Today, as a result, we're going to go through my list of the fifteen (originally ten, but I went overboard and couldn't make cuts) characters I most wish had gotten a centric storyline. For those unfamiliar (and if you haven't caught on to Lost's awesomeness yet, get thyself to a Netflix or wherever you can stream the series, bookmark here, and then come back with a stomach full of opinions), nearly every episode of Lost save for finales had a specific character that we'd focus upon. We'd see other characters, but Charlie or Claire or Desmond or some main character would be at the center of the episode, and we'd learn more about their specific background and how it related to what was going on on the island. However, because Lost was an expansive universe and one with a huge number of ancillary or side characters, there were still a lot of figures I always wished they'd have given one (or two or three) background stories to in order to understand why they went to the Island or what eventually happened to them. As a result, here are the fifteen I most wish had their own profile on Lost, and what part of their background I wish we'd known more regarding.
Honorable Mention: Listed here are only characters who never had a proper background episode focused upon themselves. As a result, a few stories I always wanted addressed (specifically Claire between the cabin and finding Jin in the woods, Jacob from the death of his mother until his own death, and Walt off the island until Hurley/Ben find him), are not listed but know that I wish that we had had all of those moments and that the series had continued the formats of the first few seasons, adding eight additional episodes to give us background and a full count of 24 (as well as the backgrounds we have listed below).
What I Want Explained: There's a lot of controversy about the additional detours of Season 5 amongst fans, perhaps overshadowed by the flash sideways role of Season 6, but they still exist. While I was a fan of Dharma-ville, I always felt that the Ajira passengers that were weirdly knowledgeable about the island were perhaps the most-ignored and quite frankly the most intriguing and under-sung characters on the show. For a Bram-centric episode, I want to know how he first started working for Ilana, whether or not he was working directly for Jacob (as I have suspected) or whether his group was a faction related to the Temple or the Others or somehow a completely different aspect of the show that the writers were never able to fold into the conversation. Either way, with his extensive knowledge of the Island and his immortal "what lies in the shadow of the statue?" it is clear there was more than met the eye here.
What I Want Explained: We actually got behind the man in the videos (oh my god how I loved that first orientation video in the Hatch-I re-watched it like ten times the first time I bought the DVD, wanting to melt in its island-y goodness) when we learned a bit more about the Dharma Initiative, and in particular there was a lot more about Pierre in "Some Like It Hoth," but there was still so much more to know here that I wanted to know. Specifically, since he was clearly an integral part of the Dharma Initiative, how was it founded and how did they come across the Island? Was it completely scientific, or was the MIB or Jacob involved in some way in bringing them to the island? And while it is quite obvious that most if not all of the members of the DI died in the Purge in the late 1980's/early 1990's (there's some debate whether or not it was 1987 or 1992 when it happened), did Pierre Chang die or did he get off the island? And did any other members of the DI manage to survive in some other corner of the Island ala Danielle? Is it possible he's still alive?
What I Want Explained: This is cheating, and I probably don't actually want this, but as these four are the only known children of the castaways that either were never on or weren't aware of the island, they very well could have been part of a flash-forward about the future. Throw in Julian (Juliet's niece) and Megan (Charlie's niece) and you probably have the reboot almost done (especially if you could, you know, find a way to fold Walt into the picture). I don't actually want a sequel, but a far-off vision might have been even more interesting than, say, "The New Man in Charge." Just spitballing here. It's worth noting that Aaron was the only castaway who left the island before the time jumps that was never offered the opportunity to return.
What I Want Explained: Ilana is hardly a favorite Lost character, and I get that most people wish she had just adiosed in the final season, primarily because we wanted to focus on our favorite characters and not have to deal with any new ends, but even more so than Bram that I just listed above, Ilana is a character I want to know more about. It's pretty obvious that she was working directly for Jacob, but what was her role when Jacob theoretically had both the Others and the more omnipotent Temple-Dwellers? We frequently hear her refer to the Temple on the island, but is she connected to Dogen? Is she, as some have postulated, actually Jacob's daughter (he was like a father to her-perhaps that was meant to be taken literally?)? What was her goal in coming to the island if she hadn't died or Jacob hadn't died? And why didn't she show Ben what was in the coffin-did she need to make him kill Jacob? There are so many questions, and I feel like you could have folded more story about her into either Season 5 or 6 without taking away the mystique.
