Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Lost Re-Watch / Season 1 - The Moth

Love "The Moth". Charlie has such interesting episodes. After watching The Moth, I realized how different each Charlie centric episode really is. Drug addiction, religious themes, relationships and family issues. I know a lot of viewers got tired of the Charlie centric's but I love 'em. The Moth was an excellent way to get people invested in the Charlie character from the get go.

Thoughts / The Moth

"Charlie struggles with withdrawal symptoms after giving his remaining heroin stash to John Locke. Elsewhere, Sayid sets his plan in motion to isolate the origin of the French distress signal, in the hope that it could provide means of finding a way off the Island. Flashbacks in this episode center around Charlie's struggles with the temptations involved with being a rock star and also his older brother's massive ego." - Lostpedia

We begin the episode with a shot of guitar strings. Charlie is desperately trying to keep himself together and practice on his guitar, but he's having a lot of problems. He's sweating and obviously suffering from some serious withdrawal. John Locke tells him to take a break and go for a walk. Some fresh air would do him good.

We now see something we haven't seen in awhile (or so it seems to me) Kate's mugshot picture. Jack is back to the beach to pick up his things from his tent and stumbled onto Kate's picture. Kate shows up and tells him jokingly that if he likes that picture so much, she could find him one that would fit his wallet. Jack, once again, tries to convince Kate to move to the caves. He makes the excellent point that "The caves are natural shelter." Sawyer shows up and states "I wish I shared your faith." Which is a tad ironic. Jack walks off as Sawyer takes over Jack's old camp spot on the beach.

Next we see Charlie wandering through the jungle. He hears something in the bushes and calls out for Locke. Suddenly Charlie is scampering away from a charging boar and we're treated to a slow motion sequence that transitions into a flashback. Charlie is sitting in a confession booth. He confesses to the priest that he's sinned. Because of Charlie's band, Drive Shaft, he has "physical relations" with plenty of women. The priest says that "We all have our temptations, giving into them, well that's our choice. Our whole life is a series of choices." This here is yet another great line in the show. This sums up a lot of our characters and how they've made a long series of choices, mostly bad ones, to end up on this god forsaken island. I'm really enjoying doing this re-watch while taking notes. I'm finding lots of things I wouldn't otherwise have noticed by just simply watching it casually.

Still in Charlie's flashback, we're introduced to his brother, Liam. The face of Drive Shaft. Charlie is having second thoughts about the band, no doubt because of his faith to his religion and how he's not making good choices so far. Liam convinces him to stick around because they just got their first recording contract. "You're gonna be a rock god." says Liam.

Back to the island, Charlie is trying to outrun the boar. Charlie begins to climb to higher ground and the boar is caught in a trap and strung up. John approaches and it appears Charlie was used as bait to catch a boar. Charlie is clearly upset and not in a good mood and he demands to have his bloody drugs back.

Charlie explains to John Locke that he's sick and needs his drugs. "You're a lot stronger than you know. I'm going to prove it to you." says John. He begins to explain to Charlie how he can get his drugs back. If Charlie asks John a total of 3 times for his drugs, he'll hand them over. John explains one of the most important points of the episode, and Lost in general. "Having choices makes you human."

The entire show has been about making choices. Sometimes the seemingly bad choices that you make turn out to have good results. You might be a better person because of certain decisions you made along your path in life. Of course in Lost most of our character have made extreme choices none of us regular people will ever have to make. Like Sawyer killing the man in Australia, Jin being a hit-man for his father-in-law, or Kate's murdering of her step-father. There are also more familiar choices in this show. Drugs and religion are shown i, this episode here, which are much more common choices to make in real life.

We now see Sayid preparing his 3 antenna's to try and find where the french transmission is coming from. No surprise here, the batteries are dry in the antenna's. Sayid explains to Kate and Boone how the plan will go down. 3 antenna's, all set off at roughly the same time using smuggled firecrackers as a way to communicate when they are in position. Kate goes to speak with Sawyer about obtaining a battery from a laptop computer. After some light flirting by Sawyer, he hands over the battery with little problem. Although, I think Sawyer may have got his kiss idea from a later episode here. He probably thought to himself that the next time she asks for something important, he should ask for a kiss in return. Brilliant idea but he's still a damn thieving parasite, as Kate tells him.

