Lost: Season 1, Episode 3

Tabula Rasa (6 Oct. 2004)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Drama | Fantasy
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 2,287 users  
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The U.S. marshal's assignment is revealed. Later, there is a difference of opinion between Jack and Sawyer as to how to help the critically injured marshal. Flashback to what Kate was doing... See full summary »



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Title: Tabula Rasa (06 Oct 2004)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Marshal Edward Mars (as Fredric Lane)


The U.S. marshal's assignment is revealed. Later, there is a difference of opinion between Jack and Sawyer as to how to help the critically injured marshal. Flashback to what Kate was doing in Australia. Scenes of the crash from Kate's POV. A small group sets off with a transceiver in an effort to send a mayday signal. Michael forbids Walt to speak to Locke. Locke later extends an act of kindness toward Michael that may help the father-son relationship. Sayid makes a bid to organize some island committees. Written by IMTammyP

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Release Date:

6 October 2004 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


The flashbacks in this episode are the first to reveal Kate's criminal past. See more »


In Australlia farms or ranches are called stations; especially sheep stations like the one in Kate's flashback. See more »


Sayid: Basic photography - point and shoot. Satellites can shoot but they must be told where to point.
Charlie: Oh... bollocks.
See more »


Featured in Fire + Water: Anatomy of an Episode (2006) See more »


Leavin' On Your Mind
by Patsy Cline
See more »

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User Reviews

"We should all be able to start over."
26 January 2010 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

The episode's title, Tabula Rasa, is a common concept in philosophy, a "blank slate" usually associated with the human mind as stated by, for instance, Plato and John Locke. Given the latter's importance in Lost canon (they named a key character after him), it was to be expected that the "tabula rasa" idea make its way into the series. In this case, it refers to the survivors and the fact that they have now been given an opportunity to start over, leaving the past behind.

In some cases, however, starting over isn't going to be that easy, since Jack finds out from the dying U.S. marshal that Kate is a dangerous, untrustworthy fugitive and subsequently clashes with Sawyer as to what to do with the marshal and the recently acquired information. In addition, Said is reluctant to reveal what he discovered while trying to send a distress signal, and the mysterious Locke (there we go) offers to solve Michael's family problems by finding Walt's missing pet, a Labrador named Vincent (the same dog Jack spotted at the beginning of the pilot episode).

Meanwhile, the flashbacks show Kate hiding in Australia and being offered shelter by a farmer, although the latter's financial situation eventually forces her to be on the run once again (we also get to see the plane crash from her point of view). Exactly what she did remains a mystery for now, and it will be interesting to see if it matches the marshal's description of her, compared to what we have seen so far.

Tabula Rasa is less spectacular than the pilot (then again, the latter did cost a lot more than the average series premiere), and also less concerned with the show's sci-fi nature, but it's already possible to see the essence of Lost (a blend of mystery, existentialism and flat-out weirdness) slowly, yet intriguingly shape up.

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