20. “Greatest Hits,” Lost
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Season Three, Episode 21
Original Airdate: May 16, 2007
Written By: Adam Horowitz, Edward Kitsis
Directed By: Stephen Williams
Starring: Naveen Andrews as Sayid Jarrah
Henry Ian Cusick as Desmond Hume
Emilie de Ravin as Claire Littleton
Michael Emerson as Benjamin Linus
Matthew Fox as Jack Shephard
Jorge Garcia as Hugo “Hurley” Reyes
Josh Holloway as James “Sawyer” Ford
Daniel Dae Kim as Jin Kwon
Yunjin Kim as Sun Kwon
Evangeline Lilly as Kate Austen
Dominic Monaghan as Charlie Pace
Elizabeth Mitchell as Juliet Burke
Synopsis: Charlie makes a list of the best moments of his life. Once again, Desmond has foreseen his death, but this time Charlie decides to face it head on. Jack devises a plan to fight back when The Others arrive, but unexpected developments jeopardize everything. Sayid discovers a way to contact Naomi’s ship, but it requires a sacrifice. Everyone is on edge, as the first major confrontation with The Others approaches.
- The place where Charlie is busking across from the Covent Garden Underground Station does not exist. There is no newsstand or lighted theatre entrance there. Busking is also prohibited on that particular corner.
- The t-shirt that Charlie wears in this episode has four Chinese words, yong qi (勇氣) and xin nian (信念), which mean “courage” and “faith” respectively.
- Dominic Monaghan was inspired by Leonardo DiCaprio’s underwater performance in Titanic and opened his mouth briefly underwater to appear under greater duress.
- The episode won the E! Tater Top Award for “Biggest Tearjerker”.
- This episode was nominated for a 2008 Golden Reel Award for Best Sound Editing in Television: Short Form – Dialogue and Automated Dialogue Replacement.
- Jeff Jensen of Entertainment Weekly wrote that Monaghan “turned in his best performance yet on Lost” and described the final scene as “breathtaking” with “a stunningly realized, Emmy-worthy triumph of F/X.”
- Patrick Day of the Los Angeles Times thought that “as far as penultimate set-up-to-the-big-finale episodes go, ‘Greatest Hits’ was above par in more than one way.”
- Kristin Veitch of E! also enjoyed Monaghan’s acting and called the episode a “perfect example” of the series’ high quality.
Why It’s on the List: This is it, folks. This is where it starts getting really good. I mean, this is half the reason you watch those dumb countdown shows on VH1 or AFI or whatever. The further you get down the list, the better. So here comes the good shit. Every episode from here on out is on the list because it is important to me, for one reason or another. And not just on a superficial level. These episodes are saying something important. Comedy or drama, satire or not, they’ve all got that little nugget of humanity buried in there somewhere. This is my TV Bible, and “Greatest Hits” is the first. Say what you want about Lost, that it’s confusing and stupid, and that it’s creators couldn’t find the truth if it walked up and bit them on the ass. Say that if you want, but the cold hard facts are these: this show is innovative and brave, this show is executed with purpose, and sometimes, this results in perfection. Case in point, this episode. I chose this particular one because for the most part, of all the great episodes this show has produced, this one stands on its own. And, if you know me at all, I kinda have a thing with death and nostalgia. The story of Charlie Pace, washed up rock star and drug addict, is compelling for its stunningly simple message. I mean, if you knew you were going to die — or even if you weren’t — how would the best moments of your life stack up and what do they say about you as a person? For me, watching this episode is comparable to experiencing extreme contentment while simultaneously having your chest ripped open by a chainsaw. Enjoy.
