Kate Austen

Kate Austen
Kate Austen
Evangeline Lilly as Kate Austen
First appearance "Pilot, Part 1"
"Pilot, Part 2"
"Tabula Rasa"
"Whatever The Case May Be"
"Born to Run"
"Exodus, Part 1"
"What Kate Did"
"I Do"
"Left Behind"
"There's No Place Like Home (Parts 1 & 3)"
"The Little Prince"
"Whatever Happened, Happened"
"The Incident, Part 1"
"LA X, Part 1 & 2"
"What Kate Does"
"The End"
Last appearance "The End"
Name Katherine Anne Austen
Aliases Annie, Joan Hart, Monica Callis, Katherine Dodd, Monica Ryan , Lucy
Age 30
Ames, Iowa, USA
(Former) profession Fugitive and
adoptive mother of Aaron
Portrayed by Evangeline Lilly

Katherine Anne "Kate" Austen is a fictional character on the ABC television series Lost, played by Canadian actress Evangeline Lilly. She is the de facto female lead. In the original plot, in which Jack Shephard (Matthew Fox) dies when the group finds the cockpit, Kate was to emerge as the leader for the survivors, motivating them to build shelter and begin considering life as permanent residents of the island. In the original description for Kate, she was a slightly older woman separated from her husband, who went to the bathroom in the tail-section of the plane. However, that idea ended up being used for Rose Henderson (L. Scott Caldwell) and her husband Bernard Nadler (Sam Anderson). She is involved in a love triangle with Jack and Sawyer (Josh Holloway) and is seen as very protective of Claire (Emilie de Ravin) and her baby Aaron.


Character biography

Prior to the crash

Born in 1977 and raised in Iowa, Kate is the daughter of diner worker Diane (Beth Broderick), and Sam (Lindsey Ginter), a U.S. Army Ranger and Gulf War Veteran. At an early age Kate's parents divorced, and Diane married an abusive alcoholic named Wayne Janssen (James Horan). As an adult, Kate killed Wayne, which she confessed to her mother before disappearing. Wayne had always been abusive to her mother, but Kate decided to kill him upon learning that he was her biological father. Diane called the authorities; thereafter Kate is pursued and ultimately arrested by Edward Mars (Fredric Lehne).

Kate fled to Miami under the alias "Monica", where she dated and soon married a police officer named Kevin Callis (Nathan Fillion). After a pregnancy scare and Kevin's purchase of two Oceanic tickets to Costa Rica for their honeymoon, Kate confessed her fugitive past and laced his drink with a sedative before disappearing.[1] After months of traveling around the country under numerous aliases, Kate learned that Diane was dying of cancer, and decided to visit her. She reunited with her high-school sweetheart, Dr. Tom Brennan (Mackenzie Astin), who arranged a meeting between Kate and Diane. As Kate tried to apologize to her, Diane started screaming for help, prompting Kate to flee the hospital with Tom. A policeman opened fire on their getaway car, killing Tom and forcing Kate to flee the scene of the accident.[2]

Months later Kate staged a robbery in New Mexico with several criminals to infiltrate a bank's safe deposit box, where Tom's toy airplane was being stored. She fled to Australia where, while sleeping in a barn, she was discovered by a farmer. Posing as a Canadian hiker, Kate worked on the farm for three months. When the farmer caught her attempting to sneak away, he offered her a ride into town the next morning. During the journey however, Kate discovered that the farmer had learned of her true identity and notified Edward Mars of her whereabouts. Kate grabbed the wheel and crashed the truck into a field but instead of running, she helped the unconscious farmer from his vehicle, giving Mars time to pursue and arrest her. Escorting her to the airport in handcuffs, Mars briefed local security officers on Kate's fugitive past and revealed his locked carry-on case containing five firearms. As the plane was bombarded with escalating turbulence, Mars was knocked unconscious by luggage from the overhead compartment. Kate stole the keys to the handcuffs and attached an oxygen mask to Mars and for herself, as the plane splintered and crashed onto the island.[3]

After the Crash

Season 1

Having survived the crash, Jack Shephard noticed Kate walking out of the jungle and asked her to stitch his wound, to which she agreed reluctantly. During their second day on the Island - Jack, Kate and Charlie Pace (Dominic Monaghan) went to retrieve the cockpit's transceiver from the plane debris. They tried to rescue the injured Pilot, but the Smoke Monster attacked them. When they returned; Kate, Sayid Jarrah (Naveen Andrews) and several other survivors hiked to higher ground of the Island to transmit a distress signal on the transceiver.

