Wednesday, August 5, 2009

1.18 Numbers

Follow along! The episode guide to “Numbers” is in Finding Lost, pp. 113-119.

Until now, we’ve just seen happy fun-time Hurley… that all changes with this episode. It’s strange to think there was a time when we didn’t know Hurley was a millionaire, or that he thought he was cursed, or that we didn’t know his beloved Ma, or that we didn’t know he was in a mental institution. In this episode it’s still not clear – was he in the hospital or did he work there? The weird comment he makes to the reporter about putting his family through a lot lately clearly referred to him being in the hospital, but at the time it wasn’t clear.

Fun things I noticed:
• I thought at first the Asian reporter who asks Hurley the questions was meant to be Tricia Tanaka, but she’s being played by a different actress.
• Hurley in the gold chains and Hummer will never cease to crack me up.
• OMG! Smokey attacked Hurley’s house!! Hehe…
• I’ve noticed this before, but Jack always looks like he’s about to have a giggle fit when he’s in scenes with Jorge Garcia.
• This is possibly the loveliest John Locke moment of the series. My heart melts every time he turns over that cradle. And yet… it makes me wonder if Locke already realized just how important Aaron would be. Remember how he was in Claire’s eerie dream in “Raised by Another”? There’s always been a connection between Aaron and Locke. I wonder if it’ll be realized in season 6. (Remember that when the group splits in season 4, Claire will go with Locke, not Jack.)
• I could never figure out why Hurley’s shirt didn’t catch on fire as he was holding it over those flames.
UPDATE: I forgot to add this in when I originally posted it, but if you go back to the beginning of "This Place Is Death," where Montand is standing on the beach as Danielle is trying to talk to Jin, Montand is listening to the numbers being read over and over. I've turned the audio WAY up on it, and listened to it with headphones, and there is no doubt in my mind that it's Hurley's voice reading the numbers. Did he actually cause his own problems? I remember being convinced after that that there would be a scene where Hurley would head up to the radio tower and create the transmission in 1977. But then it never happened...

Things that have new meaning:
• I wonder why we never see Diego again. It’s Hurley’s brother, and his family is obviously close-knit. He’s not there when Hurley gets off the plane and is reunited with his family for the first time post-crash. He’s not living in the mansion with the Reyes family, yet in this episode we hear Diego’s moved back home to live with his mother. So why doesn’t he continue to do that? Why did the writers just make him disappear?
• Lenny tells Hurley that he’s opened the box. It could be a reference to the hatch – that great unopened box that will soon unleash everything on the island – but it could also refer to something bigger. In recent seasons fans have wondered what Hurley’s purpose is? He’s the guy with the numbers, and they’re integral to the island. He’s one of the Oceanic 6. He’s clearly important, but what’s his link? Why does Jacob visit him?
• Charlie tells Hurley that he’s acting like a lunatic, and only now do we know just how much those words must have hurt him.
• Sam Toomey’s wife tells Hurley that he makes his own luck, which is what Hurley’s father will later tell him in “Tricia Tanaka Is Dead.”
• Claire mentions that Locke should have a show where he fixes up houses. Locke sort of chuckles, but we’ll later see that he was actually a home inspector, so he really DID know something about houses.
• Locke tells Claire that he’s good at putting bits and pieces together, and he’s the one who begins piecing together the mysteries of the island before anyone else. Even if everyone else disagrees with what he says…
• This is the biggest discrepancy in Rousseau’s story from what we later see in This Place Is Death. She tells Hurley that they looked around the island for weeks, and found the tower, and after that the sickness came. But we know now that the “sickness came” the day they arrived on the island, right after they went down to get Montand. Are we to assume they went down to get him, and emerged appearing to be OK? And then they got sick later? The fact we don’t see what happens in between would suggest it happened pretty quickly.
• Locke believes in luck, and adds that he believes in a lot of things. I found this really interesting, considering that it’s hard to pin down Locke’s belief system, as he says. He seems to be familiar with the bible, but when Eko begins telling him a biblical story in season 2, he acts like he doesn’t know it. It’s not clear if he’s religious or pagan or agnostic. I really liked this line.

32 comments:

Katey said...