Extra Goodies: Episode Transcript, Screencaps, Watch the Episode
Previously, on Lost: A bunch of strangers crash landed on a strange, STRANGE, island that turned out to be inhabited by a mysterious group they call The Others. Desmond begins seeing future flashes of Charlie dying and does all he can to prevent them, but ends up telling Charlie that no matter what he does, Charlie is going to die. A woman named Naomi parachutes onto the island from a boat that’s anchored just beyond the paranormal reaches of the island. She has a satellite phone and says she can rescue them. But nobody told Jack because he’s fresh back from his stint making best buddies with The Others, in particular, Juliet whom he brought back to the camp. Sawyer shows the other Losties a tape he found of Juliet telling Ben, the leader of The Others, that Sun is pregnant and him telling her to identify the other pregnant women so that The Others can come collect them. (Pregnant women mysteriously die on the Island in their third trimester and this fact concerns Ben. He brought Juliet to the island to study the phenomena and find a cure.) They confront Jack and Juliet, who admits Ben tried to send her as a mole but says she’s with them now, that she already told Jack everything. Jack tells them he has a plan.
On the Radio
Rather dramatically, a young man named Karl is pushing a boat into the water. The waters of turbulence and strife. He strains and pushes, sweat pouring down his face. The drums are poundy poundy and the violins are escalating. It is a pontoon boat; he is panicked as he rows away. Harsh cut to the wilds of Hawaii, er, I mean the Island. Wait, what? What happened to Karl! Just kidding, I already know.
So anyway, the wilds. The Losties, led by Jack, are on a trek to God-knows where. Actually, Jack knows where, but sometimes I think he has a God-complex. So it counts. He needs to prove that he isn’t a traitor and that he can be trusted, and what better way to do that than to blow shit up? Whoops, spoiler. But Charlie, lagging behind everyone else, is whining a little about what in the world Jack can be about to show them all the way out there. Hurley: “I dunno. Stuff. Probably secret stuff.” As Charlie continues his half-hearted whinging (British, for ‘whining’), Desmond pauses just in front of him, a strange look passing over his face. The funny look doesn’t leave his face even as Charlie and Hurley are discussing the semantics of secret-keeping, aka keeping Naomi a secret from Jack vs. Jack keeping things secret from them. Charlie points out that they weren’t playing football with Naomi, but he finally notices Desmond’s pause. When he questions him Desmond tries to pass it off as nothing, but Charlie quickly surmises it was another of his death portentous flashes. While I’m sure he is right, Desmond says nay. Before Charlie can argue any further, Jack says they’ve arrived.
Everyone gathers around Jack and Juliet. Jack gets his ‘I’m the Leader’ face on; he is very burdened. He tells them that a couple of nights before, Juliet came to him (I bet she did) and told him everything about how Ben wanted her to find out who was pregnant so they could come and take them away. Kate interrupts, wanting to know if Juliet has been experimenting on them. She says no, but that’s what Ben wanted her to do. She’s been exchanging tapes secretly with Ben at the medical station. She apologizes to Sun for having lied to her. Now it’s Sayid’s turn to talk — and kick some ass. He says he appreciates her honesty, but he wants to know what they’re doing out here. In the background, Charlie’s all, that’s what I said. Jack non-sequiturs: “Danielle!” And I actually love this moment, because Rousseau is so scary and cool. She just saunters all panther-like out of the jungle, everyone staring in something like awe. I mean, she’s lived alone for sixteen years; her daughter was stolen from her. Her story is the stuff epics (and Lifetime movies) are made of. She is Rousseau. “Show ‘em,” Jack tells her. Without much ado, Rousseau grabs two wires near Jack’s feet, puts them together, and a huge explosion rocks the trees, flaming upwards. The Losties are a bit surprised, to say the least. And now it’s speech time:
Jack: “When Juliet told me they were coming, the first thing I thought was, ‘Where the hell are we gonna hide this time?’ But hiding’s pointless. They’re just gonna keep coming back. So I went out and I found some help. And for the past few days she’s been bringing dynamite back from the Black Rock. For the very first time we know exactly what they want, when they’re coming to get it, and they have no idea that we’re gonna be waiting for ‘em. So Juliet’s gonna mark the tents with the white rocks just like she was told to, but there’s not going to be any pregnant women inside; there’s gonna be plenty of what we just used on that tree. So tomorrow night we stop hiding, we stop running, we stop living in fear of them, because when they show up, we’re gonna blow ‘em all to hell.”