Back at the caves, Jack has arrived with his beach stuff so he can properly move in. Charlie wants to help but it seems he's just getting in the way. Nobody knows what he's going through right now with his heroin detoxification, I'm sure Charlie just wants to keep his mind off it. Charlie grabs a case to help move it but the zipper was busted and stuff spills out everywhere. Since it was Jack's stuff, it's naturally filled with a whole lot of medication. Charlie begins to go through it looking for something that might help but gets caught by Jack. Jack's a doctor, and a damn good one, I'm pretty sure at this point here he's figured out, or at least has an idea, of what's going on with Charlie. Jack explains to Charlie, "We don't need you right now."

Cue another flashback. Jack telling Charlie that he's not needed obviously brought back some harsh memories for Charlie. He explains to his brother Liam that if things get too crazy with the band, they call it quits. Liam agrees right away, no doubt not even thinking about the consequences. He seems like a "shoot first and ask questions later" kind of guy. Liam tells his brother "You are bloody Drive Shaft." and this convinces Charlie to jump in head first. "You're the rock god baby brother." and with that, Charlie's hooked on the idea of being a superstar.

Back to the caves again, Jin still has that piece of the handcuff on his arm. Sun is nursing his scratches when Jin notices that she's wearing something a little skimpy. At least skimpy for her. Jin insists that she cover herself and she simply says, in Korean, "It's too hot." She's finally properly standing up to him, it's not like they have anywhere to hide from each other on the island, so you might as well face your issues and try to get past them. At least that's what I think she's trying to do.

We're back to Charlie again, going on and on about his band to Hurley. Hurley doesn't show any interest and that's the last straw for Charlie. Charlie runs into a smaller cave area where Jack is and begins yelling at him. "You all think I'm some useless joke! I'm a bloody rock god!" and with that, the cave collapses on both Jack and Charlie. Everyone in the rest of the cave rushes over and when the dust clears, Charlie is standing there. Hurley yells "Where's Jack?!" and charlie points at the rubble.

Hurley yells for someone to get help, and to make sure they tell Kate. I feel that Hurley has an idea of how Jack and Kate feel even before they do. He knows that Kate would want to be involved with the Jack rescue. If he's even still alive. Quick transition to Kate walking with Sayid in the jungle. Excellent conversation between these two here. Sayid is confused about how they survived the plane crash to begin with, many of them with just minor cuts and bruises. Kate tries to tell him that this sort of stuff just happens, Sayid doesn't agree. "We shouldn't have survived." Sayid makes a great point here. For years we as fans theorized about how it was possible, and we were probably pretty close to the actual answer. Jacob is the reason they survived. They were selected as people that were most likely to want to stay on the island to help protect it.

Charlie runs to the beach to get help with the cave-in. We're introduced to Scott and Steve, as Michael asks them for assistance. Scott and Steve aren't really important or anything, but they're kind of a running gag on the show, as nobody can ever get their names right. Even after one of them gets killed by Ethan eventually.

Boone wants to go help Jack at the caves but he volunteered to help Sayid. Every time I've watched this episode with someone and got to this point, the person I'm watching it with goes "Oh no." When they find out that Shannon is going to have to light the rocket and turn on the antenna. Which is pretty funny. Who would of thought that Shannon would actually come through and do it correctly. Boone obviously has some trust in his sister though, which is pretty cool that someone believes in her. I think that's all she needed in the end.

Sawyer overhears that Jack is trapped in the caves and says that he'll go find Kate. Sawyer tells Charlie "I'll go tell her, you just keep doing whatever it is you do around here." Which was pretty harsh, but very Sawyer like. You see a saddened Charlie and you start to hear music, and a crowd cheering.

We're in another flashback and Charlie is on stage, performing "You All Everybody" in front of a massive crowd. Charlie begins to sing his backup vocals but Liam is singing all his parts as well as his own. Charlie is pretty upset and after the show confronts his brother on the issue. Liam pretty much ignores his complaint and heads off with a couple girls. Charlie spots him taking heroin out of his pocket and Liam sees him watching and says "Chill baby brother" This was the beginning of Charlie's downfall. This is when Charlie is first introduced to drugs and this kind of life-style through his big brother.

Michael arrives at the caves with help and they begin hauling rocks. Michael apparently has 8 years of construction experience and checks out the foundation to make sure it's stable enough to dig a hole. Where's Locke in all of this? Hurley says "He's out in the jungle killing stuff, who knows where he is?" The writers obviously knew who was going to be hitting Sayid over the head near the end of this episode. This is a pretty big clue, Hurley's right, he could be anywhere out there. He's a pretty suspicious guy, nobody knows a thing about him.

