Ben plays mind games on his three captives, focusing his efforts on Sawyer after Sawyer refuses to stop trying to escape. Jack is called on by Juliet to help in an emergency, and back at camp, Desmond constructs a mysterious device.

Written by Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz
Directed by Stephen Williams

Flashback

Sawyer served nine months in prison due to his “long con” of Cassidy Phillips. She visited him one day and stunned him with the news that the two of them had a daughter together named Clementine. Cassidy wanted Sawyer to know, in case he might desire to establish a relationship with his daughter, but he told Cassidy in no uncertain terms that he would not be a father to this child.

While Sawyer was in prison, a man named Munson was brought in — a man who had ripped off the government for ten million dollars. But although Munson was caught, the money was never found. Although there was bad blood between Sawyer and the prison’s warden, a man named Harris, the two of them collaborated in conning Munson out of the money. Sawyer earned an early release for helping the U.S. Treasury Department, along with a sizable reward, but instead of accepting the money, he asked that it be put into an account in the name of his daughter, with the condition that she never find out who the money came from.

Now

Desmond tells Claire that her roof has a problem that he’d be happy to fix, if she could move down the beach for the night. She refuses. He tries to insist, but Charlie stops by and warns him off. Later, Desmond finds the survivors’ set of golf clubs — currently in use by Paolo — and asks to borrow one of the clubs. Desmond uses the club to create a lightning rod suspended high off the ground, then sits back under a shelter to watch what happens. A storm hits out of nowhere, pouring a torrential rain onto the survivors, and a bolt of lightning strikes Desmond’s rod — which is very close to Claire’s tent. Charlie and Hurley both realize, separately, that Desmond saved Claire: he knew the lightning was going to strike, and deflected it with his lightning rod.

Juliet visits Jack, who tries to get some information out of her about the Others’ authority structure. Jack asks if Ben is in charge, but Juliet says that the Others make decisions together. He insists that Ben made a decision on his own when Jack threatened to kill Juliet. Before she can reply, Ben barges in and tells her that “the sub is back” and he needs her, right now. She exits with him.

As Danny Pickett and his men let Sawyer out of his cage for work duty in the morning, Danny gets a call over his walkie-talkie, informing him that his wife, Colleen, has been shot while on her mission to retrieve Desmond’s sailboat. Just then, a stretcher is run through the area with Colleen onboard, covered in blood. When everyone has gone, Sawyer points out to Kate that one of the Oceanic survivors must have shot Colleen, and he’s happy about it. “We just got our ticket out of here,” he informs her. Sawyer devises a plan to use the electrical shock from the fish biscuit dispenser in his cage to his advantage the next time one of the Others comes to let him out. Kate’s impressed but wants to be sure Jack escapes with them. Sawyer tells her that his plan doesn’t account for Jack even still being alive, and that they have to look out for themselves.

Later, Ben visits Sawyer’s cage and Sawyer attempts his electrocution trick on him, but no power comes out of the food dispenser. Ben explains that they turned off the electricity to the dispenser, and then he beats Sawyer cruelly with a retractable baton before knocking him out.

When Sawyer wakes up, he’s somewhere inside the Hydra station. He hears Tom complaining to Ben that since the sky “turned purple” two days ago, they’ve lost all of their communications abilities and can’t get them back. Sawyer finds himself strapped down to a table, and at Ben’s command, a very large needle is injected into his heart. Somehow, Jack hears Sawyer’s panicked sounds coming through the speaker in his cell.

When he wakes up later, Sawyer finds a bandage over his heart from the injection. Ben and Tom enter the room carrying a white rabbit in a cage — a rabbit with a black number “8″ painted on its fur. Inexplicably, Ben begins shaking the cage viciously until the rabbit suddenly drops dead. Ben explains that the rabbit had a pacemaker that would kill it if it got too excited. Likewise, Sawyer has been given a pacemaker, and if he gets too worked up or tries to escape again, it will make his heart explode. He fits Sawyer with a wristwatch that monitors his heart rate, and warns him that if his heartbeat gets too close to his danger zone, it will beep and Sawyer will need to relax to survive. Sawyer asks why they won’t just kill him, and Ben says that he and his people aren’t killers. He also warns Sawyer not to tell Kate anything about what they’ve done to him, or they’ll give her a pacemaker, too.

Sawyer is returned to his cage, and Kate wants to know what happened. Sawyer lies and says they just asked him a bunch of questions, but she doesn’t buy it. Later, Kate suggests that she might be able to climb to the top of her cage and squeeze through the bars there, which are spaced further apart than the ones near the ground. But Sawyer warns her against it.

