Episode #2.18, "Dave"
Written by Adam Horowitz & Edward Kitsis
Directed by Jack Bender
Guest Stars: Bruce Davison (Dr. Brooks), Michael Emerson (Henry Gale), Evan Handler (Dave).
Air Date: April 5, 2006
After a jog along the beach, Hurley confesses to Libby about his secret pantry in the jungle and she convinces him to pour the ranch dressing upon the rocks and cast the vanilla wafers unto the wind. Immediately after that, however, they discover the Dharma food drop that Sayid, Ana and Charlie stumbled upon, and Hurley snaps, seeing a bald guy in a robe (Handler) walking among the survivors.
A flashback shows Hurley in a sanitarium—along with Leonard, the number-spouter who gave Hurley his winning lottery digits—and the bald guy, Dave. (Kudos to the writers on the episode title, by the way; it joins the ranks of eternally interesting titles such as A Clockwork Orange, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Snakes on a Plane.) Dave is a bit of a rebel and wiseass, but mostly an enabler for Hurley’s unrestrained eating habits. But it becomes rather obvious that Dave is not a real patient when Dr. Brooks (Davison, X-Men, Harry and the Hendersons) takes a picture of them. Sure enough, Dr. Brooks shows the photo to Hurley and the big guy sees that he is all alone in the Polaroid, his arm clutching nothing but air.
Now, I know this is only an hour show and Hurley is far from the main character, but the five minute scene where Hurley realizes Dave is not real and breaks down about why he’s in the sanitarium (pushed the limits of an over-crowded porch, the ensuing collapse killing two people) was a little too concise for me. Guilt and self-hatred combine and focus their energies on Hurley’s girth, which only exacerbate his condition. This is a logical response to the porch accident, but creating an imaginary enabler is not. His mental state was far more unstable than those five minutes allude. Also, would someone who imagines seeing, hearing and even feeling an imaginary person be convinced by a picture? Why wouldn’t his mind just insert Dave into the photograph? I hope future instances of Hollywood psychiatry on this show are more…sedate.
After Hurley exorcises Dave during an attempted escape (the part where Dave suggests Hurley grab some lasagna for the road was priceless), he supposedly has a breakthrough with Dr. Brooks that leads to his release. But Dave reappears on the island and attempts to convince Hurley that he’s still at the sanitarium, stuck in a coma where everything after the botched escape was a fantasy created inside Hurley’s head. Hurley wins the lottery—with Leonard’s numbers, gets stranded on a desert island, falls in love with a beautiful woman…none of this would happen in real life, Dave says. I have to tell you, he half convinced me. But Dave has been promoted from binge-enabler to suicide-instigator as he tries to convince Hurley that throwing himself off a cliff is the only way to wake up from his coma. Hurley jumps and crashes on the rocks, wakes up in the hospital with his mother and Dr. Brooks looking on. The credits roll. Lost had a good run, I can’t believe it ended this way.
Okay, not really. That is a candidate for Worst Ending Ever, however. The leader at this point is “They’re All in Hell,” but watch out for dark horse “They’re on an Alien Ship." Cast your vote at wvvw.howcanlostpossiblyendwithoutpissingoffamajorityofitsviewers.com and enter to win a free t-shirt signed by the cast!
Meanwhile, “Henry Gale” (Emerson) admits he is not Henry Gale, but claims to be a member of a search party looking for him. Gale was dead with a broken neck, “Gale” says, when he found him. A note that the real Gale left to his wife disproves this, however, so the interrogators are back where they started. Locke gets a moment alone with “Gale,” however, and a little more comes to the surface. He tells Locke that during the lockdown (I didn’t review that episode, but I have to point out the absurdity of having blast doors protect/contain the living quarters of the hatch if you can shimmy out through the ventilation system), he didn’t enter the numbers into the computer. The timer, he claims, got down to zero, changed to hieroglyphics, a magnetic hum started up, and then the timer reset to 108 minutes. He also admits to an association with the Others, letting out that there is someone in charge above the bearded one. It’s not clear what that association is, though. Is he an Other or a regular person currently or formerly under their control?
The final scene shows Hurley back at the sanitarium having his picture taken—alone—and a narcotized Libby looking on. This scene serves two purposes: 1) shows that Dave really was imaginary so the denser, detail-obsessed Lost fans don’t assume the Identity plot Dave put forth is real and 2) shows that Libby has some connection—perhaps only ephemeral and subconscious—to Hurley, partly explaining why she is drawn to him. Sorry fat guys.
Matt Baker feels at home in hotel lobbies.