What I Want Explained: Ethan is such a strange paradox in the series. Seemingly incredibly nice in almost every flashback, a truly good guy, and yet he was a monster that was willing to string Charlie up by the neck and kidnap Claire in the middle of the night. It's such a harsh juxtaposition, and that's only the tip of the iceberg. After all, he's one of the few people who actually is born on the island, and clearly had a lot of plot between his birth and eventually becoming an Other (some of which is explained in the Lost Encyclopedia, but that isn't considered "canon" exactly), and then later on when he became a surgeon and eventually had a life as a castaway. I would have loved to have seen more of his interactions in the same way we did Goodwin, and also why he eventually turned on his parents and killed them in the Purge.
What I Want Explained: Like Ilana above, Dogen is a character that felt throwaway in the final season as he had so much mystery and intrigue, and yet he never really got to fulfill it because the show was in its final season and we wanted to focus on the castaways we already knew and loved. Still, though, his character and the Temple itself were too full of mystery to not indulge. Was he a candidate, or what was his role in relation to Ben, as he seemed to not take orders from pretty much anyone? Did he actually truly work for Jacob, while the MIB was guiding the Others in the wrong direction, and serve as the protector of the Temple waiting for the eventual moments after the Incident to take place? There's so much to discuss here, and so much background that probably would have been helpful in digesting the early Season 6 episodes if we'd gotten a little bit more interaction with the character.
What I Want Explained: This is, more than any other on this list, the episode I want more because of the character herself and not because there's a particularly unexplained antecedent that no one on the show ever gave me. Charlotte was initially my favorite of the Kahana crew, fiery and full of verve and interest in the island, a wonderful contradiction to the casataways who at this point were just sick of learning about it and wanted off the rock. I think a background episode, a traditional one that focused first on her leaving the island as a young girl, and then on her career, the way she was recruited, and eventually on her own reasons for returning to the Island in hopes of finding out something about her childhood would have been a great add in Season 4 or 5, in my opinion, and feels like the easiest sell (quite frankly I wonder if they meant to have her have a centric episode in Season 4 before the writer's strike caused a couple of episodes to be stripped from the overall count).
What I Want Explained: The most obscure person on this list, and the one who appeared in the smallest number of episodes save one (only three-she was so ancillary that April Grace never even appeared in the sideways world where pretty much everyone was getting a cameo), Bea Klugh still haunts me. Her demeanor, the way that she was more than willing to be killed by Mikhail, and her role in the Others considering that she clearly had great importance in being put in-charge of Walt, is baffling to me and I've always wondered about her back-story. How did she eventually become a member of the Others (Grace once stated she pictured her as being a former nun), what was her role with Ben and Richard, and why was there so much calm and mystery surrounding her? To this day her brief scenes in the show fascinate me, and considering what a good actress Grace is in real-life my expectation is a background episode would be worth the trouble.
What I Want Explained: Like, everything-come on here, who doesn't want to know more about the Mad Russian (and incidentally, the guy who killed Bea)? There's a lot of questions here about Mikhail, particularly his Legs Diamond-like ability to never die, his intense military background that clearly leant itself quite well to his intense position on the island, and more importantly-who recruited him? Was it, as some have speculated, Jacob, or was it Richard (or was it the less likely Ben)? Did he actually join the Dharma Initiative and defect, or was he an Other the whole time? What is his story? And in a larger way, his story would be a great way to show how Ben recruited people other than Juliet, as there were a number of "unskilled" people on the island who, unlike Mikhail or Juliet, still were part of the others like Tom Friendly. Were they shipwrecked as so many before them, or how many lost souls did Ben eventually bring to the island?
What I Want Explained: Widmore actually, unlike a few people on this list, has quite an exhaustive background on the show if you piece together some of the fragments from other episodes. It's quite apparent that he is likely working for Jacob, that he recruited Ben Linus at a young age, that he had an affair with both Eloise Hawking and another woman off the island with whom he had his daughter Penny, and that he was banished by Benjamin Linus sometime after the Purge, likely in the mid-90's (it's weird to think of how soon after that that the Oceanic 815 flight crashed-the island had a very busy history in the 1990's...also it's weird to think of what the Island, so out of time and place, was like in the era of grunge since it still usually managed to mimic the styles of the time). What we don't know is a few things, however, and I feel like a centric episode would have explained them. For starters, how did Charles Widmore get to the island (was he, as I have suspected for a while, in the Korean War and his plane crashed coming home or going there?), how did he eventually become leader, and most importantly, what were his goals for coming back to the Island? It seems like he was working for Jacob, and had an omnipotent amount of knowledge about the Island, but he never returned even though it seems like he knew Oceanic 815 would crash there, as well as Ajira 316 and was likely aware of the supply drop planes-why didn't he get on one of those flights or join them via the Kahana? Particularly with the Kahana, he funded the research team and with Daniel, Charlotte, Miles, and Michael there certainly were enough people "who were supposed to be there" onboard for him to return to the island. And was his goal to exploit the island for his medical supplies company, sheerly to get revenge on Benjamin and retake his place at the head of the Island, or was he truly being noble, attempting to keep the MIB from leaving the island? Or was he simply an old man wanting to utilize the island's health benefits to extend his life? Those are a lot of questions, and as a result Charles gets pretty high on this list, though not quite as high as...
