Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Lostaholics Anonymous: Jack

Hello everyone and welcome to this week’s instalment of Lostaholics Anonymous, the place where we Lost fans gather and continue to discuss our favourite aspects of our favourite show.

Before we begin with this week’s meeting I just wanted to mention that I’m continuing to take orders for Finding Lost: Season 6, and am now actually sending out the copies to people (Batcabbage will be the first person to hold a copy outside of North America, and the race is on to see who within North America will be the first to receive theirs!) If you’re interested, the cost is $28.95 CDN if you live in Canada, $28.95 US if you live in the U.S., and $29.95 U.S. for overseas (that’s surface mail, which will probably take 4-6 weeks to get there... if you want it via airmail, it’s $48.95, but I’d go with the surface option if I were you!) You can paypal me at my email account, or just drop me an email if you have any further questions. I’m sticking in 5 bookmarks with each order (one for each of your Finding Lost books) and signing and personalizing each copy.

Otherwise, you can go to Amazon and grab a copy here... and save some money!

OK! So back to the meeting... As mentioned last week, I’m going to start focusing on the characters, and this week we’re going to begin with Jack.

The entire series opened with Jack’s eye, and the moment he became aware of his surroundings, Jack was a hero, leaping up to run to the beach and save everyone he could. He resuscitated Rose, he calmed Claire, he yelled for Hurley and Claire to get out of the way, he called to John Locke and forced him to stand for the first time, he helped Boone busy himself as Boone recovered from the shock of the crash. And then, and only then, did he crawl into the woods to try to deal with his own huge wound on the side of his ribs.

By inadvertently establishing himself as the alpha male, Jack became the one that everyone looked up to, and he didn’t want to be leader, but once he realized that the survival of the people depended on it, he stepped up and accepted the responsibility. The first flashback we get is Jack’s (the first full-length one is Kate’s, but the first person we see on Oceanic Flight 815 is Jack), and the first person we see as a child is Jack. In the first season he had three full flashbacks (White Rabbit, All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues, and Do No Harm) and his flashbacks were featured in the pilot and finale episodes that season. Most of his background focused on the father who dogged him for not having what it took.

In season 1 Jack was mostly a hero, although he had his moments of annoyingness, which early on garnered him some loud detractors. While Jack was no doubt the reason most of the people were alive, he had this holier-than-thou attitude about him that could grate on viewers. (Much of it, unfortunately, can be chalked up to an inconsistency in the writing in the first season.) One week he was pleasant to Kate, and seemed charming and adorable; the next he was in her face, demanding to know her past and dangling the key in front of her and reminding her that it was around HIS neck and SHE couldn’t have it.

In season 2, Jack was defined as the nemesis of John Locke. Locke believed in the island, and had faith that there was a greater force at work. Jack believed no such thing. He argued with John until he was blue in the face, screaming that science was the only thing he believed in, and he wasn’t going to put any stock in faith in a higher power he couldn’t see. Much of his lack of faith stemmed back to his past, and in season 2 those flashbacks focused on those. We saw he’d miraculously saved a woman from being paralyzed, then married her, only to break up with her again when she couldn’t deal with his intensity. Jack was obsessive-compulsive, needing to fix things and doing whatever it took to achieve what he needed to... but in many ways, just as his father said, he simply didn’t have what it took, and was always frustrated.

In season 3, Jack was taken by the Others, and when he saw Kate with Sawyer, he told them to go, and he stayed behind. He seemed to become chummy with them, cozied up to Juliet, and bargained a way off the island... until Locke blew up the sub. Cue Jack vs. Locke, Round 2.

In season 4, Jack broke ties with half the group, taking the other half to the freighter folk, believing they were there to rescue him. He was wrong, but somehow he managed to get off the island with the people he was with, and through flashforwards we saw him make a happy life with Kate... until the guilt of leaving everyone behind finally caught up to him. Jack might have been an alcoholic obsessive person who could never stay in a healthy relationship, but he was a good person. He knew he’d left them behind, he knew that he might have been wrong, and rather than dismissing every single word John Locke had ever said to him... he focused on all of them. He remembered everything Locke told him, and those words began to eat away at him. He began to wonder if maybe the island really WAS a higher power, and that he should have listened to it.

And so... in season 5... he came back.

Zapped back into 1977, Jack at first was very Zen-like, allowing Sawyer to lead, and he to follow. I, like many of the viewers, went back and forth on Jack, but at the core I always wanted him to be happy. I was sad when he was, and with our sympathies and perspectives having been aligned with Jack from the very beginning, it was hard not to want the best for him, regardless of his attitude. (That said... when Pierre Chang said that Jack’s psych profile said he was suited for janitorial work, I thought I would pee myself laughing.) Oh Jack... we love you, but you are SO much fun to make fun of.

Returning to the island took faith, and great courage. Jack had finally believed John Locke was right, and when Daniel showed up and offered the idea of a bomb to reverse everything, Jack went with it. He finally had faith in something that was bigger than him, that didn’t make logical sense but which he believe in with all his heart anyway.

His bomb zapped them back to 2007, where they continued on, and throughout season 6 we see the culmination of Jack’s long journey from denial to faith. He sits with Richard Alpert in the hull of a ship and waits for a stick of dynamite to burn out, because he knows he’s too important to blow up. He helps Desmond because he knows Desmond is important. He drinks the water because he believes his purpose in life is to be the guardian of the Source of the island and all life. He gives up the guardianship because he will instead risk his life to save the island right away, and will die after killing the Man in Black. He’s become the very person John Locke always was, and he didn’t have a miracle to prompt his belief the way John Locke had.

The journey of Jack was an epic one, and one that lay at the core of Lost for all 6 seasons. The show opened with Jack’s eye opening, and closed with his eye closing. I’ve been brief in my rundown of Jack (if you want the REAL recap, check out Finding Lost: Season 6 for a very, very long analysis and summary of the character of Jack, his journey, and the history of his relationship with John Locke).

So now I turn it over to all of you... what did you like about Jack? What did you not like about Jack? What are some of your favourite Jack moments? They could be funny, or poignant, or sad.

49 comments:

Gillian Whitfield said...

I liked how Jack cared about others more than himself for the most part, and how he put the other survivors before himself. Jack even sacrificed himself for his friends in "The End".

The things I didn't like about Jack were his stubborness, and in the compulsion to fix everything. But everyone has their weaknesses.

I loved how it began with Jack, and ended with Jack. The whole story was about Jack from beginning to end, which had I known in season 1, I would have shrugged it off and said, no it isn't, but then, I went back after the finale, and watched the first season to compare it to the final season, and from the beginning it has truly been Jack's story. We've seen him at really good moments and really bad moments, moments where I just want to throttle him and say, "Agh! No Jack! Don't do that!"

I liked Jack more in the later seasons because he had let his guard down, and wasn't afraid to love (Kate) openly, and admit that he's wrong. He's one of those characters that remind me of those sour candies that start out sour, but they you slowly warm up to them.

Gillian Whitfield said...

