The Overthinking Lost Open Thread: “Everybody Loves Hugo”

Your thoughts and comments on the latest episode of Lost: “Everybody Loves Hugo”

Man.  This episode.  If “Happily Ever After” brought tears to my eyes, “Everybody Loves Hugo” did something just as good: it made me laugh.  And not only because it was funny–although, at times, yes, it was.  I’m not sure what I liked best: the return of Hugo’s overbearing mother, the way Sawyer said “sonofabitch” when he saw Hurley in the woods, or the way Hurley said “um…hey” to Un-Locke right after.

But “Everybody Loves Hugo” didn’t just have good jokes.  It was one of those Lost episodes that makes you laugh just because it was so damn audacious.  It was one of those episodes that gives you no other option but to laugh, shake your head, and say, “Did they really just do that?”

Well, yes.  Yes, they did.

So let’s talk about what made me laugh, in order of events.  First, at the beginning of the episode, a certain someone got blown up.  No, no, “blown up” isn’t strong enough.  How about, “got a’sploded”?  Yeah, that’s better.  Oh, I laughed–nay, guffawed–when old Dr. Arzt got himself a’sploded back in season one, but this!  In comparison, this made Dr. Artz’s a’splosion a mere prologue.

Questions, discussions, and spoilers all after the jump.

Question 1: Was anyone else as overjoyed by this death as I was?  Or am I outing myself as a psychopath by admitting that I laughed–so very, very hard–when that certain someone went kaboom?

Question 1b: Which annoying side character’s death made you laugh the hardest?  This week’s death?  Dr. Artz’s?  Frogurt’s?  Tricia Tanaka’s?  Nikki & Paolo’s?  Someone else’s?

What made me laugh next was Desmond’s Zen reactions to Smokey/Locke.  “Do you know who I am?”  “Of course.  You’re John Locke.”  Priceless, Des.  Priceless.  And then Smokey’s frustration that he couldn’t get a rise out of Desmond?  ‘Twas a thing of beauty.

Anyway, while we don’t know what Island-Desmond’s plan is just yet, it seems like Alt-Desmond’s plan is to act like a slightly more active Jacob who goes around pushing people either into “true love” situations (like Alt-Hurley) or into “near death” situations (like Alt-Locke) in order to get them to remember their Island lives.  (Incidentally, Alt-Desmond’s act of smashing his car into the still-paralyzed Alt-Locke was the third thing that made me laugh this week.)

Question 2: Once the Alt-Losties remember their Island lives, what then?  The guys on EW.com seem to believe that there’s going to be some kind of soul transmigration, that the Island Losties’ minds and souls will somehow be transported to the Sideways Universe.  I think it’s more likely that, if there is a soul transmigration, it’ll work the other way: the Alt-Losties will move their minds to the Island world, so that the Island folks have both sets of memories.  (Since I decided last week that the Sideways Universe is probably fake, this kind of transmigration makes much more sense to me.)  This leads us to

Question 2b: When Alt-Locke retrieves his Island memories, will they be just his, or will he get some of Smokey’s memories, too?  And if there’s some kind of soul transmigration one way or the other, what will happen to Alt-Locke?  Will Smokey take over Alt-Locke’s Sideways form, or will (as I hoped back when season five ended) Real Locke kick Smokey out of his Island body and become John Locke’s Second Coming?  Or do you believe that Alt-Locke is and always has been Smokey in disguise?  Support your thesis with evidence and MLA citations.

Speaking of Smokey, another line that got a chuckle out of me was his, “That’s the best argument I’ve heard against captivity,” after Desmond’s “Why tie me up when I have nowhere to go?”

Question 3: After Smokey gets off the Island, where does he go?  Richard says “everything” will end if the Man in Black gets off the Island–so does Smokey just want to die?  Or does he actually want to get off the Island so he can go somewhere particular?  (Somewhere like Heaven?  Somewhere like Los Angeles?)

Okay, this was a Hurley episode, so let’s talk Hurley, shall we?

This week, Hurley finally became the leader I always knew he could (and, arguably, should) be.  Even when he’s not getting messages from Jacob or Michael or whoever, I’d listen to him over almost anyone else in the cast.  (Aside: Sigh. That position used to be filled by Sayid.  How the mighty have fallen…)

Question 4: Now that Richard, Miles, and Ben have split off from Hurley and his Merry Band of Losties, how long until Richard, Miles, and Ben die?  And how do they die?  My guess is that the Island (a.k.a. Lost’s writing staff) is done with them…

And one final question, unrelated to any of the above:

Question 5: Any ideas about the Little Blonde Ghost Boy (who now appears to be a Little Brunette Ghost Boy)?  Did he show up today to remind FLocke not to kill Desmond?  And, if so, does that mean Desmond’s still a Candidate?  But, if so, why did FLocke chuck him down a well?  Ack!  You confuse me, Little Blonde Ghost Boy.

