Wednesday, August 12, 2009

1.22 Born to Run

Follow along! The episode guide for “Born to Run” is in Finding Lost, pp. 138-141.

I LOVE this Kate flashback. I know I’m always asking shippers to try to keep their thoughts to themselves when it comes to the Jate or Skate ships on Lost, but now I can finally admit why: because I couldn’t care if she ends up with either one. I’ve always been a Tate. Tom is so dear to me, I heart him immensely, and so does Kate. You can see the ease with which she hangs out with him or talks to him. She never has to pretend who she is around him, because he knows his Katie better than anyone. I've often wondered if the reason she can't find love with Sawyer or Jack is because she's always been trying to find Tom again, and neither one of them can live up to him completely. I’m always heartbroken in this episode, even when I know what’s coming.

Fun things I noticed:
• So many Kate flashbacks involve cornfields.
• I still laugh out loud at “This is the second track, and it’s called Monster Eats the Pilot.” Ha!!
• I never noticed Sawyer’s racist tendencies so much before. Notice how he always calls Sayid and Jin “Boy” but he never uses that condescending word on anyone else.
• I’ve always been deeply annoyed by the scene where everyone turns their back on Kate and walks away from her, and CLAIRE is one of them. I mean, hello?? Kate just delivered your baby about 48 hours ago. You can’t cut her a little slack for cripe’s sake? Claire will continue to prove herself to be a fair-weather friend. Watch how Charlie moves in and out of her good graces as the tides change. Sheesh.
• Jack tells Sun that he doesn’t see any reason why everyone else should know what she did. Only, you know, that it might clear Kate’s name, since they now all assume she did it? Thanks, Jack. Between Sawyer exposing Kate in this episode and then Jack covering up the real perpetrator, once again these two men undermine Kate the way they did in “Whatever the Case May Be.” It’s a wonder there are any ships at all. If I were her, I’d be just throwing in the towel on both of them at this point.

Things that have new meaning:
• Charlie’s actually absolutely right about the Drive Shaft album shooting up the charts because the world thinks he’s dead. He’s not so right about coming back alive, though. Wah.
• Walt telling Locke not to open the hatch is even creepier now in season 5 than it was at the time. Pretty much everything that has happened to them since then was because they opened that hatch. Though… the Others were separate from it, and as we’ll see in season 2, were already kidnapping the survivors before the hatch had been opened. But the hatch explosion changes who Desmond is, and because of how important he seems to be now and his link to Daniel, Walt could be hinting at him. Hmm… now I’m wondering if all the chaos of Pandora’s Box could be Desmond himself? (In which case, I’m happy to live in chaos. *cough*)
• To continue that thought, one worry fans have had for some time is that we’ve seen the last of Walt. He didn’t come back to the island, his specialness seems to have been made out to be something big in the beginning and then dropped when he left the island at the end of season 2. But maybe this is what it was meant for. Because he was special, he could see what Locke was doing, and he could warn him that he’s about to do something bad. This is the first time Locke gets advice from someone he trusts (and he does trust Walt’s instinct) and refuses to follow it, getting himself in trouble for his efforts. Walt is kidnapped at the end of the season, which spurs on Michael’s actions right to the end of season 2 and gives us an early indication of the Others and what they’re about (they probably gave Walt the specialness test they tried to give Locke in “Cabin Fever”). And then after a lot of bad things happen, Walt leaves. Do we really need to know more about him? Hasn’t he already proved himself to be a pretty interesting character with an important gift?
• Walt tells Locke not to open the hatch, which made me wonder just how much he could see. Is he like Chuck Bartowski, and he can see a flash like Chuck’s Intersect flashes, that show in rapid succession everything that’s going to happen on the island? Could he see the entire future that way?
• This is such a sad, sweet ending, with Kate remembering her childhood sweetheart and holding the plane and realizing what was lost. If you haven’t gone and watched the childhood video in preparation for season 6 yet, go do so after watching this ep. It’ll break your heart (in a good way).


Rebecca T. said...

Nikki, I have to agree with you in the shipper thing. I mentioned ages ago (okay, sometime this past season, but it feels like ages :) that I really think Kate won't allow herself to fall in love because of Tom. I heart him, too. :( The car crash is probably one of the most heartbreaking scenes in this series for me.

I was thinking that I don't understand how she ever ended up with Jack. He's so condescending to her and she doesn't respect him at all. Then came the scene where Sawyer was all cruel and I started thinking, and why does that happen either? Kate needs to move on.

