Season 3 Episode 1

A Tale of Two Cities

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Oct 04, 2006 on ABC
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Episode Summary

Jack, Kate and Sawyer find themselves in unusual locations after being kidnapped by the Others, who reveal themselves to be more sophisticated than anyone could have previously guessed.

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  • Hmm..

    There was kind of a strain, because you didn't know what the other will du with Kate et cetera...the start with Juliet was great. Then the plane crash! Then you noticed: you're in the future when the plane crashed on the beach. But then Kate and the others were captivated. And the tension was gone. The whole mystery about the others was just gone. But it was the first episode in which you found out that there is another town.moreless
  • The writeres ran out of ideas.. it's just boring now.

    I was addicted to Lost, but the plot has gone wild.. ther'es too many storylines, the others are not interesting. and why don't we see what happenes on shore or what happened to lock eko and charlie? Lost has JUMPED THE SHARK! for the first episode of the season we learn nothing. locked in bear cages and under-water aqurium? Jack and Kate are not intersting. I wanna know what's going on with Charlie, Sayid, Hurley and Sun.. That Henry/Ben guy is a charchter not well-thought or well-written. It feels like those soup operas, that runs out of ideas and they add an evil twin brother..moreless
  • I wasn’t really disappointed by the first episode, as I was really disappointed by the second’s season last episode.

    I wasn’t really disappointed by the first episode, as I was really disappointed by the second’s season last episode. I think it was pretty obvious that in the new season the writers of the series had the intention of revealing, once again, absolutely nothing.

    I didn’t even find the 5 fist minutes exciting, what was the exciting about them? We found out that the plane crashed while the others were already on the island, something that we already knew. If that was the 5th or 6th episode maybe I would have found it interesting, but after waiting for 3 months the big premiere that everybody was talking about…

    I’m starting to wonder if the writers have a story in their minds or if they are just trying to keep people in front of their TV sets for as long as they can, without having a clue of how this story is going to end.moreless
  • Awesome.

    Jack is imprisoned in the Hydra, an underwater Dharma Initiative station, and interrogated by an Other named Juliet. Kate and Sawyer are kept in nearby cages. Sawyer tries to escape with a teenage Other named Karl, but they are caught. "Henry Gale," whose real name is Ben, is revealed to be the leader of the Others. In flashbacks, Jack obsessively tries to find out who his wife Sarah is having an affair with during his divorce settlement. Jack suspects his father and attacks him at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. Jack is arrested and bailed out by his wife. What an awesome way to start the season, I love the song and I love Jack, his back story's are always amazing plus he is hot. I love the scene where he wakes up and he is locked in a room and then we walks into a window - so funny. I also love it when Kate wakes up and then Sawyer wakes up all in different places. But there all in the same area and I love the area is awesome. I love the scenes with Jack and Jukiet and the scene with Ben and Kate. The scene with Kate and Sawyer is awesome too, I love the way Sawyer gets the fish biscuit.moreless
  • A different slant on the island

    .The title of this episode is a reference to Dickens' classic tale,, and seems to be referring the two civilizations that have cropped up on the island. We've gotten a pretty clear idea of what the survivors of Oceanic 815 have built to over the past 66 days (and from this point on, we now have a pretty good idea how much time is preceding between episodes); now we get a look at the 'other' side of the coin.

    There's a slightly more civil veneer of the Others little village, but from what we see in this episode alone, it's not any more solid than the one the Losties have built. The Other's may have nice houses, indoor plumbing, and book clubs (!) but they don't seem quite as joyous for all the miraculous things that they have.. The first flashback is the day of the crash from their perspective, specifically a woman named Juliet, who doesn't seem any happier on the island than anyone else. The feeling of a hierarchy is present, but it's pretty hard to believe in when she is trying to do the dirty work, that her heart is really in it. It's for these reasons (as well as her crying jag) that make us sympathize with Juliet. Elizabeth Mitchell's dazzling work doesn't hurt, either


    The cliffhanger to Season 2 set up a LOT of questions, so perhaps it's not surprising that we only get one set of them answered. For starters, where are Jack, Kate and Sawyer. All three awaken in different place suggesting the use of drugs. Jack is inside in a cage surrounded by a hall of mirrors. Kate awakens in a shower with a bandage on her arm, and Tom (now known to be 'Mr. Friendly's real name) Sawyer wakes up in actual cage that seems set up for animals mixed with something out of B.F. Skinner, as we see when he tries to feed himself. Sawyer is the only one who wakes up with company--- a teenager across from him, who looks hopeful at the idea of another society to join. He manages to help Sawyer escape for a few fleeting moments, only to be recaptured, and forced to apologize to Sawyer. All we know about the boy is his name is Karl. What does he have to do with anything? More than you'd think.

