After a member of Team Jacob is lost, Hurley tries to protect his friends from the mounting dangers facing them, putting him in opposition to Richard’s plan to blow up the Ajira airplane.

Dr. Pierre Chang, alive and well in the present, presides over a special ceremony honoring Hugo “Hurley” Reyes. Chang’s museum has just received a healthy financial grant from Hurley, and they’re naming a new wing of the museum after him. It seems that Hurley’s purchase of the Mr. Cluck’s chicken franchise here has met with incredible success, branching out to locations all over the world. He’s given a standing ovation and a trophy in honor of his museum donation.

As he and his mother, Carmen, exit the ceremony, she comments on how good he is at receiving trophies but how terrible he is at being around women, suggesting that the latter is far more important. She accuses him of being scared to go on a date right before she reveals that she’s set him up on a blind date with a woman named Rosalita.

Rosalita stands Hurley up on his blind date, but someone else finds him there instead: Libby! Hurley doesn’t know her, but she knows him. He’s instantly attracted to her, but when he asks how she knows him, she says he’ll think she’s crazy if she tries to explain. He assures her he won’t, so she takes him by both hands and looks him deep in his eyes, asking if he believes in the idea of soul mates. He’s not sure what to say, and she’s sad as she realizes that he doesn’t remember her at all. Hurley asks if he should, but Dr. Douglas Brooks — the same doctor who treated Hurley in the mental institution in the original reality — appears and apologizes for his patient, Libby, and drags her away. Hurley’s left shell-shocked, and he runs outside to watch Dr. Brooks escort Libby into a van marked “Santa Rosa Mental Institution.”

Depressed, Hurley heads for the nearest Mr. Clucks, where he asks for a “family size” bucket of chicken. He takes it to a table and starts to eat when he notices someone watching him a few feet away: Desmond. Hurley’s in no mood to entertain a fan, but Desmond has other thoughts on his mind. He’s obviously tracked Hurley down from the passenger manifest of Oceanic 815 (which he received from his driver, George Minkowski), but he plays innocent, pretending to merely recognize Hurley from the flight. Desmond invites himself to sit at Hurley’s table while he’s waiting for his order, and strikes up a seemingly-casual conversation about the source of Hurley’s obvious depression. “So what’s her name?” he asks. Hurley explains that he met a girl on a blind date that was “totally awesome” except for the fact that she’s living in a mental institution. When Hurley mentions that Libby acted like they already knew each other, Desmond leans in with interest, asking if Hurley believed Libby when she said that she knew him. “Yeah,” Hurley admits after a moment. Desmond urges him to find out where Libby thinks she knows him from before giving up on her. Order number 42 is called out from the counter, and Desmond says that’s him. “It was nice bumping into you,” he tells Hurley with a sly smile as he leaves.

Hurley visits Santa Rosa, and when Dr. Brooks refuses to let Hurley see Libby — on the grounds that Libby “has issues with reality” — Hurley pulls out his checkbook and makes a $100,000 donation to the hospital. The doctor agrees to let Hurley see her, and he meets her in the rec room. There, she eagerly asks if he remembers her yet, but he says no. He asks where she knows him from, and she finally explains that a few days ago she saw him on a TV commercial, and the sight of him sent a rush of memories through her mind. They were memories of her life, “only it was… another life.” He asks about these memories, and she tells him of a plane crash on an island, where the two of them fell in love. And then, she says, she felt like she’d been at the mental hospital before, and that she could remember Hurley being there before, too. Libby says she just can’t get Hurley out of her head, and she hypothesizes that if he can remember her, then she’s not crazy. He wants to remember her, but he can’t. They share a tender moment when Hurley commends her bravery for approaching him with her incredible story, and then he asks if she’s ever able to leave the hospital to get out for a while. She says sure, that she’s there voluntarily, so she can leave anytime she wants. He asks her out on a date and she happily accepts.

He takes Libby on a picnic at the beach, where she’s awestruck at their surroundings. Hurley notices the odd expression on her face, and asks if anything’s wrong. She says it feels familiar being there with him at the beach, like being on a date they never had. Libby laments how insane she sounds, and asks why Hurley even wants to be with her. He sheepishly asks why she wants to be with him. She says she likes him, but when he argues that she’s delusional, she leans in and kisses him. And with that one kiss, Hurley’s memories of his former life flood back in at last. Hurley’s stunned, to put it mildly, and tells her that he’s “remembering stuff.” She’s tearful as she asks if this means she’s not crazy, and Hurley says she really isn’t.

