DarkUFO - Lost

(NOTE: Sorry there are no photos to go along with the recap, my broadband has gone awol. I'll add some later. DarkUFO)

After several tense weeks of drama and violence, this week's episode was perfectly timed. No mysteries here, no real unanswered questions, nothing but beer, good times, and some of the funniest lines ever. Trisha Tanaka flat out called it halfway through the episode: 'This is a puff piece'.

Things I Noticed:

Be Right Back - Gotta Go to Vegas
This week we find out Hurley has daddy issues, just like everyone else. Daddy shoves a Glacier Bar (had to strain my eyes to see that one) into Hurley's hand and rides off on his 'AMAH' motorcycle. The candy bar fits right in with the polar bears and the snow-base from the end of last season. The missing Y and A from the YAMAHA logo could've been done for censorship of sponsorship purposes... but then again, didn't they say Camaro more than a few times this episode? Not to mention International House of Pancakes. Looked up 'Amah' and found the definition to mean 'a woman who looks after another woman's child'. I'm open to ideas on that one. I'd also be willing to admit maybe Hurley's dad had an old motorcycle.

The big thing here is Hurley's dad's advice: "You have to believe good things will happen, and then they will". This becomes important later on in the episode, when Hurley needs to start the love bus. More on that later.

James, Freckles, Sawyer, Kate
Just before they get back to camp, the writers hammer the final nail into the Kate/Sawyer coffin. At least for now, anyway. She calls him James twice while still trying to hang onto their bond. In the end, Kate realizes he'll never make an effort to continue what they might've had. "Welcome home Sawyer" was her way of putting their relationship back to where it was in seasons one and two. "Welcome home Kate" was him accepting it. Pretty straightforward.

I've Gotta Go Get Some Bananas
Yeah, Paulo - you do that. You've had some gripping, pivotal lines this season. Damn, if I were Rodrigo Santoro I'd be kicking the script across my trailer at the end of each day's shooting.

Things Are Looking Up For Charlie
I've never been a big fan of Charlie, but I'll admit even I liked him last night. Shaving off that nappy granola beard was representational of the fresh new start he'd get this episode. Wiping the slate clean, as Sawyer put it. Charlie went from fearful and resigned to his impending demise to upbeat and hopeful about the future. As Hurley said "Things are getting better". Charlie looked death in the face and said 'whatever'. Will this save him? I think so. Know why? Because Charlie believes it. With each passing week we see more and more evidence that faith is an all-powerful resource on the island. By the end of the episode Hurley has convinced Charlie to make his own luck. If the course of destiny really can be changed (on the island anyway), there's a good chance Charlie may have saved his own life this episode... no Desmond required.

The Road to Shamb(h)ala
I learn something new every day. According to Wikipedia, Shambhala is a mystical kingdom hidden in the snowpeaks of the Himalayas. This ties in nicely with the whole Buddist theme. I think it was Three Dog Night who sang the song playing both in Hurley's flashback and during the scene where the happy fun bus roared to life. Is that where the road led on the Dharma map Sawyer found in the back of the bus? Was Dharma literally trying to build the road to Shambhala? More allusions to paradise. Either way, you've gotta admit the writers pick cool songs.

Best Lines Ever
"Sorry Trisha Tanaka..."
"Well look at that, somebody's hooked on phonics!"
"International House of Pancakes"
"Jiminy Cricket"

The writers must've had a ball with this. I hope they never run out of cool names.

Hurley - The Only Pure One
Think about it. Hurley is the only 815 survivor without a single skeleton in his closet. Everyone else? They've done some questionable things. But Hurley... each of his flashbacks is a clinic in naievity and innocence. The guy has done absolutely nothing wrong. Is this why he's not supposed to be there? Is this why Hurley shouldn't have made the flight?

I think yes. And I also think this is why the island cannot touch him.

