Wednesday, March 02, 2005

S1Ep18 - Numbers (Hurley's first flashback)

[This message was initially sent as an email to friends, it was loaded into this blog 2.5 years later]

Hello my friends,

4 8 15 16 23 42

Oh, MOMMY!!!!

Where to begin? This episode was chock-full of information so I will cover it in chronological order.

1) Jin/Sun

At the beginning of the episode, Jin has reversed his usual MO and is now being nice to everyone EXCEPT his wife. He is helping the gang rebuild the raft and shows no signs of forgiving Sun for "embarrassing" him by knowing how to speak English.

2) Walt the Evil Child

Is Sawyer on to Walt? Sawyer was reading by the raft site and when Walt asked what he was doing, he replied, "I am helpin', Short Round... keeping watch for arsonists." Even if Sawyer WASN'T really on to Walt, then I bet Walt is now suspicious of him and has Sawyer on his you-know-what list, which probably isn't a good place to be.

Another important thing to note from that scene is that Sawyer has now moved on from Watership Down and is reading A Wrinkle in Time. If any of you remember this book from back in the day, then you know that the characters in it prove the existence of a "tesseract," a way to time-travel. There are also many other themes in this book that may prove important but I will spare you until I feel they are emerging. It could've been shown just because ABC was also airing a made-for-TV movie of the book around the time the episode aired, in which case Sawyer is a total sell-out.

3) Danielle's Map

When they were re-examining Danielle's map, she had marked the area where she lived as the "Dark Territory," once again reinforcing the whole "light vs. dark" theme.

4) Who's Your Daddy?

In Hurley's flashback his father was conspicuously absent, adding him to the list of characters with Daddy Issues:
Walt - Raised by a step-father who was afraid of him and is now back with his birth father who he doesn't really know and thinks is too strict.
Locke - Mentioned in past episodes that his father was "not cool, not cool at all." He also mentioned he had a foster mother.
Sawyer - His father killed his mother and then himself.
Claire's baby - Claire's unborn child's father left them 4 months into her pregnancy. Now that we know something is strange with this baby, many wonder if that guy was some sort of demon.
Hurley - No father present.
Jack - Clearly had issues with his alcoholic father and is now seeing a zombie version of him running around the island.
Sun/Jin - Sun's father was some sort of evil mob-ish type character and Jin was trying to escape from him.
Kate - Kate has mentioned her father a few times... no bad issues raised yet, but he has definitely been mentioned.

5) What wasn't shown

Clearly we are going to need another Hurley flashback, my guess is it will be in the finale. There are a lot of clues from this episode that show things were not well in Hurley's life even before he used the cursed numbers. Proof:
- While on the couch before the numbers air, his mom yells in... "You're gaining weight AGAIN!!!"
- To which he replies, "If you WANT ME livin' here..." which leads me to
believe it's not necessarily his choice that he's living there, and his mom wants to keep an eye on him for some reason.
- After he wins and is in the press conference, he says to reporters, "I put my family through a lot recently..."
- It is clear that he was in the psychiatric ward himself before. He knew the doctor he ran into in the hall who asked why he was BACK, he had known Lenny from being in there, and now the question is WHY was he in there?
- Throughout the episode he got really mad when anyone insinuated, even in a clearly joking way, that he was crazy.

Also, everyone is just assuming that the reason he was on Korean TV was that he had won the big lottery. The titles in Korean did read "The lucky winner" or something along those lines, and he appeared to be in a shirt that he was in during his flashback.

6) The Cord

When they were trying to find Danielle again, they followed the same cord Sayid had originally found. This time they followed it all the way until it went into the ground. Hmmmm, what else is in the ground that other survivors have found... ??

7) Connections to other survivors

Shame, shame on you if you didn't catch Hurley's financial advisor talking about the "box company in Tustin" that Hurley owned... no doubt the same box company where Locke worked. He also mentioned a shoe company in Canada where a fire killed 8 people but they were over-insured for it... many people think that Kate is from Canada and that there may end up being a connection there, too. I wouldn't doubt that Kate set the fire, maybe that's how she ended up killing "the man she loved," but we'll see.

8) Lenny

Lenny in the psych ward was repeating the numbers over and over, the numbers that Hurley ended up playing in the Lotto. Did those numbers cause Lenny to go insane? It wasn't totally clear but I think it was implied.

When Lenny learned that Hurley used the numbers and then got all upset and they started hauling him away, he shouted, "You've opened the box! It won't stop! You've gotta get away from those numbers!!!!!"

What box was he talking about? Was it literal... was he talking about the hatch in the ground where the numbers were imprinted on the side at the end of the episode? Or was he talking more like "Pandora's Box?"

Notice that Lenny was playing "Connect Four." That could have been a sign that the characters are all indeed connected in some way, but it could've also had to do with the number sequence itself... 4, obviously... and then there are 42 slots in the Connect Four board (no, I am not a nerd enough to know that, it was on the boards. I only know that kind of trivia off-hand about Lord of the Rings stuff).

