As the survivors prepare for the arrival of the freighter, Hurley joins forces with Locke to convince everyone that the freighter isn’t there to rescue them.

Written by Damon Lindelof & Carlton Cuse
Directed by Jack Bender

Flashforward

In the off-island future, Hurley was revealed as one of the “Oceanic 6,” six survivors of Oceanic 815 who escaped the island. Jack watched from his apartment as a high-speed chase unfolded on television, and seeing the vintage Camero involved in the pursuit, he realized who the occupant was: Hurley. Hurley crashed his car into a used car lot but was finally apprehended by the police chasing him, though he tried to get out of it by proclaiming himself “one of the Oceanic 6.”

At the police station, the cop questioning Hurley — Ana-Lucia’s former partner, Mike Walton — reviewed a security tape showing that he had been at a convenience store, where he saw something off-camera that spooked him so badly that he ran, leading to the car chase that got him arrested. Walton asked Hurley about Ana-Lucia, but Hurley lied and said he’d never met her. The cop left to get a donut, and while he was gone, the room’s two-way mirror turned into an underwater window, where Charlie briefly swam up and placed his palm against the glass, causing it to shatter. Written on Charlie’s palm, and visible for only a fraction of a second, were the words, “They need you.” Hurley went berserk, believing the room to be flooding, so Walton returned and threatened to send Hurley back to the mental hospital where he was once a patient. Believing the offer to be genuine, Hurley gratefully accepted.

In the mental institution, Hurley was visited by a man named Matthew Abaddon, who claimed to be an attorney for Oceanic Airlines. He offered to have Hurley placed in a better facility, but Hurley declined. When Hurley suspected that Abaddon wasn’t telling the truth about who he really was, Abaddon asked, “Are they still alive?” referring to the rest of the Oceanic survivors. Knowing that no one but his friends are supposed to know that there were any other survivors of Oceanic 815, Hurley freaked out and demanded that the hospital staff remove Abaddon from the facility.

Some time later, Hurley received a second visitor in the form of Charlie, his deceased friend. Hurley was stunned and suspicious of his own mental faculties, as we learned that seeing Charlie was what sent Hurley into his panicked escape from the convenience store that started all this. Charlie explained simply that he really was dead, but he was “also here,” now, talking to Hurley. Charlie urged him to do what he secretly knew he must, and even inferred that the real reason Hurley ran from the sight of Charlie at the store was because he already knew this and was hiding from it. Before he vanished, Charlie repeated the message written on his hand at the police station, saying, “They need you, Hugo.”

Hurley received his third visitor in a few days’ time: Jack. After the two of them sparred over a game of basketball and engaged in some small talk about settling back into life away from the island, Hurley asked why Jack really came. Jack claimed he was only concerned about his friend, but Hurley saw the truth, that Jack was worried that Hurley’s mental state might lead him to reveal that the Oceanic 6 weren’t the only survivors of the crash. Instead of answering, Hurley apologized for not trusting Jack on the island, the day the freighter people arrived. He said he should have stayed with Jack instead of going with Locke. Hurley suddenly blurted out that they should never have left the island, and that the island would do everything it could to get them to return. Jack angrily replied that they were never going back, but Hurley warned him to “never say never.”

Now

At the beach, Hurley radios Jack and finds out that Jack was successful in contacting the freighter, and that they were all about to be rescued. Hurley spreads the news to everyone else, and then tells Bernard that he believes his luck has finally changed. The money he’d won in the lottery will be gone by now because everyone believed he was dead, so when he gets home, he’ll be free. Hurley does a cannonball dive in celebration but when he reaches the surface, he sees Desmond returning to the beach alone, without Charlie. Desmond, remembering Charlie’s warning that the freighter is “not Penny’s boat,” quickly warns the others that Jack can’t be allowed to contact the freighter, but they tell him it’s too late. Hurley demands to know where Charlie is; Desmond apologizes that he couldn’t save him. Aside from Hurley, Sawyer and Sayid — the two who’ve known Charlie the longest — are most profoundly affected by the news.

Kate returns from a sweep around the radio tower, and reports to Jack that Locke has seemingly disappeared. They talk about Locke’s murder of Naomi, and Jack vows that if Locke returns, he’ll kill him. Nearby, Ben asks Danielle to take Alex and get as far away from everyone else as possible, because he believes the people on the freighter intend to kill them all. But Danielle isn’t interested in his rantings.

Later, Jack receives a call on the satellite phone from George Minkowski on the freighter, who asks to speak to Naomi. Jack makes up an excuse about Naomi’s unavailability, but Kate quickly alerts him that Naomi’s body has vanished from where she fell when Locke killed her. Ben is still tied to a nearby tree, but when Jack asks about what became of Naomi, Ben feigns ignorance. As the survivors prepare to leave the tower, Danielle reports to Jack that she’s found Naomi’s blood trail, and believes that she didn’t yet die from her injury and has crawled away. She wants to follow the trail, and Jack agrees but wants to bring Ben along because he doesn’t want to take his eyes off of the deceitful man. But Kate locates a second blood trail and suggests that Naomi may have made a decoy trail to throw them off. She says they can’t afford to take that chance and volunteers to follow the second trail. Jack disagrees, but Kate goes off to follow the second trail on her own anyway.

