TV Recap

''Lost'': Cabin Boy

As Locke leads Ben and Hurley on a quest to find Jacob, we learn that since his childhood, people have been trying to draw him to the Island

Terry O'Quinn, Lost | KNIFE GUY FINISHES LAST Little John Locke chose the wrong thing in the test
KNIFE GUY FINISHES LAST Little John Locke chose the wrong thing in the test

'Lost' recap: Finding the cabin

Last night was for us. The cultists. The obsessives. The crazies who have committed to this long, strange trip and gotten lost in it. Like the candy bar Hurley generously shared with Ben while Locke was chatting with the spectral squatters inside Jacob's shack (a nod to the Neo-Oracle-cookie scene in The Matrix?), ''Cabin Fever'' was an episode packed with a chunky abundance of brain-fattening cryptonuggets to nourish our fevered theory making and message-board blustering. Comic-book references. Biblical allusions. Mythological connections. Double meanings to scores of lines. I loved Hurley's ''theory'' that he, Ben, and Locke were chosen for this vision quest because they were the craziest ones on the Island. This in an episode whose '50s-set flashbacks evoked, fittingly, AMC's Mad Men and whose thematic concern with fate mirrors that of No Country for Old Men, a narrative about three men dangling on sanity's thread, though at different points. Amid the clues, red herrings, and tomfoolery, I saw in the episode a fiendishly clever love letter to those of us who've become so locked up inside Lost that they've been somewhat deliriously messed up by it. That's really why they called it ''Cabin Fever.'' Just my theory, but who knows? Maybe I'm just seeing things again.

''Can history then be said to have an architecture? The notion is most glorious and most horrible.'' — From Hell

Should John Locke be lucky enough to see the year 2008, he would be 50. That would make him as old as the central figure in the aforementioned text, one Sir William Gull, a 19th-century English physician. Some interesting overlaps between these characters. In From Hell, Gull is a middle-aged man uncertain of his purpose, but he is convinced he is special and senses that the architecture of his life is building to a point. Or, in the sweet, hiccupy phrasing of Buddy Holly that was quoted by Lost last night, ''Every day it gets a little closer/Rolling faster than a roller coaster/A love like yours will surely come my way.'' At 50, though, Gull suddenly finds his calling in the form of a mystical mission to defend his country — an island, don't you know — from an insidious conspiracy. You know, just like Locke. Gull is also, probably, totally crackers; he's Alan Moore's speculative pick for being Jack the Ripper. And while Locke is not yet a mass-murdering maniac, I have the strangest feeling, based on what we saw last night, that the architecture of his life is building exactly to that horrifying point.

NEXT: The Buddy Holly connection

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