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LOST: Damn, I hate being wrong…

The Wacky World of Chris Knight » LOST
Charlie doesn’t have to die!!!
Posted in LOST at 2:54 pm by ChrisKnight

Desmond is wrong. Not because his vision was wrong, but rather because it was incomplete and therefore his interpretation was incorrect.

How could I know his vision was incomplete when we were not shown it? “Elementary, my dear Watson…” We have seen two of Desmond’s visions. One when he was thrown backwards into time, and one where he was thrown into the future. In both instances his journey was viewed from a first person perspective: his. At no time did he see things that were outside his own physical perceptions. He may be unstuck in time, but he is not omnipresent.

Desmond tells Charlie that he sees Claire and the baby get on a helicopter, so we know Desmond returns to the beach. He _knows_ that helicopter will never come unless Charlie goes to the Looking Glass Station. The plan was not for them both to go down, but for only one of them. While Desmond was willing to take Charlie’s place, he still never suggested they both go. So, if Charlie was meant to go alone, Desmond would not be able to see what happened after Charlie went into the water. Whether Desmond’s vision included Charlie wacking him with an oar or not, Desmond’s vision of Charlie ended around the point Charlie entered the water.

I do hate being wrong. Then again, one of the things I like about LOST is that it challenges me. I guess wrong about LOST all the time, and that doesn't happen with other shows. They practice an artful misdirection that other shows just can't master.

So, of course, they stripped away my wonderful logical reasons for thinking that Desmond was wrong. They sent him down into the water, where he could watch it all happen; and they did it in a way where Charlie floods the room he is in, and leaves Desmond safe to return to the surface. Bastards!!!

So, now I am going to nit-pick. I am going to point out a technical flaw in the way they killed Charlie. Why? because I can be a bastard too!!!

The Looking Glass Station was a pressurized under-water facility. We know this because it had an open-port entry point on the bottom. For every 33 feet of water there is an additional 14 PSI of air pressure, otherwise the Looking Glass would have flooded through the open entry port.

When Mikhail held the grenade up to the port-hole for Charlie to see, Charlie ran to the hatch, pulled in inward, and dogged the latches. Remember this...

The force of the grenade exploding shatters the porthole, and the room floods. And this is where they screwed up... It flooded all the way. This is a pressurized station. Charlie is in a sealed room. The water should have only risen to the top edge of the porthole. Charlie should have been left with breathable air. If Charlie's room wasn't sealed, and had an air vent connecting to the rest of the station, then the rest of the station should have flooded as well, but only to the height of the port-hole.

Now, assuming that the porthole was too small for Charlie to wiggle through, there were still options for him. The hatch closed inward, which means that even with positive water pressure in the room Charlie would have been able to open the door to escape. Desmond could have slapped regulators on a couple of tanks, strapped his on, and been ready to grab Charlie and hand him a regulator. He would have had plenty of time, because the station still would not have flooded above the level of the blown porthole.

So, damn them! Charlie still didn't have to die!!!

-Chris Knight

Charlie doesn’t have to die!!!

Desmond is wrong. Not because his vision was wrong, but rather because it was incomplete and therefore his interpretation was incorrect.

How could I know his vision was incomplete when we were not shown it? "Elementary, my dear Watson..." We have seen two of Desmond's visions. One when he was thrown backwards into time, and one where he was thrown into the future. In both instances his journey was viewed from a first person perspective: his. At no time did he see things that were outside his own physical perceptions. He may be unstuck in time, but he is not omnipresent.

Desmond tells Charlie that he sees Claire and the baby get on a helicopter, so we know Desmond returns to the beach. He _knows_ that helicopter will never come unless Charlie goes to the Looking Glass Station. The plan was not for them both to go down, but for only one of them. While Desmond was willing to take Charlie's place, he still never suggested they both go. So, if Charlie was meant to go alone, Desmond would not be able to see what happened after Charlie went into the water. Whether Desmond's vision included Charlie wacking him with an oar or not, Desmond's vision of Charlie ended around the point Charlie entered the water.

Whether Desmond's vision included his 'nap', he certainly never saw Charlie return to the surface. It was not unreasonable for him to assume Charlie drowned, especially since Juliette has (incorrectly) informed them that The Looking Glass is flooded. Assuming Desmond returns to the island, and the castaways are able to contact the ship, it is reasonable for Desmond to assume (in vision and real-time) that Charlie flipped the switch. (More likely he will convince the underwater amazons to flip it.)

Now, one could hypothesize that Desmond knew the Looking Glass wasn't flooded, and that somehow Charlie flooded the station at the same time he disabled the jamming signal. Could happen, but still Desmond couldn't know about it unless he was there; which would contradict him being on the beach to see Claire escape in the helicopter.

Given the logic of the show, and their attention to detail and plot consistency, Desmond didn't see Charlie die. Desmond guessed. Charlie doesn't have to die purely because of Desmond's incomplete first-person vision.

All hail Charlie the Hero, may he yet live!

-Chris Knight

ps. I have added a follow-up post explaining why Charlie should not, in fact could not, have drowned the way they show portrayed.