Home > Lost, Reviews, TV > Lost, Season 2, Episode 4: Everybody Hates Hugo

Lost, Season 2, Episode 4: Everybody Hates Hugo

Welcome to the Lost Re-Re-Rewatch Project. In case you’re wondering, the answer is yes. This is my fourth round-trip to the Island, but my first time attempting to chronicle my thoughts on the show on an episode-by-episode basis. The mission: A post per episode. Nothing so epic and theory-heavy as Doc Jensen’s great stuff at EW.com, which I highly suggest you read (the theory game is a bit moot at this point anyway), but hopefully it will help scratch both my writing itch and my Lost itch at the same time.

Episode Title:Everybody Hates Hugo

Overall Episode Rating: C+

It took more than half of Season 1 to get to a Hurley-centric episode. Until that underrated episode, “Numbers,” we wondered if the hefty nice guy was ever going to be a major player or if he was destined for a background role. As his role grew, Hurley episodes still had a tendency to be a bit superfluous, especially early on. But “Everybody Hates Hugo” has touches of darkness around the fluffy marshmallow center.

“Numbers” established Hugo as an on Island player. “Hugo” takes a break from much of the Island mythmaking to investigate a very important question. Now that the castaways have a bunker full of food and comforts (a shower, laundry facilities, etc.), how will they handle it? Hurley is thrust into the role of food-protector by Jack. It’s a role we know he has played, ever since he doled out the airline meals in the series pilot. It’s not a role he relishes. Almost from the first second people want favors and access, and he’s forced to deny them–even Charlie and his request for peanut butter. I have some qualms with this role for Hurley… isn’t it a little bit stereotypical? And shouldn’t it have been obvious to Jack that someone a little tougher and more self-confident than Hurley should be guarding the Dharma Initiative-issue Saltines? But no, the fat guy likes food. We get it.

That Hurley’s solution to this is ultimately the right one saves the premise. But I’ll get to that in a bit.

There’s a fair bit of weirdness in “Everybody Hates Hugo,” beginning with the first scene. In it, Hurley is making moony eyes at the food in the pantry when he turns around and sees Jin sanding there with a man in a chicken suit. In perfect English, Jin says “Everything is going to change” and “Have a cluckity-cluck-cluck day, Hugo.” WHAT DOES IT MEAN? It’s our first, mild trip into Hurley’s season-long crazy spell. Also: How cool is it to see Daniel Dae Kim speak perfect English? That won’t happen again until Hawaii 5-0.

As mentioned before, the main castaway crew is mostly in park during this episode. Jack and Kate have a moment outside the shower, Claire finds the bottle from the blown-up raft (which Sun decides to bury and tell no one about), Locke plays with guns. In one important scene, Sayid and Jack investigate the hatch’s nether regions, which are covered in concrete. Sayid says the last time he heard of everything being covered in concrete like so, it was at Chernobyl. Ominous!

The yin to Hurley’s main-arc yang is actually Rose, who appears for the first time since late in Season 1. He shows her the laundry facilities and in return she talks him through his food crisis. Or, rather, talks him OUT of his original plan, which is to blow it all up.

To understand why he doesn’t want things to change, and doesn’t want to be the “bad guy,” we need this episode’s flashback, which is slight but fun. It picks up immediately after Hurley learns he won the lottery and faints in his mother’s living room. She hilariously admonishes him for sitting around and eating chicken all day and night (this turns out to be true). Hurley doesn’t tell anyone about his win, though, and instead goes to work the next day at Mr. Cluck’s Chicken Shack (hence the costumed fellow in the cold open).

The would NEVER have flown on “Everybody Loves Raymond,” though verbal spousal abuse was apparently fine.

But Hurley has a bad day and has a boss who is only slightly more savory than John Locke’s prickish supervisor. Hurley and his best friend Johnny (played by odd-looking character-actor extraordinaire D.J. Qualls, who is unfortunately much better known for Road Trip than for Hustle & Flow) quit their jobs. All of a sudden Hurley feels lucky. He asks out the cute record store clerk, he and Johnny flamingo their ex-boss’s yard, etc. But then Johnny stops at a convenience store and there’s a news team there. The clerk ID’s Hurley as the guy who bought the winning lottery ticket, Johnny immediately looks jealous and hurt (a bit of a stretch there) and Hurley’s lottery doom begins in earnest.

It all leads up to his decision in the hatch to, instead of blowing up the food, give it all away. Now. With 40 people it’ll never last long anyway, he tells Jack. His decision is final, and Jack agrees. We are therefore treated to the final scene, which shows Hurley playing Island Santa Claus, doling out Dharma Cheese and Dharma Cereal and Dharma Soup to the castaways who enjoy it all around a fire. And, yes, he slips Charlie the Dharma Peanut Butter and we are treated to essentially the high point of the Charlie/Claire relationship. Way to go, Hugo.

Across the Island, Jin, Sawyer and Michael are still held captive by what we now know is another group of castaways. Eventually they agree they’re not Island natives and agree to let them out. As they walk, Michael learns from a chesty blonde named Libby that there “were” 22 of their group. They take them to a new Dharma station (this one The Arrow). There they meet an older fellow who asks them if there was a woman named Rose at their camp. Turns out Rose was right; Bernard is alive after all.


Episode: “Everybody Hates Hugo”

Director: Alan Taylor

What the title means: Aside from the obvious connotation with a hit CBS sitcom from the era, the title is meant to get inside Hurley’s head, where he (probably in err) thinks that everyone will hate him for his role as food-protector. This episode will be counter-pointed later in the series, both in terms of the title and in Hurley’s willingness to make hard decisions.

Best Scene: This episode isn’t bad as much as it is fluffy. With a 24-episode order, the producers can afford to investigate what the castaways decide to do with the Swan stations food stash. And in truth, it’s a welcome rest after the mythological mammoth that was the previous episode, “Orientation.” So I’ll hand “best scene” to the final montage, where everyone is smiling while they eat their Dharma Pears.

On a more serious Lost-level this decision foreshadows Hurley’s final Island role, which I’ll leave alone for now.

Close second: Hurley’s dream.

Worst Scene: While I don’t have a problem with the content of the scene, the final revelation, where Hurley explains his problems to Rose and we see the end of his easy, pre-lottery life, is oddly edited for Lost. The scene quick-cuts between the Island present and the flashback, which as far as I can remember is pretty unique. It’s unsettling for veterans like me. Now get off my lawn.

Runner up: Sun and Claire unilaterally deciding to bury the bottle. I mean, c’mon.

Best Line:  Sawyer to Ana Lucia, while they’re still trapped in the bear pit: “You want me, hot lips? You’re going to have to come down here!” /throws rock.

Best Throwaway Moment: When Hurley and Johnny are joyriding, enjoying their night out, Hurley looks at Johnny and says “Dude, just promise no matter what happens, things aren’t going to change.” Johnny: “Are you getting that bypass surgery?” Hilarious.

Revelations: Bernard, Rose’s husband, is actually alive; the other group of castaways “had” 22 people; Hurley gives away all the food in the hatch; Kate likes hot showers (and Jack likes cold ones).

Next Episode: “… And Found”

(All images and ep-title links are courtesy Lostpedia.com)

Categories: Lost, Reviews, TV
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