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I am writing this rewatch blog so that I can rewatch the series and look out for things that came up the first time that I may have missed. I will make connections from each episode to things that will happen later in the show. Here's the review for episode 3 of Season 1...Tabula Rasa, the first Kate centric episode, and the first to feature the traditional flashback format.
The first thing I noticed was the similarity between the campfire scene with Sayid, Kate, Charlie, Shannon, and Boone and the scene on Penny's boat with the Oceanic Six. Both groups decided to lie about what really happened to them. In "Tabula Rasa," they decide to lie about the nature of the French transmission, playing on a loop for 16 years, in order to keep up the hope and morale of the crash survivors. Sayid decides to say that they were not able pick up anything on their journey. And of course as we know the Oceanic Six decided to lie about what really happened on the Island in order to protect their friends. Even the exact dialogue in these two scenes is very similar. Also of note in this scene is the first instance of Sawyer calling Kate "freckles." This would become such a common nickname that in Season 3, in Through the Looking Glass, Kate would comment on how weird it was for Sawyer to call her "Kate" instead of "freckles."
I loved hearing Jack and Hurley's conversation about The Monster in this episode, with Hurley asking Jack if it was possible for the Monster to be a dinosaur. Jack said no, Hurley asked why not, and Jack said, "Because dinosaurs are extinct." It's really nice to see these Jack and Hurley scenes early in the show, knowing their dynamic at the end of the show, as Jack sacrifices himself and passes the torch, of protector-ship of the Island, on to Hurley. Hurley and Jack share a lot of scenes related to the care of Edward Mars in this episode.
I also noticed that in this episode Sayid takes charge and acts with a strong sense of leadership, especially after coming back from his trek up the Island. I always thought that early on Sayid was a better leader than Jack. Too often, Jack let his emotions get the better of him and they influenced his decisions. Sayid was very cool-headed and didn't let outside influences affect his decision making.
We also see Charlie and Claire's first scene together, as Charlie helps Claire carry a heavy suitcase across the beach. Charlie and Claire's relationship always seemed to me to be the least forced out of all them, and seemed to me be the most genuine, and in this episode, we saw the first instance of it. Charlie also shared his first scene with Locke in this episode, as Locke showed his penchant for building things to help the survivors. He built a dog whistle to help Michael, and will later build a crib to help Claire. At this point in the series, Locke was still very mysterious, and seemed to give off an off-putting vibe. This was only reinforced with the last shot of this episode being a very creepy shot of Locke's face. Terry O'Quinn has always been brilliant in terms of facial expressions, and that talent was used double time in the final season as he played two wildly different characters.
We have the first pre-flight flashbacks in this episode, and we learn why Kate was in Australia at the time. We learn that she is constantly on the run (her dominant theme throughout the series). We are introduced to her tendency to use aliases while on the run. Throughout the series she has been known as Annie, Joan, Monica, Maggie, and Lucy, as well as Kate of course. The reward for catching her is $23,000 (an early instance of the numbers, before we even knew what they were), and on the way to meet up with Edward Mars, Ray Mullen plays Patsy Cline on the radio. Throughout the series, Patsy Cline's music has often been associated with Kate, and played in a lot of her centric episodes. It's also interesting to note that Patsy Cline died in a plane crash in 1963. This episode really starts to develop Kate's character, and is one of the more tolerable Kate-centrics. Season 1 has always been my favorite season, because of the way each character was strongly developed. In Seasons 2 and 3, some of the flashbacks were definitely filler and just a way to move the story along and weren't necessary. But most of the flashbacks in Season 1 were very strong and important to the entire series.
Along with his conflict with Locke, Jack's conflict with Sawyer was a very strong recurring theme throughout the series that climaxed with Juliet's death. It got its start in Tabula Rasa with their conversation in the fuselage over looting, and Sawyer's failure to euthanize Edward Mars correctly. Sawyer tried to take charge by manning up and shooting Mars in the heart, but failed and only made him suffer more.
The last thing I noticed was Jack's final conversation with Kate at the end of the episode about being able to start over. "Three days ago, we all died. We should be able to start over." Jack says that what each person did before the crash doesn't matter. They should be able to start a new life here on the Island. Jack sounds very Jacob-esque already, and he's only been on the Island for 4 days. Jacob believed in bringing flawed people to the Island, and seeing how they'd act once they were given a blank slate. He did this for almost 2,000 years in an attempt to prove his nameless twin wrong. Jacob believed in the inherent good in humanity, and thought the Island would be able to bring that good out of people, even if they were flawed. He believed that these people needed the Island as much as the Island needed them.
Thanks for reading and commenting, guys. At the end of this episode, we get a final shot of Locke's creepy face, foreshadowing the next episode, Walkabout, Locke's first centric, and one of the best episodes of the entire series. The review for the 4th episode will probably be posted in about two days. You can find previous reviews on my user page. Namaste as always,