Nearby in his car, Desmond watches the two of them kiss, and drives away, his work here done. Apparently tracking down the next name on his list, Desmond drives to the high school where John Locke is working as a substitute teacher. He waits patiently in his car for Locke to exit, but he’s spotted and approached by Ben, who’s concerned about this stranger’s interest in his school and the children who go there. As Desmond watches Locke wheel out to his car, Ben asks him about what he’s doing there. Desmond lies, saying he’s looking for a school for his son Charlie, all while eagerly watching Locke roll toward his car in his wheel chair. When he finally rids himself of Ben, Desmond floors the gas pedal and barrels right into Locke! Locke tumbles violently up and over the car, before landing back on the ground with a long, sickening skid on the pavement. Satisfied, Desmond tears out of the school parking lot, while Ben runs toward Locke and shouts for someone to call 911. While Locke lays on the ground, going into shock and shivering in pain, Ben assures him that they’re going to get him to the hospital.

Hurley kneels at Libby’s grave near the beach, where he wonders aloud to her why she’s never come to visit him like others who’ve died. Ilana comes looking for him and tells him they’re going to the Black Rock to retrieve dynamite that they can use to blow up the Ajira airplane. She intends to act on Richard’s plan to destroy the plane before the Man in Black is able to escape the island on it. Ilana asks whose grave he’s kneeling beside, and he explains that Libby was a girl he liked, who he was about to have his first date with right before she was murdered. Ilana offers her condolences and leaves him alone.

Suddenly Hurley hears Whispers coming from all around, and as the Whispers fade, someone new stands in front of him. It’s Michael Dawson, his former castaway friend and the very man who murdered Libby. Hurley looks on Michael with contempt and asks what he’s doing here, but Michael replies that he’s there to stop Hurley from getting his friends killed. Hurley doesn’t want to believe Michael, but Michael says that if they all go over to Hydra Island and blow up the airplane, a lot of people are going to die, and it will be Hurley’s fault. Michael explains that people are listening to Hurley now, following his suggestions and ideas, more so than ever before. So he has a responsibility to them. Jack approaches just then and asks who Hurley was talking to, but Michael’s vanished, so Hurley merely says, “No one.”

Later, Ilana returns to camp with dynamite she’s procured from the Black Rock. She tells Richard she’s brought enough to destroy the plane’s cockpit. Hurley speaks up and says he’s not so sure this plan is a good idea. Ilana implores him to trust her, pointing out that she’s been training her entire life to protect him and the other Candidates. She marches away from him, gathering her gear, as she argues that with the plane gone, the smoke monster won’t be able to leave the island. Hurley argues back that none of them will be able to leave either, and they’ll be stuck there with a very angry MiB. Ilana pulls out her old line about Jacob never lying to her, and that he said Richard would know what to do. Since Richard wants to blow up the plane, that’s what she means to do. MiB is pure evil, she says, and God help them all if he ever got off the island. Ilana puts her satchel down on the ground as she’s making her point, and the unstable dynamite inside explodes in a giant fireball!

At MiB’s camp, Sawyer’s frustrations are mounting. He confronts MiB as he’s carving a long stick out of a narrow tree branch, and asks what MiB is playing. MiB says he doesn’t know yet what it’s going to be, but that “when the time is right, it will tell me.” Kate chides Sawyer when he asks if MiB is “talking to wood now,” so Sawyer gets to the point. He wants to know why they’ve been sitting around doing nothing for days. MiB says they’re waiting, explaining that the Oceanic 6 were only able to return to the island because they all came together. “If we’re going to get on that plane and leave, it has to happen the same way,” he says. He tells them that they’re waiting for Hurley, Sun, and Jack, so they can all go to the plane and leave together.

Sayid returns just then, alone, and asks to speak to MiB in private. The two of them wander off from camp into the jungle, and MiB asks if Sayid found what Widmore was hiding in the submarine. Sayid affirms that he did, and pulls back some brush to reveal Desmond, tied to a tree.