See you next week.

29 Comments on “The Overthinking Lost Open Thread: “Everybody Loves Hugo””

  1. Joe #

    1 I laughed my ass off when Illana died. I was hilarious.
    1b I actually laughed equally every time one of the side characters died except for niki and paolo funnily enough, I thought their death was incredibly sad.

    I’m not going to answer the other questions because I have to go to work soon but the other point i have to make before I leave is I think you missed the point that the blonde haired boy and the brunnette haired boy are jacob and MIB respectively. Obviously this hints towards the fact that jacob and MIB were once actually human and they wernt lying to us.

    Joe

    Reply

  2. Brimstone #

    Hey um sorry to derail but i’m an American ex-pat trying to understand Australia and LOST is really unpopular here – free to air TV airs it at like 11:30 or 12:30am on Wednesday nights, so it’s impossible to see
    i figure that once i understand why Australians don’t like LOST I’ll understand Australia. do you think you guys could help me? is it too concerned with the big questions? too serious?

    Reply

  3. dock #

    1a-I busted out laughing so hard when illayna died. Finally! She was such a pain in the ass. I also laughed at almost everything desmond-related as he was just in rare form. My favorite part though was Hurley totally calling out the show (as usual) when talking to libby- “…some bizzaro alternate universe…” haha typical hurley.

    1b-as far as I can remember this has been the most satisfying death for me. Illayna and her big dumb cohort that smokey totally owned in Jacobs room were the most welcome deaths I can really remember. Its the final season, theres no room for new characters. I will be equally as happy when Zooey and that Wierd Little Guy that works for Widmore get roasted, too.

    2a-thats the big question, isnt it? I think that Des is the only one aware of the alt-world, and somehow he is going to use this to do something..lol. Now I sound as vague as a character on the show. But that is why Des is so “zen” as you put it, because he knows theres another world out there, and he is in perfect contact w/ both at the same time.

    2b- I think alt-locke will remember his life and not smokeys, but alt-locke remembering could be the key to booting smokey from his island body. For the record, ya gotta think alt-locke will now be able to walk, no?

    3- I really am frusterated with how nobody stopped richard and asked him to be more clear. At what point do you say “What the [email protected]*& are you talking about? Spell it out for me! Does he kill everyone, does he engulf the world in black smoke, does he destroy timelines, what???

    4- I didnt like seeing Miles go w/ the doomed crew. I knew he wasnt gonna make it out alive, but that just sealed the deal. Ben foreshadowed it “…The island was done with her…I wonder what will happen when its done with us..” Obviously he still has something left to do, as does Miles and Richard, theyre not alive for no reason, but once they do their thing…cya later…

    5- everyones saying its young jacob. I dont know why Jacob would be young, but it makes as much sense as anything else, really. He really seems to bother evil locke though, doesnt he? Locke gets really pissed, and it seems the candidates can see him too. Btw, I defly think Locke knew Desmond wouldnt die in the well, but he threw him down there to keep him out of the way, because he is Charles Widmores secret weapon. This also leads me to believe the Locke was originally going to kill Sawyer in the woods, and baby-ghost-jacob appeared again and reminded him. Not that your not allowed to kill them, but that you CANT kill them, because it is not possible (like Richard cant kill himself)

    Anywho great episode but im running late for work, Ill have plenty of time to theorize while Im there but so maybe Ill have some good ideas later.

    Reply

  4. Joe #

    @Brimstone. I’m an aussie and the only way I can watch lost without having to put up with Channel 7’s crap is to get it over the net an hour after the American airing.

    As far as I can tell Lost still has a large following in Australia the main reason people seem to stop following it is because they loose the storyline. I believe that although this is due to the complex storytelling of the show, the death blow probably comes from the australian broadcasters (in this case ch 7) and their short sightedness.

    Proven time and time again an aussie broadcaster will air a newly purchased american TV show and air it for a couple of weeks in prime time before moving the show later to replace it for the newest ratings grabber. The broadcaster will usually also fail to advertise this move and because digital recording is still very new here this causes viewers to miss vital episodes. These viewers loose interest stop watching causing the show to loose ratings causing the station to bump the show further into the night. Eventually It ends up in the graveyard shift.

    Examples of this phenomenon: Lost (obviously), Heroes (to some extent), Stargate SG1, STargate Atlantis, Jericho, Surface (the season finale never actually aired here), Survivor (for a while), Scrubs, etc

    In conclusion Australia does not hate lost, but ironically it is our very own broadcasters that make it near impossible for us to view it and other notable American products.

    Reply

  5. JKTomas #

    @Brimstone.
    So you think LOST is not popular in Australia, yeah? Believe me… it is even more unpopular in damn Lithuania (what a surprise :D )… I don’t even no anyone else there who watches it. I am so lonely. “If there’s a bright center to the universe, I am on the country that it’s farthest from.”

