Season 4 Episode 11

Cabin Fever

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM May 08, 2008 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
1,112 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Locke finds out where Jacob's cabin is. Life on the freighter becomes dangerous as Keamy takes matters into his own hands.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • Revelations about who Locke was --- or are they?

    Considering how exciting the flashbacks of Locke have been in the series, I was understandably excited to hear that we were getting another one in this episode. For the most part, it tells us things we already know about him--- his birth mother abandoned him, he was raised in foster care, he was a loser, he loved backgammon, and he had given up on ever walking again. However, 'Cabin Fever' shows us that even from the beginning of his life, Locke was special--- or was he? Later events will suggest that even now he might have been manipulated, and that manipulation is still going on even on the island.

    We see that from the beginning of his life, he defied the odds. Born three months premature, he then fought off a series of illnesses to come out of the incubator. When he was given up for adoption, Richard Alpert was there watching him. Why is not clear yet, but he visits Locke at the age of five, saying that he represents a school for very special children. There, Locke clearly drew a picture of a man being attacked by a pillar of smoke suggesting that somewhere in his DNA, he knew something about the island. Richard then presents Locke with six objects--- a baseball glove, a Book of Laws, a vial of sand, a compass, a comic book, and a knife. He then says to him: "Take the ones that already belong to you." This would seem to be a test for the island. Locke takes the vial of sand, and the compass. Richard seems pretty excited. Locke then leans in, looks at the Book of Laws.--- Alpert looks like he's going to burst--- and then John chooses the knife. Considering how closely Locke is associated with knives (and later events) we would think this is the right choice. (especially cause we've still got no idea what the Book of Laws is) Whatever the reason, Richard turns away, and Locke is left behind.

    Question: what is Richard doing in John's past, again appearing ageless. Back in season 4, the popular theory was that he was time traveling to the past exploring for candidates to be the chosen one. However, later evidence suggests that didn't happen. Richard was looking for Locke, but because of events that preceded what happened in this episode. It still doesn't explain why he looks exactly the same in 1956 than he does in 2004 (in fact, it makes it even less comprehensible) It does suggest why Richard may not have thought Locke was special but thought Ben was.

    In high school, Locke is still getting stuffed in lockers, and even less popular. Again, he gets an offer from a science camp in Portland (not that different from what Juliet was offered), but Locke refused to give in, even though he's good at science. Locke's repeating of his motto "Don't tell me what I can't do," seems to show just as when he was an adult, Locke never trusted his own instincts. He did what was popular rather than what he was good at. And in the end, all it brought him was more pain.

    The most telling flashback takes place in the hospital and involves a man we've seen before--- Matthew Abaddon, now disguised as an orderly. We then see him try to boost Locke's confidence, and plant the seed of the idea of the walkabout in his head. It's still unclear who he's working for, or why he seems so certain to try and put Locke on the path that will lead to the island. There were all sorts of theories about him after this--- one suggesting that, like Richard, he doesn't seem to age. I never bought this theory because a) it's only been, at most, five years between when we see him here, and 'The Beginning of the End', and b) Lance Reddick is such a skilled actor, he could be playing late twenties to early forties and you still wouldn't be sure unless the show told you. (I never could tell how old Cedric Daniels was on The Wire.)

    On the island, Locke is still trying to find his way, but he seems to be getting waylaid. He then has a dream of Horace Goodspeed, who tells Locke he's been dead for twelve years, and seems to imply that he was the one to build the cabin that houses Jacob. Again, later evidence would suggest that this is highly unlikely, if only because the Dharma Initiative never seemed to have a clear idea just how special the island was. Otherwise, why would they have been fighting the others. Nevertheless, Locke does find a map in Horace's pocket that does seem to lead to the cabin. However, if this is true, how did Ben find Jacob in the first place? This would seem to be an indication that Jacob hasn't lived in this cabin always (and there's a strong implication he never did)

    Eventually, Hurley is the one who finds the cabin, but we're still not sure how. Locke walks in the front door for the first time, but Jacob isn't there--- Christian Shephard is. Now since we saw him here last time we saw the cabin, that's not so strange. But Claire is also in the cabin, and she seems so at peace, the theory that she was dead would seem to hold some merit. Furthermore, rather than answer questions, Christian keeps asking them, finally forcing him to ask the question they need to know Given what we know now, it seems pretty clear that Jacob never asked these questions, especially because Christian is no longer wearing the suit he was buried in. Locke is still being manipulated, and he doesn't know how.

