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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)

Born to Run
Season 1
Episode 22
Air Date May 11, 2005
Writer(s) Edward Kitsis
Adam Horowitz
Director Tucker Gates
Flashback Kate Austen

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Prev: The Greater Good
Next: Exodus - Part 1

Kate tries to gain Sawyer's spot on the raft. Michael falls ill during the construction of the raft.


A green convertible pulls into the parking lot of a hotel located next to a thriving cornfield and comes to a stop. Although we can't see her face we see a blonde woman get out of the car and open the trunk. Inside are license plates for at least a dozen states. She very deftly removes the Nebraska plate and replaces it with one from Ohio. In the background, a family is checking out of their room, leaving the door open behind them while the chambermaid pushes her cart along her appointed rounds. Very casually, the blond woman takes her bag and walks right past the departing family. While the maid is in another room, the blond woman takes two towels and two bottles of shampoo from her cart and then slips into the recently vacated room, closing the door behind her and hanging the "Do Not Disturb" sign on the handle.

We follow the girl inside and watch her go to the sink and remove her shirt. She pulls a bottle of hair coloring out of her bag and begins to apply it to her hair. A moment later we see her in the shower as the excess dye drips down the drain. Her hair is now a dark brown and as she turns to continue washing her hair, we finally get our first look at her face…and it's Kate!

We follow her to the lobby where she asks the clerk for a letter that should be held there for her. He asks her name. "Joan Hart," she tells him, and sure enough there is a letter. Back in her car, we see the wad of cash that was enclosed and we realize that this is how she must be surviving on the run. But there is something else with the money this time, a handwritten letter. And something in that letter hits Kate hard because she begins to cry as we go to…

The beach. Kate is playing with the toy plane she so desperately wanted from the case the Marshal was carrying. Charlie comes along and sits beside her and he's in very good spirits. He explains to Kate that, once the raft sets sail and rescue comes as a result, they are all going to be famous. "Don't you want to be famous," Charlie asks. But the look on Kate's face makes it unnecessary to answer. Further down the beach another of the survivors, Dr. Arzt is explaining that monsoon season is coming any day now and the trade winds will shift directions when it does. Every day they wait to launch increases the chance that they will die out there. Michael decides that tomorrow will be the day to launch and he sets out to make the final arrangements, but Kate is shadowing him the whole way. When he finally asks Kate why she is suddenly so interested in the raft she drops a bombshell on him: "Because I'm coming with you."

Michael explains that the raft is full. There are 4 spots and those are already spoken for. Kate tries her best to sell herself as the best candidate for the raft and even goes as far as to suggest to Michael that the raft is too dangerous for Walt. But this only edifies Michael's position. He is the only one who is going to decide what is right for his son. And right now, what's best is to get him off this island.

We FLASHBACK to a hospital where we see Kate carrying a bouquet of flowers down the hall. She is heading for a certain room when she spots a police officer sitting guard in front of the door. She quickly blocks herself from view with the flowers and walks right by, pretending to be going somewhere else.

Later, a doctor heads to his car in the parking structure after a long day at work. As he climbs in we hear a voice from the back seat: "Hi, Tom." After his initial scare, Tom recognizes Kate. He asks her what she is doing there and she tells him Diane is dying of cancer and she thought she owed it to her to come and see her. But she needs his help…

Back on the island, Jin is making some last minute adjustments to the rigging when Sun approaches and asks him if he is going to be leaving on the raft. He admits that he is, causing Sun to turn and walk away.

Meanwhile, Sayid is leading Jack through the jungle where they finally meet up with Locke. Jack and Locke still carry a palpable distrust and Jack is very suspicious as Locke asks him to follow him. Jack does and they reveal the hatch, much further along in its excavation. This is the first time Jack has seen it and his reaction is profound. Locke is typically understated: "I guess it's time we talked about this…"

Back at the raft Sawyer asks Michael why they need to pack so much salted fish, can't they just catch their own on the raft? Michael begins to wonder just how fit Sawyer is for the duty and admits that he has other interested parties. This gets Sawyer over to Kate in a hurry and when he arrives we see her burning the protective coating off of a passport, which she quickly hides once Sawyer arrives. Sawyer lays it out in plain English: Don't mess with me. He tells her he knows who she really is and how badly she needs to get on that raft, but that just isn't going to happen. No way. Kate's response is even more to the point. "I want your spot, I'll get your spot."

