When Jack comes upon the hatch, Locke and Kate are nowhere to be found. He finds a rope tied to a tree and running down the hole, so he crouches and yells Kate and Locke's names. No answer. Then HE DROPS A FLAMING TORCH DOWN A HOLE AT THE BOTTOM OF WHICH FOR ALL HE KNOWS IS AN UNCONSCIOUS KATE AND LOCKE. Fortunately for him, they're not there. He grabs a shirt or something from his backpack, tearing it into strips of fabric to wrap around his palms, takes a deep breath, and starts rappelling down the hole.
Flashjack to a deserted stadium. Jack thankfully has the muskrat wrapped up under a bandanna as he runs up and down the stadium steps. He's not alone; there's another masochist one section over doing the same thing. Only he's going faster than Jack is, so Jack steps up the pace…and trips and twists his ankle. Hee! "You all right, brother?" asks the other runner, who comes over, in a stirring display of stadium sprinter solidarity. Jack all macho says that he's fine. Other Runner helps Jack into a seat, and tells him to get the weight off the foot. Lucky for Jack's foot that this guy is around to dispense such specialized advice. "Does that hurt?" asks the guy in what is clearly a Scottish brogue, despite my calling him Irish in the recaplet. Should have caught that. I've actually read an Irvine Welsh novel, not to mention this guy sounds just like Magnus in Rushmore (who is responsible for me barking "Fishah!" at the screen whenever I'm watching a sporting event with a Fisher on one of the teams). Anyway, that doesn't hurt, so it's not sprained then. "I don't fancy your chances of catching up with me tonight, though," he says. Jack denies trying to catch him. "Aye. Of course you weren't," says the Scot. For Christ's sake, he actually said "Aye," and I still called him Irish. He could have been wearing a kilt and I probably still would have done so. Jack wants to know how he knows about sprains. Maybe because he's a runner so dedicated that he's running up and down stadium steps like a maniac? That would be my guess. But the Scot says he was "almost a doctor once," whatever that means, and Jack says, "Small world," which Scot takes to mean that Jack actually is a doctor.
Scot settles in beside Jack and offers him his water bottle, which Jack takes without thanking him or anything. Scot wants to know what Jack's excuse is for running like the devil's chasing him. Jack doesn't answer, so Scot says his excuse is that he's training for a race around the world. "Impressive, I know," he says, joking. I'd say they were flirting, but as I intend to continue my crusade to rid TWoP of the notion that a person needs to shout "HoYay!" whenever two male characters share screen time, I won't do that. "So your excuse better be good, brothah," says Scot, and Jack offers only that he's trying to work a few things out. "Ah, a gull, right?" says Scott, although upon further consideration he might have said "girl." Jack says it's a patient. "A gull patient," says Scot, who asks what the gull's name is. "Sarah," says Jack, and Scot, who you'd think would be a little too familiar for Jack's liking, asks what Jack did to her. Jack says he made her a promise he couldn't keep: "I told her I'd fix her, and I couldn't. I failed." Well, that seems to have finally wiped the grin off Scot's face. "Wow," he says, before adding all Columbo, "Just one thing. What if you did fix her?" "I didn't," says Jack. "What if you did?" insists Scot, who might wind up with a punch in the face if he's not careful. "You don't know what you're talking about, man," which would be the North American equivalent of Scot's "brothah." So now we know they're being straight with each other. "I don't? Why not?" "Because in her situation, that would be a miracle, 'brother.'" Ah, there's that Jack standoffishness, after he got Scot's medical advice and water bottle. "And you don't believe in miracles," says Scot, who then offers this advice: "You have to lift it up." And Jack's quite confused as to just what the hell "lift it up" is supposed to mean, as am I, until Scot says he was talking about Jack's ankle, which we all know he wasn't AT ALL.
Scot gets up to go, and says, "It's been nice chatting…?" and Jack tells Scot his name, and Scot's name turns out to be Desmond, and Desmond says, "Good luck, brothah. See you in another life, yeah?" Or at least a few more scenes, yeah?