Fire + Water

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Baptism by liar

So we pull back out from the piano, and now Charlie is playing the piano on Lostaway Beach, and the waves are rolling in around him, and the damper pedal is now a literally true thing. And then we hear some baby crying from the…place…where the strings and hammers are, which name you'd think I'd know after all my lessons, but I do not. ["I always called it the case, but I don't know if that's the formal term." -- Sars] But I always preferred playing the piano with the lid open anyway, with the louder, fuller sound, an added bonus to which I can see now that I can easily rescue any crying babies that get stuck back there. Charlie's wishing he could open the lid to save Aaron, because what other crying baby is going to be stuck in the hallucinatory piano on the beach in some kind of weird Harry Connick Jr. mixed with Chris Isaak video? And then the piano tips over and it is now washing out to sea, and the piano might want to think about waiting an hour before going out in the water because it just ate a baby.

And then Charlie looks around, and seems concerned. Instead of relieved to find out it was just a dream? No, he's freaked that maybe something's wrong with Aaron, so he goes looking for him, and doesn't see him in the crib, and you'd think the fact that Claire wasn't there either would calm him down somewhat, but he goes yelling at Sun, who's hanging up laundry, to ask if she knows where Claire and the baby are. Sun's all, right over there, because apparently Charlie couldn't be arsed to even look, that's how frantic he is to find them, that he won't actually look. Because there's Claire, the yummy mommy, holding Aaron on the beach, glowing in the light of the setting sun. Charlie watches for a moment, relieved -- and then Locke has to show up and appear to be friends with her, of all things, and Charlie puts on a stalker glare and watches the two of them, and then slinks back into the shadows. His precioussss…

Claire's tending to Aaron in his crib. Charlie strolls up with some cloth diapers (in the U.K. they call them "shite-bags"). And he tries to be as non-stalkerly as possible as he gives them to her, and she looks apprehensive but thanks him, because clean shite-bags are always welcome, and goes back to tending to Aaron. Please stop there, Charlie, before you scr-- oh, fine. He asks if Aaron has been asking after him. Since Aaron is what, two days old? I'm fuzzy on the timeline. Anyway, I'm assuming Charlie is joking. But Claire is not in the mood for Charlie's whinging that he wants things to go back to the way they were before, so she points out that the way things were before was that they were strangers on a plane, and then they became friends. "And now Locke is your friend," mutters Charlie, and Claire glares at him like he just made a MILF joke. She tells him she needs space, which usually heads off potential stalkers, as I understand it. Charlie stands up. Even Aaron from the crib is giving him the stink-eye. "See ya, mate. Take care of your mum, now." Oh, we're all crying, Charlie.

Flashback to another little baby, this one dressed in pink in a maternity ward. Charlie shows up to look through the maternity ward showroom window or whatever it's called, and he's got his aviator shades on indoors, so this is definitely Junkie Charlie we're looking at. He smiles, gives a little wave at the little girl, takes his sunglasses off. He's greeted by baby's mom, who Charlie's surprised to see isn't lying down, but the glowing new mom just had to see her daughter again. "Isn't she brilliant?" she coos. At that age, it's hard to tell, but since the baby isn't currently engaged in attempting to stuff her foot into her mouth, I'll give her the benefit of the doubt. Charlie seems to agree. "She's beautiful, Karen," says Charlie, and Karen says, "Her name's Meghan," and initially I thought that Karen said, "My name's Meghan," and maybe Liam was fathering children all over the place and Junkie Charlie couldn't keep them all straight. Speaking of Liam, Karen asks where he is. Charlie looks at her, trying to think of an answer. That's all she needs for her to look suddenly downcast, and says, "He isn't here." The look on her face indicates that it's not the first time Liam hasn't been there. Charlie quickly blurts out some excuse about the two of them taking separate vehicles from the club in Dresden, Charlie in a cab and Liam in a van with the gear, and Liam blew a tire. But he's on the next flight! promises Charlie, and Karen looks like she knows Charlie's lying but wants to believe him anyway, and just asks if Liam's okay. Charlie needs to learn how to lie a little bit better, I think; his eyes bounce around like little mini-superballs before he says, "He's great!"

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