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This article is about the episode. For Charlie's list of "greatest hits", see Charlie's list.
"Greatest Hits"

May 16, 2007
Running time
Production code
Centric character(s)
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Episode transcript
[[{{{transcript2}}}|Part Two]]

[[{{{audiotranscript}}}|Commentary transcript]]

"Greatest Hits" is the twenty-first episode of Season 3 and the seventieth produced hour of the series as a whole. It was originally broadcast on May 16, 2007. When Desmond has another one of his flashes, Charlie is forced to come to terms with the notion that he may have to die to ensure everyone else's rescue. Meanwhile, Jack formulates a plan to combat the Others when they arrive the next day, but complications arise.



The greatest hits

Charlie notes down the top five moments of his life on a piece of paper. Each scene recounts the moments that have been impressed upon his memory.

"#5: The first time I heard myself on the radio" - Charlie, Liam, and other members of Drive Shaft have broken down in the middle of a heavy rainstorm en route to a gig in Clitheroe, Lancashire. Charlie explains that he has had enough of band-life and is ready to quit, much to Liam's dismay. At that point "You All Everybody," which would become the band's biggest hit, plays over the van radio. Ecstatic, the four members of Drive Shaft celebrate their victory and Charlie's resolve to stick with the band is rekindled.

"#4: Dad teaching me to swim at Butlins" - A young Charlie stands on the edge of a public pool on a holiday camp where his father, Simon Pace, stands. His father tells Charlie to jump in but Charlie refuses because he doesn't believe his dad will catch him. Charlie's father insists on him facing his fears and jumping in the pool. A young Liam appears and warns Charlie that their father is lying and Charlie will fall in. As Charlie prepares to jump, a child's voice in the background says "Come on, let's go! Desmond!" Charlie faces down the pool and jumps in. Charlie embraces his father and begins to swim.

Nadia's mugger

"#3: The Christmas Liam gave me the ring" - Charlie wakes up on Christmas morning in Helsinki, Finland. He finds himself in bed with two groupies. Liam enters the room, notices the two women asleep, and congratulates Charlie on his accomplishment. He then takes Charlie aside and explains that he wants him to have his DS Ring - a Pace family heirloom bearing their great-grandfather's initials, which their mother had given to Liam. Charlie refuses, but Liam explains that out of the two of them Charlie is the one who is going to have a family and live past 30. Charlie then says he will hold the ring for his brother but that he will not take it from him.

Charlie with Nadia
"#2: Woman outside Covent Garden calls me a hero" - Charlie stands on the corner of the street singing "Wonderwall." As it begins to rain, Charlie concludes his song, packs his guitar up, and begins to walk home. Charlie speeds up to escape the rain but then notices a woman, Nadia, being mugged in an alley. He decides to confront the mugger and beat him off with his guitar case. The mugger does not fight Charlie, but rather runs away in a cowardly manner. The woman thanks Charlie for his assistance, explaining that three other people passed by the alley (making Charlie the 4th to show up) and continued on their way, but Charlie did not. The woman then calls him a "hero," something Charlie has never before thought himself capable of being.

"#1: The night I met you" - Taking place on the first night after Oceanic 815 crashed, Charlie wanders about the wreckage of the plane. He notices Claire and approaches her. He offers her his blanket, though she has one already, explaining that she (still pregnant with Aaron at that time) needs to keep warm for two. She accepts the offer and the two begin to converse. Charlie jokes around, asking Claire if this is her first plane crash she's been on. Charlie then assures her that they will be rescued, cheering Claire's spirits a little and beginning their relationship.

On the Island

Jack leads the group to show them his plan

A group of survivors trek inland following Jack. On the way, Charlie sees Desmond stop in his tracks, and despite his denial, Charlie suspects he may have had another one of his flashes. The team arrives at their destination and Jack explains that he and Juliet have been forced to come up with a plan to stop the Others. He reveals he has sought help from Rousseau, who then sets off a large dynamite explosion. As the rest of the group recoil in surprise, Jack proclaims that Juliet will mark the tents of pregnant women with white rocks as she was told, but the Others will find nothing inside but dynamite. As Jack states, "We're gonna blow 'em all to hell."