    Ben probably could provide some answers, but for the first time since we've known him, he seems more passive than we've ever seen him. Is he upset that he has been usurped by Locke, or (more likely) has the death of Alex has taken all the fight out of him? Something's deflated him, and when he decides not to go into the cabin, it seems that he has nothing left to fight for.

    Of course, all of this could be irrelevant based on what's happening on the freighter. What remains of the mercenaries have made it back, and somehow Keamy has survived, and he's is royally ticked. But for some reason, being attacked by the smoke monster hasn't made him want to run; he's just moving on to his secondary protocol. This causes Captain Gault, who is watching his ship fall apart, to mutiny. He helps Sayid and Desmond begin a plan to get everybody off the island. Then he tries to attack Keamy and tell him that this is too dangerous. But Widmore must be paying him a huge sum, because all he does is start killing people again, first the doctor, and throwing him overboard (and no, I still haven't figured out how he managed to show up on the beach yesterday), and then by shooting Gault. Frank clearly wants to rebel, but he's clearly no longer a willing participant, and he does his best to try and save the people on the island. (He would have been a bigger hero if he crashed the plane into the ocean, but maybe he knew there was still something he could do.) Keamy is going to kill everyone on this island, just as Ben prophesized --- unless they can do what Christian said and--- wait for it--- "move the island." Yeah, I thought it was lunacy, too, but given everything we've seen on the show so far, it doesn't sound that crazy, even then.

    As any episodes that focus on Locke and Ben are, this was one of the high points of the season. Considering that a lot of the information we later learned was red herrings is what keeps me from ranking among the best ever. Still, the fine work of even a muted Michael Emerson and Terry O'Quinn's usual fine work makes this well worth watching. Locke probably was chosen, just as this episode says, but he kept denying his destiny. But if he'd known what being chosen truly meant, he might have thought twice about what he was being made to do.

  • What the heck is going on?

    Locke has flashbacks to when he was born and when Richard thought he was special. Also, he has a high school flashback and a flashback to a conversation with a man telling him about the walkabout.

    Locke, Hurley and Ben trek through the jungle in search of the cabin. Locke has a strange dream, where Horace, a dead Dharma member, tells him how to find the cabin. Locke goes to the Dharma grave and finds a map. He finds the cabin and goes in. He finds Jack and Claire's father, Christian, and Claire. Christian tells him to move the island.

    On the freighter, Keamy finds out that Michael is the spy on the boat. He tries to kill him. The captain sends Sayid out to rescue the survivors. Desmond stays behind. Keamy takes matters into his own hands. When Frank refuses to fly the helicopter, Keamy kills the doctor. He also kills the captain. While flying over the island, Frank drops off a map to Jack and the survivors at the beach.

    This episode was great! It was so confusing though. I want to know what's up with Christian and Claire. I really have no clue what's really going on. Apparently, the island is foward in time and not just time, but like time! That didn't make sense huh? Well, I give this episode a 9.5!moreless
  • Who doesn't love a Locke episode?

    Really, Who doesn't love a Locke episode?

    Honestly, I would have settle for the scenes with Locke, Ben, and Hurley. Hurley asking questions, John Locke trying to answer them and Ben just being his arrogant jerk of a self. The scene where they were standing by the Mass-Grave of Dharma people was freaky and cool at the same time. Locke's dream was really freaky, even it couldn't prepare us to see the mass grave and Ben's explaination. Also, I loved when Hurley gave Ben the piece of his candy bar!! too funny.

