- This article is about how characters are connected. For the special feature on Disc 7 of the Season 2 DVD see: Lost Connections
Character connections refers to the "degrees of separation" between the characters in Lost. This concept describes the shortness of social distance between any two people on Earth, based on their acquaintances. The average is 6, and this has inspired many theories about human interaction, including a popular culture game called "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon". Some, if not all of the characters have one or two degrees of separation between them. The likelihood of this occurring between passengers on a jetliner is fairly astronomical. The shortness of the separation between the characters is likely a large part of the puzzle/mystery of the show.
"Have you ever sat next to someone at a bar and felt that your paths have crossed before? Has the thought ever crossed your mind that the stranger behind you at the store would become a significant part of your life?...seemingly random people. Do you know any of them? Do any of them know you? Do any of them know someone you know? Odds are that the answer to anyone of these questions is yes... Throughout the world, connections are constantly being made. Which begs the question; are chance encounters a matter of coincidence, or a matter of fate? " - Carlton Cuse, Lost Connections
Characters Connections prior to Australian Airport
Characters Connections through Season Two
The following connections between characters happened in locations other than the hotel, airport, or airplane during or immediately before the flight. This list is sorted according to when the connection was first noted (by the second episode, in which the 'cross' is recognized).
- When Sarah was in the car accident, she hit Adam Rutherford, Shannon's father/Boone's stepfather; Jack opted to save Sarah, resulting in Adam Rutherford's death. ("Man of Science, Man of Faith") ("Abandoned")
- Jack met Desmond while running up and down the steps in a stadium sometime in 2001. ("Man of Science, Man of Faith")
- Hurley's manager Randy at Mr. Cluck's was also Locke's manager at the box factory in Tustin (where Locke lives), which Hurley owns. ("Walkabout") ("Numbers") ("Everybody Hates Hugo")
- Hurley commented on a Drive Shaft CD in a music store. ("Everybody Hates Hugo")
- Sayid was on a television while Kate was in Sam Austen's office. ("What Kate Did")
- The Beechcraft that Locke and Boone found was the Nigerian drug plane that contained Eko's brother Yemi. Charlie and Eko find Goldie not far from there, the man Eko worked with who pushed him off the plane, took Yemi with him, and therefore saved Eko's life. ("Deus Ex Machina") ("The 23rd Psalm")
- Sawyer met Gordy at a diner where Kate's mom, Diane, was a waitress. ("What Kate Did") ("The Long Con")
- Mr. Cluck's Chicken Shack and Widmore Labs were sponsors for Henry Gale's balloon. ("Everybody Hates Hugo") ("Fire + Water") ("Lockdown")
- Sayid encountered Army Sergeant Sam Austen, Kate's father, who was carrying a younger picture of Kate. ("What Kate Did") ("One of Them")
- Locke inspected a house that Sayid's unrequited love, Nadia, was planning to buy. ("Solitary") ("Lockdown")
- Hurley, Locke's mother (Emily Annabeth Locke), and Libby all went to Santa Rosa Mental Health Institute. ("Numbers") ("Deus Ex Machina") ("Dave")
- Ana Lucia traveled to Australia with Jack's father, Christian Shephard. ("Two for the Road")
- Christian Shephard hit Sawyer with the door of the car when he opened it in front of the bar where they later share drinks. ("Two for the Road")
- Richard Malkin was the psychic who Claire visited several times and forced her to take Flight 815. Later Eko went to visit Malkin's daughter Charlotte and was told by Malkin that his daughter's resurrection was a fraud, as are his psychic powers. ("Raised by Another") ("?")