Back at camp, Charlie talks with Naomi. She asks with whom the survivors are going to war, to which he says that it's a long story. After revealing that he is in Drive Shaft, Naomi tells him that after his apparent death in the crash of Flight 815, a "Greatest Hits" album was released and became very popular. Charlie is overjoyed at the news, although he notices Desmond in the distance, an ominous reminder of his possible fate.

Juliet reveals her knowledge about the signal being jammed

At the same time, Sayid tells Jack that he can't get a rescue signal out to Naomi's ship on her satellite phone because Rousseau's old distress call is blocking the signal. He tells Jack that they need to go to the radio tower to turn it off. Juliet intervenes, explaining that it would make no difference, as Ben has been blocking transmissions from the Island, using an underwater DHARMA station called the Looking Glass. She mentions that she has no idea where it is, prompting Sayid to comment that he thinks he might know.

Charlie sits with Claire as Desmond approaches, asking to speak with him. Desmond reluctantly admits that he lied, and has seen a flash — one of Claire and Aaron getting into a helicopter and leaving the Island. Charlie at first does not understand how this can be bad, but Desmond explains that for this to happen, Charlie must drown after "flicking a switch next to a yellow light" in a hatch.

Schematic of the Looking Glass
Further down the beach, Sayid, Jack, and Juliet continue forming their strategy using the Looking Glass schematic Sayid took from the Flame station. Sayid notes that the station is connected to mainland by a cable, which he believes is the one he found over two months ago. Juliet tells them that Ben talked of that station but said that it was flooded and deserted after an "accident" occurred. Nevertheless, she has no firsthand knowledge of the place and knows no one who has. Continuing to study the map, Sayid notes that there is a moon pool (for a submarine to access the station), which would be the ideal entrance if someone could dive down there and turn off whatever is jamming the transmissions. Yet, Sayid also coldly admits that, since the entire station is flooded, it would be quite impossible for anyone to hold their breath long enough to go down, execute the plan, and then swim all the way back up alive.

Desmond and Charlie approach the group and hear them talking about swimming to the station. Charlie volunteers himself for the trip, claiming to have been Junior Swim Champion of Northern England and able to hold his breath for 4 minutes. Jack then decides that they should spend all of their attention on the Others, judging the idea as a suicide mission.

Meanwhile, the rest of the camp searches through plane wreckage to find wire to help rig the dynamite. Rose and Bernard tie pieces together, while Jin confronts Sun. He asks her about the tape, on which he heard their names, and she explains about the ultrasound and how the baby is doing well. Jin is happy to hear the news and hugs Sun unaware of Sun's tears once in his embrace.

"They're coming right now!"

The group is soon interrupted by the arrival of Karl, who lands at the shore using an outrigger. After Sayid initially attacks him, Sawyer insists they listen to him as had been caged with them, and Karl explains that the Others are going to attack tonight as opposed to tomorrow. A brief flashback shows events from six hours ago. Alex is skinning a white rabbit when she sees Ben coming back from visiting Jacob, appearing agitated. She asks about Locke, and Ben coldly gives the gun that she gave John back to her. Richard shows up to ask what happened and Ben tells him that they're going to move to the camp now because Jacob wanted it to happen now. Richard begins to ask, "Did John see...?" to which Ben only says that Locke had an accident, leaving Richard without words. Ben orders Pryce to prepare his team and leave as soon as possible, making their attack that night rather than the following night. Upon hearing the news, Alex runs to Karl, who has been hiding away from the camp, and tells him to warn the survivors immediately. When Karl is hesitant, she reminds him that "Ford and Austen" saved his life, and that he owes them this. Karl says that if he's caught Alex's father will kill him this time, but Alex questions if Ben is really her father at all. Karl takes the outrigger, upon Alex's instruction, along the coast of the island to the beach camp of the Losties, allowing him to get there before Pryce.