All right.... other thoughts...

Amazing how Kate's hair dye straightens and thins her hair. :P

Did anyone else wonder why they show that mom shoving her son around outside the motel? Was it just so the dad would be distracted and leave the door open? It seemed so random.

Did I miss something? Who sent Kate the envelope and how did they know she was going to be in that town under teh name Joan Hart?

As for Walt's creepiness with the Hatch, I was trying to figure out what really terrible things happened that wouldn't have happened if they hadn't opened it.
The only thing I could think of was the terribleness of not meeting Desmond if they DIDN'T open it. I don't think Nikki could have borne that.

How odd is it that last ep. Jack doesn't even entertain the thought that Kate stole the gun key, but now he's accusing her of poisoning Michael! What is his problem?!

Marebabe said...

@Sonshine: I've been wondering about some of the same questions that you've been wondering about. That letter addressed to Joan Hart has been bugging me since season one! It doesn't seem logical that a fugitive who is always on the move, changing her hair color and her license plates, would give anyone a forwarding address. It would have to be someone that she reeeeeally trusts, so my guess is maybe Cassidy? The generous cash gift also suggests that it was Cassidy. And because I don't have HDTV, I also have to guess about the message in the letter that had Kate in tears. Was it the news that her mom had cancer? That would indeed be tearful news. Anybody with information concerning these mysteries, don't be shy. Speak right up!

It's interesting that you saw a mom shoving her son around outside the motel. I may not have been paying close enough attention, but my impression has always been that it was two siblings bickering. That's what siblings often do. I'll hafta look at that again.

Jazzygirl said...

I also wondered about the letter with money in it. Nikki seems to have covered most of my feelings on this episode. And yes, listening to that tape they made, I envisioned them as kids, like in that Jacob flashback. The whole thing is so sad.
Oh, and I think this episode answers some of those questions we had in the beginning as to why the marshall seemed to make it all so personal. Like when he said to Jack "she got to you too". In this ep, he recounts how she used to call him. That in itself is odd but perhaps her way of getting what she wanted...which she did...the airplane.

Joan Crawford said...

Wait, HDTV people get to know special stuff that we don't?!

I agree, I think that it must be Cassidy sending the money.

I always wondered how Kate became "Outlaw Extraordinaire". Most people don't know how to successfully run from the law for any amount of time (yeah, she was caught but it took a damn US Marshal to do it and even he had a hell of a time)- how to get all the license plates (that aren't "hot", I would assume), how to get ID's, etc... Did I miss something? Was there a course in high school I missed?

Benny said...

I always thought the letter was meant to be vague, left to the viewer's interpretation.
I'm guessing Cassidy did not exist in the writers' minds by then and for all we know, it could be her dad... obviously not Wayne.

Is anyone else wondering if Tom (Brennan) is of any relation with the French crew's Brennan?

I found that the dad at the motel had an air of Ethan... not quite him though!

Paithan1 said...

It looked to me like siblings also outside the hotel. Why the heck was Kate changing license plates in the broad daylight? Who wrote the letter and what did it say? I never thought about it before (but then again, when I was watching Season 1, I wasn't paying such close attention.)

Katie and Tom=TomKat! Haha!

Benny said...

Kate's alias: Joan Hart
Anyone thinks it's not a coincidence that Kate's mom (Beth Broderick) was in some kid TV show with Melissa Joan Hart??

Think about THAT!!

variabull said...

Lots of questions.

In the Pilot episode Kate washes herself in the ocean with close to nothing on (thank you J.J.) and when we next see her she is wearing an orange T-shirt. In BTR she dies her hair in the shower and when we next see her she is wearing an orange T-shirt. Did Juliet and Sawyer have an orange ceramic kat in their Dharma digs in "LaFleur"? Is orange significant for Kate. Michael also donned an orange T from time to time.

Who is the other boy in the photograph of Rachel and Connor?

What is the lighting source behind the huge tree where Tom and Kate have buried the time capsule? It seems to be cloudy and foggy. How does the tree throw a shadow with this backlighting?

Is the Magnetic Resonance Imagining sign intended. Next episode ("Exodus") Hurley's alarm clock appears to be a Sony Dream Machine model with the Sony blocked out. It also looked as if it might be battery operated and shouldn't have been affected by Hurley short-circuiting the electrical in the hotel room.

