Season 2 Episode 18


Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Apr 05, 2006 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (140)

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  • "You can't help me. No one can."

    This is a hard episode to review. A lot like the flashbacks in Hunting Party, the episode confuses me as to the point of it. It starts out looking like it'll be a character development episode, with a big change for Hurley at the end. However, about halfway through it looks like it's going to be an episode that exists to try and prove a fan theory wrong. There's a very elaborate setup as to how the show is a hallucination, and then that's deconstructed. That just doesn't add up to me.

    The main story, whatever the plot is supposed to be, focuses on Hurley. The teaser of the episode is really well done, however odd the rest of the episode may be. It starts out on a really high note for Hurley, with Libby encouraging him to destroy his stash of food once and for all. It's good that Libby is finally getting some screen time, as she's been nonexistent since arriving at the camp. Unfortunately, I think it's ridiculous that instead of Hurley giving the food to the other survivors, he simply pours it all on the ground. Yeah, there has just been a food drop, but Hurley doesn't know this, and gooping vast amounts of ranch dressing and ripping open bags of potato chips and "Dharma fish crackers" (I love the way the producers cheekily don't use the actual product name) is just irresponsible, when other people could use it. It makes for a good image, though, and a real fist-in-the-air moment for Hurley. The scenes around the pallet are great as well, especially Sawyer sarcastically taking out everyone around him-"Babynapper" is a great nickname for Charlie. Finally, Hurley takes off into the jungle after Dave, and ends up falling hilariously and getting his slipper. "Uh-oh" is a great way to end the sequence.

    After that, though, things start to become weird. Hurley alternates between wanting Libby's help and then pushing her away, and the scene when he says he's going to live naked at the caves just comes out of nowhere and is quite odd, especially considering that all he's taking with him is peanut butter. There are a number of chase scenes with Dave, that don't really serve any purpose other than to provide some jokes. Charlie's "polar bear on roller blades with a mango" line is hilarious, though. On a side note, Charlie deciding to help Eko with his mysterious project is a nice gesture, and it helps to bring Charlie back into the audience's favor. After kidnapping Sun, Charlie hasn't really been a bad person at all, despite his actions before. Anyway, back to Hurley. After this sequence, Hurley gets into a fight with Sawyer. Once again, the scene is pretty hilarious (my favorite moment is when Hurley describes Dave and then Sawyer says, "Like that guy there?" with a completely straight face), but it doesn't have any point in the storyline. Jin's face while watching Hurley beat up Sawyer is great, and Sawyer asking Kate if she has an adventure to get to is fun, but it really just seems like filler to me.

    When Hurley finally meets with Dave and they have their conversation, it seems like the episode has finally figured out what it wants to do-explain why the show is ridiculous, and then explain why it's not. At least, that's what I get out of it. Dave uses criticisms that a lot of non-fans actually use for the show, like Hurley not losing weight, Libby falling for him, etc. Then, after convincing Hurley everything's in his head, Libby shows up and talks to Hurley, and convinces him everything isn't in his head. Aside from the fact that these scenes directly contradict each other, which is their intent, I can't help but wonder why the producers felt they needed to explain how the show isn't a hallucination, which is clearly what they were doing. As much as Hurley's character is changed by what happens to him, most of the story is pretty much unnecessary to the ongoing plot. Once again, it just seems to me that the writers are trying to pander to the stupidest viewers of the show by saying, "See, I know you can't follow what's going on and don't want to watch the show anymore because you think there's going to be a cop-out ending, but we promise there won't be!" It's like how they tried to explain why Hurley isn't slim as a willow, or how they are currently about to come up with a way to explain why Walt is taller than he was in Season 1, when the actor obviously aged. As I said in a previous review, if you can't separate yourself from the show enough to understand why these things are, you have a serious problem.

    The flashbacks are a completely different animal than the main story, and the only link between them is Dave. Before I start, though, I'd like to say that I think Evan Handler does a terrific job as Dave, and is wonderful in every scene he's in. However, the flashbacks seem to be explaining another two or three things. They answer why Hurley's in a mental institution, what's up with his fear of change, why he's still heavy, and probably a ton of other things I haven't figured out yet. Dave is trying to make Hurley eat more, and rebel against what Dr. Brooks is telling Hurley he should be doing. When the doctor proves to Hurley that Dave is imaginary though, Hurley chooses the straight and narrow, while Dave disappears. The scene when Dr. Brooks talks about the deck accident is amazingly played by Jorge Garcia, who proves he's not just a comic actor. His pained expression during the whole scene is heartbreaking, and his acting at the cliff on the island isn't too bad either (On the comic side of things, I love the way he continually sprays food out of his mouth while shouting "You're not here!" again and again to Dave). Aside from that scene, though, the flashbacks just confuse me, because I can never figure out exactly what they're trying to do, aside from make jokes about Leonard calling people "23s". Libby's flashback, at the very end of the episode (which is paired with excellent music), is a different story, and opens up a whole new window on this character-she's a shrink, but was in a mental institution?

    The hatch storyline is the money one. Sayid and Ana-Lucia have completely switched their positions on the Henry, or should I say Fenry (Fake Henry) issue. Instead of Ana whipping out the gun and shooting the place up every time she gets angry, it's Sayid who can't handle Fenry's lies and almost kills him. Michael Emerson's performance during that scene is absolutely perfect, with the way he continually has to pull out of his web of lies every time Sayid exposes him. His sheer terror when the gun is pointed at him is also excellent, and the way he half yells/ half sobs "I'm not a bad person!" is great. When he says that he and "Zeke" are nobodies in Other land is cool as well, although he's most likely lying about this. The scenes between Fenry and Locke are great, and really further the deterioration of Locke's faith. Locke's lost the use of one of his legs, which the island granted to him in exchange for his faith. Now, his faith is hanging by a thread, and so is his ability to walk. Fenry furthers the problem by telling Locke that the button that he's been pushing every 108 minutes for the last two weeks is a sham. It's the one thing that Locke has feared, that's been eating at him, and when Fenry says that his fears are true, it hits him hard. Terry O'Quinn's quietly controlled terror and rage during the scene is great, and Michael Emerson's "No, I'm done lying" is the icing on the cake.

    The second season of the show thus far has had story problems, and no matter how hard you defend the season you can't say they don't exist. Most of the episodes have problems because of the flashback format. This automatically makes one or two characters the leads in the episode, and coming up with a main story for them can be difficult. Side characters like Charlie, Hurley and Claire, who haven't really had a role in the ongoing plots, suddenly have to sustain an episode, and to be frank, they can't do it. There wasn't a problem in Season 1 because most of the flashbacks were just as important as the island plot, and all of the characters flitted in and out of the ongoing storyline perfectly. Season 2 focuses much more on themes between characters-Kate's doting between Jack and Sawyer, Locke's faith crisis, Charlie's humiliation, and individual relationships between characters. Last season the plot was fairly linear-things were discovered, and all of them were important to what was happening. Here, there is a clear ongoing plot in the hatch, but it really only involves five or six characters, and all the others just have to fit into that. Therefore, this episode, along with many others, doesn't sustain any real meaning when you look at it at the end of the season, because the main story fails, put simply, to do anything.
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