Charlie and Desmond agree to the Looking Glass mission

Back in real-time, the Losties discuss what they will do now. Realizing that they do not have enough wire, Sayid proposes camouflaging the dynamite, and shooting it from a distance when the Others get to each tent. Jack agrees, saying that minus the shooters, everyone else should trek to the radio tower, so they can be rescued when the signal is freed up. Of course, that means someone must go to the underwater station, and Jack concedes to offering Charlie the job. Both he and Desmond agree to the mission, and the whole camp start to prepare for their assigned tasks in the battle to come.

While the majority of the camp gathers at the south end of the beach, Bernard shoots cans off a branch, proving to Sayid his credentials as a marksman. Rose expresses her concern about leaving him behind, but Jack convinces her otherwise, since if the plans fails everyone will most likely be killed anyway. Sayid then tells Jack that despite it being his plan, he must take on his leadership role and take the survivors to the radio tower. Though Jack objects, he consents to Sayid's suggestion.

Charlie hugs Hurley before departing

Hurley tells Charlie that he wants to come with him and Desmond on their mission. Hurley says that everyone is going to the radio tower and he is tired of trekking and explosions. Charlie, however, after hesitating, refuses to allow it, his excuse being that Hurley is too large and won't fit in the canoe. As Hurley leaves, upset, Charlie runs after him and hugs his friend. Hurley mutters that he didn't want to go on the stupid boat ride anyway. Charlie tells Hurley that he loves him, and Hurley, somewhat surprised, brushes it off with a lackadaisical "Yeah, whatever, love you too, man."

As the survivors prepare to leave their camp, Jack asks everyone if they've got water. He talks to Juliet and asks if Sayid has found a third and final shooter yet, and Juliet glances towards Jin, who is helping Sun pack her bag. Hurley offers to help Claire with the baby, but she politely declines his offer. Having previously been rejected by Desmond and Charlie, the morose Hurley is now beginning to feel that he has no useful skills to contribute. Claire picks up Aaron and leaves with Hurley, but they do not see Charlie's "DS" ring, left behind in the crib.

Desmond and Charlie follow the cable along the water to where it sinks into the depths, signaling that they are directly above the Looking Glass station. Charlie gives Desmond the list he has been writing of the five "greatest hit" moments of his life, asking him to see that Claire gets it.
Desmond offers to trade places with Charlie, suggesting that perhaps the flashes mean that he is meant to die in Charlie's place, and Charlie seems to agree. When Desmond turns his back, however, Charlie knocks him out with a paddle, weighs himself down, and dives into the water.

As he descends deep into the ocean and approaches the Looking Glass, Charlie begins to struggle for air. He manages to find the moon pool and swims toward it. Instead of a flooded room, however, he enters a pressurized chamber, which is not flooded at all. Charlie gasps for air, and climbs over the side onto the flooring, yelping with happiness that he's alive. His jubilation is short-lived, however, as two armed women run into the room after hearing the noise. One approaches Charlie with her gun pointed at him.



The sticker on Charlie's guitar
Charlie's T-shirt
  • In Greatest Hits #4, young Charlie is about to jump in the pool when a voice from a little boy can be heard in the background saying: "Desmond, come on!" This began a theory that Desmond is in Charlie's past, not including the flash in "Flashes Before Your Eyes."
  • Drive Shaft's van has a vanity plate "YRE2OL," which is meant to be read as "You're too old." Spelled backwards, it is "LO2ERY" (Lottery) or "LOSERY" (a reference to the band's popularity prior the flashback).
  • As Charlie puts away his guitar in the rain, we see a sticker that reads "I was here moments ago."
    • This is most likely a reference to "Flashes Before Your Eyes," where Desmond finds Charlie in the same location.
    • Actor Dominic Monaghan has been known to stick these stickers around in various places whilst "off duty" so it looks to be a simple personal graffiti habit of Dom's.
  • Charlie used a Shubb guitar capotasto on the second fret. The actual song by Oasis makes use of the same resource.
  • The place where Charlie is busking across from the Covent Garden Underground Station does not exist. There is no newsstand or lighted theatre entrance there. Busking is also prohibited on that particular corner.
  • The Night and Day Cafe which Charlie mentions as the venue for Drive Shaft's first show is a real music venue in Manchester, UK. It primarily showcases up-and-coming or student acts. This example again adds to the recurring theme of light and dark (Night and Day).
  • The t-shirt that Charlie wears in this episode has four Chinese words, yong qi (勇氣) and xin nian (信念), which mean "courage" and "faith" respectively.
  • The initials on the ring that Liam gives Charlie, DS, stand for "Dexter Stratton," the name of their great-grandfather on their mother's side.
    • Ironically, Liam was the one to marry, have a child and not die before thirty years of age. ("Fire + Water")
    • Interestingly, in Season 1 both Charlie and Liam are seen together wearing 'DS' rings. Either this is a continuity error, or perhaps once the band became successful, they had one or more replica rings made, with Liam keeping the original heirloom. ("The Moth") ("Flashes Before Your Eyes")
  • Eko's church can be seen in this episode.

