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- "Jack" redirects here. For other uses of "Jack", see Jack (disambiguation).
Dr. Jack Shephard is often seen as the main character of the series. He is a spinal surgeon and the de facto leader of the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815. Jack has control issues and trouble dealing with situations that he cannot fix. However, this attitude of solving problems through reason has given him the ability to function well in crisis. Sometimes, if he feels guilt or pain over a situation he can't fix himself, he will do anything he can to fix it, even borderlining on obsessive. Jack is, most of the time, in control of his life, emotions and situation he is in and is able to keep a cool head in tense situations. Jack is also the half brother of Claire Littleton, although neither of them is aware of this. Jack has formed very strong bonds with Kate and Juliet while he has been on the Island.
Before the crash
Jack Shephard was born in 1967 [source needed] to Christian and Margo Shephard. He is also, through his father, the half-brother of fellow Oceanic Flight 815 survivor Claire Littleton. As an adolescent, Jack was beaten by a teenage bully after attempting to rescue his friend Marc Silverman. Jack later explained the cause of his injuries to his intoxicated father, who informed him over a glass of whiskey of his own ability to cope with the consequences of difficult life and death decisions. He advised Jack not to attempt to be a hero because he didn't have what it takes to cope with failing. ("White Rabbit")
Jack attended Columbia University and then graduated from UCLA medical school a year faster than anyone else. ("A Tale of Two Cities") Following this, Jack began working with his father at St. Sebastian Hospital as a spinal surgeon. ("All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues")
At around 8:10 AM on an unknown date in 2001, Jack was presented with two victims of a head-on collision involving two S.U.V.s. Jack chose to save the woman, Sarah, whose spine was severely damaged, at the older man's expense. Upon Sarah's inquiries regarding her condition, Jack told her she would never walk again. Christian overheard this and advised his son to be more optimistic in his dealings with patients. Jack informed Sarah's fiance Kevin of the extent of her injuries. Jack was annoyed when Kevin appeared to question whether he wanted to continue his relationship with Sarah. While preparing for surgery, Jack overstepped his professional relationship with Sarah, promising to fix her.
After what he felt was an unsuccessful surgery, Jack left the hospital for a nearby stadium, where he began a tour de stade. Another man was there doing the same thing, and as Jack tried to outrun him, he fell and hurt his ankle. The stranger came to Jack's aid and introduced himself as Desmond. He intuitively guessed Jack was worried about a woman and hypothetically questioned whether Jack had really failed to fix her. Desmond also explained that he too was once "almost a doctor." Desmond gave Jack the advice to "lift it up," ostensibly referring to the injured ankle, though the phrase may have had a more philosophical meaning. Desmond left, promising to see Jack "in another life." Jack went back to the hospital and tearfully informed Sarah of his failure to reverse the damage to her spine. She accused him of "yanking her chain," claiming she could wiggle her toes. Jack examined her legs and concluded he had indeed fixed her as he had promised. ("Man of Science, Man of Faith")
Some time later, likely in 2003, Jack's childhood friend Marc Silverman expressed his fears about giving a toast at Jack's upcoming rehearsal dinner. Jack tried to allay those fears, telling his friend there was still time to back out. Silverman planned to drink heavily beforehand, claiming eight beers should be enough to calm his nerves. Following Marc's speech at the rehearsal, Sarah gave a toast to Jack. She cited him as heroic and highly committed, and said because of him she would be able to dance at their wedding. Jack and Sarah spoke later while playing a duet on a piano in the hotel in which the wedding was to be held. During this conversation, Sarah attempted to calm Jack's nerves about the vows they had promised to write. Jack's father arrived later that night and found Jack dangling his feet in the hotel pool. Christian joined him and listened as Jack told him he was having difficulty writing his vows and feared he was only marrying Sarah because he had saved her life two years before. Christian complimented his son on his ability to remain absolutely committed, but thought it made him "not good at letting go." Some hours before the wedding, Jack stood on the beach throwing rocks into the ocean. Christian joined him and showed Jack the watch his own father had given him on his wedding day. Christian explained to Jack that he had never liked his own father since he disapproved of his marrying Margo, so he (Christian) had never worn that watch. He gave the watch to Jack, asking him to be a better father than he (Christian) was. Later, at the wedding, Jack improvised his vows, telling Sarah of his belief that rather than his having fixed her, she had fixed him, and of his resulting unconditional love for her. ("Do No Harm"), ("The Watch")
In early December of 2003, Jack and his father were approached by a wealthy Italian man named Angelo Busoni who had, after being diagnosed with a spinal tumor, chosen to be treated at St. Sebastian Hospital because of the miracle Jack had performed on Sarah. Christian, who was at that time Chief of Surgery, believed the elderly man's tumor was inoperable and, although Jack shared Christian's opinion and was aware of the differences between his current patient's condition and that of his wife, he nonetheless agreed to operate. Jack's subsequent dedication to his patient and a dangerous level of association with his daughter Gabriela, quickly put a strain on his marriage. After Angelo's death as a result of heart failure on the operating table, Jack and Gabriela shared a kiss, after which Jack resolved to fix his marriage. When he confessed the kiss to his wife, Sarah told him she was going to leave him for another man, citing Jack's compulsive obsession with fixing things as the major catalyst for her desire for divorce. ("The Hunting Party")
Following the collapse of his marriage, Jack took a trip to Thailand to relax. While there, he met a mysterious woman named Achara. They became friends and occasionally slept together. Jack tried to find out what she did for a living, but she was very secretive about her work. Jack followed her one night. When he confronted her, Achara told him she saw into people and translated what she saw into tattoos. Jack grew strangely forceful and demanded to know what she saw in him. Achara became very emotional and told Jack she saw him as a leader who, although strong, could also be unhappy. Jack insisted she tattoo him. Achara warned there would be consequences, but gave in. The tattoo that Achara designed on Jack's arm translates to "He walks among us, but is not one of us." The next day, when Jack emerged from his tent on the beach, the people he had befriended earlier attacked him violently. They screamed at him, telling him to leave and never return. As Jack struggled to get up he saw Achara watching sadly from a short distance away. ("Stranger in a Strange Land")
In February 2004, Jack stalked his estranged wife, waiting outside the kindergarten at which she taught. Enraged with jealousy, Jack bitterly contested the divorce and became obsessed with discovering the identity of Sarah's lover. At one point, he fired his lawyer and offered Sarah all his possessions in exchange for the man's name, a demand she ignored. Later, having somehow acquired her cell phone, Jack began calling all of Sarah's contacts, convinced that one of them was her new lover. He dialed a number in his father's presence and Christian's phone began to ring, causing Jack to believe it was Christian who had stolen his wife. Upon being asked why Sarah would be calling him, Christian demanded that his son let her go. Ignoring this, Jack repeated his question and Christian told him Sarah was concerned about Jack's obsession. Jack replied that, despite being "a drunk," his father would not know what it meant to be obsessive.
