Welcome, Dark Charlie.
Who wanted this to happen?
Charlie takes a turn to the darkside in “Fire + Water” as he is trying to “save Aaron” by getting Claire to allow Eko to baptize the baby. The problem is that Charlie is really going to extremes to try and get it done.
First, Charlie is having these bizarre dreams with Catholic imagery throughout and when he awakes, he has taken the baby from his crib. Second, Charlie is continually growing more and more jealous of the attention John Locke has been giving Claire and Aaron. Third, even after claiming all the statues had been destroyed in a fire, Charlie gets caught with his stash of eight Virgin Mary statues by Locke, who takes them away from him. Fourth, Charlie sets a fire on the beach in order to kidnap Aaron and baptize him, I guess (that last one doesn’t make much sense).
It seems clear that this episode is Charlie dealing with his heroin withdrawals, but it feels as if this was too late to have this episode. With “The Moth” way back in season one dealing with it, this should have happened closer to that. Sure I know the time on the Island is different than the time for the episodes, but to the viewers, it feels like a backwards step.
Then, with Charlie ominously putting up his hood at the end of the episode, it implies that Dark Charlie is not over with yet.
I’m not sure the reasoning behind turning Charlie heel like this, because he has always been a personal favorite of many viewers. He was a sweet character with a heart of gold. The pairing of Charlie and Hurley was always a good time. If it were closer to “Greatest Hits” then I might be on board with the idea that they had to have Charlie hit rock bottom so he could be redeemed, but that doesn’t happen until the end of season three.
Fire + Water is recognized as one of the worst LOST episodes of them all. With the whole nonsensical and out of character aspects of Charlie’s storyline, we get very little else form any other characters on the Island. Hurley and Libby do laundry together, starting their own little romance. We see the story of Charlie’s brother and how he is able to get off of heroin and save his own life. I felt terrible for Charlie when Liam sold Charlie’s piano to get money to get to Australia, and he does it without asking Charlie. I’m sure Charlie feels deserted by Liam and plenty of other people in his life, which is part of the reason why he can’t just stay away from Claire. Claire asked Charlie to stay away for awhile, which sounded as if she might be willing to forgive him later, but Charlie can’t do that and only increases the schism between himself and Claire.
But…we have Dark Charlie.