Season: 4-5, Episodes: 20, Faction: DHARMA Initiative/Freighter/Survivors
Charlotte Staples Lewis was a gifted cultural anthropologist who grew up on the Island, where her parents were members of the DHARMA Initiative. She eventually escaped with just her mother, leaving her dad (and possibly two younger sisters) behind. She spent the rest of her life trying to find the Island again. This was mostly due to her mother’s insistence that she had made it all up, and for a chance to find her father again. She then finally parachuted back onto the Island on day 91, as part of the freighter science team. After initially being held hostage in Locke’s group, Sayid traded her freedom for Miles. She arrived at the beach camp with Daniel Faraday (who she reciprocated feelings for), where her presence aroused the suspicions of the survivors due to her secrecy and dishonesty about their mission, as well as her attitude to the others. She eventually gained trust when she and Daniel diffused deadly gas from a DHARMA station. Following Benjamin Linus’s turning of the frozen wheel and the increasing frequency of the time flashes that ensued, Charlotte began suffering the effects of temporal displacement, because of her time on the island as a youth. Eventually she became unable to travel with the other survivors, and succumbed to the illness 16 days after her arrival on the Island, dying by Daniel Faraday’s side.
4×02 – Confirmed Dead
According to information provided by Ben that he received from Michael, Charlotte Staples Lewis was born on July 2, 1979 in Essex, England to parents David and Jeanette Lewis. She was raised in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, England along with her two younger sisters. (“Confirmed Dead”)
5×05 – This Place Is Death
It has since been uncovered this information was, at least, partially incorrect; Charlotte was actually born in 1971 and she spent a great deal of her young childhood on the Island. Her parents were members of the DHARMA Initiative, whom she lived with at the Barracks. (“This Place Is Death”)
5×08 – LaFleur
In 1974, a much younger Charlotte was present on the same day Sawyer’s group arrived at the barracks with Amy and infiltrated the Initiative after the frequent time shifts. Giddily, she ran across the grounds with her mother following, and waved to Daniel. He gasped in shock upon seeing the young girl, “Charlotte”, as this happened just after she had died from the time flashes. (“LaFleur”)
5×14 – The Variable
Three years later in 1977, Daniel came to her at the playground while she was on the swingset. She seemed apprehensive to talk at first, because she was “eating chocolate before dinner” which was not allowed. She relaxed when Daniel informed her he wouldn’t tell anyone. He told her Pierre Chang would soon begin to evacuate people from the Island and she needed to go with her mother when that happened. He also told Charlotte if she ever returned to the Island, she would die. (“The Variable”)
5×05 – This Place Is Death
The conversation with Daniel left Charlotte upset, enough that she repressed the memory until the moments leading up to her death when Daniel was by her side. (“This Place Is Death”)
5×15 – Follow the Leader
Charlotte was seen by Miles being helped out of a DHARMA van by her mother Jeanette. This happened seconds before his own mother exited the same van with the past version of him and argued with his father. Her mother said something to her, and they headed for the submarines. It is presumed they evacuated the Island on the submarine that Kate, Sawyer and Juliet were forced to board. Her father did not leave with them, and was left behind. It is also possible her sisters were left behind as well, because they were not seen at the submarine docking. However it is also equally possible Charlotte’s mother remarried and bore them off the Island. (“Follow the Leader”)
On the mainland
5×05 – This Place Is Death
After leaving the Island, Charlotte and her mother settled in England. Charlotte claimed whenever she asked her mother about the Island, her mother insisted it was all in Charlotte’s imagination. (“This Place Is Death”)
4×02 – Confirmed Dead | 5×05 – This Place Is Death
Charlotte did her undergraduate studies at the University of Kent. She also received a DPhil (mistakenly referred to as a Ph.D.) in Cultural Anthropology from Oxford University. She stated her reason for becoming an anthropologist was so she might be able to find her way back to the Island again. (“Confirmed Dead”) (“This Place Is Death”)
4×10 – Something Nice Back Home
She also spoke fluent Korean and claimed, perhaps jokingly, she did not have an ability, to speak Klingon. (“Something Nice Back Home”)
4×02 – Confirmed Dead
In 2004, around the time the faked wreckage of Oceanic Flight 815 was recovered (about which she had already expressed serious disbelief), Charlotte was at an excavation site in Tunisia. She bribed a man in charge to allow her into a dig-site. The excavation revealed the skeleton of a polar bear, and, around the bear’s neck was a DHARMA collar, with the Hydra station logo emblazoned upon it. This discovery caused Charlotte evident pleasure as she began smiling. Charlotte recognized the DHARMA logo from her time on the island when she was a child. The emblem on the collar clearly proved the Island’s existence and thus confirmed she had not simply made the island and her tropical polar bear story up like her mother had said. (“Confirmed Dead”)
4×02 – Confirmed Dead
Charlotte was recruited by Matthew Abaddon and Naomi Dorrit to go to the Island in search of Benjamin Linus. Together with Miles Straume, Naomi, Daniel Faraday and Frank Lapidus, she formed a five-member team for which it seemed every member was chosen for a specific reason. Also, at some point before she was recruited by Abaddon for the mission aboard the freighter, she won an award. This was most likely for her outstanding work in anthropology during the archeological dig in Tunisia. (“Confirmed Dead”)
Back on the Island (Days 91-100)
4×02 – Confirmed Dead
Charlotte Lewis arrived on the Island after parachuting from a helicopter which had taken off from the freighter, and after it encountered severe difficulties mid-flight. She was the last of the passengers to jump out (after Miles and Daniel) when the helicopter encountered electrical problems. During landing, her parachute got caught in a tree which hung over a small river, causing her to become suspended upside down. She managed to free herself by releasing her parachute, landing in the water below, evidently very happy to be back on the island, and just before encountering Locke’s group of survivors. She showed great pleasure at arriving on the Island and finding inhabitants, smiling and laughing. She questioned the group about various issues, such as what were the number survivors. When she broached the subject of potential rescue, she seemed surprised when Locke announced that his group did not want to be rescued from the Island. Locke told Charlotte that he wanted her to come with his group, at which she looked greatly shocked and apprehensive. Her transponder was later found attached to Vincent apparently to throw off anyone who may have been looking for her, as she had been taken hostage.