    However, the episode is Jack centered, which is sort of a shame, because we now know him so well, watching him struggle with his failed marriage or his lousy father doesn't really tell us anything. By now we know Jack can't let anything go. Wee that with his attitude towards Kate; we se it every time he dealt with Locke, and now we see that he's being dealing with it with the Others. For some reason, Juliet has been assigned to work with him, and unlike the others she takes a softer approach, for all the good it does her. It now seem as if all the struggles have caught up with, and the island seems to have completely worn him down. Yes, like Sawyer he does charge after Juliet, and tries to make an escape, but watch carefully what he does. When he hears that if he opens a door in the cage, they all die, he then shoves it open--- and water comes pouring in. Only when he sees that's he put someone in danger does he stop the charge to destroy everything--- which includes the island.

    We do get one question answered--- the man who we spent half the time wondering was Henry Gale is actually Ben, and though he commands leadership, the Others don't seem to care for him any more than Kate does, when he puts her in a dress, invites her down for breakfast, and coldly tells her the next two weeks are going to be very difficult,. We don't know what the Others have planned, but they're probably not going to be discussing 'Carrie' with her.

    Jack's flashback, while a little contrived, does show something that we didn't know. While he seemed a good moral person in his story, the breakup of his marriage with Sarah seems to have undone him. He starts lashing out at everyone, including Sarah and his father, and the consequences are disastrous. He drives his father back to the bottle (and even though he knows how horrible his problem is, he doesn't seem that sorry about it.) and now makes sure Sarah never talks with him again. This is a paranoid streak that will become apparent when he gets off the island.

    We do get some information about the Others, but there are far more gaps in the limelight. Jack is being held in a Dharma station called the Hydra (which wasn't on the blast door map but Juliet seems to make clear that the two are not the same. Who are they? How did the Others get also the amenities--- books,, ovens, plumbing, etc For that matter, how do they have electricity? How is that they have all this information on the passengers? Some of this information could be found by a person with patience and a good internet site, so that's not as shocking. but they also seem to know things that the castaways haven't revealed to anybody. How willing a participant is Juliet? We can see she clearly doesn't much like Ben; is she doing this of her own will. And why is it that Kate and Sawyer seem to be getting less fancy treatment than Jack is? Do they think he's more important. Not to mention, we don't know what's happened to Sayid, Sun and Jin, or what the hell happened to the hatch when the sky turned purple. This is a good episode to get us back in the swing of things, but it could have been quite a bit better. What stick in the mind is the fine work by Mitchell and Michael Emerson. The last thing Ben told Michael was 'they're the good guys" and Juliet seems like one., but surely there are less violent ways to be good. Are the Others as united as they seem? This will be quite important the further along the season progresses.

Julie Adams

Julie Adams


Guest Star

Stephen Semel

Stephen Semel


Guest Star

Isabelle Cherwin

Isabelle Cherwin

Little Girl

Guest Star

Julie Bowen

Julie Bowen


Recurring Role

M.C. Gainey

M.C. Gainey

Tom Friendly

Recurring Role

William Mapother

William Mapother

Ethan Rom

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (25)

    • Back in Season 2's "Maternity Leave", when given a book to read, Henry Gale says, "You don't have any Stephen King?". We learn in this episode that he dislikes Stephen King.

    • When Tom pushes the latch down on Sawyer's cage, he doesn't actually close the padlock on the lock.

    • Juliet says Jack attended Columbia University, but on his wall in his office is a degree from the University of California (which has his name misspelled as "Shepard").

