Season 3 Episode 9

Stranger in a Strange Land

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Feb 21, 2007 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
1,683 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Jack bargains with Ben to save Juliet while Kate and Sawyer struggle with the consequences of their escape.

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  • I liked it!

    Jack has flashbacks of how he got the tattoo. He meets a woman with a gift of seeing who people really are and marking them. She marks him against her will and locals beat him up and tell him to leave.

    Jack is moved to Sawyer's cage. Juliet has killed one of the Others, so she is on trial. Sawyer, Kate and Karl get to the other island. Jack saves Juliet's life by making a deal with Ben. He has an infection, so Jack agrees to take care of him. Sawyer talks to Karl about Alex.

    This episode was great! The flashbacks didn't make too much sense to me though. This episode gets a 9.0 out of 10!moreless
  • ok

    Juliet is put on trial for killing Pickett. With Jack and Ben's help, Juliet does not receive the death penalty. The Others and Jack return to the Others' suburban-like homes on the main island. Flashbacks show Jack getting his tattoos during a strange vacation in Thailand. Stranger in a strange land is probably the worst episode of Lost yet can't beleave how poor this episode was, I have enjoyed every single episode of Lost so far but this one was terible nothing happened Jacks flashbacks were boring and the island stories were pointless, I can't remember anything good to say about this episde.moreless
  • There is alot to take in at this point as this episode is split, we have 3 of them leaving the island, Jack having flashbacks to his time in Phucket and Juliet having to face a court of the others, for her actions taken in the last couple of episodes.moreless

    The 3 in the boat are half way across when Kate says that they have to go back for Jack, Sawyer disagrees saying it was Jack's wishes for them to leave him, Karl in a semi-daze tells them that if they go back they will kill them both, then mutters "God loved you as he loved Jacob" and passes out.

    Tom goes into the room Jack is being kept in and tells him they are going to move him, Jack says is that your way of saying you are going to kill me, Tom asks him what kind of people does Jack think they are, so he rattles off a list of crimes only to get told, would you like some stones for your glasshouse and is moved to the bear cages outside, possibly the one Sawyer was in.

    He settles down and shortly after Tom brings him a sandwich, Jack says he likes it the way Juliet does it, lightly grilled and with sticks in them, he asks after the other woman, the figurative sheriff, but when he is asked about himself helping out Kate and Sawyer he remains still and ends the conversation.

    Kate believes that they should be heading around the shore, not into land, Sawyer argues saying they have no food, water or a map to navigate around the island and that they can go and camp on the island for the night. They get onto land and whilst it is still light Sawyer offers mardy Kate some fruit, who refuses and Karl tells them they should not fight as they are lucky to be alive and to be together. They talk to Karl about things, like projects, back yards and names of made up constellations.

    Juliet is escorted to Jacks cage and asked if he'll help with Ben, as he has got an infection around his stitches. Jack refuses to help Juliet of Ben. Later Isabelle, the sheriff, approaches Jack talking chinese and asking if he knows what it means as it can be hard to translate, he says he does. He is taken to a room in the hydra where he is asked to explain questions regarding claims that Juliet asked him to kill Ben, he remains very silent and lies and says that he made it up to cause disdain amongst the ranks.

    From Jack's flashbacks we learn that he spent about 6 weeks in Phuket, most of which is spent with a tattoo-artist / personality seer, but he makes her see into him and then tattoo it to his body, but she doesn't want to as he is an outsider, not allowed, but he insists, the following morning he is beaten by her brother and friends and told to leave the beach and country.

    The following day Jack is like and feels like an exhibit, as the ones taken by the others are outside the bear cages, Cindy the stewardess is there, but the qustions are making Jack angry and he shouts at them to leave which they do. Alex comes to see him, breaks the cctv camera and lets him out in order to go and see her father, to get Juliet's execution stopped, which they do after he has promised to see that Ben is looked after properly.moreless
  • Actually, this episode is underrated. Some of the script was dodgy, but the story was pretty good.