Production notes

  • Locke does not appear in this episode.
  • A podcast rehash for the episode was released on May 21st, 2007. (Official Lost Podcast/May 21, 2007)
  • The women in the Looking Glass were named in an ABC press release as Greta and Bonnie.
  • Vincent briefly appears when Hurley and Claire leave the beach.
  • This is the first episode of season 3 in which Bernard and Rose appear.
  • This is the third time that the flashbacks of an episode have been used unconventionally (according to Lost's conventions, that is). The first episode was "The Other 48 Days," which was essentially a flashback from start to finish, depicting a group of people, instead of just a character. The second is Desmond's flashback within a flashback in "Flashes Before Your Eyes," in which his backstory takes up most of the story, instead of intercutting with the present on the Island. For more details on the unconventional use, see Literary techniques, below.
  • A Lost: On Location for this episode is available on the Season 3 DVD.

Bloopers and continuity errors

  • During the scene where Charlie says goodbye to Hurley, a camera man's leg and the end of his camera can be seen to the left of Charlie as he runs to give Hurley a hug.
Cameraman's leg and lens
  • When Charlie is swimming down to the Looking Glass he accidentally drops the weight belt off-screen and you see his right hand appear on-screen without the belt. In the next scene he is holding the weight belt in his right hand again.
    • Since the whole idea behind the weight belt was to speed Charlie's descent, it would have made more sense to make the belt much, much heavier.
    • Wrapping the belt around his hand instead of his waist was unwise as it prevented the use of one of his arms, therefore making him slower.
  • Charlie is in London, but road markings are not typical UK/London markings. For example, he crosses the street on a zebra crossing at a traffic light. However, in the UK these markings are used only with flashing yellow lights, not where there are regular red/amber/green traffic lights and are rarely used at crossroads.
  • The London taxi is accurate, as opposed to the ones seen in "Flashes Before Your Eyes." However, it is driving on the wrong side of the road. Almost all London taxis carry adverts these days. Some other cars featured in the scene are not available in the UK.
  • On the map the 'Looking glass' building is named 'hatch.' The other Dharma buildings are called stations. The term hatch was used by the survivors for the first station they discovered 'The Swan'. Script coordinator Gregg Nations confirmed this as being an error.
  • When Charlie is under the Looking Glass looking up, the moon pool is approximately square; when he surfaces, it is a long rectangle.
  • Charlie states he was the Junior Swim Champion of Northern England and swims very well when going down to the Looking Glass. He was also shown learning how to swim when he was a boy. However in White Rabbit when Joanna Miller is drowning he tells Jack that he doesn't swim.