- Libby met Desmond in a cafe and gave a race boat to him. ("Live Together, Die Alone")
- Kelvin Inman interacted with both Sayid and Sam Austen during the Gulf War. He later trained Desmond in the operation of the Swan station. ("One of Them") ("Live Together, Die Alone")
- Charlie and Hurley discovered a record of an extremely obscure music group called Geronimo Jackson that neither had heard of; Eddie Colburn was later seen by Locke to be wearing a shirt with the same album cover. He said it was his father's. ("The Hunting Party") ("Further Instructions")
- Sawyer mentioned his involvement in the supposedly failed Tampa Job to Hibbs, saying "what could possibly make us even for the Tampa Job?" Kate's former husband was involved in completion of Police IRs "that fugitive recovery in Tampa," which may well refer to the Tampa Job and Sawyer. ("Outlaws") ("I Do")
- Juliet's sister used the same brand pregnancy test as Kate and Sun. ("Not in Portland")
- Juliet's ex-husband is hit by a bus that is advertising Apollo Candy. Kate eats some Apollo Candy in the Hatch Pantry, and it's also advertised on Desmond's football match. ("Adrift"), ("Not in Portland"), ("Flashes Before Your Eyes")
- Desmond recognizes Charlie performing on the street in London. ("Flashes Before Your Eyes")
- In Charles Widmore's Office hangs a painting by Claire's ex-boyfriend Thomas, though Thomas still has the painting years later when he and Claire are together during her pregnancy. ("Flashes Before Your Eyes")
- In the football match Desmond watches, it advertises Apollo Candy, The Hanso Foundation, Oceanic Airlines, Gannon Car Rentals, Mr. Cluck's Chicken Shack and Expose. ("Flashes Before Your Eyes")
- Claire and Jack have the same father. ("Par Avion")
- Locke, his father, and Sawyer end up on the same island. ("The Man from Tallahassee")
- Locke and Hurley watch Exposé, the TV show Nikki guest stars in. ("The Man from Tallahassee") ("Exposé")
- Kate meets Cassidy, Sawyer's ex-lover. ("Left Behind")
- Locke's father is the original con man that conned Sawyer's parents. ("The Brig")
- Emily (Ben's mother) gave birth to Ben, just outside of Portland, where Juliet was led under the false information that Mittelos Bioscience was located 'just outside of Portland'. ("Not in Portland") ("The Man Behind the Curtain")
- "Emily" is the name of both Locke and Bens' mothers. ("The Man Behind the Curtain")
- Charlie stops a mugger from attacking Nadia, Sayid's old love. ("Greatest Hits")
- After escaping the island, Hurley is chased by the police on the streets of Los Angeles; this is recorded by Randy Nations, Hurley's former manager/employee at Mr. Cluck's Chicken Shack and John Locke's supervisor at the Box company.
- Hurley is taken into custody and questioned by Mike Walton, Ana Lucia's former policing partner. Mike, in fact, questions Hurley whether he had met Ana at the airport or aboard the plane but Hurley lies and denies having ever met her.
- Hurley is visited by a man named Matthew Abaddon after the crash, who is later revealed to have recruited Naomi, Miles, Charlotte, Daniel and Frank sometime before they came to the island. Abaddon is also the one who talked Locke into trying to go on the walkabout ("The Beginning of the End") ("Confirmed Dead") ("Cabin Fever")
- When Desmond is time shifting he goes to see Daniel at Oxford University in 1996 after Daniel told him to find him there. ("The Constant")
- Sun appears to be watching an episode of Exposé, with Nikki, dubbed over in Korean ("Ji Yeon")
- Richard Alpert was at the hospital where Locke was born and saw him when he was 5. ("Cabin Fever")
- Locke has a Geronimo Jackson poster in the locker he was trapped in at high school. ("Cabin Fever")
- Jacob approaches many of the characters off island, though they do not know of their connection. Kate as a child in the store, James as a child at his parents' funeral, Jin and Sun at their wedding, Locke when he is pushed from the window, Jack at the hospital, Sayid at the moment when Nadia was killed by a hit-and-run driver, and Hurley as he leaves prison.
Encounters or joint sightings at the hotel, airport or airplane
The following connections happened immediately before, or during the flight, and do not count as a notable connection.
- Jack sat next to Rose on the plane. ("Pilot, Part 1")
- Charlie ran past Jack, Rose, Boone and Shannon on the plane. ("Pilot, Part 2")
- Jin waited in line behind Jack. ("White Rabbit") ("House of the Rising Sun")
- Jack met Ana Lucia in the airport lounge before they boarded the plane. ("Exodus, Part 1")
- At the airport, Sayid asked Shannon to watch his bags for a moment. ("Exodus, Part 1")
- The fight Michael and Walt have at a hotel the night before the flight wakes up Steve. ("Exodus, Part 1")
- When Hurley was running late to catch his flight, he tried to enter a crowded elevator occupied by Charlie. ("Exodus, Part 2")
- At the airport, Locke passed near Michael who was on the phone with his mom. ("Exodus, Part 2")
- At the airport, while Jin was walking to the bathroom, he walked in front of Sayid. ("Exodus, Part 2")
- Hurley attempted to jump ahead of Arzt at customs. ("Exodus, Part 2")
- On the plane, Arzt helped Claire put her luggage in the overhead compartment. ("Exodus, Part 2")
- Hurley gave Walt thumbs up as he walked past him on the plane. ("Exodus, Part 2")
Six Degrees to Kevin Bacon
The Game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon is based on a similar idea, that every working actor can be connected to Kevin Bacon to within six degrees, by the other actors they've appeared in film with. Although unrelated to the character connections, it's interesting to note that every one of the cast members of Lost can be connected to Kevin Bacon by either 2 or 3 degrees, although none of them have worked with him directly, as yet.
Like the past and present connections between the castaways as well as other Island inhabitants and flashback characters, many of the people who create the stories and characters of Lost have also worked on other projects together in the past. Also, many of these people have also worked on some of the same projects, though they might not have appeared together or interacted in these projects, similar to how the lives of the castaways have sometimes nearly touched or indirectly influenced each other. Perhaps in some cases, the Lost producers did this knowingly or as Easter eggs, paralleling the interconnectedness of the storytellers and their ties to pop culture to the story itself. Many of these projects share themes, genres, references, actors, writers, producers, and directors with Lost. It's interesting to note how some of these connections parallel things on the show and also reflect the meta-narrative and post-modern qualities of it.