    • When Jack uses the intercom, whispers can be heard which decode as:

      "Has she tried to talk to him / Shall we talk to him"
      "Look on "
      "Has he answered / His head is hurt"
      "Don't / Won't talk"
      "We're not sure if he knows that much / We're not sure if we'll find out much"
      "That's what I was thinking"
      "Let him go free"
      "It's not easy keeping something that secret / sacred"
      "What are you gonna do / Go on and do it"
      Christian Shephard's voice "Let it go Jack "
      "Now I can tell what you're doing "
      "Bring it back to her"

    • When Jack follows his father, we see on the door to the room that his father is in "Friends of Bill W." This is an actual group that helps those with alcoholic issues.

    • In "The Other 48 Days" Ana-Lucia says that Goodwin came out of the woods 10 minutes after the plane crashed, but in this episode, Ben tells him he can make it to the tail section in an hour.

    • Island events in this episode take place on November 28th 2004.

    • The crossword puzzle that Jack has in his car is dated to 2006.

    • When Kate first steps onto the beach, she has a black band around her right wrist, but when she sits down to put the cuffs on, it is gone.

    • In the breakfast scene with Kate and Ben, at first the ketchup has no label. After Ben asks Kate to put on the handcuffs, the bottle has a DHARMA logo on it. It then switches again to no logo when Ben is putting ketchup on his eggs.

    • The left wing of the plane comes off at the start of this episode, but in 'Pilot, Part 1,' both wings can be seen clearly on either side of the fuselage, with the left one intact.

    • In the very lower right corner, just within range of the camera, there is a white van shown in the initial scene at 'Otherville,' when Juliet and Ben are watching Flight 815's mid-air break-up.

    • If Ethan and Goodwin's instructions were to "listen, learn, don't get involved" and to produce lists in three days, why did the "Others" take three of the tailies on their very first night?

    • Goof: During Jack's flashback when he follows his father, Jack's father's car was a 2007 Mercedes-Benz.

    • Jack says the aquarium he is being held in was probably used for sharks, and Juliet confirms this. The shark in "Adrift" had a DHARMA Initiative symbol on its tail.

    • Why did Christian have his cell-phone turned on while he was inside the hospital? He, of all people, should have known how they can interfere with life-saving machines.

    • The number on the locker that Kate takes the dress from is 841.

    • During Jack's first flashback, a pager and a crossword puzzle can be seen in his car. The time on his pager is 7:15:23AM. On the crossword puzzle, the answer to 42 across and others are of relevance to "Lost."

    • The nurse that was in the operating room with Jack is the same nurse that looked after Locke after he donated his kidney.

    • When Kate is just exiting the shower and heading for the lockers, there are wet footprints already leading from the shower to the locker.

    • We see some more parallel quotes in this episode. In the Hydra station we hear "It's not important who you were, but who you are.", and then in the flashback "It's not important who he is, but who you're not."

    • The song Jack listens to in his car while watching Sarah at her school is "Moonlight Serenade", the same song Hurley and Sayid picked up on the radio in second season episode "The Long Con".

    • It seems to be revealed that Sawyer is being kept in a large Skinner Box, which is commonly used on lab animals who get a food reward for pushing a lever or some other task; which they learn to modify their behavior in the contrapment.

    • The opening shot of the season begins, yet again, with the opening of a human eye.

    • In the opening scene, an "Other" can be seen putting a CD in a CD player, and "Downtown" by Petula Clark begins to play, but the case can be identified as, the DualDisc version of, "Speaking In Tongues" by the Talking Heads.

  • QUOTES (25)

    • (After Jack has burst into his father's AA meeting and Jack is told his father has been talking about him)
      Jack: What did you tell them about me, dad? That your son never really "had it"? Not like the old man. I didn't have the will to make it work, my life, my job, my marriage? What did you tell them about my marriage, dad?

    • Jack: What's his name?
      Sarah: Jack, stop.
      Jack: I'm not gonna stop, I'm gonna keep asking you that until you tell me.
      Jack: I don't ask you what you do in -
      Jack: Just tell me what his name is. I wanna know who he is. Look, you can have everything, the cars, the house, I don't care. I just - I just wanna know the name of the man that is worth my wife.

