The Lost Blog

Key Points from "All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues"

Season 1, Episode 11
Episode Air Date: 12/08/04

Point 1
Jack I was hoping this would happen. Island events are finally seizing the spotlight from the flashbacks. This week's flashback was secondary to the main plot, and, unlike recent flashbacks, this one shed a little light onto its character (Jack).

We'll get crackin' with Jack since he, technically, had the most screen time.

When we left off last week, Hurley had just told Jack, Locke and Kate that one of the castaways -- Ethan -- was not on the plane's passenger manifest (i.e. someone was on the island before Oceanic 815 tumbled to the ground). This week, we begin with the reaction to Hurley's news.

Now, if there's one thing this show is good at it's the pregnant pause followed by the dramatic running through the forest. Jack and Locke execute this maneuver flawlessly in reaction to Hurley's update. They dart through the brush with reckless abandon in an effort to reach Charlie and Claire. Why would they run so fast to reach a drugged-out rocker and a flighty pregnant lady? Because that's where Ethan (aka The Extra Guy Who Wasn't on the Plane) was heading, and the pair are working under the assumption that Ethan's motives aren't benevolent.

They're right. Upon reaching the clearing where Charlie and Claire were last seen, Locke discovers a set of tracks that indicates a struggle between three people. The principal players in that struggle (Charlie, Claire and Ethan) are nowhere to be seen.

Jack springs into Action Doctor mode and decides to immediately set out in search of the wayward castaways. Locke tries to talk Jack out of his rash reaction, but Jack, stubborn as ever, has no time for Locke's comments. He darts into the brush and starts blazing a trail.

Alas, he's blazing a trail to nowhere. See, Jack's good with the medical stuff, but when it comes to making his way through unfamiliar tropical terrain, he leaves much to be desired. However, his useless wandering does give him time to reflect on his previously established Daddy Issues. So cue the flashback music because we're going in ...

What follows is an abridged version of this week's Jack flashback. I offer it to you in handy list form. Clip and save as necessary:

  • We see Jack during an emergency surgical procedure. He's the lead surgeon and he's working his medical magic on a young woman.

  • The procedure doesn't go well and the woman's heart stops (we know this because the heart monitor makes that beeeeeeeeep noise for an extended period of time). From the back of the dark room, Jack's father (who's also a surgeon) tells Jack to "call it." Jack ignores him, instead opting to save the woman's life via CPR. A lot of CPR. Unfortunately, Jack fails to bring his patient back. His father, again, tells Jack to "call it." Jack responds: "You call it." Clearly, the father-son dynamic is not firing on all cylinders.

  • Later, Jack's father orchestrates a slick Cover Your Ass move by concocting a phony story about the patient's death. According to Dr. Liar, the patient came in after a horrible accident, and despite the best efforts of himself and his son (Dr. Jack), the patient succumbed to her injuries. Dr. Liar has written all of this garbage down on an official piece of paper, and he asks Jack to corroborate his steaming pile of bullshit by signing the document. Jack hesitates, which is the correct response since the truth in this case is much different than what Dr. Liar has laid out. This is what really happened: Daddy had been sipping a few cocktails at lunch when he got the call from the emergency room. He showed up and promptly severed an important artery, at which time, Jack stepped in to pick up his drunk Daddy's mess. One thing led to another, and the woman died. And, oh yeah, the woman was pregnant.

    So you can understand why Jack is apprehensive about helping his drunk Daddy get out of jail free. Daddy temporarily soothes Jack's nerves by sucking up to his son ("You're one of the best young surgeons in this city ... blah, blah, blah.") It works -- sorta -- and Jack signs the paper.

  • But then things change. During an Important Medical Meeting, Dr. Liar spins his dubious yarn to a group of solemn old guys. But just as Dr. Liar is about to walk away scot-free, Jack clears his throat and drops the hammer on Daddy's story. He tells the solemn group that his Daddy was unable to properly perform the procedure (how's that for alliteration?) because he was "under the influence." The solemn old guys turn into Very Solemn Old Guys and, if you listen carefully, you can hear Dr. Liar's career flopping around the room like a manic balloon with air streaming out its blow hole (pfffffffffffffthhhhhh).

  • Now, I don't know this for sure, but I'm guessing that Jack's revelation about Daddy's drinking ties into the mysterious Thing Jack Did. Remember? Back in episode 5 ("White Rabbit"), Jack's Mom asks her son to go find his father (who's on a drinking binge in Sydney). Jack: "I can't." Jack's Mom: "'I can't?' You don't get to say 'I can't.' Not after what you did!"

    Does ratting out daddy = "what you did"? Probably.

