Who is that, crashing through the jungle and diving into the outrigger canoe? I think it’s Carl. Jack, reasserting himself, leads the Losties into a field to demonstrate what he, Juliet and Rousseau have been planning. He opines that for the first time, the Losties know when and where the Others are coming, and that the Others will have no idea that the Losties are going to fight back. Then, Rousseau blows up a tree. Sayid seems semi-impressed, Kate looks incredulous, Sun and Jin seem worried, and Sawyer just looks distrustful. Now, that was a really big explosion. Since the Others have eyes and ears seemingly everywhere, I can’t imagine that huge boom went unnoticed. I think the Losties just tipped their hand. Way to go, Jack. Oh, also: Desmond seems to have had another Charlie-vision.
Flashback: Charlie, Liam and the band hear their song on the radio for the first time. Present: Charlie is making a list on a piece of notebook paper: the flashback we just saw is #5. The Losties are all rigging their tents with wire for the explosives. Sayid, still working on Naomi’s satellite phone, wants to go to the radio tower to turn off Rousseau’s distress call, which he assumes is overriding all other signals. Juliet says no outgoing signals leave the Island: Ben jams everything from the Lookingglass Station (underwater). Sayid is sure that this station is connected to the cable that runs out of the ocean. Desmond tells Charlie that once again, he’s going to die but, because of his death, everyone else will be rescued. If Charlie doesn’t die, the rescue won’t come.
Flashback: Charlie as a young boy, is at a public pool with his dad; Charlie is afraid to jump in the water, but finally does so. Present: On Charlie’s list, the swim lesson is #4. Desmond says that in his vision, Charlie goes down a hatch underwater, flips a switch on a control panel, and then drowns. Sayid comes up with a diagram of the Lookingglass station (taken from Mikhail’s cabin before Locke blew it up): someone will have to follow the cable and swim down to the station to turn off the jamming signal. Jack thinks this is crazy – a suicide mission. With meaningful glances at Desmond, Charlie volunteers for the job. Jack says he is focusing on fighting the Others: “You’ve wanted me to make decisions here for 90 days. I just made one.” Charlie and Des make more meaningful faces at each other. Suddenly, Carl (I knew it was Carl!) lands on the beach in the outrigger and races towards the Losties. Sayid tackles him but Sawyer intercedes on Carl’s behalf, invoking their cage time together. Carl says that the Others are coming! Sawyer says we know, tomorrow night. Carl says no, now! Tonight! Oops!
Flashback: the Others’ camp, six hours ago. Ben comes back from having shot Locke and tells the assembled group that the attack on the Losties will commence immediately. Richard objects, wanting to know where Locke is; Ben insists and the thugs in the group get a move on. Alex runs into the jungle to where Carl is hiding, and sends him off to warn the Losties. Present: On the beach, they’re making new plans. Instead of wiring all the tents, they’ll stack dynamite in three tents, and then the three best shots will stay behind to sniper-shoot the dynamite to detonate it. Rousseau will take the rest of the Losties to the radio tower for safety and to turn off the distress call. Charlie and Desmond will head to the Lookingglass station to shut it down. Flashback: sometime during Drive Shaft’s heyday, after Liam started shooting up but before Charlie succumbed, Liam gives Charlie a ring that was a family heirloom. Present: Charlie lists the ring as #3. He tells Claire not to be afraid and tells Aaron that he loves him. Claire gives Charlie a really sweet kiss and then he strides off resolutely.
Flashback: In London, Charlie rescues a woman from a mugger. She tells him that he is a hero. Present: The mugging interruptus is #2. Bernard turns out to be a pretty good shot, so he will be one of the three snipers waiting in the Losties’ camp; I think Bernard is fodder. (Sayid and Jin are the other two shooters.) Jack wants to stay behind for the fight but Sayid tells him to act like the leader he is claiming to be. I sure hope Sayid doesn’t get killed off. Hurley wants to come with Charlie and Des but Charlie won’t let him, saying Hurley is too big for the boat. “That’s not cool, man,” says Hurley. Charlie feels badly, and gives his friend a big hug, sending him on his way.
Charlie and Desmond pull the outrigger hand over hand along the cable. Flashback: It’s season 1, and Charlie introduces himself to Claire by a campfire on the beach, the airplane wreckage behind them. Present: Meeting Claire is #1 on Charlie’s “greatest hits” list; he gives the list to Desmond and asks him to give it to Claire. Des says wait, I’ll dive down instead of you. Charlie says okay, and then whacks Des on the head with a paddle, knocking him out. Charlie dives down and makes it into the station. It’s a new set! And clearly not flooded. He pulls himself onto the decking, thrilled to be alive. Suddenly, a door flies open and two women charge out, guns drawn.
It’s fairly heavy-handed, the way they have Charlie saying goodbye to everyone. Since he’s the odds-on favorite to get killed off, the build up makes you certain that he’s not going to make it to the end of the episode. It was when he said goodbye to Hurley, however, that I guessed he wouldn’t get killed off quite yet – it was too obvious for this show. Again, for a detailed analysis, try The House Next Door. His position is that this was one of the all-time best Lost episodes; reading through his post may just convince you of it.
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