    Plus we learn that Martin Keamy is a sick and twisted man and who killed the Doctor.moreless
  • A Locke-centric episode.

    Let me just start out by saying that all things considered, I enjoyed this episode, but I didn't like it as much I usually enjoy Lost. Although, Locke is one of my least favorite characters on the show, so I usually don't enjoy his episodes very much. One thing that I did like about this episode were the flashbacks of Locke's life. I thought that they were very interesting, and I liked getting to see flashbacks of Locke's life when he was a kid and when he was a teenager. I do think that this episode did a really good job of leading into the season finale though. In closing, I didn't enjoy this episode as much as I usually enjoy Lost, but I still thought that it was pretty well written, pretty well acted and pretty well made from everyone involved in the making of it, and I'm really excited to watch the three part season four finale of Lost again.moreless
  • With superb character development for Locke and Ben and guest appearances from Lance Reddick, Nestor Carbonell and Doug Hutchinson, Cabin Fever is a fine example of why Locke's episodes always deliver to the fans. Major spoilers.moreless

    The episode starts off with a flashback to a time before Locke was born. We discover that Locke's mother Emily had gotten pregnant with an older man that her mother didn't approve of. As she tried to run away however she was knocked over by a car and went into early labour. After John Locke is born, Emily realises that she is too young to become a mother and runs out. However one of the creepiest moments in the scene has to be when Emily's mother notices a strange man watching John from afar...and we realise that it is Richard Alpert, looking exactly the same as he always has. Who is this guy and why does he not age?

    We then go to a flash of when John was five. He is in one of his many foster homes and soon his mother announces that a professor from a special school has come to offer John a place...and once again Richard walks into the room. Richard tells John that he has to pass a test and then lays out a number of items which include: a comic book, a bible, a vial of sand, a compass and a hunting knife. After observing these items, Locke chooses the knife but Richard is clearly angered and tells Locke's mother that he is not ready for the school. It is clear to fans that this scene is going to be one that we will have to closely analyse when confronted with Richard Alpert again. Why did he freak out when Locke picked the knife and what was that look of satisfaction on his face when Locke was handling the compass and the sand?

    Locke's next flashback takes place when he is 16 and at school. His science teacher pulls him out of a locker that he has been stuffed into, after trying to fight with some older studants. His teacher comforts him and says that a special school by the name of Mittelos Bioscience (sound familiar) wants to recruit him for a summer school but Locke is immediately questionable and refuses to reply to them. When his teacher begins to tell him that he cannot live the life of a sportser and that he is destined to be a scientist, Locke screams his catchphrase and leaves the room. The final flashback of the episode (and you thought the previous four had been ambigious) takes place after Locke has broken both his legs. As he is being taken back to his hospital room by an orderly we realise that the orderly is none other than Matthew Abbadon, the creepy guy who visited Hurley in the future and was behind recruiting the science team. Abbadon talks to Locke about hope and destiny and then tells Locke that he needs to go on a walkabout to find himself. Locke is at first skeptical, after all he is in a wheelchair, but it is clear that he takes up the idea or he wouldn't have been on 815. But why did Abbadon pose as an orderly to talk to Locke? Why did he mention that they may see each other again? And did Abbadon know that Locke would end up on the island if he took Flight 815?

