Jack enacts his daring plan to defend the camp against the Others, turn off the jamming equipment in the Looking Glass, and contact the freighter, in a bid to finally get the survivors rescued.

Written by Carlton Cuse & Damon Lindelof
Directed by Jack Bender

Flashforward

On a different Oceanic flight than 815, Jack was drunk and despondent for unknown reasons. As the plane was about to land, he found a newspaper obituary that named someone he knew as the person who died, and it caused him tremendous anguish. He called an unidentified someone on his phone and left an incoherent message before hanging up. He was so traumatized by the newspaper story that he pulled over on the side of a road and tried to commit suicide by jumping off of a bridge. But while he stood there on the ledge, a car on the bridge was in a terrible accident very close to where he stood, so he got down to go save the passengers: a woman and her eight-year-old son.

Jack brought the two victims to the ER, after pulling them from their wreck. He was visited there by his ex-wife Sarah, who was visibly pregnant. Sarah saw that he was strung out and hung over, and wanted to know what he was really doing when the crash occurred. But he didn’t answer her question.

The next day, while reviewing the chart of the woman from the crash, Jack took a powerful narcotic called Oxycodone just before he was met by a Dr. Rob Hamill, the new chief of surgery. The woman had a severe spinal injury and Jack wanted to perform her needed operation, but Dr. Hamill refused his request, because the surgery was already scheduled and another doctor was handling it.

Now

The survivors depart from camp as planned, escaping before the imminent arrival of the Others. Sayid, Jin, and Bernard stay behind to detonate the dynamite. Sayid makes Jack promise not to come back for his team if anything should go wrong, because he’s willing to give his life if it means everyone is rescued. Rose and Bernard say their own emotional goodbyes, as do Sun and Jin.

As they walk, Naomi shows Jack how her satellite phone works in case anything should happen to her.

Charlie is captured by the two female Others down in the Looking Glass. They tie him to a chair and hit him repeatedly, trying to find out how he got down there and how he even found out about the place. He tells them that Juliet has switched sides, so they go to a nearby communications room to call Ben. Charlie watches them enter the small room and notes that there’s a blinking yellow light inside — just like the light Desmond saw in his vision of the place Charlie is supposedly going to drown.

As night falls, Ben gets a call out at the Others’ camp from the more temperamental of the two Looking Glass women, Bonnie. Bonnie reports that Charlie is there thanks to Juliet’s betrayal, and Ben orders them to do nothing until Mikhail gets down there. He asks Mikhail to go, but Mikhail points out that Ben has been lying to his own people about the Looking Glass having supposedly been flooded. Mikhail agrees to go, but notes that Juliet may have compromised more than the underwater station — like Ryan’s plan to abduct the Oceanic survivors’ pregnant women. Ben tries to contact Ryan to warn him, but Ryan has his radio switched off. So the Others enter the camp quietly and prepare to carry out their plan, as Sayid, Jin, and Bernard watch with their guns ready to fire. When the Others are in optimal positions, Sayid, Jin, and Bernard open fire, and kill all but three of Ryan’s team, including Tom and Ryan himself. The remaining Others get the upper hand, though, and the three survivors are taken captive.

From up in the hills, the survivors watch the beach in the distance, realizing that something’s gone wrong. Sun and Rose want to stay behind and wait for their husbands to be sure they’re okay, but Jack won’t allow it. So they keep moving.

Bonnie and her friend Greta continue to interrogate Charlie, who tells them everything, including his plan to turn off the jamming equipment in the room with the blinking yellow light. He’s not worried about revealing his plan to them because he knows from Desmond’s vision that there’s nothing they can do to stop him from eventually succeeding. But Bonnie points out that there’s a code needed to turn off the jammer, and only the two of them have it. He’s still not worried, suggesting that he’s going to flood the station so he won’t need the code, and the two women are unnerved when he calmly says he knows that he’ll die along with them when his job is done.

Tom radios Ben to give him the bad news, that they’d been duped and that seven of their people were dead. Their captives won’t talk about where the survivors have gone, until Ben orders Ryan to kill Jin. Bernard cracks as Jin is about to die, and reveals that the survivors have gone to the radio tower to try and contact the freighter. He also tells them about Karl’s betrayal, and Ben immediately knows that his daughter Alex has turned on him as well.

The next morning, Ben decides to go off on his own to intercept the Oceanic survivors at the radio tower. He orders Richard to carry on without him and take all of the Others to the Temple. But Richard argues, revealing that Ben’s leadership of the Others is falling apart all around him, thanks to the events of the last week. Alex volunteers to go with her father, and he agrees, spitefully pointing out that he knows Karl is with the survivors, thanks to her.

Out in the jungle, the survivors stop to refill their water bottles at a creek. Kate and Sawyer talk privately about how Sayid, Jin, and Bernard should have caught up with them by now. But Sawyer is too busy brooding over his murder of Locke’s father to care. Kate calls him on it, but it doesn’t seem to do any good.

Desmond wakes up out on the outrigger canoe and realizes that Charlie knocked him out and dived down to the Looking Glass. Mikhail appears at the shore and starts shooting at him, so, seeing no other choice, Desmond dives into the water and swims down to the station as well. While Bonnie and Greta argue in an adjacent room, Desmond pops up from the moon pool and Charlie warns him to hide. Bonnie and Greta hear him and come out to ask who he’s talking to, but Charlie tries to cover by singing to himself. Meanwhile, Desmond has hidden himself away out of sight.

