Lost/Jack Shephard

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Dr. Jack Shephard
Lost-Jack 06.jpg
Actors Matthew Fox
John O'Hara (flashback)
First Appearance 1x01 - Pilot (1)
Last Appearance 6x18 - The End
Show Status Series: Billed
Episode Count 111
Notable Episodes 1x05 - White Rabbit
1x11 - All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues
1x20 - Do No Harm
2x01 - Man of Science, Man of Faith
2x03 - Orientation
2x11 - The Hunting Party
3x01 - A Tale of Two Cities
3x22 - Through the Looking Glass
Flashback Count 10 (including Pilot (1) and Exodus (1))
Flashforward Count 4 (including There's No Place Like Home (1) and There's No Place Like Home (2))

Jack Shephard is a young and highly skilled spinal surgeon, and one of the Oceanic 815 crash survivors on the mysterious island. He is played by Matthew Fox, where he plays a billed role and has appeared in nearly every episode to date.


Basic Information

One aspect of Jack's personality is that he demands to know what's going on before he takes one more step on a crazy path. There's a problem? Whose problem? What happened? Why are you bringing it to me? "A crazy path" is not particular to the island, but is encompassing of his entire life. He always needs something to fix, and when he finds something to fix, he almost single-mindedly focuses on that immediate problem, pushing all other problems aside.


Jack as a child
Since Jack was a child, he was obsessed with helping others. When his best friend, Marc Silverman was beat up by bullies, Jack refused to do nothing and goty beat up himself in the process of trying to help Marc. When Jack grew up, he became a spinal surgeon, like his father Christian before him. He and his father both worked at St. Sebastian hospital in Los Angeles, California.

Jack met the woman who would later become his wife, Sarah, after she crashed her car head-on into the SUV of Adam Rutherford, who was Shannon Rutherford's father. His initial diagnosis was that she would never walk again or feel anything below the waist, but after a lecture on bedside manner by his father and her courageous acceptance of her fate, Jack promised Sarah that he would fix her. However, the surgery revealed that the damage was too extensive. Frustrated, Jack did a "tour de stade", running up and down the steps of a stadium, and met Desmond Hume. Jack told him that he made a promise to fix Sarah, but he couldn't keep that promise. Desmond simply asked him if perhaps he did fix her, and continued on running. When Jack returned to the hospital, he discovered that Sarah could feel her legs and move them.

After Sarah recovered from her injuries, the two became engaged. On the eve of his wedding to Sarah, Jack's father told him that commitment was what makes him tick, but he has a problem learning to let go. A theme which would come back to haunt him.

Jack's relationship with Sarah became troubled due to his workaholic nature. Word of his miraculous surgery on Sarah spread and an Italian patient, Angelo Busoni, came to see him specifically regarding a seemingly inoperable tumor lodged near his spine. While Mr. Busoni was under his care, Jack spent time with Busoni's daughter, Gabriela, which worried Jack's father. During the surgery on Angelo's tumor, his heart gave out from the length of the operation and he died. Jack found Gabriela in the parking lot and, while trying to comfort her, found himself kissed by her. He returned the kiss before pulling back and going home to Sarah. Jack told her about the kiss and promised to fix their relationship, but Sarah told him it was too late — she was already in the process of moving out and has been seeing another man. Sarah told him that he'd always need something to fix.

After Sarah left him, Jack became obsessed with finding the man she was seeing, even offering to give her everything in the divorce proceedings if she would tell him the man's name. He followed her to her place of work and even managed to get the contact list from her cell phone. When he discovered that one of the numbers she called was his father, he followed him to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting and confronted him. He learned that Christian had been sober for fifty days, but was more concerned about his supposed relationship with Sarah and attacked him. Jack was arrested, but Sarah bailed him out of prison after Christian called her while heavily intoxicated. He saw the man Sarah was seeing, who was not Christian, but Sarah still refused to give him his name. Sarah told Jack that it didn't matter who the man was, only who Jack wasn't.