I thought it was sad seeing sad Hurley. :( But this was a very interesting episode to watch for the first time I remember, it really began the mythological side of Lost that persists and grows in the later seasons--rather than just hard fact we're getting solid evidence of something that cannot be explained and I remember watching this episode for the first time and wondering how deep into these mysteries the show was going to go...if I only I'd known. =P

Thoughts:

**I also noticed the Tricia Tanaka look-alike

**I really appreciated John in this episode, his dealings with Claire portrayed him in a very positive light and I enjoyed feeling good about him for once, even though I know full well that in about...oh ONE episode I'll be hating him again with a fiery passion. But it was nice to see the good side of John. :)

**I think the shirt wasn't burning because it was wet---that's why he was holding it over the fire in the first place (he tells Charlie something about "as soon as we find a Laundro-Mat, let me know"). I guess wet things could still smoke, but, it would take a while to get a wet shirt burning.

**Seriously! What's up with Diego! (I almost made a Dora joke here but, I refrained. *deep breath*) And on a similar note--it hit me very early on (being something of a personal issue with me) when I first began watching Lost and started really getting into the character's back stories that almost NONE of the characters have any siblings! Apart from a couple they're nearly all only children! That alone probably contributes to their problems, just saying.

**I freaked out when Lenny started raving about opening the box. INSTANTLY I thought of Ben's "Magic Box" analogy. "What if I told you that somewhere on this island, there's a very large box... and whatever you imagined, whatever you wanted to be in it, when you opened that box, there it would be."

**I feel very certain that we're going to be seeing someone (I imagine it being Fake-Locke Flocke) setting the island's radio tower transmission to "4 8 15 16 23 42" sometime in season six. We've seen all the end results, now they've got to be put in motion. It happened with the compass, Richard going to look at young Locke, Richard taking the bullet out of Locke's leg, it seems like all the things that brought about the current state of things were put into motion by plans made way in advance by The-Man-In-Black/Flocke.

**I loved Charlie's line "I know food is scarce man but--your shirt?"

**Hurley/Rousseau was adorable! I loved Hurley's monologue and the way Rousseau slowly lowered her gun--and then Hurley just hugs her--the crazy woman who's been without human contact for sixteen years. =P I also liked that she gave him the battery and the way Jack laughs about it afterward.

Jennifer said...

Diego is Chuck from "Happy Days"...hehe.

Joan Crawford said...

Oh, I loved the Hurley/Rousseau hug too! This one of my favorite episodes ever - the ending is the best! I loved how John revealed the cradle to Claire - so sweet!

So, uh...this is a little weird...but, Do you think at any point in time the writers were going to do a Locke/Claire thing?

Clocke.

Anyway, because, you know Sawyer makes a comment and Locke is all BigDaddy for her. Or was he just looking out for Aaron and it wasn't sexual? Is it gross that I brought this up and that I think Locke is kinda sexy? HAH! I SAID IT!

Jazzygirl said...

I loved this episode too b/c Hurley's story finally come to light. And yes, I found it odd that we had yet to see his mom (or father for that matter) until now. I still would like more info on Lenny. But I love the numbers so I loved this episode. (Side note: SInce I watched this today, I almost played the numbers tonight in the lottery since the pot was huge...but I didn't. LOL)
The scene between Hurley and Rousseau was great...you could feel the emotion and relief coming from Hurley. Although he's being justified by a half crazy woman. BUT at the same time, his concept that the nunbers are cursed is such a simple one that it makes sense she would agree.
I too loved seeing Hurley in all the bling. And YES, where the hell is Diego? I gotta be honest, I forgot about him. LOL Then watching this, I was like OH YEAH! And yes, why isn't he living with their mom in the mansion? THe girlfriend left him. It would make sense, right?
They better come back to numbers in the end is all I can say!!

Jenn said...

Oh the numbers.
WHAT DO THEY MEAN?
No, seriously, I have to know! This is one aspect that I hope the writers explain before the series finale. I want to know their significance, as well as if they are truly cursed.
Is there any way they could be coordinates of some sort?
Some mysteries just get to me, and this one of them!
:)

Jenn said...

@Jazzygirl
I have entertained the thought of playing "the numbers" so many times!
Is it weird that every time I think of it I'm all "Maybe I should play the numbers," then I think to myself, "But what if they're cursed?"
Hahaha

Anonymous said...

Katey said:
**Hurley/Rousseau was adorable! I loved Hurley's monologue and the way Rousseau slowly lowered her gun--and then Hurley just hugs her--the crazy woman who's been without human contact for sixteen years. =P I also liked that she gave him the battery and the way Jack laughs about it afterward.

That really got to me to. There are just some things only Hurley can do.

Diego??? I sure didn’t remember him and wonder now where he is.

