It's a rare Charlie Pace solo unplugged concert on the beach! Only no one's there to watch him. Maybe he didn't pass out enough flyers. Actually, he probably told everyone, which would explain the lack of audience. But good thing he's there, because he hears crying and sees Aaron's cradle riding the waves out to sea. It's safe to say that in most cases when you hear a crying baby in a cradle heading out on the surf, you should probably do something about that. But somehow Charlie can't tell that this is a dream sequence, so he strips off his shirt and starts swimming out to the cradle, which I guess he thinks Locke attached pontoons to so that it can float like that. And he's yelling to Aaron that he's coming, and the funny thing is that right after he says this, these two little baby arms stick out from the cradle and start paddling furiously away from him.
So now Charlie's hauling the cradle in, and he's not exactly being gentle about it, slinging it around like a sack of potatoes as he sets it down on the sand and gathers Aaron into his arms. Aaron looks none the worse for his watery adventure.
The dream sequence becomes a little more obvious when Charlie looks up the beach and sees Claire and his mother posed (and dressed) like the women in the painting of his childhood home -- they even have halos! Charlie's rather delighted to see his mom, even if the whole scene is now bathed in a sepia tone, and then he gets concerned when they start repeating over and over that the baby is in danger and that he has to save the baby; he also clearly seems to be thinking, "But…I just saved the baby!" There's a flash, and with a neat little shadow effect, a dove appears to fly out of the painting-sky, past Charlie and out to sea.
Then Hurley shows up, dressed like Jesus, or perhaps John the Baptist, which is probably not something that I'll ever have to write again, in another recap. Hay-zeus Hurley wants to know what Charlie's doing. This snaps Charlie out of his hallucination; it's now dark. However, Charlie is still indeed standing in the surf holding Aaron in his arms. "It's the middle of the night. What are you doing with the baby?" Sometimes, when Hurley calls someone "dude," you know that he's being serious. I think here, when he isn't calling Charlie "dude," that he's really concerned.
Up by the trees, we hear Claire start to make a fuss as she notices Aaron's gone, and Hurley yells over that it's okay, and then like all the Lostaways are instantly awake and running over, and Charlie realizes this, you know, kinda looks bad. Claire's freaking as Charlie hands Aaron to her, and he stammers that he doesn't know what happened, but Aaron's okay, and Charlie had a dream, and he's thankfully interrupted with a slap in the face from a distraught Claire, who fixes Charlie with a look of equal parts anger and contempt. Ready to give her some space now, Charlie? This isn't a romantic comedy; not even Matthew McConaughey would be able to get away with baby-snatching, so don't think this is getting you back into Claire's good books.