At the beach, Hurley looks through Ilana’s belongings, taking possession of the bag of Jacob’s ashes that she gathered. Meanwhile, not far away, Richard is growing increasingly agitated as he tells Ben that they’re going to have to go get more dynamite, or else Ilana died for nothing. Jack steps up and argues that maybe Ilana died to convince the rest of them to stay away from the dynamite. Richard says that’s a risk he’s willing to take, but Jack argues that he promised Sun he’d get her and Jin off the island on the same plane that Richard wants to blow up. While they argue, Hurley enters the conversation and says that he thinks Richard is right: they should go get the dynamite. Jack is confused at Hurley’s sudden about-face on the subject, but Hurley shoots him a knowing look and says simply, “Trust me, Jack.” Everyone’s satisfied, so they all head off for the Black Rock.

Desmond, perfectly at peace even though he’s tied to a tree, acknowledges the Man in Black as he’s greeted by him. MiB apologizes for Sayid tying him up, but says Sayid was afraid Desmond would run before they could talk. Desmond says it’s all good, but he has nowhere to run to. MiB cuts him free and asks why Widmore brought him to the island. “Considering I was kidnapped, you’ll have to ask him,” Desmond replies. He explains that Widmore put him into a wooden shack and blasted him with an enormous amount of electromagnetism. MiB is skeptical that it really was electromagnetism that Widmore blasted him with, but Desmond calmly replies that he knows it was, thanks to his “experience” with the stuff. MiB asks if Desmond knows who he is, and Desmond replies, “Of course. You’re John Locke.” MiB sends Sayid back to camp, explaining that he and Desmond are going to take a little walk.

In the jungle, as they march toward the Black Rock, Ben talks to Jack about Ilana’s death, wondering aloud about how she was hand-picked by Jacob, trained to protect the Candidates, and yet “no sooner than she tells you who you are, and she blows up.” The island was done with her, he says, and it makes him wonder what’s going to happen when the island is done with the rest of them.

When they near the Black Rock, the group realizes that Hurley’s not there. Suddenly Hurley comes tearing out of the shipwreck, screaming at them to run. He clears the ship just in time, before it goes up in an enormous blast that shakes the entire jungle. His speech earlier about agreeing with Richard to go get the dynamite was just a ruse — he really wanted to come so he could destroy the dynamite once and for all. Richard’s outraged, and asks why Hurley would do this. But Hurley replies that he’s protecting all of them. He later tells Miles privately that he did it because Michael told him to. Miles doesn’t know the name Michael, so Hurley explains that Michael is “one of the people who come back and yell at me after they die.” Miles is a little surprised that Hurley so willingly does whatever the dead tell him to do, but Hurley replies that dead people are more reliable than living ones.

While MiB and Desmond talk about the island having it in for them both, MiB spots the same young boy he saw a few days ago when he was first recruiting Sawyer. Desmond sees him too, and asks who he is, but MiB says to “just ignore him.” Desmond asks if MiB knows the boy, but MiB repeats his instructions. The boy smiles mischievously and then runs away.

At the Black Rock, Richard packs up his supplies and tells the others that he’s heading for the Dharma Barracks, to collect whatever grenades and explosives are still there. Jack tries to stop him, but it’s Hurley who gets everyone’s attention by announcing that he knows what they should do. Rather than destroy the plane, he wants them all to “go talk to Locke.” He tells them Jacob is with them right now, and he wants them to go talk to Locke. Richard tests Hurley’s veracity, telling him that if Jacob’s really there, to ask him what the island is. Richard knows what the island is, and he wants to hear Hurley say it as proof that Jacob is really there. Hurley approaches him and quietly says that he doesn’t have to prove anything to Richard. Richard can make his own decision: go with Hurley, or “keep trying to blow stuff up.” Richard concludes that Hurley’s lying, and tells everyone that if the smoke monster leaves the island, the whole world will suffer the consequences, so he’s going to destroy the plane. He asks who will come with him, and Ben and Miles both step forward. Jack, Sun, and Frank stick behind with Hurley. Richard’s frustrated that none of the Candidates will join him, and he warns Jack not to get in his way.

Later, the four of them walk through the jungle, looking for MiB’s camp. Sun writes on her pad a question to Frank, asking if they made a mistake in following Hurley. “Probably,” Frank replies. Alone with Jack, Hurley confesses that he didn’t really see Jacob earlier; he made it up because he wanted to listen to keep everyone safe. Jack replies that he knew Hurley was lying, and Hurley asks why Jack would agree to follow him when he was lying. Jack explains that ever since Juliet died, all he’s wanted is to fix things, even though he knows he can’t. He confesses to having a hard time not being the leader, and letting other people tell him what to do. But he says that “maybe that’s the point. Maybe I’m supposed to let go.” Jack says that even though Hurley made it all up, he still trusts his friend. But Hurley confesses that he has no idea how to find Locke.