So is the hospital adjacent to the Iowa State Patrol headquarters? The lone patrolman seemed to get there pretty quick for a cop operating at 5AM. (Plus another squad arrived about a minute after the first). Would the State Police use deadly force with a possible hostage situation?

For those of us keeping track of every Tom, Dick, and Harry on this show...Let's see there is one Dick, one Harry, and what, a half dozen Toms. There also seems to be about a half dozen Adams, and 3 Rachels. Could there be a prototype Tom, Rachel, and Adam and the rest are some sort of subconscious recreations? The writers run out of names?

JW said...

This was one of the best episodes of the season, with another fabulous twist ending. A few thoughts:

Hurley's bit where he screws up and tells Locke that Kate's a fugitive and then complains that he doesn't know who knows what is hilarious, and Jack's expressions while he says all this is the icing on the cake.

I love the red eye in the photo of Tom and Connor. It's something we're all used to seeing in family photos, and I'm glad the prop guys (or whoever was responsible) thought of it.

My new favorite theory is the "Walt burned the raft with his mind" theory. I don't really buy into the idea that he didn't mean to do it, especially since he states in this episode (and before to Locke) that he did. However, it seems much more likely with what we now know about Walt that he would use his mind to do something like this as opposed to physically lighting a match. And heck, it's much more interesting too, so I'm going to believe so from this point on.

Nikki, regarding your comment about Claire walking away from Kate in this episode, I think it's an understandable reaction. When you find out a stranger is a criminal, it's not that big a deal. But when you find out that someone who has helped you and with whom you have bonded is a dangerous criminal that can't be trusted, it feels more like betrayal and creates more anger. She turns on Charlie in season 2 for similar reasons. And I can understand how Claire would also think the Kate being a fugitive thing tarnishes the (previously) happy memory Claire has of turnip head's birth. Plus, she's a stressed out, confused mother more worried about protecting her baby than anything else. Anyway, I've probably over-defended Claire here, but I wanted to throw in my two cents.

The writers of Lost have talked about how the episodes are part of a mosaic, with each episode being a tile that touches other tiles to form a larger picture; and the writers say their job is to fill in the missing pieces. This episode, or tile, touches at least half a dozen others. It's obviously a prequel to season 1's "Whatever the Case May Be" where Kate retrieves the plane, while also a sequel to season 3's "Left Behind", where Kate's mother warns that she'll yell for help if she ever sees Kate again.

So yeah, just a great episode on all fronts. Lost really rocks when the seasons start coming to a close.

The Question Mark said...

@ JW: I've always liked the mosaic analogy.
Here's something that I think would be really cool, and u guys can let me know if you think it's a dumb idea or not, but...
I always thought it would be neat to see (maybe as a super-large DVD extra or something) a character's entire off-island story told unabridged and chronologically. So, for example, in the Kate story, the first scene we'd see would be her in the store with Tom when she meets Jacob. Then we'd see her blowing up Wayne's house, then getting Tom killed, then going after the safety deposit box, yada yada yada.
They probably wouldn't do it, but I think it'd just be cool to see.

Susan said...

LOL at Joan's "outlaw school" idea. I too have wondered how Kate learned to do so many things she needs to be on the run.

Sonshine in the last episode's blogs I commented that Jack was quick to suspect Kate of the poisoning because she did drug him in that episode. As for why Kate sticks with Sawyer in spite of the things he's done to her, it reminds me of her mother staying with Wayne in spite of his abusive behavior.

I like the details that the writers put into these episodes. For instance, Michael asks Walt to give him his water and Walt gives him Jin's bottle instead. Probably Michael knew which bottle was his and wouldn't have drunk out of Jin's, but Walt didn't know better and handed him the wrong bottle.

Joan Crawford said...

@ The Question Mark

That's an awesome idea! It is hard sometimes, for me anyway, to remember everything that happened and when it happened to someone. Man, it would be a lot of work though!

Kate said...

I love this episode so much and I have so many comments to share, but I've been having technical problems so it'll have to wait till tomorrow! This is such a great episode though, gosh--heart-wrenching.

Anonymous said...

Hi all,

I noticed one little tidbit that may not be important, but it is timely. Tom and Katie buried the lunch box time capsule on August 15, 1989. They planned to dig it up twenty years later which is this Saturday!

It is too bad they probably won't be celebrating their happily married life and 9 children:(


Marebabe said...