Continued

My favourite Jack moments from season six include: fighting with Not-Locke, saying goodbye to Kate on the cliffs, his chat with Not-Locke in "The Last Recruit", his scene with Richard in "Dr Linus", the lighthouse scene in "Lighthouse" and the scene on the submarine.

And of course all the scenes from him in "The End", especially the last 15 minutes which always make me tear up. ALWAYS.

And then the janitor scene from season five! LOVE IT.

Marebabe said...

I couldn’t figure out how to approach the epic-ness of Jack Shephard’s story. You summed it up very neatly, Nikki, better than I ever could have. And thank you for asking for specific moments, because that allows us to deal with this huge subject in bite-size chunks!

For now, I want to list some of Jack’s positive qualities. Besides being heroic and brave and self-sacrificing, Jack had INTEGRITY, when he was testifying against his Dad. He was HUMBLE, when he accepted his new job as Dharma Workman. He was TENACIOUS and wouldn’t give up, when he was resuscitating Charlie after Ethan hanged him, and when he gave his all to try to save Boone’s life. He could be COMFORTING, when he calmed Rose’s anxiety through the airplane turbulence, and later when he talked to her on the beach. As Rose said: “You have a nice way about you.” Jack was SMART, and was a worthy opponent for Ben Linus and John Locke. And of course, Jack was in touch with his feelings. Seriously, how many times did we see Jack cry?

Everyone knows that Jack went through a prolonged jerk phase. But even then, I found his character interesting and stayed with him, hoping for his redemption. And I’m sure it’s because we had seen so many of his good qualities. Here was someone worth rooting for! I’m glad that his story turned out well in the end.

scrvet said...

I think the translation of Jack's tattoo says it all. "He walks among us but he is not one of us." He was always an outsider. His dad didn't think he was good enough to be a surgeon. Locke didn't agree with his belief system. Even Jack didn't feel he belonged when Kate and Sawyer were an item. Jack was trying to fix things so he could gain acceptance. Only in Purgatory did he realize he was part of the group. A tragic hero.

sk said...

The Tattoo Episode with Bai Ling. LOL ! A whole episode. Jay-eesh ! Didn't Jack say, "That's what it says, but it's not what it means."

pmfan57 said...

I'm just glad that Jack had Vincent with him at the end, and didn't have to die alone.

Susan said...

Wow Nikki there's almost nothing else to say after your comprehensive summing up!

The thing that made Jack a favorite of mine is a scene that shows how he put up with everything. He had come down from the caves and came across Kate. He made an offhand reference to how he came down to get fish and bring water for the beach Losties. He had whole bunch of people defy his leadership and yet he continued to bring them water instead of telling them to get it themselves. And he put up with their inconsistencies: when Jack had a plan they resisted it, but when an emergency (sometimes nonmedical) happened, it was always, "Where's Jack?"

Favorite Jack scenes include the whole "Sawyer needs glasses" story, beating Sawyer at poker, and Ben's surgery -- first his refusal to help, and then when he did help, he turned into Mr. Surgeon and ordered his CAPTORS around and they just meekly took it.

DavidB226Morris said...

I always liked Matthew Fox as an actor. Party of Five was won of my favorite shows, and Fox really was the standout of a fine cast. I don't know if I'd have followed the show if he hadn't been cast in it (I liked half a dozen of the other actors), but he was a big pull. Matthew Fox was one of the great underplayers of our time, which is a critical skill, and one that so mny scenery chewers won't get past.

That's Fox. Now let me get to Jack. In Finding Lost:Season 5, Nikki elegant sums up John Locke's life journey, showing how sad and empty it was. Jack's life was not as tragic as Locke's but, save for getting thrown out of an eight story window by his father, was nearly as painful.

We all know Jack's daddy issues, how his need to fix things almost always made things worse, how he tried so hard to force the world to take his point of view. But whether we were seeing his past, present or future, he always seemed to be carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. He didn't have a sacred duty, like Buffy did, but no matter where he went he seemed to be under enormous pressure. Most of it he put on himself, but that didn't make it any less intense.

He really was a man of science, which brings up the comparison to Dana Scully, another doctor who was forced to deal with overextenuating supernatural beliefs, while someone else kept telling him to keep his eyes open. I hate to make an X-Files comparison, but I think the major irritation that everybody had with Jack was the same kind of irritant so many people had with Scully's consistent determination to believe everything that could be explained rationally. Even when Scully saw a UFO which she had been held prisoner in by aliens, it took her two years to admit, maybe there was alien life. Put her in the Pacific, and I'll bet she'd have been trying to explain why the island hadn't been moved.

Jack's determination was to be a leader and that brought him to clash with forces he refused to comprehend --- Locke, Ben, Jacob. The sad fact of the matter is while Jack often held the role of leader, he wasn't very good at it. The first four seasons of Lost, almsot every major decision he made was the wrong one.. He didn't think the button controlled everything, he cut a deal with the devil (Ben) to free himself,he believed the freighter was salvation, he thought leaving the island was the right move. Wrong, wrong, wrong. He had all of the burdens of being chosen and none of the prks (not that we saw any on the show) I'm still convinced Jack triggered that bomb not to save people, but to try and live in a world where his world view. wouldn't be shattered.

One of the things that so disappointed me about the final revelations about the sideways world was that I couldn't understand why this world was Jack's purgatory. We saw the world he lived in when the island intervened. No matter where he was, he was spiteful, burdened, alcoholic, and out of his depth. In sideways world, he had a good relationship with his ex-wife; he had a son who he was better father than his was,he seemed able to genuinely make a difference in peoples lives.Considering where JACK was before, I'd consider that closer to heaven than anything Jack had dealt with before.

Jack may not have been a great leader, but he was a hero. We knew that in the first minutes of the pilot; we saw it in his last hours on the island. But Jack could never take that role either. It destroyed his marriage; it was a burden when he returned from the island. No one can be a hero all the time; he knew that better than anyone else. And heroes, as we saw so frequently on Buffy, are often treated with less respect and love than they deserve.

So let's play tribute to Jack Shephard. Theleader, the lead, the hero. I really hope that he has found some peace at last

DavidB226Morris said...

I always liked Matthew Fox as an actor. Party of Five was won of my favorite shows, and Fox really was the standout of a fine cast. I don't know if I'd have followed the show if he hadn't been cast in it (I liked half a dozen of the other actors), but he was a big pull. Matthew Fox was one of the great underplayers of our time, which is a critical skill, and one that so mny scenery chewers won't get past.

That's Fox. Now let me get to Jack. In Finding Lost:Season 5, Nikki elegant sums up John Locke's life journey, showing how sad and empty it was. Jack's life was not as tragic as Locke's but, save for getting thrown out of an eight story window by his father, was nearly as painful.

We all know Jack's daddy issues, how his need to fix things almost always made things worse, how he tried so hard to force the world to take his point of view. But whether we were seeing his past, present or future, he always seemed to be carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. He didn't have a sacred duty, like Buffy did, but no matter where he went he seemed to be under enormous pressure. Most of it he put on himself, but that didn't make it any less intense.

