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Artist: Iron Maiden

Date Released: November 22, 1986

Label: EMI

Produced By: Martin Birch


  1. Stranger In A Strange Land (5:45)
  2. That Girl (5:04)
  3. Juanita (3:47)


This article uses material from the "Stranger in a Strange Land" article on the Music wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


Up to date as of February 07, 2010

From Lostpedia

"Stranger in a Strange Land"

February 21, 2007
Running time
Production code
Centric character(s)
Directed by

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

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

"Stranger in a Strange Land" is the ninth episode of Season 3 and the fifty-eighth produced hour of the series as a whole. It was originally broadcast on February 21, 2007. Jack bargains with Ben to save Juliet while Kate and Sawyer struggle with the consequences of their escape.




Jack and Achara flying the kite

Jack exits a hut on the beach in Phuket, Thailand, admires the scenery, and is greeted by a Thai boy whose only English seems to be, "Doctor Jack want soda?" Jack buys two sodas and gives him a tip. He sets down a kite kit but struggles to put it together. A Thai woman on the beach is amused by his predicament and helps him put together and fly the kite. She introduces herself as Achara.

Later, Jack and Achara eat together at a restaurant where her brother Chet serves them food, calling Jack "very brave" for trying the local delicacies. She asks Jack why he doesn't know how to fly a kite and he starts to tell her about his childhood and his father but she stops him, saying some things are personal. She asks if he is in Phuket to find himself. They are interrupted by a Thai man who gives Achara a thick envelope which she puts in her purse after exchanging the Thai Wai greeting (similar to the "namaste" salutation), and explains only by saying she has "a gift."

Jack and Achara, having sex in his room.

While Jack is sleeping, Achara sneaks into his room, undresses, and slips into his bed as he wakes up. She asks if he has a question for her and he says it might be nice to know something about her after a month of her coming and going. She says, "There are things that happened here that he would never understand," possibly referring to her powers. They roll onto the floor kissing and she suggests he stop asking questions and try to have fun.

Jack later decides to follow Achara, and discovers her in what appears to be a private tattoo parlor. She says this is where she works and he shouldn't be there. She says she is not a tattoo artist, that her gift is her ability to see who people are, and the tattoo defines and marks her customers with her vision. Jack demands to know what she sees about him but she protests that she is not allowed to use her gift on an outsider. He insists and she reveals that he is a leader and a great man, but this makes him lonely, frightened, and angry. Jack makes her tattoo him, even though she claims there will be "consequences."

The next day, Jack exits his hut but this time the Thai boy, who usually gives him soda, runs away from him. Chet and a group of Thai men approach Jack, uncover his tattoo, and mercilessly beat him to the ground. Chet orders him to leave the beach and the country. He spits on Jack and the group of men walks away with Achara as she is moved to tears.

On the Hydra Island

Jack is escorted out of his cell.

Tom enters the aquarium in order to move Jack, but Jack accuses him of using it as a euphemism for execution. Tom asks him what kind of people he thinks the Others are and Jack rattles off a list of their crimes. Tom asks if Jack wants some stones for his glass house, and suggests he cooperate. Jack acquiesces and is escorted out by Tom and two Others. As he is led out, he passes Juliet being led into the aquarium with her hands and bare feet restrained by a group of Others. As they pass, Juliet says to Jack, "Hey." Juliet stares at Jack from her cell as Tom confers with a female Other.

Tom brings Jack lunch in the bear cage, and is asked who the mysterious Other woman was; with Tom referring to her as the figurative sheriff. Jack asks why they moved Juliet and Tom tell him she's in trouble. Jack is told not to start any trouble and, Jack says he knows about the cameras. During this scene, a number of animals are heard. First, a very strange bird call that Tom stops and listens to, and then a sound that is distinctly a chicken.

Juliet is escorted to Jack's cage so that she can request that Jack help Ben with an infection around his stitches. He asks if she wants to help Ben to get off the Island, and she reveals that she is doing it to get out of trouble for killing someone.
Isabel visits Jack at his cage.
Jack refuses to help Ben or her.

At night, the mysterious female Other approaches Jack and speaks Chinese, explaining that she is reading the characters (鹰击长空) in Jack's tattoo. She comments that the meaning is ironic and then asks Jack if he knows what it means, since it can be hard to translate. Jack insists that he does. Introducing herself as Isabel, she brings him to a room in the Hydra so she can ask him some questions. They pass Alex, whom Isabel sweetly but firmly suggests should visit her father. Isabel faces Jack as Tom and Juliet watch on. Juliet is sitting on a chair with her hands and bare feet bound. She asks if Juliet asked Jack to kill Ben. Jack denies it, saying he made it up to gain an advantage. Isabel asks him why he is lying, and he requests to be returned to his cage.

