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"All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues"
Season
Episode

1
11
Airdate
8 December 2004
Running time
42:17
Production code
109
Flashback
Flashforward
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Flashsideways
{{{flashsideways}}}
Centric character(s)
{{{centric}}}
Day(s)
Directed by
Special guest star(s)

{{{specialguests}}}
Uncredited
{{{uncredited}}}

Episode transcript
[[{{{transcript2}}}|Part Two]]

[[{{{audiotranscript}}}|Commentary transcript]]

"All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues" is the eleventh episode of Season 1 of Lost. With the revelation that Ethan was never on the plane, the survivors rush to find the missing Claire and Charlie, whom they realize have been taken. Leading the way is Jack, who feels guilty after never believing Claire's claims that she was in danger. Flashbacks in this episode concentrate on Jack's decision to stand up to his father and fight for what is right.

Contents

Synopsis

Previously on Lost


Flashbacks

Jack tries desperately to save his patient

In surgery, Jack struggles to save the life of a young woman. She goes into cardiac arrest, and Jack uses a crash cart, but the woman is beyond saving. Despite being told to “call it,” Jack continues to try to resuscitate her. His father eventually intervenes, and Jack seems extremely angry with him, telling him to call it himself.

A nurse places a sheet over the dead woman as Christian scolds Jack for taking over his operation. Apparently, Christian had been called to surgery when the woman crashed while he was having lunch at a restaurant, and asks Jack how he knew about the procedure. Jack replies that a nurse came and told him that Christian's hands were shaking, and that he had made a mistake during her initial surgery, cutting the patient’s hepatic artery. The two argue as Christian defends his abilities, but Jack asks his father how many drinks he had at lunch, causing him to stop talking.

Christian convinces his son to support his testimony of events

The next day, Jack is called to Christian’s office. His father has written up the report for the dead woman, which states that the patient’s death was unavoidable. Jack, however, argues that his father was impaired, but Christian points out that Jack is listed as the surgeon of record. If Jack contests the report, Christian could lose his license, but Jack does not seem to care. Christian manages to change his son's mind by convincing him that his job is his life and by giving Jack a long overdue apology for treating him so harshly when he was growing up. In the end, Jack signs the document, much to Christian’s relief.

Later, as Jack walks down a hallway in the hospital, he sees his father talking to a man. A nurse tells Jack that “that’s her husband,” and that he is threatening to sue. Christian comforts the man as he sobs. Christian puts his hand on the man's shoulder in exactly the same way he had comforted Jack during his apology the day before. Jack quietly seethes when seeing this display and realizes that his father's apology the day before was not sincere.

The board discuss the woman's death

At a board hearing, Christian justifies his position and recites his testimony of the events. He concludes that the damage the woman had incurred was beyond medical help. The board members thank Christian and apologize for the procedure, but Jack is suddenly startled as an official adds “and you were aware that the patient was pregnant?” To his astonishment, Christian confirms this, and Jack realizes that he has been deceived. Just as the hearing is adjourning, Jack says that he must revise his statement. He reveals that his father was intoxicated while working and that, in his professional opinion, this led to the patient's death.

On the Island

Jack and Locke find Claire's bag

The survivors are shocked as Hurley frantically explains that Ethan was not on the plane. Jack notices that Charlie and Claire are missing, and he and Locke run for the beach where they were apparently headed. They find Claire’s bag, along with scattered footprints indicating a struggle. It appears that the two have been taken. Jack shouts for them, but Locke tells him to be quiet, so as not to lose the element of surprise in their ensuing hunt.

The pair starts following telltale markings left by Ethan. Locke discusses the concept of "Others" on the Island, and suggests returning to camp and forming a search party. Jack disagrees and heads off alone into the jungle.

At the caves, Locke quickly recruits Kate and Boone, despite Shannon's reservations, but refuses Michael and Walt when they offer their services. Heading out, the group soon catches up with Jack, who has been unknowingly running in circles. Locke wants Jack to go back, him being the only doctor on the Island, but he refuses, and the four of them move out.