    Reply

  6. JKTomas #

    @me
    “no” means “know”…
    Damn lack of english knowledge!!!!! :D

    Reply

  7. mlawski OTI Staff #

    Just so I can get involved in the conversation it seems the Internet is having today: No, I was not all that happy with the explanation of the Whispers. I kinda wish they never explained it at all. Ruined the mystery of it. What do you folks think?

    Reply

  8. Bob #

    1 – Awesome moment. I was waiting for Illayna to ‘Mean something bigger’ in the show, but she blew up real good.

    1b – Was I the only one that loved the Nikki & Paolo episode? I know it was pretty much a stand alone, but I thought it almost broke the fourth wall which made me love the show more.

    1c – Was it Nikki & Paolo’s diamonds Hugo grabbed at the beach before they left?

    2 – I like Dock’s ‘Zen’ idea. Heck, isn’t Syaid the only Islander to have a ‘near death’ experience since the explosion, so maybe he is having the same reaction that the Sideways people are having?

    2b – I have no reason to believe that John Locke will have any memories past ‘Why is Ben killing me?’ since that is the last moment of John Locke – everything else, at this point, is smokey taking over his body and becoming Lockelganger.
    @dock – I think (Just think) that the magnets on the island helped John walk, so he won’t be able to walk again. Unless Desmond hitting him put his back in alignment . . . hmm.

    3 – Smokey just wants a Dodger dog? But seriously, I think he’ll start infecting people he talks to – my Pop culture reference of the week, he’ll be like the evil Jasmine in the Wheadon show Angel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jasmine_(Angel)) who by simply being present in front of someone makes them feel happy but is actually evil.

    4 – Didn’t think of that until I read your message. I guess I was thinking in the Anti-Penultimate episode, those three pop up Ewok style and rescue the candidates, but them dying does make more sense.

    5 – I could overthink and rationalize the boy being hundreds of people. My working theory – he is John Locke as a child making fun of him for being bald now.

    @mlawski – I think this has been the theory for a while and I thought it was pretty cool.

    Reply

  9. stabbim #

    @mlawski – Yes, I thought the whispers thing was unfortunately “midiclorian-esque,” to borrow a term from Cartlon Cuse. Simultaneously too much explanation and not enough. Very inelegantly done.

    Reply

  10. specialagentdalecooper #

    I liked the actual explanation for the whispers, but it was clumsily handled. These things feel much more satisfying when they find a more dramatic way for us to learn them. I posted this elsewhere –
    —-
    I liked that they gave this answer finally, though I agree it was a little clunky. It might have played better out of a different actor’s mouth (Michael Emerson is the head honcho of turning semi-crap into pure gold on screen). But I rather prefer either of these alternative scenarios that I dreamed up this morning:

    1. Earlier in the episode at the beach camp, Ben and Hurley are in the woods (peeing or something, whatever). They hear the whispers and it gets all tense for a minute, then nothing. Hurley asks, “Did you just hear that?” Ben says, “Yeah… I heard it. I’ve been hearing them my whole life. Before you ask… I have no idea what they are, where they come from. Sometimes they feel like a warning.” (Or whatever, something like that.) Then we can have the later scene with Michael almost exactly the same, and it would play less clumsily because it was set up earlier in the episode.

    2. Instead of the scene we got, we see Hurley traipse off into the woods, calling for Michael – and a large circle of dead people materialize out of the shadows, still kind of dark and out of focus. Michael steps forward very slightly and nods at Hurley. We see shots of a few other notable islanders who died. Not one word of dialogue needs to be spoken, it’s all implied. Then Michael goes with Hurley to show him where Locke’s camp is.

    Or you could combine the two.

    (Anybody know Cuse and Lindelof? I totally want a job on their next show.)

    Reply

  11. Kevin #

    Loved, loved, LOVED the episode — so much so, that while I can find plenty to nitpick about it as “television” (some on-the-nose writing like the Whispers explanation/Jack and “letting go)… it was about as perfect as a Lost episode can be, in my opinion. Not one, not two, but THREE destined-to-be-classic “Oh SH*T!!!” moments, the three mlawski described. I can’t say I laughed at them — instead, my jaw literally dropped. It really brought home the fact that in these final episodes, *anything* is on the table in the story.

    As for mlawski’s questions:
    #1 – again, I was simply STUNNED. With Doc Arzt’s death, it wasn’t all that surprising — I think everyone knew he was a red shirt from the moment he was introduced. (Given his character, THAT death was “funny”…) But I assumed, wrongly, that we’d get a lot more story about Ilana — her history, more of her with Jacob, and so on. No sir! (It only goes to show that when someone talks about how dangerous and volatile the Black Rock dynamite is… YOU LISTEN!!!)