@Benny: At first I really liked your suggestion that the letter to Joan Hart and the financial aid might have come from Sam Austen. Because Kate seems to have a close and loving relationship with him. But then I remembered the time that she went to see him in the recuiting office. As she was about to leave, he said, very regretfully, that he was gonna have to turn her in. Kate asked him to give her an hour's head start, and he agreed. So, a man who will do his duty, no matter how painful, is not a man who will shelter a fugitive, no matter how much he loves her. I'm pretty sure that if Sam had known where to send a letter, he would've tipped the feds to be on the lookout for the woman who would eventually show up to claim the letter.

Anonymous said...

All-around great episode - EXCEPT for Tom's tragic death scene. There is no way a cop would shoot into a car if he didn't know exactly who was inside and what they had done (and it had better be multiple murders with more on the way to justify that level of violence).

How did the cop know that Kate was in that particular car, anyway? He could have ended up gunning down an innocent chick who was driving too fast out of the parking lot because she was upset that her kid was in the hospital. When they showed the car coming at the cop (from his point of view) there was no possible way to tell who was in the car. And I agree with Variabull, who pointed out how quickly that lone cop showed up. It's probable that no more than two minutes passed between the time Kate whacked the security guard to the time she and Tom got into the car. Barely enough time to call 9-1-1 and explain the situation to dispatch, much less have a unit on the way (unless, as he said, they were right next door). And who called? Did anyone actually recognize Kate or have been able to give an accurate description of her?

It was a dramatic scene, I'll give it that. But completely unrealistic.

Anonymous said...

I agree about Walt. I think his story is mostly resolved, not the huge open end some fans seem to treat it as. Anything that's left hanging about Walt himself can probably be answered through other "special" or "powered" characters like Hurley and Miles.

As for the hatch: if they hadn't opened it, they wouldn't have found Desmond, who wouldn't have run away, leaving Locke in charge of the button. The button would have kept getting pushed and the electromagnetic pulse would not have revealed the island to Widmore and his mercenaries. Lots of people that died wouldn't have. Ben wouldn't have needed to turn the wheel, and the island never would've started time-traveling.

Plus Desmond wouldn't have developed his time-flashing power, so Charlie would've died in the lightning strike. The O6 wouldn't have gotten off the island (which made them miserable and/or crazy). Locke wouldn't have had to go bring them back, and therefore wouldn't have died and been copied by Jacob's friend on the beach. And Jacob wouldn't have died.

Basically I would argue the hatch has moved almost the entire plot except for the first halves of Seasons 1 and 3.

variabull said...

"No, no, no Tom. Please wake up."

She could be talking to herself. Please wake up Kate. Your having another bad flashback.

J.W. said...

@The Question Mark: Yes, I've thought the same thing. NBC did this for the Godfather movies in 1977, airing all the bits (and deleted scenes) in chronological order.

Casey S. Pitman said...

I'm still having a hard time letting all the Walt stuff go.

I was wondering about his warning to Locke as well. I had forgotten about it. What's more interesting to me though is the end of the episode. Walt admits to Michael that he burned the raft because he wanted to stay on the Island. Michael then tells Walt they can stay, but Walt says ominously, "No, we can't."

So I'm wondering what he knows. How far and accurate is his second sight? Does he foresee his kidnapping on the boat? Does he see something on the Island he must get away from that is worse than being kidnapped?

So many questions, and I for one feel Walt's story is still up in the air and needs a firmer resolution than "The boy's been through enough."

It's like Chekov's gun rule.

It states that if a gun appears on stage somewhere in the first act of a play, it must be fired by the end of the third act. If the gun is never used, it shouldn't be in the play in the first place.

Walt is the gun. It was pointed out in the first act. The final act is coming. That gun had better fire.

Nikki Stafford said...

Sonshine & Marebabe: The letter she reads at the beginning comes from her "father," Sam. I'm positive in "What Kate Did" that she actually confronts him and mentions him sending her letters with money in them all the time. He's the only one she trusted enough to give forwarding addresses to. I outlined all of it in my books.

Same goes for the name... someone asked why "Joan Hart"; as I put in a sidebar in the season 3 book, Kate only chose the names of saints, so in this one she went with Joan of Arc. :)

@Sonshine: Amazing how Kate's hair dye straightens and thins her hair. :P

LOL!! I think I wrote something like that in my book, too. That wig is SO fake!

