The dynamic duo of Hurley and Miles teamed up again on last night's Lost for some soul searching — literally and figuratively. Spoilers and a confession after the jump.
First, the confession: I have never seen The Empire Strikes Back. No particular reason—I liked Star Wars and saw it a couple of times in the theater when it first came out. But given the reference in both the title of last night's episode ("Some Like It Hoth") and Hurley's fannish rewrite of the script, not to mention its relevance to the relationship between Miles and his father, Pierre Chang, it seems like a pretty big fail on my part (at the moment, anyway). Faking knowledge I don't have seems like a bigger one ("Ewoks suck! Yay, Hurley!"), so I'll leave it to you guys to discuss these plot points more fully in the comments. As a Lost fan, however, I loved Hurley's plan to help George Lucas out by sending him the script for a Star Wars sequel ("with a couple of improvements") before he's had the time to think of it himself.
By the way, if you're in an Egyptian mood, with a little rearranging the title becomes "Some Like I, Thoth." Thoth was the Egyptian god who among other duties played Smokey in the underworld by weighing "the soul of the deceased, and . . . read[ing] from his tablets a record of his actions in the past life." (William Ricketts Cooper, An Archaic Dictionary, 570.) Thoth is usually depicted with the head of an ibis, but sometimes with the head of a man (which I mention because the statue has humanoid ears after all).
First and foremost, though, "Some Like It Hoth" is Miles Straume's story. We see him as a little kid communicating with the dead for the first time with the body of a man in the apartment complex where he and his mother live. Later, teenage punk rock Miles returns to visit his mother, who appears terminally ill. He wants to know why and how he comes by his special ability — and why won't she talk to him about his father? She tells him his father kicked them out when Miles was just a baby. Now he's dead and his body is someplace where Miles can never go.
Adult Miles is working as a spiritualist when he is recruited by Naomi Dorrit, after an audition in which he identifies the body of man named Felix, killed while delivering photos of empty graves and a purchase order for an empty airplane to Charles Widmore. When Naomi offers him $1.6 million for his services, he immediately accepts. Then he's jumped by a bunch of men who try to talk him out of working for Widmore. Their leader, Bram, promises Miles that if they come with them, he'll find out why he has his gift and his father's identity. Miles asks for $3.2 million, but they are not paying (Miles will later ask Ben for the same amount in exchange for not turning him in). After tossing Miles to the pavement, they tell him he's "playing for the wrong team."
But whose team are they on? Bram asks Miles "what lies in the shadow of the statue." This is the same password/question posed by Ilana to Frank last week, which leads the viewer to think that she and Bram are working together against Widmore. But Ilana also denied working for Ben (to Sayid in "He's Our You"). Are they really working for the family of Peter Avellino, as she says, or someone/something else? Ben Linus after all? Dharma next-of-kin looking for revenge? I'm not sure I can handle yet another major player in what to this point has been the "war" between Ben and Widmore (but I always think that when a new bunch of characters is introduced, and I'm almost always satisfied in the end).
As many fans predicted, Miles's father is Pierre Chang. Miles figures this out when, after three days in 1970s Dharmaville, he discovers his mother behind him in the cafeteria line. When Chang asks Miles to transport a body (a worker killed when something—like a massive jolt of electromagnetism—pulls a dental filling out of his tooth and deep into his brain), Hurley gets himself involved to everybody's irritation. Then again, I suppose without him insinuating himself into the situation, we'd never get to the gist of Miles's relationship with his formerly absent father. Add Miles's name to the list of Losties with daddy issues (Jack, Locke, Ben, e.g.).
Hurley unsuccessfully tries to bring father and son together on a ride out to Swan construction site (I loved the look of disbelief Miles shoots at Chang when he tells Hurley he likes country music), but as far as Chang is concerned, in 1977, Miles is a three-month-old baby. After they drop Chang at the site (where Hurley witnesses a very familiar "serial number" being embossed into the hatch door), Hurley wonders whether Miles could change his own diaper. Which brings up a point: What are the rules about present and future selves meeting? Until last night, no Lostie has done so. According to the Orchid orientation film "outtake," it's implied that unspecified very bad things happen if both selves get near one other, but in "Some Like It Hoth" adult Miles watches as his father reads a book to his baby self, with no apparent ill results.
In other 1977 island doings, Roger becomes suspicious of Kate when she too-strongly suggests that the missing Ben will be okay, and then Jack when he too-strongly sticks up for Kate. Meanwhile, Phil goes to LaFleur/Sawyer after watching the surveillance tape Miles was supposed to "accidentally erase," the one showing Sawyer and Kate taking Ben outside the sonic fence. And who should turn up in a group of scientists arriving fresh from Ann Arbor on the submarine but our own Daniel Faraday! Has he been there for the past three years? He certainly seems in a better frame of mind than when last we saw him. I hope we get to his part of the story soon.