Friday, December 4

Greatest Hits (S3, ep. 21)

The Rewatch Column for "Greatest Hits" has been ordered numerically for your reading pleasure on


  1. Looking forward to reading it! This is a bit off topic, but I just wanted to give a quick thanks - I bought The Sparrow after you referenced it in one of your season two (?) columns and I've started reading it this week. Fantastic read so far.

  2. To be honest, I was never really as attached to Charlie as other people seemed to be. I thought he added a great dimension to the ensemble, bringing out aspects of the other characters (and actors) that we wouldn't have seen otherwise, but I could never shake the feeling that the writers didn't really know what to do with him: There were so many different angles they were able to find within the framework of the show's first three seasons to explore Jack's need for control, Kate's fear of connection and vulnerability, Jin and Sun's issues with transparency, etc., but it seemed like the only crisis they could ever really find for Charlie's stories was, "Hey, look! Another statue filled with heroin!" LOST trades in recurring crises, but there was just something lacking here.

    Bear in mind that I say this fully aware of the fact that "The Moth" was a standout episode, and I say this as a supporter of "Fire + Water." But Charlie reflecting on his life and learning to accept his death was the first time in a long time that I had felt like a Charlie story wasn't just an obligatory nod to the actor.

    I remember thinking when this episode first aired that it was more of a way for the writers to get out of a corner without sending Charlie to Mandyville. (Little did I know then that it would also gave us the opportunity to have that great scene at the mental institution near the end of the season four premiere.)

  3. Is it just me, or are the flashbacks of Charlie singing Wonderwall different in the two episodes? When seeing Charlie's flashback, I seem to remember thinking that it rains at a different time and then there's never any mention of Desmond. Is there some way that Desmond's flashback/time-travel took place in a parallel universe or something?

  4. Gravyboat - What's Mandyville a reference to?

  5. I always thought Desmond's description of what would happen post Charlie sacrifice was a load of BS. Desmond said exactly what he thought Charlie would want to hear to ensure he followed through with a destiny that would bring Penny to Desmond. When it came time for Charlie to do the dive, I think the reason Desmond was willing to go instead was because of the guilt associated with lying.

  6. Hola, all.

    Katie, I'm glad you're enjoying The Sparrow. It's a terrific book.

    Gravy, I agree that Charlie's arc went kinda Pear-shaped for a bit, but I love the warmth in the character when he isn't being played as The Neediest Man Alive, and "Greatest Hits" is just an effective, emotional episode to me.

    Jason, I honestly don't know the answer to this. We'll learn for sure whether alternate timelines are involved in the show during Season 6.

    Resident, I was wondering the same thing.

    Edward, I can't get behind that interpretation nif only because we haven't been shown anything to support it. In fact, we've been shown Desmond actively contemplating letting Charlie die as a means to reunification with Penny - but Desmond's decency asserts itself, and he rescues Charlie instead.

    If it turns out that you're right an I'm wrong I'll publically apologize. ;)

    Thanks for reading, all. The column for the Season 3 finale should be up on Monday.

  7. Resident and MMorse, Mandyville is a reference to THE WEST WING:

    In season one, Moira Kelly played a media consultant named Mandy. The character wasn't very interesting, and they didn't bring her back for season two. However, season two started with a cliffhanger that picked up moments after season one ended, so her disappearance was rather abrupt. They never explained it, or even mentioned her again. Even in episodes set in or flashbacks to the time when she would have still been working with them, she didn't exist. "Going to Mandyville" has become slang in some television-viewing circles for characters being written off in similar fashions.

    Edward, that's something that has always stuck out to me, but it's really the kind of thing we can't come to a definitive verdict on until we've seen the way everything plays out. If I were pressed, I would have always read Desmond's offer to go instead of Charlie the same way you did, but for the reasons MMorse points out, it would have felt like a pretty cheap and incongruous conclusion. I guess I'm just hoping that this wasn't the writers cutting a corner like they did with Jack's seemingly needless ambiguity leading up to season 3's endgame.

  8. In theory, wouldn't the superfluous blowing up of a tree attract the attention of the Others?

    Drive Shaft has a postmortem greatest hits album. Must have been pretty easy to select the tracks, given that the band only had two albums.

    I'm guessing at this point they hadn't decided that Ben had never seen Jacob, because when he says Jacob accelerated the kidnapping schedule Richard accepts it.