    And now we come to the action on the island, which almost takes a backseat to the strange things that we are seeing in Locke's flashbacks. Locke, Ben and Hurley are still having no luck in finding Jacob's cabin but after having a vivid dream in which Horace Goodspeed tells him to go to the Dharma grave, Locke realises he is one step closer to his destiny. At the Dharma grave, Locke finds Horace's body and discovers a piece of paper in his pocket which turns out to be a map to Jacob's cabin. Apparently Horace was building the cabin before he died. With new directions the three set off and reach the cabin by nightfall. One character development through the episode seems to be how Locke is taking over Ben's role. After Locke has his dream, Ben recalls a time when he used to have dreams as well and realises that his time as Jacob's spokesperson is finally over. However instead of shooting John in the back as he has previously done he admirably accepts his fate and sends Locke into Jacob's cabin alone. Outside Ben and Hurley share one of the all time funniest moments in Lost when they share an apollo bar together. Inside the cabin Locke is confronted by Christian Shepard who reveals that he is not Jacob, but can speak on his behalf. Locke then realises that Claire is in the cabin and acting very strangely but she refuses to say how she came to be there. Finally Locke asks how he can save the island and Christian gives him an extremely strange answer...Jacob wants him to move the island. How can Locke move the island and if he moves it, then where will it end up? A side bar storyline that is going on in this episode is the story on the freighter. Frank, Keamy and the rest of the mercenaries return and reveal what happened to them at the Barracks. Keamy seems angry that Widmore refused to tell him about the Black Smoke and decides to go to the secondary protocol, which is that the mercenaries must go to the Orchid station to find Ben, because that is where he will go in times of trouble. Apparently orders were to get Ben from the orchid and then torch the island, killing everyone on it. Captain Gault tries to stop him but Keamy shoots him dead in cold blood. Frank at first refuses to take them to the island but after Keamy slits Doc Ray's throat, Frank agrees to protect everyone else's life. However he double crosses Keamy by putting a tracking signal on the helicoptor and then dropping the radio over the beechcamp. After Jack retrieves the radio he realises that the helicoptor wants them to follow it. Elsewhere on the freighter Michael is tied up for his crime of sabotaging the engine room, whilst Gault gives Sayid the Zodiac raft so he can go back to the island and start bringing survivors back to the freighter. Desmond refuses to go, saying he vowed never to return to the island if he left so Sayid goes alone, not knowing that Gault was murdered by Keamy or that they are on their way back to the island to torch it.

    Overall Cabin Fever was one of the biggest highlights of season 4, in that it dealt with action scenes, mythology and character development. Locke taking over Ben's role was almost emotional, especially how Michael Emerson played it and Kevin Durand's performance as Keamy was almost good as Andrew Divoff's performance as Mikhail. Cabin Fever certainly set up for the season four finale and leaves the audience thinking how the Oceanic 6 are going to get together and finally get off the island.moreless
Amanda Carlin

Amanda Carlin

ER Nurse

Guest Star

Patrick Torres

Patrick Torres

ER Doctor

Guest Star

Matthew Pedersen

Matthew Pedersen

Physical Therapist

Guest Star

Doug Hutchison

Doug Hutchison

Horace Goodspeed

Recurring Role

Nestor Carbonell

Nestor Carbonell

Richard Alpert

Recurring Role

John Terry

John Terry

Christian Shephard

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (21)

    • Before Frank places the satellite phone in the bag, he wraps it in a yellow cloth; when Jack pulls the phone out of the bag, he does so without any motions of unwrapping.

    • When Locke's grandmother goes to light up in the hospital you can see lipstick marks on both ends of cigarette.

    • Right before Horace introduces himself for a second time, we see a close-up of John Locke but his trademark scar is on the wrong eye.

    • Keamy and Captain Gault wear keys around their necks, much like Jack and Kelvin did in "Live Together, Die Alone".

    • One of the items Richard shows Locke is the Book Of Laws. In "What Kate Did", Eko tells Locke the story of King Josiah who restored the Temple after finding the Book Of Laws.

    • Both Locke and Ben have been "chosen" by Jacob. Both had physiological problems with their spines, both have mothers named Emily whom they never really knew, and both were born prematurely.

    • Locke was born 3 months early. All of the women on the Island seem to die 3 months before they give birth.

    • When Richard visited 5-year-old Locke, you can see pictures of birds on the wall, which are the same in Walt, Susan and Brian's house in "Special".

    • A solid black centered logo appears in this episode on a corpse in the pit.

    • The comunicating device from Kahana, that fell from the chopper, landed in Claire's tent.

    • Richard Alpert has appeared in several occasions. In the present (2004), when he recruited Juliet (3 years ago) and when Ben was 10 (30 years ago, give or take). He always looked the same. Now, we can see that when Locke was a child (probably a few years before he saw Ben) he already had that look, wich makes him even older.

