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Summary by Will Milton
Character Focus: Charlie
A visibly suffering Charlie is sweating and shuddering as he attempts to strum away at his guitar to endure the painful withdrawal symptoms he is experiencing. He has isolated himself in a dark corner of the caves, but Locke appears to invite him for a walk. Charlie reluctantly agrees. Meanwhile, at the beach, Jack sits staring at Kate’s mugshot and is startled when she appears behind him. Jack hands over the picture before reiterating his intention to live in the caves, but the pair reconcile their difference of opinion over the matter by discussing their reasons – Jack believes he is being realistic, and that Sayid’s plans to track the mysterious French distress call that’s been running for 16 years is likely to end in disappointment. Kate states that it is faith that makes her believe otherwise, before the pair is interrupted by the ever-sarcastic Sawyer staking claim to the departing Jack’s vacant tent.
Charlie is walking through the jungle when he suddenly becomes aware that Locke is not with him. He quietly calls out for the hunter as ominous sounds emanate from the long grass, but there is no response besides some increasingly menacing grunts and scrapes. Charlie panics and runs wildly into the unknown, apparently pursued by some unseen creature. Flashback: Charlie is in Church, giving confession. He expresses remorse at having engaged in a threesome with some groupies after a gig. He describes his difficulty in resisting the temptations that his rock star lifestyle presents him with, and hastily decides he will quit the band. As he leaves, he encounters a nonchalant and sarcastic man lounging disrespectfully on the Church pews – this is Liam, Charlie’s older brother and lead singer of Drive Shaft. He breaks the great news to the unsuspecting Charlie that the band has been offered a recording contract – they can become rock gods! But Charlie’s joy is at odds with his desire to be a good Christian, and the doubt is plastered on his face. Present: As Charlie nears exhaustion from his dash through the jungle, he looks back to see it is a boar that pursues him. Moments before it catches him, it is snared in a makeshift trap, struggling wildly in a net as Locke materializes from the trees shouting “nice work Charlie! You make excellent bait.” With fury in his eyes, Charlie demands that Locke gives him his drugs. The wise old hunter is unmoved by both the musician’s rage and his pain, insisting his young friend has more strength than he knows and proposing that he will return the drugs IF Charlie asks for them two more times. Locke refuses to dispose of the drugs as that would take way Charlie’s choice, and it is choice that separates man from beast – a distinction Locke drives home as he remorselessly guts the trapped boar struggling through its bonds.
At the beach, Sayid is detailing his plan to triangulate the source of the mysterious signal by the tactical emplacement of three makeshift antennae – Kate and Boone have volunteered to carry the other two to their locations, but due to limited power sources they must all be activated simultaneously. They will synchronise their work by signalling with salvaged fireworks once they’re in position. However, they must also find a power source for the transceiver, something which Sayid hasn’t been able to locate. Kate says she knows where to look.
Kate asks Sawyer for a battery, and voices her contempt for his blasé attitude and self-centred approach to life on the island. She attempts to get under his skin by taunting his isolation, but he continues playing his cards close to his chest. Eventually he hands over a battery, but not without frustrating Kate and adding to her inability to understand him. At the caves, Charlie is strumming his guitar again as Hurley and Jack arrive carrying heavy luggage from the beach. As Charlie attempts to help, he accidentally drops one of the bags and begins sifting through Jack’s collection of medicinal drugs before the doctor returns unexpectedly and asks what he’s doing. Charlie says he was looking for painkillers to help with a headache, but Jack identifies the tablets he has in fact pilfered to be Diazepam, used to treat anxiety. Charlie evades Jack’s concern and continues attempting to help, but Jack insists the Englishman goes and rests, saying “we don’t need you right now”. Charlie nods and returns to his guitar.
Flashback: At the Church, Liam is attempting to persuade Charlie not to leave the band. Charlie tries to explain why the rock star lifestyle scares him. Liam is full of dreams of stardom and riches, but knows the band can only reach that level with Charlie’s input. He manages to convince his little brother by promising to look after him, and swearing that if Charlie asks to walk away, they do so with no questions asked. Liam agrees, and the two set off to celebrate! Present: The Korean man is attempting to treat the wounds around his wrist where the handcuffs were fastened too tight. Sun sees them and asks him to go to Jack, but he stubbornly says no and criticizes his wife for wearing a top that is “indecent” as it bares her shoulders. She refuses to cover herself, saying she is too hot. Meanwhile Hurley tells Charlie his guitar case is getting in the way and pays no attention as the suffering Englishman tries to tell his friend about his band back home. Charlie looks hurt and moves his case out of the way.
Angered by his feeling that he is unappreciated, Charlie confronts Jack in a dark crevice of the cave where the doctor is exploring. Jack is surprised, suggesting Charlie is being paranoid and over-sensitive and attempting to calm him down. Charlie yells “You don’t know me! I’m a bloody rock God!” and the loud noise causes stones to shift and the dark crevice of the cave they’re in to collapse, trapping Jack inside and burying him under the rubble. As the other cave-dwellers gather, Charlie emerges from the cloud of dust coughing and spluttering. As Hurley asks “where’s Jack?” the Englishman points towards the rubble. Hurley begins shouting through the rocks to Jack, but receives no answer. He orders Charlie to run to the beach for help, and to be sure to tell Kate. Charlie sets off.
