"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. He has control issues and trouble dealing with situations that he cannot fix. However, his attitude of solving problems through reason has given him the ability to function well in crisis. He 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, and had been becoming close to Ana-Lucia, prior to her death.

Before the Island

Jack as a child

Born in 1967, Jack Shephard is the son of 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 vainly attempting to rescue his friend, Marc Silverman, from the older boy's accomplice. Jack later explained the cause of his injuries to his intoxicated father, who anecdotally informed him, over a glass of whiskey in apparent contrast between parent and child, of his (Christian's) ability to cope with the consequences of difficult life and death decisions. Concluding somewhat ambiguously, Jack was then advised not to attempt to be a hero because of the failure inherent in such a decision. ("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")

Jack's earliest flashback so far (most likely summer of 2000) Jack was sojourning in Thailand on a holiday to relax and to have some time off from his stressful job as a spinal surgeon. During his holiday he met a mysterious woman named Achara who he occasionally slept with and befriended. Jack however grew suspicious of her and decided to follow her to her place of work during the night. After Achara told him she sees people and tattoos what she interprets their spirits as being, Jack strangely grew forceful and insisted she tell him what she sees, Achara turned very emotional and told Jack she saw him as a leader who although strong can cause him to be unhappy, Jack then insisted she tattoo him. Achara warned their would be consequences, Jack however prevailed. The next day when Jack emerged from his tent on the beach, the people who he had befriended earlier attacked him angrily and beat him up after seeing the tattoo then screamed at him to leave and to never return, as Jack struggled to get up he saw Achara sadly standing a few meters away. ("Stranger in a Strange Land")

At around 8:10 AM on an unknown date in 2001, Jack, while working in St. Sebastian Hospital's ER, was presented with two severely injured victims of a head-on car-crash between two S.U.V.s, one whom was Adam Rutherford, fellow Oceanic Flight 815 survivors Shannon Rutherford and Boone Carlyle's father and step-father, respectively. The other, whom Jack chose to save at the older man's expense, was his future wife Sarah Shephard, whose spine had been severely damaged in the accident. Jack became convinced that surgery would not alleviate the paralysis his patient had received as a result of her injuries and, upon Sarah's inquiries regarding what had happened, Dr. Shephard opted to forgo positive bedside manner in favor of a more realistic diagnosis. A nearby Christian Shephard overheard this and advised his son to be more optimistic in his dealings with patients. A short time after, Jack informed Sarah's then fiance Kevin of the extent of her injuries, which appeared to cause the latter to question whether he wanted to continue his relationship with Sarah, a fact which annoys Jack. While preparing for surgery on his patient, Jack overstepped his professional relationship with Sarah, promising to fix her, although he realized this and returned to work. After what he believed to have been an unsuccessful surgery, Jack injured his ankle trying to outrun then stranger Desmond Hume during an exercise routine in an otherwise empty stadium, prompting the Scotsman to stop his routine and come to the doctor's aid. Desmond intuitively guessed that Jack was worried about a female patient of his and, after giving the latter some advice regarding his ankle, hypothetically questioned whether Jack had really failed to fix her. As he left, Desmond provided Jack with some apparently homographic advice to "lift it up." While ostensibly referring to the latter's ankle, this phrase appears to have a more philosophical meaning. Desmond also promised to see Jack "in another life." After the operation, Jack tearfully informed Sarah of his failure to reverse the damage caused by her car accident, although he soon learned, as a result of her regained ability to wiggle her toes and feel pressure in her legs, that he had indeed fixed her, as Desmond had promised. ("Man of Science, Man of Faith")

Jack and Sarah, on their wedding day

Some time later, likely in 2003, Jack and his childhood friend and now best man Marc Silverman, bought tuxedos together for the former's upcoming wedding to Sarah, at which Silverman was to introduce the bride. Jack attempted to allay his friend's fears, however Silverman had already prepared himself for the occasion, planning to drink heavily beforehand. Indeed, Silverman claimed that 8 beers ought to calm his nerves enough. At some time prior to Jack's wedding, he was present at what may have been a rehearsal for the actual event. At this rehearsal, his wife tells him that he is both heroic and highly committed. A short time later, Jack conversed with his fiance while playing a duet on a piano in the restaurant of the hotel in which the couple's wedding was to be held. During this conversation, Sarah attempted to calm Jack's nerves by downplaying the significance of the wedding vows which they had both promised to write. Later that night, while near the hotel's pool, Jack's was joined by his newly arrived father, to whom he confided his difficulties writing his vows, as well as his fears that he only married Sarah because he had saved her life two years prior. Christian did not allay these fears directly, rather choosing to tell his son of the latter's ability to remain absolutely committed. However, it was Christian's opinion that because of this, Jack is "not good at letting go." During his 2003 wedding, at which his mother is not present, Jack, having been unable to write his vows, improvises them quite well, telling Sarah of his believe that rather than him having fixed her, she fixed him, and of his resulting unconditional love for her. ("Do No Harm")