Look around - all of Hurley's flashbacks are filled with death and destruction. People die left and right, yet Hurley remains untouched. Horrific events surround him. Decks collapse, houses burn down, meteorites strike the ground right in front of him. These are messages. Hurley is untouchable - the island can't hurt him so it hurts those around him. It's trying to intentionally scare the crap out of him. "I've been scared the whole time I've been here... except when I was with you" (Libby). Maybe this is why the island killed Libby off? Maybe the island wants Hurley scared - maybe this is why it keeps repeating the numbers everywhere and trying to convince him that he's cursed. But why? What would the island have to fear from him?

I think Hurley has power over the island because he's the pure one... only he doesn't know it yet. Hurley's existance there was a mistake - a wrench in the works of its grand design. The island has to fear Hurley on some level because it cannot handle him directly. It can only influence him indirectly through terrorist ways, such as making him believe he's horribly cursed despite the giant horseshoe over his bed.

Although this was a pretty uneventful episode, something big happened at the end: Hurley realized that there never was any curse. That knowledge could prove very important later on in the show. Hurley accepting that he can make his own luck/destiny and not have to sit back and watch things happen around him might be the axiom the entire show rests upon.

The Island is Powerful...
I've voiced my own rather unpopular theory here numerous times, and I usually touch upon it whenever I see evidence pointing to it. I saw lots this episode. Some people will argue this evidence, and that's totally cool. Remember that these are only my own opinions; I'm not throwing anyone into a headlock and trying to force them to agree. That being said, the island is CLEARLY manifesting things based upon the past memories, dreams, and experiences of those who are trapped upon it.

Like it or not, the show took a hardcore sci-fi turn the moment a tendril of black smoke whipped Eko's brains out against some palm trees. The 'rational explaination for everything camp' prefers to make popcorn during this scene and pretend it didn't happen. Once you get past the fact that it did happen, you'll realize that the island has a consciousness and an idea of the way it wants things to go. Whatever end goal the island is trying to achieve, it's doing so by guiding those who inhabit it. Yet the island's power also works two ways, which is why I think we often see things from the survivors' thought processes showing up here and there. Hence, the happy love bus.

...but the Island is Stupid
I believe the island's creation process is limited to what it 'reads' from people, and it doesn't know much beyond that. It has a finite number of people, places, and objects, which is why we keep seeing things (and people) recycled from flashback to flashback. It improvises where it can with a no-frills version of whatever it needs, and this is why we have DHARMA brand products. I didn't see this at first, but I think this episode finally sealed it for me.

Hurley finds the bus in the jungle, obviously way out of place. The driver's very generic name is Roger. Roger's very generic job is 'Work Man'. The bus's make is Dharma. The beer inside the bus? Dharma light beer. Call me crazy, but I don't think the island is trying very hard.

There happens to be beer in the bus just as Sawyer is trying to track down his missing alcohol. This is akin to how the Beechcraft found in season one just happened to be the same one Eko was looking for. It's way beyond coincidental how things are just provided on the fly as people think about or desire them. It's been this way since the show began.

In any event, the fact that Hurley started the bus this episode was a huge indication that things can be changed. Nothing is etched in stone, so long as faith and belief exist. There's no logical WAY that bus should've started after lying on it's side in the jungle for 25 years... yet it did. And note that it didn't start the first time when Hurley 'hoped' it would start. It started when he knew it would. Huge difference. This is the explaination I give people when they challenge my theory by asking why someone doesn't just conjure up a rescue boat or a helicopter. It's not enough to want something to happen - you've got to believe it will happen.

The A-Team
The show's not totally unpredictable. For a long time now its been obvious that the moment Danielle found out about Alex would be zero-hour. We also knew the Jack rescue mission would involve Locke and Sayid (and probably Jin). Kate assumed a very Jack-ish role this episode, especially the way she said "I don't know John" when Locke asked her if the Others could leave the island (it was actually like she channeled Jack for that moment). She's fed up with planning and inactivity, and is going to be leading for a little while.

The fact that Sayid and Locke got a compass bearing must mean that the magnetic field screwing up their direction in season one came solely from the electromagnet and not from the island's natural magnetic properties. And I loved the Indiana Jones reference to the 'light at the top of Eko's staff' pointing the way. Very cool.

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