The Lost Blog

Key Points from "Born to Run"

Season 1, Episode 22
Episode Air Date: 05/11/05

Point 1
Kate To paraphrase a "Saturday Night Live" skit: I have a fever and there's only one prescription: LESS KATE.

Am I the only one who thinks Kate is stunningly irrelevant? Am I the only one who looks at her backstory as an obstacle? Please tell me I'm not alone on this.

In case you hadn't guessed, "Born to Run" was Kate-centric. I'm going to whip through her backstory developments so we can get on with the good stuff:

  • The history of that ridiculous toy airplane Kate is so attached to was revealed in this episode. Prepare yourself for the truth; it's a shocker. Here goes ... That wee little plane was once owned by Kate's childhood friend, Tom Brennan. We know this because fugitive Kate returns home to Iowa to see her sick/dying mother, Diane Jansen (again, who cares?), and she entangles Tom -- who's grown up to be a family-man doctor -- in her plot to sneak into the hospital to see her fading mom. The plane appears when Kate and Tom dig up a time capsule the two buried back in 1989. So now you know.

  • The time capsule also contains an audio tape with pre-teen versions of Tom and Kate (identified as "Katie Austin" on the recording) talking about the future. Pre-teen Tom envisions a life where he and Kate are married with lots of kids. Pre-teen Kate has a different plan -- she wants to run away from Iowa as soon as she gets her license. And then the tape gets serious. Pre-teen Tom says that Katie "always wants to run away." Pre-teen Katie solemnly admits this is true ... and Tom "knows why." The tape ends, thereby assuring that Tom is still the only one who "knows why." He's probably the only one who "cares" too.

  • Adult Kate kisses Tom during a quiet moment. This is problematic because Tom is married with a 22-month-old kid. But this isn't the worst of Kate's sins ...

  • Later in the episode Kate secretly visits her very ill mother in the hospital. Her mother slowly gains consciousness as Kate holds her hand. Suddenly, the mother's eyes whip open and she screams: "Helllllp meee! Helllppp meeee!" These pleas aren't directed at Kate, they appear to be because of Kate. The screaming attracts attention, so Kate makes a run for it ... and this is where things get ugly. First, Kate knocks out a security guard, then she sees Tom in the hospital hallway and demands to use his car, and of course Tom follows (sucka!). The two dart into the hospital's parking garage and fling themselves into Tom's vehicle. Kate fires up the engine and peels out as sirens blare in the distance. She speeds to the garage entrance, but a squad car is blocking the driveway. Kate looks at Tom and says "get out." Tom refuses. Kate, to her credit, orders Tom to get out of the car, but again, Tom stays put. He's gonna regret that.

    Kate guns the car through the entrance, which compels the police officer to unleash a torrent of gunfire. Bullets riddle the windshield as Kate speeds through. She swerves left, she swerves right and then she makes it into the clear ... only to crash on a nearby sidestreet. Unfortunately, this is when she discovers that Tom is no longer smitten with her. Why? Because he's dead. The police officer's bullets found a target and that target was Tommy. Kate, overcome by guilt, looks in the backseat of the car and sees the scattered tchotchkes from the time capsule, including the plane. She takes one last glance and then runs from the car ... without the plane.

So that's how it plays out. Pretty dull, eh? Nonetheless, here's what I presume are the Key Clues to Kate's Past:
  • Kate's "real" name is Katherine Austin.
  • She grew up in Iowa. Does this mean she lied about spending time with her Dad in Washington state? Maybe. Maybe not.
  • Kate's original crime still hasn't been revealed. The bank robbery we witnessed in "Whatever the Case May Be" happened after the events of this episode. Remember, Kate staged the robbery so she could retrieve the plane from the safe deposit box. I'm assuming that Kate didn't take the plane out of the time capsule, then put it in a bank, then break into the bank, then put the plane in the original time capsule and then dig it up with Tom. That just doesn't make any sense.
  • Add another alias to Kate's dossier: "Joan Hart." What ... was Sabrina unavailable?
  • Someone is funding Kate's criminal endeavors. We see her pick up a letter (addressed to Joan Hart) that includes a big wad of $20s.
  • Kate has logged significant time running from the law. In the opening scene of this episode we see Kate skillfully swap out license plates on her car (she keeps a stash of extra plates in the trunk). She also changes her hair color like someone who's done that type of thing with regularity. Thus we can conclude that she is either: 1. A criminal on the run or 2. Madonna.

