Terry O'Quinn as <EM>Lost</EM>'s Locke Terry O'Quinn as Lost's Locke
Our favorite castaways thus far have been on the island a few months, but for Lost

fans, it's been more than 260 days since Jack's super-freaky flash-forward. As the Jan. 31 season premiere (finally) draws closer, TVGuide.com is offering daily profiles — "refreshers," if you will — of the key players in ABC's island-based odyssey. 

Locke, by the "Numbers": John Locke (played by Terry O'Quinn) was brought up in foster care after his 15-year-old mother abandoned him. Later he met his mother, Emily Locke, while he was working in a toy store. He also soon tracked down his biological father, Anthony Cooper, and the two bonded. It was later revealed that meeting his mother was not a coincidence, but a con planned by his father, who was in need of a kidney transplant. Locke and Cooper spent time bonding, but after Locke gave daddy dearest the organ, Cooper disappeared, leaving Locke traumatized. That wasn't the end of his pain at the hands of his father: Upon learning that Cooper was planning to marry a wealthy woman, Locke tried to stop his latest con. He confronted his father, who promptly threw him out an eighth-story window, paralyzing him from the waist down. Despite this setback, he had flown to Australia to pursue his dream of participating in a "walkabout," a ritual of wandering in the outback as a way to connect with nature and leave behind the spiritual tedium of everyday life.

Things Got Interesting When...: We didn’t actually know that Locke was paralyzed right away, and that’s because, well, after the plane crash, he no longer was. Instead, he distinguished himself as one of the most knowledgeable and capable survivors of Flight 815 — a talented hunter and skilled tracker.

'Tis Better to Have Loved and Gotten Lost?: Although Locke has expressed something akin to paternal concern for Claire and some of the other survivors, he hasn't yet been involved in any romances on the island. Flashbacks reveal a budding relationship with Helen, but Locke's obsession with his deadbeat dad put the kibosh on their engagement.

Six Degrees of Serialization: Several of the crash survivors encountered the still-wheelchair-bound Locke before boarding Flight 815, including Rose and Michael. Locke inspected the new house of Sayid's childhood love, Nadia; he also worked for Hurley's box company, where he was managed by Randy, who was once Hurley's boss at Mr. Cluck's Chicken Shack.

Locke's Season 3 Story: After the hatch imploded, Locke sought redemption for having lost faith in the island first by undergoing a vision quest and then by seeking out Mr. Eko and, eventually, Mikhail, the surly, eye-patched resident of the Flame Station. He confronted Ben, wanting to know more about the secrets of the island; he also blew up the Others' submarine, their only means of leaving the island (that we know of). Ben brought Locke to a "magic box," which contained — of all people — Cooper, Locke's no-good father. Locke wanted to join Ben and the Others, but Ben said he would first have to prove his loyalty by killing his father. Locke enlisted Sawyer in the task, since, by one of the island's incredible twists of fate, it was Cooper who had conned Sawyer's parents. Sawyer killed Cooper, and Ben brought Locke to meet Jacob, the island's mysterious spiritual leader. When Locke was able to hear (but not see) Jacob, Ben — who was threatened by Locke's "special" connection to the island — shot him into the mass Dharma grave, leaving him for dead. But a visit from Walt inspired Locke to attempt to block Jack from contacting the freighter, sinking a knife in Naomi's back just as she dialed for help.

How Locke Has Us Puzzled: Is it Locke's faith in the powers of the island that accounts for his strong intuition and miraculous healing? Where exactly does this faith come from? And just how many of the island's mysteries is Locke privy to?

Our Wild Prediction: Locke will become a spiritual guru to a blended group of Flight 815 survivors and Others, who go totally native and live according to the dictates of the island. Their initiation right involves encountering the black-smoke monster and living to tell the tale.

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Read our Lost character profile for Kate Austen, Sayid Hassan Jarrah, Jin-Soo KwonJuliet Burke, Hugo "Hurley" Reyes, Claire Littleton, Desmond Hume, Benjamin Linus, Michael Dawson and Sun Kwon. Catch up with Lost clips in our Online Video Guide.

Get all five of our collectible Lost covers, then go behind the scenes on the set for our exclusive preview of the new season. Plus: Take a sneak peek at this year's hot new Super Bowl ads. Try four risk-free issues of TV Guide now!

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