Later, while discussing a patient's treatment with a nurse Jack overheard Christian laughing into his phone. Jack assumed that Christian was talking to Sarah. He followed his father to The Lynford Hotel and into an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. After a brief confrontation in which Jack demanded to see his father's cell phone and mocked his achievement of staying sober for fifty days, Jack outright accused Christian of sleeping with his wife. Shortly after, Jack physically attacked his father, an action which resulted in his arrest and subsequent jailing. Jack was bailed out by his former wife, who had been informed of Jack's incarceration by an extremely drunk Christian Shephard over the phone. Jack again probed Sarah for information regarding her new boyfriend, but she refused to answer, and left the building. Jack chased after Sarah outside and, seeing a man standing by a car across the street, asked Sarah if that was he (her lover). Sarah said it didn't matter, but that Jack should be happy he once again had something to fix. ("A Tale of Two Cities")
In July of 2004 Jack was called into surgery by one of the operating nurses, who had observed his intoxicated father mistakenly cut the hepatic artery of a patient. Taking over his father's role as surgeon-of-record, Jack attempted to rectify the error; however, despite resealing the woman's artery, her rapid blood loss and resulting cardiac arrest caused her death. After the surgery, a confrontation ensued between the two Shephards, during which Christian said his son had no right barging into his surgery. Jack contended that his actions were justified, given his father's impaired state at the time of the surgery. A short time later, Jack was called into his father's office and asked to sign a falsified report of the woman's death, which stated that Jack had accompanied his father during the surgery, but in spite of their "most valiant efforts," the woman had died of massive blood loss caused by her severe internal injuries. Although Jack initially refused to sign the document, stating that his father deserved to face the consequences of his actions - including the revocation of his license - his father ultimately goaded him into it. Following this meeting, Jack witnessed his father consoling the deceased woman's husband, who was threatening legal action against the hospital for his wife's death. This, in addition to Jack's discovery of the woman's pregnancy at the time of the surgery, caused Jack to revise his statement to the panel responsible for determining whether any action should be taken regarding her death. Rather than agreeing with what had been written in Christian's falsified report, Jack revealed the truth about what had occurred during the surgery, concluding with his belief that his intoxicated father's actions, rather than the woman's injuries, were the direct cause of her death. ("All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues")
In mid-September of 2004, at the behest of his frantically worried mother, Margo, Jack traveled to Sydney, Australia in search of his missing father, despite their lack of communication in the previous few months. Jack searched his father's hotel room and found his wallet, some alcohol and a collection of pills. Jack learned his father had died due to an alcohol-induced heart attack. Jack attempted to load his father's body onto the same plane on which he was to return to America, but had trouble getting the casket on the plane because he had not made the proper arrangements.
However, after a heartfelt plea to an Oceanic Airlines ticket agent named Chrissy, in which Jack stated his need for closure regarding his father's death, he was able to have the coffin loaded onto the plane, although it is unclear whether his body - the Airline's major concern - was also loaded. ("White Rabbit")
Just prior to boarding Oceanic Flight 815, after his conversation with Chrissy, Jack met Ana-Lucia Cortez in an airport bar. AnaLucia was assigned to seat 42F on the same flight. Jack mentioned his father's death, as well as the fact that he had once been married. AnaLucia stated her opinion that children should not work with their parents. When Ana-Lucia received a phone call, she left, but promised to have another drink with Jack on the plane. ("Exodus, Part 1")
Jack sat in seat 23B, and had a conversation with Australian flight attendant Cindy Chandler, who handed him two airline bottles of vodka, one of which he consumed immediately. A short time after this, while rising from his seat, Jack was nearly knocked down by a man hurrying up the aisle. This prompted a conversation with nearby passenger Rose Nadler, whose husband Bernard was in the bathroom. After Rose's reaction to some light turbulence, Jack attempted to allay her fears. Very soon, however, the plane began to shake more violently before making a sharp, uncontrolled descent. Due to the loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks fell from the ceiling of the plane. Despite putting his mask on, Jack blacked out before the plane's tail separated from the mid-section. ("Pilot, Part 1")
Incidentally, at some point during his lifetime, Jack took a small number of flying lessons, but chose not to continue with them because "it wasn't for me." ("Pilot, Part 1")
On the Island
Season 1 (Days 1-44)
Jack woke up up alone in a bamboo thicket near the site of the plane crash. He looked over to see a dog run past him. He stood up and took a bottle of vodka from his jacket pocket, then began to run through the jungle toward the sound of screaming. The plane had crashed on the beach and Jack began helping the injured passengers. There was a man whose leg was being crushed under one of the detached landing wheels, and Jack enlisted the help of another survivor to help him move it. After the man was free, Jack turned around to see a pregnant woman on the beach crying for help. He was starting in her direction when a man was sucked into the engine. As it blew up, Jack shielded the woman from the explosion, then asked another survivor named Hurley to look after her so he could help Rose, who wasn't breathing. A young man named Boone was trying to give her CPR, but Jack shooed him away because he was doing it wrong. After reviving Rose, he noticed the plane's wing beginning to fall and he pushed Claire and Hurley out of its way.
Jack wandered through the wreckage on the beach, then took a sewing kit from a suitcase and found a quiet place to examine his own wounds. A woman walked by and Jack asked for her help in stitching him up. Kate seemed terrified, but Jack calmed her by telling her about his first solo surgery, where he conquered his fear during an emergency by "letting the fear in," but only for five seconds.
The next day Jack, Kate and Charlie hiked into the jungle to find the cockpit. Once inside, they found the pilot alive. He gave them the transceiver shortly before being pulled out the window by the monster. Kate, Jack and Charlie ran from the cockpit and into the jungle. After a brief rainstorm, they found the pilot dead in a tree.
