"Hugo Reyes, this is your life!"
Flash-sideways Hugo is a rich philanthropist, seemingly free of all his paranoia, and even more handsome than the original timeline version of himself. Hugo is "Man of the Year," says an un-aged Dr. Chang, inexplicably introducing the boss of the Mr. Cluck's empire and naming the paleontology wing of the Golden State Natural History Museum after him.
"Everybody loves Hugo!" declares his mother sarcastically, "Except women." Oh wait, who's the hot blonde calling Hugo her soulmate? She's in a mental hospital, but it's Libby! So where's the catch?
If Desmond's central character struggle is between approval and love, Hugo's has something to do with power. This realization isn't an answer to one of the show's big questions (i.e. what are the whispers? Oh you know, just dead people who haven't moved on, as we learned in this episode). On the island, Hugo becomes the leader of one of the three groups our characters are now separated into. Even (the new and significantly mellowed-out) Jack trusts him. Will Hugo do the right thing as a leader, where so many others—Jack, Sawyer, Locke—have failed before?
Like Desmond last week, flash-sideways Hugo has a moment where he realizes that, holy cow, there's another version of his life existing somewhere. Desmond's comes when he sees Charlie's hand pressed to the window a la "Through the Looking Glass" (season 3). Hugo's happens when he's locking lips with Libby.
Perhaps the characters' "constants" that wake them up to the reality of their other lives involving the island are not people, but moments—significant, definitive, life-altering moments. Does Desmond—in a Zen state in contrast to Sayid's zombie-ness—get this? Is that his plan when he hits substitute teacher Locke with his car—to reenact that moment where real timeline Locke is pushed out the window by his father and paralyzed, to somehow jar island Locke back into existence? And is island Desmond aware of the flash sideways timeline? When Smoke Monster lures Desmond to the mysterious well and asks "Why aren't you afraid?", Desmond replies "What's the point of being afraid?" He gets it. He's transcended.
Before he pushes Desmond down the well, Smoke Monster tells him about Widmore's bid for power. He sets up a dichotomy of the quest for power versus the search for answers. Is Hugo perhaps different from the island's other leaders in that he doesn't really care about either?
Did ya see that? Moment of the week: When Hurley visits Libby in the psychiatric hospital, patients have drawn a tropical island scene on a chalkboard in the background.
Far-fetched theory I hope comes true: When Hurley sees Michael, it's not "I haven't been able to move on" un-dead Michael, but is actually Smoke Monster trying to make sure Hurley doesn't blow up the plane. That whole Whispers "answer"? B.S.
Props of the week go to: Jack. He swallowed a chill pill AND is doing wonders for Hurley's self-esteem (even "has it all" Flash Sideways Hurley eats his feelings). But what's with that look he and Smoke Monster exchange at the very end?