  • For those keeping track of the "Lost" numerology, pre-teen Kate and pre-teen Tom recorded their audio tape on August 15, 1989. That would be 8/15/89. The plot thickens ...
Point 2
Michael

Jin

Walt

Sawyer

Kate

Sun

Alllllright ... on to the good stuff. Back on the island, Michael and Jin are putting the finishing touches on the raft, which is good since their timetable for launch has been unexpectedly accelerated due to the coming monsoon season. Uh, what?

Yes, monsoons are coming. We learn all about them when a new character is suddenly thrown into the mix. The New Guy is named Dr. Arzt. He's a high school science teacher and a doctor (presumably not of the medical variety) and he happens to know a hell of a lot about tropical weather patterns. At the very beginning of the episode, Arzt goes on and on about the coming rainy season. He notes that if Michael and Jin want to launch the raft, they'd better get on with it since the winds will soon shift south. Southerly breezes are a bad thing because the only significant (and known) land mass lying due south of the "Lost" island is Antarctica.

This monsoon business ratchets up the tension level; the possibility for escape has become tangible, but the boat will only hold four passengers. The initial passenger manifest includes Michael, Jin, Walt and Sawyer.

Enter Kate ...

Our little Katie knows that if the U.S.S. Michael (the raft) brings forth a full-fledged rescue and recovery effort, she'll quickly be thrown into prison (surviving a plane crash doesn't reduce the statute of limitations). Her only hope is to take off on the raft and look for an opportunity to disappear. With this goal in mind, Kate plants the seed of doubt in Michael's head: Why should Sawyer go? What use is he? Does he know how to sail? At first, Michael tosses off all these questions, but then things get interesting.

Later, Michael takes a deep drink of water from a bottle and immediately falls ill. Hunched over in pain, he tells Walt to find Jack. Eventually Jack makes his way back to camp (he's been preoccupied with a hatch -- more on that in a bit) and he concludes that Michael has been poisoned. How'd he figure that out? By uncovering remnants of a Suspicious White Powder in the bottom of Michael's water bottle. Way to go, Columbo.

Michael soon starts to recover, but as he regains strength he begins to rethink Sawyer's place on the raft. In Michael's eyes, Sawyer is Poisoning Suspect No. 1 because Sawyer has proven himself to be a Sneaky Bastard in the past (hoarding supplies, that whole torturing thing, etc.). Michael tells Sawyer that he's been voted off the boat. Sawyer doesn't take the news well -- nor does he give up.

You see, Sawyer knows that Kate is angling for a raft slot (Michael told him Kate was asking questions about Sawyer's worthiness). Sawyer also knows that Kate has a criminal past (he made the connection between Kate and the U.S. Marshal). These two things converge to push Sawyer into a corner and it's common knowledge that, like Baby, no one puts Sawyer in a corner. Sawyer decides that the best defense is a good offense, and so he drags Kate over to Michael, dumps out her backpack on the beach and then slaps a passport in front of Michael's face. The passport was once owned by Joanna -- the castaway who drowned in the rip tide early in the season. Kate used her criminal skills to alter Joanna's picture so she could later claim Joanna's identify if/when the raft is discovered.

Sensing that additional lies will get her nowhere, Kate decides to bare her soul to all assembled (quite a little crowd has gathered thanks to Sawyer's yelling). Kate admits that she was with the U.S. Marshal and that she is a fugitive and that when she returns to the real world she'll be thrown in jail. But then she looks directly at Michael and tells him that she did not poison him.

So who did?

Yeah, that would be Sun.

That's right! Sun is the poisoner! Detective Jack figures it out quite easily, actually. The "powder" in Michael's drink was a giveaway (hmm, who on the island knows how to mix plants and herbs into various concoctions?), and Sun certainly had a motive. Despite her separation from Jin, Sun doesn't want him to embark on a perilous journey at sea. And so, instead of talking things out, she opts for the Mild Poison route in hopes of sidelining Jin so he can't sail away. Ahh, romance.

But hold on just a second there. There are a number of bombshells dropped during this episode's obligatory fireside conclusion, so don't think you've got this figured out just yet. They are:

  1. Sawyer tells Kate he wants to leave because there's nothing on the island worth staying for. Hint hint. HINT HINT KATE! But Kate rebuffs his advance with a single terse comment: "Be safe, Sawyer."

  2. Walt tells Michael that he burned Raft 1.0. The reason: Walt didn't want to leave. Michael is momentarily stunned, but then he shows off his newfound Dad skills and tells Walt that they really don't have to leave if Walt doesn't want to go. Walt looks up at him, a serious expression carved into his 10-year-old face: "Yes, we do."

    What do you know, Walt?! WHAT ... DO ... YOU ... KNOW?

