While the backstories seen to date on the show weren’t
exactly original, I still feel like the one presented in this episode felt the
most derivative, the least unique, the least…well, Lost. The show deals in
archetypes, to be sure, but quite often these archetypes are centered on
particular personalities: the martyr, the acolyte, the romantic. Things of that
nature. This particular edition inserted a character archetype: the
fallen-from-grace rocker, and while I’ve no lack of love for one Charlie Pace,
I can’t say I loved how the show started his long, aching road back towards
4) In Short
"If only there was a convenient external metaphor to emphasize my
8) On the Island
Charlie’s in the caves, sweating up a storm. Turns out he can’t play too well
without his precious heroin. Locke offers to take him for a walk, but Charlie
declines. Later on, he finally tries to join up with Locke, only to get chased
by a wild boar. Note to Charlie: much like when Gozer the Gozarian asks you if
you’re a god, you say "YES" when Season 1 Locke asks you to do
Turns out Locke used Charlie as unwitting bait to lure the boar into a trap.
Charlie’s all, "That’s bloody great, now gimmeh my drugs!" Locke,
taking the role of Jesus, tells Charlie, now in the role of St. Peter, that he
can ask for his drugs back three times, stating that the choice is what will
make the act meaningful. And that, Charlie, was numero uno.
Jack admits he sounds like a broken record, and watching these eps so closely
together, I concur.) Sawyer swoops in and claims Jack’s tent as his own,
even without the cunning use of flags.
Sayid has a plan to locate the source of the French woman’s signal: LINE DANCING!
OK, it’s not line dancing, it’s involves the triangulation of the signal, but
seriously, if Sayid had turned into the Lord of the Dance, I would be on board
with that decision. Sayid, Boone, and Kate are the point people on this
mission. (I would have opted for Frogurt, Nikki, and Paolo, but whatevs.) In
order to help Sayid’s plan, Kate snags a power cell from a laptop hoarded by
Sawyer. They don’t so much make "cute" as make "meh," a
hallmark of these early scenes between them.
Back in the caves, Charlie makes a mess of things trying to help carry Jack’s
bags back from camp. Jack notices that Charlie has the sweats after catching
him sorting through the meds. Not good. Elsewhere, Jin’s tending to the wounds
incurred by the handcuffs, when he sees his wife’s…bare…shoulders. So not
good. Elsewhere, Charlie gets fed up by what he perceives to be constant
slights from Jack, and while telling Jack off, shouts, "I’m a bloody rock
god!" which, wouldn’t you know, causes a cave-in that traps Jack inside.
REALLY not good.
Boone, who hands over triangulation duties, reluctantly, to Shannon.
Charlie then looks for Kate. Sawyer, hearing his call, offers to go find her,
but more importantly, goes to find her TOPLESS! That should aid his efforts.
Cut down on wind resistance and all.
In the caves, Michael uses his engineering skills to come up with a plan to get
to Jack without reducing the integrity of the cave any more. Walt seems
impressed, as are all Lost fans who forgot that Michael used to be insanely
helpful on this show before, well, you know.
Charlie mopes out of the caves, and runs into Locke. He tells Locke about the
cave-in, but Locke knows the real reason he’s there. More broken than the first
time, Charlie asks for his stash. Locke takes Charlie to a nearby tree, showing
him a moth cocoon. What follows is a minute of hit-you-over-the-head metaphor
that I won’t recount. Didn’t like this speech the first time, sure as heck
don’t the second.
Sawyer catches up to Kate and Sayid, but after a rude greeting from Freckles,
doesn’t share his info about Jack. Instead, he offers to join them and help. As
Sawyer is busy attaching an antenna up a tree, he tells Kate to watch out for
cooties and heads off to attach his own antenna. While alone, Sawyer finally
tells Kate about Jack’s plight, which sends her running to the caves. If you’re
keeping track, that means Sayid LLC has suffered 66% turnaround since opening
After much work, Michael & Co. eventually bore a small hole through which
they can hear Jack inside. But they can’t make the hole any bigger lest Jack
get crushed. Charlie volunteers, stating everyone else has someone who will
miss them on the Island. Charlie succeeds in
reaching Jack, but closes the hole behind them when he enters. Kate arrives just
after this, finding a deflated group of rescuers when she arrives. Her entrance
jumpstarts another rescue attempt, and long-time Lost viewers remember when
Kate kicked so much butt on this show and wonder when all that stopped.
then encounters another problem: Jack’s dislocated shoulder. Jack talks him
through the procedure to fix it, which essentially comes down to,
"Pull!" Jack confesses he knew about Charlie’s addiction, and assures
him he’s far from useless. Aww. Just at that moment, Charlie sees a moth. Bleh.
