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The West Wing
NUMBERS, Lost Season 1 Episode 18, Best of the iconic TV series
When Hurley becomes obsessed with the French woman and heads into the jungle to find her, Jack, Sayid and Charlie have no choice but to follow. Meanwhile, Locke asks Claire to help build a mysterious item
This is one of the strongest episodes of the show's first season, when we begin to very strongly tie in a mystery that will last through the end of the show. Meanwhile, we begin to answer the question that has only been hinted at so far.in episode 18, 'Numbers', the question becomes not 'Are all of these people here for a reason?' but 'WHAT force brought all of these people here?'
First off, we do NOT open on an eye. Woah. Way to throw the viewers off.
This is a Hurley story, finally. And it's a good one. The episode begins with what is now a fairly regular scene. Hurley helps Jin and Michael on the raft. Michael explains that there are guards, 24/7, keeping watch to prevent further vandalism. He asks Jack about the possibility of an SOS or distress signal, and Hurley reminds them Sayid saw batteries when he was held captive by Danielle, the elusive French woman.t.
But Sayid refuses to try to find her, much less allow anybody else to look. He claims he remembers nothing, his head couldn't be trusted. He pulls out the maps he stole from her, angry that he still can't make sense of them.
Hurley stares intently at a sheet of paper stolen from Danielle… we finally get a look. The page is filled with the repeated numbers: 4 8 15 16 23 42.
We flashback to Hurley, overweight and unhappy living at his mother's house, staying in on a normal night – normal, until he watches the same six numbers called on the lottery drawing. The ticket in his hand matches the numbers. He has won a record jackpot.
On the island, Hurley asks Sayid about the numbers. Sayid thought they might be coordinates, but nothing ever panned out.
We flash back to a gaggle of news crews interviewing the Reyes family about Hurley's win. They are overjoyed until the first event in a very long streak of bad luck hits – Hurley's favorite relative, Grandpa Tito, keels over – dead, of a heart attack.
Charlie stumbles upon Hurley gearing up for a trek and asks to come along. Hurley is oddly defensive and insists on going alone.
Locke asks a very pregnant Claire to help him with a building project. She is reluctant at first, then thankful for something to do.
Sayid accuses Jack of sending Hurley to steal his maps, but Jack knows nothing about it. Charlie overhears them and explains his odd exchange with Hurley earlier – they realize Hurley is after Danielle for some reason, and set off to follow him.
Hurley and his mother, back in California, don't appear happy despite 'living it up.' As Hurley drives her to her brand new house in his Hummer, he admits he believes the lottery money is cursed: Tito died, the priest at his funeral was struck by lightening, and his relative Diego's wife left him. Hurley's mother reminds him they are Catholic and don't believe in curses. She immediately steps out of the car and breaks her ankle just as Hurley sees the new house burning down – and cops surround and arrest him, mistaking him for a drug dealer.
The money continues to grow as Hurley's stocks increase – and we learn he is actually a majority shareholder in the box company where Locke used to work! His accountant tells him some bad news: one of the companies he had stock in burned down, killing 8 workers – but the good news is that he'll make a ton of dough from the insurance! Hurley realizes it is not the money, but the NUMBERS that are cursed. His accountant rolls his eyes… just as a man goes flying past his window. Splat.
On the beach, Hurley finds the same wire that lead Sayid to Danielle and follows it. Sayid, Jack and Charlie come upon him just as he steps on a pressure trigger connected to a woman-made smashing device. Knowing what we know about Hurley's luck, it's an intense moment – but Hurley is able to jump out of the way in time. He's pretty agile for a big guy.
The 'rescue' crew demands to know what Hurley is after. He hardly makes an effort in his lie that he just wants the batteries. Sayid takes the lead.
We flash back to Hurley desperately seeking a man named Lenny at a hospital. Finally, he finds a doctor who knows Hurley personally.
And then we realize, WE ARE IN A PSYCHIACTRIC HOSPITAL. A hospital where Hurley clearly has spent some time in the past. He speaks to a far-gone patient, Lenny, who says nothing but repeats the numbers, over and over: '4 8 15 16 23 42…' Hurley wants to know where he got the numbers, and explains he used them to win the lottery. That stops Lenny's muttering. He goes wild. As the doctors drag him away, he says he got the numbers from a Sam Toomey in a place called Kalgoorlie. Ah yes, Australia – now we know how Hurley ended up there!
Hurley and Charlie get separated from Jack and Sayid, and Hurley refuses to wait for them. Charlie jumps down his throat for acting so careless lately.
Hurley finds Sam Toomey's house in the middle of nowhere, Australia, but no Sam – only his wife. She explains how Sam heard the numbers while he was on duty with Lenny, serving in the Army at a listening station. They used the numbers to win a bean-counting contest and incurred the same string of bad luck. Sam finally ended it all by shooting himself in the head. But the wife believes you make your own luck; bad things happen. Numbers are not cursed.
Just as Sayid recognizes part of the jungle, Jack steps on an explosive. They are unharmed, but Danielle rigged her old bungalow and abandoned it, leaving nothing but Sayid's old photo of Nadia.
Charlie calls Hurley a 'nutter,' and that's the last straw – 'Don't call me crazy!' Charlie wants an explanation, but before he gets it, somebody opens fire on them. They take off.
And Hurley runs right into Danielle. He demands to know about the numbers. She lowers the gun.
The numbers brought her to the island, too. When she and her crew were on their ship, they heard the same transmission we presume Sam heard. They changed course and were shipwrecked. They found the radio tower near something called 'the black rock,' and, after her team died of 'the sickness,' Danielle changed the transmission to the one the castaways heard back in episode 2 of the season.
Danielle believes Hurley is right about the numbers being cursed. It turns out that's all he really needed to hear. He engulfs her in a big bear hug.
He returns to his party with a battery and hands it to Sayid. 'She says ‘Hey'' he adds nonchalantly, walking off.
Now we get the reveal of what Locke has been building with Claire – a baby cradle, for her birthday. Once again establishing himself as the man of faith, he tells Claire, 'I believe in a lot of things.'
Charlie tells Hurley he was a junkie. You make your own bad luck. Does he think Charlie's addiction was his fault? Was it the numbers? No. Hurley tells Charlie about winning the lottery – which Charlie doesn't believe, not one bit.
But wait – this isn't the last we'll hear about those numbers. In fact, the mystery is just beginning…
As we return to Locke and Boone's mystery-hatch, we pan down and see, chiseled into the concrete long ago, the numbers: 4 8 15 16 23 42.