In FLASHBACK, Jack and his father Christian diagnose an elderly man with a spinal tumor and determine that he's not a candidate for surgery. But the man and his daughter reveal that they specifically sought out Jack. They know about his accomplishments with Jack's wife Sarah - how he enabled her to walk after her spine was crushed in a car accident - and they're looking for a miracle. Much to his father's dismay, Jack agrees to perform the surgery.
Jack and the man's daughter, Gabriella, form a connection - a dangerous one, according to Christian, who warns Jack to keep his distance. But Jack is spending nights and weekends at the hospital, working overtime, while Gabriella is there at her father's side through a myriad of tests and pre-surgical procedures. And this is causing disharmony at home - Jack and Sarah's marriage is paying the price because Jack is considered a "miracle worker."
After seven and a half hours of surgery, Jack loses his patient on the operating table. Christian blames the man's age and weakened heart, but Jack blames himself, frustrated at his inability to save him. Jack leaves the hospital and finds a distraught Gabriella in tears, waiting in the parking lot. And in a moment of grief and weakness, they share a kiss. But Jack pulls away and tells Gabriella that he can't. He returns home to Sarah and comes clean about the encounter. He vows that things will be different; that he's going to put more effort into their marriage; that he's going to fix it. But Sarah feels that Jack will always need something to fix and reveals some news of her own that leaves Jack reeling.
Now on the island, Jack finds himself alongside Locke on a mission to try and save a fellow survivor: Michael, armed with a gun from the armory, who's out in search of Walt. Sawyer tags along, seeking revenge on the people who shot him. Kate argues her case to go with them and help them track. But Jack shoots her idea down and tells her to stay behind.
Out on the trek, they hear gunshots and discover casings from Michael's gun. But it's getting dark and Locke wants to return to camp. Jack, however, wants to push forward, find Michael and convince him to come back with them - arguing that it's their responsibility. Locke argues that Michael won't return without Walt and wonders who they are to tell anyone what they can or can't do…a callback for our loyal viewers who know what this statement means to John Locke.
Their disagreement is interrupted by a familiar face out in the middle of the jungle - the same man who shot Sawyer and took Walt. And he knows their names. He takes Locke's side in the argument, telling our team to turn around and go back to where they came from. And when Sawyer makes a move forward, the man shows them just how serious he is, grazing Sawyer's ear with a bullet.
Jack demands to know where Michael is and what happened to Walt. The man tells him that Walt is fine and that Michael will never find them. He goes on to tell them that their curiosity is going to get them killed and orders Jack, Locke and Sawyer to give up their weapons and turn around - this is Their island and the only reason our survivors are living on it is because They allow it.
When Jack calls his bluff, twenty-odd torches light up in he woods around them, revealing that this guy has serious back-up. When Jack continues to refuse to lay down his weapon, the guy pulls his final card and has Kate brought out of the jungle, a gun to her head. After a brief stand-off, Jack finally relents. The guy releases Kate, the torches go out and he melts back into the jungle, bringing this encounter with the Others to an end.
On the trek home, Jack isn't happy that Kate took it upon herself to follow them out there and put herself in harm's way. Though she tries to apologize, he shuts her down and gives her the cold shoulder. Instead, he turns to another woman on the island - Ana Lucia - and asks her how long it would take to build an army. It seems that Jack doesn't intend to give up that easily this time…