Back at the camp, Kate visited the injured Marshal where he attempted to strangle her. Kate told Jack that he should euthanize the dying man, but Jack questioned her true motives when he learned about her criminal record. She went on a mission to triangulate the distress signal, and helped an injured Michael Lloyd back to the camp. Jack suggested that the survivors move to the caves that he had discovered, but Kate refused because she did not want to end up like the skeletons that they had found there. During this time - Kate agreed to kiss Sawyer to find out the location of Shannon's inhaler.

When Kate discovered the Marshal's case; she and Sawyer had several fights to gain it in their possession. Eventually - Kate asked Jack for his help; he retrieved the case and decided that he should open it with Kate. Inside the case was Tom's toy plane. Jack questioned her about the toy, and she admitted the plane belonged to the man that she loved and killed.

Maintaining a helpful attitude; Kate - along with Jack - attempted to track down Claire and Charlie when they were kidnapped by Ethan. They were able to find and revive a hanging Charlie; and later, she helped to capture Ethan. Kate was forced to deliver Claire's baby by herself when Jack was trying to save Boone's life.

Kate tried to gain a place on Michael's raft by attempting to steal Sawyer and Jin's places. She convinced Jin's wife, Sun to poison his water to ensure that he would not be able to travel on the raft. In preparation for the trip, Kate stole a dead woman's passport to assume her identity. However - Michael accused Sawyer of Jin's poisoning, which led to Sawyer revealing her fugitive status to the other survivors.

After Rousseau arrived on the beach to warn the camp of the Others' imminent arrival; she directed Kate, Jack, Locke and Hurley to the Black Rock - where they attempted to carry dynamite to the hatch that was discovered in the jungle.

Season 2

Kate and Locke descend into the hatch, Kate entering first.[4] Once inside, she is locked by Desmond.[5] Kate arrives in a room with a computer, where she overpowers Desmond after Jack arrives. She accidentally damages the computer in the crossfire, causing Desmond to panic and flee.[6] Kate is placed on a rotation to enter a certain set of numbers every 108 minutes into the computer, supposedly saving the world.

While picking fruit Kate sees a black horse from her past. When she returns to the hatch she hallucinates that Wayne is channeled through unconscious injured Sawyer and Kate freaks out. Jack finds her alone in the jungle and tries to comfort her. Kate kisses Jack on impulse, then runs away once she realizes what she's done. She eventually returns to the Hatch to tend Sawyer, and partially confesses her crime to him. They venture outside and both witness the black horse lingering nearby.[7] When Michael runs off in search of his son, Kate follows him, but is kidnapped. After Jack refuses Tom's demands to hand over the guns, Kate is brought out and held at gunpoint to force the men to give up their guns.[8]

When Claire's baby falls ill, Kate joins her on a trek into the jungle to seek Rousseau's help. The three head inland, where they discover the Staff station.[9] Later, Kate and Jack discover a mysterious and unnoticed food drop in the jungle. They return to the hatch, where hostage "Henry Gale" is exposed as an impostor.[10] Later, Kate joins Jack on a trek back to where they encountered the Others. The two make camp, when an exhausted Michael stumbles out of the bushes.[11] Michael invites her to follow him to the Others' camp when he recovers. The next day, Kate, Jack, Sawyer and Hurley join Michael Dawson as they head for the Others' camp. They are ambushed, gagged, tied up and taken to a pier.[12]

Season 3

Kate and Sawyer escape from the others' camp.

Kate is placed in a cage opposite Sawyer to work for the Others, under the eye of Pickett.[13] After discovering they are on another island and Sawyer's life is threatened, the two have sex unaware that they were briefly caught by Jack on a surveillance camera. When Jack contacts her via Pickett's radio, informing her that she has a head-start to escape, she and Sawyer run towards the beach.[1] They encounter Alex, who gives them her boat in exchange for rescuing her brainwashed boyfriend, Karl.[14]

When arriving on the beach, she scolds Sayid and Locke for not bothering to rescue Jack. They head into the jungle and find Rousseau, who agrees to help them after learning of Alex's status.[15] The four trek into the jungle, where they discover the Flame station. There they confront the Other Mikhail and take him hostage.[16] The four resume their hike, eventually arriving at the Others' barracks, and see Jack socializing with the Others.[17] That evening, Kate approaches Jack, but the Others capture Sayid and her. When they are alone, Jack explains to Kate that he has made a deal with The Others. In exchange for saving Ben's life, Jack will be allowed to return home. He promises Kate that he will come back for her and the rest of their friends. But Locke blows up the Other's submarine before Jack can leave.[18] The following day, Kate is gassed by the Others and wakes up in the jungle, handcuffed to Juliet. They eventually return to the beach with Jack and Sayid.[19]