Flashback: Some abandoned roadside in rainy England. Charlie Pace and his brother Liam are attempting to change a tire on their old, broken-down van while their bandmates are flipping through the radio. Charlie is extremely frustrated, and extremely wet. The rain is just pouring down. He starts yelling at Liam: “Oh, bloody hell!! Why are we even doing this?!” Chin up, Liam tells him, they’re heading for a gig, headlining. Charlie’s like, we’re headlining in Clitheroe, this is a big deal how? But Liam is optimistic; they’re building their fanbase. But Charlie’s had it. He’s had it with the not being famous and the not being rich, but most of all he’s had it with this tire blow-out. He tells Liam he’s done, that they can go on “building their fanbase,” he quits. But just as Charlie’s yelling about being a “bloody joke,” from inside the van, their bandmates yell for them to “shut it” and listen. They turn the radio up full blast, and soon we hear a slightly grainy version of Drive Shaft’s “You All Everybody.” Charlie: “That’s us, we’re on the radio!” And his life changes in an instant. Just like that. They all laugh and cheer; Charlie is ecstatic. Liam picks him up and swings him over his shoulder, spinning them in the rain. They’re gonna be bloody rock stars.
Present day, the Island. Charlie is writing something on one of the homemade tables. As we get closer and he finishes, we see that he’s scrawled on a simple piece of lined paper: #5 – The first time I heard myself on the radio. Naomi approaches from behind, interrupting his reverie. She wants to ask him something and he’s all ears. “Who are you people about to go to war with?” Honey, that’s a really long story; Charlie thinks so, too, but Naomi wants to know if he’s having a laugh at her. He’s like, course not, “I’d never disrespect a fellow Mancunian.” Naomi’s excited to hear that he’s from Manchester, too; it’s always nice to meet someone from home when you’re away. And they’re really away. He starts telling her that his band got their start there, playing in pubs and the like, which eventually leads to her discovery that yes, he’s a famous rock star. But it’s more than that. Naomi, having been off the island all this time, has news of the outside world. She tells Charlie, “No, not that, the crash. You’re the dead rock star. They made a big deal out of you when they found the plane–huge memorial service, new album. ” Charlie is visibly pleased by this new information, but really, could she have chosen worse — or more fitting — words? “Dead rock star”? “A new album?” he wants to know. Yeah, she says, Greatest Hits and all that, “God, it was everywhere.” And right now, this scene, so seemingly innocent, is breaking my heart. And Charlie joins me when he sees Desmond off in the distance, those death flashes not far from his mind. Dead rock star indeed. Is that all you are about to become? Naomi: “Hey, look on the bright side. You’re not really dead, right?”
By the tents, Jack and Juliet are carefully unwrapping their ancient dynamite, Rousseau supervising. Whenever they play with this stuff I get extremely nervous. I mean, remember what happened to Arzt? Anyway, they need more wire so they can trigger the dynamite from a safe distance. Jack suggests stripping the plane wreckage and Rousseau says that means she can finish rigging the tents within twenty-four hours; they’ll be ready by tomorrow night. Jack and Juliet leave her to her business and Sayid catches up to them. He wants to talk about Naomi’s satellite phone, but Jack doesn’t have time for that. Sayid pushes the matter, saying that he’s trying to get them off the island. They all stop to listen. He tells them that he can’t transmit using the phone because Rousseau’s distress signal is overriding the frequency; he needs her to tell him where the tower is so he can go there and turn it off. Naomi’s boat is only eighteen miles offshore; they’ll hear the transmission. Juliet: “No, they won’t.” They all turn to look at her, distrustful. “We’re jamming it . . . Ben is using one of the DHARMA stations to block all of the signals off of the Island except for ours.” The station is called The Looking Glass — thank you for the Alice in Wonderland reference — and it’s underwater. Juliet has no idea where it is. But Sayid thinks he does. God, I love continuity.