He really was a man of science, which brings up the comparison to Dana Scully, another doctor who was forced to deal with overextenuating supernatural beliefs, while someone else kept telling him to keep his eyes open. I hate to make an X-Files comparison, but I think the major irritation that everybody had with Jack was the same kind of irritant so many people had with Scully's consistent determination to believe everything that could be explained rationally. Even when Scully saw a UFO which she had been held prisoner in by aliens, it took her two years to admit, maybe there was alien life. Put her in the Pacific, and I'll bet she'd have been trying to explain why the island hadn't been moved.

Jack's determination was to be a leader and that brought him to clash with forces he refused to comprehend --- Locke, Ben, Jacob. The sad fact of the matter is while Jack often held the role of leader, he wasn't very good at it. The first four seasons of Lost, almsot every major decision he made was the wrong one.. He didn't think the button controlled everything, he cut a deal with the devil (Ben) to free himself,he believed the freighter was salvation, he thought leaving the island was the right move. Wrong, wrong, wrong. He had all of the burdens of being chosen and none of the prks (not that we saw any on the show) I'm still convinced Jack triggered that bomb not to save people, but to try and live in a world where his world view. wouldn't be shattered.

One of the things that so disappointed me about the final revelations about the sideways world was that I couldn't understand why this world was Jack's purgatory. We saw the world he lived in when the island intervened. No matter where he was, he was spiteful, burdened, alcoholic, and out of his depth. In sideways world, he had a good relationship with his ex-wife; he had a son who he was better father than his was,he seemed able to genuinely make a difference in peoples lives.Considering where JACK was before, I'd consider that closer to heaven than anything Jack had dealt with before.

Jack may not have been a great leader, but he was a hero. We knew that in the first minutes of the pilot; we saw it in his last hours on the island. But Jack could never take that role either. It destroyed his marriage; it was a burden when he returned from the island. No one can be a hero all the time; he knew that better than anyone else. And heroes, as we saw so frequently on Buffy, are often treated with less respect and love than they deserve.

So let's play tribute to Jack Shephard. Theleader, the lead, the hero. I really hope that he has found some peace at last

Rick Rische said...

Whoa, where to start? Jack is, and always was, my favorite character on "Lost". Your summation was great, Nikki. I can't wait to read your longer analysis in your S6 book.

Since the series ended, I've been revisiting certain Jack-centrics to take another look at his character. And what I saw made me a bit sad. Jack was a man who was so rarely at ease with himself. The few times we see a happy-go-lucky Jack, it's rather jarring. (The scene between Jack and his best man Mark in the tux shop in "Do No Harm" comes to mind.) Like you said, "White Rabbit" was a pivotal episode for him, when he takes on the role of leader.
To me, the iconic image of Jack Shephard will always be him trekking through the jungle, wearing his backpack. This became such a familiar sight on the show, it was almost like Indiana Jones and his Fedora. That backpack was a key- what does Jack do? He "carries things around".
Over the course of the series, Jack slowly became a man burdened. There was a somberness that never seemed to leave him. He aged, I think more than any other character. But it came on slowly, and we took it in so subtly that when Matthew Fox appeared on the Kimmel special after the finale, I was shocked to see how young he actually looked after he shed the role! (And was sporting his old buzzcut again) I can't give enough praise to Fox- he really was great as Jack. I finally realized HOW good he was in the finale, when he brought all the disparate "Jacks" we've seen over the series into an integrated whole. Still willful and stubborn, still trying to fix things, but he accepted that this is who he was, and had made peace with himself.

Favorite Jack moments? I've got a million of them, but here's a sampling-

Jack jumping off the Elizabeth to swim back to the island in "The Candidate".

Any scene he has with Sun. I loved the bond between those two characters.

That mesmerizing conversation between Jack and Locke in "White Rabbit".

Reading Alice to Aaron in Kate's house.

I love the small moments, like this exchange between Jack and Kate in "316", about shoes-

KATE: Those don't make much sense for the Island. You might want to consider hiking boots.
JACK: Those were my father's. When I went to pick up his body in Sydney, my dad didn't have any nice shoes. My mother wanted to have the funeral as soon as I landed back in L.A. But I thought, who the hell's gonna see his feet? And so I--I had these old white tennis shoes, and I just said, "Use these. Put these on him." 'Cause he wasn't worth a nice pair of shoes to me. Or the time it would take to go out and get 'em.
KATE: So why don't you get rid of 'em? Why hold on to something that makes you feel sad?

And they really aren't talking about shoes at all. So sweet and sad.

I miss Jack Shephard.

Rick Rische said...

DavidB226Morris- I think the thing to keep in mind about the supposed "happiness" of the sideways world is that it was false. All the things Jack enjoyed there weren't real. David wasn't real. But you made me see that I left a HUGE thing off my list of Jack favorites, and that thing is called "LIGHTHOUSE".

Oh my God, what a great episode!

This episode, I think more than any other in season 6, changed the most after I'd seen the finale. On first viewing, I was puzzled- Jack has a son in this other reality? A piano prodigy who he had grown inexplicably distant from. And like a man in a dream, he chased after David, always two steps behind, never quite catching up....until the end. And Jack heals his relationship with this sensitive, talented kid, healed the way he could never heal his relationship with Christian. Sweet and touching (and Fox was, again, amazing).

Now watch the finale. "Lighthouse" presents a completely different scenario. Jack is dreaming. There is no David. Jack is playing out his life's biggest regret- that his relationship with his father was never repaired before he died. Jack is being the father that Christian never was, but he (through David) was also being the son he himself never was.
Looking back over the course of Jack's story with Christian, he was every bit as responsible for the bitterness and distance between them as Christian was. And here he is in the sideways, trying, trying, trying still, to fix it.

What seemed a strangely happy success story for "Alt Jack" instead becomes an almost unbearably sad portrait of a man trapped in a sea of regrets.

And it makes perfect sense that only Christian himself could be the one to awaken Jack.

Brooke said...

I wouldn't want to ever say that I didn't *like* Jack, but he was really one of my least favorite characters in seasons 1-5. He was uptight, rarely smiled, had zero charm, always made terrible choices, cried a lot. When Sawyer jumped him in "The Incident," I cheered because that was a long time coming! Well, I cheered at first, then as Sawyer just kept pounding him, I found myself saying, "Okay, enough already, don't kill him!"

I guess I felt a little sorry for Jack at that moment. I had no faith that the crazy blow up the bomb plan would work, and I knew he was going to get people hurt and killed.

The turning point for my feelings about Jack came in "Dr. Linus," on the Black Rock with Richard. He did his thinking after "Lighthouse," and now, *finally*, he knew what was what. When he said, "Wanna try another stick," I cheered. The true Jack came out then, the true leader. And he stayed that way until the end, which I really can't even think about without choking up.

I also love sideways Jack's relationship with David. Those two were great together. Too bad David wasn't real, but I digress. :)

LostBoyJack said...