Isn’t it Lenny that haunts Hurley in season 3, and is shown to not be real? If so, why did everyone seem to see him and react to him when he looses it at Santa Rosa. Was Hurley’s “visitor” someone else? (I’m sorry if this is covered in “Finding LOST, sadly I do not have it.)

Celandine

variabull said...

For what it's worth the game "Connect Four" was originally named the "Captain's Mistress". Supposedly Captain Cook took a version of the game (I believe it had white and black balls instead of yellow and red discs) along on his explorations of the Pacific. Apparently he and fellow officers and scientists aboard passed so much time playing the game in the captain's cabin that the crew gave the game that name. Cook's voyages predate the Black Rock's.

Jazzygirl said...

Celandine, no Hurley was hallucinating about his friend "Dave".
Jenn...I think that too! LOL! However I did play them last week on Keno and won $100! :)

SonshineMusic said...

@Nikki: OMG! Smokey attacked Hurley’s house!! Hehe…

Ah hahahahaha!

I haven't had a chance to read the chapter in Finding Lost yet, but I thought it was funny that Lenny is playing Connect 4 and the board has 42 slots. NUMBERS!

A lot of people on this show have missing limbs! There was the farmer in Australia, then Sam's wife in this episode and also Chang loses his arm... Montand, of course.

I want to know who was sending the numbers. Was this explained and I'm just drawing a blank? If not, I seriously want that explained next season.

My favorite line: Hurley to Sayid about Rousseau... "She says, 'Hey.'"

The scene with the cradle always makes me cry. I heart John Locke in this ep.

However, I got really ticked off at Charlie. He flips out on Hurley, cuts him off, then demands that he give up a deep dark secret and then doesn't believe him, never giving Hurley a chance to explain.

variabull said...

Hell

Hey

Absolutely

I feel a little bit like Hurley when he asked Rousseau what the numbers mean and if she believed the numbers were cursed. Much attention has been payed to the recurring catch phrases in Lost but nobody seems to have mentioned the above three words. They seem to me to come up in just about every episode. Hell I suppose is obvious. Hey has been used as both a greeting and an interjection (i.e. hello or behold/wake up) and absolutely is usually an answer to a question. Anyone else notice? Do hey and absolutely perhaps have some religious meanings? Hey(Hebrew letter). The Absolute (the unconditional reality which transcends everyday existence). Am I as crazy as Rousseau? I didn't include Hurley because he is the sanest guy on or off the Island.

SonshineMusic said...

@Joan Crawford: Clocke.

Ah hahahahahahaha!

Actually I think that it was a set up for Charlie to be all jealous of Locke later.

And I too love the Hurley/Rousseau exchange. I love how she affirms that he isn't crazy and I love the way he just hugs her.

Susan said...

Carmen -- my favorite off-island character!!!

ROFL at "Diego is Chuck" -- I guess we're free to theorize what happened to him!

I always assumed Lenny's box comment referred to Pandora's box.

The Question Mark said...

@Joan Collins: Clocke would be a sexy match-up indeed! Locke's a good-lookin dude, and I'll admit I've got the serious hots for Claire, especially the way she looked in Season 4! :D

As for the numbers, the question we have to ask ourselves is: will there be more time-travel in Season 6? Because if so, that could potentially tie up a lot of loose ends.
If season 6 features time-travel, then we may end up seeing:

-who was in the other rowboat, shooting at Sawyer, Miles & crew

-who was the musician that programmed "Good Vibrations" into the Looking Glass

-and of course, who started transmitting the Numbers? If the Losties do more time-jumping, the person who originally programs the Numbers could be good ol' fun-time HURLEY himself!

Marebabe said...

@Jazzygirl and Jenn: I agree that one should probably never use The Numbers to play the lottery, but not because they might be cursed. (I'm not superstitious. That's bad luck!) It's for a much more practical reason. If 100 people all have the winning numbers, the prize (after taxes) gets divided among them. I have a feeling that there are MANY people who play Hurley's numbers every week. Tonight's PowerBall jackpot was over $138 million. Imagine how discouraging it would be to have the winning numbers for a prize like that, only to have your actual take-home amount be more like $13.80. Anyway, congratulations, Jazzy, on a solid $100 win. You're an inspiration to all of us gamblers!

@variabull and SonshineMusic: thanks for the history lesson on Connect Four, and for pointing out that the grid contains 42 slots. Spoken like true Lost fans!

Azá said...

"You've opened the box!"

What a crazy line! This surely has to be the 'magic box' Ben was talking to Richard about in S03?

Love it how they just whack these lines in and in the context of the scene, the viewer is tended to oversee this with the actions or they are very often figures of speech.