Claire’s tent / lean-to thing. Charlie is playing with baby Aaron. Claire is worried that The Others are coming for him again, but Charlie assures her that he’ll protect her and the baby at whatever cost. Please, stop with the sad foreshadowing already! “Everything is going to be fine.” Desmond approaches, saying he needs a hand with something, but really he just wants to talk away from Claire. Charlie asks him if he’s ready to tell him what he saw that morning and Desmond affirms. “So, how’s it happen this time?” Desmond is extremely hesitant, but eventually he speaks, “What I saw, Charlie, was Claire and her baby getting into a helicopter. A helicopter that lifts off–leaves this Island.” Charlie wants to know if he’s sure; he needs repeat affirmation, over and over. He needs to be sure. Charlie is relieved, “We’re getting bloody rescued! I thought you were gonna tell me I was gonna die again!” But he is, Charlie. “You are.” Charlie is confused. Desmond: “If you don’t, none of it will happen. There won’t be any rescue. I’m sorry, brother, but this time — this time you have to die.” BOOM, commercial break.
Learning to Swim
Flashback: A public swimming pool at Butlins Holiday Camp. A young Charlie, about eight years old, is standing by the edge of the water as his father and brother are splashing around. His father calls to him, telling him to jump in, and that he’ll catch him. “No,” Charlie says, “You’re just going to back away.” Don’t be daft, Charlie. “Jump in!” No. His father promises to catch him. Liam swims by, “No he won’t.” Mr. Pace: “Zip it you! Don’t listen to your brother. Just jump on in. There’s nothing to be afraid of, Charlie. I’ll catch ya, I promise.” Charlie is unsure, but steps forward. And then he jumps straight into the water. His father didn’t catch him like he promised, but he does pick him up joyfully afterwards, swinging him around and around as Charlie shouts, “I did it! I did it!” And he didn’t need to be caught, he caught himself. “You’re swimming, Charlie, you’re swimming!”
Present day, the Island. Charlie finishes writing on his paper: #4 – Dad teaching me to swim at Butlins. Desmond asks what him he’s doing, but Charlie pushes him off. He wants to know about Desmond’s vision. Desmond: “You’re inside a hatch. It’s, er, a room full of equipment. There’s a blinking yellow light. And a switch. You flick the switch, light goes off, and then you drown.” Charlie absorbs this information stoically. When, he asks, but Desmond doesn’t know. “You sure you saw Claire and Aaron getting on that helicopter?” Desmond affirms. “So, before I drown, I just have to flip a switch.” That’s right. Charlie’s face is almost unreadable, so hard is he trying to suppress his emotions. He listens as Desmond tells him further details about what he seems predestined to do.
Further down the beach, Jack, Juliet, and Sayid are examining blueprints of what appears to be The Looking Glass that they must have obtained from The Flame station. Sayid asks Juliet to tell them everything she knows about it, but she confesses that she’s never been there and that Ben told all of them that there was some sort of accident, “that the station was completely flooded.” Sayid tells them that The Looking Glass is connected to the island via a cable, and tells them his theory about the cable that he found down the beach not long before. “I feel sure that this is the very same cable down the beach which runs into the ocean. So if we follow the cable, it should lead us to the station.” Jack wants logistics, and Sayid says that they’re going to have to swim in, “There’s a moon pool. A room with an open floor at the base if the station, big enough for a submarine to dock. Even if the station’s flooded, I think I’ll be able to find the relay switch and disable it.” But what about swimming back out? Sayid just looks at him and Jack immediately starts to freak out, saying he’s not letting Sayid go on some suicide mission. Just as Sayid is saying that someone has to do it, up come Charlie and Desmond, and Charlie says he’ll do it. Jack tries to dismiss him, but Charlie will have none of that. “I was junior swim champion in Northern England. I can hold my breath for four minutes. I know exactly what you’re talking about, Jack.” And I’m really not sure if he’s lying here, or just trying to be brave. Junior swim champion? Jack dismisses it again, saying they need to worry about The Others now. Sayid pushes, righteously upset: “Wait a minute. We have the chance to signal for a rescue.” Jack: “Look, for ninety days I’ve been asked to make decisions for this entire camp. There you go. I just made one.” Whatever you say, Jack.
