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Lost: Hurley

January 10, 2009

(Indulge me. As we near the Season 5 premiere of Lost, I’m going to run through the current crop of main characters. There are spoilers.)

His name is Hugo Reyes, but he’s known as Hurley for reasons that have never been explained. He’s the island’s go-to goofball, an amiable, shambling mess of a man who hides a big secret: back home, he’s the winner of a massive lottery jackpot and one of the richest men in America.

He’s also mentally ill, but armed with a huge heart and a galloping sense of humour. Jorge Garcia, the first actor cast on Lost, has turned Hurley from comic relief to the emotional heart of the castaways, the common sense, the conscience, the fear and the courage all in one.

Other actors get attention at awards time, but I still hold that Garcia’s performances in Season 4 — from the premiere, when he had to tell Claire Charlie was gone, to the flash-forwards that found him back in the U.S., in a mental hospital — were perfect and spot-on. He rivals Michael Emerson as the show’s best actor.

Highlights:

  • Sawyer finding his stash of Dharma ranch dressing
  • His line at the Oceanic 6 press conference: “Uh, was that question for me, dude?”
  • His surprise ping-pong mastery.
  • Deducing that Ethan wasn’t on the plane.
  • “Dude, you got some Arzt on you.”
  • Saving the day on the beach when the Others were holding hostages, roaring forth in the old Dharma minibus … Hurley, action hero? Hells, yeah!

Really, there are too many highlights to list for this guy. Basically, if he’s on screen, Lost is firing on all cylinders.

Problems:

  • The numbers. The numbers were such a huge part of Hurley’s story, then they just disappeared. It reeks of the producers running out of ideas.
  • His relationship with Libby was just never plausible. I can’t put my finger on why, but it just didn’t make sense — unless Libby had ulterior motives. Ah, we’ll never know. Or maybe we will.
  • Why the hell did he go with Locke in Season 4? Why? It made zero sense.

My favourite thing about Jorge Garcia is his constant presence online, including forums, MySpace and Lost podcasts. He loves to mingle with fans; that’s extremely cool.

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