"Tricia Tanaka Is Dead" is the tenth episode of Season 3 and the fifty-ninth produced hour of the series as a whole. It was originally broadcast on February 28, 2007. When Hurley discovers an abandoned van in the jungle, he makes it his mission to get it going again. Meanwhile, Kate and Sawyer return to camp and decide what to do about Jack who is still with the Others.
David Reyes says goodbye to his son, Hugo.
Around 1987, a young, skinny Hurley carries tools to a Camaro that is up on blocks and opens the hood. ♪ His father gives him a Glacier Bar against his mother's wishes, and tells him to start the car even though it needs a new carburetor. Hurley claims it's stupid, but his father tells him hope is never stupid and you have to make your own luck. He then informs Hurley that their planned trip to the Grand Canyon will have to wait until he comes back from some work he has to do in Las Vegas, and drives off on his motorcycle. ♪♪
The meteorite hits Mr. Cluck's Chicken Shack.
Seventeen years later, reporter Tricia Tanaka is filming a fluff piece in Diamond Bar, on how Hurley bought a controlling interest in Mr. Cluck's Chicken Shack, where he used to work. She tries to interview Hurley, but he starts to relate all of the bad luck he has had: his grandfather's heart attack, the burning down of the house he bought his mother, his best friend Johnny running off with his girlfriend Starla, and the suicidal jumper at his accountant's building. Tricia complains about his attitude and goes inside the Shack with her camera man while Randy assures Hugo that everything is safe. Suddenly a meteorite falls from the sky, completely destroying the Shack and killing Tricia and her camera man.
Later that day, Hurley is greeted at his mansion by his mother. ♪ He tells her what happened and renews his intentions to go to Australia to investigate the Numbers. His mother says he can't be cursed because his father has returned after seventeen years. His father jokes that "your mother wasn't kidding about those candy bars."
Hurley tries not to hear about his mom's sex life.
At dinner, David remarks on a golden statue of Jesus, and Carmen explains that Hurley commissioned artisans in Taxco to make it. ♪ She also explains that they hired workers from Bennigans to be their butlers. Hugo gets upset that his mother isn't suspicious of his father suddenly showing up after he won the lottery, but she claims he came because she called him to ask for help with Hugo's obsession with his "curse." Hugo gives Mr. and Mrs. Tron severance and threatens to get rid of the money, all that it has bought, and his father. His mother covers the ears of the Jesus statue and says she has become intimate with Hurley's father again. She tells Hurley to show his father the Camaro which he has saved all these years.
Hurley and David at Lynn Karnoff's place.
Hurley's dad wakes him after some initial trouble due to Hurley wearing earphones to drown out his parents' lovemaking noises. He asks him to go with him to break the curse. They end up visiting a psychic, Lynn Karnoff, who tells Hurley his fortune using tarot cards. The first card tells her he has won money. The second, the Six of Swords, tells her it has brought him misfortune. She claims to see the Numbers and lists them. She says they are cursed and pulls a third card, Death. She says his curse can be removed and asks him to take off his clothes while she starts preparing ingredients to exorcise his curse. He offers her first a thousand, and then ten thousand dollars to admit that his dad put her up to it. She acts offended, but then relents and admits it after being offered ten thousand dollars. Hurley storms out.
David promises Hurley he will be there when Hurley gets back.
Later Hurley is packing to go to Australia. His father admits that he came because of Hurley's money, but says Hurley doesn't need to leave, he just needs a little hope. He should make his own luck, give away all the money except enough to fix the Camaro with his dad and take the trip to the Grand Canyon together they had planned. Hurley pauses to consider, but leaves. His father says he'll be there when Hurley gets back. ♪
On the Island
Hurley at Libby's grave.
Hurley confesses his fears and troubles at Libby's grave, and lays down a flower. ♪♪ He finds Charlie shaving and gets him to reveal Desmond's flashes of Charlie being fated to die. Hurley says it might be his fault because of his curse. Vincent emerges from the jungle with a skeleton arm holding a key. Hurley chases him through the jungle until the dog drops the arm. ♪ Hurley takes the key which has a lucky rabbit's foot key chain attached and follows Vincent to an overturned van. ♪
At the camp, Sun tells Jin that in order to help him learn, she will only speak to him in English from now on. Hurley bursts into the group and tells everyone about the van. He tries to get help in starting it, but only Jin volunteers, not knowing what Hurley was saying. ♪
Roger's corpse is found.
