Kate’s Destiny

I’ve never researched something for this stinkin’ show as much as I did for this ridiculously long post. My sincere apologies on the length, but I just couldn’t cut out the transcripts.

In my opinion, Kate is one of the biggest remaining mysteries on the show. There HAS to be a connection between “What Kate Does” and why it preceded “The Substitute.” There is no way the writers would unintentionally order the episodes and clues within them, no matter what we viewers felt like after watching them. Kate’s name and number not appearing on the wall was an essential “missing” piece of “The Substitute” clues. A few logical options as to why:

1) Smocke/Nemesis didn’t show Sawyer as to manipulate Sawyer’s emotional response to the questions. Lets see… it would seem that “At some point in your life, James, probably when you were young and miserable and vulnerable. He came to you, he manipulated you, pulled your strings like you were a puppet. And as a result, choices you thought were made, were never really choices at all. He was pushing you, James. Pushing you…” So, perhaps “he” (Nemesis) simply thought he could keep Sawyer from thinking about Kate at that point and get Sawyer to follow him.

2) Kate’s never been a candidate despite the fact that we saw an interaction with her and Jacob when she was going to steal the lunch box that would eventually become her time capsule.

3) Kate has a different role in the sides and therefore is factored into a different part of Jacob’s equation. Kate is a variable in a totally new and significant way.

I’m going with option #3. (The manipulation by Smocke in #1 is evident no matter what.)

So the quick answer is that Kate is the variable and she will have some ultimate power to lead and nurture the actions of the remaining Losties (or “Candidates” now) and prove to be a reconciling force between the sides that are shaping up. Sawyer vs. Jack and possibly Jin vs. Sun at the very least. (After all, Claire is now the last one we see with Jin and she is ‘claimed’ for the other side, according to Dogen.) So if you want to be done reading now, go ahead and move on.

However, to me this quick answer doesn’t do justice to the mystery that she has been for five seasons. I went to the transcripts of all the Kate-centric shows for refreshers, and pulled a few scenes out that really struck me as important.

(From “What Kate Did”)

In the backseat of the cop car Mars says,
MARSHAL: It’s a long drive back to the arraignment, you comfy? [He laughs.] Why now?

KATE: What?

MARSHAL: Nice, corn fed farm girl like yourself — no history of violence, straight A’s, no record, couple of speeding tickets… I just got to wonder, why’d you kill him now? [Kate doesn’t respond.] Oh, right, yeah, don’t tell me. You wouldn’t want to incriminate yourself, not after you were so smart planning it. That jury back in Iowa sure ain’t going to get hung up on pre-meditation. And a gas leak, come on, it’s — it’s amateur hour from top to bottom.

KATE: Sounds like you’ve got it all figured out.

MARSHAL: I do have you all figured out.

KATE: You don’t know anything about me.

MARSHAL: White trash mom divorces dad, starts up with some guy who’s a drinker. Then he knocks her around a little bit, she marries him, because, you know, that’s what happens. And then this drunk, this Wayne, he moves into your house, and you get to lay there every night and listen to him doing your mom right there in your daddy’s old bedroom. And even that wouldn’t be so bad if he didn’t beat her up all the time. But she loves him. She defends him. If that don’t make a person want to kill somebody I don’t know what does. But the question is now, why now? Why after all these years did you just decide to blow poor Wayne up? He come knocking on your door late at night?

KATE: He never touched me.

[Suddenly there’s a black horse in the road and the car crashes into a pole. The Marshal is knocked out and Kate grabs the keys to the cuffs. He tries to stop her but she kicks him out of the car and starts driving off. She sees the horse standing there looking at her, and then drives off.]

She says, You don’t know a thing about me.

[So true.]

Which reminded me that she has a back-story that we haven’t seen yet. (Which also reminded me of Richard. Hmmm.)

Kate said that her dead love, Tom Brennan knows why she runs and we never really saw it.