Kate and Sayid are walking through the jungle discussing the plan they are about to enact. Sayid highlights how incredibly fortunate they were to have survived such a catastrophic plane crash, insisting that luck alone could not have allowed them to emerge so unharmed from the wreckage. Kate is sceptical at Sayid’s implication that there may have been some other force at work. Meanwhile Charlie arrives at the beach, shouting for help. Michael volunteers himself and a few others, including Boone, who entrusts Shannon with the responsibility of activating his antenna for Sayid’s plan. She recognizes the importance of the task and agrees, with only a little scorn for her brother’s bossiness. As Charlie searches for Kate, Sawyer says he knows where she went and promises to go after her, leaving the Englishman feeling useless and unappreciated once more.
Flashback: Charlie is on stage with Drive Shaft, sharing the spotlight with his brother as they sing their hit song You All Everybody to their screaming fans. Charlie is incensed when Liam sings his little brother’s part, but gets through the concert. After the show, the band is met with photographers and groupies at the backstage doors, and Liam is lapping up the attention. Charlie, however, is disturbed by the atmosphere and questions his brother about stepping on his lines during the song. Liam is nonchalant on the subject, far more interested in indulging himself in the groupies and media attention, much to Charlie’s dismay. The final straw is when Charlie witnesses his brother with some heroin – the young musician is confused and terrified by the chaos surrounding him.
Present: The cave-dwellers are removing the piled rocks one by one in an effort to save Jack. Michaels bursts onto the scene and orders them to stop, citing his knowledge of construction to insist that they calculate the risk of causing further cave-ins by checking the structure’s integrity before they proceed any further. Michael sends Walt away, so the boy heads off to find Mr Locke while Michael sets about organizing the rescue effort.
Kate and Sayid are still hiking through the jungle when Sawyer catches them up. Breathless, Sawyer calls out to Kate but her scornful greeting causes him to decide not to tell her about Jack. Instead, he reverts to his usual sarcastic self, and reminds her of her comments about his selfishness before offering to help. Meanwhile, Locke is skinning the boar he killed earlier when Charlie appears. The Englishman tells Locke what’s happened to Jack, but the hunter appears unconcerned by that, instead expressing concern for why Charlie isn’t helping with the rescue effort. Charlie desperately asks Locke for the second time to have his drugs returned to him. Rather than answering this question, Locke beckons Charlie elsewhere to show him something. Bemused, Charlie follows.
Locke presents Charlie with a cocoon attached to a tree, telling him that it there is a moth inside. The hunter lauds the often-overlooked qualities of these remarkable creatures, how they spin silk and are far stronger and faster than the butterflies that people so often recognise as more beautiful. Locke goes on to describe the immense difficulty the moth will face in emerging from its cocoon and points out that he could help it by cutting a hole in the sheath with his knife. He won’t do this, however, as the emerging moth would consequently be too weak to survive; “struggle is nature’s way of strengthening”. If Charlie asks for his drugs one more time, he can have them. The young Englishman is left in deep contemplation at this lesson.
At the caves, the rescue effort is proceeding apace. Michael finds a hole in the outer layer of the rubble, and Hurley begins shouting for Jack. As they wait, they hear the doctor’s muffled reply – he is pinned under some rocks and unable to move. Kate, Sawyer and Sayid arrive at the first antenna location, and Sayid climbs a nearby tree to place it. Sayid reluctantly leaves Kate with the arrogant redneck, as she assures him she can handle the sarcasm and flirting that will inevitably come. Michael insists that moving any more rocks would be incredibly dangerous, so the only option to rescue Jack is for someone small to slip in through the small opening they have created and help the doctor. As the group debates about who to send, Charlie appears and instantly volunteers himself. He points out that of all the smaller people present, only he has no-one that depends on him on the island, and gradually persuades the group to let him go.
Kate is impatiently waiting for 5:00 – the time when they must activate their antenna. Sawyer mocks her restlessness, and the two exchange banter that leads Sawyer to question her about her attraction to Jack. He suggests that he is not so different to the heroic doctor, and deliberately hints at Jack’s current perilous situation. As Kate learns of the emergency she laments her disrespectful treatment of Sawyer, knowing that this caused him to delay telling her what he knows. She leaves immediately, followed by Sayer’s regretful gaze as he remains behind to activate the antenna.
With helpful tips and wishes of good luck, Charlie begins his perilous crawl through the tiny opening into the collapsed cave.
Flashback: Backstage before another gig, Charlie walks into his dressing room to find his brother wasted on the couch, two groupie girls under his arms. Liam invites his little brother to join him, but Charlie reacts with disgust and tells the girls to leave. At this point, Charlie tells Liam things have gone too far, the band is becoming more about the lifestyle and less about the music, and he wants to walk away. Going back on his promise, Liam refuses to allow Charlie to stop, mocking his self-righteousness and telling him that without the band Charlie has no value in the world. The disillusioned musician is devastated at his brother’s harsh words, and in a moment of despair helps himself to a fix of the heroin lying on the table.
