Lost: Season 3, Episode 1

A Tale of Two Cities (4 Oct. 2006)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
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Reviews: 17 user | 2 critic

Jack, Kate and Sawyer are kidnapped by the Others, who reveal themselves as more sophisticated and savvy than anyone guessed.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Mr. Eko (credit only)
Sayid Jarrah (credit only)
Desmond Hume (credit only)
Claire Littleton (credit only)
Hugo 'Hurley' Reyes (credit only)
Jin Kwon (credit only)
Sun Kwon (credit only)
Charlie Pace (credit only)
John Locke (credit only)
Nikki Fernandez (credit only)


Jack, Kate and Sawyer are kidnapped by "The Others" and put in different environments. Kate has a shower, gets a dress and is invited to have breakfast on the beach with the leader Henry Gale (who identifies himself under his real name of Ben Linus); Sawyer is locked in a cage for wild animals and without food or water, being "awarded" when he hits a lever as if he were an animal; and Jack is locked in a sort of aquarium, being interrogated and controlled by his handler and the Others doctor, Juliet, who has a complete report about his life. Meanwhile, Jack recalls his divorce process with Sarah and how his desperation and rapid meltdown affected everyone around him, including his father. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Release Date:

4 October 2006 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


This was the first episode that J.J. Abrams was directly involved in since the show's first season. See more »


In the opening scene, Juliet is seen putting the Talking Heads CD "Speaking in Tongues" into the CD player, but "Downtown" by Petula Clark is heard instead. See more »


Jack: [in the Hydra tank] This thing's for what? Sharks?
Juliet: Dolphins too.
Jack: We're underwater, aren't we?
Juliet: Yes.
Jack: Is this one of their stations? The Dharma Initiative?
Juliet: They called it The Hydra.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The producers gratefully acknowledge the cooperation of the people of Hawaii and their Aloha spirit. See more »


References Back to the Future (1985) See more »


Moonlight Serenade
Written by Glenn Miller
Performed by Glenn Miller & his orchestra
See more »

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User Reviews

A Tale of Two Cities
2 November 2008 | by (prejudicemadeplausible.wordpress.com) – See all my reviews

The first episode of season three has the show's trademark attention-grabbing, well-staged 'what the hell is going on?' season-opening scene, but it's really more an introduction to the experimental and not so well-received six episode long mini-season which aired in fall 2006. The bulk of season three certainly has a different feel and focus than the 'mini-season' (which is what even the producers/writers referred to it as), and is of a much higher quality in general. I'd consider "Not in Portland" the first episode of the 'real' season 3.

The opening scene is certainly quite nifty. It's certainly well-filmed and suspenseful, and although it was more predictable than the immense season two opener with Desmond in the hatch, it was still a great scene. The rest of the episode is significantly weaker, though, centered on pretty standard follow-up stuff showing us that Sawyer, Jack, and Kate are in cages. Ah, the start of one of the worst multi-episode story lines on the show (the worst?). It's all quite rubbish, the atmosphere they're clearly going for on the Hydra island just isn't working, even Giacchino's score sounds off somehow. Juliet is interesting and is introduced well, however, and is basically the saving grace of the majority of the episode.

The flashbacks aren't much better, focusing on a jealous Jack. There's barely any real character development here, very little of interest. I suppose seeing Christian is always a plus, but that's about it really. More 'drama' with Sarah Shepard... It's all quite boring and tired. This was J.J. Abrams' first script for the show (co-written with Damon Lindelof) since the pilot, and it's just not cohesive and interesting enough. I suppose that seeing Ben become Ben is fun, but there's not much of interest in this episode otherwise, mainly because it's introducing a storyline which is incredibly tiresome. It's watchable, but very far from great.


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