Upon returning, Kate is still wary of Juliet, especially in Juliet's developing relationship with Jack. Later, she learns of Naomi's arrival.[20] Kate is then shown Jack and Juliet's plan to deal with the Others' imminent attack while the majority travels to the radio tower. En route, Sawyer tells Kate that he's turning back to help the survivors on the beach. Kate wants to go with him, but Sawyer won't let her, and Jack defends Sawyer's actions. When Kate asks why he is sticking up for Sawyer, Jack responds, "Because I love you." They eventually encounter Ben and Alex in the jungle, at which point Ben is taken hostage.[21]

Season 4

Kate follows a trail of Naomi' blood until being attacked by Naomi, who suddenly dies. After a confrontation between Jack and Locke, Kate decides to stay with Jack, but questions Sawyer when he decides to go with Locke. Later, they come across Daniel Faraday, whom they believe has arrived to rescue them.[22] After finding Miles, Kate and Jack find themselves at gunpoint until she takes them to Naomi's body.[23]

Later, they team up with Frank, who managed to arrive on the island with the helicopter. Upon learning of the location of the final team member, Charlotte Staples Lewis, Kate accompanies Sayid and Miles to the barracks. They are eventually captured by Locke.[24] Kate decides to remain at the barracks, in an attempt to extract information from Miles. She arranges for him to speak to Ben, but is caught by Locke. She spends the night with Sawyer and tells him that she is not pregnant. They argue over his exaggerated show of relief, and Kate heads back to the beach.[25] When Sawyer returns with Miles and Aaron, she also takes over as Aaron's primary caretaker when Sawyer reveals that Claire has gone missing. Later, Sayid and Kate follow Jack and Sawyer to avoid them being attacked by the boat's soldiers. They meet up with the remaining Others and join forces to defeat the boat's soldiers. They all board Lapidus' helicopter, but as they travel back to the freighter a fuel leak is discovered, and after all the excess weight is thrown out, Sawyer kisses Kate, then asks her to do a favor for him back home and jumps out.[26]

After the Island

Kate goes on trial for murder.

In "Eggtown", Kate goes on trial for her father's murder. She is later released on ten years probation, providing she does not leave California. Kate's mother, the prosecution's star witness, tries to reconcile with Kate, and then decides not to testify.[25] In "Something Nice Back Home", Kate is seen living in an established relationship with Jack, who is also acting as a surrogate father for his nephew Aaron. Later, Jack asks Kate to marry him, which she happily accepts. Jack later confronts Kate about her "errands", Kate reveals she is keeping Sawyer's promise and refuses to tell him any more details. Jack is angered by her secrecy and raises his voice, waking Aaron up. Kate rushes to comfort him then Jack leaves, ending their relationship.[27]

In "Through the Looking Glass", Jack informs her of John Locke's funeral. Jack then tells her that they need to return to the island, but Kate grows furious and leaves.[21]

Season 5

Kate is surprisingly confronted by Dan Norton, a lawyer who is asking for a blood sample from both her and Aaron to determine their biological relationship. Norton refuses to tell Kate who his client is, and Kate denies giving him a blood sample. Kate visits Sun, who convinces her to go see Norton and try to get him to reveal who his client is. Kate leaves Aaron in Sun's care while visiting Norton's firm, but cannot get a name out of him. Kate and Jack follow Norton to his clients house, who turns out to be Claire's mother. Jack goes in to talk to her and then realizes that she isn't the client they were looking for. When approached by Ben later, Kate discovers that he was the one who was trying to get a blood sample from her.

