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18 - Numbers
Air Date: 03/02/2005

As the waves pound the shore, we find Hurley helping to build the second raft. Jin is struggling to tell him what to do, but he isn't getting it. Help comes from an unexpected place when Michael speaks up and translates for Jin. It seems the two of them have begun to "understand" each other in the course of building the raft.

And speaking of the raft, Jack comes to check on the progress. Things are going well, but Michael tells him their chances of being rescued by a ship would be much better if they could rig some sort of transmitter to send out a distress call. Jack agrees with the idea in principle, but, even if Sayid can rig something up, how would they power it? When Hurley remembers that Sayid told them the French Lady had batteries, he and Jack go to ask him about it, but find Sayid less than enthusiastic about going back to see her again. Jack says he will go instead, but Sayid knows that's not a good idea. Besides, he was unconscious when she brought him to her camp and disoriented when he left, so, to be honest…he doesn't know how to find her. But what about the maps Sayid took -- maybe they lead to her camp? Sayid hands them over and Hurley begins leafing through them, but stops suddenly, the color draining from his face. From his POV we see the page contains a series of numbers listed over and over again: 4,8,15,16,23,42.

We FLASHBACK to Hurley sitting on the sofa in his mother's house, eating from a bucket of chicken that bears the same logo as his work shirt. His mother chides him about going out and trying to find a nice woman, but Hurley is paying attention to the Mega -Lotto drawing on television. As the winning numbers are called out we can hardly believe our eyes. 4,8,15,16,23 and the mega number…42. Hurley checks his ticket, sees that it is an exact match…and promptly faints, smashing the coffee table beneath him.

Back on the island, Sayid wakes from a fitful sleep to see Hurley staring at him. He wants to talk about the numbers on Rousseau's papers. Sayid wipes the sleep from his eyes and tells Hurley that he doesn't know what they are -- he thought they might be coordinates for something, but realized that was impossible. When he asks Hurley why he is so interested, Hurley makes an excuse and hustles away, leaving Sayid to go back to sleep. But as he is leaving, we see Hurley pull the map Sayid took from Rousseau out from under his shirt.

FLASHBACK to a press conference outside the Reyes home. Reporters and cameras fight for space as Hurley is bombarded with questions about how he chose the winning numbers. "They just sort of came to me," he says. And as he is introducing his family -- his mother, his brother and sister-in-law, and his beloved grandfather, "Tito." In fact, he says, the first thing he wants to do with his money is take his grandfather on a much deserved vacation. But even as Hurley continues to lay out his happy plans, something horrible happens…Tito collapses in the background and falls dead of a heart attack -- right then and there.

Back at the caves, Charlie arrives and finds Hurley filling several water bottles, but he is acting strange. It's as if he is feeling…guilty. When Charlie asks him if he is going somewhere, Hurley tells him he is going for a walk. Charlie says he wants to go with him, but Hurley is adamant about wanting to go alone.

On the beach, Locke finds Claire and asks her to give him a hand with a project -- nothing too strenuous, just a little sawing. She agrees and the two set off together.

Back at caves, it's Jack's turn to be found filling water bottles, but this time it's Sayid who arrives, and he's not in a good mood. He asks Jack where the map is -- the one he stole from him after Sayid refused to go and look for Rousseau. And to send Hurley to do his dirty work for him, that's just low! The look of total confusion is enough for Sayid to determine that Jack wasn't behind it at all and when Charlie arrives and they learn of his earlier discussion with Hurley, the three of them arrive at the frightening realization together. Hurley is going off to try and find Rousseau…alone.

We find Hurley walking the shore, a determined look on his face and stay with him as we FLASHBACK to Hurley behind the wheel of a Hummer. The Lotto money has arrived. His mother sits in the passenger seat as the car winds through an upscale neighborhood. Hurley asks his mother if she has noticed how badly things have gone for them lately: His grandfather's death, the priest being struck by lightning at the funeral, his brother, Diego's ruined marriage -- it's as if the money is, well…cursed. Hurley's mother smacks him in the arm. They are Catholic, that is blasphemous. Besides, they both know there are no such things as curses. Maybe she's right. No, of COURSE she's right. Hurley makes his mother put on a blindfold, he has a surprise for her.

And they arrive at a brand new mansion, a gift from Hurley to his mother. But as he leads his mother out of the car, she trips on the curb and falls, breaking her ankle. And wait, what is that smell? Is that smoke? Hurley turns around to find his new home is on fire -- and before he can dial 911, the police arrive, guns drawn, and roughly place Hurley under arrest. No such thing as curses, huh?

Back on the beach, we see that same cable that led Sayid to trouble. Hurley picks it up and, against his better judgment, begins to follow it into the jungle.