YOUNG TOM BRENNAN: You always want to run away, Katie.
YOUNG KATE: Yeah, and you know why.

So apparently Kate had no criminal history prior to blowing up Wayne’s house and at a young age she already had an inclination to run away.

Which made me consider what would make a young child want to run?

Hold that thought while I explain where I come from next. On my last post about what we learned from What Kate Does, I made mention of some soul-type connection between the Sideways timeline characters. Which reminded me of the “Reincarnation” anagram that we saw last season on Ben’s “Canton-Rainier” van. I’m not familiar with how it works, beliefs, the history and therefore implicit clues that could be in this anagram, but I know that “Flash Forwards/aka Hoffs Drawler” was somewhat helpful in our understanding of storytelling devices of seasons past. My point: perhaps I should consider that reincarnation could have a little value to some overall understanding of what is going on.

So I did some limited reading (more like skimming) about reincarnation on good old Wikipedia (as I said, I know very little) and something caught my attention.

Apparently studies have been done on children who had claimed that they had memories of people who were dead as proof that these children were reincarnations of someone else. (Children have been just a bit important on this show…no?)

Which then made me think that perhaps Kate, as a child, had a vision of someone she once was, in another life. And as a kid, that would spook you and perhaps be the very thing that you share with your childhood best friend-turned-sweetheart. Perhaps it was a vision of her as a criminal or someone who had done something awful or was in an awful situation. Would that vision be enough to create this fear and innate need to run that would shape her life?

It has been evident that she is always running away from something, from being caught, and this has been a huge arc to her storyline. It has seemed like she is running away from herself, and maybe that’s exactly what we have seen and will see play out in more ways than one. She has been afraid of who she will become, or to put it another way, she has been afraid of a different version of herself. The poetic part of this season is that we are seeing “a different version of herself” in the non-crash Sideways timeline, but she still has evidence of being a “runner” in that timeline. So we are still missing a crucial part of the story, but maybe some of this explains why she is such a critical variable to Jacob’s equation.

Now take note of this interaction with Sawyer from “What Kate Did”:

KATE: (To Sawyer, who has started channeling the ghost of dead Wayne) “You asked me why I — why I did it. It wasn’t because you drove my father away, or the way you looked at me, or because you beat her. It’s because I hated that you were a part of me — that I would never be good. That I would never have anything good. And every time that I look at Sawyer — every time I feel something for him — I see you, Wayne. It makes me sick.”

(Does this not sound eerily familiar to Dogen’s explanation about Sayid’s infection, and how there is a darkness growing in him…?)

Is it possible that when she confesses to Sawyer that she did it because she didn’t want his (Wayne’s) darkness in her and she would never be good, it’s because a part of her has always been running from who she saw herself to be in a past life? So killing Wayne was a way of making that darkness happen (self-fulfilling prophecy) and it also was a way of her trying to distance herself from what she was afraid she would become. And even more, it is the essence of the “free-will co-existing with destiny tension” theme. She finally does something that actually forces her to run rather than accept what she had become. In one timeline (815 crashes) when she is caught, the black horse appears on the road causing the accident with Mars, which makes it possible for her to escape again. Then she ends up on the island, where she is given ‘tabula rasa’ and confesses why she killed Wayne and she encounters the black horse again. Yet she continues to run. So either she really is “born to run” or we’re missing something. Yet no matter what…we are seeing that Destiny course corrects.

Which brings me to another thought that I can’t shake about Kate and “Destiny”.

We have been giving two memorable lines about Destiny in past seasons.

(From “The Variable”)

ELOISE: Daniel… do you know what destiny means?
ELOISE: Destiny means that, if one has a special gift, then it must be nurtured.
ELOISE: Your gift, Daniel, is your mind–a mind that is meant for science, mathematics. And it’s my… job to keep you on your path.

