Thursday, June 04, 2009

The Lost Rewatch: 1x03 "Tabula Rasa"

Now we move on to the third episode of the series, "Tabula Rasa," in which some of Kate's backstory is revealed.

We start off with the first ever "Previously on Lost" showing clips from the first two episodes. One of those scenes is the backgammon scene between Walt and Locke...there is absolutely no way that is not important.

We start off among the fuselage with the survivors. People are sorting through the clothes, led by Claire. Meanwhile, Jack is tending to Edward Mars, our favorite marshal, who is trying to warn Jack that "she's dangerous." He repeats that he has to "find her" and "bring her back." The marshal mentions his handcuffs (the ones that Walt found in the jungle), and then forcefully tells Jack to check his jacket pocket. He's not doing very well, and Jack mentions that he has a high fever and frequently passes out. Jack checks the marshal's pocket, and finds Kate's mugshot. Jack is very shocked, obviously.

Meanwhile, Kate and the rest of her group are journeying back from the high ground they went to check the transceiver on. In a funny moment, Boone calls Sawyer a "hick," and Sawyer notices. Sayid states that they should make camp. Sawyer tells the rest that he is going to continue on the on, but Sayid tells him that whatever is knocking down the trees will get him. Kate convinces Sawyer to stay with them.

Meanwhile, Sayid tries to determine where they are using a rock and a torch. Kate tells them (in a line that will be repeated in every clip show ever) "The pilot said we were a thousand miles off course." Sawyer changes the subject to talk about Rousseau's transmission, and then he asks Kate how long the transmission was on a loop for, calling her "Freckles." That's a nickname that will probably be Sawyer's most oft-used. Kate obviously doesn't like the nickname now, but she will come to. Boone wants to tell the rest about the transmission, but Sayid says not to, in order to avoid a panic. "So we lie?" Kate asks. It's very reminiscent (in retrospect) to discussion that the Oceanic 6 told once off the Island in the episode titled (believe it or not) "The Lie."

Hurley, meanwhile, asks Jack if the monster was a dinosaur (which was actually a popular fan theory back in season one). Jack admits that if it antibiotics don't work, the marshal will die. Hurley notices Kate's mugshot. Hurley thinks she looks pretty hardcore, but Jack doesn't care what Kate did -- it's "none of his business."

After the Lost intertitle, we go back and join Sayid's group. He's sleeping next to Shannon, which is interesting because before long, he'll be sleeping with Shannon. Boone steals the gun and the clip, saying he's going to stand guard. Sayid demands it back, but Sawyer doesn't think that "Al-Jazeera" will protect them (to which Charlie humorously replies that "Al-Jazeera's a network"). Shannon suggests that they should give the gun to Kate, which is ironic because she's the fugitive from justice. Everyone agrees, and Boone gives the gun to Kate.

And then we get the first "whoosh" flashback, and also the first pre-Oceanic flashback. It opens with Kate having a gun pointed at her by Ray Mullen, who has caught her sleeping in his sheep pen. Kate tells Ray that her name is "Annie," a name that is most famously held by Ben's childhood friend. Ray offers "Annie" some food. While she eats, she tells him that she ran out of money. She identifies herself as a Canadian (something that she is not, but Evangeline Lilly is). Ray tells her his wife died eight months before (one of the many number references throughout this episode), and he offers her a job in exchange for a fair wage and a place to stay. She goes to shake his hand, but his right arm is actually a prosthetic (not unlike a certain DHARMA scientist we know).

Back on the Island, Hurley runs to inform Jack of Sayid's group's return. The marshal, however, is not doing good. Sayid explains to the gathered survivors that though the transceiver tailed to pick up a signal, with the help of the survivors electronics, they could possibly boost the signal and try again. Locke, meanwhile, looks on. He doesn't like what Sayid wants to do, not one bit. Sayid actually begins to take a leadership position within the survivors, organizing groups for food, electronics, and water. Kate goes up to Jack and privately tells him about the transmission they heard. Kate asks about the marshal, and asks if he said anything. Jack lies and tells her that he didn't.

Jack talks to Hurley about Kate, and tells him that he won't confront Kate about the mugshot. However, the marshal is deteriorating fast, so he needs some more medication for him. Hurley won't go inside the plane because it's full of bodies, so Jack has to go inside. Once inside, he hears Sawyer inside, looting. Sawyer mentions Jack's need to fix things, telling him he's not "looking at the big picture." Sawyer says that Jack's still in civilization, while Sawyer's in the wild.

Charlie helps Claire with her bag, and puts it in the wheelchair he's found. This short scene is important for two reasons. Firstly, it sets up the Charlie/Claire romance that will continue up until Charlie's death in "Through the Looking Glass." Secondly, it introduces the wheelchair. Charlie says that the former owner of the wheelchair was probably "better off than they are," though the wheelchair actually belonged to Locke.

Meanwhile, Sun thinks she's found Jin's bag, but he tells her that the one she was holding wasn't his. Jin tells her that's she's filthy, and that she should go wash up instead of continuing to look for his bag. Before she leaves, however, he tells her that he loves her, the first tender moment we've seen from Jin on the show. Charlie asks Claire if her husband was on the flight, but she tells him that she's not married. The father of her baby was actually Thomas, the painter who left her after he found out that she was pregnant.

Hurley, meanwhile, leaves the tent where the marshal is kept and runs into Kate. She introduces herself, and he's obviously nervous around her.