They returned to camp, where Jack broke up a fight between Sayid and Sawyer. Kate gave the transceiver to Sayid so he could fix it and Jack went to take a look at the man with the shrapnel. ("Pilot, Part 1") He asked Hurley to hold the man down while he tried to take the shrapnel out. Hurley fainted and Jack had to complete the surgery himself. At one point, the man woke up and forcefully told Jack, "Don't trust her," and asked for his handcuffs. When Jack asked whom he was talking about, the Marshal directed him to look in his jacket pocket. Inside, Jack found a mugshot of Kate. Hurley later came across it, but Jack told him he wasn't interested in knowing what her crime was. He went to look for some stronger antibiotics and found Sawyer looting in the fuselage. When he got back to the tent, the Marshal was trying to strangle Kate. Jack broke them up as Mars went into convulsions. Kate asked Jack to put him out of his misery, but Jack told her he had seen her mugshot and that he was not a murderer. Mars wanted to talk to Kate alone and Jack agreed. When Hurley told him Kate had a gun, he ran to the tent, reaching it just as Kate walked out. A gunshot rang out and Kate walked away as Sawyer left the tent. He told Jack the Marshal had asked to be shot. A second later, choking and coughing sounds came from the tent, and Jack went to euthanize the Marshal to end his suffering. ("Tabula Rasa")
When wild boars started raiding the fuselage for the dead bodies, Jack decided the best way to dispose of the bodies was to burn the whole thing. Struggling with his leadership role, he didn't want to plan or lead the memorial, nor did he want to talk to Rose, who had been sitting on the beach staring into the ocean ever since the crash. When Boone pointed out that Jack had saved her life, he sat down next to her tried to get her to talk. Rose said she would like to watch the funeral service that night, but when Jack asked her to say something about her husband, she told him Bernard was still alive. Jack looked toward the jungle and saw a man wearing a suit and white tennis shoes standing under a tree. Jack turned to go with Rose, and when he looked back the man was gone. ("Walkabout")
On day 6, Boone nearly died trying to save a woman from drowning. Jack rescued him, but felt guilty he couldn't save Joanna as well. He told Kate how he felt, and while talking to her, he saw his father standing in the water. Later, Boone berated him, telling him he could have made it back and Jack should have saved Joanna. Jack walked away from Boone, who was still ranting, when he saw his father again. He ran into the jungle and chased after him for a few hours before nearly falling off a cliff. Locke helped him up and Jack asked how everyone was doing back at camp. Locke told him they needed Jack to lead them, but Jack said he couldn't because he would fail. He told Locke he was going crazy, and Locke told him to keep chasing what he was after. Jack took his advice and eventually found some caves near a supply of fresh water. He also found his father's coffin. When he opened it and found it empty, he began beating it angrily with a metal pipe. Jack went back to the beach to tell everyone he had found water and shelter, telling them, "If we can't live together, we're going to die alone." ("White Rabbit")
Jack took Kate, Locke and Charlie to the caves to bring water back to the beach. Charlie stepped on a beehive and Jack and Kate got separated from the other two. They ran to the caves, where they found the skeletal remains of a man and a woman. Jack thought they must have lived in the caves and told Kate the survivors should move there, too. Not everyone wanted to move off the beach, and the group split. ("House of the Rising Sun")
When Jack became trapped by a cave-in, the survivors began a rescue attempt led by Michael. Charlie was the only one small enough to go in and who had no emotional attachments on the island. Once inside the cave, he had to pop Jack's dislocated shoulder back into place. Jack told Charlie he knew he was going through withdrawals from heroin, and that night, after they had gotten out of the cave, Jack helped him through his pain and told everyone Charlie had the flu. ("The Moth")
While Jack was treating Sayid, who had been knocked out while trying to triangulate the signal for the transceiver, Boone came running into the caves, wounded. He told Jack he thought Sawyer had stolen Shannon's inhaler, and Sawyer had found him looking through his stuff trying to find it. Jack demanded Sawyer hand over the medicine, and Sawyer told Kate he would give her the inhalers for a kiss, which she refused. Later, with Jack's approval, Sayid tied Sawyer to a tree and tortured him for answers. Sawyer finally agreed to give up the inhalers, but only to Kate. He again said he would give her the medication if she kissed him, which she reluctantly did, only to find that he did not have the inhalers after all. Sayid became enraged and attacked Sawyer, stabbing him in the arm and hitting an artery. Luckily, Jack was there to stop the bleeding and save Sawyer's life. Sayid, ashamed of what he had done, left the beach. ("Confidence Man")
At Jack's infirmary in the caves, a man called Sullivan was worried about a rash. Jack told him to relax, but Hurley said everyone needed something to do. He built a golf course, and Jack and Michael were the first to play on it. ("Solitary")
Claire began having nightmares about someone trying to hurt her baby. Jack tried to convince her it was nothing to worry about, but Claire was adamant. After a particularly bad dream, Hurley decided it would be a good idea to take a census to get a better idea of whom they were living with. Just as Ethan came upon Claire and Charlie alone in the jungle, Hurley told Jack that Ethan wasn't on the plane. ("Raised by Another")
After discovering Claire and Charlie had been taken, Jack and Kate searched for Ethan. They got separated and Ethan attacked and threatened Jack before disappearing into the jungle again. Kate helped him up and shortly after, they found Charlie hanging by his neck from a tree. Jack held his legs while Kate cut him down, then tried to revive him. Unable to let him go, Jack ignored Kate's pleas and pounded on Charlie's chest until he was finally able to breathe. ("All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues")
