Tuesday, April 13, 2010

So I Liked “Everybody Likes Hugo”

But that doesn’t mean I’m happy about all of tonight’s Hurley-centic Lost. Life-or-death spoiler warning, by the way.

On one hand, I enjoyed this episode because it gave me some needed closure on Libby, that unluckiest of all Losers. Given that we only have so few episodes of Lost left, the odds that Libby will be further fleshed out or will even appear again seem pretty slim. But I’m choosing to be grateful that we finally were given some indication that Libby was not, in fact evil — that she did seem to truly like Hurley and that she wasn’t insinuating herself into his life to, say, steal his money or communicate with ghosts or learn the secret of The Evil Numbers. Instead, the bond between Hurley and Libby seems to be a real one that, like the bond between Desmond and Penny, can shatter illusions and allow both of them a deeper understanding of reality. “Everybody Loves Hugo” gave us that, at least. It did not, however, give us the story behind Libby — why she happened to be in Australia, why she ended up in the loony bin in the regular timeline, or whether she has a last name. But I suppose I can find solace in the fact that Libby and Hurley finally had their picnic date.

But I have to note the unfortunate juxtaposition of Libby figuratively rising from the grave in the same episode in which Ilana was blown to smithereens. Just as we got a glimpse into one character who was killed off before we learned much about her, a similarly mysterious character was taken out of the running. Though I’m sure we will yet see Ilana again, in some form, I’m bothered that the character’s role on the show might have been to babysit some cranky castaways until she finally tells them about how they might succeed Jacob. And that’s it. Boom. Blowed up — in the same way that ol’ Doc Arzt died, no less. With Arzt, it was more of a sight gag — a deserved end for an inept, bumbling character. Ilana, however, was an action hero who seemed better-suited to survival on Four Toe Island. In fact, among the little we know about her was her steadfast devotion to Jacob and that she had been training all her life to do his work. I’m honestly not sure if her being dynamited into oblivion seems more unfair to her or to us viewers, who accepted this new character presuming that she’d be a necessary addition to the show and its plot. She did play an important role in getting the Oceanic Six to return, I suppose, but what else did she add to the show? Was she merely a plot device? Was she bumped off by an evil island that had gotten its use from her or was it the writers who simply hadn’t thought of anything else for her to do?

I am reminded of the underlying sentiment of my little series on the hard luck of the female characters on this show: “Man do the women on Lost ever get screwed over.”

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