Rewatch Blog: The Moth...The Struggle Is Nature's Way of Strengthening It

Djr7 June 16, 2010 User blog:Djr7

Here's the rewatch review blog about Episode 7 of Season 1, The Moth, Charlie's first centric. This has always been my favorite Charlie centric (slightly ahead of Season 3's "Greatest Hits".) Upon rewatching this episode, I realized how much the dominant symbolism of this episode, that of a moth, can be applied to the entire series. So honestly this episode more than anything confirmed for me the value of writing these rewatch blogs because of how the dominant themes introduced in Season 1 would be extended throughout the entire series, and would form the basis of Jacob's eternal game against the Man in Black.

6x15 MenInBlackAndWhite

This episode doesn't have a lot to talk about other than the symbolism of the moth and Charlie's character development. However there were a couple of other things I noticed. As an extension of the last episode, we see Sun rebelling against Jin by refusing to change out of a revealing shirt while at the caves.

There was a decent amount of fate vs free will hammered into our heads this episode as well. Fate vs. free will is one of the most important themes of the entire series. The passengers of Oceanic Six crashed on the Island due to the machinations of Jacob, and were never given a choice of whether not they wanted to crash on the Island and be part of Jacob's tests of humanity. But in the end, they got the choice of whether or not they wanted to replace Jacob in "What They Died For", and Jack willingly took it. Some of the earliest examples of this conflict, fate v. free will, occur in this episode. Locke gives Charlie the choice of whether or not to take back his drugs by giving him 3 chances. We see through flashbacks that most of Charlie's life is about the choices he makes due to temptation. As the bass guitarist of Drive Shaft, Charlie was surrounded by temptation, be it from sex, drugs, or money. Charlie always had the choice to make the right decision during his musical career, but usually made the wrong choice, the choice that led him down the wrong path. He was flawed, meaning he was exactly the type of person Jacob wanted to bring to the Island. Charlie was a candidate on the cliffside wall, meaning Jacob did have a hand in Charlie's life most likely.

5x16 CheckingUpOnJohn

This episode, like much of Season 1, brilliantly juxtaposes the island scenes with the flashback scenes. Both storylines coincide beautifully. In both cases, Charlie's main struggle is the struggle to be useful to his peers. As the bass guitarist of Drive Shaft, Charlie wasn't in the limelight as much as the lead singer, his brother Liam. So when his brother, stole the chorus for "You all Everybody" during the concert, Charlie felt useless to the band and his fans because that was his moment. The great thing is that this scene came directly after Sawyer's line, "I'll tell her. You just keep doing whatever it is you do around here." Later, after Charlie threatens to leave Drive Shaft because of Liam's heroin use, Liam says, "Face it, if you're not in this band, what bloody use are you?" On the Island, Charlie feels belittled by the "A-Team" (Jack, Sawyer, Sayid, etc) and wants to be someone the survivors can count on. Charlie got the ultimate chance to be useful when he sacrificed himself in the name of helping his friends down in the Looking Glass station.


Charlie's development throughout this episode is symbolized by Locke in comparison to a moth. Locke tells Charlie while a moth is struggling inside of the tough hide of the cocoon, he could help the moth by opening the hole at the top of the cocoon a little wider. Unfortunately for the moth, it would leave it too weak to survive. The struggle of the moth exiting the cocoon is what makes the moth strong enough in the end. Locke's philosophy on helping the moth is very similar to Jacob's philosophy of helping the people he brings to the Island. In a way, for the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815, the Island is their own cocoon. In Jacob's mind, helping them determine how to overcome their struggles is tantamount to weakening them. Jack overcame a lot of adversity in his time on the Island, and Jacob never really helped him. Jack never knew what he was meant to do in his life. In "Lighthouse" Jacob told Hurley, "Jack is here because he has to do something. He can't be told what that is. He's got to find it himself. Sometimes you can just...hop in the back of someone's cab and tell them what they're supposed to do. Other have to let them look out at the ocean for a while." This sentiment mirrors Locke's concerning Charlie in this episode almost perfectly.

6x05 WatchTheOcean

Jacob's people come to the Island, struggling and flawed, fighting to find a way out of their troubles. Along the way, their struggles may kill them. I don't know a whole lot about moths, but I bet some of them actually fail get out of their cocoons for whatever reason. But the people who did survive their time in the Island cocoon (namely Kate, Sawyer, Claire, Richard, Miles, Ben, Hurley and Frank) came out of it much, much better for themselves. With this thought, it is ultimately beautiful to see Charlie struggle and claw his way out of the cave in "The Moth," and complete the beautiful symbolism that defines this episode. Seeing Charlie toss his drugs into the fire, juxtaposed with a moth flying away, is one of my favorite images from the entire series. It's also great later in the series, in Season 2, to watch Charlie throw away the Virgin Mary statues, getting rid of temptation again.


I also noticed an interesting conversation between Kate and Sayid in this episode. They have a very Jack/Locke-esque exchange as they make their way to their respective triangulation positions. Sayid says that it is almost impossible that anybody survived the plane crash, and that they should all be dead. Kate chalks it up to luck, and has faith in the fact that certain things, like people surviving a plane crash, just happen. This conversation rings of "Man of Science, Woman of Faith." This conversation also puts fuel into the "they all died in the plane crash" fire. Personally, I think that theory is ridiculous, and would discredit the entire show. But a discussion of that would be not really fit into this type of blog.

We also get an appearance of the two redshirts known as Scott and Steve in this episode. A running gag on the show would be the confusion over who is Scott and Steve. When Scott's neck was broken, leading to his death, by Ethan, Hurley gave him a eulogy apologizing for all the times he got them mixed up.


So all in all, this is one of my favorite episodes of the entire series because it tells such a beautiful story. It also gained a lot more meaning for me after having watched the entire series. Episodes gaining more meaning after the series is over is exactly why I'm writing this rewatch blogs. Coming up soon will be Sawyer's first centric, Confidence Man. Thanks, as always for reading and commenting. For some of the people who commented previously that they didn't like that I write these blogs, just don't read them, ok? You don't know me! I'm a bloody rock god!


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