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Cabin Fever

May 9, 2008

Lost sure is at the top of its game.  Last night’s episode, entitled Cabin Fever, was action packed and of course, packed with events that raise even more questions!!

The few questions that jump into my mind are:  why the heck is Jack’s dad in Jacob’s cabin?  Why the heck is Claire there too?  What was on Keamy’s arm?  How did the doc wash up on the Island a few days ago, but only is just murdered? Why does Richard Alpert never age?

Thankfully, Lostpedia is alive and well.  Here is another overview from that great Lost resource!  If you need more Lost insight, head over to The Lost Blog.


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  • Not including “Ji Yeon” (in which the flashback runs alongside the flashforward), this is the first episode since “D.O.C.” to feature conventional pre-crash flashbacks of an Oceanic 815 survivor.
  • A Geronimo Jackson poster and photograph of Sir Richard Burton, explorer are visible in teenage Locke’s locker.
  • Horace Goodspeed, in Locke’s dream, mentions that he has been dead for 12 years. This places the date of the Purge on December 19, 1992 (December 19 being Ben’s birthday).
  • Ben and Hurley share what appears to be an Apollo Bar while they wait for Locke to come out of the cabin.
  • Christian, who usually appears in a suit, wears clothes that look more like what The Others and Jacob might wear.
  • The second protocol Keamy grabs from the safe has dharma symbols on the pages and on the cover.

Production notes

  • Charlotte, Daniel, Miles, and Sawyer do not appear in this episode.
  • Kate, Sun and Jin appear but have no lines.
  • The single of “Everyday” by Buddy Holly was released in July of 1957, over one year after Locke’s birthdate of May 30, 1956. It would be impossible for Emily to have been playing this record the night of John’s birth. (source: [1])

Recurring themes

Recurring themes in Lost
Black and whiteCar accidentsCharacter connectionsDeceptions and consDreamsEyesFate versus free willGood and bad peopleImprisonmentIsolationLife and deathMissing body partsNicknamesThe NumbersParent issuesPregnanciesRainRebirthRedemptionRelationshipsSacrificeSecretsTime
  • Locke’s eye is shown twice. (Eyes)
  • Keamy kills Captain Gault and Ray. (Life and Death)
  • Keamy tries to kill Michael but the gun jams. (Fate versus free will)
  • Locke’s mother gives birth. (Pregnancies) (Children)
  • Locke is born premature. (Pregnancies) (Children)
  • Locke survives many illnesses as an infant. (Life and Death)
  • Locke shows an aptitude for backgammon as a child. (Games)
  • Locke’s mother has issues with her mother. (Parent Issues)
  • It is raining when Emily rushes out of her house and has a car accident. (Rain) (Car accidents)
  • The men on the freighter hear the survivor’s transmission informing them that they have found the doctor’s corpse before he is killed on the ship. (Time)
  • Michael is being held in a room somewhere on the boat. (Imprisonment) (Isolation)
  • Captain Gault says that he will tell Keamy that Sayid stole the boat. (Deceptions and cons)
  • Young Locke argues that science can’t solve everything. (Science versus faith)
  • Locke meets Goodspeed in a dream. (Dreams)
  • Locke is given reincarnation/rebirth test by Richard. (Rebirth)
  • Ben tells Locke that he used to find answers in dreams. (Dreams)
  • Richard Alpert watches John and makes contact with him at different stages of John’s life. Even so, he does not appear to age. (Time)

Cultural references

Cultural references in Lost
(direct references only)
ArtBooksCarsGamesMovies and TVMusicPhilosophyReligion and ideologiesScience
  • Star Wars: Lapidus mentions Mayhew has died, a reference to Peter Mayhew who played Chewbacca. (Movies and TV)
  • Star Trek: Generations: When Locke meets Goodspeed, he is chopping down a tree. This is very similar to a scene in Star Trek: Generations where Captain Picard meets Captain Kirk in the Nexus as he is chopping wood. (Movies and TV)
  • The test given to young Locke by Richard Alpert strongly resembles the Tibetan Buddhist ritual used to confirm a reincarnated tulku (the Dalai Lama being the most widely known). (Religion and ideologies)
  • Young Locke is playing backgammon. (Games)
  • The Bible: As the nurses wheel out Emily’s premature baby, she yells out, “His name is John!”, a direct quote from Luke 1:63, when Zechariah and Elizabeth gave birth to John the Baptist. (Religion and ideologies)
  • The comic book Richard Alpert shows young Locke is “Mystery Tales” issue #40, which was published in April of 1956 by Atlas Comics. The cover contains the text “What was the Secret of the Mysterious Hidden Land?” and “Does it Pay to Ignore the Voice of Warning?”
  • Buddy Holly’s song “Everyday” is heard in the first flashback. Buddy Holly was a famous victim of a plane crash.
  • Myth Of Sisyphus – Horace Goodspeed is seen cutting down a tree, only to have that tree reappear uncut, which he then cuts down again in a seemingly repetative loop. This is an apparent reference to the myth of Sisyphus, who the gods punish by forcing him to push a boulder up a hill, only to have the boulder roll back down for him to push again in a eternally repeating loop. (Philosophy)
  • The X-Men: Richard Alpert’s line “I’m Richard, John. I run a school for kids who are… extremely special, and I have reason to believe that you might be one them.” is almost word for word a very common line spoken by Charles Xavier (Professor X) in the various incarnations of “X-Men” when recruiting young mutants. (Movies and TV) (Books)