    First. TV.com scores are really tricky. By TV.com's rating system this episode should be around 4-5. Between "poor" and "average". But... it's at 7.9. However, 7.9 is awfully low compared to other episodes, even though 7.9 is "Good", almost "Great."

    my point is that TV.com ratings are flawed. I think this episode is underrated becuase in reality this 7.9 score is probably a 5. Anyway, the reason this is underrated is because some people just automatically start hating an episode if it's Jack centric. Yes, it was not nearly the best Jack episode, but there were a couple of very decent scenes.

    I'd say the flashbacks had all the weak parts. It felt a bit forced, Achara's character was way too artificial, it was simply bad writing. Her lines were all like "I'm mysterious" "I have a secret" "I cant tell you anything, you're not supposed to know!" Not cool. Because of this, the conclusion of the flashback might be very confusing for the majority. The island plot on the other hand was between Good and Above Average. At only one point I thought it was weak-ish, and that was Kate and Sawyer letting Karl go. That was cheap!

    The previous episode's theme was "LOVE". Now, Sawyer letting Karl go just so he can reunite with his love, if we follow the concept of the previous episode is ok. BUT NO, it is not! Sawyer letting Karl go would've been fine if he actually answered some of the most obvious questions. Heck, Sawyer, the guy who hates being not answered to was happy to let Karl go without him even telling him WHO the hell the others are.

    Apart from this, it was a good episode. Finding out a bit about the others' community(that they have a law system) and developing the relationship of Jack and Juliet were great elements.

    Overall, perhaps, the weakest effort of season 3, but that's saying alot: It was still good!moreless
  • Every Season of Lost so far I have seen has had at least one real dud and this is one for Season 3. And the timing couldn't have been worse!!!!

    As if things for Lost wern't bad enough with rapidly declining viewing figures and disparaging fan comments, the writers turn in this added salt to the wound. I'm not sure if it is the worst of the series to date but it is pretty close. Up to now I have always enjoyed Jack flashback episodes and could never agree with fans negative remarks about them. How could you not love episodes like All the Best Cowboys... and Do No Harm from Season 1 or Man of Science, Man of Faith from Season 2. Most fans criticisms are targeted at the flashbacks themselves rather than the island action. I personally enjoy the Jack flashbacks - they are always copelling, emotional and full to the brim with tension and they never harm the momentum of the island action, which Kate flashbacks or Jin and Sun flashbacks tend to do.

    Post-Man of Science, Man of Faith, however, I would agree that his episodes haven't had the same punch as is expected. The Hunting Party fell a little flat come the end, A Tale of Two Cities offered some exciting moments but the scope was limited to a few characters and locations and did harm the dynamic of The Others somewhat. And that brings us to this one which hurts the dynamic of the show. Some people complained about the lack of answers again but that is not something I grumble at. I let the writers tell the story the way they want and hope that they tie up everything come the end. I don't try to hasten all this to happen overnight. Others complained about the flashback itself, which I would agree is the weakest flashback yet. The island action is not that much better, however, as not much happens to carry the episode along. There have been few episodes where my attention has been averted to something else whilst watching. Boring is a harsh word to use but it is the best way to describe what happens. So the writers try to answer some more questions but none of those answers are important enough to really move the plotline along. But as I have said before, I don't mind that too much. After all people should not complain, as the last three episodes have all given us answers, even if they're not the answers we were looking for.

    The thing that is sorely missing from this episode and indeed much of the 3rd season so far is the sense of the adventure that we had in past seasons. As soon as the season began the narrative and visual landscape changed. The Others' true colors had been revealed which harmed the mystery and creepiness of the show and focus on the Hydra station limited the freedom to move the characters from point A to B with an adventure. The show needs to get back the Missions, the treks that was key to teh show's success in the earlier days.

    Seeing characters communicating is good for the character drama, if it is really gripping and compelling but you can have too much of it and this season has seen too much of it so far.

    This is my only complaint but Season 2 started off a little slow too only for it to fire on all cylinders in the second half. I can only imagine that that will be the case with this season and as the ratings improved considerably from here on in that is sure to be the case.