After Kate had found the Marshal's Halliburton case, she asked Jack to help her open it. She also revealed that the key to the case was in the buried Marshal's wallet. Jack suspected that Kate had hidden motives, and asked her if anything else in the case was of importance to her. Kate claimed she only feared the guns would fall into Sawyer's hands. Jack told her he would only help if she promised they would open the case together. Kate agreed and they headed to where Mars was buried. When they had dug him up, Kate volunteered to reach in and get the wallet, and after obtaining it she jumped quickly out of the grave. When she opened the wallet, she acted disgusted to the maggots inside and threw it on the ground. Jack picked it up again, and looked inside but found no key. Kate acted surprised, but Jack saw through her con, and bitterly praised her attempts to hide the key while distracting him. He grabbed her hand and demanded she open it. Kate complied, revealing the key inside. Jack walked away with the key, refusing to let Kate explain herself. Jack approached Sawyer and asked for the case. When Sawyer protested, Jack threatened to take him off his medication, inducing fear about the possible complications. Sawyer reluctantly handed Jack the case and asked him if Kate had revealed what was inside. Jack lied and said she hadn't. Sawyer warned Jack that Kate was lying about whatever reasons she had told him. Back at the caves, Kate and Jack opened the case. Jack was amazed to find that the contents were as Kate described, with the exception of a yellow envelope marked "Personal Effects," which he handed to Kate. She opened the envelope, and pulled out a small toy airplane. She told him that it had belonged to the man she killed. ("Whatever the Case May Be")
On day 27, Claire came back to the caves, but she seemed to have amnesia. After Ethan threatened Charlie and killed Scott, Jack revealed the gun case to Locke and they set up a trap, using Claire as bait. The plan worked, but after Jack beat Ethan to the ground, Charlie shot and killed him. ("Special")
Jack's next challenge came on day 40, when Locke brought Boone to him, claiming he had fallen off a cliff. Jack wanted to amputate Boone's leg, and when Sun tried to stop him, he said, "Don't tell me what I can't do." He had a last minute change of heart when Boone awoke and told him he wanted Jack to let him go. Jack held Locke responsible for Boone's death and confronted him at the funeral. Even after Locke explained what had actually happened, his earlier lie and the the fact the he was keeping the Hatch a secret caused Jack to distrust him. ("Do No Harm")
On day 44, Jack set out along with Kate, Rousseau, Locke, Hurley, and Arzt to get dynamite from the Black Rock to blow open the Hatch. ("Exodus, Part 1") On the way back, Jack and Kate kept Locke from being pulled down into a hole by the Monster. Jack, Kate, Locke, and Hurley arrived at the Hatch later that night. They set the dynamite on the hinge of the Hatch and were about to set it off when Hurley noticed the Numbers on the side. He yelled not to light it, but Locke lit the fuse anyway. Hurley tried to stamp out the fuse, repeating "the Numbers are bad," but Jack tackled him, and the dynamite exploded. They opened the Hatch to reveal a deep, dark metal tunnel. Jack and Locke stared down into the pit before them, with no idea of what might be at the bottom. ("Exodus, Part 2")
Season 2 (Days 44-67)
During the walk back from the Hatch, Hurley shared with Jack his story about the Numbers inscribed on the outside of the Hatch, but was disappointed by Jack's response. Upon reaching the caves, Jack explained the situation to the survivors, promising them they would be all right, as long as they stayed together. As Jack was about to finish this speech, Locke appeared, carrying cable and saying he was going into the Hatch. Soon after, Kate followed behind him. While Locke was easing her down the shaft, Kate realized that there was something in the Hatch, and in a sudden burst of light from within the Hatch, Kate mysteriously disappeared.
Back at the caves, Jack armed himself, deciding that he was going after Kate and Locke, and, upon reaching the Hatch, found no one there. He rappelled down the shaft to look for Kate and Locke. After being surprised by a bright light and loud music, he entered the Swan. As Jack is about to use the computer, Locke appeared and told him not to touch it. Jack raised the gun and asked where Kate was. Locke did not answer, as Desmond had a gun pointed at the side of his head. Locke told Jack to put the gun down. Desmond threatened that he would shoot Locke if Jack did not surrender. Jack refused, instead taunting Locke about his destiny. Finally, Desmond stepped out and Jack recognized him as the man he had previously met in 2001 whilst participating the tour de stade. ("Man of Science, Man of Faith") ("Adrift")
With the escape of Desmond after he became scared of a system failure, Jack and Locke became the main inhabitants of the the Swan and had to input the numbers into a computer every 108 minutes for an unknown reason. Tension grew between the two as it began to become their permanent home. ("Orientation")
Jack had a very hard time accepting this new mystery, and relied on scientific fact alone to explain what was happening. This put him at odds with Locke, who with Mr. Eko, both relied purely on faith to explain their place on the Island and the seemingly meaningless task the Countdown Timer assigned them.
After Michael locked up Jack and Locke in the armory, Kate and Sawyer came to the Swan Station and opened the armory door. The A-team decided to look for Michael and try to save him. Jack and John said yes to Sawyer’s offer to join them. However they denied Kate’s. On their trek, they heard seven gun shots. They ran towards the sounds, hoping to find Michael alive. Yet they did not find Michael. At night, the three of them argue after Locke lost Michael's track. Their disagreement is interrupted by Mr. Friendly. Jack asked where Michael is, but Tom responded that Michael is not going to find them. The bearded man also said that Walt was fine. He then chastised them for intruding into “their” island. Jack said he didn't believe him and that Locke, Sawyer, and himself outnumber the Others. In a moment, a ring of torches lit up, and the hunting party discovers they were surrounded. The bearded man warned the three of them that right there, there was a line, and they were not allowed to cross it. If they did, they would go from "misunderstanding" to "something else". Jack opposed this suggestion. Tom was forced to perform his plan B - a head-bagged Kate was handed to the man, who made the hunting party hand over all their guns so Kate could go free. The Others disappeared, and the four castaways returned to camp without having accomplished anything. Kate later tried to apologize to Jack, but he gave her the cold shoulder. ("The Hunting Party")
The antagonism began to escalate into a leadership struggle, which came to a head when Sayid brought back an injured man called "Henry Gale" back to the Swan station, and soon after began to torture him to ascertain if he was an Other. Gale's screams leaded Jack to force Locke to open the armory door, just as the timer begins to sound. Jack said that if Locke had not open the door, he would not let Locke push the button. Locke did not believe that Jack would risk everybody's life on the Island, but Jack said he did not believe anything would happen if the button was not pushed. Locke eventually opened the door, and rushed to enter the code and push the button, but his fingers trip over themselves and does not get them entered in time. This was the first time in half a season we saw what happened if the timer ran past 108 minutes. ("One of Them")
Henry quickly took advantage of the antagonism between Jack and Locke, trying to manipulate them both against each other. He often convinces Locke that Jack is controlling him and tries to convince him to take over and do what is right.