  3. And finally ... the kicker. Sun walks into Kate's tent and quietly says, "Jack knows." Now why would Sun be talking to Kate about a poisoning plot that Kate supposedly had no part in? Because Kate was the one who put the poison idea into Sun's head! In Kate's estimation, both their needs could be served: Jin would stay behind and Kate would take his raft slot. Alas, it didn't work out that way. But Kate does have one thing to be thankful for: Sun didn't tell Jack about Kate's involvement. As far as Jack knows, the poisoning began and ended with Sun, and Jack said he would keep Sun's trickery a secret. Kate lives to fib another day!
One final thing ... the raft is now complete, just in time to set sail during the three-part finale (it's like they planned it that way -- amazing). The final raft roster is the same as before: Michael, Jin, Walt and Sawyer.
Point 3
Locke

Jack

Sayid

Walt

Locke and Jack are back on speaking terms. Well, I suppose they were always on speaking terms, but Jack's comments are no longer laced with the phrases "liar," "lying liar," "you lied," "where were you, you son of a bitch," etc. Don't get me wrong -- Jack still refers to Locke's lying in this episode, but the venom just isn't there anymore.

And that's a good thing because there's no time for venom when you're investigating a giant breadmaker. That's right! Locke lets Jack and Sayid in on his little secret: the hatch. This revelation is merely a set-up for something bigger (I'm guessing we'll see more of that hatch in the finale), but for now the big development is that Sayid doesn't want to open the breadmaker, whereas Jack and Locke want to crack that bad boy open.

There's one other person involved in this hatch business, but he's never actually seen the thing. In a little segment set in the middle of the episode, Walt talks to Locke one-on-one. Initially, Walt is concerned that Locke will finger him as the poisoner since Walt previously confessed to burning Raft 1.0. Locke puts his hand on Walt's arm and assures him that he'll never spill the beans. But Locke's touch causes Walt's face to drop. He's overcome by a BLAZING BOLT OF DIRE REVELATION. Walt nervously looks at Locke and says: "Don't open it ... don't open it Mr. Locke ... don't open that thing!"

Who is this kid?

Point 4
Charlie Charlie is convinced that the sailing of the U.S.S. Michael will lead to rescue. His renewed hope has manifested itself creatively, and so he spends this episode writing a new record in anticipation of a future Driveshaft tour. Track 2 is titled "Monster Eats the Pilot."

This is exactly why we need more Charlie, less Kate.

Point 5
Shannon Shannon's target practice on Locke has not led to ostracism. She's seen briefly in this episode during Kate's beach revelation scene. Too bad. I was hoping she'd wander into the jungle and pull a Col. Kurtz. Just think of the possibilities: In season five, the presumed-dead Shannon is revealed to be an insane jungle leader who rules over the native population with an iron fist. "These aren't Prada! I demand Prada! Off with your manhood!"
Point 6
Island A couple of island bits:
  • As noted in the Michael-Jin section, a new character named Dr. Arzt is introduced in this episode. From what I've read, he's going to be a semi-regular for the remaining episodes.

  • Locke tells Jack and Sayid that he discovered the hatch about three weeks ago.

That's it for now. Be sure to drop by our "Lost" Forum for stimulating conversation and conjecture.

Next Episode:
"Exodus, Part 1" -- In the first segment of the three-part finale, crazy Danielle Rousseau drops in on the castaways and moans on and on about "the others" (The Nicole Kidman movie? Probably not.). Airs: Wednesday, May 18, 8 p.m., ABC.


Review by Mac Slocum. All photos and episode descriptions © ABC Inc.


In response to this one of Mac's 5/12/05 points:
"For those keeping track of the 'Lost' numerology, pre-teen Kate and pre-teen Tom recorded their audio tape on August 15, 1989. That would be 8/15/89. The plot thickens ..."


8 and 15 are two of Hurley's numbers, but 89 is not, except that 89 is the sum of four of the numbers (8, 16, 23, and 42). That leaves 4 and 15, which total 19 ... 19 and 89 - 1989, the year of Kate and Tom's recording.

Probably not especially relevant to the overall story, but a fun subtle addition.

JP

#1. Posted by: JP at May 12, 2005 4:27 PM

Ok, I'm going to go on a little tangent here - your summary is great, but you passed up an opportunity to make a 'connection' for whatever it's worth between Kate & Tom digging up their 'time capsule' and the fact that Locke & Boone have been digging up some kind of capsule for a couple of weeks - in Kate & Tom's capsule was a plane - so what's inside Locke & Boone's capsule?

A plane?

And what was the deal on how Kate was staring at that toy plane 'crashed' in the sand toward the end of the episode. Not exactly a subtle touch. But there are a LOT of crashed planes on this island.