Oh, and as for the mom and the kids, I wondered the same thing!! The camera seems to hold on them, as if to suggest something, but I think maybe it was to show they were leaving and that way she could borrow the room for a bit or something. But it definitely looked like something more!

Kate said...

Okay! I have so many notes on this episode, a lot of them have already been said, but anyway--here goes.

I totally agreed with so much that you said--I'm SO a Tater too! I LOVE Tom, I love him so much. He's the best person for Kate by far. It is so heartbreaking not only to know that Tom's gonna die but that Kate's life is going to be spiraling down worse and worse (which hardly seems possible at this point already) and we're still yet to see if anything good comes of it all. :(

I mentioned the cornfield thing in my notes too! I always know instantly that it's a Kate flashback just by the cornfield-shot. =P

**I too have been wondering about that boy at the hotel! It's definitely an older woman shoving him into the van--I assumed it was his mother. It still seems strange to me watching that, I feel like it must mean something--I mean, why bother creating a two second scene that builds up an emotional response to an extra that has absolutely no bearing on anything ever again? That's just weird. And am I the only one who instantly thought it was little Sawyer? Which is impossible obviously 'cause Kate is younger than Sawyer--but hey, time travel is a fickle friend in this show. You never know.

**I've been wondering about that letter too--who could it possibly be? It couldn't be Tom because he was clearly very surprised when he saw her claiming that it's "not fair--you coming back here", it couldn't be Kate's mom, she hates Kate, it don't think it was Sam Austen either because he made it clear that, while he loves her, he cannot support her fugitive life being a man of honor and who else? As far as we know that's pretty much everyone--unless, maybe Kate's friend "Beth" from the Pilot is actually existent and willing to break the law to help a friend?

**How on earth did Kate get into Tom's car? That woman has powers, I'm telling you.

**Sayid observing the Jocke battle was hilarious, just calmly bouncing his eyes back and forth between speakers as Jack and Locke battle it out verbally--his face looked slighly amused the whole time


**What was Locke's "accident"...? I don't remember when that happened but he tells Walt he hurt himself--that he "had an accident"?

**Seeing the plane again was heart-wrenching, knowing what must be Tom's fate if that's his plane. :( And I miss that airplane!! I heard they were auctioning it off as a Lost prop---what?? So it's not going to be in the show anymore!! I miss it! I loved that thing. :(

Kate said...


****I find it interesting that all the Kate-centric episodes leading up to "What Kate Did" play with the audience, making them think they're going to find out what she did and then, instead, showing us shockingly different than a horrendous crime--I remember watching this episode for the first time and thinking that her and Tom were digging up bodies or something only to be heartbroken by the airplane and the tape instead. :(

**I loved how Tom looked at Kate at the whole "married with 9 kids thing"'s like he's remembering exactly what it was like to picture her as his wife and the happy life they'd have together, and it's interesting that he's not ashamed to remember that even though he has a wife and child of his own that's not Kate--their love was clearly something more than real

**I still feel like there's something not quite explained about that line young Kate says in the tape: "Yeah...and you know why." I know we're supposed to assume it's because Wayne beats up her mom and hits on her, but somehow...I don't know, I just haven't quite been able to take that cold-turkey yet...something just seems off about Kate's story, I can't put a finger on it though. Hm.

**Tabula Rasa--Jack promises that everyone gets a new life, yeah well that hasn't worked out too well--life on the island is looking pretty much as sucky as it did off...especially after Sawyer betrays her, and everyone else who she's been nothing but kind to glares at her like she's bearing the Plague and then abandons her....

**I found it chilling to finally understand the full significance of the "Help!" scene with Kate's mother...the first time around I was just like "huh, that was weird, maybe she has amnesia or something"--but now, that we know the promise she made to Kate (was it in Left Behind?) it just gave me chills to hear it happen

**Michael says "we don't have to go" and Walt says very meaningfully "yes. We do." Is it possible he somehow could have known that it was part of their "destiny" to meet the others via the raft experience?