BEN (from “Cabin Fever”)

BEN: Those things had to happen to me. That was my destiny. But you’ll understand soon enough that there are consequences to being chosen… because, destiny, John, is a fickle bitch.

Which brings us back to Kate. She’s been a bit fickle, no?

Destiny, The Fickle Bitch = Kate

We have seen the back and forth of Kate before. Kate chooses the beach over the caves with Jack. Kate left Jack once while Jack sacrificed himself and stayed with the Others. (“I Do”) Kate stays with Sawyer at “New Otherton” nearly making babies. (“Eggtown”) Then, she went with Jack to leave the island, while Sawyer sacrificed himself to get her off the island by jumping out of the helicopter. Then of course, Kate and Jack post-island didn’t work out because of Jack’s jealousy issues tied back to Kate’s relationship with Sawyer.

A subtly recurring theme that exists within their triangle has to do with sacrifice. We have seen Jack and Sawyer seemingly sacrifice themselves for Kate to survive. By the looks of their relationships currently, the ‘love triangle’ is dissolved. At this point, Kate is free in a certain sense, and it would appear based on her behavior/conversations in “What Kate Does” that she knows that she is free from either of them. Free in one way, yet still indebted to them.

Both men have sacrificed to save her. Both men are now primed to follow opposing sides. Now she is the ultimate variable. She believed her purpose for returning to the island is to find Claire and ensure that Claire raises Aaron, something that we can say has happened as portrayed in the Sideways timeline. After all of this, I don’t think she is ‘resolved’ yet.

I wouldn’t be surprised that instead of Kate CHOOSING Jack or Sawyer, she in fact will have to sacrifice herself for one of them. Beyond Jack and Sawyer, and looking at the remaining Losties on the list, Kate has influence (therefore power) over all of them. She is probably the most trusted non-leader Leader among Sayid, Hurley, and Sun & Jin, which gives her the unique role and ‘special gift’ of being able to nurture them along their paths, similar to how Eloise saw herself.

It will ultimately depend on who she believes and trusts the most, which includes herself (and at risk of sounding simple and/or dramatic) and any version of herself she takes into account. It will truly come down to her choice as the variable, and it will be her ultimate, destined act of redemption.

(From “The Variable”)

DANIEL: I had been spending so much time focused on the constants, I forgot about the variables. Do you know what the variables in these equations are, Jack? Us. We’re the variables. People. We think. We reason. We make choices. We have free will. We can change our destiny.”

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18 thoughts on “Kate’s Destiny

  1. This is awesome and I have firmly felt as though Kate, and others, play a huge role in things to come.

    Let me preface the following comment by stating that I am a huge believer in the theme of reincarnation on this show.

    I like at the end of your post how you mentioned that Kate might be forced to choose, I hadn’t thought of that. I wonder if Juliet has already been forced to make a choice. I think Juliet and Kate are the same but different. I feel that this “choice” you mentioned is the main reason behind all of the love/relationship issues we see on the show.

  2. First of all, thanks for posting this. It’s a good one.

    I must say, I personally have a problem with Kate. I simply hate her character and it has a lot to do with how “fickle” she is. It’s damn annoying. I love that remark about her equalling the “destiny, John, is fickle bitch” line.

    The reason I like this theory is that Kate is rarely seen as having an important role in the end, and this post completely contradicts that thought. Many people, myself included, consider Kate to basically just be a “lead” female character, like a “token” female that’s there to keep the ladies watching the show who don’t get enough B.S. love drama from Grey’s Anatomy.

    I like how you mention Kate saying as a child, “yeah, and you know why”, referring to her constant running. It’s like a hidden mystery from years ago. No one talks about that anymore. As you know, whatever is making her run might give away what the hell is going on in this show. I’m definitely intrigued now.

