Lost Again: The Moth and Confidence Man

In Lost Again, Kristi Israel watches two episodes of Lost each week, examining them in light of the whole of the series.

The Moth: Charlie is the focus of this episode. He struggles with his drug addiction, and Locke, at this point still caring at least a little about others, encourages him to go cold turkey. He somehow has found the drugs, and tells Charlie he will give him three chances to ask for his drugs back, and on the third time, he will give them to Charlie. The name of the episode comes from the metaphor of the moth, struggling from its cocoon, making it strong enough to fly once free of its bondage. The interesting thing about Charlie is that he always had a faith in God, and was a part of the Catholic church. At one point, he was willing to give up his rock band because there were too many temptations for him in that world. But his brother Liam talked him into staying in, and promised Charlie he would bail out with him if it got to be too much for them. But we know that Liam is actually the one who eventually got Charlie addicted to heroin. Meanwhile, at the cave camp, Jack is trapped in a rock slide, and Charlie comes back from his talk with Locke and volunteers to go in after Jack. He finds some meaning in his self-sacrifice for Jack, and afterward throws his drugs into the fire.

Star Wars references are peppered throughout this series, and maybe the first one is in The Moth, when Charlie reaches Jack at the cave-in site, and smiles and says, “I’m here to rescue you.” I could be reaching here but I think it was for Star Wars.

SNT: 24
To Jack: Jacko
To Charlie: Sport
About Sayid: Mohammed
To Charlie: Amigo
To Sayid: Boss

Confidence Man: This is one of the most brutal episodes of the entire series, and it makes me wonder how Sawyer was ever able to be on civil terms with Jack and Sayid after this one. Sawyer is our confidence man, of course. We see his back story, while on the island he is tortured by Sayid, the former Republican Guard member. Jack and Sayid collude to get vital information from Sawyer about where he hid Shannon’s asthma inhalers, and his big con on the other survivors here is that he never had the inhalers at all. He finagled a kiss out of Kate in exchange for the information, though, and more importantly, he showed us how much he wants to make others hate him before they can decide to on their own.

To further demonstrate his self-hatred, he lets Kate read the letter he wrote as a child to the con man who caused the murder-suicide of his parents. He let her think it was written to him, but she figures it out, and realizes that he took the name of the man who got his parents killed. In becoming a con man himself, he became who he was hunting. Sawyer spends years working through this self-hatred, and we find out later in the series that Locke’s dad, possibly as evil as the man in black, was the real Sawyer.

The only thing really to be said about the series as a whole regarding this episode, is that some have suggested the series itself became a long con with the way it ended. I think that is not true and a bit harsh, but it’s an interesting theory.

Star Wars reference: Hurley says Jack’s calming Shannon during her asthma attack was like a “Jedi moment”

SNT: 30
To Jack: Doc (x2)
To Kate: Freckles, Sweetheart
To Jack: Chico
To Sayid: Ali

About Kristi Israel

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