LOST 1.03 Tabula Rasa (Kate)

The episode title “Tabula Rasa” refers to a latin expression meaning “blank slate” which basically says everyone’s life memories are determined by the choices they make and what they experience – our memories are not pre-written for us.  Or as Natasha Bedingfield sings it in Unwritten:

I am unwritten, can’t read my mind, I’m undefined
I’m just beginning, the pen’s in my hand, ending unplanned
Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you can not find
Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins

The rest is still unwritten

Free will versus fate is a big theme throughout all of LOST as we will see in the upcoming episodes.

Another thing to note is that the concept of the tabula rasa was promoted by the philosopher John Locke, who our Locke is named for.

And now on with the show. Previously we saw Kate sitting next to the Marshall on the plane.  I thought it was interesting that he said to her, “But you’ve got to stay positive, kiddo. You know, there’s always that off chance that they’ll believe your story. I know I sure do.” Was the Marshall talking about Kate’s murder of Wayne, her father, or is there more to it than that?  Remember that if the Losties can travel back and forth through time, she may have told the Marshall about their attempts at changing history to “save us all”.  I am thinking this might be the case because just like Sayid was brought back in handcuffs to the island by a marshall of sorts, so is Kate.  Her trip back to the island may be intentional.

The Marshall says Kate is dangerous and Jack is not to trust her no matter what she says.  He tells Jack to look in his coat pocket where he finds a mug shot of Kate with Harrison Valley PA on the placard.  I did a search of that location and found that the latitude/longitude was 42 deg/ 77 deg.  42 is one of the numbers and 77 = 4+15+16+42.  And then I found something really interesting.  If you map the coordinates 42 deg and 77 deg 40 minutes, it puts you very close to the intersection of two roads:
42 deg latitude and 77 deg 40 minutes longitude is:
Intersection of N. Fork Road and McCutcheon Road which is 4 miles north of Harrison Valley.

So there is a Fork in the road just North of where Kate was held.  And we have seen the name McCutcheon on the show as well – It’s the whiskey we have seen Sayid, Widmore and Desmond drink.  Widmore is particularly fond of it.  There is more about McCutcheon whiskey at Lostpedia.

Flashback:  We see the first off-island flashback when Kate wakes up on a Ray’s farm in Australia. She tells the farmer she is sightseeing through Australia.  He gives her a place to stay in exchange for her work on his farm.  She says her name is Annie.  After three months she is about to leave, when the farmer tells her to stay.  She says she has “trust” issues but agrees to let him drive her to the train station.  On the way a man drives up along side and recognizes Kate.  It’s the man with the shrapnel.  She tries to get away, but he catches her and they fly together on flight 815.  The farmer has one missing (and now prosthetic) arm.  There is two types of symbolism here.  In the TV show and movie, The Fugitive, the hero is wrongly accused of killing someone.  He instead blames the “one armed man” who the police can’t find.  So he goes off on a quest to clear his name by finding the true killer.  The other symbolism is that on Lost we see that Dr. Chang has a fake arm, which was caused during the Incident in the Season 5 finale.

Chang injures his arm

Chang injures his arm

Also to note, Kate pretends to be Annie (which is her middle name) and claims she is from Canada.  A lot of the Others claimed to be from Canada as well (Ethan is one I distinctly remember).  And to add more irony the actress who plays Kate is Nicole Evengeline Lilly who goes by Evie (her middle name) and who really is from Canada (Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta).  I used to believe that Ben’s childhood sweetheart (named Annie) was Kate, but I don’t think so since the child actor we saw in the S5 finale is a different actor than young Annie.  By the way Sawyer, who loves Kate, calls her Freckles for the first time.

Kate tells us she has trust issues.  But she trusts the farmer who actually cons her in order to get the $23,000 reward money.  The marshall catches up with her even after Kate crashes Ray’s car.  But she saves Ray from the burning auto.

At the end of the episode Kate is ready to tell Jack what she did to become a fugitive but he says it doesn’t matter anymore.  They “died” three days and now they are all starting a new life where the past doesn’t matter.   The blank slate.

Locke/Walt:  We find out what “the secret” is that Locke told Walt while describing the backgammon game.  Walt: “Mr. Locke said a miracle happened to him.”  Which we find out later is the healing power of the island.  We also see something strange.  Just after Real Locke gives Vincent the dog back to Michael for Walt, we see Locke again.  This time with a evil and menacing look on his face while dark music plays in the background.   Is this another occurrence of Fake Locke (aka Jacob’s nemesis)?

Ending:  There is a beautiful scene at the end where the castaways make amends for their arguments on the island.  I think this is what really got me hooked on Lost.  Even though their situation was dire, they still had hope and could learn to trust and get along with each other.

3 Responses

  1. Interesting the first flashback episode is Kate centric. I wonder if Kate is more important than we think, even though she is involved the most frustrating love triangle ever seen in television history.

    Magic Box theory: Kate wants a new slate, and gets a chance to start anew. It might also be the reason why we have recurring themes and props. Because the island is a magic box.

  2. Here’s an interesting thing that Tubular points out. Kate is being protected by Ray the farmer on his sheep farm. While in Season 5 we meet Jack’s grandfather who is named Ray Shephard (sheep herder). In “The 23rd Psalm” from Season 2, Eko recites the famous “The Lord is my Shepherd”.

    Also we know that Jack tells Kate “we have to go back” (i.e. to the island). While the Marshall says he needs to bring her (Kate) back (presumably to face justice), but she ends up on the island.

  3. Sayid said, that if they tell the others, there would be mass panic, so they had to lie about the signal they picked up on the transceiver. Hmm sounds very much like the lie they lived in the real world.

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