- We find out in Hurley’s flashbacks that Hurley truly was “crazy” at some point in his life. After a traumatic incident involving a deck filled with 23 people while built to hold 8 (Numbers alert!), Hurley became catatonic and created a friend for himself. A bald, fun man who accepted Hurley’s weight (sound familiar?) and actually encouraged him to eat more and more. He says stuff like “dude” and “awesome” and “woah”, does taco nights (unlike Kate) and is generally a fun guy to hang with.
- Dave has a lot in common with another character connected to Hurley’s storyline: David Reyes, Hurley’s father. First of all, there’s the name. Then there’s the happy-go-lucky, nonchalant personality both characters share. In Tricia Tanaka Is Dead, we learn that David abandoned Hurley as a child and didn’t come back into his life until after he’d won the lottery. All he’d left him with was a candy bar and a classic case of daddy issues. No wonder poor Hugo created his own version of a friend.
- Libby mentions in Live Together, Die Alone that she had a husband named David. Jack’s son in the flashsideways is named David as well. It also happens to be the name of producer Damon Lindelof‘s father.
- Damon has confirmed that Dave’s name was connected to Mr. Reyes’.
- While all that sounds great, the (non-)existence of Dave has a negative impact on Hurley’s life. Like Dr. Brooks says, Dave doesn’t want Hurley to change, and according to Hurley, “Dave’s the most normal person in [Santa Rosa]”. Since Hurley doesn’t want to have to deal with reality, everything Dave says seems to make perfect sense, and escaping the psych ward (and later, the island) sounds like a very reasonable idea to him.
- Whenever Hurley has issues with reality on the show, he closes his eyes and tries to convince himself that what he’s seeing isn’t real. We see him use this trick when his father comes back into his life in Tricia Tanaka Is Dead, when he stumbles upon the cabin in The Beginning Of The End, and when he sees Charlie at Santa Rosa in his flashforward.
- Dave also represents Hurley’s struggle with food. On the island, he appears to Hurley right after he finds the Dharma supply drop. At Santa Rosa, when Hurley chooses to go with him, rather than believing Dave can’t be real, lasagna “magically” appears to him, ready to be eaten.
Dave: “Dude, that’s celery. Celery’s not a snack.”
- If Libby – Hurley’s other “imaginary” friend – represents Hurley’s ability to change, Dave stands for the other side of the coin. While Hurley claims to feel “free” while he’s with Libby, Dave says there’s something else that feels even more rewarding:
Dave: “Oh, oh, oh. Can you taste that? That is freedom, baby. You know what tastes even better than freedom? Cheeseburgers. Come on, man. Chili-fries on me.“
- While Dave cleverly avoids touching anything – like Brooks’ keys and the basketball – in the flashback scenes, he’s able to hold his (imaginary) slipper and throw coconuts at Hurley on the island. Is this proof that Dave’s appearance is caused by something other than Hurley’s traumatized mind the second time he appears in his life?