Back at the raft, Michael is taking a much deserved water break and explaining to Walt that it might be difficult to send help back to an island this remote. As he is doing so, he keels over in pain. Something is very wrong. Walt runs through the jungle looking for help and finds Sun and Kate. He tells them what is wrong and Kate sends Sun back to Michael with Walt while she runs off to try and find Jack.

But Jack is at the hatch and he's not too happy to find out about this so late in the game. He demands to know why Locke kept this from him for three weeks. Locke asks Jack how long he knew about the guns in the Marshal's case before he decided to tell the rest of them. "So how do we open it," Jack asks, but this sends Sayid into a frenzy. He brought Jack out here to talk Locke out of trying to open the hatch. Besides, Sayid asks, if the door was meant to be opened, why doesn't it have a handle on the outside?

While making their way back, Locke, Jack and Sayid finally bump into Kate, who tells them about the problem with Michael. Once back, they find Michael in dire condition. Jack tries to make his diagnosis, but all Michael has been doing is eating the same food and drinking the same water as everyone else. Adding to his agony, Michael is ordered to stay on his back until Jack can get more information.

In FLASHBACK, we see Kate looking at some snapshots stuck to the refrigerator door with magnets. They show the doctor with a lovely woman and a beautiful baby boy. Tom tells Kate that his name is Connor and we can see how idyllic his life is. And how much that life lies in contrast to Kate's. Tom says that he managed to get Diane into the MRI room at 5am and that Kate should get some private time with her then. When they realize that they have 3 hours to kill, Kate asks Tom a cryptic question: "Do you think it's still there?" Tom's car pulls to the base of a tree in the middle of a cow pasture. They remove two shovels out of the trunk, walk off six paces and begin to dig.

Back on the island, Jack and Locke are trying to diagnose Michael. Jack inspects the empty water bottles from the camp and finds some suspicious residue at the bottom of one of the bottles. He races back to Michael and tells him not to drink out of any bottles except the one Jack gives him. Michael catches on and immediately tells Jack that Sawyer is the only one he feels had the motivation to poison him - - in retaliation for possibly replacing him on the raft. Meanwhile, Hurley accidentally tells Locke that Kate is a fugitive. This is turning out to be a day full of surprises.

Claire is giving Charlie a haircut while he serenades the baby and they fantasize about what they are going to do first after they get rescued. Charlie invites her to come and stay with him until she figures out what she wants to do next. When she accepts, Charlie is visibly pleased.

Kate catches up with Jack at the caves and asks if someone is going to be taking his place on the raft. This prompts Jack to ask her if she poisoned Michael. Kate asks Jack if he thinks she is capable of that, but she doesn't get the answer she is looking for. "I don't know what you're capable of."

And off this we FLASHBACK to that field where Kate and Tom are still digging. Kate's shovel hits something metal and they pull something totally unexpected out of the ground. We get a closer look as they open the box and it's…a time capsule. Inside are the treasures of two children among which is… the toy airplane. And wait a minute, but it's Tom's! Kate finds an audio cassette and as these two sit in the car and listen to themselves as children, we learn that they were more than just friends --- they loved each other. And the moment leads to a kiss that is 15 years overdue. But things have changed for both of them and Tom starts the car to head back towards the hospital.

Back on the island, Locke is applying a homemade ointment to a leg injury when Walt arrives. He wants to tell Locke something—he didn't poison his father. He may have burned the first raft, but he had nothing to do with this. When Locke comes over to take his hand and tell him they are friends and not to worry, something happens to Walt. Locke can see his face go slack and he asks him what is wrong. "Don't open it," Walt says. And now it's Locke's face that goes slack. "Don't open that thing!"

Sawyer delivers a bottle of antacid to Michael in the hopes that it will solidify his spot on the raft, but the idea backfires when Michael accuses Sawyer of poisoning him and kicks him off the raft. "You're a liar and a criminal," says Michael, but Sawyer isn't about to take this lying down. "Oh, I'm a criminal," Sawyer says. Kate is watching this exchange from a distance and Sawyer goes over to her and brings her to Michael. He takes the bag from her shoulder and dumps it out. And what does he find, but the passport Kate was forging earlier. It belonged to Joanna, the woman who drowned in episode 105. Sawyer outs Kate to the entire camp telling them that she was the fugitive with the Marshal and that she will do anything to anyone in order to remain free. "She doesn't care about anyone but herself!"

But as we FLASHBACK to the hospital we see that isn't true. Kate as risked everything to come and see this woman in the hospital and as Tom wheels her in to a room on a gurney, Kate is finally allowed to get close to her. "Mom? It's me, Katie."

