This article is about the episode. For Charlie's list of "greatest hits", see Charlie's list. For the orchestral piece, see "Greatest Hits" (composition).
"321" redirects here. For Jacob's candidate with that corresponding number, see Fernandez

"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 might 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.


Previously on Lost[]


The Greatest Hits[]


Charlie's "Greatest Hits" list.

Charlie notes down the top five moments of his life on a piece of paper. "#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 Clitheroe is nowhere and he has had enough of band-life and wants 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 band members celebrate their victory and Charlie's resolve to stick with the band is renewed.

"#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 doesn't want to because he doesn't believe his dad will catch him. Charlie's father insists he will catch him and Charlie can trust him. Liam appears and warns Charlie that their father is lying and he won't be caught. As Charlie prepares to jump, a child's voice in the background says "Come on, let's go! Desmond!" Charlie jumps in and after a moment underwater with his eyes open his father supports him and Charlie begins to "swim."

"#3: The Christmas Liam gave me the ring" - Charlie wakes up on Christmas morning in Helsinki, Finland. He is in bed with two groupies. Liam comes in and jumps on the bed and notices the two women asleep, and congratulates Charlie on his accomplishment. He 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 as oldest son. 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.

321-Charlie Nadia

Charlie with Nadia.

"#2: Woman outside Covent Garden calls me a hero" - Charlie is busking on a street corner in London singing "Wonderwall". It begins to rain so Charlie packs his guitar and begins to walk home. Charlie hurries 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, which excites Charlie as last time he was in a fight was when he was 8 years old and he lost. The woman thanks Charlie for his assistance, explaining that three other people passed by the alley (making Charlie the fourth to show up) and continued on their way. The woman then calls him a "hero," saying he should never forget it.

"#1: The night I met you" - On the first night after Oceanic 815 crashed, Charlie wanders about the wreckage of the plane. He notices Claire and approaches her offering 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 talk. 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[]

3x21 ateam trek

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. Jack tells them that they have arrived and that he and Juliet have been forced to come up with a plan to stop the Others. He calls out and Rousseau comes out and sets off a large dynamite explosion blowing up a tree. As the rest of the group recoil in surprise, Jack explains 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 who the survivors are going to war with but he says that it's a long story. She recognizes him from Drive Shaft, because after his apparent death in the crash of Flight 815, a "Greatest Hits" album was released and became very popular. Charlie is pleased at the news, although he notices Desmond in the distance, an ominous reminder of his possible fate. 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.

3x21 lg reveal

Juliet reveals her knowledge about the signal being jammed.

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.

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.


Schematic of the Looking Glass.

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 admits that, if the entire station is flooded, it would be impossible for anyone to hold their breath long enough to go down, execute the plan, and then swim all the way back up alive. Jack says that if that is the case it is just not going to happen.

Desmond and Charlie walk up and hear them talking about swimming to the station and throwing a switch. Charlie volunteers himself for the trip, claiming to have been Junior Swim Champion of Northern England and able to hold his breath for four 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.

3x21 comingnow

"They're coming right now!"

Karl, who lands at the shore using an outrigger and rushes toward the camp. Sayid tackles him but Sawyer insists they listen to him as had been caged with them Karl frantically explains that the Others are going to attack tonight as opposed to tomorrow.

3x21 charlie upforaswim

Charlie and Desmond agree to the Looking Glass mission.

Six hours previously Alex was skinning a white rabbit when she saw Ben coming back from visiting Jacob, looking agitated. She asked about Locke, and Ben coldly gave her the gun that she gave John. Richard shows up and asks 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. Ben ordered Pryce to prepare his team and leave as soon as possible, making their attack that night rather than the following night. When Richard says moving schedule may be wrong because Juliette may not be ready and didn't have time to finish her task, Ben interrupts him and says that in that case they'll kidnap all the women have had enough time to mark. When Pryce asks about the men, Ben orders any men resisting be killed. On hearing the news, Alex ran to Karl, who has been hiding near the camp, and tells him to warn the survivors immediately. Karl was hesitant but reminded him that "Ford and Austen" saved his life, and that he owed them. Karl says that if he's caught Alex's father will kill him this time. Alex simply asked whether Ben is really her father at all. Karl ran, took the outrigger along the coast to the beach camp of the Losties, allowing him to get there before Pryce.

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 everyone else should trek to the radio tower, so they can be rescued when the signal is unblocked. Now that someone must go to the underwater station Jack concedes to offering Charlie the job. Both he and Desmond agree to the mission, and the whole camp starts to prepare to leave or be shooters.

3x21 RoseWithJack

Rose is concerned about leaving Bernard behind at camp.

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 plan fails everyone will most likely be killed anyway. Sayid then tells Jack that despite it being his plan, he must start to act like a leader and take the survivors to the radio tower. Though Jack objects he sees sense in the proposal and consents to Sayid's challenge.

3x21 charlie hug hurley

Charlie hugs Hurley before departing.