Jack continually tried to "one-up" Sawyer, and threatened to withhold antibiotics from him, mere days after he'd been shot by Mr. Friendly and was recovering from an infection. After Sawyer took the medical supplies, Jack won them back from him in a poker game. ("Lockdown")
When they learned "Henry" was not who he said he was, Jack and Kate traveled to the Line to force a trade between the captive Other and Walt. No Others appeared, but, after sunset, they saw Michael running out of the jungle, frightened and wounded. Jack brought him back to the Swan, where he and Kate tended to Michael's wounds. ("S.O.S.")
Determined to regain control, Jack went with Locke and Kate to retrieve the rest of the guns from Sawyer after Michael announced a plan to take on the Others. He pulled a gun on Sawyer and burned the manuscript he'd been reading, in an attempt to get him to comply. Sawyer revealed to him how Ana-Lucia Cortez got his gun. ("Two for the Road")
They rushed back to the Swan when they learned Ana-Lucia was alone at the Swan Station with Michael and Henry. They found Ana dead in the living room. While working to treat the mortally wounded Libby, Jack sent a reluctant Kate to go with Sawyer so she could find out where the stash of guns and heroin were located. ("?")
Before Jack, Michael, Kate, Sawyer and Hurley started their mission to attack the Others, Sayid recounted to Jack his suspicions about Michael and his plan for Walt's rescue. In addition, Sayid and Jack made a secret plan – Sayid would take Desmond’s boat and use it for a secret flanking maneuver on the Others' camp before Jack and the rescue mission arrive. Later, Michael realized that his gun is not loaded to which Jack replied that he had forgotten to load it. Michael seemed to be deeply troubled by what happened before with the gun. As the group was walking alongside a small river, Kate spotted two Others stalking them on the other side. She and Sawyer opened fire on them, with Sawyer killing one of them. Michael got upset at this, whereupon Jack confronted him about his betrayal. Michael was forced to tell the truth, admitting that he had killed Ana-Lucia and Libby, let the false Henry Gale go, and led the rescue party upon the Others' instructions, in order to free Walt. They had given him a list with their names on it. Hurley wanted to go back but Jack then convinced the skeptical party to continue onward, revealing Sayid's plan.
Later, Jack realized that they were not heading to the place Michael had told them before. Suddenly, the party began to hear whispers, and they were soon ambushed by the Others who used electrical stun darts, and captured their entire party. They woke up at the dock. There, the consequences of the A-mission were presented – Michael and Walt were to leave the Island on a boat, Hurley went back to the beach whereas Jack with his companions were hooded by the Others in preparation for transport which leaded them to the Others' "home". ("Live Together, Die Alone, Part 1")
Season 3 (Days 68-93)
Later Jack attempted to break out by assaulting Juliet as she was bringing him food. Jack dragged her out into the corridor of the Hydra and commanded her to open a door, which she said if opened, would kill them. He unlatched the door himself and the door burst open, causing torrents to begin flooding into the room. Jack and Juliet managed to force the door shut, and Jack was then knocked unconscious by Juliet.
Jack woke again in the room and with Juliet looking through a window, sitting at a table outside the room. After Jack decided to cooperate, Juliet revealed that she has a file containing details on Jack's life.("A Tale of Two Cities")
Jack later met Benjamin Linus, who revealed his real name and the "fact" that he was born on the Island. He then proved that the Others have contact with the outside world by showing Jack news footage of the Boston Red Sox winning the World Series. Jack was then offered a trip home if he cooperated with the Others. ("The Glass Ballerina")
When Colleen was brought back with a gunshot wound, Juliet, unable to stabilize her, demanded that Jack help save her life. While washing up outside the makeshift operating room, Jack saw X-rays on the wall, but was told that they weren't hers. Soon after starting work on Colleen, she went into cardiac arrest, and Jack could not get a defibrillator, so Colleen died. Jack then revealed that he had figured out from the X-rays he saw that he was brought there to perform a spinal surgery on one of the Others and demanded to know who it is. ("Every Man for Himself")
Despite not knowing, Jack ran a bluff on Ben, asking him about the symptoms associated with the tumor. Ben learned he had been conned by Jack (who was only making an educated guess about the X-Rays). Ben later told Jack that he had a whole plan to break him, and make him want to save Ben, but that was destroyed when Jack figured out the job the Others wanted him to do. Later, Juliet sneaked a message to him via videotape indicating that Ben was a liar, and suggested he kill Ben while in surgery. ("The Cost of Living")
When Ben returned to ask Jack about the surgery, Jack inquired about the operating room and equipment, then scoffed at the idea of performing the operation, saying he doesn't trust Ben or the Others. Juliet responded by bringing in Kate, who informed Jack that the Others would kill Sawyer if he didn't operate. Later, Jack gets a message over the intercom telling him to try the door. It's unlocked, and Jack is able to make his way to a weapons locker where he picks up a pistol, then to a monitoring room where he sees Kate and Sawyer sleeping together.
Ben confronted Jack, and Jack lowered the gun and told Ben he'd do the surgery the next morning. The next day, Jack started the operation, but then deliberately cut Ben's kidney sack. He told the Others that Ben would die unless he repaired the damage, and demanded one of their transceivers. He forced Pickett, who was about to execute Sawyer, to turn his transceiver over to Kate. Jack told her that she had an hour to get away, and to repeat the story he told her when they first met after the crash, once she had gotten free. Kate stubbornly refused to leave, but Jack told her to "run". She fled with Sawyer. ("I Do")
Juliet sent additional others to find Pickett, and hunt down the escaped prisoners. She authorized the use of deadly force if needed. Jack proceeded to repeat Juliet's hidden video message in front of Tom and a semi-conscious Ben. Jack agreed to give Juliet three minutes with Ben, during which Tom formally introduced himself to Jack. After the conversation, Juliet told Jack to finish the surgery and repair the damage to Ben, and that she would help Kate and Sawyer escape. Jack finished the surgery, and hears the story back from Kate over a transceiver. While he nicked Ben's artery during the surgery, he used the same fear recovery tactic from the story to save Ben's life. He also told Kate not to come back after him.
