Dominicmonaghan_lost_240I have never really counted myself among the Charlie haters out there in Lost fandom. He’s hardly my favorite character on the series, but I certainly wasn’t cheering when Desmond revealed his premonitions to Charlie a while back.

And tonight’s episode looked like it would be Charlie’s big redemption — his chance to die a noble death, help his fellow crash survivors get a leg up on the Others and just maybe pave the way to a rescue.

Yeah, of course that wasn’t going to work.

Even when he’s trying to do perhaps the finest thing he’s ever done, Charlie can’t catch a break. We discover that the Looking Glass station, where Juliet says the Others are jamming outgoing signals, is populated by at least two women with guns and deeply paranoid looks in their eyes. Even with what seemed like a pretty good plan, Jack, Sayid and the other survivors are still playing from behind.

Sidebar: Unless there’s more than one buried cable on the island, I think we can assume the Looking Glass station is also the site of the sonar beacon that was supposedly fried when the hatch imploded. If so, how is it that the jamming signal is still working (if it is)? Or for that matter, Rousseau’s radio beacon, which is apparently still strong enough to override the signal on Naomi’s sat-phone?

Elizabethmitchell_lost_s3_240Also, do we figure Juliet was telling the truth, or at least what she believed was true, when she said the station was abandoned? It could very well be that Ben kept the Looking Glass guards’ existence a secret from her — or it could be that Karl was more right than he knew in telling everyone Juliet was a spy.

I’m inclined to believe the former, if only because sending Charlie out to the station wasn’t part of the original plan to "blow them to hell." That only came about after Karl arrived to tell them the invasion was happening sooner than anyone thought.

With the way the episode ended, there’s really not much left to do but speculate on where it will take us in next week’s finale. So I’ll let you all do that after just a couple more things:

  • Again, an unconventional flashback served the show quite well. More than just about any other time in the show’s three seasons, this episode made it explicit that the flashbacks were Charlie’s memories and not just extra pieces of thematically relevant information for the audience. Anyone else think of Nick Hornby as Charlie was writing down his all-time, desert island, top five life moments?
  • Rose and Bernard! They’re alive! And Bernard is a crack shot. That last fact cuts down my happiness at seeing them again; as Rose correctly observes, her husband being one of the shooters puts him pretty directly in harm’s way.
  • Nice callback to Desmond’s life-flash to have Charlie busking in London before he stops the mugger for top memory No. 2.
  • Also nice: the tender moment between Sun and Jin. Again, though, I’m worried for Jin, as he’s apparently the third marksman in the shoot-the-dynamite plan.

Enough of the bullet points, though: What’s your take on tonight’s Lost? Who’s dying next week? And where’s it go from here?