Dr. Jack Shephard was a spinal surgeon and the survivors’ de facto leader. Before the crash, his obsessive personality wrecked his marriage and his relationship with his father. On the Island though, the survivors sought his guidance during many crises and missions, and he united them until they cooperated and formed a society.
Jack developed romantic relationships with Kate and later Juliet, and his jealousy sparked a rivalry with Sawyer. His rationality, so useful when solving problems, prevented his accepting the Island’s mystic properties and caused friction with “man of faith” John Locke. Problems arose that Jack could not fix despite his obsession and self-sacrifice. Though he tried to repress his guilt, he often broke out with violence or tears.
After suffering a kidnapping and almost negotiating his own rescue, Jack escaped the Island with five other survivors. Off-island, he laid his father to rest and proposed to Kate, but visits from John Locke and his father’s ghost sent him toward depression and substance abuse. Yet he gained new faith, and he led the survivors back to the island, believing it was his destiny. He then found himself in the past, where he tried to reset his and the others’ lives and prevent the crash of Oceanic 815.
The attempt failed, sending Jack to a new low. But after discovering he was a candidate to replace Jacob as Protector of the island, he gained confidence and decided to stay on the island. He also ceded decision-making to Sawyer, overcoming his control issues. He chose to become the Island’s new protector and was almost killed by the Man in Black, but with Kate’s help, he killed him before he could leave. He then sacrificed himself to relight the Heart, saving the Island from destruction. Post-death, he imagined a son and an ex-wife to come to terms with his bad relationships. His personality mixed science and faith, but he again felt the compulsion to fix others. His stubbornness returned, and unlike his friends, he resisted remembering his life, even after experiencing flashes. Eventually though, he remembered everything and after seeing his father again, he was able to “let go”, reuniting with Kate and his friends, to finally move on in the church.
4×01 – The Beginning of the End
Minkowski called again, asking for Naomi, and Jack claimed she was gathering firewood. When he turned around, she was gone. Jack tried to track her, but he followed a dummy trial, and when he tried to call the freighter again, he realized Kate had stolen the phone. He headed for the cockpit, where he attacked Locke, taking his gun and pulling the trigger. The gun wasn’t loaded, so he beat him till others pulled him off. Locke again claimed the supposed rescuers meant to harm them, and half the survivors followed him to the Barracks, while Jack’s group went to the beach. Jack and Kate stayed behind and followed a helicopter’s sound to a parachutist, Daniel Faraday. (“The Beginning of the End”)
4×02 – Confirmed Dead
Faraday’s gun, gas masks and secretive manner all worried Jack, but he agreed to locate his team. Jack found Miles in his parachute on the rocks, who demanded to see Naomi’s body.
The second’s transmitter beacon turned up on Vincent, and Jack concluded Locke had captured her. The third, Frank Lapidus, had safely landed the helicopter, but refused to fly it till the missing member turned up. (“Confirmed Dead”)
4×03 – The Economist
Sayid and Kate retrieve her from the Barracks, and Kate chose to stay there, hurting Jack. (“The Economist”)
4×04 – Eggtown
The helicopter left, and Jack was confused later when it didn’t arrive as scheduled. (“Eggtown”)
4×05 – The Constant
When it did arrive, he learned of Desmond’s temporal displacement. (“The Constant”)
4×06 – The Other Woman
Daniel and Charlotte disappeared that night. Jack chased them to the Tempest, passing an unconscious Kate, but Juliet arrived first. He kissed her, though she warned him Ben had claimed her. (“The Other Woman”)
4×07 – Ji Yeon
They returned to the beach, where Jack checked on Sun’s pregnancy and complimented Jin’s English. (“Ji Yeon”)
4×09 – The Shape of Things to Come
A body appeared in the water, and Jack made Daniel contact the freighter. (“The Shape of Things to Come”)
4×10 – Something Nice Back Home
When Bernard discovered he lied about their reply, Jack lost his temper and grabbed him by the collar. Jack’s stomach had been hurting – Kate had caught him sneaking pain pills – and he now collapsed with appendicitis. Juliet offered to operate. Doubtful, Jack chose to stay awake during the surgery, but Bernard knocked him out with chloroform. He awoke to hear Juliet telling Kate he loved her. (“Something Nice Back Home”)
4×11 – Cabin Fever
He left the tent against her wishes and heard the helicopter return, dropping a phone. He concluded they wanted him to follow them. (“Cabin Fever”)
Armed, Jack tracked it with Kate till they crossed Sawyer, Miles and Aaron returning from the Barracks. Jack and Sawyer continued toward the chopper and found Frank hand-cuffed to it. Frank agreed to fly immediately, but they first journeyed to the mercenaries’ destination to save Hurley. (“There’s No Place Like Home, Part 1”)
There, they also found Locke, who tried again to convince Jack to stay before suggesting he lie to the world about what happened on the island. Jack, Sawyer and Hurley returned to the helicopter, and they took off with Kate, Sayid and Frank. Though fuel was low, Jack refused to turn back, and they landed on the freighter, where a bomb was about to detonate.
