White Rabbit (Lost)

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"White Rabbit"
Lost episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 5
Directed by Kevin Hooks
Written by Christian Taylor
Production code 103
Original air date October 20, 2004
Guest actors

John Terry as Christian Shephard
Veronica Hamel as Margo Shephard
John O'Hara as Young Jack Shephard
Sev Palmer as Meathead
Andy Trask as Hotel manager
Geoff Heise as Doctor
Meilinda Soerjoko as Chrissy
Bryan Sato as Richard

Episode chronology
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"House of the Rising Sun"
Lost (season 1)
List of Lost episodes

"White Rabbit" is the fifth episode of the first season of Lost. The episode was directed by Kevin Hooks and written by Christian Taylor. It first aired on October 20, 2004 on ABC. The character of Jack Shephard (Matthew Fox) is featured in the episode's flashback.



The episode opens on Jack's eye as a young kid, similar to how the first episode 'Pilot', and the fourth episode, 'Walkabout' opened on Jack's and Locke's eyes, respectively. A young Jack (John O'Hara) and a friend are being beaten up. One bully gives Jack the chance to leave, but he decides to help his companion, causing Jack to be further assaulted. When Jack's father (John Terry) sees his son's beaten face, he tells Jack he shouldn't be a hero because he doesn't "have what it takes."

Many years later, Jack's mother (Veronica Hamel) tells him that his father has left for Australia. She wants him to bring his father back and Jack reluctantly agrees. Jack flies to Australia and while searching the hotel at which his father was staying, the manager informs Jack that his father has not slept at the hotel for several days following an incident at a bar.

Jack is shown at a morgue, where the coroner tells Jack that his father died of alcohol poisoning. Jack identifies the body and prepares to fly his father's body back home. While at the airport, the airline refuses to put his father's body on the plane because he does not have the proper documentation.

On the Island[edit]

It is Day 6, September 27, 2004, and Joanna, one of the crash survivors, is drowning in the ocean. Charlie Pace (Dominic Monaghan) reveals to Jack that he does not know how to swim. Boone Carlyle (Ian Somerhalder) swims out but can't reach her, and Jack rescues Boone. Jack is distraught that he failed to save her and, while talking to Kate Austen (Evangeline Lilly), sees the mysterious man in a suit again.

Water supplies are running low. Hugo "Hurley" Reyes (Jorge Garcia) and Charlie Pace (Dominic Monaghan) want Jack to decide how to handle the lack of water. Boone yells at Jack for saving him instead of the woman, but Jack says that Boone was drowning. While talking to Boone, Jack again sees the man in the suit, and chases after him. He catches up and discovers it's his father. Frightened, he calls out "Dad?" to the man, who silently turns and walks away.

Claire Littleton (Emilie de Ravin) faints, presumably due to the heat. When Charlie looks for water to give her, he discovers that the water supply was stolen. Locke volunteers to search for water.

Jack deliriously stumbles through the jungle looking for his father. While running, Jack falls off a precipice. He hangs on to a branch, but cannot climb up. Just before he falls, Locke appears and helps him up. Locke tells Jack that the others need a leader, and it should be him. Jack tells Locke that the man who he is chasing, his father, is a hallucination. Locke claims the island is "special," and everything that happens on it does so for a reason. He says, "I looked into the eye of this island and what I saw was beautiful." They split up; Locke looks for water and instructs Jack to follow his hallucination, saying "You need to finish what you started."

Back at survivor's camp, accusations begin about who stole the water. Jin-Soo Kwon (Daniel Dae Kim) and Sun-Hwa Kwon (Yunjin Kim) are found with water, and point to James "Sawyer" Ford (Josh Holloway). Sawyer says he traded his last two bottles of water for a fish Jin caught.

That night, Jack discovers caves with an abundance of fresh water. More wreckage from the plane is at the caves, including a coffin. Jack opens the coffin expecting to find his father's body -- but the coffin is empty, and Jack angrily destroys it.

Jack comes back to camp to find Charlie yelling at Boone, who hid the water so it would be rationed better. Jack announces his discovery of the caves, telling the survivors that they need to work together, and introduces the show's well-known phrase, "live together, die alone."


"White Rabbit" aired on October 20, 2004.[1] The episode is named after the White Rabbit from the tale Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, who leads the story's title character, Alice, deeper and deeper down a deep hole to a whimsical world called Wonderland, while meeting different characters. Just as Alice followed the White Rabbit deeper and deeper down the hole to Wonderland, Jack follows his father deeper and deeper into the jungle.[1]


"White Rabbit" first aired in the United States on October 20, 2004.[1] An estimated 16.82 million American viewers watched the episode on its first broadcast,[2] and it finished second in its timeslot behind the 2004 Major League Baseball season playoffs. Among adults aged 18 to 49, the episode earned a ratings share of 6.3/16, finishing in fourteenth place for the week.[3][4] Based upon the series' success, ABC picked up Lost for the full season soon after the broadcast of "White Rabbit", ordering another nine episodes beyond the thirteen it had already agreed upon.[5]

Chris Carabott of IGN gave the episode a 7.9/10, saying it "features one of the best flashbacks dedicated to Jack."[6] The TV Critic gave the episode a 72/100, saying the episode is "another character heavy episode from Lost and they deserve credit for not trying to cram unnecessary action into this episode."[7] Ryan McGee of Zap2it said the episode is "a worthy successor to "Walkabout," and one of the stronger Jack-centric eps the show ever produced."[8] Lost Episode Guide for Others: An Unofficial Anthology by Robert Dougherty says the episode is a must-see; it is "our first in depth glimpse at Jack's character".[9] Dan Snierson of Entertainment Weekly said the episode is "Our first peek into Jack's incredibly dysfunctional relationship with his dad is tantalizing, producing both juicy questions and eerie revelations", and gave it a B+.[10]


  1. ^ a b c Stafford 2006, p. 33.
  2. ^ "Weekly Program Rankings" (Press release). ABC Medianet. October 26, 2004. Retrieved July 30, 2008. 
  3. ^ "Nielsen report". Daily Variety. October 27, 2004. Retrieved March 26, 2014.  (subscription required)
  4. ^ Kissell, Rick (October 22, 2004). "Fox, Sox knock it out of park". Daily Variety. Retrieved March 26, 2014.  (subscription required)
  5. ^ "'Lost' Gets Picked Up for a Full Season". Associated Press. October 25, 2004. Retrieved March 26, 2014.  (subscription required)
  6. ^ Carabott, Chris (11 July 2008). "Lost Flashback: "White Rabbit" Review". IGN. Retrieved 16 March 2014. 
  7. ^ "Lost, Season 1, Episode 5: White Rabbit review". The TV Critic. 30 March 2012. Retrieved 16 March 2014. 
  8. ^ McGee, Ryan (25 June 2008). "'Lost': White Rabbit review". Zap2it. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  9. ^ Dougherty 2008, p. 22.
  10. ^ Snierson, Dan (19 February 2008). "Lost': Season 1 Episode Guide: White Rabbit". Entertainment Weekly. p. 5. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
Works cited

External links[edit]