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71
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Lost

Lost is a drama about a group of plane crash survivors. They land on an unknown Pacific island and have to learn to live together. ABC 2004-2010

45
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Viewer
51
/100

Episode 22 - Born to Run

17 January 2017

Present: Arzt tells Michael that he needs to launch the raft immediately to avoid monsoon season. Kate is trying to get a spot on the raft. Someone poisons Michael and suspicion falls on Sawyer, Kate and Walt. Locke takes Sayid and Jack to see the hatch. It turns out that Sun poisoned Michael by accident, she was trying to make Jin stay on the island. Walt touches Locke’s arm and tells him “not to open it” and tells Michael that although he burnt the first raft they now have to leave the island.

Flashback: Kate arrives in Iowa, still on the run. She meets her childhood friend Tom and asks for his help in seeing her mother who is suffering from cancer. She and Tom dig up a time capsule that they had buried in 1989 which contains the toy plane. Kate’s mother cries out for help when she sees Kate. The police come after Kate who escapes but not before Tom is killed in the crossfire.

The Good: Artz is the first non-main character to get any lines since the hypochondriac survivor in Solitary (109). With so many characters to write for, it is understandably difficult to give lines to the other survivors. Especially when you consider that those actors would need to be signed to contracts and so on. But it is nice to see someone else contribute to the raft in a meaningful way. After all, all the survivors have a massive vested interest in Michael being rescued.

Charlie and Claire share a really enjoyable “domestic” scene together where she is cutting his hair. It’s important to have some dialogue which reminds you of how the survivors are normal people interacting. Not every line has to be about the raft or the hatch. It helps you bond with the characters when they act like normal people. This particular dialogue also shows the mindset of the survivors who have begun to dream of rescue coming again.

Kate is a sneaky one. Sun says it was her idea to poison Jin. Was that for Sun’s benefit or was Kate trying to steal his spot on the raft? The best scene of the episode is the one which hints at Kate’s past sins (see Best Moment).

The Bad: Kate is the one survivor whose story just doesn’t make sense. Perhaps it will after more flashbacks, but at present it is a muddle.

In this episode we see her go back to her hometown and meet her childhood boyfriend Tom. He is the one whose death forced her to rob a bank to retrieve his toy plane (112). Clearly she feels responsible for his death and suffers tremendous guilt from that fact. But why exactly was his toy plane in a safety deposit box anyway? Ignoring that, was this memento of him really worth robbing a bank and shooting her co-conspirators for? It seems a bit far fetched.

But even less convincing than that story is Kate being a hardened criminal. The cassette she recorded in 1989 hints at family problems which made her want to run away from an early age. But she behaves like such a good girl, both with Tom and on the island. She cares for her friends and reacts with a well adjusted sense of morality. None of which exactly hints at a childhood full of abuse and misery. The scene with her mother hints at an explanation, but it had better be a good one.

The debate between Locke, Jack and Sayid over the hatch is irritating to watch. Their first reaction ought to be excitement and agitation. Just like meeting Ethan, the existence of some kind of civilisation on the island really ought to provoke a stronger reaction from people desperate to get home. Instead Jack’s first reaction is to call John a liar for not telling him about it. Sayid’s demand that they leave the hatch unopened is bizarre. I suppose there is the chance that a hatch with no door is keeping a lid on nuclear waste or something equally scary. But his almost hysterical insistence on leaving it alone seems so out of character for cool, logical Sayid.

Walt’s cries of “don’t open it” are intriguing but annoyingly vague. You want Locke or Michael to interrogate him about what he means.

The Unknown: What is it Walt sees or feels about the hatch? What happened to Kate that made her want to run? What has she put her mother through?

Best Moment: Kate visits her mother in hospital. Her mother looks very ill with cancer. She recognises her daughter and Kate cries. Kate says “I’m so sorry for everything that I put you through.” Her mother quietly says “Help.” Then her cries grow more and more desperate and she screams “Help me!” Her croaky, dry voice makes her cries even more disturbing. Kate runs away as a doctor and security guard come to see what’s happening. The idea of your own mother screaming in fear of you is pretty disturbing. Between the cancerous makeup job and good acting it all becomes so much more real and shocking to see. It’s the only part of Kate’s story which seems to match the tragic back-story she would need to have to justify her criminal behaviour.

The Bottom Line: Kate remains a problem for Lost. She seems way too nice to be a criminal on the run. She acts the part of a nice outdoorsy girl really well. But when the plot turns to her criminality there are too many holes for it to be convincing. Together with that the reaction of characters to the hatch and to Walt are unconvincing and annoying. But the show is building up to its finale so perhaps some of these issues are about to be addressed.

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  • This episode was pretty disappointing and offered very little going into the finale.

    I absolutely agree about Kate. I always felt that Kate was one of Lost's weakest characters because her story doesn't fit together as perfectly. Other episodes have shown characters behaviours explained via flashbacks, but Kate never gets this treatment, which makes her character suffer. Her episodes are too focussed on just revealin her backstory, and as a result we don't get to see how she is still so together despite the obvious troubled childhood. This flaw really takes away from all Kate episodes. Based on memory, I am pretty sure that "Tabula Rasa" ends up being her strongest episode, which is disappointing because I wouldn't say it even cracks a 70, which Lost has frequently scored this past season.

    There is one good thing revealed about Kate though, which is her selfishness. Kate is shown to be very selfish and her actions prove that here from when she tries to get Sawyer off the raft on the island to when she gets Tom killed in the flashback. Kate's selfishness is her biggest character flaw throughout the series and it is introduced in full here. It was hinted before with the robbery in "Whatever the Case May Be", but it is confirmed when we see her behaviour on the island.

    The flashback story itself is fine. It tells a basic sad story that serves as an explanation of the toy plane and its' significance. The story works and there are a couple of nice scenes, like Kate meeting her mom and Tom dying.

    The on-island story is disappointing because it doesn't feel important. The whole plot seems pointless since it has no real effect on the story aside from Sawyer revealing Kate's secret.

    The side stories were fine. I like the focus on the raft as it approached its completion and having a story revolving the raft makes sense. Walt's lines are very intriguing and are easily the best part of this episode.

    Overall, I found this episode to be very poor because of Kate's character. Other than that there weren't many issues, but nothing else stood out to make up for Kate.

    Viewer score: 51 / 100

    Posted by Aaronic, 15/01/2017 10:14pm (3 months ago)

  • Thanks for the reviews. It's fun to read what another person thinks of the series.

    I feel like part of your problem with this episode may have been what you saw in Kate's last flashback. Because we never saw her fellow bank robbers die, even though she shot them, I feel like the writers wanted to make that ambiguous. Because of what we saw here, I think we know she didn't kill them and that Tom is the only person whose death she feels responsible for (at the very least, we don't know enough about her story to judge -- perhaps, there's the bad writing). Because in my mind she's not a murderer, her actions do make more sense.

    Posted by Mark, 30/12/2012 5:04am (4 years ago)

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