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"Numbers"
Season
Episode

1
18
Airdate
2 March 2005
Running time
43:19
Production code
{{{pc}}}
Flashback
Flashforward
{{{flashforward}}}
Flashsideways
{{{flashsideways}}}
Centric character(s)
{{{centric}}}
Day(s)
Written by
Directed by

Episode transcript
[[{{{transcript2}}}|Part Two]]

[[{{{audiotranscript}}}|Commentary transcript]]


"Numbers" is the eighteenth episode of Season 1 of Lost. When Hurley sees the Numbers on Rousseau's maps and notes, he remembers them from his past, prompting him to head into the jungle after the French woman. Elsewhere, Locke asks for Claire's help in building something. Flashbacks in this episode feature Hurley's quest for the source of the cursed "Numbers" after winning the lottery with the numbers in question.

Contents

Synopsis

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Previously on Lost

Flashbacks

Hurley realizes that he has won the lottery

At his home, Hurley watches TV, and while arguing with his mom about his life, he discovers to his astonishment that he has won the lottery with the numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, and 42. The next moment, Hurley faints.

After winning, Hurley speaks to the press at his house. When asked how he thought of these six numbers, he claims that the Numbers "sort of came to me." During the press conference, as Hurley reveals he is going to give some of the money to his hard-working Grandpa Tito, the elder man suffers a heart attack and dies.

More bad luck befalls Hurley over the next several days. His brother's girlfriend leaves him for another lady, and at Tito's funeral, Father Aguillar was struck by lightning. He tells his mother he thinks the money is cursed, but his mom ignores him, saying they are Catholic, and they do not believe in curses. Hurley buys his mom a new house, and when he takes her to see it, Carmen breaks her ankle and the new house catches on fire. The next moment, the police show up and arrest Hurley, believing him to be a drug dealer.

Hurley discusses his financial interests

Later, in his financial adviser Ken Halperin's office, he tells Hurley that every one of his stocks are up, his interest in orange futures skyrocketed after tropical storms hit Florida, he is now majority shareholder of a box company in Tustin, and his sneaker company in Canada, which was destroyed in a fire where eight people died, was over-insured and would yield him a windfall of cash. Plus, Hurley got a financial settlement stemming from his false arrest by the LAPD. After hearing about more bad things happening associated with his lottery winnings, Hurley comes to the conclusion that it is not the money that is cursed, but the numbers. As Ken is assuring Hurley that there is no such thing as a curse, a man falls past the window behind him.

Hurley visits the Santa Rosa Mental Health Institute, where he asked to see someone named Leonard. Leonard is a former U.S. Naval officer Hurley met while both were patients at SRMHI. Leonard keeps repeating the numbers over and over, and when Hurley tells him he used these numbers to win the lottery, Leonard becomes hysterical, screaming Hurley had "opened the box" and he must get away from those numbers or it "won't stop." As the workers in the institute grab Leonard and drag him out of the room, he tells Hurley that he heard the numbers from Sam Toomey, who had heard them in Kalgoorlie, Australia.

In Australia, Hurley is told by Toomey's wife, Martha, that Leonard and Sam Toomey had heard the Numbers "about 16 years ago" repeatedly through a looping radio broadcast while they were stationed at a listening post to monitor the Pacific. Just like Hurley, Sam used the Numbers, and met with similar bad luck. As a result, Sam likewise came to believe the Numbers were cursed, and eventually shot himself. Martha confidently says that she believes the Numbers are not cursed.

On the Island

The Numbers on one of Rousseau's notes

While building the raft, Michael comes up with the idea to build a distress beacon. Jack and Hurley come to Sayid to ask for his help in building the beacon and in finding the way to Rousseau's camp so they could get a new battery. Sayid tries to discourage them, saying that Rousseau is crazy and the maps he stole from her are useless. Hurley notices one of Rousseau's maps, where she had written the six numbers that changed Hurley's life.

Hurley wakes Sayid up in the middle of the night, asking him if he and Shannon figured out the meaning of the Numbers Rousseau wrote. Sayid says he thought it might be coordinates of some kind. Hurley also asks him about the cable Sayid found, and wonders if her camp is close. When Sayid becomes suspicious, Hurley says goodnight and goes back to his tent.