    #1b – I’d rank all the minor character deaths as such:
    Arzt: all-time best. Unexpected AND funny.
    Frogurt: just hilarious, though it felt a little like Arzt-lite. (Arzt at least was SLIGHTLY useful as a character; Frogurt was just a nod to the mobisodes, an in-joke)
    Nikki & Paolo: most appropriate death.
    Ilana: I hate to say she’s minor, but purely shocking from an expectations standpoint.

    #2 – I think everyone will get the choice of staying in the Island timeline or the Sideways timeline. Honestly, why would some of those characters stay on the Island — namely Jack? He’s resolved all of his issues in the Sideways timeline and has a better life in pretty much every single significant way… why would he give that up? (Please, please, PLEASE DO NOT LET HIM GIVE EVERYTHING UP FOR KATE…) Also, I’d say Locke would have easily stayed in the Sideways timeline… until Des went all hit and run on him. But again, he had come to terms with his disability; with his father; and with Helen. No way does he give that up. Or Hurley, who now has Libby again, is incredibly wealthy, and so on.

    I think the key will be for the writers to really make it clear why the Sideways universe is SO bad, whether or not it’s a “construct. ” Because I don’t think they have yet, and I don’t know they’ll be able to do it with an episode or two left. Get cracking, guys!

    #2b – I don’t think alt-Locke will have any of “Locke’s” memories post-strangulation by Ben… but think Des may convince him to sacrifice his Sideways happiness to defeat Smokey. (Yes, like mlawski, I believe alt-Locke’s conscious would replace that of Smokey — ultimately Locke will be the hero on the show)

    #3 – this is the question that’s been puzzling me the most… but going back to my original theory about Jacob and Smokey (and them being natural forces, not actual “people,” Gods, or any of that)… Smokey is a force of chaos, of death, of “endings.” If he’s freed, I think he’ll have the ability to run rampant, doing whatever he wants… whether it’s causing war, death, whatever. Jacob, aka the spirit of birth, creation and beginnins, keeps him in check. In balance, we have the correct balance in nature. That’s the key: they both have to live in balance.

    (and as for Hurley, those made for the other “tense” moments on the show… namely, when he tells everyone to go meet up with Locke to talk, and we realize he has NO IDEA what he’s doing. Great story moment!)

    #4 – Richard dies, no question — he HAS TO from a story standpoint, as it will, to quote FIELD OF DREAMS, “end his pain.”

    Miles SURVIVES. He’s too much of a fan favorite, but more importantly, the writers seem to LOVE writing for him… plus someone has to sell Nikki & Paolo’s diamonds back in the real world!

    Ben’s fate is the hardest to determine. I think he dies — after all, the deaths of the entire Dharma Initiative are STILL on him, there’s no way he can atone for that — but I think he sacrifices himself for everyone in the finale. He’ll be around until the very end, then die in a way that goes as far as possible to make up for all the deaths.

    #5 – agree with the theory that little blonde ghost symbolizes Jacob, and little brunette ghost symbolizes Smokey.

    As for the explanation of “The Whispers”…

    I didn’t have a problem with it — in fact, it’s in keeping with what we know of the whispers since Season One. (Fun fact: if you play the Whispers backwards, you get dialogue, often from dead characters, commenting on the action… transcripts found here:
    http://lostpedia.wikia.com/wiki/Whisper_transcripts)

    This is the big problem of explaining the mysteries in the final season, I think: too vague and mysterious, and half the fans say the writers don’t have a satisfactory answer; get specific like last night and the Whispers, and the other half of the fans think the explanation LACKS any mystery. It’s a small, small needle they have to thread — yes, it was a little expository, but it’s as definitive an answer as we can possibly get.

    (I think the BIGGER issue as for that is: when were the “ghosts” we’ve seen Smokey, and when were they actually “ghosts”? Anyone who died *on the island* is a ghost, and any appearance by someone who didn’t die on the island is Smokey? Or is it more complicated than that?)

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  12. Eric #

    This struck me as I was watching last night – those who died on the island have a stronger connection to the island from the alterna-verse. Farrady, Libby, and Charlie all seemed to remember the island without prompting. Of course those are some of the less mentally stable characters as well, so maybe that’s the connection. Either way, I’m glad these flash-sideways are starting to have a point.

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  13. Kevin #

    (Also, in re: Richard, Ben and Miles being separated because they’re doomed and are going to die…)

    I think the point of separating them was to *give them something to do*. Those three characters — Ben especially — have had little to do these last few weeks, though Richard at least got a flashback… they had to be split off, because if they HADN’T… it would have been yet another episode where the three of them sit in the camp, following everyone else. Now at least they can be active.

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  14. Omar #

    Clue of the Week:

    “42, 42 ….. Thats Me Brutha” Is Desmond a candidate? Or is the island (lost writing staff) messing with my head lol.

