Thursday, April 06, 2006

Dave's not here, man

Seems to be quite the difference of opinion about last night's "Lost" in the comments for the previous entry, with reviews ranging from "jump the shark, completely embarrassing, tipping point bad" to "I actually really liked Lost last night." (Okay, so those were the only two opinions expressed; will you please just let me set up my false dichotomy?)

I'd have to go with the latter thesis, myself. A nice double-feint there: the Dave-as-Harvey twist was so obvious that I was on the verge of being annoyed until they revealed it two-thirds of the way into the episode. So I didn't see the Libby twist coming at all. Not that it's a mind-bender on the level of Locke's magic legs, or even Sawyer not really being Sawyer, but at least they finally have given a reason for Cynthia Watros being here, what?, three-quarters of the way through the season?

I like Hurley. He's not really like any other character in primetime, and he's about the only person I'd actually want to be trapped on an island with. (Okay, maybe him and Mr. Eko, because he's cool... and Jack, in case we get sick, but he's not allowed to talk otherwise... and maybe Sun and Jin... and... nevermind.) Anyway, I'm always going to be inclined to like Hurley-centric episodes, and this was an improvement over the last one, which just retread ground from the lottery episode in season one. We finally know why he was institutionalized, they've made his lack of weight loss into something other than a running joke, and they did this without fucking up our image of the guy.

Meanwhile, Fake Henry implied that Zeke isn't really a big deal with The Others, and that nothing happens when the clock hits zero without the button push. Of course, he's been known to lie before -- as have the writers -- but the Zeke thing, if true, could support my theory that there's more than one group of Others. How freaking big is this island, anyway?

What did everybody else think?


Tosy And Cosh said...

Loved it. The Dave feint to hide the Libby reveal was well-executed--not to mention that for many viewers the twist probably WASN'T obvious from the get-go. I predicted Dave as imaginary from the basketball game, but I usually miss these things and AM surprised by them, only to get online the next day and read how obvious it was. I was particularly impressed by how they took what had been kind of an off-hand jokiness about Hurley's weight, and made it into a compelling pyschological piece of his character. The goldfish binging wasn't funny - it was painful, in the same way that seeing Charlie shoot up would be painful. Very well done.

Anonymous said...

If I were stuck on a deserted island, I'd want Evangeline Lilly. If Reese Witherspoon could get shipwrecked, too, at some point, I'd be ecstatic.

Seriously, I like how the creators are playing with the two big theories being batted around by fans: it's all in someone's head and they're in purgatory. Hopefully they'll knock both those theories down and keep people guessing.

Anonymous said...

"Dave" was my least favorite episode of the season. First, I think "double-feint" is giving the writers of this particular one too much credit. The primary thrust of the episode was the single-feint of Dave's imaginary status, which was transparently obvious from the get-go. I'm so used to this show being at least one step ahead of me that I initially assumed there was a deeper level to this plot device, but no, it was just that Dave was Hurley's imaginary shoulder-demon, as was apparent. I also felt like the show at one particular moment lamely tried to dangle the real possibility that all we've seen is taking place in Hurley's mind, but again, I had to say - no way.

The Libby twist at the end partly redeemed it. In fact I would say that it completely saved the Hurley/Libby 'ship from total absurdity. If the Libby of past episodes had fallen for Hurley, we would still be thinking of her as a genuine psych-doctor who Hurley had apparently met in the past yet without that connection being revealed... would a mysterious shrink reunite with Hurley, refuse to reveal how he knows her, but then also fall for him? Now that we know, however, that she was a fellow patient, I think it makes their connection on the island seem a good bit realer (and elegantly understated).

My feelings about Hurley are mixed. I do very much like the character, but he has truly become the island's Fat Guy, in terms of the role he plays -- the show has seen to it that his chief plotlines concern the food in the hatch and his addiction to same, when I think it would have worked out better if Hurley's weight was explained by merely a slow metabolism, like Libby posited, and spent his spotlight episodes making sure that his other positive qualities came to the fore. But I guess each character has their own fatal flaws that doom them in some way.

And as far as Hurley's psychological problems: his guilt over the deck accident makes sense, but I find it farfetched, even on this show, that a man like Hurley (who seems in charge of his faculties most of the time) could spend two months on a deserted island and yet still somehow convince himself it's all a hallucination. Having to scavenge and survive all that time would surely give one's brain a well-needed dose of objective reality. It might do other problematic things to one's psyche, but produce the symptoms we saw in "Dave"? I didn't buy it...

The final scene's Libby reveal plus the pivotal Fake Henry scenes make the episode worth slogging through. Fake Henry is either lying or he's not -- as usual, the show coyly plays his lines all Schroedinger-like. I read the statement about Mr. Friendly ('he's no one!') as possibly a frightened reversal to protect the truth, but again, it's all tidily ambiguous so no one can say.

Louis said...

I thought we were supposed to know, from the very beginning, that Dave was a figment of Hurley's imagination. Looking at it that way, I thought the episode was quite good. But if we were supposed to have been surprised by the "reveal," then it was pretty weak.