Sunday, April 19, 2020

LOST: It Wasn't Purgatory: Episode 18, Numbers

Events: Under the guise of procuring batteries for a signal for the raft, Hurley treks into the jungle to search for Rousseau against Jack and Sayid's protests. After flashbacks show Hurley winning a huge jackpot using the numbers 4 8 15 16 23 42 (which were also written in Rousseau's notes) and several instances of bad luck afterward, it becomes clear that Hurley isn't just seeking batteries, he's more concerned about speaking to Rousseau about the numbers. Sayid, Jack, and Charlie reluctantly follow. After avoiding several traps, a rickety bridge, and Rousseau's own gunshots, Hurley learns that the numbers had been a curse for her as well. He hugs Rousseau in gratitude and returns to the group with the battery they needed.

Greater Meaning: As with the island monster, the numbers are not defined in any concrete way. Are they a real threat or just some sort of misunderstanding that only applies to Hurley? Rousseau agreeing that the numbers are cursed validates it all somewhat, but several others have been "involved" with these numbers: Sam Toomey (and his wife), Hurley's friend Leonard, and whoever it was on the island who recited them for the radio transmission and carved them on the side of the hatch in the jungle. When Sam Toomey and Leonard were stationed in the South Pacific, they heard the numbers over a radio transmission; might it have been the same transmission Rousseau and her team heard, given they were also in the South Pacific?

Similar to what's been shown in the last few episodes, "Numbers," seems to be concentrating less on explaining things and more on paving the way for more mystery both in the here-and-now island events and how the characters' pasts are shaping those events. How coincidental that Sawyer and Christian Shephard had met before, that the lottery numbers should appear several times on the island the survivors crashed onto, and that Hurley should have such confidence in dealing with Rousseau and the island itself. Is it all destiny, as we've heard Locke speak about or just happenstance? Hurley somehow ends up running directly toward Rousseau as she's actively shooting at him in the jungle, gets what he needs and is allowed to carry on his way back. Despite sarcastically referring to himself as "good old fun-time Hurley," he is proving to be quite empathetic, motivated, and skilled in island

Further Questions: 

1. Where did Rousseau go after talking with Hurley?
2. Are the numbers really cursed?
3. Where did the number come from?
4. Is there someone else on the island who knows about the numbers?
5. Will Rousseau become friendly with the survivors now?
6. Does Hurley have special knowledge on the island like Locke?