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Lostwatch: Charles in Charge

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SPOILER ALERT: This post contains spoilers about Lost. Not necessarily the spoiler you’re thinking of. Which I guess may be a spoiler in itself. Sorry.

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ABC / MARIO PEREZ

Damn you, Lost. Damn you for making me cry. Damn you for making me cry about Charlie. Damn you for making me cry about Charlie, and then not killing him.

Seriously, I have to give props to the Charlie non-dying episode for its predictability and its subversion of that predictability. I mean, when you saw the first list item Charlie wrote, you knew where this was going, right? Five flashback scenes, five moments in his life, culminating with his meeting Claire, which (I thought) would be intercut with scenes of Charlie swimming underwater, entering the Looking Glass, finding the yellow light and switch, flipping it off and then floating lifeless in the sea. It was entirely set up and expected, and for the 58 minutes that the show actually went on that track, I didn’t care: I really felt for this character who had annoyed me for three years, and was truly moved by his Sydney Carton-like decision to do a Far, Far Better Thing with the last moments of his life, even if it was totally unsurprising, even if it was, literally, psychically foretold. (And calling the list his “greatest hits.” Totally corny, and yet totally awwwww, sniff.)

And then when it didn’t happen, when the show reminded you that this is Lost after all and Charlie found himself captured by the two foxy-looking guardians of The Looking Glass, that worked too. Of course The Looking Glass wasn’t really flooded. My tipoff should have been when Juliet said that Ben told the Others that it was.

So: are we setting up storylines for next season here? I’m guessing that the Fox Force Two who have Charlie at gunpoint aren’t Others, or at least not Others under Ben’s command, you think? Could they be surviving Dharma? An Other splinter group? (They looked too young for either one to be Ben’s childhood girlfriend, right? Scratch that–maybe they’re the two chicks from the hotel in Helsinki!)

I have no inside knowledge, but my money’s on the guess that Charlie dies anyway, exactly as Desmond foretold–switch, drowning, saving Claire–but later, not unlike when the producers “saved” Libby from Michael’s shooting only to have her expire anyway in the next episode. It makes sense, as a way to take a death you foretold all season and still manage to make it surprising when it comes. Maybe not. Charlie did emerge from that water into the air to take a breath, which, in the Joseph Campbell mythology that the Lostians are so fond of, means rebirth and a second chance. But since in the history of Lost achieving your character’s goal = death, I’m sticking with my prediction.

Stop! Bullet time!

* Why did Rousseau need to blow up a tree? Wouldn’t you say showing the sticks of dynamite would be sufficient proof of their dynamitability, given that the survivors already used them to blow the hatch? I suspect that the scene existed solely to allow last week’s preview clips to show something blowing up, since–I am guessing from this week’s preview clips of the finale–the Losties will be stymied from actually setting off the tent bombs. (I’m thinking the standard Others-get-the-drop-on-them-from-behind-the-bushes scenario, no?)

* Anyone can get a comic relief line on Lost. Loved the exchange between Deadeye Bernard and Sayid. (“You want me to hit another one?” “No, you’ve made your point.”) Even Juliet got to be funny. (“They know, Karl. But thanks.”)

* Sayid asks Jack whether he cares more about killing Others than escaping. I’m thinking the answer is yes and we learn the reason next week.

* So Charlie saves Nadia from the mugger–I’m guessing sometime in the mid-to-late ’90s, since he was busking “Wonderwall.” Does this mean Sayid may be wrong that she’s dead, or will we later learn how he knows that he’s right? I’m shaky on her timeline.

* Mmmm rabbit.

Finally, let’s bow our heads for Chaddogg’s Charlie’s-an-Other theory, which, even if it didn’t pan out, was far more cool-ass than anything I’ve ever been able to theorize about this show, and will always be true in the alternate-version of Lost in my mind. Consider it one of Lostwatch’s greatest hits.

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