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Jack Shephard is the main protagonist and de facto leader of the Flight 815 crash survivors. Prior to the crash, he was working as a spinal surgeon at St. Sebastian’s Hospital in Los Angeles. Due to his background in medicine and his quiet charisma, he was easily looked upon as one of the natural leaders of the group. One of his earliest and unwavering supporters while on the island was Kate Austen, whom he had met on the day of the crash.
Jack1

Jack Shephard. He's a hottie!

From the moment they’d met, Jack and Kate worked to survive the dangers of the island together as a team. Despite sharing an early emotional connection, neither had expected the growing love that was quickly becoming apparent between the two.

Jack’s devotion to Kate was proven time and time again, from the smaller details such as offering to walk her back to the beach to grander gestures as when he sacrificed his own freedom for hers. She is one of the few survivors that Jack truly trusts, and it is clear that he would do anything to ensure her safety and happiness.

Pre-Crash

Even as a wee boy, Jack had an unwavering sense of moral duty and obligation to the people around him, but at a cost of disappointing his father, who felt that Jack should just let the chips fall as they may.
WeeJack

Wee Jack

In a crucial conversation that would influence Jack’s self-outlook, Christian advised his son to set aside the sense of responsibility to others because, should he fail, Jack would not have what it takes to recover from such a blow.

Alas, Jack’s daddy issues continued, with him clashing frequently against his father’s “devil-may-care” attitude untilthe time came for Jack to choose between his father and doing the right thing. Occurring shortly before the crash, Jack became privy to his father’s proclivity to get hammered during his lunch breaks and proceeding to perform surgeries, and in one instance, Christian’s irresponsibility caused the death of a pregnant female patient. Jack betrayed his father, informing the hospital’s board that his father was inebriated while performing the surgery. After that, a down-and-out Christian left the States for Australia and drank himself to death. As such, Jack blamed himself for his father’s death and allowed that guilt to follow him for a number of years…and so it continues.

Jack’s love life was equally torturous. After fixing a young woman from being paralyzed from the waist down, Jack went ahead and married this head case, whose name was Sarah.
JackSarah

Jack marries Sarah Un-Shephard

Sarah’s problem was that she suffered from damsel-in-distress syndrome and attributed Jack as her knight in shining armor; running on that belief alone was enough to put this marriage in serious disarray the minute Jack would decide to fart in front of her by accident one day. And indeed, Jack expressed his doubts, not over Sarah, but over himself and whether he would be able to live up to her unrealistic expectations. Would he be a good enough husband for her? If his shit stunk and left the toilet seat up, would that ok with her?
THPJack

Jack and his sexy, red shirt get dumped

Jack soon found out that, yes, his shit did stink, just like everyone else’s, and that Sarah was having none of it. After admitting to her that he had been kissed by some wanton, lusty Italian and that he would try and be a better husband to her, Sarah told him that she had been cheating on Jack and was planning on leaving him. Jears ensued. And while Jack became obsessed with finding what it was about him that was such a turn-off to Sarah, the answer, from Sarah’s perspective, was plain and simple: “It doesn’t matter who you are…what matters is who you’re not.” DUDE. Was that really necessary, Sarah? To say, hey, your whole being SUCKS hairy balls. Unsurprisingly, this was a huge blow to Jack’s already fragile ego, and further solidified the self-belief in Jack’s mind that he would never be enough for any woman, that no woman would or could ever love him and that all that was left in the love department was to just screw skanky kite-flying Thai women and cold Latina women with a penchant for the Mile High Club, all with no strings attached.

WRJack

Fuuuck, what have I done?!!

However, bedding women was the last thing on Jack's mind when things between him and his father took an ugly turn. Jack falsely accused his old man of having an affair with Sarah, prompting Christian to take to the bottle even as he was trying to get himself clean and sober. This led to Christian then drinking on the job, which sucks especially if your own son has to be the one to clean up after your mess. Jack, unable to let his conscience let go of such unethical behavior, threw his dear old dad under the bus, an tattled on him to the hospital board. The next thing Jack knew, he was in Sydney, ID'ing the dead corpse of his father, who, in despair, drunk himself to death. This series of events, from his marriage to Sarah to his father's death, all fatefully led Jack to board Flight 815 that day, and from there, was where his life would really begin.

Post-Crash

S1jackpromo

Jack, lookin' waaay too good for a crash survivor

As luck would have it, the island offered Jack a primordial wet dream-cometh-true - chock-full of responsibilities, moral decisions and things to fix. But Jack found himself recalling his father’s advice from yore: “Don’t be a hero, Jack. Don’t choose.” And he quickly deflected any attempts by the other survivors to hoist him as anything but an ordinary, non-charismatic, butt-ugly, semi-gifted surgeon who was nothing but just another face in the lonely crowd. Well, nobody fell that load of crock, and so Island Leader he became. And the masses had faith in him, but none more than the young woman he met on the first day of the crash: Kate.