What I Want Explained: Oddly enough, Hawking actually doesn't have quite as many missing pieces in her background as Charles (honestly, I don't think anyone on the show has as many questions surrounding themselves as Charles Widmore), perhaps because she's relatively straight-forward once you discover her motives. Like Charles, we don't know how she came to the island initially, but that's not why I want this episode. More so, I want to know what her role was in leaving the island, and eventually becoming the guardian of the Lamppost. Eloise is one of the few characters on the show that stayed with the Others even after she left the island, and that intrigues me. Was she always off the island, taking care of Daniel (whom, we presume, was born on the island), or was she banished from the island but still doing her duty to it, merely serving as someone who is making sure things happen that are supposed to happen (like Desmond going to push the button and Ajira 316 having all of the castaways)? These (plus the fact that Finnoula Flanagan is such a good actress), are the reasons I want one more row with this particular character.
What I Want Explained: Charlotte, Daniel, and Miles were likely all born on the island, and Frank was supposed to have been the pilot for Oceanic 815 rather than Seth Norris. The only other member of the Kahana science crew was Naomi. We know Naomi was recruited by Matthew Abaddon to bring these four characters specifically to the island, but she was also someone that was brought to the island, and was listed as a candidate (Number 27 on the Lighthouse dial), as well as she had the bracelet that said "RG" mysteriously on it. So my question is-who is RG and why was Naomi brought to the island as everyone else had some connection to it aside from Naomi? Was she also born on the island, or the child of someone on the island, and we never found out? What were her exact orders on the island since getting the people rescued didn't really seem like first priority? I'm still royally mad at John for stabbing her in the back as these are questions I desperately wanted answers for.
What I Want Explained: Okay, so a little bit this is cheating, but really "Across the Sea" is Jacob and the MIB's flashback, and not actually Mother's so I'm counting it. I suspect that Mother, who clearly was insane (for those not sure who I'm talking about, this is Allison Janney's character), may have just had the same story as so many before her, but for anyone who was hoping for an episode that truly explained what had happened to the world of the Lost, a background on her, how she came to the island or whether she was always there, what her life was like before Jacob-and-MIB, and what drove her to kill and have a disdain for the others, would probably have solved that question. It's a bit of a cop-out to go here as she was a one-and-done character (actually appearing in less episodes than even Bea Klugh up-above), but the heart wants what it wants.
What I Want Explained: I am sure that Cindy, like every other person on Oceanic 815, had a back story she was trying to escape, but the thing I want to know about Cindy is what Others' orientation was like. After she was kidnapped while walking through the jungle, what happened? Why was she put in charge of Zach and Emma, and what was with her essentially seeming dazed as the weeks went on. Was Room 23 successful in brainwashing her in a way that it wasn't for Walt or Karl? What was it about her that caused the Others to take her later, but not initially? And what ended up happening to her as the series ended-she's one of the only named characters still on the island after Hurley took over, and one of only six Oceanic 815 survivors (along with Hurley, Zach, Emma, Rose and Bernard) that we know are with the Others-would that give her a stature of sorts?
What I Want Explained: More than literally any other character, I feel cheated by not having an episode devoted solely to Libby. It feels like Cynthia Watros' DUI was more a reason why Libby was cut than anything related to the story, but man do I wish that weren't the case as there was clearly more to Libby than met the eye. For starters, what was she doing in the insane asylum, what brought her to Australia, and why did she seemingly have select knowledge about the island and Desmond? I have long suspected that, had she stayed on the show, we would have learned that she was working for Charles Widmore (how else would have that boat to give to Desmond?). Since we never got that expanded, she simply became the girl that Hurley fell for, but there was more than met the eye here and I still want to know what it was.
There you have it folks-fifteen characters I wish had gotten their own episodes. The comments are there to contradict my rationale here or to posit your own choices for centric episodes. Get to cracking!