Jack
Nikki, An amazing sum up of the character that really made Lost for me. I am looking forward to reading your Season 6 book! I love the other 5. All of which have major praise for both Jack and Matthew Fox.
I was, however, not one of the viewers who went back and forth on Jack. I was behind him all the way. Even in his lowest moments and even when he ended up doing something wrong. In most cases the audience was behind until there was a negative outcome. I stuck with him regardless.
His was an amazing character to follow. I think very few other Lost characters had the roller coaster ride and attitude extremes that Jack had.
As mentioned before, he was trustworthy and had huge integrity. The total foil to Sawyer in character and a total foil to Locke in belief (until the end).
His underlying desire to fix things is the reason we had great scenes like when he went "Goth" giving his blood to Boone to try and "fix" him. He failed.
Also, when he saved Charlie's life by pounding the living crap out of his chest...He succeeded!
In the sideways he was still trying to fix things.
He had a new Father/Son relationship which he wanted to ensure was not a replication of his relationship with Christian.
He totally ignored Locke's resistance to the new surgery and made inquiries with Bernard to see how he could fix Locke.
Of course, we can't talk about our feelings for Jack without talking about the man who brought him to life; Matthew Fox.
I have always been interested in what Matthew Fox thinks about Jack. Here is a segment from an interview in "Lost Magazine" I thought interesting:-
"Q: Jack has been a perfect study in what happens when a resolute fixer can't make anything actually work the way he wants. Matthew, has your character's inability to control anything in his life on this island been frustrating for you as well?
Matthew Fox : Absolutely. There is no question, but I do think that is his lot in these circumstances. The idea of needing to control, fix, repair and tackle problems with the zeal and intensity he does, I think it's a very male thing. Most men would tell you that, in their relationship with women in their lives, one of the things they get accused of often is attempting to fix things too much. I think you can really generalise the difference between the genders when it comes to when the woman is upset about something, it's very difficult for the male gender to just be there. It translates almost immediately for most men for a need to make it go away.
The defining part of Jack Shephard is connected to "control" - he has an intense need to control the circumstances in which he exists and to fix the problems that come into it...."
..straight from horse's mouth.
I really didn't know MF before I saw Lost but he was the one who grabbed me 20 seconds into the pilot and dragged me through the jungle and the beach and the plane wreck. He is the one that hooked me on Lost.
I have since watched almost everything Foxy has ever done and am now convinced that the Emmy Judges are a bunch of incompetent imbeciles.
I digress. Jack, in my mind, was the centre of Lost. It was his story. He was everything you would want in a leading character; a hero, a loser sometimes; a guy with faults like all of us but he was never evil. I don't know when we will see a character so well written and so well acted again..

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Efthymia said...

I liked Jack from the beginning. He wasn't a favourite, but I really liked him because he always tried and he always meant well, trying to do what he thought was best for everyone. I hate it how people (in the show and viewers) blamed him for everything - what, did no one have free will and Jack impose his own on them? No. Jack may have been wrong in that the button was useless, but since he didn't have proof either way, he still did push it 'just in case'; it was Locke who let the hatch implode. And the whole freighter deal, I can't stand how so many people seem to ignore that the people who were massacred were the ones who joined Locke, and it was him who divided the survivors. Keamy may have been a psycho, but he just went to the island for Ben and I don't think he would have bothered with anyone else had they not gotten in his way. And apart from the mercenaries, the rest of the freighter was pretty willing to(and actually did) help. The hydrogen bomb was Faraday's idea, Sayid was 100% behind the plan, Juliet asked Sawyer to go back to the rest of the group and he agreed, and again, Jack gets the blame! Quite a scapegoat the poor guy... Perfect? No, but who was? Sawyer wanted to start his own little black market, Kate tried to cheat her way off the island, Locke killed a complete stranger (Naomi) because he didn't want to leave the island and he wanted everyone else to agree with him without giving them a reason, and Jack is horrible because he wants to fix things?! Ah, I'll never understand people.
I also respected Jack a lot because (untill the end of season 3) not fooled by Ben.
I didn't like his evolution during season 4 and 5, where he was turned into a Poor Man's Locke, and it annoyed the hell out of me that in the end he was presented as the Man of Faith 2.0, and even more that he kept saying that Locke had been right. Jack believed that the island was special and supernatural, that they had been brought there etc AFTER he had proof, he didn't blindly accept those facts. And, obviously, Locke who never saw the greater scheme and got easily fooled and consequently posessed by the MIB wasn't all that right (oh, how I wait for the Locke-centric discusion to vent!).
In the end, Jack helped whoever he could and died exercising his free will and fixing things...

Nikki Stafford said...

Wow... this discussion is great. I'm reading some of these comments a little teary-eyed because I feel like we're at Jack's eulogy! Which, in a way, we are, because he's done and there won't be any more new Jack moments for us.

I wanted to mention what one of my favourite Jack moments was: it's at the beginning of Follow the Leader, when he and Kate are being held in the tent and there's this look of hope on Jack's face, the first sign of hope we've seen in him in a very, very long time. Throughout season 5 Matthew Fox managed to make Jack look really haggard and distraught (yet in the flashbacks he looks fresh-faced, showing it's not that Fox is actually looking like that, but putting in an amazing performance) and now that Faraday has told him there's a way to erase everything that's happened in the past 3 years, Jack's face changes entirely and that's when he begins to believe in something.

But when Kate challenges him, saying that he'd forget all of the good things, too, he simply looks at her, blood running down his face, and tells her that the bad outweighed the good for him so much that he just has to erase things. She looks devastated that he would think like that, but I remember my heart going out to him in such a strong way. He was like a little boy being given a do-over, and it's only in that moment that you realize just how difficult this time has been for Jack. But rather than throw in the towel, by the end of Season 6 he's vowing to spend the rest of his life on the island, and then dies there. I just think he's such an extraordinary character who redeemed himself in a big way.

I disagree with the Poor Man's Locke comment, simply because I think Jack was more Locke than Locke ever was. Locke believed, but his faith wavered several times. He stopped pressing the button because he couldn't be sure he was right. But Jack sat confidently with a stick of dynamite and believed in it with more faith than anyone. That's why he was able to save the island, while Locke died trying. He took Locke's words and became an even stronger, more evolved version of him. He wasn't the poor man's version, he was the improved version. I always loved poking fun at Jack, but I adored him.

Nikki Stafford said...

Sorry... I didn't meant to say we were AT Jack's eulogy, but that we were writing it. D'oh. ;)

Teebore said...

For me, my like and dislike of Jack rose and fell with his faith.

Basically, Locke was the guy in tune in with the cool mystical mysterious island. Locke wanted to stay on the island, Locke wanted to learn its secrets and explore it. Jack did not. Locke, I felt, was our key to finding out more about the island, whereas Jack just wanted to stick his head in the sand and ignore all the cool things going on.

Therefore, Locke > Jack, as far as I was concerned.

