Season 3 Episode 21

Greatest Hits

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM May 16, 2007 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (109)

Write A Review
out of 10
1,538 votes
  • Not what we expected, in either the flashback or the ending

    Well, we're almost at the end of the season, and as is the custom we expect some huge revelations. We get more than a few in 'Greatest Hits', but after everything we've seen it might seem as a disappointment that the focus of the flashback is not someone more central but rather Charlie, who's been on the cusp of things all season, but never been in focus. But there's more to it than that.

    First of all, we found out what the hell Jack has been planning ever since he learned Juliet was the mole, which he's known since 'D.O.C.' His plan is to wait for when the Others come to their campground, and have their tents set up with the dynamite from the 'Black Rock' When the Others arrive, he plans to blow them to bits. But Jack is so focused on his vision of vengeance, he seems to have forgotten Naomi and hopes of rescue. This is understandable, because when she became public knowledge, rather than celebrate their eminent rescue, they all started bickering about why Desmond and Hurley kept this a secret, and why no one told Jack. At one point Naomi actually says "Don't you people want to be rescued?" and it's a fair question, given the way people have been behaving. When Sayid raises the question, it finally seems to rouse Jack, and they focus us on a project that no one's followed up on since Day 2--- finding the radio tower where Rousseau's message was being broadcast from. Now we learn something even more tangent--- the signal is also being jammed by another Dharma station called the Looking Glass. According to Juliet, it's underwater and has been unmanned for years. But Sayid (who must have liberated the schematics when he was searching the Flame station in 'Enter 77') thinks he can find. But in order to turn it off, someone has to go underwater and do it manually.
    Once again, Jack dillies and dallies, but not for long. Minutes later, Karl (who has been persona non grata since Sawyer turned him loose in 'Stranger in a Strange Land') turns up with another warning ---- the Others are coming right now. This leads to a fascinating side route. Ben returns to the Others camps and, rather than answer anyone's question about Locke, he instead tells the Other that he's moving up the timetable. When Richard asks why, he says Jacob ordered it. This was the first time I suspected that Ben really hadn't been talking to anyone, cause I'm damn sure Jacob didn't tell him that. He also gives a gun back to Alex which he says she gave to Locke, but we will soon know that, too, was a lie. Ben is trying to regroup but things are spinning out of control. And Alex is the one who betrays him by telling Karl to warn the passengers. This proves that she was never really an Other, and that she clearly doesn't think Ben was ever her father. We won't see the true ramifications of this for another episode.

    So when Karl comes, they have to drastically alter their plans, which leads to them leaving three behind ---- Sayid, Jin and Bernard (Yes, Rose and Bernard are back after having been gone all season. Nothing good can come from this) But what does any of this have to do with Charlie? Desmond has another of his visions in this episode, one that would seem to lead to rescue. (Given what we will later learn, I question the veracity of this, too, but let's let it go for now.) In order for this to happen, Charlie has to die (which may have been the reason Desmond had to save him all those times in the first place.) So, without knowing the details, he volunteers to go on a suicide mission underwater. (Now we have a glitch: on Day 6, a woman died when she went out swimming, and Charlie said he didn't swim.. Not he can't swim; he doesn't. Now possibly Charlie was still going through the bad part of his heroin addiction so he was afraid of dying, but why wouldn't Jack remember this? Maybe he was too focus on the drowning woman.) Anyway, Charlie says he can go.

    Up until now, all of the flashbacks have been pretty unhappy moments for everybody, with little joy. When Jack got married or performed a miracle surgery on a woman, or when Locke found love with Helen, subsequent flashbacks would destroy them, so they would be very painful moments. Even Hurley's flashbacks which have been funny were painful moments to him as well. Charlie has been no different; has flashbacks have shown how he gave upo his religion to become a rock star, watched his band fall apart, while his brother got clean, and he was unable to accept that he was a has been.

    But now, Charlie knows he's about to die, and he's decided that if the last 90 days have been a gift from some kind of benevolent entity, he's going to take only positive memories with him. We've seen Charlie's father as a cruel man, but now he's a proud papa. Liam has been seen as an enabler who destroyed his brother even as he cleaned himself back up; now we see two flashbacks where he showed them moment of pure happiness, where they showed him a gift. We've seen Charlie act cowardly in the face of adversity; now we see him save a woman's life in an alleyway (Interestingly, the woman was Nadia, Sayid's beloved who he's still searching from. Ironically, this took place in London, and we know that 'The Greater Good' Sayid spent time there. They may have just missed each other.) And the greatest moment of his life? The moment he met Claire. And we know right away he thought she was special. He was wearing his hood, meaning he was on drugs, but when he saw her, he took the hood off. He makes his final goodbyes. He leaves his Driveshaft ring (which we know has great significance to him in flashback #3) in Aaron's cradle, passing it down to his adopted son. Then it is lost (but it will turn up again, and I have no doubt there is still significance to it) He has a clingy moment with Hurley, even though there's a hint of malice in it. And when Desmond offers to take his place one last time, he makes sure that can't happen, and bravely jumps in.

    Except he doesn't. Despite everything we've learned, he find a gap, and pulls himself to freedom. But his elation is short lived, as two Others emerge from the Looking Glass armed and really upset. Looks like Ben has been lying again. As I am a sentimental sap, I can't help but cheer to find him alive, wondering what will happen next

    'Greatest Hits' isn't a perfect episode (it tries to cram in a lot of information in one hour, and does leave some gaps) and there area few holes that the series hasn't tried to explain for another season. But it does set things up for the season finale, which will be a total game changer for everybody.