“The Fugitive Kate Austen”


I might as well make this clear. I dislike the character of Kate Austen from “LOST”. She is one of my least favorite characters in the series, and on television, period. And I wrote this article on how much I dislike her. Call it therapy on my part:


I wish they would simply kill off the Kate Austen character. Just scrag her freckled butt, so I could watch the rest of this series in some semblance of peace. But . . . it will never happen.

The show’s producers will never get rid of Kate. Never. She will probably be around until the very last episode. It occurred to me that even if Kate’s character becomes “redeemed” in the end, I would still dislike her. I have never liked her. I used to be indifferent to her character . . . until I saw (1.12) “Whatever the Case May Be”. Then my dislike of her character began in earnest.

Yet, despite the backstory given to her in episodes like “Whatever the Case May Be”, (1.22) “Born to Run”, (2.09) “What Kate Did”, (3.15)”Left Behind”, (4.04) “Eggtown”, (5.04) “The Little Prince” and (5.11)”Whatever Happened, Happened”; Kate’s lack of morals and responsibility is not the main reason why I dislike her character. Many of the other characters are just as flawed. But many fans have never gone out of their way to make excuses for the actions of other characters like they have done for Kate. And I suspect that there is a reason for this phenonemon.

I suspect that the Kate Austen character is supposed to represent the either a physical embodiment of the American feminine ideal (odd, for a character being portrayed by a Canadian actress) and the wet dream of the aged 30-to-50 fanboys like the show’s producers, Carlton Cuse, Damon Lindehof and J.J. Abrams. Many fans already suspect that actress Evangeline Lilly was hired because she represented the “look” he wanted for Kate’s character. Hell, Abrams had even had hired actress Michele Monaghan to portray Tom Cruise’s wife in “MISSION IMPOSSIBLE III”, which was directed by Abrams. And Monaghan bears a strong resemblance to Lilly. Frankly, I wish she had been hired to portray Kate. Perhaps I would have been able to identify with the character a little more. Hell, Sun-Hwa Kwon is, in her own way, just as flaky as Kate. But her character was put into the hands of a first-class actress like Yunjin Kim. Which is why I find it easier to understand her character.

Frankly, I believe that Kate is a character that the producers should have written out of the show back in Season Three. Instead, they kept her around because of Lilly’s looks and they needed to extend the much hated Jack/Kate/Sawyer love triangle until the bitter end. And to ensure that Kate’s character remain as long as possible, they dumped the Aaron Littleton storyline on her. Why? To justify her continuing presence on the show. And if I have to be honest, they have barely done squat with that storyline. Really. We finally discovered why Kate did not bring Aaron back with her in (5.11) “Whatever Happened, Happened” . All it did was extend my disgust toward her. But you know what? I guess I should not care. I would rather see Kate dead than find out what she had done with Aaron. Especially since she had kidnapped him and pretended to be his mother for nearly three years . . . all because she was upset over Sawyer jumping out of that helicopter in the Season Four finale.

When I heard that Kate might finally confess about the lie surrounding Aaron, I thought she would end up confessing to Sawyer, Juliet and the other castaways. Instead, she confessed to Sawyer’s old girlfriend, Cassidy. That was disappointing. And now, Sawyer still does not know about the lie surrounding Aaron. Nor does he know that Kate had no intention of returning to the island to save his life. And she still has the murder of Wayne Jensen hanging over her head. If we’re supposed to root for them to get together following this episode, I think that the writers have failed. At least with me.

Regarding Kate’s decision to return to the island, she tells Cassidy that her intention is to find Claire and get her back home to Aaron. How? Is Kate really that stupid? Surely she must have realized that there was no way to achieve this in 2007. She does not know about the runway that Frank Lapidus had used to land Flight 316. Locke had destroyed the Dharma submarine back in Season 3. And Kate knows about the destruction of the freighter. How was she planning to send Claire back to Aaron? Or was she simply talking out of her ass?

You know, ever since (4.04) “Eggtown”, Kate’s story arc has been badly handled by the writers. It started with that ludicrous attempt by her to get information from Miles about her status as a fugitive. Then it developed into the storyline surrounding her custody of Aaron that went no where. The only thing that the Aaron storyline achieved was a temporary estragement between her and Jack. It was revealed in (5.04) “The Little Prince” that she had decided to claim Aaron as her own, because she was traumatized over losing Sawyer. And yet . . . “Eggtown” made it clear that she was willing to use Aaron to re-start a romance with Jack. If Aaron represented as a substitute for the loss of Sawyer, why did she have a photograph of both Aaron and Jack on her mantlepiece in Los Angeles? Was this a symbol of her continuing desire for both Jack and Sawyer? Or what? And the storyline surrounding her return to the island . . . contrived and badly written. After refusing to return to the island for Sawyer’s sake, she visits his ex-girlfriend, confesses the Aaron kidnapping and vows to return to the island in order to find Claire Littleton and send the Australian woman back to her son and mother . . . without knowing how to achieve this little act? The only thing Kate did right was hand Aaron over to Carole Littleton. And I saw that coming a mile away. Once Kate returned to Los Angeles, she uses Jack for comfort sex and later rejects him after boarding Ajira Flight 316.

And then the producers dumped the badly written “Whatever Happened, Happened” episode on the viewers in order to make Kate favorable to the viewers again. They had her acting like a frantic Florence Nightingale over a kid she hardly knew. I understand if she was perturbed over young Ben’s situation, like the others (sans Jack). But the writers . . . took it too far with Kate’s frantic desire to save him, which included her donating blood to him. And they even used this episode to blame Jack for Ben’s slide into darkness. I guess that the show’s writers and producers’ attempt to redeem Kate in the eyes of the viewers seemed to be working. The viewers are eagerly lapping up this shit. But Lindehof and Cuse achieved this at a heavy price. In the end, all they did was sacrifice any semblance of artistic achievement for bad characterization and mediocre writing. How sad.

But they will never get rid of Kate. She is like this disease that never goes away. Some article from the “E! Online” website had the nerve to say that many fans were glad that Kate was not being killed off. Perhaps that is true. One would think that she is such a compelling character. But I do not think so. I suspect that my problem with Kate is that she is one of the most badly written characters on this show and in the history of television . . . and she is the female lead. And I find that disturbing.

3 Responses

  1. Hi, i found this blogg on yahoo. I really think its very interesting and i will probably come back to read more. Just want you to now that you are doing a fantastic job.

  2. Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

  3. Who would you have preferred for the role miseryguts?

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