    • (about the handcuffs)
      Ben: Sorry, I'm gonna have to ask you to put those on, Kate.
      Kate: And if I don't?
      Ben: Then you don't get any coffee.

    • Ben: So I guess I'm out of the book club.

    • Tom: Rise and shine, Kate.
      Kate: Where am I?
      Tom: You don't really think I'm going to answer that, do you?

    • Karl: Hey. Hey, how long would it take to get to your camp?
      Sawyer: What, you talking to me now, Chachi?

    • Sawyer: (to Karl) Last one of you boys came for a visit got tortured by our Iraqi. He tortured me, too.

    • (Sawyer is about to push the button a third time when)
      Karl: I wouldn't do that.
      Sawyer: If I want your advice, I'll ask for it.
      (Sawyer pushes the button again and is shocked with electricity; he flies across the cage crashing in the bars.)
      Sawyer: Son of a bitch!!
      Karl: Told you.

    • Kate: What did you do with Sawyer and Jack?
      Ben: Now, why Sawyer?
      Kate: Why Sawyer what?!
      Ben: He's the first one you asked about. "What did you do with Sawyer and Jack?"
      Kate: You don't know me.
      Ben: Of course I don't.

    • Jack: Where are my friends?
      Juliet: Come down from the table first.
      Jack: You want me to come down, come in here and get me down.
      Juliet: If you want to talk -
      Jack: Tell me where my friends are!

    • Adam: It's not even literature. It's popcorn.
      Amelia: And why isn't it literature, Adam? I'm dying to know
      Adam: There's no metaphor. It's by the numbers religious hokum-pokum.
      Amelia: No metaphor?
      Adam: It's science fiction. Now I know why Ben isn't here.
      Juliet: Excuse me?
      Adam: I know the host picks the book but, seriously, Julie, he wouldn't read this in the damn bathroom.
      Juliet: Well, Adam, I am the host. And I do pick the book. And this is my favorite book. So, I am absolutely thrilled that you can't stand it. Silly me for sinking so low as to select something that Ben wouldn't like. Here I am thinking that free will still actually exists on -

    • Christian: Jack, I think I know a little something about being obsessive.
      Jack: No, being a drunk is not obsessive.

    • Juliet: What do you do, Jack? What's your profession?
      Jack: I'm a repo man. You know, when people don't pay their bills I go into the bank and collect their possessions. I'm a people person so I really love it.

    • Jack: You think I'm stupid?!
      Juliet: No, I don't think you're stupid, Jack. I think you're stubborn.

    • Jack: (holding Juliet hostage) I swear to God, I will kill her.
      Ben: Ok...? If you open the door, she dies anyway. We all do.

    • Sarah: (to Jack) Look at the bright side. Now you have something to fix.

    • Juliet: Jack? Is there anything you want to know?
      Jack: ...Is she... Is she happy?
      Juliet: ...Very happy.

    • Tom: Hey! You got yourself a fish biscuit. How'd you do that?
      Sawyer: I figured out your complicated gizmos, that's how.
      Tom: Only took the bears two hours.
      Sawyer: ...How many of 'em were there?

    • Jack: Is this one of their stations? The DHARMA Initiative?
      Juliet: They called it "The Hydra."
      Jack: So you people are just whatever is left over of them?
      Juliet: Well, that was a long time ago. It doesn't matter who we were. It only matters who we are. We know exactly who you are, Jack Shephard.
      Jack: You don't know anything about me.
      Juliet: I know that you're a spinal surgeon. Based out of St. Sebastian's Hospital in Los Angeles. I know that you went to Columbia and graduated med school a year faster than anyone else. I know that you were married. Only once, and that you contested the divorce. I know that your father died in Sydney. I know this because I have a copy of his autopsy report.
      Jack: How did you get--?
      Juliet: We got it.
      (noticing the file Juliet is holding)
      Jack: What is that?
      Juliet: This, Jack, is your life.

