A Tale of Two Cities - Recap
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As with previous seasons, the opening scene contains an eye shot---this time the eye belongs to a woman who seems to be trying to relieve a month's worth of tension by drowning it in Petula Clark. Nonetheless, she begins to tidy up her house and leaps at the sound of something burning, and before she realizes it, she’s burned her hands on the scorching pan of muffins. The woman doesn’t have time to reflect on this, though---there’s a knock on the door, and before long her book club has convened. During the discussion, the woman gets into an angry argument about the choice of book with one of the other members---he thinks it’s “popcorn,” she thinks it’s a great book…in fact, it’s her favorite book.
Before the argument can go any further, though, there’s a very loud, earth-shattering rumble…one that brings everyone in this little community outside and looking up towards the sky. In minutes, the earth stops shaking, but soon there’s another point of interest---a very large plane, breaking up in midair and falling fast.
One man seems particularly interested in what’s just happened---so much so, in fact, he calls out to a man named Goodwin. “If you run, you can make that tail section in about an hour,” he says. He turns to another man, Ethan, and tells him to find the fuselage and blend in with the survivors, if there are any. The man instructs both to lay as low as possible (“Say nothing…if you’re asked questions, make up a story”) and they both set off towards their destinations. The man turns to the woman, named Juliet, and, noticing the book in her hands, quips that he’s “out of the book club.”
However, the surprises have yet to come. As the view shifts over the skyline, it becomes clear that this is no ordinary neighborhood. Nor is the plane crash any ordinary plane crash…
In flashback, Jack sits in his car across the street from a school. He’s got the Don Johnson fuzzy look going for him, and it looks like he’s been camping out in that spot for several days now. As he looks across the street, it become clear why…he’s staring at his estranged wife, Sarah, who seems more than a little friendly with the father of one of her students.
In the present, Jack suddenly wakes to find himself lying on a very large steel table underneath some dangling chains that have been bolted to the ceiling. He blinks to adjust to the dark room and to try and shake some of whatever it was that put him under out of him. He looks down at his arm and noticed that whoever’s put him there has taken a blood sample form him. His first move is to try the door, but it’s bolted shut. He explores the room a bit and discovers an intercom as well as a working camera that’s trained on him. What really sparks Jack’s interest, though, is an open door on the other side of the room. He strides towards it and…thud!. As Jack reels, he begins to pat along the seemingly invisible force keeping him from the door, and finds it’s a very thick piece of plastic glass, separating the room in two and effectively trapping him. Determined, he tries giving the glass a couple of solid kicks, but the glass holds, strong as ever. As his eyes widen in growing desperation, Jack calls out for Kate, hoping that she can hear him.
Kate, however, is slowly waking from the induced fog herself. She can hear water hitting a cement floor just as a familiar voice calls out: “Rise and shine, Kate!”
Kate scrambles dazily to her feet, and finds the voice belongs to Zeke, who’s as cheerful as ever. Kate demands to know where she is, and where Sawyer and Jack are, but Zeke brushes off these questions and tells Kate to take a shower. When Kate says she refuses shower in front of him, Zeke merely laughs. “Sorry, Kate,” he says with a chuckle, “but you’re not my type.” He then leaves her alone, and, lacking any other choices, begins to undress and steps into the shower.
Sawyer, meanwhile, wakes up to find that he’s been locked in a very large cage. His isn’t the only one, though---there’s a cage just across the way, and in it sits a young man with his back to Sawyer. When Sawyer tries to question the young man, his questions go unanswered. Finally, Sawyer decides to look around the cage and finds that there’s some strange sort of mechanical device inside as well. The device has three points---a foot press, a hanging lever, and a large round red button with a picture of a fork and spoon on it. When Sawyer pushes the button, a tinny voice chirps “Warning.” Confused but undeterred, Sawyer presses the button again, and the same thing happens.
“I wouldn’t do that,” says a voice. It’s the young man from across the way.
“When I want your advice, I’ll ask for it,” Sawyer snaps, and presses the button. As he does, a large electric charge shoots through the button and sends Sawyer flying straight into the bars of the cage. “Son of a bitch!” he rages.
“Told you,” quips the young man.
In the glass room, Jack has climbed up on the table and is trying to pull down one of the chains bolted to the ceiling, to no avail. Just then, a woman enters on the other side of the glass panel, greets Jack by name, and introduces herself---it’s Juliet, the woman from the book club.
Juliet strides over to a sound control panel and sits. She asks Jack to stop trying to pull down the chains, but he ignores her and continues railing against them. Jack also demands to know where Sawyer and Kate are, and Juliet tells him that she’s happy to tell him…as soon as he comes down from the table. “If you want me to come down you’re going to have to come in here and make me,” Jack says flatly. As he continues working on the chains, Juliet leaves.
