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The hand that Lockes the cradle

Sitting on the couch as Sam's Woyfe prepares tea, Hurley relays that he knew Leonard Sims, and Mrs. Toomey says they served together in the U.S. Navy, and asks how Leonard is, and if he's still in the service. "He's, um, retired," says Hurley, and it'd be awful nice of Hurley to be honest with the woman he's going to pump for information. He cautiously says that Lenny told him about Sam hearing "something." Mrs. Toomey is startled, then says, "You're talking about the numbers." She explains that Sam and Leonard were stationed at a listening post monitoring longwave transmissions over the Pacific: "Boring job. Sam hated it. Nothing to do but listen to static." Shit. Try recapping 7th Heaven sometime. Then one night, about sixteen years ago, there was something in the static. "A voice comes through, a voice repeatin' those numbers over and over again." Then, a couple of days later, they're at the Kalgoorlie fair where some "wally" has a jar "as big as a pony" (really?) filled with beans. "Fella's [but it sounds like 'Phil is'] offering fifty grand to anyone able to guess how many beans are in that jar, within ten." Hurley guesses that Sam used the numbers. And he was right, to the bean. Four billion, eight-hundred fifteen million, one-hundred-sixty-two thousand, three hundred and forty-two beans. I don't bleedin' think so. Not even in this supposedly pony-sized jar. Anyway, Mrs. Toomey says the man had been running the same scam for 40 years and no one'd ever come close. But they won the money. If this was a scam, why'd the guy admit Sam nailed the bean total?

Anyway, on their way back from the fair, a pickup truck blows a tire, hits them head on. "Lost my leg that night," she says, lifting her skirt slightly to reveal a prosthetic leg. I am constantly amazed by the lengths some actors will go for their craft. I can see amputating a leg for a part on <The Sopranos, but for an episode of a network television show? That's dedication. Anyway, there wasn't a scratch on Sam, who didn't see his lack of injuries as good fortune. "He was never the same after that." Sam started keeping a record of anything terrible that happened to people around him, and he moved with his wife out into the middle of nowhere, hoping the bad things would stop. "Did he ever find a way to make it stop?" asks Hurley. Sure did. "He put a shotgun in his mouth and pulled the trigger," she says. Then she wants to know what it is Hurley ("Mr. Reyes") wants. He explains that he used the numbers to win the lottery, and now he thinks he's under the same curse Sam was. Mrs. Toomey reacts even worse than Hurley's mom did to the notion of a curse. "You'd think I'd still have my leg if Sam hadn't picked the right number of beans? You think that floods wouldn't have happened, that houses wouldn't have burned down, that people wouldn't have died?" Hurley's all, "Well, yeah." And I just have to say, floods? Houses burning down? Now I'm starting to believe. Mrs. Toomey says that he makes his own luck, and he shouldn't blame the damn numbers. "You're looking for an excuse that doesn't exist."

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