Sayid argues with his friends about contacting Jack over the walkie-talkie to give Charlie’s warning. Sayid believes such a plan to be folly, since the people on the freighter are no doubt monitoring all communications, and would be alerted to the survivors’ suspicions about them. Sawyer disagrees, but before he can make the call to Jack, Hurley grabs the walkie and tosses it into the ocean, saying that they need to get going to catch up with Jack and the others before the freighter people arrive. The group loads up with guns leftover from the Others’ attack, and heads out to intercept the rest of their friends. As they trek through the jungle later that night, Sawyer catches Hurley alone and offers an uncharacteristic moment of sympathy. But Hurley prefers to suffer in silence. He stops for a moment, lost in thought, and suddenly loses track of his friends. He wanders in the dark until he stumbles across the cabin where Locke recently “met” Jacob. There’s a light burning inside, and Hurley hears Whispers all around.

Danielle and Jack discover that the blood trail they’re following was a dummy trail, which means Kate was right. Jack finds that the satellite phone is missing, and Ben points out that Kate took it when they embraced before leaving the radio tower, and now she’s out following the correct blood trail.

Alone, Kate is still following the trail when the satellite phone rings. She answers it and talks to Minkowski, who’s nonplussed to discover that Naomi is missing. Running out of things to say, Kate abruptly ends the call. But Naomi jumps from a tree branch overhead and holds Locke’s knife against Kate’s neck. Naomi demands the phone, which starts to ring again, while Kate explains that she and her friends were not responsible for Naomi’s attack — that was Locke, who believes that Naomi isn’t who she claims to be. Kate hands over the phone, but Naomi lies about her injury and tells Minkowski that she was impaled by a tree branch when she parachuted in. Minkowski promises her they’ll be there soon to get her, but Naomi dies, with her last words to Minkowski being “Tell my sister that I love her.”

Hurley approaches the cabin and peeks in through a window. He sees a man in Jacob’s rocking chair (a man who looks like Christian Shephard), before another pair of eyes appear right on the other side of the window and peer at him. Spooked, Hurley flees into the jungle, but quickly finds himself staring right back at the cabin again, as if it’s been moved. But the cabin soon disappears, and Hurley instead runs into Locke. Hurley tells Locke about what happened to Charlie, and about Charlie’s warning that the people on the freighter aren’t who they claim to be. Locke agrees that Jack shouldn’t have contacted the freighter, and the two of them decide to team up to try and convince Jack and everyone else that the freighter isn’t here to rescue anyone.

Hurley and Locke catch up with the group from the beach at the place where the Oceanic plane’s cockpit came to rest. Sayid is angry at Locke’s arrival, still holding a grudge against him for destroying the Others’ submarine. Jack and his people arrive just then, and while everyone is reunited, Claire wanders around looking for Charlie. Desmond steps forward to deliver the news, but Hurley stops him and says he’ll do it. Unable to keep his emotions in check any longer, Hurley very emotionally reveals to Claire that Charlie’s dead, and the two of them share an embrace of mutual grief. Jack, Danielle, and Ben suddenly arrive, and Jack viciously attacks Locke. Jack takes Locke’s revolver, and even though Locke says he knows Jack won’t shoot him, Jack shocks everyone by pulling the trigger. But the gun isn’t loaded. The others break up the fight, and Locke addresses everyone, promising that everything he’s ever done has been in the best interests of them all. Kate returns and informs everyone that Naomi is dead, but Locke says that when the freighter people arrive, all of their lives will be in danger. He announces that he’s going to the Barracks, because there’s some security in place there, and he implores them to come along. Jack argues that no one is crazy enough to go with Locke, but Hurley speaks up, reminding everyone of the warning Charlie died to give them. He’s decided to listen to his friend’s warning instead of Jack, and agrees to go with Locke to the Barracks. Sawyer (over Kate’s objections), Claire, Danielle, Alex, and Karl also move over to Locke’s side, along with a few other survivors. Ben asks Jack if he can go with Locke too, and Jack agrees, handing over his prisoner. A downpour falls, and Locke’s group departs, and so do the survivors headed back to the beach.

Jack and Kate stay behind and stare into the cockpit, thinking about Charlie and how the three of them came out to the cockpit together the day after the crash. But soon they hear a helicopter overhead, and see someone jump from it. They run toward the falling parachute and quickly find him on the ground. The man removes his helmet, spots the two of them, and asks, “Are you Jack?”

  • Six.
    Question: How many of the survivors escaped from the island? [3.23]

  • Who are the Oceanic 6?
  • Why did only six of the survivors escape the island?
  • What’s become of the survivors who didn’t escape the island?
  • Why do the survivors left behind on the island need Hurley (and presumably the rest of the Oceanic 6) to go back?
  • Who is Matthew Abaddon?
  • How does Matthew Abaddon know that the Oceanic 6 were not the only survivors of the plane crash?
  • Who did Hurley see in the rocking chair in Jacob’s cabin?
  • Who was the second person Hurley saw in Jacob’s cabin (the one that appeared at the window)?
  • If the people on the freighter aren’t there to rescue the survivors, then why are they there?



As if the whole flash-forward thing didn’t bring home the fact that the rules of the show had suddenly changed, the clever narrative structure of this episode did the job very well. When Hurley revealed to Claire on the island that Charlie was dead, and then we immediately saw the flash forward where Hurley was visited by dead Charlie… And when Hurley made his impassioned speech on the island in defiance of Jack, and then we saw Hurley apologize to Jack for that very action after they’d escaped from the island… This was when I realized the depth of just how drastically the show’s storytelling structure had been altered, and strengthened. No longer were we relegated to viewing vaguely-relevant flashbacks that informed the characters’ current actions on the island. Now, the writers were free to jump around in the story’s timeline to convey their stories in a whole new way.