"The Moth"

SEPTEMBER 27, 2010


Despite having one of the most obvious metaphors ever committed to film, “The Moth” is a good episode of Lost. I don’t mind heavy-handedness too much, and Charlie crawling his way out of the “cocoon” is still better than the good vs bad nonsense in the 6th season (wrapping baby Jacob and baby MIB in white/black was the last straw). Still, now I look at it as a sign that these guys maybe weren’t the best writers in the world after all.

Otherwise, solid stuff. I liked the idea of a cave-in, because so far they hadn’t really faced much “real” danger (one cannot consider polar bear attacks in the middle of a tropical island to be something that would realistically come up in this situation). Maybe it should have been someone more expendable inside, since Jack isn’t really in danger until the last episode of the show, but it still works. And I like that it gives Michael something to do besides say “Come on, man” to Walt for once, plus lets him and Jin work together to save Jack (I also like that Jin puts aside his “Me man, you woman” attitude towards Sun for a while, letting her get dirty and help move rocks).

It’s also the first time we can really feel sympathetic toward Sawyer, since Kate is such a bitch to him in this one. He even goes out of his way to tell her about Jack’s accident, but when she berates him (twice) before he even speaks, he decides not to. Her fault. There was a moment in an earlier episode where he related to Boone how much it sucked to be the one everyone hated, but here was the first time you got a good glimpse of the conflicted hero he’d eventually become. When Kate says “You’re actually comparing yourself to JACK?”, Josh Holloway totally nails the hurt look in his eyes.

I haven’t talked much about the acting on the show; I think they were all pretty great in their roles, but a lot of them, Holloway included, seem to have perfected one character and don’t have much range beyond that. I couldn’t imagine him playing Jack, for example (nor could Matthew Fox pull off Sawyer). Of all the folks I wasn’t familiar with prior to the show, Naveen Andrews seems to be the one most capable of taking on a completely different role with ease. But they all pale to Terry O’Quinn, who gets some nice moments with Charlie in this episode, making him beg for his heroin 3 times before he will actually give it to him.

Quick note – I never thought about it, but Charlie tosses his stash into the fire that is cooking their food. Enjoy your heroin-smoked boar, everyone!

As for the flashbacks, I liked how they each took place months or even years apart; showing them before they even got signed, to the peak of their fame, to when it was all over. But I think they should have shown something in between him first trying it and the last flash, where his brother is now clean and he’s a mess – how did that transition occur? We got some of that filled in over the years, but the way it was structured here was awkward at best. I know fans like to “organize” the flashbacks in chronological order (at least, on paper) – of all of them, Charlie’s would be the one that would require the most work, because his flashback episodes tended to span many years, filling in blanks like that one while adding other pieces to the puzzle.

But hurrah! Another one without any lingering mysteries! Good old season 1.

Where are we?

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