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Lost: Tabula Rasa

Jack: "Three days ago, we all died. We should all be able to start over."

One down, forty-seven to go.

This episode drove home the fact that there are no police stations, hospitals, or courts of law on the Island, that the survivors are totally on their own. And there appeared to be some consensus that rescue was definitely not around the corner, sort of like victory in Iraq. And rescue, for Kate, meant something completely different than it did to the others; i.e., imprisonment, or even death. Is Kate happy to be stranded, perhaps?

There were a ton of moral dilemmas in this one, mostly for Jack. Do you give a dying man all of the remaining antibiotics when you know he won't live if there is no rescue, when there is no way to tell how long that supply of meds will have to last? Is it right to help someone out of this life if there is absolutely no way whatsoever to ease their suffering (as Jack clearly did in the end)? And how important can it be to Jack, in their current circumstances, that Kate is a fugitive?

We learned something about Kate and a little about her captor, the marshal... except we still have no idea what Kate actually did. It was probably the dramatic staple, a murder she didn't commit; it was clear from the way she saved the farmer who betrayed her that she has a fully functioning conscience. (He was even a one-armed man, harkening back to The Fugitive.) But maybe it's not the cliche, after all. Maybe she committed a very interesting crime.

Now that the marshal is (painfully and gruesomely) dead, that leaves forty-seven survivors, Rambaldi's favorite number. (That's an Alias reference, for those of you who don't watch it.)

Character bits:

This episode did not start with a closeup of Kate's eye. But it did end with a closeup of Locke, whose story is next.

Kate's arrest photo had, "61136 Harrison Valley Police" on it. She used the name "Annie" in the flashback sequences.

The campfire crew, Kate, Sayid, Shannon, Boone, Sawyer and Charlie, decided to keep the Frenchwoman a secret. And then Kate promptly told Jack.

Sayid continued to be a useful, logical, and natural leader.

I'm sure Jack will keep Kate's secret. I wonder if Hurley will. I think he might. He seems to be a really good guy.

That subplot about the whistle Locke carved and the dog was just lovely.

Charlie used a wheelchair for a wheelbarrow.

Sawyer just got jerkier, more selfish, and more self-centered. He had no desire to "help" the marshal; he just wanted the guy to shut up. But then he looked pretty upset about what he did.

Michael and Sun had a close encounter of the embarrassing kind.

Charlie wrote "LATE" on his finger bandages.

Bits and pieces:

— This episode took place on the third and fourth days after the crash.

— Why, with so many minor injuries, did the marshal get hurt so badly?

— I'm a huge Buffy fan. One of the best episodes of Buffy was also called "Tabula Rasa," which means, "clean slate." Which clearly refers to the castaways in general, and Kate in particular.

— The Kate flashback took place in Australia, when the marshal finally caught her. The farmer's name was Ray Mullen. His wife died eight months ago.

— The reward for Kate was $23,000, which is an odd amount.

— I don't care much for country music, but I love Patsy Cline. It also referred to Kate: "If you've got leaving on your mind."


Jack: "You're looting."
Sawyer: "You say potato..."

Walt: "Mr. Locke said a miracle happened here."

Hurley: "If you didn't see it, how do you know it wasn't a dinosaur?"

Kate: "In case you hadn't noticed, I did get away."
Marshal: "You don't look free to me."

Two out of four polar bears,

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. Now that I know to, I am tracking the numbers. The transmission has been going sixteen years, Ray's wife has been dead eight months and Sayid says the flying time from Sydney to Los Angeles is sixteen hours (actually, it's closer to fourteen -- I've done that flight -- but it makes the story better).

    But, the reward for Kate's capture was A$23,000. This was just too far off the sixteen number, so I had a think about it. Interestingly, the exchange rate on 29 September, 2004 (the day this show aired) would have made the reward roughly US$16,000.

    The number three popped up a couple of times -- Kate worked for Ray for three months and Sayid split everyone into three groups. Interestingly, forty-eight is not only divisible by sixteen, but by three as well. (I really am over thinking this!)

    We are beginning to know at least those I assume will be the main characters, and an interesting crew they are.

    Jack is the hero, trying to save lives and minding his own business. I thought his expression that they all died three days ago was an interesting choice of words as obviously they have not. During the pilot, I actually wondered if the Island were some sort of post-death place, but with the death of the marshal, that seems unlikely. How can one die if he is already dead?

    It would seem that the writers would make Jack the leader of this group, yet it appears for now at least to be Sayid. And I agree with Billie; he's doing a good job.

    Hurley is the loveable little brother. Not too brave and not all the smart, but a good guy to have around and seems to be a real sweetheart.

    Kate is intriguing. She tells Ray that she has trust issues, yet she seems to be the one telling the truth. She tells Jack about the transmission and she wants to tell him about herself. The others seem to be willing to either hide the truth or to just lie. I also love the hints that she and the marshal have a history beyond his simply capturing her. "She got to you, too."

    I can't get my head around Locke. He seems so odd, yet he finds Walt's dog and then allows Michael to the hero. What is his endgame? And, that last shot of him squinting into the sun creeped me out.

    But, my favourite character so far is Sawyer. Yes, I know, the bad boy, so not a shock. But, he seems to be the one who is facing the truth head on; he is the one that points out that keeping the marshal alive may not be in the long term interest of the group. His reaction when he fails to kill the marshal is fascinating; he is obviously very upset. And, it's his action that forces Jack to take action as well -- something Jack probably should have done long before he did.

    Finally, the music. I love, love, love Patsy Cline so I smiled at the scene with Ray and Kate in the truck. Is it a coincidence that the first song played in this show was by a woman who died in a plane crash?

    But, the final montage, all done to Joe Purdy's "Wash Away" was fantastic! A series of small acts of kindness after all the lies, the deceit and the death was a wonderful way to end the show. I watched it three times, tears welling.

  2. I love the way this show uses music. Giacchino's score, of course, but also the soundtrack songs, which only ever occur when there's an in-show object playing music, like a car radio or Hurley's headphones.

  3. Secrets,trust,a group of strangers has to become a community. Jack,unwillingly leader,gives Kate the benefit of the doubt. A fresh start,they trust each other unreasonebly.


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