"Every Man for Himself" is the fourth episode of Season 3 and the 53rd produced hour of the series as a whole. Sawyer's rebellious attitude causes Ben and the Others to conjure a plan to keep him in check. At the beach, Desmond starts to mysteriously seek certain items for some kind of construction.


Previously on Lost[]


Sawyer is in prison as a result of his long con, after Cassidy had him prosecuted. He boxes in a ring with a fellow inmate and he wins the match. As they walk back to their cells, they see a new inmate being attacked. He is told that Munson was recently jailed for stealing $10 million from the government, which the government never got back. Sawyer wins Munson's trust after he predicts the Warden will try to take his money, using Munson's wife against him.

As Munson is visiting with Lila, his wife, Sawyer receives an unexpected visitor in Cassidy. Sawyer speaks harshly and abruptly to her, even after she throws down a picture of a baby, Clementine, whom Cassidy explains is his daughter. She starts to him that they are now living in Albuquerque when Sawyer interrupts, demanding to know what she wanted. Cassidy says that she wanted him to know about Clementine, and that she thought he could write his daughter a letter. Sawyer leaves angrily, saying that he has no daughter.

Munson, upset from the confrontation with his wife, later confides in Sawyer, telling him that he did steal the money and that he wants Sawyer to move it.


"You're a free man."

Later, Sawyer reveals the location of Munson's stash (in a storage facility in Sawgrass, unit 23C) to the FBI in exchange for commutation of the last six years of his sentence and a cash reward. When asked how he wants his "commission" delivered, Sawyer tells Treasury Agent Freedman to put it in a bank in Albuquerque under the name of Clementine Phillips, stipulating that there must be no way she can ever find out whom the money is from. The warden, intrigued, asks who Clementine Phillips is, but Sawyer brushes off the question. "Congratulations, Ford," says the Warden, "you just lied and cheated your way out of prison. You're a free man."

On Hydra Island[]

In the Aquarium, Juliet brings Jack food. Jack says he's fine watching the cartoons on the television. He confronts her about what is going on, pointing out that he should talk to Ben because he's in charge of the Others. Juliet insists there is a common authority, and Ben is not the one making the decisions. Jack expresses his doubts about her denial, pointing out that Ben previously seemed "happy" to let Juliet die and that Ben clearly made that decision on his own. Juliet insists that Jack does not know what he is talking about, that she does not answer to Ben. In the next moment, Ben arrives and orders her to come quickly because the submarine has returned with Colleen, who was shot in the abdomen by Sun.

Sawyer has to "go to work" at the quarry, but Danny is called away and informed that his wife has been shot. Sawyer recognizes Colleen, and points out to Kate that it was most likely "our team" that shot her, not the Others. Sawyer smiles at that, stating that he just found their "ticket out of here."

Sawyer ben

Ben outplays Sawyer and they fight in the cage.

Sawyer decides to strike back and plans an escape, as Pickett is too preoccupied. His idea is to move the water pipe leading to the trough, and connect the electricity from the warning button to the water which is now puddling outside the cell. He tells Kate that is going to electrocute the Other standing in the puddle which he has created in order to get the keys to the cages. When Kate asks about how they will help Jack, Sawyer points out that they do not even know where he is or if he is even alive and that it is every man for himself here.

Ben approaches the cage, edging ever closer to the puddle as he asks Sawyer how old he is (at first, he replies 32, but then admits to being 35) and how much he weighs (he replies around 180). When Ben steps into the water, Sawyer grabs him and pokes the button several times with his bare foot, but there is no charge. Ben tells him they turned it off, and proceeds to beat Sawyer with a telescopic baton to the point of unconsciousness.

Tom jason

Tom and Matthew stand over Sawyer, about to inject him.

When Sawyer regains consciousness he finds himself restrained upon a table. He can hear Tom discussing with Ben that for the past two days they have been "blind" and that the communications have been down. Two Others, Jason and Matthew, come and stand over him while Tom and Ben watch. Sawyer starts yelling, and then one of the two men tells him to bite down on a stick, "for the pain." Sawyer starts to panic when he sees a huge needle and syringe. The two lean over Sawyer, and whilst he's screaming through the stick, Jason tells Matthew to "just do it how they do in the movie." During this, Jack can faintly hear Sawyer's screams through the supposedly broken intercom in his cell.


The white bunny.

