A young Jack lies on the ground in fear as a bully threatens him, while his friend, Marc Silverman, is being beaten by another bully. Jack attempts to intervene, resulting in him getting a black eye from the bully.
Later on, Jack explains the fight to his father, who tells Jack about his day at the hospital over a glass of whiskey on the rocks. Christian says that he's able to cope with the difficult job of surgeon because he "has what it takes." He claims that he can make life or death decisions daily, because even when he fails, he can live with the consequences. He concludes that Jack should not "decide," because if he failed, he wouldn't "have what it takes".
Years later, Jack is talking with his mother, as an adult. She tells him that his father has gone away, to Australia, and that she wants Jack to go and get him. He refuses, saying that they haven't spoken in months. She makes her son feel guilty about what he did to his father (see A Tale of Two Cities and All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues), and she demands that Jack retrieve him.
In a hotel room in Australia, the hotel manager tells Jack that his father hasn't used the room in three nights, and that he was involved in an "incident" in the hotel bar. The manager also says that he didn't rent a car, because no one would rent him a car "in his condition". Searching the room, Jack finds bottles of alcohol, pills, and his father's wallet.
An unknown amount of time later, Jack walks down the hallway of a morgue. A mortician tells him that the body presumed to be his father's was found in an alley, with the cause of death suspected of being a fatal heart attack brought on by high blood alcohol levels. Jack identifies his father and fights back tears.
With nothing left for him in Australia, Jack heads to the airport, preparing to board Oceanic Flight 815. Lacking proper documentation, the airline's ticket agent refuses to allow Jack to store the coffin on the plane. Jack explains that he needs the coffin to be allowed on board because he has all the arrangements set for the funeral and he needs to bury his father, so that it will all be over.
On the Island
Jack is woken by Charlie in a state of panic, and the two rush to the shore amidst a crowd of survivors. The screams of a young woman are heard from out in the ocean. Charlie says, "I don't swim," so Jack dives in and swims to save her. However, Jack finds Boone in need of assistance (he had also tried to save the woman) and pulls him back to the beach. Looking back, the group realizes it is now too late for Jack to go after the woman, and all they can do is stand there as her screams die out.
Later, while talking to Kate about the young woman whom Jack finds himself responsible for her death, Jack sees a man dressed in a suit, watching from a distance as he had a few days before. Jack asks Kate if she saw him too. She says she did not, and asks Jack how long it has been since he slept.
Hurley and Charlie approach Jack to tell him the survivors are running low on fresh water. Boone, angry with Jack for saving him and not Joanna, gets into an argument with Jack, asking who made him their leader. Jack, distracted by another appearance of the suited man, runs off after him.
Claire, who earlier showed signs of heat exhaustion and dehydration, collapses, and when Kate goes to give her some water, it is discovered that someone has stolen what little remained of their water supply. Locke announces he will go into the jungle and search for a source of fresh water, mentioning that he is the only survivor who would know where to look.
Jack finds the suited man at the edge of the jungle, and when the man turns around, it is revealed to be his father. After recovering from his shock, Jack chases the man into the jungle. As Jack runs further into the jungle, his father disappears and reappears several times, and the pursuit is punctuated several times by the adding machine sound of the Monster. The chase culminates when Jack sees his father closer than he has appeared before, and runs toward him full force, almost as if to tackle him. Christian disappears once more, leaving Jack to fall down a rocky hill, rolling off the side of a cliff. He grabs onto some roots, and tries to hoist himself up but is unable to do so. It takes a fortunate appearance by Locke to get him back on solid ground, where all Jack can do is break out into laughter.
In a manhunt to find out who stole the water, it is discovered that Jin traded with Sawyer for some water; however, when Sayid and Kate follow Sawyer to see where he is hiding the water, it turns out that the bottles he traded were the last of his own supply.
Jack and Locke discuss Jack's "hallucination", and Locke advises that he should pursue it, comparing it to the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland. Locke tells Jack to put it to rest, and consider the possibility that everything that is happening on the Island happens for a reason. He then tells Jack, "I looked into the eye of the Island, and what I saw... was beautiful," referring to his previous encounter with the Monster.
Later, night has fallen, and Jack sits at a fire. A figure moves behind him, and he hears a sound reminiscent of ice rattling in a whiskey glass. He lights a torch, and heads into the jungle, following the man. He finds a cave with a spring of fresh water, where he finds some debris from the plane, including what appears to be his father's coffin. Jack opens it and finds it empty. He tears apart the coffin in frustration.
Back on the beach, Boone gives water to an unconscious Claire. It is revealed that it was Boone who stole the water, in an attempt to take responsibility for its rationing. A fight ensues, but Jack returns and interrupts, saying that he has found fresh water and that they must all band together if they are to survive, because "if we can't live together, we're going to die alone."