Lost S1E22: Born to Run
Dammit, Lost might just be going out on a high.
We’re had a string of actually pretty solid episodes to close out the season – yes, we still have that behemoth of a three-part finale to get through, but I’m actually somewhat…looking forward to it? Maybe because the shift in focus has been on to characters who are actually interesting (Locke, Sayid, Jack) because they’re the ones driving the plot right now – or maybe it’s because we actually have some story for a change. Either way, I’m liking it a whole hell of a lot more than I have been for that drudge of a second act – and this week’s episode, Born to Run, is a strong continuation of that theme.
For one thing, it’s got my very favorite aspect of Lost on full display: the highest-stakes arts-and-crafts competition on the planet. Harold Perrineau and Daniel Dae Kim (the designated Hot Dads of Purgatory Island, for sure) continue to work on their raft, closing in on finally getting out, and there is something about watching the construction of that beautiful piece of set design that is satisfying I’m just nuts about – I never thought that the thing I would like most about this show would be the crafting, but here we are.
And, of course, as the raft nears completition, the debate over who is actually going to be on it picks up the pace. Sawyer has tried to book himself a seat, but Kate, knowing that her rescue from the island will see her taken straight back into custody, is determined to take his place. Now, a brief side-note: I know that I’m not meant to actually think about this, but it’s hard to believe that anyone would think Sawyer would be a better choice on a high-stakes Ocean-wide trip than Kate. He’s consistently shown himself to be antagonistic, violent, selfish, and short-tempered; Kate, though she might be a criminal, has at least a degree of compassion and has shown herself to have some applicable survival skills. It’s a no-brainer to me, and not just because the thought of being stuck with Josh Holloway on a boat in the middle of the Atlantic is the actual hell that this purgatory is connected to.
But anyway, Born to Run takes this chance to delve a little further into Kate’s backstory, and it really works. I love to see Kate outside the poisonously boring love triangle that she’s stuck in, and this might be my favourite Evangeline Lilly episode so far (not least because of its generous depiction of her lovely shoulders). As she returns to her dying mother, and meets with an old lover – the one she ends up getting killed – she’s allowed a low-key episode in a lot of ways that doesn’t go for the ridiculous soap-operary of the last Kate-centric storyline. It’s melancholy, a story of what she’s lost (HEH) and what she’s left behind, and I genuinely really enjoy it.
Back on the island, a lot of secrets are coming out – this is the set-up for the finale, after all, and it’s only fair that everyone is playing with a full deck. Jack finds out about Locke’s hatch, and Locke finds out about Jack’s knowledge of Kate’s criminal past, and the two of them snipe at each other in a very Who’s-Afraid-Of-Virginia-Woolf passive aggression for the rest of the episode, which I’m totally here for.
I think the best moment, though, when it comes to secrets – though the unveiling of Kate’s past by an enraged Sawyer is actually pretty good – is between Michael and Walt. Walt admits, on the eve of their leaving the island, that he was the one who burned the raft before, because he wanted to stay. And there’s this fabulous moment from Harold Perrineau, as he processes the news and what it means, and then instantly promises his son that they can stay, that they can give the raft to someone else, and that they can make a life together on the island. Not just giving up on the weeks of work he’s put into the raft, but the life that he wanted to return to. It’s one of the show’s most organically moving moments, not least because the chemistry between Walt and Michael has always been really interesting, and I love how un-dramatic and natural the scene plays out.
This is good stuff, for Lost, and I’m genuinely looking forward to seeing how this finale plays out. I know that it’ll at least in some part fit around Locke paying the troll toll to get into that’s boy’s hatch, but other than that, there are some solid conflicts rising into being, and I want to see how they are going to resolve themselves. Join me next week, for the epic three-part finale, and let’s finish this thing together!
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