of common sense, like the sudden chat about the food drop, a possible plane flyover, and its connection to the blast doors. Maybe such “grounding” wouldn’t be so jarring if our survivors thought and talked about their circumstances more often.
- Hurley dragging Sawyer back into the tarp was funny. Jin laughing as he watched was hilarious.
- Dave says, “See you in another life.” That, of course, was also Demond’s parting line. The fact that he said it before jumping off the cliff is a pretty direct link to “Vanilla Sky,” in which David says the same thing before leaping off the skyscraper. “Vanilla Sky” was about life extention, one of the projects of the Hanso Foundation. (Someone at The Fuselage reminded everyone that Nadia’s letter to Sayid also ended with a similar sentiment.)
- Charlie joked that Mr. Eko was building a Starbucks. Someone actually tossed out that thought on a message board a couple of weeks ago.
- Hurley joins the growing list of survivors directly responsible for the death of others. Unless you already counted the “eight something” people who died at his Canadian sneaker company.
- Numbers: There were 23 people standing on a deck built to hold eight people when it collapsed.
- Hurley’s doctor had a huge picture of a tropical island on his wall, which could have been another exhibit in Dave’s list of reasons why the island isn’t real. But since it is, maybe sometimes a picture is just a picture.
- The real Henry Gale wrote a note to his wife Jennifer on a $20 bill. Yes, it was a “new” $20 bill, issued in mid-2003.