Question: Charlie contradiction

This has bothered me for some time and I’ve not run across an answer – In season 1 Charlie can’t swim; in season 3, he’s the champ of northern England….continuity error or change of past?

Transcripts from Lostpedia:

From Season 1 ‘White Rabbit’ (Lostpedia)

CHARLIE: [off camera] Jack, Jack.
[Shot of Jack on the beach laying down, but looking out to sea.]
CHARLIE: [off camera at first] Jack. Jack. Someone’s out there. You’ve gotta ‘the current’s ‘there’s someone out there, look.
[Shot of ocean, and splashing in the distance. We can hear someone yell help.]
CHARLIE: I woke up and she’s ‘I don’t swim.
[Jack runs toward the ocean.]
CHARLIE: I don’t swim.

From Season 3 ‘Greatest Hits’ (Lostpedia transcript)

CHARLIE: I’ll do it. Swim down, turn off that bloody switch, swim back up. Piece of cake.
JACK: Charlie, you don’t even know what we’re talking about.
CHARLIE: I was junior swim champion in Northern England. I can hold my breath for four minutes. I know exactly what you’re talking about, Jack.

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8 thoughts on “Question: Charlie contradiction

  1. 96Brian, I addressed this very issue in another post.

    This was one of the first clues, that ‘time’ on ‘the island’ was looping.

    The various events Charlie gives about his swimming abilities, is evidence of this.

    Defminitely not, a continuity problem.

  2. Maybe Charlie changes his own past. When his father wants him to jump in the water the first time, maybe he doesnt. When he realizes the task at hand, maybe concience time travel somehow allows Charlie to make the decision to allow his father to teach him to swim. Free will, no?

  3. So how exactly does Charlie change from “can’t swim” to “best swimmer”? In a flashback he jumped into the water? Or in a time travel/loop that we don’t see he changed?

  4. I wonder that if in the first season episode, if he was just strung out, and was just lying about not being able to swim. Maybe he didn’t want all the attention.

  5. My explanations are much more simple, but it jives with me (personally) better than any of the other responses.

    1- When Charlie says he’s the swim champion in season 3, he’s under the impression that he has to die in order to save Claire and Aaron. He would do/say anything to do that, even lie to Jack about his swimming capabilities. He needed to say something so Jack had no question about his capability.

    2- When we see Charlie scared of the water, he must be 5 years old, and he ends up liking swimming. Who’s to say he didn’t swim every day for the rest of his childhood and become the junior champion. I’ll bet if you only watched Michael Phelps swim his first day ever in the pool, you wouldn’t have predicted his ability.

    Just my thoughts.

  6. Spot on Damon my thoughts exactly. He knows he has to do it for the greater good. He could die for no reason or he could sacrifice himself and give his death a purpose, i’d like to think in that situation we’d all do the same

  7. also agree with damon, its what i thought initially. he lied so that he could go turn the switch. 4 minutes?? that’s extreme. and even if he used to be a swimming champion, hes been a rocker/heroine addict for a while and probably wasnt swimming for years.

  8. Other data about Charlie swimming. Desmond swims out to save Claire from drowning because he claims Charlie would have drowned trying.

    Swimming in a pool (champion or not) is NOT the same as swimming in the bloody ocean. Ask Johane… Oh, right you can’t because she DROWNED!

    I automatically assumed Charlie was lying about being a junior champ… But the looped time theory was very thought provoking and could still turn out to be true.

    Are there any other examples of this?

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