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“All these survivors are capable of great sacrifice … in the spirit of the community.”
Executive Producer, Carlton Cuse
Since the castaways of Oceanic Flight 815 landed on a mysterious island three seasons ago in “Lost“, we have seen ordinary people become extraordinary heroes by making willing sacrifices with one purpose in mind: Getting everyone else off the island.

Last season, we saw Desmond sacrifice himself by making a split-second decision to turn the fail-safe key to stop the hatch’s electromagnetic pull. This season, we saw Jin, Sayid, and Bernard sacrifice themselves by staying behind as sharpshooters. We saw Juliet, Sawyer, and Hurley sacrifice themselves by going back to rescue the three men. And, we saw the ultimate sacrifice of Charlie who finally accepted his fate–and willingly drowned in order to bring about the rescue predicted in Desmond’s flashes.

Throughout the season fate was thwarted as Desmond continually saved Charlie. When it became clear Charlie’s death would finally serve a purpose–getting everyone, including Claire and Aaron, rescued in a helicopter–he also made a split-second decision to disable the Looking Glass. Yet his sacrifice was greater than Desmond’s because Charlie’s split-second decision was a result of having time to prepare mentally for one great sacrifice. With each rescue, Charlie built up his resistance to the idea of death so that when Fate came calling again, he stopped hiding behind Desmond; he accepted his grand exit with a determination to restore the balance of life and death.

Despite everyone else’s herosim this season, Charlie’s heroism is the greatest because he already knew about Fate’s plans for him, and he willingly chose to be a part of them. He stopped running away and accepted responsibility. He made peace with Fate, with himself, and with the island–he chose quick death when he could have chosen to prolong life. He made the decision to redeem himself by dying underwater when he could have easily escaped, and in one moment he transformed from a messy rocker-junkie into a tender Messiah figure.

Rest in peace, Charlie.

(Test your knowledge of faith and spirituality throughout the third season of “Lost.”)

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