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Dumpster Busting TV: Hurley Finally Gets Lost

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The long-awaited Hurley-centric episode of Lost this past Wednesday lived up to the hype that fans and critics of the show have recently mustered.

After all, Hurley was just about the last of the regular characters of the large and diverse cast to have a featured episode (in which flashback scenes set up the characters motivations, history, and most importantly, reasons for taking the flight that landed them lost on the island). As another website noted, we had to get through “two bloody episodes featuring that limey Charlie and photocopier career” to get to Hurley.

For those not familiar, Hurley was a jolly fellow, generally speaking, with long frizzy hair and was, as the movie theater manager on The Simpsons might say, of “large carriage.” For most of the season, he’s been the guy who will lighten the mood with a joke, but most of all he was just pleasant and level-headed, providing a very nice counter-balance to the generally tense and stressful circumstances.

Hurley did have a few opportunities to show his smarts, however, such as when he “sweet talked,” in comic fashion, Sawyer into giving up a possession from his strangely large stock of looted goods (anyone ever liken Sawyer to the Howells of Gilligan’s Island, by the way?). This only increased the speculation and curiosity regarding Hurley.

In essence: what the hell is the deal with this guy?

The numbers are the deal, as it turns out. Ah, the numbers.

Hurley’s flashback scenes were masterfully directed, a combination of dark comedy and creeping dread. We see Hurley as a lazy good-natured, good-for-nothing dude, content to work fast food and eat it in front of the tube at night (was that a KooKooRoo uniform that he wore during an early scene?). His later transformation, on the island, into a heaving ball of frustration aimed at the French lady perfectly sums up the plight of all the castaways on the island. In other words, everyone suspects that they might be on the island for a reason. The big question (that mastermind creator JJ Abrams will draw out for as long as possible) is what the reason is, and what it means.

And isn’t it great to have a show where creepy lottery numbers (the scene where Hurley loudly advises the maintenance dude to change that light bulb another time. any other time, is pure genius), mumbling mental patients, bizarre radio recordings, and big man-eating monsters all mean something (sorta kinda maybe)?

All I know is that I’m having the time of my life watching this one.

DB Note: I just got a DVR for my birthday – no more missing Lost!

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  • http://www.themediadrop.com Tom

    And I hadn’t noticed it, but my wife pointed out to me last night that on the previous episode (or maybe an earlier one) that someone was in a room where you saw Hurley getting into a car on the television that was present. Kind of interesting as they all get “connected” in the last couple weeks.

  • http://w6daily.winn.com/ Phillip Winn

    Yeah, in the Daniel Dae Kim episode, when he visits the government functionary the first time, the official’s daughter is watching TV and Hurley is on it, first hounded by reporters while walking, and then trying to drive away. The scenes *might* be related to the revelations of this week’s episode, or they might not.

    I think they’re probably related to something else, actually, about which we will presumably eventually learn.

    4 8 15 16 23 42

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Missing the Daniel Dae Kim episode (due to the brother-in-law in town) was one of the chief reasons for wrangling the DVR-as-b-day present. Watching Scarface right now, taped off a late-night feed… fun stuff!

  • http://halfbakered.blogspot.com mike hollihan

    It was also mentioned that Hurley owned a box company in Tustin, where IIRC Locke was employed!

    We now have Hurley, Locke, Claire and Walt on the island for mystical reasons.

    When Hurley almost swallowed Brigitte in that embrace, I nearly bust a gut laughing.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Lost is quickly becoming one of the best television shows of the ’00s because it works as adventure story, character-driven drama, and has an overriding story arc or “mythology” that is slowly being doled out to an increasingly hungry audience.

    I believe that intelligent viewers are hungry for programs that challenge audiences to watch carefully, tune in every week, and make their own connections to artfully strung out clues and story moments.

    Overall, of course, the show has to have chemistry or “juice,” and Lost has it in droves.

  • Nick Jones

    I love it that Hurley (or Hugo Reyes, if you prefer) is finally getting beyond comic relief. I also like seeing a non-stereotypical Hispanic character have a prominent role on TV. He’s my favorite character, next to Sayid (not counting all the cute chicks!).

    As for his nickname (“Why am I called Hurley? I’m not going to tell you.”), at his size, I’m guessing that he’s attended a lot of keg parties, and he got the nickname from what he did when he drank too much. :D

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Intriguing theory, Nick. One of my best and oldest friends is a large-ish fellow of Latino descent. During his freshman year of college, he held the honorary title of “Fluid Man.”

    Hurley is a great character and I hope he stays in the mix for a long time to come. The entire is cast is surprisingly strong, especially as there were no stand-out stars coming in (save Charlie circa the Lord of the Rings flicks, which ABC made no secret of hiding during the initial promos).

  • Nick Jones

    I went to enough keggers in my college days to have almost have gotten that nickname myself, before I learned my alcohol limitations.

    And just as a note, we’re down to 45 passengers: the marhsall, the woman swept away (pun intended) by a rip tide, and the guy Ethan killed. Ethan doesn’t count, because he was already on the island and not one of the passengers, and neither does the pilot, because they made the count before they found him alive in the cockpit.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    That’s right, the pilot is the sidekick guy and Vaughn’s old partner on Alias.

    I don’t recall (or missed) the original count. Was that part of Hurley’s mission of counting everybody on the island? By the way: I wonder how that “count” figures, if at all, into “the numbers.”

  • Nick Jones

    I’ve been keeping count while watching the show. Somewhere in the two hour pilot someone made mention of the number of survivers. Now that I think about it, I wonder if Ethan was in that first count; I’ll have to look for him if they run the pilot again.

    By the way, did you know that the actor playing Ethan is Tom Cruise’s brother (real last name Mapother)? He also had a short, doomed role in the American version of The Grudge.

    I’m just full of useless trivia.

  • http://halfbakered.blogspot.com mike hollihan

    Speaking of numbers, someone on another forum mentioned that the Powerball number in the string of numbers Hurley used is:

    42

    The Answer to the Question of Life, the Universe and Everything! Is someone on the Lost staff a Doug Adams fan?

  • Nick Jones

    Is anyone planning to use those numbers for a lottery?

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Dude: to do so would be madness.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    So where are the bets going on where the focus will be in the next new episodes (which won’t go live for another 5 1/2 weeks or so, sadly…).

    Jack #2, Charlie #3…

    Man, I’m hoping for Claire #2 and more on the baby and especially the tarot card dude.

  • http://w6daily.winn.com/ Phillip Winn

    Reruns suck.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    Tell me about it. I practically had to talk my wife down from the window ledge when I dropped the news that we were in for six weeks of repeats.

  • http://w6daily.winn.com/ Phillip Winn

    I’m hoping I can get my wife to finally watch an episode during the hiatus. They’re all on my computer, waiting for her…

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    I consider it the height of achievement for me when I get my wife obsessed on something I dig. The list includes:

    – Harry Potter (where she far and away surpassed my interest)
    – Whedon: Angel, Firefly (still working on Buffy)
    – Abrams: Alias (we both went into Lost together)

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    Attention Lost fans: just read over on Ain’t It Cool News that there will now be new episodes two weeks earlier than previously thought.

    So fire up those DVRs for March 30th.

    Here’s the “schedule,” though how AICN is getting this info, I’m not sure:

    1.19 March 30. Deus Ex Machina. Locke makes hatch progress.
    1.20 April 06. Do No Harm. Jack helps with labor pains.
    1.21 April 20. The Greater Good. Sayid-centric.
    1.22 April 27. Born to Run. Kate-centric.