Cindy and Emma, now part of the Others.

Jack wakes in the morning to a group of people watching him. A woman approaches, and he recognizes her as Cindy, the flight attendant from Flight 815. He asks her why she is with them. At first she starts replying, "They're not … uhm," pauses for a moment, and says, "It's not that simple," and they are here "to watch." A young girl unknown to Jack, Emma from the tail section, approaches and has Cindy ask Jack how Ana Lucia is doing, which angers Jack, and he yells at Cindy to go. She and the Others leave, including a young boy, Zack, who hands his teddy bear to his sister Emma.

After the crowd disperses, Alex breaks the camera outside Jack's cage so they won't be watched, and asks Jack why he would help Ben after what he did to them. Jack demands to know what is going on with Juliet. Alex explains that they are reading Juliet's verdict. They are strict about killing their own, demanding an "eye for an eye." She reveals that Juliet killed Danny to help Kate and Sawyer escape. In return, Jack shares the knowledge that he helped Ben simply because he said that he would. He asks if Ben is still in charge. Alex says he is, and Jack tells her to get him out of the cage.

Jack talks to Ben, with Alex watching them.

Jack storms into the operating room and warns the Others in the room that they aren't treating Ben properly. Ben's wounds are seriously infected and it's possible he might not walk again. Jack says he'd be more impressed if they had a proper surgeon, and Ben says they used to have one—Ethan. Jack bargains with Ben, offering him proper treatment in return for him commuting Juliet's death sentence. Ben warns him that whatever Jack thinks Juliet did to help him, she's still "one of us." But Jack presses on, and Ben prepares to write down his orders.

Jack and Alex storm over to the deliberation room where a group of Others are readying to give Juliet's verdict as she watches on. Tom grabs Jack but Isabel stops him and takes Ben's orders from Alex. Ben has commuted Juliet's sentence as 'the rules don't apply,' but also ordered her to be "marked."

Juliet brings Jack a grilled sandwich with toothpicks in his bear cage. He asks to see her mark, and she reveals a brand with a small circle and eight radiating lines on her lower back. He requests that she bring him an aloe plant, and he applies the aloe to her back. She asks why Jack helped her.
Jack making his way to the Others' yacht.
He says he did it so that Ben would keep his word to let both of them leave the Island. She asks how, and Jack says "together." Juliet informs him that they have to go back to where they live because Jack's friends will come to the Island to look for him. Jack asks where, and she says that Ben calls it "home."

The Others are gathered around a boat on the beach, and Isabel tells Jack his tattoo says, "He walks amongst us, but he is not one of us." Jack says the Chinese letters may say that, but, "that isn't what they mean". Jack, Ben, and two others row out to a larger boat.

Later, Alex looks up sadly at the same night sky as Karl as he sits in his camp on the Island. Juliet looks at Jack as they and the Others travel through the night on the larger boat.

On the Island

Kate listens to Karl, who is still under the influence of room 23.

Sawyer sings to himself while he and Kate row back to the main island in the canoe with an unconscious Karl. Kate tries to convince Sawyer to turn around so they can rescue Jack but Sawyer, incredulous, says it's too dangerous and a semi lucid Karl agrees that the Others would kill them. Karl mutters a phrase from the room 23 video and falls back asleep.

Sawyer and Kate continue to bicker on the canoe, Sawyer is rowing towards the nearest part of the shoreline but Kate wants to row all the way to the main camp to get help from Locke and Sayid. Sawyer becomes angry and points out that they have no food, no water, and no map, and that he can't steer in the dark. He tells her if she wants to contribute, she can gather firewood, and without waiting for her reply, snaps "Glad we agree." Kate gives him an angry look as they continue to shore.

Over a camp fire while it's still light out, Sawyer offers Kate fruit, which she refuses. Karl tells them they shouldn't fight, because they are lucky to be alive. Kate asks Karl about the Others. He reveals that they live on the main island and only work on "projects" on the smaller island. As for the children that were kidnapped, they "give them a better life." Kate asks "better than what?" "Better than yours," Karl tells her pointedly. He predicts that there won't be a moon that night, and says that when he and Alex were younger they used to lie out at night in their backyards and make up their own names for constellations.