Michael is annoyed at not being included

Back at the caves, Michael talks to Hurley about being left out of the main group. Walt joins the conversation, arguing that Locke can do many things so they should trust his judgment. This is not well received by Michael, who leaves his son with Hurley and heads south to look for Claire and Charlie.

Locke marks his line of sight as Jack grows increasingly impatient. The doctor wants to move immediately, but John needs time to find the trail and catch his bearings. Kate questions Jack’s mood, and he admits that he never believed Claire’s claims that someone was trying to hurt her. John suddenly shouts for Jack, and shows that he has found the "L" from the "LATE" finger bands Charlie wears.

Continuing through the jungle, they find the "A" pointing in one direction, but John also sees footprints heading off in another. Kate suggests that Ethan could be setting up a dummy trail. This causes everyone to question how she suddenly knows so much about tracking. With no way of knowing which direction is the right one, the group splits, with John leading Boone, and Kate tracking with Jack.

Walt chats with Sawyer

Back at the caves, Sawyer hears about the mission from Walt, and suggests that Ethan might have simply lied about his name for the manifest. Walt says that "it's stupid to lie about your name." Sawyer chuckles, and asks Walt for his opinion. Walt thinks other people might live on the Island, and supports his claims with Sayid's comments about hearing whispers in the jungle. The news that Sayid has returned causes Sawyer to take notice.

John and Boone move on their path. Boone comments on "Star Trek" and how "red shirts" always got killed. He asks Locke what he did in the real world, and Locke admits he worked at a box company, but Boone does not believe him. On the other track, Kate tells Jack to slow down. She explains that she learned to track from her father, an ex-soldier in the army, with whom she used to hike and track deer.

At the caves, Sayid awakens to see Sawyer standing over him. Sawyer threatens Sayid, but stops himself from carrying out his revenge when he hears that the French woman is alive and claimed there were others on the Island. The mention of the whispering intrigues Sawyer. Deciding not to retaliate, Sawyer leaves, mentioning as he goes that he kept the signal fire burning while Sayid was away.

Meanwhile, at the beach, Walt defeats Hurley at backgammon again, managing to correctly roll required numbers several times. Walt accidentally reveals that he had another father, and Hurley soon leaves, but not before Walt reminds him that he owes him $20,000.

Ethan confronts Jack

Still searching, Locke follows a gut instinct trying to find Claire and Charlie. Boone talks about his life, working as part of his mother's wedding firm. Locke suggests Boone head back, but the young man refuses. As rain starts to fall, both teams carry on.

Jack and Kate stumble on the "T" from Charlie’s bands, and Jack hears a distant scream. Though Kate does not hear it, Jack climbs up a small hill in the pouring rain. He slips, and tumbles back to the ground below. Pulling himself together, he sees Ethan standing over him. Ethan threatens to kill one of his prisoners if Jack keeps following him. They fight, but Ethan easily overpowers the doctor and cleanly knocks him out. A few minutes later, Jack regains consciousness with Kate at his side. Kate tells him to sit, but Jack says he will not let Ethan do this, "not again," and runs after him.

Moments later, they find the final letter, "E," only to see that it is on Charlie’s hand, and that he has been hanged from a tree by his neck. As Jack grabs him, Kate manages to cut him down, and Kate holds Charlie's hand as the doctor begins CPR immediately. Kate begin to cry as after many moments there is still no response, while Jack continues to pound on Charlie's chest. Kate tries to get Jack to stop, which he does, before once again continuing, refusing to give up. This time, Charlie wakes up coughing as Jack and Kate cry with happiness.

Charlie sits silently at the campfire

Back at the caves, Walt comments that Charlie has not spoken since Jack and Kate brought him back. Charlie sits in a catatonic state, completely zoned out from reality. Jack promises to go back out for Claire the moment the sun comes up, and Charlie coldly replies that he does not remember anything, and ominously adds that "they" were after Claire all along. Meanwhile, a worried Shannon approaches Kate, telling her that Locke and Boone have not returned yet.

