Season 1 Episode 22

Born to Run

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM May 11, 2005 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
1,318 votes

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Episode Summary

With news that the raft must leave at once to avoid changing winds, Kate decides that she needs to be one of the passengers, attempting to steal Sawyer's spot. Meanwhile, suspicion abounds after Michael's drinking water is tampered with. Flashbacks in this episode focus on Kate reuniting with Tom after learning about her mother having cancer.moreless

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  • Born to Run

    This episode is quick and engaging, with well-structured flashbacks and a great setup for what's to come.
  • Awesome.

    Sayid and Locke show the hatch to Jack, who believes that the hatch needs to be opened. Walt warns Locke not to open the hatch, despite not ever being told about it. Kate seeks a place on the raft, threatening to take Sawyer's spot. After Michael is poisoned, he kicks Sawyer off the raft. Sawyer reveals to everyone that Kate was the fugitive on the plane. Walt confesses to Michael that he was responsible for the fire that destroyed the first raft and, although Michael says they can stay on the island, Walt insists that they have to leave. In flashbacks, Kate returns to her home town to see her dying mother, and meets up with former boyfriend Tom Brennan. With Tom's help, Kate is able to be alone with her mother, who begins screaming for help upon seeing her. She and Tom try to escape, but Tom is killed and Kate runs. We learn about Kate again. I love Charlie he is so funny with his music. I love Arzt - so funny i love his scenes, talking about the raft and the bombs in the next episode. Kate wants in of the raft so Sawyer is kicked out that is until he is back on it after embarrassing Kate. John shows Sayid and Jack the Hatch.moreless
  • Kate's third episode offers more than Whatever the Case May Be but it still doesn't push all the buttons as a Kate episode. As a prequel to events of the series finale it sets up some interesting conflicts among the characters.moreless

    It seems everyone wants to get on that damm raft now it is set to launch. Funny how things change. When Michael proposed the idea in "Special" everyone scoffed at him, not believing it could be done. Now it seems imminent it is going to happen everyone is looking up to Michael as a contender for Jack's heroic position. Everyone turns to Michael now, not Jack, because Jack at the present moment is not finding a way to get off the island, only finding a way to stay. This obviously presents a split of the camp.

    The focus of this episode is firmly on the raft. The raft has been prominent throughout the season and now as things hot up towards the finale it's importance is incremented.

    The raft launching has spurred some conflicts amongst several of the survivors, including Kate and Sawyer. Some of the old Sawyer comes back in this where he turns nasty towards Kate and spills the beans to the rest of the camp about her secret, forcing her to open up. Kate is as much in the wrong as Sawyer, however, trying her damdest to get off the island for her own selfish need to keep running. Sawyer, obviously believes in Justice, even if it means justice against those he's formed some kind of attachment with. He feels that Kate should still be caught, despite how he feels for her. Something inside of him doesn't trust her, which is how we feel about her too. Her attitude towards Michael and his son, however true it may be, was uncalled for. Sure, it is dangerous for Walt to board the raft, but for her to use that as a cunning device to get herself on the raft with no consideration for anyone else is a different matter. It is just as dangerous for Claire and her baby to go, but they would otherwise be the more perfect occupants (if two more were allowed).

    It was right that Kate didn't get to go on. Sawyer deserves it more than she does. If the raft sailing is meant to be the journey to redemption, then Sawyer is more deserved to embark. After all he did pay for his ticket, and he has been helping with the building of the raft, of late, and in the next few episodes he becomes one of the team, confirming that he would have been a better choice of passenger than Kate.

    Despite, Sawyer's redeeming features, you have to feel sorry for Kate. Underneath her criminal exterior is a caring, thoughful and generally likeable interior. Watching her being bullied by Sawyer was rather unfair.

    Kate's flashbacks in this episode are better than the Crappy Case episode and, at times, feel better than what is going on on the island, which feels like a re-hash of past conflicts. How much longer are the survivors going to be assigning blame within their own community and defocusing on the larger issues surrounding them. If people were really on a deserted island would they really behave like this. It's possible that there might be some tensions between some members but it seems everyone is at each other's throat. I don't see this as unrealistic totally but it makes you wonder.

    Jack is shown the Hatch and brings up some interesting thoughts that maybe inside is the key to surviving on the island, which Jack seems to have accepted. Could the Hatch really hold supplies, as well as a shelter?

    Not much is covered with the Hatch, which is surprising, as it is disappointing.

