Lost – “Tricia Tanaka is Dead”

 

Hurley’s back stories have always been related to his curse, his involvement with the numbers, and the effect on his personal life. The problem, however, is that every episode feels somewhat the same because of this, and unless they bring a lot to the table in terms of the numbers they don’t seem important enough in the big scheme of things.

This week’s episode was structured much like the others, as his past experience gives Hurley some much-needed motivation on the island. This is quite similar to Hurley’s spreading of the food within the hatch at a point in the 2nd season, and it just felt a bit too samey on the whole. I guess that there’s only so many inanimate objects they can randomly find on the island before I feel that things are a bit too contrived.

That being said, it was certainly entertaining, and it did a good job of balancing Hurley’s story with that of Sawyer and Kate. A lot was done in terms of character with Jin/Sun, Charlie/Desmond, and the two main plotlines. The ending of the episode even provided us with some good plot advancement, as well as a chance for Locke and Sayid to finally say something important for the first time since Eko was killed.

Speaking of the end of the episode, I’ve been saying this for weeks: Alex is absolutely Rousseau’s daughter, but I really don’t know how Ben fits into the whole situation. Was it just an adoption of convenience, or is there more to the story than we’re aware of? Rousseau was the one to find and capture Ben in the jungle, so he can’t be Alex’s real father…but yet something still tells me there’s more to see here. This would certainly throw Ben’s situation into the forefront, and it makes me want to see Ben’s back story that much more…which I guess is a victory for the show’s storytelling.

It’s not a bad episode, actually quite good in terms of character moments and writing. There was some funny moments with Sawyer and Jin, and it worked well. I guess that, after so many episodes with The Others, it was weird to get a “normal” episode of Lost. Part of me missed Ben and Juliet, and felt that we’d seen all of this before. This may put me into the minority, but don’t get me wrong: it was a good hour of television.

Check after the jump for a recap of the whole episode, in case you missed anything.

 

Full Episode Recap

This week’s episode opens on a young curly-haired boy working on a car. Cheech Marin, with bad wig in tow, passed the keys off to him and watched as it failed to start.

“Having hope is never stupid…you gotta make your own luck.” This seems like the advice of an optimist, I always figured that defined Cheech Marin. He then gives Hugo a candy bar, which he isn’t supposed to have…this clearly writes off the fact that this actor is skinny, and Hurley is not. However, outside of the whole fat Hurley part of things, I think this scene is actually important because it’s when Hurley’s father left their family…or so I assume. The show doesn’t actually tell us.

We then turn to Hurley, on the beach, telling his story about his experience with the Others to the grave of poor, poor Libby (Nice to get a callback to her, really). We then meet up with Charlie, contemplating his imminent death (Nice light subject for conversation). Hurley isn’t trying to lighten things up, agreeing with Desmond…and saying it’s all his fault for being cursed.

Vincent emerges from the trees, awwww. I always liked Vincent. This time he’s brought back a skeletal arm with car keys attached to it. How do I know they’re car keys? Because I saw one of CTV’s commercials. Boourns CTV; although, it’s not too big a deal since we get the reveal of the car before the cold open finishes.

“Awesome” says Hurley. This is Lost.

Looks like we won’t be getting a consistent back story this week, as Hugo Reyes is outside of the Chicken shack after his lottery winnings. It appears that he has bought the Mr. Cluck store in which he worked before the winnings. His reason for buying it: “I like Chicken.” Hurley is decidedly unreactive, except that he then goes into a laundry list of all of the, you know, terrible things that have happened recently.

He is decidedly paranoid about the reporters entering the restaurant, and for good reason as it’s hit with some sort of ballistic missile. Which is highly ridiculous, but kind of hysterical at the same time. We return to the car, as someone named Roger with the Dharma Initiative appears to have been the passenger.

It’s Jin! And Sun! And those two people they added at the beginning of the season that we don’t care about. Hurley arrives to tell everyone about the car, which he thinks is a nice little pet project for everyone. It’s the new golf course, if you will; Hurley thinks that Charlie in particular is in need of something less depressive. No one’s all that interested, however…except for Jin. Jin is annoyed with Sun’s “Let’s only talk English” bullshit, so he volunteers just to get away from her.

We hit Kate and “James,” who steps on a dart which Kate tortures him with just a little. As they sit and reflect, Kate wants Sawyer to apologize for his actions, and he brings up “Little House.” I agree with Kate, what ARE we talking about? I don’t know what would make Kate happy at this point, and she’s certainly none too pleased of their new dynamic.

And then they round the corner onto the beach where all sorts of extras greet them…oh wait, there’s some real people. Locke is there to greet Sawyer, Sun for Kate, and they each share individual longing looks at one another. It’s really quite touching, outside of the harsh reality that Eko is dead, Jack is still off with the Others, and Charlie’s doomed. Wait, that last one isn’t harsh, it would be a relief.

We return to another flashback, this time with Hurley showing up covered in rubble…and we learn that the reporter was Tricia Tanaka, and she is (as the title says) dead. His mother slaps him, calls it an accident, but Hurley’s convinced of the curse. He needs to go to Australia he says, but his mother wants to prove it was not cursed…and her proof is that his father has returned with even sketchier hair. Which is, apparently, a good thing, as opposed to being nothing but a money grab.

