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"All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues"
Lost episode
Charlie hanging from a tree by his neck.
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 11
Written by Javier Grillo-Marxuach
Directed by Stephen Williams
Production no. 109
Original airdate December 8, 2004
Guest stars

William Mapother
John Terry
Michael Adamshick
Jackie Maraya
Matt Moore
Mark Stitham

Episode chronology
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"Raised by Another" "Whatever the Case May Be"
Lost (season 1)
List of Lost episodes

"All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues" is the eleventh episode of the first season of Lost. The episode was directed by Stephen Williams and written by Javier Grillo-Marxuach. It first aired on December 8, 2004 on ABC. The character of Jack Shephard (Matthew Fox) is featured in the episode's flashbacks.




Jack is operating on a woman. Despite his attempts, the woman's heartbeat shows as a flatline; Jack begins giving CPR even though it is clearly hopeless. His father, Dr. Christian Shephard (John Terry), who was originally performing the operation, steps out of the shadows of the OR and tells him to call the time of death. Jack gives him a look and coldly tells him to do it. Christian requests that Jack sign a form which will officially state that the woman's death was an accident. Jack knows that Christian was drinking before he operated on the woman. Christian also says that if the hospital board finds out, it will end his career, and his "life." After his father compliments his talents and begs for the favor, Jack signs the form. Jack is heading down a hospital hallway when he sees his father talking to a man. He asks a nurse who the man is and she tells him that it's the husband of the deceased patient and is threatening to sue. Jack looks on at them from the other end of the hallway, deep in thought, as his father comforts the widower who starts to break down and cry. At a board meeting, Christian delivers his false statement while Jack looks on. The board reveals that the deceased woman was pregnant, which Christian admits to knowing previously (unbeknownst to Jack). Horrified, Jack tells the board that his father was operating under the influence of alcohol, and says that this impaired his judgment and led to the chain of events causing the woman's death. This forever ends Christian's career as a doctor.

On the Island

At the caves, Hugo "Hurley" Reyes (Jorge Garcia) continues trying to explain that one survivor, Ethan Rom (William Mapother), is not listed in the passenger manifest. Jack Shephard asks where Ethan is and Michael Dawson (Harold Perrineau) says that he went into the jungle to get some wood. Jack then begins asking where Charlie Pace (Dominic Monaghan) is; John Locke (Terry O'Quinn) replies that he went after Claire Littleton (Emilie de Ravin). As Jack and Locke run through the jungle in search of Charlie, they find three distinct sets of footprints, and realize that Charlie and Claire have been taken. As Jack begins shouting their names, Locke motions for him to be quiet.

Locke suggests that they should go back and return with a hunting party, but Jack decides to start off alone.

Back on the island, Jack, Kate, Locke, and Boone Carlyle (Ian Somerhalder) set off to find their companions. Following footprints, the group eventually finds one of Charlie's knuckle bandages. Jack and Kate go off to trail Charlie, while Locke and Boone continue on the original trail.

During a rainstorm, Jack and Kate become separated when Jack tumbles down an embankment after hearing what could be Claire screaming. When he comes to at the bottom, Ethan confronts him, warning that if they don't stop following him, he'll kill either Claire or Charlie. A struggle ensues between the two with the mysterious outsider Ethan getting the upper hand, beating and knocking Jack down, who hears Ethan say "No more warnings" before blacking out.

Kate soon comes to Jack's aid and tries to discourage Jack from continuing on with the rain having washed away any remains of the trail but he gets up and keeps going, saying that "I'm not letting him do this...not again" with Kate running after him.

Jack and Kate follow Ethan's path once more until they come across Charlie, blindfolded and hanging by his neck from a tree branch. They cut him down, and Jack furiously performs CPR—despite Kate's pleas that it's a lost cause, Jack does not give up. Charlie eventually comes back to life after Jack helps him.

At nightfall, with Jack, Kate, and Charlie back at the caves, Charlie reveals that it was Claire that Ethan had wanted all along. Boone and Locke are somewhere in the jungle still searching in the rain, where they discover a piece of metal embedded in the ground. The metal appears to be hollow, and they begin removing mud to find out what it is.


This episode was the last to air before a four-week hiatus.

When Boone and Locke split away from Kate and Jack during the search, Boone continues to tie parts of a red shirt to the trees. He tells Locke that in Star Trek the crew who wore red shirts would always be the ones who died. He asks Locke if he has ever seen Star Trek, to which Locke responds "No, not really". Terry O'Quinn, the actor who plays Locke, once guest-starred on an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.[1]


18.88 million American viewers watched this episode during its initial broadcast, making this the most-watched episode out of the first eleven episodes.[2]


  1. ^ The Pegasus (Star Trek: The Next Generation) - Season 7, episode 12
  2. ^ "Weekly Program Rankings". ABC Medianet. December 14, 2004. Retrieved 2008-07-30.  

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