Monday, January 27, 2014

LOST Rewatch: Everybody Hates Hugo

As you might expect, the title of this episode caused some consternation in my house. We are big Hurley fans, so the girls (who have not seen any of these episodes before) have a hard time imagining a scenario where anyone, much less EVERYONE could possibly hate Hugo. But, there it was in black-and-white (pixels) so they had to try and sort it out.

The story of everyone hating Hugo is the center of the Flashback as well, as we see Hurley keeping quiet in the immediate day after he won the Mega Lotto Jackpot (playing the computer Numbers that Desmond had trained Locke to input). He goes to work his dead end job at Mr. Cluck's Chicken Shack and has to put up with his jerk of a manager. You might have heard of him. His name is Randy. (To be a bit fair to the jerk manager, he was eating chicken after hours and cutting into the profits a bit.) But Hurley's coworker buddy, Johnny, commiserates with him and tries to make life bearable.

But Hurley comes to realize that he doesn't need to put up with his boss now that he's got a winning lottery ticket in his pocket. So, he quits his job and tells Johnny. In a fit of solidarity, Johnny also quits and they spend the rest of the day hanging at the record store--where Hurley has a crush on Starla, the girl behind the cash register. Emboldened again by his impending wealth, Hurley asks Starla out and she says yes.

Everybody LOVES Hurley, right? Well, no . . . because he is afraid to fess up to the lottery ticket, not wanting everyone to start treating him differently or hit him up for favors.

And Hurley's fear turns out to be true late in this evening of freedom when Johnny turns the car into the gas station where Hurley bought the winning ticket. The press is there interviewing the station clerk, who immediately fingers Hurley as the big jackpot winner. Suddenly Johnny is angry that Hurley has kept this from him. Now, at least one person hates Hugo.

On the Island, Hurley is also worried about people disliking him. Why? Well, he has been put in charge of the Hatch's food pantry inventory by Jack. And he is worried that when word gets out about the shampoo and peanut butter and Apollo bars and potato chips and everything else . . . the Lostaways are going to try and take advantage of him. And when he says no . . . hatred.

Again, he's not entirely wrong. Kate just takes some shampoo without so much as a neveryoumind and utilizes the Swan station shower. Charlie starts pressuring his pal for the peanut butter that he promised to Claire back in Season 1. And Hurley knows it'll just go on and on. He is so worried about it that he has some pretty bizarre dreams:

Speaking of Jin, remember that at the end of the last episode, Ana Lucia bamboozled our pit friends for information, found out they (also?) were on Flight 815, punched Sawyer and stole his gun, and was lifted out of the pit.

If this information is to be believed, then the people holding Jin, Michael, and Sawyer captive are NOT the Others that have long been spoken of, but never seen. Rather they are Flight 815 passengers who were in the tail section of the plane (the part that broke off right behind Kate's seat during the crash). They were all assumed to be dead--except that Rose remained convinced that her husband Bernard was still alive.

So, eventually, Jin, Michael, and Sawyer are released from the pit and taken through the jungle. It is clear that Ana Lucia is the brash leader of this band of Lostaways. And she's not a consensus type of leader like Jack or even Locke or Sayid. She is of the punch-first/command-allegiance school of leadership. And she punches Sawyer a few times to prove her moxie. (I'm not sure if this wins Michael and Jin over to her way of thinking or not. But it does signal a return of snarly, angry Sawyer that we had not seen much of in the last third of Season 1.)

The episode ends thusly. the raft survivors are led by Ana Lucia and a few of the Tailies (referring to those Flight 815 survivors seated in the plane's tail section) to another Dharma station in the jungle. We don't get a very good look at it, but it is not nearly as elaborate, nice, and lived in as Desmond's Swan station. (Plus it is not buried deep underground either.) There are a few other Tailie survivors huddled within, but they hear tales of sickness and dying. These guys have had a hard time of it. There is a bit of cheer though, when Bernard appears, confirming Rose's belief in his survival.

Back on the other side of the Island, Hurley has made a decision. After completing his inventory, he realizes that the amount of food Desmond has stored would not feed the 40 Lostaways for any significant amount of time. Let's just eat it all up in a big celebratory party and eliminate any chance of future problems. Jack agrees to follow Hurley's lead and the party commences.

Hurley is--in fact--loved for his generosity and everyone feasts and has a good time by the nighttime campfire.

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