The episode picks up where the previous one left off. Jack and Locke rush out of the caves in search of Claire and Charlie, eventually finding Claire’s bag. Locke thinks they were taken judging by the tracks. Jack struggles to understand why they were taken while Locke tries to keep an open mind. Jack wants to keep searching while Locke would prefer to return to the caves and put together a search party.
Flashback: We find out this is Jack’s second centric episode as he’s performing surgery in what appears to be an intense situation. His dad, Christian, is there and as the female patient can’t be resuscitated tells Jack to call the time of death. Angry, Jack tells his father to call the time of death and walks off. Turns out Jack was notified by a nurse that his dear old dad might have been under the influence of alcohol while performing the surgery on the woman. Christian denies the allegation and maintains that the car accident the woman was in was the cause for her death. The friction between father and son surgeons is quite apparent.
Locke returns to the cave and is joined by Kate and Boone to catch up with Jack and search for Claire and Charlie. Michael wants to help too but is told by Locke he’s not needed. Michael doesn’t appreciate the dismissal and says he’ll organize his own search party. Locke and group catch up with Jack and Locke tells Jack he blames himself for not noticing something off about Ethan. Locke hunted with him and despite his abilities to track and hunt, Ethan is better, implying they are dealing with a superior foe.
There’s not much Plot B in this episode but we do get interactions between Walt and Hurley where both play backgammon and Walt mentions his dad, Brian not Michael, saying he’s the luckiest person he’s ever known. Hurley can’t believe his losing streak while they play and we find out Hurley owes Walt 20 grand by the time Hurley finished playing. Walt also interacts with Sawyer, providing the scuttlebutt of Claire and Charlie being taken. Sawyer doesn’t believe him and Walt tells Sawyer to go ask Sayid who has returned. This provides a tense moment between Sawyer and Sayid but Sawyer seems to consider the reality that there could actually be other people on the island.
Ripping apart a red shirt to mark their progress, Locke loses the trail but assures Jack he will find it again. Jack’s not happy about playing second fiddle to Mr. Locke and Kate notices it, calling him out on his stuff (thank you, Kate). It doesn’t help that Jack feels guilty for not believing Claire’s being attacked. Locke calls out and he finds one of the pieces of tape Charlie wrote the letters for “LATE” and placed on his fingers. Kate pipes up and says it could be a dummy trail left by Ethan, revealing she’s got some tracking knowledge as well. Locke and Boone head in one direction and while Jack and Kate head in the other.
Boone and Locke shoot the breeze as they search for the trail. Boone mentions Star Trek and the “red shirt” crew members (brought up because they’re using a red shirt to mark their trail) who die in every episode. Locke seems unfamiliar with this and says they must be led by a “piss-poor captain”. An apt view. Boone asks Locke about his job in the real world and Locke reveals he was a regional collections supervisor for a box company (yep, they make boxes). He then predicts it’s going to rain in a few seconds and it does further proving Locke has some kind of connection or understanding of the island no one else does.
Raining now, Jack and Kate eventually get separated. Jack slips down a hillside and finds Ethan standing over him. Jack gets a jungle beat down and Ethan threatens to kill Claire or Charlie if Jack doesn’t stop following them. Despite the beating, Jack keeps going after Kate catches to him.
Flashback: Jack meets his dear old dad in private and is asked to sign a report that describes the surgery and death of the car wreck patient. Christian does a bit of manipulation and convinces Jack to sign the report despite Jack holding that his dad was not of sound mind to perform such a complex surgery. During an inquiry with the hospital top dogs, Jack learns the woman was pregnant and in that moment says he has to speak against the report, which could very well be the thing he did that cost his dad his career and drove distance between them.
Jack and Kate happen upon a horrifying scene of Charlie hanging from a tree by his neck. They cut him down and Jack refuses to let up on resuscitating him. Honestly, I can’t do this scene justice. There’s so much emotion and in my opinion a powerful moment and performance by Matthew Fox as a man bent on saving a life. While Kate tried to tell Jack Charlie was gone, Jack persisted and went back at it, using his fist in a CPR method probably not recommended. Charlie jerks back to life and once back at the caves tells Jack “they” only wanted Claire (ominous…).
The episode ends with Locke and Boone in the middle of the night still searching for Claire and Charlie. When Boone wants to head back to camp, Locke tosses him a flashlight and it hits something loud on the ground. They investigate and it sounds like something hollow is underneath. Locke tells Boone they are going to find out it is.
There are a few episodes of Lost that tug on my emotions and this is one of them. Jack trying to bring Charlie back from death is heavy on me. So good and then we have this “Others” possibility and this metal thing in the jungle to investigate and I think this is where the show opens up.