    • The current events took place on December 28 and 29, 2004, which are the 98th and 99th days for the survivors. The first and second flashback events took place on May 30, 1956. The third flashback events took place a couple of weeks later. The fourth flashback events took place between 1961 and 1962. The fifth flashback events took place on Spring of 1972. The sixth flashback events took place between 2000 and the plane crash.

    • This episode is a record for the longest time period between the earliest and latest flashback to date (it starts on the day of Locke's birth and ends not long before the island, making the span about 45 years)

    • The single of "Everyday" by Buddy Holly, that Emily is playing the night of John's birth, was recorded in May of 1957 and not released until 1958, over one year after Locke's birthdate of May 30, 1956.

    • This is the first episode since "D.O.C." to only feature conventional, pre-crash flashbacks of an Oceanic 815 survivor.

    • The Delerue Center for Rehabilitation is where Locke received physical therapy for the injuries he sustained in his fall.

    • Cowin Heights High School is the school in Tustin, California that Locke attended as a teenager. It is the home of the "Cowin Heights Knights".

    • The "second protocol" mentioned by Keamy shows the exact same DHARMA symbol from Ben's Coat on the episode "The Shape of Things to Come".

    • Horace Goodspeed is wearing a suit with the DHARMA logo from The Arrow Station.

    • 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).

    • In the locker that teenaged John Locke was locked in, there was a poster for the Geronimo Jackson album Magna Carta. The same album had been found by Charlie and Hurley in the Swan hatch in "All Things Musical". When Locke picked up Eddie in "Further Instructions", he was also wearing a Geronimo Jackson T-shirt.

  • QUOTES (17)

    • Hurley: Who builds a cabin in the middle of the jungle anyway?
      Locke: That's a good question.
      Hurley: So? How about answering it?
      Locke: I don't know.

    • Horace: I'm not making any sense, am I?
      Locke: No.
      Horace: That's probably because I've been dead for twelve years.

    • Ben: He actually thinks staying was his idea. Not bad, John. Not bad at all.
      Locke: I'm not you.
      Ben: You're certainly not.

    • Locke: I forced you to come with us at gunpoint, and I'm sorry, Hugo, but I was led to believe that we needed you to find this place.
      Hurley: Oh, I get it. Now you got your magic map, you don't--you don't need me anymore.
      Locke: I'm offering you a chance to leave. I don't want to put you in harm's way against your will.
      Hurley: And you think walking through the jungle at night by myself is gonna be any safer?
      Locke: I'm not sure it is.

    • Sayid: Michael--is he dead?
      Gault: No, but not for lack of bloody trying, which is precisely why you two need to be hiding before Keamy comes back on this deck.
      Sayid: Hiding is pointless. Give us your Zodiac raft so we can start ferrying people back here from the beach. The only way to save our lives is to get our people off that Island.

    • Hurley: I thought we didn't know where we're going, dude.
      Locke: We do now.
      Hurley: Hmm.
      Ben: I used to have dreams.

    • Keamy: Get your ass in the cockpit and fire up the chopper, Frank.
      Frank: I'm not taking you.
      Keamy: I'll kill you, Frank.
      Frank: Yeah, well, you do that, you'll never get back to the island 'cause I'm the only pilot you got.
      Keamy: Sorry, Doc.
      (Keamy cuts Ray's throat)
      Keamy: That change anything, Frank? Huh? Another 30 seconds goes by and someone else's turn...
      (Gault fires a gun)
      Gault: I fixed your gun. Now stand down, Martin, or I will fire.
      Keamy: I don't think you want do that, Captain.
      Gault: What's that on his arm? What's that on his arm?
      (Keamy shoots Gault)

    • Juliet: Hey! What did I say to you?
      Jack: You told me not to leave my tent. I was hungry.
      Juliet: Jack, you have to rest. You can't run around. I know that is hard for you to ask for help, but if you tear your stitches...
      Jack: Okay. Okay. I got it.
      Juliet: Doctors make the worst patients.

