The Cast of Lost
Photo: ABC Medianet

The premise: A plane crashes on a remote Pacific island where rules of physics, geography and biology don't apply. On the upside, a paraplegic named John Locke regains the use of his legs; drawbacks include rampaging polar bears, a monster made of smoke and a rupture in the time-space continuum that sends some characters—including con man Sawyer and fertility specialist Juliet—back 30 years. The Island also is HQ of the Dharma Initiative, a mysterious research commune.

The personnel: The central love quadrangle consists of physician-hero Jack, wistful felon Kate, Sawyer (reformed as a Dharma worker bee) and Juliet, who apparently died at the end of last season when she tripped a hydrogen bomb that may or may not have set the Lost clock back to zero. (But on Lost, death is often reversible!) There's also evil genius Ben, who thinks he does the Island's bidding; more-evil gazillionaire Charles Widmore, who wants to own the Island; and possibly evilest-of-all Jacob, the Island's ageless overlord.

The big questions: Can the survivors—including couple-torn-apart Sun and Jin, lovable lunkhead Hurley and sultry military man Sayid—ever return to terra firma? What is the smoke monster? What is the Island, for that matter—an actual place or a wormhole in time? And above all, can we get one more of those freaky polar bear cameos?

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