I’m really starting to appreciate the character of Hugo Reyes in the T.V. show Lost. If you don’t watch the show or don’t know anything about the last 5 seasons then you might just want to move along.
Hugo used to just flat-out annoy me. He’s was always kind of the bumbling idiot who just seemed to mess up everything the more important characters were doing. He was a kind of comedic relief but back when you just wanted the passengers of flight Oceanic 815 to get off the island he seemed to simply be a fleshy stumbling block. He was the bull in the china shop and if good things happened around him it was usually because of pure luck or other peoples’ influence. Kind of like how Darkwing Duck used to solve crimes.
However, lately I’ve come to really enjoy his character. He seems to be more instrumental to the lost cast in that he can communicate and pass on messages from people who are dead. But more importantly he brings to the survivors a sense of innocence. Have you noticed that characters who were once scared plane crash victims are now experts at espionage, tracking, hunting, shooting guns, and generally pissing one another off? I mean, in season one everyone was more or less morally sound..killing someone was horrible and the kind of thing the wacky “others” would do. Now everyone has a gun and while they might not meet their mark, they aren’t afraid to open fire. Everyone, except for Hugo – he remains unchanged by the harsh life of the Island and still just wants people to be helped and happy and doesn’t like the idea of lying, double-crossing, killing, or secret plans.
I remember the episode where Sayid is shot by Napoleon Dynamite’s uncle Rico (Ben’s dad) and Jack just opens fire on him and the other security – effectively innocent people who believe they are under attack! I was like WOAH!!! This is not the old Jack Shepherd.
Then there’s Hugo’s specific dialog and I think this is where I’m really starting to like the character. I believe that Hugo personifies the thoughts and concerns of the viewer. He never really seems to know what’s going on but is along for the ride regardless. He’s passionate about the things happening on the island even he can’t control any of them. And I can always count on him to ask the questions that are swimming around in my own head. When something in the show seems ridiculous he’ll be first person to come out and say…”and why are there POLAR BEARS” and “didn’t we blow up the hatch?!” and “what if we time traveled back to the dinosaur age and then died and these corpses are really our bodies.” It’s perfect because those are the same questions hovering around the water cooler on Wednesday mornings.
So thank you J.J. Abrams for Hugo. Thank you for acknowledging the way viewers scratch their heads at the weird stuff in your amazing show. Thank you for letting those concerns come out in the funny one liners via the only character who doesn’t take his own silly experience on the island so seriously. If it wasn’t for Hugo, our heads might explode.