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Lost is a drama about a group of plane crash survivors. They land on an unknown Pacific island and have to learn to live together. ABC 2004-2010


Episode 15 - Homecoming

8 January 2017

Present: Claire can’t remember anything since she got on the plane. Ethan tells Charlie if he doesn’t bring Claire to him he will kill one of the survivors each day. He duly does and so Locke and Jack use Claire as bate to trap him. They capture him but Charlie shoots and kills him.

Flashback: Charlie and his drug dealer plot to steal from a rich girl. Charlie duly wins her affections but he starts to like the idea of looking after her. Eventually when desperate for a fix he does steal from her. He also loses the new job she helped him get.

The Good: Charlie is a lovable character, no matter what he is doing. He is too nice a guy to screw a girl over but he is too weak not to when his need asserts itself. His story gives us a good idea of the depths to which he is capable of sinking.

Ethan is a creepy and scary antagonist. The tension for the final showdown is built effectively. It’s consistent that Boone tries to help but fails and Ethan killing from the sea is clever and logical. The final fight with Jack is pretty dramatic. Especially the early part of the fight where they barely lay a punch on each other because they are both struggling so convincingly to grab the others arms. It’s also consistent that Jack looks to get personal revenge on Ethan. We saw how driven he was and how personally he took Claire’s abduction (111).

The Bad: Claire’s abduction story has bothered me all along. Rousseau still being present on the island is something you can imagine the survivors not talking about, because she is evidence of how difficult it is to escape the island. But Ethan’s presence should have sent shockwaves through the camps. Here was an obviously North American man, who knows about the “real” world enough to blend in, who turns out to have already been on the island. Every one of the survivors should have been desperate to know who he was and whether he might know a way to get them home.

Instead he was largely ignored as was Claire’s abduction. The survivors went back to their daily routines and their own business. In this episode we get an even bigger problem. Charlie kills Ethan, when he is defenceless. Not only is that stupid, because it implies Charlie is a murderer who would kill a man who poses him no threat. His flashback is meant to show he wants to look after a woman in his life, but this is ridiculous. More than any information about Claire which Ethan could have provided, surely it is the possible way home which is most glaring. Ethan was their best chance of getting off the island and Charlie destroys that opportunity. And does anyone turn angrily on Charlie? No, they don’t. More than that, a former drug addict just shot an unarmed man. You would think they would want to restrain Charlie or segregate him or something. It is pretty unstable behaviour. And yet they treat him like it was a fair decision and Claire seems positively warm toward him.

It’s the first huge error I believe Lost has made. The sequence of events which led to this were bad enough but this is an unacceptable plot development. Stepping back and looking from an even more sceptical viewpoint, the writers clearly didn’t want Ethan to reveal the secrets of the island so early in the show. Which makes this story even more irritating, because we see it for the plot device which it really is.

Speaking of which, Claire losing her memory is another plot device. We don’t want her to give away anything so we will wipe her memory too. There is some really poor thinking going on behind this episode. Lost has succeeded by not being like other television shows but this episode feels all too familiar.

Charlie’s flashback does make you feel sorry for him, but I’m not sure what other purpose it serves. It seems to be an attempt to mirror events on the island and show Charlie’s desire to protect has been developing over time. However it feels a bit forced and doesn’t deepen our understanding of him by much.

There’s a very poor piece of dialogue between Locke and Jack at one point. Locke suggests they counter Ethan by placing sentries at the beach and the caves to watch out for him. They continue to discuss it with Jack suggesting everyone gather in the caves, but Locke counters that perhaps Ethan’s people want them all in one place. So Jack says “Ok John, obviously you have a plan, so let’s hear it.” Well he just told you (the sentries idea).

The Unknown: Who was Ethan?

Best Moment: Jack’s fight with Ethan. Tense, dramatic and well performed.

The Bottom Line: Oh dear, what a disappointment. Though most fans may not feel like me, the lack of logic is a real problem. If you were stranded on an island for a month I am certain you would be desperate at the first sign of rescue. Ethan represented that regardless of his kidnapping. Worse than the plot points is the feeling that Lost degenerates into just another television show here. How many times have we seen this scene in recent years: a man is standing still, caught, trapped or otherwise about to reveal something important. The camera is focussed on them as a flood of bullets hit them in the chest, silencing them in “dramatic” fashion.

It’s a cliché these days and Lost needs to steer clear of them. The admirable characterisation also takes a bad hit here. Charlie behaves in a disproportionate manner by becoming a murderer. And the other survivors are far too kind to him.



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  • This episode was highly disappointing and it's the first truly poor episode from Lost.

    Charlie killing Ethan is highly frustrating since not only is it illogical for him to do so, but Ethan had answers for us and it's very annoying to see the man with all the answers pointlessly murdered.

    However, there are some good qualities in this episode. Charlie receives some good development and it's clear that his obsessive behaviour with Claire is not only because of attraction but because of a need to prove himself and in his mind he proves himself by killing Ethan. The only issue is that by killing Ethan, a source for answers, some of the viewers may begin to dislike him for making such a rash and idiotic decision.

    Your points above regarding the group's behaviour together is absolutely correct and plays a big role as to why I didn't enjoy this episode very much.

    Also, I agree about Ethan as he was a great antagonist for this first season. He was big threat and he brought tension to this episode, allowing it to succeed in some department.

    The reason I gave this episode a passing score would be because of Charlie. I think his story is strong enough in the flashback to bring this episode up to a passing grade. Though his final decision is irritable, there is still a good character arc in this episode.

    Overall, this was a massive disappointment. I had high expectations, but Lost didn't deliver this time. 3 out of the last 4 episodes have been weaker than the average, showing that there was a bit of a dip in quality this season. I can't help but feel that this is because of the Claire abduction story which, aside from the initial reveal, did more damage than good to the show.

    Viewer score: 53 / 100

    Posted by Aaronic, 08/01/2017 9:48am (4 years ago)

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