After some time to think about what Kate said to him, Sawyer declares that he’s going back to the beach to check on their missing friends. Kate wants to go with him, but he refuses her, saying he doesn’t want her help. Jack says there’s no point in going without guns, but Juliet steps forward and says she knows where there’s a hidden cache of weapons that could be used. She asks to go with him, wanting to purchase a little redemption of her own, and Jack agrees. Juliet kisses him as they go, and Kate watches, jealous.

Mikhail swims into the Looking Glass station and greets Bonnie and Greta, saying the two of them were thought by everyone else to be “on assignment in Canada.” Greta explains that Ben ordered them not to tell anyone of their true whereabouts. Mikhail tells them he saw Charlie’s friend Desmond dive into the water, but Charlie turns the tables by telling Mikhail about Ben’s deception of his own people: that Ben ordered Bonnie and Greta down here to jam all transmissions off the island. Ben calls down, and Mikhail answers it so he can find out from Ben what’s going on. Ben answers back that “Jacob told me to” lie to his own people, because the island is under a very dangerous assault, and they have to protect it. Ben convinces Mikhail to kill Charlie and keep the jamming going, and then to take out Bonnie and Greta so the rest of the Others never find out about any of this.

Jack and Kate stop to talk for a moment as the hike continues, and Jack tells Kate that Sawyer didn’t mean what he said about not wanting Kate to join him. Jack says Sawyer was just trying to protect her. Kate asks why Jack is defending Sawyer, when Sawyer would never do the same for him. Jack’s reply: “Because I love you.”

As they walk to the hidden cache of guns, Sawyer passes the time by asking Juliet about what the Others were up to out on Hydra island. He asks about how he and Kate were put to work moving rocks around, and Juliet replies that the Others were building a runway. She jokes that the runway was “for the aliens,” but Sawyer’s not amused. When he asks how far away the guns are, she reveals that she lied about there being any guns because she knew it was the only way Jack would let them go. Hurley suddenly catches up with them and offers to help, still feeling stung from the way Charlie refused his assistance on the Looking Glass mission and wanting to be useful. But Sawyer’s reaction is similar to Charlie’s, telling Hurley that he’ll only get in the way. So Hurley sadly turns to go back and join up with the survivors.

As they hurry to intercept the survivors, Alex asks Ben why he allowed her to come. Ben’s explanation is that he intends to let her join the survivors, because she betrayed him. Furious, Alex defends herself by reminding her father that he locked Karl in a cage and then tried to brainwash him. He says he didn’t want his daughter to get pregnant. Alex doesn’t understand why Ben won’t let the Oceanic survivors leave the island, but Ben merely says that he can’t allow it.

In the pit where the Dharma Initiative members were tossed after the Purge, Locke is severely wounded and slowly dying from the wound in his abdomen. He spots an old revolver in a holster, attached to one of the bodies, and painfully moves to get it, intending to use it to end his suffering. But as he’s about to pull the trigger, he hears Whispers, and then a very familiar voice says, “Don’t, John.” Locke looks up at the rim of the pit, where he sees Walt, who looks several years older than Locke remembers him. Walt orders Locke to get up, but Locke says he can’t, he’s been shot. Walt tells him he can do it, and he must, because he has “work to do.”

  • The Others are headed for a location on the island known as “the Temple.”
    Question: What’s the “very old place” the Others are going to? [3.19] & Question: Where are the Others planning to go now that they can no longer live at the Barracks? [3.15]
  • Ben took drastic measures against Alex’s boyfriend Karl because he didn’t want Alex to get pregnant — a turn of events that would endanger her life, since pregnant women die on the island.
    Question: Why was Karl locked up? [3.01] & Question: What was the purpose of what was being done to Karl in Room 23? [3.07]
  • According to Juliet, the Others were building a runway.
    Question: What are the Others building near the Hydra station? [3.02]

  • What’s at the Temple?
  • Where is the Temple?
  • Who built the Temple, and when?
  • Kate was a potential target of the Others, just like Sun. Is she pregnant too?
  • What is the “assault” that the island is under, according to Ben? Is this related to the freighter?
  • Why were the Others building a runway on Hydra island?
  • Who or what was the Walt that Locke saw from the Dharma burial ditch?

“Through the Looking Glass” is the eighth Jack-centric episode of the series.

Isn’t it funny how every season finale has included some kind of major trek across the island? What’s more, the same survivors tend to be involved in said trek just about every time. Season 1’s finale, “Exodus,” featured Jack, Kate, Locke, Hurley, Danielle, and Dr. Arzt on a trip out to the Black Rock to get dynamite, as well as a foot chase across the island by Sayid and Charlie to get back baby Aaron. Season 2’s “Live Together, Die Alone” saw Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Hurley, and Michael head off on a deceit-filled mission to get Walt back. Season 3’s finale (this very episode) had all of the survivors on a big walk up to the radio tower. Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Hurley, and others were back-and-forth all over the island in Season 4’s “There’s No Place Like Home,” in their attempt to secure rescue. While Season 5’s “The Incident” saw Sawyer, Kate, and Juliet making their way across the island in 1977 to stop Jack from detonating the hydrogen bomb (though they later agreed to go through with it), as well as Locke, Sun, Richard, and most of the Others on a mass march to the statue, to see Jacob. It’s no wonder the season finales have always been filled with so much storytelling momentum — the cast is literally on the move the entire time!