The time for slow buildups and focused character pieces is long gone on “Lost.” With only a few episodes left before the show is a thing of the past, each one needs to jam-pack the on- and off-island action in a way that rushes toward the final mystery-solving conclusion.
Which is both understandable and sort of shame, as was the case when it came to time to devote a little overdue attention to fan favorite Hurley Tuesday night. Sure, the big guy got his moment in the spotlight, but there was barely time to laugh, cry or just appreciate his slice of life before some other equally entertaining action took over the moment and left Hurley a distant memory.
Thankfully, that’s about the only complaint to made about the sort-of-Hurley-centric episode — it was too much of a good thing. And one of the best parts came early.
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While noshing on nachos in the alternate reality, Hurley was met with the familiar face of Libby. Well, not familiar to him. After all, Alt-Hurley had no idea that Libby was his love-that-never-was or that Michael murdered her before just before the no-mance became something more. But oddly enough, Alt-Libby remembered some of it.
Just as she began to spill her secrets to an interested but uncertain Hurley, a doctor led Libby away. As it turned out, the doc considered Libby’s story to be little more than a bunch of tall tales. Besides, the day trip to the restaurant was over. It was time to take his charges back to the mental hospital.
Poor Hurley. For some reason, the likable millionaire was unlucky in love, and the one woman who seemed interested also seemed equal parts crazy. Before Hurley could simply chalk it up to a run of bad luck in his otherwise lucky life, a not-so-random meeting with a man named Desmond convinced him to give Libby another chance.
And that is just what Hurley did. He still didn’t believe anything Libby said, but he liked her, and what the heck, she was willing to go on a day-pass date with him. On a beach. On a picnic. Those two sure like to tempt fate.
Not that anything bad happened this time. They actually made it to the cozy, smooching part of the date without anyone even getting shot. A particular bit of good fortune for Hurley, who remembered the past the when his lips touched Libby’s. Aw, a fairy-tale moment for him at last.
Hope he enjoyed. Back on the island the “aws” and “happily ever afters” were nowhere to be found. In fact, instead of seeing his long lost Libby, Hurley reunited with her killer, Michael — or more accurately, the walking, talking ghost of Michael.
Michael, like so many ghosts before him, came to issue Hurley a warning. In short, the big plan to blow up the plane — the plan Richard and Ilana were so fond of — was a bad idea. Hurley needed to make sure that it didn’t happen.
Not such an easy task when Ilana was holding a sack of dynamite and moving around like a woman on a mission — a mission to make sure Smokey couldn’t catch a flight off the island. But the task became easier when Ilana’s movements proved too punchy for her delicate load.
Remember what happened to Dr. Arzt in the first season? Boom! Well, that’s what happened to Ilana, too. Evidently there was no time to react, mourn or even act concerned about Ilana’s fate, as none of the beachcombers did. No, the only thing on Richard’s mind was a return trip to the Black Rock for more dynamite. Hurley even offered to help.
But by help, Hurley really meant “blow up the Black Rock before Richard and the gang could get to it,” which is just what he did. That was his way of explaining the new don’t-blow-up-the-plane plan. But Richard, along with Miles and Ben, broke off to search for more boom-risking explosives. Jack, Sun and Frank were firmly on Team Hurley, a team soon on its way to have a meet and greet with Smokey.
Of course, Smokey already had his hands full with other drama. His new favorite flunky, Sayid, had just handed over the precious cargo Widmore was hiding — cargo named Desmond. This made Smokey happy. Well, as happy as a seemingly evil, body-stealing smoke monster gets.
Smokey met Desmond, who thought he was meeting Locke, in the woods and suggested they go for a walk. Once they reached a clearing with a remarkably deep well, Smokey spoke of wonky compasses and hand-dug holes and ... he shoved Desmond down the well. (Noooooooo!)
Flash sideways to the alt-reality, where Desmond could be found swiftly, if not accurately, reaping his revenge as John Locke flew through the air after Desmond drove full-speed into the substitute teacher’s wheelchair.