Elsewhere, Kate finishes up her shower. She walks over to the small locker where she placed her clothes, only to find that they’ve gone missing. Wide-eyed and wrapped only in a towel, she calls out, wanting to know what’s happened to her clothes. As she scans the room, she sees a locker door bearing a message on a piece of masking tape: wear this. She opens the locker to find a white sundress. Though it’s obvious she’d rather wear the towel, she puts on the dress, and finds that it fits her quite well. There’s a low whistle behind her, and Kate jumps to find Zeke standing there, complimenting her on the new look. “He’s waiting,” Zeke tells her, and with that he leads her out of the shower room, accompanied by two rifle-toting guards. Kate finds herself being taken down an awning-covered path towards the beach, where there’s an open-air table set. She hesitates, though, when she sees who it is that’s set all of this in motion…the man she knows as “Henry Gale.” Nevertheless, Kate’s shoved towards the table, and she sits down in the chair that Gale has pulled out for her.
Though it’s clear that Kate’s has just about enough surprises for one day, she finds there are a lot more in store…and one of them is the set of long-slack handcuffs that are placed near her plate. Gale apologizes, but tells Kate she will have to put them on. If she doesn’t, he replies, she “can’t have any coffee.” In order to at least look like she’s in the spirit of cooperation, she clips the cuffs loosely onto her wrists, but Gale’s not having it. He tells her to tighten them up, and in defeat, she does. Again, she demands to know what’s become of Sawyer and Jack, but Gale only seems interested that she mentioned Sawyer first. Kate snaps that he doesn’t know her, and Gale agrees…he doesn’t.
Now Kate’s really upset. She demands to know what happened to her clothes, and is taken aback when she’s told that they were burned. She wants to know why, after being kidnapped and drugged and having a blood sample taken from her, he’s suddenly being so nice to her: giving her a shower, a new dress, even outside to have breakfast. Gale tells her that the breakfast outside was so that she could look out on the ocean and feel comforted by the knowledge that her friends in the south are looking at the same ocean. The dress and the meal were to make her feel like a real person, even a lady. All of this was done so that Kate, in Gale’s words, “had something to hold onto,” because it seems “the next two weeks are going to be very unpleasant.” Kate swallows hard at this last statement and wonders what to do next.
In flashback, Jack makes his way into a waiting room, and finds Sarah there. They’re going through the final stages of their divorce, but Jack’s just fired his lawyer. He turns to Sarah, pleading with her to give him one more chance to make things right. She refuses. He then asks about her new “friend”---who is he? Sarah tells him it’s none of his concern, and just then she gets a phone call from him. She walks a few feet away, just within earshot of jack, and the thought of his life in shambles and not knowing who’s on the other line is driving him insane. When she hangs up, Jack tells her she can have it all---everything he has---if she’ll only tell him who was on the other line. Taken aback, Sarah packs up her things and leaves in a hurry.
In the glass case, Jack makes another attempt on the door. Like before, it’s still bolted shut, and all he’s doing is tiring himself out. Desperate for water, he tips his head towards the ceiling, where there’s a few drops falling. However, the water Jack manages to catch in this manner doesn’t agree with him, and he spits it out.
All of a sudden, there’s a faint voice coming over the intercom. Jack tries a few times to hear the message, finally telling whoever’s on the other end that there’s too much static and he can’t hear them. Amidst the static, there’s a very familiar voice telling Jack to “let it go.”
Just then, the lights spring on, and Juliet enters on the other side of the panel. She’s carrying some water and a sandwich, and tells Jack that they are for him…but there’s a small catch. In order to get them, he has to sit in the far corner of his cell, across from the door, with his back against the wall. Once he does that, she’ll open the door and leave the tray. Jack tells her flat out that he’s not interested in food. Furthermore, she can tell whoever’s trying to talk to him over the intercom that he can quit trying. Juliet becomes concerned, telling him that he’s obviously hungrier than he thinks…the intercom hasn’t worked in years. Juliet tries again, telling him that the sandwich is “just off the frying pan,” but Jack tells her she can eat it.
Unfazed, Juliet sets the tray down on the control panel and asks Jack what his profession is. Not being in the cooperative vein at the moment, he tells her offhandedly that he’s a repo man, and that because “I’m a people person, I really enjoy it.” When she asks if he was ever married, he snaps that he hasn’t been, never seeing the point in it. Jack then asks Juliet what her job is, besides making sandwiches.
“Oh, I didn’t make it,” she says lightly. “I just put the toothpicks in.” Jack chuckles bitterly.
