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    The Great Debate Skate vs. Jate Debate: Let's Celebrate Valentine's Day with a Little Lost Love

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    Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly, Josh Holloway
    Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly, Josh Holloway ABC/Art Streiber

    Happy Valentine's Day, tubers!

    To celebrate another new episode of Lost and love in general, today we are posting our favorite submissions in the Great Skate vs. Jate Debate.

    The question posed to you is whether Kate should be with Sawyer or Jack. There were 120 submissions in all, so as you can imagine, it was difficult to select just three for each side. But we picked ones we thought were particularly articulate, thoughtful or just plain funny.

    Read on for the results. Post your rebuttals and thoughts in the Comments. And most of all, if you're so inclined, don't forget to vote in the poll at the bottom! I hope you enjoy this as much as we did, but no matter what, Happy Valentine's Day, tubers! Me love you long time!

    Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly, Lost ABC/Mario Perez

    Ursula, for Team Jate:
    Kate and Jack should be together, because I think the relationship will evolve into a serious and stable relationship. What she has with Sawyer is just physical attraction. With Jack it's not just that, it's love! Also she needs someone who is more levelheaded and serious, and he needs someone who's a little bit more unpredictable and exciting. Just as my husband and I tell each other: He kind of organized my life, and I disorganized his.

    Lost: Josh Holloway Mario Perez/ABC

    Dale, for Team Skate:
    Personally, I would prefer Kate with Sawyer. For one thing, there's much less crying. Second, it increases the likelihood of him taking his shirt off. Finally, Sawyer doesn't have another love interest as of now, so the whole business with that love triangle would be over, at least until they break up. But you know, if Kate chose Jack, there'd still be the whole thing with Juliet, and so we'd just get a new triangle.

    Lost, Matthew Fox ABC/Mario Perez

    Georgia, for Team Jate:
    Jack Shephard and Kate Austen. They've been the couple representing Lost since day one—romantically and mythologically. Black/white, light/dark, Adam/Eve—they're it. They stand for so many things on this show, the most important thing being the unchanging love and affection they still hold for each other throughout the months of harsh survival on the Island, and the obstacles every great couple has to overcome to finally reach a place where they can be honest with each other and find some peace and happiness.

    They don't need rash physical relations to communicate their feelings for each other, and I've loved the slow burning, innocent buildup of their relationship. They've come from two radically different backgrounds with different beliefs and issues and learned to trust and rely on each other, through thick and thin. They've always been a "one step forward, two steps backward" pair, with plenty of angst to fill an Olympic-size swimming pool. But their great moments together always outshine the dark ones.

    Fictional or not, they make me believe true, undying love really does exist. Happy Valentine's Day!

    Lost: Evangeline Lilly, Josh Holloway MARIO PEREZ/ABC

    Melissa, for Team Skate:
    I'm sure most people who send you arguments for Skate are going to mention the hot chemistry, passion and mutuality between the two, but my reasons why they're Lost's OTP [one true pairing] are much simpler. They're already in a frakkin' relationship! They flirt, they play, they love, they fight and they risk their lives for each other. And in contrast to the awkward nonphysical interaction between Jack and Kate, Sawyer and Kate have been touching, kissing, cuddling, hugging and making whoopee for four seasons now. What more does it take for them to be considered the canon romance of Lost?

    When I root for a couple, I prefer for them to do more than just occasionally share the same frame, thanks very much. As long as Damon and Carlton continue to write the Lost triangle the way they have been, there's no doubt in my mind who we're supposed to be rooting for to make it to the end. Hint: It's the couple that's an actual, you know, couple.

    (Oh, and where's the love for Juliet? This is a quadrangle now, not a triangle, and bless the writers for finally locating a woman who makes Jack look good.)

    Lost: Matthew Fox MARIO PEREZ/ABC

    Spindrift, for Team Jate:
    This is my entry for the Jate vs. Skate debate you've got going. Thanks for doing this, it's a fun thing to participate in during the days between Lost episodes.

    Kate and Jack are the real OTP of Lost: Boy meets girl. Boy and girl fall in love. Boy and girl sleep together. Boy and girl are torn apart (sometimes by a third party). Boy and girl experience six seasons of angst. Boy and girl finally get together. There is your typical prime-time romance. It's been tested, tried, and true for years and years now, and usually it works. But when has the Lost we've come to know and love (and obsess over and dream about and theorize with) ever been typical?

    Perhaps that's what makes Lost's romantic storyline of the relationship between Jack and Kate so compelling and so perfectly right: The fact that—just like the hatch with the crazy man and the button that has to be pushed every 108 minutes, or the mad scientist Others who live on the magical island that can regenerate previously thought-to-be-dead friends or loved ones of the castaways, or the kooky characters and their seemingly impossibly interconnected pasts—Jack and Kate's love story is anything but predictable, anything but conventional, and everything that Lost needs to invest viewers in the character aspect of this genre-defying series.

    For starters, rather than the aforementioned "boy meets girl" formula, Jack and Kate's story is more of a, well, "doctor meets convicted criminal" storyline—which is pretty much anything but ordinary. You'd expect for a couple in the wonderful world of TV to consist of a couple of doctors (Jacket?) or a couple of criminals (Skate?), but remember, this is Lost...and it just gets better from there.