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  15. Bob #

    @Omar – I don’t know if it means anything, but I certainly got a chuckle. I think the writters said “well lets use a Number (royal) whenever a number is used”.

    @Eric – That sort of goes with my ‘tentpole’ theory from last weeks talkback. (In short, every life has ‘tentpole moments’. When a tentpole is matched from Island and sideway life, ie Charlie almost dying brings him close to actually dying, Hugo going on a date with the chick from the Drew Carrey show, etc) The ‘larger’ the tentpole, the easier it is to remember. Desmond and Penny have the largest love on the show, so that is why it struck Desmond so much. I think falling in love is only second to dying in the ‘important moments in life’, so those who died find it easier to cross. Then those who fell in love are a second. Since Hugo only had a crush, it was the moment when they kissed when he realized it because it reached his ‘tentpole’ while Libby, although not dying, was reminded of her ‘tentpole’ of death because she was about to go out with Hurley before she died and she saw him and remembered. Again – just a crackpot theory, but this weeks help it rather than proves it wrong.

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  16. TheMagician #

    I bursted into laughter when Hurley said “bizarro alternate universe” since Darlton have been so against referring to the flash sideways as “alternate anything” and especially (literally) “bizarro alternate universe” on the podcast!

    There were many moments of laughter. I’d have to rewatch to name them all.

    The way the answer for the Whispers was delivered was just BAAAAD. Hurley just suddenly goes “Hey, I think I know what these things are” followed by the answer… It seemed rushed and really poor, like they didn’t care about it, just threw it in there to please the fans. It’s been a huge mystery for 6 seasons which was also one of the few mysteries I wanted to be explained in the show… Even though anyone who ever read any of the transcripts for the Whispers basically knew what they were, however David Fury, 1st season writer said this in an interview, which blurred that answer a bit for me at least:

    “””Lostpedia: The Whispers featured right at the end of “Solitary”. Do you know what they are?

    I can’t tell you what they are now, but I can tell you what they WERE. They were supposed to be the Others, lurking in the jungle. At that time, we hadn’t yet settled on what the Others would be. Since they were undefined, I had imagined they were going to be more feral, gone native… One might say “Reaver-ish.” (I wouldn’t, but one might.) I just didn’t imagine they were going to be spirit-gum, fake beard wearing, boat driving, faux hillbillies… as done in the season finale. My bad. “””

    How they could have delivered the answer for the Whispers: First the whispering begins, our losties staring in the dark jungle scared, a number of dead people appearing all speaking at the same time so we can’t tell what they’re saying, Hurley sees them and realizes what the Whispers are and says to Jack “Wait here” and then he goes to Michael… Or something like that.

    What I don’t like in Season 6 is how they have to say out loud all the answers, like “you’re the smoke monster” and “the whispers are dead people stuck on the Island.” Maybe ABC forced them to do so so that the casual viewers who don’t want to put any thought into the show will also get them.

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  17. jimp #

    I thought the Whispers’ explanation was incredibly lame as well, but, you know what? – they had to be explained simply and supernaturally because there was no clever way of explaining them given the writers’ lack of discipline in using them (they were heard anywhere and everywhere, including off-island, in seasons 2 and 3). The problem with stuff like the Whispers was that they were effective and eerie as set dressing but never really had an integral relation to the plot like some of the other freaky-Lost-shit (the Numbers, the Smoke Monster, presumably the Statue).

    Just like during the last season of the Greatest TV Show Ever (‘The Wire’, obviously) there will be moments in The Second Best/Best Genre Show Ever when fans collectively sigh at the clumsy closing up of narrative sutures that were once so fruitful and compelling.

    That said, this episode gave us numerous moments of excellence, many of which have been mentioned. I’d like to give a nod to Jack’s whole neutral-faced summary of his realization that his compulsive “fixing” and leading-from-the-gut was slightly idiotic and he’d be better off just following Hurley for now – that was six seasons coming and incredibly satisfying! (Pity about the “this is me trusting you” line.) And I loved the frustration of Flocke at Des’s Zen-mastership of fear – flinging him down a hole was almost an admission of failure, like when Christopher Walken guns down Dennis Hopper in ‘True Romance’. Des is totally the new Jacob, no one else comes close, and he’s not leaving that island, brother – ‘cos he knows he’s got alternate possibilities?

    A final thought: I feel I might be disappointed if Real Locke takes over his old body and stages another “miracle comeback”. It’d be a cop-out, no? I still believe that, if the alterna-verse is where Flocke is escaping to, then there’s every chance it’s him that Desmond just ran into…

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  18. Kevin #

    Jim (and others) actually brings up an interesting question re: the explanation of the Whispers… a question I thought of while reading complaints on another recap of the episode.

    If off the show, the writers have explained early in the series’ run what some of the “answers” are (well, more specifically, are NOT)… should we consider their answers to be canon?