Suddenly, the four of them hear Whispers in the jungle all around. Hurley realizes something and says he thinks he knows what the Whispers are. He tells his friends to wait there, while he walks away, alone. In a nearby clearing, he calls out to Michael, and Michael appears. “You’re stuck on the island, aren’t you?” Hurley asks. Michael nods and says that he’s stuck because he’s a murderer. Hurley suggests that there are lots of others like Michael that are stuck on the island, and they’re the source of the Whispers. Michael nods again. “We’re the ones who can’t move on,” he explains. Hurley asks if Michael knows where Locke’s camp is, and Michael points to it. As Hurley’s leaving, Michael offers him one last message: “If you ever do see Libby again, tell her I’m very sorry.”

By nightfall, MiB and Desmond arrive at their destination: a man-made well. MiB drops a torch inside the well to show Desmond how deep it is; it turns out to be no more than 20 or 30 feet. MiB tells Desmond that the well is so old that the people who dug it did it entirely by hand. But they weren’t looking for water, he says, they were looking for answers. He says that a long time ago, places like the one they’re standing in right now made compass needles spin, referring to the electromagnetic energy pockets beneath the island. The people holding the compasses needed to know why that happened, so they dug for answers. But they never found what they were looking for. MiB says he brought Desmond here because Widmore is interested in one thing: power. And he brought Desmond here to help him get more of it. “After all,” MiB says, “this isn’t the only well.” Desmond eyes MiB knowingly, asking if this is the real reason he wanted Desmond to see this well. MiB regroups and slyly asks Desmond why he’s not afraid, being alone with MiB in a place where nobody will ever find him. “What is the point of being afraid?” Desmond replies. MiB smiles in response, and then pushes Desmond over the edge, down into the well.

MiB later returns to his camp just in time to be greeted by Hurley, who walks out of the jungle alone. Hurley says they need to talk, but he needs to know that no one will be harmed. MiB offers his hunting knife to Hurley, and gives his word that he and his people will play nice. Hurley calls out for his friends to come forward, and Frank, Sun, and Jack emerge from the jungle. Jack is last to arrive, and he shares a brief smile with Kate before he’s singled out by MiB and greeted by name with a steely gaze.

  • When someone evil dies on the island, their soul becomes stuck there, unable to move on. These dead people are the source of the Whispers, as they try to offer warnings to the living.
    What are the Whispers? [1.09]
  • Following the reasoning that the well leading to the frozen wheel room was dug by the same people that dug the island’s other wells, searching for answers about the island, it would follow that the source of the bright yellow light was one of the electromagnetic energy pockets, and the frozen wheel was in direct contact with it.
    What’s behind the wheel that generated the bright yellow light? [4.14]

  • Who were the people who dug the island’s wells, and how long ago did they live there?
  • Sideways reality: Why did Desmond hit Locke with his car?

While satisfying as a character piece, and serving as a fine vessel for moving the plot forward, “Everybody Loves Hugo” wasn’t one of the best-written episodes of the season. Lost is known for its surprise twists, yet every supposedly-shocking event that happened in this ep could be seen coming a mile away. From Ilana blowing up, and Hurley’s kiss with Libby being the trigger for his island memories, to Desmond getting thrown down the well by MiB, it was clear long before any of those things happened that they were going to.

I think my favorite part of the entire hour was that crazy preview for next week set to Willy Wonka’s manic ode to insanity. Pure. Genius.

It was awesome seeing Pierre Chang again, and good to get confirmation that he did indeed escape the island like everyone else seems to have. I kept waiting for him to say “Namaste” during his speech. But he looked pretty much the same as we remembered him. Should he have been about thirty years older than when we saw him last, in 1977? (I don’t think this is a mystery or a clue; probably just a minor continuity glitch. Or maybe the makeup department’s work at aging the actor just didn’t show up that well in the spotlight Chang stood under.)

I always love seeing my beloved Carmen Reyes, because she always makes me laugh. And she didn’t disappoint. But her appearance in the Sideways world made me wonder where Hurley’s father, David, was. Did he and his family never reunite in the Sideways reality?