    I’m honestly getting worried about all of this though. We already have about 18 trillion important characters that MIGHT be of importance at the end of the show, but need explained regardless. What about Walt, Widmore, (maybe) Hanso, Charlie, Desmond etc… and now Kate’s in the mix as well with her mysterious need to run away. As much as I like your post, it just raises more questions dammit. (I should be used to that by now)

    In my perspective “What Kate does” can refer to one of two things: Her “running away from herself” or her being there when Aaron is born no matter what timeline she’s in. I’m still assuming Aaron is going to play a large role of some kind in the future, but that’s part of the problem I previously stated. Aaron is only one of a bajillion cast members that are going to need explained.

    Sorry, I guess it just dawned on me how many characters there are in this show. It’s overwhelming really. Anyway, great post.

  3. Hi kimberly, I certainly appreciate the amazing amount of hard work and effort placed into your theory. Like ‘The Apostle’ states, I am also a huge believer in reincarnation in the show, and have been making the connections.

    I like your idea of Kate placing herself in a position to save Jack or/and Sawyer. This would make sense. I also think it is quite plausible that Kate would place herself in similar position when it comes to Claire. Kate’s reasoning for returning to ‘the island’ was in part, to reunite Claire with Aaron. That would be a strong motivator for Kate.

    I am also pondering the reason why Kate doesn’t have a number, as one of the Kwons don’t appear to have been assigned one either. I’m not entirely sure for the reasoning, but I still believe this might not eliminate them as a potential candidate. I am sure there is further reasoning as to the ‘why’ of that.

    I recall Brahm asking Ilana if Frank was a ‘candidate’. Although Ilana didn’t definitively respond with a direct yes or no answer, she told Brahm to bring Frank along.

    I don’t believe this was because Ilana was uncertain about ‘the losties’ nor their importance to Jacob and his plan. I feel that there are some suitable candidates who don’t have numbers, who may qualify also.

    This is a really good read, kimberly with great insights!

  4. I like your theory, but I’ve been wondering – do we *know* those are all the names not crossed off? Could there be one – maybe not even Austin or Cooper … maybe a different last name.

  5. Apostle and Dabs, I hoped that in writing something out that included a bit on reincarnation that some who have thought about how it might play out would find be able to give additional input or direction. Especially if I am totally off in how it could work with Kate (or any of the other characters for that matter.)

    Apostle, I personally have been hoping that the various love relationship issues (and ‘triangles’) and such have been more to set-up the tensions of sides. It would seem to fit how deep the writers have explored the consequences and power of relationships with parents and children, so I am inclined to think that they are more than just for the emotional drama.

  6. Hey Chief, glad to have you in on the conversation.

    I wondered if it would come across like I dislike Kate, which I don’t, but I know that there are plenty of people out there who do. I don’t love her, don’t hate her, which is what made me think that perhaps that’s why she’s so integral as somewhat of a neutral variable if that makes sense.

    What you said about why she’s running is exactly why I wanted to go backwards in the series…to find out if there really is something that we ‘moved on’ from that will come back to be really important for her and potential resolutions for many of the characters. If I think something for a character who is still very much in the mix of things (as Kate is) is definitely resolved, it makes me nervous. 🙂

  7. Dabs, thanks for the comment.

    In looking at the reincarnation theme, I hope that it spurs conversation that could possibly trigger other ideas as to what is possibly going on. Especially if there are people who have given it far more thought than I have for how it could relate to some of these main characters. (Such as does it have anything to do with the ‘infection’ with Sayid? Could it be a clue to our understanding that interaction between RIchard and young Locke and the test and why Locke was used by MIB? I just don’t know enough to make these thoughts hold weight as an argument or solid theory.)

    I agree with what you have brought up about the candidates. The candidate discussion is so new still and I feel like we have yet to really dig into how or why, so I’m glad you brought it up and especially that exchange with Ilana and Brahm.

    I know that some other people have posted things about the list that suggest the issue of candidacy is black and white, as in you are either alive or dead and that is why the names are crossed off. I don’t think this is the case. (At least not yet.)