    Here’s the example: back in S1 and 2, the writers said the island is NOT purgatory. And yet ghost Michael says in “ELH” that the spirits are those who have died on the island and are not being allowed to pass on because of their actions… which sounds a LOT like purgatory.

    Now, my defense is this: the writers were only saying that the plane crash survivors were NOT in purgatory, which was usually the context of the questioning — they were actually alive, it wasn’t a dream, etc. They just never said anything about the *spirits* of the dead being trapped on the island because of what they had done in their lives.

    But the larger, relevant question is: should this even matter?! Shouldn’t the show speak for itself — for better and for worse — and anything said “officially,” whether in interviews, podcasts, whatever, is NOT considered “canon” until it’s mentioned on the show? I always complain when TV shows or movies, whether it’s Lost, BSG, the Star Wars prequels, whatever, expect you to fill in the gaps by finding answers in alternate media (podcasts, comic books, novelizations, and so on). But doesn’t it work BOTH ways? Don’t we have to give the writers the benefit of the doubt, and allow THEIR work to evolve as they see fit? To tell the story in the best way they can? And not hold them up to something they said years earlier, which may not apply any longer?

    Discuss!

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  19. Gab #

    1- Oh God, I think “guffaw” is the perfect word for what I did at that moment when Ilana asploded, too.

    1b- And the irony of the moment this week, along with the parallelism, made it the death I laughed at the most. When Niki and Paolo died, I felt more… relieved… because their badly-written characters were no longer a threat to the show’s quality.

    But, I must say, I had a much different reaction to Des’s, “You’re John Locke.” It was my key phrase for him, “Oh, Des!” I feel like he’s regressed in some ways to something like a child. Out of despair? I’m not sure, but I didn’t think his zen-ness was funny, it made me sad- like how Sayid makes me sad nowadays, too (and I totally agree on the point about Sayid having been the I-will-always-believe-you person before, too, and I made that connection myself). My guess is that even if he doesn’t know about the Alties, he knows he’s going to have to die somehow, so he’s resolved, like Sayid, to Do What He’s Got To Do. I actually see a *lot* of parallels between them now, making that stare-down last week so utterly important.

    I thin pretty much every moment I saw Des, there was an, “Oh, Des,” at least in my head, if not out-loud, but the emotion changed a bit. When he was encouraging Hurley to go out with Libby, it was warm. When he ran over Locke, it was devastated.

    (Sidenote: I also had an, “Oh, Ben,” moment, but it was shaking my head and smirking: when he said the, “I wonder what will happen when [the Island] is done with us.” So typical, and somehow funny in a dark way, imo.)

    2- I used to think the same as you, that Alties (I’m going to call the alternate-timeline people this, and the original ones the Losties from here on out, actually, if that’s okay) would transfer back to their Lostie selves, but now I’m not so sure. Libby and Hurley are remembering quite a bit, but they’re still in the alt-world as separate entities. I mean, unless the problem is they haven’t remembered *enough* of their Lostie lives. Unfortunately, I can’t think of the alternative, so this leads me to think maybe it doesn’t matter, or that maybe *all* of the Alties need to remember before they can transfer to their Lostie bodies- which would be why Des is now running around and helping Alties remember their Lostie identities.

    2b- Well, given how Lockelganger walked right past the corpse of *actual* Locke, I have a feeling that, if Altie-Locke gets transferred at all, it will be to his own body and Smokey won’t have any part in it. But that’s IF- he’s dead, after all, so maybe there won’t be a transfer, period.

    BUT, I’m also TOTALLY hot for Kevin’s idea that Locke will somehow play a, if not the, pivotal role in defeating Smokey, so mayhap his body will rise and he’ll die again (like a reverse-Christ or something…?).

    3- I get the sense that Smokey hasn’t really thought that far ahead. He’s so desperate to get off the Island that he doesn’t really have a specific destination in mind. (I know it sounds like a cop-out, but I’m basing this on the little I know about psychology and conjectures about human behavior, so it makes uber sense in my head.)

    4- (I totally called Ben and Richard joining forces, but I didn’t think it would be under such hostile conditions…) I still don’t think Ben and Miles will die, sorry. I’m holding onto my old theory that Miles will get away like the sneaky yet lovable guy that did some bad things, but not really Bad Things, so we’re okay with him escaping. And Ben has metaphorically been to Confessional, as he has before, but finally he went in earnest, so I think he has been forgiven (either by the gods of the Island, the writing gods, Jacob, or some combination thereof), and thus I don’t think he’ll die. Richard, though, I see Richard dying in an epic attempt to stop Smokey from doing something. Or perhaps he’ll die to stop Widmore. I suppose the latter would be a little more satisfying, since I find it more likely for his sacrifice to be “successful” there than in the former.