I’m not good with dog breeds, but was that a Shih Tzu that Hurley was holding in the slideshow that started the episode? No doubt a wink at his yellow “I love my Shih Tzu” t-shirt from Season 5, if so.

Another wink at the audience was the Connect 4 game in the Santa Rosa Mental Institution’s rec room — a direct reference back to the game that the man in the Australian institution was playing when Hurley visited him to ask about the cursed Numbers.

Did you catch the reference to Hurley’s “Grandpa Tito”? Carmen mentioned him when explaining who Hurley’s blind date, Rosalita, was. Grandpa Tito died of a heart attack in the original reality shortly after Hurley won the lottery — a death Hurley always chalked up to the bad luck that the money brought him. It looks like he may have been right all along, because in the Sideways reality, where the lottery money wasn’t bad luck at all, Grandpa Tito is still alive!

Okay, I admit it: I couldn’t find the mirror in this episode. All of the Sideways characters have been seeing themselves in mirrors in every episode this season, but I can’t recall the moment in this ep when Hurley looked at himself in the mirror. I have no doubt that he did, though, so somebody please use the Comments to point out where and when it happened.

Poor Ilana. All we really knew about her is that she was utterly devoted to Jacob, saw him as a father figure, and that she’d trained her entire life to one day protect the Candidates. I never had any doubt that Ilana would die before the end of the show, but I always figured she would go down fighting, doing her sworn duty to protect the Candidates. Instead, she went down in a freak dynamite accident just like Dr. Arzt. We never even got to see her do anything all that interesting. I’m disappointed. I wanted to see her in action, kicking butt!

Besides that, I still have questions about Ilana. Who is she? Where did she come from? How did she come to know Jacob, and swear her allegiance to him? What happened to her that landed her in that hospital with bandages around her head? The season’s not over yet, so maybe we’ll still get answers to these questions somehow. Ilana could also show up in the Sideways world. Actress Zuleikha Robinson is a full-time cast member for Season 6, so it’s unlikely we’ve seen the last of her.

The mystery of what the Whispers are is one of the longest-running unanswered questions on the show. “Everybody Loves Hugo” finally gave us a definitive answer: the Whispers come from those who died on the island, who did terrible things and are now stuck there and unable to move on to the afterlife. People like Michael Dawson, who murdered two people while he was there. I was left a little fuzzy on the details of this — such as, did the person have to die on the island, after having committed some great sin? Do both conditions have to be met for one to become a source of Whispers? (This is not to be confused with Hurley’s ability to talk to the dead — we’ve seen plenty of evidence that he can talk to anybody who’s dead, not just the ones stuck on the island.)

One sticking point in this explanation is Ana-Lucia — a woman who once murdered a man in cold blood. She died on the island, yet Hurley didn’t see her on the island. Instead, he met her back in Season 5 in Los Angeles, when he was on the run from the police with Sayid. Why wouldn’t Ana-Lucia have been stuck on the island just like Michael? On the flip side, there’s Libby, whom Hurley has never been visited by on the island, implying that although she died on the island, she was innocent enough to “move on.”

This explanation about the Whispers naturally made me wonder about who else we’ve met on the island that’s dead, and is now stuck there. I’m going to run down a list of those I can remember:

  1. Christian Shephard. I don’t think he would qualify as a Whisper, because he didn’t die on the island. He died in Australia. And besides that, he was very likely just the Man in Black taking on Christian’s form.
  2. Isabella. Richard’s wife appeared to Hurley just a few episodes back, yet she didn’t die on the island, nor did she appear to be a terrible sinner. She couldn’t have been stuck like Michael, aka a Whisperer. So did her spirit just come to the island of her own will, and she can come and go as she pleases?
  3. Jacob. It’s unlikely that most of the conventional rules apply to Jacob, but him visiting Hurley leaves the possibility that he might now be stuck on the island, too. Is there some great sin in his past that he’s still trying to atone for, and is keeping his spirit stuck on the island?
  4. Charlie. He’s never appeared to Hurley on the island, but he visited Hurley multiple times in Los Angeles, after the Oceanic 6 escaped. Yet he died on the island, so his sacrificial death must have kept him from being stuck there.
  5. Eko. We never saw Hurley talk to Eko, but Hurley appeared to be playing chess with him in the mental institution just before Sayid came and busted him out. Eko also died on the island, and he was hardly sinless, having killed God knows how many people in Nigeria when he was a drug lord. Like Ana-Lucia, he strikes me as someone who should have been stuck on the island.