Jack eventually left Los Angeles, California and ended up in Phuket, Thailand. There he met a young Thai woman named Achara and a relationship developed. For over a month, Achara would come and go as she pleased from Jack's beach hut, but she had a secret gift that she wouldn't reveal to Jack. One night, while drinking, Jack decided to follow Achara to where she worked and discovered she was a tattoo artist. Achara told him her gift was seeing who a person truly was and then marking that person with the definition, not a decoration. Jack forced her to tell him who he was - a leader and a great man, but this makes him lonely, frightened and angry - and then mark him. Achara warned him there would be consequences as she is not allowed to use her gift on outsiders, and the next day Jack is assaulted by a group of Thai men and ordered to leave the country.

After Jack's obsession with Sarah drove Christian back to the bottle, Christian continued to drink heavily. His father fatally botched a surgery on a pregnant woman while under the influence, despite Jack's best efforts to save the woman. Christian asked him to leave out the details of his drinking in the report regarding the woman's death, but Jack eventually testified against his father and Christian's career ended in disgrace. Christian traveled to Australia and Jack's mother, Margo, told him to bring him home. Jack found his father in the city morgue after Christian died from an alcohol-induced heart attack.

At Sydney International Airport, Jack argued with an Oceanic representative regarding the transfer of his father's casket. Oceanic refused to allow the casket on board, and the outcome of Jack's pleas is not known. Afterwards, Jack sought solace with a drink at the airport bar. There he met Ana-Lucia Cortez, a fellow passenger, and the two promised to have a drink together on the plane.

During the flight, Jack was given two bottles of alcohol by Cindy, a flight attendant. With the bottles in hand, Jack was about to head back to see Ana-Lucia when Charlie Pace pushed his way by Jack while being followed by several flight attendants. Back in his seat and with turbulence hitting, Jack tried to calm the nerves of a fellow passenger, Rose, when Oceanic flight 815 fell from the sky.


Season One

Immediately after the crash of Oceanic flight 815, Jack took charge of the situation and the survivors thrust the mantle of leadership upon him as someone to look to for direction - a role he found difficult to accept. He was shaken in his resolve after not being able to save several people from dying: his father, Christian; the Marshal; and the drowned swimmer, Joanna. The stress he was under induced an apparently hallucination in the form of his father, and following those visions led him to a cave system and source of fresh water.

While most of the survivors looked to him, the doctor, as a leader to follow, some survivors felt otherwise. Sawyer butted heads with Jack on several occasions, foraging through the wreckage for his own stash rather than sharing supplies with the rest of the survivors. After Sawyer insinuated he had Shannon's asthma medicine, Jack allowed Sayid Jarrah to torture Sawyer for the information on the non-existent medicine. Later, Sawyer came into possession of the Marshal's weapons case. Kate Austen told Jack what was inside and, after Jack got the case from Sawyer, he became the guardian of the guns and ammo; wearing the key to the case around his neck.

John Locke brought a severely injured Boone Carlyle to Jack, telling him Boone fell from a cliff before disappearing back into the jungle. Jack based his treatment on Locke's story, but eventually deduced that Boone's injuries were caused by something more than a fall from a cliff. He flirted with the idea of amputating Boone's leg, but Boone regained consciousness and told him he was letting him off the hook. Before he dies, Boone tells Jack that a plane fell on him and Locke said not to tell anyone about "the hatch." Locke's deception and Boone's subsequent death has placed a seed of mistrust in Jack's mind regarding Locke.

After the hatch was revealed by Locke, Jack opted to find a way inside as a possible means to protect the survivors from "the Others." With Rousseau as a guide, Jack organized an expedition to the Black Rock to retrieve dynamite in order to blow open the hatch. On the return trip, the group encountered the monster. It tried to drag Locke underground, but Jack was able to save him with Kate's help. Locke believed it meant him no harm, but Jack believed otherwise. Locke's belief in the supposed mystical power of the island left Jack believing Locke may become a problem in the near future.

Season Two

With the hatch blown open, the group discovered only a broken ladder descending into a deep shaft. Locked wanted to descend into the shaft, but Jack vetoed the idea and wanted everyone to remain at the caves until morning. However, Locke and Kate both left for the hatch and, shortly afterwards, Jack left to go after him.

