LOST Theories - DarkUFO

What About Skate? by Dana23

I have never submitted anything before, but I have yet to see any practical explanation (unless I missed it) for why the character relationships ended as they did. In some cases the writers seemed to be stretching things a bit to justify the pairings in the sideways world. For example, Hurley and Libby only knew each other a week or two and hadn’t even had a date; Sayid and Shannon were together less than a month. Yet, according to the story, these couples were destined to be soul mates. Meanwhile, Sawyer and Kate, a more invested couple in the series, were never really acknowledged in the sideways. Though the ultimate pairings made for a clean, nicely wrapped up ending, it enraged and saddened a contingent of fans. I haven’t seen this addressed from a pragmatic point of view, so I’m submitting this, not to provoke a shipper war (the time for that is over), but to show the evolution of the triangle and why the relationships ended as they did. So…


For years a group of relationship advocates (a.k.a. shippers) called Skaters (i.e., those that follow the romance of Sawyer and Kate on the television show Lost) have touted that Skate was or at least should be the romantic endgame of Lost. But when the closing credits rolled on the series finale, it was obvious that the team of Damon Lindeloff and Carlton Cuse (also known to the show’s fans as Darlton) had decided to forego that popular relationship in favor of Jate (Jack and Kate) and Suliet (Sawyer and Juliet). Neither relationship was portrayed with the depth and range of Skate, yet this final choice should not have been a surprise.

When the show started in September 2004, Jack and Kate were an obvious pairing from their very first scene in the pilot. According to DVD commentary on the pilot, a decision had already been made to add some tension to that budding relationship by making it a triangle. Sayid was the first candidate for the job, according to the commentary, and interaction between Kate and Sayid in the pilot would seem to confirm that. But then came the first scene between Sawyer and Kate after the shooting of the polar bear. The chemistry between the two actors was unmistakable and this may well be the scene that resulted in Sawyer claiming the dubious honor of the third leg of the triangle.

The pairings were quite different. Where Jack was reserved with Kate and Kate seemed to be flirty but demure with Jack, the Sawyer and Kate combination was volatile, fun, provocative, and passionate. By the end of the first season, fans of the pair were undoubtedly out pacing those of Jate. At this point, the producers may have decided that the original pairing of Jack and Kate should go by the wayside in favor of the charismatic Skate, but they could not allow their hero (and his fans) to not have a romantic interest. So in season 2, they introduced Ana Lucia as an alternative love interest for Jack. But Jack and Ana Lucia was a complete bust. The couple had no chemistry nor were they believable as a couple. The character of Ana Lucia was tough like Kate, but she was also crude and unsophisticated; certainly not somebody a highly educated and refined surgeon would be attracted to. On top of that, Ana Lucia was generally unpopular and so she was dispatched by the end of the season.

By season 3, fans were clamoring for Kate to make a decision between Sawyer and Jack. After 2 long seasons, they were tired and frustrated with the ongoing triangle. So at the beginning of season 3, Darlton stated that Kate would make her choice between Jack and Sawyer in the first six episodes. Darlton apparently decided to go with the popular Skate (as evidenced by the sixth episode of the season, “I Do” in which Sawyer and Kate consummate their relationship).

However, Jack and his fans were still an issue. So Darlton decided to introduce another romantic interest for Jack in season 3. Elizabeth Mitchell as Juliet was everything they could hope for. Juliet was beautiful, brilliant, sophisticated, quiet, thoughtful, tough yet feminine and a perfect match for Jack. Fans of the pair (often referred to as Jacket) sprang up, but not enough to quiet the very vocal Jaters. After the sixth episode of the season, Jaters were enraged with Kate’s “choice”. The angry backlash of the Jaters caused Darlton to back away from their initial decision. They revised their statement about Kate’s choice and now stated that it was only a choice of “who Kate would sleep with first”. The rest of the season was spent with Kate going back and forth between the two men. Although she only slept with Sawyer, she was constantly getting jealous over Jack and Juliet. By the end of the season, it was clear that Kate’s final choice would not be forth coming anytime soon.