Which leads me onto my next line...

Did anyone catch the lady Hurley visited in Australia? She blatently tells him, "I'd say your Lost. Now do you think Hurley really is the show? He is the only one who Jacob reasoned with and was directly told by him to be special and gifted. Perhaps Hurely is "The Variable"?

** Completely overlooked the fact of Hurley having a brother. And yes, Nikki, we tend to see a lot of Hurely's family, but have never seen his brother since that episode?

**Wonder who built that bridge?

Susan said...

Personally I doubt if Lenny's box comment refers to the magic box. Ben even said it was just a metaphor. In fact, one of my favorite Ben scenes is at the Orchid with John, when John asks if the chamber is the magic box and Ben gives him this look, like, no you idiot I told you the magic box isn't real.

Azá said...

Hmm - good point! But what if the "Game-Theory" part of the show is correct; then, none of this is real :)

Once a character dies, maybe they are ejected from the game of "Lost"? These Dharma Videos - Mysteries of the Universe - for me anyhow, kind of allude to this... Secret Societies, Experiments, Walking Amongst Us, but not being one of us :)

Nikki Stafford said...

Katey: The only child thing is another thing I pointed out in my book -- almost everyone is an only child. I wonder if many of the writers were, too? ;)

Jenn and Jazzy: I read something about a Pennsylvania lottery that happened soon after this episode aired, and apparently over 1000 people played the numbers. Hahaha!!! The only downside to playing them (besides the curse, of course) is that you'd almost surely have to split the pot a lot of ways, since they're common numbers now.

Ooh, and as for sending the numbers, I meant to add my theory to the post and forgot!! I'll go update now...

Nikki Stafford said...

@Marebabe: Ah, sorry!! I just said the same thing you did about playing the numbers, LOL!

Question Mark: I actually think you're right about Hurley! Check my update to the post. :)

Azá said...

@Quetion Mark (too): The writers confirmed at ComincCon that flashbacks/forwards and time travel are no more and again a new story telling device will feature this season.

I believe the numbers are a major part of season 6, but some of the other questions may/may not be answered. I'm hoping they do answer as many as possible right down to where Shannon's inhaler actually was since Sawyer didn't steal it after in Confidence Man ;)

Writing is my Passion said...

I LOVE this episode! I finished season 1 yesterday (I am now on season 2).

"So . . . hold on, you want to make snowballs?" Hurley's awesome.

When I saw the wire on the beach that Hurley follows, I felt a pang of sadness. Oh, Chah-lee.

After the pang of sadness left, I said to myself: "There's the wire that leads to the Looking Glass."

variabull said...

Seeing Lenny again it made me wonder, just what longwave radio transmissions is a US Naval officer in Australia monitoring? Could it be submarines. It makes you wonder how a conventional sub like the Galaga has been evading detection all these years (or has it)? You would think the US military would have a very long memory concerning a MISSING NUCLEAR WEAPON and MIA personnel.

Katey said...

@Joan: Hahah! CLOCKE! That's incredibly priceless! I for one don't see Locke as anything even close to sexy, but then again I'm 17 so that would be like extremely wrong anyway. Hehe.


Celandine said:
"That really got to me to. There are just some things only Hurley can do."

Yeah, totally--you can just tell that's what Jack's thinking too. That it's ironic that he being the leader-complex with all the guns, the key around his neck and the doc-smarts, and Sayid with his torturer history and combat training and Judo moves all failed and Hurley just walks up and gets the battery and walks away. Although many things about Jack annoy me, I've always liked that he's humble at times like that--he just laughs at the irony of it. Made me smile/ :)

@Jenn: The way I look at the numbers is that their is an element of mystery to them that can't be explained, ever--like the fact that they crop up EVERYWHERE. I think that's just a sort of unsolved magic to them and I believe the writers already confirmed that they're not really going to adequately answer that. But I think the other side to them like the "bad luck" and the fact that they seem to lead to the island, also the place they originated is definitely going to be a part of season six. But I don't feel like it's really going to be that much of a surprising twist when it's answered--I think it's just another part of the loop set in motion by Jacob/Man-in-Black and that we'll see one of them or (I like Question Mark's idea) Hurley setting the transmission. To me, once I saw the Man-in-Black guy and how far he'd gone to manipulate all these circumstances in this strange time-loop, the numbers just seemed to me as another element he used to go through with his plans. He drew Rousseau in and her people down into the temple because of the numbers, made Lenny go crazy and thereby give the numbers to Hurley who thereby wins the lottery and sets his trip to the island in motion, etc.

