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The MerlboroMan’s “Breaking Lost” 411

By MerlboroMan,

  Filed under: Lost Mythos
  Comments: 12

“Lost 411 – Cabin Fever”



Here is the 4-1-1 on Lost 411


A – In a flashback reminiscent of Season Two’s first episode, Locke’s rebellious teenage mother, Emily, gets hit by a car and is forced into labor where she delivers a preemi-John Locke (He’s okay for now, just real early).

A – Presently, on the island, Locke, Hurley, and Ben do their take on the Three Stooges before making camp for the night.

B- Sayid and Desmond watch Keamy and his injured men return from the island.

Act Out – Capt. Gault reveals to Keamy that Michael is Ben’s spy and Keamy’s gun jams when he tries to shoot Michael. He has to settle for pistol whipping him instead.


A – In a dream scene Locke meets Horace Goodspeed, who is building the cabin that Locke is looking for. Horace tells Locke to find him – while stuck on a loop. When Locke awakens with a purpose Ben laments, “I used to have dreams.”

A – Preemi-John Locke, the youngest to survive at the hospital, conquers every illness thrown at him to be abandoned by his mother and “discovered” by Richard Alpert.

Act Out – Locke, Hurley, and Ben make a “pit-stop” where Hurley learns that Ben is responsible for all the bodies in the pit.


A – Richard Alpert visits five year-old John Locke (Did you draw that) and is unhappy when little Johnny chooses a bottle of sand, a compass, and a knife over a baseball mitt, a comic book, and The Book of Laws (for the best argument on what this book represents check out by CathyH).

A – Back on the island, Locke finds Horace and his map to the cabin while Ben reveals to Hurley that his wasn’t his decision to purge the Dharma Initiative and that he wasn’t always the leader of the others.

B – Keamy leads a one man mutiny of the ship and opens the Second Protocol to find out where Ben is going to next.

Act Out – Capt. Gault tries to keep Desmond and Sayid safe, but Sayid knows that they must “get all our people off that island,” in order to be safe.


A – With the map, Locke offers Hurley a chance to leave, but Hurley chooses to stay. Ben thinks Locke has conned Hurley, but Locke points out he is not Ben. And Ben agrees.

A – Teenage Locke is freed from a locker and given an offer to go to Mittelos in Portland, but he’s not a geek (Teacher: You can’t be a superhero. Locke: Don’t tell me what I can’t do.)

B – Back on the boat, Lapidus visits Michael and learns that Keamy plans his own island purge.

Act Out – Capt. Gault gives Sayid the Zodiac runner to rescue the Losties, but Desmond stays on the ship because it’s closer to Penny than he’s been in a long time.


A – Locke, Hurley, and Ben find the cabin (Destiny, John, is a fickle bitch).

A – Recently crippled Locke begins physical therapy when Matthew Abaddon plans the seed of a walkabout in his head after a brief discussion on the existence of miracles. (When you see me again, you’ll owe me one).

Act Out – On the B-story, Keamy forces Lapidus to fly the chopper after slashing the Doctor’s throat and killing Capt. Gault in a standoff. On board the chopper, Lapidus prepares a package for the Losties.


C – In the very brief C-story, Juliet chastises Jack just before Lapidus flies over and makes a delivery onto Claire’s tent. Jack thinks they’re meant to follow the chopper.

A – Ben “passes the torch” to Locke (It’s your time now) and John goes into the cabin alone where Dead Daddy Christian and Creepy Claire tell Locke what he must do to save the island.

Act Out – Hurley shares an Apollo bar with Ben as Locke returns from the cabin and tells them they must move the island.


At first glance this episode seems plot heavy with the mere intent of preparing us for the Season Finale. What could it possibly have to do with that overarching monomyth I keep talking about?

Looking at the A-story we can see that John is a chosen man of destiny. Seems simple enough, but take a closer look. It’s also in the B-story. If you blinked you missed it.

In Act Four when Keamy slashes the Doctor’s throat it is after we have already seen his body wash up and shore and Omar has told the Doctor about the Morse code message. It would seem like a “Neo-visits-The Oracle” moment if it weren’t for the fact that Keamy was not privy to this information.

Now, look closer at the B-story. Keamy pulls the trigger on Michael at the end of the teaser, but since it’s not Michael’s time (we assume) his gun jams. In Act Two Keamy takes matters into his own hands and opens the Second Protocols. Then of course there is the Doctor’s murder, but also notice that by forcing Lapidus to fly the chopper Frank is the one who gives the Losties a “heads-up” if you will. Sometimes his actions turn out the way he intends, and sometimes they turn out the way someone or something else intends.

Now, back to the A-story, where the flashbacks reveal that the island, or at least the people aware of the island, has been involved in John Locke’s life since his birth. Richard Alpert is the first one to show interest in Locke, but he’s not the one who ultimately influences Locke. Notice that Richard first offers Locke a test, “Which of these things belongs to you?” He’s essentially asking Locke to tell him who he is. When he doesn’t like the answer he leaves. We do not see another attempt at reaching Locke until he’s a teenager. This time, Richard simply sends a pamphlet with an invitation. He seems to have given up somewhat on Locke…but we know he’ll see him on the island.

Then there’s Matthew Abaddon, who talks to Locke about miracles and walkabouts. Abaddon is more successful than Alpert because Locke, as we know, actually attempts to go on a walkabout (which leads him to the island).