    So I’m kind of at odds with people saying Ben hasn’t been able to atone yet (sorry, Kevin…)- I feel like his remorse related specifically to his daughter (name escapes me all of a sudden…) is actually a catalyst for the remorse and forgiveness for everything- like being repentant for causing her death is equivocal to being repentant for everything else, all of the other Bad Things, he did.

    5- I think he showed up more to just taunt Smokey and make him uncomfortable. He seems to enjoy that.

    6- I thought the explanation did devalue it and was rather corny. Trapped souls? C’mon, now. Why not something like alternate versions of people from MYRIAD timelines or something, at least? Sheesh… But, Specialagentdalecooper is right- that same explanation probably could have been better, if done differently.

    BUT, Kevin, I also agree with you about stuff in the show itself being canon and interview stuff NOT being as such- I believe we’ve gone over this on other recaps or posts on this site before, actually. The whole, “Soandso said,” stuff gets really, really annoying to me. I shouldn’t have to do research into a show to feel satisfied with its explanations. I enjoy viral ads (I’m totally going to invest in a Dharma Initiative hoodie someday), but that’s totally not the same thing- viral *information* outside the context of the show shouldn’t be what I need to understand it. Also, I guess I’m okay with little Easter egg-type things, but those Easter eggs shouldn’t distract from the real message, nor should they be keys to getting the overall picture. ::end rant::

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  20. Kevin #

    @Gab: I actually LOVE the way Desmond is now. He’s “complete.” He reminds me of (ugh) Luke toward the end of RETURN OF THE JEDI, or Neo toward the end of THE MATRIX — he has absolutely NO fear. I love that.

    But about Des and Locke: when Desmond says it’s “John Locke” after he’s taken back to the Island by Sayid… he’s not being cute, is he? I know that’s what everyone is thinking — that he’s being new, fearless Desmond in the face of Smokey — but Desmond does NOT know that John Locke died and returned as this evil being, does he? The last time he saw Locke was when he was leaving the island back in S4. No one told him about “Jeremy Bentham’s” death, or even that Locke was living under that name off the Island. I don’t think Widmore had time to explain… and he didn’t get any flashes of “John Locke” when he was hit by the EM in Widmore’s cage. So he really doesn’t know who, or even what, Smokey is, or that that’s who they’re fighting. He really does think it’s John Locke. Doesn’t he?

    Also, re: Ben “atoning” — I guess I meant that he has personally atoned… but as the Island has made clear, if you kill, there is no forgiveness from whatever higher power is controlling things. There IS no reason to kill. (Take Michael — I’d say he atoned for Ana Lucia and Libby, but his soul is still trapped on the Island.) So while Ben is now a “good guy”… it doesn’t change the fact that he mercilessly killed dozens of people. I don’t think he can ever make up for that. So he’ll die, but in a heroic way that helps clean his cosmic slate.

    Now, today’s big question (thanks to Doc J. for bringing it up):

    Was ghost Michael lying to Hurley?

    Think about it: it’s totally in keeping with his character. When was the last time Michael had an urgent request for Hurley? Toward the end of S2… when he was trying to get off the island and needed to take him to The Others. Now, ghost Michael… wants to get off the island again. Isn’t it likely he’s just doing the same thing again: lying to Hurley in order to get off the Island?

    Isn’t it very possible that the ghosts are in some way manifestations, or at the least allied with, Smokey? And they’re trying to convince (easily manipulated) Hurley that destroying the Ajira plane — which Smokey says he needs to get off the island — is a bad idea?

    And if all that is true: is it possible that the “Whispers” explanation was sort of hackneyed for a reason — because Michael was lying to Hurley, and that’s NOT what the whispers are?

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  21. mlawski OTI Staff #

    @Kevin: You’re right: as far as we know, Des doesn’t know that Locke isn’t Locke. But clearly Des knows a lot more than we know; he said, for instance, that he knows what Widmore needs him to do. There was something about the way he said “You’re John Locke” that struck me as knowing, but that’s just me.

    @specialagentdalecooper: I like your style. That would be a MUCH better way of getting across the “Whispers are ghosts” idea.

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  22. Todd Holodeck #

    Did anyone else think it was weird that in the same episode that Hurley started taking charge heroically, Jack, the character we’ve been told is the Flash Gordon of this thing all along, seems to have had his arc end unassumingly in the the middle of the episode. If they just let Jack’s “let it go” thread drop there, the one they’ve been addressing in every season premiere, I’m going to say that’s the biggest, most underplayed mindfuck of the series so far.

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  23. Gab #

    @Kevin: I think the child-like Des I mentioned is why he seems “cute.” Actually, I was thinking, “Oh, Des,” when he said, “You’re John Locke,” because of the childlike ignorance and naiveté he has because no, he doesn’t know the truth. This doesn’t make him any sadder, at least for me. And he could still be resolved to Do Something- and if he’s resolved to do it while so ignorant, it makes him that much more tragic in my eyes, since he’s set and ready, but he doesn’t even know what’s *really* going on.

