Get ready for Lost season 4! What happened in season 3?

Also see:
"Lost" Season 3 Episode Guide.
Best "Lost" Sites on the Web.
Details on Lost season 4 opener.
Lost season 4 episode 2 details.
Lost season 4 episode 3 details.

Lost season 4 episode 1 pictures

Lost season 4 episode 2 pictures.
Lost season 4 character photos.

"Lost" begins its fourth season Jan. 31 on ABC. But what the heck is going on? It's been nine months since the last new episode!

To help you get ready, here's a thorough review of the key happenings of season 3, plus a current list of unanswered questions about the show:

Key events:

* We see that the Others live in a sophisticated village--with houses, power, running water, even book clubs--on the island and they were seemingly caught unawares by the Oceanic plane crash.

* Benjamin Linus (first introduced to the crash survivors as "Henry Gale") leads the Others and instructs Goodwin and Ethan Rom to pose as passengers and spy on the crash survivors. He tells them to prepare "lists" of "good people" among the passengers.

* Henry has kidnapped Kate, Sawyer and Jack to play them off one another and to break them down mentally so he can convince Jack to operate on a cancerous tumor growing on his (Ben's) spine.

* The polar bears spotted by the survivors were evidently part of a Dharma Initiative project and were kept in the cages where the Others put Kate and Sawyer.

* The Others had been in contact with the outside world via electronic communications and, evidently, a submarine that allowed them to come and go at will. However, the electromagnetic disturbance caused by the Hatch ex/implosion in season two has apparently disrupted communications with civilization. And--wanting to keep the island shut off from the outside--Locke blows up the submarine.

* The Hatch explosion apparently provided Desmond with the ability to see briefly into the future during psychic "flashes."

* The Others recruited Juliet, a fertility expert, to come to the island because all the women who have become pregnant there die, as do their babies. Juliet has been unable to find a solution to this problem.

* After his spinal surgery, Ben promises to let Jack and Juliet leave the island. But, as they are about to board the sub, Locke blows it up. Later, Juliet acts as if she's been cast out by the Others and joins the crash survivors in their camp. However, she's really spying on them and providing information to Ben.

* Sun is pregnant by Jin.

* The island appears to have some sort of healing ability. Locke is able to walk again after crashing there. Jin, who was infertile, is able to father a child. Ben and Juliet make references to there being no cancer among the inhabitants. However, Ben develops cancer and it doesn't go away on its own.

* The Other Alex refers to Ben as her father. However, she is also evidently the daughter for Danielle Rousseau, the French woman who is a survivor of some sort of research party unrelated to the Others or the Dharma Initiative.

* The Dharma people refer to the Others as "hostiles." Ben calls these hostiles the "original inhabitants" of the island.

* When Alex's boyfriend Carl shows rebellious tendencies, he's taken to a room and subjected to brainwashing techniques that refer to Jacob--an entity the Others seem to worship, or at least hold in very high regard.

* Jacob seems to be some sort of mystical entity--maybe a ghost. Ben can see and communicate with him and apparently delivers Jacob's orders to the Others. Locke doesn't see Jacob, but can evidently hear him.

* The Others seem fascinated by Locke, and Ben seems threatened by him. After Locke "hears" Jacob, Ben shoots Locke, who is wounded but somehow survives.

* Mr. Eko is killed by the mysterious smoke monster after it apparently scans his mind, learning about his past and making judgments about who Eko is and what he's done.

* Cindy the stewardess and two child survivors from the plane's tail section are living happily with the Others, it seems.

* In flashbacks, we see how a young Ben and his father arrive on the island as part of the Dharma Initiative. Ben eventually encounters the Other Richard Alpert in the jungle. Ben has seen visions of his dead mother in the jungle. Alpert is curious about Ben's apparent psychic ability. Years later, Ben helps plan and participates in a gas attack that kills all the Dharma people, including Ben's father.

* Claire attaches a message to the leg of a migratory bird that stops on the island.

* Somehow, the Others brought Locke's father, "Anthony Cooper," to the island and have been holding him captive. Cooper is later killed by Sawyer.

* The crash survivors Nikki and Paulo are paralyzed by spider bites and buried alive by Sawyer and Hurley, who believe the couple is dead.

* A woman named Naomi parachutes on the island after her helicopter crashes. She's apparently been sent by Desmond's girlfriend Penelope Widmore and the rest of her crew is on a ship near the island but, for some reason, haven't been able to locate it.

* Naomi has a satellite phone, but Sayid is unable to get a signal with it so he can communicate to Naomi's crew.

* Juliet evidently turns against Ben and tells Jack what she's been up to. She also tells the crash survivors an underwater Dharma station, called the Looking Glass, is running a jamming signal that prevents those on the island from communicating with the outside world by radio or satellite. Charlie swims down to the Looking Glass to switch off the signal, but is captured by two armed women inside the station. There's a struggle and Charlie is able to turn off the signal, but drowns before he can escape the flooding station.