But thanks to the moth, Charlie finds a way out of the cave, emerging from the
cocoon-like earth, and the two arrive behind the would-be rescuers.
Finally in position, Sayid launches his flare. On the beach, Shannon
to manages to launch her flare. And Sawyer answers in turn. But while setting
up his signal, Sayid gets knocked unconscious. But by whom? (Well, OK, we know.
But let’s pretend like we don’t.)
agrees since Bare Shoulders Sun also lives there. Kate makes Jack a makeshift
sling. And Charlie asks for his drugs back, only to throw them into the fire
upon getting them back from Locke. A moth flies into the air, and I throw up
into my shoe.
15) Off the Island
Charlie’s in confession, telling the priest about an encounter that I shall not
recount here, but sufficed to say, if you have both Cinemax and insomnia, you
may have already seen yourself. Charlie blames the band for his encounter,
although I blame him for seducing a few Tolkien fans myself. The priest
convinces Charlie to leave the band, but Liam, his brother, soon informs him
that their band, Driveshaft, just landed a record deal.
involve threesomes. Um, Charlie, you’re not making a convincing case, buddy.
Liam agrees to end the band if things get too crazy, but we’ve already
established a baseline of threesomes, leading me to wonder exactly what
constitutes "too crazy" in this context. (Don’t leave any suggestions
below, please.) Nevertheless, this argument appeases Charlie, as the two brothers agree
to look out for each other.
Driveshaft’s onstage, and just in case it wasn’t clear that these guys are
based on Oasis, they give this band’s lead singer Liam the same downward-turned
microphone position of the real thing. Charlie’s unhappy with Liam butting in
on the chorus to "Don’t Look Back in Anger," oops, I mean, "You
All Everybody." Liam then leaves with a girl in one arm and a bag of drugs
in the other. (One girl + one bag of coke = more in control than two girls, I
Later on during the tour, Liam’s condition is worsened. Turns out he missed a sound
check, is further into drugs, and on top of everything else, managed to pay a
lot for that muffler! The brotherly bond is broken when Liam refuses to walk
away from the band as promised, tells Charlie he’d be nothing without the band,
and leaves Charlie alone with his thoughts…and a bag of heroin.
to get his brother out on tour again, with some new buzz about them in the
States. Liam doesn’t want to go back to that lifestyle, a lifestyle he soon
realizes still has its grips on his younger brother. He offers to help clean
Charlie up, but Charlie refuses, saying he’s got a plane to catch.
16) The Mythology
"I’m a bloody rock god!" Much in the way that the appearance of his
guitar in "House of the Rising Sun" straddles the line between
realism and magic, so too does this line. While a bit too hit-you-over-the-head
(keeping in line with the majority of the episode), this moment nevertheless
suggests a symbiotic relationship between the Island
and the moods/actions of those upon it.
When Locke suggests to Charlie that an active, willing choice to give up his
drugs was more important than simply running out of them, the show introduces
an important thematic element that ties into its mythology: mere action is not
enough; action with proper intent is paramount. (I couldn’t personally help but
think of Ben, two seasons later, telling Jack that he wants Jack to WANT to
save Ben. Merely going through the motions seemingly wouldn’t cut it.)
Sayid getting clubbed by an unknown entity scared the crap out of me upon first
watching, and was no less fascinating this time around.
42) In Retrospect
Kate telling Sawyer’s that he’s got no one to miss, and that no one missed
him…well, we know at least one person he misses now, don’t we?
Watching Sayid act as the Locke to Kate’s Jack as they walk alone in the wild
was fascinating. Sayid later turned into a hard-nosed, grounded protagonist,
but at this point in the game is clearly of the "this Island
be crazy, yo" camp.
While probably obvious the first time around, the hurt behind Sawyer’s eyes
every time Kate sees him as a less than a human being is all the more clear
now. Outstanding work by Josh Holloway.
Back when most of us saw the show going the way of "Lord of the
Flies," I thought we’d seen Locke obtain his first disciple by episode’s
end, a trend that would continue throughout the show until Jack and Locke waged
war against each other. Thankfully, nothing that simplistic happened, although
Season 4 certainly took this idea and ran with it in a more subtle, more
108) In Summary
Now, this episode wasn’t a stinker by any measure, but after the run of early
episodes, this is the first that really didn’t hold its own when compared to
the others. The moth imagery/metaphor just beats you down by episode’s
end, making you long for the more subtle writing the show has produced up until
this point. In addition, as mentioned earlier, the flashbacks felt by the
numbers, producing a story whose end you could largely anticipate. Charlie
later received some stellar episodes, culminating with "Greatest
Hits;" but this just wasn’t quite up to par.
Leave your thoughts about this episode below!
Ryan also posts every 108 minutes over at Boob Tube Dude.