In late 2003 (early December), Jack and his father worked on a wealthy Italian patient named Angelo Busoni who had, after being diagnosed with a spinal tumor, chose to attend St. Sebastian Hospital because of the apparent miracle Jack had performed on his now wife, Sarah Shephard. Christian Shephard, who was at that time Chief-of-Surgery at the hospital, believed that 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, coupled with what his father believed was his dangerous level of association with Busoni's daughter and translator Gabriela, quickly began to put a strain on his relationship with his wife. After his patient's death as a result of heart failure a few months later on the operating table, Jack and a grieving Gabriela shared a kiss, after which Jack, despite thoughts to the contrary, resolved to remain with his wife. Following this encounter, Jack confessed to his wife what happened and she, in turn, told him that she had taken a pregnancy test, which, although negative, had caused her to choose to leave her husband, on whom she had been cheating. Despite Jack's desires to fix his mistakes - or indeed because of them - Sarah maintained her conviction, citing Jack's compulsive obsession for fixing things as the major catalyst for her desire for divorce. ("The Hunting Party")

Christian confronted by Jack at the AA meeting

About a couple of months after the collapse of Jack's marriage, (February 2004) he began stalking his estranged wife, waiting at least once outside the kindergarten at which it is likely she worked. Enraged with jealousy, Jack bitterly contested his divorce and became obsessed with discovering the identity of her lover. At some point during the divorce proceedings, Jack fired his lawyer and offered Sarah all of his possessions in exchange for the name of her new lover - a demand which she promptly ignored. Later, having somehow acquired her cell phone, Jack began calling all of Sarah's contacts, convinced that one of them was the man with whom she was now involved. When Sarah called the cell phone of Jack's father Christian in Jack's presence, Jack began to believe that it was Christian who had been having an affair with Sarah. Upon asking Christian why Sarah would be calling him, Christian demanded that his son let his obsession with her go. Ignoring this, Jack repeated his question, to which his father replied that she was concerned with Jack's obsession - to which Jack replied that, despite being "a drunk", his father would not know what it is to be obsessive. Later, while discussing a patient's treatment with the nurse who treated John Locke after his kidney-donation, Jack overheard Christian laughing while on the phone to what he believed was his wife. Later, Jack followed his father to The Lynford Hotel and barged into an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in which the latter was involved. After a brief confrontation in which Jack demands to see his father's cell phone and mocks his father's achievement of staying sober for fifty days, Jack outright accused Christian of sleeping with his wife. Shortly after, Jack physically attacked his father, resulting in his arrest and subsequent placement in a jail cell, until he was bailed out by his former wife, who had been informed of Jack's incarceration by an extremely drunk Christian Shephard. Jack, by his father's descent back into alcoholism, resumed probing Sarah for information regarding the new man she was seeing. Sarah refused to give up this information and left the building. Jack, however, chased her outside and, seeing a man standing by a car across the street, asked if it was with him that Sarah was now involved, to which she replied that it didn't matter, but that Jack should be happy that he once again has something to fix. ("A Tale of Two Cities")

Jack explaining to Chrissy why it is so important to load his father's body onto the plane.