The rest of the Losties are scavenging from the remains of the plane wreckage. Rose and Bernard are bickering about knots, and it’s really cute. I love when old people are in love. A little ways away, Sun and Jin are speaking in Korean; Jin is still incredibly new with English. Jin asks Sun what was going on earlier; he heard Juliet saying Sun’s name on the tape. She pauses slightly, not wishing to tell him the real reason for needing to go with Juliet to the medical station, and distracts him a little with half-truths, “I saw our baby.” She says she saw it on an ultrasound, but all he wants to know if the baby is healthy. She affirms, and he is happy. Still further down the beach, Hurley notices something out on the water. Karl arrives on the shore, exhausted, and runs toward them. Sayid, the lug, tackles poor Karl to the ground before Sawyer can convince him that Karl’s one of the good guys. When he’s finally able to speak, he frantically begins to warn them of the imminent arrival of “his people.” Sawyer’s like, dude, sucks to be you but we totally already knew that. And Karl’s like, the fuck you still doing here!? Sawyer: “Because when your people show up here tomorrow night, we’re gonna be ready for ‘em. ” And it is to the ultimate dismay of everyone on the beach that Karl then informs everyone that no, oh no. They’re not coming tomorrow; they’re coming tonight. “They’re coming right now!” BOOM.
He Gave Me a Ring
A flashback, but not a Charlie one. It’s six hours earlier, in the camp of The Others. Alex, Ben’s “daughter,” is skinning a rabbit, blood all over her hands. I’m sure that is signifiying something, but I’m too grossed out to think about it. Ben is all fresh, arriving back from betraying Locke and totally shooting him and leaving him to die. She stops him, asking when he got back, and asks after Locke. He doesn’t answer her, but pulls out a large pistol from inside his shirt and says, “Here’s your gun back.” Fun family. The ageless Other, Richard Alpert, approaches, asking Ben what’s going on. Ben starts gathering his stormtroopers, but Richard also wants to know about Locke. But Ben’s just like, bitch, it’s time to move. “But you said tomorrow.” Ben: “Jacob wants it to happen now.” Richard is eager to know if John talked with Jacob, but Ben is seriously not wanting to talk about Locke right now. Basically Ben swings it so that the ten freakiest Others will arrive at the beach camp by nightfall, not caring if Juliet’s ready, and take all the women, killing the men if necessary. Alex has been listening this whole time and covertly runs into the jungle where she finds her secret outcast boyfriend, Karl. She frantically tells him what’s happening, kisses him, reminds him of the debt he owes to Kate and Sawyer for saving his life, and off he goes to warn the Losties. Here we get a slower version of the opening sequence, and a beautiful shot of little Karl, rowing his poor heart out. Let’s all move to Hawaii and live naked on the beach.