Jack could be a jerk in the first season, but I didn't start to actively dislike him until he was setup in direct opposition to Locke in season two. When that opposition and the accompanying skepticism reached its high points (YOU SAW THE FREAKIN' ISLAND DISAPPEAR JERKWAD!) so too did my dislike of Jack.

But by then we'd seen, via the flashforwards, a Jack who recognized he was wrong and Locke was (maybe) right, and by the time season six's man of faith Jack showed up, I was on board, because Jack was now in the same place Locke and I were: interested in the island.

In fact, some of my favorite Jack moments are from the later half of the show. I like "316" simply because it features a Jack who is finally willing to do weird stuff without an explanation in the name of getting back to the island. I love his dive off Sawyer's boat in season six, and I cheered when he knocked FLocke into the water when boarding the sub: "John Locke told me!"

As much as I HATED Jack through most of season's two through five, I'm very impressed at how the writers made me give a damn about him in season six, to the point where (thankfully) the final moments of the show were effective and moving.

At most any other point in the show's run, the idea of Jack dying would have made me cheer, but by the end, I truly felt sad to see him go. I never would have believed it.

More than any other character (except maybe Sawyer...), the writers took us on a journey with Jack, and by the end, it turned out to be one hell of a journey.

Nikki Stafford said...

So well put, Teebore!

paleoblues said...

For me, Jack was always the one I could most closely relate to. I look at life as a journey and feel as though there is something I need to accomplish before I reach “the end”. Just what that is I have yet to figure out, but to me that is the whole point. If I thought I had all the answers when I was younger, what would I do with the rest of my life? I’ve had my ups and downs, struggled with questions regarding science and faith, at times have led and at times followed, messed up relationships and salvaged others; basically trying to do what I thought was best in whatever circumstances I found myself. Jack was on the same journey and, although it may have been rough at times (on himself as well as others), was open to change and new insights that eventually led him to his “destiny”. What more can you ask a guy to do?

yourblindspot said...

"Of course you realize, this means war!"
- Groucho Marx, 'Duck Soup'

"I kinda thtand out in a crowd, don't I?"
- Daffy Duck, 'Duck Soup To Nuts"

I love Jack -- as a character, as a human being, as a narrative foil. LOST as a whole did such a terrific job of representing the fractionalized nature of humanity, illustrating the internal conflict we suffer in attempting to justify the part of ourselves that wants to believe the world makes sense with the part that refuses to ignore its more inscrutable aspects, and within the context of the show, I don't believe there was a more perfect characterization of that struggle, that inherent complexity of psyche and the myriad ways it relates to one's interaction with their environment, than Jack Shephard.

Many times I've heard and read (including, I believe, from Carlton himself) about how Hurley was supposed to serve as stand-in for the audience, but I didn't identify with anyone as much as I did with good old Dural Sac Jack. As he reeled from extreme to extreme -- incredulity to resignation, confidence to desperation, intuitiveness to indecision, kindness to rage -- I couldn't help but be carried right along with him, to relate in so many different ways to how frustrating it can sometimes be to puzzle our way through this life, trying to simultaneously meet expectations and stay true to ourselves in the process.

yourblindspot said...

Some of my favorite Jack moments from the show are from the much-maligned season 3 (still probably my favorite, for the record -- sorry, haters): his reaction to Ben telling him the Red Sox won the World Series in 'The Glass Ballerina,' and then the look on his face when Ben presses 'play' and he is suddenly faced with the game's final moments playing out on the other side of the glass; the end of 'I Do,' as he pulls his amazing ER blackmail gambit, capped with shouting into the walkie, "Kate, dammit, RUN!" (one of the most chill-inducing moments of the series for me); the open from 'Greatest Hits' and the introduction of his plan to take the war to The Others, culminating in my very favorite Jack speech: "Tomorrow night, we stop hiding. We stop running. We stop living in fear of them. Because when they show up, we're gonna blow 'em all to hell." (c'mon, dude... what a badass!); beating the unholy crap out of Ben after the alleged execution of the hostages in 'Through The Looking Glass,' and folks, the best season-ending cliffhanger (coupled with the worst beard) in the history of television -- "We have to go back!"

Others: reviving Charlie after Ethan hangs him in season 1 (an incredible scene that Matt & Evie just hands-down kill); the awesome scene in 'Dr. Linus' with Richard in the hull of the Black Rock, when he lights the dynamite and waits (did I mention awesome? 'cause it's so, so awesome.); and one of my favorite (unsung) scenes from 'The End,' when Jack's group and Locke's group meet for their trek to the Heart of The Island, and that fantastic conversation between the two of them ("...what's gonna happen, Jack?" "I'm gonna kill you." "How do you plan to do that?" "It's a surprise.") that just makes me grin like a fool every time I think about it. Oh, and speaking of 'The End,' I should also mention that 'Star Trek'-esque action act-out where Jack launches himself at Locke on the cliff face before their big final showdown that's just jump-up-off-the-couch good.

But my favorite Jack moment from the entirety of the series is from season 5. I love the repeated utilization of that same scene of Jack on his back in the bamboo, looking up through the foliage to the sky above, with each variation serving as a point of reference to mark the beginning, middle and end of his transformation. In particular, the second appearance at the opening of season 5's ep '316' and the wonderful contrast of that almost beatific look on his face as he realizes he's back on the island, when compared with the initial confusion and fear from the pilot episode, is a sterling example of how well-plotted the part was (most notably in the latter seasons, excluding of course the sad misjudgment of tattoo exposition à la Bai Ling) and how perfect in general Matthew Fox played the role.

Rick Rische said...

Great posts, yourblindspot!

I could talk about Jack all day. But stoopid job gets in the way...

Fred said...

On Nikki’s Fringe thread, an entry posted suggested comparisons between Olivia and Dana Scully. Show creators often reutilize elements from their earlier shows or those which influenced them, managing to modify or reinterpret these elements in novel. Even the Mulder/Scully dyad is comparable to an earlier Holmes/Watson dyad—it is to Holmes difficult problems are brought, while the X-files show an equal impenetrability. In LOST there is an absence of anyone to fulfill the role of Holmes. Jack clearly fulfills the role of Watson, much as Dana Scully does fulfills the Watson role. But LOST does not provide for an Holmes character as X-Files does with Mulder: we are told that Mulder in his early days in the Violent Crimes Section was always three jumps ahead, leaving his fellow agents to dub him “spooky” Mulder. For a while, John Locke seemed to satisfy the role of Holmes/Mulder, being like Mulder a “true believer,” but very quickly we learnt he is as much in the dark about what is going on, his faith in the island being the one thing which separates him from the other survivors and Jack. Indeed, we are given many such possible “knowledgeable” candidates, such as Ben Linus, Daniel Faraday, Ms Hawking, and even Jacob, but none can be considered Holmesian in any fashion. Thus, with Jack, we are given a mysterious case, call it “The Adventure of the Mysterious Island,” in which Watson/Jack is in charge of the investigation.

