"Homecoming" is the fifteenth episode of Season 1 of Lost and the fifteenth produced hour of the series as a whole. The happiness of Claire's return is short-lived as the survivors realize that she is suffering from amnesia. Ethan returns, demanding he get Claire back or he will kill the rest of the group, one by one. Flashbacks in this episode feature Charlie's new romance with Lucy Heatherton.
Previously on Lost
- Charlie and Claire are abducted by Ethan Rom. ("Raised by Another")
- Ethan attacks Jack, warning him not to follow him any further or he will kill Charlie and Claire. He kicks Jack in the head, knocking him unconscious. ("All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues")
Charlie ponders whether to steal from Lucy. (promotional still)
Charlie and his friend Tommy use heroin, and discover that they are running low on money. In a bar, Tommy points towards a girl named Lucy and tells Charlie that her father is rich. Charlie walks over and makes conversation with Lucy. ♪
Later, Charlie wanders through Lucy’s home. Lucy shows him a cigarette case once owned by Winston Churchill. Over dinner, Charlie tells Lucy's father that he once was part of a band, but Drive Shaft now is "dead." It seems like Charlie begins to like Lucy, although he cons her and her father.
Charlie tells Tommy he has taken a job working for Lucy’s father selling copy machines. Tommy reminds Charlie of their addiction, and assures him that he would not survive a whole weekend without some "fix."
Charlie tries to sell a copy machine.
Charlie eventually gives in to his addiction, stealing the cigarette case that belonged to Churchill. And rather than slipping away from the job and getting his fix, Lucy gives him a briefcase and insists on driving him to his job. ♪
His plans to become respectable backfire as he suffers withdrawal symptoms. On his first day of work, he passes out after throwing up under the lid of one of the store photocopiers.
When Charlie goes to see Lucy to explain, she refuses to hear his explanation, and informs him she knows about his con because the cigarette case was found in his jacket. Before closing the door in his face, she tells Charlie he will never take care of anyone.
On the Island
Charlie awakens to see Locke carrying Claire to Jack. Claire wakes up and panics, asking, “Who are you people?” The last thing Claire claims to remember is the flight from Sydney, almost a month ago. Jack fills her in on the events since the crash. Sun and Jin watch from the sidelines, and Jin wonders if the baby is okay. Sun looks thoughtful and says she's sure the baby is fine.
Claire doesn't remember anything.
Charlie hands Claire her diary, saying he hopes it will help Claire remember what happened to her. When he tells her about the day they were taken by Ethan, she asks him who Ethan is. Charlie says Ethan is the bad guy. When Charlie suggests they stay awake together, Claire asks if they are friends. Charlie responds that they are. ♪
Ethan attacks Charlie in the jungle.
Jack, Locke, Sayid, and Charlie discuss the chances of Claire's memory returning. In the jungle, Charlie meets Jin and they walk together. As Charlie is sarcastically talking to Jin about how great it must be for him to not be involved with anything happening on the island, they hear something whooshing through the trees and Jin is knocked out by a rock.
Ethan confronts Charlie, telling him he wants Charlie to bring Claire back. Charlie tries to attack him, but Ethan grabs him by the neck, threatening to kill one castaway every day until he gets Claire back. And after he kills them all, he will come for Charlie last.
Charlie tells Jack and Locke about Ethan's threat, and suggests they all go after him and kill him. Locke says they should start thinking about defense. He makes four booby traps around the perimeter and puts some of the survivors on guard during the night. Boone volunteers to take the first shift. Meanwhile, Sun takes care of Jin's wounds and asks him if everything is all right. Jin says he was attacked because of what the others had done.
Claire is uncomfortable about what is going on around her, and feels like the other survivors are avoiding her. Charlie lies and assures her there isn't anything going on.
Scott's dead body.
That night, Locke, Sayid, and other survivors stand on guard. Boone falls asleep during his shift.
The next day he wakes up after he hears a sprung booby trap. He rushes to see who has triggered the alarm and hears a rustling noise from the tree line. He runs toward the noise, but falls. ♪ It is discovered it was only Vincent who tripped it, but Boone, Sayid, and Locke hear screaming and return to the beach to find that Scott has been murdered. His neck, both arms, and all the bones in his fingers had been broken. According to Locke, Ethan had probably come in from the ocean.