Sawyer comes to; Tom lays a cage on his chest containing a white bunny with the number 8 on its back. As Sawyer begins to question what's going on, Ben begins to furiously shake the cage, frightening the bunny, which panics, then is still. Ben tells Sawyer the bunny had a pacemaker implant in him, and that so does Sawyer. He is told if his heart rate reaches 140, his heart will explode. This way he can be assured that Sawyer will start behaving. Ben gives a watch with a pulse time to Sawyer. It will beep if Sawyer's pulse goes over 125bpm. Sawyer then asks him why he did not just kill him. "Because we're not killers, James," says Ben. As insurance, Ben declares that the same fate will befall Kate if Sawyer misbehaves, tells Kate what happened to him, or he tells her they are being watched.


While Kate changes she suspects Sawyer is not his "normal" self.

Sawyer is brought back to his cage, and Kate is given some new clothes. Kate asks Sawyer questions, but he does not answer and is surly. When Kate begins to change her clothes after telling Sawyer to turn away; he cannot avoid interest, and his pulse-monitor starts beeping. Kate asks him what the beeping is, Sawyer does his best to avoid the question, claiming it's his watch. He douses himself with cold water in an effort to lower his pulse and angrily shrugs her queries off. Kate notices the bars are much wider at the top of the cage, and wants to escape, but Sawyer says not to bother.

Jack is listening to idle gossip from Others coming through the intercom when Juliet rushes in, her clothes spattered with blood, to ask him to help save Colleen.

On the way to the surgery, a hooded Jack is marched past the Hydra's bear cages while klaxons blare loudly to drown out Kate and Sawyer's calls to Jack. Jack appears to turn his head toward their shouts.


Jack being transported to the operating room.

Ben objects to Jack entering the surgery. When Juliet explains that Jack can help because he's a surgeon, Ben starts to say, "Well this isn't why...", but Juliet cuts him off by saying, "Do you want her to die?" While scrubbing up before entering the surgery, Jack sees some X-rays on the wall but Juliet tells him that they are not hers. Danny objects to Jack being here, as Colleen is his wife, but Jack has him removed. Danny, Ben and Tom watch from an observation room as Jack and Juliet try to save Colleen, but she suffers a cardiac arrest and when Jack asks for a defibrillator. Juliet tells him it is broken and that this has not happened before. Jack immediately goes into emergency mode, but he cannot save her.


Kate makes a temporary escape from her bear cage.

In a fury, Danny goes outside to the bear cages and attacks Sawyer, who doesn't fight back. The watch starts beeping. Pickett brutally assaults Sawyer in front of Kate's cell, demanding to know if Kate loves Sawyer, repeatedly punching Sawyer in the face until he is raw and bloody. Kate, sobbing, throws her arms through the cell bars and clutches Sawyer from behind. She finally cries out that she does love him, and begs him to stop. Pickett leaves.

Back in his cell, Sawyer washes the blood off his face. Kate manages to escape by squeezing between the bars in the top of her cell. She is disturbed that Sawyer will not talk about what they did to him and demands they escape together. Sawyer tells her to go alone, but she will not and tries to break his lock. When Sawyer says "if you really love me, go," Kate tells him that she only said that to make Pickett stop hitting him. As she climbs back into her cage, Sawyer calls out that it's "every man for himself" and that she has to run. Kate explains: "Live together, die alone."

Inside the Hydra, in the video room, Ben watches the scene unfold, with Tom. Tom tells him that Danny wants to kill Sawyer, but Ben responds that "Danny can wait."


Jack asks Juliet who he is really there to save.

Ben has left Jack handcuffed to the table where Colleen's body lays, purposely. When Juliet arrives to take Jack back, she tells him that she is a fertility doctor, so she is not used to death. Jack says she couldn't have done anything - and Juliet asks if he's saying that to make her feel better. He says that he doesn't care about what she feels. Juliet un-cuffs him, Jack informs her that the X-rays outside are of a man in his 40s with a large tumor on his spine on the L-4 vertebra. He scoffs that he "just happens" to be a spinal surgeon, and asks who he is really there to save.

Later Ben wakes Sawyer and takes him for a walk. Sawyer jokes that Ben would like Of Mice and Men for its puppy-killing (referring to Ben killing the rabbit). As they climb further up a ridge Sawyer's heart monitor goes off. Sawyer asks if Ben brought him up to the mountain just to kill him. Ben stops him and tells him that he doesn't have a pacemaker in him and takes the rabbit labeled "8" out of a pouch and tells Sawyer that it received a sedative and isn't dead, because they aren't killers. Sawyer then punches Ben before anyone can react. Ben responds by telling him that showing him the rabbit was not the point of the walk.