In the jungle, Kate and Sawyer get closer to camp. Sawyer steps on a dart from the Swan dart board and Kate pulls it out. They talk for awhile, and Kate wants to reconcile, but Sawyer brushes her off. They reach camp and are enthusiastically greeted by the other survivors. Sawyer and Kate give each other longing glances, but each misses the other's look. ♪♪
Back at the van, Hurley and Jin find the owner of the arm, the skeletal remains of a man in a work suit which has on it a Swan DHARMA logo patch, the name "Roger," and the designation "Workman." They open the back door and find a mound of DHARMA beer. They pull out the skeleton, accidentally causing the head to come off and land on a pile of documents.
Kate tells Locke and Sayid that she doesn't care what Jack said, she will still help him.
At the camp, Charlie demands that Desmond tell him when he will die, but Desmond informs him it doesn't work like that. Sawyer barges up to them and demands to know where his stash went. Desmond apologizes for drinking the Scotch, but reveals that Charlie and Hurley helped. Sawyer finds Hurley and Jin attempting to upright the van. Hurley is overjoyed to see Sawyer and both he and Jin give him a big hug. Hurley says that the car and Sawyer's return are signs that their luck is changing. Sawyer asks for his stuff, but Hurley bribes him with beer to get him to help fix the van.
The road map that was found in the DHARMA van.
On the beach, Kate tells Sayid about her experiences with the Others. She explains that Jack had instructed them not to come back for him, but that she is adamant that she should attempt a rescue. Kate then walks off saying that she is going to get help, without looking back.
Hurley, Sawyer and Jin push the van upright and look inside. There are a lot of documents, including a DHARMA blueprint for a dirt road winding down the side of an incline and ending at the Swan station. Sawyer freaks out at Roger's head and exits with some beer. Hurley closes his eyes, puts the key in the ignition, and tries to start the van but the engine doesn't turn over. He takes offense at Sawyer calling Roger "Skeletor" and his lack of enthusiasm about fixing the van, saying they need to do it as a symbol of hope.
Hurley, Sawyer, Jin, Charlie and Vincent looking down at the hill.
While knocking back some of the DHARMA beers, Sawyer teaches Jin some English words. He asks Hurley what he's doing and Hurley says he's praying for hope. Sawyer throws a beer can at him, saying "here's your hope." Hurley sees the can rolling down a hill and gets an idea. He finds Charlie on the beach and snaps him out of his funk. He convinces him to help him with the van, saying it will give both of them the hope they need to change their fates.
Hurley returns with Charlie and gets the other three to push the van to where the hill starts. He gets out and they all look down to see a steep incline with some big black rocks at the bottom. Hurley says that if they push the van down the hill he can pop the clutch and get it started.
Hurley driving the re-activated DHARMA Van.
Charlie calls shotgun. Jin and Sawyer push them over the precipice and the van hurtles down the hill. Just before they are about to crash into the rocks, Hurley has his eyes closed and is telling himself he is making his own luck. He pops the clutch and the van starts. He swerves to avoid the rocks, and drives into a field. The van comes alive with the same song Hurley's radio was playing when his Dad left him. ♪ Jin and Sawyer join them for a joy ride, shouting as they circle the field. Hurley stays behind to go for another joy ride while the other three go back to camp with renewed hope. Jin gives Sun a flower, and a smiling Charlie joins Claire. Sawyer brings the beer back to his tent and looks for Kate, but she is long gone. He looks around at the happy couples with envy as he drinks his beer. ♪
Danielle meets with the survivors.
While Kate is in the jungle at night, she sees that Locke and Sayid have followed her. They ask her why she didn't ask for help in looking for Jack. She says they weren't motivated, but Locke counters that they just didn't know where to look. Sayid sarcastically claims Locke has gotten a clue from Eko's stick. Gunshots fire, but Kate tells them to lower their weapons, and Danielle comes out. Kate asks for her help, and tells her that she was able to escape from the Others with the help of a girl, about 16 years old, who she thinks is Danielle's daughter, Alex.
The "Glacier Bar" candy
- There is a picture of a tropical beach on the wall in Hurley's dining room.
- The label on the beer, as well as Roger's jumpsuit, clearly shows the Swan logo.
- There is a DHARMA logo on the front of the bus (non-station specific).
- Hurley's father gives him a "Glacier Bar" candy bar.
