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Where ''Lost'' left off: Your tip sheet on key characters

Don’t worry: Before watching tonight’s new episode, read Scott Brown’s handy-dandy guide to where we left off with all the key characters

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Matthew Fox, Lost
Lost: Mario Perez/ABC

Stick with me now, I’m about to wax nostalgic: Many moons ago, there was a television program called Lost. Some of you are old enough to remember, but for the youngsters, I’ll recap: a) It was about fractious castaways confronting their demons on a mysterious, possibly mystical island; b) it generated adoration and frustration in nearly equal measure; and c) it ended quite abruptly, mortgaging all of its fans’ remaining goodwill on a love triangle many of them never gave a crap about in the first place.

History became legend. Legend became myth. And some things that should not have been forgotten were pretty much totally forgotten, at least by me. (Uh, what’s the Dharma Initiative again? And does it even matter anymore?) And for three long months, Lost passed out of all knowledge.

Until now. It’s back tonight (Feb. 7). And it’s time for some brush-up. What’s everyone up to?

EKO
Dead. Killed by Smokey the Monster, who may or may not have taken the form of Eko’s also dead brother Yemi. Luckily, Eko passed on his ”Jesus stick” to…

LOCKE
…who saw on said Jesus stick the following words: ”Lift up your eyes and look north. John 3:05.” Which set Lostendom all a’Google, I’m sure. Also party to this is…

SAYID
…who remains… sad. Whose name anagrams to ”Y I sad?” Whose character I am writing off until he comes back from Sadmore Springs, Sadlandia. Which is a long way from…

THE OTHER ISLAND
… where Jack, Kate, and Sawyer have been tying up valuable storytelling resources (with mixed results). Their captor is…

BEN
… a.k.a. Henry Gale, once a prisoner of the Losties, now their chief tormentor. For reasons that are still far from clear, Ben is babysitting this love triangle. We know one thing for sure: Ben’s dying of a tumor on his spine, and only Jack can save him. But will Jack save him? That depends on…

JULIET
Ben’s estranged partner — a shady figure with a creepy, crooked smile and motives as obscure as… well, as obscure as anyone else’s on this show. She wants Jack to let Ben die on the table. Or she wants Jack to think she wants Jack to let Ben die on the table. Or she wants him to want to think that… well, you get the idea. So where does this leave…

JACK?
Evidently smarter than the average tattooed spinal surgeon, Jack makes a canny move for once in his life. Having just witnessed the rather skeevy sight of Kate and Sawyer entangled post-coitally in a bear cage, Jack allows Ben to believe he’s so traumatized, he’ll do anything to get off the island. He agrees to perform the surgery. With Ben on the table, Jack makes a tiny incision that will, over the course of an hour, cause Ben to bleed to death. Jack can fix it… but he won’t, unless the Others comply. And, this being Jack, the request he makes is on behalf of…

KATE
…who’s about to watch Sawyer, the man she just might love (maybe, kinda), get his head blown off by Pickett, an angry man who was angry before Sun gut-shot his wife, and is now super-duper angry. Kate and Sawyer have been locked up in bear cages for a while now, giving them a chance to bond and stew in their respective flashbacks (Sawyer has a secret daughter; Kate, using an alias, was once married to a cop). Jack tells Kate to run, says she has an hour head-start. They’re on an island, so it’s unclear how far she could run. But run she must, says Jack. So where does this leave…

SAWYER?
Dunno. He had a gun on him. And Jack distinctly said, ”Kate, dammit, run!” Not ”Kate and Sawyer, dammit, run!” The subtext being, ”Sawyer, dammit, die!”

DESMOND
Psychic!

SUN AND JIN
Still together! But she slept with a bald dude back in Korea — bad Sun!

VINCENT THE DOG
Psychic! (Maybe?)

ALEX
Danielle’s daughter, remember her? Regularly foils the Others’ unbeatable jungle defenses with her slingshot? Captured. But apparently still at large — she has access to a PA. Never give the kids access to the PA! Next Jonestown these people set up, that’ll be Rule No. 1.

NIKKI AND PAOLO
I refuse to accept these characters. I still think of them as random TV viewers who won a sweepstakes.

HURLEY
Fat. Cursed. Awaiting a new story arc.

CHARLIE AND CLAIRE
Playing house with Baby Aaron.

So there we go. I’m sure I’ve left out gobs of story — but that’s what you get, Lost, for dispensing story in gobs. Seriously, though, buddy? I’m glad you’re back. I hope we can recapture what we had. And if not? It was a good run. Let’s stay friends. I mean that.

Now that we’re caught up on where Lost has been, check out what producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof had to say about where the show is going, in response to your questions, here.

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