Remember That Time On LOST When: Charlie Was Totally a Junkie?
[Remember That Time On LOST is a daily post running the entire month up until the season premiere of LOST on February 2nd. I’m going to just pick something awesome, noteworthy, or ludicrous about LOST when I wake up that morning, and hopefully get you geeks talking about it with me.]
You the only thing that’s cooler than accompanying the Fellowship to the fires of Mount Doom to destroy the One Ring? Being a junkie. Wait, that sounded way cooler in my head. In the early days of LOST before madness, they could afford to spend episodes talking about junkie hobbits that desperately needed to get their latest hit of heroin. They were simpler days. And I’m sure I miss them for about fourteen seconds before I remember how much I want to bang Daniel Faraday, and spin crazy wheels of time.
Charlie’s initial storyline where he totally went head to head with his drug addiction is something I would interpret as one of those obvious stranded-on-an-island tropes. You have the pregnant lady, the fat guy, and the druggie. It seems a bit paint by numbers, but I found it interesting nonetheless. The writers wanted to have a character wrestle with an addiction that was going to have to come to an end, because he was stuck on an Island in the middle of nowhere. And while I don’t even know what heroin is, or how you make it, I assume that it isn’t made on forbidden Islands.
I could be completely wrong.
It’s such an obvious storyline, but it was appealing back at the beginning of the show. At some point, the show was very interested in examining the effects of being stranded on an Island through a variety of archetypes. And the druggie who is being plunged into recovery through sheer lack of choice was something I found engaging. It was the spiral into the desperation that was great; to see the mind of an addict swirling with anxiety at the incessant need.
As a caffeine addict, I can tell you that if I crash landed on an Island, and there were no twelve packs of something caffeinated around, I would begin to lose my fucking mind. I would be hacking down trees as I ran through the dense vegetation searching for a hatch, Dharma cave or something. Watching LOST has me convinced that should I ever find myself plummeting to my death on an airplane, I’m probably just being summoned by Jacob anyways, and it’s all good.
Charlie’s a respectable, if not implausible character to me, because he gives up the heroin on his own. Locke, who not only has super hunting skills, also appears to have a sonar for crashed planes herding massive amounts of heroin. And when Charlie asks him a third time to hook him up with the smack or whatever, Locke obliges. At that moment, Charlie the junkie hobbit is at a crossroads, and somehow manages to convince himself to toss the heroin into the flames.
Are you kidding me?
If I ever was given the choice between throwing a can of delicious Diet Mountain Dew into the flames, or drinking it, I’d be burping Dewy goodness before you even had time to deliberate over whether I was going to take it or not. The fact that Meriadoc wasn’t pushing through the flames for one last hit is pretty damn impressive.
But again, it’s like, fiction and stuff.
What is particularly impressive is that the hobbit passes this crucible twice. When Charlie comes across the Jesus Heroin towards the end of Season Two, he once again flings that shit into the seas and out of his yearning veins and gums. It’s pretty impressive, especially for a character on this show.
Most of the assholes on LOST are perpetually perpetuating their own misery. They continue to flail and bring the shitstorm that is their lives onto themselves. But Charlie, the heroin addicted hobbit, somehow defeats the urge to rock out junkie style twice. It’s a remarkable feat, and the fact that he dies anyways makes me wonder what is being said.
I always operate under the idea, perhaps incorrectly, that the Island punishes those who fail to correct their ways. But if a character like Charlie can surmount something like this, and he dies anyways, the question becomes, why?
Perhaps Charlie’s death isn’t a punishment, but rather he casts himself in sacrifice. We know that he died after Desmond told him that he saw him dying over and over. So there is a sense that he had finally accepted his fate. But maybe Charlie is a token that shows that while death is a certainty, how you carry yourself up until and at your death, may define how you are as a person.
I mean, the guy was going to die. But he was never had to sacrifice himself. Sure, maybe it seems easier because he knew he was going to be sneezing worms sooner or later, but aren’t we all? Let me tell you what, Imma be sitting on my futon playing video games until my heart stops, ain’t no nobility in me. So a character that is willing to lose their live in an effort to save his peeps? Sort of commendable. For a junkie hobbit.