    You sound good about Ben, and I get it, but what makes me wonder how iron-clad that rule is is the fact that Smokey and Jacob kill (directly and indirectly) all the flippin’ time. I mean, Jacob brings people to the Island to test them, knowing death is what happens to them if they fail? That’s pretty effed up, too, and the idea that Ben was at least convincing himself he was doing it for Jacob (and I think he genuinely believed it, in some ways- that’s another human psychology/mental illness rant, though) and would be punished for it churns my insides.

    And perhaps it’s my underlying dislike for Michael dominating here (“What the f*** are YOU doing here!” I shouted in anger when first he appeared), but now that you mention it, I wouldn’t put it past him to be lying to Hurley! AAAAGH!!

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  24. Bob #

    This is an ‘Out there’ idea, but with all my other crackpot theories, maybe okay. Remember way back in Season 4 we see Daniel Faraday before he goes to the island? What if that is the first time the ‘Sideways’ world meshed with the ‘Island’ world, Daniel saw the crash and realized that was going to cause his death and hence he starts crying uncontrollably.

    When Libby said she saw Hurley, she said she couldn’t explain it but thought she knew him. Maybe the same thing happened to Daniel.

    Before you say “Wait Bob, everything so far has been Sideways seeing the Island, not the other way” – isn’t conventional wisdom of Juliet saying ‘going dutch’ and ‘cup of coffee’ the Sideways Juliet communicating in the Island world?

    Again – this is 50% crackpot theory, 50% blowing my mind.

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  25. Melissa D. #

    Question Five – I think that (as they are both the same actor) they are both “Jacob”, in the way that Jacob and MIB were the same person split in half. One half is the blond boy, Jacob, who reminded MIB he could not kill Sawyer. The other half is him, who seemed to just stand there, amused at what his older self had become.

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  26. Genevieve #

    OK, to start off, I double-checked Lostpedia to be positive, and indeed I was correct: there are NOT two different mysterious boys! As Melissa D. said, it is ONE boy; the casting call listed there calls for a “dirty blonde” so perhaps they intended all along to be able to play with our impressions of his looks… which gives credence to the idea that Jacob & MIB are one and the same person, split into two representations. However, it was most certainly the same actor (looking considerably older, IMHO.) I’m almost certain that he’s there to remind FLocke who he can and cannot kill… and I think it’s a great, almost subtle way of reinforcing the supposition that Desmond is, in fact, a candidate.

    I always assumed that he is Jacob, but I’m liking this thought that he could be *both* of them. IN FACT!!… what if “it” is one extremely powerful being with multiple personality disorder? The two personalities are mortally opposed to each other, but somewhere in the mind, there’s the acknowledgment that they share the same “host” so to speak, and the whole idea of the big RULE that neither of them could kill the other was established because of that. I’m thinking of a terminally lonely child who makes up someone to argue with in his head, and starts this ridiculous game with grandiose stakes and convoluted rules, just to entertain himself.

    Also, @Bob’s 1c: I’m pretty sure what Hurley grabbed from Ilyana’s stuff was the baggie of Jacob’s ashes. Miles has the diamonds, right?

    I was angst-ridden by Des’ lack of awareness of FLocke. I can’t figure out what his “game” is. He either understands everything, or nothing, and neither is a reasonable stance for him. I do, however, absolutely LOVE the scene where he’s spying on Hurley & Libby at the beach, and then drives off in “job well done” mode. Hilarious. I swear that’s a shout-out to some ’80s or ’90s TV show… Quantum Leap, maybe? It just seemed so familiar, the character fixing everyone’s lives and then moving on to the next job. Maybe Highway to Heaven, hahaha?!

    I was not particularly perturbed by the explanation of the whispers. Everyone had pretty much guessed that to be true anyway, I think, and as TheMagician said, I’m willing to guess that the explanation was thrown in as a way to salve the poor abused brains of the folks who *don’t* enjoy OverThinking things, but who for some reason (just so they don’t feel left out at work?) still watch Lost anyway. What bothers me far more is how they still cling to the leitmotifs in the scoring, even when the reveals are obvious or the “surprises” aren’t remotely shocking. We REALLY didn’t need the “OH MY GOD CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!” sound in the prior ep, for example, when Claire turned around at the baggage claim.

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  27. Mike L B #

    What was that book that Hurley saw in Illana;s stuff?!? (I seem to be obsessed with all the LOST books.)

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  28. Genevieve #

    @Mike L B: Dostoyevsky’s “Notes from the Underground”

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  29. Bob #

    @Genevieve – on the Ashes THANK YOU. I was about to slap my head in a ‘duh’ motion like I’m a character in an 80’s sitcom.

    Reply

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