Strike one, Lost.

My journey through Lost continues, and it committed a mortal sin on Disc Three. (Warning! Lost spoilers!)

What happens is, Charlie and his pregnant-but-not-with-his-baby girlfriend Claire are knocked out and dragged off by cavemen or time travelers or KGB clonewarriors or whatever, and Jack sets off to find them. He trips and falls down a hill (Jack is awesome at tripping and falling down hills), gets the hell kicked out of him by the bad guy, and is told point blank, “Quit following me. If you keep following me, I’m going to kill one of them.”

Jack doesn’t quit following the KGB caveman guy. As a result, he finds Charlie dangling from a tree by his neck. So Jack and his not-pregnant-with-anyone’s-baby-just-yet girlfriend Kate cut Charlie down, blow in his mouth, and bang on his chest for what seems like an eternity. And then Charlie revives miraculously!

My gripe is: Charlie should have stayed dead.

This show is pulling too many punches. Three discs in, and so far the only characters who have died have been background scenery. Some cool stuff has happened — okay, a lot of cool stuff has happened — but I’m starting to lose interest in the characters because nothing really interesting is happening to them. I’ve gotten acclimatized to the setting and have adjusted myself to the trials and tribulations of the wrecked passengers. I’m kind of ready for the series to take me to the next level now.

Charlie was a fun character who had already had a satisfying plot thread resolved. I feel like his sudden, violent death would have done the show more good than his continued existence, though, because I hate watching these weekly thrillers and feeling like everyone with a name has plot immunity. I feel like the only reason Charlie was able to be revived was so Jack could stop doubting himself and have a good hero moment.

Which is territory we’d already covered a few episodes prior. I get that TV writers have to use some tricks in order to stretch their plots over 20-ish episodes, but this was a little much. If Charlie had died there in that tree it would have taken Jack down a peg, which I feel his character really needs. It would have been Jack’s fault Charlie died in the first place, see; he was warned after all. Then, the inability to bring him back? Double super-failure combo! Take that, hero-boy!

I have faith that we’re going to see something cool with Charlie down the line, in order to justify this little hiccup. So you’re off the hook this time, Lost. Just… don’t let it happen again.

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6 comments to Strike one, Lost.

  • Elfir

    I don’t remember when they start killing off foreground characters but they definitely do. Just… some people still manage to have plot immunity. As far as I watched, anyhow. Which is only the first two seasons.

  • Lys

    I felt the same way first time through; killing Charlie in that tree would have been just the sort of ‘No one is safe!’ message that the show needed. Missed opportunity. I hope we’re operating on a policy of more than three strikes, though, because by my count you’ll have reached your TV Mortal Sin third strike by early in Season Two, and as an admitted fan of the show I’m hoping you watch the whole thing.

  • Rosencrantz

    The creators originally wanted Jack to die in the first episode, to send the “No One is Safe!” message, and then Kate would have been the main character. That would have been a cool twist and it would be nice to have a female lead, but ultimately I’m glad they stuck with the current story. Jack gets a bit irritating in seasons two and three, but he gets a hell of a lot better down the line.

  • Issun

    Don’t worry, the show doesn’t pull punches much longer (except for the upcoming Boone episode. That’s the last fakeout for a while, IIRC).

    And don’t worry too much about Charlie. His Season Two story is hit or miss, but his Season Three arc is pretty amazing.

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