Episode 3.01 A Tale of Two Cities (Jack)

A tale of two “cities” refers to the Losties and the Others. The show opens in Otherville, but we do not know that yet. We see a woman, who we have not met, listening to the Petula Clark song “Downtown“. “Downtown” video. She is arranging chairs and burning muffins when the doorbell rings. Her guests are arriving. It’s a book club, and they are discussing their latest read “Carrie” by Stephen King. One of the guests comments that it’s hokey religious sci-fi nonsense (a “shout out” to Lost I would think) and that Ben would not even read it in the toilet. Suddenly the room shakes as the woman comments that “some of us still have free will”. It’s an earthquake of some kind. People scatter for the door. When they get outside a jet can be heard. They look up just in time to see Flight 815 being torn apart. The fuselage heads one direction and the tail section falls into the water. Ben (who we know as Henry Gale) yells to Goodwin and Ethan, “infiltrate yourselves with the survivors, and I want lists in three days”.

Kate and Ben sit down to discuss the next two weeks

We see Jack trying to shake off the effects of some drug the Others have administered. He is in enclosed room, sealed off by a glass wall and what looks like a watertight door. He hears a voice on the intercom. It sounds like his father saying, “Let it go, Jack”. The woman from the intro sequence enters. Her name is Juliet and she knows Jack’s name. They speak without really saying anything, and Juliet leaves when Jack asks her to explain what is going on here. Next we see Kate, also waking up from being drugged. She is in some kind of locker room. Tom Friendly is there. He asks her to take a shower. While she does so they steal her clothes and replace them with a dress. Tom and the Others lead her to Ben who makes her wear handcuffs and who says he wants her to enjoy a nice view and some breakfast because the next two weeks are going to be very unpleasant.

Jack and Juliet try to close the water hatch

Jack meets with Juliet again. She tries to bring him some food, but this time Jack gets the upper hand and takes her hostage. He tries to find a way out but all the doors are locked. At the end of the hall is a door with a large wheel. He tells her to open it, but she says they will die if they do. Jack not believing her starts to open the door, but Ben arrives to stop him. Jack threatens to kill Juliet but Ben does not care. As Jack begins to turn the wheel, Ben runs and finds an escape. Juliet tries to follow but instead a huge wall of water knocks both her and Jack down. They are able to stop the water by closing the door and hitting a yellow switch. Juliet then gives Jack a roundhouse punch and knocks him out.

Jack and Sarah

Jack’s flashback:

Jack Shepherd is stalking his soon to be ex-wife. He watches her at a children’s playground meet another man. Next we see him at his divorce decree signing. He tries to apologize to Sarah, but she interupts him to take a call from someone. Jack wants to know his name. “Who is the man my wife is seeing?”, he wants to know. She looks at him, but won’t answer and walks away. Later we see him in his office checking out the phone numbers on Sarah’s cell phone. His Dad walks in. “Just let it go”, he tells Jack. But Jack is paranoid, he even believes his father may be carrying on with Sarah (but it’s not the case). Jack follows his father to a hotel. When they get inside Jack stumbles upon the real reason for his Dad’s trip. He is at an Alcoholics Anonymouse meeting. He has been sober for 50 days. The group wants Jack to join in, but Jack is still angry at everything that is happening. He accuses his father of treating him badly all his life and of his nightly drinks of brandy to help him deal with life. Jack throws his father to the ground, but then Jack is soon thrown into jail. Sarah bails him out. She got a call from a drunken Mr. Shepherd. She gets Jack a cab and he follows her outside. She tells him the man she is with is not important, except to say, “it is not important who it is Jack, as long as it’s who you are not”. “Look on the bright side, Jack, now you have someone to fix (meaning his dad)”, she says.

Kate's wrists are bloody

Kate returns to find Sawyer happily figured out how to get a fish biscuit from his cage’s feeding device. Before this Sawyer had woken up to find he was in a cage across from Karl. Karl escapes and sets Sawyer free until he is stopped by Juliet who fires a taser at him. Kate’s wrists are all messed up and bleeding. Sawyer gives his fish biscuit to Kate who gladly accepts his kindness. Jack wakes up right where he started. He realized that this is some underwater tank for experimenting on sharks. Juliet says it’s true. She also has information about Jack, in fact, it is his entire life story. Jack asks about Sarah. “Is she happy”. Juliet confirms that she is “very happy”. Jack breaks down in tears and finally allows Juliet to bring him some food and water.


  • I watched this again after having seen all of the Season 3 episodes. It seems now that Juliet really did not want to hurt Jack after all, just as she said. In fact, Juliet knows all about Jack’s history and she still cares about Jack. Something that even Kate can’t say (or can she given the flashes in time we have seen?).
  • Juliet throws a mean punch and has no problem zapping Sawyer. Later on we find out she was just a meek research scientist before coming to the island. What happened?
  • I think the song “Downtown” informs us about Juliet’s character. When you are down and life is making you lonely you can always go to where the lights are brighter. Does Juliet want to leave he obscure life as a researcher to be famous and enjoy the big city; is that her dream?


Why was Juliet crying at the beginning of this episode? We find out in Episode 16 – One of Us.

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