* Ben tells Jack that Naomi isn't who she says and that alerting her crew will bring dangerous people to the island who will kill everyone. But Jack makes the call.

* We see a future vision of Jack and Kate. They are off the island, but Jack thinks it's a mistake that they escaped. Something terrible happened to make it possible. He tells Kate they need to go back.

Character connections:

* Christian Shepherd is the father of both Jack and Claire, although they don't realize this.

* Locke's dad is the same guy who conned and destroyed Sawyer's family.

* Kate befriends Cassidy Phillips, the woman Sawyer conned and got pregnant. Kate isn't aware of the Cassidy-Sawyer connection, though.

* The monk who leads the order Desmond joins has a picture on his desk of the jewelry shop clerk that Desmond encounters in London.

* Charlie rescues Sayid's girlfriend Nadia from a mugging in London.

People killed:

* The Other Colleen is killed by Sun.

* The man Sun has an affair with is killed.

* Mr. Eko is killed by the smoke monster.

* The Other Ms. Klugh is killed by her fellow Other Mikhail.

* Locke's father "Anthony Cooper," the con man who destroyed Sawyer's family is killed by Sawyer.

* Nikki and Paulo are paralyzed by spider bites and inadvertently buried alive by Sawyer and Hurley.

* Tom/Mr. Friendly and a whole bunch of his fellow Others are killed by the crash survivors in the season ender.

Featured music:

* "Downtown" by Petula Clark.

* Charlie is seen singing "Wonderwall" by Oasis on a London street.

* Three Dog Night's "Shambala" plays on the stereo in the Dharma bus Hurley locates. It's playing again in Ben's flashback scenes featuring the same bus, which was driven by Ben's father.

Featured books:

* The Others' book group is reading "Carrie" by Stephen King.

* A guard outside the Others' brainwashing facility is reading Stephen Hawking's "A Brief History of Time."

* A copy, in Portuguese, of Joseph Heller's "Catch 22" is in a backpack apparently belonging to Naomi.

Unanswered questions:

* What is the history of the Others? Where did they come from?

* What is the back story of Danielle, the French woman? How did she arrive on the island? Does she have any ties to Dharma? Why was her daughter, Alex, abducted?

* Why are the Others interested in some of the crash survivors and not the rest? They define themselves as "good." What's their definition of the word?

* What was Ben's breakfast on the beach with Kate all about? What was he hoping to get from her?

* Why did the smoke monster kill Mr. Eko?

* What's up with the sickness that supposedly killed off Danielle's team?

* What is the history of "Adam and Eve," the skeletal remains the crash survivors discovered in season one?

* What exactly was the purpose of the Hatch and what occurred when it ex/imploded?

* What is the smoke monster that has killed several people? What is its purpose and is it controlled by anyone?

* What's become of Walt and Michael who left the island on a boat at the end of season 2?

* What really brought the various people to island? What's behind the web of connections among them all?

* Is the Dharma Initiative still active at all? If not, why is someone from the outside making airdrops of supplies and food to the island?

* How did the Others get information about the plane crash survivors, including their real names? How are they in contact with the outside world?

* Why do women on the island die instead of giving birth?

* What's behind the apparent healing properties of the island?

* What's responsible for the visions of animals and dead people the crash survivors sometimes see on the island?

* What's behind Locke's ability to walk again and Desmond's ability to see future events?

* What's the deal with Libby, killed in season 2, who evidently gave Desmond the sailboat that landed him on the island and who once was in a mental ward with Hurley?

* What's up with the giant, four-toed statue Sayid, Sun and Jin see at the end of season 2?

* Any explanation for why the man in the Dharma Initiative videos is at different times identified as Dr. Marvin Candle and Dr. Mark Wickmund or why the CIA agent who identifies himself as Joe Inman to Sayid tells Desmond his name is Kelvin Inman?

* Why did the psychic in Australia encourage Claire to take the doomed flight?

* Who is the man Sarah left Jack for? Why is she so reluctant to reveal his identity? Is he somehow associated with the Dharma Initiative and/or the Others?

* Who--or what--is "Jacob"?

* What's motivating the Others? Spiritual beliefs? Fear? What's their community all about?

* Who is the person who has died in the "flash forward" featuring the off-island Jack and Kate. They refer to him, but not by name.

* Who was Naomi working for? Penelope's dad, Mr. Widmore, perhaps? Does he have an interest in the island and somehow know Desmond ended up there?

* What's the relationship between Ben's people and Naomi's?

* Are Naomi's people in the Dharma Initiative or related to it? Did Ben have a real reason for killing off the Dharma crew? What were they up to that he saw as a threat? What is he protecting the island from and why do other people want the island?

* What's going to happen when Naomi's people show up? Is Ben telling the truth when he says they are dangerous?

* Juliet tells Sawyer that the Others are building a runway. What for? Why are they building it on the smaller island, not the main one?

* What is the mistake Jack feels he made? Does he really intend to go back to the island?

* In the flash forward, Jack refers to his dad as if he's still alive? Is he?

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