Jack’s character exhibits what can only be described as psychosis, a dissociative relationship with reality accompanied by delusions or hallucinations (granted we are told the images of Jack’s father were the smoke monster, but this doesn’t account fro the off-island visitation were Jack begins his downward descent into drug addiction). Jack is often mistaken in his interpretations of others, especially if they represent aspects of authority or violations against his own authority. Holmes’ oft repeated comment to Watson, that the doctor sees things but does not observe, recalls Jack’s own observations of events. Jack resists investigation of the mysterious events, positing in their place solutions which invert the mystery surrounding them, a strategy for control in the situation. Metaphorically, Jack’s desire to “fix” things stands in for “suturing the gaps in reality,” a point made in the pilot, when Jack tells Kate he’s unable to sew himself up (this scene is accompanied by Jack’s story of overcoming fear, how he says he let in it, allowing it to control him for five seconds, then went back to suture the torn dural sac). It is no wonder Jack spends inordinate energy on trying to save those around him, as the site of control for Jack begins at the body—first with Rose, then the Marshall, then Boone and Charlie. Controlling the situation with the Others on the Hydra Island occurs when Jack takes control of Ben’s surgery, but even here it is Ben who awakens and takes charge. (Grounding Jack’s character in a need to control things is symbolically dramatized early on when he takes the key for the Halliburton case).

Fred said...

As I said above, Jack is dissociative of reality, and this is made abundantly clear when the island disappears and Jack refuses to believe it has done so. Jack’s dissociation is reflected onto others, his constant refrain to Kate and Locke to “stop lying,” meanwhile he is unaware of those who do lie to him (Michael’s lies have to be pointed out by Sayid, and he never discovers Sun’s and Kate’s true plans). In fact the egocentrism of Jack’s condition is pointed out in an early dialogue with Hurley, where Hurley relates the tale of the asteroid and Santa Rosa; Jack’s only observation is that Hurley spent time in an asylum (the subtext of this comment is Jack’s own fear of the possibility of his being insane, a point he made to Locke in “White Rabbit”). Jack is unable to make the metaphorical leap between the real (body/ordinary) and the fantastical (imaginary/paranormal), his hesitation arising from a fear of being disembodied (alienated from oneself). Given an unidentified set of X-rays, Jack is able to link them with Ben Linus, but other such connections baffle Jack. Throughout the series, Jack is seeking to overcome this hesitancy, in effect to arrive at some association with reality, both what we see and what we do not see.

In the end, LOST does not seek to fill the gap in the Holmes/Watson dyad, to move Jack from one slot to the other, but offers an alternative, one which I call feminized persona. In the alternate world, Jack is first comforted by Rose, when he becomes fearful due to airplane turbulence (gone is the five seconds and fear story). The final meeting with his father has none of the authoritative nature we had seen in flashbacks, in Lacanian terms Christian represents the Imaginary Father than the Symbolic Father; the same process occurs with Dana Scully in “One Breath” where she dreams of meeting her father. As Elizabeth Kubek notes, “Scully is in a liminal state, which in the language of The X-Files means she is open to Imaginary influences.” By the time Jack touches the coffin he is equally open to Imaginary influences, finally symbolized by Christian opening the church doors to the light of the Source, the eminent figuration of the feminine in LOST. Perhaps this is why Jack is redeemed for so many of the audience, as he becomes a complete and whole individual our identification with him is satisfied; from a point of view of modern film theory, we also enter the Imaginary.

Amy said...

What a great discussion! Jack was definitely my favorite character, so I really loved his whole journey, and always loved the character, even in his "weaker" moments.

I think what I liked most about him was how much he cared about others, almost at the expense of himself. He feels a responsibility for all the other passengers and much of his time in the series is spent trying to help them and keep them safe.

I think he didn't want to be a hero or a leader but was driven to be because of his father's words to him as a child. He was compelled to take on that role to prove his father wrong.

Some favorite moments:

The wedding vow scene with Sarah when he tells her that she fixed him. It's so sad because he wants to believe that marrying her will change him, but we know it won't.

When he's playing golf and is finally able to relax for the first time.

After Sayid, Jin, and Sun are killed, how he has to go off by himself down by the waves and breaks down.

His entire relationship with Hurley.

When he tells Kate that he's sticking up for Sawyer because he (Jack) loves her.

The look on his face when he sees the plane finally leaving the island in "The End."

LittleMo said...

How can I add to all that has been said - awesome guys !!!

This is a nice compilation of Jack's experiences

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9z1l16sKoFQ

But THIS is my favourite Jack moment, the mobisode on the beach with his father. And when his dad says to him 'try to treat her better than I treated you' I just think its such a lovely close and honest moment between father and son.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5g_nd9fHWE&feature=related

Ambivalentman said...

Like everyone else has said, this is a great discussion. Very thoughtful and insightful.

For me, I always loved Jack because I could see so much of myself in him. Like Jack, I also struggled very much with my father to the point of hatred.

When my father died, I didn't get a chance to say goodbye either. As a result, closure has been hard to come by, just as it was for Jack.

There was lots of catharsis to be had in watching Jack's progression from hero to stubborn ass to pill popper to Island savior. He is a traditional hero in the Joseph Campbell sense, yet he is distinct in that he doesn't truly accept the call to adventure in full till the very end.

Favorite Jack moments:

1. Destroying the Lighthouse.

2. The dynamite scene with Richard.

3. Flashback: confessing his adulterous kiss to Sarah. Sad, but noble in how he came clean.

4. Seeing his dad's dead body in the Australian morgue.

5. Screwing with Sawyer before telling him he needs glasses.

There are many more great Jack moments, but you've all either listed them, or they're meant to be shared by others.

Tammy Petrowski said...

I was never a fan of Jack until season 6. Then, I loved him. One of my favorite scenes with him is in The End. I don't remember the exact line, but he is talking to Smokey Locke and tells him he is nothing like John.
I am currently doing a Season 2 rewatch and I had forgotten how much of an adversarial relationship he and John had. Maybe that is why I am focusing on how in The End he had come to see things from a different perspective and could respect the person John was.

Quarks said...

I have never been a particularly big fan of Jack, especially compared to some of the other characters. For me, the biggest problem is that he was always trying to fix everything. Jack was probably the character who spent the least time just living on the beach and accepting that they might never leave, instead was constantly trekking off into jungle or devising some new plan for returning home. Even though most of them didn't have anything really to return home for, including Jack. I appreciate that the show needs some characters to do these things, or else nothing would happen, but Jack did start to get on my nerves with his constant planning.

However, one could argue that Jack never really had a choice about this. He was the de facto leader of the group, which meant that he felt responsible for them and wanted to get them all home to their normal lives. It was simply Jack's personality to want to look after everybody, except himself, and to be in control. And part of this required him to do everything that he thought was best for the people who he cared about and get them home.

