"Cabin Fever"

DECEMBER 27, 2010

AIRED: MAY 8, 2008

Unfortunately, this episode is not about Jack, Kate, et al being besieged by a flesh eating virus and kids yelling “Pancakes!”. However, “Cabin Fever” is a damn fine episode, and ranks as one of the better “it’s the episode before the season finale so we have to stop dicking around, answer some questions, and get everything into place” hours of the show. Hell, it even features Richard, making his first appearance this season and showing genuine emotion for the first time.

He appears to a 5 year old Locke, as the episode is Locke-centric but not Terry O’Quinn-centric. In fact, there are four Lockes in the episode; we see him as a baby, a kid, a teen, and a balding guy (O’Quinn). The one playing teen Locke is an excellent find – he resembles O’Quinn and nails his inflection almost perfectly. They should have had him play Locke in Via Domus instead of the Old West FunTime actor they got. I wish they did this sort of thing with more of the characters; we never really got to see teenaged Jack or Kate.

It’s also a very interesting episode in retrospect, because at the time it aired, it seemed very likely that Locke would be Ben’s successor and take care of the island. There are hints sprinkled throughout that perhaps he’s not so special as we (and he) have (has) been led to believe, but at the time I just assumed it was conflict designed to have him prove himself – someday he WILL know which of Richard’s objects belongs to him! But now I see that they may have just been hinting that Locke wouldn’t be the guy after all. Also, it might just be coincidence, but when Ben is talking about destiny and being special, he suddenly looks off to the side as he talks – and when they cut to a wider angle, we can see that he is looking in the direction of Hurley. Hmm....

Some of the episode is worthless nonsense, however, such as when Locke encounters Horace in the forest, endlessly chopping down a tree and introducing himself (he’s a repeater!). Never cared much for the “ghosts” on this show - I can buy Christian or Locke as the smoke monster, but otherwise it just never gelled with the show for me. Speaking of Christian, once again seeing his name in the credits actually helped preserve some of the surprise of his appearance – I figured it would be him appearing to Claire as he once did for Jack, but nope – he’s actually Jacob! Or working with him. Or something.

Since no one is reading this website – here are some random words: Ham Poop Fish Sandwich Fatface Chicken Batman.

Another cool thing about the episode is that it solidifies Frank once and for all as a good guy. He’s been helping our guys in the other episodes, but that didn’t cancel out ulterior motives. But here, he’s openly defying Keamy, and it’s only when Keamy kills the doctor and threatens to kill more that he does what he says. He also risks exposure by sending as much of a warning as he can to Jack and the others on the beach. Good ol’ Frank, so happy he turned out to be a good guy. Then again, this isn’t 24 – it was more often that a villain turned out to be not so bad than a good guy turned out to be evil.

Also, again, since no one is reading this – in high school I once fantasized about my 60ish math teacher.

I also noticed that they barely bother with “Previously, on Lost” clips at the top of each episode anymore. I wonder what the main reason was – did they figure if you weren’t watching by now you would never pick it up, or did they just not want to waste that 30-90 seconds per episode? Or did they just realize it had gotten too convoluted to be of any use anyway? The mind bottles.

So tomorrow kicks off the 3 part season finale, which featured a really annoying, anticlimactic death, a painfully obvious fake one, and the answer to a question from the 3rd season finale’s cliffhanger (Jeremy Bentham). Oh, and blew the concept of time travel wide open and helped start to ruin the show. Fuck you, S4 finale.

Where are we?