Lost's Hurley says farewell to the island

We know who your favorite cast member is on ABC's Lost, because he's our favorite, too: Jorge Garcia's Hurley/Hugo Reyes. And he's written a heartfelt and characteristically self-effacing essay about leaving the show that made him famous, in today's Variety.

We've excerpted parts below.

During the pilot and the first summer of shooting we bonded quickly as a cast. After all, not unlike the show's premise, we literally found ourselves on an island with one another. We'd go to each other's houses on the weekends and nights when we weren't shooting. When the shows started airing, we would usually gather at the house of whomever the show was going to feature that week to watch and congratulate each other. ...

As the seasons progressed, moments of being recognized on the street grew exponentially. There was a time during season one when all I had to do was tie my hair back to become invisible. Obviously, that does nothing for me now; neither does wearing a hat and sunglasses. At times both Daniel Dae Kim and Terry O'Quinn remarked how they enjoyed disappearing when they were around me as I would be the only one getting recognized. ...

I think the time spent under the cast tent on set will be what I'll miss the most. We sang songs to Terry and Naveen's guitar playing, made valiant group efforts to complete a Friday edition of the New York Times crossword puzzle and played a lot of Scrabble.

My last day on "Lost" was also my longest: 20 hours. Without going into details, I can say the shoot was dangerous, physical and wet. But what could be more appropriate? How else could we end this epic show without an epic marathon night of shooting? At the end of it all we all remarked how we expected the end to be more emotional for us, but we were too tired to cry. ...

I still don't think the end of it all has hit me yet. Maybe I'll feel it when the finale finally airs Sunday. Or maybe it will hit me when I board the plane at Honolulu Airport for the last time as a Hawaiian resident.

The two-and-a-half-hour finale of Lost airs Sunday, starting at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

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