- This episode is rated TV-PG-LV.
- Daniel Dae Kim (Jin) appears again for the first time since "Further Instructions", ending a six-episode absence. No reason is given for his absence, unlike other long runs of non-appearance.
- Kiele Sanchez (Nikki) and Rodrigo Santoro (Paulo) return after both being missing for 3 episodes.
- The scene in which the van is pushed down the hill appears to make use of rather extreme camera angles to increase the apparent steepness of the slope. The angle at which Sawyer and Jin are standing, as well as that of the mountains in the background, make this more noticeable.
- The scene of the meteorite hitting Mr. Cluck's was named by Kevin Blank as the "single biggest, most expensive shot the show has ever done."
- This episode marks the first appearance of Cheech Marin (David Reyes).
- Additionally, Roger Linus is only seen as a mostly-decomposed corpse prop.
- A Lost: On Location for this episode is available on the Season 3 DVD.
- A deleted scene from this episode involves Charlie and Kate prior to Kate's departure to find Jack. The scene depicts Charlie's acknowledgment that he will continue building Eko's church, despite his recent death.
Bloopers and continuity errors
- The beer cans in the van have one of the newer-type, litter-free, ring pulls. Confronted with this apparent error, the producers joked that the DHARMA Initiative invented the ring pulls. Manufacturers actually used these ring pulls since at least 1990, so DHARMA could well have used them during the 1992 Purge. 
- Charlie's stubble grows significantly during the course of this episode.
- Besides the road map, none of the scraps of paper in the back of the van were meant to be seen, but one, the so called Ho`oulu Lāhui document, managed to make it on-screen. Script coordinator Gregg Nations has confirmed that the document was simply an arbitrary prop with no relevance to the Lost universe. 
- In the first scene when Vincent approached Hurley and Charlie, he was holding Roger's arm by the fist then switches to the middle.
- When Jin is explaining to Hurley about how they are going to tip the car over, he speaks in Korean, but in mid-sentence, he clearly says 'and then' in a fluent accent.
- However, Jin has picked up some English words and phrases by this point, so this may not actually be a blooper.
- While Hurley is discussing the idea of rolling the van down the hill with the others, he can be clearly seen and heard saying, "Dudes, I know how to drive." A second or two later, the shot cuts to a new one in which he turns to Sawyer as his mouth forms the word "drive" again, but no audio is heard. The following dialogue has no such problems.
- The sequence when Hurley and Charlie nearly hit the rocks in the van is edited in such a way that the van should have hit the rocks multiple times.
- In the scene where Charlie confronts Desmond before being interrupted by Sawyer, the positioning of Charlie's necklace visibly shifts between shots.
- When Hurley is talking to Charlie while he is shaving, the shaving cream disappears from Charlie's face from shot to shot.
- Charlie was wiping his face when Hurley walked up to him, however there are a couple times, most notably when Hurley says "Dude, you can tell me anything," that the shots of Hurley are too short to allow time for Charlie to wipe off the shaving cream that disappears.
- Also, the cut that Charlie made on his face while shaving isn't visible by the end of the scene.
- When Hurley is driving everyone around in the van, there is a long shot showing the field, and a white car can be seen moving across at the bottom of the screen.
The episode's opening song is "Shambala" by Three Dog Night. It returns at the end of the episode, and it lends its theme to an orchestral variation, also called "Shambala", which appears on the season's soundtrack, Three other cues appear on that album as well. The Lone Hugo" includes Hurley's second and third themes. "Fetch Your Arm" features his first. "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Nothin'" is a variation of Kate and Sawyer's theme.