    • (Kate and Henry eating breakfast on the beach in an open aired hut)
      Kate: Why did you bring me here? Why did you make me put on this dress? Why are you feeding me breakfast?
      Henry: I brought you here so you could look out at the water and feel comforted. Comforted that your friends were looking out at the same ocean. I gave you the dress so you'd feel like a lady. And I wanted you to eat your food with a real life fork and feel civilized. ... I did all those things so that you'd have something nice to hold on to. (in a cold tone) Because Kate, the next 2 weeks ... are going to be very unpleasant.

    • Sawyer: You O.K., Freckles?
      Kate: Yeah. You?
      Sawyer: Just swell, I requested that cage, but whatever.

    • Karl: What are the people like from your plane?
      Sawyer: (sarcastically) Oh, they're just awesome!

    • Kate: I'm not showering in front of you!
      Tom: Kate, you're not my type.

    • Jack: I need to know who he is.
      Sarah: It doesn't matter who he is, it just matters who you're not.

    • Jack: What's your job besides making sandwiches?
      Juliet: Oh I didn't make it. I just put the toothpicks in.

  • NOTES (11)

    • Matthew Fox submitted this episode for consideration on his behalf in the category of "Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series" at the 2007 Emmy Awards.

    • This episode was nominated for the 2007 Golden Reel Award for Best Sound Editing in Sound Effects and Foley for Television - Short Form. This episode was nominated for the 2007 Emmy Award for Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series.

    • Although they are credited, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Mr. Eko), Naveen Andrews (Sayid), Yunjin Kim (Sun), Daniel Dae Kim (Jin), Jorge Garcia (Hurley), Henry Ian Cusick (Desmond), Emilie de Ravin (Claire), Rodrigo Santoro (Paulo), Terry O'Quinn (Locke), Dominic Monaghan (Charlie), and Kiele Sanchez (Nikki) do not appear in this episode.

    • The actors credited as "Guest Stars" are listed in alphabetical order.

    • Julie Bowen receives the "And" credit.

    • International air date:
      Brazil - March 5, 2007 on AXN
      Portugal - March 20, 2007 on FOX
      Sweden - November 1, 2006 on TV4
      Belgium (Flanders) - June 4, 2007 on VT4
      Finland - August 16, 2007 on Nelonen
      Czech Republic - September 2, 2007 on TV Nova
      Spain - Monday September 10, 2007 on FOX TV Spain
      Macedonia - Thursday September 27, 2007 on A1
      Italy - Monday October 1, 2007 on Fox
      Germany - Monday October 15, 2007 on Pro7
      The Middle East: Sunday, October 12, 2008 on MBC Action

    • This episode makes it so that only Jack and Kate have appeared in all three season premieres to date.

    • This episode has the least regular cast members appearing and the most absences of characters, so far.

    • A Jack-centric episode

    • At the beginning of the episode, the song that Juliet listens to is "Downtown" by Petula Clark. Then, when Sawyer is rewarded with a fish biscuit, you can hear the song "The Thunderer" by John Philip Sousa.

    • Michael Emerson (Ben), Henry Ian Cusick (Desmond), and Elizabeth Mitchell (Juliet) join the regular cast this season. Kiele Sanchez and Rodrigo Santoro are listed in the credits even though they have yet to appear in the series.


    • The scene with Kate in a dress was an allusion from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, with the idea of making tom-boyish Kate vulnerable.

    • Happy Days and Joanie Loves Chachi: Sawyer calls Karl "Chachi", a character on these TV shows which aired between 1974 to 1984.

    • Episode Title:

      The title A Tale of Two Cities is taken from a well-known Charles Dickens novel with the same title. In the novel, a man, learning he is to become the next Marquis St. Everemonde, is desperate to hide this information from his new father-in-law, a Briton who had been imprisoned by the man's uncle years before. Meanwhile, when he must return to Paris on matters of business, he is captured by the members of the French Revolution and sent to the guillotine. The man's life is spared by an acquaintance who takes his place at the guillotine, a British lawyer who bears an uncanny resemblance to the man.
      Also, in the official podcast, Damon Lindelof explained that the "two cities" refer to the two "societies" of the Others and the survivors.

    • When Sawyer escapes from the cage, the mood is very "Planet of the Apes". Even the music is reminiscent of "Planet of the Apes".