    This would be Lost's lowest point before the revival. From this point on Lost would regroup, reinvent and restore itself to its former glories. But as more fans drifted by the wayside it could have been too late to prove it to the masses!moreless
Bai Ling

Bai Ling


Guest Star

Diana Scarwid

Diana Scarwid


Guest Star

Shannon Chanhthanam

Shannon Chanhthanam

Thai Boy

Guest Star

M.C. Gainey

M.C. Gainey

Tom Friendly

Recurring Role

Tania Raymonde

Tania Raymonde

Alex Rousseau

Recurring Role

Blake Bashoff

Blake Bashoff


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (12)

    • When Jack is at the beach with Achara preparing and flying his kite, the shorts he is wearing switch from being wet to dry and back again many times.

    • Jack's kite was designed by Buteo Huang and is known as the Starbird.

    • Although Isabel is one of the Others, this is her only appearance on the series.

    • If you look at Juliet for the very quick peek inside of her trial/meeting when Tom opened the door, you can see she obviously has her hair tied back. In the following shots of her, her hair is loose.

    • Island events in this episode take place on December 3rd and December 4th 2004.

    • Numbers: 8

      In flashbacks Jack wears a pendant in the shape of the number 8.

    • The plant that Jack asks Juliet to use on the mark on her back is Aloe vera, used externally as treatment to various skin conditions, easing the pain and reducing any rashes.

    • Although Jack supposedly doesn't have the tattoo before the girl does it, when he is lying on the floor with her on top of him you can see just slightly a greenish color on his shoulder from the pyramid shaped tattoo on his shoulder, however the make-up artists did well to cover it as much as they did.

    • Goof: Jack is supposedly learning to fly a kite in Thailand. His new friend and the waiter in the restaurant communicate in Thai - but they eat with Japanese-style chopsticks. There's no tradition of chopstick use in Thailand, they would have had forks and maybe spoons.

    • In the room where Juliet is to be sentenced there can briefly be seen a DHARMA logo with a scorpion in the center.

    • Goof: Jack's tattoo does not literally translate as: "He walks amongst us, but he is not one of us". This was created by the writers. It translates correctly in Chinese as: "Eagles high up, cleaving the space" - a verse taken from a famous poem called Ch'ang-sha by former Chinese Chairman Mao Tse-tung (Zhedong).

      Nevertheless, the poem itself has a much deeper meaning as we can see in the end of the second stanza when the poet asks: "Who masters fate's rise and descent?" - which might have influenced the writers' translation.

    • The mark that Juliet receives is a simplified and inverted form of the Rose-Cross, the symbol of the Rosicrucian Order, an hermetic society documented in the 17th century, which aimed to help humanity's spiritual development.

      Some modern societies are believed to have been influenced by the Rosicrucianism (including the Freemasonry and the Church of Scientology).

      Nevertheless, the inversion of the symbol normally means opposition to its precepts or disrespect for them.

  • QUOTES (31)

    • Jack: (to Alex) I saved your father because I said I would.

    • Jack: Is he still in charge?
      Alex: What?
      Jack: Ben, your father, is he still in charge? Will that woman, Isabel, do what he says?
      Alex: Yeah.
      Jack: Get me out of this cage!

    • Alex: I want to ask you something. They're not watching anymore so you can tell me the truth.
      Jack: Okay.
      Alex: Ben. Why'd you save his life? All this time... after all he did to you and your people you should hate it. But you still fixed him up, even after your friends got away. Why?
      Jack: You're his daughter.
      Alex: Answer the question.
      Jack: I'll answer your question if you answer one of mine. Where's Juliet?
      Alex: She's with the rest of them. They're gonna read her verdict.

    • Isabel: Ben has commuted Juliet's sentence. Execution is off the table. He says the rules don't apply. He has, however, ordered her to be marked.

    • Jack: Do you see who I am, Achara?
      Achara: Yes.
      Jack: Who am I?
      Achara: You are a leader, a great man, but this... this makes you lonely, and frightened, and angry.
      Jack: Good. Now, put it on me. Put it on me!

    • Juliet: They'll be coming for you in a few minutes. All of them. Your friends know where we are, so we have to leave this island to go back to where we live.
      Jack: Go where?
      Juliet: Well, Ben calls it home.

    • Achara: There will be consequences, Jack.
      Jack: There always are.