1x05JateFire

Jack and Kate shared a quiet, yet intense bond soon after the crash

Here was a woman (a hot one, to boot) that actually wanted to spend time with him. In fact, she was so bent on being wherever he was that she actually STOLE a pair of shoes from a dead guy! This cute-as-a-button, freckly-faced girl stealing, just to tag along with him, alone, on hot, sweaty jungle adventures? Jack found himself basking from the attention, despite the little voice of MelancholyJack whispering in his ear, “Keep your distance, dude! You don’t know her!”

Well, Jack found it difficult to keep his growing attraction to Kate, despite all the warning signs: she was a former fugitive and con woman, a liar and manipulator extremis, a murderess and weirdly two-faced. But there was something about her that Jack found himself drawn to, something he badly wanted to deny, but couldn’t. Even though Kate showed her hand early, inviting him to check out her tight ass and finding excuses to touch him, however ridiculous, Jack’s head repeatedly told him to resist. As a result, he often found himself pushing her away and maintaining a distance between them that promised zero nookie time.

Kate, being a woman of needs, latched onto Sawyer, a fellow con man who made it very clear that he was willing to give up his stash of shaving cream to get into her pants, even though she never took him or his advances very seriously. But, their little bond did make Jack green with envy, and instead of finding ways to draw her back into his fold, he further pushed her away. Why? Because Jack is an all-or-nothing kind of guy; if Kate didn’t reciprocate his feelings towards her, he’d rather not allow himself to get close in any way for fear that he’d be mortally wounded if she rejects him. Why cultivate a situation that would set him up for failure, and subsequent hurt and shame?

2x19Net

No matter how bad things got between them, life had a funny way of bringing them together over and over again

Kate found herself confused as all hell over Jack’s slide into non-communication towards her, giving serious thought as to whether Jack even had a libido cos, seriously (!), every man is hot for her, doesn’t he know that?! In any case, after getting themselves captured by the Others, Jack found himself paying for his pushback against Kate when he happened to catch Kate and Sawyer gettin’ jiggy on the Others’ surveillance monitors. And we all knew: she broke his heart, and Jack knew that it would eventually happen, sooner or later. He was surprised, yes. Hurt, you betcha. But, overwhelmingly stunned? This only furthered his theory that no woman would ever curl up against his chest in a dirty bear cage for all the world to see.
3x07Jack

Jack bids farewell to his fair love

Well, this triggered the magnanimity in Jack (cos, really, what else has he got left?) and conned Ben into setting Kate and Sawyer free and faraway from himself, in hopes of allowing time to heal his gouged eyes and wounded ego. However, as luck would have it, he found himself within Kate’s proximity once again as she made a bold attempt to rescue him from a sub ride to impending freedom. In an emotional, yet staid, conversation with Kate, he found himself at a loss. This was déjà vu all over again; he loved a woman that was in love with someone else. WTF, life? Haven’t you kicked me around enough?

Jack never made it on that sub and, instead, found himself resuming his old position as leader of the Losties back at the beach This time, however, he had a potential gift and curse on his hands: Juliet. Juliet was like him – reserved, introspective and smart. The relationship bordered on cautious friendship with potential to become something more. But as much he wanted to believe that he could find something meaningful with Juliet, the elephant in Jack’s world came crashing through his fragile walls as she licked spoons and threw flirtatious smiles in his direction, and that made Jack even more illustrious in his plans to get the hell of that torturous island.
4x01Wink

Jack is so sure he's gettin' the hell of that island, he can do it with just one eye open. Here, he demonstrates.

As the possibility of getting rescued became a reality, Jack found himself at odds against some weird stomach bug that turned out to be appendicitis. Hmm…is the island trying to tell him something? Oh god, no! The island doesn’t have a mind of its own…puh-leez! With Juliet’s help, Jack agreed that an appendectomy was an order, and he found whatever flimsy excuse for Kate to be there to assist. Of all the people on the island, only KATE has the mirror-holding skills proficient enough to do it. Nobody else can hold a mirror like her! Believe it, Juliet. Well, Juliet saw through Jack’s lame justification for Kate’s presence, and she finally said what Jack had resisted to admit for months – that he was in love with Kate.

But, before he could do anything about it, Jack, Kate and the rest of the O6 found themselves paddling towards rescue and civilization. But the one thing that was burned onto his brain before they all left, was the image of Sawyer whispering something, a declaration or a request, into Kate’s ear before giving her a sloppy kiss and jumping off the chopper and back to the island. And Jack, the noble beast that he is, offered to go back for Sawyer, even though they both knew Sawyer was history. But was he “history” in Kate’s mind and in her heart?