Literary techniques

Literary techniques in Lost
ComparativeIronyJuxtapositionPlottingCliffhangerPlot twistStock Characters:  ArchetypeRedshirtUnseen character
Story:  FlashbacksFlashforwardsForeshadowingRegularly spoken phrasesSymbolismUnreliable narrator

Storyline analysis

Storyline analysis in Lost
  • Hurley says “I thought you were the leader” to Ben, and Ben says “not always”. (Leadership)

Episode references

The DHARMA logo on the handbook Keamy takes from the safe is the same one on the chest of the jacket Ben was wearing in Tunisia in "The Shape of Things to Come"

The DHARMA logo on the handbook Keamy takes from the safe is the same one on the chest of the jacket Ben was wearing in Tunisia in “The Shape of Things to Come

  • Keamy’s gun jams when he tries to shoot Michael. (Meet Kevin Johnson)
  • Omar tells Ray about the Morse Code transmission that Daniel sent regarding Ray’s apparent death. (The Shape of Things to Come)
  • Matthew Abaddon tells Locke he should go on a walkabout. (Walkabout)
  • An unfamiliar character puts music on. (Man of Science, Man of Faith) (A Tale of Two Cities)
  • The true story of Locke’s birth is revealed. Emily is going on a date with an unidentified older man, whom she says she is in love with. Emily once told her son that he was very special, and that he had no father because he was ‘immaculately conceived’. (“Deus Ex Machina“)
  • John is recruited by Richard Alpert to come join Mittelos. (“Not in Portland“)
  • Like Juliet, John does not understand why Mittelos is interested in him. (“Not in Portland“)
  • The mass grave is revisited (“The Man Behind the Curtain“)
  • One of the items Richard shows Locke is a compass, much like the one Locke gave Sayid in Season 1.
  • One of the items Richard shows Locke is the ‘Book of Laws’. In “What Kate Did“, Eko tells Locke a story about a King who rebuilt the Church using the Book of Laws, and then reveals part of the Orientation tape hidden inside a book.
  • One of the items Richard shows Locke is a knife, much like the one Ben gave to Locke in (The Brig).
  • After a car accident, Emily Locke (initials: EL) gives birth to John 3 months premature. As newborn Locke is removed from the hospital room, Emily calls out “His name is John! Call him John!”. Later in the episode John meets Horace Goodspeed in a dream, who directs John how to find the cabin. This mirrors Ben’s birth story from “The Man Behind the Curtain“: On the side of a road in Portland, Emily Linus (initials: EL) gives birth to Ben 2 months premature. As Emily dies from a hemorrhage, her last words are “Call him Benjamin.” Roger Linus had flagged down a car driven by Horace Goodspeed, who then takes Roger and newborn Ben to the Island.” (“The Man Behind the Curtain“)
  • The DHARMA logo on the handbook Keamy takes from the safe is the same one on the chest of the jacket Ben was wearing in Tunisia. (“The Shape of Things to Come“)

Unanswered questions

unanswered questions
  1. Do not answer the questions here.
  2. Keep the questions open-ended and neutral: do not suggest an answer.
For fan theories about these unanswered questions, see: Cabin Fever/Theories


  • Why did Richard think Locke was special?
    • Which were the items that belonged to John already?
    • Why was he disappointed in Locke’s choice?
    • Why did they want to recruit Locke for Mittelos Bioscience Science Camp?
  • What happened during Abbadon‘s walkabout?

On the Island

  • How was Ray alive after he washes up on the beach?
  • What is the device strapped to Keamy’s arm?
  • How is Locke supposed to move the island?
  • Where is Jacob, and why are Christian and Claire in his cabin?
    • Is Claire dead or alive?
  • Where is the “one place” that Ben would go to hide, as stated by Keamy on the ship?
    • What is the book that Keamy is holding before they leave?


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