Remember? Kate and Sawyer got down to business in the fish-biscuit cage. Big Bad Ben promised to let Dr. Jack leave the island in exchange for some lifesaving surgery. But Jack rediscovered his spine and threatened to let the smug Other die unless Kate was allowed to do what she does best: run. It's been nearly three months since we've gotten Lost. But starting this Wednesday, ABC's eternally trippy hit returns with fresh episodes every! single! week! through May (at the new hour of 10 pm/ET). Here's a sneak peek at what you'll be buzzing about on Thursday mornings. (Stop reading now if spoilers aren't your thing. Seriously.)
1. The Sawyer/Kate/Jack love triangle isn't over yet. Kate seemingly chose the charismatic con man over the honorable doc when she hooked up with Sawyer in the Nov. 8 fall finale, a move that pleased both fans and Sawyer himself (Josh Holloway). "I love working with Evie [Evangeline Lilly]," Holloway says. "She's such a little warrior. She was like, ‘Throw me up against the bars! Do it again!'" He may not get the chance, because the Feb. 7 episode makes it clear that Kate still harbors feelings for Jack as she and Sawyer try to escape the Others. But escape they will. With Kate gone, Jack will grow closer to fellow physician Juliet. In the Feb. 21 episode, he'll also get some flashback passion from guest star Bai Ling, a mysterious woman with a connection to the good doc's bad-boy tattoos. Nevertheless, says executive producer Carlton Cuse, the bond between Kate and Jack "is kind of the ultimate relationship."
2. The Others aren't going anywhere. While some fans have lamented the airtime given to those shady Others since the start of Season 3, producers remain staunchly committed to exploring Lost's new world. In fact, the Feb. 7 premiere focuses on the inscrutable Juliet, the book-club-presiding, let-Ben-die-pleading Other played by Elizabeth Mitchell. Flashbacks reveal Juliet's past, including a sick sister and a decidedly low self-esteem, thanks to a decidedly no-good ex-husband. "Even though Juliet's brilliant, she couldn't see herself that way," Mitchell reveals. "Her identity was tied to the man she was married to, and she wasn't able to be strong on her own." Producers also hint that upcoming episodes will revisit the Others' Wisteria Lane-esque compound. Teases cocreator Damon Lindelof, "Where is that place we saw the Others?" Beats us. But we can reveal that Creepy Eyepatch Guy — who appeared on the Others' TV monitors — will be back. As will villainous Ethan, who died in Season 1: He pops up in Juliet's flashbacks in a way that sheds light on his interest in Claire's baby.
3. You'll see more of the characters you love — and miss. Wondering what's up with Hurley, Sayid, Claire and Locke? They'll all get the flashback treatment by the end of March. Hurley's episode delves into his complicated relationship with his father, played by Cheech Marin, whom Cuse worked with on Nash Bridges. Locke's flashback episode could reveal how he wound up in that wheelchair, while Sayid's is "one that will be enormously satisfying," Cuse says, "because it is a heavy answer-mode episode." Adds Lindelof, "Sayid is asking all the questions that [fans] want answered."
4. Speaking of answers, the producers feel your pain. They've heard the criticism that the show isn't solving enough mysteries. They know many viewers are starting to lose faith that there's a well-thought-out master plan. But they're hopeful that a consistent run of episodes will help alleviate those concerns. "You'll still be like, ‘I wish I got even more out of this episode,'" Lindelof says. "But you'll only have to wait a week to see another one." Producers now view splitting up the season as "a negative" and expect that ABC will run Season 4 straight through, as Fox does with 24. What's more, they're currently in discussions with the network to determine an end point for the show, both for their own creative satisfaction and to assure fans that there will be a resolution. "Having an end point is the right thing," Cuse says, likening the move to J.K. Rowling's announcement that the Harry Potter saga would be wrapped up in seven books. "And we want to announce an end point before the show's lost its relevance, at which point no one will care what the end point is."
5. The body count will get higher. In the Feb. 14 episode, the seemingly psychic Desmond will tell a major character to prepare for the Grim Reaper. (We won't reveal who, but we will say it's not Jack, despite Internet rumors that he's on his way out.) There's also speculation that newcomer Paulo, played by Rodrigo Santoro, may not live to see Season 4, thanks to a cover story Santoro did for the Brazilian Rolling Stone in which he discussed upcoming film commitments in his native country. Producers won't comment, except to say that Paulo and fellow maligned newbie Nikki (Kiele Sanchez) will play a pivotal part in a late-March installment. Says Lindelof, "By the end of that episode, it'll be crystal clear as to what Nikki and Paulo's future on the island will be."
For scoop on other ABC hits, Desperate Housewives and Brothers & Sisters included, pick up the Feb. 5 issue of TV Guide.
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