The last few episodes of Lost have arguably been the best we have ever had in a row. It has been a long time since Charlie was given the spotlight and the last time was one of the worst episodes of the series. It is fortunate for everyone that the penultimate episode of Season 3 be an improvement on that particular installment. But "Greatest Hist" is more than just an improvement, it is a series classic, an episode which brings back fond memories of Season One. All the characters we have known and loved over the course of the series to this point get a moment to shine and all, bar the Others and Locke, are together in one location - their beach camp, which was the primary focus of the first season. Add the return of Danielle Rousseau to the A-mission, not to mention a warning that the Others are coming plus a second attempt at leaving the island and it feels like the Season One finale, "Exodus" all over again and this is not a bad thing. In fact it is quite possibly just as emotional as the Exodus Part 1 installment, with Charlie's life hung in the balance. The scenes with Charlie, Claire and Aaron are particularly tearjerking and Lost begins to feel epic again.
Charlie's flashbacks are very good also, the third episode in a row that hasn't used the usual flashback format. We see moments in his life he remembers most fondly and these all add to the emotion of the episode. Even if you hate Charlie you can't help but feel sympathy for him as he heads towards uncertain death or cheer for him as he swims down to the Looking Glass Station and surfaces inside. Talking of the Looking Glass, it was great to finally get confirmed that an underwater DHARMA station existed, something that fans had speculated since Season One. It was also great that we found out where that Cable seen first in the 8th episode of the first season led. It is funny to think that if Sayid somehow followed the cable into the water instead of the jungle, rescue may have been possible sooner. We also get clarification that the island's submarine used the Looking Glass as a dock and also why Danielle Rousseau was collecting dynamite from the Black Rock, which also cleared up what Jack has been doing with Juliet for so long.
Once again the emphasis is on Leaders. We see the parallels between Jack and Ben, both are struggling to reaffirm their control over their groups. They both seem to be using aggression and force to get things in motion. While it is not surprise that Ben should use this tactic it is with Jack. We haven't seen him this animated before nor this determined to begin a war, soemthing that has been brewing since Season 2 when he approached Ana-Lucia. He snaps at Sayid and anyone else who tries to stop him from initiating the war, and to instead focus on rescue. This episode was full of information, tying up more loose ends and giving enough reasons for the remaining fans to stick around.
This episode was another brilliant installment for Season 3 which had seen its ups and downs but since "Enter 77" had begun to pick up steam and from "The Brig" onwards had recaptured the magic of the show's early days. If you thought that the last three episodes were good just wait till you see the finale! The War has Begun!!!!