    • Sawyer: Anyway, look, Karl... (Sawyer seems at a loss for words) I've been with a lot of girls -some of them worth the trouble, some not. Every now and again, there's one. One you name dumb stars with. So this girl, Sally Slingshot.
      Karl: Alex.
      Sawyer: Yeah. You love her?
      Karl: More than anything.
      Sawyer: Then go back to wherever the hell your yards are and get her back.
      Karl: If I get caught, they'll kill me this time.
      Sawyer: Well, at least it'll be worth it.

    • Alex: We're pretty strict about killing one of our own. Eye for an eye.
      Jack: Who did she kill?
      Alex: The man who was going to murder your friends. No wonder you're so worried about her. If it wasn't for you she never would have done it.

    • Jack: What are you doing here with them? I thought you were taken. You were, you were captured.
      Cindy: They're not, um ... it's not that simple.
      Jack: What are they doing here, right now? What are you doing here?
      Cindy: We're here to watch, Jack.
      Jack: Watch what?
      (The little girl, Emma, from the tail section approaches.)
      Cindy: What is it, sweetheart?
      (Emma whispers in her ear and waits with a big smile.)
      Cindy: She wants to know how Ana Lucia's doing.
      Jack: Are you serious?
      Cindy: What?
      Jack: (Yelling) If you've got something to watch, Cindy, go watch it!! Go!!

    • Jack: You need a doctor, Ben, someone to stay with you, bring you back to good health
      Ben: (sigh) And, here we go again. I've already given you a ticket off this island, Jack. What's it gonna cost me this time?
      Jack: Right now, your people are in a room deciding whether or not to execute Juliet. You're gonna stop it.
      Ben: Juliet doesn't care about you, Jack. It doesn't matter what she's done. No matter what you think, she's one of us.
      Jack: Do we have a deal, or not?

    • Jack: You've got a very serious infection, Ben. That infected tissue needs to be reinsized, debrided and you need to be very closely monitored from here on out. There might be nerve damage or any other number of complications. You might not walk again.
      Ben: Your bedside manner leaves something to be desired, Jack.
      Jack: Well, then it's too bad you're stuck with me.

    • (We see a man about to inject a needle in Ben's infected back. Jack busts in)
      Jack: I wouldn't do that!
      Ben: The cavalry has arrived, at last.
      Jack: I'd be much more impressed with you people if you had a good surgeon.
      Ben: We had an excellent surgeon, Jack. His name was Ethan.

    • Sawyer: I let [Karl] go.
      Kate: He could have led us back to where they live!
      Sawyer: What, you think I cut him loose because I'm so damn sensitive? The kid's a target! Ben ain't never going to stop looking for him ...
      Kate: All Ben wants is that kid as far from his daughter as possible!

    • Jack: You want me to help [Ben] again?
      Juliet: Yes.
      Jack: (Laughing) Are you sure about that, Juliet?
      Juliet: Yes, I'm sure.
      Jack: And this is because he said that he would let you go home.
      Juliet: No. No. It's because I'm in trouble.
      Jack: Trouble for ...
      Juliet: I just killed someone. It's why they put me in your room.
      Jack: Who?
      Juliet: It's complicated.
      Jack: Well, then, let me simplify it for you. I'm not going to help him. And I'm not going to help you.

    • Sawyer: Never thought I'd be glad to get back to this rock again.
      Kate: What are you doing?
      Sawyer: What does it look like? I'm heading into shore.
      Kate: Why? If we just keep going we can circle round. Sooner or later we'll get to camp. We can tell Locke and Sayid what happened ...
      Sawyer: Oh, we will, huh? You got a map you ain't showing me, Magellan? We've got no food, no water, and I can't steer in the dark.
      Kate: Then I'll steer.
      Sawyer: No, you'll come ashore; we'll make camp. You want to contribute ... you can build a campfire while I carry the kid. (Kate just stares at him) Glad we agree.

