Untitled by Tiffie
Ever since the Pilot, a bond has been forged between Jack and Kate that, until this moment, has been deemed inseparable. Through trials and tribulations, two characters who in all likelihood wouldn't have met in the real world, come together for the sake of the group and consequently the viewers as well. For some, it's the classic representation of Heart vs.Mind, or Science vs. Faith. For others, it's a certain spark noted whenever both are on screen. For me however, it is a culmination of several things.
I first began to ship Jate officially during season One. It actually started in the Pilot for me, because what I saw were two people connecting when they had no real reason to. Jack saw Kate heading into the jungle, and quickly got her attention. Not knowing her name, who she was, or where she was headed, Jack trusted her to fix him. He confided things in her that he probably wouldn't entrust to anyone else. Kate, unsure of herself, was somehow comforted by this unknown stranger. She didn't know him, but in the process of stitching him up, discovered that he was a surgeon. Knowing her past, it would have been easy to lie and turn away. But she didn't. From then on, Jack and Kate have somehow managed to always stick by each other.
They connect with me for several reasons, I think. Both characters have dealt with pain and sadness and the struggle to overcome what was happening around them, but in different surroundings. Kate was a criminal prior to the island; a murderer. Knowing that should have made Jack run for the hills. Instead, he trusted her, and showed her that everyone got a second chance on the island. What I believe is so interesting about Jate is that very thing: trust. To me, a relationship cannot exist without trust as a firm and steady foundation. With Jack and Kate, they had that right away.
Furthermore, Kate brings out a different side of Jack. His whole life, including the time spent on the island, he has always been known as a man of science. Everything happens for a reason, there is always a logical explanation, etc. With the fate of all the Losties resting on his shoulders, how could he afford not to be? But with Kate, Jack soon realizes that science can't prove everything. Some things are deeper than what we see with the naked eye, and not everything has an explanation. With Kate, some things have to be taken on faith. There is no rational explanation in his eyes for why he feels what he feels for her, but what he soon realizes for certain is that it's there.
What I love is that when it comes to these two, nothing is strictly black and white. Nothing is just 'good' and nothing is simply 'bad'. While on the island, their bond has been tested, but they somehow manage to stand firm in their belief in each other. Kate is always there to support Jack, regardless of whether or not he wishes that she was there. This is sometimes seen as a hindrance, but I personally believe that it is a sign of her strong-willed belief in him. She knows that while he may say that he can handle things, the weight of being the leader sets heavy on his shoulders.
As far as Kate is concerned, Jack has had his fair share of heartbreak. He struggles with the idea of his feelings for her, and has I think since the very beginning. After all, how could a top-notch surgeon fall for a criminal? Jack sees beyond the layers of pain and walls Kate has built around herself. He lets her know that yes, her past is dangerous, but that does not determine who she is and will be in the future. Some have questioned whether or not him not knowing everything about her past is enough to tear them apart. Personally, I don't think so. I believe that Jack has proven how much he accepts and cares for her regardless of what her past was like. He knows that she has her own demons struggling within, but accepts the fact that he has his own.
They connected on so many levels with me due to the fact that it's a classic example, I think. Not in the Romeo and Juliet sense mind you, but something far more deeper. For me, (and this will probably come out as unbelievably sappy), Jack and Kate are the modern day example of a couple in a classic romance novel. Two people, from equally separate worlds, are brought together for a reason that no one can really explain. Jack, the struggling hero, wrestles his own demons all the while trying desperately to heal everyone else. His fatal flaw exists in the fact that to truly have Kate, he needs to see that he can't save and fix everyone. There will come a day when someone comes that he can no longer fix. In the new season, I think we may see that with Charlie, but I digress.
Kate is the classic example of the "I love you, but I don't deserve you" character. She has lied and cheated her entire life to hide from the law, hidden her past from those she loves the most. So why then was she able to trust Jack so easily once the plane crashed on the island? As convoluted as it may sound, I believe that it is the classic example of fate. As Locke would say "We were brought to the island for a reason". My belief is that one of her reasons was that she needed to meet Jack. She needed to see someone who was just as bruised and broken as she was, but who could also make her see that there was more to life than just running.
