TV Article

'Lost': The Ultimate Viewer's Guide

Before the season 3 premiere (Oct. 4) of ABC's twisty drama, check out our in-depth profiles of 12 major characters

Image credit: Lilly: Art Streiber/ABC; Emerson: Bob D'Amico/ABC
Image credit: Matthew Fox: Mario Perez

Jack

Matthew Fox

BACKSTORY The son of an aloof, alcoholic surgeon, Jack himself became a surgeon who was long on skill but short on bedside manners. His life took a pivotal turn when he performed a risky spinal surgery on a car-crash victim named Sarah (Julie Bowen), despite his coldly reasonable — and ultimately incorrect — assumption that she was destined for paralysis. Jack learned all the wrong lessons from the experience: He married Sarah though he had nagging doubts, and became a workaholic who was hooked on saving people. Ultimately, Sarah left him for another man. Jack's clash with his father, Christian (John Terry), finally boiled over when Pop was caught operating while drunk, and Jack refused to keep his secret. Christian then went to Australia to lose himself in drink, and, it seems, to visit his daughter, who was unknown to Jack. Christian drank himself to death Down Under, and Jack was bringing his father's body to the U.S. when Oceanic 815 crashed.

ISLAND LIFE SO FAR Jack's savior complex came in handy in the wake of the crash: He immediately provided much-needed medical care and leadership, and organized the survivors into a makeshift society. Asserting himself as an authority figure has frequently put him at odds with the group's rogue, Sawyer; making matters worse, both men are attracted to fetching fugitive Kate. Jack has also clashed with John Locke over their divergent worldviews. More recently, he's been dealing with the Others, a creepy group of island dwellers whose intentions thus far seem dastardly — they were responsible, after all, for the abduction of fellow passenger Michael's (Harold Perrineau) son, Walt (Malcolm David Kelley). To get Walt back, Michael murdered Libby (Cynthia Watros) and Ana Lucia (Michelle Rodriguez), two survivors from the plane's tail section, then duped Jack into believing the Others were responsible. When Jack organized a plan to rescue Walt, he led his helpers right into a trap, one designed to snare him, Kate, and Sawyer.

BURNING QUESTION FOR SEASON 3 ''Why is he being held captive?'' asks exec producer Carlton Cuse. Adds exec producer Damon Lindelof: ''We know Jack's wife fell in love with another man — who was that other man?''

WE PREDICT Jack finds love, perhaps with new cast member Elizabeth Mitchell, who may or may not be an Other. And wouldn't it be ironic if Sarah's other man was an Other?

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