Afterwards, Jack demanded that Juliet repeat what Ben told her during the three minutes. Juliet confessed she had been on the Island for over 3 years and Ben promised she could finally go home if his life was saved and she helped Kate and Sawyer escape. ("Not in Portland")
Jack was then moved to Sawyer's cage, and refused to help either Juliet or Ben any more. Later that night Isabel came to Jack and took him back inside the station to ask him questions concerning Juliet's desire to see Ben dead. Jack obeyed, but lied on behalf of Juliet.
Jack, then realized that Juliet killed Danny to save Sawyer and Kate, then requested a meeting with Ben. In the operations room, Jack explained to Ben that his (Ben's) infection is serious and needs treatment, but also requested that Ben relent from executing Juliet. Ben did so, but sent word that Juliet should be marked instead. After these events had transpired, Jack and Juliet met again and Jack tended to her wound (the fresh mark). Jack was then taken to the Hydra Island shore, where he joined the Others on their return to the Barracks. ("Stranger in a Strange Land")
At some point in his stay at The Barracks, Jack and Ben play chess in Ben's house. Ben expresses his regret that Jack is leaving. He affirms that he intends to honor their agreement, but suggests that the Island may decide otherwise. Ben also asserts that if Jack would leave, the day might come that he would want to return again. Jack disagrees and makes an aggressive chess move. Ben immediately retaliates with a defensive "castle" move. ("King of the Castle")
Later, Kate snuck in and talked to Jack in what appeared to be the barracks recreational center, telling her that he had made a deal with Ben to leave the Island and that he planned to come back for her. ("The Man from Tallahassee")
After the Others left the Barracks, Kate found Jack lying unconscious in his house. He woke up and Kate told him that the Others had left. They left the house and found Juliet and Sayid. Sayid told Jack that Juliet could not come with them, but Jack says, "She was left behind, too." ("Left Behind")
Jack took Juliet back to the camp and said she is under his protection. After she apparently cured Claire and gained the survivor's trust, Jack brought her equipment in order to get her started at the beach camp. ("One of Us")
Juliet woke up Jack in his tent to have a heart-to-heart talk with him. She told him that his friends' distrust of her was justified; she was still working for Ben in order to let him know which women at the beach camp were pregnant, so he could take them. Jack questioned her motives, as she had wanted to get on the submarine so badly, and Juliet's answer was that she didn't get off; she was still there. She described to Jack of having seen Sun's baby inside of her, and that she was tired of living Ben's dream. ("Operation: Sleeper")
Later, Jack and Juliet were sitting on the beach when Kate approached them, wanting to talk to Jack alone. During the following argument it emerged that many of the survivors no longer trusted Jack and that Desmond, Charlie, Hurley and Jin were concealing Naomi's presence. It also emerges that Jack and Juliet were concealing a secret of their own. Juliet wanted to tell Kate but Jack insisted "Not yet". ("The Brig")
The following night, Jack and Juliet arrived at a beach gathering, where Sayid was giving a speech about his distrust of them both. Jack told his fellow survivors that he knew about Juliet being a mole, and that they were devising a plan to do away with the Others once and for all. ("The Man Behind the Curtain")
Jack revealed to the camp that he, Rousseau, and Juliet had been planning to use dynamite from the Black Rock to lay a trap for the Others. When it was revealed that the Others were coming sooner than expected they decided to evacuate most of the Losties to the radio tower. ("Greatest Hits")
Jack set off with the group, towards the radio tower, while three of the survivors remained behind to spring the trap. As night fell, from a distance they noticed that only two (out of three) sets of dynamite had exploded, and though this led Rose, Sun and some others to want to go back, Jack convinced everyone to continue with the journey. When Juliet and Sawyer announced that they were returning to the beach with or without Jack's approval, he shared a short kiss with Juliet, as Kate looked on. He then told Kate that Sawyer was only trying to protect her, by going with Juliet, and then confessed that he loves her. This visibly seemed to take a weight off his shoulders. A short time later, the group's path was intercepted by Ben and Alex, and Ben requested a private audience with Jack. He said that Naomi was not who she claimed to be, and that if Jack did not bring him her satellite phone, everyone on the island would die. When he did not cooperate, Ben ordered Ryan to kill Sayid, Jin and Bernard (whom they had captured back at the Beach), but Jack let this happen for the good of the rest of the group (it is later revealed that they are not dead). He proceeded to physically assault Ben, and dragged him back to the rest of the group.
When they reached the radio tower, Locke appeared and threw a knife which appeared to kill Naomi. Then though he was being held at gunpoint by John, Jack called Naomi's boat, to the rest of the survivors' delight. A man named Minkowski answered the phone, and told Jack someone was on the way. Jack, relieved, thought that he had saved everyone. ("Through the Looking Glass, Part 1")
Season 4 (Days 93-97)
With optimism in the air, Jack and Kate discuss their imminent rescue. Jack promises that if he sees Locke he will kill him. At this point they receive an incoming call from the sat phone. Minkowski informs them that their signal is weak and wants them to readjust it. Jack offers to do so but Minkowski asks for Naomi. Not wanting to reveal that Naomi is dead, Jack tells Minkowski that she is looking for firewood. He tells Minkowski that he will try and find her, but when he turns around Naomi is gone. Rousseau finds a trail of blood which she, Jack and a captive Ben prepare to follow. At the same time Kate informs Jack that she has found a separate trail and thinks Naomi may be trying to trick them. Jack says that Naomi is injured and is not thinking about creating dummy trails. Kate seemingly agrees, hugs Jack and, unbeknownst to him, steals the satellite phone.
