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
← Previous
"Walkabout"
Next →
"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.

Plot[edit]

Flashbacks[edit]

A young Jack Shephard (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, Christian (John Terry) sees his son's beaten face, he tells Jack he should not be a hero because he "doesn't have what it takes."

Many years later, Jack (Matthew Fox) visits his mother, (Veronica Hamel) who tells him that Christian has left for Australia, and asks Jack to bring his father back. Jack reluctantly agrees, and after arriving in Sydney searches the hotel at which his father was staying. The manager informs that Christian has not slept at the hotel for several days following an incident at a bar, and Jack finds bottles of alcohol, pills, and his father's wallet in Christian's room.

Jack is shown identifying his father's corpse in a morgue, where the coroner (Geoff Heise) tells Jack that the death was possibly caused by an alcohol-induced heart attack. Jack later argues with Oceanic Airlines' ticket agent (Meilinda Soerjoko) regarding how the documentation to board Christian's coffin aboard Flight 815 is incomplete, but Jack explains that all the arrangements are set for the funeral once Jack arrives at LAX, and he needs to bury his father, so that it will all be over.

On the Island[edit]

Jack rescues Boone Carlyle (Ian Somerhalder) in the ocean as Boone fails to swim out to save a drowning woman, Joanna. Later, as Jack is approached by Hugo "Hurley" Reyes (Jorge Garcia) and Charlie Pace (Dominic Monaghan) as they question how to deal with the diminishing water supplies of the survivors, Boone confronts Jack regarding how he saved him and not Joanna, asking who made Jack their leader. Jack sees again a man in a suit in the jungle, and runs off after him. Once Jack catches up, he recognizes the man is his father before falling into a cliff.

Back at the beach, Claire Littleton (Emilie de Ravin) faints due to dehydration, and Charlie is unable to find the remaining water. John Locke (Terry O'Quinn) volunteers to seek for water into the jungle, and ends finding Jack hanging on the precipice. After the rescue, the two men talk, with Jack saying he does not want to be a leader because he "doesn't have what it takes", while Locke advises him to pursue his "hallucination" of Christian, comparing it to the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland and considering that everything on the Island happens for a reason. At nightfall, Jack follows the vision of Christian into a cave containing a spring of fresh water, where he finds some debris from the plane, including his father's coffin. Jack opens it and finds the coffin empty, leading him to tear it apart in frustration.

Back on the beach, Boone gives water to an unconscious Claire. It is revealed that it was Boone who stole the water, in an attempt to take responsibility for its rationing. A fight between him and Charlie ensues, but Jack returns and interrupts with a speech, saying that he has found fresh water and that they must all band together if they are to survive, because "if we can't live together, we're going to die alone."

Production[edit]

"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]

Reception[edit]

"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]

References[edit]

  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]