    • Sawyer: Don't take it out on me because you feel guilty.
      Kate: I don't feel guilty.
      Sawyer: The hell you don't!
      Kate: We had to leave Jack behind! I didn't have a choice!
      Sawyer: I'm not talking about leaving Jack behind ... I'm talking about you and me. I know you did it because you thought I was a dead man, so don't beat yourself up because the doc's left behind.
      Kate: I'm not beating myself up.
      Sawyer: Of course you're not. So now that we got that out of the way, let's go.

    • Sawyer: Are you coming or not?
      Kate: Should I walk beside you or ten paces behind you!? You've gotten so good at telling me what to do I can't think for myself anymore!

    • Isabel: Please, have a seat, Jack. As you may have gathered, we don't live on this little island. In fact, most of us don't really even like coming here. There's been an incident I'm investigating and I need to ask you some questions. So, I was hoping you may help me clear up a few of the inconsistencies. Now, correct me if I'm wrong Tom, but you said, "in the midst of a surgical procedure, Jack made several comments indicating Juliet has asked him to kill Ben?"
      Tom: Yeah, that's right.
      Isabel: Is that true, Jack? Did Juliet ask you to kill Ben? (Jack does not answer) The question is simple: did Juliet ask you to kill Ben?
      Jack: No. No, I was lying. I would have done anything to get my friends out. And, turning you people against each other was my best chance of creating chaos.
      Isabel: Why are you lying for her, Jack?
      Jack: I'd like to go back to my cage, now.

    • (Isabel walks up to Jack's cage and says something in Chinese)
      Isabel: I was just reading your tattoos. The "5" and the stars are cute. But, the Chinese I find a bit ironic.
      Jack: You find what ironic?
      Isabel: What it says. You do know what it says?
      Jack: Yeah, I know what it says.
      Isabel: Are you sure? Chinese is a very complicated language; it's very easy for something to get lost in translation.
      Jack: I know what it says!

    • Kate: What did you do with the people that you took, the kids?
      Karl: We give them a better life.
      Kate: Better than what?
      Karl: Better than yours.

    • Kate: That island we were on: is that where your people live?
      Karl: Just where we work.
      Kate: Work on what?
      Karl: Projects.
      Sawyer: Oh, sure! Like the "Steal-A-Kid-Off-A-Raft" project? That was a humdinger!
      Kate: So, you don't actually live on that island?
      Karl: Nope.
      Kate: Do you live here, on this island?
      Karl: Yes, ma'am.

    • (Tom folds a plate with a cheese sandwich on it and puts it through the bars of Jack's cage)
      Jack: Juliet grilled these for me. Who was that woman?
      Tom: That would be, the "sheriff."
      Jack: You have a sheriff?
      Tom: Not literally, Jack.
      Jack: Why are you moving Juliet into my room?
      Tom: Cause, she's in trouble, Jack! Now, don't try anything stupid! You stay put in this cage. Okay?
      Jack: You say that like you're not watching me from that camera right there!

    • Jack: You just helped me save [Ben's] life. If you're gonna kill me, please, at least show me the respect of not calling it "moving."
      Tom: Now, why would we kill you?
      Jack: Because, you're done with me.
      Tom: What kind of people do you think we are, Jack?
      Jack: Oh, I don't know, Tom. The kind of people that would take a pregnant woman, hang Charlie from a tree, would drag our people out of the jungle, would kidnap children! That's the kind of people I think you are.
      Tom: See this glass house you're living in, Jack? How 'bout I get you some stones.

    • Isabel: "He walks amongst us, but he is not one of us." Your tattoos, that's what they say.
      Jack: That's what they say. It's not what they mean.

    • (Sawyer sees Karl crying and punches him in the arm.)
      Karl: Ow! What the hell was that for?
      Sawyer: So you'd cowboy up. Crying in the jungle. I thought you people were supposed to be tough.
      (Karl pushes Sawyer back)
      Karl: I am tough!
      Sawyer: Sure you are, Bobby.
      (Karl gives him a blank look)
      Sawyer: Bobby? The Brady Bunch?
      Karl: What the hell is The Brady Bunch?

    • Karl: There's not going to be any moon tonight, it will be dark. Me and Alex used to lie in my backyard at night and make up names for the constellations. You can't see it yet, but right there will be Ursa Theodorus, the "Teddy-Bear."
      Sawyer: You have backyards?
      Karl: Yeah.
      Sawyer: Well, ain't that quaint.