|Animals • Black and white • Character connections • Children • Coincidence • Death • Deceptions and cons • Dreams • Economics • Electromagnetism • Eyes • Fate versus free will • Games • Good and bad people • Imprisonment • Isolation • Leadership • Life and death • Literary works • Mirrors • Missing body parts • Nicknames • The Numbers • Pairings • Parapsychology • Parent issues • Pregnancies • Psychology • Rain • Redemption • Relationships • Religion • Revenge • Salvation • Secrets|
- The California license plate on the Camaro shows "429 PCE". (The Numbers)
- Vincent brought Hurley and Charlie an arm that belonged to a dead workman named Roger. (Life and death) (Missing body parts)
- Hurley becomes Randy Nations' boss at Mr. Cluck's. Randy is later Locke's boss in the office flashback. (Character connections)
- Hurley's father is called David. The imaginary friend Hurley makes up while in the mental hospital is called Dave. (Character connections)
- Carmen refers to Hurley as "a good son". (Good and bad people)
- Hurley's father was absent for 17 years. (Parent issues) (Time)
- Tricia Tanaka and her camera man die. (Life and death)
- Tricia Tanaka works for Action 8 News. (The Numbers)
- The (bribed) psychic said 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42. (The Numbers)
- The (bribed) psychic told Hurley that death surrounded him, and more was coming. (Life and death)
- Hurley discovered that his father asked the psychic to give a fake reading. (Deceptions and cons)
- Hurley told Charlie "there is a very good chance you will die." (Death)
- Hurley's father said "we make our own luck, Hugo." (Fate versus free will)
- Hurley and his father were trying to fix a Chevrolet Camaro. (Cars)
- The DHARMA van is a Volkswagen Type 2. (Cars)
- Hurley's father offered to help Hurley fix the Camaro and take a road trip to the Grand Canyon: "It's never too late for a fresh start." (Redemption)
- Hurley and Charlie risked death by driving down the steep hill to jump start the DHARMA van. (Fate versus free will)
- Hurley fixed the DHARMA van after failing to fix his father's Camaro. (Redemption)
- Hurley Reyes is called "Ese" by Sawyer. "Ese" is Spanish slang used by Mexicans mainly in the United States, an equivalent of "dude" or "homeboy", referring to Sureños (southerners). Use by non-Mexicans may be interpreted as a racial slur. (Nicknames)
- Sawyer uses several other nicknames for Hurley in this episode, including "Snuffy", "Blockhead", "International House of Pancakes" and "Jumbotron." (Nicknames)
- When Sawyer is complaining about Hurley's insistence on getting the VW van started, Hurley comes back at Sawyer saying "Shuddup, Red...neck...Man." This actually impresses Sawyer. (Nicknames)
- Sawyer calls Charlie "Oliver Twist", "Munchkin" and "Jiminy Cricket." (Nicknames)
- When Sawyer asks Hurley, "What are you doing over there?", he answers, "Praying." (Religion)
- Hurley says that Sawyer & co. have "work to do." (Regularly Spoken Phrases)
- After returning to camp, Charlie talks with Claire and Jin returns to Sun. Sawyer looks around for Kate, but she is not there, so he drinks his beer alone. (Isolation)
| Cultural references|
(direct references only)
|Art • Automobiles • Games • History • Literary works • Movies and TV • Music • Philosophy • Religion and ideologies • Science|
- Amah Rock: Hurley's father's motorcycle seems to be a Yamaha, but missing letters make it read "AMAH", which is the name of a rock in Hong Kong. According to legend, a faithful wife waited loyally for her fisherman husband, not knowing he had drowned and was turned into a rock by the goddess of the sea. (Religion and ideologies)
- Family Guy: TV News reporter Tricia Tanaka is a reference to Asian reporter Tricia Takanawa from the popular Fox cartoon sitcom. (Movies and TV)
- "Shambala": The song playing both at the beginning of the show and on the 8-track in the VW Bus is Shambala by Three Dog Night. It was released around 1973 and lyrics say that "Everyone is lucky, everyone is so kind, on the road to Shambala". (Music)
- Little House on the Prairie: Sawyer as a child watched Little House on the Prairie, which was an American television series from 1974 to 1983. He specifically mentions character Laura Ingalls. (Movies and TV)
- Pinocchio: Sawyer calls Charlie "Jiminy Cricket", which is a character from this 1940 Disney film, Pinocchio. (Movies and TV)
- Hooked on Phonics: Sawyer jokes that Jin is "Hooked on Phonics", which is a line of educational materials that help children learn to read and write proper English. (Movies and TV)
- Oliver Twist: Sawyer called Charlie Oliver Twist, which is the name of a novel by Charles Dickens. (Literary works)
- International House of Pancakes: Sawyer calls Hurley the "International House of Pancakes." The International House of Pancakes (IHOP) is a chain of restaurants that serve breakfast food. (Pop culture references)
- He-Man and the Masters of the Universe: Sawyer refers to Roger as "Skeletor", which is a character in this animated series. (Movies and TV)
- Sesame Street. Sawyer calls Hurley "Snuffy" (Aloysius Snuffleupagus from this popular educational children's television series). (Movies and TV)
- Rocky II and Rocky III: Hurley suggests the DHARMA beer is older than Rocky III and maybe Rocky II, which came out in the 1979 and 1982 respectively. (Movies and TV)
- Tarot cards: Lynn Karnoff read tarot cards for Hurley. The particular deck used is the Medieval Scapini Tarot, of which both the Six of Swords, The Tower, and Death were briefly shown. (Religions and ideologies)
- "Highway 61 Revisited": Charlie wears a T-shirt for Bob Dylan's Highway 61 tour. In the song "Highway 61 Revisited" Dylan uses the mysterious location Highway 61 as a metaphor for all things dangerous and deadly. (Music)
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: The music playing during the dinner in the flashback of Hurley is the 1st movement of Sonata KV 331 (Tema e variazioni) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. (Music)
- Ladytron: Hurley calls Mrs. Tron "Lady Tron". Ladytron is both an electronica band, a song by Roxy Music and a comic book character; being a pop culture buff, Hurley might have been thinking of any of these three.