Ben shows Sawyer where they are, and reveals his "con".

As they climb over the hill, Sawyer is stunned to see another island across from the one they are on. Ben announces that the nearby island is Sawyer's island and so that they cannot escape because there is nowhere to go. Ben points out that the only way to get the respect of a con man is to con him. He then also quotes Of Mice and Men and mentions Sawyer only gave in when he threatened Kate. Ben points out that Sawyer tries to distance himself from Kate when he really does need her. Ben tells him to return to his cage, and Sawyer, unsettled, follows.

On the Island[]

Hurley desmond

Hurley looks on in amazement as Desmond's intuition proves accurate.

Desmond tells Claire she needs to move down the beach, so he can fix her roof. Claire insists it is fine, as does Charlie, who says he can fix it himself. Desmond reluctantly agrees and walks off as Claire thanks him for the thought. Claire is intrigued by this, but Charlie says that they should find him "another button to push".

When Desmond later sees Paulo hitting papayas into the water, he asks to borrow a golf club from him, attaching it to the top of a large tower he constructed. Hurley asks "is that... art?", but Desmond replies negatively, saying that it's an experiment, and he turns down the fruit salad Hurley offers. Just as Hurley is about to leave, Desmond suggests he wait a moment.

A spontaneous rainstorm falls on them, breaking Claire's roof, and splashing water all over Aaron. Claire and Charlie sweep him up and cover him. An instant later, a lightning flash occurs, striking the golf club on the structure, and acting like a lightning rod. Charlie looks around in shock, and then stares, confused, at the smiling Desmond.


  1. Christian Shephard's voice saying, "Let it go", echoing his advice to Jack about Sarah. Juliet suggests this is an hallucination (brought on by not eating or drinking anything since the medication the Others injected him with).
  2. Sawyer's shouted protests just before a large hypodermic syringe is plunged into his chest.
  3. An apparent discussion between Others, just before Juliet asks for Jack's help treating Colleen.
  • Speakers are in the background when Ben and Sawyer go up to see the Island's view.
  • The heart rate monitor Sawyer is made to wear is a Suunto (most probably model Advizor), and is labeled as manufactured by "pacelabs 514". "pacelabs 514" is really a "Spacelabs 514" (U.S. Patent #4715385) which is a common heart monitor that was manufactured as early as 1981.
  • One of the guards escorting Sawyer to the Warden is next seen as a cop in the Season 6 premiere "LA X, Part 1" taking Charlie.
  • In "Left Behind", we learn that it was Kate who advised Cassidy to turn Sawyer in for ripping her off, though they never refer to Sawyer by name.
  • This is the only episode where Paulo appears without Nikki.
  • This episode is rated TV-14-V.

Production notes[]

  • A Lost: On Location for this episode is available on the Season 3 DVD.
  • This is the first episode to reference Clementine Phillips. Although Cassidy shows Sawyer a photo, she is not seen in person until the Season 5 episode "Whatever Happened, Happened".
  • This is the last Sawyer-centric episode until the Season 5 episode "LaFleur".


The episode introduces a new motif that characterizes Desmond's flashes.


Recurring themes[]

  • Sawyer is in prison after conning Cassidy. (Imprisonment)
  • Sawyer conned Munson into letting him help him hide his millions; the location of the money is given to the Warden Harris and Agent Freedman in exchange for Sawyer's freedom. (Deceptions and cons)
  • Ben cons Sawyer into behaving by telling him he had a pacemaker implant which would make his heart explode as soon as his heart rate reached 140. (Deceptions and cons)
  • Sawyer denied fathering Clementine, but arranged for money to be left to her in a bank anonymously. (Parent issues)  (Children)
  • Jack is unable to save Colleen's life -- "she was dead before you put her on the table." Later, Jack is purposely forced to wait while handcuffed to the gurney with the dead body. (Death)
  • Juliet says the crash cart is broken, wasn't previously needed, because "we haven't had anything happen before." She later says "I'm a fertility doctor. I'm not used to death." (Life and death)
  • Pickett wants to kill Sawyer. (Life and death)
  • The rabbit is apparently killed but Ben later tells Sawyer it was only unconscious. (Life and death)
  • Munson's $10 Million was hidden in a store quick facility off 441 in unit 23C. (The Numbers)
  • Sawyer's prisoner ID number was 840, and Munson's was 248. (The Numbers)
  • The rabbit has the number 8 painted on it. (The Numbers)
  • It is raining when Kate slips through the bars of her cage. (Rain)
  • A storm passes by, and lightning hits Desmond's lightning rod. (Rain)
  • The bank Kate helps rob in "Whatever the Case May Be" is located in Albuquerque, the same city where Sawyer opens an account for Clementine. (Character connections)
  • Ben reveals to Sawyer that they are on a separate island. (Isolation)
  • When Colleen dies, Danny says "they did this" and takes his anger out on Sawyer by repeatedly punching him. (Revenge)
  • Sawyer calls Munson "Costanza", "Murgatroyd" and "Killer". He calls Ben "the Big Kahuna", Jack "Doc", Pickett "Chinatown" and "Hoss" and Kate "Sweetheart" and "Freckles". (Nicknames)