Katey said...

@Susan: Well, obviously I don't feel like the magic box analogy was actually a ruse and there is a magical box out there somewhere, but then I don't think Lenny was being literal either when he said "you opened the box" so it still fits. It could just be a fluke, but the way I've been thinking about is thus: clearly we know about the "game" happening between the "two sides" on the island, presumably these sides taper back to Jacob vs. The Man in Black and each one is trying to accomplish their side of the deal to disprove the other (I would argue that Man-In-Black is trying to argue that all humans are inherently corrupt and Jacob is trying to prove that they can be good as well through "free will") and in order to disprove each other they have each set about with their own selected "subjects", trying to outsmart the other with a long and tangled web of events stretching through time and space (as we've seen) to get their subjects to the island and to get them each to, in "the end"--prove their side. Within this the metaphor of the "magic box" is just the reality of this supernatural scheme as seen by Ben, who--coincidentally we know was really being used by The Man in Black as a pawn in this game. So what he percieved as "a magic box" was something of a trap and by opening it he himself became just another part of the puzzle--which is exactly what happened. Lenny's words somehow seem to prophetical worn Hurley that by playing the numbers, he's played right into the plan of the greater force at work here and setting things in motion that are now beyond his control--just like Ben, Hurley's receiving what he thinks is a gift, but from it he's actually set himself up as a player in this larger game. It makes me wonder if winning the Lotto was sort of the artificial "starting point" in time from which this whole endless cycle took place. I mean, that's obviously impossible to figure out at this point because soooo many thing are happening all at once, but once everything's over, I think it would be fun to try and trace everything back to one point-of-no-return in time. It seems like it has to start somewhere...

Anyway sorry for going off on a tangent. That was way out there, but hey, this is what I do during the hiatus. =P

Katey said...

Nikki said:
"Katey: The only child thing is another thing I pointed out in my book -- almost everyone is an only child. I wonder if many of the writers were, too? ;)

Haha, yeah maybe! Now we know why all these poor kids have such tragic lifestories!

I'm an only child myself actually and I can vouch for these characters man--it is not fun. You miss something vital I think that you can't ever fill. Not that I can even compare myself to these poor chaps! =P

I especially think of Locke and Kate--man, how alone they must feel? (figuratively speaking of course since they don't actually exist). Not only are they actually physically alone as children in their families but the only other people who should be out there for them with unconditional love are absolute crap! Let's see--abuse, abandonment, more abandonment, America's Most Wanted, 8-story fall and stolen kidney. Yowza. =P

JW said...

Something that interests me and might be interesting to mention each week are the DVD menus for those of us watching on DVD. For this week, who is that woman out there on the beach washing her top or whatever? Is it Kate? I wonder if they filmed Lilly for this or if they just got some other woman to play Kate for the menu... or perhaps it comes from a deleted scene? Of course, perhaps I'm wrong and it's not supposed to be Kate at all.

Katey said...

I thought it was Sun...I haven't seen the DVD menu in a while since I'm watching online, but I remember their being one of Sun on the beach. Although I think there was also one with just some random extra, so maybe that's the one you're talking about...I dunno, it's been a while.

SonshineMusic said...

I'm pretty sure it was Sun. I think she had the blue bikini on and that flowy wind blown wrap that she's wearing at the beginning and end of "...In Translation"

Linnea said...

Hi, I have always love this episode, because it was the first time I fell out of my chair watching LOST (the ending, WOW)

About the sickness, I think it the sickness was there from the beginning, but that the team pretended they were fine, we saw Robert pretending to be not-infected, it is possible that Danielle thought they got sick later. As they didn't show too many big signs in the beginning. (Montand sounded fine for someone who lost their arm)

Benny said...

It's interesting to note that Sam and Lenny suddenly heard the numbers in 1988 (about 16 years ago, based on 2004), the same year Rousseau crashed on the island. Something must have happened in 1988 that we don't quite know about. And, as was mentioned earlier, it was said at Comi-Con that time travel is over. So we may never find out the full truth about the numbers.

I'd like to think that Hurley's voice is just a nod to whoever listens closely.


As for the sickness again, we just know that on the first day they went in the cave and then, after having built a shelter, Rousseau shoots her crew. We don't know how much time elapsed from Jin's jump to the other! As Linnea said, maybe they seemed alright coming out of the Temple for a few weeks until they came back from the Black Rock/Tower.

Benny said...

Oooh, and one more thing on the crib.
Did Locke 'know' it was Claire's b'day or was it just a random happenstance?