RSM Thoughts: Lost: Season 1 Tabula Rasa

When I first started watching Lost, I was unsure of how I felt about Kate. I immediately loved Jack, Locke, and Hurley, but I was on the fence about Kate. I liked her in season 1, but less so when the writers decided to put her into a love triangle with Sawyer and Jack.

Knowing how much I loved the ending her character got in season 6, I am starting my rewatch of Lost from the very beginning with an almost fresh set of eyes. I’ve already watched the Pilot parts 1 and 2. Now it’s time to watch our third episode: Tabula Rasa, or Kate’s origin story.

Because I was a huge Buffy the Vampire before watching Lost, I was (and still am) a bit hung up on this episodes title. From the Latin, the title means starting over or a fresh start. Buffy used it awesomely to similar effect. For Lost, this is the episode where Jack tells Kate that they should all be able to start over. You can see it in the ending montage: Jack and Kate sitting on the beach, Locke bringing Vincent to Michael so he can give him back to walt, Jin brushing hair out of Sun’s eyes as she sleeps, Boone bringing sunglasses to Shannon, Sayed giving Sawyer an apple, Charlie changing “FATE” to “LATE” on his fingers bandaid (Claire is overdue?). This is probably one of the most hopeful endings of any Lost episode, except for the really really strange look on Locke’s face as we fade out to “Lost” white letters on black screen.

But that was the end, let’s retrace our steps to some things I noticed from the beginning.

I had forgotten that Hurely also saw the mug shot of Kate that the Marshall gave to Jack. So, he knew from the beginning, yet never mentioned it again. I cannot get over how young Jorge Garcia is here. I know it’s six years ago, but he’s practically a baby. 🙂

I loved that as they (Shannon, Boone, Sawyer, Charlie and Sayid) all fought over who should carry the gun, the only one they could agree on was Kate. We the audience knew that she was on the run for something, but no one else did. She was immediately trusted by the Losties, and with good reason. In the end, her ability to use a gun saved everyone. I didn’t think much of Evangeline’s acting abilities when I watched these episodes in first run, but watching them again, her Kate is a self consistent character: sort of one who is passionate about what she believes and scared to trust.

Poor Sawyer. When he shot the Marshall to put him out of his misery, and just ended up making things worse (missed his heart, tore his lung, etc), I felt just as badly for him as when his actions led to the death of well, I will leave that out for those who haven’t watched this the first time so you can be surprised. It is obvious that even though he’s all talk and cocky, there’s much that Sawyer doesn’t know and when he overreaches, he makes grave mistakes. Hurley’s “is he still alive?!” observations were awesome. From the beginning, he’s spoken for us, the viewer. Everybody loves Hurley!

Overall, this was another wonderful episode. Hawaii is beautiful, so it doesn’t take much to make it look gorgeous on camera, but this is the first episode after the two part pilot, which was filmed more as a movie than a TV show. Still, the crane shots, and wide shots really allow the viewer to be there, with the characters, on the island.

One more spoilery discussion for those who haven’t watched the show before. Skip the next paragraph.
Now back to that last shot. Was Locke dead all along? Some have speculated that the only possible way he could have walked after being paralyzed (next episode we learn this) was that he was Smokey from the very beginning. My first thought was no, but the crazy look he was giving everyone (Michael and Walt?) really gave me pause. Locke was tied my favorite character with Jack for most of the show, starting with his backstory episode Walkabout (next up). I hoped his ending would be something different than it was, but always liked his faith that somehow he might matter to something more important than he was. All his suffering might actually be for something rather than just dumb luck. I like to think that too. If he were smokey from the beginning, that sort of undoes everything and would really cast a shadow over my thoughts about Locke.

Either way, well done by the whole cast from the very beginning. I can only imagine what it was like to get an ensemble show up and running, but the writing, acting, directing were all excellent from the very beginning.


About rocketsciencemom
I am a rocket scientist in my day job, and a mother of two all the time. I'm a pop culture addict and amateur artist in my spare time. My typical preferences tend toward sci-fi and fantasy genres but I love a good drama or comedy. Reading the blogs of fellow Lost fans over the years has motivated me to finally write my own. All drawings and images on this blog are property of RocketScienceMom

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