**It's interesting that despite all he's done and how he's treated Kate, she still clearly wants him around--it has ALWAYS seemed so much like a sibling-type relationship between them to me--obviously minus all the sex. But it just seems to me like Kate needs him there to be someone like her--someone from her own background, even if she hates him sometimes and even if he treats her like crap--it's what Boone was for Shannon even though she didn't love him "like that". She goes to Sawyer for comfort and safety. It probably seemed like another abandonment when Sawyer said "there's nothing here worth staying for"

**One of my favorite scenes was the scene at the end with Sun and Kate sitting around the fire where Sun says "When I was a little girl, I used to believe that once I found the man I loved, I would be happy. Forever." and Kate says " too." I choked up at that a little bit. Both Sun and Kate have had serious love-issues. I did like that Sun at least remains good friends with Kate despite it all. Even if their relationship does get really weird in Seasons four/five.

This is one of my favorite episodes in Lost, definitely one of the best in Season One. I miss Tom.

Something always seems off to me about Kate's story. Does anyone else feel like that too? I just feel like there are so many things that just don't quite add, it's so close to making sense that normally you can just look it over, make a little jump to conclusion so that everything makes sense...but still, with Lost, if you have to assume something, that usually means it's something else entirely and I feel like there's a lot of parts to Kate's story that just don't feel quite right. Maybe I'm crazy. Anyway. Great episode! I'm so glad my internet's back to normal, I was dying all last night wanting respond and not being able to!

tiasabita said...

To all - great comments and insight!!!

@Anonymous - Yes, August 15 (8-15)!
I didn't think of the 20 year mark being now - very cool!

I still feel like I want more info on Walt and hope his full story and purpose are revealed in season six!

The tree where Kate and Tom buried the box reminded me of the tree on the intro to Six Feet Under. And Kate walked six paces out from the tree to find the box. Yes, it's late and my mind is wandering!

Nikki Stafford said...

Katey: Tater!! LOLZ! That's so funny... is that what the real shipper name is?? If so, that is AWESOME. I'm totally a Tater. ;)

And yes, I agree about the lunchbox... when she first pulled it up and it was dirty I thought, "Oh crap, I was hoping we'd see the NKOTB on the front and OH MY GOD there it is!" SO happy. :)

I think that's another reason why this episode was so meaningful to me... because now that we've seen Tom and Katie just before they made their time capsule, it's even more heartbreaking to me. Wah. How could anyone not like Kate?? I just don't get the fans who jumped on the "OK, I hate Kate" bandwagon this season...

Kate said...

I know Nikki! Seriously, Kate has serious baggage issues, she deserves some time to figure it just like everyone else!

Well, I honestly just made up Tater on the spot...but I'm sure it's out there anyway, the fandom has every conceivable ship named and bagged in some corner of the Lost-shipping warehouse. =P


JennM said...

@ Nikki
I agree that Walt's story line could be finished, especially when you explain it the way you did. It would make sense. Maybe instead of writing Walt into S6, they should give Walt his own VH1 Where Are They Now, so that everyone can get a good update! Ha!
I love this episode. My own personal shipper thoughts aside, I agree with all of you said that Jack/Kate and Sawyer/Kate are each impossible because of TATER!
I believe that to be very true. Ah, the feeling of first love!

paleoblues said...

It's a small world after all. Could the bickering kids be Boone & Shannon? That would be a pretty cool connection and a reason why the camera focused on them. They do love to bicker as adults.

The Rush Blog said...

Nikki, it's quite clear that you're a major fan of Kate . . . and I've think you've allowed this feeling to color your judgment of her.

Regarding her feelings for Tom . . . I don't know. She should have married him when she had the chance. She didn't. Case close.

I’ve always been deeply annoyed by the scene where everyone turns their back on Kate and walks away from her, and CLAIRE is one of them. I mean, hello?? Kate just delivered your baby about 48 hours ago. You can’t cut her a little slack for cripe’s sake? Claire will continue to prove herself to be a fair-weather friend. Watch how Charlie moves in and out of her good graces as the tides change. Sheesh.
• Jack tells Sun that he doesn’t see any reason why everyone else should know what she did. Only, you know, that it might clear Kate’s name, since they now all assume she did it? Thanks, Jack. Between Sawyer exposing Kate in this episode and then Jack covering up the real perpetrator, once again these two men undermine Kate the way they did in “Whatever the Case May Be.” It’s a wonder there are any ships at all. If I were her, I’d be just throwing in the towel on both of them at this point.

Where did you get this idea from? The episode only hinted that Jack knew Sun had poisoned the water. Where was it hinted that he knew that Kate was behind the poisoning?

Jack and Sawyer didn't undermine Kate in "Whatever the Case May Be". Kate undermined herself with her own behavior. She tried to manipulate and lie to both men. Or have you forgotten?