So that's the Jack flashback nonsense. Now we'll turn to the far more interesting Island stuff.
Point 2
Locke

Jack

Kate

Boone
Jack's lone-wolf search for Charlie and Claire abruptly ends when Locke and his organized search party finds a confused and disoriented Jack standing in a clearing. Jack's been going in circles, so he's lucky Locke and his cronies happened upon him.

Realizing the error of his ways, Jack joins up with Locke, Kate and Boone as they head out to find our missing Rocker and Pregnant Lady.

The expedition soon finds a clue -- one of Charlie's finger gauze things. I don't think I've talked about these gauze dressings in the past, so here's a quick summary: Charlie has a weird habit of wrapping the middle part of his fingers with gauze, and then writing cute little four-letter sayings on them: "Last," "Lost," "Dope," "Weed," that kind of thing. The gauze is one of Charlie's defining characteristics (none of the other castaways do it), and this is relevant because Locke, Jack, Kate and Boone discover one of these gauze contraptions in the brush. This leads them to believe they're hot on Charlie and Claire's trail.

And they are. The search party soon comes to an obligatory Fork in the Road where the tracks branch off in two different directions. It's at this moment that Kate whips out one of those "Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Her" by saying that one of the directions could be a ruse set by Ethan to lead the searchers off-course. Now, I didn't think this was particularly revelatory (anyone who's watched adventure movies could have come to this conclusion), but Kate's compatriots are shocked by her heretofore unknown tracking skills. "You're just full of surprises," says Locke.

So, now that the group knows it has two trackers (Locke and Kate), the foursome splits into twosomes. Locke and Boone head off in one direction while Kate and Jack (of course), go in the other direction.

The split gives the writers an opportunity to drop a few morsels of character development. Here's what we learn:

Locke: Boone asks Locke what he used to do before he became the Island's Chief Hunter/Gatherer. Locke says he was a "regional collections supervisor for a box company." Boone doesn't really believe him, but who cares what Boone thinks?

Boone: A number of episodes ago, Boone made a ridiculous play for leadership by puffing out his chest and telling Jack that he "runs his own business." It's a good thing he didn't go into further detail because Jack would have laughed very, very hard. Boone, does, in fact, run a business, but it's a subsidiary of his mother's bigger wedding corporation. Yes. Boone runs a wedding business. That means that when Jack and Kate get hitched in season 6, Boone's "leadership" skills will be integral to the castaways' survival.

Kate: Kate tells Jack three things about her father: 1. He was in the army; 2. He was stationed in Washington state, 3. He was a big fan of nature. She claims to have spent ample time trekking through the woods with him. This, presumably, is how she acquired her tracking skills. Is she lying? Does it really matter? No. No it does not.

Now then, let's get back to the action. Locke and Boone wander through the woods following tracks that only Locke can see. Nightfall is approaching and Locke thinks Boone should head back to camp. Boone, still hellbent on reaching Alpha Male status, declines. And at that exact moment, Locke tells him that it will rain in one minute ("give or take a few seconds"). And dammit, it does rain. Boone is duly impressed with Locke's meteorological skills.

But remember, on this island rain is a bad omen, and, sure enough, badness soon falls on Jack and Kate. As the downpour roars, Jack and Kate try to climb up a slippery incline. Jack loses his grip, skids past Kate and falls and falls and falls, then slams into the ground. He pushes over onto his back and there, standing above him, is Evil Ethan. Ethan plants a boot on Jack's bruised chest and says, "If you do not stop following me, I will kill one of them." Jack responds by whipping Ethan's leg off his sternum and leaping to his feet. What ensues is our first legitimate Island Fight. Unfortunately, Jack's a crappy fighter and he gets the snot slapped out of him. Ethan unleashes a torrent of punches and kicks and Jack is left bleeding in a mud puddle. Ethan leaves just before Kate arrives to find Jack groaning in pain.

Shortly after the ass whupping, Jack's self righteousness kicks in and he charges up the slippery slope. Kate tries to reason with him, but as we've already seen, Jack and reason don't work well together. Good thing, too, because this next little bit never would have happened if Jack didn't get riled up.

Jack and Kate walk into a clearing and there, before them, is perhaps the single most disturbing visual this show has revealed. Charlie, our beloved ragamuffin bass player, is blindfolded, bound and hanging from a very tall tree. By all accounts, he's dead as dead can be.

But Jack and Kate will have none of this death talk. Jack boosts Charlie's feet while Kate shimmies up to cut Charlie down. They succeed, but Jack's CPR doesn't work (just like it didn't work in his flashback). He proceeds to pummel Charlie's chest with blows, hoping that one will put the pump back into Charlie's heart. Kate tries to stop Jack, believing his attempts are fruitless. But anyone who's seen "The Abyss" knows that the key to every dramatic resuscitation scene is for the chief resuscitator to pause, look sad, then powerfully say "No!" and begin again. And that's exactly what happens here. Jack delivers a stunning blow to Charlie's breastbone and Charlie coughs and wheezes back to life. There is much rejoicing ... but it's only temporary.

