An outstanding Dutch crime series with a flawless script.
Tabula Rasa is a 9-part television series, created by Malin-Sarah Gozin and Veerle Baetens who also stars along with Stijn Van Opstal as Anemie and Benoit D'Haeze respectively, a young married couple with one daughter, a little girl named Romy. The story begins with Anemia being in the psychiatric ward of a hospital, unable to recall the events that led her there and also incapable of making new memories. She has to rely on a notebook where she sketches the faces of the people she meets and writes down who-is-who, a trope that we first encountered in Christopher Nolan's masterpiece, Memento where the protagonist suffered from a similar memory dysfunction. Anemie soon learns that she is the prime suspect in the disappearance of Thomas De Geest, a person she cannot remember meeting at all.
This is the premise of the story that unfolds in nine episodes (50 minutes each) and the scriptwriting team of Tabula Rasa is worthy of special praise as they leave no loose ends and the final episode explains everything that we saw happened in the previous eight. This is a brilliant achievement as many crime television series, or movies, are known for having massive plot-holes and demanding from the viewer to constantly suspend his disbelief, stretching its limits.
In this case, however, the finale is thoroughly satisfying and also has a tremendous plot twist that makes the viewer see the whole story from a brand new perspective. In terms of a clever and dignified ending, Tabula Rasa is one of the top series of last year. I should also mention the exceptional performances by both the two protagonists and the secondary characters like Rita, Oli, Nikki, and the enigmatic Vronsky that Anemie meets in the psychiatric facility.
There are a lot of small twists and cliffhangers during the unraveling of the plot that obliges the viewer to watch one more episode in order to find out what happens next in this suspenseful thriller with some horror and whodunit-elements. The themes that the series attempt to explore are time, memory, obsession, grief and many other questions raised by the series' great dialogue parts. If you still haven't watched it, you better find the time to indulge in this little diamond from the Netherlands.