In July of 2004, while working at St. Sebastian hospital, Jack was called into a surgery by one of the operating nurses, who had observed his obviously intoxicated father mistakenly cut the hepatic artery of a patient on whom he had been operating. This patient, Jack was to later learn, had been early stages of pregnancy at the time of the surgery. Taking over his father's role as surgeon-of-record, Jack attempted to rectify his error; however, despite resealing the woman's artery, his patient's rapid loss of blood and resulting cardiac arrest resulted in her death. After the surgery, a confrontation ensued between the two Shephards, in which Christian implied that his son had no right barging into his surgery. Jack, however, 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 accompanied his father during the surgery, but in spite of their "most valiant efforts," the woman 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 signing the document. 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, causes Jack to later 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 mother Margo, Jack traveled to Australia in search of his father, despite their lack of communication in the previous few months. After searching the Sydney hotel in which his father had been staying, finding his wallet, some alcohol and a collection of pills, Jack later learns that his father had died due to an alcohol-induced heart-attack. After retrieving his body from the morgue in which he had temporarily been stored, Jack attempted to load his father's body onto the same plane on which he was to return to America, though he had trouble getting the casket on the plane because he did not make 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 Christian's 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 had another in the airport bar with fellow passenger Ana-Lucia Cortez, who was assigned to seat 42F, in which Jack mentioned his father's death, as well as the fact that he had once been married. The two promised to have another drink on the plane, before Cortez was called away on an urgent call. ("Exodus, Part 1")

Jack on the plane

Jack was seated 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 passed by a hurried Charlie Pace, prompting Jack to converse fellow survivor and aviophobic Rose Nadler while her husband Bernard was in the bathroom. After Nadler's visible reaction to some light turbulence, Jack attempted to allay her fears; however, shortly after this, Flight 815 began to shake more violently, before making a sharp, uncontrolled descent. Due to the subsequent loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks fell from the ceiling of the plane, which Jack quickly put on. Despite this, Jack blacked out at some point before the plane's tale separated from the mid-section. ("Pilot, Part 1")

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 [Jack]". ("Pilot, Part 1")

On the Island

Season 1 (Days 1-44)

Jack after the crash, running in the jungle towards the beach

After waking up alone in a bamboo thicket near the site of the plane crash. Laying there in the jungle, Vincent ran past and Jack got up, with a bottle of vodka from his jacket pocket. Jack began to run through the forest to the beach and heard screams from the beach. Jack ran to the crash site, and saw a man crushed underneath one of the plane's detached landing wheels. He told Locke and other survivors to help him move it. Just after, Jack runs over to Claire crying for help, when suddenly a man is sucked into the engine and makes it blow up. Jack shielded her from the explosion and asked Hurley to look after her, So he could save Rose via CPR, when her heart stopped. After saving Rose, Jack saved Claire from being crushed by the wing and falling debris.

After wandering through the wreckage, Jack takes a sewing kit from a suitcase on the beach and moves away from the wreckage to examine a wound on his left side. While looking at it, Kate wonders by and Jack asks Kate to sew his wound. Seemingly terrified, Kate is calmed by Jack during the process by listening to the story of his first solo surgical procedure, where he conquered his fear during an emergency by "letting the fear in," but only for five seconds. The next day Jack decided to go to the cockpit, with Kate and Charlie. When they got their, they climbed up to the Cockpit and found the Pilot alive. While in the cockpit, the monster is heard outside, and pulls the Pilot out. Quickly Kate, Jack and Charlie run out, however Kate and Charlie loses Jack. Finally they find him and find the Pilot dead in the tree. After returning back to camp, Jack stopped a fight with Sawyer and Sayid. Afterwards Jack and Hurley tended Edward Mars, and told Jack she was dangerous. ("Pilot, Part 1")

Jack and Hurley help Claire.

While Jack tended Edward, Jack found out about Kate. After Jack knew he couldn't save him, Kate told Jack to kill him, however Jack replied he's not a murder. Jack euthanized Edward Mars after a botched "mercy-killing" attempt by Sawyer. ("Tabula Rasa")

After wild boars started to eat the dead bodies, Jack decided to burn the bodies. While sorting out the funeral and dead bodies, Boone asked Jack to talk to Rose. Jack talked to Rose about Bernard (Who was in the Tail-Section), Rose told Jack Bernard was still alive when Jack saw a man standing in the jungle. ("Walkabout")

On day 6, Jack saved Boone from drowning after Boone failed to rescue a drowning woman, Joanna. After returning Boone to the beach, Jack swam back out to save the woman but failed to get to her in time. Later, Jack derided himself in front of Kate for being unable to rescue her. As Jack dealt with the disparity of the survivor's situation, he began to see visions of his father on the Island, although it is not known whether this vision was real or hallucinatory. Jack ran after him, into the jungle and nearly fell off a cliff, however Locke saved him. Jack told Locke about seeing stuff and Locke compared it to the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland. He later found his father's coffin in the caves, but not the body. The caves that Jack discovered quickly led to division between the survivors and Jack. Jack told everyone at the beach "If we can't live together, we're going to die alone." ("White Rabbit")

Those who sided with Sayid and Sawyer refused to leave the beach in favor of the freshwater and shelter of the caves. Still, Jack succeeded in moving a large group of the survivors from the beach to the caves. Jack and Locke's views on handling the situations differed and often led to fights between the two. However, Jack was grateful to Locke after he was saved from almost falling down a cliff.