Later, Kate approaches the marshal while he sleeps. As she looks over him, we have a flashback. She's in Ray Mullen's pantry. Removing a back panel, she takes out her savings. This isn't the only time we'll see valuables kept in a pantry -- director Howard Zukerman, who Nikki and Paulo killed, kept his diamonds in a vault hidden in his pantry. Ray catches Kate, and it's revealed that she's not stealing; its her wages she's taking out. Kate tells him that she's got trust issues. She prepares to leave, but Ray offers to drive her to the train station in the morning. Ray tells her that he gets it, everyone deserves a fresh start. And that's where the name of the episode, "Tabula Rasa," comes from: the philosopher John Locke's idea that everyone deserved a blank slate, or Tabula Rasa.

Back on the Island, Kate looks over the marshal while he's sleeping. He suddenly wakes up and starts choking her. Jack intervenes and pulls the marshal off. Jack realizes that the marshal's body is shutting down. Jack mentions that the marshal will suffer. Jack mentions that he saw Kate's mugshot -- and he is not going to kill the marshal, because he's not a murderer.

There's another Kate flashback, which opens with a Patsy Cline song, a recurring feature that will almost become a staple of Kate-centric episodes. When she sees the marshal in the rearview mirror, Kate realizes that Ray intends to turn her in. Ray mentions that the reward for turning her in was $23,000 (another instance of the numbers), and he has a "hell of a mortgage." The marshal pulls up beside them and the flashback ends.

Meanwhile, Michael questions Walt about Locke, something that will eventually cause great tension between Michael, Walt, and Locke. Walt mentions that Locke told him a secret (about his paralysis) and Michael demands to know. Walt tells Michael that a miracle happened to Locke, but Michael writes this off as surviving the plane crash. Michael tells Walt that he shouldn't hang around Locke anymore. Michael promises to get Vincent as soon as it stops raining...and then it suddenly stops raining as Walt looks outside angrily. This is only the tip of the iceberg, but you can already tell that Walt has some sort of ability. Michael goes out looking for Vincent, but he doesn't hear Vincent...he hears a rustling and a roaring instead. He runs...right into a topless Sun, who is bathing. Michael tells Sun that something was chasing him, but she appears not to understand him, even though she really does. He then walks away, repeating that he didn't see anything.

The marshal's not doing too well, and his moans echo down the beach, where Locke is carving something. Charlie approaches, asking Locke what he's making. It's a whistle -- a dog whistle for Vincent. Charlie tells Locke that he's in a band, but Locke doesn't seem to care. Shannon, meanwhile, wishes that the marshal would just "die already." Sayid offers to help Jack, and informs him that the survivors are getting uneasy.

Kate tries to build a fire later on that night, and Sawyer comes up to offer her a light. Sawyer has come by to thank her for taking the gun away, because he wouldn't want to be the one with the gun, because he knows that the marshal has to be euthanized. The only one that can do it is the one with the gun. The marshal tells Jack not to trust Kate, because she will do anything to get away. The marshal won't tell Jack what she did, but he wants to talk to Kate alone.

The flashback continues, and the marshal once again gets behind them to avoid a car. As he comes back around, Kate jerks the wheel from Ray's hand, flipping the truck and getting it off the road. The truch catches on fire, and she drags Ray to safety, inadvertently yanking of his prosthesis as well. She is suddenly caught by the marshal.

After the flashback, the marshal asks what the favor was that Kate wanted. She remembers the favor that she asked the marshal before the plane crash, and then tells him that she wanted him to make sure that Ray Mullen got his $23,000. The marshal tells her that she really is one of a kind, and that she would have gotten away if she hadn't saved him. She thinks she's gotten away, and she tells the marshal that he's gonna die. The marshal asks if she's going to euthanize him, or what.

Meanwhile, Jack is outside, talking with Hurley. Hurley mentions that Kate has the gun. Jack rushes to the tent, but sees her walking out. The gun fires anyway, and Sawyer exits the the tent, holding the gun. Then they realize that Sawyer didn't kill the marshal -- as a matter of fact, he missed his heart and hit the marshal's lung. Ashamedly, Sawyer leaves. Shaken, he pulls out a cigarette, but it won't light. Inside, Jack makes the moaning stop -- he's finally euthanized the marshal.

The next morning, Locke blows his whistle while sitting on the beach. Vincent suddenly emerges from the jungel, running toward Locke. Locke goes to get Michael, and tells him that he's found Vincent, and suggests that Michael bring Vincent back to Walt. Michael thanks Locke, and they're okay...for now.

Kate comes and sits next to Jack on the beach, offering to tell him what her crime was. he doesn't want to know, however, and we won't find out that she blew up her father's house until the season two episode "What Kate Did." Jack mentions that three days ago they "all died," the quote that spawned a thousand theories that they were all in purgatory. Jack offers her a fresh start, and they sit alone on the beach in silence, while Hurley listens to his CD player, Joe Purdy's "Wash Away." The episode ends in a montage of happiness, with Jin stroking Sun's hair, Boone finding Shannon some sunglasses, Sayid tossing Sawyer an apple (making amends with him for their previous fight), and Charlie taping up his fingers (but changing the "F" in "Fate" to an "L") while Claire sits down the beach. Michael also brings Vincent to Walt, who happily runs to meet his dog. Locke watches from afar, and he's got the enigmatic expression that could only indicate that next week, he's going to have a flashback.

You can discuss "Tabula Rasa" in this forum thread. You can find others' reviews of this episode at the Lostpedia hub. Look for my review of "Walkabout" on Saturday.
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