It's quite strange really. I think that most people preferred Jack in the later seasons, when he accepted Locke's views and took them as his own. He finally believed that they were on the Island for a reason, and that they had a destiny. However, it was in these seasons that Jack seemed to care more for himself than anybody else. While he was annoying in the first season, he always acted in everyone else's best interests. However, as the series progressed he became much more concerned with himself, and his own destiny, and less about the wellbeing of everybody else. He now felt that it was OK to set off a nuclear bomb because it was his destiny, and because he never wanted to lose Kate. When Jack says that everything has become clear to him, and that he knows what he is supposed to do, I can't help but recall Locke's words in "White Rabbit": "Crazy people don't think they're going crazy. They think they're getting saner."

In the final season Jack becomes even more convinced that they are on the Island for a reason, and for about the only time in the series he is right. However, with the nuclear bomb the damage has been done, and very few people trust him anymore, especially Sawyer. It could be argued that if it weren't for Jack's actions in season 5, Sawyer would have trusted him and not pulled the wires out of the bomb, killing Sun, Jin and Sayid. The series closes with Jack's death, once he has killed the Man in Black and saved the Island. He dies the hero that he always wanted to be, having finally fixed everything that he can: getting most people off the Island and saving it from destruction.

In the afterlife, Jack is the one who has the hardest time letting go. He is the last person to remember his old life, and has the most trouble dealing with the fact that he is dead. In that conversation with his father, he finally realises what is happening, and is finally becoming happy. He is reunited Kate and all his friends, and they are all finally able to move on together. Everybody is in the church waiting for Jack, and I don't believe that it was simply for Jack to move on; I think it was for all of them to move on. They were all waiting for Jack because he was, in essence, their leader. And the conversation with Christian Shephard was important because, as Locke said again in "White Rabbit": "A leader can't lead until he knows where he's going."

There is no denying that Jack has done many great things throughout the whole series, and is no doubt responsible for saving the lives of many of the survivors. However, he has not only done good, he is also responsible for some of the bad things that have happened, such as Juliet's death. Yes, Jack has helped a lot of people, but has he helped many more than he has hurt?

Quarks said...

Even though I am not a big fan of Jack, there are still some moments of him which I enjoyed:
-Watching him playing golf. It was nice to see Jack relaxing for a bit.
-Jack being with Kate in the real world after they left the Island: I was never a big Jate fan, but I like this bit, simply because it was one of the few points where Jack just seemed to be happy and not trying to fix everything.
-Jack examining Sawyer after his headaches. It was a great scene, and I was pleased to see Jack getting back at Sawyer for all the times he's been rude to him. Although I still think that the best part of this story is Hurley's line: "Dude, it looks like someone steamrolled Harry Potter."
-Jack playing Sawyer at table tennis. Again, it was nice to see Jack relaxing.

There are no doubt many others, but these are the ones that stick out. Overall, while I am not a particularly big fan of Jack, he is an extremely important character, and while he can be annoying at times, he does have a good heart.

Rick Rische said...

Quarks, there is a lot of Jack love in this thread, but you're absolutely right about his failings. They are as essential to LOST as his strengths. It is through Jack's character that the major themes of the show are played out, culminating in the finale.

Jack has a lot of faults and makes a lot of mistakes. Matthew Fox said the character wouldn't be worth playing if he was a one-dimensional white knight kind of guy. Luckily, Darlton agreed.

For this reason, I think "Stranger in a Strange Land" (an episode that gets a lot of fan hate) is an essential part of his story. Here we see the truly dark side of Jack for the first (but not the last) time. This ep illustrates how Jack reacts when he feels out of control, when he thinks people are keeping essential information from him and feels manipulated. We'll see this aspect of his personality played out again in "Something Nice Back Home" when his relationship with Kate dissolves, and is precisely the reason why he smashes the mirrors in "Lighthouse".

SIASL is about a lot more than just "the story of Jack's tattoo".

paleoblues said...

So Jack had faults, made mistakes and had a dark side. Doesn't that make him.....human? Regardless of past behavior, he wound up exactly where he was supposed to in "the end".

JS said...

I have always loved Jack, even in his worst, most arrogant times. He did think of others, and always had the group’s well being at heart. His worst decisions were all driven by his need to help the group in the way he thought best, and the belief he was right despite all evidence, and that he was responsible for everyone and everything, despite his humaness. He was tortured by his lack of faith, god complex, and OCD with the fixing of people and situations. I felt for him. There is a saying I think applies to the way he thought of himself, especially in the middle seasons – the piece of crap at the center of the universe.
According to Lostpedia, he has cried 10 times in the series. Actually, I think he cried in 113 of 121 episodes, if you count the scrunchy face, heavy breathing scenes. It just so happens was in 113 episodes.
After Locke, (and possibly Ben) I think he has had the most iconic lines in the series -
Season 1
- I let the fear in, but only for 5 seconds
- If we can’t live together, we’re going to die alone.

Season 2
(Locke – why do you find it so hard to believe? Jack – why do you find it so easy? Locke – It’s never been easy!)

Season 3
- I’m a repo man. I go around and I repossess people’s things.
- Kate, dammit, run!
- We are the survivors of Oceanic 815

Season 4
- We’re going to have to lie
- We’ll kill them all

Season 5
(I can’t remember stand alone iconic lines for some reason)
Season 6
- Want another stick?
- I’ll do it
- It has to be you, Hugo

Rick Rische said...

Season 6 lines? It doesn't get any better than this-

"There are no do-overs, no second chances. What happened, happened. Trust me- ALL of this matters".

Runners-up-

"I came back here because I was broken. And I was stupid enough to think this place could fix me".

"I don't trust myself. How am I supposed to trust you?"

"Nothing is irreversible".

lostinyoureyes said...

Love Jack! This character riveted me to Lost. Strangely though, as much as I loved Lost, I never learned the actors names until a couple of years ago. Now since finding out it is Matthew Fox I have to thank for presenting us with such a richly crafted character, I've watched some Youtubes of Po5. Fun to compare his performances.

On to Jack: The first episode I watched was White Rabbit, and the scene between young Jack and plastered Dad really tore me up. The poor kid! From there I was set up to understand the man who demanded much more of himself than was reasonable (or sometimes sane) and unknowingly prompts others to treat him thusly. I can't forget his doubling over in pain while trying to get Daniel to communicate with rescuers. Jack! Just say, "I have a stomachache and I'm going to lie down now." That's what I would do. A few days later he walks across the jungle dripping blood from incision. Oh my!

Well, moments of courage are many, and inspiring, but I melted when he was tender, gentle, kind. And oh, those breakthrough moments of charm! All of these hinted at the human being hiding behind the Superman facade.

These come to mind:

Yes, I agree: The Sawyer/glasses chain yank. Funny! But also the tender medical care to Sawyer's gunshot wound.

Sweetness shown to dying Boone. Courage as well, but also loving kindness.

Playfully taking food from Kate's plate (Everybody Hates Hugo) and then grinning.

The on-island prenatal discussion with Claire.

Big smile on seeing Kate for the first time since their break-up. He looked like he couldn't stop smiling.

Smiling after Hurley came back with the dynamite.

The way he told Charlie he would have helped him through his withdrawal if only he'd known.

