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Tabula Rasa

January 24, 2010

Wow. I forgot there used to be good Kate flashbacks. This episode had a number of firsts…first flashback, first montage, and the first reference that probably began all the theories and speculation, when Jack says that they are all dead, and now have a chance to start over. From this of course came the purgatory theory.

This episode showed concern on the part of both Kate (not wanting the marshal to suffer and wanting the farmer to get his money) and Sawyer (worry about the marshal living after he was shot). Earlier in the episode, with Sawyer’s “You’re just now lookin’ at the big picture” comment, Jack for the first time seems to begin to come to terms with the fact that eventually the food and medicine will run out, and that his “hero” (leader) role might be with him for a while.

Obviously, for the theme of the show, the Jack/Locke conflict holds more weight, but this is the first episode where we see the dichotomy between Sawyer (selfish) and Jack (selfless) (“Well, I guess that just about sums it up”). It’s also the first episode where Locke begins to do small things to help people with their small problems (as opposed to Jack who works on the macro level) when he carves the whistle and finds Vincent. We see one side of him when he tells Michael that he should bring the dog back to Walt, but are left at the end of the episode with a foreshadowing of the next episode when the montage ends with foreboding music, and ends on Locke’s face.

There were really no references to island mythology or mystery in this episode, but we do see in one sequence the indications of boars on the island (even though it is only heard and not seen) and the continuation of a relationship between Michael and Sun. And of course when I use the word relationship in these posts, I am not referring to a romantic relationship, but instead a relationship between the characters.

Island mythology: 1 out of 10 (the reference to being dead is about it)

Character development: 7.5 out of 10 (as enumerated above)

Importance of episode to the series: 6 out of 10. Being only the first episode after the pilot, this was important in beginning to show character relationships and tensions and power struggles, but overall did not hold a huge amount of relevance.

Personal enjoyment of episode: 7.5 out of 10. The montages get me every time, and this one was no different. Favorite scene was actually Walt getting Vincent back during the montage, followed by Sayid tossing the mango to Sawyer. Again, small moments are what make the series for me, and this episode in particular was full of them.

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