We FLASHBACK to an office high-rise where Hurley is receiving an update from his accountant. He tells him he should be happy -- his orange juice futures have gone up in price, after tropical storms pounded Florida. He owns a box company in Tustin (Wait, why does that sound familiar?). Oh, and his sneaker factory in Canada burned to the ground killing eight people, but it was overinsured, so Hurley is going to make a bundle. When he starts to talk about his feelings that the money is cursed, his accountant tells him that he is not the first Lotto winner to believe the money has brought him nothing but trouble. Besides, he says, he is an accountant, he doesn't believe in curses -- he believes in numbers. That's it. Hurley has finally figured it out. It's not the money that is cursed, it's the numbers! And his accountant is just about to explain how crazy that sounds when someone from a higher floor jumps to their death and passes right by the window.

Back on the island, Michael, Walt and Jin work on the raft. And all that racket is disturbing Sawyer who is sitting on his ass, reading a book. They ask him to help, but he interested. Further down the beach, Sun sits with Kate, wondering if her husband will ever speak to him again. And if he decides to go on the raft when it sails, if she will ever see him again, as well.

In the Jungle, Hurley continues to follow the trail. He steps on a piece of ground and hears a "click." Before he can wonder what the hell it was, Sayid emerges from the brush with Jack and Charlie and tells him not to move -- he is standing on a pressure trigger. If he moves, the booby trap will swing down and kill him. But before they can figure out a way to get him out of this mess, Hurley takes matters into his own hands and steps off the trigger. Just as the spikes are going to impale him, he dives forward, barely avoiding the trap. When Jack asks him what he is doing out here, he answers honestly -- he's going to get a battery for the transmitter. Okay then, they all will go. But Sayid takes the lead.

FLASHBACK to a hospital. Hurley stands at the reception desk asking for a patient named, "Leonard." As he argues with the nurse, he sees a maintenance man climbing a rickety ladder to change a lightbulb. Just as the man stretches to reach the light fixture, Hurley yells at him from the desk, telling him to not do that now. Not a good idea. A doctor arrives and recognizes Hurley, agreeing to let him see Leonard. It's not clear how Hurley knows this man, or the doctor for that matter, but we arrive in a recreation room to find Leonard playing a game of Connect Four and mumbling over and over. He is clearly not right in the head. Hurley tells him he needs some information. "What do the numbers mean?" And we begin to hear Leonard more clearly. He is repeating a series of numbers over and over again: 4,8,15,16,23,42. Hurley keeps pressing, asking Leonard if the numbers did something to him that wound up getting him placed in here. Still nothing. Hurley tells him that he thinks the numbers did something to him after he used them to win the Lottery. Leonard stops on a dime. Even he can't believe what he has just heard. "You've opened the box," he says, "It won't stop. You've got to get away from them or it won't stop!" When Hurley asks Leonard where he got the numbers, he tells him that someone named, "Sam Toomey" heard them when they were working one year in Kalgoorlie…Australia.

Back in the jungle, Sayid and the others continue to follow the path, when it abruptly ends, going straight down into the ground. And that's not all, just up ahead is the world's most dodgy looking rope bridge, suspended over a massive gorge. Jack asks Sayid why he never mentioned this, but Sayid has never seen it before. Who built it? More importantly, how are they going to cross it? Before they can argue too much about it, Hurley walks confidently out onto the bridge, causing everyone to panic -- and he makes it across easily. Encouraged, Charlie goes across next, but just as he makes it halfway, the bridge starts to creak and moan. Charlie dives onto solid ground just as the worn and tired bridge gives way beneath him. Hurley and Charlie are on one side -- Jack and Sayid are on the other. Jack tells them to stay where they are until he and Sayid can find a way around and meet them on the other side, but Hurley doesn't want to hear it. He tells THEM to stay put while he and Charlie follow the path on the other side, but Charlie has had enough. He tells Hurley to listen to Jack and stop acting like a bloody lunatic.

FLASHBACK to a small house in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by the red desert of Kalgoorlie. Hurley asks the woman who answers to door if this is Sam Toomey's house. When she says it is, and that she is his wife, Hurley says he would like to speak with him. His wife would like to speak with him, too -- but he died four years ago. We follow him inside and we learn that Leonard served with Sam in the U.S. Navy years ago. Hurley asks Mrs. Toomey about the numbers and we learn that Sam heard a voice repeating those numbers, over and over again while serving his post at a naval listening post monitoring the South Pacific, 16 years ago. Years later, Sam used the numbers to win a contest at a local fair. He won a large sum of money…but things started to go wrong for him and his family after that. Sam believed the numbers were behind his bad luck, so he moved his family out in the desert hoping that would stop the curse. Hurley asks Mrs. Toomey if Sam ever succeeded in stopping the bad luck, he is momentarily encouraged by her answer. But only momentarily… "Yep. He put a shotgun in his mouth and pulled the trigger." Hurley admits that he thinks he is under the same curse, but Mrs. Toomey doesn't want to hear it. "You make your own luck, Mr. Reyes," she says. "You're looking for an excuse that doesn't exist."