#2. Posted by: El Payo at May 12, 2005 7:50 PM

Hmmm ... very interesting point about the two "digging" expeditions. You're right, that's certainly not coincidence.

Along those same lines, the connection between the hatch and the time capsule may not have anything to do with the plane. Perhaps some of the other time capsule items are more relevant -- a baseball? (not sure how that would work) ... a recording? (maybe, maybe not) ... uh, a hat?

Okay, I'm reaching ;)

#3. Posted by: Mac at May 12, 2005 7:55 PM

Well, the other possibility is that they are BOTH time capsules. They contain objects from another time. In the case of T&K their capsule held objects from their childhood - the past. Maybe B&L's capsule holds objects from another time as well. The future?

Remember - the creators have said they all have a love for the Twilight Zone in common. I remember an episode of that show about a plane that gets lost in time - they can't find their own time, so they have to keep flying, over dinosaurs, etc. 'The Odyseey of Flight 33' is the title.

Plot summary: "Flight 33 picks up a peculiar tailwind and is blown off course. After apparently correcting the problem, the flight arrives at its destination--a billion years ahead of schedule "

#4. Posted by: El Payo at May 12, 2005 8:14 PM

"The Odyssey Of Flight 33"

SERLING : "You're riding on a jet airliner en route from London to New York. You're at 35,000 feet atop an overcast and roughly fifty-five minutes from Idlewild Airport. But what you've seen occur inside the cockpit of this plane is no reflection on the aircraft or the crew. It's a safe, well-engineered, perfectly designed machine, and the men you've just met are a trained, cool, highly efficient team. The problem is simply that the plane is going too fast and there is nothing within the realm of knowledge or at least logic to explain it. Unbeknownst to passengers and crew, this airplane is heading into an unchartered region well off the track of commercial travelers - it's moving into the Twilight Zone. What you're about to see we call 'The Odyssey of Flight 33.'"

After accelerating past three thousand knots, the crew are unable to raise anyone on the radio. Descending below the clouds they see dinosaurs; somehow they have gone back in time. They try to catch the tail wind again to return to the present. They succeed, but are confused when the control tower claims to have never heard of radar or jet aircraft. In the distance the crew sees the 1939 World's Fair. They did not come far enough back. Running low on fuel, they attempt to find the tail wind for one last attempt at returning to their time.

SERLING: "A Global jet airliner, en route from London to New York on an uneventful afternoon in the year 1961, but now reported overdue and missing, and by now, searched for on land, sea, and air by anguished human beings fearful of what they'll find. But you and I know where she is, you and I know what's happened. So if some moment, any moment, you hear the sound of jet engines flying atop the overcast, engines that sound searching and lost, engines that sound desperate, shoot up a flare or do something. That would be Global 33 trying to get home - from the Twilight Zone."

#5. Posted by: El Payo at May 12, 2005 8:18 PM

THANK GOD I wasn't the only one to notice that Kate left the toy plane in the car after the crash. Thank you thank you thank you.

#6. Posted by: Bill Farrell at May 14, 2005 12:41 AM

This episode does add a couple new names to the famous philosopher and writer list. So far we have Rousseau, Hugo, Locke, and now Austin (Jane Austin) and Jansen (Cornelius JAnsen). Any others anyone can think of?

See dad, my Philosophy degree is good for something!

#7. Posted by: pATRICK at May 20, 2005 10:47 AM

Loving the C/C bit where Charlie offers Claire a place to stay when they're rescued. So sweet! And I would love to hear the song Charlie was working on (Monster Eats the Pilot) lol.

#8. Posted by: PeanutButter at September 26, 2005 2:43 PM

Yeah, 8 and 15 are two of Hurley's numbers, but they're also the number of the plane flight (Oceanic 815). Im guessing that this (if anything) is what they were getting at. They probably just threw in 1989 to give an idea of how old Kate might be.

#9. Posted by: Rob at December 22, 2005 1:01 PM

I like Kate, and think she's absolutely as relevant to the story as any of the others(she's my favourite character and in my opinion she rocks, course you can think what you like). I really enjoyed the episode, and great summary.

#10. Posted by: Ash at March 3, 2007 2:21 PM

Great Review as always.

I am watching Seasons 1 and 2 on DVD, thus I am also re-reading all your interesting reviews.

I would disagree though that Kate is not relevant... ...well maybe she is maybe she is not but it is definitely cute to watch her than say Claire or Shannon who are either screaming or crying all the time.

Anyhow, I noticed that Mr. Artz was actually on one of Hurley's flash backs some episodes back (it is nice to see how the creators weave the story) and Artz is actuall Doctor in German (actually spelled Artzt).

#11. Posted by: itsiph at March 19, 2007 8:56 AM