Back to the beach, Karl having just told them everything. Jack turns to Kate, asking whether she trusts the kid. She shrugs and this makes Karl really pissed off. I mean, come on. The poor kid — all that rowing! “You don’t trust me? What about her!” He points to Juliet, who is standing a little ways off, looking out of place. On a completely unrelated sidenote, I love her. “She’s a spy. She’s supposed to mark the tents of the pregnant women with white rocks so they can take them.” Everyone just looks at him, like, yes, little boy. Juliet’s all, they know, but thanks. She’s so polite. And funny. Hurley, always eager, wants to know what they should do, and Sun suggests leaving, hiding. Bernard makes a good point: “Where? It’s their Island; if they wanna kill us; they’ll find us.” Jack asks Rousseau if they have enough wire, and the answer is no, but Jack is determined to find a way to set off the dynamite. He really, really wants to kill him some Others. Do no harm, Jack. Do no harm. Sayid suggests shooting the dynamite, and Jack’s like, yes! With guns! We need guns! Three guns, for each of the three tents that Juliet marked. Man, these hypothetical women have been getting busy. Karl pulls out the gun Alex gave him and gives it to Jack. Everyone freaks out a little but it’s all cool. Rousseau offers her gun and her services, but Jack only takes the gun; he wants her to lead the rest to the radio tower. Finally, Jack gets it: “Now if this doesn’t work, we can’t risk losing the chance of getting in contact with Naomi’s boat, so everything has to happen at the same time. Charlie? You still up for a swim?” Also, maybe some death? You up for it, Chalee? But Charlie is brave: “Yeah, I believe I am.” Desmond offers to go with him. Oh, God. Somebody hold me.
Flashback: Charlie is asleep in a large hotel suite with two naked, leggy blondes draped over his prostrate form, like some sort of sexy rock-star blanket. Must have been a fun night, wink-wink. Enter Liam, bouncing and Ho Ho Ho-ing, because hey, it’s Christmas. Apparently the “birds” in Charlie’s bed were from row two of last night’s concert, and also, this is pre-drug addiction, as Liam calls him the “only drug-free rock-star in England.” Liam: “I’m gonna share a little known fact with you. Father Christmas lives just down the street from here.” Charlie: “Father Christmas lives in Helsinki?” Indeed he does, and in case Charlie hasn’t noticed, “Finland is the bloody North Pole. Therefore, a very special gift for you this year.” Liam pulls the DS ring off of his finger and Charlie’s face goes a little slack. He protests, knowing what’s coming, saying that Mum gave him that, and that it was her father’s before that, and Liam’s the first born. Liam then proceeds to give the most dramatic irony filled speech in the history of television: “And it’s a family heirloom, and that’s why we named the band after Dexter bloody Stratton. I know. But Charlie–let’s be honest–we both know I’m a sodding mess. But you, you’re different. You’re gonna get married, have a family, a baby. I’ll be lucky if I hit thirty.” Oh, Liam, wait a year until Charlie’s the one messed up, and you have a baby on the way. A family. Everything changes, given time. But time is precisely that which present day Charlie has so very little of. Charlie protests some more, but Liam insists, telling Charlie to pass it on to his little one someday. Charlie gives in, saying he’ll hold on to it, but he won’t take it. He slips it onto his middle finger. It fits perfectly. Liam: “Happy Christmas, baby brother.”
Present day, Charlie is once again working on his list. This time he has added #3 – The Christmas Liam gave me the ring. He looks at the ring fondly, smiling at the memory, before getting up and going over to Claire in her tent. “You need some help?” he asks her. But all Claire wants to know is why he didn’t tell her he was going off to do this Looking Glass suicide mission. The answer? “I didn’t want you to worry.” But she is worried, it’s dangerous, swimming into an underwater station. Charlie: “It’s what needs to be done to get us all rescued.” She doesn’t look convinced at his brave words. “I’ll be fine, Claire. Now you’ve gotta promise me something. While I’m gone, don’t worry about me.” I just want all of you to know that this is the moment I officially lost it because HE IS TOTALLY LYING. But she promises anyway. She obviously can’t see my tears. Charlie offers to take the squirming Aaron off her hands, placing him gently in his handmade crib and whispering, “Hey! All right, Turniphead, now you take care of your Mum while I’m away, OK?” He pauses; the baby’s hands do this gorgeously sad thing where they pause on his face. Charlie closes his eyes. “I love you.” Seriously MAKE IT STOP.
