"Lost" Season Six, Episode Eleven: "Everybody Loves Hugo" Review

4/15/2010 Posted by Admin

Television Review

"Lost" Season Six, Episode Eleven: "Everybody Loves Hugo" Review

By our guest blogger, Rob Stammitti

I'm not entirely sure what to think of "Everybody Loves Hugo" (and yes, that is a cute reference to the season two episode, "Everybody Hates Hugo"). It gives us some of the best character writing for Hurley since early last season, and the urgency level overall has certainly gone up a notch. But some of the moments that could have been great were marred by dull and occasionally silly execution, so the episode doesn't quite reach its potential. Still, the episode gives us plenty to talk about.

Spoilers herein.

Last week's excellent Desmond episode gave us a break from the matters at hand with Jack and company, so this little Hurley tale brings us back to the beach to continue their plot to blow up the Ajira plane and prevent the Man in Black from leaving. While visiting Libby's grave, Hurley gets an unexpected visit from ghost Michael. Hey, this is the last season--visits from characters of seasons old are to be expected. Unfortunately, everything that could've been great about Michael's return (or second return, I suppose, after his brief plotline in season four) is instead just kind of dull. I'm not sure what it was about his scenes exactly that didn't work, but they just didn't come across as interestingly as one would expect.

Either way, Michael tells Hurley that he shouldn't let Ilana and Richard blow up the plane, because a lot of people will die in the process. So, Hurley begins formulating a plot to hinder Ilana and Richard's plan. Little does he know, however, that fate is on his side and convincing the beach Losties against their explosive plot won't be that difficult.

So, Ilana has been on the show now for about a whole season, counting her brief appearances in the last half of the fifth season and now eight or so episodes in this one. One would expect at some point soon we'd understand a bit more about her, learn some stuff about her past and what her ultimate purpose might be on the island. Well, forget about it, because not 10 minutes into "Everybody Loves Hugo" and good old Ilana pulls a Dr. Arzt and, haphazardly handling the dynamite from the Black Rock, blows herself to smithereens right in front of everybody on the beach. Goodbye, Ilana. One of the most surprising moments of the season? Sure. No doubt. But despite the writers' best efforts to totally shock the audience, the moment happens, we cut to commercial, and then we get back and move on. There is absolutely no power to the scene, and so the departure of who seemed to be a major character is played off as insignificant and actually kind of funny. So, I suppose it works comedically, but surely there's a better way of introducing the concept of the main characters being expendable.

So, Ilana blows up. One would expect this would convince most of the characters to reconsider the whole plane idea, but Richard is still adamant about blowing that plane to kingdom come and the beach group is split in two. Richard, Miles and Ben decide to go off on their own to go through with their little terrorist plot, and Jack, Sun and Frank are led by Hurley to meet with the Man in Black, as that is the suggestion of Hurley's ghostly advisors.

A subplot on the island involves Sayid returning to the Flocke camp with Desmond. There's not much going on here, but clearly Smokey is intimidated by Desmond. He takes him for a walk to a stone well we haven't seen before and, after asking him why he isn't afraid (Desmond's awesome response: "I don't see any point in being afraid."), he shoves him into it. Interesting scene, though there's no way of really knowing how that's going to pan out until next week. I think we can safely assume Desmond's fine, it would be odd to kill him off one week after bringing him back.

The final scene of the Hurley plotline was probably the best. After asking ghost Michael where Flocke's camp was (here we also learn in a blink-or-you'll-miss-it revelation that the mysterious whispers are the ghosts of those who have done wrong on the island, like Michael), Hurley and the rest of his group enter the camp and Hurley confronts Locke. As with the rest of the episode, Hurley shows a lot of courage and strength here--it's a great moment for him. He tells Flocke that they can talk, but demands that Flocke promise none of his friends will be hurt or killed. Flocke agrees. As Jack and the rest approach, Jack and Flocke catch each others eye for the first time since their return to the island. The man of science transformed into the man of faith finally comes face to face with the man who he has been at odds with for the entire series, and it's not even the real Locke.

The flash-sideways held many of the other most interesting parts of the episode. They begin with a benefit honoring alt-Hurley for his philanthropy. As alt-Pierre Chang states, "Everybody loves Hugo," and he presents a slideshow of the numerous organizations Hurley as created with his lottery winnings. As he said in "LA X," he appears to be the luckiest guy alive. But perhaps he's not. As last week told us, the flash-sideways are much more than meets the eye.

Hurley's flashes center, quite pleasantly, on his relationship with Libby. Those who recall season two probably remember their relationship and will certainly recall that it was tragically cut short when Michael murdered both her and Ana-Lucia. Here Libby is still in a mental institution, self-admitted she claims, and she randomly comes up to Hugo in a restaurant claiming she remembers him from somewhere. This woman isn't quite as crazy as she thinks. As it was with Charlie, Daniel, and Desmond, memories of the other timeline are bleeding through.

"Lost" fans have been wanting resolution to the Hurley and Libby storyline for a while, and I suppose a lot of them will get what they want here. It's a very emotional episode, and the moment when the two are sitting together on the beach for a picnic and Hurley starts remembering their time on the island is admittedly very sweet. Still, it seems like more could've been done here, or more time could've been spent with them instead of with the on-island story. But as a potential farewell to her character, I suppose it was adequate.

Meanwhile in the flashes, Desmond has begun the early stages of his mysterious plan for the 815ers, starting with Hurley (who he urged to give Libby a chance) and, in a bizarre and rather startling end to the episode, Locke, who Desmond slams into with his car just before the cut to black. I don't know why Desmond felt the need to nearly kill John Locke, nor why he chose to do it by hitting him with his car, but it's sure a good way to get people tuning in next week.

So the episode doesn't quite succeed as much as it could have. Some of the moments that could've been brilliant fall flat and Ilana's death was a big disappointment, but in its final stretch the show is gaining momentum. Things are definitely coming to a head, and as explosive as this episode was, things are only going to get crazier.

Grade: B-

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