9) Sam Tooney

To recap how the numbers came to Sam and Lenny...
They were in the Navy together (Lenny worked for Sam), stationed at a listening post in the Pacific, monitoring long-wave radio transmissions.
Sixteen years ago (coincidence? I think NOT) they heard a voice repeating
the numbers. Sam decided to use those numbers to guess the amount of
beans in a huge jar at a county fair once he returned home. He won. On the way home he and his wife got in a crash and he was untouched but she lost her leg. Ever since then, he felt that bad things happened all around him and that they were his fault. Then four years ago (coincidence again? um, NO) he killed himself in the hopes of stopping the "curse." When I watched the episode I felt that that last part did not bode well for our friend Hurley.

We do not know how Lenny "used" the numbers but I'm guessing he did something similar and ended up in the psych ward. Now Hurley has used them...

10) Locke - The Good/Evil battle wages on

You all know that I love me some Locke, but I must say that my previous confidence that he is a "good guy" is starting to wane. Locke was clearly digging for info from Claire while building her the cradle for the baby/her birthday. First off, he KNEW it was her birthday, no doubt, just like he knows everything about everyone else. During their talk he asked her: what she remembered/how her memory was doing and what she was naming the baby. She also told him that she was going to give the baby up, and that it was her birthday. He said to her "I'm good at putting bits and pieces together." I can't help but wonder if he wants to know what she remembers from the kidnapping in order to help himself and the other survivors, or if he wants to be sure she DOESN'T remember it.

Also, I hope you all remember that in Claire's flashback "Raised by Another," that episode started off with a freaky dream Claire was having which featured a bloody baby cradle (not the exact same one Locke ended up building, though). And Locke was also in that dream, with the black and white stones for his eyes, and he said "He was your responsibility but you gave him away, Claire. Everyone pays the price now." Ominous.

11) The French Chick

Danielle's "camp" was destroyed by an explosion she set to go off once Sayid and Jack got near to the old site. Sayid at least found his pic of Nadia again, though.

When Hurley encountered her, I just want to let you know that his "rant" to her was totally a shout-out to the nerds on the message boards. You will see in the message board section below that people were quite excited about it. But the writers have always said that the character of Hurley was written "for the audience" and when he went off about how he wanted to know what the monster was and that he "wanted some freakin' answers," that was to let the fans know that the writers have heard loud and clear that many people are frustrated about the lack of any closure to the tons of issues raised so far in the show. Specifically, when Hurley wondered if the monster was just a "pissed off giraffe," that was an obvious wink to the boarders because that has been an ongoing joke on the boards since the beginning. All respect the power of the nerds!

Also with the Danielle encounter, since no one else saw her, part of me still wonders if she's actually real. Clearly she's real to some extent because she did have a camp and all of the others with Hurley saw the remains of it, Sayid's old pic was there, she shot at Charlie and Hurley, etc. But I feel like Sayid needed Danielle to come to terms with his past, and then before they left each other Hurley hugged (bear-hugged, actually) Danielle and said that she was the only one who said he wasn't crazy. I just have this feeling that only one survivor is ever going to see her at a time because she is some sort of figment that will help characters make a turning point or something. Who knows. She seemed much more chilled out when she was talking with Hurley than when she was with Sayid.

She also gives characters vital information. She told Sayid about "the others," the black rock, her child Alex, the sickness, the original expedition she was on, and he got the maps she drew.

She told Hurley that her crew had heard the numbers on a radio transmission and changed the course of their boat to investigate. Then they crashed. There was a radio tower, up by the black rock, that the transmission was coming from. The crew became obsessed with the meaning of the numbers, and then "the sickness" came. She said after the team was gone (as in, she killed them), she went and changed the transmission to the distress signal that the survivors heard in the pilot episode. Danielle confirms to Hurley that the numbers must be cursed as they caused her team to land on the island and she's lost everyone she cared about ever since. Hurley replied, "You have no idea how long I've been waiting for someone to agree with me."

When Hurley re-joined the others, he now had a battery from Danielle.

12) Timing

I am still confused about the timing of things. When Hurley was about to tell Charlie why he was acting so weird, right before Danielle starting shooting, he began, "A year ago..."

I am not sure if it was a year ago that Hurley won the lottery, or if whatever else was going on with him to send him to the psych ward started a year ago. Remember that his flashback ended with him in Australia (hence the reason he was on the flight back to the US), so typically the flashbacks don't cover a full year. I have a feeling the lottery thing was just a few months before the trip.


More on this in the message board section, but the numbers and their POSSIBLE significance are below:

4 - Four has been mentioned several times in the show, the most notable being that Hurley's grandpa got his pacemaker 4 years ago, Locke was crippled 4 years ago, Sawyer mentioned he'd been "waiting 4 years" to kiss Kate, Sam Tooney killed himself 4 years ago... etc, etc.

