3×09: Stranger in a Strange Land (A JACK Episode)
Season 3: Episode 9 – “Stranger in a Strange Land”
Waiting in his Hydra station cell, Friendly tells Jack they’re moving him. Guards cuff Jack and take him out. In the hallway, he passes Juliet, who is also cuffed, and put into his old cell. Jack sees Friendly taking orders from a new woman, Isabel. Friendly warns Jack that Juliet is in trouble. Isabel is their “sheriff” and here to investigate Juliet.
Kate and Sawyer row towards their island. Kate wants to go back for Jack, but Sawyer says no. The tension is thick. Karl warns them that if they go back, Ben would kill them. They argue about rowing back to their camp or stopping for the night. Sawyer says he’s not rowing at night and they pull ashore. Kate is not happy about being told what to do.
Juliet is let out to show Jack a picture of Ben’s back. It’s infected and Ben has a fever. She wants Jack to help Ben as a favor to her. She’s in trouble for killing someone and this would help her case. Tired of no real answers and feeling manipulated, Jack refuses.
We flashback to Thailand. Jack comes out of his hut on the beach, buys sodas from a Thai boy, and tries to fly a kite. It’s a disaster. He can’t even put it together correctly. A Thai woman watches him and laughs at his efforts. She finally comes over and helps him. She surprises Jack by speaking English and introduces herself as Achara. She takes him to a restaurant where her brother, Chet, is the chef. She’s clearly flirting with him, but then a man approaches and gives Achara an envelope filled with money. Jack is suspicious. She will only tell Jack that she has a gift.
Back on the island, Isabel reads the Chinese characters of Jack’s tattoo and asks if he knows what it means. Jack says yes, but Isabel doubts him. There’s something chilling and dangerous about her. She takes him to Ben’s office. In a seemingly court like proceeding, with Juliet handcuffed to a chair, Isabel asks Jack if Juliet asked him to kill Ben. Jack lies and says no. He tells her that he would’ve said anything to get his friends out. Isabel doesn’t believe him.
Back in Sawyer’s old cage, Jack wakes up to find a group of Others staring at him like he’s a zoo exhibit. He’s angry and yells at them to leave. A woman says hello, and he remembers her. It’s Cindy, the flight attendant from the plane. He thought she was abducted. She’s okay but says it’s not as simple as that. With her are the kids, Emma and Zack. Emma wants to know if Ana Lucia is okay. Jack gets angry and tells Cindy to leave and watch whatever it is they came to see.
Kate and Sawyer wake up and realize Karl is gone. They search for him and find him in the jungle crying. He’s upset over leaving Alex. Sawyer talks to him and tells him to be a man. If he loves Alex, he should go after her even if it means Ben might kill him.
At Jack’s cage, Alex approaches. She’s worried about her father, Ben, and tells Jack that he needs his help. Jack asks why should he help? Alex says Juliet’s verdict is about to be read she’ll probably be killed since she killed Pickett. But Ben is still in charge. If Jack helps Ben, Ben can save Juliet.
In Thailand late one night, Achara slips into Jack’s room. He’s been there a month and he still knows nothing about her. He wants to be part of her life. She tells him there are some things that are personal, that things happen he could never understand. But old habits die hard, and Jack decides to follows her to see what her “gift” is. He discovers she has a tattoo parlor. Achara is disappointed with him. She reluctantly tells him she “sees” who people really are and marks them. That’s her gift. Jack asks her to tell him who he is. She won’t because he is an outsider. Jack is desperate he needs to know. She finally tells him he is a leader, a great man, but it makes him lonely, frightened and angry. Jack insists she mark him. Resigned, Achara warns him there will be consequences.
The next morning Jack realizes something is wrong when the Thai boy sees Jack and runs away. Achara’s brother, Chet, and his buddies storm up to Jack. Chet grabs Jack’s arm, pushes up his sleeve and sees the fresh tattoo. Chet is furious and punches him. Jack tries to fight back, but Chet and his buddies overpower him. Chet tells him to leave. Then Jack sees Achara down the beach watching, and realizes she’s the one who instigated this Jack’s an outsider who overstepped his bounds.
Back on the island, Jack makes a deal with Ben. He promises to stay and see Ben back to health if Ben stops Juliet’s execution. Ben tells Jack that Juliet is one of them, that she has no feelings for him. Jack doesn’t care. Ben agrees, and Alex races to the hearing room. She gives Isabel Ben’s note: Juliet’s sentence is commuted but she must be marked.
Afterwards, alive and grateful, Juliet brings Jack a sandwich. She’s obviously in pain, and Jack asks to see her mark. Juliet shows him: she has been branded on her lower back. She wants to know why he helped her. He says together they’re going to make Ben keep his word about letting them go home.
As they prepare to leave the island, Isabel tells Jack what his tattoo says: he walks among us but is not one of us. Jack tells her the characters may say that but the tattoo is not what they mean.
On the main island, Sawyer tells Kate he let Karl go. Kate’s upset. Karl could’ve lead them to where the Others live. Sawyer says Karl was a target, and that would’ve made them a target, too. He tells her not to take her frustrations out on him. He knows she feels guilty about leaving Jack behind and about them sleeping together. He knows she only did it because she thought he was a dead man. Kate is shocked he’s right but won’t admit it. She denies she feels guilty, and they begin the trek home.
Episode summary and photos courtesy from The Official ABC Lost Site.