We return to Hurley and Jin, who discover that Roger was on a beer run. They decide to take poor Roger out of the car and then tip it over. They are, in a word, less than successful, leaving his head behind in the process.

Meanwhile, back at the beach, Charlie decides to have a little heart to heart with Desmond. The prophetic one is less than willing to admit to it, claiming he was drunk, and before it can escalate Sawyer arrives pissed about the fact that Charlie and Co. decided to steal his things in his absence. He decides to pay Hurley a visit, but before he can be too angry Hurley gives him a giant bear hug. Who could stay mad at Hurley, anyways?

“Somebody’s hooked on phonics.” Jin’s English is a bit better, and Hurley is happy that there are finally some good things happening. He then bribes him with some beer.

Speaking of good things, people are talking about things! Sayid, Locke, Kate! They’re talking about realities. Kate blames their loss of Carl on Sawyer, and after talking about the boat availability and location of the Others she heads off into the jungle. Who is she looking for? Chances are its Rousseau, she’s really the only other person with any sort of claim in the Others existing within their world.

We return to family dinner at the Reyes household, as Hurley is less than happy about his father’s sudden reappearance. It appears that his mother thinks he needs a manly influence and a father figure. He then fires their cooks and maids, and says he’s getting rid of all of the money. His mother won’t let him get rid of his father, however, because she (after covering Jesus’ ears) “has needs.” She forces him to show his father that he saved the classic car they were working on before, and that it’s now fixed up and ready to go.

We return to Hurley, Sawyer and Jin in the car. Hurley notes that things look pretty good, while Sawyer notes that they appear to have been building a dirt road. Jin is, however, quite unsure about the car’s stability. Sawyer is quick to rescue the beer as Hurley turns the key with hope in his mind…but nothing. Take that, Cheech Marin’s advice. Sawyer cracks one open: it’s flat, it stinks, but yet he drinks it. Hurley talks about time referencing Rocky movies, and Sawyer toasts Skeletor by cracking him upside the beer with his hand.

Much like Eko’s church, this car has become a watershed moment for Hurley’s character. He wants hope, but Sawyer doesn’t believe there can be any true hope (Which Hurley should ignore, we’re talking about Sawyer here). We head to commercial with hope, apparently, lost. Poor Hurley.

Hurley’s father decides to take him on an adventure…to a psychic? Jeesh, he’s a bit clueless. She surveys that he has money, isn’t happy…and then lists out the numbers. She sees the darkness around these numbers, and the great tragedy they bring. And then, surprisingly, the Death card comes out. It surrounds him, and more is coming. Way to fix that curse, Dad. The psychic believes it can be removed, and she wants him out of his clothes. That’s…weird.

Oh wait, not really…she wants to perform an exorcism. This is a little bit strange, and Hugo knows it: she admits (for $10,000) that it’s all a ruse. That’s unfortunate.

Sawyer is teaching Jin some English: Beer, Car, International House of Pancakes. Meanwhile, Sawyer decides that Hurley needs to give up, but Hurley decides that he has a solution: Charlie. Huh? He wants a victory, so he wants to prove Charlie isn’t doomed to die at the same time? Way to hedge your bets, Hurley.

Sawyer’s next lesson: “Those pants don’t make you look fat.” Oh Sawyer in a happy mood, how I missed they. And then he said Touche. I love you Sawyer.

And now, the copyright lawyers are out in full force as they push the Dharma Bus and try to get it moving in true Little Miss Sunshine fashion. Where are they moving it? Up to a giant hill. They plan to push it down? This sounds dangerous.

Hugo is packing for Australia, and his father admits that he’s there for the money. Hurley is unsympathetic, but his father isn’t there for money right now: he wants him to get a little hope again. He wants him to give up the money, to take that road trip to the Grand Canyon he promised 17 years ago. He wants a clean start…and Hurley wants to go to Australia.

We return to Hurley’s hope: jump start the car heading down the hill. Charlie offers to sit shotgun on the suicide mission to prove a point, of all things. I hope he dies.

They ride down the hill, and…nothing is happening. They are driving towards rocks, and it all looks out of control…and then it starts and Hurley drives off into the field. Charlie is happy…and alive. Boourns.

They return to the beach as Jin makes up with Sun with a small flower, and Sawyer returns to appear jealous of the couple’s happiness as Hurley sits in his car with a little bit of hope for the first time in weeks. Sawyer sees nothing but happy people in quasi love, while Kate is in the jungle with a torch searching, searching for someone or something. She finds the net used to trap “Henry Gale”, I think, and runs into Sayid and Locke instead of her target.

Locke and Sayid have the problem of not drive to find Jack, but where to look. They now have that bearing, and they have that drive. Kate is pleased, but Rousseau exits the jungle just on time. Kate wants her help to find Jack, and she plays the “Alex” card on Rousseau. It’s really the realistic card to play, in this scenario.

Next Week: The Castaways find the One-Eyed Man from The Pearl’s video screens, and Locke makes a decision that is a bit sketchy in the big scheme of things. That was nice and vague, I’m impressed.

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2 Comments

Filed under Lost, Television

2 responses to “Lost – “Tricia Tanaka is Dead”

  1. Pingback: Lost - "The Man Behind the Curtain" « Cultural Learnings

  2. Pingback: The Lost Weekend: Reflections on Reviewing Lost « Cultural Learnings

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