Recurring themes

Recurring themes in Lost
Black and whiteCar accidentsCharacter connectionsDeceptions and consDreamsEyesFate versus free willGood and bad peopleImprisonmentIsolationLife and deathMissing body partsNicknamesThe NumbersParent issuesPregnanciesRainRebirthRedemptionRelationshipsRevengeSacrificeSecretsTime
  • The Others are looking for tents marked with white rocks, so Jack has them filled with dynamite from the ship Black Rock. (Black and white)
  • Desmond tells Charlie he had to sacrifice himself so that Claire and Aaron could be saved. (Sacrifice)  (Salvation)
  • Liam gives Charlie the ring to make sure it remains in the family, but Charlie dies before Liam does and has no children. (Irony)
  • Charlie said he hasn't been in a fight since he was 8 years old. He was the fourth person to pass by Nadia when she was being mugged in the alley. For his assigned mission, Charlie states he can hold his breath for 4 minutes. The radio volume in the van is set to level 23 when Drive Shaft's song starts playing. (The Numbers)
  • Charlie helps Nadia in the streets by stopping a mugger. (Character connections)
  • Charlie pretended to let Desmond take his place but then he hit him in the head with a paddle. (Deceptions and cons)
  • Alex eviscerates a white rabbit. The logo for the Looking Glass station is revealed to be a rabbit. (Animals)
  • Charlie's "greatest hit #5" comes from a moment when the band's van is stopped due to a flat tire. (Car accidents)
  • Charlie's recalls that his "greatest hit #5" happened under pouring rain. It also starts raining when he helps Nadia in his "greatest hits #2" - very similarly to what was seen in another episode ,"Flashes Before Your Eyes." (Rain)
  • Charlie decides to embrace his alleged fate over his own free will by stepping up to the diving mission. (Fate versus free will)
Charlie's Shoe
  • When Charlie jumps into the water, one of his black and white shoes floats toward the surface. (Black and white)
  • Charlie is deemed a hero by Nadia. Even if the exact words are not said, this should be taken as a clear reference of "a good man". (Good and bad people)
  • The white car passing by while Charlie puts his guitar in its case is a BMW E30 3-Series M3. (Cars)
  • When Charlie is talking with Naomi she asks him "You're not really dead, right?" At that moment Desmond is looking at Charlie the way he has in the past when he saw a foreshadow of Charlie's death. (Irony)  (Coincidence)  (Life and Death)

Cultural references

Cultural references in Lost
(direct references only)
ArtBooksCarsGamesMovies and TVMusicPhilosophyReligion and ideologiesScience

Literary techniques

Literary techniques in Lost
ComparativeIronyJuxtapositionForeshadowing PlottingCliffhangerPlot twist Stock Characters:  ArchetypeRedshirtUnseen character
Story:  FlashbacksFlash-forwardsFlash-sidewaysRegularly spoken phrasesSymbolismUnreliable narrator 
  • Nadia called Charlie a "hero." In the next scene, Charlie and Desmond are discussing how Charlie can be a hero again. (Juxtaposition)
  • Charlie's DS (Dexter Stratton) ring was given to Claire and Aaron, because he considered them family. (Symbolism)
  • Ben hands Alex the gun she gave to Locke so he could protect himself, and with which he shot Locke; she accepts it with a bloodied hand, and soon passes to Karl to be used against the Others to help the Losties. (Irony)
  • Naomi tells Charlie that a Drive Shaft Greatest Hits album was released after he was pronounced dead. Drive Shaft was largely considered a one-hit band. (Irony)
  • Liam states that Charlie would be the one to live past thirty, marry and have children. It turns out this actually happened to Liam. (Irony)
  • Even though Juliet said the Looking Glass station was flooded and abandoned, the underwater station turns out to be occupied. (Plot twist)
  • When Karl is describing the recent events that led him to the Island, those events are shown as part of the plot. (Flashback)
  • The use of flashbacks on this episode is not coincidental, as it's usual on Lost. Charlie actually remembers "the top five moments of his life," as he describes them, and those moments are shown at the same time he's thinking about them. The episode additionally contains a flashback to six hours ago that isn't told from any one character's perspective. (Flashback)

External links

  • Primetime grid: Excel
  • ABC Medianet Press Release Bundle (04/30/07): PDF / doc
  • Trailer on YouTube

This article uses material from the "Greatest Hits" article on the Lostpedia wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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