In the caves, Hurley packs his backpack with water bottles. Charlie arrives, asking Hurley what is he doing, and Hurley claims he is going to find some new fishing areas. Charlie suggests he will join him, but Hurley says he could use some time alone. Suddenly the four water bottles fall from Hurley's bag, and as Charlie looks at him, Hurley says he's a big guy and he gets dehydrated easily.

Locke asks Claire for some help

Back at camp, Locke enlists the help of Claire with a project he is working on. She says she will probably not be able to be of much help, as she is almost nine months pregnant, but Locke claims she is perfect for the job. Meanwhile, Sayid finds out that someone stole Rousseau's papers, and confronts Jack, accusing him of making Hurley do his dirty work. Jack claims he does not know what Sayid is talking about, and asks Charlie if he saw Hurley. Charlie says he did, a couple of hours ago, and that he acted very weird. Sayid understands that Hurley went after Rousseau.

Hurley finds the cable and follows it until he steps on a pressure trigger, which is a part of one of Rousseau's traps, just as Sayid, Jack, and Charlie catch up with him. If Hurley moves, a large trap with sharp sticks will be released. Hurley says, "I'm telling you I can make it! I'm spry!" The others try to talk him out of it. He makes his decision, and jumps. The trap misses him. When they ask him what he is doing, he claims he is going after her so he could get a battery. Sayid suggests he will take the lead.

Hurley manages to cross the rope bridge, despite the group's warnings

The search party reaches a rope bridge. After Hurley crosses it successfully, Charlie gives it a try. Along the way, the bridge breaks apart, but Charlie makes it across, leaving Sayid and Jack on the other side. They tell Charlie and Hurley to stay where they are, but Hurley is determined to continue the search. Charlie shouts at him, saying they should listen to them, claiming Hurley is acting like "a bloody lunatic."

Back at camp, Claire is still helping Locke build a mysterious object. The two discuss Claire's memory and Locke's special abilities of survival. He also asks if she already has a name for her unborn child. Claire says she hadn't really thought about it, and reveals she was going to give it up for adoption. Claire also reveals to Locke that it is her birthday. Locke then turns the completed object over, revealing it as a cradle for when the baby is born - a birthday gift.

Meanwhile, Jack and Sayid find Rousseau's camp. Jack accidentally hits a trip wire, and the whole camp explodes. They cannot find the batteries Rousseau had, and Sayid comes to the conclusion that she knew one day Sayid would come back, so she abandoned the camp and booby-trapped it to harm him.

Rousseau holds Hurley at gunpoint

Elsewhere in the jungle, Charlie demands that Hurley tells him why they are looking for the French woman, and he knows it has nothing to do with batteries. When Hurley is about to reveal his secret, gunshots can be heard, and the two of them start running. Hurley eventually comes face to face with Rousseau holding a gun on him.

Hurley tells Rousseau he is from the same plane Sayid, "that guy you tortured," was on. He shows her a piece of paper with the Numbers, and asks her why she wrote them, and if they have any meaning. Hurley gets angry, telling her that out of all the Island's mysteries, he wants some answers for the Numbers' appearance. She tells him her story - how she and the rest of her science expedition picked up a transmission with a voice repeating those numbers. After several weeks, they found a radio tower up by the Black Rock. While they tried to figure out the meaning of the Numbers, all of the members became sick. So she returned to the radio tower and changed the Numbers transmission to the distress signal. Rousseau says that the Numbers were what brought her to the Island, like they brought Hurley. She says that since the first time she heard them, only bad things happened to people she cared about. She finally agrees with Hurley's assertion that the Numbers may indeed be cursed. Hurley, who has waited a long time to hear someone agree with him, hugs her and thanks her. He catches up with Jack, Sayid and Charlie, and gives them a battery. He also delivers a message from Rousseau to Sayid: "She says hey."

Back at camp, Hurley confesses to Charlie that he thinks the plane crashed because of him. He tells him that bad things happen to people around him, but Charlie interrupts him and says that back on the plane, before it broke off in mid-air, he was snorting heroin in the toilet. He claims he could not even take a flight without taking drugs. "I suppose that was your fault, as well?" Hurley finally tells him that back home he's worth $156 million. Charlie believes Hurley is lying, and leaves Hurley, saying, "I bare my soul and all I get is bloody jokes."

On another part of the Island, the Hatch, Boone and Locke discovered, is seen buried in the jungle with the Numbers embossed on it.