He strides carefully back over to Claire, knowing each step is one closer to his last, to say goodbye to her. And a hell of a goodbye: “See you soon,” he says, lying again. She tells him to be careful, and he promises, kissing her goodbye. But how is she to know that this will be his last kiss, his last moment of happiness. How will she ever understand how hard it was for him in this moment to walk away from her, Aaron, his family, and to know that he will never come back. He gets up to go, the camera follows him for a long while. This is the hardest thing he’s ever had to do.
She Called Me a Hero
Flashback: Charlie is busking outside of Covent Garden in London. He is singing “Wonderwall“; that is never a good sign. Out of nowhere, it starts to rain. He apologizes to the small crowd, taking one last tip, and packs up his guitar.
As he’s walking past an alley, he sees a woman being mugged and calling for help. He hesitates slightly, but then roars out a rather frightening “Oi!” He runs over to the woman and her attacker, hitting him with his guitar case and yelling at him to “get the hell away from her.” The man runs away and Charlie turns to face the woman, whom we see is the one and only Nadia, Sayid’s one true love. What a small world. She tells him she’s okay and he hands her back her purse. “Pardon me while I have a heart attack. The last time I was in a fight I was eight years old. And I lost.” He laughs. She says that makes him even more of a hero then, doesn’t it? He is embarrassed, saying he just did what anyone would do. She shakes her head, “Three people walked by the alley.” What? “They saw me, but they just kept on going. You are a hero, sir. And don’t let anyone ever tell you differently.”
Present day, Charlie is adding another to his mystery list: #2 – Woman outside Covent Garden calls me a hero. He and Desmond are sitting by Karl’s boat, getting ready to set off. Desmond is making a weight belt for Charlie. “Should bring you down quicker than swimming. Well, every second counts.” Charlie chatters nervously for a little and then Desmond asks him how long he can really hold his breath for. Charlie: “Does it matter?” I guess it really doesn’t.
Further down the beach, Bernard is shooting DHARMA cans off of a branch with Rousseau’s gun. Sayid and Rose are also there, Rose watching nervously. Bernard is a surprisingly excellent shot and as far as Sayid’s concerned, he’s made his point. He’s in. Rose tries to discourage him but when he won’t budge she says she’s staying, too. Jack interrupts, telling her she’s not staying. “Everyone’s gathering down at the south end of the beach. No one’s staying behind but the shooters.” Rose wants Jack to promise that nothing is going to happen to Bernard but Jack says it doesn’t matter where he is; if they don’t kill everyone who shows up in an hour, they’re all dead. She and Bernard take their leave and Sayid informs Jack that there’s been a change of plans. He, Jack, is taking the Losties to the tower and Sayid will stay behind with the other two. Jack does not like this plan at all, the control freak, so Sayid starts yelling at him: “What are you more concerned about, killing the Others, or getting our people off this Island? This afternoon you said you were our leader. It’s time for you to act like one. Lead them to the radio tower, Jack. And then take us all home.” Damn straight, and Jack agrees.
Hurley approaches Desmond and Charlie, who are still waiting by the boat. In typical Hurley fashion — calling them ‘Dudes’ — he offers his services. “I’m a really good paddler.” Charlie doesn’t know what to say; he can’t have Hurley there, not this time. He tells him he can’t go and Hurley wants to know why. Charlie does something really cruel now, because he knows it will work. And it does: “Because…you’re too big! You won’t fit in the boat.” Hurley is extremely hurt by this, especially coming from Charlie. “That’s uncool, man.” He starts walking away, but Charlie agrees with him; he can’t bear to have that be their final goodbye. He calls for Hurley to wait, runs up, and grabs him in a bear hug. Hurley, placated but still upset: “Dude, it’s fine. I don’t even wanna go on your stupid boat.” Charlie is sincere, “Catch up with you later. Just remember I love you, man.” Hurley is uncomfortable and weirded out. “Yeah, whatever, love you too.”