Charlie goes to say good-bye to Claire and Aaron. When she asks why he didn't tell her about his underwater mission, Charlie says he didn't want her to worry. When Claire asks if it is dangerous mission, Charlie just says it's something that needs to be done for everyone to get rescued. Charlie asks Claire to promise not to worry about himwhile he's gone. Charlie then takes Aaron and asks him to take care of Claire while he's gone. Charlie then kisses Claire and leaves.

While Charlie and Desmond prepare to leave on a canoe, Hurley approaches and tells Charlie that he wants to come with them on their mission because he is tired of trekking and explosions. Charlie, 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. Claire picks up Aaron and leaves with Hurley, but they do not see Charlie's "DS" ring, left behind in the crib.


Charlie encounters two armed women in the Looking Glass station.

Desmond and Charlie find the cable and sling it over the outrigger to guide them to the Looking Glass. When 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, Charlie knocks him out with a paddle, weighs himself down, and dives into the water.

Bonnie hires

Gun being pointed towards Charlie

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


Moments ago

The sticker on Charlie's guitar.

  • In Charlie's fourth "greatest hit", 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Charlie's T-shirt

  • 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 and have a child. ("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[]

  • A podcast rehash for the episode was released on May 21, 2007. (Official Lost Podcast/May 21, 2007)
  • 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. 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.
  • The opening shot of the flashback that shows how Charlie first met Claire is reused from "Pilot, Part 1".
  • A "Lost: On Location" for this episode is available on the Season 3 DVD.

Bloopers and continuity errors[]

  • When Jack, Juliet, and Sayid are discussing the dangerous swim down to the Looking Glass, Charlie tells Jack that he was a junior swim champion in Northern England and can hold is breath for 4 minutes, but in "White Rabbit" when Joanna is drowning, Charlie yells after Jack after alerting him to the drowning "I don't swim! I don't swim!" Though he may have been lying in either instance.
  • 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.
  • 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 DHARMA Initiative called their buildings "stations". The term "hatch" was used by the survivors for the first station they discovered, the Swan. Script coordinator Gregg Nations confirmed that this was 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.


The episode introduces a new motif that appears on the Season 3 soundtrack as "Charlie's Fate". "Heirloom Holiday", also on the album, is the first soundtrack statement of Charlie's redemption theme. Five other cues appear on the soundtrack, including variations on that theme, the Others' action theme and Charlie and Claire's theme:


Recurring themes[]

  • The Others are looking for tents marked with white rocks; Jack has them filled with dynamite from the ship Black Rock. (Black and white)
  • Desmond tells Charlie he has to sacrifice himself so that Claire and Aaron could be saved. (Sacrifice)  (Salvation)
  • Charlie said he hadn't been in a fight since he was eight 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 four 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 recalls that his "greatest hit #5" happened under pouring rain. It also starts raining when he helps Nadia in his "greatest hit #2". (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 black-and-white checkered shoe

  • When Charlie jumps into the water, one of his black and white shoes floats toward the surface. (Black and white)
  • Charlie mentions that Drive Shaft's first show was at the Night and Day Cafe. (Black and white)
  • Charlie is deemed a hero by Nadia. (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)
  • Naomi asks Charlie, "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. (Death)
  • In Charlie's "greatest hit #1", Claire is still pregnant with Aaron. In the present, Sun and Jin discuss their unborn child. (Pregnancies)

Cultural references[]

Literary techniques[]

  • 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 it to Karl to be used against the Others to help the survivors. (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 gives Charlie the ring to make sure it remains in the family, but Charlie dies before Liam does and has no children of his own. (Irony)
  • Liam states that Charlie would be the one to 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 in this episode is not coincidental, as is typical 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 is thinking about them. The episode additionally contains a flashback to six hours ago that is not told from any one character's perspective. (Flashback)
  • When Charlie arrives at the Looking Glass, he finds himself held at gunpoint by two unknown women. (Cliffhanger)

Storyline analysis[]

  • Jack makes a leadership decision to focus on the Others before trying shutdown the Looking Glass station. Later, he devises a plan to simultaneously switch off the station's jamming equipment, trek to the radio tower to switch off Rousseau's message, and ambush the Others back at the beach camp. (Leadership)
  • Charlie saves Nadia from being mugged. (Crimes)
  • Charlie says goodbye to Claire. (Relationships)
  • Ben orders that the Others attack the beach camp earlier than planned. (O-Missions)
  • Jack puts his counterattack plan into action, as well as the plan to contact Naomi's boat. (A-Missions)

Episode connections[]

Episode references[]

Episode allusions[]

Unanswered questions[]

Unanswered questions
  1. Do not answer the questions here.
  2. Keep the questions open-ended and neutral: do not suggest an answer.
For fan theories about these unanswered questions, see: Greatest Hits/Theories
  • Why did Desmond have a flash of Claire and Aaron getting into a helicopter if that never ended up happening?

External links[]