    Fans of Jack and Kate, like myself, have grown so invested in the romance of these two fictional characters because it is so unmistakably human and so wonderfully flawed and real. None of the characters on Lost are perfect. We've learned over time that the Island is a place of salvation for all of them—a second chance at the life they never got to have, for the goals they could never achieve back home. And, quite simply, Jack and Kate are each other's salvation.

    From their very first meeting, when Kate stitched Jack's wounded back, their relationship has been founded on trust, on love and on salvation. It's best summarized in the memorable phrase Kate said to Jack in the season-one finale, "I've got your back, remember?"

    You can see it in the way Kate looked at Jack when he first told her he had no desire in knowing the crime she committed back home—like he was the first person who had ever cared about who she really was and not what she'd done to achieve her fugitive status. You can see it in the way Jack wouldn't let Kate come along on a dangerous trek to meet the Others and go through with a hostage exchange (in season two's "The Hunting Party"), her safety mattering more to him than his own. You can see it in the way Jack jimmied Ben's surgery in order to free Kate from the Others even after he'd seen Kate in Sawyer's arms through a TV monitor only hours before (season three's "I Do").

    Their bond, despite never being consummated, is so far beyond the stage of intimacy—it's purely and perfectly emotional. And sure, they've had their share of angst and anger, of miscommunications and betrayals, but it's their imperfections that make Jate's romance so, well...perfect.

    It all makes you think that, really, in the end, could good old Johnny Locke's mantra really apply to Jack and Kate? If you ask me, yeah, Jate is—unquestionably—fate.

    Lost, Evangeline Lilly ABC/Bob D'Amico

    Akesa, for Team Skate:
    "I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you."
    —Elizabeth Barrett Browning

    There is no explanation for what love is intended for. There are probably as many explanations about what real love is as there are stars in the sky. Look up love in any dictionary, any Internet search engine and you are sure to find an endless amount of answers.

    This is probably why Lost is such a pull for people, because it reminds us of the most vulnerable, confusing emotions of our humanity.

    I hope I've gotten your attention, because this is where I put my vote in for Sawyer and Kate.

    I'd always believed in Jack and Kate, because it's supposed to be "that way"—the whole quarterback with the cheerleader thing, or JFK and Jackie, Superman and Lois Lane. It's a wonderful notion that I absolutely do not hate. I've often thought of myself as a Jack kind of girl, from the stories about heroes and knights with white stallions. There is no denying the instant attraction to that kind of man—that man who stands up, that man who will stay. Yet, Kate wasn't always the cheerleader, she isn't like Jackie nor could she be Superman's other half. Instead, it is understood that she herself has two halves: the Jack half and the Sawyer half.

    Sawyer and Kate were always something I thought I understood. Bad boy and bad girl getting it on for a spin or two. (It's all really one big one, but who's counting?) I thought for certain that Kate would end up with Jack. Then, in later years, they would probably have a big Lost movie that would have their big Lost wedding. Maybe something about them visiting the Island and showing their mini-Jates that "This is where mommy and Uncle Sawyer wrestled that led me to your father" kind of thing. I was sure of it, from the bottom of my toes to the top of my head, that sort of deal.

    Then that darn Sawyer started changing on me.

    Oh, how the two mighty writers are so devious!

    Skate or Jate lovers can all agree that Sawyer is a changed man.

    "As we grow older together, as we continue to change with age, there is one thing that will never change... I will always keep falling in love with you."
    —Karen Clodfelder

    There is more to what I thought was a one-minded swindler. He got me to care more about what he was going through as a person. There was no doubt that Sawyer was a guilty piece of wonderful, dangerous pie—yes, pie! He was fun to watch, and you knew something foul, selfish or hilarious would come out of that mouth. Oh, but the irony of it all! Poor Sawyer was getting pulled around by Miss Kate! The reason for this change in demeanor is because Sawyer has truly changed throughout season three. I've grown very fond of the vulnerability that he now holds. It is almost sweet and very non-Sawyer-like of Sawyer to think of someone other than himself. Though he is still Sawyer, I bet his heart has grown. This change had a lot to do with the Island—and a lot to do with Kate.

    "Are you really comparing yourself to Jack?"
    —Kate, season one

    Kate made it clear: Sawyer types were for fun, Jack types are for life. Yet that was old Sawyer who called her Freckles, asked to see her naked and drank stale beer. New Sawyer tried to step up as leader (season three), told Kate to stay back (to keep her from harm in season three) and called her Kate (after he killed the original Sawyer in season three). Sawyer is another part of Kate that keeps her running spirit alive. They have both lived on the other side of the tracks, so they are immediately connected to that run. Sawyer was running to find someone while Kate was running away from someone. It's ironic that it took a flight down and an island to make them stay in one place.

    Kate is good for Sawyer in that she makes him feel better, act better and definitely be better. Sawyer is good for Kate because his love is real, which is scary for her. He offered her his heart, and since they are isolated on this island, Kate has nowhere to run. She can run to Jack, but I get the feeling he knows what she's doing. Kate has to deal with this emotion, with this raw emotion of a man willing to give her any happiness with his life. This is why I believe Kate should be with Sawyer.

    Take care of one another and love a lot,
    Island Sweetheart

                                                                              • • • • • • • • • •

    Now let your heart guide you and vote below, and take a minute to sound off in the Comments section with your thoughts on the above essays, and if you want to do this sort of TV-triangle forum again...Happy V-D!

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