Out in the jungle, Boone concludes that they are lost. He says he wants to back, and when John tosses him a flashlight, he fails to catch it, and it falls. As it hits the ground, they hear a metallic clank, and Locke assesses it is something made of steel. "Part of the plane?" Boone asks, but John seems to think otherwise. The two begin to unearth the structure beneath the earth.

Trivia

General

  • This episode marks the first time a character has a second episode devoted to them (Jack also had flashbacks in the episode "White Rabbit").
  • A trail of letters that were taped to Charlie's left hand is left as a clue that the search party uses to follow him.
  • In 2006, rock band Senses Fail named a song on their sophomore album, Still Searching, after this episode. (Outside references to Lost)
  • When Jack is trying to revive Charlie, he hits him in the chest 23 times. After seeming to give up, he begins hitting Charlie again and hits him 9 more times before Charlie regains his breath. (The Numbers)


Production notes

  • Claire does not appear and Emilie de Ravin is not credited.
  • Jin and Sun do not appear.
    • This is the first episode in which Sun does not appear.
  • A Lost: On Location for this episode is available on the Season 1 DVD.
  • The original draft of the episode was substantially different, according to Javier Grillo-Marxuach[1]:
    • It was titled "What It Takes".
    • Boone did not go along with Locke. Two new guest characters, Arthur and Sullivan (presumably not the Sullivan from "Solitary"), went with him instead. The choice to have Boone go with Locke was the genesis for his death later in the season. As such, if the guest characters had gone with Locke it seems that Boone may not have died in season 1.
    • The discovery of the hatch would have come early in the episode instead of at the end.
    • Kate and Jack came under a dart attack while hunting for Ethan. Damon Lindelof said that was too cheesy. Ironically, there would later be a dart attack by the Others on those characters in the Lindelof penned "Live Together, Die Alone".


Bloopers and continuity errors

  • When Walt tells Sawyer about Ethan, a microphone boom pole briefly appears on the upper edge of the screen during Sawyer's line "Okay, then it must be true."
  • When Jack talks to Andrea, an editing mistake shows the janitor behind them walk past twice.

Recurring themes


Recurring themes in Lost
Black and whiteCar accidentsCharacter connectionsDeceptions and consDreamsEyesFate versus free willGood and bad peopleImprisonmentIsolationLife and deathMissing body partsNicknamesThe NumbersParent issuesPregnanciesRainRebirthRedemptionRelationshipsRevengeSacrificeSecretsTime
  • The episode's title, All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues, references parent issues, which Jack and many of the main characters grapple with. (Parent issues)
  • Ethan pretended to be a passenger on Oceanic Flight 815. (Deceptions and cons)
  • Christian lied to Jack over the circumstances of the patient's death. (Deceptions and cons)
  • Ethan is depicted as the villain having kidnapped Claire and left Charlie for dead. Jack is also depicted as good over his father's opinion of not revealing the truth about his patient's death. (Good and bad people)
  • Charlie could have theoretically been healed by the Island as he was revived after the passing of much time. (Healing properties)
  • Charlie almost dies after being left by Ethan. (Life and death)
  • Charlie leaves the group 4 clues. (The Numbers)
  • Walt and Hurley play backgammon. (Games)
  • Walt blows on the dice 4 times before Hurley stops him. (The Numbers)
  • Jack argues with his father about Christian's judgment. Considered in context with information presented in previous and subsequent flashback story lines, it is questionable whether Jack was more concerned with doing the "right" thing by outing his father, or simply publicly demonstrating his ultimate victory over his father in terms of competence, the end result of a vulgar conflict begun when Jack was a child, seen in "White Rabbit", and developed to its utmost in "A Tale of Two Cities". (Parent issues)
  • Jack learns that the patient who died was in fact pregnant. (Pregnancies)  (Life and death)
  • Ethan attacks Jack in the rain. (Rain)
  • Locke correctly predicts when the rain will start. (Rain)  (Premonitions)


