Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Review: Lost 1.3: Tabula Rasa

http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20090827002538/lostpedia/images/7/7a/1x03_FinalTalk.jpg
The Marshall doesn't have a good death, really.
Lost - Season One, Episode Three - Tabula Rasa
Written between the 20th and 21st April 2013

Tabula Rasa is the latin for "blank slate". Such is the state for our characters, all of whom have to mark themselves out as people on the Island before we learn what went on before. The flashback technique only lightly touched upon in the two pilot episodes now sees its first regular installment, and while the results aren't as clear as we'd hoped, it's still a step towards the finished picture. I think the problem with Tabula Rasa at this stage is that we've had a heap load of focus on Kate already, so giving her a centric episode right after she had a flashback in the second pilot episode feels a bit like overkill. But whatever.
     As the signal party returns from the mountains with no luck, Jack tends to the Marshall, who continues to die without the necessary drugs. He repeatedly tells Jack not to trust Kate, and he mulls over the fact that she is a convicted criminal. He comes to the conclusion, when she comes back, that the Island should be a blank slate and that he doesn't care what happened before. Kate, worried that the Marshall might say more, asks Jack to euthanise him. When he refuses, she charms Sawyer into doing it, and Jack is forced to finish the job when Sawyer misses his heart. Elsewhere, and Locke whittles a dog whistle. Despite Michael being suspicious of Walt's friendship with the old man, he accepts the favour when Locke tells him that he has found Vincent and wants to let Michael say he found him.
    In our flashback, we don't exactly get to see the reason why Kate's a wanted criminal, but we do get something of a Season One standard of learning how they ended up on Flight 815. Kate, on the run, is hiding out in Australia. She ends up on the farm of widower Ray Mullen, who offers her a place to stay in exchange for some chores. Kate stays with him for three months before deciding she has to leave, and when Ray is driving her to the train station she discovers that he saw her wanted poster in the Post Office and now wants the $23,000 reward money for his retirement. Chased by the Marshall, Kate forces them into a car accident, but is caught when she spends too long rescuing Ray from the car.
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Kate remembers her time with Ray Mullen.
     In the past (which show wise is in the future, but anyway) I've called Kate a bit self-centred, and I can see from these first few episodes that it's a great deal more complicated than that. She's a person who can often be self-obsessed, but when push comes to shove she will go the extra mile for other people's wellbeing. Again, I think that it was a bad move to go straight into a Kate-centric story, but that's all to do with personal preference and little to do with any real remarks against the episode.
     I think it's probably quite similar to the reasons that I wasn't excited about What Kate Does, because you take a very mythos-filled introduction and then follow it up with something that's a great deal quieter and more intimate, even if at this end of the show that's what you come to expect. I think it was important that this happened ultimately, because it allowed for a little more fleshing out of the minor characters in their reaction to the Marshall's painful demise, as well as giving us some wonderfully mixed messages about next week's centric character, Locke.

Thanks.

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