    • Locke: Are you Jacob?
      Christian: No. But I can speak on his behalf.
      Locke: Well, who are you?
      Christian: I'm Christian.
      Locke: You know why I'm here?
      Christian: Yeah, sure. Do you?
      Locke: I'm here... because I was chosen to be.
      Christian: That's absolutely right.

    • Christian: We don't have time for this. The people from the boat are already on their way back, and once they get here, all of these questions won't matter one bit. So why don't you ask the one question that does matter?

    • Ben: Did he tell you what we're supposed to do?
      Locke: He did.
      Ben: Well?
      Locke: He wants us to move the island.

    • Gault: Martin, we need him. He's the only one who can fix the engines.
      Keamy: And what makes you so sure about that?
      Gault: Because he's the one who broke them.

    • Keamy: Do you know who I am?
      Michael: What?
      Keamy: My name. Do you know my name?
      Michael: Keamy. Martin Keamy.
      Keamy: Did you give it to him?
      Michael: Who?
      Keamy: Benjamin Linus...did you give him my name?
      Michael: Yeah.

    • Ray: What did this to him?
      Keamy: A black pillar of smoke threw him 50 feet in the air... ripped his guts out.

    • Locke: It hasn't moved, because I was told that this is where it would be.
      Ben: I was told a lot of things, too, that I was chosen, that I was special. I end up with a tumor on my spine and my daughter's blood all over my hands.
      Locke: I'm sorry those things happened to you, Ben.
      Ben: Those things had to happen to me. That was my destiny. But you'll understand soon enough that there are consequences to being chosen, because destiny, John, is a fickle bitch.

    • Ben: The Island wanted me to get sick, and you to get well. My time is over John.

    • Hurley: I thought you were the leader.
      Ben: Not always.

  • NOTES (7)

    • Locke's school scene was filmed at Leilehua High School in Wahiawa.

    • This isn't the first time Matthew Fox (Jack), Nestor Carbonell (Richard) and Kevin Durand (Keamy) appear together. They all had roles in the 2006 movie Smokin' Aces.

    • International Air Dates:
      Norway: May 14, 2008 on TVNorge
      Australia: May 15, 2008 on Network 7
      Denmark: May 16, 2008 on Kanal 5
      Sweden: May 21, 2008 on TV4
      Spain: July 10, 2008 on FOX
      Latin America: June 16, 2008 on AXN
      Italy: August 25, 2008 on Rai 2
      Czech Republic: September 21, 2008 on AXN
      Hungary: September 21, 2008 on AXN
      Belgium: October 6, 2008 on VT4
      Germany: March 23, 2009 on Pro7

    • This is the first episode with 4 actors portraying one character in the same episode. Terry O'Quinn, Charles Henry Wyson, Caleb Steinmeyer and an uncredited baby played John Locke.

    • Although being credited, Josh Holloway (Sawyer), Rebecca Mader (Charlotte), (Jeremy Davies) Daniel and Ken Leung (Miles) don't appear in this episode. Daniel Dae Kim (Jin), (Evangeline Lilly) Kate and Yunjin Kim (Sun) appear but have no lines.

    • This is a flashback episode.

    • A Locke-centric episode


    • The Myth Of Sisyphus

      Horace is seen cutting down a tree, only to have that tree reappear uncut, which he then cuts down again in a seemingly repetitive loop. This is an apparent reference to the myth of Sisyphus, whom 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.

    • Cabin Fever:

      Is a term used for a claustrophobic reaction that takes place when a party is isolated and/or shut in, alone or together, for an extended period.

    • 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 what Charles Xavier (Professor X) says when recruiting young mutants.

    • The Bible:

      As the nurses wheel out Emily's premature baby, she yells out, "His name is John!", just as in Luke 1:63, when Zechariah and Elizabeth gave birth to John the Baptist.

  • 8:00 pm
    The Carmichael Show President Trump
  • 9:00 pm
    American Ninja Warrior