Episode Title: "Everybody Loves Hugo"
Story: All eyes are on former lottery winner Hurley (Jorge Garcia) when it comes time to leave the crash site of Oceanic 815 and figure out the next move — especially in light of one particular castaway's explosive disposition. But Hurley's decisions aren't universally embraced, leading to a schism within Team Jacob that puts Hugo and his followers on a potentially deadly path.
In the Sideways Reality, the uncharacteristically lucky Hurley agrees to go on a blind date, and his romantic chemistry with a mysterious pursuer attracts the attention of a recently awakened Desmond Hume (Henry Ian Cusick) — and Desmond himself has made some surprising maneuvers since putting his hands on the wheel of destiny.
The Date We Never Had: The idea of love as the constant connection between the two universes of "Lost" gained further support in "Everybody Loves Hugo," as Hurley awakened his knowledge of the Island universe in a passionate kiss with Sideways Libby (Cynthia Watros). It strikes me that Libby, Daniel (Jeremy Davies) and Charlie (Dominic Monaghan) all have the fleeting feeling of Island life, as all three are now dead in Island time — does that make the Sideways reality the "Lost" equivalent of the afterlife? It's worth pondering.
Blown Away: Moving to the Island time, it's pretty crazy how off-handedly both Ilana (Zuehlika Robinson) and the Black Rock were blown to smithereens in the early portion of the episode. Not that I'm disappointed, mind you. The window dressing known as Ilana got an appropriately spontaneous send off that puts Nikki and Paolo to shame, while the Black Rock had certainly outlived its purpose. Both have their places in "Lost" history, but it's best to leave them in the past — there are other pressing issues to attend to.
Letting Go: I love that Jack (Matthew Fox) fully owned up to how hard it is to let go and follow other people's leadership. The fact that Hurley can talk to resourceful ghosts like Jacob (Mark Pellegrino) makes him a viable candidate to lead, and Jack is wise to let him do his thing. That said, is Hurley making the right call here? Is it smart to follow Hurley to the gates of hell — something Richard (Nestor Carbonell) previously identified as The Smoke Monster? When you look at Hurley's bad luck alongside the reputation of Smocke (Terry O'Quinn), it's hard not to be nervous for our beloved survivors.
Those Damn Whispers: Hey, what do you know — an answer to a long-standing mystery! The whispers, according to the late Michael Dawson (Harold Perrineau), are "the ones who can't move on." In other words, theories that the Island represents purgatory aren't too far off. That's at least a little bit frustrating, isn't it? I wonder who else is stuck on the Island alongside Michael — who else didn't achieve redemption? Who decides who is worthy of moving on and who isn't? Does Michael need to reconcile with Walt (Malcolm David Kelley) before he can finally rest, and if so, will we ever get to witness that? Really, I'll take any excuse to see Walt again.
Breaking The Ice With The Smoke Monster: How do you break the ice with the Smoke Monster? Apparently, Desmond's position of "no fear" isn't the right one to take — unless you're actively looking to live out your days at the bottom of a well, that is.
Luckily, Desmond is an important player in the Sideways universe, even if he isn't doing too well on the Island — it's just too bad that he's seeking vengeance on the wrong Terry O'Quinn, as he barrels his car straight on into a helpless John Locke. Looks like Locke is going to need Jack's surgical assistance after all.
On the topic of breaking the ice, we're now in a very interesting position as Team Jack and Team Smocke are currently living under the same roof. What happens when these two personalities collide? We should find out next week, but let's just hope that Jack has a better plan in mind than Desmond's enlightened stance!
Best Quote: "It makes you think, doesn't it. Ilana — there she was, handpicked by Jacob, trained to come and protect you candidates. No sooner does she tell you who you are that she blows up. The Island was done with her. It makes me wonder what's going to happen when it's done with us." — Benjamin Linus (Michael Emerson) asking a very wise question.
The Shape Of Things To Come: Next week's episode is curiously titled "The Last Recruit," most likely a reference to the sides organized by Smocke and Jacob. Little else is known about the episode — except for the fact that Sayid and his trusty handgun are paying the well-bound Desmond a visit.
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