Kate realizes that she is not supposed to raise Aaron and leaves him in the care of Claire's mother. She returns to the island with the other survivors on flight 316. She is reunited with Sawyer (now in a relationship with Juliet) in 1977 and joins the Dharma Initiative with Jack and Hurley. Sayid shoots a young Ben Linus and Kate saves his life by bringing him to Richard Alpert. After refusing to aid Jack in his plans to detonate the hydrogen bomb, Kate returns to the Dharma Initiative, to then be put on the Dharma sub with Sawyer and Juliet. However, she insists that the three leave the submarine to prevent Jack from detonating the bomb. When the three return to the island, they eventually reunite with Jack, Jin, Sayid and Hurley. Although Sawyer tries to persuade Jack not to use the bomb, his efforts are in vain. Kate tells Jack that if he really believes that detonating the bomb is the best thing, then she will help him. She assists Jack in getting the bomb to the required location, but when he drops it down a tunnel, it does not go off, despite the fact that it is supposed to explode on impact. Jack, Kate, Sawyer and Juliet are shocked, but immediately, the Dharma drill that had been drilling deep into the pocket of magnetic energy that Jack was trying to contain went too far, and Juliet was ultimately dragged down the tunnel, into the source of the energy. Kate attempts to remove a distressed Sawyer from the scene along with Jack, but little do they know that Juliet remains conscious for now and desperately attempts to detonate the bomb, eventually succeeding.

Season 6

Kate is confronted by Sawyer.

Kate continues her mission to reunite Claire with Aaron. When she eventually finds her, she discovers that a dark side has grown in Claire, who has become unstable due to many years of living alone, in the belief that the others are holding her son hostage. When Kate joins the Man in Black's camp, Claire learns that it was Kate who took Aaron and attempts to murder Kate by throwing her to the ground and pulling a knife on her. Kate is saved by 'Locke' and seeing that Kate is upset by the loss of Claire's friendship, warns her that Claire should not be reunited with Aaron as she is now 'crazy'. Claire later tearfully appologises for her actions and thanks Kate for keeping her son safe.

When Kate, Sawyer, Jack and the others plan a breakout from the Man in Black's camp, Kate wants to bring Claire but Sawyer refuses, saying she is no longer the friend they once knew. When Claire sees them leaving her behind again she gives chase and holds them at gunpoint just as they attempt to board a boat to escape. Kate talks Claire around, convincing her to come with them so she can finally go home to her son.

As the Man in Black starts to destroy the Island, Kate helps Jack kill him by shooting him. Jack and Kate have to part for the final time due to their different destinies. They share a passionate kiss and declare their love for each other. Kate and Sawyer flee towards the departing Ajira plane, piloted by Frank. they find Claire, who is scared to leave the island as she feels she is no longer a fit mother. Kate convinces her that her worries are normal and promises to help her. They then escape the island on the plane with Miles, Frank and Richard - Kate hand in hand with Claire.


Around seventy-five women of different shapes, sizes, ethnicities and ages auditioned to be Kate, including Yunjin Kim, who later played the role of Sun-Hwa Kwon. In the initial plans, Jack was going to die midway through the first episode, and then Kate would emerge as the leader. She was not going to be a fugitive, instead her husband was going to go to the bathroom shortly before the plane split in mid air, and she would remain adamant on the Island that he was alive. This ended up being used for Rose’s character. The producers were impressed with Canadian Evangeline Lilly's audition, as she displayed the confidence with vulnerability that they were looking for. As this was Lilly's first role, she had difficulty obtaining a visa to work in the United States. She was supposed to start on the first day of filming, but the schedule was rearranged to give her more time, and in the meantime, the producers began auditioning again in case the visa did not come through. However during one of the auditions, they got an email confirming that she had obtained her visa and could start work on the show.[28]


Robert Bianco of USA Today praised Evangeline Lilly's performance in "Eggtown," saying that it was almost worthy of a Primetime Emmy Award nomination.[29] However, Alan Sepinwall of The Star-Ledger was unimpressed and does not find Kate to be a compelling character.[30] Lilly's performance in "Whatever Happened, Happened" also received heavy praise from TV critics and fans of the show alike.

In 2007, the character was voted #1 Sexiest Woman on Television by TV Guide and made FHM's Top Sexiest. Spiritual website Beliefnet named her among the Top 10 Most Empowering Women on TV Today, along with fictional characters Betty Suarez (from Ugly Betty) and Claire Bennet (from Heroes).