What do these two men reveal about Locke? Alpert tries to tell John who he is while Abaddon tells him how to discover who he is. This battle of free-will and predestination is juxtaposed against Martin Keamy, who takes matters into his own hands and tries to force the outcome. Both Keamy and Locke see themselves as men who make their own decisions, but in very different ways.

Let’s look at the little exchange at the beginning of Act Three where Locke offers Hurley the opportunity to leave. When Hurley chooses to stay Ben sees it as Locke progressing into a master manipulator like him, but Locke points out that he is not him. Locke was sincerely offering Hurley a choice.

Without getting too deep into the conflict between free-will and predestination, Arminism versus Calvinism (huh? Click on the link already), let me just say that if the two do indeed co-exist, then in the grand scheme of things the only “choice” you have is which side you’re going to be on.  For example, if you knew you were destined to be a leader no matter what you did, then you’d at least have the choice of what type of leader you would be. Ben seems to know how things are going to play out, that is why he always seems a step ahead of everyone and willfully manipulates others. Keamy, has no clue how things are going to play out…except he knows what he’s going to do to make things happen. Locke, thus far, has shown willingness to give and take. Sometimes destiny leads and sometimes Locke leads.

In the big overarching monomyth of the show, this episode reveals that Locke did not need to purse his destiny but instead who he would be when his destiny found him. Remember way back in season one when Charlie made the foreshadowing statement, “He’ll be the one that saves us all”? Well, it seems that Locke may be the chosen one after all.

The question now is whose side is Abaddon and Alpert on? Doesn’t one seem to be a man of science and the other a man of faith?

There are two sides. One white, one black.

  • LiLi623

    That was great!! I like the way you broke everything down and explained each characters purpose or destiney. I have nothing to add, just wanted to say it was a great read for me 🙂

  • preztige

    good formula into gettin into the deeper meanings of Lost. That segment with Locke as a child seems like it needs more interpretation. I think ALL the items belonged to Locke and Richard said what items belonged to you know, meaning what belonged to you AT BIRTH, or what was GIVEN TO YOU. so the sand for island destiny and i the compass for he was born to navigate naturally. The knife was not his because man gave it to him. So what could be the other item Locke was born with? what was the baseball glove for?(man given, maybe not?) and the comic with the floating island. could that be it? for his destiny was to save an island that at one point would float to another destination. Did you notice that island on the comic had a near replication of itself right under it.

  • Desmundo

    I think that we learn that Ben was not fully responsible for the purge. Cabin Fever taught us that Ben basically saved himself and didn’t warn his fellow DI members about the coming purge, but I wouldn’t say he was responsible for it. If anything we learned that Ben had a smaller part than we’d imagined to do with the purge and that perhaps his having killed his father was the coming of age act Ben needed to perform to take on the duties of leading the Others.

  • Mick

    I really enjoyed this analysis. Send a copy to that Quack Jeff Jensen

  • JulietsTongueDepressorBoxes

    Good article. But I have to really thank you for that link to a theory on another board you provided. REally, really good theory…. if you havn’t checked it out please do:

  • candace

    The problem with cathy’s theory is that presupposes an certain order to things and presupposes that the producers are that confident that we would get it. It is an interesting theory, but has several flaws, how does the other “hero” arch play into it. What about Jack? We must not forget that he is the “hero” reluctant or otherwise. the journey is his as much as it is Locke’s.

    Jack too spends alot of time trying to avoid who he is. I still think that Lost is about Jack (man of science) and Locke (man of faith) and showing us the viewers that sometimes we need to be both to be self actualizing.

  • While I was watching the episode, I thought Alpert was upset because little John Locke chose the the knife… like, he was mad that Locke would choose violence.

  • MerlboroMan

    Candence –
    I’d direct you to my previous articles “Lost: The Journey to Redemption” as to a discussino on who the heroes of Lost are (Hint: You just named two of the four), but I can’t seem to find it on the site anymore.
    As for supposing the producers/writers are confident in the fans…you’ve seen some of these Lost-blogs haven’t you? LOL.

    Thanks for the comments everyone. Just an FYI, each one of these “Breaking Lost” articles is meant to “break” the episode down into the major beats of the story so that we can take a bird’s eye view of the mosaic that Carlton keeps talking about. They are based on theories I elaborated on in “Lost: The Journey to Redemption” and if you can’t find it on the site e-mail at for a copy. Be sure to put “Journey to Redemption” in the subject or I’ll probably just junk your e-mail.

  • ErasedSlate

    To see merlboroman’s journey to redemption and breaking lost posts, click the category “Lost Mythos” at the top of this article. This is basically used to deconstruct Lost.

  • MerlboroMan

    Thanks for the assist

  • heythereyourself

    Melby Man- If you are still checking into this post I just wanted to apologize for what happened yesterday. I got caught up in the arguement and things got pretty stupid. I am sorry if anything I said offended you in anyway. I have to admit I lied, I do usually read your post and it is usually pretty good insight. I also respect the fact that you do it for free and none of the writers on this site desevere to be abused in anyway. In the future when I make comments I will try to give constructive criticism as opposed to negative comments. Again, I hope you accept my apology and I look foward to reading more of you in the future.

  • MerlboroMan

    heythere –
    This earns a lot respect. I appreciate it. I got a little caught up in it myself, so no hard feelings. I think we both owe Erased a thank you for cutting us off. 😉