Karl and Sawyer's "man talk."

Kate wakes up and sees that Karl has disappeared. She shakes Sawyer awake, and they begin to search for him. But they hear Karl nearby crying and Sawyer tells her he will deal with him: "Boys only." Sawyer punches Karl in the shoulder and tells him to "cowboy up". Sawyer comforts him and suggests he go back for Alex, though Karl says they would kill him this time. Sawyer suggests that for a girl he would "name dumb stars with," it might be worth it.

Kate argues with Sawyer about him letting Karl go. She complains about him ordering her around. Sawyer says she is just angry because she feels guilty, not about leaving Jack, but for having sex with Sawyer. He attributes that she only did it because she thought he was going to die. A speechless and hurt Kate simply tries to brush off the comment, and the two move on.

Later that night, Sawyer looks sadly after Kate as she leads the way as they head back towards their camp; elsewhere, Karl sits by a fire and looks up at the stars.



  • Jack's tattoo does not literally translate to "He walks amongst us, but he is not one of us." as Isabel explains. It translates correctly in Chinese to "Eagles high, cleaving sky."
    • The tattoo is a real one, owned by the actor Matthew Fox, in addition to one on his forearm.
    • In the flashback, just as Achara is about to tattoo him and he is shirtless, the tattoo appears to be either covered or perhaps for the scene the film was horizontally flipped in editing.
  • There are several references to the stars, with Karl and Alex's constellations, Juliet's star brand, and the stars on Jack's tattoo.
  • This is the first Jack flashback episode where his father, Christian Shephard, does not appear.

Production notes

  • Sayid, Charlie, Claire, Desmond, Hurley, Jin, Locke, Nikki, Paulo, and Sun do not appear in this episode.
  • Jack's kite was designed by Buteo Huang and is known as the Starbird.
  • Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse confirmed in 2009 that this episode, having been poorly received by both fans and critics, was the turning point for the studio and they were thus allowed to establish an end date for the show. [1]
  • Damon Lindelof later stated of the episode that "everything that could go wrong did", noting bad casting, a bad flashback, and a bad general premise-but that it was not as flawed as "Homecoming". [2]

Bloopers and continuity errors

  • When Jack is at the beach with Achara preparing and flying his kite, the shorts he is wearing switch from being wet to dry and back again many times.
  • During the final montage, when the Others are traveling by boat back to the main island, Juliet is seen leaning back onto the forward bulkhead of the boat's bridge. Given that she was given a large branding on the small of her back less than a day before, it's highly unlikely that this would have been at all comfortable for her.

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
  • Achara called Jack a great man. (Good and bad people)
  • Jack asked Tom why the Others are "good" if they kidnapped kids and pregnant women as well terrorized the survivors. (Good and bad people)
  • In flashbacks Jack wears a pendant in the shape of the number 8. (The Numbers)
  • Karl points to an area of the sky and says that's where "Ursa Theodorus" will appear, "The Teddy bear." (Animals)

Cultural references

Cultural references in Lost
(direct references only)
ArtBooksCarsGamesMovies and TVMusicPhilosophyReligion and ideologiesScience
Patience, stranger--
here in a strange land, poor man,
hate with a will
whatever the city holds in rooted hatred,
honor what the city holds in love.

Literary Techniques

Literary techniques in Lost
ComparativeIronyJuxtapositionForeshadowing PlottingCliffhangerPlot twist Stock Characters:  ArchetypeRedshirtUnseen character
Story:  FlashbacksFlash-forwardsFlash-sidewaysRegularly spoken phrasesSymbolismUnreliable narrator 
  • Achara states that Chet likes Jack in the restaurant, but Jack is later beaten badly by Chet. (Irony)

Story analysis

Storyline analysis in Lost
  • Jack bargains for Juliet's life. (Economics)
  • Ben commuted Juliet's sentence, saying the "rules do not apply". (Leadership)
  • Achara defined Jack as a leader and a great man. (Leadership)

Episode references

Unanswered questions

Unanswered questions
  1. Do not answer the questions here.
  2. Keep the questions open-ended and neutral: do not suggest an answer.
More details...
For fan theories about these unanswered questions, see: Stranger in a Strange Land/Theories
  • How and why have Cindy and the kids been "converted" by the Others?
    • What are they there to "watch?"
  • What does Juliet's mark mean?
  • Why does Jack's tattoo "have consequences"?

This article uses material from the "Stranger in a Strange Land" article on the Lostpedia wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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