When Jack became trapped by a cave-in, the survivors began a rescue attempt led by Michael. He was eventually rescued by Charlie, who was the only one small enough to go in and rescue him and with no emotional attachments. ("The Moth")

After Sawyer had beaten Boone because he was riffling through his belongings, Jack tried to solve the situation as the leader of the group. Boone was adamant that Sawyer had been stealing from the wreckage and had stolen Shannon's inhaler, among other items. After Jack unsuccessfully demanded the inhalers from Sawyer, Kate asked the apparent thief what he wanted in return for the inhalers, to which he replied, "A kiss ought to do it". Kate denied. Later, with Jack's approval, Sayid tied Sawyer to a tree and tortured him for answers, revealing that he had tortured people many times before. Sawyer finally agreed to give up the inhalers, but only to Kate. He again said he will hand over the medication if she kissed him, which she reluctantly did, only to find that he did not have it after all. Sayid becomes enraged and attacked Sawyer, stabbing him in the arm and hitting an artery. Luckily, Jack is there to stop the bleeding and save Sawyer's life. ("Confidence Man")

At the caves, a man called Sullivan told Jack about his rash. Afterwards Hurley told Jack everyone has to relax. Jack was first to know Hurley golf course, and later everyone else watched Jack play against Sawyer, and Jack beats him. ("Solitary")

After Claire had a fear-provoking night at the caves, she and Charlie thought that it was not only a nightmare, but something bad happened to her. Jack many times denied this and rationalized his belief attributing it to the stress and emotional imbalance of her pregnancy on the Island. At the caves, Jack tried to tell Claire, with tact, that he thought she should take some sedatives. Claire saw past this, realizing that Jack thought she was making everything up. Packing her things, she decided to go back to the beach. Later, after further considering her past events with her psychic, Malkin, Claire suddenly started to feel better, and Charlie remembered that Jack told him about stress causing a false labor. The relationship between the two was now completely mended, and they decided to head back to the caves. ("Raised by Another")

Jack, unable to let Charlie go

After finding out about Ethan, Jack ran off into the jungle, followed by Locke, Kate and Boone. While searching Kate and Jack went another than Boone and Locke. In his search for Claire and Charlie, Jack was confronted by Ethan before finding an almost dying Charlie, whom Ethan had hanged in a tree. Unable to let Charlie go, Jack ignored Kate's pleas and kept on trying to revive him by continuously pounding on his chest, until Charlie was finally able to breathe. ("All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues")

After Kate had found the 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, however, claimed she only feared the guns would fall into Sawyer's hands. The unbelieving Jack then told her that he would only help if they opened the case together, to which Kate agreed. Kate and Jack headed to where Mars was buried, and dug up his corpse. 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. Jack then grabbed her hand and demanded her to open it. Kate opened her hand, revealing the key inside. Kate tried to explain but the angered Jack refused and walked away with the key. Elsewhere, Jack approached Sawyer and asks him for the case. When Sawyer initially protested, Jack threatened to take him off his medication, after inducing fear in him about the possible complications. Sawyer reluctantly handed Jack the case, and asked him if Kate revealed what's inside. Jack, however, lied and said no. Before giving him the case, Sawyer warned Jack that Kate was lying about whatever reasons she told him. Back at the caves, Kate and Jack opened the case together, as he insisted. 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. Kate opened the envelope, and pulled out a small toy airplane. She then told him that it belonged to the man she killed. ("Whatever the Case May Be")

On day 24, while walking through the jungle, Jack found Hurley who then talked to Jack about his stomach aches. On the beach Jack and Charlie made a fire on the beach and Jack asked Charlie for his opinion on Locke. ("Hearts and Minds")

Jack's next challenge came on day 40, when Locke brought a badly injured Boone to him. He wanted to amputate Boone's leg, but had a last-minute change of heart when Boone awoke and told him not to; prior to this, Sun had tried to stop him. Jack replied with "Don't tell me what I can't do." Jack took the failure of letting Boone die hard, and held Locke responsible for Boone's death. Even after Locke explained what actually happened, this (combined with the fact that Locke was keeping the Hatch a secret) caused Jack to distrust Locke, and he has had trouble trusting Locke ever since. ("Do No Harm")

Jack and John after they open the Hatch.

