“The Moth” is the story of Charlie Pace; we get to see him emerge from his cocoon and grow into a strong moth. But the metaphor does not only apply to Charlie, but others as well.
Major plot spoilers for Seasons 1-6 follow
“Nobody even knows who the sodding bass player is.”
- The Priest tells Charlie “[Life] is nothing but a series of choices”. A theme explored throughout the series.
- On the island, Locke gives Charlie the choice to either go back on drugs or quit using it. “Having choices – making decisions based on more than instinct is the only thing that separates you from him.” Because remember, Charlie is a moth. Not a boar.
NO ONE MISSES YOU
- Kate shows her mean side when asking Sawyer for a laptop battery. She’s right about his past life; there’s probably not a single person that misses Sawyer. Of course, the same could be said for most of the survivors, like Locke, Michael, and even Kate herself. Very few of the survivors actually have family or friends waiting for them, which is part of the reason why Jacob chose them as Candidates.
- Kate also tells Sawyer he’s “living like a parasite: always taking, never giving”. Also (mostly) correct. As we’ll learn in the next episode (Confidence Man), Sawyer is a con man that has taken money from a lot of people. The one time he gave money it was meant for his daughter. We’ll learn later that Sawyer does still care about young Clementine when he tells Kate to visit her in Albuquerque, and tell her he’s sorry (There’s No Place Like Home).
BLIND DUMB LUCK…?
- Sayid is the first to question the circumstances of the plane crash. The plane broke into three pieces, but somehow 48 people survived the crash. How is that possible?
- As we’ll learn in the final season of the show, some of the survivors were handpicked by Jacob as “Candidates” to protect the island. Kate and Sayid are two of them. It seems that the “Rules” of the island somehow prevented these individuals from dying in the plane crash. As the Man In Black would put it, they “still have work to do”, like… blowing up a nuclear bomb and indirectly causing their own plane to crash on the island.
SCOTT AND STEVE
- We meet Scott (left) and Steve (right). Remember their faces; the survivors won’t, even after one of them dies at the hands of Ethan Rom. The Scott/Steve confusion is a recurring joke on the show.
Locke: “This moth’s just about to emerge. It’s in there right now, struggling. It’s digging its way through the thick hide of the cocoon. Now, I could help it, take my knife, gently widen the opening, and the moth would be free. But it would be too weak to survive. The struggle is nature’s way of strengthening it.”
- I think we can all agree that in this case, Charlie is the moth in Locke’s story. Looking at the bigger picture, you could say the same story about necessary struggles applies to all the characters. If everything happened according to Jacob’s plan, that means every event in the final episode of the show happened because the survivors were led on that path, and that all of their struggles and sufferings were important in leading them there.
- This same “moth” theme is also explored during the time-travelling in season 5. “Whatever happened, happened” does not just mean that the survivors can’t change the past, but also that they can’t help themselves because that would change the course of their natural “path”. Locke is doing the same thing in helping Charlie, and as Locke puts it himself in The Little Prince, “I needed that pain to get to where I am now” (referring to the events from Deus Ex Machina).
- In Charlie’s case, the moth story is also about hidden potential. Charlie feels disrespected by the other survivors, and by his older brother in his flashbacks. In this episode we learn Charlie writes the songs for DriveShaft, but Liam is the one that sings them and gets all the attention (the “butterfly”). Charlie doesn’t get his moment in the spotlight – his chance to “emerge” – and chooses the heroin. On the island, however, he decides to stop using the heroin, and he proves his worth by going inside the cave to save Jack’s life.
Liam: “I am Drive Shaft! Nobody even knows who the sodding bass player is! This is it, Charlie – end of the rainbow. You really think you can walk away? Then what, eh? Face it, if you’re not in this band, what the bloody hell use are you?”
- In his own way, Sawyer takes some smaller steps in this episode to “emerge from his cocoon”. He looks for Kate to tell her what happened to Jack, but when Kate says she’s not interested in listening to him he decides to help Kate and Sayid with their plan to triangulate Rousseau’s signal. He also considers the idea that he could run the island himself. As Kate notes, he’s actually comparing himself to Jack now!
THAT WAS ME
- Sayid is attacked from behind by an unknown assailant when he finally receives a signal on his transceiver. As we find out in The Greater Good, Locke is the one who attacked him. In Confidence Man, Locke tells Sayid “It would seem whoever attacked you has a reason for not wanting to get off the island”. And that he does, although no one but Rose knows about his secret.
- This is the first, but not the last time Locke will try and prevent the survivors from getting rescued. Blowing up The Flame station and the submarine and throwing a knife in Naomi’s back are a few examples.
- In LA X, the Man In Black tells Ben he thinks it’s “admirable” that Locke was the only person who realized how “pitiful” his pre-island life was, and points out the irony in the fact that he himself does want to leave the island.
- When Jack asks Charlie if he has any hallucinations, Charlie answers “apart from the conversation I had with you about an hour ago in the jungle, not really”. This actually refers to a scene deleted from the episode, in which Charlie encounters Jack in the jungle, wearing Liam’s “music $lut” t-shirt.
- When Charlie tells Jack “I’m a bloody rock God!”, the cave responds by throwing rocks on top of him.
- Charlie tells Jack: “I’m here to rescue you.” Besides this being one of many references to Star Wars, it’s also the same thing Daniel Faraday says to Jack when he arrives on the island (Confirmed Dead).
- Liam says to Charlie “You were with me the night I missed Megan’s birth”. We see this story in the flashbacks from Fire + Water.
- Liam offers to help Charlie with his rehab in Sydney, but Charlie decides to board flight 815 instead. As a result of that, he gets the best “rehab” he could have wished for. Too bad he also drowns a few months later.
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