Jack, Rousseau and Ben follow a false trail, and when the trail ends Jack realizes that the phone is missing: it has been taken by Kate, as revealed by Ben. Jack then goes back on his footsteps with Ben and Rousseau. Shortly after, the three arrive at the cockpit where the others survivors are, including Locke. Jack, who has previously told Kate he intends to murder Locke, sneaks up on him, knocks him to the ground, grabs the gun and aims at Locke's head. Locke says, "You're not going to shoot me," and Jack pulls the trigger. The gun clicks on an empty chamber. Jack begins to beat Locke and needs to be pulled off by other survivors. After a short speech by Locke where he states that the people who want to live should come with him, Jack says that Locke is insane and that only crazy people would follow him. He adds that Locke always attempted to prevent their rescue. Jack believes that no one will go with Locke. But ultimately, Hurley, following Charlie's message, sides with Locke. Jack is left speechless and says nothing. Other castaways, such as Claire, join Locke. Jack also allows Ben to go with John. Locke's group then leaves.Later, Jack and Kate are looking into the nose of the plane, reminiscing about Charlie and their trip to the cockpit. They hear a noise, which Kate initially mistakes for thunder, but which becomes clearer as the sound of a helicopter. They move into a clearing as a spotlight begins to stab down at them. They see a helicopter above, flying somewhat erratically. Something drops from the helicopter. They run towards it and see a parachutist. The parachutist removes his helmet and on seeing them asks, "Are you Jack?" ("The Beginning of the End")
Jack and Kate introduced themselves and learned that the parachutist is a man named Daniel Faraday. Jack gives Daniel the satellite phone and allows him to open communication with Minkowski. However, Jack becomes suspicious when Minkowski refuses to discuss details over speaker phone. His suspicion is further solidified when he sees that Daniel is carrying a firearm. Nevertheless, Jack and Kate decide to play things out and help Faraday find his colleagues who were lost during the apparent helicopter crash, but can be tracked by GPS signals on their parachutes. Eventually, the group comes upon a metal biohazard box containing gas masks and red bags that was dropped from the helicopter to stabilize the weight. Jack begins asking questions, but Daniel remains reluctant to give any answers.
Eventually, Jack and the group find Miles, another member of the freighter. However, things become hostile between Jack and Miles when Miles suspects Jack's people of killing Naomi. Miles then demands to see the body. Once he performs a spiritual ritual, he accepts Jack and Kate's credibility. Nevertheless, Miles takes them hostage. It in then that Sayid and Juliet rescue Jack and Kate and takes Daniel and Miles hostage. The four then hurry to the next signal, only to find it is attached to Vincent. Jack realizes that Locke captured the person whom the transceiver belonged to. The group then finds Frank Lapidus and the Helicopter (still in flying condition). Eventually, the frieghters become aggressive at Juliet's presences, claiming she is one of the island natives and knows Ben. Jack intervenes and protects Juliet, but Miles continues to demand that they find Ben. ("Confirmed Dead")
Sayid finds the picture of Desmond and Penny on Naomi's body, and shows it to Jack. Jack asks Juliet to go to the beach and get Desmond. He later asks to go with Sayid to reclaim Charlotte, but Sayid tells him that he would not be useful in negotiating with Locke, considering how Jack nearly killed him in their last meeting. Jack and Kate talk, and Jack tells Kate that she should go with Sayid to find Charlotte. After Sayid, Miles, and Kate leave, Jack watches Daniel perform several various experiments. When Sayid and Charlotte return without Kate, Jack is visibly hurt. ("The Economist")
Jack, Juliet, Daniel, and Charlotte return to the beach, where he informs everyone of where Desmond and Sayid are, and where Kate is. Sun questions him if Locke could be correct, which Jack denies. Sun then asks why Kate stayed with Locke. Jack then spends some time trying to contact the freighter with the satellite phone. He asks Charlotte, and she dials an emergency line, where Regina tells them that Sayid and thre rest haven't arrived at the freighter yet. ("Eggtown")
Jack again asks what happened to the helicopter, and an exasperated Charlotte again says that she does not know. After Juliet observes that Charlotte doesn't seem worried about it, Daniel suggests that time may move differently on the island than off it, confusing Jack. Daniel reassures him that everything will be fine if Frank stayed on the correct bearing; otherwise there could be "side-effects." A short time later, Sayid finally phones Jack from the freighter, informing him of Desmond's strange behavior. Dan tells Jack that some people can get "confused" coming and going from the island. Jack then allows Dan to speak to Desmond and give him instructions. ("The Constant")
Later that night, Jack discovers that Daniel and Charlotte have disappeared. He questions Juliet, who hasn't seen them; Jin reveals that he saw them going into the jungle, but didn't think to tell anyone since Jack said they were friends. Jack then organizes a search party; he, Juliet, and Sun and Jin (with Vincent) all head into the jungle in different directions with torches. Jack comes across Juliet and Harper in a heated conversation; Harper suggests that he go with Juliet to stop Dan and Charlotte, then disappears into the jungle. Juliet begs for his help, but is reluctant to give him much information, other than that their destination is the Tempest and that Harper was her therapist. The next day, Jack and Juliet have lost the trail, but find Kate, unconscious. She tells them she ran into Dan and Charlotte, and when Juliet sets out on her own to continue the search, Kate helps Jack find the Tempest station; they discuss why she stayed at the Barracks. They arrive at the Tempest just in time to see Juliet and Charlotte exiting the station; Charlotte claims they saved the lives of everyone on the island. Kate is skeptical and goes back inside with Charlotte to verify, but Jack believes her and stays outside with Juliet. Juliet then confides in Jack that Ben had sent Harper to her with instructions to kill Charlotte and Dan. When Jack observes that Ben could not likely have done this, since he's being held captive by Locke, Juliet is dismissive of this. She says that the freighter folks are there to wage war against Ben, but that they will lose, and when that happens, Jack needs to be away from her, since Ben thinks she is his and knows how she feels about Jack. Jack kisses her tenderly, and says, "He knows where to find me." He and Juliet then share a hug. ("The Other Woman")
After the Island
Later, Jack meets Hurley at a mental institute. After exchanging pleasantries and playing basketball, Jack mentions he may grow a beard to conceal his identity. Hurley accuses Jack of checking up on him to make sure he hasn't revealed the Oceanic 6's secret and insists that they have to go back to the island. An idea that Jack is not to keen to agree upon. Hurley also apologizes to Jack for following Locke to the Barracks when the group split up in anticipation of the arrival of the freighter. ("The Beginning of the End")
Sometime after this, Jack testifies during Kate's trial, saying that there were only eight people who survived the crash, and that two of those eight died. He claimed to have never met the marshal, and he denied his love for Kate.
He meets her after the trial, and tells her that he lied, and that he really does love her. He doesn't want to come back with her to her house, and Kate gathers that this is because of her child, Aaron. Jack asks her if she wants to get coffee instead, but she tells him no, that she will only start seeing him if he is acceptant of Aaron. ("Eggtown")
Sometime after these events, post-island life has driven Jack into a depression, and he spends most of his spare time drinking, examining maps and geography books, and using the golden pass given to him by Oceanic Airlines to fly back and forth across the Pacific Ocean, hoping one of the planes he gets onto would crash, either returning him to the Island or killing him.
