Tabula Rasa (Lost)
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Jack finds Kate's mugshot
|Episode no.||Season 1
|Directed by||Jack Bender|
|Written by||Damon Lindelof|
|Featured music||"Wash Away (Reprise)" by Joe Purdy
"Leavin' on Your Mind" by Patsy Cline
|Original air date||October 6, 2004|
|Lost (season 1)
List of Lost episodes
"Tabula Rasa" (Latin for blank slate) is the third episode of the first season of Lost. It was directed by Jack Bender and written by Damon Lindelof. It first aired on October 6, 2004 on ABC. The character of Kate Austen (Evangeline Lilly) is featured in the episode's flashbacks.
In the episode, the group who attempted to send a distress signal lies and tells the other survivors that they failed to achieve a signal. Jack Shephard (Matthew Fox) and Hugo "Hurley" Reyes (Jorge Garcia) learn from the sick Marshal Edward Mars (Fredric Lane) that Kate is a convict and fugitive. Jack later tells Kate that the past does not matter, they all died when the plane crashed. Jack attempts to save the marshal, but Sawyer decides to end the marshal's misery by shooting him in the heart. He misses and punctures the marshal's lung, putting him in even more pain, causing Jack to kill the marshal to end his misery.
Kate (Evangeline Lilly) is awakened by an Australian farmer, Ray Mullen (Nick Tate), as she sleeps in his barn. She introduces herself as Annie, a backpacking graduate, and Mullen offers him job on the farm. When she later leaves the farm, Ray offers to give her a ride to the train station. On the way Kate notices a black car following them, and Ray reveals he learned Kate was a fugitive, and decided to deliver her to the authorities for the reward money. As soon as they are approached by the tailgating car, driven by US Marshal Edward Mars (Fredric Lane), Kate jerks the wheel and causes Ray's vehicle to crash off the road. As Kate is pulling Ray from the burning vehicle, marshall Mars captures her at gunpoint.
On the Island
Kate, Sayid Jarrah (Naveen Andrews), Charlie Pace (Dominic Monaghan), James "Sawyer" Ford (Josh Holloway), Boone Carlyle (Ian Somerhalder) and Shannon Rutherford (Maggie Grace) are returning from the mountains and make camp as soon as it gets dark. They decide not to tell the other survivors about the French transmission received on the transceiver, fearing that the message will cause panic among the other survivors. When a fight breaks out over who should keep the gun brought by Sawyer, the group agrees to give it to Kate. Meanwhile, at the beach, Hugo "Hurley" Reyes (Jorge Garcia) sees Kate's mugshot which Jack Shephard (Matthew Fox) retrieved from the wounded marshall.
The next day, the hiking party returns, Kate secretly tells Jack about the distress signal, and the marshall's condition worsens. As Jack searches the fuselage for antibiotics, Kate visits the marshall on the makeshift medical tent. He awakens and grabs her by the throat, being stopped by a returning Jack before going into shock. Kate later asks Jack to euthanize the marshal, but Jack refuses, saying that he saw her mug shot and that he "is not a murderer." Elsewhere, Michael Dawson (Harold Perrineau) gets bothered by his son Walt Lloyd (Malcolm David Kelley) talking with the mysterious John Locke (Terry O'Quinn), and instructs his son to stay away from Locke.
The marshall's moans of pain get worse, disturbing the other survivors. Eventually he asks to see Kate alone, and when she enters the tent, the marshal asks what Kate wanted to ask him before he was knocked unconscious during the crash. Kate tells him she wants to make sure Ray gets his reward. The marshal laughs, telling Kate that she is one of a kind, and then asks if he is going to die. Kate nods, and he asks if she is going to do it. As Kate leaves, Sawyer enters with the gun, and a gunshot is heard. Jack becomes angry but Sawyer claims that the marshal asked to be killed. Muffled coughs are then heard, and it is revealed that Sawyer's shot missed the marshal's heart and pierced his lung, causing him more pain. Jack then euthanizes the marshal, presumably by suffocating him.
The next day, Locke finds Walt's lost dog Vincent (Madison) using a makeshift dog whistle, and gives him to Michael, saying that he thinks Walt's father should be the one to return the dog. Kate offers to tell Jack what her crime was. However, he declines, stating that their past lives are not important right now and all of the survivors should be allowed to start over.
Josh Holloway, who portrays Sawyer, asked showrunner Carlton Cuse how Sawyer could have possibly missed in his attempt to euthanise the Marshal. Cuse notes that the writers thought this to be unlikely as well and discussed the concept of making Sawyer hyperopic, leading to him receiving a pair of glasses in "Deus Ex Machina".
This is the first episode of Lost to feature a 'Previously on Lost' introduction, which is a short recap of the most recent episodes to refresh the viewer's memory.
16.54 million American viewers tuned into this episode. IGN gave the episode a 7.7 saying they praised the performances by the actors and how well characters were contrasted. The TV Critic gave the episode a rating of 63/100, saying that its "good intrigue from the writers because we want to know more about Kate and what she did", while also stating that the "lack of action may affect some who are hooked on 24’s style of relentless developments and tension." Josh Wolk rated "Tabula Rasa" a B+, saying that "Kate's story is intriguing, though she's still not quite believable as a fugitive badass."
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- Porter, Lynette R.; Robson, Hillary (2009). Lost's Buried Treasures. Naperville, Illinois: Sourcebooks, Inc. pp. 126–127. ISBN 9781402228308.
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- Season 3 DVD - commentary for I Do, season 3, episode 6
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- Lindelof, Damon (12 July 2004). "Lost Tabula Rasa script". Touchstone Television Productions, LLC. p. 4. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
- "Weekly Program Rankings". ABC Medianet. October 12, 2004. Retrieved 2008-07-30.
- Carabott, Chris (27 June 2008). "Lost Flashback: "Tabula Rasa" Review". IGN. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
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- Wolk, Josh. "'Lost': Season 1 Episode Guide". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
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