'Lost': Hugo is an OK guy

Lost0228bigLet's make a pact, you and me and all the other Lost watchers out there. Let's agree, from now on, just to ignore ABC Promo Voiceover Guy for the rest of however long the show's on the air. Because he does a disservice to the show with his overzealous intonations.

See, I really rather enjoyed Wednesday's Hurley-focused episode. But I kept hearing Promo Guy's voice in the back of my mind, telling me that this was an episode everyone was going to be talking about tomorrow, and I don't think everyone will be. (My colleague Alan Sepinwall is bothered too, and gets the skinny from ABC.)

But since I'm choosing to ignore Promo Guy, I'm just going to focus on the show itself. Which, again, I rather liked.

After nine episodes that were almost all downbeat, it was nice to see the show lighten up a little, as is often the case when Jorge Garcia is front and center. His seemingly quixotic effort to get an old VW Microbus (property of the Dharma Initiative) upright and running seemed to have a positive effect on several of his fellow castaways -- he got Charlie to quit moping about his possibly imminent death, Sawyer to cheer up after his latest little psychodrama with Kate (or maybe that was just the beer, but still), and Jin to have more than a few seconds of screen time.

Did we learn much new about Hurley from the flashbacks, save that he was skinny till his dad (the well-stunt-cast Cheech Marin) left home and that a meteor destroyed the Mr. Cluck where he once worked? Not really, save that he's also a member of the Lost Daddy Issues Club, joining Jack, Kate, Locke, Sawyer and Sun. Jin (daddy-in-law issues), Claire (babydaddy issues) and Desmond (would-be daddy-in-law issues) are adjunct members.

In both the Hurley story and the B-plot involving Kate, though, there was at least a little indication that the islanders, you know, talk to each other about stuff. She summarized the events on Alcatraz for Sayid and Locke, Charlie told Hurley about Desmond's premonitions, Locke shared his Eko's walking stick-based calculations (the look on Sayid's face as he relayed this bit of info to Kate was pretty priceless). And, probably most important, Kate shared with Rousseau her belief that the Frenchwoman's daughter is alive and living among the Others.

Well done, islanders -- keep up the chatter.

Tonight, though, was all about Hurley and the joy he spread. Some of the better moments:

  • "'Crafty.' It's like, when you're good at ... crafts."
  • Sawyer's English lesson to Jin, consisting of "the only things a woman ever needs to hear": "I'm sorry," "You were right" and "Those pants don't make you look fat."
  • Hurley's pep talk to Charlie (across America, people cheered when he slapped the mopey musician across the face): "Let's look death in the face and say, 'Whatever, man.'"
  • Hurley: "You're gonna help us fix it." Sawyer: "Why the hell would I do that?" Hurley: "'Cause there's beer."

Now, presumably the castaways could put the vehicle to some use beyond Hugo's redemption -- or at least study the map they found inside. And if there's a car, it would stand to reason that Dharma has a stash of gas somewhere. I'm thinking that might be handy as well. Those, though, are issues for another time. Tonight, I'm sticking to my happy place.

What about you? Happy to see Lost lighten up a little? And can we all agree to ignore Voiceover Guy?