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Richard's items: Misc



Up to date as of February 07, 2010

From Lostpedia

Richard Alpert's items ("Cabin Fever")

In 1961 or 1962, Richard Alpert presented six items to a five-year-old John Locke as a test. Alpert placed the items on a table and asked Locke to identify which ones "already belong to him". ("Cabin Fever")



  • A brass compass ("Because You Left")  ("Jughead")
  • A baseball glove
  • An old book whose cover bears the title "Book of Laws" ("What Kate Did")
  • A vial of granules
  • A comic book, Mystery Tales issue 40 from April 1956 (right before Locke's birth), bearing the subtitle "What was the secret of the mysterious 'HIDDEN LAND!'" (The question ended with an exclamation point.)
  • A wood-handled knife


John selected the container of the granules and the compass. John then picks up the knife, to which Richard seems upset. He asks John if he is sure it is his, and after nodding affirmatively, Richard snatches the knife from his hands and takes the other items away. He places all of the items back into his bag and stands up quickly. Florence enters the room and asks how John did. Richard responds sternly that John was not quite ready for his school and walks out of the house. Florence scolds John, asking what he did wrong; John looks down dejectedly.

Episode references

Richard Alpert's compass.
  • In "What Kate Did" Eko told Locke a story about the "Book of Law", i.e., the Old Testament.
  • In "Because You Left" Richard gives Locke a compass, although it is a different model. Locke later uses this compass to prove his time traveling to Richard in "Jughead".

Cultural references

Cultural references in Lost
(direct references only)
ArtBooksCarsGamesMovies and TVMusicPhilosophyReligion and ideologiesScience
  • The test given to young Locke by Richard Alpert resembles the Tibetan Buddhist ritual used to confirm a reincarnated tulku (the Dalai Lama being the most widely known). (Religion and ideologies)
    • In the Season 3 DVD commentary for "The Man Behind the Curtain", Richard Alpert is described as someone who is not interested in leading the Others but is very influential in finding and selecting a leader. In the commentary for "The Man Behind the Curtain", he is described as being similar to a Panchen Lama choosing the next Dalai Lama. He and Ben keep each other in "check" by having the power to pick/veto each other's replacement on the Island. Ben's role would be to pick the next Panchen, should the need arise. This keeps the two in a sort of balanced power relationship. They are allies, yet they have some measure of control over the other should one get out of hand.
  • This relationship is further confirmed by the fact that Carlton revealed in a recent podcast that they had researched how the new Dalai Lama is discovered. An episode of "King of the Hill" has nearly the same scene, a selection of objects from which the new Dalai Lama should be able to select, if he truly is the reincarnated Lama, the object that has already belonged to him.


This article uses material from the "Richard's items" article on the Lostpedia wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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