    Too much attention may have been focused on the raft and Kate, Sawyer and Michael bickering, something, which however entertaining it is, is getting a little tired.

    It is time to make the plot points and island events control the actions of the characters.

    This is essentially a filler episode, a bridge linking The Greater Good to the series' finale. It does feel like it was added at the last moment to add an extra episode to the season. But it is not a bad filler, as fillers go and provides a reasonable amount of tension and foreboding going into the final episodes.moreless
  • A New Raft Plot

    Like Jack Flashbacks, Kate flashbacks share some information about Kate and her toy airplane. The writers tried to create some doubt into the audience, making kate the bad girl here.

    But you can see from miles, that she is innocent in the flashbacks, since you know that the guy died, and problably kate didn´t kill him. Was his choice to go with Kate and his death wasn´t her direct fault.

    Totally different from the Island events, when everyone thought that sawyer was the one that poisoned Michael. Then the suspition turns to Kate, however, lost is a show that grants you some twists, and this time was not different.

    Walt telling Locke not to open the hatch was creepy.

    Locke and Jack interations was interesting, but all the events was only the Setup for the season finale.

    A normal flashback (nothing special), a new raft plot with a twist, and some interesting interations between some character make this episode good.moreless
  • She keeps on running but we still don't know why

    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 Iowa in 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, that 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.moreless
Carter Jenkins

Carter Jenkins

Young Tom

Guest Star

Anosh Yagoob

Anosh Yagoob


Guest Star

Tamara Lynch

Tamara Lynch


Guest Star

Beth Broderick

Beth Broderick


Recurring Role

Daniel Roebuck

Daniel Roebuck

Dr. Leslie Arzt

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (10)

    • "Arzt" is the German word for "doctor". Hence, Dr. Arzt's (Leslie's) name is literally "Dr. Doctor".

    • In her flashback, Kate uses the alias Joan Heart.

    • When Kate first drives up to the motel, her license plate is from Nebraska. When she changes it, the plate is from Ohio.

    • Numbers: 8 and 15

      Kate and Tom's cassette was recorded on August 15, 1989 (08/15; 1989 was 15 years before the crash).

    • The current events took place on November 3rd, 2004. The flashback events took place sometime in 2002.

    • On the tape from 1989, Kate talks about getting her driver's license soon. This would probably mean Kate was approximately 16 years old in 1989, making her about 30 years old when the plane crashed.

    • Charlie is writing a song called "Monster Eats The Pilot", presumably based on his first hand experience with such an event in the "Pilot" episode.

    • MRI stands for "Magnetic Resonance Imaging" however the sign on the door to the MRI room says "Magnetic Resonance Imagining."

    • Michael is seen drinking from a small bottle of water, but later when Jack checks the bottles he's holding a large one. Though it's possible Michael drank from more than one bottle, there weren't any small bottles in the big box when Jack checked it.

    • While Jin is building the raft his handcuff is on his right arm, but at the last scene it is on his left.

  • QUOTES (22)

    • Sun: Jack knows. (At that Kate looks very worried) I didn't tell him it was your idea.
      Kate: Thanks.
      Sun: Why should you be punished? You were only trying to help me. He said he wouldn't tell the others.
      Kate: Yeah. Jack's good at keeping secrets.
      Sun: When I was a little girl I believed that once I found the man I loved I would be happy, forever.
      Kate: Yeah. Me too.

    • Kate: How's Michael?
      Jack: He's gonna be fine.
      Kate: (hesitantly) Somebody gonna be taking his place on the raft?
      Jack: I don't know.
      Kate: 'Cause, you know, Dr. Arzt said if they don't leave tomor -
      Jack: Did you poison Michael, Kate?
      Kate: What?
      Jack: He's not sick. Someone did this.
      (There's a long, heavy moment as Kate and Jack look at each other)
      Kate: Do you really think I'm capable of that?
      Jack: I don't know what you're capable of.
      (Visibly hurt, Kate looks at Jack before she turns around and walks away)

    • Kate: Are you here to say sorry, Sawyer?
      Sawyer: Sorry don't suit me.

    • Sawyer: You cornered me, Freckles. I did what I had to.
      Kate: I cornered you?
      Sawyer: You said if you wanted my spot you were going to take it. I guess I believed you.