Post-Rescue

After getting rescued by Penny and her swashbuckling crew of Portuguese indie rockers, Jack and the rest of the O6 found themselves at the center of a media blitz, albeit they were all relieved and generally happy to be back in Los Angeles. Kate pronounced Aaron as her biological son and Jack was happy to accommodate the charade in order to fulfill Locke’s request – create a lie to protect the island’s existence. Whatever good fortune Jack thought he was receiving by leaving the island was superficial and transient; although he was given the opportunity now to bury his father, something he had desperately needed to do 108 days ago, he couldn’t bury the guilt and come to terms with his part in his father’s death. In fact, the burden of guilt was so great that he started hallucinating, seeing Christian as he had done on the island, walking around and trying to communicate with him. Clearly, his father wasn’t gone…not in Jack’s mind.

SNBHShower

O.M.G.

The other seemingly fortunate situation involved Kate; with Sawyer out of the way, Jack thought that forging ahead in a relationship with her would put the nail on that bitch, and for a while, it was everything he had dreamed of. He loved her, she loved him, with Aaron, they became a family and all was good and right in the world. But, eventually, his paranoia reared its ugly head, and Jack became convinced that Kate still harbored some love for Sawyer. She fessed up to running “errands” for Sawyer, and she refused to give up what the favor was, instead heeding him to trust her and to let it go. But he couldn’t. Thus, marking the end of their blissful relationship.

TNLPHBeardJack

Mah po' baybee...

As Jack descended into drugs, alcohol and rock and roll, he became despondent at the thought that his happiness was never meant to be. When Locke returned to give Jack a purpose to his pathetic life, Jack latched on and tried to convince Kate that they were never meant to leave the island, and that they must go back to help those they left behind. Kate became angry at Jack’s motives for calling her, and left him bawling out on an abandoned tarmac. Then came Ben – the perennial thorn in Jack’s side. Ben offered Jack a plan to get everyone to go back to the island. Jack, convinced that everyone who suffered because the O6 left the island, agreed to the Faustian deal, hacked off his beard and kicked the drug habit.

Kate, upon seeing beardless Jack, ogled His Hotness, but she became angry with him, yet again, when she believed that Jack was only pretending to care about her Aaron plight to get her to go back. Well, that little blow-up on Kate’s part became the last straw for Jack and everything he’s done for her as he decided right then and there, fuck it! To hell with her! I’m going back to the island to diiiiiieeee. But wait, not so fast – here’s Kate, lying in his bed, looking sad and wrecked. And now here she is, devouring his face and clawing his clothes off to make herself feel human again. Could it be? UGH – false alarm. She’s a cold bitch to Jack the morning after and throughout the plane ride back to the island. Thankfully, Jack has other things do on this show than to forever pine for someone who barely acknowledges all he’s done for her. Thank GOD.

Back on the Island

316Jack

I'm baaaaackk....

Jack knows the jig is up with Kate, but he’s still sweet to her and ensures her safety at every turn. Even defends her to her old lovaah, Sawyer, who’s now happily shacking up with Juliet. What else for a man with such drive as Jack to focus on? HIS DESTINY, which he’s convinced is detonating a hydrogen bomb that will erase the existence of that cursed island ever being a miserable part in anyone’s lives, like, ever. Ok, so maybe everyone’s lives, pre-island, was troubled, including his, but he figures, that that’s nothing compared to what’s occurred, post-island – innocent, unnecessary deaths, husbands and wives being separated by time and space, and misery and bad luck following him and his friends everywhere they go – so, yeah, I’d say things before the island’s existence sucked a lot less than they do now.

TIJack

"I had her...and I lost her.

Kate, surprisingly, doesn’t want Jack to erase their past, no matter how bad things turned out to be for them. Here, she sees the glass as half-full, while Jack sees it half-empty. I say…forget the glass! Kate is actually rooting for Jate! She gets angry with him, and shockingly skirts around the real issue and doesn’t tell him why she’s mad as hell at him now. She enlists Sawyer to talk some sense into him, and the following conversation ensues:

So, now Sawyer is rooting for Jate too?! Has the world turned upside-down and inside out? Jack knows that it’s too late to fix his relationship with Kate, and Sawyer takes it personally, providing a beatdown on Jack and fighting dirty on top of it. C’mon, Sawyer – a real man would never bust another man’s balls unless he’s a coward. Eventually, Jack convinces Kate to believe in his unwavering belief that he’s doing the right thing, and as he prepares to drop the bomb into the Swan, they exchange an emotional, wordless glance as they prepare themselves for what’s to come – will Jack find Kate again? Is Jack’s fate to never find true, lasting love? Was his true destiny to detonate that bomb and serve as the human catalyst to defy “whatever happened, happened” and change the future?

Stay tuned.

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