    • Karl: You shouldn't fight.
      Sawyer: When the hell did you wake up?
      Karl: You shouldn't fight because you're lucky to be alive.
      Sawyer: Golly, I think he's got a point.

    • Sawyer: You think about it; we go back there, what do you think Captain Bunny Killer is gonna do if he catches us?
      Karl: Kill you. "God loves you as he loved Jacob."
      Sawyer: Okay, thanks for the input! (To Kate) Sorry, Kiddo, Jack's on his own.

    • Kate: Stop.
      Sawyer: What, you wanna turn steering?
      Kate: We have to go back.
      Sawyer: What the hell are you talking about?
      Kate: Turn the boat around, Sawyer, I mean it.
      Sawyer: Have you lost your mind? We just got away!
      Kate: Just do it!
      Sawyer: You give me one good reason.
      Kate: Because we can't leave Jack behind!
      Sawyer: Yes we can, Freckles, because that's what he asked us to do.

    • Juliet: Why did you help me?
      Jack: He told you he was gonna let you go home, they told me the same thing. We're gonna make sure he keeps his word.
      Juliet: And how are we going to do that?
      Jack: Together.

  • NOTES (7)

    • Kimberley Joseph (Cindy) passed from recieving the "Guest Starring" credit, to the "Co-Starring" credit, even though she changed it in "The Other 48 Days", but the other way around.

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

    • This is a Jack-centric episode.

    • International Air Dates:
      Denmark: March 21, 2007 on Kanal 5
      The Netherlands: April 27, 2007 on Net 5;
      Portugal: May 22, 2007 on Fox.
      Finland: September 11, 2007 on Nelonen
      The Czech Republic: October 28, 2007 on TV Nova
      Spain: Monday October 8, 2007 on FOX TV Spain
      Macedonia: Thursday November 15, 2007 on A1
      Germany: Monday December 10, 2007 on Pro7

    • The tattoos seen on Jack are real, Matthew Fox had them before he even started working on Lost. The producers decided that the tattoos worked well with the character so they did not cover them up.

    • This is the first fully Jack-centric episode not to feature John Terry (Christian Shephard). The first part of the pilot and the season one finale don't really count, since they didn't focus on Jack's past beyond the flight.

    • The song Sawyer is singing in the episode's opening scene is a folk song called "Show Me the Way to Go Home" by Irving King.


    • Tom: See this glass house you're living in Jack? How about I get you some stone?

      Tom is making a reference to the saying, "He who lives in a glass house shouldn't throw stones."

    • Brady Bunch: Sawyer calls Karl Bobby Brady. The Brady Bunch was an American television situation comedy, based around a large blended family. The show originally aired from 1969 to 1974, also on the ABC network.

      The precocious and often overlooked Bobby was often portrayed as a whimsical dreamer; fantasizing about having various adventurous lifestyles such as being a race car driver, a cowboy, and an astronaut.

    • Episode Title: It could also be a reference to Exodus 2:22: "And she bare him a son, and Moses called his name Gershom, for he said, I have been a stranger in a strange land."

      Gershom is a Hebrew name that means "exile" (according to Hanks and Hodges' A Dictionary of First Names) or that can also literally mean "Stranger" (from the phrase "ger sham").

      "Stranger in a strange land" is also the title of a Robert A. Heinlein novel, in which the main character has special abilities, including the ability to make things and people disappear. The book is also where the word "grok" originates.

    • Sawyer: You got a map you ain't showing Magellan?

      This a reference to the Portuguese navigator, Ferdinand Magellan, or in portuguese, Fernão de Magalhães, known for leading the voyage that became known as the first successful attempt at world circumnavigation.

    • The song Sawyer sings at the beginning of the episode is the folk song, "Show Me the Way to Go Home." The three shark-hunting protagonists of the 1975 horror film Jaws sing this song while waiting out the night on their small boat.

    • Episode Title: "Stranger in a Strange Land" is the title of a science fiction novel by Robert A. Heinlein. It is about a human who returns to earth after being raised on Mars by Martians.