  1. ^ a b "I Do". Tucker Gates, Writ. Damon Lindelof & Carlton Cuse. Lost. ABC. 2006-11-08. No. 6, season 3.
  2. ^ "Born To Run". Tucker Gates, Writ. Javier Grillo-Marxuach (story), Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz (teleplay). Lost. ABC. 2005-05-11. No. 22, season 1.
  3. ^ "Tabula Rasa". Jack Bender, Writ. Damon Lindelof. Lost. ABC. 2004-10-06. No. 3, season 1.
  4. ^ "Man of Science, Man of Faith". Jack Bender, Writ. Damon Lindelof. Lost. ABC. 2005-09-21. No. 1, season 2.
  5. ^ "Adrift". Stephen Williams, Writ. Steven Maeda & Leonard Dick. Lost. ABC. 2005-09-28. No. 2, season 2.
  6. ^ "Orientation". Jack Bender, Writ. Javier Grillo-Marxuach & Craig Wright. Lost. ABC. 2005-10-05. No. 3, season 2.
  7. ^ "What Kate Did". Paul Edwards, Writ. Steven Maeda & Craig Wright. Lost. ABC. 2005-11-30. No. 9, season 2.
  8. ^ "The Hunting Party". Stephen Williams, Writ. Elizabeth Sarnoff & Christina M. Kim. Lost. ABC. 2006-01-18. No. 11, season 2.
  9. ^ "Maternity Leave". Jack Bender, Writ. Dawn Lambertsen Kelly & Matt Ragghianti. Lost. ABC. 2006-03-01. No. 15, season 2.
  10. ^ "Lockdown". Stephen Williams, Writ. Damon Lindelof & Carlton Cuse. Lost. ABC. 2006-03-29. No. 17, season 2.
  11. ^ "S.O.S.". Eric Laneuville, Writ. Steven Maeda & Leonard Dick. Lost. ABC. 2006-04-12. No. 19, season 2.
  12. ^ "Live Together, Die Alone". Jack Bender, Writ. Damon Lindelof & Carlton Cuse. Lost. ABC. 2006-05-24. No. 23, season 2.
  13. ^ "The Glass Ballerina". Paul Edwards, Writ. Drew Goddard & Jeff Pinkner. Lost. ABC. 2006-10-11. No. 2, season 3.
  14. ^ "Not in Portland". Stephen Williams, Writ. Carlton Cuse & Jeff Pinkner. Lost. ABC. 2007-02-07. No. 7, season 3.
  15. ^ "Tricia Tanaka is Dead". Jack Bender, Eric Laneuville, Writ. Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz. Lost. ABC. 2007-02-28. No. 10, season 3.
  16. ^ "Enter 77". Stephen Williams, Writ. Carlton Cuse & Damon Lindelof. Lost. ABC. 2007-03-07. No. 11, season 3.
  17. ^ "Par Avion". Paul Edwards, Writ. Christina M. Kim & Jordan Rosenberg. Lost. ABC. 2007-03-14. No. 12, season 3.
  18. ^ "The Man from Tallahassee". Jack Bender, Writ. Drew Goddard & Jeff Pinkner. Lost. ABC. 2007-03-21. No. 13, season 3.
  19. ^ "Left Behind". Karen Gaviola, Writ. Damon Lindelof & Elizabeth Sarnoff. Lost. ABC. 2007-04-04. No. 15, season 3.
  20. ^ "The Man Behind the Curtain". Bobby Roth, Writ. Elizabeth Sarnoff & Drew Goddard. Lost. ABC. 2007-05-09. No. 20, season 3.
  21. ^ a b "Through the Looking Glass". Jack Bender, Writ. Carlton Cuse & Damon Lindelof. Lost. ABC. 2007-05-23. No. 22, season 3.
  22. ^ "The Beginning of the End". Jack Bender, Writ. Damon Lindelof & Carlton Cuse. Lost. ABC. 2008-01-31. No. 1, season 4.
  23. ^ "Confirmed Dead". Stephen Williams, Writ. Drew Goddard & Brian K. Vaughan. Lost. ABC. 2008-02-07. No. 2, season 4.
  24. ^ "The Economist". Jack Bender, Writ. Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz. Lost. ABC. 2008-02-14. No. 3, season 4.
  25. ^ a b "Eggtown". Stephen Williams, Writ. Elizabeth Sarnoff & Greggory Nations. Lost. ABC. 2008-02-21. No. 4, season 4.
  26. ^ "There's No Place Like Home: Part 2". Jack Bender, Writ. Carlton Cuse & Damon Lindelof. Lost. ABC. 2008-05-29. No. 13/14, season 4.
  27. ^ "Something Nice Back Home". Stephen Williams, Writ. Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz. Lost. ABC. 2008-05-01. No. 10, season 4.
  28. ^ "Before They Were Lost". Lost: The Complete First Season, Buena Vista Home Entertainment. September 6, 2005. Featurette, disc 7.
  29. ^ Bianco, Robert, (June 12, 2008) "Who Will Make Emmy Happy?", USA Today. Retrieved on June 13, 2008.
  30. ^ Sepinwall, Alan, (February 21, 2008) "Gone Baby Gone", The Star-Ledger. Retrieved on February 28, 2008.

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