Tuesday, July 21, 2009

1:18 Numbers

This is such a fun episode, although the music totally freaks me out. Is it just me? It's not just the music, I find the creepiness level for the whole episode pretty high. But in a good way. It's surprising in retrospect that this is the first Hurley-centric episode, since at this point Kate, Sawyer and Jack have all already had two.

Sawyer is reading a new book now, A Wrinkle in Time (also one of my childhood favorites - I'm guessing the writers had the same elementary school/middle school reading lists I did.) This is one of the first clues to the time travel theme that later became so integral to the show. In the book, the main characters are children searching for their father, who has gotten lost during his experiments with time travel. It incorporates aspects of time-space theory and Christian philosophy.

Hurley's meeting with Leonard is one of the creepiest scenes:

HURLEY: Is that why you're here, Lenny? Is it because of the numbers? Did they do something to you? Because I think they did something to me. I think they turned me into a jinx -- bad news to everyone around me. And when I tell people I think I'm the cause they, they, they look at me like I'm nuts. They don't believe me. But I know, ever since I won the lottery with those numbers.

LENNY: You used those numbers to play the lottery?

HURLEY: Uh, -- yeah.

LENNY: Well, you shouldn't have done that. You've opened the box.

HURLEY: I what?

LENNY: Ah, you shouldn't have used those numbers.

HURLEY: Why not?

LENNY: It doesn't stop. You've got to get away from those numbers. You've got to get far, far away.

[Lenny is freaking out and an orderly comes over to calm him down.]

ORDERLY: Alright, hey, hold on. Lenny, Lenny. Calm down. Lenny.

LENNY: Do you hear? No, don't you understand? You've got to get away from it or it won't stop.

What does Lenny mean when he says Hurley "opened the box?" (It reminds me of the "magic box" Ben tells Locke about later.) And how is Hurley supposed to get away from the bad luck?

I love the final scene where Charlie tells Hurley about his drug addiction, and then doesn't believe Hurley when he tells him he's worth $156 million. So funny. And immediately after we get the chilling reveal that The Numbers are stamped on the side of the hatch.

There has been a lot of speculation among fans about the numbers, where they came from, what they mean. Some answers have been provided outside of the show itself. If you haven't heard this stuff, it's worth a read: (from Lostpedia)

It has been revealed in The Lost Experience that these six numbers are the core values of the Valenzetti Equation, a mathematical formula designed to predict the end of humanity. The numbers in actuality are said to represent human and environmental factors in the equation (given numerical form), though their precise meaning is uncertain. One purpose of the DHARMA Initiative was to change the factors leading to humanity's demise, which will be indicated by an alteration in at least one of the human/environmental factors - i.e. the numbers. However, in all its years of research, the Initiative failed to reach its goal. Despite much research and manipulation of the equation's values, the end result was always the numbers.

In an interview with E! in 2009, Damon stated the following in regards to the Numbers: "Here's the story with numbers. The Hanso Foundation that started the Dharma Initiative hired this guy Valenzetti to basically work on this equation to determine what was the probability of the world ending in the wake of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Valenzetti basically deduced that it was 100 percent within the next 27 years, so the Hanso Foundation started the Dharma Initiative in an effort to try to change the variables in the equation so that mankind wouldn't wipe it itself out."


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