Inside the hatch, Jack discovered Locke being held at gunpoint by Desmond. Kate managed to disarm Desmond, but a shot was fired and damaged a computer terminal. Kate left to retrieve Sayid in the hopes of fixing the computer, while Desmond tried to fix it the best he could. However, Jack demanded answers from Desmond. He was told how Desmond came to be on the island and that he pushes a button to "save the world." Jack didn't believe him and thought Desmond was the victim of a psychological experiment to see how long he would keep pushing that button. Jack and Locke watched an orientation film for the hatch — the Swan - but Jack still didn't believe it was real. When Desmond fled into the jungle in an attempt to escape whatever happens when the timer hits zero, Jack chased him down and was given the code to reset the timer. Returning to the Swan, Jack gave Locke the correct numbers to enter and pushed the button at Locke's request. Jack and Locke began working together to manage the station and its button. He also tried to get into the sealed off section of the station with Sayid, but concrete was poured even in the crawlspace.

While enjoying some time away from the Swan, Jack engaged in a one-on-one game of golf with Kate for bragging rights. Eko interrupted the contest, carrying a feverish Sawyer. Sawyer was brought back to the Swan and, after treating Sawyer with antibiotics, learned of Shannon's death, Sayid's capture and the killer's ransom demands. Jack was going to go after Sayid armed, but learned that the killer was Ana-Lucia and went unarmed.

While Sawyer recovered from his fever and injuries, Kate looked after him. Kate's affections towards Sawyer introduced twinges of jealousy in Jack. He left her in charge of the Swan's button, but returned to find the station abandoned and the alarm sounding. He tracked her down in the jungle and was angry at her, causing her to briefly break down and cry, which turned into a kiss. But Kate pulled away in confusion and ran off into the jungle.

After Sawyer partially recovered and moved back to the beach camp, Michael Dawson pulled a gun on Jack in the Swan. Michael locked Jack and Locke inside the armory and left to go after the Others and to bring back his son, Walt. Sawyer and Kate eventually freed Jack and Locke, and Jack organized a hunting party to go after Michael and bring him back. That night they were ambushed by Mr. Friendly and told it was time to have a talk. Jack attempted to get answers from Mr. Friendly, but none were forthcoming. Mr. Friendly insisted they drop their weapons and leave, but Jack refused. Kate was brought out by the Others and, after her life was threatened, Jack agreed to Mr. Friendly's demands and left. Angered by how Kate put him in that position, Jack's reception to her was cold.

With all the guns in the Swan's armory, including those from the Marshal, Jack got the armory combination from Locke in case something happened to him. Locke made him promise that he would consult Locke before opening the armory. After a failed kidnapping attempt on Sun, Jin demanded a gun from Jack to protect his wife. He took Jin to the station, but discovered the armory had been cleaned out by Locke. Furious at Locke, Jack went to the beach to confront him, but the two discovered that had been conned by Sawyer who now had all the guns.

A man named Henry Gale was captured by Rousseau and brought to the Swan. Jack tended to the man's injuries, but Sayid locked himself and the man inside the Swan's armory in order to torture him for information on who he really was. Jack prevented Locke from pushing the button in order get inside the armory and stopped Sayid from killing Henry. Jack eventually agrees to Locke's idea to have Ana-Lucia question Henry, and she is able to get a hand-drawn map to Henry's balloon but keeps it a secret. Jack learns about the map from Henry and, fearing it's a trap, tries to find Ana-Lucia but is too late. But, while he's at the beach, Jack engages in a game of poker with Sawyer and the stakes eventually include all the medicine Sawyer stole from the Swan. Jack wins the medicine and is accompanied by Kate on his way to the Swan, but the two spot a flashing light marking a DHARMA Initiative supply drop. There Jack meets Ana-Lucia's group who just returned from Henry's balloon and discovered Henry's corpse buried under the balloon.

With Henry's true identity as an Other revealed, Jack spoke with him and noted that his hypothetical plan about having Ana-Lucia captured and traded for him was a good idea. So good that Jack's going to use it by trading Henry for Walt. However, Henry told Jack that the Others would never give up Walt. Jack, accompanied by Kate, went out into the jungle to wait for the Others, but discovered an exhausted Michael.

Michael told his story about finding the Others village, and how they were lightly armed and could be easily taken. Jack talked with Locke and the two agreed to get the guns back from Sawyer, leaving Ana-Lucia in charge of Henry. During their confrontation, Sawyer realized Ana-Lucia stole his gun and Locke revealed to Jack that Henry had attacked Ana-Lucia earlier that day. Fearing that Ana-Lucia was going to kill Henry, Jack and the others rushed back to the Swan. Once there the group found Michael shot. Michael claimed that Henry had gotten out and shot Ana-Lucia and Libby. With Ana-Lucia dead and Libby critically injured, Jack attempted to treat Libby's wounds but resorted to injecting her with heroin to ease her pain in death.

