Welcome to LOST Observations: your guide through the clues and easter eggs scattered throughout ABC’s LOST. In this third edition, we’re  looking back at the Kate-Centric “Tabula Rasa”.

Exciting news! We have survived the Pilot and will be getting started with character-centric episodes now. Less exciting news; the first one is a Kate episode. After a few shots of shirtless Redshirts, we start our episode with Jack. Learning the truth about Kate.

Beware – major plot spoilers for Seasons 1-6 ahead

“She looks pretty hardcore.”


  • The episode is filled with ironic lines regarding Kate. “Trust me.” “So we lie.” “Kate should hold the gun.”… The funny thing is, compared to so many others, Kate probably is one of the most trustworthy of the survivors.
  • Kate tells Ray her name is Annie. That probably has nothing to do with Ben’s childhood friend; Kate’s second name is Anne.
  • This early on, Kate chooses not to shoot the Marshall but gives Sawyer the gun to do it instead. It’s not the last time she will use Sawyer to get something done.

  • The heavy rain that provides the Marshall some water (thanks to Sayid’s nifty tarp system, and the conveniently huge amount of tarps inside the plane!) is foreshadowed by the heavy clouds and thunder. Hey, the fun is in the details!

  • Locke’s wheelchair comes in handy for the heavy lifting.
  • “Whoever’s this was is probably better off than we are.” That’s an interesting way to put it, Charlie. Locke definitely seems to believe he’s better off on the island, while all the other survivors (Rose being an exception) are still doing everything they can to get home.

  • Patsy Cline. The soundtrack of Kate’s life. “Leavin’ On Your Mind” is the first of seven instances that her music is used on the show, mostly in scenes involving Kate.
  • Kate is not kidding when she says they listen to Patsy Cline everywhere; she finds a record of her song “Walkin’ After Midnight” inside the Swan Station, and is later seen listening to “She’s Got You” at the Dharma Barracks.
  • Patsy Cline died in a plane crash at age 30.

  • Just pointing out that that’s NOT a Dharma logo on the plane behind Walt. Although it was a popular theory back in the day, it’s actually just marks that are made when repairs are made on an airplane. So there you go.

  • The title of the episode, Tabula Rasa, is a reference to the theory of the 17th century philosopher John Locke (interesting name!). It literally means “erased slate”. Locke believed individuals are born “blank”, and that personality and intelligence comes from experiences after birth. Kind of like crashing on an island and starting a new life.
  • Ray Mullen tells Kate “Everyone deserves a fresh start”, which is echoed by Jack later in the episode.
  • Without hesitating, Kate tells Jack about the distress signal because she trusts him. In return, Jack decides to lie about Edward Mars, still not fully trusting her. It’s an interesting way to look at the “new life” theme, because Jack has evidence of Kate’s past crimes and Kate knows nothing about Jack.
  • The fact that Kate trusts Jack so soon after meeting him is interesting too, since she tells Ray she has trust issues even after sleeping at his farm for three months. I suppose living on a remote island makes the difference.
  • Sawyer tells it like it is; “You’re just not looking at the big picture, doc. You’re still back in civilisation.”
  • Edward Mars seems to agree with Jack; “You don’t look free to me,” he tells Kate.
  • At the end of the episode, Jack agrees that the Kate he knows might not be the Kate that got caught for murder, theft, and a whole bunch of other things. Cue the Purgatory-theories!:

“I don’t want to know. It doesn’t matter, Kate. Who we were, what we did before this – before the crash. It doesn’t really… Three days ago we all died. We should all be able to start over.”

  • Joe Purdy’s “Wash Away” at the end of the episode fits with the “clean slate” theme.

“I got troubles, lord, but not today
Cause they’re gonna wash away
This old river’s gonna take them away.”


  • Charlie does pose an interesting question; would a satellite be able to see the Island from up there?
  • For some reason, LOST likes its characters to have missing limbs. Pierre Chang, Montand, and in this case Ray being examples of that.
  • The reward for turning Kate in is $23,000. Of course, 23 is one of the numbers.
  • Locke’s “secret” is revealed; he told Walt a miracle happened to him.
  • We also get to know what Kate’s “favour” was; she wanted Ray Mullen to get the money he owed. Did she ever give him the money after leaving the island?
  • At this point Locke already knows Charlie was in the band Drive Shaft, yet he still chooses to ignore him while he’s making a dog whistle for Walt.
  • Sawyer aims for the Marshall’s heart but shoots his lungs instead. Producer Carlton Cuse came up with the idea that Sawyer was hyperopic, which is why he never seems to be able to hit anything and ends up with glasses later in the show.
  • Did Walt make the rain stop, or was that the Island toying with Michael?
  • So first Walt mistakes the Smoke Monster for Vincent, and now Michael thinks he hears the dog when it’s actually a boar (or polar bear) chasing him. You gotta wonder what kind of weird noises Vincent made back in the real world.

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  1. Rick Terry says

    Another good entry Jim! Brings back many rewatch memories. Funny thing; as many times as I watched every single episode I never once noticed that DHARMA like pattern on the plane. Good catch!

    Like: Thumb up 3

          • Jim says

            I know, I know, but back when the show was still on there were some CRAZY theories, and some people that noticed it thought it was supposed to be a DHARMA logo. Of course it wasn’t.

            If you Google “dharma plane” you’ll still get some hits.

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  2. says

    Some interesting trivia… Carlton Cuse was a producer assistant on the movie Sweet Dreams, and he has stated that his mother listened to Patsy Cline when she cleaned the house. It is easy to understand why he loves Patsy Cline.

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