After the burying ceremony ♪, Claire finds out from Shannon why everybody is avoiding her. She yells at Charlie, who says he only wanted to take care of her. She responds that she takes care of herself.
Jack decides it's time to reveal he has guns. He first shares them with Locke. ♪ With the guns from the briefcase and Claire as willing bait, Jack, Locke, Sayid, and Sawyer set a trap. Charlie wants to take part, but when John asks Charlie if he has ever fired a weapon, Charlie does not respond. Kate also wants to come, but Jack explains they are out of guns. Sawyer gives her the gun he found on the Marshal's body, "back in the old days," and says five guns are better than four.
Ethan's dead body.
Sayid instructs everyone, and says they want to capture Ethan alive to interrogate him and possibly get some information. In the jungle, the five of them hide in the trees, while Claire stands on the path, waiting for Ethan to arrive. Ethan finally shows up and starts to chase Claire. Jack tackles Ethan and they fight. Jack drops his gun, but gains the upper hand and holds Ethan to the ground. Suddenly, a vengeful Charlie shoots Ethan in the chest and kills him, using the gun Jack had dropped. ♪
"Good night, Claire."
The next day, when Jack asks Charlie why he did it, Charlie tells him that Ethan deserved to die, and he was not going to let that animal anywhere near Claire again. ♪ Claire comes to Charlie and tells him she remembers peanut butter. Charlie corrects her, saying that it was actually imaginary peanut butter. She tells Charlie that she doesn't know what happened to her, and she's scared, but she "wants to trust him." They wish each other good night. ♪
- This is the first time since "White Rabbit" that all cast members appear.
- Damon Lindelof at one point admitted this was his least favorite episode of the entire series: 
What is your least favorite episode of Lost?
Damon Lindelof: Oh, my god. (Pauses) I think my least favorite episode is this episode that we did the first season called "Homecoming." It's when Claire comes back from having been in the jungle for a couple days after she was abducted by the Others, and Ethan comes after her. The backstory is Charlie is trying to go straight and he's selling copiers. At the end of the episode, he shoots Ethan. I wrote that episode, and it's my least favorite episode of the show ever.
I'm surprised by that answer. It's not an episode fans usually name as their least favorite.
The episode fans bring up most often is "Stranger in a Strange Land," which is the epiosde with Bai Ling and Jack and his tattoos. And basically, I feel like it's unfair to bag on that episode. Am I a huge fan of it? No. But at the same time, there were so many different circumstances that led to that episode that needed to be written and so many ideas that didn't work. The fact that it all coalesced ... There was a bad casting decision made. There was a bad premise decision made. There was a bad flashback story. Just everything that could go wrong did, but I don't think it was because the script was terrible. "Homecoming," I think, was flawed on almost every single level that an episode of Lost could be.
- At one point Ethan has a unexplained limp. This is a remnant of a deleted scene where Ethan breaks through the security perimeter and fights Locke, who stabs him in the thigh before Ethan knocks him out. While a promotional image of this scene has been released, the scene was not on the DVDs. 
Bloopers and continuity errors
- When Jack and Ethan are fighting, Jack's tattoos on his left arm switch to the right arm and back again throughout the scene, indicating some shots were "flipped" in editing.
- When Jack is showing Locke the case with the guns, Locke is carrying a stick. When Jack hands him one of the guns, Locke is no longer has a stick in his hand.
- In "Pilot, Part 2", Kate tells Sawyer and Sayid that she does not know how to use a gun. In this episode, however, she is armed with a gun and neither of them question this.
The episode's statement of Claire's theme appears on the Season 1 soundtrack as "We're Friends". The soundtrack also features the cue from Ethan's capture, "Getting Ethan", which forms a motif for the character.