Jack agreed to Michael's plan to take a select few to get Walt back. Sawyer turned over the guns to Jack for the plan. He told Jack that he and Ana-Lucia had sex, and that's how she got the gun that killed her and Libby. He told Jack that he was telling him this because Jack is the closest thing he has to a friend. Before the group left to get Walt, Sayid told Jack he thinks Michael had been compromised by the Others. Jack wanted to confront Michael, but Sayid felt it better to wait until he could formulate a plan. A sailboat appeared just off the shore and Jack was one of the people who swam out to it. On board he found a familiar face — Desmond.

Sayid told Jack that he would use Desmond's sailboat to recon the Others village and then set a black smoke signal as a location where Jack would meet him; together they would spring their own trap on the Others. Jack left with Michael and the group but, shortly into their journey, Kate and Sawyer shot at several Others who were following them. Jack confronted Michael and demanded that Michael tell the others the truth. With the truth revealed, Hurley and Sawyer wanted to turn back, but Jack realized the Others would kill them if they did. Michael led them to a clearing filled with reports from the Pearl. Sayid's smoke signal was spotted, but it was miles away. Jack confronted Michael about why they were so far away from the Others village, but taser darts were fired from the woods and the group was captured. They were taken to the Pala Ferry dock and Jack learned that they were on their way to the Others' "home."

Season Three

Jack was taken to The Hydra and was put under the care of an Other, Juliet Burke. He learned that the Others had a file containing details of his entire life and that they had contact with the outside world. Henry later introduced himself to Jack as Benjamin Linus and offered to send Jack home if he cooperated. Jack eventually pieced together some clues and deduced that Ben had a tumor on his spine that would become inoperable in about a week. Jack initially refused to help Ben. Juliet tried to persuade him to save Ben, but used cue cards to inform Jack to let Ben die in surgery as an "accident", that she would protect him afterwards. Kate was brought in to persuade Jack, but Jack realized she wanted him to do the surgery to save a threatened Sawyer and refused. Later, the door to Jack's cell was conveniently left unlocked and he made his way to a surveillance room and armed himself. Once there, however, he saw Kate being intimate with Sawyer on a CCTV monitor. Upset, Jack agreed to perform the surgery on Ben immediately.

During the surgery on Ben's spine, Jack purposely cut into Ben's kidney sack to hold him hostage. Jack demanded to speak to Kate via radio and told her she had an hour to run and, once she was safely away, to tell him the story he told her the day of the crash. But Jack soon discovered that he's on a second island and his friends can't escape. Juliet ordered the Others to retrieve Jack's friends, but Ben woke up from the anesthesia and told Juliet to help Jack's friends escape. Once Kate and Sawyer are safely away, Jack successfully finished Ben's surgery. However, Juliet killed an Other to help his friends and was going to be executed as punishment. Due to Ben's wound becoming infected, Jack cut a deal with him to help nurse him back to good health if he let Juliet live. Ben agreed and Jack left Hydra island to accompany the Others to their home — the Barracks.

A week later, Kate, Sayid, Locke and Danielle arrived at the barracks as part of a rescue mission. Kate, Sayid and Locke were captured by the Others, but not before Locke blew up the Others' submarine just hours before Jack and Juliet were to leave the island for home. As the location of the barracks was compromised, the Others were forced to leave and allowed Locke to accompany them. Jack was left behind with Kate, Sayid and Juliet. The group eventually made their way to the Oceanic survivor's beach camp and Jack became friends with Juliet, especially with her being treated as an outsider by the others.

Jack learned from Juliet that she was left behind by Ben to act as a spy. She was to conduct tests on the women, find out who was pregnant and mark their shelters so they would be taken during a raid. Tired of running from the Others, Jack decided it was time to go on the offensive. With Danielle Rousseau's help, dynamite was collected from the Black Rock and placed inside three tents marked for the Others. The dynamite was to be wired to detonate from a safe distance, but Karl arrived at the camp and warned the survivors that the Others had pushed up their plans by a day and were arriving that night. Forced to alter the plan on the fly, three of the survivors were to stay behind to detonate the dynamite by shooting at it while Charlie and Desmond descended into The Looking Glass to deactivate its jamming equipment. Jack was to take the remaining survivors to the radio transmitter with Danielle Rousseau as their guide.

