Woo! It’s Hugo’s day to shine. He’s had a lot of background scenes this season, playing Jacob’s lackey and has been part of both Jack’s and Richard’s epiphanies, so hopefully we’ll get a lot more motion along these lines in the island timeline. The purpose of these prehash post, though is to go back and remember earlier times, to help make the sideways differences pop a bit more visibly. So I’m pushing the way back button, and scrolling to season one and hitting The Numbers, perusing Exodus (focusing on pt 3) and then Season Two’s epic Everyone Hates Hurley as well as Dave.
Hugo “Hurley” Reyes, lives with his mother Carmen, who desperately wants Hugo (she never calls him Hurley – always Hugo) to get a life, more importantly a lady. Hugo, however, wants to sit at home, channel surf and have a bucket of Mr. Cluck’s Fried Chicken, while hoping that he might have a bit of privacy. This all changes when the numbers that he learned while at the Santa Rosa Mental Health from a patient named Lenny.
See Hugo, at some point was the 23rd person to walk on a desk that was built to hold 8 people. It collapsed, and Hugo was sure that it was because of his excess weight. Hugo was fat because he’d been using food to comfort himself ever since his father, David, left for Las Vegas 17 years earlier, last thing he gave little Hugo was a Nestle Crunch bad that Carmen forbade.
All that tragedy landed Hugo in the Santa Rosa Mental Health Institute, under the care of Dr. Brooks. In Santa Rosa, Hugo’s constant companion was a man named Dave (there are a few other David’s in the LOST-verse, Jack’s sideways son, Libby’s dead husband, as well as Hugo’s absent father). The only problem is that Dave wasn’t real, consider Dave as more of a balding Harvey, a pooka. Once Hugo, under the guidance of Dr. Brooks, determined that Dave wasn’t real, he made a real breakthrough, was released from the hospital, moved in with his mother, and got a job at Mr Cluck’s Chicken Shack.
It’s after this that we reconnect with Hugo, he’s watching the TV while enjoying a Mr. Cluck’s bucket of chicken when the lottery comes on and reads the number’s that were burned into his brain by Lenny. Hugo is a bit afraid of the change, and doesn’t tell anyone for a couple of days. The knowledge of his financial security does change his outlook, as he realizes that he no longer needs to work for that douche Randy, and quits his job. In a fit of solidarity, Hugo’s friend Johnny also quits the Mr. Cluck’s gig, and they start on a LOST version of Hugo Reyes’ Day Off. First stop, record shop, where Hugo tries on some new headphones, and tries on asking Starla the shop assistant out on date to a Hold Steady concert. Next stop is collecting garden gnomes to then arrange on Randy Nation’s lawn spelling out “CLUCK YOU!” They stop to refill the van at a convenience store, but that where the story changes. The clerk (who’s also dressed up in the Mr. Cluck’s chicken costume in Hurley’s dream in the swan hatch’s storage room) recognizes Hugo as the big lottery winner.
Winning the lottery is where Hugo’s life changes again. He has a press conference where he introduced his whole family, including his grandfather Tito. Sad part is that Tito drops dead from a heart attack. Hugo’s brother’s girlfriend leaves him for another woman. The priest residing over Tito’s funeral gets struck by lightning. Weird. Hugo buys his mother a house, and while surprising her with the new purchase some things happen 1) Carmen doesn’t surprises. 2) Carmen twists her ankle. 3) The house catches on fire. 4) Hugo gets arrested on suspicion of being a drug dealer. (Sure — it had nothing to do with the bright yellow Hummer, loud music and red bandana he’d given his mom to blindfold herself.)
All this misfortune has Hugo thinking the numbers are cursed. His financial advisor, Ken, doesn’t think so, after all, Hugo is now the owner of a box company in Tustin. His sneaker company in Canada was over-insured, so even though the fire destroyed his operation (and killed 8 people) he still netted a windfall of more cash. Surely, Hugo isn’t cursed (cue man falling past Ken’s window.)
Hugo buy’s Mr. Clucks in an attempt to change his luck, only to have a meteorite destroy the franchise and kill Tricia Tanaka. Hugo’s ready to get rid of the numbers’ curse. His father, David, returning to his life is the last straw. Hugo heads to Austrailia to purge the numbers from his life, he needs to visit Sam Toomey, Lenny’s partner and find out what’s up. Well, Sam’s dead, but Hugo gets to visit with Martha, Sam’s one-legged widow. Sam killed himself because he thought the numbers were cursed. Martha saw things differently, and thought, despite her loosing her leg in a freak accident after Sam used the money to win a count the beans in the jar contest, that Sam was the luckiest man alive.
The last part of Hugo pre-crash, is the series of unfortunate events that almost had him missing the Oceanic flight and missing his mother’s birthday party. First his alarm doesn’t go off, because the socket shorted out (with a black smoke scorched wall). He has to take the stairs because the elevator is stuffed. His car engine coughs, stutters and dies and he has to walk to the terminal. He has to buy a second seat to get on the plane. Is late but can’t cut through the excessively long security line. He pays an old dude to steal use his electric cart, and arrives at the gate to have the airway door close in his face. Luckily, Hugo uses his charm to convince the gate agent to open the gate and let him on the plane.
See Hurley thinks he’s unlucky, but really, he is one of the luckiest people in the world. Hurley is also one of the worst liars, he simply sucks at it. Hugo also thought it was unlucky, unfortunate, that he has an uncanny super power of being able to talk to the dead. That is until he was touched by Jacob in a cab, and told that talking to the dead is an incredible gift. It certainly has come in handy in Season 6, as Hurley has been a translator to the spiritual guides that helped Jack come to grips with his past, and Richard to entrust the true love of his long dead wife.
What do you think will happen tonight? Are you psyched? Leave us your thoughts in the comments.
Hail of bullet points from rewatching:
- Hugo’s grandpa Tito, worked for 52 years.
- Hugo’s Mom doesn’t like surprises.
- 8 people died in the in fire in his Canadian shoe factory.
- Hurley is spry.
- Lenny loves playing Connect 4 while chanting the numbers.
- Lenny’s comments after Hurley told him he played the numbers: You used those numbers play the lottery? You shouldn’t have done that, you’ve opened the box! Shouldn’t have used the numbers, it doesn’t stop. You have to get away from those numbers! It doesn’t stop.
- When they come upon a rickety bridge on the way to Rousseau’s to find batteries for the Raft. Jack: Never mentioned anything about a bridge. Sayid: I’ve never saw this before. Lucky Hurley made it across, little Charlie didn’t.
- Hugo is often used as a greek chorus speaking for the audience, and to the audience, cluing us into the narrative of the story. Except when the show features Hurley’s story, he’s much less in that role, and it switches often to Sawyer, Miles or Charlie.
- Hugo brought hope to the castaways when he found the old Dharma van, and with the help of Sawyer, Jin and Charlie got it running again. Key line while convincing Charlie to join him: Look, I don’t know about you, but things have really sucked for me lately and I could use a victory. So let’s get one, dude. Let’s get this car started. Let’s look death in the face and say, "whatever, man." Let’s make our own luck. What do you say?