On the night of April 5, 2007, while flying back to L.A., Jack reads a newspaper article that deeply upsets him and causes him to later call Kate (who has also left the Island). Kate does not answer, and Jack, in his distraught state, contemplates suicide by leaping from a bridge near L.A. At that moment, a young woman, distracted by the sight of Jack about to jump, crashes her car on the bridge, and Jack is forced to postpone his suicide attempt and rescue the passengers.
Later, after successfully rescuing the family that crashed, Jack is visited by Sarah (now pregnant and re-married). She tries to make sure that Jack is okay, then leaves, noting that she has come only because she is still Jack's emergency contact. Jack asks for a ride home, but Sarah explains that it would be "inappropriate" for them to ride in the same car.
An obviously unwell and still distraught Jack asks Dr. Hamill to allow him to perform the surgery on the survivor of the car crash, who has suffered a spinal injury, but Dr. Hamill refuses, telling Jack he has earned a rest, calling him "a hero twice over."
Jack visits a funeral home somewhere in LA, to attend the funeral services for the person mentioned in the newspaper article. Seeing that no one else is there, Jack asks the mortician if he has missed the funeral, but the mortician explains there has not been a funeral, only a viewing, and Jack is the only one who has come. When asked whether he is friend or family to the deceased, Jack replies "neither."
After failing to get more painkillers by impersonating his father at a pharmacy, Jack goes to the hospital to steal drugs. Dr. Hamill confronts Jack about his problems, and Jack lashes back, asking him to get his father "down here" and see which of them is more drunk.
Finally, Jack manages to reach Kate and asks to see her. Jack drives to the airport moments before Kate arrives. Kate remarks on his deeds at the bridge, but soon expresses her reluctance to be there. Jack shows Kate the article he saw in the paper and then tells her what his life has been like since leaving the Island. Kate explains that she has to leave before Aaron starts wondering where she is and begins to walk away. Jack then starts shouting that they "have to go back", but Kate leaves nonetheless. ("Through the Looking Glass, Part 2")
- Jack isn't on Jacob's list.
- As de facto leader, Jack has resorted to some extreme measures to protect the crash survivors. This includes sanctioning the torture of Sawyer (who he believed to have Shannon's asthma medication), setting up the ambush of Ethan Rom, holding Ben hostage to trade for Walt, engaging in a risky attempt to recover Walt, holding Ben's life hostage during surgery to allow his friends to escape, and refusing to bring the phone to Ben which resulted in Jin, Sayid, and Bernard's "deaths".
- In the commentary track on the Season 1 DVD, the producers explained that the character of Jack as the de facto leader of the survivors was intended to be killed off in "Pilot, Part 1" by the Monster, with Kate becoming the de facto leader. However, ABC executives and advisers to the producers convinced the writers and producers to keep him alive. They reasoned that killing him off, while a novel idea, generated feelings of betrayal, bewilderment, and anger in the audience. Instead, the pilot was written in and killed in Jack's place. Fox's portrayal of Jack as such a likable and noble character that audiences can relate to only helped solidify his survival and importance to the show. [source needed]
- In Lost: Via Domus, his full name is given as Jackson Shephard. However, the game is considered non-canon.
- Jack's episode count so far is 69.
- Jack was the first character to ever have a flashback and a flashforward.
- The first episodes of seasons 1, 2, and 3 featured Jack's flashbacks.
- Jack has had more flashbacks than any other character, with 9. He was also the first character to have a flashforward centered around him, in "Through the Looking Glass, Part 1", giving him a total of 10 centric episodes.
- As of "So It Begins", Jack's mobisode count is 5, which makes him one of the two most appearing mobisode character, along with Michael with 5,also.
- He has a tattoo on his left shoulder that translates to: "Hawk in the expansive sky" or "Eagles high up cleaving the sky". According to Isabel in "Stranger in a Strange Land", the tattoo literally translates as "He walks amongst us but he is not one of us."
- He has another tattoo on his left forearm that appears to be a large number 5 with a compass dial around it. The five may represent when he conquered his fear during an emergency by "letting the fear in", but only for five seconds. ("Pilot, Part 1")
Abilities / Skills
- He has taken some flying lessons.
- Jack learned to play poker in Phuket, Thailand, and can spot cheating and sleight-of-hand. He used this skill on the Island to gain goods from other survivors.
- He uses a pen to complete crossword puzzles -- a rare practice even amongst crossword enthusiasts, which shows his confidence/intellect.
- He has a good memory. He remembered the Numbers after hearing them only once from Desmond, and remembered them accurately enough to correct Locke's faulty memory. He also remembered Desmond from the stadium before Desmond remembered him, and the combination to the gun vault after only hearing it once.
- Jack Shephard's name could be a reflection of his position among the Losties. A shepherd is someone who guides and leads a flock, in the same way that Jack has become the de facto leader of the Losties.
- "Jack Shepard" is the name of the serial killer in the movie Frequency, which stars Elizabeth Mitchell.
- "Jack Sheppard" is the name of a notorious English criminal (1702-24), who is notable for his daring escapes from prison.
- "Jack" is the name of one of the main characters in Lord of the Flies.
- "Jack" is a common nickname of people named "John", as in the first name of Jack's polar opposite on the series, John Locke (an example being John F. Kennedy was sometimes called Jack Kennedy).
- For fan theories about these unanswered questions, see: Jack Shephard/Theories
- In the first episode, why was he so far away from the crash when he woke up?
- Why was Jack violent with Achara?
- Why did he need the tattoo so badly?
- When exactly in his past was he in Thailand?
- How does he feel toward Juliet?
- When exactly in his past did he take flying lessons?
- Do his true feelings lie with Juliet or Kate?
Flashforward Unanswered Questions
- How and when does Jack leave the island?
- Whose funeral did he go to?
- What happened that made him think they need to go back (to the island)?
- What has he been lying about following his return to the US?
- Why did he ask the chief of surgery "to get his father "down there" when his father died years ago?
- When does Jack begin to regret leaving the Island?
- Why does Jack (and the other Oceanic 6) lie, everytime the Island is brought up ?
- Why doesnt Jack want to see Aaron?
- Is Jack aware that he is Aaron's half uncle?