Present: Charlie reaches the other end of the narrow tunnel just in time to avoid being buried under a second cave-in, but now finds himself trapped inside with Jack. The doctor is relieved to see his rescuer, but their situation appears even more hopeless after the second collapse. Outside, Michael fends off the pleas of the group to act as he attempts to think of a solution. At this moment, Kate arrives and immediately sets about shifting the rocks, swiftly joined by the others. Inside, Charlie help Jack move the rock he’s trapped under, but the doctor tells Charlie that he must now help fix his dislocated shoulder. Charlie is fearful but agrees to follow Jack’s instructions, and on command he jerks the doctor’s shoulder back into position ignoring the accompanying howl of pain. Jack is hurt, but he’s ok.
Flashback: Charlie arrives at the front door of a house and knocks. With a beaming smile on his face, he greets his big brother who answers the knock. Liam looks different – tidy, grown-up, together; Charlie still looks like a struggling rock star. The pair hugs each other with joy. It becomes clear that they are in Sydney. Liam has settled down with a wife and child, but Charlie has come to propose that they put the band back together with promises of tour venues and record deals. Liam, however, has put all that behind him and is at pains to inform his brother that he has no intention of rejoining the band. Charlie tells Liam that the band can only get its tour confirmed if the lead singer is present and so asks “as a brother, the way you once did to me”. Liam outlines his unconditional refusal to expose himself to the pitfalls of the rock lifestyle ever again, and then becomes keenly aware that Charlie is still addicted to drugs. Charlie emotionally shouts “you did this to me! It was supposed to be about the music!” Liam is deeply sorry, and offers to help Charlie get clean, but the young musician sees only his brother’s failure to protect him, and leaves on a very sour note to catch his plane.
Present: Jack asks Charlie how long it’s been since his last fix. Alarmed at Jack’s observation of his problem, Charlie submits and tells the truth. The doctor offers some medical advice on handling the withdrawal, and reassures the Englishman that he certainly is not as useless as he feels he is. Looking around the darkness, Charlie comments that their current surroundings remind him of the confession booths at church, and as he jokes about his failures as a Christian he notices a moth in there with them. Inspecting the area where the moth appeared to come from, Charlie begins digging away at the ceiling.
Outside, the group is desperately scrambling to shift the rocks. Kate is relentlessly clawing at the rubble, ignoring her own exhaustion despite concerned comments from Michael. Meanwhile, Charlie is still hacking away at the ceiling until he sees light filtering through the cracks. In minutes, he manages to dig his way out onto the ground above, saving himself and Jack. As the group desperately hauls rocks, they are halted by Walt’s shout of “Hey, it’s the doctor!” Jack and Charlie walk around the corner smiling, and Kate can’t contain her relief as she rushes over to Jack and wraps her arms around him. Jack tells the group that Charlie saved them, and it’s celebrations all round as the fear for their friends’ safety is lifted from the group. The acknowledgment of Charlie’s heroics warms the Englishman’s heart.
Elsewhere, Sayid is checking his watch as he stands by his antenna ready to go. After a brief prayer, he sets off his firework then activates the antenna. Shannon, wrapped up in a conversation with another young woman, almost misses the signal but reacts quickly when she sees it, launching her firework and activating her antenna. Sayid smiles upon seeing the signal, and looks towards Kate’s antenna (where Sawyer is waiting). The signal goes up, and the delighted Sayid turns on the transceiver and quickly picks up the signal he was hoping for. As he begins closing in on its source, he is stopped in his tracks by a swift blow to the head from an unknown assailant, knocking the Iraqi man unconscious. The plan has been thwarted, but by whom, and for what reason?
At the caves, Charlie is still suffering through his painful withdrawal. Jack sits beside him, telling concerned onlookers that the Englishman has the flu. As Locke walks by, Charlie makes an excuse and follows the hunter out of the cave. Nearby, Walt acknowledges his father’s heroics in taking control of the rescue group earlier, and asks if they can live in the caves. Kate makes a sling for Jack to help with his injured shoulder, and joins him by the campfire to discuss whether the caves are really safe. She tells Jack she needs to go and see if Sayid was successful, and the two share a tender moment as Jack thanks her for the sling.
Outside, Locke is preparing his boar to be cooked. Charlie arrives at his side, visibly drained, and asks Locke for a third time to give him the drugs. Locke appears disappointed but stays true to his word, handing Charlie the tiny bag of heroin. The Englishman stares intently at his treasure, then unexpectedly flicks it into the fire. The old hunter smiles at his brave companion, saying “I’m proud of you Charlie” as the vulnerable musician smiles back through the tears in his eyes. He has made a life-changing choice, renewing his faith and self-worth, and as he raises his head to the heavens he sees a solitary moth flying upwards into the night.
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