From inside his cell, Jack again hears Sawyer’s voice, this time talking Kate out of trying to escape again. But Juliet barges in in a panic, wearing bloodied scrubs. She begs for his help in saving Colleen. Jack agrees to help, and a hood is placed over his head as he’s taken from his cell to an operating room. But the route to get there takes him near Kate and Sawyer’s cages, so the Others activate a blaring alarm to keep him from hearing as they call out to him. When Jack and Juliet are inside, Ben is outraged that Juliet brought him here, but Juliet doesn’t care, insisting that Jack can help. While she explains the situation to Jack, he spots a set of spinal x-rays that interest him greatly. But Juliet says that the x-rays don’t belong to Colleen. She takes him inside the O.R. and Jack tries his best, but Colleen’s vitals crash and she dies as her husband Danny, Tom, and Ben look on.

Danny, lost to his grief, marches straight out to Sawyer’s cage and brutally beats him, while angrily asking Kate if she loves Sawyer. When Kate finally says that she does, Danny ends his assault.

When the two of them are alone again, it starts to rain, and Kate climbs up and wiggles out of her cage. Through Sawyer’s protests, Kate tells him she knows that whatever the Others did to him, it was enough to scare him into lying to her. She tries to free him from his cage, but he begs her to flee without him. She refuses, and he tries a different tack, saying that if she really does love him, she’ll leave him and save herself. But Kate says she only said that she loved him so Danny would stop hitting him. She climbs back into her cage, refusing to leave him, reciting Jack’s mantra, “Live together, die alone.” While all of this is happening, Ben watches from his monitoring room inside the Hydra station, and he’s pleased with how things are unfolding. Jack is visible on another monitor, still in the operating room with the deceased Colleen, and it seems that even Jack’s unexpected involvement in trying to save her somehow plays into Ben’s plans.

Juliet retrieves Jack after a while and, all pretenses dropped, is very emotional. She explains that she’s a fertility doctor and that death is something she’s not used to. Jack tries to comfort her, suggesting that there’s nothing more she could have done, but when Juliet asks if he’s just trying to make her feel better, Jack tries to act like he doesn’t care how she feels. She prepares to take him back to his cell, but he quietly asks who the x-rays outside belong to. He knows just from looking at them that they belong to a forty-year-old male who has a very large tumor on his spine. Since he’s a spinal surgeon, he’s deduced the reason that the Others abducted him: he’s here to save the man with the tumor.

Ben awakens Sawyer the next morning and takes him for a walk. Ben eventually reveals that there never was a pacemaker inserted near his heart, that it was all a ruse to get Sawyer to behave himself. He even produces the “8″ rabbit, alive and well, as proof. Ben takes him far from the Hydra station, high up a hill to the edge of the ocean to show him a remarkable sight: about a mile across the water is the real island. The place where they now stand is a smaller island about twice the size of the one that houses Alcatraz — but still much smaller than the main island that Sawyer is familiar with. Ben says he showed him this so Sawyer would know that there’s nowhere for him to run, no point in continuing to attempt an escape. Ben says they went to all this trouble because the only way to gain a conman’s respect is to con him. And he notes Sawyer’s hidden feelings for Kate with interest, pointing out that it wasn’t his threat against Sawyer himself that got him to behave — it was his threat against Kate that did the trick.

  • The Others own a submarine, which they have apparently used for some time to access various parts of the island with stealth and speed.
    Question: How did Colleen’s team of Others reach the sailboat at the Pala Ferry without ever setting foot on the shore? [3.02]

  • Where did the Others get a submarine?
  • Tom mentioned to Ben that “coms have been down since the sky turned purple.” What kind of communications technology do the Others possess?
  • How was Jack able to hear Sawyer’s yells through the com system in the Hydra, when Juliet claimed that that system hasn’t worked in years? Is this more manipulation from Ben?
  • Why was the rabbit marked with a number?
  • Whose x-rays did Jack spy outside the Others’ operating room?


“Every Man For Himself” is the fourth Sawyer-centric episode of the series.

I had completely forgotten that this was the first time we ever saw Ben’s retractable baton, which was used so memorably in Season 4’s “The Shape of Things to Come” as Ben’s weapon of choice off the island.

Ben’s mind game with Sawyer was such a load of crap, I still can’t believe the professional conman didn’t see through it. Ben’s line about the Others not being killers sealed the deal; I really hoped in that moment that Sawyer would come back with, “Tell that to Charlie!” Alas, he did not.

I have to say, I enjoyed this episode a lot more this time than I did the first time. The first go ’round, I was so interested in getting answers that I was frustrated that the show seemed to be stalling. This time I was able to appreciate it for all the wonderful character moments and great performances, in particular those from Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly, Josh Holloway, Elizabeth Mitchell, and Michael Emerson.