|Locke, Sawyer and Jack go hunting Michael.|
In the first season, "All Good Cowboys Have Daddy Issues" was a Jack-centric that allowed the main-plot a little push to get it going. The same is true of The Hunting Party, which introduces us more formally to The Others, whose mysterious appearances will continue to plague the survivors until the veil of mystery is thrown off in Season Three. While the main plot didn't really focus much on Jack's character development (which on the main island has pretty much been replaced with more Love Triangle wranglings), the flashbacks were rather spectacularly done and despite my problems with the character's writing on occasion, Matthew Fox is an excellent actor.
In his flashback, we see the breakdown of Jack's marriage to wife Sarah. He is becoming ever more distant from his wife due to a workaholic streak which leads him to help a rich foreign patient whose daughter, Gabriella, has brought him to Jack in the belief that he is a miracle worker. Jack grows close to Gabrielle - too close for his father Christian's liking. When Gabriella's father dies, she kisses him as he comforts her, and a grovelling Jack returns to his wife only to find that Sarah was leaving him anyway, tired of never actually seeing him.
On the Island, and Michael locks Jack and Locke in the Gun Room at gunpoint and runs off. Sawyer comes in and lets them out, joining them on a trek to try and follow Michael and convince him to return. As they follow strange directions, they eventually meet Mr. Friendly, the man who kidnapped Walt. Surrounded by Others, Mr. Friendly chastises them for acting like rude guests and tells them that while Walt and Michael are fine, they must not cross a certain point on the Island, and that defying this request would begin open hostilities between the Others and the Survivors. Elsewhere, Jin and Sun talk about how much of a dick Jin was and he apologises, and Hurley admits to Charlie that he likes Tailie Libby.
|Sarah leaves Jack. From Wikia|
I get the feeling that The Hunting Party was supposed to be more momentous than it was, but from a characterisation perspective it was a little too bogged down with Jack/Kate/Sawyer drama that I really do find extremely tedious, and when I needed something in the present to counterbalance the turning-a-bit-negative perspective of him in the flashback, I got angry jealous Jack instead. The end result of this episode is knowing very little about The Others, having very little idea about what's going on with Jack and really not knowing what comes next. In a sorta empty way.
NEXT WEEK: Charlie acts like a little shithead in the horrendous Fire + Water.