L.A. Reality; Williams Conservatory Exterior: Just as David is unlocking his bike from the rack, Jack approaches him. "You were great in there." When he recognizes his father's voice, David's fear is palpable. "You... saw me?" Jack smiles kindly and nods. David is disgusted with himself for missing a couple of notes, but Jack insists it sounded perfect to him. He then leans on bike rack, closing all distance between him and his son. "David, you scared the hell out of me." David figured he could get to the audition and back before Jack left Stately Shephard Manor. Jack: "I didn't even know you were still playing." David says that he made his mother promise to keep it a secret from Jack. Gee, why are these Shephards divorced? David explains: "It was always such a big deal with you. You used to sit and watch me practice. You were so... into it. I didn't tell you I was coming here, because I didn't want you to see me fail." Okay, I'm not buying what they're selling, because they're still only telling rather than showing Jack's parenting failure. But there's no sense dwelling on that when we're about to be expertly manipulated by Matthew Fox and the talented boy playing Jack's son. Let's give them a fresh paragraph, yeah?
With his son pushing his buttons in this reality, Jack reels back slightly and then sighs. "You know, when I was your age, my father didn't want to see me fail, either. He used to say to me that -- he said that I didn't have what it takes. I spent my whole life carrying that around with me. I don't ever want you to feel that way." His eyes are brimming with tears. When will gravity have its way? Not yet. Jack continues: "I will always love you." His voice cracks, but his cheeks remain dry. "No matter what you do, in my eyes, you can never fail. I just want to be a part of your life." David's "Okay," is raspy. Man and boy share a small, soft grin. Jack says he's got some pizza back home. "Are you hungry?" David's smile grows. "Sure!" They nod, and David finishes freeing his bike from the rack. Jack picks up his boy's coat. "Let's go home." They never cry. I bawl. The monster's gone. He's on the run, and your daddy is here.