Things I was right about: training ninjas! Things I was wrong about: Hurley and Libby, sitting in a tree. But next time I'm going to miss an episode, I'm going to double-check the spoilers and see if any upcoming episodes predominantly features a) Charlie, b) dream sequences, c) adult Charlie in a diaper. Because the only thing I can think of that would make me enjoy an episode less would be some of American Idol's way-too-into-it white girls grunt-singing "Black Velvet" with their eyes closed. Charlie, you leave me crying in the aisle, what with your flashbacks about your brother being a dick and selling the piano that was given to you by your mother with the all-purpose United Kingdom accent. And Charlie has his visions of Aaron being in danger, and his response is to kidnap the kid a few times, because this is sure to get him back into Claire's good books. And while we're on the subject of Claire, she might want to think about a beauty manual called Plane Crashes, Island Births, and Dumping Junkie Rock-Star Has-Beens: How to Look Absolutely Fucking Incredible. Locke thinks Charlie's back on the heroin, which is understandable, because Charlie is as we all know the very first person to have visions. Maybe this is as good a measure as any as to how dissatisfied I was with this episode: when Locke punches Charlie at the end, I didn't even enjoy it. You know where I stand on punching Charlie vs. not punching Charlie. What you might not know is that I've pitched to ABC a Lost spin-off called Punching Charlie: The Series (I'm waiting to hear back). But when Locke's fist hit Charlie's face all I could think of was that Charlie is their friend, that he's in agony, and it just as easily be any one of them in Charlie's position. Having said that, if I had some advice for Charlie, it would be to give Claire a little space. And, you know, stop kidnapping Aaron.
There's an older boy there already excitedly opening presents, and the younger lad -- oh, let's just call him Charlie -- starts grabbing presents himself, only to find that they're all tagged for "Liam," who has ripped open one gift to find Voltron. Thing is, it's actually a G.I. Joe, but I guess in the U.K. they call G.I. Joe "Voltron." I didn't know that. "Where are MY presents?" whines Charlie. Selfish crybaby even then, hey?
But a bathrobed mommy has just entered to say, "Right over here, Charlie," like I guess she didn't want to leave the eight-ball under the tree. Actually, over to the side is something large covered in blankets and brown paper. Underneath is an upright piano, which Young Charlie is quite thrilled to have. I think I was about Young Charlie's age when we got a piano, and I have to say I wasn't nearly so thrilled as Charlie is. Guess the music and/or heroin bug hadn't bitten me. Yet. "Father Christmas must have known how talented you are!" says Mom. And he brought the piano anyway, you mean? Mommy calls Charlie "special," and I think by the time this series ends, every character will have been described this way. "Someday you'll get us out of here. All of us," she says, and I imagine that eventually we'll find out whatever became of Mommy. Hope Charlie helped you escaped your hellish existence wherein you, as an apparently single mother, can afford to give pianos for Christmas presents. "Yes, c'mon, baby brothah," we hear from over by the tree, and when Charlie turns, his brother Liam is his grown-up junkie rock star self, and apparently wearing a diaper. So we're doing the dream sequence, are we? Great. That's always a winner. Like Lost isn't incomprehensible enough on its own. "You can't save your family if you don't play," he says, and goes back to playing with his "Voltron." And now Young Charlie is Adult Charlie. Another exhortation from Mom to play. And now there is a butcher in the living room, and I mean complete with bloody meat on a butcher block and a huge cleaver. "Dad?" says Charlie. We don't see the butcher's face as he harangues Charlie about needing to learn a trade. How interesting that they're giving a character on this show some daddy issues. It's about time they explored this theme, don't you think? And Butcher Daddy then chops the head off a doll (some obscure Beatles reference?), so am I to take it that Daddy wasn't an actual butcher but more of a performance-artist butcher? Liam, who is by now lying down on the couch, sarcastically asks Charlie to save them, and his mother sincerely says it, and Charlie turns back from the piano, and I swear that if he starts plinking out "Heart and Soul" then I will take that cleaver myself and bury it in his skull.
And Charlie begins to tinkle out some chords, and he's playing it like when a hair band plays a ballad and so the drummer steps out from behind the kit to play some basic chord progression (I'm thinking like Tommy Lee and "Home Sweet Home," in that vein) and any fingers of his that aren't actually depressing keys are sticking straight out all rigid, which ought to earn him a slap across the knuckles by his piano teacher.