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



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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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-14 | See all certifications »

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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 »


Hurley: Was it a dinosaur?
Jack: It wasn't a dinosaur.
Hurley: You say you didn't see it.
Jack: I didn't.
Hurley: So how do you know it wasn't a dinosaur?
Jack: Because dinosaurs are extinct.
Hurley: Oh, yeah.
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Featured in Fire + Water: Anatomy of an Episode (2006) See more »


Main Title
Written by J.J. Abrams
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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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