Tuesday, February 23, 2021

LOST: It Wasn't Purgatory, Season Two, Episode 12, Fire + Water

On-Island Events:
Charlie dreams of the piano he received as a childhood Christmas present and then hears a baby crying as the piano drifts into the ocean. He becomes concerned about Claire and Aaron but then becomes jealous as he sees Locke interacting with them both on the beach. Charlie attempts to talk to Claire, asks her about Locke, but then agrees to give her space and leaves. 

Charlie practices guitar on the beach and again hears a baby crying. He swims out to Aaron's cradle, floating in the ocean but when he brings Aaron back to the beach he sees a vision of his mother and Claire, who chant together that Charlie must save the baby. Hugo jolts Charlie awake and he realizes it's the middle of the night and that he's taken Aaron out of his cradle. Claire slaps Charlie when he tries to explain his dream. Later Charlie tries to convince Locke to take his side; Locke advises him trust is a difficult thing to win back.

Next Charlie approaches Eko, who is marking trees for his church. Charlie accuses Eko of telling Locke about his saved Virgin Mary statues; Eko assures him he said nothing but asks Charlie about his dreams. Eko considers the fact that Charlie's dreams have meaning, sending Charlie back to Claire, raving about baptism, as Locke observes from afar. When Charlie breaks away to check on the hidden statues, Locke catches him fondling two baggies of heroin and seizes all the drugs telling him he's "given up the right to be believed." 

When a fire breaks out slightly inland from the beach, most of the camp goes to fight the blaze leaving Claire and Aaron alone in their tent. Charlie sneaks up, takes Aaron from his cradle, and begins carrying him out to sea. Claire, Eko, and Locke plead with Charlie to return Aaron to his mother and he finally hands the baby back; Locke responds by knocking Charlie down with several punches. As Eko examines the burned area, Claire asks him to baptize Aaron; Eko agrees to baptize Aaron and Claire, together. Locke secures the statues in the hatch's weapons closet and Charlie sits by a fire, alone on the beach.

Flashbacks: Charlie visits Liam's new daughter, Megan, in the hospital, and covers for Liam's absence. When he finds Liam passed out after a heroin fix, Charlie berates Liam for his irresponsibilities and implores him to clean himself up for his daughter. 

The members of Drive Shaft perform for a diaper commercial but Liam, still under the influence of heroin, can't handle the choreography and loses the gig for the group. After Liam is kicked out of his house, he comes to Charlie and the two harmonize together at the piano and plan for the future.

Charlie returns to his apartment to find his piano gone and Liam packing a suitcase. Liam admits to having sold the piano in order to move his family to Sydney, Australia to get treatment. 

Greater Meaning: Locke tells Claire that Charlie feels like he must save Aaron because he's been unable to save himself. Charlie's methods of going about this "saving" seem skewed at best, and reckless at worst; whether this is due to his own unawareness of how he comes off in these actions or the strangeness of the actions themselves, we can't know exactly what the point of it all really is. Who on earth thinks taking  a baby away from its mother is the right move? Especially after the trauma Claire has suffered both while pregnant and shortly after giving birth?

Charlie has fought (and beat) heroin addiction, but still kept the Mary statues full of drugs. During his addiction, Charlie engaged in dangerous, manipulative behavior but always seemed to respect the role that music and family played in his life, which were both symbolically linked to the piano his mother gave him for Christmas. The fact that Charlie has now associated Aaron with the piano is significant; despite Claire having banished him, Charlie still cares for her and Aaron, but if Locke is correct, Charlie's desire to save Aaron comes from either seeing himself in Aaron or seeing himself as a father figure in Aaron's life. If Charlie only wanted to save himself through baptism, it seems less likely that he would react with such jealousy at Locke's ability to "father" Aaron. Charlie's bizarre obsession seems more to do with controlling Claire and less to do with being a savior. In contrasting this with how Jack and Locke "save" others, Charlie's desires to help and the actions he takes come off as ineffective, desperate, and immature. Charlie's religious leanings do not elevate him or guide him as a gifted savior, if anything, they seem to be leading him further astray from doing the right thing. 

Further Questions: 

1. Did Charlie ever get his piano back?

2. Will Claire ever forgive Charlie?

3. Is there something sinister in Charlie's obsession with Claire and Aaron?

4. Will Charlie start using drugs again?

5. Are Claire and Aaron still in danger?