Jack prevented Kate from fetching Jin, and they left with Sun, Aaron and Desmond right before the freighter blew up. They flew toward the island, but it had disappeared, and the chopper lost fuel quickly and crashed. They boarded a life raft, and Jack resuscitated Desmond.
5×04 – The Little Prince | 4×14 – There’s No Place Like Home, Part 3
When the Searcher found them, Jack sought Kate’s help to convince the others to lie about everything since their crash. A week later, Jack departed with the others for the island of Sumba. (“There’s No Place Like Home, Parts 2 & 3”) (“The Little Prince”)
After the Island
The US Coast Guard flew the Oceanic 6 to Hawaii, where Jack’s mother greeted him. He took part in a press conference, lying about how they survived the crash, claiming their plane crashed into the water and all of the passengers died instantly but the six, Jack, Kate, Aaron, Hurley, Sun, and Sayid. However, Jack also claimed that Boone, Charlie and Libby also survived the crash, but had later died.
Some 6 months later, Jack held a wake for his father. There, Carole Littleton approached Jack and told him her daughter, Claire, had been on Jack’s plane and was his half-sister. Carole then complimented Kate’s baby, not realizing Aaron was her own grandson.
4×01 – The Beginning of the End
Jack began drinking regularly. When he learned the police had arrested Hurley, he visited his old friend at the institute. Hurley accused Jack of checking he hadn’t revealed their secret. He insisted they return to the Island, though Jack disagreed, and apologized for not following Jack on the island. (“The Beginning of the End”)
4×04 – Eggtown
At Kate’s trial, Jack testified that only eight people survived the crash and that three died. He claimed he’d never met the marshal and denied loving Kate. He met Kate afterward and said he’d lied, implying he loved her. He turned down an invitation to her house. Kate gathered that this was because of Aaron and refused any further contact till he agreed to see him. (“Eggtown”)
4×10 – Something Nice Back Home
Jack eventually came to terms with Kate raising his nephew, and they became seriously involved. He moved into Kate’s house and became a surrogate father to Aaron, but his insecurities forced him to compare himself to his own father.
Jack maintained contact with Hurley and was called in when he stopped taking his medication. Hurley passed on a message from Charlie: “You’re not supposed to raise him,” and said someone would visit him soon. Jack nonetheless proposed to Kate, who happily accepted. While working late, Jack saw his father, who spoke to him, and Jack asked another doctor for stress-relieving medication.
He went home and was suspicious when he found Kate talking on the phone to someone he didn’t know. Another time, he found their nanny staying late, and when Kate returned, he demanded answers. Kate admitted fulfilling Sawyer’s secret request and objected to Jack’s drinking around her son. Jack yelled back that she wasn’t “even related to him,” and Aaron appeared in the doorway. Jack left. (“Something Nice Back Home”)