After Frank Lapidus let off a flare, Charlotte was told she couldn’t leave. However, she defied Locke and attempted to leave Locke’s group to meet up with the rest of her team anyway. Before she could leave them, she was shot twice in the chest by Ben. She survived the gunshot however, because she was wearing a cleverly concealed bullet-proof vest that had been provided by Miles before she jumped out of the helicopter. After this, Sawyer held a gun to Ben’s head, but was talked out of killing him by Locke, who said it was his mess to clean up. Just as Locke is about to shoot him, Ben began to divulge extremely detailed information pertaining to Charlotte’s personal history and background, as well as of the rest of her team.
This information, however, may or may not be correct, according to Charlotte herself. Ben then bartered with them to keep himself alive, informing the group that he had a spy among the freighter people. (“Confirmed Dead”)
4×03 – The Economist
Charlotte continued traveling with Locke’s group unwillingly, and as she pointed out to Hurley, her status was basically that of a hostage. With the rest of the group, she reached the barracks, however, she wasn’t there for long. Sayid arrived with Kate and Miles, and proposed a deal to Locke. He wanted to exchange his hostage, Miles, in return for Charlotte. Locke accepted the exchange and Charlotte was released back to Jack and her other team-mates. Frank asked her if she wanted to return to the freighter by helicopter, but she refused, explaining that she had work to do on the Island. (“The Economist”)
4×04 – Eggtown
Along with Jack, Juliet and her fellow science team member, Daniel, Charlotte traveled to the beach camp, where she met some of the other Flight 815 survivors. That night she played a card game with Daniel to test his memory. After only guessing two out of three cards correctly, Charlotte attempted to console Daniel by telling him he was making progress, showing a more compassionate side to her usually forceful personality. Their game was interrupted when Jack and Juliet questioned them about the satellite phone they had in their possession from the helicopter. They didn’t believe there was only one contact number to get in touch with freighter. Charlotte told them there was also another number, one used for emergencies. When Juliet asked her to dial it, Charlotte reluctantly called the number and Regina picked up. She informed Charlotte the helicopter, carrying Sayid and Desmond, never arrived back at the freighter. (“Eggtown”)
4×05 – The Constant
While being continuously questioned by Jack about the discrepancies of the helicopter flight, Charlotte repeatedly answered she didn’t know what was going on and why it hadn’t arrived at the freighter by now. Juliet then noted it was very peculiar and strange Charlotte didn’t seem to be at all worried about those who were on the helicopter. Daniel then asked Charlotte if they should “tell them“, and Charlotte hinted to him that she did not want to do so. However, Daniel told them the Islander’s perception of time was not realistic, and the helicopter was fine. Daniel informed them their people would arrive on the freighter given time, much to Charlotte’s clear displeasure. (“The Constant”)
4×06 – The Other Woman
Later that night, in secret, Charlotte and Daniel packed a bag full of gas masks and HAZMAT suits and set off for the Tempest, a DHARMA station on another side of the Island. During a rest-stop along the way, a somewhat anxious Daniel asked Charlotte what would happen to them if “he couldn’t do it”. Charlotte responded by giving him reassurance. Just as they were about to set off once more, Kate chanced upon them while running through the jungle. She quizzed them about what they were doing, and Charlotte lied to her, fabricating a false story that they were looking for the packs they threw away from the helicopter. When Kate searched in their bags and found their gas-masks, before she could question either of them, Charlotte whacked her on the back of the head with the butt of her gun, rendering her unconscious.
