WARNING: The content of this blog is based entirely on Seasons 1-5 of ABC’s LOST. If you have not watched all 103 episodes and don’t want your fun spoiled,then please do not read this blog until you’ve caught up!
I’ve run out of time on a self-imposed deadline, so this one is going to be quick….
This episode centers around Charlie, his drug addiction and the backstory about his band, Driveshaft. John Locke continues his role as Charlie’s drug-rehab counselor. As the on island action unfolds Charlie is experiencing worsening withdrawal symptoms and is sidelined by people from helping as it’s obvious he’s not feeling well. This seems to eat at Charlie’s sense of worth. Locke is still in possession of Charlie’s drugs and tells Charlie he won’t give them back until he asks for them the third time. It’s then up to Charlie to decide what he will choose – the drugs or sobriety.
Some people I know found Charlie’s storyline annoying – but I thought it was compelling. I mean what does a drug addict do if stranded on a Pacific island? That’s gonna be a problem. It’s noteworthy that Charlie’s addiction was not healed upon arrival at the Island like Locke’s paralysis or (apparently) Rose’s cancer.
Numerous studies have shown that drug addiction has genetic factors, and in fact physiological changes take place within the user brain which make stopping difficult or, in some cases, nearly impossible. Yet the show moralizes Charlies drug addiction in that it is his choice to make whether he wants to continue to pursue this lifestyle (which after finding the Beechcraft would be entirely possible). Obviously drug addiction involves choice, unlike cancer or paralysis (presumably). But I wonder if the Island healed the genetic and physiological factors contributing to Charlie’s addiction?
In the midst of all the melodrama Jack is caught in a cave-in and in the end Charlie contributes to freeing him (of course one might make the case that he was responsible for the cave-in after making the ironic statement, “I was a rock god!”) by following a Moth to a hole in the roof of the cave. After this Charlie asks for his drugs for the third time. Locke complies and charlie tosses them into the fire. Point scored for Guru Locke.
The other interesting activity in this episode revolved around Sayid, Kate, Boone, Shannon, and Sawyer trying to place three antennas in the jungle to locate the source of the French distress signal. (Yeah good luck on that one! ) Sawyer knows about Jack being trapped in the cave-in but withholds this information from Kate for quite some time. When she finds out she is angry and leaves her antenna for Sawyer to put up and runs back to the caves to try to help Jack. As the agreed upon time to turn on the antennas (being careful of limited battery power) arrives Sayid is knocked out by an unknown assailant before he is able to do anything. His antenna is destroyed by the unknown attacker. The writers do a good job of making us think initially that the attacker is Sawyer. It will be many, many episodes before we find out that the identity of the assailant is none other than our resident Lifecoach and Drug Counselor John Locke. One does wonder how he has enough time to get out to Sayid return to give Charlie back his drugs and also prepare some boar for dinner. And wasn’t he worried about poor Jack trapped in the cave-in? Hmmmmm….
This post was written while listening to:
The Ballad of Ira Hayes by Johnny Cash, and
Take Me as I Am by Mary J. Blige