    I even think that it might not be either Sun or Jin – as they are the only couple that we saw Jacob visit (and touch) so it made me think that BOTH of them are important to him and why they are on the list together.

    Here’s a quick tangent on more of that:

    “I’d like to offer you my blessing. Your love is a very special thing. Never take it for granted.” – those words to both of them focus on their love, their union…not anything singular or unique to each of them as individuals. It also makes the Sideways timeline interesting since Sun was referred to as Ms. Paik at the airport. It reveals her individualism that is significantly different from the timeline influenced by Jacob’s blessing over their marriage.

    One other thing about the list, as waycurious even alludes to here…

    How do even know for sure that THIS is Jacob’s “master” list? Why isn’t it Nemesis’ list? He was the one always looking for a loophole. He is the one who admittedly went through a lot to get to Jacob via another person (whose name is on that wall.) I don’t trust Nemesis’ explanation of the options, the list, and how it all works further than he threw that white stone. I know that could sound like I’m overcomplicating the issue, but I’m just not ready to go all in on believing how he is describing the list, the candidates and the options for what it all means.

    Thanks again for the comments and discussion on this everyone!

  8. Hi kimberly, I’m not intentionally being vague on the subject of reincarnation. I believe there are elements within the story that are leading in that direction.

    Only being in four episodes at this juncture, makes it difficult to provide a cohesive comment.

    Having said that, consider the ‘characters’ and the subtleties we are noting in their ‘off-island’ and ‘on-island’ persona’s. We see aspects of John Locke actually presenting themselves in Nemesis. Such as his statement after seeing the little boy….”Don’t tell me what I can’t do”.

    We have also noted that in John Locke’s flashback from when Richard visits him as a child to ‘test’ him, that John has drawn a picture of ‘the smoke monster’.

    I have mentioned that Claire appears to have taken on aspects of Danielle Rousseau’s persona. These are some of the reasons as to why I am making those connections. I view these as more than a simple ‘bleed through of their conscious minds.

    We need more episodes in order for me to firmly make any solid connections to express those views further.

    Hope that helps.

  9. Thanks Dabs. It does.

    I was just recognizing my limitations in how I know quite little about certain subjects so my attempts at correlating them and Lost can feel like a shot in the dark at times…

    I would hope someone would say that this is crazy if it’s too crazy. 🙂

    One thing that has struck me about the reincarnation idea is that it seems like part of the purpose of the process is for the individual self, not a ‘higher being’ of sorts. This made thinking about Jacob vs. Nemesis’ sides interesting because it puts the emphasis back on each character rather than who/what might be influencing them. (I hopefully am not butchering the spiritual aspects of the process in how I described that.)

    If it is a big part of the puzzle, then it once again shifts the perspective off of definitive “Good” and “Bad” forces (or beings) that Jacob and Nemesis could be and back to the redemptive struggles within each character. I hope that makes sense.

  10. About the order of the episodes.
    Tabula Rasa-What Kate Does(Kate)
    Walkabout-The Substitute(Locke)
    White Rabbit-Lighthouse(Jack)

    I”m not sure much can be made of Kate’s episode following John’s.
    The sideways flashes are following the pattern of the flashbacks from season 1.

  11. This is gorgeous. Just lovely. Beautifully written. If Kate does not end up sacrificing herself in some sense or another by the end of this show, it will be a shame. Your theory is as her story SHOULD be, even if it doesn’t turn out that way. Thank you for this!

  12. Nice thoughts on Kate Kim. I believe that she will play a vital role in the end of the game as well.

    I have said before that her purpose hides in plain site, and its reveal will make us all say “Ohhhh…”.

    I like all of your thoughts on the mysterious woman of Lost.

    I dont have a solid theory on her, because as you say…we dont have much to go on, but heres my thoughts.

    Many said that she is not up there because she is alive or a woman. My defense is that their are at least one there who is alive and scratched out and a woman, and that is “Henderson”…if I remember correctly, that is Rose’s maiden name.