Sayid and Kate are walking in the jungle. Sawyer shows up to tell her about what happened to Jack. Kate snaps at him though, exclaiming "What makes you think I would be interested in anything you have to say?!" Sawyer thinks for a second, and then lies to her. He says he's there to pitch in and help out. Next we see Locke cutting meat from the freshly caught boar from earlier. Charlie walks up to him and explains to Locke what happened to Jack. Locke wants to know why Charlie isn't helping. Charlie just can't find a place to fit in, everywhere he goes he's pushed away in some way or another. These events have led him back to Locke, who Charlie then asks for a second time about his drugs. You can really see how saddened Charlie is by everything. "I can't stand feeling like this."

Now we hear John Locke's famous moth cocoon speech. He shows Charlie a green cocoon hanging from a tree branch. He quizzes Charlie on what he thinks is inside. Charlie incorrectly guesses a Butterfly is inside. He's told that it's actually a moth, trying to fight it's way out. "Butterfly's get all the attention." Locke says, but moth's are stronger. It's exactly like Charlie's past situation with his brother Liam. Liam was the pretty face of Drive Shaft. Charlie ended up being the stronger one in the end.

Locke explains that he could cut a little hole in the cocoon to help the moth get free, but then it would be too weak to survive. "Struggle is nature's way of strengthening it." If Charlie asks one more time for his drugs, he'll give them to him. He just wanted to explain what he was trying to prove to Charlie by helping him make the right choice.

They break through the rocks and begin calling out to Jack, to see if he's conscious or even still alive. Jack yells back and, because of great writing, yells back "Charlie was with me!" Most other shows would have not even bothered with that line since we, the viewers, already know that Charlie is alright. Jack however, had no clue. This show has serious detail, it isn't often that the writers miss anything.

We're back to Kate, Sayid, and Sawyer. The 2nd antenna goes up in a tree in this area so Sawyer takes it and begins to climb. Sayid quietly tells Kate that he doesn't trust Sawyer. Kate says that she can handle him but what Sayid actually meant, was that he doesn't trust Sawyer with her. Sayid gives her a smirk and begins to head off by himself to place the last antenna.

With a hole dug out in the rubble, Michael needs to decide who will try to crawl through to see if Jack is alright. Charlie, now back at the caves from his chat with Locke, is obviously the best choice and volunteers to crawl through. It's just something he has to do to prove himself. Besides, he's really small.

Kate and Sawyer begin chatting while they wait until it's time to fire their rocket and turn on their antenna. Sawyer wants to know "What is it with that guy, Jack?" He thinks it's because the ladies dig the doctors. "If he had survived a few more days on this island..." Kate clues in to what he's saying. Sawyer then says "Didn't I tell you? Jack got himself caught in a cave-in." Kate throws down the firecracker and rushes off to the caves, leaving Sawyer to turn on the antenna and light the rocket. At this point, it really doesn't look like Sayid's plan is going to work. We have Shannon left on the beach to turn on her antenna, and Sawyer here to turn on his, while Sayid is out somewhere in the valley waiting for their signals. It's doomed to fail.

Charlie is preparing to go into the tunnel. He grabs a flashlight and a bottle of water and begins crawling through. It's an extremely tight squeeze and we're tossed into a flashback sequence. Charlie is also in close quarters here as there are fans everywhere, it's almost suffocating it seems. Charlie bursts through a door to find his brother Liam half passed out on a couch with women all around. "You missed sound check!" shouts Charlie. He then tells all the women to get out of the room. Liam is stoned out of his mind.

Charlie tells Liam that it's time to walk away, just like they talked about outside the church. Liam gives him a bewildered look. "You're killing yourself!" Charlie is obviously the concerned brother here. Liam yells back at Charlie in frustration "I am Drive Shaft! Nobody knows who the sodding bass player is!"

Charlie sits down and begins crying, pushing things around on the table. He finds a bag of heroin. Charlie was obviously pretty desperate to feel better, or even just feel different. I think anything would feel better than how he was feeling at that moment. He must of felt pretty useless and alone. All he has is his brother, and this band. Both of which pretty much just walked out on him.

Back to Charlie crawling through the tunnel. Just as he's getting to the opening on the other side, the tunnel begins to cave in around him. He barely makes it through and there he finds Jack, pinned under a rock. "I'm here to rescue you" says Charlie with a smile on his face. Back on the other side of the tunnel, Kate shows up in a panic. "Where's Jack?" Michael updates Kate on the situation and she begins digging.

Inside Charlie is helping Jack move the rock. Once that's done Jack tells Charlie that his shoulder is dislocated. Charlie needs to pop it back into place. Charlie pulls as hard as he can and we hear the crunch of Jack's shoulder. Flashback to Charlie in Sydney Australia, right before the crash. I did notice a little bit of an interesting transition between the shoulder dislocation scene and this flashback. The wind chimes on the porch mirrored the sound of Jack's shoulder popping back into place. Not sure if it's just me, but it was something I noticed right away.