- Peanuts Sawyer calls Hurley "Blockhead": This was a popular put down in this strip (1950-2000); usually directed toward the main character Charlie Brown. (Television)
- JumboTron: Sawyer calls Hurley "Jumbotron". A JumboTron is a large video screen typically used in sports stadiums and concert venues to show close up shots of the action or band. The word "jumbotron" is often used by the public as a genericized trademark.
- The Wizard of Oz: Sawyer refers to Charlie as a "Munchkin". The Munchkins were the race of little people in this movie. (Movies and TV)
|Comparative: Irony • Juxtaposition • Foreshadowing Plotting: Cliffhanger • Plot twist Stock characters: Archetype • Redshirt • Unseen character|
Story: Flashbacks • Flash-forwards • Flash sideways • Framing device • Regularly spoken phrases • Symbolism • Unreliable narrator
- Hurley finds the remains of a DHARMA Workman by the name of "Roger". This is actually Ben's father, who is shown later in the season. (Foreshadowing)
- Hurley says Sawyer and the others "have work to do." (Regularly spoken phrases)
- The psychic tells Hurley that the mystic arts are not subject to bribes, shortly before accepting $10,000 to admit she had been bribed. (Irony)
- In the flashbacks, Hurley and his father fail to get the Camaro working again. On the Island, Hurley successfully starts the DHARMA van. (Juxtaposition)
- Kate seeks out Danielle Rousseau and tells her that Alex who helped her escape may be her daughter. (Cliffhanger)
- The episode opens and closes with the song "Shambala", the final rendition blending into an orchestral arrangement. (Framing device)
|A-Missions • Crimes • Economics • Leadership • O-Missions • Relationships • F-Missions • Rivalries • S-Missions|
- Sawyer helped with the DHARMA van after the offer of beer. (Economics)
- Kate, Locke, and Sayid shared information without compensation, to try and save Jack. (Economics)
- Kate, Locke, and Sayid started an A-mission to find the Others' camp. (A-Missions)
- Hurley leads the mission to get the DHARMA van started. (Leadership)
- Hurley leaves for Australia to find Martha Toomey. ("Numbers")
- Listing his bad luck, Hurley says "My grandpa Tito died of a heart attack and the first house I bought my mom burnt down. My friend Johnny ran off with my girlfriend, Starla. Oh, and this guy jumped off my accountant's roof." ("Numbers") ("Everybody Hates Hugo")
- We see the meteor hit the Mr. Clucks restaurant, which Hurley had previously told Jack about. ("Man of Science, Man of Faith")
- Tricia Tanaka refers to Randy as Hurley's former boss. ("Everybody Hates Hugo")
- Kate tells Locke and Sayid about the boat the Others gave to Michael. ("Live Together, Die Alone, Part 2")
- Locke intends to follow a compass bearing he got from Eko's stick when he was burying him. ("I Do")
- Charlie tells Hurley about Desmond's flashes. Charlie also confronts Desmond. ("Flashes Before Your Eyes")
- Kate mentions that Sawyer let Karl go. ("Stranger in a Strange Land")
- Hurley told his father "I'm not going anywhere with you." Walt said those exact words to Michael when Michael came back into his life. ("Special")
- David Reyes tells Hurley "you make your own luck". Hurley is told the same thing when he seeks the origin of the numbers in Australia from Martha Toomey. ("Numbers")