Lost (2004–2010)
8.8/10
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A Tale of Two Cities 

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

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(created by), (created by) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

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

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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TV-14 | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

4 October 2006 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Karl: What are the people like? From your plane?
Sawyer: Oh, they're just awesome!
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

References Back to the Future (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Main Title
(uncredited)
Written by J.J. Abrams
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User Reviews

Best opening episode so far
3 August 2010 | by See all my reviews

Hello everyone, As a former cinema student, I like to go on IMDb from time to time, especially right after seeing a movie or a TV show. Most of the time some comments are so revealing that I realize things I didn't even think about at first. And just for that, I think this site is very useful.

However, as I am watching Lost seasons back to back, I don't find the comments about the episodes as instructive as they could be. So what I'll try to do is to write down my own comments, hoping it will bring Lost analysis one step further.

A Tale of Two Cities is, of course, the opening episode of the well-expected season 3. The introduction scene is, really, amazing. A group is reunited for what seems to be a book club reunion, but the meeting is interrupted by an earthquake. When the earth stops shaking, the group go out, look at the sky and see an airplane crashing to land, but before the crash the airplane literally splits in two. So we realize we are on THE island, and that the house in which was held the reunion is just a tiny tiny part of what seems an elaborate, complete village, with actual houses. And we recognize Henry, giving orders to infiltrate the survivors and gather on them as much information as possible.

Back to the present, Jack, Sawyer and Kate are held captive of the others. The episode revolves mainly about Jack, and we see flashbacks of his divorce and how obsessed he is with finding Sarah's new lover. He will come to suspect his own father, and confronts him right in front of his therapy group (for his alcoholism), causing himself to go to jail and his father to have a relapse.

Now, the main question of this episode is: Is Jack right ? Is it right to be stubborn (as Juliet says) or obsessed (as his father says) at this point ? Is his actual situation, is this the best attitude to have ? In his case, the dilemma is about letting go or not. By being obsessed about finding Sarah's new date, Jack has caused his father's relapse. However, is Christian seeing Sarah or not ? I think so, because she's the one he is trying to see the night in Sydney when he is escorted by Ana Lucia (see episode 2.20: Two for the Road). Unless he's trying to see her for another reason, with Lost we never know... Anyways, in Jack/Christian relationship, this episode is the breaking point: this is where the bond is truly broken, and what leads, in a certain way, to Jack testimony about telling his father has caused the death of a patient because he drank on service. After losing his license, Christian decides to go back to Sarah, because this is where it all started, where his son has stopped trusting him. All things considered, the fact that whether Christian is seeing Sara or not is of lesser importance than the suspicion of Jack, as the consequences prove it.

This is the same thing in the present. Does Jack has to trust Juliet or not ? Probably not. However, resisting is of greater consequences than accepting to eat the food, and thus trusting his jailer. By holding Juliet hostage, he risks his own life and the one of Juliet, just because somewhat he can't accept the fact that he's not controlling the situation. He can't "let it go". But as he reminds himself of what happened to his father because of his previous behaviour, he finally sits in the corner. In the end, the consequences are not worth it. Is this the right decision ? No one could say, especially after Ben(that is his real name) is congratulating Juliet for her efforts, and success. Again, this is Lost signature: a lot of gray zones, and even for us it is difficult to tell which decisions or the survivors are good or not.

A great thing about this episode is that, finally, we get to know more about the Others. Did someone really think they lived in tents ? The fact they're living in a small city - or a big village, as you wish - fits more with their knowledge and their intelligence (for instance, Juliet has everything she has to know about Jack and his relatives, and think about the passengers list). For the characters part, Tom, under his apparent toughness, seems to be most delicate and careful of the gang (and confessed to Kate he's a homosexual); Ben (a.k.a Henry Gale) gets more frightening and calculator as we see him; and, finally, there's Juliet, who seems to show a great deal of compassion but somehow I don't entirely trust her. In her role, Elizabeth Mitchell'is absolutely great. And we note that Ben and Juliet seem to share a kind of love / hate relationship.

On the downside, we would have liked to see what happened of the hatch and Locke, Eko and Desmond. But the episode is only about Jack, Kate and Sawyer (and the Others, of course). So it's gonna be for another time...

Overall, a great episode. Better than "Man of science, man of faith" ans as good as the first part of the pilot. 9 out of 10.


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