Hugs. He was a hugger. Michael before the raft trip. His mom on arriving back in LA. Kate, well, he hugged her a lot. Hugs in the finale. Oh, sob. That's another whole essay.

Many, many more. Thanks, Foxy!

LostBoyJack said...

@lostinyoureyes
An amazing post. You said some long forgotten things about Jack. I love how you reminded us of his humour.
Some great Jack lines to remind us of that which I don't think were already mentioned:
Season 1
"Hi. Rose, right? Remember me, seat 23A? I'm the guy that told you not to worry about the turbulence"
Jack: You shot him in the chest?
Sawyer: I was aiming for his heart.
Jack: You missed.

To Kate:
"Please tell me you found a coffee bar"

Jack: Put out your hand... Trust me you'll like it.
Kate: Gross little greyish yellow thingys?
Jack: Oh no, no, no, no. These are slimy little blueish black thingys.

Jack: How're you doing?
Charlie: How am I doing with week two of heroin withdrawal? Or how am I doing with Claire being abducted by the freak who tried to kill me?
Jack: I gave you aspirin for the heroin withdrawal.

Jack: [about Sawyer] Look, Kate, I'd love nothing more than to check the guy out, and make sure he's okay, but we both know all I'm going to get for my trouble is a snappy one-liner... and if I'm real lucky, a brand new nickname.

Jack: [when Sawyer wouldn't give them Shannon's medicine] I'm gonna kill him!
Kate: That's not going to help us get the medicine.
Jack: Maybe not, but it'll feel good.

Jack: If anyone hears, or see's anything...
Hurley: Like the security system that eats people.
Jack: Yes, like that.

Michael: This is a problem, man.
Jack: Yeah.
Michael: I mean, I know what I'd do, but... it's gotta be your call.
Jack: Okay. Give me a seven iron.




Season 2

Jack: Saywer, you're busted, I got it all, and it wouldn't be fair for you to go and pick more mangos.
Sawyer: Oh, I've got a hell a lot more than mangoes. You want to play for real stakes, name 'em?
Jack: It's a pile of fruit, man.
Sawyer: And I want it back.
Kate: Should I go and get a ruler?

Kate: How long you gonna wait, Jack?
Jack: Until I get my voice back. And then I'm gonna yell some more.

Jack: [Jack walks up to Kate and Sawyer] I need your help. I'm going out to find our friend with the beard.
Sawyer: And you're inviting me because you need a gun.
Jack: Actually I was inviting Kate, and I've already got a gun, but thanks for offering.


Season 3

Jack: You needed to be in surgery *yesterday.*
Henry Gale: Alright then. Whatever you need is yours. I'm ready.
Jack: No, I think you misunderstood me. I didn't say I was going to do it, I was just wanted you to understand how you were going to die.

BEN: Well, Jack. I'm very disappointed in your decision.

JACK: Well, Ben. At least you won't have to be disappointed for very long.

Season 4

Kate: Kind of stinks, huh?
Jack: What that?
Kate: Being told not to come along. Now you know what it's like to be me.
Jack: Does that mean I should wait 20 minutes and go anyway?

Miles: How stupid do you think I am?
Jack Shephard: I don't know, Miles. How stupid are you?


Season 6

Desmond: You were right , Jack!
Jack : There's a first time for everything.


There's so many others...Although Jack's humour could be dark at times, it was alway

Susan said...

Jack's sense of humor was always funny. Charlie, Sawyer, and Hurley always had the good lines, and plenty of them, but occasionally Jack would come out with something unexpected, usually sarcastic, that would have me practically rolling on the floor.

LittleMo said...

I love the quotes = thanks Lostboy

they are priceless ! :-)

paleoblues said...

FYI: Amazon will be shipping Nikki's book next Tues the 18th. The Lost Encyclopedia is also shipping. I got mine on Friday.

lostinyoureyes said...

Love these comments. Love Jack. I just came back to correct my statement: Hurley came back with a BATTERY, not dynamite. Sorry. Laughed at Nikki's comment that Jack is obsessive compulsive. That's true, but we are too! Right? Here we are at Nikki's place. Hee.

JS said...

I posted before reading everyone else’s posts. That was a mistake. I concur with what yourblindspot said. Jack had the best lines, yourblindspot and others remembered them better. How could I forget – “We have to go back!!” That was a mind blower. And Lostboy Jack – I had completely forgotten those. “Well then, you won’t have to be disappointed for very long. (!) That was my favorite.

Each of our heroes had to make sacrifices to be redeemed. Jack made the biggest sacrifice, not only in that he gave his life for the benefit of his crash mates - Locke, Sayid, and Jin chose to do that as well - but that he gave up his ego, and was prepared to take the role of servant to the island, give up all his prior beliefs, and believe the opposite of what he had been holding on to, however tenuously. Like Quarks and others said he was trying to hold on to his version of reality, to his sanity, through science based explanations (even though we know seeing is the weakest scientific proof). He isn't fully redeemed until he finally, fully believes, that he had to trust something greater than himself, the Island, and not control anything, and not be in charge of anything, but to take his responsibility to its ultimate conclusion. He gave up his ego.

I never disliked Jack. Like I said, I felt for him. That “piece of garbage at the center of the universe” thing is hard to give up. Meaning, it is really difficult to give up your version of reality, to give up the idea that you have control of your situation, particularly when you feel responsible for others, even when you continue to fail to fulfill that responsibility. “I’ll do better next time.” He finally realized that in order to save the others, he had to first allow himself to be saved by something he couldn’t see and didn’t understand.

Lisa(until further notice) said...

I'm not sure if anyone is still out there on this post. I really couldn't force myself to write anything about my favorite character. It just hurt too much. When that eye closed it really hit me hard. I loved "Dr. Giggles". Good-bye Doc.

The Rush Blog said...

I have never considered Jack or any of the other characters as "heroic". Nor have I ever demanded that he act in a heroic manner. I don't feel that his destiny was to be a hero. Nor did I believe, like many "LOST" fans did in the past, demand that Jack behave like a conventional hero or leading man.

What I liked about the series' portrayal of Jack was that it took what seemed like a conventional heroic type, exposed all of his personal flaws, took him to the nadir of his existence and finally forced him to face the truth about himself and find some kind of inner peace. I cannot recall any other fictional character on television that was portrayed in this manner. For me, this made the Jack Shephard character unique and very interesting. And it's a crime that Matthew Fox never received a major acting award for taking his character down this path over six seasons.

I didn't want Jack to be alikeable hero. I wanted him to be an interesting character. And he was.

Juanita's Journal said...

One week he was pleasant to Kate, and seemed charming and adorable; the next he was in her face, demanding to know her past and dangling the key in front of her and reminding her that it was around HIS neck and SHE couldn’t have it.


Is that how you saw Jack's behavior in "Whatever the Case May Be"? I saw him being pissed off at Kate for lying to and using him.

However, his behavior to Kate when he learned that she could track in "Even the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues" struck me as controlling.