Home Featured TV Shows All TV Shows Movie Reviews Book Reviews Articles Frequently Asked Questions About Us

Lost: Born to Run

Tom: "You always want to run away, Katie."

At least now we know why that stupid toy airplane was so important to her.

Each wonderful back story has changed my opinion of the featured character. I've been waiting for the back story that would finally make me like Kate. Unfortunately, this wasn't it. I never thought I'd say it, but I'm starting to think Sawyer could do a lot better. At least she didn't actually poison Michael... at least, not directly. But dammit, she gave Sun the idea. Bad Kate, no biscuit.

I like old movies. (I have a point; stay with me here.) There's an old Hitchcock flick called Marnie. In the opening scene, Marnie is on the lam; she has just pulled a robbery. She's very calm. She disposes of her old clothes, chooses a new social security card with a new name out of her supply of fakes, and washes the dye out of her hair. Then, for the first time, we see her face. This was almost exactly what happened in the opening scene of this episode, except it was license plates instead of social security cards.

Kate was so casual and practiced with her evildoings, like she had done it for so long that it was second nature. Marnie was a compulsive liar and thief, but it wasn't her fault because (I'm going to spoil the movie for you but it came out in 1964, so tough) when Marnie was a small child, her prostitute mother was attacked by one of her clients, and Marnie killed him with a poker. If the opener was indeed a deliberate reference to Marnie, the logical inference is that Kate killed her own father or stepfather, or her mother's lover. (Which would also explain why her mother called for help.) Tom even said that Kate would be all right if she just gave herself up, so it may have been justifiable homicide that she could prove if she chose to tell the truth.

I thought it was funny when Kate's past became an open secret and the Lostaways started comparing notes about who knew what and who did what to whom. (Hurley: "I mean, Steven didn't even know about the polar bear.") And then they all literally turned their backs on her. Even Sawyer had had enough; he said there was nothing on the Island worth staying for.

The launch of the raft approacheth! Michael finally stated the obvious: that if the raft crew succeeds, they might not find the Island again because it may not exist in the real world. Which explained his insistence on taking Walt with him. I'd think any parent wouldn't risk their child's life on a raft like that, frankly. The Island may be full of possessed "Others," strange hatches and rampaging polar bears, but there's also food, water, and shelter. If you were on the Island, would you be scrambling to get a spot on the raft so that you could die of thirst in the middle of the Pacific? Or would you be reinforcing your shelter, sharpening your weapons, and gathering food to last through the rainy season? The second choice, that would be me.

Finally, this episode may have failed to improve my opinion of Kate, but it sure made me like Walt better. I never thought Walt would resort to poison -- it didn't feel like Walt -- but I was touched when he confessed to Michael about burning the raft. And Walt cared enough about Locke to warn him about the hatch. ("Don't open it. Don't open that thing.") Walt knew that something very bad was coming. Thanks to previews, we do, too.

Character bits:

Kate's real name is Katherine Austen. She's from Iowa. Her mother, Diane Jansen (different last name, huh?) was dying of cancer in the flashback and is probably dead by now.

Kate's childhood friend, the man she loved, was Tom Brendon; at the time of Tom's death, which was Kate's fault, he was married to someone named Rachel and had a twenty-two month old son named Connor.

Kate said that she spent two summers crewing J-boats.

We met a new castaway: Dr. Arzt, a high school science teacher, who knew about monsoon season and trade winds. (I thought it was "Art" until I turned on the close captioning.) "Arzt" is the German word for doctor.

Locke and Jack have made up, even though Jack denied it.

Locke's injured leg was hurting, so his paralysis was definitely gone.

Walt appears to be a touch telepath (psychometric, according to my Dead Zone notes) because he told Locke about the hatch right after Locke grabbed his wrist.

Jin was still wearing half a handcuff. Has to be uncomfortable.

Charlie and Claire were absolutely domestic, with her cutting his hair while he composed track two, "Monster Eats the Pilot." Very, very cute.

I was somewhat disappointed in Sun. I thought she was better than this. Being friends with Kate has corrupted her.

There was one glimpse of Shannon. She looked terrible.

Is Michael planning to leave Vincent the dog behind? Is Walt going to accept that?

Bits and pieces:

— This week's Most Obvious Symbolism was the time capsule Kate and Tom buried on August 15, 1989. After all, we're getting close to opening another buried metal box, aren't we? Do I even need to point out that August 15, 8-15, are two of Hurley's numbers? The writers were having fun with us, weren't they?

— Is Kate drawn to Jack because he's a doctor, like Tom was?

— Tom didn't send "Joan Hart" a.k.a. Kate the letter and the money, and Diane sure didn't. Who did?

— The thing about north and south trade winds reminded me of the compass that didn't work.

— We had a second mention of the dead Joanna in as many weeks; Kate altered Joanna's passport.

— The Jack/Sayid/Locke scene at the hatch was a lot of fun. I especially loved Sayid's expression as Jack and Locke were arguing about using their "best discretion."

— That tree in Iowa was a pretty darned cool looking tree.

— "Born to Run" is, of course, a famous song by Bruce Springsteen, and Kate, of course, is most comfortable when she's running away from something.

— This episode started with a flashback. It's happened before, but it was still disconcerting. I actually checked to see if I had the right channel.

— Tom was played by Mackenzie Astin, Hobbit once removed.

— Ian Somerhalder was still in the cast, even though we didn't see him. Probably contractual. Either that, or he's coming back.


Locke: "Michael and Jin getting along?"
Hurley: "Well, they fight like a married couple building a raft together."
I noticed Jin jumped to defend Michael from Sawyer. They've definitely bonded.

Sayid: "Maybe it was never meant to be opened from the outside." I think he's right. Walt sure thinks so, too. I'd listen to them.

Tom: "No self-respecting man in Iowa goes anywhere without beer."

I'm getting to that point in a season where I'm second guessing my rating numbers, so no number today. Interesting episode,

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. I’m kind of with you about Kate. I’ve wanted to really like her because she is so obviously the heroine, yet it is difficult to warm to such a woman. At least we know that Kate is her real name. But what I really want to know now is, how the hell did that “stupid toy airplane” end up in a safety deposit box that Kate had to break into to get? Who cares that much about it?

  2. Hey, that time capsule was a NKOTB lunchbox.

  3. Yes, if this episode was even a tad designed to make the viewer feel more sympathetic towards Kate, it isn't working, at least not for me.

    Selfish, thy name is Kate.

  4. Sun is a smart and intimidating woman,she hasn't qualms.
    Kate is a runner,a mystery. Her ex boyfriend(doctor Tom)was the man she loved and she killed,unwillingly,probably her life's worst remorse.

  5. One of the things I struggled with in season one with Kate’s flashback episodes is that she acts so differently ON the island when we focus on her flashbacks versus when we do not. I realize this is somewhat the case with all of the characters but, for me, it’s easier to see some of the struggles that others faced in their flashbacks reflected in their actions on the island. I never really get that with Kate - she seems like a completely different character when the episode focuses on her. This was easily my least favorite episode of season 1.


We love comments! We moderate because of spam and trolls, but don't let that stop you! It’s never too late to comment on an old show, but please don’t spoil future episodes for newbies.