The two journeyed on, and they eventually reached the Tempest. When they arrived there, they began working on the station’s computer network to disable the lethal gas system that was installed there. They nearly completed their mission, when Juliet arrived and attempted to stop them, under the false impression that they were trying to destroy the island by switching the lethal gas system on instead. Juliet fought Charlotte for a while, before beating her into submission. But when she and Daniel told Juliet what they were actually doing there, she changed her mind and allowed them to continue their work. Later, an angry Kate arrived and held Charlotte at gunpoint outside the station. After Juliet explained that Charlotte was on their side, she relented, and Charlotte brought her into the Tempest to explain what had just happened. (“The Other Woman”)
4×09 – The Shape of Things to Come
Charlotte was also one of the people present at the beach when the body of Ray, the Kahana’s medic, washed up on shore with a slit throat. When she was questioned by Jack, she denied having any knowledge about his death. As a result, Daniel later revealed it was never their objective to rescue any of the survivors from Oceanic 815. (“The Shape of Things to Come”)
4×10 – Something Nice Back Home
A day later, both Charlotte and Daniel were still being hassled by the survivors, most notably Bernard and Rose, about how much information they knew about the freighter, and the intentions of the people still on board. The bickering was interrupted by Jack, who needed emergency surgery to remove his infected appendix. Charlotte, along with her teammate Daniel, and 815 survivors Jin and Sun, agreed to travel to the Staff station to collect medical supplies for Jack’s treatment. When they reached the station, Daniel gallantly offered to enter inside first to make sure there wasn’t any danger. Jin remarked to Sun in Korean, he wondered if Charlotte knew Daniel liked her and Sun replied, “she’s a woman, she knows”. Charlotte then smiled to herself at this interchange while looking at both of them, all the while not realizing, she had just given away the fact she could understand Korean to Jin.
After gathering the medical supplies for Jack’s surgery, the group returned to the beach, where Jin decided to confront Charlotte. He revealed to her, he knew she could speak Korean, as he noticed her listening, and reacting to, several conversations he and Sun were having on the way to the station. Though initially she denied this fact, Charlotte finally caved in after Jin threatened to harm Daniel if she didn’t admit her ability to understand and speak Korean. Charlotte spoke to Jin in Korean, and asked him what it was he wanted from her. Jin instructed her, she was to make sure Sun was on the helicopter when it left the Island. Charlotte agreed to his proposal. (“Something Nice Back Home”)
The next day, Frank Lapidus, who was flying overhead in a chopper, threw a satellite phone onto the beach. The phone was tracking the helicopter, and Jack and Kate believed they should follow it inland. Before they did however, Daniel put a call through and listened to what was happening on the other end and he appeared to be very dismayed by what he heard. Charlotte, noticing that something wasn’t right, asked Daniel “what’s wrong?” He told her “they were using the secondary protocol” and they had to get everyone off the Island right away, due to extreme danger. A while later, Daniel began to ferry people from the Island to the freighter via the emergency raft, the Zodiac. Charlotte stood from the shore watching, looking somewhat anxious as he left with the first group of survivors. (“There’s No Place Like Home, Part 1”)
When Daniel returned to ferry a second group to the freighter, he told Charlotte and Miles they should be on the next one. Charlotte was initially compliant with Daniel’s request, until Miles asked her why she was willing to leave so soon, after trying hard to get back to the Island again. He was implying, she has been to the Island before. Charlotte was visibly surprised Miles knew of this and it clearly led Charlotte to rethink her decision. Later, Charlotte told Daniel she was not going to go back to the freighter quite yet, because she was still “looking for where she was born.” She kissed Daniel tenderly on the cheek before they parted ways. (“There’s No Place Like Home, Part 2”)
Associated DHARMA Stations
Decoded Family Members
Decoded Season 1 Characters
Decoded Season 3 Characters
Decoded Season 4 Characters
Key Episode(s) to Decoding the Character
- Calliope (Epic Poetry)
- Clio (History)
- Erato (Love Poetry)
- Euterpe (Music)
- Melpomene (Tragedy)
- Polyhymnia (Hymns)
- Terpsichore (Dance)
- Thalia (Comedy)
- Urania (Astronomy)
In Hesiod’s Theogony, kings and poets receive their powers of authoritative speech from their possession of Mnemosyne and their special relationship with the Muses.
Zeus and Mnemosyne slept together for nine consecutive nights and thereby created the nine Muses. Mnemosyne also presided over a pool in Hades, counterpart to the river Lethe, according to a series of 4th century BC Greek funerary inscriptions in dactylic hexameter. Dead souls drank from Lethe so they would not remember their past lives when reincarnated. Initiates were encouraged to drink from the river Mnemosyne when they died, instead of Lethe. These inscriptions may have been connected with Orphic poetry (see Zuntz, 1971).
Similarly, those who wished to consult the oracle of Trophonius in Boeotia were made to drink alternately from two springs called “Lethe” and “Mnemosyne”. An analogous setup is described in the Myth of Er at the end of Plato’s Republic.