Lost: Season 1, Episode 18

Numbers (2 Mar. 2005)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Drama | Fantasy
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When Hurley becomes obsessed with the French woman and heads into the jungle to find her, Jack, Sayid and Charlie have no choice but to follow. Meanwhile, Locke asks Claire to help build a mysterious item.



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Title: Numbers (02 Mar 2005)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Boone Carlyle (credit only)


When Hurley becomes obsessed with the mysterious French woman, he heads into the jungle to find her. Jack, Sayid and Charlie have no choice but to follow. Hurley's background story is revealed how he won a multi-million dollar lottery, which brought nothing but back luck to everyone around him, leading to why he ventured to Australia to search for the source of a series of numbers which led him to win the lottery. Meanwhile, Locke asks Claire to help build a mysterious item. Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

2 March 2005 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


An early version of Hurley's back story had him as a world class repo man. See more »


When Hurley picks up the cable that runs across the beach to the water, there are clearly fresh footprints following the cable up to the bush line. See more »


Charlie: [after rejoining the group looking for Danielle] Hurley! What the hell happened to you?
Hurley: [to a stunned Jack] Need a battery?
Hurley: [to a speechless Sayid] She says "Hey".
See more »


References Apocalypse Now (1979) See more »


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Written by J.J. Abrams
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User Reviews

Lost makes its own fan base
3 February 2009 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

"You make your own luck, Mr. Reyes. Don't blame it on the dam numbers. You're looking for an excuse that doesn't exist."

Whether or not one makes one's own luck has become the principal question surrounding Hurley's character throughout the show's entire run. This episode picks up from "...In Translation"'s humorous ending with its monologue about Hurley losing his batteries, and turns the search for new batteries into a whole new story on its own; one of the most memorable stories the show has ever told. Characters like Sawyer, Sayid and Michael had become intertwined in multiple story lines and character arcs before they ever got their own centric episodes, but Hurley had no such luck before "Numbers". He had been involved with multiple sitcom-esquire subplots, all of which lasted one episode and served a brief purpose, usually comedic. And here, the character who most viewers likely underestimated, proves to have one of the most interesting back-stories of them all, as alluded to--as season 1 episodes never failed to--in the previous episode, in which Jin walks by a TV on which Hurley can be seen.

I've witnessed a number of Lost fans cite "Numbers" as "the episode when Lost began", which is usually in reference to the more-central-than-ever-so-far presence of mystery and island mythology. While I personally disagree (I have too much love for the entire first season, especially early mythology-indulgent episodes like "Walkabout", "Solitary", "Raised by Another", "White Rabbit" and even the Pilot), I can see where these fans are coming from. Before "Numbers", we hadn't really seen off-island and on-island plots combine into one mystery, as they do here with the Numbers affecting both Hurley and Rousseau, and also appearing on the hatch. Of all the original main characters, Hurley waited the longest to be featured in an episode's flashbacks, and the turnout was ultimately worth the wait. His flushing-out into a sympathetic, unlucky character who nobody will listen to was made even more enjoyable by Jorge Garcia's hands-down strongest performance so far on the show at that point. Before "Numbers", mythology had been icing on the cake of a strong survival drama, as opposed to the center of the story itself. Although the "Numbers" mystery is less than central to most of Lost overall throughout its run, the episode can be cited as the beginning of true "mystery" Lost.

Tragically, this episode marks the last-to-date script by brilliant writer David Fury, who possibly could have been the only writer to rival Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse had he continued with the show. Daniel Attias was a one-time director, which is also something of a shame in that the episode was well-shot, especially compared to the rest of the generally visually-lacking season 1. The flashback exceeds the on-island action in quality due to the sheer number of twists, turns and mysteries, but no plot is boring, including the touching subplot between Locke and Claire.

The bad luck Hurley faces and his desire to lift the curse create newfound depth around his previously stock character. As a character, Hurley is brilliantly written throughout the episode, and although he finds no real answer to his mystery, he gets satisfaction from the climactic moment between himself and Rousseau. Nonetheless, this episode and a few later ones spark the question of whether or not anyone will ever take Hurley seriously, which could be a problem when he has something crucial to say.

"What? You don't know? Okay, that thing in the woods, maybe it's a monster, maybe it's a pizzed off giraffe, I don't know. The fact that no one is even looking for us, yeah, that's weird, but I just go along with it because I'm along for the ride, good old fun time Hurley. Well guess what? Now, I want some freaking answers."

Standout performances: Jorge Garcia, Dominic Monaghan, Naveen Andrews

Standout scene: Hurley confronts Rousseau

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