These inconsistencies are bugging me, but maybe we’re just not meant to be too precious about all this. What matters is that we have an explanation for the Whispers that (mostly) makes perfect sense. And we also know why the Whispers have always preceded appearances by the smoke monster or the Others: because the dead were trying to warn the castaways of imminent danger.

It also stands to reason that all of the villainous types we’ve seen die on the island — Ethan, Mikhail, Keamy, etc. — should be part of the Whispers now, having seen the errors of their ways after they died.

It was great to see Libby again, particularly the synchronicity of her finally getting that unrequited first date with Hurley, though it was frustrating that we got no answers to her lingering questions. Namely, what the heck she was doing in that mental hospital in the first place, and why she kept it a secret from Hurley. My first sense from this episode was that in the Sideways reality, she probably entered the mental hospital for the same reason that she did in the other reality, but for whatever reason, she never left the place. (Side note: Could it have been Hurley’s presence there that triggered her desire to leave, in the original reality? And since he wasn’t there in the Sideways world, that’s why she never left? Discuss.) Just like everybody else we encounter in the Sideways world, Hurley and Libby have gotten their second chance at happiness. Is this the point of the Sideways world: to give everyone a second chance at a happy ending?

But I digress; let’s get back to Libby. I have no idea if we’ll be seeing any more of her before the show is done, so the answers we crave about her might still be in the offing. The one tiny bit of info that we got tonight is that she was in the mental institution voluntarily. Now, a popular theory that’s been circulating among the fans for years dates back to her odd first meeting with Desmond, where she gave him her boat to use in his race around the world (which ended with his fated crash onto the island). During that café encounter, Libby told Desmond that the boat originally belonged to her late husband. We don’t know any of the circumstances surrounding her husband’s death, but it’s conceivable that his death was a terribly traumatic one. So some fans have speculated that Libby entered the mental hospital due to her devastation at losing her husband. Tonight’s revelation of her “voluntary” residence there might validate this theory.

But then… Upon second viewing, I noticed her phrasing about first seeing Hurley on TV (which caused her memories of the island to flood back in), which made it sound like this TV commercial came before her arrival at the mental institution. It was a subtle distinction, so I’m still not certain if she meant that she entered the institution voluntarily after seeing Hurley on TV, or if her perception of the institution changed after seeing Hurley on TV (while she was already residing there). We need some clarification on this from the writers, because if she entered the hospital just a few days ago, after seeing Hurley on TV, then her “issues with reality” that Dr. Brooks referred to stemmed entirely from her vision of her former life. And more importantly, her reasons for being there this time and her reasons for being there the first time are completely unrelated. Putting us right back at square one for answers about Libby.

I still think that the young boy that seems to be haunting MiB is probably a representation of Jacob — perhaps he appears as Jacob looked at the time that the two of them first came to the island (assuming they came together, which I believe they did). As for why Sawyer and Desmond could both see the boy, while Richard could not… I don’t know. Sawyer is a Candidate, yet “Hume” was not one of the Candidate names seen on the cave wall or the Lighthouse dial.

Another possibility is that instead of being Jacob, maybe the boy represents MiB himself as a young man. He warned MiB not to violate the rules by killing Sawyer. Maybe he’s a manifestation of MiB’s own long-dormant conscience.

It was so cool to see Sideways Desmond on this newfound mission of his to help everyone who was on the island to see the truth about their former lives. It looks like we’re going to be seeing lots more of this before the show ends, but it leads me to wonder what all of these memories and reunions are building towards. Is Desmond’s hope that they’ll simply recall the connections that they had in their pasts, so they can fully appreciate the second chance they’ve all been given in this new reality? Or is he planning to bring all of these people together somehow, to accomplish some bigger goal, like resetting the timeline back to how it originally was?

Desmond’s goal is unquestionably a righteous one, yet why the heck did he run down poor John Locke? I can only think of two explanations: 1) just as Charlie used a drastic, near-death experience to show him the truth, Desmond decided a near-fatal vehicular accident would likely trigger the same memories in Locke; or 2) some part of Desmond remembered Locke as the smoke monster — who threw Desmond down a well — and he reacted instinctively to destroy a man that his vague memories registered as a threat.