Jack and Kate take Charlie back to camp. Everyone is happy Charlie is back, but Charlie himself is mired in a deep depression. He borders on catatonia and he offers very little information, claiming he didn't see or hear anything. The only tidbit he serves up is this: "They" were only after Claire. She was the one they wanted. Hmm. Maybe that psychic from last week was on to something.

As Charlie drops cryptic hints, Boone and Locke are still hacking through the underbrush. Boone has reached his breaking point and he tells Locke he's going to head back to camp. Locke doesn't argue and, being the sweet fella he is, he tosses his flashlight back to Boone so he can traverse the dark forest. But the flashlight falls short ... and it clangs into something that is clearly not rock or dirt. Boone and Locke move in and discover a big, covered sheet of steel that appears to have been intentionally embedded in the soil. Is it a piece of wreckage? A giant metal coffin? A door to Evil Ethan's Subterranean Lair? We don't find out because this is where those sneaky "Lost" producers end the episode.

Point 3
Sawyer

Sayid
The Locke, Jack, Kate and Boone plot offered this week's most substantial developments, but Sayid and Sawyer also engaged in a tete-a-tete worth noting.

Sawyer learns from Walt that Sayid has returned to camp, so Sawyer, intent on catching up with the guy who tortured him strides over to Sayid's cave for a little visit.

At first the scene appears ominous, but then Sayid starts talking about his run-in with Crazy Danielle Rousseau and Sawyer replaces his menace with curiosity. Sayid says Rousseau spoke of "others on this island" and, even though she's never seen these "others," Sayid thinks Rousseau may be on to something. He supports this conclusion by telling Sawyer that he, too, felt a presence around him in the forest (Why is he telling Sawyer this?). Sawyer starts asking a whole slew of questions, but Sayid puts a stop to his line of inquiry by saying that he really doesn't have any answers. With that, Sawyer gets up and offhandedly tells Sayid that he's been keeping Sayid's signal fire burning on the beach. Sayid has one of those "Maybe Sawyer Isn't So Bad" moments, and then the scene ends.

In other Sawyer news, our resident Criminal with a Heart of Gold unveiled another fine nickname. This week, he dubbed Walt "Tattoo."

One last thing. During their encounter, Walt tells Sawyer about his Ethan theory (Walt believes Ethan was already on the island), to which Sawyer replies:

"So a tribe of evil natives planted a ringer in the camp to kidnap a pregnant girl and a reject from 'VH1 Has-Beens.' Yeah, fiendishly clever."
Sounds like the writers have been peeking at a lot of those "Lost" message boards. Fiendishly clever indeed.
Point 4
Black Rock/White Rock I'm adding a new element to the Key Points this week. The black rock/white rock motif has popped up a number of times, so I think it's worth noting whenever it raises its mysterious head.

In this episode, Walt and Hurley play backgammon, a game that features white pieces and black pieces. Walt (who is black) defeats Hurley ( who is white). Walt winds handily, so black trumps white, right? Not so fast. Walt plays with the white game pieces. So what the hell does that mean? Does it mean anything at all?

That's it for now. Be sure to drop by our "Lost" Forum for stimulating conversation and conjecture.

Next Episode:
"Pilot Parts 1 & 2" -- ABC is repeating the first and second episodes next week (12/15) and the fourth ("Walkabout") and fifth ("White Rabbit") episodes the week after (12/22). Airs: Wednesday, Dec. 15 and Wednesday Dec. 22, 8 p.m., ABC.


Review by Mac Slocum. All photos and episode descriptions © ABC Inc.


JACK AND KATE SHOULD SLEEP TOGTHER AND KATE GETS PERAGNET THAT IS WHAT I THINK

#1. Posted by: anna rivera at December 30, 2004 12:10 AM

jack should fight with sawyer over kate . kate trys to stop them . sawyer stabs jack and runs . no one sees him for awhyle jack and kate closer then what they where . thats when they sleep togther and kate gets pregnet. that whould itn be bad to be one of the shows.

#2. Posted by: anna rivera at December 30, 2004 12:33 AM

home refinance

#3. Posted by: home refinance at November 3, 2006 3:13 AM

Loved the Dr. Liar bit.

#4. Posted by: James at June 4, 2007 11:04 PM

MIF (Meg Isn't First, but oh well)

#5. Posted by: meg at April 2, 2008 1:13 PM