Cultural references

Cultural references in Lost
(direct references only)
ArtBooksCarsGamesMovies and TVMusicPhilosophyReligion and ideologiesScience
  • All the Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes: The title of the episode is an allusion to this album by rock star Pete Townshend. (Music)
    • Specifically, this is a reference to a story inside the album jacket which tells a tale of leadership and sacrifice in a crisis. "A natural leader emerged...the most remarkable thing about him was his eyes...Somehow they arrived alive. Somehow they found the broken bottle trail without help. All stars, great and small, shine under God...All the best cowboys have Chinese eyes." (Music)  (Leadership)
  • Star Trek:
    • Boone describes the origins and fates of the redshirts who traveled with Captain Kirk and Spock to Locke.
    • Locke states that Captain Kirk is a poor captain. (Movies and TV)
    • In Star Trek the Next Generation (Episode 164, "The Pegasus"), Terry O'Quinn plays a Star Fleet Admiral who, as a captain, suffered mutiny due to his poor leadership skills. (Movies and TV)
  • Fantasy Island: Sawyer calls Walt "Tattoo", after the dwarfed character on this American television series. Tattoo was the assistant of Mr. Roarke, who ran a magical resort on a mysterious island. (Movies and TV)
  • Hansel and Gretel: Jack, John, Boone and Kate follow Charlie's breadcrumbs. John marks the trees "Tie these off so we don't get lost." (Literary works)


Actor Dominic Monaghan's character "Merry" in the Lord of the Rings films leaves a trail for his friends to follow when his character is kidnapped, similar to Charlie leaving his "Late" finger bands.

Literary techniques

Literary techniques in Lost
ComparativeIronyJuxtapositionForeshadowing PlottingCliffhangerPlot twist Stock Characters:  ArchetypeRedshirtUnseen character
Story:  FlashbacksFlash-forwardsFlash-sidewaysRegularly spoken phrasesSymbolismUnreliable narrator 
  • When Shannon becomes worried about Boone not returning after the search for Claire and Charlie, Kate consoles her with the line, "If there's anyone on this island that your brother's safe with, it's Locke," who ultimately leads Boone to his death. (Irony)
  • Jack tried to save Beth with CPR, but failed; he miraculously managed to save Charlie. (Juxtaposition)
  • Jack went out to get Claire and Charlie back out of guilt for not believing her stories. Off the Island, Jack ratted out his father out of guilt about the dead patient and her unborn child. (Juxtaposition)
  • When Locke and Jack realize Ethan has taken Charlie and Claire, Jack asks "How can one man drag off two people?" whereas Locke asks "Not how, why?". Science answers how - the way in which - something happened; faith answers why - the reason for which - something happened. This reflects the contrast between Jack and Locke as a man of science and a man of faith, respectively. (Juxtaposition)
  • When Walt wins $20,000 from Hurley in a game of backgammon, Hurley tells him "he'll get it [the money]," which foreshadows Hurley's lottery win in "Numbers". (Foreshadowing)
  • Boone tells the origin and fate of redshirts from Star Trek to Locke. (Redshirt)
  • While tracking Ethan with the intention of capturing or killing him, Locke encourages Jack to head back to the camp stating, "I don't want anything to happen to the only trained physician on the island." Ethan is also a trained physician. (Irony)
  • While talking with Walt, Sawyer sarcastically says "So a tribe of evil natives planted a ringer in the camp to kidnap a pregnant girl and a reject from VH-1 has-beens. Yeah, fiendishly clever." This is precisely what happened. (Irony)


Storyline analysis

Storyline analysis in Lost
A-MissionsCrimesEconomicsLeadershipO-MissionsRelationshipsF-MissionsRivalries
  • Jack, Kate, Locke, Hurley and Boone organize a search party to rescue Charlie and Claire by following Ethan's tracks. (A-Missions)


Music

Main article: Musical score
Main article: Musical themes

This episode reuses the "Life and Death" theme for the scene where Jack and Kate find Charlie hung up a tree and Jack uses aggressive CPR to save him from death. It can be heard on the Season 1 soundtrack during the cue "Charlie Hangs Around".

Flashback timeline

  • Jack mentioned in "White Rabbit" that he hadn't spoken with his father in two months. Considering that episode was shortly before the crash of Oceanic 815 it is logical to assume this episode took place in July 2004; two months before the crash.



This article uses material from the "All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues" article on the Lostpedia wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.







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