Jate is set apart from any other couple for me because the struggles that they have gone through together. True, Sawyer and Kate may have had to endure troubles of their own, but the bond that I see between them is nowhere near as strong. When Kate met Jack, she stopped running. They may have been on an island where she really had no place to go, but it is my belief that even if she did, she wouldn't. There was something different about Jack, a familiar safety, yet something strangely new.
Another thing is the growth that happens whenever they are together. With Jate, there is simply more room to grow; to flourish. Kate needs to realize that yes, she made horrific mistakes in her past, but that does not mean that she should be condemned as a 'bad' person. Jack needs to see that yes, he is the leader, the doctor...but that does not mean that he automatically has to be alone.
One of my favorite Jate scenes occurs in season Three, and I have struggled with this decision. While at first I wanted to say the scene from 'The Man From Tallahassee', I now believe that it is ultimately a scene from 'Not In Portland'. Though not even in the same space, the connection between Jack and Kate as he speaks to her via the radio is almost tangible. Her heart is breaking because he is begging and pleading with her that she leave. He never wanted to be stuck in the position of being without her, but if it meant she was safe, he was willing to let her go. She relayed the story that he told her as she stitched up his back on the beach, and it was Jack's signal that she was indeed safe.
Crying, shaking even, Kate listened and begged him to talk to her. Her heart visibly broke in two right before Juliet and Sawyer, and she didn't care who saw. She needed Jack, and he was making her promise not to come back to him. The single heroic move proved how much more concerned Jack was for her than himself.
As far as quotes go, I think the lines from that scene are some of my favorites:
Jack: Tell me
Kate: Tell you?
Jack: The first day on the beach, the day of the crash, the story that I told you. If you're safe, tell me.
Tom: Do you think this is the best time?
Jack: Shut up!
Kate: You were doing surgery on a girl, and you messed up. You made a mistake. You tore something on her back, and all the nerves came loose. And you said the fear was so... real. And you didn't know what to do. So you counted to five.. [Kate starts to cry] And then you weren't afraid anymore. And then it was just gone. And you fixed her, you saved her.
Jack: (after a pause) I need you to make me a promise, Kate.
Jack: Promise me that you'll never come back here for me. Don't come back, Kate.
While this scene was rushed in a way, they managed to say so much for me. It was heartbreaking to listen as Kate retold the story that he told her on the beach, because we all knew what it meant to him. As the audience, we knew the significance of the story, and recognized the fact that this very well could have been the last time they spoke.
An emotional train on the verge of crashing, Jack wouldn't rest until he knew that Kate was safe. He knew how important the surgery was, and was aware that his future was at stake. Instead of taking time to debate that, his concern was placed on Kate, and though it pained him, he made the decision to set her free.
Which leads me to my next and final topic, the future. We've seen the flash forward and know that at some point in the future, Jack and Kate will meet again. What we don't know is how far in the future, let alone what will happen. However, as we have seen in the last few seasons, is the depth of Jack and Kate's ever growing relationship. They have both been hurt, and have hurt each other, but it is my belief that they are stronger because of it. The bond that they share is transcendent in a way, because even beyond the stretch of a normal life, I feel like for some reason these two were brought together for a reason.
"If you love someone, set them free. If they come back, you'll know it's meant to be."
Kate came back. Against what Jack told her, Kate changed her ways and stopped running away. Rather than sitting back and breathing for a while, or running in the other direction, we saw something change in Kate when she went back to save Jack. Not taking time to rest, she immediately set out to go and save him. This, I believe, is one of the reasons Jack and Kate's relationship will happen at some point on the show.
They have each other, regardless of what happens. Skaters, and non-shippers can deny it all they want, but Jack and Kate have a relationship that no other person will be able to touch. A smile. A look. A simple utterance of the other's name. So much is said between these two between the lines, so many words of reassurance, it's impossible in my mind that they won't come together at some point.
Is there a chance that it won't happen? Unfortunately, yes. What I do know, however, is that they will forever be affected by one another. Their time on the island fused together two lives that probably wouldn't have connected otherwise. Faith, again, is the remaining link that ties these two together. Regardless of how they get together in the future, I believe that Jack and Kate will always be there for each other.