Juliet’s voice gets more serious, and she asks him where he was flying from before his plane crashed. Jack’s demeanor softens a little, and this time he tells the truth---he was flying from Sydney so that he could bring his father home. When Juliet asks why he went all that way just to get his father, Jack snaps that his father was dead, and he was going to claim the body. Juliet offers her condolences, to which Jack accepts with a pound of salt.
Juliet then walks up to the panel and places her hand against it. She tells Jack that she’s not going to hurt him, and that all she wants is for him to eat. Jack gets up and leans against the panel, his eyes staring level with hers, and asks her, “What the hell is going on here?” Juliet’s eyes turn away, her face clouding as though she’d like to tell him but she can’t, and she walks toward the door, taking a bite of the sandwich.
In his cage, Sawyer has been working on the mechanical contraption for several hours now, and has realized that all of the levers and buttons need to be pressed in order to make something happen. Unfortunately, they’re spaced just far enough apart that one person alone can’t hold them all down at the same time. As he tries to devise a way to hold down the foot pedal and hold down the hanging lever, he hears a voice call out to him---it’s the young man, and he’s suddenly curious about where Sawyer comes from: how far is it, what is it like, are the people nice? Sawyer chuckles, claiming that the people are “just awesome”…and that the last time “one of you came by for a visit, he was tortured by an Iraqi…but hell, he don’t know no better,” As Sawyer finally looks toward the cage across the way, he finds that the door’s wide open…and its inhabitant is now outside his door, picking the lock. Ignoring Sawyer’s questions, the young man tells him to follow a path that leads along a fence, and follow it he does…up until he runs into Juliet. Confused, Sawyer stands still a moment---just enough time for her to pull out the electric dart gun she has hidden in her jeans. She shoots him with a dart, causing Sawyer to fall to the ground in convulsions. He’s then unceremoniously dumped back into his cage, and then the young man is brought before him, his face looking much worse for the wear. Zeke orders him to apologize to Sawyer, which, grudgingly, he does. He’s then carried off towards the large buildings that shadow the cage area.
In flashback, Jack’s in his office, dialing up the numbers that appear on Sarah’s bill. He’s desperate to find out who her new interest is…and he’s raising concerns in his father, who’s just caught him calling down the list. He tells Jack to let it go, that he knows a thing or two about what he’s going through. Jack retorts that being a drunk doesn’t make him an expert in all things, and Christian stands gaping at Jack’s outburst. Jack continues in his search, and it so happens the next number on the list is one he should know well---it’s the one making his father’s phone ring. Embarrassed, Christian leaves, once again telling Jack to “let it go.”
In the glass case, Jack is sitting on the end of the steel table, tired out and contemplating his next move. His ears prick up when he hears the door open in the next room, and once again, it’s Juliet. She’s holding a plate of fruit now, and she tells him that the sedative that they gave him when he got here has a serious side effect---it causes dehydration. She tells Jack that his head is likely sore, his throat is raw and that if he doesn’t eat or drink something soon, he’s going to start hallucinating. Jack continues to sit on the table, and asks offhandedly if she’s a doctor. She quips that she’s not…she a repo woman. As Jack chuckles slowly, Juliet tells him that there’s no strings attached: he doesn’t have to answer any questions, he doesn’t have to do anything at all, except sit in the far corner with his back against the wall. When Jack still doesn’t move, Juliet tells him that she realizes what he’s doing---he thinks that if he does anything she asks, no matter how small, it’s as if he’s giving up completely. She assures him that he’s not giving up, and that he does need to eat. Jack thinks about this for a minute, and finally rises off of the table, goes over to the far corner, puts his back to the wall, and sits down. Juliet thanks him, and starts toward the bolted door.
In flashback, Jack is going through some final instructions with a patient when he spies his father taking a call on his cell. As Christian laughs and carries on his conversation, it’s clear that Jack is growing more jealous by the minute. He follows Christian to a hotel, and manages to barge in on his father’s AA meeting. By now, Jack’s too far gone, and nothing anyone says or does is calming him down or helping him to see reason. When Christian once again tells his son to “let it go,” Jack charges him, completely enraged.
As the bolted door begins to squeak open, Jack gets himself to his feet, and as the door swings open he rushes Juliet, knocking the plate out of her hand and pinning her to the table. She reaches in back of her to try and pull out her dart gun, but Jack knocks it across the room. He picks up a piece of the broken plate, holds it against her throat, and asks, “Which way out?”
Using Juliet as a shield, Jack makes his way down the short corridor, trying to kick in another bolted door to no avail and finally coming to a wheel-locked door. When Jack demands that Juliet open the door, however, she refuses, insisting that if she does, they die. The two argue until a third voice chimes in—that of “Henry Gale,” who concurs with Juliet.
