With the season just about to close out, both of the storylines are heading towards resolutions. The raft is all but built, and as this brand new castaway, Arzt, is telling anyone who will listen, they have to launch it now or the prevailing monsoon season will make traveling it nearly impossible. This leads to Michael’s final decision of who goes out, which at the present is himself, Walt, Jin and Sawyer. However, the balance shifts when Kate makes a play for Sawyer’s place on the raft.
Kate has been the most contradictory of the characters on the island. All she’s ever wanted was a clean slate, and the island, as with many of the other castaways has given her one, but despite that she is always afraid of remaining where she is. She knows that if rescue comes to the island, the first thing that happens is that she’ll be thrown in prison. (This is incredibly ironic when you take into consideration what happens when she does get off the island— but let’s stay in the season.) This leads her to some kind of desperation when Michael is apparently poisoned, which leads to suspicion of Sawyer. Another irony, considering Sawyer is another who is helped the least by rescue.
However, when suspicion comes that way, he exposes Kate as the prisoner of the marshal when the plane crashed, something that somehow has not managed to disseminate among the others. When Kate is exposed, the reaction is very unfavorable, which considering the major effort that Kate has been putting out, is really unfair to her. But then, Kate feels that she deserves it—some anyway.
The flashbacks for Kate continue to reveal more about her past, while raising more questions. We thought that the robbery and murders that we saw in ‘Whatever the Case May Be’ was the crime that she ended up on the run for, but in this episode we learn that she had been a fugitive long before that. However, when her mother contracts cancer, she returns to Iowain order to see her, as well as visit her former childhood sweetheart, who is now a doctor. This also reveals where the toy plane locked in the marshal’s case came from, and its real significance. But the most telling part of her flashback comes when Kate finally sees her mother for the first time in years— and her first reaction is to scream for the authorities.
The implications are a little unnerving, and may be seen in focus when we also take into account something we hear on the tape from the time capsule, in which Kate says she always wants to run away, “and you know why.” This seems to hint that they’re might have been some sexual abuse at home, but Kate seemed to have fond memories of her father earlier in the season. Did the crime involve one of her mother’s relatives? We get the full story in Season 2 (and it’s pretty close to what I theorized), but it’s hard to believe it could be worse; things have been escalating in violence in every subsequent flashback.
Eventually, we learn that the target for the poison was Jin, and that Sun was the one who did, desperate to keep the man that she loved safe. Jack learns this, and seems okay with it, but it’s hard to imagine he would be nearly as understanding if he had learned that the idea came from Kate in the first place. It is this last revelation that makes us, for the first time, feel a little angry with Kate It’s not so much because she was desperate to get on the raft; it’s that she was willing to use Sun and Jin’s love as an excuse to get what she thought she wanted.
A far more important revelation occurs when Locke, finally, shows Jack what he has been working on unearthing for the last three weeks. Jack’s first reaction is almost automatic—he takes a “How dare you?” approach, and is even more pissed that Locke kept this from him. Locke counters that he doesn’t answer to Jack, which is mildly ironic considering that he helped subtly push Jack towards the mantle of leadership. He then says that this is simply a matter of discretion, just like Jack did when he kept the guns a secret from everybody. The difference is, this is a much bigger deal, and it might be something that could help lead them off the island. However, for those who thought Jack needed to be taken down a notch, this is a pretty significant moment.
That said, it’s only mildly surprising that Jack wants into the hatch as much as Locke does. What comes as a bigger shock is that there are some parties among the survivors on whether they should do that at all. Sayid, in particular, is very adamant; he told Jack in order to convince him to bury it again. He doesn’t think there’s anything that can help them in there, and that might be the reason it was kept buried in the first place.(Another irony, there’s actually a far easier way to get in, but apparently Locke never looked for it.) A far more disturbing sign comes when Walt touches Locke, and in a flash knows that there is something bad under there. He tries to warn Locke, but he knows that him well enough to know that” you can’t tell him what he can’t do,. “His reaction is to get as far away from the island as fast as they can— which may lead to his revelation with his father near the end.
‘Born to Run’ (in addition to showing yet again how good an actress Evangeline Lilly is) tells us about a lot of the major problems the characters have been facing, as well as the first bits of hope that any of them have had in a long time. Charlie is all but certain that they will be rescued (why else is he working so diligently on his comeback album) and thinks its a done deal. The relationship between Kate and Sawyer seems once again to be strained, though not nearly as badly as Sun and Jin’s. Walt is finally accepting Michael as his father; Jack and Locke are temporarily allied (very temporarily), and Kate has isolated herself from the others. Things are being put into place, and next week the fireworks are going to start going off.