What mysteries is Locke keeping locked inside? What's keeping Sawyer up at night (aside from fantasies about Kate)? And which castaways have hidden dark sides we've yet to see?
Add up the gaps between episodes, the tangle of plots and its creators' dazzling attention to detail, and sometimes it feels like you need a scorecard to keep up at the weekly “Lost” watercooler debate.
To help out, we've compiled a handy pocket guide to most of “Lost's” better-known castaways, complete with the little facts and figures that matter.
No, we're not talking about Hurley's golf handicap. But speaking of handicapping, we've included a few fun predictions about what might happen next. Not that we'd ever endorse any sort of wager or game based on your favorite castaways.
But in case, y'know, you happen to be playing along at home ...
NAME: John Locke
ROLE: Spiritual leader and MacGyver-in-training.SPECIAL POWERS: Opening hatches, calming potentially prophetic babies.DEEP DARK SECRET: Those legs weren't made for walkin'.TOOL OF CHOICE: That's not a knife. This is a knife.GOOD OR EVIL? He could be the secret font of evil and the best-kept spy among the Losties. Or the guy who'll save them all. Flip for it?PREDICTIONS: We know Locke's good with kids, but spooky looks of late are a sign that his fascination with Claire's baby Aaron can't be just some long-hidden uncle complex. Take the baby and run, Claire!
ROLE: Tailies' spiritual leader; Locke's nemesis (or is it the other way around?).SPECIAL POWERS: Hunting, tracking, impromptu baptisms. Staring down black-smoke monsters.DEEP DARK SECRET: He's not half the fearsome Nigerian warlord you think he is.TOOL OF CHOICE: His Scripture stick. Also, Bibles with secret compartments.GOOD OR EVIL? We've stopped trying to guess.PREDICTIONS: He and Locke have been quietly scoping each other out for the past few episodes. Locke has the faith thing down, but Eko can quote chapter and verse. The bell's rung and they're coming out of their respective corners. Showtime!
ROLE: The Doctor is in ... your face.SPECIAL POWERS: Brooding, self-sacrifice, occasional stitching.DEEP DARK SECRET: How exactly did that marriage break up? Who was the other man in his wife’s affair? How well do he and Desmond really know each other?TOOL OF CHOICE: Little black bag.GOOD OR EVIL? Making Mr. Perfect evil could only make the show more interesting, but it’ll never happen.PREDICTIONS: He’s not over Kate yet, Ana-Lucia. And let’s hope he hasn’t dropped all of his doubts when it comes to John “not quite Mr. Clean” Locke, because he’s gonna need ‘em.
ROLE: The Dude abides; keeper of the Numbers.SPECIAL POWERS: Incapable of weight loss even on a very limited island diet.DEEP DARK SECRET: If I were a rich man — oh, wait, I am. Doesn’t mean I wasn’t in a mental institution, though.TOOL OF CHOICE: 4 8 15 16 23 42.GOOD OR EVIL? If the writers made fan favorite Hurley evil, “Lost” would be the subject of a viewer revolt the likes of which hasn’t been seen since Bobby Ewing showed up in his “Dallas” shower. But just think how juicy things would get after that.PREDICTIONS: He’ll stay good. He’ll stay fat. And he should stay away from Libby, who may not be as innocent as she seems. If she is a clinical psychologist, is she in Dharma’s employ? Or was she on staff at Hurley’s clinic?
ROLE: Token Iraqi; actual battle-scarred veteran (as opposed to Locke and his military fantasies).SPECIAL POWERS: Computer repair; transceiver triangulation; light torture.DEEP DARK SECRET: Nadia’s alive and living in California, and he’s already proved he would betray almost anyone to get back to her.TOOL OF CHOICE: He’s pretty good with sharpened bamboo. Right, Sawyer?GOOD OR EVIL? The lone Iraqi, evil? They wouldn’t do that. You wouldn’t want to get on his bad side, let’s just say that.PREDICTIONS: We’re sure to discover Sayid has more mysterious mechanical skills and random knowledge that will come in handy just when needed. Also, this hunk won’t be single for long. He and Ana-Lucia actually have a lot in common, if he can get past that whole Shannon murder thing.
ROLE: Good cop, bad cop; leader of the Tailies.SPECIAL POWERS: Sorting out the bad from the good, with occasional errors. Sorry, Shannon. And possibly Nathan.DEEP DARK SECRET: She’s been known to shoot first and ask questions later. Oh, wait, that’s hardly a secret now.TOOL OF CHOICE: Happiness is a warm gun.GOOD OR EVIL? Depends. How much did you like Shannon, anyway?PREDICTIONS: She and Jack both served as leaders of half the plane, now they’re finding even more in common. But we’re betting Ana hasn’t quite scratched her itchy trigger finger itch.
ROLE: One-hit wonder from Hobbiton.SPECIAL POWERS: His constant dreams that Aaron’s in danger have made him a bit of a Cassandra — no one believes him and even if they did, what would they do?DEEP DARK SECRET: He wants a new drug.TOOL OF CHOICE: Gee-tar.GOOD OR EVIL? Quite possibly, Charlie is too stupid to be evil.PREDICTIONS: His suspicions about Locke getting too close to Aaron may have some merit, but who listens to the Hobbit?