“I swear to God, I will kill her,” Jack says evenly, making it clear he wants out.
“Okay…” Gale says. “Open the door and she dies anyway. We all do.”
Jack thinks on this for a split second, and then shoves Juliet away from him and begins opening the door. She and Gale make a run for the other exit, which Gale reaches first, locking it behind him. Just then, Jack begins to understand why they were so adamant about keeping the door locked---there’s a wall of water rushing inside, threatening to drown them!
Juliet manages to grab a hold of Jack before he’s swept away by the water, and the two of them manage to close the restraining door. Juliet tells him to push the button he’d seen earlier, and he does, activating a drain. Just then, Juliet punches Jack with a right hook to the jaw, knocking him out cold. She pulls him from the draining water, keeping his head aloft.
Meanwhile, Sawyer has finally figured out how to work the mechanical contraption---he manages to get a large rock to hold down the foot pedal, goes over to the button and pushes it, and tosses his boot at the hanging lever. To his surprise, the machine begins to erupt in song, and he celebrates his victory. However, the celebration is short-lived---Sawyer’s “prize” is a large fish-shaped biscuit and a mess of grain. There is, however, a dram or two of water that spits out into a trough, and Sawyer takes full advantage of that.
Just then, Sawyer hears someone coming…it’s Zeke, leading a clearly distraught Kate. He places her in the cage across the way and tells her to put her hands out so that he can remove the handcuffs. Kate’s wrists are badly cut and chafed, and Zeke takes note of it, promising to bring her some antiseptic for them later.
“How about an ottoman?” Sawyer asks, his smartass demeanor coming back to him. “While you’re at it, I could use a blow-dry.”
Zeke notices that Sawyer managed to get a fish biscuit, and Sawyer proudly tells him that he managed to figure out the contraption behind him.
“Only took the bears two hours,” says Zeke, laughing. Sawyer, crestfallen, retorts, “How many of them were there?”
Finally, it’s just him and Kate. He can see that she’s on the verge of tears, but she tells him that she’s all right. When he compliments her on the dress, she bitterly replies that she was forced to wear it. Sawyer offers Kate the rest of his biscuit, and using a coordinated effort, she manages to catch it and begins chomping hungrily on it.
Jack wakes up once again to find himself lying on the steel table in the glass case. On the other side of the panel, Juliet is sitting at the control panel, flipping through a rather large dossier. Jack finally realizes that the room he’s in was originally an aquarium, and that at one time it held things like sharks and dolphins. He asks Juliet if it was one of the Dharma Initiative’s “stations,” and she tells him it was---it was called “the Hydra.”
Jack asks her if she and her people are what’s left of the original group. Juliet tells him that that “was a long time ago.” She also tells him that who they are now is all that matters, and not who they were. Besides, she says, she knows all about Jack. When Jack tells her they don’t, she begins to recite some facts: Jack is a spinal surgeon, based out of St. Sebastian’s Hospital in Los Angeles; he went to Columbia, where he graduated med school a year before anyone else in his class; and that he was married only once, and contested the divorce. She also tells him that she knew his father died in Sydney---she has a copy of the autopsy report. When Jack asks how she got the report, she merely tells him that “we got it.”
The dossier, she explains, has information on his entire life. Jack asks if it only pertains to him; that is, does it also include information on his family and his friends?
Juliet says that it does. What would Jack like to know?
In flashback, Jack is sitting in jail after the incident with his father. To his surprise, he’s posted bail---and he surprised to find that Sarah is the one who posted it for him. She tries to make a hasty exit, but Jack stops her, pleading to know just who it is that’s standing next to her car. Sarah doesn’t answer, instead telling him that it doesn’t matter who he is---just that it’s not Jack. To add insult to injury, she also tells him that when his father called her to tell her what happened, he was so drunk she could barely understand him. “Look on the bright side…now you have something to fix,” she says, and then leaves Jack in shambles on the street.
Jack finally realizes what it was that he’d wanted to know for so long…”Is she happy?” he asks quietly.
“Yes, Jack,” Juliet replies. “She’s very happy.” With those words, Jack silently breaks down into tears.
Juliet rises from her seat, and tells him that she’d like to bring him something to eat, but she needs to know that he’s going to behave. Can she trust him? Jack slowly nods his assent, and makes his way toward the far corner, finally sitting with his back to the wall, his face streaming with tears.
Juliet walks out into the corridor, and is surprised to find “Henry Gale” standing there. He praises her for her “good work,” but Juliet isn’t impressed. “Thank you, Ben,” she says coldly, and turns towards the exit.