Early in the shows run, it seemed that Hurley is closer to the 'Everyman' member of the shows ensemble, the normal guy who seems to have a better step in the real world, like Xander in Buffy or Marshall in Alias. Of course, this being Lost, the everyman's a multimillionaire cursed with incredibly bad luck who spent some time in an institution, but still that's a pretty good read on him. Now that the shows gone by, I can't help but wonder is Hugo carrying some psychic gene in him as well.
Consider the opening dream sequence of 'Everybody Hates Hugo', where he dreams the real world with Jin speaking English with a bruise from where he got hurt on the other side of the island and Walt on the side of a milk cart., both events he has no way of knowing about. Considering what has happened to Hurley in later seasons, is it possible that he has some latent psychic gift that the island has given him? I'm not ruling out, even though I have no evidence.
In the meantime, Hurley has been given a responsibility that he didn't ask for and, frankly, one that I question Jack for putting him charge of in the first place--- the food storage area. Hurley is faced with a windfall of food, and he is worried about what will happen when the others find this embarrassment of riches. We get a sense of what might happen when Charlie, Hurley's closest friend on the island, first learns about what's in the hatch. He presses Hurley repeatedly, and when he asked for a special favor--- peanut butter for Claire--- and doesn't get it, he takes a dim view of Hurley for being 'the man'. Normally, we would think this was mean of Charlie, but it has a special kind of resonance for Hugo. His flashback takes place in the hours immediately after he won the lottery. Turns out he was wary about the problems the money would bring before he thought it was cursed. Pre lotto, Hugo was a regularly guy who worked at a fast food place with his friend Johnny, and hung out a record store where he yearned for a woman he never had the nerve to ask out. The money did give him a sense of confidence--- he basically told his overbearing boss where to get off, asked the girl on a date, and performed an act of malfeasance on his ex-boss' lawn--- but even then, it's clear he was petrified of what would happen when he stopped being normal. (By the way, you might not have noticed, but Hurley's boss as the chicken shack would later be Locke's boss at the box factory. Which begs the question, if Hurley really hated this guy, why'd he hire him to work at one of his companies? This is one mystery we may never get to the bottom of.) The look of dismay on Johnny's face when he learns what his best friend has been holding out on speaks louder than any remark could about how right Hurley was.
So now Hurley's placed in a similar situation when Jack puts him in charge, and just like Sayid being forced to torture again or Michael losing Walt, he is afraid history will repeat itself. But his 'solution' is so extreme, we wonder if Hurley really was all there when he got let out of the psych ward. First of all, I don't buy that sacredly little Hurley would have had the time or inclination to get the dynamite out of the ship. Second, his decision to blow the place up in order to make sure that no one hated him would definitely not work--- I think Jack and Locke and all the others would be pissed to find out that they lost a working shower, a washer dryer, and guns because Hurley was a little scared. Furthermore, when he makes his actual solution--- just giving the food away because there is only enough to last one guy three months.--- it doesn't seem real either. If Desmond was really in that bunker for three years there would have to had been a lot more food for he and Kelvin to have survived as long as they did. Finally, it later turns out this distribution is just another fraud, though we won't learn this for another several episodes.
Meanwhile, the fate of the rafties is no longer a secret as Claire discovers the message bottle that was in it. She then talks it over with Shannon, who decides to make the ultimate decision up to Sun for some reason. Considering that she had the most at stake in regard to the raft, it's hard to imagine that either of these women could be more insensitive. Yes, we know Jin's alive, but to Sun, this leads her to think she'll never see her husband again. However, like Locke, she knows the most important thing on this island is hope and refuses to take that away from anyone.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the island, Michael, Jin and Sawyer (who seems to be weakening from the wound he took) find that they are not the prisoners of the Others, but rather another group of survivors--- the group that was referred to as 'the tailies'. Turns out they had a very good reason for taking the rafties prisoners: At one point they numbered 23, but 'the Others' have been frequent visitors, and now there are only five of them remaining. These people are scared, cold and really worn out, though we won't learn the full depths of their suffering until a few episodes later.
Ana Lucia appears to be the de facto leader. She hard core and almost over-the top offensive, and a lot of fans did not like her, though I can understand why she's as stressed as they can be. Eko, the man who attacked them and put them in a cage is quiet and mysterious, Libby (who we see for the first time) seems quiet and kind. But even though he won't become a regular, the final survivor is the one who has the most effect: it's Bernard. Yes, Rose's husband, the one that was missing since the Pilot and who Rose has never given up on still being alive. Rose makes an appearance of her own in this episode, doing the wash, and providing an ear to Hurley, which makes a seemingly insignificant event near the end--- where Rose saves the chocolate bar to share with her husband--- all the more moving. We don't get a lot of pleasant surprises on Lost, and knowing that these two will be reunited in the not-too-distant future, that'll bring a lump to your throat. 'Everybody Hates Hugo' isn't as strong an episode as some of the others one, mainly because the main story isn't as strong as the others, . But it's a pretty funny piece, and it has some truly emotional moments that we don't get often. We're still not sure what's going on in the hatch, and we don't know the story behind the Others actions, but it seems that we're getting somewhere.
My score: 8.5