    • Sawyer: You all remember Joanna, don't you? Huh? The woman who drowned? Now what's Kate doing with poor Joanna's ID? Could it be she'd do just about anything to get on that raft? So she could get herself rescued, run off with a new identity before half the reporters in the world descend on this damn island? She might even poison the captain himself.
      Kate: Shut up!
      Sawyer: She don't care about nothin' or nobody but herself.

    • Michael: I'm done with you.
      Sawyer: You ain't done with me by a damn sight. You said you needed 4.
      Michael: I've got 4. You've been stealing stuff off of dead bodies, keeping it for yourself, using it to buy favors. You're a liar and a criminal, and I'm not letting you near my boy.
      Sawyer: Oh, I'm a criminal, huh? (sarcastically) I poisoned you because I'm a criminal.

    • Sawyer: What the hell do you think you're doing?
      Kate: Sorry?
      Sawyer: Don't give me the awe-golly eyes. Michael just told me you were jockeying for my spot on the raft.

    • Sawyer: Yo, chief, dumb question here...we're sailing out in the ocean, right?
      Michael: Do you mind?
      Sawyer: Sulu over here is packing a suitcase full of salted fish.
      Michael: Yeah?
      Sawyer: We can't catch fish?
      Michael: Do you know anything about surviving at sea, sailing, navigating, steering a raft?
      Sawyer: Do you?
      Michael: It doesn't matter what I know, I built it. Maybe you are the wrong guy to go on the raft.
      Sawyer: You're going to vote me off, Mickey? And who the hell's going to take my place?

    • (Capsule tape is playing)
      Young Kate: Then we could just... run away.
      Young Tom: You always want to run away, Katie.
      Young Kate: Yeah... and you know why.
      (Tape stops)
      Tom: Funny how things turn out.
      Kate: Yeah...

    • Sawyer: Don't worry pudding, your secret's safe with me. But just so you know...no way in hell you're getting my spot on that raft.
      Kate: Hey, Sawyer. I want your spot...I'll get your spot.

    • Charlie: Okay, check this out...this is track two, it's called - (Claire tries to stop him from moving) Sorry, it's called "Monster Eats the Pilot."

    • Michael: You and Locke kiss and make up? (Jack shakes his head) Good.

    • (Sawyer throws a bottle of Pepto Bismol-type stuff down by Michael.)
      Sawyer: Thought you might need that, boss. Wouldn't want our pilot out of commission before take-off.

    • Locke: All due respect, Jack, but since when do I report to you?
      Jack: All due respect, John, but you lied.

    • Kate: So you think the raft's going to work?
      Charlie: Of course it's going to work, look at that thing. That's not a raft. They built a sodding boat. And when they get picked up, the helicopters will come making us ridiculously and eternally famous. What's the matter, don't you want to be famous?

    • (about the raft)
      Michael: So when do we have to leave?
      Arzt: Yesterday.

    • Sawyer: Why are we listening to Artz?
      Arzt: Because I'm a doctor and you're a hillbilly.
      Sawyer: You're a damn high school science teacher!

    • Locke: Why would Kate poison Michael?
      Hurley: Well, you know, the whole fugitive thing. (Jack looks at Hurley) He doesn't know? (Jack shakes his head). Well how am I supposed to keep straight who knows what around here? I mean, Steve didn't even know about the polar bear.

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

    • Sayid (to Jack and Locke): You notice anything about this hatch? There's no handle. Could the reason for that be more obvious? Maybe it was never meant to be opened from the outside.

    • Kate: Why is it so important for you to be on that raft?
      Sawyer: 'Cuz there ain't anything on this island worth staying for.

    • Walt: Don't open it. Don't open that thing.
      Locke: What thing? What are you...
      Walt: Just don't open it!

  • NOTES (6)


    • The opening scene, where a blonde Kate on the run goes to a motel and takes a shower, is an allusion to the 1960 movie Psycho. Even the music, and the shot of the drain, are similar.

    • Sawyer asked Michael how is he gonna get "voted off" the raft, alluding the reality show, "Survivor"

    • This episode shares its title with a classic Bruce Springsteen album and song.

    • At the beginning of the episode, Kate gets a letter left for "Joan Hart." Guest-star Beth Broderick, who plays Kate's mother, was a regular character on Sabrina, The Teenage Witch, starring Melissa Joan Hart.

    • Sawyer says, "Sulu over here is packing a suitcase full of salted fish." This is a reference to Hikaru Sulu, the helm officer aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise on the original Star Trek series.