The night of the Others' raid, Jack and the survivors heard only two explosions and watched the plumes of smoke rise in the distance. Something had gone wrong and Sawyer decided to go back to the camp with Juliet. Kate wanted to go, but Sawyer refused. Afterwards, Jack informed Kate that Sawyer only refused because he didn't want her to get hurt. Asked why he was sticking up for Sawyer, Jack confessed that he loved Kate. The survivors were later intercepted by Ben and Lost/Alexandra Rousseau. Speaking alone with Ben, Jack was told he was making a mistake, that Naomi Dorrit was working for a group of people who were trying to find the island. Contacting her freighter would result in the deaths of everyone on the island. Jack refused to retrieve Naomi's satellite phone for Ben, even though Ben threatened to have Jin, Sayid and Bernard killed. Believing his inaction had resulted in the death of his friends, Jack beat Ben badly and brought him along to the radio transmitter so Ben would be forced to watch Jack succeed in getting everyone off the island. Rousseau's distress signal was turned off and Naomi initiated a call to her freighter, but Locke appeared and killed Naomi by throwing a knife into her back. Locke threatened to shoot Jack unless he gave up the satellite phone, but Jack refused to let Locke keep him on the island. Locke returned to the jungle and Jack made contact with Naomi's freighter.

Season Four

With Locke leaving no trail into the jungle, Jack vowed to kill him should he return. However, a more pressing concern was the freighter's request to speak to Naomi in order to change settings on her satellite phone to get a fix on their location. The group believed she was dead, but soon discovered she had crawled away into the jungle. Ben was the only person to see her leave, as he was tied to a tree in front of her, but feigned ignorance. Rousseau found one blood trail and Kate found a second, but Jack decided to follow Rousseau's lead while leaving Kate to take the survivors back to the beach camp to await rescue. Rousseau, Jack and Ben followed Naomi's blood trail to a dead-end. Ben revealed that he saw Kate take the satellite phone off of Jack when they hugged earlier and most likely followed the correct trail. He decided not to say anything earlier to Jack as he "owed one" for Jack beating him. They eventually caught up with all the survivors at the nose section wreckage of Oceanic Flight 815. Jack sucker punched Locke, taking Locke's gun off of him. Locke didn't believe Jack would pull the trigger, but he did. The gun was unloaded. News of Charlie's death and final warning, that Naomi wasn't who she claimed to be, was revealed. Locke wanted to go to the barracks as it was the only place he knew of with any form of security. Jack believed no one would go anywhere with him as he was crazy, but Hurley stood up for Locke and refused to listen to Jack. The survivors split into two groups: those who believed Charlie's warning went with Locke while the rest stayed with Jack. With Locke's group gone, Jack thought back to the last time he was at the nose section, the first day on the island with Charlie and Kate, and contemplated how things could have gotten to the point they're at now. He didn't have much time, however, as they witnessed a helicopter pass overhead and a man parachute out. Jack reached the parachutist, Daniel Faraday, who asked if he was Jack.

Daniel informed Jack and Kate of the GPS transponders his team were wearing, allowing them to be tracked using Naomi's satellite phone. As they searched the jungle for a signal, Kate spotted a container from Daniel's helicopter. Jack opened it to discover it was full of gas masks and red biohazard bags. Jack tried to get some information out of Daniel, but Daniel could only tell him he wasn't responsible for packing and that rescue wasn't their primary objective. They eventually tracked down a seemingly unconscious Miles Straume, but Jack was ambushed at gunpoint by the man when he tried to check his vitals. Miles demanded to be taken to Naomi as she had given them a code phrase over the satellite phone that she was under duress. He was taken to Naomi's body and confirmed their story that they weren't responsible for her death. Luckily for Jack and Kate, Sayid and Juliet ambushed the two men and relieved them of their weapons. The group then tracked down Charlotte Lewis' transponder, only to discover it was tied to Vincent; Locke had captured her. The last team member, Frank Lapidus, was found near the helicopter he landed intact. Juliet treated the man's wound, but he discovered she wasn't one of the Oceanic survivors. Miles informed them that they were on the island to find Benjamin Linus.