8 -

15 - 815 was the flight number, Kate's bank lockbox number, and supposedly the time the flight was supposed to land (HOW people know that, I have no
idea) in the US, and the number of the series of copy machines Charlie sold in his flashback (even I missed that one!!!). Other possibilities for 8 and 15 are in the message board section.

16 - The transmission was heard by Sam and Lenny 16 years ago, right before Danielle supposedly changed it as Sayid had figured it had been repeating for 16 years.

23 - This is the one no one can figure out really. Jack was in seat 23A.
Kate's capture reward was $23,000. Some people said this is an Illuminati-related (if you don't know, don't ask) number.

42 - No one really knows this one either, although in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, 42 is supposedly "the answer to everything."
Perhaps it's the number of original survivors who will remain at the end of the series? Right now they're at 46. 42 is also the number of spaces on the Connect Four board, mentioned above.

Finally, the goose-bump-inducing, hair-raising shot at the end of the episode showed that the hatch Boone and Locke have been uncovering has the series of numbers imprinted on its side, like a serial number or something. But note that the audience saw these numbers, none of the characters have yet...

14) Is there such a thing as luck?

Luck was a big theme in this episode. Sam Tooney's wife was still convinced that the numbers weren't cursed and all of the bad things that happened after her husband used them would've happened anyway. She stated: "You make your own luck."

Locke told Claire that it was lucky that her baby's birthday was going to be close to her own. She asked him, "Do you believe in luck?" to which he replied, "I believe in many things."

At the end, Hurley and Charlie had their big heart-to-heart, during which Hurley told Charlie that he thought the crash was his fault. Charlie went off that bad things happen to everyone, and asked if Hurley also thought he was responsible for the fact that Charlie was an addict before the plane crash, etc., etc. But Charlie walked off angry because he thought Hurley was just joking about winning the lottery.

15) And finally, Memorable Quotes

The best line of the episode goes to Hurley with, "I can get out of the way. I'm SPRY!" before leaping away from the booby trap.

A close runner-up is Locke, when asked by Claire how he got glue: "I MADE it... out of rendered animal fat."

Second runner-up is when Hurley tells Sayid that he ran into Danielle and
that: "She says 'hey.'"


- Three Indiana Jones references in this episode. Can you name them? OK, I’ll tell you: Replacing Hurley's weight so as not to set off the booby trap. 2. "Short Round." 3. The rope bridge.
- What a great episode!!! Fantastic one liners from Hurley and we found out more! That rope goes into the ground and Danielle was on a boat. Was it just me or did it seem that Hurley was adopted? I was almost crying when Locke revealed that it was a cradle for her... that was so unexpected and sweet of him. And he raised a few questions that I had been waiting for someone to mention (naming the baby being a big one) Those numbers on the hatch freaked me out!!! Overall, I'd say that this episode was wonderful. We got another interesting back story and it explains a bit why Hurley has kept to himself (he doesn't want to hurt people).
- And I loved it when Hurley was talking to Danielle and saying something like - "Hey there is a monster in the jungle and we aren't looking for could be a giant giraffe or something but I am not saying anything about them not going after it." He was just verbalizing what WE fans have been saying on the message was great!!!! And I LOVED the Locke and Claire scenes. Especially with the cradle. especially for her birthday. That was great. Locke is so wonderful!
- As for the ending w/ Charlie, I don't think it was at all a waste of screen time. Hurley believed that the plane crash was his fault (and I for one can understand why), but Charlie's confession proved that not all bad things that happen are related to the "curse" Hurley seems to have over him. I mean, how could the "numbers" cause bad things to people that Hurley, until he got on the plane, had never known existed? It's like blaming him for...well... Jack's lousy relationship w/ his dad Sawyer's parents and their untimely end Jin and Sun's disintegrating marriage Michael's uphill custody fight w/ Walt's mom Walt's mom dying Claire being knocked up and tossed by that loser ex of hers Charlie's addiction Locke's paralysis and the bad things that seem to haunt Kate. The point was, as Charlie put it, "bad things happen". No curses, witchcraft, or voodoo required.
- This was a nice comedy ep; not a great ep, but a nice one. While much of it was, again, predictable, it achieved the same thing for Hurley that "Raised by Another" did for Claire: it propelled a previously secondary character to center stage and made us rethink Hurley's whole role on the show. Far from being just comic relief, he could possibly be the reason the plane crashed on the island. I loved his mother (but note, no father), his grandpa was cool too. And we have another Catholic on the island (poor Father whatever his name was, being hit by lightning at the funeral!). Locke is still a psycho. The crib proves nothing. Did you see how he went fishing for info on how much Claire remembered? It's all part of his sick plan, gaining her trust and manipulating her into confiding in him. He is taking a very unhealthy interest in her baby, if you ask me. He's also getting one more person, and a key one at that, into his cadre. Also, I loved when Hurley hugged Danielle. Great moment.
- I seriously bet that there will be a record number of people using those numbers for whatever lottery is in their area. I am totally serious. I wonder if something like that would make the news.

- e

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