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. Later, Jack, Kate, Locke, and Hurley arrived at the Hatch. They managed to set the dynamite up on the hinge of the Hatch, and were about to set it off when Hurley noticed the appearance of the Numbers on the side. He yelled at them 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)

Jack explains the situation to the survivors.

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.

Jack entering the Swan

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 in 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 Hatch 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.

Jack's relationship with Sawyer also became strained as he competed for Kate's attention, and shared a passionate kiss with her in the jungle. ("What Kate Did")

Jack pointing the gun at Tom.

After Michael locked up Jack and Locke in the armory, Kate and Sawyer came in the Hatch 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")

Jack soon found Michael after he ran out of the jungle, and brought him back to the Hatch, where he and Kate tended to Michael's wounds.

Jack holds Locke so he could not enter the code.

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 hatch, 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")

They rushed back to the Swan when they learned Ana-Lucia was alone in the Hatch with Michael and Ben. 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. ("?")

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. ("Three Minutes")

Michael is forced to tell the truth.

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)

Jack taking Juliet hostage in the Hydra.

After having his blood taken, Jack was put in a room that was once used as an aquarium for sharks and dolphins. Here, Jack met Juliet, a member of the the others who had been assigned to interrogate him.

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")

Jack being transported to the operating room.

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.

Jack blackmailing the Others, during Ben's operation.

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")

Ben and Jack form a truce

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")

After 6 days, Sayid, Kate, Locke and Rousseau discovered the barracks. They saw Jack playing football with Tom, and were under the impression Jack had turned. ("Par Avion")

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")

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 and Juliet kiss

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.

Jack calling rescue

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")

After the Island

Sometime in the near future, Jack has left the Island under unknown circumstances. 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.

Jack sees the crash

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 apparently 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.

A dreamy, post-island Kate.

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 "he" starts wondering where she is and begins to walk away. Jack then starts shouting that they "need to go back", but Kate leaves nonetheless. ("Through the Looking Glass, Part 2")



  • In the opening scene of "Pilot, Part 1", Jack's eye is green. 1
  • Jack isn't on Jacob's list.
  • Michael Keaton was originally cast to play Jack. He left the production after the decision to kill him in the pilot was reversed.
  • The character of Jack as the de facto leader of the survivors was intended to be killed off in "Pilot, Part 1" by Cerberus/The Security System, with Kate taking over as leader. However, ABC executives and advisors to 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.
  • 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". He apparently learned enough about cons from Sawyer to pull one on the Others when they least expected it.
  • Jack has the most socialist viewpoint amongst the Losties, in economic terms. Sawyer, in the first two seasons, held the opposite (capitalist) viewpoint.

Episode statistics

  • Jack's episode count so far is 65.
  • Jack was the first character to ever have a flashback.
  • 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.


Jack's tattoo

Main article: Jack's tattoo
  • 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 "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, spot cheating, and sleight-of-hand, in Phuket, Thailand. He has used this on the island in order to gain goods other survivors.
  • He uses a pen to complete crossword puzzles -- a rare practice even amongst crossword enthusiasts, which shows his confidence/intellect. (Crossword Puzzle)
  • He has an extraordinary 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 hearing it once.

Name references

  • Jack Shephard's name could be a reflection of his position among the Losties. A Shephard is someone who guides and leads a flock, in the same way that Jack has become the de facto leader of the Losties.
  • Jack has a similar surname (although spelled differently) as one of the male leads on Grey's Anatomy, Dr. Derek Shepherd. It is unusual that ABC would allow two main characters to run concurrently (although they were introduced a year apart) with similar last names.
  • 'Jack Shepard' was the name of the serial killer in the movie 'Frequency'[1], which starred Elizabeth Mitchell.
  • 'Jack Sheppard' is also the name of a notorious English criminal (1702-24), who is notable for his daring escapes from prison.

Additional casting

John O'Hara as Young Jack

Unanswered questions

Unanswered questions
  1. Do not answer the questions here.
  2. Keep the questions open-ended and neutral: do not suggest an answer.
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 (uncharacteristically?) violent with Achara? Why did he need the tattoo so badly?
  • When exactly in his past was he in Thailand?
  • When exactly in his past did he take flying lessons?
    • Will we get to see this in one of his flashbacks?

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?

See also