After the Island

After being rescued from the island, Jack returned to St. Sebastian Hospital to continue his work as a surgeon. After seeing Hurley lead the Los Angeles Police Department on a high-speed chase, he visited Hurley at the Santa Rosa Mental Health Institute. He wanted to see if Hurley had gone nuts and was "gonna tell". Before he could leave, Hurley apologized to him about going with Locke on the day the people from the freighter arrived. But Hurley believed they didn't do the right thing, that it wants them to come back and would do anything it could to accomplish it. Jack yelled at him that they're never going back to the island. Eventually Jack's life began to spiral out of control and he turned to painkillers to numb the pain. Much like his father, Jack also turned to alcohol and became an alcoholic. Oceanic Airlines gave the survivors a "golden pass" allowing them to fly anywhere and Jack used it take weekly flights from Los Angeles to Singapore, Tokyo or Sydney, get off to have a drink and then immediately get back on to fly home. Every time he wished the plane would crash, not caring what happened to the other passengers as long as he made it back to the island.

On one flight returning to L.A., Jack noticed an article about a person's death and ripped it out. While driving home, Jack took another look at the clipping before getting out of his SUV and prepared to jump off a bridge. Before he could jump, a car crashed on the bridge and Jack saved the badly injured mother and her son from the flaming wreckage. The woman's spine was injured from the accident and Jack wished to operate on her, but Rob Hamill, the new Chief of Surgery taking over from Jack's deceased father, refused. Leaving the hospital, Jack visited the funeral parlor listed on his clipping, but learned that there was no funeral service and that no one had showed up for the viewing. Not wanting to see the person inside the casket, Jack left the funeral parlor and eventually headed back to the hospital to steal painkillers. Dr. Hamill notified Jack that the woman's surgery was successful, but afterwards said she saw a man on the bridge about to jump, became distracted and lost control of her car. Jack became defensive and, under the influence, demanded that Dr. Hamill bring Christian Shephard down to see how drunk he was compared to him. Leaving the hospital, Jack returned home and managed to get Kate on the phone, asking her to meet him at the airport before she hung up. There he showed Kate the clipping and asked her if she had heard or went to the funeral. Kate was incredulous at the idea of going. Jack revealed to her the amount of flying he had been doing, that he was sick of lying and that they had made a mistake in leaving the island. He believed they weren't supposed to leave, but Kate disagreed and left.

Character History

Information is shown in chronological order. Episodes in bold are flashback/flashforward episodes.

Before the Crash

On the Island

After the Island

Memorable Moments

  • 2x14 - One of Them: Jack threatens to let the button run down if Locke doesn't let him stop Sayid from torturing Henry Gale.
  • 2x23 - Live Together, Die Alone: Jack makes Michael confess that he betrayed the Oceanic survivors through intimidation by volume.
  • 3x06 - I Do: After seemingly agreeing to help Ben when he sees Kate sleeping with Sawyer, Jack threatens to kill Ben during his surgery if Kate and Sawyer aren't freed.


  • Premature: Jack was originally going to be played by Michael Keaton, to appear in only the pilot episode, a move that Abrams wanted to create emotional shock and resonance for the rest of the series by having a major character die off so early. The idea was soon dropped, and Matthew Fox was signed on to be a series regular.
  • Jack's Tattoo: Isabel claims that Jack's tattoo reads: "He walks amongst us, but he is not one of us." This is incorrect. The four characters of his tattoo are part of a couplet taken from Changsha, a famous poem written in 1925 by Chairman Mao Zedong, a Chinese revolutionary leader. The couplet can be translated into "Eagles high up, cleaving the space." The discrepancy is due to the fact that the tattoo is a real tattoo on actor Matthew Fox's arm.
  • Via Domus: In Lost: Via Domus, a 2008 video game based on the show, Jack's full first name is "Jackson". However, according to executive producer Carlton Cuse, the video game is not canon.


  • 1x19 - Deus Ex Machina: "Look Kate, I'd love nothing more than to go check the guy out, but we both know that all I'm gonna get for my trouble is a snappy one-liner, and if I'm real lucky, a brand-new nickname."
  • 1x12 - The Greater Good: "WHERE WERE YOU?!"