Yeah, when you saw that this week’s episode was going to be a Hurley-centric one, you thought it was going to be a heartwarming romp through lightheartedness and comic relief. But you were so, so wrong.
One of the things that fans had been wondering for years was whether or not Cynthia Watros would ever return to reprise her role as Libby and tie up one of the show’s major unresolved plot points. Sure, she had a brief reappearance as an apparition to Michael back in Season Four, but that hardly counted. We wanted to know what was up with Libby and Hurley, and now we finally got that.
What I don’t think anyone was expecting, though, was that the show would find a way to make this reconnection so integral to one of the larger plot points of the show—namely, the mystery behind the connection between the flash-sideways timeline and the original one.
Libby’s semi-delusion reunion with a despondent Hurley in the restaurant was a great scene, including a special sort of awkwardness that was simultaneously endearing and uncomfortable—both things that really made the moment work, for the viewer. It’s probably a bit of storyline that doesn’t work if you’re a newer viewer to the show, but then, if you’re watching the final season without seeing the build-up, you’re probably missing out on a lot more, anyway.
As far as the episode itself goes, though, rather than risk a single plotline that hinges solely on having seen other episodes from years ago, this time, we’re given an episode that has a lot more subplots than the typical Season Six episode has had. Pretty much every character group was touched up on, and some major events have gone up.
For one, out of nowhere, Ilana got blown the fuck up. Like, out of nowhere. I don’t think the show has startled me like that in a long, long time. I mean, okay, I was expecting Ilana to die eventually, and probably suddenly, but not now, and not by getting Arzt’d. In fact, it’s so shocking that it’s almost hard to process it on any other emotional level. We also didn’t know Ilana well, but that just kind of adds to the shock, because the viewers were expecting to know her more, and now she’s just gone in an instant, and that’s how you pull off an effective shock moment.
Though okay, I’ll admit that Jack’s line after the fact was pretty amazing: “Maybe she died to show us to stay the hell away from dynamite.” Oh, Jack. When did you grow a kernel of common sense?
Speaking of common sense, Frank Lapidus remains one of the most grounded people on the Island. He’s totally had enough of all of this bullshit, and he doesn’t even care about the greater meaning of it; he just wants off, and you know, I can’t really blame him. Hell, he’s at the point where he doesn’t even need to say anything to convey how fed up he is. That’s hardcore.
Richard has become an emotional wreck. The loss of Jacob has really done a number on him, and the Island’s current “activities” seem to have done a number on driving off his remaining faith (for lack of a better term). And of all people to be his Number Two, Benjamin Linus? They are all so dead.
So, a lot of stuff blows up (literally and figuratively, and also Ilana). Groups schism further, and while agendas are getting more clear, the ultimate result of any one group’s actions is still clouded. Also, I think some bitch-fights are about to break out, but possibly the good kind. And by “good” I mean “entertaining to watch.”
But yes, Hurley and Libby discover, at Desmond’s secret urgings, that the emotional bonds between people do span the two universes. The ramifications of this aren’t yet fully clear, but it’s at least been demonstrated that people can tell who they were in the previous universe—and I say “were” and “previous” because there has only been an indication that the “new” universe is aware of the older one, but not vice-versa.
How does this all play back into the Island, and the struggle with the Man in Black, if it does at all? It’s going somewhere, and it’s starting to go there faster.
At the very end, we get another moment that rivals Ilana’s sudden death: Desmond, after successfully showing the “truth” to Libby and Hurley, tracks down the crippled John Locke and runs him the fuck over. Like, with an entire car. With Locke in a wheelchair. It’s hard to say whether I felt schadenfreude or not.
The flash-sideways Desmond does seem to have rather ambiguous motives. Why do something positive for Libby and Hurley and then something vicious to Locke? Is it part of his larger scheme? Or does Desmond know that other-universe Locke threw him down a fucking well and now he just wants simple revenge?
One thing’s for sure: having the terrifying Willy Wonka tunnel scene as the promo for the next episode? Fuck.