Kate's MOM! As she regains consciousness and recognizes her daughter—and while Kate begins to tearfully apologize for putting her mother through "all this"—Kate's mother begins to speak. Just a single word at first and barely a whisper: "Help." Kate tells her it's going to be okay, but she continues, a little louder each time until she is screaming for help. Is her mother afraid of her? The noise attracts some unwanted attention and a security guard arrives. When he fails to believe Kate's cover story, she is forced to knock him out with his walkie-talkie. Tom arrives to find the guard on the ground and asks Kate what happened. "I need your car keys," Kate says. The two go racing to the garage and Kate climbs into the driver's seat with Tom taking the passenger side. We can already hear the sirens of the approaching police as they race down the garage, but they are too late—a police car has blocked the exit and the officer driving it has his weapon drawn. This is it…

Kate tells Tom to get out, but he refuses. Tom pleads with Kate to turn herself in; they'll ask the court to be lenient. It's her only chance for a normal life someday. But if we know anything about Kate it is this: She will do almost anything to get away. She tells him this is his last chance, but Tom refuses to budge. Kate GUNS the engine and the officer gets off several shots before his car is rammed out of the way and Kate is past him. And it looks as if they might make it until another car slams into them, disabling their car. When Kate recovers from the impact she reaches over to make sure that Tom is okay - but he isn't. One of the officer's bullets hit Tom in the chest and he is dead. Kate barely has a moment to process the horror of what just happened when the other police cars start to arrive. She catches a glance of Tom's toy airplane in the backseat and considers climbing back for it, but realizes that she doesn't have the time. Quick as a flash, she is out of the car and running again.

And back on the beach, Kate is still there, suffering under the newly hostile stares of the entire camp. She tries to resurrect herself by coming clean and she tells everyone, for the first time that she was the one the Marshal was transporting. "But I didn't poison you," she tells Michael. But it's too late. The camp has a new pariah now. And as the other survivors walk away from her, she realizes that things will never be quite the same again.

Jack finds Sun leaning against a tree watching her husband make the final adjustments to the raft. Jack asks her if she wants Jin to stay and when she admits that she does, he asks if that is the reason she tried to poison him. It's an easy enough mistake, Jin and Michael work together all day—it would be very easy to get the water bottles mixed up. Sun breaks down and admits that she doesn't want him to die out on the raft, so she mixed just enough of the poison to make him sick. She didn't know what else to do. Jack promises not to tell anyone about it, but he offers Sun some advice. "He's going. If I were you, I'd say goodbye."

And as that lands on Sun we catch up with Kate at the fire. Seems she has it all to herself this evening. That is until Sawyer shows up and tells Kate he is back on the raft and that Michael has rallied and will indeed launch the raft tomorrow. Kate asks Sawyer why it's so important for him to be on the raft and when Sawyer answers it's difficult to tell if he is answering a question…or asking one of his own. "Because there ain't anything on this island worth staying for."

Walt makes his way over to his father who is recovering next to his fire by the raft. He tells Walt not to worry, that they will be sailing away home in no time when Walt makes a startling admission: "I'm the one that burned the raft." As Michael sits in stunned silence, Walt explains that he didn't want to leave and that he thought he could stop them from leaving by getting rid of the raft. Michael processes this and tells Walt that they can stay behind on the island if that is what Walt wants. "We don't have to leave," he says. But Walt's reply sends a chill down our spines.

"Yes we do."

And as Kate sits alone in her tent, reflecting on a very, very bad day, Sun arrives. She tells Kate that Jack knows about the poison. But what she says next knocks us for a loop: "I didn't tell him it was your idea," she says. Kate thanks her and Sun explains that there was no reason to punish her; she was only trying to help. And as the two women sit alone, Sun opens up in a way we rarely get to see. She tells Kate that, when she was a little girl she believed that once she found the man she loved, she would be happy… forever.

"Yeah," Kate says… "Me too."

Memorable QuotesEdit

"Hey Sawyer. I want your spot, I'll get your spot."

- Kate

Background InformationEdit

  • As part of a recurring theme, "815" appears as the date Tom and Kate buried the time capsule, August 15, 1989. (8/15/89)
  • Kate is seen changing her license plate from Arkansas to Ohio. The county is Shelby and the only city in Shelby County is Sidney, a reference to Sydney, Australia.

Dramatis PersonaeEdit

Guest StarringEdit