    There is also the idea that Ilana is not there, but its possible that she is, but we just dont know her last name…either way…

    I believe that something else is missing from the ceiling that is just as, if not more vital than Kate not being there.

    We see number 313, amongst other numbers of a three digit variety.

    My short thought theory on this is that Kate is #108, and she is the one who is to be the islands “protector…or mother”.

    I dont have much to go on for this, but I feel that the lack of 108 and her last name left me pondering the abscence of BOTH.

    I wouldnt be suprised at this point to learn that Sawyer and Jack become the final two names on the wall, with Kate not only making the decision between them for herself, but our answer to who the “chosen” one is as well.

    One thing that always left me accepting the idea that Kate is very important is from an earlier season, Im embarssed to say I cannot remember which episode.
    The survivors are discussing the crash, and some start talking about “blacking out” during the process of what I believe to be flashing…Kate claimes that she did not black out…I always felt that meant something VERY imposrtant.
    Now that we know all we do about the conscience and flashing on Lost, I imagine its signifigance, along with the abscence of her name and 108 may mean Kate has some very “large shoes to fill”…pun intended.

    Good post on “Katie”…she will be explained and not be simply a “filler” character, as her episodes seem to be to some people.

  13. AES, thanks for your contribution. You actually brought up the number and some similar thoughts I have had about the number 108. I thought it was strange it was missing as was a reference to Kate’s name, and wondered if she could be 108, but had so little to go on as to why.

    That’s actually what influenced me thinking about her role in Jacob’s “equation” as I called it. And to sound completely far-fetched, that is part of my crazy thought her personifying “destiny” in a way. It isn’t as crazy as saying that it’s all aliens, but to actually write it out looks strange. 🙂 So I hope I do it a bit of justice in this theory in showing how she has metaphorically acted like the characters’ definitions of “destiny” and “variables” and perhaps that is why her number would make sense to be the sum of the other characters.

    Good call on that scene where she didn’t black out! I have to go read about that some more!

    Thanks for the discussion!

  14. Nice thoughts. If the production team had put more effort into Kate’s character we might have had someone who was something more than a shallow, cliche cardboard cutout of the typical TV model/commando. Good Lord, I have been awaiting her demise since episode one. Really. I thank you for your post; I’ll keep my hopes up that they really have thought this out as you have but I’m betting on disappointment when it all pans out. Why else would we have seen nothing but blah so far?

  15. Excellent post…I really hope that there is a meaning to this bloody useless annoying character…if there is, then all will be forgiven for some of the guff we’ve had to put up with when watching her.

    Excellent thoughts.

    Where the hell is Desmond!

  16. Thanks again for the kind comments. One thing that seems interesting about Kate… if so many people think she’s been under-explained (or useless or annoying) then in a way, it affirms that she hasn’t reached her fullest potential, which relates back to the idea of reincarnation. So, maybe the writers have written her this way so that our response as a viewer will fit exactly where she is, and ultimately what she ends up becoming or doing.

    So in the crash timeline we grew to love Charlie, which made his sacrifice that much more bittersweet, right? His redemption was that much more evident, because it happened much more quickly before us.

    With Kate, it’s longer, it’s more complicated and drawn out and therefore it could be evidence that her role is that much more significant. That’s me being optimistic of course, but I’m trying to look at her from another angle.

    @ Des is the Man… I think Desmond is coming soon. I think he has a big part in the Sideways timeline, so that opening scene with him on the plane was only the start of things to come with him.

    We saw the way Daniel got to him while Daniel was flashing on the island and Desmond “had a dream/memory” in 2008… so it seems like Desmond will be one of the key players in helping bring things together once again. He did it on the freighter in calling Penny, he did it by “remembering” he needed to find Hawking, so I think he’ll do it again in this Sideways timeline.

    Now that’s a tangent of a theory here, but you brought him up. 🙂

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