Written by Jennifer Johnson and Paul Dini
Directed by Jack Bender
When Jack is caught in a cave-in, Charlie must find the strength of will to rescue him. Meanwhile, Sayid attempts to triangulate the French signal.
“Nice work, Charlie! You make excellent bait.”
After pondering thoughts from the previous entry, I have decided that henceforth I shall refer to LOST as a novel.
Having given Locke his drugs in the previous chapter, Charlie is now suffering from withdrawal. Locke makes him a deal. Charlie can ask for his drugs three times. On the third time, Locke will return the drugs. I’m not entirely sure why Charlie didn’t just ask twice more in this scene, but I admit that this wouldn’t have worked well for the narrative. Let’s just say that Locke would have given Charlie a dirty look and walked away with his dead boar.
I think we can all sympathize with Charlie to a degree. Not about the drugs per se, but feeling useless. At the very least, I understand his desire to be useful. I was an English major, which counts for very little these days. I’m not that good at doctoring or triangulating, and I’m too nice a guy to be a hoarding Sawyer. I’m not the dashing rogue type. Us artistic types can often be regulated to the sidelines in situations that require survival. Don’t get me wrong, some of us can be rather useless, but some of us can follow orders well enough and accomplish tasks once properly instructed. Just because we are artistic, doesn’t mean we can’t be hard workers. We just don’t often find typical physical labor meaningful. Charlie wants to help because his musical gift is not immediately useful to the group, and while suffering the effects of the drugs, it is somewhat hindered. Besides, finding other tasks is a way to take his mind off the anxiety and pain. The ultimate solution is to take Jack into his confidence, which happens by the end of the chapter. Charlie admits to feeling insecure around Jack, that the doctor would see him as useless and a junkie. The problem is that Jack twigged early on that Charlie was in withdrawal. He’s seen it before. He did have an alcoholic father, after all.
Charlie’s flashback is sad, but then most of the flashbacks in the show are. They are used to show areas of growth and how experiences on The Island either heal previous hurts or exacerbate them. Charlie is growing. I wonder if there are shades of Oasis in Drive Shaft. We have brothers that have difficulty getting along, each one having a specific vision for the band. One is the talent, one is the face that takes the credit. One is named Liam. However, if someone spend a lot of time watching VH1’s Behind the Music, a similar story could be crafted quite easily. These are rock tropes that play out time and again in the real world. What is so sad is that Liam found peace in the end, leaving Charlie broken and destroyed. The confrontation in Sydney is the last time they will see one another, and Liam will be left with the guilt of having Charlie’s accusations being their last exchange.
Previously I mentioned Locke setting himself up to be a spiritual guru of sorts. While I believe this act to be derived from personal ego, that doesn’t mean that Locke doesn’t have a type of wisdom. The illustration about the moth is a good one and applies to Charlie’s situation. What is ironic is that while Locke shares all this wisdom with others, he seems to have quite a bit of difficulty applying it to himself when he is put through hell. Easier to give advice than to take it, yet another epitaph for Mr. Locke. But truthfully, when he is in the position of strength, when he isn’t being challenged and able to present himself as a leader, he tends to do quite well. When he fails, however, he fails spectacularly.