Back on the island, Claire and Locke begin to bond while she helps him with his project. She is glad to have something to do other than trying to remember what happened to her out in the jungle.

Meanwhile, Jack and Sayid continue through the jungle trying to find a way across the gorge. Sayid begins to feel like he recognizes something and when Jack presses on he walks straight into another trip wire. KA-BOOM! A huge explosion rips through the brush in front of them and when the dust settles we see Jack and Sayid combing through the remnants of Rousseau's habitat. But wait a minute, why isn't there any wreckage? There is nothing here. Sayid realizes that Rousseau must have known he would eventually find his way back here, so she booby-trapped it and moved on. But moved on where?

Meanwhile Charlie and Hurley are trying to work their way toward the sound of the explosion to see if Jack and Sayid are hurt. Charlie demands to know why Hurley has been acting so strange, and, finally, Hurley is ready to tell him. But just as he begins, a shot rings out, shattering a tree-branch next to them. Wait a minute…did someone just shoot at them? And they get their answer when a second shot hits even closer than the last one. They scatter, running for their lives in opposite directions. Hurley is charging through the jungle and falls flat on his face. When he rises, he finds himself staring down the barrel of a rifle -- with Rousseau on the other end.

Normally, Hurley would be scared out of his wits and, yeah, there's some fear here, but beneath it there is something else….desperation. He needs to know what the numbers mean and he wants the answers right now! Something in his attitude touches Rousseau and she tells him that her team picked up the transmission repeating those numbers from their ship. They changed course to investigate and wrecked on the island as a result. Her team continued to search for the transmission source and, weeks later, discovered the radio tower on the island, by the black rock. They continued to search for the meaning of those numbers while they waited for rescue, but then the sickness came and destroyed her team. After they were gone, Rousseau went to the tower and changed the transmission to the one that we heard in the pilot episode. But what about the numbers, where did they get their power? Doesn't she know that the numbers are cursed? Rousseau tells him that the numbers are what brought her here -- just as they brought Hurley here, too. And ever since then, she has lost everything she ever loved. So yes, she agrees that the numbers must be cursed.

And Hurley is redeemed. He is so overwhelmingly relieved to finally have someone agree with him that he can't help himself. He throws himself at Rousseau and smothers him in a genuine embrace of sincere appreciation. He isn't crazy. He really isn't.

Back at her habitat, Jack and Sayid are trying to salvage what little they can from the wreckage. And that's when Sayid discovers the tattered remains of his photo -- Nadia's face still clear, her eyes looking right through him. And all of a sudden, Charlie appears and tells them about being shot at. And just as we wonder what happened with Hurley, he shows up. Just walks into the scene as calm as can be and hands a battery to Jack. And there's one more thing too. He makes eye contact with Sayid… "She says hey."

Later that night as Jin and Michael continue to work on the raft, Jack and the others return to the beach. Sayid hands the battery over to a very grateful Michael.

Elsewhere, Claire is helping Locke put the finishing touches on his project. While they talk, Claire admits that she was going to give her baby up for adoption. And you know what? Today just happens to be her birthday. When Locke asks her why she hasn't told anybody about it, she makes a case for why she believes it doesn't matter. And as Locke turns over his project, we can all clearly see it for what it is. It's a cradle -- and it's beautiful. "Happy Birthday, Claire."

At another campfire, Charlie joins Hurley and asks him to finish the conversation they were having when the gunfire started. Hurley tells Charlie he thinks the plane crash was his fault. But Charlie tells Hurley that bad things happen to good people all the time and admits to Hurley that he was a drug addict. And that most certainly wasn't Hurley's fault. And as that sets in, Hurley Charlie tells Hurley that he just shared his deepest, darkest secret -- the least Hurley could do is reciprocate.

"Okay," Hurley says, "back home…I'm worth one hundred and fifty-six million dollars." Charlie is dead silent for a beat. Then… "Fine, don't tell me. I bear my soul and all I get is bloody jokes."

And as we leave the beach for the evening we make one last stop deep in the jungle at the hatch. We get closer and closer and we begin to notice something etched into the concrete surrounding the hatch itself. It looks like a series of numbers. And as we get still closer we can read exactly which numbers they are:


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