Thursday, October 07, 2004

Lost - Tabula Rasa 

Let's get the Buffy reference out of the way up front, okay? Tabula Rasa was one of the best Buffy episodes ever. Greatest laugh lines, most heartbreaking ending, that moment when everything came rushing back into Buffy's memory. Tara's realization of what Willow had done, and Willow's realization of how badly she was fucking up. The entire closing montage with Michelle Branch singing "Goodbye To You." Kills me time and again.

Now, back to Lost.

Early in the episode we get some day in the life scenes of the various uncredited surivors going about the tasks required for making the best of things. It was nice to see that there really are more than just the regular cast. They keep saying there are 48 in total, whoops - almost down to 47 by the end of this episode, but we'll get to that later.

Walt's Dad doesn't like that some Bald Guy is telling Walt secrets, and tells him not to hang out with the shiny-pated freak. Walt basically tells Dad to take a hike - and find Vincent while he's at it. Dad insists that he'll find Vincent as soon as it stops raining. Which it does that very instant. Hmm. Bald guy told Walt that a miracle happened for Walt or something like that. Is Walt projecting all this stuff somehow?

The transceiver crew decide they have to keep the truth about the mystery transmission a secret from the rest of the survivors, or it will destroy any hope they have left. Syed points out with much gravity that you don't want to see what happens when people lose hope.

Daniel Dae Kim continues being an asshole. He's got SSF busy rummaging through the wreckage and retrieving bags that might be his. We see her dragging one over to him, only to be told that it's not his and she should keep looking. As she sadly turns to continue her task, he admonishes her for being filthy, and tells her to go wash up. He does tell her, "Sun, I love you." She is the Sun, and he is the Ass.

Dad and SSF's storylines collide later when Dad is retreating in terror from the jungle after hearing scary tiger-like growling while searching for Vincent, and he runs headlong into SSF's little private bath clearing. He stammers and stutters about how he didn't see anything, but takes way too long simply to exit, and he hands SSF her blouse on his way by. Why did he hand her the blouse? She's clearly in the midst of bathing, and Dad is leaving. She says nothing, as usual. She gives him some unclear looks, however. She's an enigma.

Hurley and Jake find Kate's mugshot in the jacket of Dying Guy Who I Don't Believe is a U.S. Marshall (at least not an uncorrupted one). Hurley freaks out that she's going to like, you know, kill them all, Dude. Jake is taking a more philosophical approach that whatever any of them did in their previous lives is gone, and everyone is starting out with a clean slate on the island.

Through a series of unimportant circumstances, the transceiver gang decide that Kate should be the one to keep the gun and bullet. Hurley's not going to like this one bit.

Today's backstory is provided by Kate, who we learn was hiking her way through Australia after she ran out of cash on her journey to find herself after college or something like that. She was taken in and given a farmhand job by a lonely old guy with a helluva mortgage. They bond, but after three months she's preparing to take off in the middle of the night. She did leave him a note. He wakes up and convinces her to stay one more night, and he'll drive her to the train in the morning. En route to the train, she realizes that he's turning her in to whoever is after her for whatever he's after her for. Old Guy 'fesses up that he saw her picture at the post office a few days earlier, and he really needs the $23,000 reward for that helluva mortgage.

Dying Guy who at this point was still Menacing Man then pulls up alongside the pickup truck and makes a shooting gesture at her with his empty hand. Much crazy driving follows, which I don't really understand since Old Guy was turning her over. Why didn't he just pull over and pass her along? Anyway, Kate grabs the wheel, the truck goes off the road, crashes and catches fire. Kate, being the misunderstood and unjustly accused fugitive with a heart of gold, takes the time to drag Old Unconscious Guy away from the wreckage and is then faced with the muzzle of Menacing Man's gun.

Jake has determined that Dying Guy probably isn't going to make it, apparently because his abdomen is rigid. That and the massive physical trauma and subsequent sepsis, but Jake keeps repeating about his abdomen being rigid. Hey - do some situps Jake, and you too can have washboard abs! The rest of the survivors are getting a little tired of listening to Dying Guy's endless moaning and wailing and wish he would just die already. Think of Tilda Swinton in The Beach. Kate grills Jake on whether Dying Guy will suffer horribly before he dies, and then tries to play on his humanitarian instincts by suggesting that Jake should put Dying Guy out of his misery. I think she'd prefer that he suffer a horribly lingering death, though.

After an earlier scene in which Dying Guy musters enough strength to try to choke Kate, later on Kate and Dying Guy have some secret words, in which we learn that just before the explosion Kate was going to ask Menacing Man to make sure Old Guy got his $23,000. Heart of gold, I'm telling you. I get the distinct impression that Menacing Man was in love with Kate at some point, and that his blind pursuit is somewhat scorned vengeance driven.

While Kate's in with Dying Guy, Hurley lets Jake know about the whole gun thing. Jake goes running up but Kate exits the tent. Then we hear a gunshot, and Angry White Guy steps out, all he asked me to, and I-did-what-needed-to-be-done-but-you-didn't-have-the-cojones-to-do-it. But he swaggered too soon, as we discover due to the loud fluidic groan that emerges from within. Turns out genius Angry White Guy took the obvious route of using the last bullet they have to shoot Dying Man in the heart. Because it would have been too simple to shoot him in the head. Of course he missed and punctured the lung, which will now lead to hours of more intensive deathbed bitching and moaning.

Oddly, the episode ends with a bunch of uplifting, happy scenes. Kate tells Jake about the 16-year transmission, Jake tells Kate he knows about the mugshot etc., she offers to tell him what she did, but he gives her the clean slate line. Spoiled Chick gets a newly repaired pair of sunglasses delivered to her by her Clueless Brother, and is tickled pink that she can be cool again. Pregnant Girl is still happily experiencing an active pregnancy, and Bald Guy fashions a dog whistle, to which Vincent responds immediately. Why has this dog been hiding in the jungle? He seems to like Walt - has this just been an extended game of hide and seek? What has he been eating? Bald Guy bonds a bit with Dad by secretly letting him know about Vincent so that Dad can be the hero for Walt. It works quite well, and Walt is ecstatic as Dad appears with Vincent on a leash. What a drag for Vincent - he's on this island with lots of trees, sand and open water, and he has to be kept on a leash. That's like doggie hell. In other news, we see Charlie retaping his index finger so as to change his magic marker tattoo from "FATE" into "LATE." I'm thinking we'll get some of his preflight story next week. This is pure speculation, as Tivo didn't record the previews.

So this week we learned about secrets and slates. No sushi, though. Too bad, because that hand on Pregnant Girl's belly scene was priceless.

Posted by Beth Henderson at 1:22 PM