LOST Season 1, Episode 7: “The Moth”

The LOST Rewatch will continue beginning on June 1, 2011.

Charlie and Jack share a 'confessional' moment inside the cave.

“Nice work, Charlie. You make excellent bait.”


IT’S BEEN EIGHT days since the survivors crashed onto the ‘island’, and Jack has decided to move the main camp to the caves, where fresh water and shelter abound. Not everyone chooses to join Jack. The dissenters include Sawyer and Kate.

As the campers deal with their ‘break-up moment’, Charlie Pace deals with his break-up with heroine. Locke offers his guidance, suggesting that Charlie ‘take a walk’ with him. The walk turns into a ‘boar hunt’ with Charlie as the bait.

Locke is now Charlie’s guide, even his confessor, replacing the church that Charlie had once so loved. Locke tells Charlie that he must choose to overcome his heroine addiction, and that he has ‘three chances’ to ask for the drugs that Locke now controls. It’s like a hidden temptation: Is Locke trying to help or hurt? Is this about control?

As I’ve mentioned all along, Locke may already be under the influence of the Man in Black. Remember, MIB and Jacob are watching all the ‘candidates’, seeing what their choices are—and they will not help. As with the ‘moth’ story that Locke relates to Charlie, the two ‘watchers’ will not help the candidates, because their ‘free will’ makes them stronger.

Inside the cave with Jack, Charlie has offered to help carry luggage so he can search for drugs. Jack suspects Charlie’s motives, and the two men argue. Charlie shouts: “You don’t know me! I’m a bloody rock god!”. The loud proclamation sends the cave crashing in on Jack while Charlie escapes.

Charlie finds Locke to ‘tell him about Jack’, but Locke realizes that his true purpose is to get the drugs. Locke seems to know all about nature, about survival. ‘Struggle is nature’s way of strengthening it,” he says, referring to a moth inside a cocoon. One could say that every survivor is a moth inside a cocoon, which makes Jack’s choice to go to the caves an interesting one. ‘Adam and Eve’ are in the cave, constant reminders that the island is deadly.

MIB and Jacob want to see who is the strongest, though I would argue that MIB has already chosen his ‘candidate’ in Locke. It’s white verus black in this long game of chess, and Locke has now become King Black’s favorite knight. All others are merely pawns to both sides.

Despite his withdrawal symptoms, Charlie chooses to help rather than remain helpless and addicted. He offers to rescue Jack. Inside the collapsed cave, the pair talk about life and faith. Charlie remarks that the cave feels like a confessional. Jack is surprised at Charlie’s ‘faith’. Just then, the moth appears, showing Charlie the way out. The two men emerge from their ‘cocoon’, and Charlie is stronger for having suffered through the struggle.

In the next scene, Charlie asks Locke (third time) for his drugs. Locke assumes he’s giving in to his addiction, but Charlie throws the stash into the fire instead. This is his public choice moment, echoing the inner choice made in the cave. Charlie chooses to be strong.

Locke: “I’m proud of you, Charlie. I always knew you could do it.” Locke is now Charlie’s teacher, his mentor, his ‘redeemer’ in some ways. If Locke is indeed under the control of the MIB, then Charlie is being recruited.

The Kate, Jack, Sawyer triangle continues to form in this episode, as Sawyer chooses to keep the new about Jack’s ‘burial’ in the cave a secret. Honestly, on the first viewing of the series, this endless trio dynamic drove me nuts. Kate’s character grated on my nerves, and her constant switching from Jack to James grew old almost instantly. What I missed the first time through is the constant dualism inherent in the writing: Black v white, Jacob v. MIB, Jack v James, Locke v Ben, and even Charlie v his brother Liam.

The LOST series is all about free will, about our choices, so Kate’s back and forth loyalties and Charlie’s struggle to overcome heroine mirror our own seesaw choices in life. Free will can indeed be a struggle, but the Lord God granted humanity free will as a gift. Does it make us stronger? Perhaps. But not having a choice makes us nothing more than puppets, programmed robots. Choices give each one of us the power to determine our own futures.

Is your future settled? What choice have you made about eternity? We on this earth island have two options: Accept Christ or reject Him. Which one have you chosen? Just remember, no choice is still a choice. Choose Christ. He’s so worth it. And so are you.