With season 4, not wanting to anger and alienate any of their fanbase, Darlton had probably decided they would keep Kate’s final choice to the end of the series. To keep things uncertain for all members of the now so called quadrangle (the addition of Juliet had added another leg to the polygon), season 4 saw the end of Skate (“Eggtown” and “There’s No Place Like Home”) and the apparent death of both Jate (“Something Nice Back Home” flash forwards) and Jacket (“Something Nice Back Home” on island) as well. The writers now had more or less a clean slate and no one could predict where the writers were going with any of the relationships. Frustration continued to mount. Both Jaters and Skaters claimed that their couple would be victorious by the end of the series. Jaters mantra of “Jate is Fate” and Skaters claim that Skate was endgame led to vicious “shipper wars” on internet fan sites. To this Darlton just smiled and declared they knew what Kate’s final choice would be, but fans would have to wait.

In season 5, Darlton decided they would up the ante and try one last permutation of the now dreaded quadrangle: Sawyer and Juliet. Both actors were reticent. The Sawyer/Kate relationship was heavily invested in the series and the actors (Holloway and Mitchell) thought that trying to make the audience believe Sawyer and Juliet were in love in just 2 or 3 scenes couldn’t or shouldn’t be done. And according to the Skaters it wasn’t done successfully. But for the general audience and Jaters (who were happy to get Sawyer away from Kate), it was a slam dunk. Holloway and Mitchell had done what many thought unlikely. They sold a relationship between two characters in one episode. Suliet fans sprung up overnight. A number of Skaters jumped “ship” and boarded the Suliet express. Finally, Darlton had something that might actually satisfy the majority of the fans.

However, not expecting the success of the episode “La Fleur”, Darlton had already decided to kill Juliet. They felt her story was complete and her death was integral to the season 5 finale. They may have even considered returning full force to the triangle for the sixth and finale season. But Suliet’s popularity changed that. Juliet’s death now meant that unless they wanted to portray Sawyer as a shallow cad in season 6, they couldn’t return to Skate in the course of the season unless they jumped forward in time so that Sawyer could have a period for grieving. Jumping forward a year or two was not part of the game plan. As with other seasons, season 6 would cover a short period of time, perhaps a week or two. Darlton could not have Skate return in season 6 and there was no season 7. So what was next? What about Skate?

The only thing that Darlton could do for Skate and for their fans was to leave that relationship open ended and that’s exactly what they did. There are connections seen between the two throughout the season. I won’t waste time listing all of them, but even at the end of the season, small connections between the two are still seen. When Sawyer stands on the beach staring at the ocean, mourning the deaths of Sun, Jin and Sayid, Kate stands next to him (not Jack) and puts her head on his shoulder. In the finale, Sawyer gently checks her wound while Jack is mulling over what it means to be the new Jacob in the nearby stream. But the most obvious indication the writers have given that Skate could/would still happen is that Sawyer and Kate are two of the survivors to leave on the Ajira jet. Only 3 of the original cast are on that plane and it is not coincidence that Sawyer and Kate are 2 of the 3.

What do the writers want the Skaters to think? Well, it seems obvious they have given them the opportunity to write there own Skate story. Perhaps the storyline could be something like this (for example). The plane lands in Fiji (or Guam for that matter since that was the original destination.) Sawyer and Kate have a touching parting. Kate goes with Claire to Australia where she helps Claire reconnect with Aaron and her mother. Sawyer returns to the States. Perhaps he decides to make amends with Cassidy, so he can have a relationship with his daughter Clementine. Perhaps he and Miles continue their friendship and become partners in a business (which would explain their continued connection in the sideways world). Kate grieves for Jack; Sawyer grieves Juliet. Several years pass. Somehow their paths cross again. Perhaps it is “random”; perhaps one of them is seriously sick or injured and their close friends call to let the other know (Claire calls Sawyer or Miles calls Kate). Once Sawyer and Kate are in contact once again, they realize that the feelings they once had for each other, feelings they may have buried, are still there and their romance begins anew. Down the road, perhaps they marry. They may even have children. They live a long and happy life together.

So how does that scenario jell with the awakenings in the sideways world in the season 6 finale? Not easily, of course. Sawyer and Kate do not awaken each other. Sawyer and Juliet awaken each other. Kate is awakened by Claire giving birth and Kate assists the process of awakening Jack. (Notice that Kate’s awakening does not happen with Jack or Sawyer, but with the birth of Aaron. So perhaps it is Kate’s love of Aaron that was in fact her purest, truest love. Jack also is not fully awakened by Kate; the process begins with Locke and ends when he confronts his father’s coffin/death.) In any case, these awakenings are not dissimilar to Shannon and Sayid.