The first explanation seems the more likely one, while the second is more provocative. What if Sideways Locke really is some kind of threat? A big question many people have had about the Sideways world is whether or not the Man in Black exists there, since his island prison has been destroyed. (And if he does exist in the Sideways world, why hasn’t his evil spread and decimated mankind?) Is it possible the Man in Black might still exist in the Sideways world, waiting to once again take possession of John Locke for some reason? Or is it possible that the Man in Black has been imprisoned someplace new in this Sideways reality: deep within John Locke’s subconscious mind?

If Desmond was trying to take out Locke before the Man in Black could use him again, then he may have failed, playing right into the Man in Black’s hands. After all, death was what allowed MiB to take Locke’s form the first time, so if Locke dies in the Sideways world, MiB could very well do the same thing here.

Or maybe all of this is way off, and Locke is central to the Sideways world’s existence somehow, and Desmond senses that killing Locke might undo this world and reset things back to how they used to be.

Or try this one on for size: Maybe Desmond is simultaneously aware of both realities, and after he got thrown down into that well, he realized that Locke was his enemy and decided to take his revenge. Taking this a step further, what if Desmond thought that if he killed Locke in the Sideways reality, he might die on the island, too?!

I just mentioned in my last recap the intriguing idea of how death seems to serve as a bridge between the two realities, and how we’ve seen that illnesses and injuries from the original reality can have an effect on the Sideways reality. Yet people who die in the original reality are still able to live in the Sideways world. This leaves only one question remaining: what happens when someone dies in the Sideways world? Will they die in the original reality as well? Perhaps this is the theory Desmond was testing.

One other thought occurs to me about Desmond’s brutal attack on Locke. The original Locke was also part of a terrible accident: the crash of Oceanic 815. And what happened after that disaster? Locke gained the ability to walk again. Could Desmond be trying to trigger a similar miracle in the Sideways world?

So many possibilities!

MiB tossing Desmond down into that well doesn’t seem like his best idea ever. I can see how it was an act of desperation on his part, but it lacked some serious forward-thinking. Widmore brought Desmond to the island to use him as a weapon against MiB, where Des would do something at one of those electromagnetic pockets. And now MiB has conveniently deposited him smack-dab right on top of one. Probably not MiB’s smartest move.

That final shot on the island of the camera zooming in dramatically on Locke, and then on Jack… The show is practically telegraphing to us that (as I’ve been saying all season long) in the end everything’s going to come down to a confrontation between Jack and Locke. Watch that moment again very carefully, and you’ll see the two of them sizing each other up like generals meeting for the first time on the field of battle. It couldn’t be clearer in my mind: Jack will be the new Jacob, and Locke is his nemesis, the Man in Black. They will fight it out in the last episode for control of the island, I guarantee it, as the conflict that’s existed between these two characters right from the start finally comes to a head.

Every main character that’s slated for a flash-sideways episode of their very own has now had one. So I’m eager and excited to see where things go from here. My guess is that there will be no more individual-centric episodes, and instead the remaining five episodes will be ensemble pieces. The end is near, dear friends! Buckle up and hold on tight!

I liked MiB’s explanation of the well, and how it designates an electromagnetic energy pocket. It took me all the way back to that Season 1 moment when Sayid commented to Jack about the oddity of his compass not pointing north.

This wasn’t the same well that we saw at the Orchid station. MiB said that wells like this could be found in several places across the island, and that they were dug/built by people long ago who were searching for answers about the island’s electromagnetic pockets. So we can assume that this same ancient group of people (who were no doubt brought to the island by Jacob, in his ongoing quest to prove MiB wrong about human nature) built the well at the Orchid, and probably the frozen wheel down inside it, too. It must’ve been their primitive way of trying to tap into the electromagnetic/temporal energy found down there, for whatever reason.

Who were these people? Ancient Egyptians? Vikings? Something else? Any guesses?

MiB’s reference to these people and the important part they’ve played in the history of the island felt like foreshadowing to me, as if the writers were letting us know that we’re going to be finding out more about these ancient people soon.

It’s logical to assume that they probably built the Tunnels beneath the island too, while trying to decipher its secrets, as well as every ruin or relic on the island that’s covered in hieroglyphs. They probably built the four-toed Tawaret statue as well. I’m betting they worshipped Jacob as some kind of deity, and built the statue in his honor.

One thing is clear: despite their technological limitations, these ancient people managed to uncover more secrets about the island than anyone who followed them. So that makes them more intriguing than ever.