Trivia

General

  • Hurley is falsely arrested for being a drug dealer, according to his accountant. Jorge Garcia, the actor who plays Hurley, guest starred as a drug dealer on the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode, "The Car Pool Lane".
  • This is the first episode to be named after a book in The Bible.
  • In closed-captioning, Jack says they won't go to the cockpit for a battery. The survivors would not return to the cockpit until the season 4 premiere, "The Beginning of the End".
  • Hurley's necklace, pictured in the scene where he is showing his mother the house he bought her, is the Chinese character for "fortune" or "luck".
  • While Hurley is walking on the beach, and later when he is driving his Hummer H2 a Hip-Hop song is heard playing. The artist and title have yet to be identified despite the best efforts of many fans, leading many to believe it was created especially for the show.


Production Notes


Recurring themes


Recurring themes in Lost
Black and whiteCar accidentsCharacter connectionsDeceptions and consDreamsEyesFate versus free willGood and bad peopleImprisonmentIsolationLife and deathMissing body partsNicknamesThe NumbersParent issuesPregnanciesRainRebirthRedemptionRelationshipsRevengeSacrificeSecretsTime


Cultural references

Cultural references in Lost
(direct references only)
ArtBooksCarsGamesMovies and TVMusicPhilosophyReligion and ideologiesScience
  • Apocalypse Now: Charlie calls Hurley “Colonel-bloody-Kurtz.”, a reference to the movie's insane Colonel Kurtz, played by Marlon Brando (1979). The movie was based upon Heart of Darkness, a novella by Joseph Conrad, about a physical and psychological journey into the heart of the African continent which featured a character named Kurtz that was also considered insane. (Literary works)  (Movies and TV)
  • A Wrinkle in Time: Sawyer can be seen reading this children's fantasy novel, written by Madeleine L'Engle, first published in 1962. (Literary works)
  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom: Sawyer calls Walt “Short Round”, after a young character from this movie (1984). Later on in the episode, Hurley and Charlie cross a treacherous bridge, reminiscent of the bridge featured in one of the final scenes in the Temple of Doom, which later collapses, also reminiscent of the Indiana Jones movie. (Movies and TV)


Literary techniques

Literary techniques in Lost
ComparativeIronyJuxtapositionForeshadowing PlottingCliffhangerPlot twist Stock Characters:  ArchetypeRedshirtUnseen character
Story:  FlashbacksFlash-forwardsFlash-sidewaysRegularly spoken phrasesSymbolismUnreliable narrator 
  • Hurley, in his misunderstanding of Jin, wonders if Jin is referring to making snowballs. In "The Beginning of the End" Hurley will paint a picture of an igloo and eskimo in the Santa Rosa Mental Health Institute. (Foreshadowing)
  • Claire tells John Locke that he should have a show where he fixes houses for people. Locke used to work as a repairman for his own home inspection company named Welcome Home, seen in "Lockdown". (Foreshadowing)
  • After winning the lottery, Hurley's grandfather died, the priest at his funeral was struck by lightning, his brother Diego's wife left him for another woman, his new home caught fire, his mother broke her ankle before seeing the new home, and Hurley was wrongly arrested as a drug dealer. (Irony)
  • Hurley continues his first major journey of searching for the meaning of the Numbers both on and off the Island. (Juxtaposition)
  • While off the Island, Hurley tells a few people about his fear that the Numbers are cursed, and gets no sympathy, especially Martha Toomey; on the Island, he tells Rousseau the same thing and she agrees with him. (Juxtaposition)
  • In his past, many bad things have happened around Hurley, causing him to believe that he is their cause, but in this episode, no one is killed or hurt by any of the large number of traps or dangerous events. (Juxtaposition)
  • When Hurley confronts Leonard about the numbers, Leonard says, "You've opened the box!" In "The Man from Tallahassee", Ben suggests to Locke that the island is a kind of "magic box" that grants wishes. (Foreshadowing)


Storyline analysis

Storyline analysis in Lost
A-MissionsCrimesEconomicsLeadershipO-MissionsRelationshipsF-MissionsRivalries

Jack, Sayid, Charlie, Hurley get a battery from Rousseau for the raft. (A-Missions)

Unanswered Questions

  • What are the origins of the Numbers?
  • Why were the Numbers broadcast before Rousseau's team arrived on the Island?



This article uses material from the "Numbers (episode)" article on the Lostpedia wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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