The Night I Met You
Everyone on the beach is ready to go. Everything is ready, the tents are all marked, everyone has water. Jack asks if Sayid found a third shooter, and indeed he did, as we see the camera pan over to Jin and a distraught Sun. Claire is at her own tent finishing up when Hurley comes over, trying desperately to find someone that needs his help. But Claire is done; she picks up Aaron, and as they walk away we see the DS ring lying in Aaron’s crib, unnoticed.
Desmond and Charlie have arrived at Sayid’s mysterious cable. Charlie is pushing the boat into the water while Desmond searches for the cable, and finding it, hauls it up onto the boat. Desmond looks at Charlie, “This is it. Ready?” They push off into the water.
Flashback: the first night after the crashing of Oceanic 815 onto the Island. Charlie is walking by a fire in the sand when he spots a very pregnant Claire, still shell-shocked. He stops and goes over to her. “Hiya,” he says, and asks her if she wants a blanket. She takes it appreciatively as Charlie jokes with her, “So, first plane crash?” She gives him a look and then sarcasms: “What gave it away?” “Ah, you can always spot the newbies.” He senses she needs something real right now. “We’re gonna be OK, you know.” Are we? “We’re alive, we’re on a beautiful Island. We’ll sleep under the stars, and before you know it the helicopters will come and take us home.” She’s grateful for his hope. They introduce themselves. Charlie: “It’s nice to meet you.”
Present day, Charlie adds to his list: #1 – The night I met you. Oh, God. As Charlie is finishing his list, Desmond stops the boat. They’ve arrived. Charlie looks up at him, those puppy dog eyes. He folds up the list and hands it to him, wants him to give it to Claire. “What is it?” Charlie: “It’s the five best moments of my sorry excuse for a life. My greatest hits. You know, memories. They’re all I’ve got.” Excuse me for a moment because even just copying and pasting that has made me start to cry all over again. They’re all I’ve got. The water is beautiful; Charlie is trying not to cry. Desmond tells him he doesn’t have to do this. Charlie is confused; what is Desmond offering? To go in his place. “No, your flashes.” Desmond thinks for a second; maybe he keeps seeing Charlie die because he’s supposed to go in his place. The acting in this scene is absolutely brilliant. Charlie wants to know, what about his girl? Penny. Desmond hits one right back: “What about your girl?” Besides, he might be luckier than Charlie. “Keep your memories to yourself. I’ll take it from here.” He hands Charlie back his list and begins to take off his shoes. Charlie’s expression is once again unreadable. He shake his head; he doesn’t know what to say. Desmond says he could tell him where the weight belt is, and Charlie says it’s behind him, pointing. But when Desmond turns around to look for it, Charlie takes up his oar and beans Desmond on the head, knocking him unconscious. Charlie clambers over to his friend, laying him down more comfortably, puts the note into Desmond’s shirt pocket and says, “You and I both know you’re not supposed to take my place, brother.”
Charlie gathers his wits, wrapping the weight belt around his hand. He looks over at the unconscious Desmond and then out to the water. It’s another terrifying jump, and this time, he knows no one is there to catch him. He’ll have to be his own hero, and his only reward is death. His eyes well up; he finally lets it out, but the camera zooms out, leaving him to his tears. He takes the plunge. The water is deep and blue and terrifying. One of his shoes comes off and floats peacefully as he kicks his way desperately to the bottom, running out of air. Finally, after an agonizingly long time, during which I’m reminded forcefully of times when I’ve held my own breath for far too long, he breaks the surface of the moon pool, gasping for air. He flops out of the water, ecstatic at the oxygen saturating his lungs. “I’m alive!” he screams, to no one. “I’m alive.” But just then, two women with guns come barreling out of an antechamber, pointing them direct at Charlie’s head. Yes, Charlie. Alive for now.