ROLE: Daddy dearest.SPECIAL POWERS: Artist by trade. Also, can make ancient computers spring to life and miraculously dial up his missing son. We don’t know of more powers, but hey, Walt had to inherit the backwards-talking animal-conjuring from one of his folks.DEEP DARK SECRET: He really wanted Walt all along, but hid it to make the boy’s mother and stepdad look better.TOOL OF CHOICE: Ancient Apple hybrid.GOOD OR EVIL? Good, but capable of being clouded and led off-course by his anguish over his son.PREDICTIONS: Was he really chatting, or was that computer conversation just his fantasy? If he was chatting, was it really Walt? Can you say “led into a trap”?
ROLE: If this were "The Wizard of Oz," he'd be the Wizard. We think.SPECIAL POWERS: Indeterminate, but significant enough for Sea Captain Zeke and posse to have absconded with him.DEEP DARK SECRET: Plays a mean game of backgammon. Also might have inadvertently hastened his mom's death — with his mind.ANIMAL OF CHOICE: Polar bear. And Vincent, of course.GOOD OR EVIL? Good, but probably capable of more evil than he knows — like that kid on the "It's a Good Life" episode of "The Twilight Zone."PREDICTIONS: Here's a safe one — we predict we'll see Walt again before season's end. Even money also says he's going to be the key to the showdown with the Others. But what's gonna happen to Vincent?
ROLE: Island con man and all-around slice of beefcake.SPECIAL POWERS: Invites torture for no apparent reason, invents nicknames — some better than others. (“Zeke” rocks, but “Freckles” is a bit twee.)DEEP DARK SECRET: Killed a man in Oz and got the wrong guy. Not quite as catchy as “Killed a man in Reno just to watch him die,” but you get the picture.ANIMAL OF CHOICE: There’s a boar out there with a vendetta against him.GOOD OR EVIL? Ironically, for as evil as he started out sounding, he’s probably good.PREDICTIONS: He and the Dread Pirate Zeke will meet again, as promised, and it ain’t lookin’ good for ol’ Zeke.
ROLE: International Woman of Mystery.SPECIAL POWERS: Jealousy.DEEP DARK SECRET: Murdered her stepdad. Except her stepdad was her real dad. Didn't quite escape the intercontinentally long arm of the law.ANIMAL OF CHOICE: The black horse that won't go away.GOOD OR EVIL? Good, aside from that whole patricide thing. PREDICTIONS: Fair money's still on Sawyer to woo Freckles, though that kiss with Jack wasn't just a brief bout of jungle love. But what will Kate do besides serve as the island's temptress-in-residence? If Jack's serious about building a Lostaway army, we hear Ms. Austen's plenty handy with a gun.
ROLE: Keeps them all in fresh fish. Also, hired muscle for his father-in-law.SPECIAL POWERS: An uncanny ability to learn pidgin English. And looks surprisingly good in a doorman's uniform.DEEP DARK SECRET: Wife Sun thinks he's a dangerous man, but she has yet to discover his tender side — though an extended stay as the Tailies' captive has softened his edges.ANIMAL OF CHOICE: Sea urchin. That's good eatin', Hurley.GOOD OR EVIL? Good, even if it's taken folks a while to notice. (That means you, Michael.)
PREDICTIONS: Forget Berlitz — Jin will be reciting Shakespeare before you know it.
ROLE: Gardener, translator, nurse, voice of reason.SPECIAL POWERS: Might be a more skilled healer than Jack. Just hope she doesn't give you some of her "special" poisoned water. (Again, Michael, that means you.)TOOL OF CHOICE: Any gardening implement, real or improvised.GOOD OR EVIL? Good enough that the Others are keeping a closer eye on her than she knows.PREDICTIONS: Sun has surprised everyone with her hidden skills. So as the Dharma mystery unfolds, it's safe to assume we might discover a few other talents as yet unmentioned by the quiet woman from Seoul.
ROLE: Bearer of special babies, and the Shirley Jones to Charlie's David Cassidy.SPECIAL POWERS: Not much for her, but baby Aaron seems to have a certain glow.TOOL OF CHOICE: Charlie, until lately.GOOD OR EVIL? Probably good, but something was unsettling enough to scare off a tough-looking Aussie psychic and make her scram all the way to L.A.PREDICTIONS: Secondary characters seem to have a mysterious way of dying on Mystery Island. Unless the Dharmites have some as-yet-undisclosed plans for Claire, we wonder what her long-term role among the Losties might be. Equally puzzling is how she chose the name Aaron. We get the brother-of-Moses references, but in that case: Who on the island is a would-be Moses?
MSNBC.com lifestyle editor Jon Bonné wonders what ever happened to those Apollo bars from the Dharma food locker. MSNBC.com television editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper wonders how Driveshaft ever got any kind of hit, anywhere.