We’ve got our next Charlie-centric episode as he wakes (sans the eye opening motif) in the caves at the sounds of Locke calling for Jack. He’s got Claire in his arms saying she came walking through the jungle and collapsing when he and Boone were searching for Vincent. Charlie’s elated at her return but kept back as Jack does his doctor stuff. When Claire wakes up, she screams asking who everyone is (not good). When Jack calms Claire, telling her the baby’s fine, he asks her what she remembers, she recalls being on a plane heading to LA. She gets the bad news of their crash and no rescue for several weeks and takes it somewhat well considering.
Boone asks Locke a poignant question of whether or not Claire escaped from Ethan and if so, is our “Other” enemy out there looking for her. That seems to not have occurred to Locke and he’s definitely concerned at that possibility. Charlie does everything he can to comfort and console Claire in her state of forgetting and hands over her diary in hopes it will jog her memory.
The episode flows well and doesn’t have a Plot B story, focusing solely on Claire and the threat of Ethan.
Flashback: (Note: For some reason, this episode’s flashbacks never seem to fit the narrative with Claire and Charlie but I’ll provide the gist.) In what we can presume is a time after Driveshaft made it “big”, Charlie and his chum, Tommy, are getting high and then go to a pub where Tommy points a woman named Lucy whose father is of the upper echelon and “loaded”. Charlie makes his way to Lucy’s table where her and her friends buy him drinks and he plays the rockstar card. He goes home with her and stakes out her father’s collection of war memorabilia and focuses in on a cigarette case owned by Winston Churchill. He meets her dear old dad and confesses Driveshaft is unlikely to reunite and make a comeback. He falls for Lucy and accepts a job to sell copiers for her father but due to sobering up and going through withdrawals tosses his biscuits all over the the copy screen during his first sales pitch. Turns out he nipped the cigarette case and it was found in his coat at the hospital where he was treated and returned to Lucy. He tries to defend himself and essentially gets kicked to the curb and told he’s worthless by a distraught Lucy.
Sayid questions how a very pregnant Claire got away from Ethan, reiterating to Jack, Locke, and Charlie that Ethan infiltrated their group and hung Charlie from a tree. He questions the diagnosis of amnesia Claire is suffering and while Jack says it’s rare, there is obvious concern for the situation. Charlie’s miffed about how no one is talking to Claire and treating her with care and storms off to spend time with her. Along the way, he walks with Jin who gets hit in the head by a stone thrown by a rough-looking Ethan. Charlie gets warned that if he doesn’t bring Claire to Ethan, someone will be killed each day and Charlie will be killed last.
Reporting this back to Jack and Locke, there’s a bit of disagreement in what to do. Jack falls in line with Charlie’s thinking that they need to take the fight to Ethan but Locke feels they should play defense. Inform everyone and set sentries. With Sayid, Locke sets up trip wires for alarms. Unfortunately, Ethan makes his way past the defenses, having come in by way of the ocean (freaking Aquaman apparently) and killing a character named Scott (kind of a redshirt though he has been on screen a few times).
Kate goes to Jack and makes a suggestion that Jack use the key kept around his neck to the marshal’s case and break out the guns. Jack’s worried (rightfully so) that if there are guns out and about, they could shoot themselves. However, the death of Scott changes his mind when he talks to Locke about what might happen if more people start dying at Ethan’s hands. Showing Locke the guns, a plan is put in order by Sayid to go as a group into the jungle with Claire as bait. Charlie’s not exactly a fan of the plan and wants in on it but when Locke asks him if he’s ever shot a gun before, Charlie’s silence says “no”.
The group comprises of Jack, Locke, Sayid, Sawyer, and Kate with Claire. It’s raining good and hard when Ethan shows up and Jack moves in to take him down. The goal is to take Ethan alive and Jack gives him quite the walloping (I think that’s Australian lingo) though he did lose his gun in the process. On his knees, everyone surrounds Ethan while he’s on his knees. Gunshots ring out and Ethan’s riddled with bullets as Charlie unloads the clip of Jack’s gun (yep, that was unexpected).
Back at the caves, Charlie tells Jack he wasn’t going to let Ethan near Claire and he didn’t deserve to live after what he did. Claire goes to Charlie later and tells him she remembers peanut butter which if you’ll recall they bonded over several episodes ago. She still can’t remember what happened but she tells Charlie she trusts him, ending the episode on a sweeter moment.
So yeah, this episode. Besides the Flashback just seeming disconnected from the island moments, I really like this one. There’s this sense that our survivors are aligned against an outside enemy and not quibbling with each other. There’s still a question of who Ethan was and whether or not he belongs to these Others that we keep hearing about. And why the interest in Claire? Onto the next one, which is a Sawyer episode and a good one if I remember right.