Charlie knocks on the door and his brother Liam answers. Liam looks quite different than we saw earlier. Completely cleaned up and nicely dressed. Charlie has set up a gig for the band in Los Angeles and wants to bring his brother Liam back into the group. Liam wants nothing to do with it, he has a daughter and a home now. He notices that Charlie is acting funny and confronts him about the drugs. "You did this to me!" shouts Charlie. Liam offers Charlie help. "You never looked out for me!" he replies. Charlie storms off and says "I have a plane to catch." Which of course is the plane that leads him to this very moment, stuck in a cave-in with Jack.

In the cave-in, Jack finally asks Charlie about his addiction. Charlie hasn't had his heroin for a day and a half. Hard to believe that going without a drug for that short of a time period can have this big of an effect on you. All through the episode Charlie is sweating and shaking. It's not going so good for him. All he has to do is ask Locke one more time for his drugs back and he's back to where he was. That's all he has though, that single little bag of heroin. Wouldn't it be better if he made the choice to quit rather than quit out of necessity?

Charlie tells Jack that this place reminds him of confession. Then he spots something. Charlie sees a moth fluttering about in the dark cave. I don't think Jack sees it though so it makes me wonder if it was really there. Charlie climbs up after it assuming it knows a way out, it had to of gotten in there from someplace right? Charlie digs and climbs upwards and reaches the ground above. This is definitely mirroring the cocoon scene that Locke showed us earlier.

A short while later, Michael's son Walt is playing catch with his dog. He suddenly points and shouts "Look, it's the doctor!" Jack and Charlie walk in from outside and Kate rushes over and jumps into Jack's arms, hurting his shoulder in the process. Everyone praises Charlie for the rescue and Charlie finally feels important.

Sayid is in the valley, waiting for the rockets to go off so he can turn on the receiver to triangulate the french transmission. Sayid lights his rocket to signal that he's in position. He waits, and we see Shannon just barely light hers in time. Sayid waits for Kate's rocket to go off in the distance, which is totally up to Sawyer to set off since Kate is at the caves. All the firecrackers go off properly and the plan works like a charm. Sayid checks the transceiver and picks up a full signal. He starts tracking the transmission when he's suddenly clubbed over the head. Lame! All that work for nothing, no wonder Sayid gets pissed later.

In the caves Charlie is huddled by the fire with a blanket and a hot drink. Jack is sitting next to him, it's a good thing Jack knows about Charlie. I'm sure it would help to have a doctor on your side helping you through the detox. Hurley asks what's wrong and Jack covers for Charlie, "It's the flu."

We see Locke prepping the boar for a feast in the background. Walt tells his dad "This place is cool, can we live here?" Which is a pretty strange question, but there are a couple more times this season where Walt says some strange things. Michael immediately looks over at Sun after his son's question. Very interesting. I really think the writers had an idea to make something happen between Sun and Michael. I think there was a deleted scene, or maybe it was one of those mobisodes, where Sun and Michael share a kiss, or were at least about to. I'm glad that didn't happen though, the fans really grew to like Jin. I love how the Sun and Jin story goes with Ji-Yeon and their eventual island reuniting, and death.

Kate presents Jack with a self-made sling for his shoulder. She pokes fun at these "safe caves" that Jack has been going on about. Jack tells her that the cave-in was a fluke. Then he thanks her for the sling and they're quiet for a moment. In this scene there was a lot more emotion than what the words were simply telling. These two obviously have serious feelings for each other and after a couple seasons, it eventually starts to come together.

Charlie approaches Locke, "Give them to me." he demands. "I've made my choice."
Locke hands the bag of heroin over and Charlie takes one last look at it. As if this small bag of drugs was his ring of power, then he casts it into the fire.

Wonderful episode! One of my all time favorites and definitely a fan favorite as well. I still remember my sister calling me and telling me about how much she loved this episode when she first saw it about a year ago. I never did find out what she thought about Charlie's death at the end of season 3. Too bad I'll never really know how she felt about it since she saw it too long ago. I'll have to find more people to introduce this show to, I love hearing people's reactions. I've got at least 5 or 6 people into Lost over the years and I'll continue to do that because this truly is the best show ever created. It sounds weird just simply calling it a television show, but it's much more than that. With it's quality of acting, writing, music, etc. It's an experience that I really wish I could go through again with a blank slate. I really envy the newcomers to Lost.