The episode introduces half a dozen other motifs as well. One characterizes Ethan and other enemies. One action motif plays during the preparation to Ethan's capture, and another characterizes Jack's fights with the Others. A suspense motif later opens several scenes, and and a cue that plays towards the end of the episode characterizes several scenes of regret. Finally, Charlie's flashbacks in this episode have their own motif.
|Animals • Black and white • Character connections • Children • Coincidence • Death • Deceptions and cons • Dreams • Economics • Electromagnetism • Eyes • Fate versus free will • Games • Good and bad people • Imprisonment • Isolation • Leadership • Life and death • Literary works • Mirrors • Missing body parts • Nicknames • The Numbers • Pairings • Parapsychology • Parent issues • Pregnancies • Psychology • Rain • Redemption • Relationships • Religion • Revenge • Salvation • Secrets|
- Ethan kills Scott. (Death) (Redshirt)
- Charlie says that Ethan is "the bad guy." (Good and bad people)
- Charlie shot and killed Ethan for kidnapping Claire, killing Scott, and terrorizing the camp. (Revenge)
- Locke says they should have 4 booby traps around camp. (The Numbers)
- The copy machine model Charlie tries to sell is C815. (The Numbers)
- When Claire waits for Ethan to arrive, rain starts to pour. (Rain)
- Charlie tries to steal from Lucy Heatherton. (Deceptions and cons) (Relationships)
- When Jack takes Locke to the suitcase full of guns, he is wearing a black T-shirt and Locke is wearing a white T-shirt. (Black and white)
- Sawyer calls Jack "Hoss" and Ethan "Jungle Boy." (Nicknames)
- Ethan has 4 scratches on his cheek. (The Numbers)
| Cultural references|
(direct references only)
|Art • Automobiles • Games • History • Literary works • Movies and TV • Music • Philosophy • Religion and ideologies • Science|
- The Office: Lucy mentions her father "buying some paper company in Slough." This is a reference to the Ricky Gervais/Stephen Merchant BBC series. (TV and Movies)
- Winston Churchill: Lucy shows Charlie a cigarette case that was owned by the noted English statesman, orator and strategist. (History)
- Bonanza: Sawyer calls Jack "Hoss". Eric “Hoss” Cartwright was a big man, the warm and lovable middle son of Ben Cartwright in the TV cowboy show that aired from 1959 to 1973. (TV and Movies)
|Comparative: Irony • Juxtaposition • Foreshadowing Plotting: Cliffhanger • Plot twist Stock characters: Archetype • Redshirt • Unseen character|
Story: Flashbacks • Flash-forwards • Flash sideways • Framing device • Regularly spoken phrases • Symbolism • Unreliable narrator
- Charlie looks out for his own interests by trying to steal from Lucy, while he does everything he can to look out for Claire on the Island. (Juxtaposition)
- Lucy tells Charlie that he'll never "care for anyone"; Charlie cares for Claire by killing Ethan and looking out for her. (Juxtaposition)
- Charlie utters the Latin phrase "Carpe diem" to Tommy, which translates as "seize the day." It is the same thing that he says to Claire, much later in "Par Avion". (Foreshadowing)
- When Jack is speaking about the guns he says, "I hand them out, someone hears something out in the jungle and gets scared, the chances of us shooting each other are much higher than of us shooting him." This is exactly what happens later when Ana Lucia shoots Shannon in the jungle, mistaking her for an Other in "Abandoned". (Foreshadowing)
|A-Missions • Crimes • Economics • Leadership • O-Missions • Relationships • F-Missions • Rivalries • S-Missions|
- Charlie keeps the truth from Claire; she tells him that she wants to trust him. (Relationships)
- Ethan kills Scott. Charlie kills Ethan. (Crimes)
- Jack, Locke, Sayid, Sawyer, and Kate, with Claire as bait, plan to capture and interrogate Ethan. (A-Missions)
- The last thing Claire remembers is being on Oceanic Flight 815. ("Pilot, Part 1")
- Jack mentions the fact that Sawyer missed when he shot the Marshal. ("Tabula Rasa")
- Claire remembers peanut butter. ("Confidence Man")
- Locke reminds Jack what happened the last time he encountered Ethan. ("All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues")
- Jack reveals he has the guns from the Halliburton case. ("Whatever the Case May Be")