15 - Homecoming
Air Date: 02/09/2005
Charlie's eye opens as he is roused from sleep by the sounds of people springing into action around him. He wipes the sleep from his eyes and gets to his feet, but before he can ask what all the commotion is about, we get the answer. Through the brush comes Locke…and he's holding Claire in his arms! Charlie can't believe it and he fights through the crowd of castaways to be by her side. Jack has her now and he is gently trying to get her to regain consciousness. Charlie asks the question we all want answered: Is she alive? And for just a second, we're afraid the answer is "no," but then Claire wakes up and starts to scream. Jack calms her down, tells her it will be all right. She's safe now -- back where she belongs. Claire's response is enough to knock us off our feet… "Who are you?"
Later, Charlie finds Claire alone and confused and tries to connect with her by telling her that Ethan kidnapped him as well and nearly killed him. Claire asks who Ethan is and Charlie tells her all she needs to know. "He's a bad guy."
We FLASHBACK to Charlie in the pub with his "mate," Tommy. These are strange days for Charlie - - DRIVESHAFT has broken up, but he is having an awfully hard time letting go. Still, he can get by just fine…as long as he can stay stoned. But Charlie is just about broke now and that's where Tommy comes in. He has a plan: Charlie uses whatever celebrity he has left to charm his way into the life (and home) of Lucy, a frumpy, but very rich girl that Tommy has handpicked for just this purpose. If Charlie had a conscience, he sniffed it up his nose a long time ago. He finishes his pint and goes in for the kill.
Back on the island, Charlie hooks up with Jin for the walk back from the caves to the beach - - "safety in numbers, right?" Wrong. Jin is knocked out by a flying rock and before Charlie can figure out what is happening, he is face to face with Ethan. Charlie tries to attack him, but Ethan easily pins Charlie against a tree and delivers his demand: Bring Claire to this spot before sundown…or Ethan will kill one of them every day until he does.
Jack, Locke, Sayid and Charlie discuss what to do. What if Ethan is still out there? What if he tries something like this again? Charlie and Jack want to organize a hunting party to try and capture him, but Sayid and Locke disagree in favor of building up the camp's defenses. Reluctantly, Jack and Charlie go along with the plan.
Meanwhile, Claire asks Charlie why everyone is acting so nervous, especially around her. Charlie can't bring himself to tell her about Ethan and lies, saying everything is okay.
We FLASHBACK to Charlie once more as Lucy shows him around her very posh home. They enjoy an easy banter and, as Lucy goes for tea, Charlie cases the joint. Lots to steal here…this will do just fine. When Lucy invites Charlie to dinner with her father later that week he is only too happy to accept.
Back on the island, Kate goes to see Jack. She heard about what happened with Ethan and wants to use the guns from the Marshal's case for protection, but Jack won't have it. Putting guns in untrained hands is more dangerous than helpful.
Instead, they've decided to rig an alarm system that Locke has invented out of empty cans and homemade tripwires. They post sentries with spears around the perimeter of the camp. They will stay on guard all night and sleep in shifts.
Charlie tells Jack that he is afraid for Claire. He wants to move her to a new location, one that is more secure. When Jack tells him to try and relax, Charlie confesses that he blames himself for allowing Claire to be taken - - he should have fought harder for her. Jack puts a hand on his shoulder and promises that nothing will happen to her again.
FLASHBACK to Charlie seated at a posh dining table. Charlie, Lucy and her father enjoy their meal. When Lucy's father talks about how he was in a band that failed and Lucy beams at him from across the table, something unexpected starts to happen - - Charlie is actually bonding with this man. And damned if he isn't growing genuinely fond of Lucy as well.
Later, Charlie is back at the pub with Tommy. He tells Tommy that he doesn't want to go through with the theft and that he has decided to try and go straight -- He even accepted a job selling copy machines for Lucy's father. But Tommy won't have it; Charlie has been running up quite a tab partying on Tommy's smack and if he wants the party to continue he needs to swipe something he can sell for cash…NOW! And if Charlie doesn't like the idea now, let's see how he feels after Tommy cuts off his drug supple for a few days.
Back on the island that night, Boone is on sentry detail. As the torches burn on the perimeter, and the waves gently crash against the shore, he struggles to keep his eyes open -- listening for the sound of the tripwire and the cans. Maybe he can rest his eyes for one brief second? Surely he's got that long to…BANG! Boone opens his eyes, its morning! Oh no, how long was he asleep? He goes off, spear at the ready to investigate, but the only intruder he finds is Vincent, the dog. But just as he is letting himself off the hook we hear a SCREAM from down by the water. Oh my God…one of the castaways is dead. And whatever killed him, it wasn't an accident.
As the castaways bury one of their own, Claire again starts to feel people looking at her. Some look with pity, but some look with (is that contempt?) something else. Finally she can't take it anymore and asks Shannon why she is staring at her. Shannon is shocked… "You mean nobody has told you?"
Claire confronts Charlie, furious that he lied to her when she asked him what was going on earlier. Charlie says that he just wanted to take care of her, but she isn't interested.
FLASHBACK to Charlie adjusting the tie on the brand new suit that Lucy has bought him for his first day of work tomorrow. He is coming down off a very long bender and doesn't look so good, but when Lucy asks him about it he blames it on "nerves." When she is out of the room, Charlie swipes a jeweled cigarette case and places it in his pocket.
Jack and Locke discuss their options. They can't keep waiting around for Ethan to kill them one by one, but he has the advantage of the terrain. Jack says he has something that will help even the odds and gives Locke one of the 9mm guns from the case. They enlist Sawyer and Sayid as well and even Kate gets in on the team when they realize they have another gun (the one from the Marshal's holster). Charlie is desperate to go with them, but he simply isn't qualified. He leaves feeling frustrated and useless.
We FLASHBACK once more to Charlie in the middle of his sales call. It is a disaster and poor Charlie ends up throwing up all over the boardroom.
Back on the island, Claire has decided that she isn't going to let anyone else die for her and she agrees to act as bait in order to try and capture Ethan. Jack, Kate, Sayid, Locke and Sawyer lie in wait until Ethan makes his move and then Jack POUNCES on Ethan, losing his gun in the tussle. They go back and forth in a vicious fight and Jack shows a side of himself we haven't yet seen. He beats Ethan into submission and the others arrive with their guns to ensure he doesn't get away. Now, it's time to get some answers, but Ethan is shot several times from off screen. We reveal Charlie who followed the team out on their "hunt" and picked up Jack's gun when he lost it in the fight. As Ethan dies all hopes of an interrogation are lost.
Back at camp Jack asks Charlie why he did it. Charlie tells us that he wasn't going to let that animal get near Claire ever again. And there's one more thing -- "He deserved it."
We FLASHBACK to see Charlie pounding on a door. When it finally opens, Lucy gives Charlie exactly what he deserves -- her contempt. All she wants to know is, if all Charlie wanted was to rob her, why did he take the job? Charlie tells her he wanted to show her that he could be respectable…that he could take care of her. What she says in return has obviously stayed with Charlie a long, long time: "You'll never take care of anyone."
Back at camp, the castaways are returning to their version of calm. The only person who feels more alone than Charlie is Claire, and when she tells Charlie that she remembers peanut butter, it's enough to sustain him for another day at least. As he allows the first smile in a long time to cross his face, he takes the first step toward rebuilding their friendship. "It was imaginary peanut butter, actually."