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The Televangelist: 'Lost' Season 6, Episode 12

For much of "Everybody Loves Hugo" I thought "this is a lot like last week ... except last week did it better."  So we revisited again the "love conquers all theme," this time starring Hurley and his one time quasi lady love Libby.  Since we're being reintroduced to some of the myriad characters from days past (Hey Michael!  Hey PIerre Chang!), it seems the writers realized they needed to kill off some of the extras still milling around.  What's Ilana all about?  Who knows - bang! Gone.  To quote my friend Dekalb: "she didn't blow up. She was Artzed."

One puzzle piece that warrants further investigation regards Michael and the whispers.  In the past the voices have often (if not always?) signified the coming of Smokey.  My presumption early in the episode was that Michael was just yet another manifestation of Smokey, sent to lure Hurley into foiling Richard's plan to blow up the plane, and lead him straight to Locke.  Later, their second meeting had me wondering.  Michael seemed sincere, but could that just be Smokey's trick?  Let's assume Michael was telling the truth - the souls would want to be freed somehow, right?  Would they leave the island if Smokey did?  In the war between Jacob and Smokey, whose side are they on?