Many people have complained since the finale that Shannon was not the love of Sayid’s life. That was Nadia. Yet Sayid and Shannon awaken each other in the sideways. Why? What is it that these couples all have in common? Well for one thing, their love affairs, for the most part, occurred on island. For another, at least one of the partners in the relationship died on the island and that partner was never shown to have any all consuming relationship off island. Does this apply to our couples in the church? Yes. Shannon died on island and she never was shown to have a significant relationship with anyone but Sayid. Juliet died on the island and although other relationships were shown for her, it was obvious that Sawyer was the love of her life. Same for Jack. He died on the island and although he had other relationships, Kate was the love of his life. Charlie died on the island and Claire was the love of his life. Libby died on the island, as Hurley probably did too. Who was there for whom? I think it likely that Libby was there for Hurley rather than the other way around. (Unless this was a lie, she was married previously and seems to have been so depressed after her husband’s death she wound up in Santa Rosa.) In any case, Libby helped Hurley awaken just as Kate helped Jack; but Libby’s and Kate’s awakenings were triggered before they actually met up with Hurley and Jack.

--(By the way, it seems unlikely that 3 rather young, very attractive people like Sawyer, Kate and Claire would have spent the rest of their off-island lives mourning the loss of their on-island partners. It seems more likely that they would be like the character Rose in the movie Titanic. The movie shows her love affair on the ship with Jack who basically sacrifices himself for her. She grieves Jack (even takes his name), but eventually goes on to marry another, have a family and live her life. This part of her story is never covered by the film because it is not important to the story of the Titanic. (But we know it happens because she has a granddaughter in the film.) At the end of the movie she either dreams of meeting Jack or dies and does meet him in an afterlife on the Titanic. This seems very similar to Lost. It seems quite likely that Sawyer and Kate could have had a life together after the island (and no doubt Claire did as well), but it was not referenced in the sideways because it was not part of this story. As the Titanic and her relationship with Jack was a turning point in Rose’s life, so the island and the relationships it spawned was the turning point for those on the island, especially those that lost their lives there. And that is the story that was told.)--

Moving on, Sun and Jin, Bernard and Rose, and Desmond and Penny don’t have any other significant love interests that we know of so they are all there together. Desmond and Penny appear to be the anomaly here since they are the only pair where both probably died off island (unless Hurley never figured out a way to get Desmond back) and neither of them was on flight 815. Then again, Desmond is always pointed out as an anomaly and fans would have been royally pissed if he hadn’t appeared in the church. Logically, this doesn’t really explain Penny who is the only off island person there. Note that John Locke constructed Helen (who was an off-island relationship) in the sideways world, but she was not the one to wake him up (it was the idea of walking again) and she was not in the church, just like Nadia was not there for Sayid.

Anyway, the conclusion of this may be that relationships that were resolved or completed (especially off island) during the person’s lifetime were not revisited in the sideways world. If Sawyer and Kate had a long fulfilling relationship off island, then perhaps they are in the constructed sideways world to finish their relationships with Juliet and Jack. The same could be true for Claire with Charlie. And although Sayid’s time with Nadia was short, perhaps it was for him complete, but his relationship with Shannon was not. (In other words, some people were there to help and be there for their on island partners not their off island partners.)

So maybe Skaters should look at the ending of Lost as a gift. Each can write their own Skate story because there is none written in stone. Others with limited imagination, who can only see what is right in front of them, will deny the existence of these stories. But they exist. They may not be canon (i.e., written by the show’s creators), but they are just as real (for those that imagine them) as what was shown on the screen.

The final conclusion is that Skaters can choose to believe that Skate was in fact endgame; it was just never actually shown on the series. (Jaters, of course, will deny until death that it ever existed at all. They will note that Kate told Jack she loved him in the finale, but never said those words to Sawyer. Jaters should be aware, however, that Kate only said those words to Jack after she asked him if she would ever see him again and he indicated that the answer was “no”. Then she calmly jumped in the ocean with Sawyer, took the Ajira flight with Claire and went home, only momentarily crying for the dying man she left behind.) In any case, the “shipping” war is over. I personally loved both Skate (seasons 1, 2, and 3) and Suliet (season 5). Mostly I loved the character of Sawyer and that being said, I choose to believe that he did not spend the rest of his life pining away for his beloved Juliet; but at some point found happiness with the only other woman that he truly loved, Kate. I’m a romantic sometimes.

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