- Many of the actors on Lost have appeared together in other television shows and movies. Sometimes their characters have interacted with each other, sometimes they appeared in the same episodes or films, other times they have appeared at different times in a show's run and sometimes they are characters whose storylines are related but who may not have interacted. Some shows (like most procedurals) often have characters that only appear for that show's mystery of the week, and many of the Losties have popped up on these shows. In Lost's case, some flashback of the week characters have strong connections to certain Lost characters, and have also appeared and are currently appearing together in other shows and films with other Lost actors. To a second degree, there are many actors who have appeared in different projects with many of the actors who have appeared on Lost, though they themselves have not appeared on the show (yet). The most significant actor connection is the tv show Oz, which starred Adewale Akinnouye-Agbaje and Harold Perrineau and which included appearances by Ken Leung and Lance Reddick.
- Many of the producers and writers on the show have also worked together in the past, and usually on many of the shows featuring Lost actors. Many of them have since gone on to other projects, most of which also have connections to Lost.
Many actors on the show have connections to some of the other actors in projects outside of Lost. Sometimes, their characters interacted directly with each other, though most hadn't appeared together before Lost started. There are also instances where their characters were in the same movie, series, or episode but did not share any scenes together. Some of these times there are indirect connections between the characters of those shows. In a way, it shows that people who play the characters on Lost have lives that are as connected to each other as their fictional alter egos, and may reflect an intent on the part of the show's creators to make these existing connections also tell the story. This is not to say that these connections are all the producers look at when casting, but the sheer number of them suggest that the producers of Lost are splicing in bits and pieces and ideas of other television and film works into its story, much as it has the numerous literary references, and some of the actors as well as the characters they play and the projects they are in closely parallel and inform the story of the show.
Also, it shows that people in real-life (the actors) have the same kinds of connections to each other that the characters in the story do (granted, they do all work in the Entertainment industry, but there are a handful of projects that seem to have an extremely high number of Losties). It also shows that the fictional characters an actor has interpreted may inform their story and character somehow, and that sometimes the relationships of characters that are paralleled, contrasted, or repeated in Lost lends new insight into them and the plot or offers up more evidence of the interrelatedness between Lost, pop culture, and real people. In this way, Lost takes on the nature of a meta-narrative, and blurs the line between the story, the storytellers, and the audience even more.
- Harold Perrineau and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje played Augustus Hill (40 episodes) and Simon Adebisi (27 epsiodes) respectively as regulars on HBO's prison drama. They shared many scenes together and both appeared in almost every single episode until their characters' deaths. Augustus Hill was also the narrator of OZ. It is interesting to note that Eko first appears after the Raft survivors come aground and is with Michael (even going off to look for him) until the Tailies reunite with the other castaways.
- Zeljko Ivanek (Edmund Burke) was recurring in 25 episodes playing Governor James Devlin, a corrupt and sneaky politician. His storylines intersected with both Adebisi's and Augustus Hill's. Edmund Burke shares this sleaziness and wanting to take credit for others' successes with Governor Devlin (OZ creator/writer/producer Tom Fontana stated that "there is the devil in Devlin"). Ivanek has guest starred on many shows that have also featured Lost actors.
- Augustus is in a wheelchair, like Locke before the crash, after being thrown off a building for killing a police officer. He is also a recovering drug addict, like Charlie.
- Adebisi is similar to Mr. Eko in that they were African gangsters involved in the drug trade. In a way, Adebisi could be Eko if he had never become a priest.
- One of the main characters and the on-and-off leader of the Muslims is named Kareem Said (pronounced exactly like "Sayid").
- We see how the many characters came to OZ through flashbacks of the crime they were convicted for. These flashbacks sometimes appear a long time after we have been introduced to a character.
- There are many "tribes" in the prison, usually based on ethnic background or religious beliefs, whose leaders often change. These men manipulate and ally themselves with others, though the allegiances and leaders tend to change constantly. This is similar to what has happened to Ben and the Others in Season 3, and has been happening to the castaways since Jack returned.
- Many characters con each other to get what they want or to get someone else to do what they want.
- "Oz" is a nickname for Australia.
- "Oz", short for Oswald State Penitentiary and later Oswald Correctional Facility, is also a refrence to "The Wizard of Oz", also alluded to on Lost. The experimental wing where most of the stories take place is referred to as "Emerald City".
- Shares the themes of imprisonment, cons and deceptions, isolation, psychology, good and bad people, black and white, faith, revenge, coincidences, rivalries, secrets, fate and free will, parent issues, and character connections with Lost.
- The following actors have appeared on both "Lost" and "24".
Party of Five
- Interactive graphic with connections and biographies at the end of 5th season
- .pdf file of Lost Connections Flow Chart at larger size
- ABC.com's Lost Connections