Cultural references[]

  • Seinfeld: Sawyer calls Munson "Costanza" in reference to the character George Costanza in this American sitcom (1989 to 1998). (Movies and TV)
  • Snagglepuss: Sawyer calls Munson "Murgatroyd" in reference to this cartoon character. 'Heavens to Murgatroyd' is an American exclamation of surprise and dates from the mid 20th century. The expression was popularized by Snagglepuss, a regular on the Yogi Bear Show in the 1960s, and was used in Meet the People (1944), spoken by Bert Lahr. (Movies and TV)
  • Chinatown: Sawyer calls Pickett "Chinatown" in reference to the injured and bandaged nose of Jack Nicholson's character Jake Gittes in the 1974 Roman Polanski film. (Movies and TV)
  • Pulp Fiction: One of the Others stabs/injects Sawyer in the sternum "like in that movie". In Pulp Fiction two men have to inject a woman with adrenaline using a very big needle. (Movies and TV)
  • The Blue Danube: The cartoon Jack is watching is the second part of the Looney Tunes cartoon entitled A Corny Concerto (1943). It features a version of "The Ugly Duckling". (Movies and TV)  (Music)
  • On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft: The white bunny numbered 8 is a reference to Stephen King's autobiography and writing guide. King describes a caged white rabbit with the number 8 painted on it as an example of the power of words to transmit pictures and ideas. (Literary works)
  • Of Mice and Men: Sawyer reads this book while in prison. He later references the book, and Ben quotes from it. It is a 1937 Depression-era novel written by John Steinbeck. The book is critical of the American Dream, and all dreams in general, suggesting that they are ultimately futile. (Literary works)
  • Father Knows Best: Sawyer asks Cassidy, "What [she] expects from [him], to turn into Father Knows Best?" This was a popular American TV and radio sitcom of the 1950s and 1960s, which portrayed an idealized vision of middle-class American life of the era. (Movies and TV)

Literary techniques[]

  • Juliet tells Jack that as a fertility doctor, she is not used to death. However, in "D.O.C.", she tells Sun she has lost 9 patients. (Irony)  (Foreshadowing)
  • Jack tries to turn Juliet against Ben the way Ben tried to turn Locke against Jack when he was prisoner. (Juxtaposition)
  • Ben reveals to Sawyer that they are being held prisoner on a smaller island offshore from the island he crashed on. (Plot twist)
  • Just as Juliet tells Jack she doesn't answer to Ben, he bursts in and demands that she come with him immediately. (Irony)
  • Sawyer tells Kate it is "every man for himself" and she responds with "live together, die alone." (Regularly spoken phrases)

Storyline analysis[]

  • Juliet tells Jack that she and Ben make decisions together, and he is not in charge. (Leadership)
  • Sawyer is in jail for conning Cassidy. (Crimes)
  • Cassidy reveals to Sawyer that she conceived a child when they were together. (Relationships)
  • Pickett wants to kill Sawyer. (Rivalries)

Episode connections[]

Episode references[]

Episode allusions[]

  • In Jack's famous "Live together, Die alone" speech, he says that "every man for himself" is not going to work. ("White Rabbit")
  • Jack questions who makes the decisions within the Others' camp. Juliet says she and Ben "make decisions together". Locke stated the same when Ben questioned who makes decisions for the survivors. ("Maternity Leave")
  • Desmond correctly predicts a thunderstorm and stops lightning hitting Claire's tent. ("Further Instructions")

External links[]