Tabula Rasa

Episode Report Card
Dan Kawa: C+ | 1 USERS: A+
Baby, Let Me Clean Your Slate (Until It Can't Get Any Cleaner)

But then Sawyer stalks out of the tent holding the gun. Interesting! Kate had Sawyer do the deed. Probably a good idea, because if I were Kate, I would worry that if I helpfully gave Shrap the gun he'd blow me away. Sawyer looks pretty tortured about it, to his credit, but he puts on a brave face when Jack yells, "What did you do?" "What you couldn't," Sawyer replies. "Look, I get where you're coming from, bein' a doctor and all, but he wanted it. Hell, he asked me. So I don't like it any more than you do. But something had to be done." It's at this exact moment that, awesomely, we hear Marshal Shrap cough and gurgle back in Marshal Shrap's Coughing and Gurgling Emporium. The looks on Sawyer's and Jack's faces right now are priceless. Hurley adds a delightful "Aw, no way." This scene is an all-around pleasure, I must say. They rush into the tent to find the Marshal in dire straits. "You shot him in the chest?" Jack asks in disbelief. An ashen Sawyer says he was aiming for the heart. "You perforated his lung," Jack says. "It'll take hours to bleed out." Wait just a damn minute! I learned a lot of things from watching David O. Russell's fine film Three Kings, including the effects of a land mine on a cow and those of a rocket launcher on a tanker full of milk. But I also learned what happens when Marky Mark's lung gets perforated: air leaks out of the hole into his chest cavity, creating pressure that crushes his lungs, suffocating him within minutes. Remember? George Clooney had to stick that needle in his chest with the little valve he could turn to let air out? And then at the end, when he was cuffed at the Iranian border, he almost died because no one would let him twist the valve? Well, if that's what happens to Marky Mark, shouldn't that happen to Marshal Shrap, too? Where can I find accurate medical information if not popular entertainment??!?!?

Outside the tent, Sawyer pulls out a cigarette, tries to light it, and throws it away in disgust, which is kind of an annoyingly clichéd gesture, but it turns out it's only meant to distract us so that we don't notice at first that Marshal Shrap's coughing and gurgling has stopped, replaced on the soundtrack by helpfully Foleyed cricket chirps. Jack trudges out of Marshal Shrap's Ominous Silence Emporium, looks at Sawyer accusingly, and heads down to the water to wash the metaphorical blood off his hands.

Commercials. See, that scene was great. More fucking shit up, Lost people, less remembering things. I am interested in everyone's back story, but I'm more interested in the situation here on the island and watching people change. You've deftly drawn these characters as they exist here on the island; I've already been moved by the transformations that Sawyer and Jack have been forced to make, even though I have almost no knowledge of their past selves. I've been much more moved by their stories, in fact, than Kate's, even though you've given me a pile of flashbacks about her life before the island. I'm worried that this structure you seem to be setting up, of intercutting cool scenes on the island with not particularly deftly-drawn flashbacks, will result in you trusting the flashbacks to do all the work.

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