Lost: Season 1, Episode 3

Tabula Rasa (6 Oct. 2004)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 2,765 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 2 critic

Jack and Hurley discover an alarming secret about Kate, while the marshal's life hangs in the balance.



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Title: Tabula Rasa (06 Oct 2004)

Tabula Rasa (06 Oct 2004) on IMDb 8.6/10

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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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Sound Mix:


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 »


The farmer tells Kate that he saw her photo in the post office, and that her capture would result in a $23,000 reward. Australian wanted posters are usually in the police station (post offices never have them), and normally do not specify rewards. See more »


Charlie: They'll find us. They have satellites in space that can take pictures of your license plate.
Sayid: If only we were all wearing license plates.
See more »


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


Main Title
Written by J.J. Abrams
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User Reviews

Entirely average episode
10 June 2008 | by (prejudicemadeplausible.wordpress.com) – See all my reviews

The first of the several 'Kate on the Run' episodes, "Tabula Rasa" is a Damon Lindelof solo effort that only barely manages to stay interesting thanks to some character development and the interesting character Ray Mullen in the flashbacks.

After the thrilling "Pilot, Part 2", "Tabula Rasa" is a bit of a comedown. Still just a basic survival drama with some mystery at its core ("Walkabout" would introduce many of the enduring concepts in the series, but at this point there's not even much of a hint of the show being anything other than a survival drama and frankly the island events suffer for it. I guess "Tabula Rasa" is a necessary evil; an episode that is designed to further introduce some of the characters and take some time to expand upon some of the concepts introduced in the pilot.

The whole 'Kate is a criminal' storyline seems awfully boring and hackneyed as we view it now fully aware of what Kate actually did and how poorly-executed the future events in the storyline are. Not much happens on the island, mainly a lot of suffering on the Marshall's part and a lot of Kate looking worried and anxious. In many ways this is Sawyer's episode more than Kate's- at least on the island. Sawyer is the character that develops most in this episode- you could watch the Pilot and wonder if the Sawyer we're seeing in the later seasons has anything at all in common with this Sawyer, but in the space of about 15-20 minutes of screen time Damon Lindelof makes Sawyer a far more interesting and sympathetic character. It's just a shame that the writers have completely ignored the island's magical hair-growing abilities and their obvious effects on Sawyer's hair.

This episode was the first episode of "Lost" directed by series regular Jack Bender who took over the job from J.J. Abrams who directed the pilot episodes. He was a veteran director by this point but is clearly still familiarizing himself with this particular series. Michael Giacchino's score for this episode is disappointing and noticeably weaker than his efforts for "Pilot, Part 1" and "Pilot, Part 2".


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