The episode starts with a flashback of an Italian man who has come to Jack for surgery in a spinal tumor, hoping for a miracle, having heard about his previous miraculous case. In a later flashback we learn the surgery was unsuccessful. And later still, we see Sarah, Jack’s wife, leave him, saying that he will always need something to fix.
When Jack wakes up, Michael locks him and Locke in the armory, leaving with a rifle to go after Walt. Sawyer and Kate free them when they go to get Sawyer’s bandages changed. They head after Michael.
They are met in the dark by the (fake-)bearded man whose name we later learn is Tom Friendly. He asks them about appropriate behavior when one goes to someone’s house for the first time. He tells them, “This is not your island. this is our island, and the only reason you’re living on it, is because we let you live on it.” He tells them there is a line there that they are not allowed to cross. Jack isn’t persuaded, thinks there are only a few of them. Then torches are lit all around them. Friendly tells them to turn around, saying there is a line there. He has Alex bring out Kate who followed them. They give up and turn around to head back.When they get back, Jack talks to Ana-Lucia, asking her how long it would take to train an army.
This was a great episode, inasmuch as it asked questions that I doubt it had occurred to viewers to ask up until this point. Why do we assume that the survivors of the plane crash have the right to blow open a hatch and do other things that they decide to, as though no one else could possibly have any claim on the island as in some sense their property? While that doesn’t condone the actions of the Others, it does raise an issue that later seasons – in particular the final season – bring to the fore again. Who gets to control the island? When a place has so much power available to be harnessed, it may need to be protected. But who gets to do that, and who gets to decide whose responsibility it is?