Here We Go Again: Charlie Counts Down His Greatest Hits on Lost

Where's my Locke?

Lost's producers pulled a bit of a bait and switch on us last night by barely even mentioning the imperiled Locke (shot last week by a vengeful Ben and left to die in the mass grave containing the bodies of his former Dharma comperes), much less revealing whether he dead or alive. Sure, there was that look of concern from Alex after Locke failed to return to camp with Ben and she knew exactly what her father meant when he said Locke had an accident on the way back. But I was more concerned with whether Charlie would live or die to realize that Locke's fate wouldn't be revealed until next week. Damn you, Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz.

Last night's episode of Lost ("Greatest Hits") was the perfect ramp up to next week's two-hour season finale, after which I will be suffering extreme and debilitating withdrawal from the series, which isn't slated to return to ABC until February 2008. (Yes, that does seem like a rather long time, doesn't it?)

The Looking Glass. I am so glad that there's a new Dharma station to explore, especially one as cool and slickly mysterious as the underwater Looking Glass, which finally ties up the dangling storyline of that enigmatic beach cable that dates all the way back to Season One. We finally know just where that cable goes and potentially its purpose (underwater electrical station? communications signal jammer?) to the island. Just who were those mysterious women (including Windfall's Lana Parrilla, next seen in Swingtown, and Tracy Middendorf, who appeared in the pilot episode of Angel) who came out guns blazing when Charlie emerged from what should have been his watery grave? Are they Others? Or Dharma survivors? And why did Ben lie to Juliet and the Others about there being an accident that flooded the station? It seemed perfectly safe to me, after all. Curious. I love that the series' writers called the station the Looking Glass; it's just... perfect. Kudos too for Sayid actually stealing something worthwhile from the Flame: the specs for the Looking Glass from that manual. Guess that came in handy, after all.

Charlie. Say what you want about the failed rocker from Manchester, but I don't really want Charlie to die, especially after this episode. I know that this storyline with Desmond's flashes and Charlie's death has to go somewhere in the end but I'll miss the little hobbit if he goes and dies on us, even if it is a hero's death. Loved that he too encountered Nadia (who strangely seems to be another connector between the castaways) and saved her outside Covent Garden from a mugger. I feel like the castaway's pre-crash lives are being pulled tighter and tighter together. Charlie, meanwhile, redeemed himself from the monstrous Hoody Charlie from last season who casually staged a kidnapping of Sun and retreated into the shadows again; he was a hero for saving Nadia, just as he was for striking Desmond with that oar and diving into the ocean to flip off that yellow blinking light. I couldn't help but get just a wee bit misty-eyed when he finished that letter, detailing his greatest hits, to Claire and left his beloved DS ring (which didn't, in the end, stand for Drive Shaft but Dexter Stratton, an anagram of Next Rotted Star, incidentally) to baby Aaron. Or when he saved Hurley by refusing to let him in the boat, saying he was too big to fit but then hugging his friend with an "I love you, man." Sniffle.

And I was surprised that Charlie DIDN'T run into Desmond in that flashback. In Des' flashback, he runs into Charlie on what appears to be that very day as he sings Oasis' "Wonderwall" and the rain comes crashing down. But Charlie didn't meet Desmond. Hmmm, something is seriously weird with the space-time continuum now. (His guitar has an upside-down sticker that reads, "I was here moments ago.")

Oh, and, according to Naomi, Charlie finally did find his moment in the sun with his "death" aboard Oceanic Flight 815. Just too bad that he wasn't around to see it. Do we think Charlie will die next week? Or is it all another bait and switch to take our attention of, say, Jin?

Bernard and Rose. Bernard and Rose. Bernard and Rose. I've got nothing to say about them but I am just pleased as punch that the writers brought back my favorite squabbling couple (have we even seen them at all this season?) for a few scenes. Here's hoping their return wasn't just so that they could kill off Bernard next week during the raid.

Rousseau. I'm glad we learned just what Rousseau has been up to with the dynamite from the Black Rock. Decent plan with exploding the marked tents when the Others arrive but did you really need to blow up a tree--and possibly reveal your intentions--to prove your point? Either way, it doesn't matter as the Others are arriving at camp a day early to collect Sun and the other women for some genetic testing, but thanks to the quick actions of Rousseau's daughter Alex (will they ever be reunited?), the castaways receive the warning in the form of Karl, who happens to bring an outrigger so Charlie and Des can get to the Looking Glass. I'm glad that the show is finally dealing with the matter of the radio tower, which has existed all the way since the series' pilot episode, where they first heard the distress call from the "French woman." I'm glad that they are wrapping up some of these mysteries as we speak and I hope that Rousseau becomes a bigger part of the plot machine.

Rabbits. LOVED that Alex was gutting a white rabbit as Ben walked up (and that she took back the gun with a bloody hand). Pitch perfect, what with Ben's penchant for his furry friends and the Looking Glass reference (and the fact that the station's logo is a white rabbit in a hole). Lewis Carrol would be proud.

Catchphrases. I couldn't help but roar with laughter when Naomi asked Charlie, "Are you having a laugh?" Wonder if she's seen the second season of Extras.

Jack. Okay, I'm liking Jack a little more now that Sayid called him out last night. Since returning to camp, he's been a sanctimonious prig who's become so dangerously smug that he left the entire camp nearly open to mutiny after he withheld information about Ben's plot to kidnap Sun. But I'm glad that he's feeling betrayed and bewildered a bit; after all, he nearly made it off this island (or so he was led to believe) and Locke destroyed the only means off of that damned rock right in front of his eyes. Just what happened to him during his days of captivity with the Others? I'm hoping next week's flashbacks reveal just that.

Next week on the two-hour season finale of Lost ("Through the Looking Glass"), Jack and the castaways head to the radio tower, Charlie meets some new female friends in the Looking Glass, Desmond faces off against Patchy, and Ben enacts his plot to kidnap the female survivors of Oceanic Flight 815. I cannot wait!

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Jace is an LA-based television development and acquisitions junior exec who watches way too much television for his own good and would love a TiVo for every room in the house. (He?s halfway there.) His blog, Televisionary, can be found at televisionary.blogspot.com.